Bethesda Knew How to Satisfy Skeptical Fans at E3. BioWare Didn't


#1

Two games with major questions were given proper unveilings at E3— Anthem, Fallout 76—and each approached communication with their most passionate fans very differently, but only one seemed to come away without fans scratching their heads and wondering if it was time to grab their online pitchforks. Anthem wasn’t so lucky. I haven’t seen the rollout of a major game botched this hard in a long time, where every new detail only raises a thousand more questions, rather than answering the important ones people already had.


This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://waypoint.vice.com/en_us/article/evk3d7/bethesda-knew-how-to-satisfy-skeptical-fans-at-e3-bioware-didnt

#2

I think Patrick is spot-on with this. As a Bioware fan who felt really burned by Andromeda, they didn’t do anything to sell me on Anthem with the press conference. Certainly, hearing Patrick and Austin’s impressions was cool, but behind-closed-doors presentations aren’t going to be enough.


#3

What kind of questions/answers would help you feel more confident about Anthem?


#4

Same question Genna Bain was asking recently: “Why wouldn’t I just play Destiny?”


#5

Well, to be honest, you don’t have to play only a single game, there is enough space to play Anthem & Destiny if neither one provides enough content at a fast enough rate for players.

That said, the most basic reason would be that some players prefer a first person perspective some prefer third person. Expanding from that, the third person perspective allows for a level of mobility in Anthem that has a significant impact on gameplay.

It’ll come down to the individual player to decide which story, setting, world, etc… they like best.


#7

…eh, not really in this case, because both games are supposed to be skinner box traps that teach the player to at least log on regularly. I can’t imagine anyone having the time for both these sorts of timesink games. They even function like MMOs with regular content additions and updates.


#8

Everyone has a different amount of time they can commit to leisure activities.

I can’t see myself ever focusing that hard on a game again, not since early WoW, but there are players who manage to do for multiple games.


#9

What does it feel like?

For all of Destiny’s problems, that game has always felt extremely good. The movement, shooting etc has always been satisfying.

If Anthem moves as well as Patrick & Austin say, I’m very interested.


#10

I’ve been using Destiny to torture myself about how I hate the way my desires for playing games has evolved.

Halo was a fun game. Certainly for it’s time, even if it hasn’t aged well. I spent countless hours playing that game. I played Assault on the Control room hundreds and hundreds of times. Every difficulty, different strategies. There was nothing “in it” for me except having fun.

Destiny 2 is a better game. I’m playing on PC, my preferred platform. It looks better. It runs better. There is more variation in playstyles, builds, strategies. Heroic strikes have changing modifiers which reward and challenge in different wys, and swap each day. There are more missions. I can customize and decorate my character. I can play online and show off my skills to other players. I get gear and, while not great, have something to work towards.

But I don’t like it.
I never walked away from Halo thinking, “that was bullshit, what a waste of time.”
Destiny though?

I hate when 3 of my 4 powerful armor rewards are boots, already my highest slot. I hate when 4 of my 4 powerful weapon rewards are power slot, already my highest level weapon.
It gets me frustrated that I have no control over how I progress. I just spend time to roll the dice.
It gets me frustrated that my progress is just a number slowly going up, with almost no change in how the game plays.

I hate when the heroic modifier is grounded, punishing players for jumping, a major part of what makes combat cool, and tied to a number of builds and strategies.

I hate when it’s Flashpoint Mercury, with one event I need to wait to do two or three times, depending on how many side events I’m running around trying to participate in.

I hate that as a solo player there are about two hours a week per character during which I can progress. A game that claims it wants to be my hobby locks me out of making my meaningless number go up in about a day each week depending on my play schedule. If I had a raid group, or Nightfall team, this would go up at the start of each expansion as we learn the raid. Then it would settle back down to three or four hours a week. It blows my mind that this is the case.

But I played Assault on the Control Room hundreds of times. The Cartographer hundreds of times. The Pillar of Autumn hundreds of times.

I couldn’t customize or see my character. My number didn’t go up. I didn’t have abilities or jetpacks/triple jumps/momentum magic. No ults. No abilities. Fewer weapons. Fewer missions, with less variation. Worse controls. Worse graphics. Worse shooting.

I hate that change in my motivation.
I really hope Anthem gets that right.

If you offer progression, customization, expression, variable playstyles, you have to nail a lot of it. If you don’t, I won’t complain that I’m a solo player, who used to have a large group that raided. They we’re right to quit. I feel wrong for staying.


#11

Everything Patrick and Austin said about Anthem sounded very good and cool… for someone else.

Like, there are so many memes about the “new Bioware” and questions about the future of the dev because-- okay, two reasons. One, we’re seen how EA buys creative rad devs and then grinds them into nothing more than fancy names to slap of generic games. That’s how they do.

But my anger and frustration is a bitter, mean thing. I don’t want Anthem! I don’t! I don’t give a damn! If other people enjoy it, that’s rad and fine, but like, I don’t give a shit, honest to god.

I want another big sprawling RPG with hours and hours of dialogue and nuanced characters who I can befriend or mack on or grow to despise in a way that only comes from really goddamn great writing. And that was Bioware’s bag.

Now, that’s not their focus anymore, and on a detached level I acknowledge the right of the artist to go and make the art they want. But as the type of gamer who wants to be queer, who wants romantic media in her games, who wants a triple A title with a lesbians and gay folks and a huge bisexual horned man who likes D/s-- no one else does that.

But I think they will soon. Obviously we saw AC:Odyssey’s massive “YOOOOOO ROMANCE!!!” explosion of coverage. I can personally name you about ten people in my personal friend group who flipped from “1000% not interested in AC” to “I’m gonna buy this day one.”

It’s important, and if Bioware isn’t going to create that content, then others will, and I’ll bet you every dollar in my bank account that next E3, the New Bioware games will be everywhere as people jump on that abandoned demographic. And y’all, I am eager to be pandered to.


#12

I wanna say it was someone at Giant Bomb who said this E3 you could really see devs feasting on the corpse of ME:A.

Devs are more than willing to fill the gap that Bioware’s left in the market, and friend I’m ready.


#13

I don’t think its fair to blame yourself on the change in motivations in Destiny 2. Its the first game I’ve played that feels hostile to its core base in terms of motivation. So many of the changes, but specifically the move to weekly milestones seem entirely designed to drive weekly “engagement numbers” and to keep less interested players around longer so they might buy some microtransactions. They don’t care that you (and I) are having a shit time of it, because they made a calculated gamble that you (and I) would be there anyway. I had 2 weeks where I got 7 gauntlets in a row, and finished off the streak with 8 from 9 potential powerful rewards


#14

It’s already happening, really - two of the biggest RPGs in 2017-2018, Original Sin 2 and Pillars of Eternity 2, went out of their way to incorporate romances when they previously hadn’t had them; the Tyranny DLC added romances; Odyssey’s got them, and Pathfinder: Kingmaker is going to have them too.

I don’t think BioWare can course-correct on the mistakes they made with Andromeda and Inquisition, and they’re going to go the way of Visceral sooner or later. But it’s comforting to know that other developers are already picking up the slack, and will likely be rewarded for it.


#15

As an addendum to my previous comment, my Hunter main (who got all those Gauntlets) has been 2 items off 385 for 2 weeks. First two milestones this week; Gauntlets and a Pulse rifle. Both times. I’ve already had 6 or 7 385 PL Gauntlets. I would honestly be happier if the game just wen’t “whoops, you didn’t get anything this time” than rub in these pointless drops


#16

Theres more than enough time for multiple versions of these games. I work 60 hours a week, have an active social life, and am still active in both Destiny and rainbow6 on top of whatever single player/ switch games come out. I mean, in terms of destiny, unless you’re raiding, you starting getting dramatically diminishing returns after you’ve played 3-4 hours a week anyways.

Sure there’s not enough time to be unhealthy obsessed with either game but thats true of all games.


#17

I can’t even imagine having gaming habits like that. My schedule is way more free and I barely have time for short point and clicks sometimes.


#18

100% same. Sounds intense.


#19

Ok wait this is the question I need answered.

How much sleep you getting?


#20
Dumb joke comic


#21

Oh I know the guy who made that comic.

He’s friends with the infamous ant man of the alt-right.

Also I can’t laugh at this as much because personal experience has told me how self-destructive this lifestyle is to the point it’s basically comparable to serious addiction. I’ve had personal experience and let me tell you, GO TO BED AT A SENSIBLE HOUR. Please.