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RPGWatch Forums » Games » General RPG » Dragon Age Lead Writer Sick of BioWare Forums

Default Dragon Age Lead Writer Sick of BioWare Forums

January 10th, 2013, 22:03
David Gaider, writer and game designer, seems to be a bit tired of the current atmosphere on the BioWare Social Network forums. Lately he steers clear of the forums because of the "increasingly toxic" atmosphere.
"Spending too much time there starts to make me feel negative - not just about the games we make, but about myself and life in general," Gaider blogged. "The signal-to-noise ratio does seem to be worsening, and eventually you get the feeling like you're at one of those parties where all anyone is doing is bitching. It doesn't matter what they're bitching about so much as, sooner or later, that's all you can really hear."

He continued: "Engaging starts to mean partaking in the bitching until you feel like that's all you're doing. Even when I try to rise above, those who are most negative will seek me out in order to get a rise out of me - and not unsuccessfully. I am only human, and I'll end up responding to score points just as they do, and end up feeling sh**ty for having done so."
The BioWare dev went on to summarize: "Perhaps there is something to be said about whether the games BioWare makes still satisfy our core fans." Well, I hate to be the one to say this but you only have yourselves to blame BioWare.

Link- http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/20…r-david-gaider

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January 10th, 2013, 23:33
Isn't this true of most gaming forums? The most opinionated people are the ones who post more often, and so the threads inevitably descend into bitching fests. I agree that all of the negativity gets pretty tiresome. He's probably doing the right thing from a creativity standpoint.
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January 11th, 2013, 00:17
Crilloan already made a post about this, but not in the same forum.
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January 11th, 2013, 02:01
Certain game companies like Bioware seem to garner a lot of hate for whatever reason, so I can imagine why one would get sick of reading that crap on the forums. But this is the internet, most of it is negative. Those of us who just enjoy games for what they are clearly in the minority compared to the bitchers/whiners/haters out there. That's just the internet for you.

If you're a game dev you have to just try to overlook it. Can't let that stuff get you down. Even if you're not a game dev you shouldn't let negativity affect you like that. Just move on and be done with it.
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January 11th, 2013, 02:02
Originally Posted by azarhal View Post
Crilloan already made a post about this, but not in the same forum.
Yeah I saw it after I posted. The topic was more about Bioware and not DA so I missed it. Wont hurt to have two topics and they can merge them if they wish.

Originally Posted by Fluent View Post
Certain game companies like Bioware seem to garner a lot of hate for whatever reason, so I can imagine why one would get sick of reading that crap on the forums. But this is the internet, most of it is negative. Those of us who just enjoy games for what they are clearly in the minority compared to the bitchers/whiners/haters out there. That's just the internet for you.

If you're a game dev you have to just try to overlook it. Can't let that stuff get you down. Even if you're not a game dev you shouldn't let negativity affect you like that. Just move on and be done with it.
I can agree to a certain extent but saying Bioware has no reason for the hate is also flawed. We all complain and groan and sometimes it's necessary to do it. It shows design flaws and how the fanbase will react to your changes.

Some people just take it to far without compromising on anything. There goal is to hate everything no matter what. I no longer breathe in anticipation of any future titles like I did before but I don't go posting on every forum about how there games are shit and deserve a refund.

It can all be summed in Penny Arcade's Greater Internet Fuckwad Theory. It's been proven true. Even if you just love to play games we all have opinions. I'm guilty of it to we all are. I'm pointing at everyone on the boards here. No one is innocent.


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Last edited by Couchpotato; January 11th, 2013 at 02:28.
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January 11th, 2013, 03:55
the irony is they virtually banned anything but fanboism around the same time they moved from the old forums to the "social" ones.

I do remember the good forums they used to have but that was a long, long time ago. One of the really good features was the participation with developers.



one of the things I noted when I ran my forums (or guilds as Jay Watamaniuk corrected me) over there (I had about 6k registered accounts) that a lot of noise wasn't necessarily a bad thing. It was important to gauge it.

There was always a certain group that grumbled no matter what. Those people were basically veterans that benefited from a previous corrupt administration and felt entitled.

I learned early on that that if there was a real problems people voted with their feet.

When I caused complaining deliberately it was by creating dramatic, world shattering events like transferring the "taint" from their male characters to their female characters.



Watching Bioware IMO they lost touch with reality somewhere along the way and if you would ask me basically the fans are just now saying what they really think and aren't afraid anymore - remember your paid games could be lost if they decide to bring the ban hammer down in the forums.

We used to have reps come here in an official capacity for promotion and public goodwill but the company put a kebosh on it to either control the message or not support a rival business or somesuch like that. Talk about having your head in the clouds.

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January 11th, 2013, 09:16
BioWare used to have solid forums back in the days. The current ones are mostly garbage, however. I generally stay clear, as it's kind of like reading the Codex, but without any of the useful info that you can find if you sort through all the crap at the Codex.

Anyway, that Penny Arcade theory is brilliant.
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January 11th, 2013, 10:04
Maybe, sometimes, there's a reason for excessive negativity? Maybe you and your job really isn't what you think it is?

He should probably consider that as an option, rather than outright assume everything is so baseless and unfair for no reason at all.

I remember when he visited this site, championing Dragon Age. I remember mentioning where Bioware was headed - and why that wasn't so great. I also clearly remember him being somewhat in denial about the whole thing.

Seems little has changed - though that summary might be a glimmer of a very, very late wake-up call.
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January 11th, 2013, 10:29
Have you got a link for that discussion at all, Dart?

Good old Gaider - still think the product's fine, and the problem is surely with the customer. That type of thinking always leads companies to greatness.
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January 11th, 2013, 10:38
Originally Posted by Gaxkang View Post
Have you got a link for that discussion at all, Dart?

Good old Gaider - still think the product's fine, and the problem is surely with the customer. That type of thinking always leads companies to greatness.
Nah, but it should be possible to find - right around the time of Dragon Age's release. I don't remember much except that Gaider was here talking about DA - and that he seemed somewhat overprotective and defensive. But that was my take - and I was among the few who spoke negatively about Bioware in that thread, IIRC.

He also said we'd be lucky if we got another game like Dragon Age (or something like that) - and he was certainly right there.
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January 11th, 2013, 10:50
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.
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January 11th, 2013, 10:53
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.
Could you bring up some examples, because I remember most people praised David Gaider here. I certainly didn't get personal towards him - but maybe some did?

There's a difference between confronting a developer with the approach of the company he's working for - and getting personal about it.

Gaider has been an avid and outspoken defender of Bioware - so him getting confronted is hardly a surprise. If you don't want negative responses on a public forum - then you need to shut up.
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January 11th, 2013, 11:03
The threads were somewhere in the news forum 3 years or so ago.

No, confronting a dev about the company's direction is not okay, unless the dev happens to be high enough up the chain to be involved in the decision making. Why would a writer have to explain some weird DLC & DRM schemes? Ask him about the writing.
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January 11th, 2013, 11:14
Originally Posted by Gorath View Post
The threads were somewhere in the news forum 3 years or so ago.

No, confronting a dev about the company's direction is not okay, unless the dev happens to be high enough up the chain to be involved in the decision making. Why would a writer have to explain some weird DLC & DRM schemes? Ask him about the writing.
Ehm, you seem to be confusing the issues here. I don't recall anyone blaming Gaider for what Bioware is doing. But he, himself, defended their decisions and willingly joined in the debate.

You don't think it's ok that people respond to that with their opinions about Bioware and their direction?

If you're working for a company - and someone tells you that you think the company is doing shit work - without blaming you personally - you don't think that's ok?

If someone blamed Gaider personally without having a good reason, then I agree it's not ok. That would be stupid and unfair.

But just because he's a developer, doesn't mean he should be excluded from the opinions about the company he's working for. In fact, if he willingly joins a public forum and partakes in the discussion - I think it would be unreasonable not to make it very clear what you think of the company he's working for.

If you don't think so - then it SMACKS of favoritism and elevating developers above other human beings. That's a sickening attitude to me.
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January 11th, 2013, 11:20
Originally Posted by Gorath View Post
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.
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)
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January 11th, 2013, 11:20
I think I remember the thread Dart mentioned. I was merely a lurker then.

Well I know one thing at least. His books are at least decent and provide a good read. He should quit Bioware and became a novelist instead.

Hell the doctors learned that lesson. Eurogamer interviewed Trent Oster and he basically said this. He met Zeschuk for a drink and he seemed weighed down and damaged by all the negative criticism of the Mass Effect 3 ending.

There always comes a time when you have to pack your bags and move on. My longest job was 12 years. Glad I moved on.

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January 11th, 2013, 11:30
Well, the world is not an ideal place - and we can't all get our dream job. I think it's very common and understandable if people hold a less than ideal job (it's all but impossible not to in many places around the world) - but it's a sickness if you must tell yourself that the company is something it's not. Be aware of what you're doing and how you're affecting the world around you - and don't be in denial.

The world is such that we need money to hold a decent standard of living, and no one would expect you to go hungry or worse because you didn't want to work for a shitty company. Conclusively, there's no shame involved. Shame is involved when you're in denial.

Note that I'm not saying Bioware is a shameful company - as indeed, they're as subject to the real world as we all are. I don't know if they could get away with artistic integrity - but they certainly haven't chosen that path. But they're NOT making games like they used to and they're not making them for the audience they built themselves upon - that I do know.
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January 11th, 2013, 11:40
Originally Posted by DArtagnan View Post
But they're NOT making games like they used to and they're not making them for the audience they built themselves upon - that I do know.
That I can agree on. Every company has to change and adapt. It's not always ideal and sometimes it's not perfect.

All I know is most of the great talent that started the company with a certain vision are all gone. It's a different developer and company now.

To sum it all up the old guard is gone.

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January 11th, 2013, 13:15
Replaying Baldur's Gate has made me realize Bioware hasn't changed all that much. There's just more loudmouthed idiots playing games now than there was in the 90's.

People were pissy at BG because it was REAL TIME not Turn based, people were frothingly hostile and mad! In the mid-90's that manifested as lengthy usenet posts nobody read or bitching to your pals at your weekly D&D game. Now, being cranky about a (mostly invisible. FFS BG1 HAD DUMB RESPAWN WAVES TOO and the environments may have been "unique" but only unique in that the trees were in slightly different places) change in Bioware's formula leads to internet petitions and threats of violence and endless harassment against a woman who dared write a gay dude into an RPG.

If I worked at Bioware, I'd probably vanish from the internet for good. Like hell I'd want to even think about "fan reactions" considering how stupid everyone is.
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January 11th, 2013, 13:20
As much as the loudmouthed idiots have increased in number, so has the number of ignorant and willfully in-denial morons.

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?
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