When it was announced that Mass Effect 3 would be getting its first DLC pack shortly after launch, if not right alongside it, fans rejoiced. But when they learned that the DLC, titled From Ashes, featured elements that felt like they should be part of the final retail package, a strong fan backlash emerged.
What ostensibly was supposed to be a bonus for owners of the N7 Collector's Edition has now become a much bigger issue, one that shows BioWare hasn't learned from past mistakes. Or, as it turns out, this could just be one big misunderstanding on the part of fans.
Although it might not sway fans that have already made up their minds, Mass Effect 3 Creative Director Casey Hudson has taken to Twitter to clear the From Ashes issue up. According to Hudson, the team at BioWare set to work on From Ashes as soon as ME 3 was sent off to be pressed and certified, with the hopes of getting it out by the game's launch.
It's become a common practice for developers to "lock" a certain portion of their game behind a DLC barrier, but that, as Hudson explains, is not the case. Because there is a less extensive process involved with getting DLC approved — no need for manufacture and whatnot — it is possible to finish something like From Ashes in time for it to release alongside the main game.
While BioWare might have started work on From Ashes as soon as the game finished, that doesn't necessarily mean this content shouldn't have been part of the main game. The category of DLC is typically relegated to content that is ancillary to the experience of the main campaign, usually set before, after, or concurrent with single player storyline. However, based on what we know about From Ashes, which is a huge spoiler, it feels like this DLC should have been an integral part of the storyline.
Still, there are multiple ways in which to partake of From Ashes, none of which require anything more than forking over about $10 more dollars towards your Mass Effect 3 purchase. Still, the sting of feeling like BioWare "pulled a Zaeed" once again is going to be felt for a while.
Does Hudson's explanation make you feel any better about the From Ashes DLC? Should BioWare have waited a few weeks after release before unveiling the content?
Mass Effect 3 releases March 6, 2012 for the PS3, Xbox 360, and PC.
Source: Casey Hudson