We should forgive Bioware.

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shrekfan246:

So why is it that DA2 and ME3 have had such a controversial impact on the community that people just automatically refuse to give the time of day to something branded with "Bioware" on it anymore?

EA has pulled some other team in to do C&C5. This other team is not Bioware, however, since EA owns the brand, they are now calling that team Bioware. If it will sell more copies of Sim CIty 5, EA will rename Maxis Bioware. "Bioware" is now making Facebook apps; and no I don't mean Dragon Age Facebook apps I mean cutesy "Yeti saves Christmas" apps. "Bioware" isn't Bioware anymore, it is a brand EA can stamp on shit to make you and/or other Bioware fans to buy it. "Bioware" doesn't mean anything anymore.

I think a lot of people just feel betrayed. The same thing is happening right now with Blizz and Diablo 3 I think. Many people were expecting to get something long lasting, and what was shipped was unplayable for a couple days, continuously down for maintenance, and is still plagued with bugs and lack of things to do. Bioware is a little different, because they have taken steps to appease the fans, so as far as I'm concerned they pretty much made up for their mistake. Even not having played ME3, I know I won't forget about the situation and Bioware's mistakes for a long time still, but I'm not going to actively avoiding buying one of their games if it looks good. Blizz on the other hand has done very little to appease its community so far, and I'm skeptical it will.

I dislike that a set of developers can take the blame for shady business decisions unconnected to them. Bioware's reputation has degraded due to the business practices of EA. It doesn't have anything to do with their games. Mass Effect 3 was not a bad game. Ok it had a dodgy ending, but that's a very superficial thing. The gameplay was good. The multiplayer by all accounts was a surprisingly worthy idea. It was hated on long before release, and the same haters found whatever they could to complain about after they had bought the game (which of course they shouldn't have done).

There's a current trend in the gaming community (there's another obvious recent example that I don't even need to name) that as soon as a game becomes unpopular due to dubious practices like DRM, DLC etc. then it will be attacked from every angle with unreasonable scrutiny. This is dangerous, because mass complaints do not go unnoticed by developers and producers. If enough people complain about a gameplay aspect, then this will influence the directions taken by future games. If you complain dishonestly about gameplay aspects, then the directions taken by future games will end up being against your wishes. A certain game I don't need to name has come under mass criticism for a specific gameplay aspect. I can sum this aspect up very concisely. People are complaining because the endgame is too difficult. What do you think the result of these complaints will be for any developers and producers reading them? They will dumb down their games even more in future. Do you really want that to happen? Complain more about the quality of voice acting or graphics in games and producers will throw even more money at such superficial elements rather than at gameplay. Be clear and honest about what you dislike, and let it be known.

Anyway, Bioware is just a name. There's a set of people (developers, specifically) that used to call themselves Bioware, but that meaning of the word is redundant now. SW:TOR wasn't even made by the old Bioware (it was primarily former member of Mythic). If you're blaming Bioware, the people, for things done by Bioware, the company, then you're falling for the entire brand name delusion. That's the reason EA bought out Bioware in the first place; they were a well respected name. A name.

I get the feeling that Bioware has become to gaming what Frank Miller is to the Comic realm. Both have early careers that many people would claim are legendary (Baldur's Gate, Neverwinter Nights, KotOR in the one case; Daredevil, Dark Knight Returns, Batman: Year One). Then in recent years they've done increasingly shady, shoddy work. I don't think Bioware is as bad as Miller at this point but they have plenty of room to fall. I look forward to Bioware and Miller teaming up for a video game adaptation of Holy Terror.

Yes we totally should. How will they get a good sleep at night otherwise?

Neither will some complainers reduce the money they make, nor our forgiveness will improve their development quality or work ethic. So what is the point of begging forgiveness for some corporation that is partners with EA.

I've moved on to not caring. I'm never buying another of their games at launch, however. I will wait and see if they actually try to improve things. If the pros outweigh the cons, I'll think about it.

For someone that was never a longtime Bioware fan (like me), the latest games from them it what was supposed to introduce me to the company. Getting into something new and being disapointed is a bit like taking a bite out of a sandwich you don't know whats in. Everyone has said it tastes soooo good cause the guy that makes them has made such great sandwiches in the past. But your first bite isn't very nice, and the next one is even worse! Sure, maybe the third bite WILL be good, but after spending $100 on two bites you didn't much care for, taking the 3rd one doesn't tempt much, regardless of price and hype =p.

I really suck at saying clever things so I'm sure someone will completely misunderstand and we'll have a big row. *puts up fists* well, bring it on!

I guess I can compare it to how I feel about Ubisoft. They made some good smoked salmon, and I liked it a lot. But then they started smearing poo on it. No matter how hard you try to enjoy the salmon after that, you just can't get around that smell and taste...

...

I'm hungry!

I forgave Bioware after playing the ME3 Extended Cut. I'll probably get some flak for saying it, but they managed to save it in my eyes, and I was happy with the ending (or rather, happy that it had a proper ending at last).

I'll admit, I had (perhaps somewhat childishly) been refusing to buy any of their older games that I'd wanted to try out until I was satisfied with the ME3 ending. I know it's illogical, but I just didn't think it was ok for them to release an unfinished game and get away with it. On finishing the Extended Cut, I immediately bought both KOTOR and Jade Empire.

Now, this doesn't mean I won't be wary of any future Bioware releases. ME3 taught me a lesson about pre-ordering, for example, and there are several shitty business practices evident in ME3 that I'm not sure I'd want to put up with again (the shoe-horned in, compulsory multiplayer to enable DRM; taking out an important chunk of the story and selling it as day one DLC; fucking Origin). But I certainly won't be refusing to buy future games if they sound like something I'd enjoy, nor will I bitch about any future games without playing them myself just because they carry the Bioware label.

ME3 got me so mad because Bioware has done such an amazing job with the series. I never would have believed that I could have got so emotional involved in a game series before Mass Effect. Dragon Age: Origins (plus Awakening) is another of my favourite games of all time, and the one I've put most time into by far. I'm not about to deny myself another experience like that unless I really have to.

I'll forgive Bioware when they abandon EA and start giving themselves enough time to put out a 100% polished product instead of a 95% polished product.

I don't care if it takes 7 years as long as the end result is fantastic.

Here is what bothers me about these kinds of threads.

Bioware isn't interested in my forgiveness. They may like that they have a loyal fanbase, but that itself is just one point in getting into your wallet. They dont love me. No developer does. They dont even know me.

They are in this because we pay games. Not because the they want us to like them.

And if a product they make is worth the pricetag upon it, then ill get out my wallet and pay for it. Regardless if it says Bioware, EA or whatever.

As a group we need to get the hell over this idea that our loyalty is worth anything.
Good games are are good games, regardless of who made them. Same goes for bad games.

Draech:

Bioware isn't interested in my forgiveness. They may like that they have a loyal fanbase, but that itself is just one point in getting into your wallet. They dont love me. No developer does. They dont even know me.

They are in this because we pay games. Not because the they want us to like them.

And if a product they make is worth the pricetag upon it, then ill get out my wallet and pay for it. Regardless if it says Bioware, EA or whatever.

As cynical as this may sound to others, there's truth to this and I agree with you (although I think it's more of the publisher not caring rather than the developer). Funny that it didn't hit me until the aftermath of ME3.

oplinger:

Because they were not Bioware quality games, they were EA quality games. They were mediocre, passable, painfully okay. And they had many issues, not just ME3's ending, or DA2's gays.

Well, it didn't take long for someone to bring up EA, huh? I suppose that's only fair, I tried to avoid going into EA-hate mode but I suppose that's probably a big part of the reason so many people are angry with Bioware in the first place.

I never said those games didn't have their own issues, I said that despite the issues they were still pretty decent games. This is getting into the realm of personal opinion, but objectively speaking Dragon Age 2 looked nice, controlled fairly well, had good voice acting and decent writing, a working combat/skill system, and actually tried to push its way out of the rigid "Bioware" guillotine of "YOU are the ONLY ONE who can SAVE THE WORLD!" It had problems - Recycled assets, a bland story, some people didn't like the "simplified" armor system for companions or how the combat and skills were flip-flopped to be more like an MMO-style game than a "true RPG", and on release the DirectX 11 support was pretty buggy and terrible. I'm sure all of the weapon&armor bundle DLCs didn't help endear it to the public eye either.

Mass Effect 3 had a simplified dialogue system, it had less reason to interact with squad-mates between missions, it had multi-player, it shrunk down the number of side-missions a person could take, and it had a lot of plot-holes and Dei Ex Machina, but it also had much smoother and faster combat, a more in-depth skill system than had been in Mass Effect 2, and while this is my own opinion I thought the writing was the strongest of the entire trilogy. Who didn't love that moment with Garrus on the top of the Citadel? Who didn't love Grunt's crowning moment of awesome? Who didn't feel heartbroken during Mordin's scenes? Who wasn't crestfallen when they discovered they had to choose between the Geth and the Quarians (though that brings up the issues with the final incarnation of the Paragon/Renegade system)?

Bioware did a terrible mistake in story telling. They do have a long history of releasing good games, quality games, games that are memorable, told well, presented in a way we all enjoy and are interested in seeing. Those 3 are...meh. Decent is not what Bioware is known for. And Bioware doesn't seem to really care. They're doing EA type things.

I believe I already covered Mass Effect 3 above, but I'll agree that the actual storytelling aspect of Dragon Age 2 fell heavily flat. Bioware didn't seem to get the change of pacing required when you switch to a story that is centrally focused on the life of one person, instead of one person's journey. As far as Bioware not caring anymore, well I'd like to believe that as a business, they never really cared to begin with but I wasn't exactly following video game news until about 2009 so I don't actually know. But I've heard that a lot of the people who used to work there before the EA acquisition have since left, and to me that sounds like it would explain a lot.

See, the problem is this, emotions aren't a resource to be spent up. You can't waste them. Please don't say something so silly.

I'm not so sure about that. Haven't you ever felt really drained and tired after a prolonged time of being really angry, sad, or happy?

Also, Cars was still a great movie, it was pixar quality, pixar style. It was what they were known for. People probably did swear off batman movies, but the difference with the movies is new directors, it would be like swearing off a game franchise, then the IP gets sold to a new developer, but you don't care. Makes no sense. Different people.

A lot of people complained about Cars, actually. Because a lot of people didn't believe it was "Pixar quality" when it was released. And when it got a sequel they were even more perplexed. And if that's the case, why have so many people claimed that Halo should just die off? Different developer, so people shouldn't care, right?

I can't think of a real example at the moment, so for purely hypothetical's sake take Final Fantasy. A lot of people got burned by how XII and XIII were. If Square Enix were to outsource the next Final Fantasy game to a completely different developer, do you think people would buy it just because it's not a Final Fantasy game made by Square Enix?

They are going a direction we don't like. That's why we hate it. They're going a very bad direction. They've taken good stories with flat characters, and made boring stories with flat characters with more romance options. We don't like it. We don't want to see Bioware go away. We do want them to stay, but as what they were, not what they are becoming.

First of all, the quality of a story as you're presenting it here is entirely subjective. You may think Mass Effect 3 was boring. I didn't.

And my entire point is that Bioware shouldn't be forced into staying as what they were just to appease their fans. They should be able to change, they should be able to do different things in their games. Maybe they're changing in awkward ways that don't really help themselves, and maybe it was forced on them by EA, but the point is that all of the "fan outrage" over every little change isn't doing any good.

Its hard not to smell EA's influence in many of Bioware's recent blunders. The cynic in me says this a trend that will only get worse.

I haven't played DA2 yet and I quite enjoyed ME3 and TOR, so there is really nothing for me to forgive Bioware for.

Bioware is no longer Bioware. Its EA's Bioware. I blame EA for most of their missteps, but that doesn't mean I'll "forgive" Bioware and start buying their games in the vain hope that they will break the trend of EA destroying whats good about all the studios it buys up. Honestly I haven't bought an EA game in two years, and I don't intend to start now.

Forgive? What the bloody balls, they aren't part of your social circle, they are a company making products.

Only thing people should do is understand, understand what they were and what they have become, but most of all understand that under the name is not the young garage band team of eager devs, now it is a conglomerate game producer eager to meet income projections, which leaves the game making in second place.
Now you need to decide if this is what you support or not.

How's this? They get their shit together and then I buy their games. Simple enough. And if they never make a game with Bethesda. Ever.

You only made this thread because it was in the "threads you don't expect to see on the escapist" thread didn't you?

Anyway, whether or not I forgive them is going to depend on whether or not their future game releases suck. And I take issue with people saying 99% of ME3 was good. No it wasn't, not from a story perspective. Most of it was bad writing.

They don't deserve "forgiveness" until they prove they will not continue their downward spiral, plain and simple.

Me it's already done

Yeah whatever. I'll "forgive them" - figuratively - when they actually make something good.

It's down to personal taste really though isn't it? I mean, even if somebody doesn't like the ending of a game, somebody else might. Even though I don't like Bioware games that much (I tried Dragon Age Origins and didn't like it and from what I've heard Mass Effect is similar game play wise) I know and respect that they do write pretty awesome games.

If you "forgive", don't lower your standards in doing so.
Don't blindly buy their games on launch.

It's the only way those game companies will ever feel compelled to improve.
Sales statistics speak leagues louder than any controversy.

Atmos Duality:
If you "forgive", don't lower your standards in doing so.
Don't blindly buy their games on launch.

It's the only way those game companies will ever feel compelled to improve.
Sales statistics speak leagues louder than any controversy.

I'm not saying that people should blindly love them again. Just that blindly hating them is equally as ridiculous. You should always be wary of what you buy, no matter who is selling it, that's being a savvy customer.

Darkmantle:
You only made this thread because it was in the "threads you don't expect to see on the escapist" thread didn't you?

image

I would never do something like that. Any post that says otherwise is a lie.

EpicMrAnderson:
It's down to personal taste really though isn't it? I mean, even if somebody doesn't like the ending of a game, somebody else might. Even though I don't like Bioware games that much (I tried Dragon Age Origins and didn't like it and from what I've heard Mass Effect is similar game play wise) I know and respect that they do write pretty awesome games.

Mass Effect doesn't have similar gameplay. Perhaps similar structure, but gameplay... nooo! You are comparing a Slow-paced Turn-based RPG (Dragon Age) to a Fast-paced Action (Third Person Shooter) RPG. But if you were to purchase Mass Effect 1, then please don't expect the masterwork RPG that people are making it out to be, because it isn't.

Draech:
As a group we need to get the hell over this idea that our loyalty is worth anything.
Good games are are good games, regardless of who made them. Same goes for bad games.

Oh dear god yes. Why cant more people realise this. It kind of bugs me when I constantly see hate for companies cloudly peoples judgements of games.

I see, I did hear from a friend and didn't dig and deeper than that

shrekfan246:

I'm not saying that people should blindly love them again. Just that blindly hating them is equally as ridiculous. You should always be wary of what you buy, no matter who is selling it, that's being a savvy customer.

I'm only cautioning here because when I see often see topics or articles/videos etc asking people to "forgive", they are really asking for everyone to just go back to how things were before; which is just recreating the same conditions that lead to the first problem.

Blindly hating anything is ridiculous, yes.
If you must hate on something, at least have a good objective reason for it.

shrekfan246:
What would've happened to Pink Floyd if people had sworn them off forever after Syd Barrett left the band?

The thing is, Pink Floyd didn't turn into a steaming pile of shit after Syd left.

Atmos Duality:

shrekfan246:

I'm not saying that people should blindly love them again. Just that blindly hating them is equally as ridiculous. You should always be wary of what you buy, no matter who is selling it, that's being a savvy customer.

I'm only cautioning here because when I see often see topics or articles/videos etc asking people to "forgive", they are really asking for everyone to just go back to how things were before; which is just recreating the same conditions that lead to the first problem.

Blindly hating anything is ridiculous, yes.
If you must hate on something, at least have a good objective reason for it.

I don't want people to go back to worshiping the ground Bioware walks on. Hell, I'm not even a huge Bioware fan myself - I've enjoyed KotOR, Jade Empire, Mass Effect, and Dragon Age, but that's purely it. I enjoyed them. They were sources of entertainment for me for untold hours, and when I finished them that was it. They were over. I moved on to other games. Hell, I didn't even know KotOR was a "Bioware Game" back when I first got it. I just liked Star Wars.

I don't think people are wrong for being mad about all of the things that have happened to Bioware over the last few years. But I think the hatred for EA is reaching critical mass and has helped amplify the rage directed at Bioware, and it's just tiring. You should never put blind faith in a developer, no matter how good they are. By the same token, you shouldn't hate a developer because they're doing things differently, or because they're owned by one of the worst publishers currently in the industry, or because they've made "mediocre" "passable" games after a long history of great games.

I... probably don't look at these types of things with enough emotion, though. I'm fairly neutral about most things in relation to developers and publishers. I don't like EA's business practices, but I like the games they release. I've had fun with a few Valve games, but I try to not use Steam if I can help it and I don't care about Half-Life 3. I don't harbor any strong feelings toward Nintendo, Sony, or Microsoft. Maybe I'm just weird...

Actually, I really like the old republic. Sure, DR2 and ME3 were let downs, but I think bioware deserves some credit for TOR.

Draech:

Bioware isn't interested in my forgiveness. They may like that they have a loyal fanbase, but that itself is just one point in getting into your wallet. They dont love me. No developer does. They dont even know me.

Emphasis added by me. As someone who's been on both sides of the gamer/dev border, and has moderated on said dev's forums for awhile, pretty much this.

Only a very small percentage of the studio looks at the forums, usually a couple writers, QA perhaps, the community reps if the studio is large enough to have one, otherwise they'd rely on the owning publisher's PR and marketing team. And even then, they usually only frequent their own, not others like, say, here's.

I mean, can you name the devs on the game and their roles (Without looking up the credits)? Their past game credits? Probably not, you mostly only see the front facing ones they parade around at shows and videos.

And of course it goes both ways, if you came up to them at a convention and introduce yourself, would they go "Oh it's you! How are you doing?" I rarely remember who I've talked to on forums from last year, let alone last month. It's all due to the frequency of the interaction, they MIGHT interact with you for like one post a day, maybe a week? If you're lucky - most of the time some rep will do something like collect feedback and forward a list to the devs, so they don't even know who posted it. Unless you stand out in some way besides just posting on a forum.

And yet people think their $60 purchase == investment in the company. I'm not trying to be dismissive of the impact the community can be, or say "know your place, you're just a number" but realize how ignorant the devs are of you.

I'm not a fan of their other games but I did love Mass Effect as a franchise. Both of the previous games are heavily flawed but they offered me something that not a lot of developers offer, a huge, sprawling universe that has interesting lore and divulges in interesting themes. Now after Mass Effect 3, I just don't give a shit about anything they'll ever put out.

I don't hate them or anything, it's just my opinion of them have lowered extremely after Mass Effect 3.

We all have to remember that Bioware are a company with multiple teams, the team that did ME3 was not the exact same that did DA2. Other Bioware teams could be working on good stuff as we type.
I thought ME3 was great until the end which I hated. Now the extended cut is out I only think it is poor. I mostly blame Casey Hudson for the ending, but the whole ending thing is still a mine field so lets not go into it.

I liked DA2. The biggest complaint was "you don't travel round trying to save the world", surely that is a good thing because it breaks the mold from every other rpg ever. The copy and pasted environments did suck though.

I never gave a shit about the star wars rpg they made and dont even know what was apparently wrong with it.

I cannot really forgive them for destroying Mass Effect. Yes it is destroyed. The multiple endings guarantee there will be no more post ME3 games only, fucking annoying prequels.

As for dragon age 3 hey lets give it a chance! its ending can't be as bad as Mass Effects..... right?

I personally don't really have a problem with Bioware.

The only real point where I thought Bioware was somewhat taking missteps was with Dragon Age: Origins.

I didn't by any means think Dragon Age was a bad game or even badly written, I just felt, when I played it, that Bioware seemed to sometimes be trying too hard with their 'Dark Fantasy'. I mean, this is the game that deconstructs some parts of being a mage!

And I'm not bothered by ME3's ending, partly because before Extended Cut I just pretended it didn't exist and used fanon discontinuity to make so in my mind Shepard simply sacrificed himself to destroy the Reapers (and ONLY the Reapers) and everyone else in the galaxy lives happily ever after.

But mostly because I saw on Youtube what the EC version of the Control ending was like, and I can only describe it in 2 words; 'beyond badass'.

Or... you know... lets not.

I'm sure Revan and HK47 would agree with me.

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