I think the problem is that the concept of DLC has so many different meanings to different people. To some people it’s a way of extending the life of a game by adding new, fun content. But to some people it’s viewed more cynically as a way for a publisher/developer to try and extract more money out of gamers.
I think a big reason for that 2nd, negative perception of DLC is the fact that a lot of publishers/developers have gone about doing DLC in not-so-great ways. I mean, look at the title of this thread. The reason this thread exists is because it’s extremely commonplace in the game industry for a game (especially popular ones like CoD, Battlefield, Halo, etc) to put out DLC relatively shortly after release that does fracture the community. If I’m playing Battlefield 4 with friends and a new expansion comes out, we all have to buy it or else we can’t play together. That may be okay with the more hardcore community, but for people who aren’t super into the game that can often be the point where they just say “Okay, screw this game. I’m moving on to something else.”
All that said, I think that the way you guys are handling DLC is 100% the right way. First off, it’s really obvious to me that you guys have a passion for what you’re doing and any DLC you put out in the future is the result of you wanting to make the game more awesome, not wanting to bathe in a bathtub filled with $100 bills. Second, the fact that I can buy the DLC and still play with all of my friends regardless of whether or not they bought it is huge. HUGE. Honestly, if all developers handled DLC the way you guys are doing it, I think there’d be a lot less hand wringing within the gaming community over it.