So let's talk about the future for a second. If any of you read my ramblings on the current state of Destiny 2 then you know that I'm a fan. If you've been following my site, you'll also know I'm vastly excited for the release of Anthem. A game that has done little more than show us a quick sneak peak and is already the topic of great discussion and the source of much worry in the gaming community. Why, you might ask. Well that's simple. Because of EA. Because of what Eververse has done to Destiny 2. And because of how EA has treated Battlefront 2. However, fact is that despite EA’s mishandling of the whole BF2 (Battlefront 2) pay to win debacle Anthem still remains, by and large, one of the most anticipated games of 2018.
Now, those of us who follow closely the going ons in the industry will note that EA/Bioware are having some issues. Which is to say that EA is pretty much ruining Bioware. Much like Activision has done to Bungie. That's why I feel we've only been given a little taste of what's to come. The second thing we all know is that EA is all about their money. This is a company that releases a new sports game every year with little to no difference from the one the year before, yet still somehow seems to rack in money hand over fist. I know EA wants to make that dough. I also believe in my heart of hearts, Bioware wants to make a great game. With all that being said...THE BEST WAY FOR EA TO MAKE THE MOST MONEY IS TO LET BIOWARE MAKE A GREAT GAME! The best way to make Anthem great game is to learn from what both Destiny/Destiny 2 and The Division did wrong. And also to learn from what Warframe did so very right. Allow me to elaborate:
HAVE A POLISHED STORY:
Don't pull a D1! Having story after story after story with no actual closure. I mean damn it Bungie! Will I EVER get to know that happened to The Stranger or even who the hell she was? And don't even get me started on Eris Morn! What was that thing she "will not fail"? At the end of every D1 story I was left like a cast member of the Broadway play Grease going: "Tell me more, tell me more..." And I know that Anthem is picking up the loot box, shoot & loot style of play. A style of which I'm not even opposed of. That doesn't mean I don't appreciate a damn good story. Hell look at The Division! It's come a long way as a game, however 3 paid DLC later and a bunch of free updates has done little to expand on the world it created when the game was released. Yet, you look at a game like W.o.W, Warframe, and Diablo and these are near living and breathing worlds with the story to back it up. With the closure to leave you accomplished, and the loot to leave you satisfied. And just look at how great those games are doing. If Anthem wants to be more than a flash in the pants. Then it's going to need a great story!
SHOOT. LOOT. GEAR UP. REPEAT!:
Make doing repeat activities fucking worth it. Like I get that Anthem will have "Purchasable with IRL Cash" items. However, how about you have some of those items available for a very limited time in whatever Anthem's equivalent of a strike will be. So that those who love the grind can work hard at trying to achieve it during that run. This is a great way to engage your community while not affecting your fiscal bottom line. D1 did a great job at this, because those not limited to a time frame, the drops for some of the items one might want were hard to come by. Hell, it took me near forever to get the Imago Loop and that kept me playing. Don't even talk about the people who look for "God Roll" weapons. That would take even longer, but it's rewarding. It solidifies the longevity of your game and keeps the people wanting more.
GRAIN OF SALT THE COMMUNITY:
I know I'm sitting here offering my 2 cents like it matters in the first place. Hell maybe I just like hearing myself type. However, then I have the audacity to say "grain of salt the community"? Who do I think I am!? Well, I'm me and I stand by that. Remember how some complained about how hard it was to pick the right talents in D1 so in D2 they fucking removed the option. Yeah, they should have fucking grain of salted those complaints. D2 is so busy focusing on the casual gamer it let it's heart, the hardcore suffer. Adversely, The Division takes the best of what the community has to say and used that advice to turn their game to pure gold years later. My understanding is that Massive utilizing top players and streamers in order to address the game’s problems and fix them. Those are the people who have the best insight hands down. Those are the people who speak for the true community of a game. And look I get it. The final call is the developer’s. But if Anthem wants to be great. It could learn a thing of two from Massive. A company that has utilized the best tools it could possibly have, the best of it's community. That's how you make a game for the people.
USE THE BONES OF YOUR COMPETITION:
Remember how at 3 years of hard work, tweaking, and creating the Destiny we all wanted, Bungie threw that all out the fucking window and said FU to it's fans? Yea, me too. Honestly, I should be playing D2 right now, however the game is so dreadful I'd much rather write a piece about another game that I've never even played. How's that for how engaging D2 is. So what I suggest to ANTHEM is, if it's not too late. Look at what FINALLY made D1 great and build that into your game. You don't know need to be a fucking carbon copy. No one wants that. What we do want is AMPLE space to store shit. We don't want "CONSUMABLE SHADERS". We want kill scoring, (something Destiny 2 got right) "Raid" matchmaking, "Strike" exclusive gear, and DLC worth the cost of admission. Also take note of how Warframe went from being a "Destiny rip-off" to the game Destiny 2 should aspire to be. I can only regurgitate what I've heard and seen about Warframe having never truly played it myself. However, you sit down and you watch the pillars of the Destiny and The Division community talk about it and you just get the sense that it's truly something magical. Be magical Anthem. Learn from where the competition has failed, succeeded, the failed again. (LOOKING AT YOU BUNGIE)
TO PVP OR NOT TO PVP, THAT IS THE ANSWER:
Wanna know what The Division SUCKS at, besides story-telling? PVP. Why is it even there? I could have played that entire game if it had just stayed a serious Borberlands type game with shooting and looting and at most the optional Dark Zone. Wanna know where I personally have have some of the most PVP fun (aside from Halo)? World of Warcraft. Yep. Capture The Flag (CTF) was my jam! It was fun, chaotic yet coordinated, and was everything I could ever need. Not to mention the WoW arenas, and just casual walk up to an player, challenge them to a quick duel, and then keep it pushing. Oh? Sounding too boring for you? What about linking up SQUAD deep, traveling to Alliance (or Horde) territory and just laying the hammer down on the opposing faction. So much fun. Now I know Anthem wont deliver these kind of mechanics. However, I bring it up to say that if you're going to have PVP in your game. Don't make it an afterthought as a way to give people what they think they want. PVP didn't belong in The Division. It didn't belong in Warframe. And if it doesn't fit in Anthem, then don't do it.
DON'T JUST SAY 10 YEARS...GIVE IT!:
Hey Anthem! You're on record at saying you plan to deliver "10 years of content" with Anthem. You know who else promised that about a game they hadn't even released yet? Bungie. And truth be told, in my opinion, they can barely give us 10 hours of shit to do before you're bored. So yes, while your initial leveling-based story content has got to be airtight. There needs to be solid follow up. As an ex WoW player, I'm not foreign to paying money for a game I already own. I gladly did it because it expanded the world. New races, locations, classes. This was worth the upgrade. It didn't wipe out have the universe, take all my loot, and revert me back to level 1. (FFFFFFFUUUUUUUUUUU BUNGIE!). It expanded, added, or in the case of Cataclysm, changed the world I was already in. Increased max levels making the newer content harder with higher level monsters making me FEEL like a level 1 without actually making me one. You're creating a world, don't "expand" it by slapping a 2 in front of your name and expecting me to believe this is apart of the 10 year.
KEEP THE MICRO-TRANSACTIONS MICRO:
Hey EA. You want money. Cool story bro. Me too, hell that's part of the reason I wrote this Article. The idea that you'll actually read this and listen is slim to none. So I'm just trying to increase that site traffic. However, now that everyone knows what about about, let's talk facts. You're going to have micro-transactions in your game. I know it. However, don't make it so painfully obviously play to win as you did with Battlefront. Because YES, kids are gonna get your game and parents are going to buy them loot. However, a lot of gamers and becoming parents and in "10 years" when their kids are old enough to game they'll be the ones buying their kids games and they will not opt in for this Pay to Win BS system you've got going on. You wanna sell cosmetics? Go for it. Skins, colors, limited edition mechs that has different move animations and sounds? Have at it. I bought vanity items in Titanfall 2. And honestly if you want to sell weapons and gear to the casual gamer. Do you. JUST DON'T MAKE THAT GEAR OR THAT WEAPON UNATTAINABLE DURING REGULAR GAME PLAY. You give me a gun and say hey man you can either buy this exotic for 4.99 or grind 20 hours to get it. I'll grind until I can't grind no more. Or I'll give in and buy it, however give us the option and be transparent about it. Warframe does this spectacularly from what I understand. Every item they have for sale can be obtained IN GAME through the grind...and that creates a very to each his own kind of experience. You don't want it to be as unbalanced as BF2 but you get the drift. Do the the right thing EA.
If EA wants to make money then they need to let Bioware make a great game. And the best way to make Anthem great is to look at where triple A titles like Destiny and The Division has failed and just avoid doing those things. Otherwise this will become another Anthem we take a knee for, and you can Believe That!