How would the game look under the "Live Service - GaaS model?" Mar 22, 2019 23:49:33 GMT githcheater likes this
Post by Space Cowboy on Mar 22, 2019 23:49:33 GMT
With all the talk about Anthem and GaaS games in general, I got to thinking how DA4 would look under this model, since it seems likely that is the direction Bioware will go.
My understanding of Gaas is that they design and release a 'MVP - Minimally Viable Product' and dole out story content over time, the idea being that players will keep paying subscription fees or paying for cosmetics etc while they way, thus generating a continual revenue stream. A video that was linked elsewhere on the board suggested in order to accomplish this, they take an almost complete game, then strip out everything they can to approach MVP, saving what they stripped out for later content. While this approach seems wrong headed, the video made a fairly good case for them (other publishers having done this with other games. They may have done this with Anthem too, but there is no way to know.
So given that definition, how would DA4 look? There is no way to know as we aren't privy to the game's design.. but maybe looking at DAI as GaaS would be constructive. How would DAI have looked had it used this model?
What about Multiplayer? A side content multiplayer like in actual DAI changes little under GaaS I would think, but a full on more like Anthem would change the story and environment drastically. More thoughts on that later. Note I'm not entertaining any possibility of a purely single player experience with no MP at all. Point to AC Odyssey all you like. It was not made by EA.
Overall Game design at launch
The game at launch would be rather bare bones. I suspect we would get the Hinterlands. And that's it. Whatever the first plot would be, it would take place in Hinterlands only.
Especially under co-op, they would want all players to start in the same location and remain there, as far as the hub. We would likely get Skyhold immediately, after a short tutorial/prologue in Haven. Skyhold, or whatever they called it, would be in Hinterlands, since that is the starting, and only, zone.
The beginning plot would be similar. Get allies to seal the breach. The choice, if there was one at all, would be centered in Hinterlands. Redcliffe against a local Templar base. No Val Royeaux, maybe no visitable Redcliff, certainly no distant Templar fort.
In Co-op multiplayer scenario though, there would be no choice. Likely we would side with mages and that's it. This would remove any reference to Samson, Calpernia etc as these two factions would no longer be needed. This is because in a shared zone, there can be no changes, like red lyrium spiking all over the zone, or different enemies based on choice.
The closing of the breach, of course, would not be a cutscene, but a battle against some powerful enemy, maybe Alexius?
You would, of course get only the starting companions.
Maybe not even that. in Co-op, Cass, Varric and Solas would be relegated to quest NPC's.
Not at launch.
They'd be monumentally stupid not to include this at some point, of course. This is Dragon Age.
Additional content over time
The plan is to add content over time, so what would they add? Zones? Companions? Yes and yes. This doesn't match what Anthem has planned, probably, but we are still dealing with DI, and its overall plot of defeating Coryfish
The first one may be Storm Coast. Players would presumably be excited over meeting a new character, and seeing a new zone.
As time goes on, they would add more. Some excuse to visit other regions to recruit Blackwall, Sera and Vivienne eventually.
They may even add more hubs like Val Royeaux, although I doubt this will happen in the Co-op version
And finally, we defeat Coryfish!
Eventually? Would we still be waiting? It hasnt been 10 years yet, Maybe at this point we would only be half way through the game content. Can interest in the plot hold for that long? Would they end Cory earlier and have some other big bad? Maybe we would never defeat him truly. Looking at Anthem as an example, The dominion was defeated, at least in whatever capacity was covered in the game so far, but we still have dominion troops in the shared world, so that enemy faction will always be there. New people experiencing the story for the first time need to see the same content as the old timers after all, in the shared environment.
How would they handle Solas? He still needs to be about, for new players. Instanced hubs like Fort Tarsis would take care of that of course. Might be odd for end game characters to see Solas as a companion running around, if they went the non Co-op route.
Would Trespasser ever happen? Could they take your character into the future in a GaaS shared environment? Doubtful. On the other hand they did something similar with SWTOR, but only via a very lengthy, very solo DLC. This probably won't happen in GaaS. Your private areas like your ship are empty of companions for story reasons. But when you land on planets, nothing has changed, since they are shared.
So what will this mean for DA4?
I assume there is no chance to have a DAI style game not under GaaS, so we will never really know what DA4 could have been. I think though, that it's safe to say we will see another short intro campaign, with stronghold type end game content, pushing hard for multiplayer. It might not be even immediately obvious what the overall story is about. Certainly in my scenario above, Cory would be a mention but never appear, as the attack on Haven would be rushed along, as mere prologue content.