With Destiny’s latest controversial headlines about The Taken King, and its rather heavy asking price, I thought I would string together a list of a few handpicked expansion packs from recent years, to compare content and prices. I’m not discussing the Collector’s Edition of The Taken King, as that’s an unrelated story in this instance.
Going back to 2010, Bioware added a large bundle of content into their surprisingly fresh fantasy RPG, Dragon Age: Origins. The main game alone was fantastic, with loads of story content, gear, characters to talk to and bring on missions, and multiple endings. It is still fantastic value for money, even if bought at full price now, years later. Following the release of the game, Bioware releases Dragon Age: Origins – Awakening, a game that offered 10s of hours of extra content, with new characters, skills, locations and a story line to follow, along with extra side quests. At the time of its release, the content was $40, about £26-30 at the time, 5 years ago.
I included Gears of War 3’s Ramm’s Shadow add-on as an example of a small expansion, which added new story content played from the perspective of different characters in a different time frame of the same universe. The content allowed you to play as Ramm and his cronies, as well as Zeta squad. It added 3 hours of content, but gave you reasons to replay it as different characters, in order to unlock Achievements. The characters could then be used in multiplayer modes as well. Extra skins, but a welcomed update to the roster.
Skyrim had a couple of updates since its launch, but it wasn’t until Dragonborn was added, that the expansion was truly justified. One add-on added a few missions, another added house decorating, but the third expansion added a new area to explore, from Morrowind, and allowed you to fly a dragon. Enough said!
Heavensward for Final Fantasy XIV (14!) launches this week, and for $40, offers you a wealth of new content, including new jobs to take on, 3 new areas broken down into mini areas, a new race, 3 new classes, an increased level cap and a new storyline as well as 8 new dungeons and two new trials.
You can have a look below at other examples, and I included the year of release, in case fluctuations in the economy crosses your mind.
Dragon Age Origins: Awakening – $39.99 / £26.27 (2010)
Adds new maps and locations to visit, new companions and characters, new plot line, new skills, talents, spells, and specializations for your characters, Rune-crafting where you can make your own runes to enhance weapons and armor.
Gears of War 3: Ramm’s Shadow – $15 / £12 (2011)
Three hour campaign played from the sides of the Gears and Ramm’s forces. Six multiplayer character skins, one weapon skin set.
The Elder Scrolls: Skyrim: Dragonborn – $20 / £16 (2012)
New plot and locations to explore, the add-on features a plethora of new quests, characters, dragon shouts, armor, weaponry and the ability to tame and ride Dragons.
New plot, quests and locations , Level cap raised to 100, Boost to level 90 , New version of an old world — Draenor, Updated player character models and improved models in general, Build and upgrade your own Garrison (character specific housing and more), Account-wide heirlooms, toys, and eventually Tabards will not take bag space. Class-specific perks
Final Fantasy XIV: Heavensward – $40 / £32 (2015)
9 new areas, a new race, 3 new classes, an increased level cap and new storyline as well as three new jobs to take on.
Guild Wars 2: Heart of Thorns – $50 / £40 (2015)
Price isn’t changing, but it includes full game. Anyone who purchased the game between 1/23/2015 and 6/16/2015 and pre-order the expansion before the end of July, can get a refund on the base game.
Destiny: The Taken King – $40 / £40 (2015)
Unknown number of new story missions, new subclass to pursue and unlock. New strikes (unspecified number), a new raid. Two new PVP modes and four PVP maps were shown during E3, with more content to be revealed.
While we don’t have all the information about Destiny’s next add on, what we’re seeing here isn’t out of the blue for the price of an expansion pack, but at the end of the day, it’s the content that you’re getting for that price of entry that matters most. It’s not often that a game offers you as much content as you would like, when considering an expansion that costs a third or half of the price of the base game, but there are certainly ways of justifying what you do receive. Time will tell, regarding The Taken King, but as the internet will indicate, the fan base isn’t quite pleased with Bungie’s current plan.