Avengers update roadmap may be in purgatory

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FinalDasa

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#1 FinalDasa  Moderator

Remember earlier this year when a major Marvel video game was released promising post-release support for months to come?

The multiplayer-focused game is running into some issues. Namely that developer "Crystal Dynamics seemingly pushing back a number of its roadmap objectives while simultaneously trying to fix what currently ails the game".

This is all according to an article over on Forbes that goes on to describe an ever-shrinking player base on PC that's making it difficult for some to even play the game at all unless they choose to drop in solo. The author draws a direct parallel between Avengers and Anthem (hey remember Anthem 2.0?).

A hesitant developer and a dwindling player base don't typically mix well. We've seen this time and again. Developers/publishers that dedicate themselves to continually supporting a game for years do sometimes reap the reward (FF14, Warframe, even Fallout 76 a bit). Whereas these quick cut and run jobs only hurt everyone involved. Players feel left out in the cold, developers are stuck between fixing the game and adding to it, and the franchise itself just sits and suffers.

If you bought Avengers how do you feel about the game just stuck in limbo? If you haven't bought it, were you considering it if the game kept updating?

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bigsocrates

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I bought Avengers, played through the single player, and did some of the repetitive stuff but it didn't grab me.

I was planning to go back when the new stuff dropped and I'm kind of annoyed that they made all these promises and aren't planning on following through. It definitely makes me even more hesitant to get into these "live" games in the future.

Also the single player, which is by far the best part of the game, cannot be replayed unless you delete your save on a system level.

On the other hand I had an okay time with the single player and I have definitely bought worse games, so I'm not full of rage or anything. But developers are going to stop being able to sell games based on promises of future content if they don't follow through at all. Anthem and now Avengers show that even big projects with massive backing from rich companies will sell based on a bunch of stuff that may never materialize.

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tds418

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From what I can tell from the people who talked about the game in the GB destiny discord server, it seems like people were generally pretty happy with the campaign content but there wasn't a whole lot to do after that except grind some stuff out. So yeah, if they don't start to flesh out the endgame, that's probably not a good sign.

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navster15

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I bought Avengers at launch as less of a service game I’d stick with, but rather as an ongoing narrative that I could check in on every month or so and get that good Marvel shit. The lack of a roadmap is really concerning, especially now that we’re a month in and the planned Kate Bishop content seems perpetually far away. Who knows, maybe they’ll right the ship, but right now I’m nervous.

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benbelden

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The article seems pretty light on actual facts and more just the author’s opinion based on what he wants and expects out of the game. It also seems pretty clear he wanted to frame the whole thing a certain way with the whole “I copied and pasted this opening paragraph from Anthem” introduction. I was under the impression that the game sold really well and I do all of the multiplayer stuff solo, all I really care about is getting new characters.

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tds418

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I don't know about this article specifically, but Paul Tassi has been the shlooter beat reporter for Forbes for a few years now. He's pretty well known in the destiny community. So I think he probably has some idea what he's talking about, even if he had a narrative he wanted to go with.

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devise22

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#7  Edited By devise22

Yeah it's a weird position to be in, because I don't think that Crystal really understands, and it's clear from even some of the comments in this thread but also like more wide; a lot of people bought Avengers for the Campaign not the Live Service stuff.

Count me in that camp, I had no intention of making this a common multiplayer game and the idea of doing larger group content ala Destiny Strikes and Raids only really appealed to me for one playthrough, with friends. Them going into hiatus with their road map this soon after release though is pretty concerning. Seems like they don't have a handle on what they really want this game to be, which has been a big problem for a lot of live service games of late.

Like, all I can really say is as someone who enjoyed much of the campaign, all I'd really want from a live service perspective is story content. More solo chapters for each character that are at least several hours in length. For group content I'd probably also much rather a more narrative focus. Overwatch did well with the concept of forcing you into a specific set of heros for teams on narrative based event missions. Those missions were never more than an hour and some change in length at best though. So leveraging some of the strengths the campaign had would be fun for a fixed hero set, especially IF the roster is ever going to expand like they promised. I just think going all in on this "It's an MMO right so Raids and Multiplayer and PVP down the road" is just not the type of thing I ever want out of this thing really and never was, so if they double down in that direction I fear they lose pretty much everyone who bought the game because they liked the campaign, and wanted a more narrative approach to a live service game.

For some reason adventure games were able to figure this shit out but like, more conventional modern genres seem to struggle between a heavy focus on ideas WoW popularized simply because a lot of their gameplay conventions are so mechanics heavy. Sometimes I wish games of this ilk (Destiny, Division, etc.) would spend more time making you care about the encounters than trying to gamify as much encounters as possible because it's a video game. Like yes, that stuff works for decades old PC MMO's but can we not choose how much of something we are going to let influence modern game design or what?

But yeah to hear the rumored state it's in, quite the bummer.

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DoctorTran

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Looks like the studio head is doing some collateral damage.

https://kotaku.com/crystal-dynamics-claims-relief-in-sight-for-bored-aveng-1845317433

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FinalDasa

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#9 FinalDasa  Moderator

Looks like the studio head is doing some collateral damage.

https://kotaku.com/crystal-dynamics-claims-relief-in-sight-for-bored-aveng-1845317433

Was about to pop in and add this. Hopefully, this was a speed bump and not a pattern for the future.

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#10  Edited By Hunkadunkodon

As the official unofficial semi-pro representative pro tempore of the world's greatest Giant Bomb on PS4 Marvel's Avengers guild I have to say... Given the way this year has been with... Everything... I'm not shocked.

Firstly I think the IP didn't do them many favors in terms of player retention. Being Avengers probably gave them a wider, broader appeal for initial sales but the general dislike for anything labeled as a "as a service forever game" these days combined with how multiplayer retention post-launch for even the best games tends to be a significant drop... It all adds up to an audience buying in for a superhero action game, finishing it and leaving it to those of us who showed up for an over-the-shoulder Diablo variant. Then you have that remaining audience falling off between content drops, which puts you in that death spiral of "Players don't play because there's nothing new but do they add anything new if nobody is playing?"

I'm the brand of player that came to Avengers primarily interested in seeing how they'd do "Diablo/Destiny But ____" and aside from some technical issues and UX foibles I've had a good time with it. I'm not playing it all day every day but I'm still on board to see where the game goes and grows.

I just hope that the team working on the game had the foresight to weather the challenges presented by current and ongoing events and/or is able to adapt.

Ideally they have a plan to keep things moving forward even when your population spikes are few and far between. A lot of players are just only gonna engage with new content and do repeat content so much before moving on. There are just So Many Games after all. God there are so many games. Plus we have new consoles coming.

Just hoping there is a way for things to stay on track, if even slowly, while weathering all the setbacks and population shifts. It's always sad for me to see any online game shut down. Those games were home to someone at some point.

I *still* miss Auto Assault.

Yes. You heard me. You wanna fightaboutit?

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csl316

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Been waiting to buy Avengers for the single player when game releases slow down, as that seems to be the best part of the game.

It just feels like maybe we don't need a bunch of live service games. A solid campaign would've sold well enough with a much, much smaller budget.

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clagnaught

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#12  Edited By clagnaught

I haven’t picked up the game, but I may scoop it up for $30 if it goes on sale this holiday.

A thing with me is I wonder what the majority of people want. Do they want the post-game, play forever live game, or do they want more updates. The only type of game like this I played is Destiny, which seemed to finally get it. They have seasons with small events they cycle in and out to give people a reason to keep playing (although that is typically a lot of grinding, some which is more fun than others). Then they have the bigger content drops once a year, like Forsaken, Shadowkeep, and Beyond Light.

For some reason, Avengers seems like it should focus on those bigger events. And if that means people fall off the game and come back, that may not be the worst thing in the world. I’m thinking of that quote Luke Smith had during one of the Giant Bomb E3 shows, when he basically said “It’s ok if players stop playing our game for a bit and come back later.”

Maybe things are more dire than I realize? Anthem seemed like it had an endgame problem and was a bad game. Fallout 76 seemed dead on arrival, but they threw enough stuff at it that people (somehow) stuck with it. Avengers may be fine as a long term game. I still think the way you should do that is through bigger updates.

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Hunkadunkodon

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#13  Edited By Hunkadunkodon

@clagnaught: Everything you mentioned is sound and, very likely given it’s influences, accurate. I Would not at all be surprised if stuff like the Hawkeye update is a seasonal thing a la Destiny and then maybe a The Taken King style update next year (though with new independent Bungie I don’t know if that’s still the plan or not for them). I personally would be fine with this setup. I’ve done the “this is my my main game” lifestyle for a long time but it’s not really working for me anymore... But anecdotally, from conversations I’ve seen over the past 10-15 years there is an audience who wants/expects that. So I think there are definitely people who want both an endless game and frequent updates because they’ve pinned their flag to this game.

Silly as it sounds I think folks like Smith saying to folks “Hey, you don’t need to make this game your lifestyle.” is good, because a lot of folks do go all-in on their investment and come away jaded and burnt out. Even Yoshida from Final Fantasy 14 has expressed a similar sentiment, and that is a game you really can play every day and simply not run out of things you could do to progress.

I’ve certainly fallen into that habit. I have literally eyed an upcoming game and said “This is going to be my new WoW” and meanwhile my library of 1000s of unplayed games builds up and causes me constant guilt. It’s a me problem, I know, but I wasn’t making myself happy by doing that. I’m not saying an online service game should be your dad and force you to take breaks from time to time, but given how so many games have season passes these days maybe some of us could use a reminder that we still have, like, six Yakuza games yet to play.

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And this is part of why the GAAS model sucks.

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