With the announcement of the beta for Dawnguard, I find myself ready to plunge back into Skyrim full force. Ready to load up characters that have over a hundred hours of game time on them simply to get a feel for how I built them, and what I should do next for preparing a character specifically for this DLC…no, this is a real expansion.
This new content has brought up an interesting point that I have tried to ignore for years. Expansions have pretty much died on us, and left us with their kid brother DLC. A sad truth about this is we rarely see something that adds what seems like an entirely new area to play rather than just a few extra weapons or a handful of quests. It seems like this generation’s DLC has all but purged the memory of what a good RPG expansion should be.
Yes, I do enjoy getting small snippets of content frequently. At the same time, I hunger for something that brings a slew of new content and areas even if it takes awhile to be released, think Shivering Isles for Oblivion. Bethesda themselves said that they took a bit too long to release that one and have since adjusted their goals slightly for DLC to have shorter release schedules. Fallout 3 reflected that, and had a good balance of short snippets of content while adding new areas.
When this all is said and done, gamers will only dictate a portion of how future DLC pans out. It would take a company releasing a truly horrible DLC for a popular game to really shake things up. Until then, the majority of the gaming population will keep purchasing content for our favorite games.