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InkDagger Relationship Status: Dancing with Captain Jack Harkness
Dec 4th 2018 at 9:03:29 PM

[up]Of course they are. Assuming there ISN'T much of a plot or they know they won't get a good reaction, why would they? It'd be shooting themselves in the foot if Anthem really is as detrimental to the company as everything suggests.

[up][up]Was my first thought to be honest. I want Bioware to branch out and try new things, but you're risking too much by challenging yourself but not using your strengths.

What confuses me more is that seemingly EVERY Bioware writer was working on Anthem so SURELY there's some plot somewhere, right? That's what is confusing.

If they wanted a safe company saving game, Anthem shouldn't have been the answer. DA 4 or a new RPG IP would have been better ideas. Though I think EA pitched Anthem or at least pushed what it is now considering its very Titanfall-esque.

Unsung have yourself a Metroid little Christmas from a tenement of clay
have yourself a Metroid little Christmas
Dec 4th 2018 at 9:07:30 PM

I was thinking was that there might be more plot/lore than it seems — more than a project like this would ostensibly need, because like you said, all those writers presumably had to be doing something during development — and that EA just didn't think that would sell.

Something that surprised me about TOR was how much plot there really was (and how much better a game it would have made if it wasn't an MMO), and that was Austin. And I think the thing is just that if you're not hooking the Destiny crowd with how much like Destiny it is, maybe doubling-down on it isn't the right approach. Still keep that in focus, but modulate it with how this also still has all the things that Bioware's longtime fans would want. I mean, even if it doesn't, still say that.

Edited by Unsung on Dec 4th 2018 at 11:08:58 AM

M84 Freedom is the right of all sentient beings Relationship Status: Chocolate!
Freedom is the right of all sentient beings
Dec 4th 2018 at 9:17:11 PM

It's a classic mistake. Taking your original fanbase for granted while making controversial new changes in an attempt to appeal to a different group of fans. All that does is alienate your original fans. Why exactly would the Destiny fans want to spend time and money on Anthem when they still have Destiny 2?

Disgusted, but not surprised
InkDagger Relationship Status: Dancing with Captain Jack Harkness
Dec 4th 2018 at 9:18:34 PM

From the vague things I've heard from my boyfriend, Destiny 2 isn't that happy of a place these days?

M84 Freedom is the right of all sentient beings Relationship Status: Chocolate!
Freedom is the right of all sentient beings
Dec 4th 2018 at 9:23:00 PM

Bad enough to sway a good chunk of the playerbase to Anthem? Maybe, especially since it looks like Destiny 2 may be doubling down on monetization.

Still, it's usually a bad idea to chase after another crowd while doing less and less of what attracted your original crowd to you in the first place.

Edited by M84 on Dec 5th 2018 at 1:23:47 AM

Disgusted, but not surprised
InkDagger Relationship Status: Dancing with Captain Jack Harkness
Dec 4th 2018 at 9:42:32 PM

Well, yes, We've been agreed on that point.

Bioware needed to update their gameplay desperately and I don't even inherently mind some of Anthem's ideas, just the execution and intention isn't great.

Dec 4th 2018 at 10:49:11 PM

A lot of the people who don't like what Destiny 2 does have already fled to Warframe, so I highly doubt that Anthem is going to be a viable replacement. Again though, there's just not enough information to really know.

Dec 5th 2018 at 12:26:04 PM

But if one likes Bioware for its depictions of LGBT relationships, they probably won't be impressed by Anthem not having any romance options.

"LGBT people don't exist if you can't have sex with them."

That the story writing in Anthem normally a Bioware forte wasn't really brought up in E3 was already something of a red flag.

They talked about "Our World, Your Story" at PAX, and this upcoming trailer has been announced to be story-heavy. They've also talked a lot about the setting and lore, and the last stream took a tour through Fort Tarsis, including a cutscene with one of the agents you receive missions from.

What confuses me more is that seemingly EVERY Bioware writer was working on Anthem so SURELY there's some plot somewhere, right? That's what is confusing.

If they wanted a safe company saving game

Two complete-nonsense assumptions here: that they need a game to "save" their company, and that there's no plot anywhere.

It's a classic mistake. Taking your original fanbase for granted while making controversial new changes in an attempt to appeal to a different group of fans.

In your world, a company doing anything at all other than the one thing they do is spitting in fans' faces.

In Bioware's world, a company that traditionally does turn-based fantasy RP Gs branching into science-fiction third-person-shooter action-RPG brought them one of their biggest franchises.

M84 Freedom is the right of all sentient beings Relationship Status: Chocolate!
Freedom is the right of all sentient beings
Dec 5th 2018 at 5:17:41 PM

[up]If you decide not to have any romances in your game, it's going to be somewhat tricky to get across the idea that some characters are LGBT. It then becomes something of an Informed Attribute, which is just insulting. Not to mention that the appeal of these games for some people is being able to roleplay as an LGBT character and engage in an LGBT romance.

And Mass Effect still played to Bioware's core strength of story and character writing. It was also still a primarily single player game. The shift to an emphasis on multiplayer is a much more significant one.

And if you mean THIS PAX trailer:

...Not much actual story in this "story" trailer.

Ugh, if Anthem turns out to be a Destiny clone...on the one hand, if it does underperform, that could lead to EA pulling the plug on Bioware for good. Meaning the end of the Dragon Age franchise. On the other hand, if Anthem does very well, that might convince EA that future games from Bioware should be more like Anthem. So the next Dragon Age game might become fantasy Anthem essentially. I don't want the Dragon Age sequel to be more multiplayer focused.

Hopefully the supposed upcoming news about Dragon Age will set my mind at ease on the IP's future.

Edited by M84 on Dec 5th 2018 at 9:31:44 PM

Disgusted, but not surprised
InkDagger Relationship Status: Dancing with Captain Jack Harkness
Dec 5th 2018 at 10:02:44 PM

Yeah... not much real story there.

And, yes, it really DOES feel like Bioware needs Anthem to save the company. EA is notorious for gutting companies after aquiring them. Andromeda didn't do well and everything post-release was axed. Everyone on other projects were moved into Anthem's development. I believe a Bioware studio or two shut down after Andromeda too. Reports coming out of the studio is the atmosphere is tense and on edge because of Anthem's development.

How does that NOT sound like a make or break situation?

And, yes, LGBT characters are important and, while I don't think we need sex scenes to support that or something, but removing their usual RPG mehanics (interviews suggest that choices will be only in the major city, there are no companions, and no romances, and not much in character options) isn't a good sign and I will admit that having LGBT representation is a lot trickier if the story ISN'T about relationships (not saying Anthem should be) or there aren't RPG mechanics to allow that. Its not impossible, but it gets harder.

I think there's merrit to the criticism since, despite the wealth of gameplay information we have on the game, I couldn't name you a plot premise or a single character.

Yes, it could all be REALLY bad advertising. But since there's not much to build on with that logic and the point of advertising is to SELL the product, I have to go one what we've been given and what we've been given doesn't sound amazing.

Dec 6th 2018 at 2:47:12 AM

If you decide not to have any romances in your game, it's going to be somewhat tricky to get across the idea that some characters are LGBT. It then becomes something of an Informed Attribute, which is just insulting.

Yes, because if the player character can't romance NPCs, no NPCs can be in relationships with other NPCs.

on the one hand, if it does underperform, that could lead to EA pulling the plug on Bioware for good. Meaning the end of the Dragon Age franchise. On the other hand, if Anthem does very well, that might convince EA that future games from Bioware should be more like Anthem.

Nice work. You've created equally-absurd non-possibilities for either scenarios, allowing you to fearmonger whatever happens.

Also, it'd make a lot of sense for EA to pull the plug on Bioware when they've already planned to move to a new location soon as an expansion of the studio. You genuinely believe they might kill the studio when they're doing the literal opposite of such.

And, yes, it really DOES feel like Bioware needs Anthem to save the company. ... Andromeda didn't do well

Andromeda was repeatedly singled out in EA sales reports for strong performance.

It really DOES feel like some people genuinely need to delude themselves into a narrative where Bioware is in danger, despite consistently releasing popular and profitable games.

despite the wealth of gameplay information we have on the game, I couldn't name you a plot premise or a single character.

Zoe, your Javelin mechanic. Owen, your initial cypher (a.k.a. Mission Command). Taseyn, an agent for the Corvus who gives you the mission introducing you to your contact with the Arcanist faction.

These are all significant characters who were all shown off in the last livestream. So if you don't know any of the characters in the game? Complaining About Shows You Don't Watch taken Up to Eleven.

Edited by Seirein on Dec 6th 2018 at 2:50:48 AM

TheLovecraftian Relationship Status: Seeking boyfriend-free girl
Dec 6th 2018 at 7:36:44 PM

Neeeeeew Dragon Age!

I mean, we got no info on it other than a repeated voiceclip from Inquisition and a hashtag... but you know... new Dragon Age.

Let's hope it's not on mobile.

[down]Presumably, yes.

Edited by TheLovecraftian on Dec 6th 2018 at 1:39:04 PM

LordVatek Not really a lord of anything
Not really a lord of anything
Dec 6th 2018 at 7:37:52 PM

So that means we'll get gameplay in about five years or so.

This song needs more love.
CharlesPhipps Author from Ashland, Ky Relationship Status: Lovey-Dovey
Author
Dec 6th 2018 at 9:33:24 PM

The big issue was never that Andromeda and Inquisition weren't profitable. The issue was they weren't profitable in the way that EA has repeatedly wanted them to be, which is to move them into the lengthy MMO-esque Destiny-lite world they have repeatedly said is the future.

Games as service. Games as service. Games as service.

Author of The Supervillainy Saga, Cthulhu Armageddon, The United States of Monsters, and Lucifer's Star.
Dec 6th 2018 at 9:38:38 PM

For anyone who missed the Awards:

Currently Follower of an Apocalypse on Steam. Feel free to add me.
InkDagger Relationship Status: Dancing with Captain Jack Harkness
Dec 6th 2018 at 10:14:28 PM

I've yet to hear of Inquisition not being profitable and in fact heard the opposite. I'm going to need some receipts on that one.

As for Rise of the Dread Wolf. I hope it's an actual game.

RangerJackWalker Ranger Jack Walker
Ranger Jack Walker
Dec 6th 2018 at 10:39:50 PM

It's the Red Lyrium idol from 2.

Unsung have yourself a Metroid little Christmas from a tenement of clay
have yourself a Metroid little Christmas
Dec 6th 2018 at 10:41:15 PM

Ooooh. I don't want to get myself over-excited, and I probably still am, but... Gaiden Game? Flashback to Solas in ancient elf times? That seems like the kind of thing they could get away with doing as a smaller game while they lead up to the next full installment. Kind of what they were trying to do with DA: Exodus before EA pushed them to make it a full numbered installment.

Like the closeups on the mural, very DA 2. [up]And yeah, it totally is. Good times.

[up][up]He didn't say it wasn't profitable at all, but what EA wants is a soaring month-after-month multiplayer rake, whereas Inquisition and Andromeda's MP never really took off even to the same extent as ME 3's. In fact I genuinely almost forgot that Andromeda even had multiplayer for a second just now.

Edited by Unsung on Dec 6th 2018 at 11:42:43 AM

InkDagger Relationship Status: Dancing with Captain Jack Harkness
Dec 7th 2018 at 12:28:45 AM

And EA really shouldn't be doing that. The most popular games of this year didn't HAVE multiplayer components and one of the top games of 2018 in general was a MASSIVE success even before the multiplayer launched.

I feel like sometimes single player gets the same rap animated movies do among film. "What do you mean it failed because it was poorly written and mismanaged?! Clearly it failed because there was no multiplayer component!"

Dec 7th 2018 at 2:27:16 AM

EA don't seem to pay attention to the market, though. Only their own stable. Or if they do, they take the wrong lessons. And that's in part probably due to the corporate head sheds who have a specific idea of what works and then will fit the data around that.

They've also positioned themselves to their investors as a "games as service" brand, much in the way Ubisoft have; that means they've committed in sales calls to regular, forecast-able revenue, rather than the usual "spikes" and tail off that launch and continuous sales do.

Now a sensible way would be to emulate some of what Ubisoft is trying; or by selling cosmetic items (as it's singleplayer, P 2 W is less of an issue - all optional); or they'll try to expand the season passes out by making the game include live events of some description.

ME 3 multiplayer was great; but they could make MORE money by actually letting people buy the classes direct rather than randomised boxes. How they'll transition this to DA I'm not sure, but they've been actually pretty good with the DA franchise overall - DL Cs and online haven't been TOO bad.

InkDagger Relationship Status: Dancing with Captain Jack Harkness
Dec 7th 2018 at 4:57:08 AM

True, but Inquisition Multiplayer never worked and no one cared about it. No one cared because everyone was there for the RPG mechanics and the story and decidedly not the clunky gameplay. So a mode with nothing but the clunky gameplay wasn't worth examining really.

And I'm worried that EA's lesson will be 'Oh? The multiplayer didn't work. It was too isolated from what people wanted. MULIPLAYER CAMPAIGN!' or MMO or worse. Especially if Anthem succedes. One, I want it to do well enough for the company to do what they want with Dragon Age unimpeded, or at least stay a float, but I'm worried that they'll take lessons from that game and apply them in places they really shouldn't.

Edited by InkDagger on Dec 7th 2018 at 4:57:41 AM

Dec 7th 2018 at 5:12:09 AM

[up] Agreed. My worry is they do Dragon Age: Online. Or try to do a Guild Wars version of it.

KOTOR: online wasn't bad but the whole idea that, basically, everyone was THE SAME PERSON kills the illusion. If we get something like that, then only as a side game to the main project (I hope)

If they insist on a multiplayer version, maybe DA is actually good ground for a MOBA style variant - one side plays Tevinter, the other Orlais or something and your heroes have to dash around a battlefield while the "Grunts" advance. That could work, as long as the janky combat is sorted.

VeryMelon THE Cool Old Guy from United States Relationship Status: In Spades with myself
Dec 7th 2018 at 6:28:58 AM

Uh, hate to burst your bubble but Inquisition's Multiplayer was popular in its hey day, and still sees play to this day.

Mr. McMahon reacts to Marvel's Phase 3 line-up
Dec 7th 2018 at 6:36:25 AM

Inquisition's multiplayer didn't explode in popularity like ME 3's, but it maintained a consistent playerbase. And it clearly did well, because it received plenty of new content.

Also, one of EA's sales reports reported higher-than-expected profits and specifically singled out Andromeda as a "significant contributor" to those profits.

You have to remember: The reason people "believe" that certain games did poorly is because they didn't like it and want the developing studio to die for not doing exactly what they want and only what they want.

Unsung have yourself a Metroid little Christmas from a tenement of clay
have yourself a Metroid little Christmas
Dec 7th 2018 at 7:11:46 AM

Nobody wants Bioware to die. That's the complete opposite of what anyone here wants — they're worried EA is going kill Bioware, which is not an unfounded fear. This is a pattern, something EA has done pretty consistently to the various non-sports studios it's acquired. It's a long list Bullfrog, Maxis, Westwood, Origin, Pandemic, Mythic, Visceral. Companies that made sims, RPGs, single-player horror games, which EA asked to shift out away from their proven strengths, usually toward online multiplayer/action-based titles — and then they were unceremoniously closed when sales failed to meet expectations.

DAI certainly didn't tank but its multiplayer doesn't seem to have become the long-running online megahit that EA still seems to want from all its studios. Neither was Andromeda — it made a profit, but its multiplayer didn't take off and this time EA killed its story DLC and shuttered Bioware Montreal, so profitable or not, they are starting to swing that axe. I'm sure both multiplayer modes had their fans and still have their champions, but the point isn't to say they don't, but rather that that's never really been enough for EA.

Edited by Unsung on Dec 9th 2018 at 9:46:42 AM


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