Dragon Age Writer Calls BioWare Forums "Toxic"

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Well...all I can say is...welcome to the internet, where people are mean, they say random shit and are incredibly rude and dumb because they know they're safe from any harm.

Yeah, the Bioware forums are pretty bad right now and a lot of that could come from the fact that the quality of their games has decayed, according to some. But, again, it's the internet. The trolls and idiots tend to stick around longer than the nice guys, simply because the nice guys know better than that. :l

Also, is this the guy responsible for writing Dragon Age: Origins? Because if so, Glob bless his soul; this man is my hero. For many different reasons. If he's not...then never mind.

Imbechile:

Grey Carter:
Oh dear.
-snip-

Now this is interesting....

Will the mods give a low content post warning to a staff member?

My exact thoughts. Grey, you're cool but...you can't tell me that's not low content.

Double post. :/

bigfatcarp93:
I can't say I blame him. Every since the middle of the year, it seems like someone's bitching about the ME3 ending around every damn corner. I mean, yeah, the ending sucked, sure, but it's been fucking months and people are still banging on about it.

So, yeah, I would avoid those forums too.

I see, so it's ok for them to continue selling the game months or years after release but there should be no criticism after a certain period?

I feel a little guilty after reading this. Though I've never taken part in mud-flinging and the apparent vileness spewed by the community, I've not had much nice to say (or think) of BioWare post-EA. The trouble is that I was one of the aliented fans.

A fan of anything BioWare did...the name alone was enough for me to buy anything they made. Every thing they produced, on every platform since before the millenium. Then they sold themselves to EA, who (and I feel little guilt in saying this) have ruined almost every good franchise and studio they've bought. Westwood, Pandemic and BioWare among them. They employ every dirty tactic, from nickel-and-diming DLC, Day 1 DLC, on-disc DLC, online passes, etc. But the worst thing EA does, and this is why BioWare were so affected, is that they only want to target "mass-market" audiences.

BioWare were previously the undisputed masters of the RPG. As I grew, so did BioWare and the games they made. They got better, more sophisticated, mature and deeper storytelling. The one company I could rely on to make only polished gems of games (individual foibles excepted). BioWare were happy to make the best game they could to cater to the people who wanted to play those games. But EA put the brakes on that and instead turned Mass Effect from an intelligent sci-fi RPG into CoD in space. They took the multi-threaded Dragon Age, a sprawling tale and turned it into a linear copy-pasted action game with so little actual RPG. It was the turnabout, the sudden brakes on BioWare's direction to bring them screeching ack to the level of 14 year old american console kids who want to shoot shit.

But I don't "hate" BioWare. I despise EA for turning video games into "products", removing their games from Steam, turning survival horror games like Dead Space into TPSs, dumbing down everything possible and stripping BioWare from it's position as King of RPGs to maker of mediocre shooters. My previous devotion and "fanboyism" for BioWare may have been violently extinguished, but I still have a some fondness for them. I will see what they're up to and at least consider what they produce. But I won't buy any Origin exclusives so...

Bah. There's a reason this hive is called Bioware Sociopathic Network.
This guy is not wrong for criticising it.
It's nauseating, being compared to the regular denizens of that site, just because I like several of BW games.

Loethlin:
Bah. There's a reason this hive is called Bioware Sociopathic Network.
This guy is not wrong for criticising it.

But they're wrong for criticizing him?

erttheking:
But they're wrong for criticizing him?

Noone likes to be criticized.
As much as I agree with the guy, I get why they're even more frenzied than usually.

Crono1973:
I see, so it's ok for them to continue selling the game months or years after release but there should be no criticism after a certain period?

There is nothing wrong with criticizing a game you just played regardless of when it came out but criticizing a game for eight months straight just makes you look like you have mental problems.

KingsGambit:
I
BioWare were previously the undisputed masters of the RPG. As I grew, so did BioWare and the games they made. They got better, more sophisticated, mature and deeper storytelling.

It doesnt sound like you have played very many Bioware games. The storytelling in their games had been getting shallower and less mature for the last twelve years or so.

Crono1973:

bigfatcarp93:
I can't say I blame him. Every since the middle of the year, it seems like someone's bitching about the ME3 ending around every damn corner. I mean, yeah, the ending sucked, sure, but it's been fucking months and people are still banging on about it.

So, yeah, I would avoid those forums too.

I see, so it's ok for them to continue selling the game months or years after release but there should be no criticism after a certain period?

Wow, that is SO not what I said.

My point is that nobody has shut up about the fucking ending since the game came out, so at the end of the day: YES. WE GET IT, IT WAS BAD. That's not "criticism" anymore, it's puking up a point that everyone has already pointed out countless times.

And next time you decide to try to put words in someone's mouth like that, refrain from doing so.

This is how the Internet works.
1. Like minded people get a chance to communicate with people who created something they enjoy.
2. Seeing the positive exchange between creators and fans attracts massive amounts of like minded people.
3. As the amount of Like minded increase people lose a sense of perspective, little issues become catastrophes and the progress made in the earlier steps fosters entitlement.
4. Extremists begin to surface. Unable to keep up with the demands of the fans, or unwilling to put up with the extremists abuse, the creators abandon the exchange of ideas.
5. Rational fans abandon the exchange, since progress is impossible without the ear of the creators.
6. Extremists further lose perspective without anyone to curb their demands, as well as their temper with no one hearing them.
7. Extremists get tired of screaming in empty rooms, lolcats are posted.
8. Creators make something new, go back to stage 6.

This is why we can't have nice things.

bigfatcarp93:

Crono1973:

bigfatcarp93:
I can't say I blame him. Every since the middle of the year, it seems like someone's bitching about the ME3 ending around every damn corner. I mean, yeah, the ending sucked, sure, but it's been fucking months and people are still banging on about it.

So, yeah, I would avoid those forums too.

I see, so it's ok for them to continue selling the game months or years after release but there should be no criticism after a certain period?

Wow, that is SO not what I said.

My point is that nobody has shut up about the fucking ending since the game came out, so at the end of the day: YES. WE GET IT, IT WAS BAD. That's not "criticism" anymore, it's puking up a point that everyone has already pointed out countless times.

And next time you decide to try to put words in someone's mouth like that, refrain from doing so.

That is exactly what you said. "Waaah people are still criticizing ME3 and they shouldn't be allowed to!"

Since when do YOU get to decide what is and isn't criticism? You know what's worse than critics? People whining about the critics.

I remember reading posts on the BW forums around the time of the great Ending was disappointing overblown shit storm hoping the Female writings staff all got raped.

Yeah...sounds like a bastion of class and ideas...

Loethlin:

erttheking:
But they're wrong for criticizing him?

Noone likes to be criticized.
As much as I agree with the guy, I get why they're even more frenzied than usually.

Well, I guess I had it wrong with you. I thought that you thought that they had no right to criticize him. I apologize and tip my hat to you for exercising common sense. Sadly not as common as it should be.

stranamente:

I think it's fair to say that both parties have a fair share of blame.

Generally speaking, it takes two to toxify. The Mass Effect community tends to be terrible, but the forums wouldn't be this bad if not for Bioware.

Well, that's something from his tumblr that I didn't expect to be made into news. He's written a lot of much more interesting posts regarding writing, working with voice actors, etc., and I really think those deserve some attention. Oh, sensationalism!

And despite claims of avoiding the forums, Gaider's a lot more active and forthcoming there than any of the developers are on the SWTOR forums. Funny that.

Lastly, personally I've barely posted there since the ME3 ending fallout, mostly because the only thing BioWare I'm the least enthusiastic about is Dragon Age 3... and there's just not enough information going around for there to be any point in posting and speculating about that.

Crono1973:

bigfatcarp93:

Crono1973:
I see, so it's ok for them to continue selling the game months or years after release but there should be no criticism after a certain period?

Wow, that is SO not what I said.

My point is that nobody has shut up about the fucking ending since the game came out, so at the end of the day: YES. WE GET IT, IT WAS BAD. That's not "criticism" anymore, it's puking up a point that everyone has already pointed out countless times.

And next time you decide to try to put words in someone's mouth like that, refrain from doing so.

That is exactly what you said. "Waaah people are still criticizing ME3 and they shouldn't be allowed to!"

Since when do YOU get to decide what is and isn't criticism? You know what's worse than critics? People whining about the critics.

Yeah, you keep intentionally misconstruing everything I say, and misenterpreting something which basically amounts to "I'm sick of hearing it" as "People should stop saying it."

So, I think I'm done having this conversation.

Well, the Tali's Sweat thread did reveal multiple toxins that Tali would secrete, so I guess that's one proof.

To be honest.. yeah.. that's exactly the word I would use.

Criticising a game is fine. In fact, observe:

"Dragon Age: Origins was a clunky, plodding beast with awful game balance."

"Dragon Age 2 was a disappointing rush job."

"The Mass Effect series are all sub-par shooters with tacked on role-playing elements."

"Mass Effect 3 was let down by a disappointing ending".

See. No thunderbolts from heaven.

Where it ceases to become fine is when you continue to hang around on the official message forum of a game developer endlessly parading your hate for everything they've released in the last decade and wishing actual harm upon the people who work there while still bleating about how you're a "twoo fan" and have somehow been abandoned and betrayed.

It's not fine when you treat a game dev as if you're in an abusive relationship with them. It's creepy.

I'm not even upset over the ending anymore.

Mass Effect 3's ending was so disappointing I admit where I don't ever want to play the Mass Effect 1-3 playthroughs again but it was still an amazing, satisfying, enduring experience that will last in my thoughts forever. And you'll always be my favorite character in the ME universe Tali.

But the problem really lies with Bioware itself. How they handled the situation was just awful. I think that pains me more then the ending, because it shows how the company views its fans as well as the gamers who were so invested into their games. Shutting down forums on people who stated their concerns, used 'art' as an excuse for the ending, the employees or specifically the managers, talked down to the fans who've felt hurt. Seeing that made me upset, or did the trick to make me not want any of their games anymore.

I believe in redemption and that despite EA has them, that Bioware can really pull off a grand game again. They just need to treat fans with respect and take criticism better. Bethesda and Valve have done that so well, they are the big shots (mostly Valve) and do what's best for their customers. You're not a business without the people, remember that well my old friend Bioware.

I can relate to that. I stopped going to the Religion/Political forum here because of those same reasons. Just couldn't take it anymore.

Still, it must be hard to watch fans who adored you suddenly turn on you and constantly rip you down, no matter how hard you try. Still, this guy's part of the Dragon Age crew, and in my opinion that means that he listens to fans and tries to correct mistakes. Looking at the two DLCs for Dragon Age is proof enough for me. I will still be buying Dragon Age III for sure, but my faith in BioWare has been shaken slightly.
Still, this man seems reasonable at least. He's at least admitting that there may be a problem with the way BioWare's been doing things lately, and at the same time he's calling out the insane amount of backlash that has been hitting BioWare nonstop for months now. I wonder what it would take to make the fans stop? Would an apology be enough? "We're sorry. We admit that we screwed up the ending to one of your favorite series. We tried to fix it as best we could, but it was already too late. Please forgive us."
Would fans let it go if they came out with another ending? A 'better' one? We may never know.

Little Gray:

KingsGambit:
I
BioWare were previously the undisputed masters of the RPG. As I grew, so did BioWare and the games they made. They got better, more sophisticated, mature and deeper storytelling.

It doesnt sound like you have played very many Bioware games. The storytelling in their games had been getting shallower and less mature for the last twelve years or so.

Well regardless of how it sounds, I've played every one, multiple times and on multiple platforms (where possible) over the years. KotOR and Jade Empire were story-telling masterpieces. NWN SP campaign was probably the weakest and most underwhelming. But even ME1 and DAO were deep, rich and interesting, unlike 90% of what've had since from them and any other developer.

I have to advise to mostly avoid the story boards. The Off-Topic and Multiplayer forums there are fun, though. Sometimes.

Just tread in with warning.

Crono1973:

Since when do YOU get to decide what is and isn't criticism? You know what's worse than critics? People whining about the critics.

or possibly people whining about the people whining about the critics?

Or even the likes of me, who are whining about the people whining about the people who are whining about the critics.

Personally, I stopped even reading the Bioware forums after the ME3 ending. Way too much vitriol and emotion there and that was months ago.

And I didn't like the ending.

grey_space:

Crono1973:

Since when do YOU get to decide what is and isn't criticism? You know what's worse than critics? People whining about the critics.

or possibly people whining about the people whining about the critics?

Or even the likes of me, who are whining about the people whining about the people who are whining about the critics.

Personally, I stopped even reading the Bioware forums after the ME3 ending. Way too much vitriol and emotion there and that was months ago.

And I didn't like the ending.

Well, those whining about the critics tend to act like they are the gatekeepers of valid criticism. Some fair minded person has to come along and inform them that they aren't the judge of such matters.

So the TLDR of this is "I cant handle people telling me why the games we make now are shit, so I am not going to listen anymore."

And you know what bro? You should be ashamed of the shit that gets put out, the entitlement is natural when you want a good deal of money for a game. You want to charge 60 bucks for a game people expect 60 bucks of enjoyment.

So when they are not given that and you failed to hold up your side of the deal, you whine at them for complaining to you? Tough shit.

Crono1973:
[

Well, those whining about the critics tend to act like they are the gatekeepers of valid criticism. Some fair minded person has to come along and inform them that they aren't the judge of such matters.

No they certainly are not. I would agree most wholeheartedly with you there.

However, they are just as entitled to their opinions on the fan rage against Bioware as the fans who are still enraged with Bioware are of theirs.

Particularly since it's almost impossible to have a reasonable discussion/thread about anything in the Bioware universes without one or more of these detractors popping in with some kind of negative jibe.

Some issues with the latest Bioware games were not so great.

I am sure even in dimmest bulb in the Bioware marketing and development department have grasped that.

My own personal point is; how about we all move on now?

And again, Speaking for myself Didn't like the ME3 ending. and couldn't even bring myself to finish DA2. Returned it after making it as far as the first few missions in the city.

grey_space:

Crono1973:
[

Well, those whining about the critics tend to act like they are the gatekeepers of valid criticism. Some fair minded person has to come along and inform them that they aren't the judge of such matters.

No they certainly are not. I would agree most wholeheartedly with you there.

However, they are just as entitled to their opinions on the fan rage against Bioware as the fans who are still enraged with Bioware are of theirs.

Particularly since it's almost impossible to have a reasonable discussion/thread about anything in the Bioware universes without one or more of these detractors popping in with some kind of negative jibe.

Some issues with the latest Bioware games were not so great.

I am sure even in dimmest bulb in the Bioware marketing and development department have grasped that.

My own personal point is; how about we all move on now?

And again, Speaking for myself Didn't like the ME3 ending. and couldn't even bring myself to finish DA2. Returned it after making it as far as the first few missions in the city.

Well whatever, Bioware is dead to me. Hell, even the founders left the company. If I had any confidence left in Bioware before they left, I would have lost it.

The reasonable, polite people have left that forum do to not liking the current games. Those nicer people have said what they do not like and have moved on. Why stay in a community of something that you've lost appreciation for? Why stay a fan of something so disappointing besides the stupid endings? These people have left those forums to find better games and forums to occupy their time. They have moved away from the dissatisfaction and now spend their time and money on something more satisfying. So all that is left are a group of bitter people who can't let go and do spend their day to day being jerks.

Crono1973:

Well whatever, Bioware is dead to me. Hell, even the founders left the company. If I had any confidence left in Bioware before they left, I would have lost it.

Another good point as to the possible ultimate success or failure of Bioware as a company.

And I can definitely understand your feelings on this matter.

In my own opinion, it will all depend on DA3, really.

I'll see what they do with that.

Can't say I disagree with him. It seems that whatever BioWare do, somebody is going to bitch, whine and complain to the point of lunacy. However, I do completely agree with his closing statement. Whilst the community is subject to catatonic behavior, it wouldn't do so if the games being produced completely satisfied the core fans. There's lessons to be learned on both sides.

Stay on the fence people, it'll be interesting to see how the next releases from BioWare are received and what it'll mean for the company.

It has been getting nasty over there for awhile.

The smallest thing get's blown out of all proportion, I remember in my last post over there I said that I prefered Fenris to Anders and getting so much grief, I could have continued posting and try to explain my choice...
but then I though Why bother? Life's too short

I think DA3 is gonna be a make or break deal for alot of Bioware fans, David Gaider is speaking the truth, if people listen, well that's a different matter.

grey_space:

Crono1973:

Well whatever, Bioware is dead to me. Hell, even the founders left the company. If I had any confidence left in Bioware before they left, I would have lost it.

Another good point as to the possible ultimate success or failure of Bioware as a company.

And I can definitely understand your feelings on this matter.

In my own opinion, it will all depend on DA3, really.

I'll see what they do with that.

Last I heard about DA3 is that they have taken great influence from Skyrim. Not being a fan of Skyrim (it's less RPG than it should be) I am not looking forward to that. Besides, they can't out-Bethesda...Bethesda.

PirateRose:
The reasonable, polite people have left that forum do to not liking the current games. Those nicer people have said what they do not like and have moved on. Why stay in a community of something that you've lost appreciation for? Why stay a fan of something so disappointing besides the stupid endings? These people have left those forums to find better games and forums to occupy their time. They have moved away from the dissatisfaction and now spend their time and money on something more satisfying. So all that is left are a group of bitter people who can't let go and do spend their day to day being jerks.

This is an interesting notion, one I find myself agreeing with. I wonder if anyone at Bioware thinks of it this way.

Ah, right, the guy who publicly argued in the Bioware forums that a woman whose head was chopped off wasn't NECESSARILY dead, we only THINK she's dead.

I consider his opinion on anything at roughly the same level as the "trolls" he's complaining about, personally. Maybe even lower since he outright trashed his fans in those forums and now wants to claim that they're being big old meaniefaces to him. What an unprofessional individual. A perfect representation of EA.

Lunar Templar:
oh ...

so this is the guy to blame for boring me right out of caring about Bioware games.

Well, one of the people.

However, I feel this news posts is missing some context here and also not to mention the fact that you just had a Bioware employee basically insult their entire consumer base. As for the context, well suffice to say that a good deal of the toxic behavior that has flourished has been self-inflicted. I remember when it was a little bud of a problem when another writer of Bioware caused a shitstorm because she also insulted the consumer base on the forums because she was incapable of discerning actual criticism towards the games she was involved with and the standard bullcrap that any smart person just ignores or shows to a friend after work for a lark or two.

That little bud was basically the start and with that came heavy censorship and moderation from the very forum dev's this Bioware employee just also insulted(really smart move there calling your fellow peer bad at their job). Chances are if you are a forum mod, you really don't always get the choice when working for a big company of what threads or posts to close or moderate.

Honestly, I remember that Bioware used to be a great place to play games with well written stories but during the whole Mass Effect/Dragon age scene the writing was just shallow, and more in line with fan-fiction from Lord of the rings. It was too simplistic and allowed players to make too many choices always based on the extreme. I'm not even talking about how I hated the combat in Mass Effect which had terrible controls and a terrible combat system. Honestly the writing and the posting by the Bioware writers is pretty much why their forums are as toxic as they claim.

But what really gets me is that chances are what Bioware really wants is mindless fans who do nothing but constantly praise their work. Basically they just want their consumers to be a bunch of brown nosers and with Bioware doing no wrong. Honestly when I see people start having that mindset(looking at Riot Games on that one too) they really have lost touch with reality and have replaced most of their social interaction with their co-workers and the internet and are financially stable enough to remain ignorant of those who are worse off than them or actually have some sort of social life that knows to take the good with the bad.

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