Dragon Age Writer Calls BioWare Forums "Toxic"

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I know it sucks to realize, but Bioware (by which I mean EA) is trying to sell their games to everybody, not just the internet effete. Until and unless emotionally unstable people stop being the main population of the vocal internet public, Bioware's just going to have to deal with it or risk losing their consumer base.

Either that or stand up to the big wigs and make a game that simply kicks so much ass that the haters get shouted down by the fans themselves. But there's no money to be made in games like that. Right, EA?

Scyla:
Maybe they should start to make decent games....

:P

they do. granted its not for everyone, no game is, despite how much COD tries, but there is a group of people that like their games.

And no doubt that the forums turned into bad place. it always does when fans feel mistreated. thats why i often go to fansite forums rather than official ones, much better atmosphere. a good exeption is Paradox forums, it seems that everyone and even the devil wants to help you there.

He isn't wrong. It seems that the only way people think they can be heard on the internet is to dive into an extreme.

I think he's whining a bit. It's like when a child complains that he's got a limit to data on the super-powered smartphone. I recommend Mr. Gaider go spend a full week posting on 4chan, Youtube... or even the League of Legend forums. He could maybe voice chat with BOPS2 players during a match.

And I don't think that voicing our wants on internet forums qualifies as entitlement...

You guys who are all saying "This is justified because your writing in these previous games was bad", let it go maybe? Mass Effect 3 has been out for a while now, so I actually agree about the toxicity of the Bioware forums and what not. Now all that's left are people whining about ME3. Get over it, move on. A vast majority of people (me excluded) voiced their disapointment weeks after the games release, so to have the forums still being bombarded with whiny entitled neckbeardy commenters really makes it apparent that the supposed fanbase is probably the worst any company could have.

I have no sympathy
I really don't

It kind of sucks to be a bioware fan thease days...

While the Bioware forums have never been full of love and enlightenment. Ever since they gave what amounted to a big middle finger to the majority of their fans, it has declined into a decidedly darker place.

bug_of_war:
You guys who are all saying "This is justified because your writing in these previous games was bad", let it go maybe? Mass Effect 3 has been out for a while now, so I actually agree about the toxicity of the Bioware forums and what not. Now all that's left are people whining about ME3. Get over it, move on. A vast majority of people (me excluded) voiced their disapointment weeks after the games release, so to have the forums still being bombarded with whiny entitled neckbeardy commenters really makes it apparent that the supposed fanbase is probably the worst any company could have.

Well they havent released anything else in that time, so on a forum DEDICATED to those things, it is not unreasonable to be talking about the last thing released... And I like the casual insults thrown at people you dont agree with by calling them "whiny entitled neckbeards." I would offer a retort, but you know the escapist generally frowns upon insulting people. ~.^

Though it is probably healthy for the developers to see what their fanbase thinks about them in the wake of disappointing games. I pitty the idiot who wants nothing but yes-men talking about their property. If we had THOSE idiots in the gaming industry... all our developers would be stuck with EA levels of PR!

bug_of_war:
You guys who are all saying "This is justified because your writing in these previous games was bad", let it go maybe? Mass Effect 3 has been out for a while now, so I actually agree about the toxicity of the Bioware forums and what not. Now all that's left are people whining about ME3. Get over it, move on. A vast majority of people (me excluded) voiced their disapointment weeks after the games release, so to have the forums still being bombarded with whiny entitled neckbeardy commenters really makes it apparent that the supposed fanbase is probably the worst any company could have.

Sorry, but pedestals are for people who don't condescendingly insult a group of people.

I'll have to impound that.

"Yeah! Bioware fans are discussing the last game made on a forum dedicated specifically to that game series! GAWD GET OVER IT!"

Gaider would do well to avoid interacting with bioware forum goers, (he should probably still read them mind you) because from what i've seen when he does deign to respond to someone, its normally to tell them how hey have no right to question he, the all mighty writer's unquestionable smugness.

but in all seriousness ive read a few of his posts and everytime it seems to be him just shooting down some criticism because they are the devs and you are the fans and you dont get a say.

perhaps some of you might think i am one of the more level headed bioware "fans", so let me just state for the record that ive only played nwn2 and dragon age origins, and the former wasnt even actually a bioware game, and the latter didnt really impress me all that much, so i have no strong feelings toward bioware one way or the other

Even the Escapist in it's ragey-est moments can stop the hullabaloo for a moment, look at the BSN, and say, "Yeah, that place is fucked."

Yeah, it's easy to just say BioWare should just make good games (and we can argue about whether the implications of that statement are true or not). But come on. Detach yourself from the "normalcy" of internet rage for a moment and ask yourself: Is that really a reasonable way to act? You can provide criticism without being a total douche. You can provide some really biting and hard-hitting criticism without acting like that.

That's something that bothers me: Normal people just accepting the way too personal and sadistic behavior of others on the internet. I'm not saying it's something we should censor. It just bugs me that people just go, "Oh, internet. You so crazy" rather than "Oh man. You people are fucked".

I definitely sympathize with the man. There is a fine line between constructive criticism and irrational hatred/harassment.

Oh all the things people talk about, nothing makes me go "ugh" more than hearing the words "Mass Effect."

I've only played a little bit of the first game. However, I've watched the few good videos about why the ME3 endings were bad, and I agree. The endings were clearly poorly done, rushed, and failed to deliver what was promised.

However, seeing people bitch about them constantly gets old. I was, and still am, so sick of hearing about it that I have lost all interest in the Mass Effect franchise.

I now get the same "*sigh* boring!" reaction to Mass Effect that I get from another EA franchise, Madden!
Yes, I said it. I find Mass Effect, an epic science fiction game, to be as boring and mundane as a friggin' football simulator.

Now imagine if you felt the same way I did. Now imagine you were the creator of the Mass Effect IP. Yeah, you'd be depressed too.

To anyone accusing the man of "not taking criticism" I say this: Taking criticism is pointless. Taking on criticism is worthwhile. To understand what I mean, I suggest watching the following video.

Grunt_Man11:
To anyone accusing the man of "not taking criticism" I say this: Taking criticism is pointless. Taking on criticism is worthwhile.

Exactly so, but that criticism has to come from somewhere. Granted that the BSN's signal-to-noise ratio is seriously skewed, but Gaider is discounting the possibility of finding useful feedback on his own forums - not a position any game developer should take lightly, let alone one whose reputation has fallen to the extent that BioWare's has.

Diana Kingston-Gabai:

Grunt_Man11:
To anyone accusing the man of "not taking criticism" I say this: Taking criticism is pointless. Taking on criticism is worthwhile.

Exactly so, but that criticism has to come from somewhere. Granted that the BSN's signal-to-noise ratio is seriously skewed, but Gaider is discounting the possibility of finding useful feedback on his own forums - not a position any game developer should take lightly, let alone one whose reputation has fallen to the extent that BioWare's has.

I do not think he is doing that. From having watched him one of the forum goers he was most actively and pleasantly engaged with disproved of just about everything Bioware did, but he did so in reasonable ways and what I think is more important, he didn't bang on about the same tired old thing forever.

From looking at the forums its very common for people to bring up topics that have been talked to exhaustion months ago simply to bitch at bioware, perhaps partly because they are unaware that these points have been heard already, but more commonly they do not care.

Crono1973:

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.

hopefully that'll make it more open word and free roaming than DA2.

and yeah Skyrim was flawed enough.

But A hybrid of the two done well could have the potential to be awesome.

FelixG:

Well they havent released anything else in that time, so on a forum DEDICATED to those things, it is not unreasonable to be talking about the last thing released... And I like the casual insults thrown at people you dont agree with by calling them "whiny entitled neckbeards." I would offer a retort, but you know the escapist generally frowns upon insulting people. ~.^

Though it is probably healthy for the developers to see what their fanbase thinks about them in the wake of disappointing games. I pitty the idiot who wants nothing but yes-men talking about their property. If we had THOSE idiots in the gaming industry... all our developers would be stuck with EA levels of PR!

Yeah, I did kinda nullify my argument by saying that Neckbeard bit.

Anyways, I understand that the threads are about the game series itself, and not just Bioware in general. What I meant was that instead of bashing the game until the next in the series comes out, how about start talking about the new game. They have said it's in early development, so it probably wont be out until 2015. Instead of saying to them "OH MY GOD I HATE MASS EFFECT 3 YOU GUYS ARE IDIOTS AND I HATE YOU AND EA", it would be better to take what they said ages ago (They're asking the fanbase what they want to see in future installments) and then say something like, "I would prefer it go more forward with RPG/Combat/More choices/This time period". That way you're letting them know what the remaining people left with Bioware would like to see it go in this direction. Then, when the next Bioware game comes out (In the ME series) you wont have another game in which you don't like. Bioware have already proven that they listen to their fans by releasing the Extended Cut for free.

Devoneaux:

Sorry, but pedestals are for people who don't condescendingly insult a group of people.

I'll have to impound that.

"Yeah! Bioware fans are discussing the last game made on a forum dedicated specifically to that game series! GAWD GET OVER IT!"

I would like to retract the "Neckbeardy" statement, as you pointed out, it makes me look like an ass who's opinion should be thrown out.

So, where you wrote "a forum dedicated specifically to that game series", you kinda brought me to a point where in which I touched upon in the post right above me (As I just answered another person's quote on my statement). IF, you are going on the Mass Effect page to discuss the series, why not discuss it's future? After all, it was announced that they're in the early stages of developing the sequel and would like to hear fan input on what they should try and do with the series. So instead of bitching about the last game in the series, talk about the future of the series. Same goes if you're on a Dragon Age specific forum. Don't go throwing crap at the previous game, discuss the new game so the develpoers get an idea on what their fanbase is looking forward to.

I was perfectly ready to reflexively give a "...if you can't stand the heat..." kind of response, but I have to confess he sounds pretty reasonable, honestly.

I do get tired of hearing the term "entitled" slung around so freely, though.

To put it this way:

A guy honks his horn in traffic because there's another car not moving. A single, sharp honk is enough to make the car move. But the guy decides to just hold his hand down on the horn, blaring out a long, agitating honk.

Should the car move? Yes.

Is the guy with the horn being obnoxious? Yes.

Is the guy justified in his action? Yes.

Is his conduct? Probably not, because now all the other cars are agitated, too.

So what does the car do? It keeps driving and stays far away from the man with the horn, and tries not to stop traffic again in the future.

That's David in a nutshell, and I'm fine with that.

Dust yourself off, and keep driving.

LordDPS:
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?

Xanex:
While the Bioware forums have never been full of love and enlightenment. Ever since they gave what amounted to a big middle finger to the majority of their fans, it has declined into a decidedly darker place.

What was this big middle finger?

thanatos388:
How have they been childish? They have listened and made changes to the ending over the controversy...why do people still care?

Well for the ME3 thing, they decided to hold the shield of "artistic integrity" up against any criticism. Deciding that your patrons criticisms don't matter just because it's being aimed at a piece of art seems childish. As for Gaider himself, he doesn't seem very good at handling the fans and their concerns.

thanatos388:
What was this big middle finger?

The alternate ending to the extended cut could probably be taken as a middle finger to a lot of people. Many didn't like the three choices and wanted an option to say no, which was happily provided for them in the free DLC. Unfortunately, refusing the star child leads to the Reapers winning and everyone dying, because people choosing it weren't being good little fans and accepting what the writers gave them originally.

"I think there's something to be said there about the level of rhetoric and [b]entitlement[b] among online gamer communities in general,"

Stop it, just stop.

Every time I see someone use that word it makes me want to beat them with a giant sloppy kipper.

It's one of the most over used buzzwords thrown about recently (aimed a lot at BioWare "fans" as well) and it's annoying. The only people who still use that word are, what we like to call them in poilte and mature terms .... WANKERS.

"Perhaps there is also something to be said about whether the games BioWare makes still satisfy our core fans."

The sad truth is that the BioWare a lot of us used to love is not the same BioWare that is around now.

A hell of a lot of the core team have left including the founders, it's BioWare in name only.

I don't blame BioWare for recent games I haven't liked, I don't blame EA and I don't blame the "fans" .... it's a combination of all 3.

BioWare games, for me at least, have slipped in standard over the years. As people have left who worked on the older games it truly has shown in the games i've played recently.

I'll use Dragon Age 2 as an example. The first one was fantastic, I still play it now and have clocked in almost as many hours with that as I have with Oblivion (mainly thanks to mods though ... yes you can mod Dragon Age Origins and DA2). The writing was good, the locations were good and the characters were great.

Dragon Age 2. The locations were re-used, the writing was half arsed and a lot of the main characters were terrible. It was a lot shorter and not as varied as the first and didn't get more than one and a bit playthoughs (I managed 30 minutes the second time but got bored).

The main thing is the PR bullshit though.

SW:TOR - The PR was all about it being different to any other MMO yet it wasn't. It was just a reskin of the tried and slightly dull formula that's being done to death.

Mass Effect 3 - Again sorry about bringing the ending up. Casey said "it's not a case of getting ending A, B or C" which was exactly what we got. Okay maybe not exactly ... we got green, red or blue rather than A, B or C but still.

But you are right David, perhaps the games you make now aren't what some BioWare fans want.

I was never a "fan" so to speak. I liked some of their games but the only thing i'm truly a "fan" of is my Football team (note the Liverpool badge as my avatar). But I did like some of their games. Sadly none of their recent ones.

So maybe I need to stop looking to BioWare to get my story RPG fix. I do hope Dragon Age 3 turns out okay but I don't have high expectations for it.

Vault101:
It kind of sucks to be a bioware fan thease days...

I wonder why people keep saying that. I and a few people I know are actually perfectly happy with the company and the games they make. That's why we're 'fans'.

The less Bioware tries to cater to its so called 'core audience' the better as far as I'm concerned.

i haven't been there in ages so i don't know if its a bad as he says but if the bs about the me3 ending is any indication it may just be

thanatos388:

Xanex:
While the Bioware forums have never been full of love and enlightenment. Ever since they gave what amounted to a big middle finger to the majority of their fans, it has declined into a decidedly darker place.

What was this big middle finger?

Well not so much towards the "majority" seeing as we haven't exactly got accurate numbers, but when the ME3 ending issue came about they did press releases which basically said "We know a lot of people weren't happy, but the majority clearly are as we got over 75 perfect review scores."

Some saw this as them saying that peoples criticisms don't matter considering that responding to criticism with "Well lot's of other people liked it" seems somewhat dismissive.

Personally I just felt it was typical childish EA/Bioware PR crap as opposed to them trying to be rude. They cannot make any comments about criticisms of any kind without mentioning sales figures and favourable reviews/press.

Nimcha:

Vault101:
It kind of sucks to be a bioware fan thease days...

I wonder why people keep saying that. I and a few people I know are actually perfectly happy with the company and the games they make. That's why we're 'fans'.

You are quite possibly reading a bit too much into that. She didn't say it sucks to be a Bioware fan because of anything they did wrong. She could very well mean that it sucks to be a Bioware fan because all you hear about is how much Bioware suck. It isn't pleasant constantly hearing the things that you like being insulted, especially if you cannot discuss what you like without people trying to start arguments over it.

Although of course she may very well have meant that Bioware were the problem, but it's best not to jump to conclusions.

I was thinking about putting in a joke about Gaider writing for Dragon Age, but decided against it.

I personally didn't let ME3's ending get to me, because I used the awesome powers of fanon discontinuity to pretend that ending didn't happen.

If anything, I suggest we put behind the mistake Bioware made and simply pray they don't pull off any similar ending with the Dragon Age franchise (Or at least have Dragon Age 3 give you the option to side with the mages in the Templar-Mage war, I'd want to do that regardless of how it turns out in the end).

OniaPL:
Perhaps the Dragon Age forums are more toxic than before because you actually released a good game, and then released a sequel which was utter shit, a complete embarrassment and an insult towards the fans.

I liked it. I actually like Dragon Age 2 better than Origins, and just mentioning that will earn me such ire and flaming in the Internet that I just prefer not to discuss any Bioware games on the net.

Lieju:
[quote="OniaPL" post="7.398156.16276130"]Snip

Oh yes, we hang people like you here! That's why what, a dozen or so people in this thread has said it without repercussion...But you, you will be the exception!

I honestly hate the victim-coat people put on. You like a game, fine, deal with it. People didn't like it. Also fine, let them deal with that. Don't play a god damn martyr.

The thing that I've found about recent BioWare games is that they're not THAT bad. Sure, it seems that the best Bioware Games have come and gone (Dragon Age, NeverWinter Nights, Mass Effect 2) but what's left is still above average. For instance: I was not overly impressed with the dialogue and story for Skyrim. The gameplay was nice (if buggy) and it was very immersive, but the characters, motivations, and plot just seemed utterly nonexistent.

BioWare can still make good games, it just seems like they're not taking the time to make GREAT games anymore. Dragon Age 2 was actually not that bad, and if they'd just spent some time making new environments and giving the game a more conclusive ending (instead of saving the conclusive ending to be added on in a DLC that never released....... not that I'm bitter or anything) it could have at least been in the same league as Dragon Age: Origins.

Also they could have thought of a better name, Dragon Age: Origins was called "Origins" not "1" so Dragon Age 2 could have just been called "Dragon Age" and made just as much sense.

I've been to the BioWare forums only once and I can say this:

I'm glad The Escapist has the rules set like they do. Hell, if The Escapist rules were in effect there, the mods would've had Hammer Streak-Banillionaires by now.

Which sounds sort of entertaining, actually! ^.^

OniaPL:
Perhaps the Dragon Age forums are more toxic than before because you actually released a good game, and then released a sequel which was utter shit, a complete embarrassment and an insult towards the fans.

So you think there game is bad and that gives you the right to be a ass hole to them without repercussions.

NortherWolf:

Oh yes, we hang people like you here! That's why what, a dozen or so people in this thread has said it without repercussion...But you, you will be the exception!

I honestly hate the victim-coat people put on. You like a game, fine, deal with it. People didn't like it. Also fine, let them deal with that. Don't play a god damn martyr.

Um, thanks for proving my point. If you even meant to quote me, in which case, I guess I'm sorry?
I'm fine with people liking different things, and in fact it's useful (and fun) to discuss things you like with people who have different views. But it's annoying when it's difficult to find actual discussion, because as soon as you mention the game, you get 'That sucked!' without any reasoning, too often accompanied by insults to your intelligence.

It's a matter of finding a good forum for discussion, obviously. I just haven't found a forum where (some) people weren't so overly emotional and unable to discuss Bioware-games in a civilized manner.

OrokuSaki:

BioWare can still make good games, it just seems like they're not taking the time to make GREAT games anymore. Dragon Age 2 was actually not that bad, and if they'd just spent some time making new environments and giving the game a more conclusive ending (instead of saving the conclusive ending to be added on in a DLC that never released....

Were they planning to add DLC that would come after the ending? I never knew that.

I actually really liked the way it ended, and it didn't seem to me like there was content missing, it was about how the war started and Hawke became influential and was forced to pick a side, and it told that story.
But I agree they should have taken more time to make more different environments. I liked how you were in the city, though, and how it handled the missions, though. It fitted the game, but I'd like it if DA3 took a different, more open-world approach.

Lieju:
Hmm, I came across as a bit asshole-y didn't I? Sorry about that.
But it's about games, like movies they tend to divide people. More so even, as I've noticed gamers either being in the "OMG IT SUCKS!" or "OMG IT*S THE BEST!" camp rather than. "Yeah, I enjoyed it, but it wasn't very good." or "I didn't enjoy it though I know it's a good game."

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