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BioWare on the State of Anthem

A post to the AnthemTheGame Reddit from user harishcs offers frank criticisms of Anthem, discussing what's gone on since the launch of BioWare's action/RPG. This is very lengthy, and is intended to be constructive, as noted in the intro, which says, "I am going to preface by saying this will be a long post, none of what you're about to read comes from a place of hatred, please understand that every one of these concerns comes from a place of compassion and hope." In that spirit, the reply from BioWare community manager Darokaz offers thanks for the questions this raises, and attempts to answer them. His conclusion remains optimistic: "All Iíll say on this is that Anthem is here to stay. Do we have a lot of work to do to fix parts of the game? Yes, and the team is committed to making improvements and releasing new content." Here's the reply:

First, I want to thank you for writing this up. I appreciate the honesty of how you (and others) feel about the current state of things. I also want to say that I canít talk about everything, simply because it is not my area of expertise, or because I donít have the information youíre looking for. I stand by our statement of being transparent though and will continue to do so here and on other channels.

Now, I want to address some of your points that I can:

Communication -
Pre-game release vs Post game release Ė

To start, things used to be a lot friendlier here for dev team members who normally donít talk on social channels or forums. They could answer questions, give information and know that they arenít going to have people getting upset at them. Why would a dev team member take time away from working on the next update to post when they know itís likely to be met with hostile replies, or they get flamed because canít answer other questions that players are asking? I donít mind posting here when things arenít so nice, but thatís because itís my job. For the devs it isnít their job, and Iíd like to ask that people remember that when replying to them. When some people say ďbe nice or the devs will stop postingĒ itís 100% true. Be respectful and constructive with your feedback and more team members will likely reply.

Aggravating the community by acknowledging trivial things over major issues Ė
I have been acknowledging issues that arenít the major ones you mentioned, but thatís because I can quickly check in on those and work with the team to see how fast we can get them fixed. I also report major issues, but until I get word back on them there is nothing else I can say. Issues like the Masterwork Embers not dropping I can quickly bring to the attention of the team and we can get fixed. I think itís better that I address the things I can as quickly as I can instead of nothing at all. Also, I try to avoid saying ďthanks for the feedback, Iíll share with the teamĒ too many times in reply to posts 😊

Loot though? All I can do is point out what studio leadership shares on channels. They are very aware of all the conversation going on around loot and when they have more details to share, they will.

Now for the EA Help Tweet about Quickplay. The reason we asked for this information is to help us track down the remaining issues players are experiencing in Quickplay in one location, and to get more specifics on what they were doing when they encountered the issue. Having all of that information helps the team track down the bugs faster, which means theyíre more likely to be fixed in the next update, which means they can move on to other parts of the patch sooner (other bugs, content, etc.).

Being confidential about the patch notes Ė
I said this before, but nothing was hidden on purpose in the patch notes. The truth is patch notes come together late in the update process and I do everything I can to ensure they are accurate, but sometimes things slip by with all the moving pieces. Iíd much rather put together patch notes even if they are missing a few things instead of doing generic ones that just say ďvarious bug fixes and improvementsĒ. Iíll work with the team to get this process better, but we still may miss something from time to time, especially if it is something that gets added to an update late in the process. We will never hide a nerf or change in the patch notes on purpose, even if itís something we know the community wonít like. And if we do put in something that the community doesnít like weíll do our best to explain why that particular change was made.

Not Learning from previous mistakes Ė
Iím not going to comment on the first two points because I didnít work on Andromeda and I know how some players feel about EA, but I do want to talk about you addressing how weíre handling feedback.

For feedback, weíve made a large number of changes based on what players have told us. Not wanting to run to the Forge every time to launch an expedition? We added the ability to launch anywhere in Fort Tarsis, that was because of player feedback. Wanted to visually see loot drop from bosses in Strongholds? Added because of player feedback. If you are talking about feedback on loot in general (and Iím pretty sure you are) Iíve already said that the team is discussing and that more will be likely be shared in the coming days. I know everyone wants to know when, but I donít have that answer. We do not ignore any feedback from players, sometimes it just takes a bit longer as things need to be discussed for a longer time. We donít want to say something we canít do or give incorrect information. Like Chad Robertson said in a Tweet, we arenít happy with where loot is either, so know that itís high on our priority list.

Discarding Feedback Ė
Honestly, reading this stings a bit because I never discard feedback. I love this community and am very thankful for everything that has been brought up such as feedback, bug reports, funny posts (༼ つ ◕◕ ༽つ Summon the loot update ༼ つ ◕◕ ༽つ) and everything in between. Iím open to feedback on what youíd like to see the community team do to make you feel welcomed and appreciated. We do our livestreams, blog posts (like the inscriptions write up), patch notes, helping out with issues when we have the info and more. I am always listening and willing to make changes so please, let us know.

Lack of Content Ė
Iím not going to go into this too much as itís areas that I donít have control over, or I donít have the exact info on how the team is addressing. Know that I relay the feedback from the community to the team on ALL of these issues. The team is aware, and they are doing a lot of work to address these concerns.

Turning a good game bad Ė
All Iíll say on this is that Anthem is here to stay. Do we have a lot of work to do to fix parts of the game? Yes, and the team is committed to making improvements and releasing new content.

Conclusion Ė
Again, I want to thank this community for everything. The team is listening to all of your feedback for Anthem on how youíd like to see the game improve, or how youíd like to see us engage with the community differently. I know that players want to see updates faster, but these things can take time to make sure they are done right. Weíre very appreciative of this community and look forward to the days, weeks, months and years ahead. Strong Alone, Stronger Together.

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31 Replies. 2 pages. Viewing page 1.
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31. Re: BioWare on the State of Anthem Mar 16, 2019, 15:07 Quinn
 
Mark my works, ffs: this game isn't salvageable. Call a time of death. This game isn't nearly as fun as the original state of No Man's Sky let alone equal to its potential. Now, with years of extra effort, NMS starts to become a pretty solid and even good game. Not gonna happen with Anthem. Its foundations are rotten. Call. The time. Of death.
Please.
This hurts too much.
 
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"F!#& YOU, MISSILE!"
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30. Re: BioWare on the State of Anthem Mar 16, 2019, 11:11 Kain
 
Lack of Content Ė
Iím not going to go into this too much as itís areas that I donít have control over, or I donít have the exact info on how the team is addressing. Know that I relay the feedback from the community to the team on ALL of these issues. The team is aware, and they are doing a lot of work to address these concerns.

God I hate PR speak. Working hard to address these concerns? Are you going to release the 50+ hours of content this needed for free in the near future? That's working hard to address concerns.

They had the nerve to bag on the community for "being hostile to developers commenting" on reddit. As if people should treat them with kid gloves for releasing a bad product and continually making poor post-release support decisions. Our customers are never shy when letting us know we're not meeting their needs, I don't know why these guys think they're special.
 
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29. Re: BioWare on the State of Anthem Mar 15, 2019, 12:59 Flatline
 
My friend was mentioning that Anthem is still having logon issues as recently as this week.

It's a bad time for Anthem to come stumbling out of the gate. Destiny 2 is setting up divergent faction play with the season of the Joker and Division 2 looks like a serious looter shooter. The Division dev team seems to have avoided the Bungie fuckup with D2 and kept improving proven systems from D1 instead of nuking it and starting over from scratch.
 
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28. Re: BioWare on the State of Anthem Mar 15, 2019, 06:54 Jonjonz
 

"All I can do is point out what studio leadership shares on channels. They are very aware of all the conversation going on around loot and when they have more details to share, they will."

You know when you are screwed as a consumer for any product when the distance between the product decision makers and the product mouthpieces is vast as it is here. That distance is always proportional to how well a product satisfies its customers and anticipates their needs for product improvements.
 
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There is nothing outside a person that by going in can defile, but things that come out are what defile.
Mark 7:1-8, 14-15, 21-23
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27. Re: BioWare on the State of Anthem Mar 15, 2019, 01:17 Steele Johnson
 
What a train wreck of a game. great gfx and audio wasted on crap gameplay  
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26. Re: BioWare on the State of Anthem Mar 15, 2019, 01:05 Osc8r
 
Kxmode wrote on Mar 14, 2019, 19:41:
Osc8r wrote on Mar 14, 2019, 18:34:
Endgame is just repeating the same shit over and over, hoping to get better loot so you can do the same shit over and over but against enemies with inflated HP bars

Isn't that the end game for every game?

Not if there's PVP, even better loot at higher difficulties, bigger/harder bosses or zones, crafting+trading, gear locked dungeons, world bosses, raids etc.

Also there's other ways of increasing difficulty other than just multiplying enemy HP bars by a factor of 10... for the whole 3 dungeons?!

Even with a gear score of like 730 all i do is speed runs of GM1 because it's by far the most efficient way of getting a chance at legendaries. Do the top stronghold, clear all mobs, quit once you reach the boss. Rinse and repeat. Fun times!
 
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25. Re: BioWare on the State of Anthem Mar 14, 2019, 19:41 Kxmode
 
Osc8r wrote on Mar 14, 2019, 18:34:
Endgame is just repeating the same shit over and over, hoping to get better loot so you can do the same shit over and over but against enemies with inflated HP bars

Isn't that the end game for every game?
 
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William Shakespeare's "Star Wars" Act I, Scene 1: Aboard the rebel ship. / Enter C-3PO and R2-D2. / C-3PO: "Now is the summer of our happiness / Made winter by this sudden, fierce attack!" / R2-D2 ó Beep beep, Beep, beep, meep, squeak, beep, whee!
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24. Re: BioWare on the State of Anthem Mar 14, 2019, 18:34 Osc8r
 
Lack of content

All missions felt the same

Lack of loot

Loading screens

Having to constantly go back to the pointless hub to equip gear / accept another mission

When you do finally manage to get the super rare LEGENDARY loot it's anti climactic anyway, as it's neither game changing or vastly different to the Masterwork gear you have 500 copies of.
- There's NO PVP, so why do you need such boring, spreadsheet balanced loot?

Endgame is just repeating the same shit over and over, hoping to get better loot so you can do the same shit over and over but against enemies with inflated HP bars?

Meh. So much wasted potential.
 
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23. Re: BioWare on the State of Anthem Mar 14, 2019, 18:03 Overon
 
How can that guy say that Anthem is here to stay when EA can pull the plug and will pull the plug on Anthem and Bioware in the foreseeable future?  
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22. Re: BioWare on the State of Anthem Mar 14, 2019, 17:42 Creston
 
Darks wrote on Mar 14, 2019, 15:53:
Actually, this might be a blessing in disguise for Anthem. It now at least gives them time to fix all the issues and hopefully add more content and fix the loot. Then in 6 months, everyone will come back to hopefully a better game.

That's a fair point, but you're talking six months in which nobody is buying any MTX crap. Is EA going to keep funding it that long?

And I dunno man, it took these guys six YEARS to build (let's be honest) a fucking breadcrumb worth of content, so what are they suddenly going to do in six months time? Build the other 100 hours worth that the game really needs? I'm not seeing it.

With how poorly everything is designed, how badly things work, how obviously they ignored Every.Single.Lesson from Destiny and Borderlands and Warframe, it just seems so unreal that THIS is the type of game they chose to build? A looter shooter??

The flying and the combat is awesome, now imagine if they'd just built this as a Bioware RPG? It would have been a damn sight better than what they scraped together here.

So, we'll see. I spent 15 bucks, whatever, it's not as if I feel gipped for that, but I just really doubt they're going to manage to make it good enough for people to start forking money over hands over fist, especially if Borderlands 3 is coming out right around that time.

90 days until the Cataclysm. Jesus Christ, how do you not put that front and fucking center in your game, Bioware?? Where was this shaper storm you were so obviously pimping? All just "Coming Soon" I guess?


 
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21. Re: Game Reviews Mar 14, 2019, 17:13 peteham
 
Nucas wrote on Mar 14, 2019, 15:45:
gameplay was fun but the content was at best anemic. i'm looking forward to having a completed game to play in a year or two but not much going on with it at present.
Yeah I think this will be a good co-op romp once it's on sale for me.. I think the sum of all issues here go so deep I have zero faith it's going to be the game it could have been before Anthem 2 though (assuming that ever happens now).

If it was Blizzard, maybe, but Bioware/EA? No way.
 
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20. Re: BioWare on the State of Anthem Mar 14, 2019, 16:51 Kxmode
 
Feb 21, 2019 - "EA needs to come out and tell people what Anthem is and is not today, not six months or a year from now (when they do a retrospective "we messed up" soliloquy)." It appears I was off by several months. I stand by what I wrote. Both EA and BioWare had a promise to keep to consumers and they broke them by basically lying about what Anthem was and was not. Hindsight is irrelevant when people's hard earned money is on the line. I feel like publishers continue to ship shoddy, sub-par products with impunity.  
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William Shakespeare's "Star Wars" Act I, Scene 1: Aboard the rebel ship. / Enter C-3PO and R2-D2. / C-3PO: "Now is the summer of our happiness / Made winter by this sudden, fierce attack!" / R2-D2 ó Beep beep, Beep, beep, meep, squeak, beep, whee!
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19. Re: BioWare on the State of Anthem Mar 14, 2019, 16:39 Jivaro
 
I agree that gamers, speaking in generalizations the size of continents, are some of the most toxic customers in any industry that I personally have been exposed too. I also agree that so-called "AAA" publishers like EA are some of the worst companies within their industry. Because of that, when I see a thread like this anywhere, let alone Reddit, I giggle a little because my internal logic systems can't see how gamers and the devs that work for these "AAA" publishers will ever have conversations that are all that productive.

Goodbye Bioware, Anthem might be here to stay but I seriously doubt you are. As predicted by nearly every gamer on the planet when you sold out to EA, EA bought you to milk you like a cow until you die of dehydration. I would feel bad for the Bioware employees, in fact I do, but the reality is that EA has a long history of running the best dev houses into the ground with very few exceptions. (none that I can think of actually...but my middle aged mind might be forgetting some team of survivors I suppose...)
 
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18. Re: BioWare on the State of Anthem Mar 14, 2019, 15:53 Darks
 
Creston wrote on Mar 14, 2019, 13:26:
MoreLuckThanSkill wrote on Mar 14, 2019, 13:12:
Creston wrote on Mar 14, 2019, 13:04:
Reading through the guy's post, I do agree with a lot of what he says. He's not being malicious or deliberately misleading people, I can see he sometimes misses a patch note (though interestingly enough it's always the big nerfs that get missed?), and he seems to genuinely want to help out.

It's a shit job he's got when you have to sit there, and try to reassure people that a giant turd is going to get better.

True, it's not like he's saying the wrong things, but like somebody else said, he's just the PR guy.

Also, I forgot, Borderlands 3(probably) will be announced on the 28th... if it gets released relatively soon after, Anthem could really take a beating. I'm guessing BL3 will be late 2019 if not 2020 though.

Yeah BL3 is probably Xmas 2019 I'd imagine. By that point it won't matter for Anthem anymore.

Division 2 launching tomorrow is going to fucking murder them if it's as good as early scuttlebutt is saying.


Actually, this might be a blessing in disguise for Anthem. It now at least gives them time to fix all the issues and hopefully add more content and fix the loot. Then in 6 months, everyone will come back to hopefully a better game.
 
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Creator of the Neverwnter Nights Eye of the Beholder Series of Mods.

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17. Re: BioWare on the State of Anthem Mar 14, 2019, 15:45 Nucas
 
gameplay was fun but the content was at best anemic. i'm looking forward to having a completed game to play in a year or two but not much going on with it at present.

hopefully they get the chance before ea restructures them into EA Mobile Edmonton.

in the mean time, div 2 looks like its launching as maybe the first featureful looter shooter in history. the betas were great, i can't wait for that to unlock tonight myself.
 
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16. Re: Morning Tech Bits Mar 14, 2019, 15:38 Mordecai Walfish
 
CJ_Parker wrote on Mar 14, 2019, 12:29:
All Iíll say on this is that Anthem is here to stay.

I lol'ed. Hard.

Hard to get rid of that severe of a stain. I see their point.
 
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15. removed Mar 14, 2019, 14:35 Riahderymnmaddog
 
* REMOVED *
This comment was deleted on Mar 14, 2019, 15:13.
 
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14. Re: BioWare on the State of Anthem Mar 14, 2019, 14:31 Flatline
 
Efflixi wrote on Mar 14, 2019, 11:44:
Flatline wrote on Mar 14, 2019, 11:32:
Darks wrote on Mar 14, 2019, 10:26:
Make it all instanced so that you can also see anyone who is in your group. Get rid of the unnecessary load screens and make the game more viable.

Have you ever seen a game eliminate load screens before? That'd require a pretty major architectural overhaul I'd imagine.

If a mod for oblivion and skyrim can do it, so can the original developers on a game like Anthem. It's obvious they do it for consoles, not because of any technical limitation given how many 100% open world games there are these days.

Skyrim eliminated load times in a mod? Do you have a link? I did a quick google and I saw that the models and effects were eliminated but not actual loading pauses.

Edit: Oh I see them now. Open cities/Open houses. That's just recompiling levels to make bigger levels it looks like. Some of the anthem loading screens couldn't be solved that way. Some could though.
 
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13. Re: BioWare on the State of Anthem Mar 14, 2019, 13:26 Creston
 
MoreLuckThanSkill wrote on Mar 14, 2019, 13:12:
Creston wrote on Mar 14, 2019, 13:04:
Reading through the guy's post, I do agree with a lot of what he says. He's not being malicious or deliberately misleading people, I can see he sometimes misses a patch note (though interestingly enough it's always the big nerfs that get missed?), and he seems to genuinely want to help out.

It's a shit job he's got when you have to sit there, and try to reassure people that a giant turd is going to get better.

True, it's not like he's saying the wrong things, but like somebody else said, he's just the PR guy.

Also, I forgot, Borderlands 3(probably) will be announced on the 28th... if it gets released relatively soon after, Anthem could really take a beating. I'm guessing BL3 will be late 2019 if not 2020 though.

Yeah BL3 is probably Xmas 2019 I'd imagine. By that point it won't matter for Anthem anymore.

Division 2 launching tomorrow is going to fucking murder them if it's as good as early scuttlebutt is saying.
 
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12. Re: BioWare on the State of Anthem Mar 14, 2019, 13:12 MoreLuckThanSkill
 
Creston wrote on Mar 14, 2019, 13:04:
Reading through the guy's post, I do agree with a lot of what he says. He's not being malicious or deliberately misleading people, I can see he sometimes misses a patch note (though interestingly enough it's always the big nerfs that get missed?), and he seems to genuinely want to help out.

It's a shit job he's got when you have to sit there, and try to reassure people that a giant turd is going to get better.

True, it's not like he's saying the wrong things, but like somebody else said, he's just the PR guy.

Also, I forgot, Borderlands 3(probably) will be announced on the 28th... if it gets released relatively soon after, Anthem could really take a beating. I'm guessing BL3 will be late 2019 if not 2020 though.
 
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