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#1 Posted by WickedCobra03 (2103 posts) -

Well? Like Diablo III for example? That game requires online activation, and since it has basically been down all day, should that affect the overall score of the game?

Half-Lfe 2 had its own similar problems with activation with the burgeoning Steam platform being overloaded with activations and downloading of the Half-Life 2 game. I bought a DVD copy of the game the day it came out, installed the game, but when I tired to activate it, it basically Error37'd me for like 48 hours before I could finally go through the 3 second activation process and play the game.

I am basically now sick of these companies pulling this crap. Sure, I get it, everyone who is potentionally buying your game is going to try and get on in a very short window and its unfair to the company. But if you are offering a product for sale which I am buying for $60, I expect it to work, no and-ifs-or-buts about it. Did Diablo III need an always online single-player? No, not at all, and I feel the review scores should fully reflect that if a company tries to push a terrible policy and then fail, they should be fully judged the second that game is released at this point.

On the other hand, I had no problem with the day-one patch of Battlefield 1942 10 years ago at this point, nor it being pretty broken at times, but that was 10 years ago when that type of game was totally revolutionary, the company didn't have any intentions of malice with the games release or trying to push their terrible agenda of policies, and at that point, there were not 10 years of games that released broken and developers thinking that is fine to treat consumers like that (skyrim for the PS3, I am looking directly at you).

In conclusion, Diablo III - 0/10, and at this point, I find it crazy that reviewers still deal with this.

#2 Posted by Clinkz (1118 posts) -

Mmm, not really although these issues are infuriating. Having to have a constant internet connection to play the single player accompanied with never actually owning the game (just leasing it to us according to the agreement) is inexcusable. The future looks bleak in gaming.

#3 Posted by Excast (901 posts) -

Yes it should.
 
Games should be reviewed based on what they are, not what we hope they are or what they might be days, weeks, or months from now.  I think this is especially true when it is obvious that games were released in an unfinished, bug ridden state.  Considering how widespread the issues with Diablo 3 have been it is difficult to imagine that Blizzard didn't know about these problems.
 
I had the same feelings about Skyrim last year and it is why I am glad the Giantbomb guys specifically pointed out that the PS3 version of the game was not worthy of GOTY consideration.  It is blatant false advertising to release a product to the public that you know doesn't work.  Unfortunately, such shoddy customer service is becoming all too common lately.  Publishers are content with pushing content out the door with the promises of patches and fixes to come at a later date.  Of course, that isn't on the back of the box though..is it?

#4 Posted by EXTomar (4642 posts) -

....that makes no sense Excast. How would a reviewer who published their review yesterday (or earlier) know there would be launch problems today?

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#5 Edited by WickedCobra03 (2103 posts) -

@EXTomar said:

....that makes no sense Excast. How would a reviewer who published their review yesterday (or earlier) know there would be launch problems today?

That is fine if their is no knowledge or didn't review that version of the game, but then ammend their review score, or at least make an annotation in their review. I, too, feel like the Giantbomb guys should have definitely taken the PS3 version into consideration since it was a multiplatform game that was supposed to be about the same game as the 360 or PS3 version... (not the case where the Aladdin game for Genesis and SNES were very different games).

EDIT: I guess I would also like to know what the Giantbomb guys think of this?

#6 Edited by Excast (901 posts) -
@EXTomar: Go back and change the score then.
 
The same thing happened with Skyrim.  Bethesda only sent out 360 copies of the game because they knew the PS3 version was a steaming pile of garbage with game breaking issues.  Of course, nobody knew that because everybody gave the game perfect scores based on a version that only a portion of consumers would be buying.  How many fans had rude awakenings when their game started running at 5 FPS a few dozen hours into Skyrim?
 
Now, if the Diablo 3 experience that reviewers had is not the same as what many gamers are experiencing, shouldn't the actual truth of the situation be reflected int he scores?  It isn't about the ideal.  It is about what is actually going on.
#7 Posted by EXTomar (4642 posts) -

Should reviews for SWTOR be modified because patches 1.1 and 1.2 seem to have serious issues? This is a general topic and problem with all reviews where playing the guessing game review scores like this is not productive.

Personally my stance on this aspect is that review scores should stand as written unless there is a major editorial problem (ie. they get something just wrong or lied or other ethical issues). If the reviewer later regrets giving a game too low or high of a score then that is something they need to deal with instead of covering up with an edit way after the fact.

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#8 Posted by selbie (1879 posts) -

A score should always represent the true state of the game at the time of the review because if you have a game that is broken after launch (in D3's case the reliance on overloaded servers) you can't ignore that problem. However, as Jeff suggested, especially for long-running multiplayer games and MMOs, the quality and performance of the game will change over time so it would be helpful to have a secondary Updated Score to provide a more representative value of its state later on.

#9 Posted by Excast (901 posts) -
@EXTomar: MMOs are unique in that they are constantly changing and always have huge server related problems to work out.  Predominantly single player games should not have these issues.
 
My problem with reviews in situations like this is that they are made under ideal circumstances that generally don't exist int he real world.  Maybe Diablo 3 isn't terrible online when only a few hundred people are online with review copies.  Maybe it is a little less fine when a few hundred thousand are instead.  Maybe a game works fine when all review copies are on a particular platform.  Maybe it works a little less fine on other platforms that weren't treated with the same respect.
 
These issues need to be taken into consideration so that potential buyers who are reading these reviews are now getting scammed.
#10 Posted by WickedCobra03 (2103 posts) -

@selbie said:

A score should always represent the true state of the game at the time of the review because if you have a game that is broken after launch (in D3's case the reliance on overloaded servers) you can't ignore that problem. However, as Jeff suggested, especially for long-running multiplayer games and MMOs, the quality and performance of the game will change over time so it would be helpful to have a secondary Updated Score to provide a more representative value of its state later on.

Yeah, that is why I said that I feel like Blizzard should have their review scores of their game reflect their bad decision of a terrible policy of trying to push a single-player game needing an always online connection even though their is no actual need for it.

MMO's on the other hand should have a review of the game (usually these reviews come out 2 or so weeks after the game is released), and I am fine with that, but give it whatever score it would have gotten after that 2 weeks. If the game does go through these major changes such as games have after these, either add an annotation or make a review based on that patch and/or new content if the game warrants one.

#11 Posted by EXTomar (4642 posts) -

Fine but then we go back to CoD games and change their scores because they degenerated to being heavily hacked? Do we go back and change the score for Gears1 and Gears2 because there were a couple of online didn't seem to work quite correctly?

The game doesn't matter but I'm trying to get across this is a dead end and waste of energy. Reviewers have better things to do than to check and recheck games and adjust scores.

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#12 Posted by JasonR86 (9653 posts) -

'Borked'?

#13 Posted by WickedCobra03 (2103 posts) -

@EXTomar said:

Fine but then we go back to CoD games and change their scores because they degenerated to being heavily hacked? Do we go back and change the score for Gears1 and Gears2 because there were a couple of online didn't seem to work quite correctly?

The game doesn't matter but I'm trying to get across this is a dead end and waste of energy. Reviewers have better things to do than to check and recheck games and adjust scores.

Well I feel like Gears 2 should have been much more harshly graded than it was... Online was borked when it came out and for weeks after... that should be affected.

Basically, reviewers should take responsibility since they have the most impact on development and deployment of future games for grading the product that they have in their hands.

I don't feel like they have to go back and constantly keep up with these games, but at least be more on the side of consumers than developers.

#14 Posted by EXTomar (4642 posts) -

if you are talking about Giant Bomb in particular, click on the logo in the upper left and take your pick. I expect them to be working on setting up the next TNT, publishing articles, producing videos instead of firing up games and checking to see if their old reviews need to be modified let alone editing them.

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#15 Posted by Arker101 (1474 posts) -

It'd be nice if that the games changed overtime, that the reviews would as well. That's not the case, so day one launch issues probably shouldn't go into reviews. The problems that the DRM can cause should go in. It's not going to go anywhere.

@JasonR86 said:

'Borked'?

Borked

I'm not sure it's the best word for the situation.

#16 Posted by BraveToaster (12590 posts) -

Yes, unless a patch is released at launch.

#17 Posted by PrivateIronTFU (3874 posts) -

Not if it's only borked for like a day. If it's borked for longer than that, then probably, yeah.

I like saying borked.

#18 Posted by Video_Game_King (36272 posts) -

If it's something that directly relates to the game itself, yes. In this case, Diablo III gets it (unless somebody is willing to argue why that shield switching stuff is something outside the game), and Half Life 2 doesn't (it was more with the delivery method than the game itself).

#19 Posted by geirr (2516 posts) -

I wish people would stop buying this shit so we'd stop seeing it.

#20 Posted by Pinworm45 (4088 posts) -

If I can not play a game, that game is broken. If a game is broken, it's getting scored in the 1-3 territory, assuming I go out of my way to score it, which I usually don't anyway.

#21 Posted by Dylabaloo (1549 posts) -

Yes. A review is needed at the time, people don't go back and look at reviews from years ago, unless it's for a laugh.

#22 Posted by Humanity (9028 posts) -

In the past when pc games were very prevalent and so were crashes and bugs reviewers used to be a lot more severe in scoring. These days those game breaking bugs don't happen as often and console titles which dominate the market don't really worry about those issues - and it seems reviewers have gotten a lot more lax about it.

#23 Posted by Bell_End (1208 posts) -

i don't really pay any attention to review scores anymore anyway.

#24 Posted by AndrewB (7568 posts) -

@WickedCobra03: Your example of Half-Life 2 unsold me on the idea. Would I call Half-Life 2 anything short of a masterpiece because of a hiccup in service 8 years ago? It seems weird to mar an otherwise amazing game for a momentary issue, no matter how bad it is. I guess what I'm saying is, I can't subscribe entirely to the Arthur Gies rule that a game review is solely based on the quality of the game at the time of launch. Hell... most reviews are written before launch and before these sorts of problems have a chance to crop up in the first place, and I don't see people going back and changing review scores when it does happen. The "damage" is already done.

Though on the other end, you'd pretty much have to zero out the scores of any EA title where they shut down the game's servers.

#25 Posted by CookieMonster (2416 posts) -

If it affects it in such a way that lessens the experience and is affecting a lot of people that bought the game, then yes.

#26 Posted by MrRedwine (430 posts) -

Since you specifically asked about "score", I am inclined to say no. Anyone who is reading a review of a game in order to make a purchasing decision will more than likely be doing so the day of release or after. I think the state of the game at launch should be noted in the review, but I don't see how giving Diablo 3 a 3 star instead of 4 or a 4 star instead of 5 rating for this one factor would make sense.

That said, I really hope companies go away from the always on DRM model. I don't like when people who purchase the game legally are treated like criminals.

#27 Posted by TruthTellah (8720 posts) -

I agree. World of Warcraft had all sorts of server problems at launch; that game is rubbish. Skyrim? Just an utter mess at launch, and PS3 users had problems for weeks. That game is rubbish and everyone hated it.

Pretty sure Battlefield 3 was also the worst game of 2011 due to its launch, too.

...

...

Let's give it a day at least. After this big update tonight, I think things will be working a lot better for people. It's a shame that the new server infrastructure just couldn't handle it, but it will get there. At least they seem to care enough to actually shut it down for a few hours and do a big update. They could have just kept pecking at small stuff for days instead. Sure this launch day has been messy, but this is a huge game that will be providing people playtime far past day one. It does reflect poorly on the online aspect of the game, and it gives credence to concerns over always online single-player games. But that's only one part of the larger game. They're working it out, and in a week or two, I imagine no one will be talking about the day one server issues. Instead, the focus will be on the game itself and its actual merits as an experience.

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#28 Posted by Wallzii (173 posts) -

Personally I dislike the weight of importance that is taken with review "scores" and would do away with them if possible. These numbers have gained so much importance that people often disregard the content of a written review because the "score was bad." I often ignore scores myself and read the reviews of a writer that has similar taste and idealology in games, what their particular experience was with that game, and how that may influence my decision to experience the game myself. A lot of people will disregard something they might have otherwise enjoyed because it got a 7/10, which then also heavily influences their own experience.

With that being said, yes by all means these issues should be talked about in a review. When these issues are fixed, that should also be documented, as well as the process. I don't expect every patch or update of a game to be reflected on in a review, but if something is "borked" or "game breaking" to the initial experience, if it is rectified that should also be discussed in detail.

The thing with Diablo 3 though is that it is being marketed as an online game, and people need to realize this. Should it have a single-player only mode? I think it should. This is not the case though, and Blizzard has been very clear about this. This isn't some slight we were given on release day, this is widely known information. Whether or not we like that decision is another topic of discussion entirely. Understandably this is upsetting to a lot of fans, however that isn't our choice to make.

Since this is an online game, a responsible review will be done over time. Online games always encounter issues at launch in a majority of difference categories, and this has come to be expected. The real issue is how promptly everything is dealt with, and how much feedback the community is getting throughout the process so you aren't left blind. Were there issues at launch, and if so what were they, and were they fixed? How long did it take to fix these issues? Are these issues detrimental to the overall experience of the game now that they are/are not fixed? In summary, throughout the review process, if problems aren't fixed promptly and largely impact the game still then yes, by all means have it affect the overall opinion/score from that reviewer. If they were a minor annoyance that don't have any bearing anymore on the game and the overall experience that it offers, clearly document it but don't put too much leverage on it.

#29 Posted by KaneRobot (1510 posts) -

It absolutely should. That is what they are willing to sell you, so they should be judged by that.

There is always room for a follow-up a few weeks down the road letting people know if things have been improved, maybe even an "up-to-date score" accompanying it. But not scoring them based on what is released to the public in the first place is letting developers off the hook and excusing lazy & rushed releases. It's only going to get worse as time goes on if no one ever takes them to task.

Not sure that Diablo III is broken enough for Brad to endorse it as GOTY, but it's certainly a contender.

#30 Posted by RPGee (759 posts) -

I personally think that it's all centred on how quickly Blizzard can fix this shit. That means making sure servers are stable, that lag is kept minimal, etc. If this is still going on in a week or so, then it should have some sort of impact on the review. It doesn't necessarily have to impact the score, since it's something that will assuredly get fixed (and by the way guys, if you haven't played it, Diablo III is pretty good), but it needs to be acknowledged if nothing else.

And I would say the more glaring issue is the lack of PvP. I know it's something that doesn't matter to me personally, and that Blizzard is all about high quality, but they had 11 years or so to get something proper going. Good thing the main thing is so good.

#31 Edited by whyareyoucrouchingspock (975 posts) -

Yes. As long as it's not Halflife 2.

#32 Edited by MordeaniisChaos (5730 posts) -

If it's an issue they didn't see coming/couldn't have avoided? Not so much as long as it is quickly fixed. Sometime big bugs get through the polish pass, and as long as it's fixed quickly, I'm not going to bitch at the dev.

Diablo 3's issues were well known because that's what happened in the BETA. Always online DRM has always failed, and as a result, there is no fuckin' excuse for the issues that game has, and I'm pretty sure it will continue to suffer from those issues, if not tot he same extent that it suffered from today.

@EXTomar: Gears 2 online was broken pretty much 100% of the time, so there's that. And CoD eventually being hacked after a prolonged period is the exact opposite of DAY ONE issues. Put on your thinkin' cap mate.

#33 Posted by JoeyRavn (4963 posts) -

@pepsimaxofborg said:

I wish people would stop buying this shit so we'd stop seeing it.

That really makes no sense in this case. Diablo III has been unplayable because of the massive amount of people trying to login to Blizzard's servers at the same time. If people had stopped buying games like Diablo III, the problem would have not appeared, because the servers wouldn't have been hammered so heavily. So yeah, egg or chicken, chicken or egg.

On topic, no. I think the reviewer should give his own impression of the game. If it is known at the time of the review that users are experiencing problems with the game, but the reviewer somehow avoids it, sure, mention those problems in your review. But don't lower the score because you didn't experience them. Your review should be your own personal experience with the game, for better or worse.

And changing the score whenever the game gets better or worse is beyond stupid. If there is a massive revision that drastically changes how the game works, go for it. But not for sporadic problems or improvements.

#34 Posted by InternetCrab (1504 posts) -

Depends on how long. Sure, the companies usually pull of crap like this, but if just for one day, it's not such a big deal. If Half-Life 2 had been a bad game (which it is not) waiting 48 hours to play it would be a waste of time. However, Diablo III is considered a good game and to most one day with errors were worth waiting for. So no, it does not affect the score.

#35 Posted by Dagbiker (6957 posts) -

Yes.

#36 Posted by Kazona (3063 posts) -

Here's what I find really funny. When Ubisoft released games that required people to always be online, everyone was up in arms about it. But now, with Diablo 3, I haven't seen a single complaint about this fact.

I think, perhaps, the gaming community as a whole needs to re-evaluate its double standards first, before they start discussing how reviews should be scored.

#37 Posted by gamefreak9 (2356 posts) -

@WickedCobra03: yes lets give 0/10 to a game we haven't played yet! Also DRM is NOT needless, just to demonstrate that you can think critically I want YOU to list WHY DRM is good.

#38 Posted by TruthTellah (8720 posts) -

@Kazona said:

Here's what I find really funny. When Ubisoft released games that required people to always be online, everyone was up in arms about it. But now, with Diablo 3, I haven't seen a single complaint about this fact.

Wait... have you been around the Internet in the last day or so? Countless gamers have been practically foaming at the mouth for the last twenty four hours. I'm pretty sure Metacritic exploded and burned to the ground. You think people haven't been up in arms about this? Every time it has been mentioned in the last year, people have made a fuss, and with the server issues yesterday, people flipped the heck out and nearly started a Mass Effect 3 level shitstorm. I'm pretty sure some gamers flipped over a car somewhere and set it on fire just out of their primal rage over this.

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#39 Posted by Dagbiker (6957 posts) -

I like reading people make up reasons why Blizzard should not be marked down.

"They can fix it really fast"

"DRM isnt part of the game"

#40 Posted by Brodehouse (9793 posts) -

I find it hilarious when people think that games were released perfect 10-15 years ago. There was a game that would delete your windows system folder it you uninstalled it!

If the server inadequacies only last for a day, it would be bad form to review the game less. Because a week later, your review saying "It didn't work on launch day!" won't mean anything to someone interested in buying it. You're writing time sensitive purchasing advice.

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#41 Posted by fjor (297 posts) -

blizzard does not give a fuck.....there are so many retarded fans out there that will buy the game even if it comes with a virus in it

#42 Posted by Dagbiker (6957 posts) -

@Brodehouse said:

I find it hilarious when people think that games were released perfect 10-15 years ago. There was a game that would delete your windows system folder it you uninstalled it! If the server inadequacies only last for a day, it would be bad form to review the game less. Because a week later, your review saying "It didn't work on launch day!" won't mean anything to someone interested in buying it. You're writing time sensitive purchasing advice.

Your right, but mentioning that the DRM wouldnt let you play the single player game, or when you where kicked you lost all your stuff. That would help a lot.

#43 Posted by gamefreak9 (2356 posts) -

@Brodehouse said:

I find it hilarious when people think that games were released perfect 10-15 years ago. There was a game that would delete your windows system folder it you uninstalled it! If the server inadequacies only last for a day, it would be bad form to review the game less. Because a week later, your review saying "It didn't work on launch day!" won't mean anything to someone interested in buying it. You're writing time sensitive purchasing advice.

this! Guys stop being so irrational, the point of the review is to tell people what kind of experience they can expect, and launch day has NOTHING to do with that. If there are problems with the game then sure it should affect it, does temp server overload the first 15 hours count? no.

#44 Posted by Wallzii (173 posts) -

@Kazona said:

Here's what I find really funny. When Ubisoft released games that required people to always be online, everyone was up in arms about it. But now, with Diablo 3, I haven't seen a single complaint about this fact.

I think, perhaps, the gaming community as a whole needs to re-evaluate its double standards first, before they start discussing how reviews should be scored.

Really? All I've heard are people complaining about this. In fact the amount of complaints I've heard about having to be online to play Diablo 3 are more numerous than actual gameplay feedback.

#45 Posted by deskp (446 posts) -

a review should reflect the game how it is when the review is posted.

#46 Posted by Wallzii (173 posts) -

@fjor said:

blizzard does not give a fuck.....there are so many retarded fans out there that will buy the game even if it comes with a virus in it

Yeah, you're right. They don't care at all, I mean, why else would they be providing constant feedback about issues plauging launch and then working around the clock to rectify these server issues?

#47 Posted by Brodehouse (9793 posts) -
@Dagbiker

@Brodehouse said:

I find it hilarious when people think that games were released perfect 10-15 years ago. There was a game that would delete your windows system folder it you uninstalled it! If the server inadequacies only last for a day, it would be bad form to review the game less. Because a week later, your review saying "It didn't work on launch day!" won't mean anything to someone interested in buying it. You're writing time sensitive purchasing advice.

Your right, but mentioning that the DRM wouldnt let you play the single player game, or when you where kicked you lost all your stuff. That would help a lot.

I'm not sure there's a review in the world that will not mention that you need a stable internet connection to get in. And errors are errors. All games have them, and it they're severe and recreatable they'll definitely be mentioned (Kane & Lynch 2's weird headshot locks, tons of games with janky framerate). But be honest, that's not what you want, you want indignance. Don't worry, indignance is probably the one thing that the gaming community has an unlimited supply of. You can go back 15 years and the story remains the same. "How dare they, how dare they"
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#48 Posted by Dagbiker (6957 posts) -

@Brodehouse said:

@Dagbiker

@Brodehouse said:

I find it hilarious when people think that games were released perfect 10-15 years ago. There was a game that would delete your windows system folder it you uninstalled it! If the server inadequacies only last for a day, it would be bad form to review the game less. Because a week later, your review saying "It didn't work on launch day!" won't mean anything to someone interested in buying it. You're writing time sensitive purchasing advice.

Your right, but mentioning that the DRM wouldnt let you play the single player game, or when you where kicked you lost all your stuff. That would help a lot.

I'm not sure there's a review in the world that will not mention that you need a stable internet connection to get in. And errors are errors. All games have them, and it they're severe and recreatable they'll definitely be mentioned (Kane & Lynch 2's weird headshot locks, tons of games with janky framerate). But be honest, that's not what you want, you want indignance. Don't worry, indignance is probably the one thing that the gaming community has an unlimited supply of. You can go back 15 years and the story remains the same. "How dare they, how dare they"

No, I have no quaral with Blizzard except that I think people give them too much credit, what gets me is everyone making excuses for Blizzard.

#49 Edited by SpunkyHePanda (1610 posts) -

Depends when the review comes out. If those issues are gone by the time it goes up, who does that review help? Reviews should solely be for the potential consumer, not for those who already bought the game and not to make an example out of the developer.

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#50 Posted by rentfn (1279 posts) -

Only if they go back to it a year later and see how it turned out. In a year people will still be playing Diablo and all of this will be nothing.