Bright Lights, Big City

Authors Note: This was written originally around the release of the long gameplay trailer for Cyberpunk 2077. However like my usual self I couldn’t get it quite right and shelved it for a long time. While I think I am finally happy with it I did not change any out of date references or phrasing. I hope you enjoy!

love Cyberpunk.

Clever readers may notice this is coming out suspiciously close to the gameplay reveal for CD Projekt Red’s upcoming game Cyberpunk 2077which I am absurdly excited for. You’d be right in assuming that is what prompted this post but I’ve been mulling over writing it for a while, especially since talking about my preference for Sci-Fi overall.

But why? Although I think the question is silly, because just look at the game, I do think it might be fun to talk about why this genre just does it for me on every level. While I wont place all the credit for it on this little tidbit I have to say that it provides me with some great synergy for my passion–

Minnesota writer Bruce Bethke coined the term in 1980 for his short story “Cyberpunk,” which was published in the November 1983 issue of Amazing Science Fiction Stories.

From – Wikipedia

I’m not one to just loosely throw around the word “destiny” but a writer from my home state published the story which named the genre in the year and month I was born? How cool is that? Sure, he technically made the word up three years prior but it also took me nine months to gestate so I’m calling it a wash.

My fate aside, as Bethke points out in his own post he doesn’t claim, nor should he be given credit, for creating the genre itself even though being the genesis of its name is no small feat. He correctly points out years ago in a short missive called The Etymology of Cyberpunk that there are plenty of authors who came before and after who define the genre and few more than William Gibson.

One of those authors is Mike Pondsmith who I’m going to turn you over to for a few minutes to tell you about his baby, at least in regards to the fiction that the game itself is based on. As he mentions in the video one quote by William Gibson really describes the heart of a cyberpunk setting to me moreso than body mods and mega-corporations–

The Street finds its own uses for things – uses the manufacturers never imagined.

Looking back on growing up in the 80’s and 90’s this sentiment really resonated with my memories of the early days of the internet and how much of it was built by individuals thinking up new ways to use old concepts. Or in some ways completely inventing new methods for a landscape that was functionally the wild west. Going back even further to the 50’s, 60’s and, 70’s to the culture of Phreaking and it all strikes me as very street-level cyberpunk. The folks who engaged in these hobbies, and even perhaps largely because of it, didn’t have much but they made the most of it. Sometimes it was so effective that it actually garnered the attention of the corporations who for so long were too big to notice or care. When you have the time read up on the history of people like Kevin Mitnick or John Draper aka “Captain Crunch”. When I look at these guys I see Doctor Solomon Eddie from Minority Report using technology just a century or two away from being a scene out of that or Blade Runner.

I love a lot of what Pondsmith says about getting the feel of it just right because it is an extremely evocative setting. It’s one of the few where you see a picture of a scene out of it and immediately you know what you’re looking at. It’s one of the many contradictions of the setting that I so enjoy getting tangled up in, that it is so easily identifiable and yet so deeply complex. A future where technology is rampant and available and yet the human condition stubbornly persists. Kept in this constant tug of war between moving towards a better future versus being bound interminably by our baser instincts. For however technologically advanced we become we will never leave behind our roots in spite of believing for so long that technology will be our salvation. It flies directly in the face of some of my favorite Science Fiction like Star Trek which endeavors to show the best that humanity can be in spite of themselves. I enjoy idealistic fiction that seeks to outline our grand potential but there is something alluring about settings that embrace our flaws–opting to go wide on the concept of humanity instead of simply high or low.

Blade Runner
Blade Runner – 1982

Let Us Not Go There, ‘Tis a Silly Place

dystopia

[dis-toh-pee-uh]
noun
  1. society characterized by human misery, as squalor, oppression, disease, and overcrowding.

You see this word associated with cyberpunk more than just about any other with the exception of maybe neon or body-modding and for good reason. The cyberpunk setting is one that most reasonable people would probably opt to not live in because for the vast majority it is unpleasant to say the least. All the things which make up the definition of a dystopia are usually present along with a whole lot more, so why is that so appealing to me? Because I think underneath the neon sheen, cybernetic mods, mind-bending maze like cities the cyberpunk setting tells a perhaps unpleasant truth about us. There is an area I live not more than twenty minutes from and every time I’m down that way I can’t help but think of it as a microcosm of what we’ll eventually become. At one end of a road that curves through several shopping centers you can see the most recent in business architecture and design with all the stores and restaurants you would expect to find there. The longer you go down this road however the further back in time you travel like layers of a living archaeological dig. None of the buildings are abandoned, in disuse or even look like they aren’t being maintained but the strata of years is unmistakable. The dystopian cyberpunk setting is a tacit admission of the evil wrought upon our world and ourselves but also a clear statement that we as a society have no plans to stop or even slow down. We merely continue to build up, out and, away from things that remind us of a moral responsibility we continually try to leave behind. In some of these settings like Richard Morgan’s 2002 series Altered Carbon humanity is not even confined to a single planet any longer and yet the rot simply follows them outward into the galaxy even though the lowest places on Earth are never abandoned. Humanity continues and thrives through sheer stubborn ingenuity and because I know I’ll never hear the end of it if I don’t, you could even say that…

We know, Ian. We never learn but we know.

Cyberpunk is almost Gotham-esque in that way that it shows a setting that is both attractive for its eccentricities and repulsive for it’s brutality. The question isn’t really about whether or not you would want to live there but rather how those with no choice survive and thrive for lack of any other option.

Outside of the moral bankruptcy that has built this dystopian future it is often stunningly beautiful to look at. Watching movies like Blade Runner and even the sequel 2049 there are plenty of Star Trek: The Motion Picture like glory-shots of the landscape, such as it is. Where many would rightly marvel at long panning nature shots in things like The Lord of the Rings movies, I love looking at the Escher-like makeup of Mega-Cities and imagining each stage of its patchwork construction. In spite of what my mind knows I’ll find there I still want to explore every skyway and sub-street to see what they offer. Even the neon which you would think suffers from invoking the tacky nightmare that is the Las Vegas strip instead piques my curiosity and even looks inviting against the often dreary backdrop. The bright dancing colors provide a certain reprieve from the dour rain-slicked surroundings to the point of looking happy regardless of the reality contained within. This piquing of my curiosity was the main reason that the cancellation of Star Wars 1313 hit me so hard, because we had come so close to being able to explore the planet of Coruscant which was home to the Galactic City. Five thousand one hundred and twenty seven layers of city sprawl built up from the original surface of the planet; the game itself was so named for level 1313 where the criminal underworld of the planet thrived. It was a near perfect confluence of two of my most cherished settings.

A book called Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson has some of my favorite descriptions of this setting running the gamut from privatized rural burboclaves, Uncle Enzo and his Mafia management of Cosa Nostra Pizza all the way to the sovereign micro-nations like Mr. Lee’s Greater Hong Kong. The names of each suggesting a story of their origin and by association describing a tiny portion of the setting’s history. For me cyberpunk has a way of letting you sight-see through a long and complicated past without holding you down and force feeding you long diatribes. Like if the educational movie scene in Jurassic Park was made exclusively for masochists by the people who put together the Encyclopedia BritannicaSnow Crash itself suffers from a bit of this which as a fan was disappointing but I would try to get everyone curious about the genre to at least read the first 150 pages.

Cyberpunk is not about saving humanity, it’s about saving yourself.

  • Mike Pondsmith

(Super?)Human

One of the other things I love about this genre is the approach it takes to augmentation and creating what are essentially super-humans by mixing technobabble that would make Star Trek writers balk with a little side of body horror–

Body Horror
Gameplay from CDPR’s upcoming title Cyberpunk 2077

A similar scene to this also played out in the movie Minority Report which to this day still gives me the shivers.  Aside from making me uncomfortable I like that it doesn’t shy away from the obvious cost, outside of monetary, that these modifications would extract. Most of the body-mods we see now are aesthetic in nature but we’ve also started experimentation with implantable technology. I’d be lying if I said I don’t desperately wish to still be alive when humanity gets this far into experimenting with melding technology into our bodies. There are so many fascinating moral and philosophical questions that come along with the entire concept of changing our bodies so fundamentally. It probably ranks right up there with one of my favorite philosophical discussions regarding the transporters in Star Trek. Is the person who materializes on the other end still the you who left? How would you know?

In Altered Carbon human consciousnesses are often needlecasted from location to location and into other sleeves (bodies) but are all presumed to be the same person regardless of the number of transfers. The societies rich use clones and backups of their consciousness transferred at regular intervals to prevent permanent death. For as admittedly fascinated as I am in the concept part of me still feels a great amount of anxiety about not knowing for sure what would happen to someone who undergoes such a procedure. On one hand it is life, we just can’t be absolutely sure it’s the same life.

Philosophical questions abound in a setting where the lines between the biological and technological are constantly blurring. In no small way are these questions put in sharp relief by the ever advancing technology of the real world all around us. Prosthetic limbs are becoming bionic, A.I.s are becoming smarter and more widespread every day, automation continues to creep. Even virtual reality has taken some pretty grand steps over the last couple of years and will only continue to improve.

The Final Frontier

Die Hard
Yippie ki yay, motherfucker.

Cyberpunk to me is the ultimate expression of life being what you make of it. Nothing is given, everything is taken and if you were a champion Hungry, Hungry, Hippos player in your youth, you would fit right in. It beautifully contrasts depictions of unrestrained greed and the tightrope balance of maintaining the status-quo for the “good” of everyone.

If the upper echelons fell would a utopia rise in their place elevating all humans to perfect equality and prosperity? The reality of the street says no. Their institutions would be torn down, picked clean and life would continue as it always has with new power replacing the old. A cycle as old and as cynical as life itself and one humans are ill-equipped to overcome.

Hope remains because it is the ever present human condition as we look to our imagination, the horizon or even the stars and think to ourselves, what if. Entwined with the delusion of the powerful that how they exist benefits humanity it is a system that feeds itself until it burns out and begins again.

Many people may rightly call this description pessimistic or depressing and I don’t think I could properly argue why it isn’t. What it is to me is honest in a way that I don’t believe we can ever truly be with ourselves as a species. I can look at Star Trek and marvel at what a united humanity could achieve if we left all our innate pettiness and greed fall by the wayside. Even then in it’s most honest moments the humans of Star Trek still fall prey to all the things they had purported to leave behind with only a valiant few willing to stand up and be better. These undertones exist because to suggest anything else for humanity would be unbelievable to the point of being slapstick.

Among the towering mega-cities of capitalistic excess, the savage reality of the sprawling, forgotten metropolis below there is a beauty which I cannot help but be enthralled by. Although if I am perfectly honest, I don’t think I would ever want to see it become a reality.

I am however more than willing to explore a version of that life in an immersive RPG like 2077, so for now I’ll focus on that and less on the existential dread of our collective future.

See you in the MetaVerse.

Activision-Blizzard

I just got done watching a video from a YouTube creator that I really like by the name of Tyler J who goes by the name CleanPrinceGaming. He was talking about the recent news that Activision-Blizzard is laying off 800 of its roughly 10,000 employees. To put it succinctly, he was not happy and called it, among other things; a tragedy.

The video is here for those who are curious and I encourage you to watch it. It’s about thirteen minutes long and isn’t his usual polished content so clearly, he felt strongly about getting this out quick.

That’s understandable given the subject matter, a major publisher and developer are laying off, as Tyler puts it, “Damn near 10% of their staff.”. This is not something that should pass without notice especially given that they posted a record year for revenue in 2018. In the wake of that, the understandable response is to be aghast that a company would ever consider layoffs when they are clearly cash-rich after a record year.

Believe me, in spite of what I’m going to say after this I still feel that way but after watching Tyler’s take on the situation I can’t just let it stand. I cannot say that he is necessarily wrong in how he feels but rather either intentionally or unintentionally misrepresenting some things. First off I want to start with the video title–

“Activision Should Be BURIED For This”

It is a long understood trend with YouTube that incendiary titles garner the most attention. Regardless of how big your channel is you want to get as many eyeballs pointed in your direction as you can. There is a word you sometimes hear lawyers use which is prejudicial when referring to a statement or testimony about something or someone. Essentially it is not a neutral statement. I don’t expect Tyler to make a neutral title or even really advocate for forcing him to… if he went on to provide a much more full picture of what is happening.

So, no time like the present I guess– let’s dive in.

He starts out by saying that there is a lot more to this story than he has seen people talk about on social media which is a great starting phrase to hear. I am 100% interested in hearing any and all additional information he has managed to glean from his industry contacts. Does Activision deserve to be buried? Tell me why because I purchase their products and if there is more to this story then I desperately want to know.

He continues on and immediately we hear that Activision-Blizzard posted record, RECORD numbers for last year, carefully avoiding or excluding the profit vs revenue issue. I was unable to listen to the earnings call the other day but I am sure they bragged a bit about their year because that is what investors want to hear, confidence and a bright outlook. They aren’t wrong either, they did have a record year and you can read about it. If you would like The Motley Fool also has a series of articles that go more in-depth and has a transcript from the call yesterday.

Tyler follows this section up by giving some heartfelt words of encouragement and strength to the people who were affected by the layoffs, which is great. I’ve been in a position that was cut before and it sucks to have to sit down and be given that news, especially if you love your job or the people you work with. As clearly evidenced by this tweet from Jason Schreier about what was happening the other day at the studio’s offices, they did and everyone is feeling the loss.

Let me say this in no uncertain terms: This sucks. It really does. Absolutely no one, anywhere, should be happy about the news of 800 people being laid off from any job.

That being said, how are said employees being treated? We’ll take a quote from a Kotaku article here to see–


The letter also promised “a comprehensive severance package,” continued health benefits, career coaching, and job placement assistance as well as profit-sharing bonuses for the previous year to those who are being laid off at Blizzard. (Blizzard employees receive twice yearly bonuses based on how the company performed financially.) “There’s no way to make this transition easy for impacted employees, but we are doing what we can to support our colleagues,” Brack wrote.


For comparison, we can look back a few months at the shuttering of Telltale Games to see how it sometimes goes. I know that isn’t exactly a fair comparison but the reality is that in an overall terrible situation these 800 employees are not simply being kicked to the curb. Short of keeping them employed, even if they are non-essential positions, I feel like this is as close as you can get to a working-class golden parachute.

Anyway, back to the video. After this Tyler goes on a bit of a tangent, I feel, talking about microtransactions and how misguided people quip about how they buy them to support developers. He is right insomuch as he says that this money doesn’t directly line their pockets but for companies like Activision-Blizzard who offer revenue sharing bonuses… they kinda do.

Is it a lot of money? Probably not but it’s not nothing. I can go on an entire tangent here about all the things I despise about how we compensate the hardest working people in our society. Suffice it to say it could be a lot better and I really hope someday it is but let’s not shit all over companies who are doing better than most for right now. Also, I’m not defending microtransactions, I still hate them and think they’re cancer in the gaming industry, but that is a whole other thing.

Continuing on we get some snarky throwaway comments about how Activision-Blizzard is giving their execs and CEO, fifteen million dollar incentives and bonuses. We can have a conversation about the ridiculous nature of executive job offers and what some companies pay to fill a position like that but honestly, I don’t want to. I don’t agree with it but that guy got paid because another guy fucked up and got fired, I try not to judge. Good for him. There were also people who brought up Bobby Kotick and the fifteen million dollar bonus he was offered last year and all the better uses for it. Again I agree but only to an extent.

Assuming a generalized salary for those 800 at $40,000 a year (which is low) that is a cost of $32,000,000 per year to keep them employed, excluding any additional ancillary costs. Just keep in mind that we’re talking about the non-development staff here. Not to say they don’t matter, far from it, but for a company trying to reposition after a rather rocky period PR-wise last year laying off these 800 makes a little more sense. Especially given that they will be hiring on additional development staff to increase content production for their biggest franchises.

As much as I would love to it doesn’t make sense to tell a company to keep people employed that they are no longer using in areas of their business that they are drawing back on. I wouldn’t do it as a manager or business owner and I can’t expect them to either. I think we could certainly criticize them cutting jobs without moving to adjust or staff up for other projects but that just isn’t the case here. They aren’t cutting these jobs to save money or increase their profit margins, they’re repositioning to better produce products in the coming year(s). In his video, Tyler makes the accusation that this is just Activision being greedy for more and bigger profits but to be honest I just don’t see it. I suppose we’ll see over the next year or two if they don’t end up hiring in the areas they said they would be then I’ll be wrong.

From here he moves on to some vague suggestions about this layoff signaling a crash coming in the video game industry. Again as I said above I’m not sure where he is getting this and I’m more than happy to admit I’m wrong here if there is evidence. His accusation of cutthroat profiteering makes sense if we’re looking at it strictly from the direction of monetization and loot-boxes. I 100% agree. In the context of these layoffs though? I’m just not convinced although perhaps there is a wider trend I’m not seeing, I only wish he had talked about it in the video. Moreso anyways than just criticizing the industry for seeking new and better (more profitable) forms of monetization. As much as I hate it clearly there is a certain level of tolerance by audiences for it and so far we have established some distinct boundaries for companies to respect.

He also makes a fairly broad statement that from this point forward we, the consumers, no longer matter in the creation of games. They are purely in profit mode now with no care for what audiences want. Again, on one hand, I definitely agree that the overall trend of the industry in the last five or so years has gone that way. I just can’t see this incident being the point of no return for video games as a whole. As I pointed out above Activision-Blizzard’s decision here is, ostensibly, to reposition their resources in order to produce more of what their customers want. It remains to be seen if that is the truth but lacking a functioning crystal ball I can only look at what they have said and the actions they have taken in accordance with those words.

I think I’m going to end it there because this is sort of turning into a rant of my own which wasn’t really my intention. I don’t like having to take the stance of defending a massive loss of jobs and I dislike even more when people say, “That’s just the way things are.”. In this case, I find it hard to see fault in their actions as much as I would like to. As these departments shrink others within the company will grow and as silver linings go that one isn’t bad. I really do hope that all 800 people affected will land in new positions that will treat them well and give them new purpose and projects within the gaming industry. With the outpouring of support on social media with other devs and studios reaching out to make sure folks know they are hiring I think the chances are pretty good.

Thanks for reading.

  • Anthony

The Endgame

You thought this was going to start with a joke about Infinity War, didn’t you? Be honest. If you are, then I will be and admit that the first couple drafts of this did indeed start that way. As it turns out trying to link Doctor Strange’s line into a conversation about the controversy surrounding Anthem’s launch state is harder than it seems.

See how I did that? Nice, right?

Anywho, let’s talk about the latest whirlwind of, I won’t even call it a conversation, as it is really just a bunch of people screaming into the void about the newest death knell for Anthem.

Endgame content.

We’re not going to start out talking about it immediately, it’ll take a minute but trust me, we’ll get there.

First off we may as well take a moment to explain exactly what that is for the curious but unfamiliar and to do that let’s go over some general info. Video games are broken down into some broad categories which over time have been parted out even more into various sub-categories. The number of these is easily into the dozens so you’ll forgive me for not listing them all here, we’ll stick with just the relevant ones. Anthem is most often referred to as a Looter Shooter which combines elements of Action/RPG/First or Third-Person Shooter games into one package. We can credit the existence of this genre to games like Hellgate: London and the short-lived Tabula Rasa. Two years after those games released Gearbox’s entry Borderlands would finally cement the Looter Shooter as a staple in the gaming industry. Titles like Warframe, Destiny and The Division were not far behind, as well as numerous indie projects. All of these games, while also being looter shooters, share similar monetization schemes ranging from subscriptions (Hellgate: London), DLC, and microtransactions.

I’m going to take just a small detour here to explain the distinction between games as a service versus DLC. It may not seem important but for our purposes, the distinction does matter. DLC or Downloadable Content for games, for the most part, exist as distinct content additions to a retail product. Usually, they are additional chunks that build on the core experience of a base game either tangentially to the story or directly related to it. Most of the time these pieces of content can be completed in the <10-hour range and costs anywhere between $5 and $20.

A Games as a Service/Live Service style product will generally package a set of microtransactions along with annual or bi-annual DLC content and seasonal events. All of these are designed to keep players engaged over multiple years of content and microtransaction releases. In effect, these games don’t want to give you the opportunity to stop playing and go elsewhere between DLC.

This is where the design of endgame content starts to matter. When the big bad is vanquished and you stand triumphant while the credits roll, what do you do after? Traditionally in linear story-oriented games, this is when you take a break and then move on to some other title. In the world of monetization that we now live developers instead want to keep you right where you are, playing their game and investing your hard earned money in keeping that experience going. By all accounts, it’s not a bad business strategy as it directly addresses the worst part of finishing a great piece of entertainment, you want more. This is where the RPG in the Looter Shooter game design really shines as one of the core aspects to many roleplaying games is the equipment. With the addition of milestone challenges, rare gear to collect, and even bits of hidden lore to uncover these are the building blocks of the all-important endgame.

Which brings us to…

The Grind

Disclaimer – I was going to make a “Bump N’ Grind” joke here until I realized much to my dismay that R Kelly sings that song and because fuck that guy, you get the gif instead, enjoy.

If you’ve ever wondered what work feels like in your leisure time I encourage you to immerse yourself in the grind of any game mentioned in this post or your choice of MMO. The more Korean the better. Ideally, it won’t feel like work because as a fan of the game you’ll enjoy what you have to do regardless of its repetitive nature.

Skill-Up on YouTube had one of my favorite descriptions of it when it came to the most recent updates for The Division.

If you watched a couple minutes of that you might end up agreeing with Skill-Up that it doesn’t seem like that was very repetitive at all and you would be right. What you have to remember though is that it took almost two years for the game to reach that point. Think about that, the endgame of a major IP didn’t come together fully until nearly two years after it’s initial release. To be honest, I was almost positive that it would never really get there after playing at launch but to their credit, they stuck with it and built a game they could be proud of. One that ended up being so good I came back to it with a friend and we poured a ton of hours into it, a lot of which was a second run for me.

So how does all this tie in with Anthem? The current picadillo that Bioware seems to be in is that no one believes their endgame is up to snuff. I’ve heard everything from it’s “light” to “non-existent” and everything in between.

Today Bioware posted part 2 of their This is Anthem video series about the endgame, it’s worth a watch.

Everything said in the video pretty much lines up with what we’ve come to expect from other live services with a healthy spread between daily, weekly, and monthly challenges. In addition to world events like the shaper storms and cataclysms, the developers have also said that things like weather and time of day will also affect available activities. You also have other codex challenges like using different equipment to unlock more advanced crafting recipes for a given gear type.

The questions I asked myself while reading through all the criticism, some of which is in the comments of that video, was how much endgame is really needed at launch? Does the min-max grind count once you’re there? Anyone with any experience in the various gaming communities, or any rabid fandom really, will tell you how little time it takes people to blow through content. As recently as a day ago a world first race for new World of Warcraft content concluded. Gamers have built careers on how quickly they can knock down incredibly complex content upon its release. People plan their days off so they can binge new titles, we’ve built conventions around speed running and are still finding decades-old secrets in games most of us barely remember anymore. Whether it’s out of sheer passion or the drive to be first fans will find a way to consume content or do things faster than was ever intended. Its become a bit of an amusing arms race between developers and their communities as they try to stay one step ahead and provide new, more challenging gameplay.

Anyone remember the No Man’s Sky launch? Even Destiny 2’s community has had heated discussions since its launch about whether or not the developers should be catering more towards hardcore or casual fans. Do you do it via a majority vote? Player statistics? Squeakiest wheel? Dartboard? Guess there is always this but it just seems cruel and wasteful.

So what do they do? Bioware has been working on Anthem since at least 2012 so that is already six years worth of work just to bring the game to this point, two weeks and change out from release. From everything I have seen the game is sporting a respectable amount of activities for a new, ambitious IP at its launch and what appears to be a rather extensive future roadmap. Striking the balance between “having enough” and “ever launching your game at all” is no easy task but at some point you have to end development and go live. What’s funny is that they haven’t even really ended development on Anthem as they have already had teams working on post-release content for months to get it ready. It’s always possible that Anthem will end up like other live service games that take months, if not years, to reach their full potential. The silver lining to that possibility is that three of the most prominent titles in this genre all suffered from this at launch and since then have all gone on to rather amazing success. Bungie actually managed it twice now with Destiny 2 following a similar fate as their first game. In spite of what you might have heard Destiny 2 outsold the first and was Activision Blizzard’s largest PC launch. Far from a failure in spite of Activision being disappointed in its performance.

It’s entirely possible that this is just par for the course for this genre of games and that no amount of endgame content at launch will ever be enough. I don’t think that I’m quite ready to declare that the set in stone reality but the evidence does seem to be pointing in that direction. As I said in my last post I feel like Bioware has proven that Anthem has all the ingredients to be amazing which leaves only a couple questions up to the community.

Do you want to be there from the potentially rocky, buggy launch?

Are you okay with feeling like you’ve caught up and have nothing new to do but grind and explore until new content drops?

If you answered yes then barring any cataclysmic problems I’ll be there with you to ride the launch-day rollercoaster. It’ll be frustrating but fun I’m sure.

If you answered no then that is fine. If the game is still here and kicking out content in six months to a years time you can pick it up on sale and join in. If not then you were right all along and it was a good thing you waited.

The question of whether or not there is enough endgame content at launch is, I think, a bit of a false dilemma. The questions we should be asking is whether or not the game is done. If the story is interesting or engaging. Is the aesthetic interesting? Are the graphics good? Does it feel like the Bioware we’ve fallen in love with in the past?

I honestly don’t think I care if there is enough of an endgame grind out of the gate to keep me busy right up until new content is released.

I just care that what is there is worth playing in the first place. I can always look forward to more if it is.

  • Anthony