Now that Bioware is fully owned and destroyed by EA, Paradox is likely my favorite gaming developer. Their view on DLC is so utterly amazing, as per this RPS article
Here's my main rule on DLC. You should never feel OBLIGATED to buy it, and you should never feel as if you are screwed if you don't buy it.
That's what I don't understand about the Horse Armor.
Not to quote Cutter but... if you don't want it, don't buy it.
I don't buy Activision's crap because I *KNOW* exactly what they'll do, and so I factor in the price of their DLC into their annual releases and I ask "DO I want to pay 90 bucks a year to play this game? Hells no." It's an incredibly easy question.
EA's final nail in the BioWare coffin, Mass Effect 3, had a similar Day 1 DLC. Sure, it was "extra" in theory, but you felt screwed if you didn't buy it, because (spoilers) IT WAS A DAMNED PROTHEAN (/spoilers). It wasn't like the extra characters in ME2 where, honestly, if you didn't get them, you didn't really miss much. The ME2 character DLC, while awesome, was truly EXTRA.
Horse Armor is totally, completely, and utterly pointless. It was EXTRA. It had no impact on the game. Wanna know what it was in my eyes? A tip jar.
Bethesda makes amazing games for 50/60 dollars that provide me hundreds of hours of legitimate entertainment. They release "content DLC" (what we old folks call expansion packs) for 15-30 bucks (I say 15 because I'm old and that's what they used to be priced) that provide DOZENS (remember, 5 dozen is 60) of hours of additional entertainment.
If Bethesda had a tip jar, I'd HAPPILY put in a few more bucks.
That, my friends, is all I see Horse Armor as.
It's the EXACT same mentality as cosmetic DLC in F2P games like LoL and LotRO and other genres w/ F2P games. The difference of course is that Horse Armor was in addition to the cost of the base game. But... if I want to pay a few dollars to have a snazzy outfit that has no gameplay value in a F2P game, how is that any different than paying a few bucks for my HORSE to have armor in a great Bethesda game?
I'm not screwed if I don't buy it. I won't miss out on the full experience of the game (again, read the RPS article from Paradox please) if I don't buy it. Etcetera, etcetera.
Consequently, most of the DLC I buy is from Paradox and Bethesda.
Not at all a coincidence.
Just look at the latest expansion for Crusader Kings 2 - Rajas of India.
If you didn't buy the game, your map was still extended eastward into India, just like everyone else's game. You could still conquer the areas. You could still assimilate your religions. Blahblahblah. The only thing you couldn't do is PLAY as a character in the new areas. That's it.
There are FORTY ONE pieces of DLC for CK2. Seven of those are gameplay-involved expansions in the traditional sense. The rest are pretty much totally superfluous (just like Horse Armor). Oh, you released 12 hours of Norse music for two dollars to listen to while I play as my Norse character? I'll gobble that right up since I'll put a few hundred hours in as the Norse. And I happily own them all. And Paradox is making a lot more money from me than if they had tried to screw me over with the DLC.
And you know what? I can play a complete multiplayer game with anyone else no matter what combination of those 41 DLC options they own. 100% of DLC combinations are completely compatible with each other.
And that (and obviously superb gameplay) puts Paradox SOUNDLY in the "SHUT UP AND TAKE MY MONEY" category. And I love them for it.
So, again, I don't see what's wrong with Horse Armor.
Do I PREFER traditional expansions to generic micro-DLC? Heck yes. But I'm okay with them OFFERING generic micro-DLC, because I realize that Horse Armor took them very little effort to put together.
Kinda like the effort to put a tip jar on the counter. Just in case someone wants to toss in some change.