So long ridiculously slow slog through Fort Tarsis, hello more Javelin time. BioWare heard players' complaints about the recent Anthem demo, and they've already announced one crucial change as a result: you'll now be able to run in the hub area.
EA's and BioWare's big upcoming game Anthem promises Destiny-like gameplay with the addition of an agile flying mech suit. Those who played the demo last weekend (when the servers weren't full, that is) got a taste of flying around in the suits, called Javelins. The Gamer's own Ian Macrae chronicled his time with the game, citing the Javelin as a particular highlight.
"There was no tutorial in this demo, so I referred to the keybindings just to figure out how to get airborne, but once I did, oh man," he wrote. "Flying around in your Javelin is a real treat, as is hovering mid-air and raining bullets down on your enemies."
Less exciting was when a mission ended, and players were forced to go back to Fort Tarsis. Fort Tarsis seems to be the typical online game hub area, filled with NPCs who both give the player tasks and just live their lives to create a sense of immersion. To further that immersion, PC Gamer reports, demo players were forced to exit their Javelins and walk around at a casual pace. Running in the fort wasn't even an option.
Players were widely unhappy with the slow walking speed. Many said it made their time in Fort Tarsis unbearable as it kept them out of their Javelins longer. Ian even called it the "biggest problem with the hub" in his demo coverage.
Fortunately, BioWare is taking feedback seriously. They've already announced a list of changes they're working on before the game's February 22nd release, with running in Fort Tarsis confirmed. Thankfully, that means we can get through the hub fast and back out into the Javelins faster.
"If you look at most video games, you're sprinting everywhere and we gave you a jet pack machine for when you're out in the world, and we really want it to feel like you're just a person walking around and now you are that person in Iron Man armour," said Anthem producer Mark Darrah of the choice to force a slow walk.
Basically, BioWare wanted players to feel slow and human by forcing them to walk, all to make the speed of the Javelins have more impact. An ambitious goal, but one that many players found to be just plain boring. Fortunately when the game comes out, servers willing, players won't have to worry about being bored with Anthem any more.