Dragon Age Writer Calls BioWare Forums "Toxic"

Bocaj2000

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Out of respect for other forum users, I will put this argument in spoilers, because it is very long.

Starke said:
Bocaj2000 said:
The following includes a long debate. If you don't care, feel free to skip over it.
It's nice to know you think so highly of your own work.

EDIT: Don't spoiler out what you're doing unless it's an actual spoiler. It says "hey, whatever I'm doing isn't important enough to respond to, read, or regard", if you want to use spoiler tags to trim down the quote trees, that's fine, but blocking off your own work only makes people less likely to read what you're trying to say.
I'm sorry. I was being respectful to other people on the forum, and wanted them to skip over it. They shouldn't have to scroll through a lengthy argument that they are not part of, especially when we are doing tit for tat. Let's be realistic here: nobody is going to read this except for us.
Starke said:
Bocaj2000 said:
Starke said:
Bocaj2000 said:
I owe you 72 bad MMOs? I'll just give you this: http://mmohuts.com/ Browse at your own pace. Trust me when I say that SWTOR is a top tier MMO, I have tried a LOT of them, including the ones you listed. And even though I agree with some of your choices, your reasons are inane and subjective. I hate to say, but I'm pretty much going to dismiss this section of your argument until you can give more legitimate reasons than "better combat" and frequent content.
More frequent content updates. You know, new things to do, new places to go, new people to kill, and turn upside down for loot. New content. Stuff most MMOs that actually want to keep subscribers turn out on a fairly regular basis.

As to better combat, combat that goes beyond standing in one place staring at someone waiting for cooldowns to finish. Hell, a quarter of the game's classes rely on literally NEVER moving in combat at all as a mechanic.
Thank you for expanding two for your opinions. Now I can continue to say how I still don't agree. SWTOR has had eight updates within the past year, all of which adding the content you speak of such as flash points and operations. Is that not enough?

As for combat: some people like that. I know it's hard to wrap your head around, but ability based combat has been around since the beginning of RPGs, and the same goes with cooldowns. You might prefer other styles of combat, but preference doesn't mean "bad". Final Fantasy games involve your characters just standing there waiting for a cooldown just to use a single ability, but they are well received (well, most of them).
Of course it's been around since the beginning for MMOs. MMOs were, at one time, designed with the intention of being played on a 56k modem, and the internet infrastructure wasn't advanced enough to handle more intricate combat systems.

Really, the earliest MMOs were just IRC chatrooms, it was only later that they managed to advance to the point of including a graphical world, and with it the cooldown wait. Thing is, it was 2011, and TOR implemented a design decision from 1999. A decision that was predicated on the internet infrastructure of the late 90s. Anyone who can look at DCUO's combat, and then look at TOR's and say, "yep, TOR's got good combat" is either delusional, or in denial.
I never said "MMOs"; I said RPGs. Despite how interesting your MMO point was, it has nothing to do with my point. Unfortunately, your entire argument is inane and off topic.
And I reiterate that "bad combat" is nothing more than an opinion.

Starke said:
Bocaj2000 said:
Starke said:
Bocaj2000 said:
Second, the ending. I don't care what Bioware said. Answer my questions and don't change the subject this time.
I didn't. And you may not care what Bioware said, but a lot of people did. If you can't understand how lying to people might produce a certain level of dissatisfaction, then I'm pretty sure I can't help you.
I'm not talking about lies. I'm talking about quality. You dodged the question again.
No, I didn't, let's go back and look at what you wrote again, since this seems to be a consistent problem.

Starke said:
Bocaj2000 said:
-ME3 ending sucks? Where were you during Deus Ex: Human Revolution's complaints? Or Uncharted 3? LA Noir? KotOR 2? All of the others according to our subjective opinions? Where were their cupcakes? Should we revolt every time an ending isn't good enough? Does a denouement you don't want spoil the entire experience? What if I didn't like the ending to Legend of Grimrock? Does that discredit my entire experience? Should I spend countless hours bitching about it to strangers and hold a grudge against the people that made it?
So... hmm... no, I didn't dodge the question. Though to be fair, there are twelve questions there, some of them are almost worth answering, others are not. Unless you literally want me to tell you where I was. In which case the fault lies with your own writing skills, and not my extrapolating a question off that. The question you apparently asked was "why won't you just leave ME3 alone? Here look at this other shit, be mean to that instead!" Why ME3? Because the developers pissed people off. Can't understand that? Too fucking bad.

Bocaj2000 said:
Starke said:
As to Deus Ex and Uncharted? That's like complaining that Doom 3 involves using a gun or that Tomb Raider expects you to play as a girl.
Words cannot even begin to describe how inaccurate and fallacious this statement is. How do you compare a bad ending to either of these? Mass Effect, Deus Ex, and Uncharted are all known for good writing. You honestly expected shitty endings from DE:HR and Uncharted 3, but not Mass Effect 3? Am I interpreting this unexplained quote correctly?
At this point, just based on prior evidence, I'd be inclined to say, no, you're not interpreting anything correctly. Including two of those games' reputations. It really is like the simile I made.

But, to be fair, no, I expected a shitty ending from ME3, I expected a shitty ending for ME3 back when I played the tutorial level of ME2, and in that regard I wasn't disappointed. But, a lot of people didn't figure it out for another two years, and they've got my sympathy, up to a point.
Which question did you answer? Why ME3 and not the others? To be honest, I didn't think that lying developers had anything to do with the quality of a game. That's why I called it a derail. And it's not like I don't see how lying can bother people; it's that I don't care. It's a superficial argument that has nothing to do with the final product.

And you complain about my overwhelming number of questions, so I'll make things simple for you: Why this game's ending and not others? And don't say "lying" again, because I don't care.

Starke said:
Bocaj2000 said:
Bocaj2000 said:
Third, sequels. What's your point? You just ranted on how you didn't like the Reaper larva. What does that have to do with what I said? You once again ignored what I said and ranted about something for no reason.
Okay... no, wait, then who wrote this?

Bocaj2000 said:
I don't like Mass Effect II as much as its predecessor, but that doesn't make it a bad game.
Oh, right, that would be you. So, no, I was talking about what you said. Exactly what you said. Again, I'm sorry, but if you don't know what you wrote, maybe you should reread it, or take notes, or something.

And here's the part that might confuse you a bit, I don't actually hate, or even dislike DA2.
You impress me. You can take a quote out of context. Unfortunately, this just shows that you have bad comprehension skills, so let me describe my paragraph for you:

The paragraph was about how many people will think that a game "sucks" because it isn't as good or doesn't have the same charm as the original. Many people who played Dragon Age II hated it because it didn't stand up to the original. The issue is that instead of voicing that as if it were preference, they voiced it as if it was the same quality as Big Rigs. Gamers tend to judge quality on binary without giving grey area; "If it's the best, then it sucks." They come off as childish and whiny.

I decided to support my claim with an example of my preference of ME1 over ME2. Both games are good. I can go on forever about why they are both good. But, I can also go on about why I like 1 better than 2. I am not here to talk about that though. That's another conversation for another day. It was no more than an example to support the main point.

Now that misunderstanding is out of the way, you can finally... never mind. You don't hate Dragon Age II. I think you actually agree with me on this point. If only you could understand what I was trying to say in the first place so we could avoid this cluster-fuck.
Oh, I do understand that.

Unrelated, there's an element in writing you need to deal with, even just arguments, the distinction between what you intend, and what you put on the page. I've been responding to what you put on the page, and while your writing needs work, you've had a pretty hard time going back and realizing what exists in the text vs. what you've got in your head.

In particular your second point really suffers from this. You don't know what you asked. I mean, you think you know what you asked, and you have a question in your mind, but when someone answers that, you say "Nooo, that's not what I meant, go back, do better! :("
So let me get this straight: You understood what I was trying to say this whole time, you agreed with me, and you were/are still hostile. Are you really that mad at me? This is comical; even when we agree you feel the need to insult and challenge me. I pity you.

Bocaj2000 said:
Starke said:
Bocaj2000 said:
Lastly, your clever comment at the end... all you did was prove my point. You don't care what I have to say; you just want to complain. I wasn't expecting to agree with you; I wasn't even expecting you to be polite. But I expected that you would at least answer my questions.
Did you now? So, you knew I was going to post, how interesting. Well, as we established I did answer your questions, and, while I wasn't terribly polite, you still haven't answered your own question there: Why are you typing? Especially if you actually think no one cares. If it's not looking for someone who has an opinion they can back with evidence, I really can't tell you.
I knew that someone was going to respond eventually. And I kinda lied. I was expecting fallacious arguments and question dodging. I thank you for this post. It offered much more clarity on what you were thinking so that I can get one step closer to proper answers. So far, with the exception of the SWTOR comments, you have been answering your own questions and ignoring mine. You're a lot like a politician in that sense. However, unlike politicians, you haven't been able to back your claims up.
No, on that front, mostly, the problem's been you haven't been asking the questions you wanted to ask. I already went over this, but you have a question in your head. And if you'd get that onto the page, I'd respond, but until that happens we're both left with questions like, "Where were you when the uproar happened over the ending of Kotor 2?" Well, Iowa. But that's not the question you wanted to ask. It's not the answer you're looking for, and until you can actually articulate the question you want to ask, you're not going to get questions that have much of anything to do with what's going on in your head.

Bocaj2000 said:
You do pose an interesting question, though. Why am I doing this? Why am I arguing with someone over the internet despite knowing that I won't change anyone's minds or get them to acknowledge my opinion? I enjoy a exchanging information and getting to know the other side's opinion. I enjoy getting through the fallacies and getting straight to the real answer. I see the exchanging of ideas, whether I agree or not, as a potential growing experience for both parties. So there you go: the reasons I debate is to learn and grow, and because I enjoy deconstructing bad arguments in order to get to the truth.
Then take some time, and learn how to write clearly and concisely. If you're bringing up an example, don't just bring it up because it's out there, and you don't know why. Seriously, the list of game endings is an example. Don't bring up ME2 in your DA2 commentary, why? Because some smartass will slap you down for it.
Thank you for discrediting my writing abilities as an excuse for your poor communication. I'll keep that in mind. I'll also keep in mind that "some smartass" doesn't know what "examples" are. Speaking of examples, in a conversation it is allowed to use one that wasn't discussed previously to help your point. You aren't at the whim of the person asking the questions when it comes to examples. In fact, you can say whatever you want as long as you tie it in to the original question or point. How ever, when you don't tie these statements into the original point, you can get misunderstood and it can look like you're going off topic.

If I wasn't clear, you should have said so in the first place. If I misunderstood you, you should have said so the first time. I shouldn't be finding this out from you now. Next time point these things out immediately and politely to clear up any miscommunication. This is a lot more effective than using it against someone.

Also, as a side note: when having a discussion, try not to put anger in your words. It promotes hostility instead of persuasion and discussion. Because of your hostility we have both been brick walls to the point of not being able to agree without putting down the other person. In fact, I'm tired of it. In your next response, if you do not write to me with respect, I won't respond or even finish reading it. Yeah, you'll have the last word, but no one will care.
 

kingthrall

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LifeCharacter said:
kingthrall said:
I dont even remember the last time bioware released a good game. Need I prove their incompetence on gaming priorities on stupid decisions about whether to have gay party member romances instead of actual storylines that don't comprise a lord of the rings style plot.
Did they spend anymore time on the homosexual romances (that weren't already present in the previous games) then they did on the heterosexual ones? Because, if not, then every romance option is to blame for taking priority off of writing a decent plot, not just the homosexual ones. Shouldn't you be complaining about any new romance options at all instead of just the homosexual ones? I mean in ME2 you had Jacob, Thane, Garrus, Tali, Miranda, and Jack added to the list of romance options; I haven't played ME3, but how many additional romance options were added to that and how many of them were homosexual?

And, unless they came up with the main story right at the end after spending all of their time just writing in all the gayness (with every, single writer putting all of their attention on those few characters), you can't really blame the inclusion of homosexual options for a bad main storyline anyway.
Sorry it might come as a shock to your body that not everyone believes in homosexual relationships. I wont say any more on the matter.
 

Starke

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Bocaj2000 said:
I'm sorry. I was being respectful to other people on the forum, and wanted them to skip over it. They shouldn't have to scroll through a lengthy argument that they are not part of, especially when we are doing tit for tat. Let's be realistic here: nobody is going to read this except for us.
Except it's not, it does convey the message of "what I'm saying is so unimportant, tl;dr have, fun guys". There are ways of containing the length of a post that don't involve turning the whole thing into a single line of text that looks the mods took out their frustrations on you. For one thing, trimming down unnecessary quote tags can do wonders. And you never know who is reading what. I've been reading some of what Staal and Knight Templar have been saying to each other, though admittedly, not much of it.

Bocaj2000 said:
I never said "MMOs"; I said RPGs. Despite how interesting your MMO point was, it has nothing to do with my point. Unfortunately, your entire argument is inane and off topic.
And I reiterate that "bad combat" is nothing more than an opinion.
It's something slightly more severe than an opinion: it's a flaw. For an MMO it's a pretty goddamn serious flaw.

For most games, not all, mind you, but most, combat is the primary venue of gameplay. The only means you have to interact with the world around you outside of basic motion, and the occasional interact prompt.

With most games, it doesn't matter that much if your gameplay is subpar so long as you have some spectacle to sell boxes, because once it's out the door, you're done. MMOs are a bit more vulnerable however.

With an MMO, you're relying on people to pick up the game, and continue to play it month in month out. It's part of why MMOs load in a lot of content. Hundreds of hours is the norm.

Here's the thing about TOR, if it had launched in 2006 or 2007, it's combat would have been fine. Standard for MMOs, and it could have gotten the traction under it to keep it afloat. But, because of the long development cycle, it followed games like Age of Conan, Star Trek Online, and DC Universe Online, who had looked at the traditional model and wandered off in their own directions. And, while I wouldn't call Age of Conan's combat good, FunCom at least looked at the standard Everquest combat system and said, "if we make it more interesting, maybe people will actually buy our game." DCUO and Star Trek both head in more of an action/arcade game route for their combat, which ties back to, it's better combat. The player is more active. As a result players tend to stick around, they don't get bored. Where as with TOR, they did.

And yes, you have said MMO many, many times. When you specifically said RPG, I read it as MMO, because the statement you were making made no sense if it was supposed to apply to RPGs instead of MMOs... simply put, the ability bar with cooldowns paradigm started with MMOs, and then wandered over into single player RPGs. I'm sure there are some earlier counter examples, but for most of my life as a gamer, waiting for cool downs on a hot bar were not the norm for a single player RPG.

Bocaj2000 said:
Which question did you answer? Why ME3 and not the others? To be honest, I didn't think that lying developers had anything to do with the quality of a game. That's why I called it a derail. And it's not like I don't see how lying can bother people; it's that I don't care. It's a superficial argument that has nothing to do with the final product.

And you complain about my overwhelming number of questions, so I'll make things simple for you: Why this game's ending and not others? And don't say "lying" again, because I don't care.
Yeah, why did Mass Effect 3 provoke the fan outcry it did and not the others. The short answer is the ending of Mass Effect 3 was the nexus of a perfect storm.

Casey Hudson did lie in interviews. There was that, he and Gaider had both gotten nailed for this with ME2 and DA2 already. But, in the lead up for ME3, he couldn't shut his gob about the ending, and went out there making grand Molyneuxian claims about how the ending would play out for each player. And, he probably would have been fine, with that, if the ending didn't incite the rage it did.

Mass Effect 3 was supposed to be the ending of a trilogy. And, in one of the few pieces of credit I'll give the writers of Mass Effect, it did a really good job of convincing players that they were experiencing their story.

It followed Dragon Age 2. As irrelevant as it may seem, DA2 did erode a lot of fan confidence in Bioware. There were a lot of Bio-fans in the wild after DA2 that still wanted to see the ending of Mass Effect, but who already felt betrayed. And, in this case, I'd argue, didn't know quite where to point. DA2 has a number of flaws, but there's no glaring single fault you can point to and rally around.

And, actually with Mass Effect 3, I'd say there are more glaring issues scattered through the game, but, as I discussed elsewhere, once the end hit, that's all you remember. Or, rather, that's the element that leaves the strongest final impression... so... let's walk through that for a second...

You play through a long corridor shooting sequence, there are some dialog options, you get one last chance to interact with all the NPCs you've had as party members through the game, and you charge the citadel...

You get a last round of dialog with TIM and Anderson, all of this is pretty much up to par for ME3. And, actually so far as that goes, most of the dialog in ME3 is above par for what Bioware's been doing (outside of DA2)...

Timmy kills himself, or you kill Anderson, or a few other permutations based on earlier actions in the game. You have a last round of dialog with Anderson that's slightly stupid, but nothing unmanageable. And your Shepard drops on the mystical elevator to bullshitland.

The Starchild sequence is effectively non-interactive, even in the extended cut, you can't mouth off, you can't demand to know if everyone is out of their mind, you're spoonfed nonsensical exposition that flat out contradicts what you've been told about life, the universe, and everything (in Mass Effect), all you can do is ask for more exposition, or alt+F4 for the sweet release of death.

You wander over and pick your favorate cupcake flavor, and you're treated to a color coded version of basically the same cutscene. Depending on who you took with you to storm the citadel, Joker will have miraculously resurrected dead party members, or not. Depending on which cupcake flavor you picked, Joker will have miraculously resurrected his love interest, or not. (I have seen EDI pop up during the destroy cut scene.) And if you were a really special good psychopath, you get a five second cutscene of Shepard's corpse breathing. After that we get the Worther's Original Grandpa narrating some BS to a little kid in front of a DigitalBlasphemy wallpaper.

And, then you're dumped back on the bridge of the Normandy with a message about DLC.

Which would probably be fine, if ME3 hadn't already kicked up a smaller storm prelaunch over it's day one DLC bundles, and that whole "800 bucks to get all of ME3's DLC on launch", stories that were making the rounds at the time.

The result was, everyone who had a minor grievance, or a lingering resentment over DA2, or day one DLC, or just about anything else, went out of their goddamn minds. What's worse, Bioware's response was to further antagonize them, by telling them they just didn't get it, or that it was Bioware's "artistic integrity", which drove them off the cliff like goddamn lemmings, and further fueled the fire on the BSN, that still hasn't gone out.

Bocaj2000 said:
So let me get this straight: You understood what I was trying to say this whole time, you agreed with me, and you were/are still hostile. Are you really that mad at me? This is comical; even when we agree you feel the need to insult and challenge me. I pity you.
Oh god, it's the internet, if I was actually angry with you I wouldn't be posting. I'm not dumb enough to post online when I'm actually pissed. Hostility and sarcasm is like practice work for me, with the added bonus of me not having to confine it to just "what I need for this scene".

Bocaj2000 said:
Thank you for discrediting my writing abilities as an excuse for your poor communication. I'll keep that in mind. I'll also keep in mind that "some smartass" doesn't know what "examples" are. Speaking of examples, in a conversation it is allowed to use one that wasn't discussed previously to help your point. You aren't at the whim of the person asking the questions when it comes to examples. In fact, you can say whatever you want as long as you tie it in to the original question or point. How ever, when you don't tie these statements into the original point, you can get misunderstood and it can look like you're going off topic.
It's not that I don't know what examples are, it's that I know how to use them effectively. Here's the thing, any time you're introducing an example, you need to have enough awareness of the example you're using, to know if it's really relevant. Bringing in examples randomly will just muddy the waters, and make it, quite frankly, impossible to know what the hell you were trying to say in the first place.

What's more, "Why did ME3 produce the backlash it did, while DX:HR, LA Noire, Uncharted 3, and KOTOR2 didn't?" Isn't an example. It's a really goddamn complex question. "Why did ME3 produce the backlash it did, instead of any other random mainstream game?" Without specific alternatives, on the other hand, is a mildly complex question. By specifically listing alternatives, you're opening the floor to any random bit of BS on why those games didn't drive the same kind of fan reaction.

And, like I said, the part you were complaining about had twelve separate questions. Pick one.

Bocaj2000 said:
If I wasn't clear, you should have said so in the first place. If I misunderstood you, you should have said so the first time. I shouldn't be finding this out from you now. Next time point these things out immediately and politely to clear up any miscommunication. This is a lot more effective than using it against someone.
Yeah, it takes two to make an acerbic pointless conversation, and while I'll basically never hold back from nailing the dangling or incoherent argument, you weren't a passive participant in all of this.

When someone answers the question you didn't care about, or responds to the wrong thing, it's a lot more likely to provoke good discussion by restating your position, rather than going, "nooo, you're changing the subject, let me follow you", because that won't lead to anything productive.

Bocaj2000 said:
Also, as a side note: when having a discussion, try not to put anger in your words. It promotes hostility instead of persuasion and discussion. Because of your hostility we have both been brick walls to the point of not being able to agree without putting down the other person. In fact, I'm tired of it. In your next response, if you do not write to me with respect, I won't respond or even finish reading it. Yeah, you'll have the last word, but no one will care.
Kind of the situation we're in right now. You get the respect you earn, not that you're given. I'm not going to wander in, find someone who's belligerent and cater to them, and I've no qualms being belligerent right back at them, it's good practice for what I do. Being a good, thoughtful person, on the internet, is just an invitation to have your soul broken by the inmates.

As to anger? Again, no. I'm acerbic as hell, but, I'm actually in a good mood. Text is a fuckawful venue to determine what someone's tone actually is.
 

Bocaj2000

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Starke said:
Thank you. Not only did I get further insight on the topic, but I also agree with just about everything you said. To be honest, I wish we were talking in person to avoid the previous misunderstandings that vocal inflection and body language could solve.

The only part I disagree with is this:

Being a good, thoughtful person, on the internet, is just an invitation to have your soul broken by the inmates.
This isn't 4chan and this isn't jail. The key to arguments and debates (on the internet and in real life) is to be as polite and thorough as possible (as you were in the last post). When polite, you show that you are not mad, and that no matter how much verbal abuse you receive, you are calm and collected. When thorough (once again, as you are now), you prove your point better than the other person. The other person is more likely to read what you have to say objectively, and thus agree with you. To other viewers of the post, you are the "good guy" whom is using facts and evidence to back up your points. If you're lucky, the other person will follow your example and the "argument" will evolve into a "conversation". If you bring yourself down the their level from the start, it is a shouting match and the "winner" is the one who gets the last word. If anything, you should start out polite and loose hope has the conversation progresses, not the other way around.

Matching belligerence with more belligerence won't get you anywhere. Try matching it with unconditional respect, and see where that gets you. Most likely, they will respect you back. If not the first time, then the second time; and if not that, then the third time; etc.

I hope to talk to you about various other topics. You seem to be a bright guy.
 

kingthrall

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LifeCharacter said:
kingthrall said:
Sorry it might come as a shock to your body that not everyone believes in homosexual relationships. I wont say any more on the matter.
While it is so nice to know that you're against people being happy, that has nothing to do with what you said.
kingthrall said:
I dont even remember the last time bioware released a good game. Need I prove their incompetence on gaming priorities on stupid decisions about whether to have gay party member romances instead of actual storylines that don't comprise a lord of the rings style plot.
You said that Bioware was incompetent for putting homosexual romances before the actual storyline. I'm going to assume that you meant that if they hadn't wasted the resources on those sideplots, the main story would have been better.

As I said before, if you're going to get uppity on the homosexual romance options for distracting the writers (again, all of the writers) from making a decent plot, you have to blame the heterosexual ones as well, and even put more blame on them since I believe there's more heterosexual options than homosexual.
I agree, but at the same time if they are going to "have to insert romance option" then just do the heterosexual ones and move on without having to add a few more hours of gay dialogue options "literally" . It wasnt even a major point the fact is bioware focuses more on for instance XP racing style gameplay, childish options with the violent options always in red and the peaceful ones in green as if to say we can not think to ourselves what to do... Its a myriad of small things that amass to an effect on game-play (notice play on words LOL).
 

Starke

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Bocaj2000 said:
Starke said:
I hope to talk to you about various other topics. You seem to be a bright guy.
I actually missed stuff with TOR...

I mentioned lack of content updates, and not charging for hotbars, and both of those feed back into TOR's problems. I'm going to up front say, TOR's biggest problem is egregious mismanagement, and staggering arrogance on the part of the developers, more than the premise itself.

The decision to copy WoW and slap a license on it makes sense from a business standpoint. In most industries, if you're duplicating a product, at the same quality, and adding a license to it, you'll usually have enough of a market advantage off the license to justify the project. And to be honest, this usually works with video games too.

Dark Forces comes to mind as an example, it was, for the most part a Doom clone, it had a few new features, but primarily, like TOR, it had the Star Wars license. And, it sold well enough to justify two sequels and a spinoff.

The problem is, to put it bluntly, MMOs work differently. With an MMO you're not competing against another game, so much as you're competing against that game and it's community. MMOs are (as a general rule) ludicrously time consuming as a genre. This feeds back to the subscription model, because if if a player can see everything a game offers in the first month, that's probably going to be it. It incentives players rushing through the content as quickly as possible, to avoid being hit with the subscription fee each month.

The subscription fees, and the time commitment to generate any real progress mean most players, who have lives, and jobs, and other obligations, can afford to devote their gaming time, and budget to a single MMO. There are ways you can mitigate these issues, lifetime subscription offers are one way, though that's mostly a separate soapbox, I'll try to remember to come back to.

As a result, what would normally work (copy WoW, apply Star Wars License, collect bacon), didn't fire for Bioware. Because, people who are already WoW players (which is statistically, just about everybody and their cat) have several disincentives to playing TOR. First: Their friends are all in WoW, Second: they don't have the time to play both games. And, to a much lower extent, Third: They don't have the money to blow on a second MMO, or, more specifically, it's a lot easier to rationalize spending $15 a month on a game you're playing regularly, vs spending $30 on two separate games, one of which has your friends, and the other which is systematically identical.

What's interesting about WoW specifically is, there are a lot of players who specifically dislike the game, but continue to play for the social interaction with their friends. And, for the most part, this is actually pretty common. I've found myself staying in four separate MMOs over the years, after I'd burned out on them, because I still had friends in them I enjoyed talking to. And, it turns out, I'm not an outlier there. In many ways, community is more important for an MMO than the game itself.

All of this leads towards a system where, as a general rule, your community is more important to an MMO's overall profitability than your production side work. It's a big part of why, with TOR, the failure to put good guild tools in the launch build was a serious issue.

I mentioned insufficient content updates. But, ultimately, here's the thing about that. If your gameplay is good, players will keep paying even if the content isn't kept up to date. It's how games like DCUO and Champions can thrive with absolutely horrid update schedules (to be fair, for Champions, the costume editor is a major part of gameplay, but that's a kind of unique situation). Games with mediocre gameplay need to keep updating constantly, in order to survive. It's why Secret World pledged to new content every month, before the subscription fees were dropped. The game won't survive on people playing the game just to play the game, unless there's a steady stream of new stuff to look at and do.

TOR hung itself here. Up front they decided to go with WoW for their gameplay. I hammer on them for this, but really it makes sense to a middle manager who doesn't understand what MMOs are, and is just looking at the bottom line. Other games came along with the intention of upsetting WoW, and they deviated off WoW's gameplay formula (Age of Conan explicitly claimed it would be a WoW killer, as did Aion and Rift, as I recall), so clearly the solution is to copy it verbatim.

They chose to do a fully voiced MMO as a back of the box bullet point because that sells copies in single player games. And, again, from the managerial position, this makes sense, it's a way to improve game sales, and most publishers fail to understand the importance of new content on a regular basis. They'll support a product with DLC releases while the tail (that is to say, post-launch sales) is good, but as it drops off, support will vanish. At the same time they see WoW raking in $15m a month, and say "I want some of that". The problem is, when everything (or nearly everything) is voice acted, it's much more expensive to produce new content, meaning the game has to be very profitable, or it just isn't cost effective to continue support.

This puts TOR in the situation it's in now, where, in order to keep pumping out new content, they need to be raking in cash, which they're not. Most of their player-base burned through their content within a couple months, and when nothing new was forthcoming, they left.

Most of the new content they did manage to push out last year was group oriented, but this came at a time when their playerbase was hemorrhaging. So that content was, really, as much taunting players with "here's stuff you can do, if you can find people to do it with." This compounds with the mostly solo nature of most of the content in the game, so that a lot of players did focus on it as a single player game with other people running around sometimes, and... well... yeah, it wasn't a good solution.

In the face of cancellation, they went F2P, which, again, from a managerial standpoint makes a lot of sense, I mean, DCUO went from one of the fastest failing MMOs in history to profitable enough to justify a fairly regular update cycle. Game after game has gone F2P, and turned around from failing to profitable. When you dig into the numbers, it's not really the panacea everyone seems to think it is, but it does basically give developers the chance to jumpstart an MMO, and help even out the tail.

What TOR has done, however, is, well, almost punitive. There's the infamous hotbars and sprint options being held back from the player, but those aren't the real problem, well, not primarily. The real problem is it does nothing to deal with the issues TOR was having before it went F2P.

Ideally with a F2P transition, what you want is to offset the problems caused by a dying population. It's why DCUO allows players access to PvP and all of the group content at 30, and allows them to buy the top tier... well, everything except the T4 gear.

In contrast, free players in TOR cannot effectively participate in the endgame group content. They're barred from equipping the necessary gear to be effective at that level, and forced to cough up money to access the content at all. With similar restrictions on PvP. This means, the two parts of TOR that desperately needed cannon fodder are annexed to subscribers, while the things where the number of active players is irrelevant (the class story arcs, the solo content) is turned loose for free.

TOR could have, almost literally, monetized itself any other way, and been more successful. Though, that's been the story from the beginning. Then again, they could have, almost literally, designed any other game and been more successful.
 

Ascarus

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Starke said:
and, honestly, if as a writer, you ever find yourself writing in a vacuum, STOP, find someone else to look at your work, and tell you what does and doesn't work, or you too can produce the ending of ME3... or something.
hmmmm .... i wonder where that lesson should have been learned from? george lucas and the prequels maybe?
 

Starke

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Ascarus said:
Starke said:
and, honestly, if as a writer, you ever find yourself writing in a vacuum, STOP, find someone else to look at your work, and tell you what does and doesn't work, or you too can produce the ending of ME3... or something.
hmmmm .... i wonder where that lesson should have been learned from? george lucas and the prequels maybe?
From what I know? Yup.
 

kingthrall

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LifeCharacter said:
kingthrall said:
I agree, but at the same time if they are going to "have to insert romance option" then just do the heterosexual ones and move on without having to add a few more hours of gay dialogue options "literally".
This has less to do with Bioware's competence and more to do with your bigotry towards homosexuals.

Romance options have been a part of Mass Effect (and most, if not all, Bioware games) since the beginning, so cutting them would be stupid and cause fan backlash if they did it in the finale of their trilogy. "A few more hours of gay dialogue" are there for people who wanted those few more hours of gay dialogue and no one has any right to tell them that they are wrong for wanting that.

And, obviously, the people writing these romances probably aren't also the ones working on the main storyline in any major capacity beyond peer review, something the horrible ending was exempt from for some stupid reason.

It wasnt even a major point the fact is bioware focuses more on for instance XP racing style gameplay, childish options with the violent options always in red and the peaceful ones in green as if to say we can not think to ourselves what to do... Its a myriad of small things that amass to an effect on game-play (notice play on words LOL).
It was your only point as displayed in your original post:
kingthrall said:
I dont even think he has been on the forums. He probably finally had ten minutes of free time clicked the general discussion in the forum and found out that nobody likes the garbage they have been pumping out for the past 8 or so years.

In comparison to BG.EE that has dont virtually nothing substantial yet has managed to keep alive and "enhance" nearly every aspect of the coding and aesthetics in every way.

I dont even remember the last time bioware released a good game. Need I prove their incompetence on gaming priorities on stupid decisions about whether to have gay party member romances instead of actual storylines that don't comprise a lord of the rings style plot.
You didn't posit their dialogue system as being childish or anything else as a problem, you solely held the inclusion of homosexual options as a testament to Bioware's incompetence.
Lalala reported, keep on topic I warned you that was the end of discussion about my opinion and now you personally attacking me to get a angry response.

Edit: reason I used that as evidence is because it's sole purpose is to create an issue for public marketing whether gay romances are useful or not to a game's immersion. The escapist has been posting articles on this for the last two to three months if you had not noticed.
 

thanatos388

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LordDPS said:
thanatos388 said:
LordDPS said:
I'll admit, Bioware fanboys are some of the worst forum goers around. Still, The way Bioware have been putting their fingers in their ears for the past 3 games whenever criticism rears it's ugly head shows how childish Bioware writers have become.
How have they been childish? They have listened and made changes to the ending over the controversy...why do people still care?
Easy, They keep peddleing bullshit like "artistic integrity" and refused to even try to listen to what people were saying. They didn't make ANY changes to the ending they just restored some stuff they cut out because they were too lazy to actually listen to fans. In fact http://www.gamesthirst.com/2012/03/25/mass-effect-3-writer-accuse-casey-hudson-of-going-it-alone-bioware-stays-silent/ Look at that article. It proves my point about Bioware's arrogance as of late.
The ending may be the worst ever written sure and how it came to be is very questionable (If I was Bioware i would have waited until they could get Drew Karpyshyn to come out from The Old Republic and be lead writer for Mass Effect 3). But we can't all get what we want can we. Instead Casey Hudson wrote his ending and has every right to defend it and should not be changed by anybody but him. Even if its the worst ending in the history of literature. Becaues games are an art first and a product second.
 

votemarvel

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thanatos388 said:
The ending may be the worst ever written sure and how it came to be is very questionable (If I was Bioware i would have waited until they could get Drew Karpyshyn to come out from The Old Republic and be lead writer for Mass Effect 3). But we can't all get what we want can we. Instead Casey Hudson wrote his ending and has every right to defend it and should not be changed by anybody but him. Even if its the worst ending in the history of literature. Becaues games are an art first and a product second.
The problem for a lot of people is that Casey Hudson and Mac Walters haven't defended the ending, they've just been silent and let the PR go on about artistic integrity.

I still believe that a lot of the 'rage' people felt would have been extinguished if they had posted as to why they thought it was the correct way to wrap up the trilogy.

Personally I believe games are commercial art and in commercial art your job is to produce something that people will enjoy and want to buy.
 

LordDPS

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votemarvel said:
thanatos388 said:
The ending may be the worst ever written sure and how it came to be is very questionable (If I was Bioware i would have waited until they could get Drew Karpyshyn to come out from The Old Republic and be lead writer for Mass Effect 3). But we can't all get what we want can we. Instead Casey Hudson wrote his ending and has every right to defend it and should not be changed by anybody but him. Even if its the worst ending in the history of literature. Becaues games are an art first and a product second.
The problem for a lot of people is that Casey Hudson and Mac Walters haven't defended the ending, they've just been silent and let the PR go on about artistic integrity.

I still believe that a lot of the 'rage' people felt would have been extinguished if they had posted as to why they thought it was the correct way to wrap up the trilogy.

Personally I believe games are commercial art and in commercial art your job is to produce something that people will enjoy and want to buy.
I agree. However, no amount of explanations can make up for the bullshit ego wanking and insulting lack of consideration for it's fans that Bioware has come to possess as of late.
 

Epic Fail 1977

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Oh dear. I read his full blog post. I must say I find it amusing that he practically hand-waves the possibility that all this "toxicity" might - just maybe - be the result of Bioware shitting on their core fans.