Recently we have had two very good games release that have resulted in a huge uproar. Both are basically single player games with co-op modes. Mass Effect had a huge fallout for the ending, that most if not nearly all people found lacking, to put it politely. Diablo III is having a huge fallout for players not being able to get into the game.
I posted a bit about both games earlier The Mass Effect Effect and What is Wrong With Gamers. I have seen multiple posts about both games and about gaming in general that seen to say this is leading to the downfall of gaming or throwing around things like gamer entitlement. What many people seem to forget is that games are written to make companies money. Companies stay in business by making products that people purchase or subscribe to. I can’t see Blizzard or Bioware folding anytime soon, unlike 38 Studios.
Bioware is producing a DLC to better clarify the ending of Mass Effect 3 and Blizzard Customer service is all over teh forums and Twitter trying to help with players getting into Diablo II. Blizzard has pulled down the servers several time to apply patches and do restarts to fix login issues. I saw one person complaining about them pulling down the servers in primetime instead of accepting it as a way to allow other to ejoy the game by applying fixes. Any support such as this is a huge cost to companies and does not make them money.
The problem with Mass Effect 3 seems to be mis-communication or lack of communication between the writers of the game and the players. Parts of the story are missing or hidden. This lead to an ending where many questions are unanswered or new questions created. Hopefully this will be addressed in the DLC.
The problems with Diablo III seem to stem from a fact that most people are ignoring. Everyone complains about the need for a persistent internet connection to play which is causing many of the login/connection issues. This is need for one simple fact, Real Money Auctions. If the game was offline, hackers could theroetically, hacking to item data base and start generating items to sell on the auction house. By having a persistent connection, Blizzard are able to control item generation and not allow people to start printing their own money so to speak.
Bioware’s DLC does nothing other than add to player satisfaction which promote customer loyalty. Blizzard fixes allow people into the game to enjoy the product. Again this leads to customer satisfaction. Both will lead to customers purchasing further product in the future.
Another little tidbit is comping to light about Diablo III. There is a large number of accounts being hacked. Anyone with an authenticator is safe but anyone without one is sort of asking for trouble. Remember your account is worth more now as it is not just virtual currency being stole but your real world cash as well. Blizzard has a good post up on the Diablo forums with tips to secure your account. http://us.battle.net/d3/en/forum/topic/5149619846
I have seen too many people hacked in WoW and although the accounts can be restored and item restored this will not happen in Diablo III. Sure accounts can be restored but cash will most likely not be restore (too tempting to try to scam the system). I am sorry but if people have a few problem logging into the game due to extra security, I am OK with that.
Back in early spring, a couple of my co-workers convinced me to start playing Mass Effect. I started out with ME1 a couple of characters in ME and once I had one all the way through the game, I imported it into ME2. Next thing I know, I have 5 characters run through ME1 and then ME2, all with different story choices. I was eagerly awaiting the release of ME3.
I loved the way your choices in each game effected the story line in the next game. Character would not appear and would be mentioned in the next as having been killed. Pick a back story of being earthborn and get a certain quest line or pick station born and get a different quest line. This choice follows you into the next game as well. Talk to a fan, complete all the interactions and he appears in the next games. Don’t complete all the interactions and he doesn’t appear.
I took the day off for the release of Mass Effect 3 and played my way through. The game was every bit as good or better than the first 2. Familiar characters appeared, storylines were continued or wrapped up. You get messages for people you had met in the previous games. A nice feature was added for those with iOS device, the Mass Effect Datapad. It allows you to receive twitter-like messages from character you interact with when you complete certain stages of the game. Some are hilarious, others a bit sad. It is also an easy way to build up war assets by completing fleet missions on you iPhone/iPad.
I started hearing a lot of grumbling about the ending of the game as people rushed through to complete the game. Everyone was loving the game up until the last few minutes. I heard petitions were being written to change the ending, people were creating dozens of threads on the forums discussing the ending and if it was possible get get a different ending by getting the best possble outcome for every mission, side quest or PVPing.
It took me a few days to get to the final ending. I get to the final choice, made my decision and sat there in shock as the final cut scene played out. I could understand what all the furor was about now. I felt like uninstalling the game, the previous 2 games as well and asking for my money back. The ending was such a disconnect from the rest of the game. It was like the final 10 minutes was written by someone who had no contact with the previous games or even the rest of the current game. Choices I had made over the course of 3 games that had effect ed the entire story line, suddenly did not matter. Then I watched the final cut scene and a few more things jumped out at me. People were in locations the had no way of being, the Normandy was in a bit where it had been and no reason being where it was. My reaction was and still is WTF!.
Bioware, being the company it is, was following all the feedback on the forums, Twitter and other media and has stated that it was surprised at all of the feedback. They did listen and have stated there will be a free DLC to be released that will CLARIFY the ending for people, not change it. Here is hoping it will allow all of us to make sense of the ending!