BIoware wants fan input on DA3. Good idea?

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#1 Edited by JeanLuc (3608 posts) -

http://www.forbes.com/sites/insertcoin/2012/05/18/wary-of-fan-demands-bioware-crowdsourcing-dragon-age-3-development/

Its seems BioWare is trying really hard to win back its fans. First we have the ME3 Extended Cut and now they seem to be taking in fan ideas for Dragon Age 3.

“Beginning today, we’ll do a series of questions and discussions around Dragon Age. Consider this a conversation between fans, the community team, and the developers. Everyone at BioWare is incredibly excited about the future of the franchise but we’re interested in what you have to say. Every month, we will discuss a topic or question about Dragon Age and game development. You will have one week to post your thoughts, desires, and hopes before we close the thread for review. Moderators and developers will pop into the thread to chat every now and again, so keep an eye out.
These questions and discussions are not only for future games, but other potential products like novels, animated features, pen and paper RPGs, and comics – all of which offer us opportunities to expand on parts of the world.”

I'm not so sure about this. Gameplay feedback and ideas from fans I'm totally ok with. Understanding what it is fans are looking for in the gameplay is a good idea since BioWare clearly has no idea themselves. Now, asking fans for full on story ideas? I personally think that's a bad idea. Yes I think the Mass Effect 3 ending was bad, but not because it didn't have what I wanted in it, but because the writing was lazy and poor. Stories created by committee rarely work because you end up with too many people all saying what should be in it. You ether end up with a jumbled mess of too many ideas or something super generic that takes zero risks. I understand that BioWare has been in a corner of late, but I don't think this is exactly the answer.

#2 Posted by StarvingGamer (8560 posts) -

I don't see where it says anything about them asking players for story ideas.

That said, I don't see the problem with them getting a general idea about where fans want the story to go and what they want thematically. I'm pretty sure they're not going to be asking the fans to write the story for them.

As long as they take this feedback with a grain of salt and try not to let their games become too homogenized, this will probably be a good thing.

#3 Posted by Soapy86 (2623 posts) -

Based on Bioware's recent output, it sure as hell can't hurt.

#4 Posted by Wrighteous86 (3823 posts) -

Stop trying to entice an audience you're never going to get. Just do what you do and do it well and players will come (see: Bethesda).

Also, quit with the Twilighty bullshit.

#5 Edited by Hunter5024 (5981 posts) -

I don't think it's such a bad idea to take story ideas. You say story by committee rarely works, but dude that's how basically every games story is written. I think getting just sort of a very general direction from the fans on where they want the story to go is a great idea considering the franchise wasn't built with a specific story goal in mind like Mass Effect. Dragon Age 2 tried to do that with the Mage/Templar conflict, but by the end of the game when everything started to escalate, the issue had become so thoroughly beaten over the head that I don't think anyone cared anymore. If the feedback helps them steer clear of going the whole Mage/Templar war that they were building up to then Ill be happy with them taking fan feedback. I would much rather see them explore some Qunari stories, more with The Wardens or The Darkspawn, more Morrigan and Flemeth, Ferelden, anything but more templars.

That being said I find it very disheartening that they're taking feedback from the fans at this point. They are either nowhere near as far along as I thought they were right now, or they are taking feedback at a point where it couldn't really influence the game in any major way.

#6 Posted by Dany (7887 posts) -

Doesn't matter. If the game comes out and is simply 'decent' then fans will shit on bioware.

#7 Posted by Zleunamme (706 posts) -

Bioware will listen to feedback and turn Dragon Age 3 into a first person shooter.

#8 Posted by laserbolts (5371 posts) -

I really don't see the point in this. The bioware haters will still come out in full force regardless of what the final product is. Seems like a waste of time. I wouldn't worry about pleasing the shitheads that spend so much time hating on everything. Dragon Age 3 will still sell no matter what the haters think. We are now at the point that no matter what big companies do, haters will hate because it's the cool thing to do.

#9 Posted by JasonR86 (9729 posts) -

This is a terrible idea.

Online
#10 Edited by BraveToaster (12588 posts) -

It'll just end up being a whole lot of frustrated, inarticulate fans complaining/arguing over each other's ideas

#11 Posted by Irvandus (2900 posts) -

Yes because hopefully they will be convinced to make it more like origins

No because people will bitch anyway.

Makes me wonder, what was the last game launch where people didn't bitch about something? (Big launches only)

#12 Posted by laserbolts (5371 posts) -

@Irvandus said:

Yes because hopefully they will be convinced to make it more like origins

No because people will bitch anyway.

Makes me wonder, what was the last game launch where people didn't bitch about something? (Big launches only)

Can't remember. People have become so vocal about their dislikes of things that it is rare not to see hate tied into a release. Sure some things about modern videogames suck but honestly are videogames that serious?

#13 Posted by believer258 (12211 posts) -

@Wrighteous86 said:

Stop trying to entice an audience you're never going to get. Just do what you do and do it well and players will come (see: Bethesda).

Also, quit with the Twilighty bullshit.

Pretty much that. They seem to have marketed Mass Effect 3 as a great new third person shooter. TPS it is, great it is not; it is only "good" at times and "bland" at others. The story was what I came for and frankly it was not very well written nor did it feel like anything that wouldn't be on a Saturday morning cartoon if you cut out the sex, blood, and language.

Still, even if they return to their roots and make something that should be even more revered than Baldur's Gate 2, they will be ridiculed and hated anyway.

#14 Posted by BionicRadd (616 posts) -

Yea, this is a bad idea. Fans, especially the majority that will come out with ideas for this, are mostly idiots that don't actually know what they want. Want proof? Cataclysm. Blizzard listened to an extremely loud, vocal minority of players that said they wanted WoW to be hard, again and what happened? People ran for the Rifts and the SWTORs. Did everyone quit WoW? No, but by and large, most people would agree that what Cataclysm launched with was not fun, so content sat there, unplayed. Sorry, but the point is we aren't game developers and the best games are the ones that deliver not what we want, but what we never thought to ask for.

#15 Edited by Itwastuesday (986 posts) -

They should probably just make the game they want to make and put real effort into it.

Though if it doesn't have solid rpg mechanics and combat, I probably won't care. I don't need 50 putty soldiers jumping out from nowhere, randomly swarming my mages in wave-after-wave combat again. Neither do I need them to attempt to 'fix' that problem by making the combat incredibly simple and easy (even more so than it was in DA2).

#16 Posted by DeanoXD (630 posts) -

I stood behind bioware and ea up until they decided to give in to the people crying over me3 and with announcement just shows how pathetic they have become as a developer. at least thats how i feel.

#17 Posted by Encephalon (1335 posts) -

Doesn't matter. The devs will still have to parse said input the same as they would after any in-house brainstorming session. They realize, I would imagine, that most of these ideas will be dumb.

#18 Posted by Hailinel (25205 posts) -

@Encephalon said:

Doesn't matter. The devs will still have to parse said input the same as they would after any in-house brainstorming session. They realize, I would imagine, that most of these ideas will be dumb.

Then the key is to suggest ideas that are so fucking stupid that Bioware can't possibly get them out of their minds.

I mean, I imagine that was how Bioware conceived Dragon Age II's story, at least.

#19 Posted by Korolev (1729 posts) -

Fans often don't know what they want. They are very good at noticing bad things, but very often their ideas for what would be "good" fall flat if they were actually implemented. BioWare shouldn't solicit fan ideas - they should just test their own ideas against fans, which is what Valve and Blizzard do.

Besides, I have the suspicion that the lackluster quality of DAII and the ending of ME3 wasn't to do with directionless development and a lack of good ideas - it was due to a lack of time, money and probably poor management. DAII was almost certainly a product that was pushed out of development well before its time.

The best thing BioWare can do? Resist EA attempts to turn it into another Treyarch or Infinite Ward. The need to go the Blizzard path or the Valve Path - products will be done when they are done! The problem, I think, is the fact that the leadership at EA want annualized franchises from BioWare. They think the BioWare name is gold, and as long as they put out enough "BioWare" games, profits will remain good. They don't realize (or maybe they just don't care) that they'll end up destroying the BioWare reputation.

#20 Posted by Encephalon (1335 posts) -

@Hailinel: "What if there was, like, this red lyrium thing that drove everybody crazy for reasons that are wholly unexplained in the narrative, yet it is also the crux around which the entire narrative turns? It's not like 'subterranean glowrock with narcotic properties' is a fantasy cliche, right? RIGHT?"

#21 Posted by Viking_Funeral (1917 posts) -

This quote is overused these days, but so be it:

If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have a faster horse

~Henry Ford

First of all, it's pretty obvious what people want -- something more like Dragon Age: Origins. That game remains BioWare's best selling game of all time, and the poorly received sequel only sold about 1/3rd of that amount. There is a claim that it's not possible to create another game like DA:O, because that game took 5 years to develop, but as I understand it, those 5 years weren't spent in asset creation but engine creation. They have that engine. They even iterated on it for Dragon Age 2. There is no way creating a game of that scale again could take another 5 years.

Secondly, this is just further proof that they are rudderless. Recently they mentioned that they were taking ideas from Skyrim for Dragon Age 3. (Source: Wired.com) What could they possibly be looking to emulate? Dragon Age succeeds on it's reputation as a modernized version of CRPG (and BioWare) classics such as the Infinity Engine games. The Elder Scrolls already exist to scratch the itch of huge, open-world, first person exploration & adventure. I don't mean to beat a dead horse, but the first Dragon Age was very successful, and it's not an itch being scratched by any other game developer out there.

Finally, the people who currently make the BioWare forums their home are... special. An 'even for the internet' kind of special. They are not the kind of people you want to listen to if you want your game to appeal to the larger market. The closest comparison I can think up is the hardcore Sonic fans who absolutely love every Sonic game that comes out and have a list of 23 things they would like to see added to the next game, 8 of which are romance related. That's a harsh comparison, but it's the best comparison I can come up with.

But, by all means, let's try this bizarre experiment. At the very least it'll be fun to stop in once in a while and watch the arguments.

#22 Posted by Juno500 (481 posts) -

Any attempt to incorporate fan ideas without a strong filter is a bad idea. Fans aren't developers- they don't fully understand what can and can't be realistically implemented in a game.

I'm not a fan of Bioware, I've generally always considered them overrated, but I would hope that they make the game that they want to make.

#23 Edited by ArbitraryWater (12134 posts) -

@Paul_Is_Drunk said:

Finally, the people who currently make the BioWare forums their home are... special. An 'even for the internet' kind of special. They are not the kind of people you want to listen to if you want your game to appeal to the larger market. The closest comparison I can think up is the hardcore Sonic fans who absolutely love every Sonic game that comes out and have a list of 23 things they would like to see added to the next game, 8 of which are romance related. That's a harsh comparison, but it's the best comparison I can come up with.

Right on the nose. The Bioware Social Forums do love them some romances. Since, you know, Romances are the best written part of any given Bioware game and totally don't read like bad fanfics. Really, even as an apologist for Dragon Age II, I still think that it's flaws are readily apparent and easily rectified by not making a 30+ RPG with only 18 months of Dev time. Seriously. Did anyone check the script before they realized that the main story is a tug of war between two sides, wherein they have to make every single apostate you encounter a Blood Mage in order to make the templars sympathetic at all? Also, really, in some ways I think the ending to that game is worse than Mass Effect 3's. At least with ME3 it all makes some kind of (terrible) sense and provided some (terrible) closure, whereas in DA2 every single important choice you make is immediately marginalized by other characters making the worst decisions possible.

#24 Posted by Toxeia (725 posts) -

Dragon Age 2 burned all good will I had with Bioware. Seeing as how they ret-conned the ME3 ending because of upset fans maybe they'll actually listen to people on DA3 and not make every fucking cave in the game identical.

#25 Posted by Mcfart (1729 posts) -

Why are they bothering with this? Origins was herelded as a fantastic game....just make an improved formula of DA:Orgin, not a revamp like DA2 was. They can have a more casuel RPG series (ME) and more enthuseist (DA)

#26 Posted by Morrow (1823 posts) -

@Soapy86 said:

Based on Bioware's recent output, it sure as hell can't hurt.

This.

And even if they ask fans for story inspirations, nothing is set in stone yet. The writers will be picky enough not to let the plot end chaotically.

#27 Posted by Delta_Ass (3282 posts) -

Feedback:
 
DON'T REPEAT THE SAME FUCKING DUNGEON.

#28 Posted by Hailinel (25205 posts) -

@Morrow said:

@Soapy86 said:

Based on Bioware's recent output, it sure as hell can't hurt.

This.

And even if they ask fans for story inspirations, nothing is set in stone yet. The writers will be picky enough not to let the plot end chaotically.

Isn't that exactly how Mass Effect 3 ended?

#29 Posted by Morrow (1823 posts) -

@Hailinel said:

@Morrow said:

@Soapy86 said:

Based on Bioware's recent output, it sure as hell can't hurt.

This.

And even if they ask fans for story inspirations, nothing is set in stone yet. The writers will be picky enough not to let the plot end chaotically.

Isn't that exactly how Mass Effect 3 ended?

Exactly. That's why they're asking for fan ideas not to let that happen again. I think one could expect them to make it better this time. I mean, it's their job after all...

Although 'chaotically' probably isn't the right word to describe the ME3 ending, I'd call it 'detached' (from all your personal choices throughout the first two games).

#30 Posted by Commisar123 (1798 posts) -

I think they already know what they need to change, they just need to do it

#31 Posted by Jayesslee (105 posts) -

At least they're trying? I'd rather have an Origins 2 and forget DA2 existed.

#32 Posted by TheHumanDove (2523 posts) -

Who cares? The fact that bioware needs to start listening to outside feedback means they've completely lost their talent. They probably dont even enjoy making games anymore

#33 Posted by Hunter5024 (5981 posts) -

I think maybe a lot of you are overestimating how much this feedback will actually affect the game. The kinds of questions they're asking make it sound like there trying to figure out how to flesh out the codex with some new entries. At best.

#34 Posted by AlexanderSheen (5104 posts) -

@JasonR86 said:

This is a terrible idea.

#35 Posted by Tru3_Blu3 (3245 posts) -

Just make it like Dragon Age 1. The end.

#36 Posted by McGhee (6075 posts) -

DA2 was the buggiest game I ever played aside from Skyrim. If they fix that shit and also quit recycling the same dungeons over and over again I'll be happy.

#37 Posted by Sooty (8082 posts) -

Why don't they just look at Dragon Age 1, what's there to need input for? They screwed with it resulting in a game wildly unlike the first, it's not rocket science.

#38 Edited by PenguinDust (12641 posts) -

My first thought was of that focus group that Bart and Lisa were in when Itchy & Scratchy's rating were tanking.

"You kids don't know what you want! That's why you're still kids; 'cause you're stupid! Just tell me what's wrong with the freakin' show!"

That led to the introduction of Poochie and since ME3's ending has already been compared to his departure from the Itchy & Scratchy Show, I can't help but feel this will just make things worse. Still, I'd like to believe that they've learned their lesson from DA2 and gone back to the formula from the first game that made it successful, however I have my suspicions that there are too many cooks in the kitchen at Bioware and that's why their last few projects have left gamers dissatisfied.

#39 Posted by ShaggE (6724 posts) -

... I liked DA2...

But really, the main issue with 2 (in my opinion) was the lack of development time. Just take your time with 3, Bioware. Fans have no idea what they want.

#40 Posted by TheHT (11829 posts) -

@BraveToaster said:

It'll just end up being a whole lot of frustrated, inarticulate fans complaining/arguing over each other's ideas

So ultimately it'll change nothing.

This all seems like the kind of desperation good games aren't made from. Hope BioWare can find their footing again.

#41 Edited by WinterSnowblind (7617 posts) -

@Toxeia said:

Dragon Age 2 burned all good will I had with Bioware. Seeing as how they ret-conned the ME3 ending because of upset fans maybe they'll actually listen to people on DA3 and not make every fucking cave in the game identical.

They haven't retconned the ending and aren't going to. The DLC is only going to add more of explanation to what happened.. and it's pretty obvious this was their intention to begin with. They'll milk it with DLC as much as possible and the stupidity of that ending can only have been intentional.

I'm willing to give Bioware the benefit of the doubt, and write off DA2 as a failed experiment. If the third game is a return to a similar style of Origins, then I'll be interested. If it's continuing their trend of increasingly watered down RPG's.. I'll wait for the next CD Projekt game.

#42 Posted by jonano (366 posts) -

This is going to be the majority of the input for Bioware from the fans,"Don't fuck up the ending".

#43 Posted by SeriouslyNow (8534 posts) -

@Wrighteous86 said:

Stop trying to entice an audience you're never going to get. Just do what you do and do it well and players will come (see: Bethesda).

Also, quit with the Twilighty bullshit.

Bethesda have always been in communication with their fanbase. It's why each one of the Gamebryo games comes with modding tools, why they consistently have supported modding communities and why there are many fan created references in the 'books' in their games. Also, Bethesda pissed off their fans with Horse Armour (it's still a joke with is rolled out even by the GB crew whenever DLC is mentioned) and they went ahead and fixed it with Knights of the Nine and a bunch of other really good and cheap DLC for Oblivion, let alone Skyrim where they've already given away DLC and have gone out of their way to build a really good community interface.

Bioware have largely been self interested by comparison and have never really shown any interest in their fanbase besides using them as a datamine.

#44 Posted by Vinny_Says (5721 posts) -

Make it like game of thrones.

I haven't seen game of thrones.

#45 Posted by dr_mantas (2082 posts) -

Well, I think going after what the fans want is a much better idea than what Bioware has been attempting recently - that is going after this nebulous wider audience, who mostly don't really care what they want.

Fans are the core. I believe priorities should be in this order (in a perfect world): fans -> critical appraisal -> huge sales. Usually the first two help the third one, but not always.

#46 Posted by TobbRobb (4850 posts) -

I thought it was common knowledge that people are fucking idiots and should not be trusted. There is a good reason none of our democracies actually are democracies.

#47 Posted by Village_Guy (2667 posts) -

Considering how much response they will (hopefully) get from their older fans, this could help them get it on the right track.

As in more away from Dragon Age 2 and Mass Effect 3 and getting it back to being a game that stand on its own and isn't just Mass Effect in fantasy world.

#48 Edited by AndrewB (7691 posts) -

I'd really like to compare sales numbers between Dragon Age: Origins and Dragon Age 2, keeping in mind the obvious offset that there will be due to brand recognition for the second game, because I'd like to be able to authoritatively be able to say: "what the *hell* is Bioware thinking?"

They did everything right in Origins. Everything. It's a game I put up there with Baldur's Gate 2. *And* it's modernized for today's market of people who might not want such a hardcore experience (even I have a difficult time playing the Baldur's Gate series these days because of the D&D ruleset). The only input I have is to fucking make another one of those. And maybe try to deviate a little from the typical formula of "bad shit happening, need to go to X locations and gather X forces to fight evil X" template... which is already, from what I gather, what Dragon Age 3 will be like unless they really do make drastic changes between now and release. Also, I do feel like giving up a little of the role playing for a vocal lead is a worthy compromise. I feel like the only slight against Origins was its half-hearted console port, whereas the best redeeming thing from Dragon Age 2 was a handful of its characters (not Isabella).

Their successes should not be some kind of mystery. It's bizarre that they are.

Or they could just make The Adventures of Aveline Vallen and I'd play that.

#49 Posted by AlisterCat (5733 posts) -

Make it like 1, problem solved.

#50 Posted by TheDudeOfGaming (6078 posts) -

I just don't care any more. I've got my Bethesda, Obsidian and Gearbox. Much luck to BioWare with their future endeavors.

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