Anthem’s Reddit cracks down on ‘aimless’ criticism

    
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That's not good, no.

How dire is the situation surrounding BioWare’s Anthem these days? It’s so bad, apparently, that the community reddit has taken to drastic censorship to keep complaints and criticism of the multiplayer shooter to a bare minimum.

New rules for the sub include putting an end to “popcorn mentality” that stirs up drama, posting any pictures of Anthem’s store pricing, posting pics of Anthem’s Twitch viewership, and “aimless ranting and directionless vitriol.” These rules have not gone over well, especially in light of the fact that there’s already a be-positive-only reddit for the game.

“No more talking about how the game is dead, no photos of the price tag, no rants,” one person noted. “This is almost every post on this subreddit because there isn’t anything positive or constructive to say about Anthem.”

“So basically you want to shut down all discussion and debate that people actually want to have in favor of mindlessly gushing over how good the game is?” another disbelieving poster said.

The reddit’s mods stood their ground to the furor, saying, “We STILL aren’t censoring opinions (and never have), we just wish to cut down the numbers of people who are here tongue in cheek screaming into the void and enjoying shitting on everything. Valid and fully earned criticism for the game and all they produce in the future will now and always be allowed.”

Our own Not So Massively column recently tackled Anthem’s current state.

A few other times Reddit modding made the news…

Source: Reddit. Thanks Danny!

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Tuor of Gondolin

The beatings will continue until morale improves.

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Arthen Wolfsbane

I’ll probably play it when it goes into origin basic access .

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Feyd Darkholme

I’m so glad that I limited myself to one dumpster fire game this year (Fallout 76) and didn’t pull the trigger on Anthem. So much potential squandered… Damage is done, so damage control at this juncture is pointless. It is worrisome though when companies try to control the narrative to this degree… if you did something wrong or put out a crappy product, own up, mea culpa and DO BETTER. Trolls are gonna troll, white knights are going to white knight, let them. They are just fanning flames at this point.

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Anton Mochalin

Honestly I think Bioware guys deserve pity, they’re stuck with a game that’s not going to be good no matter how much they work on it and yes they are the ones to blame but do they deserve an endless torture? I don’t think so and they should just put the game on maintenance mode and go work on some other game like Dragon Age 4 or some other story-rich “choices matter” RPG.

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Aiun Tanks

Bad news: DA4 is going to be an online-only live service game, too, and while you will be ‘able to complete the game solo’ (much like Anthem), it’s trying to shift focus to online social play. Apparently it’s also based off Anthem’s customized Frostbite engine. Sooooo… probably best not to pin your hopes on DA4, but whatever they do after that. If they survive making the same development mistakes a third time, anyway.

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Anton Mochalin

The problem of Anthem is not that the graphics engine works poorly or that the online functions work poorly. It’s just that Bioware doesn’t understand how to create looter shooters. Their failure to put attractive loot into a looter shooter just shows that. And while they try to learn and hire loot systems designers the clock is ticking.

I play Warframe a lot and I can say it doesn’t matter too much that it’s an online game, Digital Extremes could easily modify it to be offline-only and it would just work.

At the same time designing good RPGs with strong story is just as hard as designing looter shooters but that’s a different skill and the one Bioware more or less has already. They have even already designed an online-only RPG with strong story called Star Wars: The Old Republic and it’s not at least a failure like Anthem.

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Aiun Tanks

Nah, the engine’s a huge part. Reason being, it’s the thing that’s blamed for their inability to iterate, to adapt, to apply quick fixes, or to address some of the long-term bad decisions around how systems interact with each other (you know, health, damage, scaling, and loot’s impact on those).

They’re this far out from release – not just beta, but release – and they still can’t get a stats sheet. Because everything the stats sheet relies on is fucked. Engine.

The loot-shooter part RELIES on the ability to get all that right. If you can’t change any of that, you can’t get the looter right.

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Anton Mochalin

Well Frostbite was used for many quite different games from ME: Andromeda and Dragon Age 3 to Star Wars Battlefront 1&2 so I don’t think the engine is such an obstacle.

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Rodrigo Dias Costa

You can use Andromeda to validate the problems with the engine. It works for games like battlefield, that first-person and presentation are all that matters. RPGs, other perspectives, and everything else? Not so much..
Here something for reference: https://www.usgamer.net/articles/ea-frostbite-engine-history-bioware-ea-sports

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Anton Mochalin

It always boils down to management and choosing your priorities and my point was that at least with RPGs like Dragon Age Bioware had experience from previous products – including using Frostbite engine and working in the context of an EA subsidiary. But in real software development it is always about having the right priorities and Bioware not understanding looter shooter genre couldn’t understand what are the priorities i.e. when to push to get new functionality from the engine and when to sacrifice/postpone that functionality. When I saw the first Anthem gameplay demo I knew for sure it’s not going to be a good game because I’ve played Borderlands a lot, I’ve played Warframe a lot and actually the game should be much more like a shooter on presentation side to succeed. Looter shooters need to be fast to have engage/loot/upgrade gameplay loop fast and making that gameplay loop fast is the whole point of looter shooters.

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Anton Mochalin

And if they understood what their priorities are in looter shooter genre Bioware maybe would just refuse to use Frostbite for Anthem and tell EA that either they choose a proper engine or don’t work on Anthem (or whatever it was called at the moment) project at all – and that would be a perfectly rational stance and in the interests of both EA and Bioware.

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Aiun Tanks

One of those is a pure FPS that the engine was designd for. Of course it wouldn’t be an obstacle. But for the two RPGs you listed both went through development hell and one performed so catastrophically poorly that it put the studio on notice and got the franchise put on ice.

These are NOT positive examples of the engine ‘not being an obstacle’ because the engine was, by all reports, the BIGGEST obstacle for both DA:I and ME:A.

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Anton Mochalin

Dragon Age 3 won several Game of the Year awards. “Development hell” never happens because of tools used of the team but always because of mismanagement. And you will never find in any report any mentions that Frostbite was the “BIGGEST” obstacle for those games.

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Aiun Tanks

A ‘good result’ doesn’t mean there wasn’t development hell. The sources in the Kotaku article noted that much of the team were desperately hoping that DA:I wouldn’t be received so well that it would come across as reinforcing that this unsustainable clusterfuck can sometimes work. Which, obviously, it did reinforce… leading them to repeat the same process twice, despite resulting in failure, twice.

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rafael12104

Meh. This goes right in the “much ado about nothing” bin.

Why? Because the only people left contributing anything at all are the Knights and the Haters. Nothing substantive comes out of that subreddit at the moment.

It is much better to frequent the “LowSodiumAnthem” subreddit. At least there you can discuss the gaming issues, improvements, etc. etc.

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Steve Gossman

Thats a lot of text for “we want to cut down on the shit posting”

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Danny Smith

The “Nothing happened at Tiananmen square. Don’t look. Don’t talk about it. If you know whats good for you” school of thought where you think you live in a vaccum with total media control and everyone will suddenly forget facts because you told them to not talk about.

That always goes well.

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squid

https://www.forbes.com/sites/paultassi/2019/06/17/i-believed-in-anthem-i-was-wrong/#7e654bf62e0f

At the time I’m writing this there are forty people watching six total players stream Anthem on Twitch. Forty.

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Randy Savage

Doesn’t “Reddit” mean “aimless criticism” in some foreign tongue?

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Witches

Well…This is the customer base they wanted…Enjoy…

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Dug From The Earth

Nice

because as EA/bio pointed out… its this sorta thing that caused Anthem to fail

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Greaterdivinity

Is my sarcasm meter going off correctly, or is this a false positive? Because if so, well played. If not, then…wut?

PlasmaJohn
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PlasmaJohn

I think Dug is referring to Bioware’s utterly tone-deaf response to Schierer’s expose. Not only did they fail to read the article but they turned around and blamed bad press for Anthem’s issues.

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Dug From The Earth

I didnt verify his claims, so they could be wrong