Home Gaming Bioware has ideas and plans to help expand Anthem’s endgame after launch

Bioware has ideas and plans to help expand Anthem’s endgame after launch

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Some video games are diversions. Others are hobbies. And if you’re looking to really get into the groove of the gaming industry these days, other games are proper time-sinks. Gone are the days of mammoth 20-40 hour experiences, as it feels like every studio with a bit of cash to spend is looking to create a live service that pays out like a broken slot machine thanks to recurrent consumer spending.

I’m not against that idea, but if you’re looking to dominate someone’s life with daily logins, weekly activities and monthly events, you better have one hell of a game that has longevity running under the hood. The market is becoming crowded, people only have so much time during the day to commit to an adventure and this bubble is going to burst eventually.

EA and Bioware’s Anthem is throwing its Javelin into the ring, in an attempt to be the power fantasy tour de force of the year, and while it has plenty to love, it has a few gremlins under its hood as well. The biggest challenge facing Anthem is just how it intends to rise above being a great 20 hour game and create a satisfying investment of time that numbers in the hundreds of hours. Perhaps a truly challenging event that requires deft teamwork could be one cog in the machine that helps Anthem stand the test of time, similar to a certain other game’s endgame activity?

“The problem with ‘raid’, is it has a connotation – that it requires more people or has five bosses in a circle,” lead producer Ben Irving  said to Eurogamer.

That’s why I’m using the word ‘aspiration content’. In other games a raid is that and while I think that is important to a game like ours, we have an idea which is different but ticks the needs of why a raid is important. It’s a similar thing. It’s the thing you’ll schedule with your buddies, will be hard, requires tons and tons of coordination and then there will be ways to show off if you are good at that or not.

Currently, Anthem’s activities come in three flavours outside of the golden path narrative. Freeplay is exploration with random stuff happening, Contracts send you off against bounty targets and Strongholds has you teaming up with other Freelancers to take down tough opponents in challenging missions. Then there are Events, which will throw players at daily and weekly activities that progress Anthem’s story. “You’re not always going to be seeing the exact same stuff,” Irving explained.

Things can change – you don’t always understand why – but things happen in the world. We have plans and ideas to pay off on that.

Something else that you’ll see updated regularly? Anthem’s NPCs, who’ll also be given some extra data to help advance the story with:

They have a bunch of things to say and then they’ll run out of stuff to say, and then we’ll add some more things! The cadence of that we have to work out – we believe telling an ongoing narrative is important so in our story planning we’ve mapped out several years of the story arc, where things go. Not all the specifics, but the big beats of how it will happen.

We can tell narrative in or out of the game, with super-expensive cinematics, or with little quips and sentences and lore in the world. We just need to find that balance of – when do we need a new role-playing conversation so someone can teach you something. When do we add a new mission with a cinematic? We’ll be adding all that stuff after launch, we just need to get the right mixture of all of it.

Bioware is also aware of the looming pitfalls of its biggest game to date, as creating a live service title doesn’t just take time and effort, but also an investment from the fans for it to be a success. “Any new live service will have its stumbling blocks,” Irving explained.

We’ve had that conversation across our entire organisation and irrespective of what happens at the beginning we’ll have support for a while. Because that could happen – and I don’t think it will happen and I hope it doesn’t – but we have enough resources to really make a great go at this live service – and that should hold true no matter what happens in the first month or two.

Last Updated: February 4, 2019

35 Comments

  1. You mean plans to MILK THE LIVING SNOT OUT OF IT?

    Yep, DLC incoming, full price, two more in this year. Then, it will tank, and be on “GOTYE FULL EDITION PLUS++” [sale] for full price, after which people won’t budge, it will become a R99 special and only then will people buy

    Reply

    • PestControl

      February 4, 2019 at 13:28

      I played the alpha + demo(s), and I probably won’t end up buying the game. It was fun, however I think endgame content will definitely be an issue. Give this game a good month or two and check in on what people say… if they haven’t grown tired of what’s available – then it might indicate that it has some potential… until then I’ll remain skeptical.

      In regards to the extra DLC etc: from what I’ve read + heard the whole reason why in-game cosmetics are so ridiculously expensive is due to the fact that they want to keep the future content free and then only charge for cosmetics (which will also be obtainable from in-game currency etc). This is EA though… so I won’t bank on that.

      Reply

  2. UltimateNinjaPandaDudeGuy

    February 4, 2019 at 12:52

    I honestly liked it.

    I decided to get Origin Access Premier for 12 months which was R1200. I got it mainly for BF5 and Anthem. So far I am quite happy.

    R1200 for what will be more than 400 hours of entertainment for the year? Damn good price and includes every single thing you need. If I want some cool hats to put on my javelin I will just complete the stuff in game and buy it with that.

    Reply

    • Admiral Chief

      February 4, 2019 at 13:11

      IF you can log in and play

      Reply

      • UltimateNinjaPandaDudeGuy

        February 4, 2019 at 13:17

        They did have that one big outage that was quite irritating, but overall after those few hours I had no real issues. They definitely still need to put in WAY more effort into their whole network and CDN, but the games are good so I just suffer through some of these things.

        Reply

    • Pariah

      February 4, 2019 at 13:17

      I, too, really enjoyed my time with it. While there were some bugs and annoyances, when it was running it was amazing to play. Each Javelin felt unique and different, builds and item choices mattered so much and it just felt really good from start to finish. Minus the loading bugs. I’m really looking forward to it.

      Reply

  3. Llama In The Rift

    February 4, 2019 at 13:04

    Yeah still on my nope list for the year but hell who knows, might get to buy this in a month or 2 once it hits the bargain bin…for now will be spectating from a save distance

    Reply

  4. CrAiGiSh

    February 4, 2019 at 13:11

    Or they could focus on getting the game started for everyone … JUST A FUCKING THOUGHT !!!

    Reply

    • Pariah

      February 4, 2019 at 13:28

      I won’t defend the demo issues – those were apparent. But, I will say that the demo build is actually several weeks old, so a lot of the issues we were experiencing are already taken care of. Let’s hope their network holds up.

      Reply

  5. Pieter Kruger

    February 4, 2019 at 13:34

    Played this weekend and really enjoyed it! Had no issues and the game looks great & I love the feel of the javelins in game…..think I’ ll have to grab it on release!

    Reply

  6. Nikola

    February 4, 2019 at 13:48

    Can’t log in most of the time, game runs like crap, constant issue with frame rates and it is due to release in 20 days yeaaaah no thanks! Will wait for more reviews and patches to see what people say and IF there is decent end game content. But think will give it a skip and rather get Division 2!! Was actually quite excited for this game but after the demo nope…

    Reply

  7. G8crasha

    February 4, 2019 at 14:00

    I am keen for this game, but also slightly apprehensive!

    Reply

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