Zloth

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Jan 13, 2020
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What have been your favorite DLCs and expansions? I've played some that have really breathed new life into old games. The 4X genre doesn't seem to be able to do without them!
 
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Aug 25, 2020
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4X genre doesn't seem to be able to do without them
For sure, Civ 4 & 5 weren't the great games they are now until the 2nd & final expansion for each—and of course, the few bug fix patches thereafter to clean things up.

Civ 4—Beyond the Sword
Civ 5—Brave New World

Command & Conquer Generals—Zero Hour

Supreme Commander—Forged Alliance

Crysis—Warhead [standalone expansion]

Far Cry 4—Valley of the Yetis
Far Cry 4—Primal [standalone reusing FC4 map]
Far Cry 5—New Dawn [standalone expansion]
 
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Jan 17, 2020
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Paradox' grand strategy games come to mind. Crusader Kings 2, Europa Universalis 3, Victoria 2 and Stellaris all got a ton of DLC that introduced major changes to the gameplay.

Total War: Warhammer II also got a ton of DLC, with Mortal Empires probably being the biggest of them.
 
Jan 16, 2020
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The one that stands out the most recently for me was the witcher 3's expansion packs. Blood and Wine easily being the best of the lot. It was generous with content, had top notch quests and story and the environment was surreal and refreshing to behold after the dreary lands of the main game. it was also nice to see some sort of fairy tale happy ending questsfor a change. But that said they handled it well maintaining a harsh, seedy underbelly in there as well.
 
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Nov 27, 2020
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Two of the best DLC's ever made in my opinion were The Shadow Broker for ME2, and The Citadel for ME3, both were story driven DLCs that added to the base game content, with The Citadel being what many players considered to be the real ending of the ME Trilogy.

Other DLC's I felt added much story content to the base game:

The Witcher 3: Blood & Wine, Hearts of Stone
Fallout 4: Far Harbor
Skyrim: Dawnguard, Dragon Born
Obivion: Shivering Isles
Fallout New Vegas: Honest Hearts, Dead Money, Old World Blues
Neverwinter Nights 2: Mask of the Betrayer
Baldur's Gate 2: Throne of Bhaal
Dragon Age Origins: Awakening
Dragon Age Inquisition: Jaws of Hakkon, Trespasser
Neverwinter Nights 1: Shadows of Underentide, Hordes of the Underdark
 
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Jan 17, 2020
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That reminds me, I really liked Fallout 3's Operation Anchorage DLC, as I really liked playing as a stealthy assassin.

Mothership Zeta was pretty good too. Losing all my equipment made for a refreshing change of pace and I really liked sneaking up on those aliens and hitting them over the head with a baton.
 
Sep 21, 2020
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I have to go old school.

As much as i like Vanilla StarCraft, I'd have to add brood war to this list. The huge campaign, with the addition of those key units made SC turn into the world wide super hit that changed gaming for ever. It's kinda hard not to put this one at the top.

For me,
Durlag's tower in BG was one that took that game to total next level. The polish, the spell additions, loot changes, end game bonuses, fixes everywhere. I dunno of a single RPG add on that made so many change every where. Other RPGs add great additions, but none did what they did for BG. The others that came later were often great, but they did not really effect the base game at all. This one changed everything!

Civ V, the 2 DLC really changed the game. Adding the religion aspect to the game was fantastic. I also liked the tourism aspects, the game finally felt complete.


Crusader kings II. No i'm not saying all of it. the DLC i think that mater was "way of life" Which added a lot of RP depth, then the old gods for playable tribes. To me that's all you need. If you want the game a little harder you can add in Reapers and Monks. Those add a bit of a challenge and a few more events, but the other 2 really changed the game. To me you can basically skip anything else.


Starwars Galaxies Jump to light speed. How can you have a star wars game with out space? well these days there are a ton, but back then there was SWG. JTL brought the star's into Star Wars back then it was a game that rivaled X-win verse tie fighter. if you ever played a space battle with 100+ players in x-wings, Ties, gun ships, Bombers ect.. then you know exactly what i'm talking about. I have not played the new Rouge squadron but i dunno if even that can come close to what you could do in SWGJTL

Honorable mention, I'd have to go with the Dragon age Stand alone missions. Liliana's song, and Morrigan's quest were really fun short games. They gave a ton of background to the character just through the game. Lil's story you really learned her personality, and Morrigan's was that huge cliff hanger from the main game wrapped up in a bow. But the real shining star was the huge part II, Awakenings. It was a complete new game, unique story, new characters, fresh perspective. I often felt like you should just make a brand new warden as it felt more like a whole new game/story than any sort of continuation. It was very much like the add on in DAII, the one with felicity day. Just a short fun side story that should basically be called it's own game but here we are, it's just DLC.
 
Sep 21, 2020
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The 4X genre doesn't seem to be able to do without them!
I am going to answer this part separate when it comes to 4X. Those games are so deep, and complicated that they need player input on 2 aspects. 1, what should the devs spend there time on because sometimes some things are not fun, and even certain aspects of things need to be focused in ways you don't see right away. this needs the player feedback. For instance so many players wanting religion as a focus in Civ V for god's and Kings.

The other part and even more important are though the game tracking launchers. While i realize people like privacy, complaining about privacy on public forums is a bit of an irony and by all means do it. But also pick your battles. CKIII's launcher is tracking my game play in an anonymous way and lumped in with a million other players for these sorts of things. These game launchers when done and used right can be a huge boon to 4X games and really most games in general. (as long as done responsibly) There is a reason why the later dragon age games were made they left off the rouge class. Basically it came down to bioware saying, more people romanced Liliana as a female warden than completed the city elf Start so they put more money in to the LGBT side of the game instead. Unique stories in a different way i suppose. But in the case of 4X games it can track so much more and see how people are playing.

Anyone that played CKIII at launch and then read the patch notes for the first major patch know it was huge. A lot from direct feedback, but so many of the tweaks were tiny that came right from the launcher tracking real gameplay.

Lastly, 4X games are so complicated that if they did flop, or at least not make the kinda money they need they just don't continue. You could not take 8-10 years to make a game like Gal Civ III, and then just hope the game was super successful that you can just bankroll your company for an entire decade with no income. Ok.. every game outside of star citizen lol But hey we are closing in on 10 years.. Is it going to be great when it finally arrives? I sure hope. Though honestly i'm getting ready to grab Elite dangerous now they are adding all sorts of ground experience.

I just want to close with, Crusader kings III to me is by far the most complete 4X strat game on launch that i have ever played. What the devs did with the game is nothing short of incredible. Where they take it in the next 5+ years i am very excited to see. While there are places i think the game can improve, the foundation is better than any, and really as complete as CKII, if you add in most of the DLC, there are at least pieces of every single one. Outside of nomads and Merchant republics is just about all there.
 
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Zloth

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Yeah, 4X games just flat out use a different system: release the base game then release expansions until they can't anymore (which, for Paradox, is about a decade), then make the next iteration of the game.

To answer my own topic...

Blood & Wine was flat out amazing (and posting screenshots of it is what made me think to make this topic). I think B&W alone beats out the majority of RPGs I've played over the eons, including Witcher 2.

Neverwinter Nights 2: Mask of the Betrayer is another huge one that really added to the whole NWN2 story and gameplay.

Oblivion: Shivering Isles was a really good one with lots to do.

Divinity 2: Flames of Vengeance - added a bunch to the game and had a lot more Bellegar in it.
 
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Jan 17, 2020
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I have to go old school.

As much as i like Vanilla StarCraft, I'd have to add brood war to this list. The huge campaign, with the addition of those key units made SC turn into the world wide super hit that changed gaming for ever. It's kinda hard not to put this one at the top.
One problem I have with OP's question is that there are a lot of games, like StarCraft, that I haven't played without DLC.
 
Sep 21, 2020
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But you still know what parts of it are and aren't part of the DLC, right?

Not the same. I replay the base game, and the differences are to vast.

BG is another, like i stated, so many changes it is just not a add on story, it's as if they reworked the entire game. To me it's more akin to the directors cut of wasteland II, had they also added a full expansion on top of the tweaks to the base game.

I do like the thread though. :)
 
Jan 17, 2020
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But you still know what parts of it are and aren't part of the DLC, right?
Not with all games. I have no idea what Starcraft Broodwar changed to the game. With CK2 DLC, I usually have at least an idea of which mechanics are introduced by which DLC, but not perfectly and it's hard to say whether they're good if I haven't played without them.
I'm pretty sure I played Mass Effect's Lair of the Shadow Broker, but I'm not even sure since it's been years since I played the game and it would have just been one more side quest.
 
Jan 14, 2020
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The best expansion that comes to mind for me is Diablo 2's Lord of Destruction expansion. The added character classes, expanded skill trees, item revamps and additional act all improve upon the base game of Diablo 2 in meaningful ways. I know vanilla D2 has its stalwart defenders, but to me the game wouldn't have been anywhere near as popular as it is had it not been for the expansion pack.

Blizzard did pull off a similar feat with Diablo 3's Reaper of Souls expansion. The industry and gaming community had written off D3 but Blizzard really turned the game around with the DLC and subsequent content updates. It's still not perfect, but it's certainly worth playing.



Another personal favourite is ME2's Lair of the Shadow Broker DLC. It builds on Liara's persona in interesting ways and gives the relationship between her and Shephard more nuance and complexity. It makes it, to my mind at least, one of the most realistic and well-written relationships in video games. The actual gameplay in Lair wasn't always perfect, but some of the setpiece missions were certainly fantastic.
 

Frindis

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The Witcher 3: Blood & Wine & Hearts of Stone are both pretty high up there. Having your own vineyard is probably my favorite thing and that you can put painting, armor, and weapons in your house. Also getting Roach a stable (even if it not really that nice-looking) is something the horse really deserves. He has been carrying me for almost 100 hours now and never complained once.
 
Jan 14, 2020
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My favourites are for Euro Truck Simulator 2 and American Truck Simulator. Their expansions are reasonably sized and fairly priced.

I think Blizzard Mountain for Forza Horizon 3 was also great. Much better than either of the FH4 expansions.
 
Jan 18, 2020
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The Witcher 3: Blood and Wine. Easily the best, in my opinion. Everything about the DLC was designed to improve upon it's original foundations. They took everything they'd learned up until that point, refined existing material, and built further on top of it.
 
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PCG Jody

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Some great choices so far. I'd like to add XCOM: Enemy Within, the expansion that added a bunch of different stuff to XCOM: Enemy Unknown, like the MEC Troopers, Meld, and a whole new faction called EXALT. It's also responsible for one of my favorite missions, the one with the fish. If you've played it, you'll probably remember the one I mean.

Then they repeated the trick for XCOM 2 with War of the Chosen.
 
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