BioWare: Player Feedback Shapes Our Content

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BioWare: Player Feedback Shapes Our Content

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Your messages to BioWare on Facebook and Twitter actually do make a difference.

As if it wasn't already obvious from the ongoing vote on the female Commander Shepard, Dragon Age producer Fernando Melo says that BioWare puts a lot of stock into player feedback, and uses it to see what it's getting right and what it's getting wrong.

Speaking about the latest batch of DLC, Legacy, Melo said that the reaction to the content had been very positive. This, he explained, was something that the team was incredibly happy about, as they hadn't been sure what the reception would be considering the criticism that surrounded the launch Dragon Age 2. Players had liked especially liked Legacy's narrative focus, which, he said, would inform and shape future Dragon Age 2 DLC.

He did note that the feedback had not been wholly positive, however; some players had complained about the AI for party members, particularly in the final boss fight. But even the more negative feedback was welcomed, he explained, as it let BioWare know where it needed to improve. He said that BioWare didn't have any intention to stop improving the Dragon Age games, and that the studio hadn't yet reached where it wanted to be technology-wise.

When it came to the future of Dragon Age 2, Melo wouldn't reveal any specifics aside from a new item pack that comes out on August 23rd. He said that BioWare wasn't done with Hawke just yet, but dodged other questions, like one from Twitter which asked whether Varric would ever be romanceable.

One thing he would reveal, however, is that BioWare didn't have any plans at the moment to make follower specific DLC, as it did with Dragon Age: Origins. He said that while content like Leliana's Song and Witch Hunt had done pretty well, players had expressed a desire to continue the main story of Origins. This was something that BioWare had kept in mind when designing the DLC for Dragon Age 2, he said, and had taken care to make it seem like a natural extension of the story.

It's always exciting when a developer pays so much attention to its fans, especially one as successful as BioWare. Of course, this also suggests that if you too want to get intimate with Varric, then you should let BioWare know about it as soon as possible.

Permalink

The peril in this philosophy is how they handle such criticism. Mass Effect 2 saw the complete removal of planetary exploration, rather than improvements, replaced with a scanning "mini game" that was about as entertaining as an interactive pie-chart.

Could I demand for an actual sequel to KOTOR? That won't get butchered by lucasarts this time or dumbed down like Dragon Age?

Ninjamedic:
Could I demand for an actual sequel to KOTOR? That won't get butchered by lucasarts this time or dumbed down?

KotOR 2 was actually fairly good. Gameplay much the same with some addons, though the story not quite as good. How was it dumbed down?

Da Orky Man:

Ninjamedic:
Could I demand for an actual sequel to KOTOR? That won't get butchered by lucasarts this time or dumbed down?

KotOR 2 was actually fairly good. Gameplay much the same with some addons, though the story not quite as good. How was it dumbed down?

I was referring to how Obsidian was backstabbed by lucasarts with a rushed release date. As for the Dumbed Down comment, it was more of a stab at Dragon Age.

I wish I could blame more of their design decisions on the fans. It would make the worst ones make more sense.

Players are a bunch of whiny bitches who don't know what they want. Soliciting (and acting on) player feedback may be the worst idea ever.

The only thing I got out of that whole bit was the DLC planned...
Another item pack...? My god how many do they feel they need to release for this game? Half of the crap that's released with them aren't even scalable if I remember, so its not like you're gaining anything with them besides a new weapon.

Depends. Player feedback is important in making the sequel better. Add more of what people love, and less of what people hate. But, you have to balance it. People that hate it could be those that prefer easier games or fps - soo their comments are not based as rpg players. But as fps players. You cant please everyone, but if you are an "rpg" then be biased towards that and dont make changes that ruin that style of game. (Take note Fable.)

Da Orky Man:

Ninjamedic:
Could I demand for an actual sequel to KOTOR? That won't get butchered by lucasarts this time or dumbed down?

KotOR 2 was actually fairly good. Gameplay much the same with some addons, though the story not quite as good. How was it dumbed down?

I thought kotor 2's story was much deeper than kotor 1's typical bioware story.

Da Orky Man:

Ninjamedic:
Could I demand for an actual sequel to KOTOR? That won't get butchered by lucasarts this time or dumbed down?

KotOR 2 was actually fairly good. Gameplay much the same with some addons, though the story not quite as good. How was it dumbed down?

Except for the horrid ending, I feel the story in KotOR 2 was better, but to each his own.

Anyway, I'm content to leave game design to the game designers. There've been some times where I thought I wanted a feature, then actually GOT said feature and ended up hating it. Not to say they should not pay attention to reception, but they shouldn't make theur games by committee with the fans.

Mortuorum:
Players are a bunch of whiny bitches who don't know what they want. Soliciting (and acting on) player feedback may be the worst idea ever.

Seriously. And specifically, Bioware has some of the worst "fans" I've ever seen. These are people who got ANGRY when Bioware had the audacity to give away ME2 free with copies of DA2. I'm convinced there is no pleasing them, ever. (I'm glaring at you, Shamus Young!)

Anti Nudist Cupcake:

Da Orky Man:

Ninjamedic:
Could I demand for an actual sequel to KOTOR? That won't get butchered by lucasarts this time or dumbed down?

KotOR 2 was actually fairly good. Gameplay much the same with some addons, though the story not quite as good. How was it dumbed down?

I thought kotor 2's story was much deeper than kotor 1's typical bioware story.

Me too, and that's not even saying anything about the amazing writing. The writing in KotOR 1 wasn't bad by any measure (I feel they got the saturday morning cartoon villain feel down perfectly with Malak), it just wasn't as good. And it didn't have the single best written character in gaming like KotOR 2 did.

Avatar Roku:

Anti Nudist Cupcake:

Da Orky Man:

KotOR 2 was actually fairly good. Gameplay much the same with some addons, though the story not quite as good. How was it dumbed down?

I thought kotor 2's story was much deeper than kotor 1's typical bioware story.

Me too, and that's not even saying anything about the amazing writing. The writing in KotOR 1 wasn't bad by any measure (I feel they got the saturday morning cartoon villain feel down perfectly with Malak), it just wasn't as good. And it didn't have the single best written character in gaming like KotOR 2 did.

Which character do you mean by that?

Icehearted:
The peril in this philosophy is how they handle such criticism. Mass Effect 2 saw the complete removal of planetary exploration, rather than improvements, replaced with a scanning "mini game" that was about as entertaining as an interactive pie-chart.

Pretty much this. Listening to your fans is a bad idea Bioware. Badbadabadbadbadbadbadbadbadbadbadbadbadbadbadbad.

TokenRupee:

Avatar Roku:

Anti Nudist Cupcake:

I thought kotor 2's story was much deeper than kotor 1's typical bioware story.

Me too, and that's not even saying anything about the amazing writing. The writing in KotOR 1 wasn't bad by any measure (I feel they got the saturday morning cartoon villain feel down perfectly with Malak), it just wasn't as good. And it didn't have the single best written character in gaming like KotOR 2 did.

Which character do you mean by that?

Kreia, of course.

Avatar Roku:

TokenRupee:

Avatar Roku:
Me too, and that's not even saying anything about the amazing writing. The writing in KotOR 1 wasn't bad by any measure (I feel they got the saturday morning cartoon villain feel down perfectly with Malak), it just wasn't as good. And it didn't have the single best written character in gaming like KotOR 2 did.

Which character do you mean by that?

Kreia, of course.

I figured that's who you meant, but I was just making sure.

Ninjamedic:
Could I demand for an actual sequel to KOTOR? That won't get butchered by lucasarts this time or dumbed down like Dragon Age?

I'm all about them removing crap that serves no purpose beyond pretending it somehow enhances the game to have fourteen different kinds of hat.

Icehearted:
The peril in this philosophy is how they handle such criticism. Mass Effect 2 saw the complete removal of planetary exploration, rather than improvements, replaced with a scanning "mini game" that was about as entertaining as an interactive pie-chart.

The mako was the worst part of that entire game and you just kept having to use that god damned bucket.

Da Orky Man:

Ninjamedic:
Could I demand for an actual sequel to KOTOR? That won't get butchered by lucasarts this time or dumbed down?

KotOR 2 was actually fairly good. Gameplay much the same with some addons, though the story not quite as good. How was it dumbed down?

I respectfully disagree, the story in kotor 2, especially kreia, is one i hold in the most highest regard, perhaps of all time. Its advisable that you use the unoffical patches, but honestly, without them, i still thought it was brilliant.

just my interpretation

Avatar Roku:
Kreia, of course.

Please be joking.

Avatar Roku:

TokenRupee:

Avatar Roku:
Me too, and that's not even saying anything about the amazing writing. The writing in KotOR 1 wasn't bad by any measure (I feel they got the saturday morning cartoon villain feel down perfectly with Malak), it just wasn't as good. And it didn't have the single best written character in gaming like KotOR 2 did.

Which character do you mean by that?

Kreia, of course.

I bloody well HAVE to agree with this.

Ahhh... This would explain the loss in quality of Bioware games lately.

Kashrlyyk:

Avatar Roku:
Kreia, of course.

Please be joking.

Don't like Kreia? If not, PM me and we'll discuss it, this isn't the place.

Gemore:

Da Orky Man:

Ninjamedic:
Could I demand for an actual sequel to KOTOR? That won't get butchered by lucasarts this time or dumbed down?

KotOR 2 was actually fairly good. Gameplay much the same with some addons, though the story not quite as good. How was it dumbed down?

I respectfully disagree, the story in kotor 2, especially kreia, is one i hold in the most highest regard, perhaps of all time. Its advisable that you use the unoffical patches, but honestly, without them, i still thought it was brilliant.

just my interpretation

Oh, the story of KotOR 2 was incredible. One of the best I've ever seen in gaming. But that one WOW moment in the first KotOR puts it just ahead for me.

Gaias:
Ahhh... This would explain the loss in quality of Bioware games lately.

HERESY!

Da Orky Man:

Gemore:

Da Orky Man:

KotOR 2 was actually fairly good. Gameplay much the same with some addons, though the story not quite as good. How was it dumbed down?

I respectfully disagree, the story in kotor 2, especially kreia, is one i hold in the most highest regard, perhaps of all time. Its advisable that you use the unoffical patches, but honestly, without them, i still thought it was brilliant.

just my interpretation

Oh, the story of KotOR 2 was incredible. One of the best I've ever seen in gaming. But that one WOW moment in the first KotOR puts it just ahead for me.

That's fair. That moment was so amazing first time through, it really is hard for anything to top that. I can think of ONE thing that does, and it's not even in gaming. (A certain event from the end of season 2 of Avatar, if you were wondering)

Whelp, just so long as they know when not to listen to player feedback it'll all work out fine.

Mortuorum:
Players are a bunch of whiny bitches who don't know what they want. Soliciting (and acting on) player feedback may be the worst idea ever.

It's nice to know you can be self-deprecating.

It's actually an un-winnable situation. If they give into every demand they get crap and bitching from people like you. If they do it all themselves then they get bitching from another group of people that say they never listen to the players.

I want them to find a happy median between player feedback and their own problem solvers. That way I think the least amount of bitching will occur.

They really listened to feedback alright. That's why they decided using monotonous, recycled environments over and over again in DA2 was a good idea.

I say "poo" to that.

Inkidu:

Mortuorum:
Players are a bunch of whiny bitches who don't know what they want. Soliciting (and acting on) player feedback may be the worst idea ever.

It's nice to know you can be self-deprecating.

It's actually an un-winnable situation. If they give into every demand they get crap and bitching from people like you. If they do it all themselves then they get bitching from another group of people that say they never listen to the players.

I want them to find a happy median between player feedback and their own problem solvers. That way I think the least amount of bitching will occur.

You must be pretty amazing to know so much about me (and, of course, "people like me") from a brief one paragraph quote!

Ignoring the insulting subtect of your comments, I will elaborate on my point, which I thought would be self-evident to someone with almost 700 board posts. The most vocal segment of the gaming fan population generally does not represent the typical audience of the game, but rather the extremes. So, by incorporating suggestions from that group, you will most likely marginalize the majority of your playerbase.

The problem is actually exacerbated with BioWare games. BioWare titles have historically been geared towards very specific types of RPG fans. Their own success, however, has garnered them an audience that includes a broader player base. Good for BioWare, yes? Except that I personally actually like the crunchy bits of the old BioWare RPGs (strategic skill building, item management, etc.). So, when Mass Effect 2 came out, I was disappointed. Clearly (to me, anyways), BioWare was trying to please the fans who wanted Mass Effect to play more like a shooter. It is still a fun game, but feels more like "Call of Duty: Spectre" than the spiritual sequel to KOTOR (which was their stated original intent).

Avatar Roku:

TokenRupee:

Avatar Roku:
Me too, and that's not even saying anything about the amazing writing. The writing in KotOR 1 wasn't bad by any measure (I feel they got the saturday morning cartoon villain feel down perfectly with Malak), it just wasn't as good. And it didn't have the single best written character in gaming like KotOR 2 did.

Which character do you mean by that?

Kreia, of course.

Agree with you 100% on that. She's gaming's best character, in my opinion. Star War's best character too, though I don't know if that's a greater or lesser feat.

Users:"Dear Bioware, stop reusing the same areas 10 times"
Bioware:"Dear Users, You'll have to pay us $10 for every dlc that doesn't reuse areas over and over again, we'll never ever improve Dragon Age II simply because You suckers already paid us and now Your opinions don't matter"

That's a short description of BW-Community dialogue over the last 5 months.

DustyDrB:

Avatar Roku:

TokenRupee:

Which character do you mean by that?

Kreia, of course.

Agree with you 100% on that. She's gaming's best character, in my opinion. Star War's best character too, though I don't know if that's a greater or lesser feat.

I'd say lesser, but then I remember some OTHER characters in gaming...

ciasteczkowyp:
Users:"Dear Bioware, stop reusing the same areas 10 times"
Bioware:"Dear Users, You'll have to pay us $10 for every dlc that doesn't reuse areas over and over again, we'll never ever improve Dragon Age II simply because You suckers already paid us and now Your opinions don't matter"

That's a short description of BW-Community dialogue over the last 5 months.

I think you've confused Bioware with Activision. Bioware's never said that they'll never improve DAII. Besides, how are they supposed to fix that problem? Through a patch adding new textures?

And Microsoft pretty much forces gaming companies to charge for their DLC. It's not entirely Bioware's fault, though whether $10 is too much really depends on what the DLC is.

Mortuorum:

Inkidu:

Mortuorum:
Players are a bunch of whiny bitches who don't know what they want. Soliciting (and acting on) player feedback may be the worst idea ever.

It's nice to know you can be self-deprecating.

It's actually an un-winnable situation. If they give into every demand they get crap and bitching from people like you. If they do it all themselves then they get bitching from another group of people that say they never listen to the players.

I want them to find a happy median between player feedback and their own problem solvers. That way I think the least amount of bitching will occur.

You must be pretty amazing to know so much about me (and, of course, "people like me") from a brief one paragraph quote!

Ignoring the insulting subtect of your comments, I will elaborate on my point, which I thought would be self-evident to someone with almost 700 board posts. The most vocal segment of the gaming fan population generally does not represent the typical audience of the game, but rather the extremes. So, by incorporating suggestions from that group, you will most likely marginalize the majority of your playerbase.

The problem is actually exacerbated with BioWare games. BioWare titles have historically been geared towards very specific types of RPG fans. Their own success, however, has garnered them an audience that includes a broader player base. Good for BioWare, yes? Except that I personally actually like the crunchy bits of the old BioWare RPGs (strategic skill building, item management, etc.). So, when Mass Effect 2 came out, I was disappointed. Clearly (to me, anyways), BioWare was trying to please the fans who wanted Mass Effect to play more like a shooter. It is still a fun game, but feels more like "Call of Duty: Spectre" than the spiritual sequel to KOTOR (which was their stated original intent).

I have to give it to you first, you knew just how to label a whole group of diverse people in general. I mean really truly able to sum up a whole group in one statement. Awe inspiring.

I see a problem with the most vocal not being the best advocates. Why are we letting tools speak louder than people who should know what they want in their games?
,
I said before it's un-winnable. You have to "Give the people what they want." but you also can't make everyone happy all the time. Like I said happy median. Sure ME 2 was actionier but that also came with less exploitation of the ME 1 RPG mechanics and it's still a challenging and strategic game. Play it on insanity and you're really going to see the challenge. I'll gladly sacrifice the crunchy bits when they start slogging me down.

So, my point is you and a group who thinks like you bitch about one thing, some group bitches about another, and so on. Happy median.

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