Tue, Oct 17th, 2006 | 1:08am

To reinforce the point that I still think Relic is a building full of generally awesome people and that my problem is not with them, I have to say (now that I've finally tracked down a copy of it) that they've pretty much hit their mark of making Dark Crusade the "best expansion pack ever."

Let's review:

  • It comes with more content than the original game.
  • It doesn't require that you have the original game.
  • It costs twenty dollars less than the original game.*

How the fuck can they do that? Magic?

I'm trying to consider what it would take to make a Quake4 mission pack that was longer than the original game, in half the time with two new crazy-ass races, that would cost anything less than ninety-nine dollars and ninety-five cents, and I'm having to resort to such scenarios as "divine intervention." Factoring in that their tech did not change or evolve, that FPS content is a lot more expensive per level (or per minute of gameplay or per whatever you want to measure) than an RTS, and that they've probably got a fairly decent pipeline in place that doesn't succumb to excessive third party interference and internal screwing around, I can maybe see them pulling it off with only maybe a slight application of God's Own Hand.

I'm holding the disc, though. I can feel that it has weight and texture, and this tells me that it clearly exists in the realm of the corporeal and the reasonably easily explained, so at this point I'm pretty resigned to the fact that I simply have no idea how it got here.

Perhaps one day I can find out.

* If you want to be specific, it actually cost me $330 since I broke my iPod in the Best Buy parking lot after buying the expansion, but I was probably going to break the damn thing eventually anyway.