BioWare's Anthem Catch-All

Yea a complete rework is the only thing that will get me to come back. There's no true 'end game' involved with Anthem. There's 0 reason to log in outside of a few mediocre skins even with Cataclysm.

I say 0, but some of the folks who i talked into playing suddenly had an urge to charge in as a group... maybe then.

Got it for free with either my video card or other part, don't remember. Didn't play it much past the starter missions.

Destiny was a bit of a mess at first, but there was enough there for them to rework it and make it into something pretty great. Anthem is far, far beyond "a bit of a mess", and anybody at Bioware who thinks this franchise is worth saving probably needs to be checked for a concussion. This is arguably one of the biggest gaming train wrecks in history, and I think it's safe to say people aren't going to be coming back in droves for this.

Steal some mechanics, get some ideas, but Anthem is a dumpster fire. Burn it, start over. Anything else is delusional.

There's plenty of developers who've reworked their turds and turned them into diamonds, but so far none of them has belonged to EA or Bioware. Although it could be argued that Battlefront2 was but i personally believe those changes were already in the works and not from public outcry or a direction change.

The core gameplay is so much fun though.

Like yeah, this is the game where I got stuck in an bugged mission that was un-winable and the enemies kept respawning for 20 minutes. But it's also the game where I spent 20 minutes fighting against infinitely spawning enemies because I was having fun doing so. They weren't dropping anything either.

So whatever they eventually do with this bathwater I hope they keep the baby somewhere. It's a good one.

So, finally bought the game after months of ignoring it until the overhaul happens, which j think it will as they need to try and recoup their investment.

Game sure looks pretty and flying is neat, but it's SO Destiny in terms of throwing words at you that it hurts. Can't say the tutorial missions of collect orbs was particularly enjoyable but it teaches you about verticality...while spewing gibberish words at you.

It's a shame the world looks so damn pretty because I want to explore it but so far everything looks like window dressing. Cool looking window dressing spectacle. Ah, AAA gaming at its finest. I think it's time for me to stop trying to play anything other than A/RPGs and simulation. The rest all feel...hollow. I feel like I get more enjoyment out of a half hour of Diablo and the like than I do from a couple hours of Destiny, the Division or Anthem. Probably because I'm playing solo. Such is my life atm.

It definitely better with other people playing with you. Mechanically powers synergize much more/better than destiny.

It's a shame I had so many connection issues that I could through a full mission without someone getting booted. I liked the game a lot. Finished the main story and all the sidequests. Put 40 hours into it and was excited to play. Now, I'm considering booting it off my GOTY list for something else just because the amount of stress it caused every time there was a connection problem.

Anthem Is Still Pretty
* every time I see articles like this I wish Anthem was good. It just looks wonderful. However I know it is not worth getting but darn I wish it was.




The moment-to-moment gameplay is damn fun, and the game is pretty. While I gather the story isn't up to Bioware's usual standards it's not actually bad. Unfortunately they dropped the ball with their reward structures and end-game progression. If nothing else, Anthem is a good object lesson in making sure you get those right.

That said, if Blizzard can successfully build a new endgame for Diablo 3 then it's certainly possible for Anthem to turn around too.

I dunno, the overall arch of the story seems fine, but the small moments and tone feel off. I think I'm over the bio-ware school of writing : / If everyone is a quirky, no one is. Also, the fact that everyone has a wildly different accent but are from the same place, drives me absolutely nuts. There's no sense of place built. Everything feels homogenously heterogenous to the point that no thing seems distinctly cohesive.

Yea it's always looked. Right from the start. Just not much to do after a certain point.

Love the gameplay and the graphics, but damn the story was boring as hell. Lots of big words that didn't make any sense and really hard to give a damn about.

A lot of the writers that were revered no longer work at Bioware. The Kotaku article about the development of Anthem was fascinating as well. It seems like no one was on the same page and none of the teams communicated with each other.

As an aside, I took my PS4 disc copy of Anthem to Game Stop to see what I could get in trade credit for it as I just purchased a digital version for convenience during the last PSN sale. Game Stop wouldn't give me more than $2 credit and told me that they sell new physical copies right now for less than $10. I've since given my disc away to someone who was curious about the game, but I thought I would mention it here as a place to go to buy the game inexpensively to see what the fuss is about, at least on console platforms.
I personally like the game, but haven't yet reached the "End-game" content that I've heard doesn't seem to appeal to anyone.

It's not even the content. It's the meta-game rewards and incentives that ought to rotate you through the endgame content.

There was also an issue that there wasn't quite enough content, though I believe that's a secondary concern.

I really ought to reinstall and tool around some. I liked the "join somebody who has a mid-mission opening" queue. If they fixed the issue where that always dropped you into bugged missions that couldn't be completed, that is. I mean, that's where most of the slots open up so it makes sense that would happen, but it still wasn't fun to spawn into an empty map. Spawning into endless waves of enemies actually was fun, at least until they stopped dropping items. I wonder if they've thought about adding a horde mode...

I've been dabbling in Anthem again this past week. I've had fun with their seasonal content add. They've added something similar to Nightfall Mechanics from Destiny to their strike equivalents (Score multipliers, time limits, so on). The added twist is there is optional light puzzle mechanics to each set piece battle area, that can only be completed while the battle is ongoing. Its been nice, almost raid light change of pace.

May Anthem Update

The only news here is that there is no news. This is the "Incubation" phase and apparently the plan really is to revisit everything.

Incubation is a term we use internally – it essentially means we are going back and experimenting/prototyping to improve on the areas where we believe we fell short and to leverage everything that you love currently about Anthem. We are a small team – about 30-ish, earning our way forward as we set out to hit our first major milestone goals. Spoiler – this is going to be a longer process. And yes, the team is small but the whole point of this is to take our time and go back to the drawing board. And a small team gives us the agility a larger one can’t afford.

We really want this experience to be different for the team and our players, but we know we have some tough challenges to tackle. We want to include you as we go and be open and honest with where we are at and what the expectations are with where we are going. The reality is you will see things that look awesome but end up on the cutting room floor or things that you might think suck that you feel we are spending too much time on – but in the spirit of experimentation this is all OK. We really want to provide you all the transparency we can because of your passion and interest in Anthem. But, with that comes seeing how the sausage is made – which is not always pretty by the way.

30 person team doesn't really seem like enough to fix all the issues with that game

That team isn't fixing all the issues, they're playing around and redesigning. Once they come up with the redesign they'll likely scale up to relaunch.

It isn't as if they need a whole art team or anything. They've mostly got that in the bag.

There's a lot of developers starting to value the mobility and speed of a smaller team these days, and as Garion said, there's a lot of stuff that's already been done. 30 should be fine for a team messing around with the game's mechanics and code.

I actually started the game this week, playing with my niece and my buddy Steve last night. The first mission you can co-op was pretty simple and a cinch, but when we roamed the free play area we began to find a lot of more challenging and enjoyable encounters. There's also elements I like better than Destiny, such as the daily, weekly, and monthly challenges immediately being available in the menu at any time rather than having to return to the tower to collect bounties. But it is too early to tell if Anthem will have the same sort of longevity as Destiny had with us.

Still, I'm pleasantly surprised so far, even if the indecisive nature of being a BioWare single-player RPG and multiplayer co-op shooter is front and center.

30 actually sounds like too many cooks in the kitchen to me. I think they need a smaller team to really sit down and figure out what needs fixing and then to brainstorm how to fix it before ramping up team numbers. 30 people sounds more like they are just throwing things at it to see what sticks... which is what the game that shipped felt like as well.

I sort of agree with you but I can also see the flipside. They could have a lot of designers: level, gameplay, skills, enemy, and/or dungeon. They could be well used to flesh out the open world better/more. Split those areas up into teams of 3-5 and you have most of your 30 member team right there. (plus story? character?)

10-15 would be much tighter and focused though.

I dunno, it's a lite-MMO, so I can see the need for 30 folks, especially since the game is still live. MP requires more hands on deck for testing assuming you are working on more than one area of the game at a time.

I didn’t read the whole dev update but 30 sounds fine. I could easily see them sub dividing further into smaller strike teams of up to 10 and they each dedicate a sprint or two to sandbox different solutions to the same problem. Entire team comes together monthly to evaluate the best prototypes before refining or moving forward with the next challenge.

It's actually 2 designers and 28 engineers to figure out if what the designers want is even possible with Frostbyte.

ClockworkHouse wrote:

It's actually 2 designers and 28 engineers to figure out if what the designers want is even possible with Frostbyte.

Well, I played Anthem, and that's probably 2 more designers than they had during all of development.

Genuinely shocked they are trying to fix this rather than just grabbing the elements that worked and putting them into a new IP. Anthem is toxic, and is going to be remembered as one of the biggest mis-steps ever in gaming. This isn't No Man's Sky, where you got less than was promised, and then eventually filled in the gaps; Anthem is basically great flight mechanics wrapped in boring, repetitive garbage, and I just don't know why they don't take the stuff that's good and move on.

MilkmanDanimal wrote:

Genuinely shocked they are trying to fix this rather than just grabbing the elements that worked and putting them into a new IP. Anthem is toxic, and is going to be remembered as one of the biggest mis-steps ever in gaming. This isn't No Man's Sky, where you got less than was promised, and then eventually filled in the gaps; Anthem is basically great flight mechanics wrapped in boring, repetitive garbage, and I just don't know why they don't take the stuff that's good and move on.

Yeah I am thinking along similar lines, even this non-announcement that nothing will happen anytime soon - just, why even bother? Do they think a year from now they can relaunch this thing and have anybody care?

Well, just look at Mass Effect...
*dives for cover*

Anthem's got a bad rep, but it's not toxic. It still has a dedicated enough playerbase and people that enjoyed it well enough on a single play through, even if it didn't have anything worth sustaining it. It's not a bad game, it's just a bad execution of an alright game.

Plus, just a few months earlier Bethesda had released Fallout 76, the game that keeps on giving in terms of bad press. It's kind of hard for Anthem to look toxic when that exists, even if at this point people have largely forgotten about it. I think Anthem 2.0 and the method they're approaching it will have the opposite impact, where people will keep an eye on it to see if it's worth coming back while dedicated players have a reason to stick around and look forward to it.

There's also the fact that Destiny 2 is at its lowest point with the most disappointing season yet. Right now could be the time to play competitive in the live-service-games arena, unless Bungie manages to somehow knock it out of the park with their (at this point likely delayed) expansion. That, or we start to see fatigue set in and live-service-games start dying off until the next surprise competitor drops in.