Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands Players Pissed About “Short” DLC
Watch the news cycle around The wonders of Tiny Tina for a month, it’s like watching the news cycle of a fast-paced game. You know how it goes: the game comes out. Gets positive reviews, fans praise it. DLC hits, is then criticized by fans. Right now it’s basically a framework. Only this time, the whole cycle happened in just over a month.
The wonders of Tiny Tinaa long-running Gearbox spin-off Borderlands loot shooter series, was released last month for consoles and PC. Just last week, the game received its first DLCa dungeon run called Coiled Sensors. It is the first part of four to be included in a longer campaign called Mirrors of Mystery, which includes the $30 season pass for Wonderland. (You can purchase individual pieces for $10.) The season pass also adds a seventh class that has yet to be revealed at The wonders of Tiny Tina.
Coiled Sensorswhich you can access in the new Dreamveil Outlook area by Wonderland‘ hub city, sees you fight through a number of increasingly difficult battles, culminating in a boss fight. Completing Challenges adds additional Variable Rooms and a new Raid Boss to chamber of chaosthe repeatable roguelite endgame mode of Wonderland. And in the Coiled Sensors mode, the boss itself levels up every week, though you must complete each version before you can unlock the next version. It’s a new idea that requires longer playing time through replays. But innovation isn’t something you can actually chew on, and for all intents and purposes, this new expansion is a series of chambers that you can fight over and over.
“One of the key things is that it introduces this concept [of replayable dungeons] long before the Chaos Chamber”, Matt Cox, creative director of The wonders of Tiny Tinatold me in an interview earlier this month.
About 2.7 seconds after Coiled Sensors went live, Borderlands fans backed off. It’s not that the DLC isn’t fun, they say. It’s that it’s disappointing, especially when compared to similarly priced extensions from previous Borderlands Games. The popular Borderlands streamer Ki11erSix brief summary of the comments on Twitter, noting that the Coiled Sensors the run itself is short, the boss is a breeze, the gear you can get from it is “disappointing” and expectations don’t match what Borderlands fans have for extensions.
“Complain here. The whole subreddit is flooded with the same posts,” one player said. wrote in a semi-viral Reddit post on the Wonderland subreddit shortly after the release of Coiled Sensors. “This thread is already longer than the DLC,” another player joked the same day. Many of the nearly 1,000 responses are also negative, claiming that Coiled Sensors doesn’t offer nearly the same value for money as similarly priced extensions.
To some extent, the backfire is understandable. Borderlands the games, as Ki11erSix pointed out, are indeed notorious for offering meaty post-release expansions. The first game, released in 2009, featured three expanded narrative DLCs that added additional missions and regions to the game, each available for $10. (A fourth extension, Mad Moxxi’s Underdome Riot, was more of an arena mode than a narrative campaign. This was also won for $10.)
In 2012, Borderlands 2 followed suit, seeing four lengthy expansions following its release, each up for grabs for $10 piecemeal or bundled into a $30 season pass. One of these extensions, Tiny Tina’s Assault on Dragon Keepserves as a precursor to The wonders of Tiny Tina. Last year, Gearbox made it available as a standalone entry for $10. It was also free for a week on the Epic Games Store.
Borderlands 3released in 2019, also featured four post-release campaigns. These were a bit more expensive than the first two games: $15 for the piecemeal expansions, $50 for the season pass. Hello, inflation. Borderlands 3 ended up having a second season card; rather than full-fledged extensions, however, the two add-ons—Creator’s Cup and Director’s cut– simply added new modes, missions, and enemies to the base game. This pass costs $30.
So there’s historical precedent for meatier DLC here, that’s for sure. But on the other hand, it’s not like Gearbox deliberately obscured everything included in the season pass. In all promotional material, from press releases to trailers, the studio was clear about what Coiled Sensors– and more Mirrors of Mystery chapters — would involve. And if you consider Chaos Chamber to be the main draw of The wonders of Tiny Tinathen the main board of Coiled Sensors isn’t what you get with your first run through its thin campaign; the main board is what it adds to Chaos Chamber. (At the risk of getting into the weeds of, Ughputting a monetary value on the art, $10 to add a bunch of new rooms and possible fights to a roguelike isn’t much more expensive than expansions of similar scope for other roguelikes, like dead cells.)
But back to the first hand – sorry, sorry, bear with me – there’s also the school of thought that Gearbox should have gone above and beyond to clarify the length of Coiled Sensors and his ilk. After all, again, there’s over a decade of history that reinforces the idea that “Borderlands DLC” is equivalent to “huge campaign”. It’s not hard to imagine that some longtime Borderlands fans rushed for the season pass without even taking a look at its contents.
Gearbox did not respond to a request for comment for this story.
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