BioWare Head Offers Anthem VIP Demo Update With An Apology, List of Fixes, and a New Freebie
The Anthem VIP demo is here and given that the opinion of the new IP from BioWare has done a total 180 regarding fan reactions since it was first revealed, it’s understandable why so many would want in on the action. Unfortunately – as with many demos for massive online games – there have been more than a few hiccups though the studio has been amazing at providing step-by-step instructions and keeping up total transparency when speaking with players.
Many of the developers have been responding individually all over social media to help keep the lines of communication open and now the head of BioWare’s Live Service is opening up with a special letter to fans. In his most recent letter, Chad Robertson not only apologized for all of the technical issues, but offered up some solutions, fixes-in-progress, and what the next steps are for the team.
“We’ve been testing the entire game and platform for several months, but there were a few things we missed; real-world play frequently leads to unexpected issues,” began the open letter to fans. “Before I share details on this and what we’re still facing, I want to dispel one comment we’ve seen: that we under-planned for server capacity. To ensure stability, we intended to manage our servers to match the player population as it grew. Overall, we had excess capacity prepared for population increases, and continue to do so. That said, what’s important is that all parts of the game work as designed to meet players’ needs, and that did not happen in the opening hours.”
As far as the primary issues addressed thus far:
- Platform connections – this was caused by the spike in players entering the game when we opened up. Unfortunately, these issues did not present themselves during our internal testing. Investigations are ongoing, and we will continue to apply fixes throughout the weekend.
- Entitlements – these are account flags that grant players things like their pre-order incentives and demo access. During the demo weekend, we identified a bug where VIP players with a specific combination of entitlements were being blocked from accessing the demo. We believe we’ve resolved most of these, but have additional cases we are addressing.
- “Infinite loads” – this is occurring for some players, particularly when they transition from Fort Tarsis to an expedition. We saw this only in isolated cases during internal testing and believed it was resolved. Unfortunately, the problem is exacerbated in the real-world where differences with player’s ISPs and home networks introduce new behavior.
And the issues going forward:
- Continue to resolve any reports of issues with login and entitlement problems.
- Implement fixes to address “infinite loads”. I want to be upfront that this is a difficult one, and something we may not resolve during this weekend — many players are not seeing this issue and the last thing we want to do is destabilize the experience for everyone.
- Improve server performance. We’ve heard reports of rubber-banding and other signs of server latency. We believe we can address this and will be conducting some small-scale experiments to confirm that. We may roll some fixes out this weekend or may wait for the open demo next weekend, depending on the level of risk to the overall service.
But, despite the issues many are hailing the demo for its fluid flight and its overall entertainment. In the same letter, Robertson mentioned that they hit over 300K concurrent viewers on Twitch and over 100,000,000 minutes watched. To thank those players being patient while the team continues to work on fixes, BioWare is offering another free emblem for those that have tried out the demos for themselves.
“We believe we’ve created an amazing game and we’re doing everything we can to ensure our entire community can enjoy it. We’re committed to keeping an open conversation with our community as part of our Live Service well into the future. (We’ll also have some cool news to share soon on our plans for the game after we launch — stay tuned!)”
We recently got a chance to play over 10 hours of the game and talk with some of the devs over at BioWare with the folks over at ComicBook! To see LiLi’s FULL impressions of the game, including the story that demo players won’t get to see, check out her coverage right here.
Don’t forget to hit us up over on Twitter @YouFedtheGamers for more gaming goodness.
Matt Ruppert676 Posts
Navy Veteran with a penchant for the FPS genre, Chewy has all aspects of the gaming community covered. Don't expect to see him on a console any time soon, however - though he has experience in all platforms, the PC Master Race has a firm hold on him.