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Great Games Ruined By Terrible Post Game Content

Back in the day, once a video game was released, that was it. If you splurged on a new Super Nintendo cartridge, loaded it up and found a buggy mess, there wasn't a lot of recourse. No day one patches were on the way and no DLC would help extend the life of your favorite game. High speed internet and the rise of the "games as a service" model both mean that nearly any game will see at least minor tweaks after it has "launched."

These changes and updates are there to make things better. They do not always achieve that goal.

Some of these updates dramatically change the way the game plays, alienating a large part of the fan base. Some of them will add a bit of insult, stuffing in microtransactions that ruin the original release. Regardless of the details, these are our picks for games that were completely ruined by their terrible post game content.

Asura's Wrath - The real ending was paid DLC

Capcom has long been a favorite target for the way it releases games. Even before the days of DLC and patches, the company's practice of selling new versions of Street Fighter with increasingly insane names garnered plenty of ridicule. Few major releases, however, have seemed as blatantly greedy as 2012's Asura's Wrath.

The game ended on a massive cliffhanger; not uncommon, as Capcom wanted to leave its fan base eager for a sequel. The problem was, the cliffhanger wasn't solved in a sequel — it was solved in paid DLC.

That's right — you only got to see how the game ended for real if you shelled out some extra money after you finished it. Those are some seriously underhanded tactics. Capcom literally forced the player into the sunk cost fallacy, then told them that the game's actual ending would cost a little extra. Asura's Wrath was already a $60 game, and the ending was another $6.99.

It was a gross, predatory tactic, and was more than enough to make you dislike what was actually a pretty solid game.

Mortal Kombat 10 - Easy fatalities were consumables

Saying this one "ruined" the game might be a bit of a stretch, but it was a cheap subversion of one of the game's main draws. In the Mortal Kombat series, a Fatality is either a way to prove your match dominance by disemboweling your opponent, or a reward for surviving a vicious onslaught. That's why an option for "Easy Fatalities" seemed like a good fit for Mortal Kombat 10. It made Fatalities more accessible to more players.

What was gross, however, was that NetherRealm Studios charged players for the privilege. Easy Fatalities were priced DLCs, and were somehow even worse than paying to toggle an option on or off. They were consumable — if you bought a pack of five, you had five uses and then had to buy more.

Easy Fatalities seem like the type of thing that should have been a toggle on the options menu. Hell, NetherRealm could have made them unlockable after you beat the game's main story. Charging for a single use though? That was just disrespectful to the players.

Destiny - The Taken King removed parts of the game

The Taken King was a pretty celebrated piece of Destiny DLC. It helped breathe new life into the game's ecosystem, so you're probably wondering — how could it possibly make its way here? The answer is simple: if you didn't want to shell out the money for it but still wanted to play Destiny, you were gonna have a bad time.

The Taken King did something that not many games would have the audacity to do: upon its release, it walled off parts of the game that were already available. This means that players who chose not to upgrade their game suddenly found that some of the content they previously had was inaccessible. Several missions, many gear options, and multiple online match modes were blocked for players who didn't purchase The Taken King, which was a $40 expansion when it first released.

MMOs have always had shifting landscapes as new expansions release, but this one was a particularly brutal blow to the Destiny player base.

Battlefield 4 - The Ultimate Shortcut Bundle created an army of 'wealthy warriors'

Multiplayer shooters often have elaborate progression systems that give players a slow trickle of unlocks. As you start to get towards the top of the progression system, these unlocks start to become some of the more powerful weapons and abilities available. None are dramatically overpowered, but developers definitely want these systems to reward players who spend more time learning the game. Battlefield 4 featured one such progression system, saving its powerful weapons for those who sunk dozens of hours into its multiplayer modes.

Or, you know, those who wanted to throw an extra $40 at the game.

Battlefield 4 wasn't the only game that allowed players to bypass progression systems with cold, hard cash, but it was one of the most egregious. The "Ultimate Shortcut Bundle" was $40 on release, and it unlocked all those things that normally took lots of time and skill. This threw off the balance of multiplayer, as those who wanted to learn the game found themselves at an immediate disadvantage from an army of "Wallet Warriors" who just bought their way to the best guns. Multiplayer was made even more daunting to get into unless you wanted to spend twice as much on the game.

Gwent - The Midwinter update killed the fan base

The fact that Gwent, the silly little side game included in The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, got its own big budget release is impressive. The fact that Gwent started gaining traction against heavy hitters like Hearthstone, utilizing fantastic art and a unique take on the collectible card game genre to build up its own little esports community, is even more impressive. Like mythical Icarus, however, Gwent flew a little too close to the sun. It did this with the infamous "midwinter update" of 2017.

Competitive games often put out little tweaks to shake up the metagame and keep things fresh. Gwent is no exception, but this particular update completely misread the fan base with devastating results. It added a lot of quality of life updates, but also dramatically changed fundamental rules of Gwent. Things like rows having limited space suddenly killed certain strategies. Several cards were simplified to the point of becoming uninteresting, and popular deck archetypes were completely ruined in one fell swoop.

Essentially, the update made Gwent more like the other computer card games on the market, but so much of its charm came from being different from those games. Gwent has never really recovered.

Gears of War 3 - Players were double-charged for DLC

This one gets a special place here just because of the outrage it caused. Gears of War 3 released with great fanfare, and continued the series' impressive success and favorably reviewed games. A few weeks before the game's release, the developers announced a season pass that would offer the upcoming DLC packs to gamers at a discount. Obviously, many people snapped it up.

When RAAM's Shadow released in December, several people who had already bought the season pass received the new DLC automatically, with a slight problem: they got charged for it as a solo pack as well. Wow, was there an internet outcry!

The problem was quickly rectified, but the damage had been done. It didn't help that RAAM's Shadow itself was a pretty pedestrian DLC pack, throwing out the lessons that the Gears of War series had learned over its previous releases by focusing on bland characters and boring, repetitive shooting sections. Even the ballyhoo around being able to play as longtime Gears baddie General RAAM was a letdown. Sometimes, a good thing is best left alone.

Team Fortress 2 - An update broke the game's economy

Team Fortress 2 has been "ruined" more times than we can count. Understandable, considering the game has been kicking for over a decade and still regularly appears in Steam's Top Games. However, many people point to two different updates in particular that have "ruined" the game.

The first was the "Meet Your Match" update that was released in 2016. This added ranked matchmaking to Team Fortress 2, destroying a lot of the freedom that the game's hardcore community loved about the game. According to those critical of the update, ranked matchmaking added a rigidity to the game that sucked out much of TF2's appeal.

However, a big reason people return to Team Fortress 2 is the hat economy. It sounds weird, but virtual hats are a big deal in TF2, and certain hats can fetch big chunks of change on the secondary market. That's why a summer 2019 update was so scary for the game, as it caused a glitch that made extremely rare hats completely commonplace. Every crate was dropping "Unusual" hats, and the TF2 economy short-circuited as players tried to figure out what happened and if they could get banned for abusing the glitch.

Maybe that will teach you not to put all your money into the digital hat economy.

Stellaris - Players had to relearn the game

Paradox Interactive is the king of the mountain when it comes to big budget grand strategy, with Stellaris taking many of the aspects of Crusader Kings and Europa Universalis and moving them to space. Paradox also loves to release incremental updates to its games, meaning that some longtime fans get bent out of shape if they have been invested for a good amount of time. Few updates demonstrate this like the "Stellaris 2.0" update in early 2018.

For some, the changes were welcome, but the 2.0 update dramatically altered the way Stellaris played. It completely eliminated certain strategies that players liked to use, and it added in several new resources to the game. This made some of the advantages of long term players fall completely off, as they basically had to relearn how to play the game. Huge aspects of Stellaris were completely altered, and the game slowed down dramatically and became much more management focused. The update alienated a huge swathe of players who wanted Stellaris to stay unique and not just become "Crusader Kings, but in space."

Uncharted 2 - Weapon balancing riled up PvP players

This was a bad one. The Uncharted 2 1.05 patch was a brutal rebalancing of the game's multiplayer mode, completely changing damage and other attributes of nearly every weapon in the game. The player base was not at all happy with how things changed, causing developer Naughty Dog to release an apology in the following days along with a promise to fix things.

You could practically hear the fan fury in the statement Naughty Dog released (which is quoted here, but is no longer on the studio's website): "This has been our most talked about update to multiplayer to date and for good reason – there were a lot of additions and adjustments we made and not all of them were received well by everyone. This is something we've seen from your comments on our blog, on Facebook, in various forums, and via Twitter."

We think that translates to: "Wow, you all hate this, and you've been posting it everywhere!"

This was another case where a quick scramble from the developers tried to fix things, but a lot of the damage was already done.

Assassin's Creed: Odyssey - DLC buyers got caught in a bad romance

Assassin's Creed: Odyssey featured some impressive character work and gave players tons of choice in choosing how they developed over the course of the story. The freedom the game offered was impressive, so fans were not pleased one bit when Ubisoft released the "Legacy of the First Blade" DLC that forced a certain development path on the player. It was especially annoying because of a "forced romance" aspect that many players felt undercut the freedom the standalone game offered.

Part of what made Assassin's Creed: Odyssey so strong was the player's ability to avoid romance. They could play as Kassandra or Alexios, and either one could choose to stay away from romance options outright, or strike up a relationship with a character of the same or opposite gender.

Ubisoft eventually apologized for forcing the player into a heterosexual romance, complete with a child, as it contradicted an earlier promise the developer made: "we never force players [into] romantic situations they might not be comfortable with."

RuneScape - Combat changes made valuable weapons worthless

When an MMO implements big changes, it often polarizes the existing community. MMOs always take a massive time investment, and they often have a significant monetary investment as well. RuneScape had a massive equipment economy and a diehard player base, so the "Evolution of Combat" update landed with a thud for many existing players.

The EOC update completely overhauled RuneScape's combat system, helping to iron out many odd kinks in a game that was starting to show its age. The problem with changing combat design in a game — especially when the game's economy has real-world value — is that you completely upend what's already out there. High-priced weapons suddenly weren't effective, causing massive outcry (and desertion) from players who had invested lots of time and money into the game already.

The EOC update was released in 2012 and, even years later, players were still calling for it to be removed. RuneScape's developers have repeatedly said it would be nearly impossible to remove, even if they wanted to. They've also said that they don't want to, so players need to deal with it.

Star Wars Galaxies - The 'Holocron Update' burned players out

It could have been so great. The pitch for Star Wars Galaxies was the ultimate Star Wars fan dream — a living, breathing galaxy for you to make your own stories in. There were plenty of hiccups, but the DNA was there. Unfortunately, a few different design choices caused SWG's downfall, the most notable being the "Holocron Update."

The marketing team wanted more Jedis to start showing up in SWG, and the development team had wanted to limit how many there could be. When push came to shove, the marketing team won, and items called "Holocrons" were added to the game. These told players what skill they needed to max out in order to become a Jedi. The skill was randomly determined during character creation, and players didn't even know what would cause them to "ascend."

The problem was, players quickly discovered that becoming a Jedi was linked to maxing a skill, so they just started maxing all their skills in order. This burned out a huge sample of the player base, and subscriptions started falling off soon afterward. RIP Star Wars Galaxies – you could have been a contender.