Dungeon Lords Collector's Edition - anyone else this arrogant?

The interview regarding the Dungeon Lords Collector’s Edition over at GameBanshee made me think about how clueless these guys are … the DreamCatcher forums are very active, as are the forums at Typhoon, the other major publisher for Dungeon Lords. Yet they had to ‘comb the internet’ (insert spaceballs image here) for feedback. OK, fine … whatever.

Yet this is a game that was recently awarded CGM’s (not so) coveted ‘Worst Game of the Year’ award, that is one of the worst reviewed RPG’s ever, that shipped in such an obviously incomplete and broken fashion that calling gamers who bought the game before the 1.3 patch anything but ‘beta testers’ is ignoring reality, and that has been devoid of reasonable communication between the developers, publishers and community since early last year.

But they still have no problem making a 1.5 patch that adds a few quests, monsters and spells as well as filling out a few previously empty areas, and selling it in a pretty box for $40 as a ‘collectors edition’. Not only that, they claim that the content in the CE makes it distinct from the ‘original release’ and will therefore not (currently) honor any sort of trade-in or upgrade. The CE and original versions are incompatible in multiplayer as well.

This clearly isn’t an ‘expansion’, more like a ‘paid patch in a pretty box’. My question - has anyone done something like this before?

Mike

Sure, special editions and preorders from certain retailers contain extra features all the time. Nothing new about that. The idea behind this collector’s edition is that they fixed all the bugs and the game is in the shape it should have been at original release, so they wanted to put out another SKU to give it another chance at retail. Nothing wrong with that.

Pretty scummy that they won’t offer the v1.5 patch to suckers who bought the original broken game, though.

I’m pretty sure this kind of thing has been done before, though I can’t remember any specifics. I do remember Origin/EA sent out patched versions of Ultima IX to registered users, free of charge, which I thought was reasonably classy, but still just couldn’t understand why they released it in such a state anyway.

I just wonder what the business meeting was like that led to this re-release. Seems like moderately good money thrown after incalculably bad.

Edit: Oh wait, I just saw that the patch isn’t available without buying the collector’s edition? Is that right? Ok, then change my answer from “not unheard of but stupid and obnoxious practice” to “OMGWTFBBQ.” Screw over your core fanbase who rushed out and bought the game sight unseen by releasing an incomplete product, then screw them over again by not letting them patch it. Brilliant.

Hey, it worked for LOMAC + the Flaming Cliffs add-on!

  1. Release broken product (LOMAC)
  2. Release a couple of patches that really don’t fix anything
  3. Release expansion (FC) for $$ that contains fixes for LOMAC
  4. Future patches require expansion to fix things in original game
    5.) …
  5. profit!

From what I can see this is how Derek Smart has made a living for the last 15 years :).

Slightly different formula for DungLords CE:

  1. Release broken product
  2. Release four patches that gradually fix some things
  3. Release ‘Collector’s Edition’ for full game price that contains fixes for Dungeon Lords, fills in existing areas a bit but is not an expansion, nor is it compatible with original game
  4. … what’s next!!!

Mike

profit?

And that U9 mailed out to users also had a free copy of UO: 2nd Age. The game was still buggy, though it was playable and decent.

"GB: What exactly are “character customizations”? What options are available during character creation that were not available in the original version?

D.W. Bradley: The Human, Elf, and Dwarf races now have options for choosing skin color, hair style, and hair color, the Demigoth Races, Wylvan, Urgoth, Zaur, and Thrall can choose fur color, and any character can choose to be either left-handed or right-handed. "

hahaha, this was IN the shipped game, but the buttons did not work. Until the first patch, you actually had the character customization GUI during creation, but no buttons you clicked actually worked. the first patch removed the feature entirely.

I seem to recall Ultima VII having a bug in the saved games where keys and other items would disappear and the later release of a Ultima VII Part 2 or something which, to me, seemed more like a bug fix. But I could be remembering it wrong.

Yes, u7 had a bug that removed inventory items. It was fixed in a patch.

U7-2 is a whole separate game using the same engine as u7.

Demigoth?

So this is just total bullshit, but it sort of begs the question for me. Even post-patch, was this game good enough to even get people to consider the Collector’s Edition? I guess it has co-op multiplayer which can make even a mediocre experience more fun, but did this game really succeed at any level?

It was the biggest hunk of trash I’ve bought in a loooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooong time. Bad enough that you dont even feel that ripped off because you are just stunned at the balls they must have had to release it and behave as though it was worth anything to anyone.
Same kind of balls you’d need to stand on a corner trying to sell your turds for a billion dollars a piece.

If you see it for under $5 it is worth taking a look at just for giggles- the empty towns (EMPTY, like you walk into a building and NOTHING is in there- comedy gold!) are hysterical. It can make you sad when something goes ‘ok’ sometimes the combat didnt suck entirely. Some of the creature models are great.

It truly depends on your gaming desires, tastes and value judgements … if you are a true cRPG junkie, you might want to grab the collector’s edition. I cannot - based on what I’ve heard - think of a single reason to buy the CE if you already bought the original version.

There are worse current RPG games:

  • MetalHeart
  • Restricted Area (about a wash)
  • Neuro Hunter
  • Not sure about Hammer & Sickle yet … not far enough into it …

But if you like good games, don’t bother. No matter what they do, this game could never rise above ‘good’.

Mike

I tried to tell as many people as possible on various forums not to buy this game at all. D.W. Bradley really fucked over the Wizards & Warriors fans/community years ago. I remember being a part of an avid RPGDot forum community that was really into that game. We all waited and waited for patches, only getting one “unofficial” patch. The game had bugs that caused it to not work with the latest version of DX on various video cards, mine included.

This might not have been such an issue right away if the timing had been different, but at the time of the game’s release DX was shifting to another version (8.0 I believe). So I had W&W and various newer games. The newer games only ran in 8.0 and W&W would only run glitch free in DX 7.0. If I ran it in 8.0, after five minutes of play the 2D menus would become scrambled in artifacts, making them unreadable. So in order for me to play I had to constantly shift DX version back and forth, which got old really quick. There were also various CTD and save issues. No matter how hard I tried, I just couldn’t keep playing this fucking game. I eventually sold it, despite how much fun I had with it when it worked.

The sad thing is that Wizards & Warriors was a really awesome game. It sounds like there’s not much to regret with Dungeon Lords, outside of being one of the first to purchase it.

Wow, you must be thinking of a different Wizards & Warriors than the one I played.

Or at least I couldn’t find the supposedly marvelous game underneath all the bugs. I’m not sure if my favorite graphical error (where the game would run fine, but not draw any textures on the models/terrain) was a result of the DirectX screwups or not.

And even if I were able to ignore the bugs, which I wasn’t, it struck me as Might & Magic 6, or perhaps one of the latter Wizardrys, except with an extra-strong dose of boring thrown into the mix.

In a way, I have to thank that game, because Wizards & Warriors is what now causes the name D. W. Bradley to raise about a trillion red flags in my mind, which in turn convinced me to shy away from Dungeon Lords.

When I picture DW Bradley, I picture Jack Mcall as in the Deadwood TV series 1st season, and I want to smash his cuntface in so as to shut his cuntmouth.

I have to admit to foolishly ignoring a lot of the pre-release signs. Some of those games you listed are pretty bad but at least they are inexperienced teams - I find DungLords almost offensively disappointing in terms of the underlying design. The combat is sometimes enjoyable and there were a few moments I thought “that was fun”, but when I step back and look at the lack of sidequests, the dreadful “dialogue”, banal story and poorly constructed character system, etc etc - the utter failure by Bradley on basic design elements blows me away.

That is very true … you can forgive ‘n00b error’ for something like Restricted Area, even if Heretic Kingdoms was much better and also a n00b team.

But DungLords … I have been playing a bit of 1.4, which is (DWB’s words) “beyond the original design” - and although I could change the hair type & color and face of my character, the avatar in the upper left is still the default female elf. And I was running towards Arindale (amongst the ‘spawn freezes’), and was looking at the beautiful starry sky that turned into a mountain when I got closer. Those types of freshmen errors … just litter the game.

And I know you and I have discussed this before - one of the most stunning realizations was that no matter what they did, this game could never be better than a 7 or 8 out of 10. The best it could be would be great combat, banal story & dialogue. As of the CE it seems unlikely that it would pass a 7/10 even with some fun in the combat and dungeons.

Mike

I’ve been more neutral about DL than most (as evidenced by previous threads mentioning it around here) but I have to say that the idea that they are putting out a Collector’s Edition of this game has me in stitches (combined with some vomiting just to spice things up). Not even I can say that was a good idea in any way.

On the otherhand, at least people who buy the game can now get one more ‘complete’ than the original. Maybe they should have just called it “Dungeon Lords Remixed”. Has a better ring to it, and is more to the point.