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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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