Tag Archive: EA

Anthem – Nothing Left but the Launching

I spent an equal amount of time in Anthem Demo weekend as I did in the VIP weekend – which actually surprised me a bit because my pilot and Javelins carried over meaning I only had two events I could do – Freeplay and the Stronghold. Yes, the same stronghold I had done for 12+hours in weekend one.

I still played it a ton.

I finally was able to play with the other two Javelins – the Storm and Interceptor and while both were fun and very different my heart is set on “maining” the Colossus and also keeping tabs on the Ranger. One of the best things about Anthem is that you only have one pilot and can jump into any Javelin suits you own at anytime (and collect loot and components for them during regular play). This is good because I will have an up to date Javelin of any kind, just by playing any kind. This could be frustrating a bit if the better drops occur for the Javelin’s I do not prefer. Still, I like the overall system this way far better than only improving them when I am playing them. This makes it far more likely I try them all in different situations that arise.

I am recommending this as a “buy” based on what I have seen and experienced so far but I am going to be fair and transparent – I don’t think Anthem is going to be a home run with the first pitch. I think the bones and gameplay are phenomenal but the convenience, fleshing out, and sub systems are all going to need work and time to improve and add. If you look at a lot of the dev responses to QOL suggestions, you hear a lot of “not at launch”.

I know the anti-EA camp is going to have a field day at launch with every little issue (perceived or real) and I believe it will be review bombed and have a hard time out of the gate. That being said, those that stick around will form a great community around the game and as they improve it so will the experience. This is just my gut – not wishful thinking – as Battlefield V has had some MAJOR patches since launch (over 700(!) bug fixes and improvements last patch) and I loved it out of the gate too.

Truth is, when it comes to games like this with the long view it’s not going to be perfect at launch. But it will be good, and will get better. I will be along for the start of the journey and will experience how it all plays out. If they are able to follow the same path of content and improvements as BFV they will be fine. If not, well, there’s a ton of other great games out there right now – I feel like we are really spoiled as a gaming community with options.

Disincentive To Play

I’m struggling with the EA model of “Games as service” as I play through (and largely enjoy) my time in Battlefield V. I know that sounds confusing and bear with me as I try to explain.

Instead of DLC packs BFV went for periodic events, that last a determined amount of time (and that reward many different things). Currently we are doing one that has two sets of rewards – one set for the weekly accomplishments, and 40 XP levels for the over-arching rewards.

It’s simple enough and most branches give you good options so you aren’t stuck on a single path. And for bonus points, you can complete all paths. Each path step can only start to unlock once you completed the one before. For example, the first above is to play Breakthrough – a game mode – three times. This does focus the community and anyone can do this step (win or lose)

chapter rewards take longer

Each of the weeks (4, in this case) give bonus XP for the specific ‘chapter’ of the game, and the XP levels raise in difficulty to obtain. So this is the new system.

The downside is obvious. If you miss a week of gameplay, you can’t unlock anything from the week. EA claims that you will be able to get these in the future in other ways without specifying that “other ways” probably means in the cosmetic pay-for store.

I haven’t even hit max level in the game after 100 hours of gameplay, and the chances of me hitting level 40 for a chapter is remote. Mostly because this kind of achievement based gaming makes me play less, not more.

That may not make sense to you but I now only play when I have easy to reach objectives. Last week, I unlocked everything I could in two gameplay sessions. Since there was nothing left to unlock (outside of a long, chapter level grind), I stopped playing. The new week launched and now I am playing again. I know once I finish off the rewards for the week I will be done again (until next week).

I can see how hardcore players might love this and it IS holding my attention for the quick and easy hits, but I’m not sure if it holds my attention at all when I have to juggle other games that will be doing this (Anthem, looking at you.)

Curious how these gameplay levers and buttons to push influence your gameplay? Do they at all?

A Survey request from EA/Bioware

I know a lot of people hate EA. I am in the small minority who have really enjoyed their products, and haven’t been dissappointed when purchasing their games. Of course I do a lot of research before buying games, and never buy a game by who it is from – but rather on the merits of the game itself.  I received an online survey request from them through Massive Effect, so figured I would oblige. Survey after the break!

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