Just to keep the Steam thread about Steam...
What is annoying the hell out of me with regards DLC, is it is not being used to expand games playability, which is obviously a noble cause, but, instead, the games are being left barely clothed, with less "things" because all the studio wants is to profit from DLC.
Dragon Age Origins for example. The quest/Companion DLC is fine, no problem there, the game is fun and totally playable without having the DLC Golem Shale as a companion, Warden's Peak is a cool little quest/side mission, that gets you some nice armour, but nowt important. I have not Witch Hunt or Leliana's Song yet, so don't know how "big" they are. Awakenings of course is a welcome addition, and is a mini game all in itself.
But Vanilla Dragon Age seems very, very barren in terms of decent armours and weaponry. It feels like the big "Suits" at Bioware have just begrudgingly ordered the game designers to put in the absolute bare minimum because the suits want to see a steady revenue stream from DLC Sales.
Of course, there are still enough decent people and gamers at Bioware, that they were able to get the Toolset released, so fans can do their own Modding. And apart from the professional sheen/expert coding that official DLC in terms of companions, quests, voiceovers etc has, Much of the smaller DLC can be ignored, as there are plenty of fan made armours, weapons, equipment and so on to install for free.
DLC is a good thing, but there needs to be a fair balance - a game should not feel like stuff is missing, because for the studio, us paying £30-£40 for a game is not good enough, DLC should be welcome additions to expand, and enhance an already brilliant experience. And most of all, fans should be encouraged to keep the game living and breathing through fan modding, with easily usable toolsets/game editors released ASAP from release.
How many PC Gamers play Gothic 3 these days? Apart from some serious issues to do with support, for the games myriad bugs and problems (the developers fall out with the studio is absolutely a thread of its own possibly
) There is actually a good game, and an interesting story. I believe fan patches have made the game much more "complete" and fixed most of the troubles. But wheres the easy to use toolset? We RPG Gamers are an awkward sort, we want to replay, and replay, and fan modding, keeps our experiences interesting, and different every time...
People however, still play Oblivion, I think fan mods still come out too! Bethesda whilst wanting to benefit from DLC sales, have managed to strike the correct balance. Vanilla Oblivion is a massive, immersive and absolutely complete world. You don't encounter suspicious situations or "lacks" that make you think its been knobbled to profit from some DLC.