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Author Topic: HL2 Expansion: Short, cheap, and Steam only  (Read 1791 times)
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Sarkus
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« on: August 01, 2005, 06:06:31 AM »

Straight from the latest Game Informer magazine, hidden in an article about the XBox version of HL2:

"We know, you want a full-blown 12-hour expansion to let you explore Half-Life 2's world some more.  Valve, however, has different ideas. Utilizing the power of Steam (the designer's online distribution, certification, and matchmaking service), the company plans to release periodic movie-priced store extensions. Aftermath will only take three or four hours to complete, but on the other hand will be priced in the eight dollar range. Initially it will only be available for download via Steam, but plans are in the works to include it in some form of retail compilation package with Half-Life 2 and other Valve titles."

I don't have a problem with this in general but I'm sure Steam-haters won't be pleased and it does seem to leave the narrow-band and retail-only customer in the lurch.  My other concern is that, IMHO, periodic small expansions only work if the period between is kept small.  By the time Aftermath hits it will be about a year since HL2 and we are also still waiting for the "Lost Coast" HDR level.  Valve's history as far as timely releases is not good.
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Daehawk
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« Reply #1 on: August 01, 2005, 06:52:03 AM »

Why would I pay for what boils down to a MOD when I can get free ones?
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« Reply #2 on: August 01, 2005, 04:49:44 PM »

Because it's probably head and shoulders better than the free ones (so far)?
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Calvin
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« Reply #3 on: August 01, 2005, 04:54:16 PM »

I was going to say, the obvious:
1. The quality will be head and shoulders better. I have yet to say more than a couple mods in my entire life that match the quality of well done developed games/expansions.
2. The game will continue the story-something that I know I and most of us that were HL2 fans (probably the majority) want very, very badly. The gameplay was excellent, the world phenomenal, and I can't wait for more itme in it, even if it is 3-4 hours.
3. It will center more around Alyx, one of the absolute best supporting characters in a game in a long time.
4. Its more Half-Life 2.
5. Some of us, myself included, happen to be fans of steam. I had zero...aboslutely no problems ever with Steam. If Valve can get their shit together and release the episodic expansions on time, why would I not pay 8$x4xp packs for 32 bucks to get between 10-15 hours of play time. The last few big expansion packs I remember were 30 bucks and barely topped 10 hours. It seems like a good, if not great deal to me. Maybe 3 bucks too expensive.
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Fellow
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« Reply #4 on: August 01, 2005, 05:37:57 PM »

And surprisingly enough, I have no problems with this either. I also think $8 seems to be the right pricerange for this. Yeah, I'll buy it, when they release it in the next 6-8 months-years.
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Dafones
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« Reply #5 on: August 01, 2005, 05:46:39 PM »

Sounds like a fine idea. Pardon my ignorance, but what's the difference between Aftermath and the Lost Coast expansion?
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Zarkon
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« Reply #6 on: August 01, 2005, 06:08:43 PM »

Lost Coast isn't an expansion, it's a Level.
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jersoc
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« Reply #7 on: August 01, 2005, 06:17:19 PM »

8 bucks for the length of most 50 dollar FPS these days. Why not?
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Kevin Grey
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« Reply #8 on: August 01, 2005, 09:16:56 PM »

Yeah, count me in.  $8.00 is an incredible price point considering the number of 6-10 hour games that are full price.
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« Reply #9 on: August 02, 2005, 03:44:59 PM »

I'm on the Rage bandwagon. I like my games steamed as much as I like em from my grocer's freezer section.
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Dafones
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« Reply #10 on: August 02, 2005, 03:55:33 PM »

Quote from: "Zarkon"
Lost Coast isn't an expansion, it's a Level.


So, um, then what's Aftermath? And is Lost Coast a free level, or purchased similarly to Aftermath?
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Calvin
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« Reply #11 on: August 02, 2005, 05:43:51 PM »

Quote from: "Dafones"
Quote from: "Zarkon"
Lost Coast isn't an expansion, it's a Level.


So, um, then what's Aftermath? And is Lost Coast a free level, or purchased similarly to Aftermath?


Lost Coast is a free level (sort of one of the "zones" from the original HL2). It will probably take around 30 minutes or so to complete and will be available for download as soon as Valve releases it, completely free of charge.
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stiffler
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« Reply #12 on: August 02, 2005, 06:50:34 PM »

Lost Coast is also where Valve is rolling out HDR for the Source engine.  It's like a shiney tech demo made into a playable expansion.  Neato.  An article I read about Lost Coast said there will be only one light source, the Sun, and the shadows and reflections are done using HDR.

Check out this page for a nice explination of what HDR is.
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gameoverman
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« Reply #13 on: August 02, 2005, 08:06:33 PM »

I still don't like Steam, the concept.  The idea that you have to log online to play a single player game you bought is over the line.

However, if having a Steam type distribution method makes it financially possible for  game companies to keep issuing extra QUALITY content for their games post-sale, then I think overall it's a good thing.
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PaulBot
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« Reply #14 on: August 03, 2005, 12:25:22 AM »

Call me a Valve fanboy if you want: I'll be plunking down my $8 and downlaoding this one ASAP!!!
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Harpua3
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« Reply #15 on: August 03, 2005, 09:09:12 AM »

Sign me up!
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CeeKay
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« Reply #16 on: August 04, 2005, 01:08:01 AM »

Hmm.. 8 bucks for a 3-4 hour expansion?  After what I heard about Blue Shifts length (factoring in the price) that's a bargain!
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stiffler
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« Reply #17 on: August 04, 2005, 01:13:41 AM »

Quote from: "CeeKay"
Hmm.. 8 bucks for a 3-4 hour expansion?  After what I heard about Blue Shifts length (factoring in the price) that's a bargain!


I liked Blue Shift.  Of course I got it in the big Platinum Pack 2 with everything else so I can't really complain about price or length.  I still have all that installed (in addition to all the Steam HL stuff) so I can play that and Opposing Forces.  Not that I ever will again, but they were fun when I played the original and both expansions over the course of a week last Fall...
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Laner
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« Reply #18 on: August 04, 2005, 04:57:16 AM »

Quote from: "gameoverman"
I still don't like Steam, the concept.  The idea that you have to log online to play a single player game you bought is over the line.


No, you don't... just now I was able to play Half-Life 2 offline by disabling my wireless connection - go to Network Connections, right click on a connection, and select "disable".  Then launch Steam and you're golden.
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Turtle
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« Reply #19 on: August 04, 2005, 05:55:01 AM »

If you elect to display the little network connection/status icon in the system tray, all you have to do is right click on it and disable too.
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« Reply #20 on: August 04, 2005, 01:28:29 PM »

even better... thanks!
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