Exclusive and same day downloadable content (DLC) is nothing new for games now a days. Gamers are usually happy to hear about launch day DLC, but some people may feel a bit cheated. This is exactly what happened when the Battlefield 3 developer DICE announced that certain retailers in the United Kingdom would be releasing the “Physical Warfare” DLC along with the game to those who pre-order it. Why were gamers upset? Well it’s pretty understandable. Anyone who has ever played an online shooter certainly feels the competitive nature of the game surging through their veins. While exclusive maps (which the DLC pack includes) won’t bother the average shooter fan, extra weapons will. More often than not the question of weapon balance comes into the equation and exclusive guns and munitions can make some buyers feel cheated.
Boycott-ready gamers were initially outraged to hear that the “Physical Warfare” DLC contains a few combat-specific items. The weapons included are a light machine gun and a shotgun. What really made people angry was the announcement of retailer exclusive gun modifications. The flash suppressor and the flechette ammo for the shotgun are the two modifications available. To make matters worse, the flechette ammo is not available for unlock in the game – it is DLC only. After the ensuing forum drama died down a bit, DICE responded with a FAQ list that ensured that the weapons would not give an advantage other than a more varied arsenal. The full FAQ is listed below for your information:
Q: Is the Physical Warfare Pack available in all regions, or just in the UK?
A: It will be available worldwide at select retailers. It was first announced in the UK. Exact details for other countries and retailers will be announced at a later date.
Q: Will Physical Warfare Pack imbalance the game?
A: The three exclusive items in the Physical Warfare Pack were specifically chosen not to be overpowered or imbalance or break the game in any way.
Q: Why do I want the Physical Warfare Pack?
A: Owning these items will give you a more varied arsenal, but it will not give you a significant advantage on the battlefield.
Q: Is the Back to Karkand expansion pack exclusive to pre-orders?
A: No. You can also buy it separately if you do not pre-order Battlefield 3. Back to Karkand will be available the exact same date after the launch of Battlefield 3 no matter if you pre-ordered or buy it separately.
Q: When will the Back to Karkand expansion pack be released?
A: We have not yet announced the Back to Karkand expansion pack release date.
Q: How much does the Back to Karkand Expansion pack cost?
A: We have not yet announced a price. However, it will be included in the Limited Edition at no extra charge.
Q: Do I have to choose between Back to Karkand and the Physical Warfare Pack as my pre-order bonus?
A: No. There is no way you can pre-order Battlefield 3: Limited Edition and not end up with the Back to Karkand expansion pack at no extra charge. On top of this, select retailers all over the world will carry the Physical Warfare Pack. Exact details for other countries and retailers will be announced at a later date.
Q: Why do you offer pre-order bonus items?
A: Because we believe in rewarding our core fanbase with special offers — such as giving them the Back to Karkand expansion pack at no extra charge.
Keep in mind that, as stated above, the DLC pack has only been announced for the U.K. Also, despite the negative reaction it has received, DICE has showed no intentions of recalling the DLC. Battlefield 3 is scheduled to be released on October 25th 2011.
[Images courtesy of: G4]