BioWare Says They Are Adding A Social Hub To Anthem Because Fans Asked For It

Anthem, BioWare’s upcoming online loot shooter, is only a month out from release and is already changing based on player feedback. The game’s lead producer, Michael Gamble, announced on Twitter yesterday that, following feedback gathered from alpha test players in recent weeks, the game will be getting a social hub.

“After a mission, you can head back to Tarsis and catch up with some of the amazing characters we’ve created for you...OR...head back to the brand new Launch Bay, hang out with your friends, use the forge, reload and grab a new contract,” Gamble tweeted. “Yeah, we listened to you... details soon!”

So far the Launch Bay looks pretty small and barebones, but by giving up to 16 players a place to chill between missions and show off their custom mech suits, it certainly looks like an improvement over just talking with teammates over voice chat.

Gif: Anthem, Twitter

As more people played the game during its closed alpha tests in December, some were shocked to find that something like the Launch Bay didn’t already exist. Earlier this month, someone on Twitter asked BioWare why that was. “A lot of people are concerned about Ft. Tarsis not being a social area,” the person wrote. “Players like seeing other players. Take The Division, Destiny and Warframe for example, social hubs that allow us to see others. Socially connected games have longevity.”

At the time, Gamble, who has been spending the last few months tweeting out lots of info about Anthem in response to questions, responded “We hear you loud and clear.”

Social hubs have been around in traditional MMOs for years but aren’t necessarily standard for online multiplayers games. It was a big deal for players when Warframe got its first major social hub called the Plains of Eidolon back in October of 2017, four years after the game had launched.

Fallout 76, another quasi-MMO, still doesn’t have a social hub, much to the dismay of its remaining fans. As a result, there’s no dedicated, non-PVP spot on the map where players can meet with one another and trade, and no clear signs yet of if one might get added.

While not on the scale of Destiny’s Tower or Warframe’s Plains of Eidolon, Anthem’s Launch Bay is a nice start. It shows BioWare is taking the continuously evolving nature of always-online games seriously. While it won’t be available in the VIP demo starting January 25, Gamble said Launch Bay will be live when the game releases on February 22.


Comments

    It shows BioWare is taking the continuously evolving nature of always-online games seriously.

    I wish EA would take the reality of people enjoying Bioware's single-player RPGs seriously.

    FO76 has an area players cant nuke, mainly around the vault location. Would be trivial to use those same boundaries as non-PvP zones as well, and turn it into a potential player hub.

    It shouldn't be hard to do, and with players able to port back to the vault for free, an instant way to give some use back to those low level areas that end up abandoned.

    I know the game is instanced for small player counts per shard... but 16 players still serms a bit low. Considering that fashionable customisation is the games microtransaction base... you want as many people together in an easily accessible and highly trafficed area to "show off" and encorage sales.

    City of Heroes "Costume Contests", Warframes "Fashion Framing", and even WoW transmog system encouragrs peoplecto farm(or purchase) looks others have seen.

    They should aim for the higest player count they can sustain in a social hub rather than a hard cap 16

      You can see other people when running around the open world, can't you? What's the player cap per instance of the open world?

    Pity they aren't putting a KOTOR game in Anthem. Because fans are asking for one.

    While this is good, i think some players are clearly over hyping it as a victory. As if they said something and it happened, where as it is far more likely they just pushed the feature to the top of a list

      I don't know. If there's one thing I've learned over the past decade, it's if enough people whine then they get their way. And sometimes the developers get coloured cupcakes out of it.

    a place to chill between missions and show off their custom mech suits

    "Now available in the Anthem Online Store! Kids, ask your parents' permission*"

    (*Or don't. Either way, just pay up.)

    Breaking news everyone! People in MMO......WANT TO SEE OTHER PLAYERS.

    Destiny is still trying to figure this out.

    Destiny is still trying to figure this out.

    Huh? Really not sure how that makes sense? The Tower was there day one. You could always see others gear in every mode, plus you can inspect other players.

      while the Tower and Farm do exist, Destiny is missing a good amount features that should be included as a no brainer such as:

      text chat (clan/local/gobal which was not in at release)
      ingame Looking for group tools. We should not beforced to use 10 different discord servers and mobile apps and websites just to find people to do stuff.
      On top of this i should not have to "friend" someone so i can invite them to join a group.

      On topic i find pretty fucking stupid that only after player feed is anthem going to get a social space, i mean that is another one of those no brainer ideas when it comes to making an MMO type game

    Hopefully it is better implemented than the gathering hub in Monster Hunter World. It needs to be an area you can still access everything.

    I still don't understand why we're getting this kind of game from BIOWARE.

      because EA wants a piece of the Warframe pie and they have an excuse to axe Bioware when it fails which it will

        While it does have some similarities with Warframe, if you look closely it's just a full blown game made out of Mass Effect's multiplayer.

          oh i know, i was just getting into it swing of thing because apprently Destiny is also just a clone of Warframe as well considering that anything something bad happens in destiny everyone just says warframe is better.

      Back when they were mapping out ideas, EA had to give BioWare the Visceral-style sci-fi shooter because Visceral were already assigned to the BWesque story-based Star Wars project. It's not like EA owns the people who did KOTOR, you know?

        Are those people still at bioware though?

          Some were, back when they first started Anthem and Untitled Visceral/EA Subsidiary A-38 Star Wars Game

      None of the original team are there anyway. Why expect any type of game from Bioware?

    It's really an iteration of the Mass Effect combat taken to an open world. Game companies are realising that the big money spinners aren't in a single big release that has a couple of DLC, because people have moved on by the time the DLC is ready (FFXV). It's become about creating a game with a long lifespan, with dedicated fans, with continued developer support. Part of why Fortnite has done so well is because it's very easily customised on the fly. Anthem is trying some of the same things, so you don't have to handcraft every single piece of new content down to the weather. It streamlines the process.

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