Has a Patch Ever Changed Your Experience With a Game?


The recent Atlas Rises update has transformed 'No Man's Sky' from a chill exploration game into a story-driven, sci-fi mystery.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://waypoint.vice.com/en_us/article/wjjx9w/has-a-patch-has-ever-changed-your-experience-with-a-game


I remember playing Oblivion I was doing a exploit that allowed you to make multiple items by hitting it with arrows before they patch it out. After that I started playing the game properly by saving money and work my way to things I wanted and it was a much more rewording experience.

I just remember. Kerbal Space program changed alot from when I first started playing it when it was just a single engine. By 1.0 it had different engine, flight structures, budget management, robot ships to fly, and so much more.


Not exactly the same but I didn’t have this game, then the patch came out and various podcasts talked positively on it so (coupled with a company selling it for a tenner) I bought it at the end of last week. I don’t think a patch has ever led to me buying a game before.


I’d say that each of Terraria’s major patches essentially added a whole new game onto the base experience, and the fact that they were all free was nothing short of incredible; undoubtedly the best post-game support I’ve ever seen


Warframe on multiple occasions over the years, but primarily on a mechanical play-style extent.

When movement 2.0 came out, it completely changed where you could go in a level. Previously, traversal was done with a method called “coptering”. It was a dash, slide, melee attack that launched you across the map. It took a while to aim with it. But with movement 2.0 the combo changed to dash slide jump jump, which added a previously unrealized accuracy allowing you to reach the map extents and climb areas previously accessible.

Another big change from what I remember is the destruction of the void. Previously, you would collect keys to access special void missions for a chance at special loot/crafting parts. Through a story mission, the void was brought into normal reality and destroyed to an extent. The new method for getting these special parts became collecting relics and opening them in special missions with void fissures that would release the energy required to crack the relic open. The developer essentially took years of developing the void as end game content and flipped it on its head.

There are other examples too. The Warframe powers for example used to be equip-able mods instead of inherit, which was huge at the time. When you only have 8 mod slots suddenly regaining 1-4 of them meant a lot to both developer and player. For player, it meant you wouldn’t have to sacrifice a cool power to enhance an ability. For developer, it meant they could redesign old warframes to have powers that complimented each other.


My time with League of Legends was absolutely this way. The graphics overhaul prevented me from quitting (which I had been inches from doing), and plenty of other season-specific changes kept me interested in the metagame.

In addition, I only decided to play Destiny after hearing about its “April Update” patch, and so missed out on some of the worst parts of that game’s life cycle.


Civ V’s patches were constantly tweaking the game and smoothing out the rough edges. I remember leaving it for a year or two after all the expansions were released and was surprised by how different it felt with minor changes.


So I didn’t finish Mass Effect 3 until after the ending patch came out, and the ending I got was the “F U” ending the developers put in for the people that felt they shouldn’t have to make a choice, but I had no idea of the greater context of that ending.

All of the discussion about ME3’s endings are pretty much completely lost on me due to this. I looked up the others on youtube, but not seeing them in context made them very forgettable. In my head, ME3’s ending is that everybody died. The end.


If I sat and thought about this for a while. I’m sure I would have more than one example. The one game that really jumps out in my recent memory is Project Cars on the PS4. Probably because the sequel is coming out soon. That game was pretty broken when it came out with juddery, ugly race replays, poor control customization, an awful UI, and stat tracking that seemed to be tracking someone else entirely. I stuck with the game, because there was actually a solid sim racing game under all that jank. Eventually, the problems I listed were mostly fixed with patches.

The replays played smooth and beautiful, and I think those replays are a big draw for sim racing fans as they appear in all of these games. They optimized the online profile, stat tracking, and it became easy to find an online race in minutes. Most importantly, they added sensitivity customization which made playing with a controller much more comfortable. It went from a disappointment with great potential to achieving that potential and just being a great racing game. Unfortunately, the UI remained pretty bad, and it continued to do weird things like default to abandon season instead of next race when returning to the campaign menu after finishing a race. Having watched some preview coverage for Project Cars 2 it seems like the entire UI is much more elegant and well designed. I really hope they notice and fix that default issue though.

UI quirks aside, the whole experience made me trust that the Slightly Mad devs were trying to make good on the faith I showed in buying their first independent foray into the sim racing genre, and it also showed me how game development is an iterative process as I watched them improve Project Cars in real time.

So my experience changed in that I saw the potential of the game come to life which was great. Different from the change in experience Austin is having with No Man’s Sky, but I think it still tracks in this conversation.

(Also, a heads up - the title of the article has a typo on the front page website, just thought I’d mention it)


If I had played Destiny after they overhauled the early game (pre-level 26), I might still be playing it now. As it stands, though, I bought that game on release, and grinded relentlessly against an RNG mechanically indifferent to both my progression and my strife. Having been stuck at level 25 for a week, with my friends gearing up to do the first raid, I set out one evening to get the kit I needed to join them. Over the course of six consecutive hours of looping through the same 4 or 5 missions - my longest Destiny play session yet - the game repeatedly refused to grant me the single piece of armor necessary to get my Light level up a paltry 20 points so that I could continue playing the game.

When I finally did get it around 3AM that night, and I was unceremoniously granted access to the raids, a switch in the back of my mind was flipped. The Destiny neural pathway was deactivated, seemingly out of subconscious spite (or as some kind of defense mechanism?), and a mile-long freight train of dopamine ground to a halt, never to reach its destination. I sold the game the next day.


Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn.

Granted, it was practically a remake, rather than a patch or expansion, but the difference was night and day. They turned a clunky early 2000s menu-driven MMO into a competent GCD-based MMO with a fantastic story and music. Been playing ever since.


I don’t know if this one counts, but I played Deus Ex for the first time with the Revision mod on and trying to play the original version felt like a completely different game to me. I don’t think I ever considered how much good interior lighting and intuitive UI design matters in a game until played those 2 versions.


Pre-TTK was such a DRASTICALLY different beast from after that expansion/revamp. The game still messes with you (did a Nightfall last week and got strange coins, but I made it to max light so I really don’t care), but there’s a pretty straightforward path to increasing light level by time Destiny wraps up.


No thread about game-changing patches would be complete without reference to the two best unofficial patches out: The Sith Lords Restored Content mod for KOTOR2, and the Unofficial Patch for Vampire: The Masquerade: Bloodlines. Both of these games, KOTOR 2 and VtM:B, received, at launch, widespread praise for their excellent stories and roleplaying mechanics, and widespread derision for the unfinished, bug-ridden state they shipped in. The official patches did very little to help. Years later, as both projects approach their end, we can now play each game as we were meant to. Even better, both mods add a lot of cut content that they developers had too little time to include in the retail versions of the game, but which modders have discovered hidden in the games’ code, and subsequently restored. Because of these unofficial patches, I’ve played both games and encountered less than five bugs in each. The developers of both games have even gone so far as to praise these unofficial patches for better realizing their original vision for their games. These unofficial patches exemplify the DIY, communal features of PC gaming that I love so much.


Counter-Strike 1.3, when you couldn’t bunny hop anymore. Really changed the game. I preferred how it played after what, but I know people who became experts at the bunny-hopping and hated it.


I’m going to have to agree with @musim about Warframe. Continuous updates over the past few years have been bringing me back again and again, to the point that I’ve now invested some 700+ hours into the game.

The changes for the most part been mechanical in nature (redesigned movement/parkour mechanics, changes to the mod/upgrade system, etc.), and a couple of recent updates have begun including narrative elements (SPOILER: you eventually unlock the ability to design your warframe ‘operator’ and can even freely exit your warframe ‘suit’).

If anyone’s tried Warframe a while back but bounced off, or have ever been interested in trying it out (it’s a legitimately done well free-to-play game in my opinion), now’s a definitely good time to hop in!


Also a great Noclip doc about FF14 if anyone missed it, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xs0yQKI7Yw4&t=2s