BioWare Dev Answers a Ton of Fan Questions Regarding Shared-World Shooters - Talks Destiny, Mass Effect 3, and More

On the Anthem Reddit page, one user submitted a few questions to be answered about shared-world [...]

bioware q

On the Anthem Reddit page, one user submitted a few questions to be answered about shared-world shooters and the growing trend seen within this genre regarding failures, successes, PvP, inventory, and more. Anthem dev Brenon Holmes took to the challenge to answer a few of these hitters in one go.

1) When it comes to Anthems narration and gameplay mechanics, how significantly is Bioware looking into the failures, and successes, of games such as Destiny and The Division when going through development?

Both of the games you list are in the competitive space for Anthem, so yes - we're looking at all aspects of those games (as well as many others). Generally we look to have 'mentor' games for specific features, we try to learn from what a particular game has done well and what could be improved.

2) One of the more common criticisms of games within this genre, specifically when they include PvP, is that many PvE-centered players feel their experience is hampered due to the need to keep the PvP experience balanced. As an example, some players feel as though the changes made from Destiny 1 to Destiny 2 (4v4 PvP, two primary weapons, static rolls, etc) have made the PvE experience less bombastic and exciting. This same feeling is also true of The Division, where many powerful perks on weapons were nerfed in order to keep the PvP "Dark-Zone" sections balanced. Are these types of player sentiments brought up during discussions at Bioware? If so, has it caused significant shifts in the gameplay approach needed for Anthem?

I think that if you're going to have PvP, it is extremely challenging to share the same mechanics and balance with non-PvP game modes. I don't think its impossible... just very very hard. :)

3) While I cannot assume whether or not Anthem will contain a PvP component, I imagine that the game will likely require you to be always-online in order to play. Given either case, there will likely be an increased need for urgency in addressing bugs, glitches, and exploits. With Bioware no longer having a dedicated forum, does the team feel as though they'll be able to readily address future complaints and bug problems by relying on existing social sites (such as Reddit and Twitter) for player-feedback?

This is a great question, and honestly I don't know the answer. Personally I really miss the old forums, I'm hopeful that we can help build new communities together with you folks... but I think we'll only really know the answer after we've given it a shot.

4) When Destiny first released, Bungie stated that they were highly surprised at how often players were playing, as well as their desire for content. This likely prompted them to increase their staff count in order to meet the demands of the more content-ravenous parts of their playerbase. There's a very good chance that if players introduce themselves into Anthem, they may likely exhaust the content very quickly. Does Bioware, and EA, feel they are ready to meet the challenge of providing such an audience with enough content?

It depends on what you mean by this... there are a lot of different kinds of content in games like this. People will very rapidly exhaust portions of the game content, and there's not much we can do about that.

The real question is can we renew the experience and keep it fresh so people are still having fun and are engaged with the world... and we're definitely going to try! :)

An interesting story for you about Mass Effect 3 - when we shipped the multiplayer component we were mainly hoping it just wouldn't be terrible...

When we got back some of the multiplayer telemetry data, we thought it was a bug! We kept checking over the course of a few days before we really started trusting the data (there were a lot of people playing multiplayer) :). We had a lot of contingency plans for failure, but not really any for what was basically a surprise success.

Based on our experiences and those of our fellow devs in Austin who have been running a live service for quite some time, I think we'll be better prepared for Anthem's launch... but that said, I can't think of any game I've ever shipped that has gone according to plan after launch. :)

Holmes also addressed a few questions regarding PvP and PvE mechanics, and even drew a few comparisons from World of Warcraft. To see his entire thread, and very thorough responses to fans, you can see the entire interaction right here.