I think it depends what you mean by “too much DLC”. If the game releases and it’s clearly missing something at a $60 price point that is curiously made up for with a $15 DLC extension, then to me that is too much. But that’s not really because there is too much DLC, it’s because the original game isn’t worth the money it was charged at.
Let’s say a game costs $60, or £40 (since I’m British, I’m going to work with what I know!), what should this buy you? By comparison a 3D movie ticket costs £12, a DVD/Blu-Ray rental around £2. A Book in paperback costs around £5.
Now the Movie ticket tends to get you around 2 hours of entertainment, so does the Blu-Ray of course but it’s not as immersive an experience (unless you’ve got a kickin’ rad system at home). The Book might give you around 5 or 6 hours depending on your reading pace. A video game though is regularly touted as being at least 20 hours of gameplay, and at a premium AAA price point more like 40-80 (with much of that 80 being not exactly premium content, more just filler for completists). It would seem, cinema aside, we pay around £1 per hour of entertainment, whatever that entertainment is.
Now let’s ask this, before a film is released, do we expect the director to just film extra content for free? No, sometimes it happens but it’s really down to the discretion of the publisher and how much they need to sell their product.
Would we expect an author to write a whole half a book more to be given free to anyone who has purchased the book? No, again, it’d be absurd.
Yet somehow we have got into the mindset, as gamers as a community, that when people release additional content (people that aren’t Valve who can absorb the costs of this additional development and actually have an extremely profitable micro-transaction system in place to support it) we should get that content simply by virtue of having purchased the original game.
Of course I know you probably don’t object to paying for DLC, especially good DLC, but the idea of “too much” is IMO irrelevant.
Do you get as many hours of extra playtime out of it as you paid for it in £’s? If DLC costs £10 and you get an extra 10 hours of different play out of it that you would have, then it’s really fair value. If the total amount of DLC adds up to £200, but you play 200 hours of something different on top of the original game then is that “too much”?
Maybe it comes down to whether you need the DLC to play. Team Fortress 2 handles it much the same way that TRS seem to want to, you let people play with the basic set up against and with people using whatever DLC they have, on the maps everyone has access to. This model is great, as you are really only as committed to getting the DLC as you personally feel you are.
It’d be interesting to see how many people truly are turned off by the notion of DLC before they even purchase the base game. I know that I still bought Settlers of Catan knowing there were 4 or 5 extension packs out there for the board game, because the existence of the extra content for it didn’t alter whether I could play the base version. If it is a phenomenon then the answer isn’t one about DLC strategy and pricing anyway, it’s about communicating to potential new players that the DLC here is truly added extras that aren’t needed to experience dozens of hours of gameplay that is well rounded.
tl:dr; this isn’t really disagreeing with your view, just wondering why people get into a place where they are unable to assign a value to the product they’re buying in terms of how long and how much they enjoy it, especially in the context of games like this where DLC isn’t a barrier.