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Starkiller

Expansion Packs: Your best, okay, and worst

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Posted (edited)

When we get an expansion pack to a game you enjoyed, it is either that you think it is the greatest addition and new content ever, that it's okay since it has good ideas and a few new stuff, but feels somewhat disappointing, or that it is the worst useless piece of trash you have ever played. This our experiences with the best, okay, and worst expansion packs you have played. Any detailed experience on your chosen expansion packs can be interesting to know about. 

 

Here is mine: 

 

Best expansion packs - 

Medal of Honor: Allied Assault: The two expansion packs, Spearhead and Breakthrough, are great add-on's to the base game, with new fun weapons, more missions, and some better variety in mission objectives. My only complaint is that Breakthrough is unforgiving when it comes to health and ammo, making it brutal even on easy and normal difficulties. 

 

Command & Conquer Red Alert 2: Yuri's Revenge: This is how you make a great RTS expansion pack. Yuri's Revenge adds some more fun and difficult missions in the base game, includes new unique voice quotes for some units, slightly better balancing, new music (Drok is such a badass main menu theme), and a new faction. The only downside is that there is no single-player campaign for the Yuri/Epsilon Faction (which would have been a breeze anyway considering his army is overpowered beyond belief. I still have fun with this expansion, and I still play it to this day. 

 

Okay expansion packs - 

Unreal: Return to Na Pali: RTNP is decent, but pretty underwhelming compared to the original game. The story keeps the translator logs while adding in a cutscenes that goes against the unique atmosphere, and is cliche as you can get. Having the protagonist being voice-acted feels off-putting, but overall fine. The new weapons don't feel special, considering they are recycled copies of other, more better weapons, and the only one pretty helpful is the CAR Rifle, where the high rate of fire with ridiculous range makes most of the game a breeze, as it can take out difficult enemies like the Skaarj and the Terraniux Mercenaries, the latter of which is the best to use since it prevents them from using their force shields. The new enemies are also meh, with the Predator lizard being the most interesting to me. The space marines also provide the most infuriatingly difficult part of the entire expansion (thank god you only fight them at that part). The final boss is also pretty underwhelming, while the ending feels pretty good. The new botmatch and multiplayer gamemodes are fun, probably my high point of this mission pack. While short, I feel RTNP has better pacing than the original, and the audio logs at the end of a map area was a neat touch. Overall, it's alright, but feels lacking. Still a better sequel than Unreal 2, though. 

 

F.E.A.R. Perseus Mandate: Adds more content, including the Extraction Point stuff, but feels more shallow and unpolished. It has an interesting premise, with a second team investigating some of Armacham's projects, but falls completely about mid-way through. There is more action than horror, but makes up by having some of the scares in the game some of the most terrifying in the series (that underground buried city/metro area still creeps the fuck out of me). The new weapons are great to use (especially that night-vision advanced rifle).The new Nightcrawler enemies are badass and fun to fight, but feel tacked on to provide the game some variety. The new music tracks are pretty kickass. The bonus missions are fun, but nothing special. Two steps forward, one step backward is how I would describe this expansion pack, as it has some good parts, but feel stale.  In all honestly, I prefer this and Extraction Point better sequels than the sequels themselves. 

 

Worst expansion packs - 

Half-Life Opposing Force: So I played Opposing Force again after about three years of having not played it, and to be honest, I forgot how bad this game was. I'm sure people are going to be pissed, but Opposing Force is not that good. It does not hold up as I hoped it would be. There is so much mediocrity about this game. For starters, the story takes a huge drop, feeling more like fanfiction, where you have to find Gordon Freeman, than the black ops attack you and your remaining squad mates, and Race X entering Black Mesa attacking everything. Not only does it feel amateurish, but it doesn't add anything new or interesting in the Half-Life universe. The A.I. is even WORSE than in the base game. You remember the HECU marines charging blindlessly around corners and killing themselves with their own grenades, so much so that Freeman himself mentions this in Freeman's Mind? They are your allies now, but are more dumber than possible. They can barely help out in firefights, and sometimes won't follow you or stay put. It's a wonder that Shephard is pretty much the only HECU marine that has survival skills and a brain to think. The new weapons are a mixed bag. The wrench is only good for charged ambush attacks, the knife is essentially a faster and better crowbar, the desert eagle feeling better than the magnum revolver, and the more powerful stuff like the displacer cannon, heavy machine gun, and sniper rifle feeling good, but most of the time underused. The new enemies, like the Pit Drone and the Black Ops soldiers feel more infuriating to fight than the HECU in the base game, if that is possible. The final boss is the very definition of how underwhelming this expansion pack is, being a huge pushover and a even worse cliffhanger ending. The rope mechanics feel horrible to swing and navigate. The weapon balance is also poor as well, as once you get the Shock Roach, that is pretty much the only weapon you'll ever use, as it recharges ammo and does decent damage. Finally, it is more buggier and glitchier out the ass, with Foxtrot Uniform's corrupt save file glitch being the absolute worst offender. I like the character of Adrian Shephard, but I can't see myself play Opposing Force, and it just saddens me on how terrible it actually is under all of the nostalgia storm. 

 

F.E.A.R. 2: Reborn (even though it's technically a DLC): We're finally playing as a Replica in the series? Fuck yeah! Wait, only two to three hours in length? What a waste of perfectly good ideas. Reborn doesn't add anything new other than the perspective of playing as a Replica, and even than, it is ignored by F.E.A.R. 3 Call of Duty: Paranormal Ops. Honestly, it's not worth the extra price on Steam, but if you wan't to have the fun of being a badass Replica soldier, get it on GOG, as it is bundled with the base game.

 

What are your best, okay, and worst expansion packs you have ever played? Share them here!   

Edited by Starkiller

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Tiberian Sun: Firestorm

played this with friends for years

 

Ultimate Doom

obligatory, and a free upgrade, if you were hip to id's website!)

 

Eve Online: Tyrannis

injected interesting dynamics into a stale game, reviving it one might say

 

Civilization V - various

I couldn't name them, I got them all in one giant pack for like $3.50 on holiday sale. And when a friend wants to play vanilla Civ V, I find it so awfully boring so as to be nearly unplayable.

 

Baldur's Gate 2: Throne of Bhaal

unrivaled in scope and quality to this day

 

Mechwarrior 4: Mercenaries

This was like a whole new game's worth of content

 

Can't think of any straight up bad expansions though, as I'm a miser who generally makes sure he's going to like it before he buys it *cough* piracy *cough*.

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21 minutes ago, Ajora said:

Starcraft: Broodwar is the champion.

 

This the first time I've ever heard anybody say they dislike Opposing Force. Opposing Force is a thing of beauty. 

I loved Opposing Force back when I played it in 2015, and still have some fond memories of it, with BigMacDavis's walkthrough bringing me to Half-Life and loving it, but I find some aspects of it, such as the aforementioned glitches and the unfairly difficult enemies, just a chore to enjoy.

 

But hey. Whatever floats your boat. I probably should move this as an okay expansion pack instead.

 

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Can't think of any bad expansion pack that i've played, but the best expansion pack i played was 'The Conquerors' expansion for Age of Empires II, it made the vanilla Age 2 feel incomplete after playing the conquerors, tons of small details that were fixed and patched, the spanish and aztec were awesome civilizations to play, not to mention that raising the population limit from 75 to 200 was game changer

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Posted (edited)

Best? Bloodborne: The Old Hunters. Owning it is practically mandatory if you own and enjoy the base game. 

 

Not really interested in moaning about things I don't like or am indifferent to, sorry.

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1 minute ago, DMPhobos said:

Can't think of any bad expansion pack that i've played, but the best expansion pack i played was 'The Conquerors' expansion for Age of Empires II, it made the vanilla Age 2 feel incomplete after playing the conquerors, tons of small details that were fixed and patched, the spanish and aztec were awesome civilizations to play, not to mention that raising the population limit from 75 to 200 was game changer

Age of Empires had an impact on me as a youngin. Beautiful worlds, civilization building, and crafting. Age of Mythology turned that into more immersive civilizations, experience building, and nice Greek and Roman settings. The Kronos expansion pack was great, the last time I played it.

 

Damn, I need to play those games again. Same thing with Dungeon Siege. 

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Great Expansion Packs

 

Star Trek Voyager: Elite Force Expansion Pack

It contained:

  1. A crap load more multiplayer maps, bots and skins.
  2. Virtual Voyager to where you can explore the main areas of the ship. You can even set the auto-destruct while on the bridge.
  3. Collectible figurines while exploring Voyager.
  4. A few single player missions that were accessed through virtual Voyager's holodeck.
  5. A bunch of player made maps to add to the already large amount of multiplayer maps.

 

Crappy Expansion Packs

 

I heard that the Quake 2 expansion packs that were not made by id software were really bad.

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Mysteries of the Sith was an absolutely essential addition to Jedi Knight.  Aside from the excellent single-player campaign, the expanded multiplayer everything you'd want from a Star Wars game.  

 

Plus one to The Old Hunters for Bloodborne.  Most of From Software's Souldborne expansion packs have been fantastic (even if they are named DLCs these days when they're clearly expansion packs!).  Artorias of the Abyss for the first Dark Souls is a classic.

 

I must also admit I have a genuine soft-spot for Quake 3 Arena: Team Arena.  I really enjoyed the new Terrain maps and the new powerups (the Kamikaze bomb still looks awesome even today).  I played the hell out of it, even more than the original Quake 3 to be honest.  I know it was basically just id trying to "do Unreal Tournament", but I can't help it, I really liked it!

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Umm... Diablo 2: Lord of Destruction anyone?

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6 minutes ago, Bauul said:

(even if they are named DLCs these days when they're clearly expansion packs!)

 

DLC can be anything from microtransactions (yeah yeah I know) to a huge addition to the game that offers many hours of new content. But yes, perhaps "expansion pack" needs to be brought back into gaming vernacular for the sake of clarity.

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Posted (edited)

Some good picks in the thread already! I've got just one to add.

 

Jedi Knight: Mysteries of the Sith

It's shorter but better designed and punchier than the OG campaign, it uses in-engine machinima cutscenes instead of the incredibly hammy FMVs, it doesn't fuck around with saberless intro missions harder than the jedi stuff.

 

edit: whoops, Bauul already mentioned it. Well then. I guess Jagged Alliance: Deadly Games was an interesting take on the game, removing the strategic scope and focusing on better crafted (read: harder) mission scenarios.

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2 hours ago, Starkiller said:

Worst expansion packs - 

Half-Life Opposing Force:  

 

Really? That is rather harsh. I always thought it was more enjoyable, admittedly shorter than the base game. Also I have recently played through the original HL game, OP4 then BS and still think it was the better.

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3 hours ago, Vorpal said:

Mechwarrior 4: Mercenaries

 

This was like a whole new game's worth of content

MechWarrior 4 Mercs is a new game. The actual expansion pack for MW4 Vengeance was Black Knight, which was OK at best.

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Posted (edited)

Great ones:

 

Warcraft 3 - The frozen throne : Adds so much to the game. I'd say it is the best expansion Blizzard did but I'd probably be biased against Brood war and Lord of D since I didn't play them as much. (WOW expansions excluded since they don't behave like other games)

 

Don't starve - Reign of giants : Fixes a lot of problems and adds to replayability\variety all game long. definitely ruins vanilla don't starve. Don't starve together as well since it adds its own things. Shipwrecked is fun too especially after they updated it this year.

 

Good ones:

 

C&C any expansion really (except C&C4, fuck that abomination) : Yuri's revenge? gimme! Zero hour? I can't even play vanilla after getting spoiled by it. Kane's wrath? Best thing in the entire series!

 

Darkest Dungeon - The crimson court : makes the game much more fun to replay (unless you hate mosquitoes).

 

Crypt of the Necrodancer - Amplified : really nice boss fights. Kinda shits on balance at some places but am kinda shit so those barely impact me.

 

Bad ones:

 

Bioshock infinite

Spoiler

Burial at sea 1 (2 to a lesser extent) : Ends before it even picks pace,  some dumb as shit ending. retcons the hell out of Bioshock 2 for some reason and does nothing else. Elizabeth gets the shittiest ending possible to her story. Hey at least it has a peeping tom and a bookshop that sells porn magazines -most memorable things in that game, speaks a lot about it lol-?!

 

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Artorias of the Abyss and The Old Hunters were already mentioned, but I feel it's worth volunteering that all of the Soulsborne DLCs are top-notch.

 

Semi-related tangent: when the first DLC for Dark Souls 3 (Ashes of Ariandel) was released, it got quite a mixed reception on Steam, but from perusing the reviews it seemed to me that the primary issue was that people simply expected more -- i.e. the quality slid from "utterly fantastic" to simply "pretty damn good" and people felt cheated out of their money*. :P

 

Fortunately for Fromsoft, they knocked it out of the park with Ringed City, so the rabble was pacified once again... well, until DS:R hit yesterday, but that's a story for another time. :P

 

 

[*Post-note: price and length were also factors; AoA is about the same length as DS2's DLC packs, but those were $10 while AoA was $15.]

 

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To be honest I never cared for allies AI in opfor, I just like to think they were dumbed down on purpose to not make the game feel too easy, and to let players do actions by themselves, that's not to say the original game HECU AI was perfect. I often hear Opposing Force is better than the original game so it's weird reading this.

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Posted (edited)

Painkiller Battle out of Hell was an excellent expansion, now integrated into black edition of course.

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I'm happy to see Starcraft: Brood War mentioned quickly. That expansion was amazing and perfected what was already a really good game. The campaign had some seriously challenging levels in it, especially the end of the Zerg campaign. 

 

For my worst, I have to say Star Wars: Empire At War: Forces of Corruption. Empire At War is a fun RTS game while not perfect, but does a reasonable job presenting the closest you will ever find to a Star Wars themed RTS game. It was balanced in some ways but always felt like it was missing some extra pieces. The FoC expansion does add the missing pieces to the Rebel Alliance and Empire, such things as added ships, heroes (including the beloved Grand Admiral Thrawn and other EU characters) and the 2nd Death Star. I almost forgot, Darth Vader can do space combat now with his Super Star Destroyer which is easily the most awesome thing the game adds. You can pretty much build Vader's Death Squadron fleet directly out of Empire Strikes Back when doing a galactic campaign mode. 

 

Now that I've spoken about some good things in FoC, I must mention why it's the worst. Two words - Zann Consortium. FoC added a third faction to the game and they are the most ridiculously, broken overpowered faction I have ever seen in an RTS game. The Consortium isn't just broken on one thing, it's EVERYTHING. If you are playing a galactic conquest mode with all the planets, the first thing you want to do is to absolutely eliminate the Zann Consortium first before focusing your efforts on the Empire or Rebellion. 

 

Consortium are overpowered in galactic conquest just through economy. Their economy generates double the profit of both Empire and Rebellion. Add in the corruption mechanic where they can just blow up your buildings and with no counter to this (it costs money to remove corruption and then they can just re-corrupt it). If you are playing Empire and spend all your time upgrading and doing the tech tree to build the Death Star, it is so frustrating that they can easily destroy the Death Star with that stupid corruption mechanic that gives them the option to send IG-88 in to destroy it (even if you have the damn thing safely tucked away on an Imperial planet and with a big fleet protecting it. 

 

In ground combat, their weakest units can take down a whole rebel or imperial army, just by using the grenade soldiers and droidekas. When taking over their planets, they have buildings with shields. I don't even know how to explain how frustrating this is. Buildings with shields, while neither the Empire or the Rebellion have that privilege. 

 

In space combat, they're even worse. If you are a rebel player, you have to assemble a massive fleet of Mon Calamari cruisers, X wings, A-wings, Y-wings and a bunch of frigates, and yet the Zann space station will still take out most of your fleet. The same goes for the Empire. A simple level 2 space station will take out star destroyers. You end up having to throw pretty much everything and the kitchen sink at them in space battles. 

 

I could go on and on listing how overpowered and broken the Zann Consortium is. These two videos sum it up better than I ever could and show how ridiculously OP they are. 

 

 

 

It says a lot that the most popular mod for Empire At War is the one that completely erases the Zann Consortium from the game and just makes it Rebels vs Empire like the original game. 

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L O R D 

 

O F 

 

D E S T R U C T I O N 

 

The impact it made on Diablo 2 can't be overstated. It made that game legendary to me and many, many others. 

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2 hours ago, Pegg said:

Great ones:

 

Warcraft 3 - The frozen throne : Adds so much to the game. I'd say it is the best expansion Blizzard did but I'd probably be biased against Brood war and Lord of D since I didn't play them as much. (WOW expansions excluded since they don't behave like other games)

 

Don't starve - Reign of giants : Fixes a lot of problems and adds to replayability\variety all game long. definitely ruins vanilla don't starve. Don't starve together as well since it adds its own things. Shipwrecked is fun too especially after they updated it this year.

 

Good ones:

 

C&C any expansion really (except C&C4, fuck that abomination) : Yuri's revenge? gimme! Zero hour? I can't even play vanilla after getting spoiled by it. Kane's wrath? Best thing in the entire series!

 

Darkest Dungeon - The crimson court : makes the game much more fun to replay (unless you hate mosquitoes).

 

Crypt of the Necrodancer - Amplified : really nice boss fights. Kinda shits on balance at some places but am kinda shit so those barely impact me.

 

Bad ones:

 

Bioshock infinite

  Reveal hidden contents

Burial at sea 1 (2 to a lesser extent) : Ends before it even picks pace,  some dumb as shit ending. retcons the hell out of Bioshock 2 for some reason and does nothing else. Elizabeth gets the shittiest ending possible to her story. Hey at least it has a peeping tom and a bookshop that sells porn magazines -most memorable things in that game, speaks a lot about it lol-?!

 

How could I have forgotten Kane's Wrath? That expansion is awesome, especially with the epic units. Nod Redeemer is so badass. 

 

I'm in the same boat with you about Burial At Sea. Fixes most of the issues of the game, but fucks the story into the garbage pail.

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Half-Life: Opposing Force. It's subjectively the best expansion of all GoldSRC games. I don't get how you think it's a "fanfiction" though. Sure each for their own but i still can't understand most of your reasonings. It's hard because it's suppose to be. Black OPS are just HECU but a straight upgrade, with more health.

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2 minutes ago, Teabλg_Johnson said:

Half-Life: Opposing Force. It's subjectively the best expansion of all GoldSRC games. I don't get how you think it's a "fanfiction" though. Sure each for their own but i still can't understand most of your reasonings. It's hard because it's suppose to be. Black OPS are just HECU but a straight upgrade, with more health.

The story is fanfiction because it adds in a new alien race but without any explanation nor mentioning of Race X. They're just there. There is a reason Marc Laidlaw doesn't consider Race X as a part of his vision of the franchise (when he used to write at Valve anyway)

 

I don't mind fighting the Black Ops, since they are easily dealt with headshots. I just don't like how they are presented in OP4. They do the same thing as the HECU, but destroy the entire Black Mesa facility and kill off the rest of the grunts. It doesn't make sense in context, as it is implied they worked together in the base game. That's another reason why I consider OP4 weaker on the storytelling department.

 

Honestly, I find the rope puzzles and the barnacle grapple puzzles more deadly than the Black Ops, as they were a pain in the ass to navigate without messing up and dying or losing health as a result. 

 

Again, each to their own. I want a remake to this expansion like Black Mesa is to the base game.

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Just now, Starkiller said:

The story is fanfiction because it adds in a new alien race but without any explanation nor mentioning of Race X. They're just there. There is a reason Marc Laidlaw doesn't consider Race X as a part of his vision of the franchise (when he used to write at Valve anyway)

 

I don't mind fighting the Black Ops, since they are easily dealt with headshots. I just don't like how they are presented in OP4. They do the same thing as the HECU, but destroy the entire Black Mesa facility and kill off the rest of the grunts. It doesn't make sense in context, as it is implied they worked together in the base game. That's another reason why I consider OP4 weaker on the storytelling department.

 

Honestly, I find the rope puzzles and the barnacle grapple puzzles more deadly than the Black Ops, as they were a pain in the ass to navigate without messing up and dying or losing health as a result. 

 

Again, each to their own. I want a remake to this expansion like Black Mesa is to the base game.

"Race X was discovered by chance by Black Mesa scientists when they opened a rift to another dimension than that of Xen during their portal technology experiments,[2] which lay "Somewhere beyond Xen".[4] As the nature and location of the dimension was largely unknown, the designation "X" was used by Black Mesa to refer to the dimension and its inhabitants.[2]" 

 

Black OPS' mission was to get rid of all evidences of the incident. They were sent after the grunts were getting their asses kicked by Xen race (and X race). Gordon didn't meet them because he went off to Xen in early-mid chapters of OpFor. It was explained in-game last i recall.

 

There is a remake of OpFor called Operation: Black Mesa. They don't associate with the BM team, though. Here's the page: https://www.moddb.com/mods/operation-black-mesa/

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Posted (edited)
42 minutes ago, Teabλg_Johnson said:

"Race X was discovered by chance by Black Mesa scientists when they opened a rift to another dimension than that of Xen during their portal technology experiments,[2] which lay "Somewhere beyond Xen".[4] As the nature and location of the dimension was largely unknown, the designation "X" was used by Black Mesa to refer to the dimension and its inhabitants.[2]" 

 

Black OPS' mission was to get rid of all evidences of the incident. They were sent after the grunts were getting their asses kicked by Xen race (and X race). Gordon didn't meet them because he went off to Xen in early-mid chapters of OpFor. It was explained in-game last i recall.

 

There is a remake of OpFor called Operation: Black Mesa. They don't associate with the BM team, though. Here's the page: https://www.moddb.com/mods/operation-black-mesa/

You forgot Gordon as well. He kicked the grunts asses more brutally than the Xen and X races.

 

I suppose we just have different subjective tastes. I think OP4 would be better if it had a more shocking twist for Race X, and better puzzles. Thanks for your responses to my claims and all. 

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Best: Quake: Scourge of Armagon. When it comes to OG Quake, I'm all about the techbase, which IMO didn't really get a good enough showing in the base game.

 

Meh: Doom 3: Resurrection Of Evil: Fun, but lacking the atmosphere of vanilla D3, although the way they did the retread through Delta Labs was pretty inspired.

 

Worst. Quake II: Ground Zero. TURRETS! NO! PLEASE! NOT THE TURRETS! A shame too, because the Black Widow is one of the most underappreciated bosses in gaming history.

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Shadow of the serpent riders for Heretic :D (haven't played many expansions :) )
 

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