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Default Dragon Age Lead Writer Sick of BioWare Forums

January 11th, 2013, 13:34
The "Vocal Minority" is also the most aggressive one.

“ Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius – and a lot of courage – to move in the opposite direction.“ (E.F.Schumacher, Economist, Source)
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January 11th, 2013, 13:39
Originally Posted by Alrik Fassbauer View Post
The "Vocal Minority" is also the most aggressive one.
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Your point being?
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January 11th, 2013, 15:31
How to create a toxic forum: Have two members with totally opposite point of views that can't accept that somebody doesn't like/hate the same things as them. Once the grudge have been set, other posters will "pick a side" without realizing it (usually based on their own like/hate).

The whole think have nothing to do with what BioWare (might) have become. I've seen much worst in TV shows and Harry Potters forums: people using multiple accounts to make it sound like their pov is the right one, smearing campaigns online and in RL, etc.
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January 11th, 2013, 15:34
azarhal-

I already said as much in my first post. I was replying to Dart about a different topic from his post about them not being the same developer anymore. We deviated from the topic sorry.

Anyway I agree with your point of view also.

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January 11th, 2013, 15:49
@Couchpotato

Not really deviating…is it? We are just recreating the BSN forum toxicity here. Those things spread in the "fandom".

I remember when DA2 was released that I almost left the Watch because of what some posters where saying (it technically started before DA2 was released, but peaked after it). There is a big difference between I don't like DA2 with a list of reason and BioWare sucks everybody who likes DA2 should die (exaggerated paraphrasing).
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January 11th, 2013, 16:16
azarhal-

Like I said before were all guilty of this. I admit and I'm not proud I did it to. Since then I calmed down and try to be reasonable sometimes. Doesn't always work and that's just human nature.

It's just like you said
BioWare sucks everybody who likes DA2 should die (exaggerated paraphrasing).
I do still come across valid arguments that have merit also. There just harder to find.

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January 11th, 2013, 16:59
This reminds me of that meme floating around right now that goes something like this:

If someone from the 1950s were to suddenly appear today what would be the hardest thing to explain to them?
We all carry around devices in our pockets that let us tap into the sum of human knowledge. We use them to look at pictures of cats and have pointless arguments with strangers.
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January 11th, 2013, 17:15
Originally Posted by Gorath View Post
David is right.

If you remember how the Bioware writers were treated by some of our regulars here on RPGWatch, I can absolutely understand why he doesn't want to visit gaming forums any more … at least not with a recognizable nick.

A suprisingly large number of gamers are not able to distinguish between a company and the human beings working for it. Devs are not treated as normal people by gamers.
No criticism is valid then?

I don't blame him for not wanting to listen that racket on his own forums but I agree that its a symptom. He's finally forced to listen to what they tried to ignore and were in denial about for the strict purpose of marketing.

Like I said, you need to gauge these things. The toxicity now and the complaints then were different. Being different will always make a certain veteran segment who feel entitled to complain. But they simply addressed the issue and only brought the ban-hammer down when they had to. It became a point where they tolerated nothing but fanboyism and that's when I stopped reading their forums entirely.

Bioware had been acting for several years that they couldn't do anything wrong and we've devs from there convinced there was a Bioware customer who would buy any game for any platform simply because it had the name Bioware on it. I've worked for companies like this myself.

For to stop listening is fine. It will allow him to move on and let the thing die. The Bioware name can reinvent itself and then people will look fondly again on great games like MDK2.

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January 11th, 2013, 17:34
I'm unsure why and what exactly is the writer sick of.

All the bitching everywhere and not just on Biosoc network is aimed towards EA/Bioware managers. Noone ever spoke a bad thing about devs. The head is always the one to blame, not hands.
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January 11th, 2013, 17:39
So much vociferous hatred of Bioware floating around. Fortunately I don't suffer from that particular meme. The problem for me is that the haters are also the loudest screamers, so it almost becomes pointless trying to hold a rational discussion on the topic. All I'd get in return is disparaging vitriol.

Does it not seem odd that "Mass Effect 3" generates so much negative feedback on the forums, yet is so highly rated by many reviewers? Perhaps it is just one of those forms of media that will become better appreciated in retrospect. I guess we'll see.
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January 11th, 2013, 17:40
Originally Posted by joxer View Post
I'm unsure why and what exactly is the writer sick of.

All the bitching everywhere and not just on Biosoc network is aimed towards EA/Bioware managers. Noone ever spoke a bad thing about devs. The head is always the one to blame, not hands.
huh, you haven't read a lots of Bioware related thread have you? I suggest you read about the Jennifer Hepler's case.
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January 11th, 2013, 18:31
Originally Posted by joxer View Post
I'm unsure why and what exactly is the writer sick of.

All the bitching everywhere and not just on Biosoc network is aimed towards EA/Bioware managers. Noone ever spoke a bad thing about devs. The head is always the one to blame, not hands.
Unfortunately lots of Bioware devs got verbally attacked. I'm often surprised how many gamers still don't understand that specialist A probably had no influence on specialist-B-from-the-other-department's or on BigBoss C's decisions.


Originally Posted by rjshae View Post
Does it not seem odd that "Mass Effect 3" generates so much negative feedback on the forums, yet is so highly rated by many reviewers? Perhaps it is just one of those forms of media that will become better appreciated in retrospect. I guess we'll see.
I don't know how terrible the original ending was, but I think they should have stuck to their original decision. Call it artistic freedom and move on.
The new ending will lead to even more focus testing in future project to avoid a similar backlash.
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January 11th, 2013, 18:58
The loudness of forums increases with size so to a degree this is normal. In my own forums going from 16-25 players at a time to 30-42 to 55-75 had spillover on the forums. The amount of complaints was actually an a sign of our success, which in turn I think made those complainers even worse because it successful in spite of them.

One good way to gauge this may be to compare this to the Bethesda forums. They increased their fanbase exponentially and are now ripe with fanboiism. I'm not sure if they brook no criticism or cancel subscriptions of complainers.

What's the difference between the two companies? I can only think it comes down to the quality of the games they put out during their growth.

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January 11th, 2013, 19:33
Originally Posted by Lucky Day View Post
No criticism is valid then?
What makes you think so? But what sense is there criticising a writer for something he had no say in? He is only the right target for detailed criticism if (a) you talk about his work and (b) he agrees to be exposed to the critique.
I don't blame him for not wanting to listen that racket on his own forums but I agree that its a symptom. He's finally forced to listen to what they tried to ignore and were in denial about for the strict purpose of marketing.
Why should "he" be "forced to listen" to what "they tried to ignore" ? Is collecting feedback his job? Or doesn't he have the right to decide for himself ?
Forcing somebody to do something he doesn't want to is simply impolite … and in some areas of life even illegal.
Who gains something from posting huge walls of text criticising a certain game and / or the company?
The dev? Probably not, unless he is one of the few people with enough influence to change something. Unless you talk about his specific area of expertise, or are very careful, the dev gains nothing.
The poster? No. His post won't be read or at least not passed on to somebody responsible for collecting feedback.
The forum? No. The atmosphere gets poisoned.
The company? No. They'll never find out.

————————
You don't know if Bioware didn't listen. Maybe they had a couple of poor Junior Community Managers who were tasked to read a million forum posts and aggregate the feedback?
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January 11th, 2013, 20:25
Originally Posted by Gorath View Post
What makes you think so? But what sense is there criticising a writer for something he had no say in? He is only the right target for detailed criticism if (a) you talk about his work and (b) he agrees to be exposed to the critique.
He dons the 'BioWare Executive Official Management' hat himself ever so willingly in the forums. His posts are not restricted to writing issues. Eg he actively participates in discussions concerning project finance and certainly never caveats with things like 'but I'd need to ask Greg/Ray/the CFO'. So if he puts himself forward as part of the 'management team' then he should not be surprised when people come to him with management- level issues, good and bad.

Originally Posted by Gorath View Post
Why should "he" be "forced to listen" to what "they tried to ignore" ? Is collecting feedback his job? Or doesn't he have the right to decide for himself ?
The same way you or I are 'forced' to listen to our bosses. We can say 'no' to them, but it probably means no paycheck. Gaider showed enough flippant, deluded hubris pre-DA2 to believe that fans were irrelevant and that BioWare could just ignore the detractors, however many. Indeed, imho, he seemed to get some pleasure out of coming on to the forums and watching fans "fall on their injured customer cross" or to "knock down their sandcastles" (direct quotes). Now he needs to listen if he likes his paycheck at the level it is.

Originally Posted by Gorath View Post
Who gains something from posting huge walls of text criticising a certain game and / or the company?
If there were no walls of text, BioWare would be puzzled about what happened with DA2. Was the button too awesome? Was the game not streamlined enough? Were the boobs too small? As it is, they know exactly why sales fell off, and what to do if they want DA3 to sell.
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January 11th, 2013, 22:24
Originally Posted by DArtagnan View Post
I learned this by replaying Baldur's Gate - and realising it's almost exactly like Dragon Age 2 or Mass Effect 3. I mean, is there really any difference?
Mass effect 3 similar to BG?!?!? Are you being sarcastic or are you just being a twat? Sometimes it is hard to tell when someone is being sarcastic on the web…

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January 11th, 2013, 22:34
Originally Posted by Gaxkang View Post
Very true. However a toxic forum is a symptom, not the problem. The problem is that BioWare changed their product "180 degrees" and refused to listen to sensible, articulated, polite feedback. Years of 'la la la, we can't hear you' has lead to people resorting to speaking louder. Not that this is justifiable (by either party)
.
Isn't this pretty much the same thing that happens every few years with every game franchise?

- Super Action RPG 2 is released
- People complain about how it is different from Super Action RPG 1, clearly a superior game
- 2 years pass and Super Action RPG 3 is released
- People complain about how it is different from Super Action RPG 2, clearly a superior game
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January 11th, 2013, 23:02
Originally Posted by bjon045 View Post
Mass effect 3 similar to BG?!?!? Are you being sarcastic or are you just being a twat? Sometimes it is hard to tell when someone is being sarcastic on the web…
I thought it was pretty obvious sarcasm, but I guess not.
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January 11th, 2013, 23:05
Originally Posted by CountChocula View Post
Isn't this pretty much the same thing that happens every few years with every game franchise?

- Super Action RPG 2 is released
- People complain about how it is different from Super Action RPG 1, clearly a superior game
- 2 years pass and Super Action RPG 3 is released
- People complain about how it is different from Super Action RPG 2, clearly a superior game
Lol. So true.
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January 11th, 2013, 23:15
These are the people Bioware has steered towards in their recent games. They had real fans once. This situation here is completely their own doing, you don't see people whining about Valve and their practices for a reason.
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