Bethesda Jank

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betterley

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Is this the last time Bethesda can "get away" with the glitchiness?

To be honest, I was completely on the fence about Fallout 4, but after watching the Quick Look, and reading a few reviews, I'm really encouraged. The game seems to look and feel a lot better (including gun play) than previous Bethesda titles, especially in 3rd person (thumbs up if you play in 3rd person); and according to reviewers, the story seems to be greater than previous titles-- one of my biggest complaints with their other games.

The one thing that seems to stand in every review though: the Bethesda Jank. Not just the Giant Bomb Quick Look states this, but almost every review says that it's still just as glitchy as ever, which spawned me to asked the question: Is this the last time Bethesda can "get away" with the glitchiness?

Here's what Jeff says at the end of the Quick Look, "It's all the stuff these games have always done, that is less and less acceptable as time goes on."

How long will this be acceptable, and can Bethesda afford to release ES:6 with these same problems?

I know this is premature, as many of us still haven't even played the game, but I wanted to see what everyone's thoughts were on the subject.

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pjgut

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It won't stop people from buying the game so I doubt they really have huge incentive on changing.

I guess whenever they'll fully switch engine they'll take it into account but overall I'm sure they can continue getting away with it as long as people argue that 'no one makes open worlds like Bethesda do'.

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Barrabas

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can Bethesda afford to release ES:6 with these same problems?

Yes. Not saying it should be that way, but ES:6 will sell like gangbusters regardless of whether they fix this or not. They wont.

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kishinfoulux

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Judging by the glowing scores they'll always be able to get away with it.

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hippie_genocide

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Why should they get away with it this time?

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pjgut

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@hippie_genocide: I think right now people haven't found bugs that are actually stopping them from playing the game and, of course, no one was expecting the game to be jank free. Overall though they shouldn't be able to get away with it.

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Atwa

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#7  Edited By Atwa

I remember how much people, bombcast folks especially, went on about the things in the WItcher 3. I am sure Bethesda will get a pass despite Fallout 4 being much jankier.

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imsh_pl

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They won't fix it as long as people look at these glitches and say 'yep that's a Bethesda game alright!' instead of 'wow that's definitely a few score points down'.

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betterley

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@hippie_genocide:

I agree with you. They shouldn't, it's 2015 for cryin' out loud.
I think gamers, and reviewers alike, give Bethesda a free pass because of the size and scope of their games, coupled with the player freedom they allow.

Is it fair? I don't think so.
Imagine if it was EA or Ubisoft... people would have a fit.

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Sessh

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I haven't seen a single big open-world game to date (including the two other big ones this year, Witcher/MGS), that didn't have quite a lot of issues/bugs, so this is not purely a problem with Bethesda.

Even though they often have even more problems than others, I think they will soldier on just like always. To a weird degree the jank is part of the Bethesda charm by now.

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devise22

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I think people actually under estimate how hard it is to get rid of this type of glitchyness. Complaints like "finally switch to a new engine" get thrown around a lot. But people really do forget how hard it is to make a video game of this scale, and this depth, and then release it in a relatively relevant time window with as little bugs as possible.

Remember people we are only a few years removed from when how many AAA titles that are much smaller in scope like BF/Sports Games etc releasing all busted and broken and unplayable. The amount of QA hours it would take to try and find every possible combination/reason for a bug in a Bethesda game would probably push the game so far out of a relevant release window that half of the things the game is doing would be considered "been there done that". If we waited another year say for Fallout, how many more games would be doing the base building thing and be released? Hell Steam is filled with those concepts already. Would it feel like a new and relevant addition to the game that way? I don't know. It already is pushing it even as they release it now.

Yes I realize they work on these games for a long time, but unless they were to internally develop a program to try and catch bugs, the traditional QA process of people playing the game and reporting on what happens is to tough for games this scale imo. It's the whole point of the initial launch of these games, it's the community doing the QA work. It's why Bethesda releases a bunch of patches post launch.

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brandondryrock

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#12  Edited By brandondryrock

Most open world games have their problems. I ran into a few glitches in MGS V, one that is way worse than I've ever seen in a Bethesda open world game, but the consensus of MGS V is that it is an incredibly solid open world game. I think it all just depends on the user's experience. I don't mind the jank, but it has never had a negative impact on my experience with their games.

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ArtisanBreads

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#13  Edited By ArtisanBreads

I think it is still mind boggling that people can't understand why large open world RPGs have bugs when we, as fans, seem to know more and more about game development these days. The more systems, the more size to the world, the more NPCs, etc etc these issues will arise. It's how games work.

I even see this from the Giant Bomb crew and they should know that. I get in their reviews going after issues because at the end of the day it's all about end user experience in that context, but beyond that they talk about this issue like they can't comprehend how it comes about and why it would be incredibly difficult to make a huge game like that bug free.

Please tell me: who is delivering the bug free big open RPGs? I think Witcher 3 was cleaner of an experience (for me) BUT that game is certainly more limited than Bethesda games in many respects. And I know many had a lot of bugs in that one (I did not).

I just crack up seriously reading some of these comments. Like the "getting away with it" ones. Like somewhere Pete Hines laughs because he pulled one over on us all.

So like previously said, give me other RPGs of that scale that are these smooth bug free experiences please before you act like Bethesda are intentionally fucking you over or technically incompetent. Almost no one even tries making games like this because it's so hard to do even with some bugs and performance issues etc on consoles like Bethesda games have.

EDIT: reading the thread, good to see a few people understand what Bethesda are working against making a game like this. Not that they are perfect but I don't see others doing any better.

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poobumbutt

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@betterley: All I care about is: can the fidelity hold up long enough for me to A) get bored with all the native content (main quests, side and incidentals); B) hoard massive amounts of ammo, weapons and healing items; and C) conduct a systematic eradication of every killable NPC in the game.

I tried this - on PS3 - during my time with New Vegas, after playing for ungodly amounts of hours, and the save file I had saved had gotten so big (or you know, whatever causes this damn problem), that the game would start dropping to 20 frames after an hour or so of playing. Eventually it would crash outright. It got to the point where simple, purposefully placed fire effects would murder the poor framerate and cause crashes. I had to give up on my wonderful dream because of this.

Fallout 4, don't let me down.

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Musubi

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@devise22: No excuses. They need to fucking fix their games. People hand waving it because "ohhh its such a complicated game" isn't acceptable. Its their job to have their product not go out the door a flaming trash heap.

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devise22

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@hippie_genocide:

I agree with you. They shouldn't, it's 2015 for cryin' out loud.

I think gamers, and reviewers alike, give Bethesda a free pass because of the size and scope of their games, coupled with the player freedom they allow.

Is it fair? I don't think so.

Imagine if it was EA or Ubisoft... people would have a fit.

EA and Ubi are on one year dev cycles with some of their games, and that is why they get treated worse. They expect more dollars from consumers with more titles released more frequently with increasing less development time. That is all on the publisher.

At a certain point when do we begin expecting too much from our developers? Hey guys, we want you to release a new game every two years, it has to be amazing, ground breaking, push the genre, oh and it has to be playable on PC, PS4 and Xbox One and it better not launch with many bugs otherwise we are tearing you to pieces. Oh and if you are making an open world game? Better have more map, more people, more stuff. Essentially, more variables that can break.

I was talking with a developer who helped make an open world game. He was talking to me about the QA process and why it can be so frustrating. In his one example, they had broken some of the QA team to test various parts of the open world, quests that type of stuff. After the game launched, there was a bug occuring in one area of the game. The bug involved two items interacting. One of the items you gained as a quest item at a certain point in the game. The other was a static interactive item in the environment. When they did the testing, since you know nobody actually has time to do an entire full playthrough of one of these scale games to test it, nobody had picked up the quest item and brought it to this item. It was simply a minor bug in how the two objects interacted.

The sheer amount of variables at play in some of these open world games are way more mind boggling than people think they are. You truly think these developers like releasing broken janky games? I promise you, if they could of found a quick way to QA all these variables/stuff, I'm sure they would of by now.

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rorie

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#17 rorie  Staff

@betterley: All I care about is: can the fidelity hold up long enough for me to A) get bored with all the native content (main quests, side and incidentals); B) hoard massive amounts of ammo, weapons and healing items; and C) conduct a systematic eradication of every killable NPC in the game.

I tried this - on PS3 - during my time with New Vegas, after playing for ungodly amounts of hours, and the save file I had saved had gotten so big (or you know, whatever causes this damn problem), that the game would start dropping to 20 frames after an hour or so of playing. Eventually it would crash outright. It got to the point where simple, purposefully placed fire effects would murder the poor framerate and cause crashes. I had to give up on my wonderful dream because of this.

The PS3's memory limitations made that system kind of a bear to design for. Originally New Vegas was supposed to be one big area but we had to wind up dividing it into three zones with loading screens to make it run. The problem only got worse when the DLCs were added in.

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BladedEdge

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#18  Edited By BladedEdge

@betterley: EA and Ubisoft release iterations of the same forumala/game type constantly..in a world where similar games are released by other companies yearly, if not more.

We let Fallout, the witcher 3 and etc get away with it because, by god, we want to play these games, and do not have the luxury or options that those other companies games provide their fans.

The witcher 3 had plenty of problems and bugs, but the rest of it was so good, it was worth putting up with. Fo4 looks to be the very same.

It is not like a static black or white. Its not like a game can't have issues, and still be good despite them. Like "Ok its got bugs/jank, its awful, full stop" nor is it the other way wrong. The game is good in parts, its bad in parts. Just because I don't care about jank does not mean I excuse them for having it, or expect everyone to adore the game like I feel I will.

The entire backlash by people seems tailored behind a "I don't get it!!" mentality. The QL sums it up real simply though. Come to terms with the jank, enjoy the game.'

In an ideal world should you have too? No course not. But then in an ideal world we would have 2 competing massive open world rpg franchises that get released yearly by a rotating staff of 4 or 5 full time teams, to give each time 4-5 years per game).(the Cod/battle field option) Or better yet, a dozen different games would take up this formula and the "Bethasda open world model" would sit right up there with the Ubisoft model. (The assassins creed/all the stuff like it option)

Oh..but we don't live in that world. Instead, games like this come out once every 2 or 3 years..we only get one. We likely won't see another game anywhere close to the witcher 3 until..oh 2019? The next Elderscrolls perhaps about that time as well.

For some people, whom this sort of game is not in you "This is what I love about games" category? Sure, I get it, this game won't win you over. But to somehow dismiss all the love and praise from the community cause 'how dare you let them get away with jank, you don't do that for other people!" is preposterous.

Again, ideal world, your absolutely right I wouldn't put up with jank, because the things I adore about the FO/Elderscrolls game would be easily accessible and available too me. But we live in the real world, where If I want all the great things about FO4, I either have to accept the jank/bugs and roll with it..or go completely without. All those high review scores are from this world, not the ideal one. Its a 9/10 cause it fills an itch/desire like nothing else, the bugs and jank simply do not matter. If this had been the 4th such game reviewed like it in the last year? Yah I bet they would be lower..but it damn well isn't.

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Oldirtybearon

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@imsh_pl said:

They won't fix it as long as people look at these glitches and say 'yep that's a Bethesda game alright!' instead of 'wow that's definitely a few score points down'.

In my mind as long as the serious issues are addressed I don't think it really matters. Giants in Skyrim ground pounding and rocketing the player into the cosmos? That's a bug. It's also hilarious. I don't think I'd want that to disappear. It's like the donkey lady in Red Dead Redemption; sometimes scripts and code interact with each other in unexpected, but hilarious ways, and each developer has to weigh the pros and cons of addressing a silly issue like that. Sometimes with the way open world games are stitched together, pulling on one thread can unravel another section entirely. Bethesda games are far more Frankenstein'd than most, I imagine, but at the end of the day, priorities.

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AlKusanagi

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#20  Edited By AlKusanagi

The more moving pieces something has, the more likely something will go wrong. It's the price you pay for "open world" games. People seem to want to shit on Bethesda for it, but EVERY open world game has its own jank, and that's part of the charm in a lot of cases.

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devise22

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@devise22: No excuses. They need to fucking fix their games. People hand waving it because "ohhh its such a complicated game" isn't acceptable. Its their job to have their product not go out the door a flaming trash heap.

I'm not saying it's acceptable but the "no excuses" argument needs to die. It makes zero sense. There are REASONS why these games launch buggy. It isn't developer lazyness either. Bethesda has released how many games and made how much money? Some of it is on publisher deadlines, and the ability to finally realize a product. Have you ever even spoken with a developer before? Trust me, the majority I've talked to HATE releasing broken or unfinished games. But it's like any person who does anything remotely creative. I know writers who spend a year going through and editing/re-writing before their editor literally yells and screams at them that if they want to sell something they have to release a product. The same thing goes in the development world. The moment you announce a date, simply pushing the date back more and more for QA purposes isn't entirely in the hands of the developer. The publisher has a point where they are happy, and they tell you that the product is going out the door.

I promise you Bethesda could easily make a bug free or very few game in the 5-6 year development time they are given if they introduced very few new things to the title and made it the same size/scale as a previous game. If they didn't have the time to completely QA smaller games, with less stuff in them in the previous generation, how does operating on the same development window with bigger scale games with more stuff going on and with the added pressure of continually having to introduce new features create a window where QA gets more time than it did last time out?

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ghost_cat

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I think it's important that you should include the comment he made further into that statement, which is something like "the bugs can be endearing at times. It's when they start to spin out of control and potentially break the game when I start to worry." I honestly love the kind of jank in these games that make character models do goofy shit, and the floating stuff makes me laugh too, but I do start to sweat a bit when vital stuff starts to break. Those vital parts definitely needs to be ironed out if possible, but like @artisanbreads pointed out: this is a large open-world RPG with a ton of systems in place, so there is gonna be weird bugs everywhere.

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ArtisanBreads

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#23  Edited By ArtisanBreads
@demoskinos said:

@devise22: People hand waving it because "ohhh its such a complicated game" isn't acceptable.

It's just the plain reality of game development. Don't buy their games or other big open RPGs if you are so bothered.

@rorie said:
@poobumbutt said:

@betterley: All I care about is: can the fidelity hold up long enough for me to A) get bored with all the native content (main quests, side and incidentals); B) hoard massive amounts of ammo, weapons and healing items; and C) conduct a systematic eradication of every killable NPC in the game.

I tried this - on PS3 - during my time with New Vegas, after playing for ungodly amounts of hours, and the save file I had saved had gotten so big (or you know, whatever causes this damn problem), that the game would start dropping to 20 frames after an hour or so of playing. Eventually it would crash outright. It got to the point where simple, purposefully placed fire effects would murder the poor framerate and cause crashes. I had to give up on my wonderful dream because of this.

The PS3's memory limitations made that system kind of a bear to design for. Originally New Vegas was supposed to be one big area but we had to wind up dividing it into three zones with loading screens to make it run. The problem only got worse when the DLCs were added in.

Wow game's have technical issues that aren't just developers being incompetent. That's a revelation to a lot of these posters I would imagine.

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betterley

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#24  Edited By betterley

@bladededge: @artisanbreads:

Did you fellas read the beginning of my post, where I said I'm actually encouraged by what I've seen from Fallout 4 so far?

Of course I don't think the developers are laughing on their way to the bank saying, "We pulled one over one 'em. Hah, hah." But that doesn't change the fact the their games have had the same issues over and over again.

I'm not crapping on Bethesda, nor am I saying every other developer is perfect, I was just posing a question for the community.

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GERALTITUDE

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Skyrim had a count of 20 million sold two years ago, and is still one of the most played games on Steam today, never mind all the positive critic and user reviews.

How much do you really think all this jank matters to the average gamer?

It doesn't. It really, really, really does not. I've never, ever seen any proof to that point.

If it did, the sales would bear it out. But it's only in our small, insular forum communities that we ever hear this talk about how janky and broken Bethesda games are. No one else seems to care.

What's crazy to me, especially, is that these games aren't you know, like a Call of Duty or even a Batman. What I mean by that is they aren't super accessible and mainstream. They're big and complex and slow in places. And yeah, janky too. Those 20 million are not all hardcore gamers. So it's interesting how much louder we seem to be, but maybe not. For all I know 80% of Skyrim players were crying out in silent anguish.

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BrainScratch

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I really don't get how they get such a free pass for all the problems the game obviously has and every other game that had at least one of the those problems was heavily criticized. I know it doesn't make the game less playable and we're talking about a big open world game, but for the way videogames have evolved and for the development time they probably had, we shouldn't look at these problems and go "it's ok, it's a Bethesda game". Those things were acceptable a long time ago, but we've gone a long way since then. If people don't demand for better and accept mediocrity* they will never improve. For example, why the hell are they still using that old engine and keep putting more things into it instead of working on a new one that suits the way modern videogames work? It's like they had a car that was already bad when they got it from the stand but instead of getting a better car few years later when everyone else did, they just painted the car with a new color, got new components that made the car heavier and kept driving it, even though their car is falling apart and everyone else is driving way better cars.


*I'm not saying Bethesda games are mediocre (even though an argument could be made for how they're as big as an ocean but as deep as a puddle), of course they are good, but on a technical standpoint in some visuals and the whole jankiness, we have to admit they're kinda mediocre.

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colourful_hippie

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I seriously hope so but in reality it won't be till their sales take a hit that they'll do a proper overhaul of their ancient ass engine and properly modernize it. Watching that Quick Look made Fallout 4 look exactly what I thought Fallout 3 did back when I first played it.

Yes, I know Fallout 3 looks worse than what I'm thinking but what I'm saying is that Fallout 4 looks like 3 with my rose-tinted glasses on. The game doesn't look like it came out in 2015. I'm still playing this but I wonder if this will be the last time I'm willing to tolerate the jank...I'm just grateful I got this game for $48 and that a better framerate and higher resolution on PC will buff out some rough spots.

I'll be surprised to see Jeff give this anything above 4 stars.

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Musubi

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#28  Edited By Musubi

@devise22: That may be the reality but that doesn't absolve them of the criticism. Cause at the end of the day the realities of game development shouldn't have to matter to someone who is plunking down their hard earned $60 (or more if you live in some places like Australia). You should be able to buy a game that works.

Like for gods sake if Metal Gear Solid V can run at a near constant 60fps @1080p and look twice as good fidelity wise as Fallout 4 does there is something really wrong that they can't even get the game to be a consistent 30fps.

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devise22

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#29  Edited By devise22

@bladededge: @artisanbreads:

Did you fellas read the beginning of my post, where I said I'm actually encouraged by what I've seen from Fallout 4 so far?

Of course I don't think the developers are laughing on their way to the bank saying, "We pulled one over one 'em. Hah, hah." But that doesn't change the fact the their games have had the same issues over and over again.

I'm not crapping on Bethesda, nor am I saying every other developer is perfect, I was just posing a question for the community.

It's important to look at what the term "the same issue" actually means. When you use that it implies it would be easy to fix these things. They keep happening. But the reasons why they keep happening is what prevents them from getting fixed. In the QL Jeff shows off all the different gun options. The entire crafting system, for example. You can take a base gun, regardless of perks and outfit it with a wide variety of muzzles, scopes, etc. Each single item you put on that gun makes it a completely different object with different code. On top of the fact that you can have perks to it. The amount of variables for just one single gun, modified with different aspects there is large. You could have a line of code broken on X gun using X type of scope when it interacts with X tree that causes X to happen.

In your mind as a gamer you go, "well I've seen X happen before in these games, this is the same bug." But it isn't. Again people, do you actually realize how much QA would have to go into a game like this to ensure it to have zero bugs at all?

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alistercat

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#30  Edited By alistercat

If get away with it means continuing to review and sell well, then yes. Do I not buy it and talk bad about it to 'teach them a lesson'? No. I know I'll enjoy the game despite the bugs, so I'll only be spiting myself in the vague hope that maybe enough people do the same to get them to do something about it. I am OK with software being buggy to a certain extent, and depends entirely on the circumstance as to how I feel about it.

Even 'fully patched' Fallout 3 has a ton of bugs and optimization issues so I never, ever expect them to change.

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brandondryrock

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@johnymyko: Just because they are using the same engine doesn't mean they aren't updating it with new features. For Fallout 4 they've added many new post processing effects to make the game look better. Sure, it doesn't look like Witcher 3 (which, in my opinion, is the best looking game this year), but it is a completely different type of game.

The reason they are using their in-house engine is that it is much easier for the entire team to improve their current engine and keep developing on that than it is to develop a new engine or switch to a different one. Bethesda is only a team of 100 developers. They would need years to develop a new engine. They could switch to a different engine, but using a new engine could bring in new problems since they would have to heavily modify other game engines to make the open world games they want to make.

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devise22

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@devise22: That may be the reality but that doesn't absolve them of the criticism. Cause at the end of the day the realities of game development shouldn't have to matter to someone who is plunking down their hard earned $60 (or more if you live in some places like Australia). You should be able to buy a game that works.

Like for gods sake if Metal Gear Solid V can run at a near constant 60fps @1080p and look twice as good fidelity wise as Fallout 4 does there is something really wrong that they can't even get the game to be a consistent 30fps.

Here is a quote from a comparison article for you.

"

Metal Gear Solid 5's map has been compared to that of Grand Theft Auto 5'son Reddit.

The size of Grand Theft Auto 5's map is 6.63 miles multiplied by 4.73 miles which equals 31.39 miles squared. Of that, 350 map squares are water so once you remove that 12.55 square miles of ocean you end up with 18.84 square miles of land.

By comparison, The Phantom Pain's map is 2.48 miles multiplied by 2.48 miles for a total of 6.18 square miles. The game is set in Afghanistan which is a landlocked country so there's no deduction needed for sea areas.

This means that the total map size for The Phantom Pain is 32 per cent of Grand Theft Auto 5's map which is still significantly larger than what we've seen in past Metal Gear Solid games."

Speculation right now on Fallout 4's Map size is 30 square miles. So you know, again you want to compare scale to scale? Fallout 4 has WAY MORE EVERYTHING in it than Metal Gear. It's larger, it's filled with more things, that creates more variables and what do more variables create? More coding problems. Look I'm not saying it's impossible to make unbroken games. But it comes at a price. Why do you think some of the best games that launch with the best presentation and the littlest amount of bugs are games like Uncharted? Games that are almost entirely scripted set pieces are much easier to control QA wise than games like this. Just wait until No Mans Sky releases, people will be having a field day with the amount of random jank that will likely make up a large majority of charm in that game.

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shivermetimbers

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#33  Edited By shivermetimbers

@artisanbreads: While I pretty much agree with everything you said, there does come a point where the "Jank" comes too frequently and too crippling. New Vegas on PS3 was a good example of a borderline unplayable game (as mentioned here already). I can deal with animation glitches or minor bugs, but crashes, corrupted saves, unplayable framerates/stuttering, etc are harder to forgive no matter how "big" the game is. This all being said, yes, it's gonna happen. However, you have to balance ambition with reality. No game is going to be bug free, especially a game this big; so if Jeff is expecting that, than that's something we can disagree with. If the game is cripplingly awful, as subjective as that is, than I can say the game has failed regardless of ambition. And there's also the fact that as a critic, Jeff wants these games to be better and while that may not always be possible, it's also not his problem if he does find bugs and such annoying. It's just something we can disagree with.

This all being said, I haven't watched the Quick Look. If he does make it seem that he's expecting a perfect technical performance, he has quite the high standard. Again, part of being a critic is demanding more out of experiences. There's also being practical, but the individual has to be the judge of that. If he says the game has a lot of bugs and is therefore unacceptable, we have to read the details of his experience and decide for ourselves. He's not responsible for deadlines and such, he's a critic.

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BrainScratch

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@johnymyko: Just because they are using the same engine doesn't mean they aren't updating it with new features. For Fallout 4 they've added many new post processing effects to make the game look better.

That's exactly why I said they had a bad car and just painted it with a new color. It's extremely visible how old that engine is by now. It was created for how games played back then, not now. It needs such a big overall that by this point is almost easier to do a new one. I know doing a new engine is harder, but they've done it in the past and these things usually get easier with the time (or at least part of it).

Besides, even with that new coat of paint, those new post processing effects, the game doesn't look that good anyway. I know it's a big open world with a lot of stuff going on, but that doesn't protect it enough for some obvious visual issues.

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I'd be more inclined to let Bethesda get away with it if I thought the basic writing and design of their games was better. As it is, I just don't find what they do all that compelling, so a janky engine pushes me pretty firmly into the "will wait for a deep discount" camp.

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#36  Edited By ArtisanBreads

@devise22 said:
@betterley said:

@bladededge: @artisanbreads:

Did you fellas read the beginning of my post, where I said I'm actually encouraged by what I've seen from Fallout 4 so far?

Of course I don't think the developers are laughing on their way to the bank saying, "We pulled one over one 'em. Hah, hah." But that doesn't change the fact the their games have had the same issues over and over again.

I'm not crapping on Bethesda, nor am I saying every other developer is perfect, I was just posing a question for the community.

It's important to look at what the term "the same issue" actually means. When you use that it implies it would be easy to fix these things. They keep happening. But the reasons why they keep happening is what prevents them from getting fixed. In the QL Jeff shows off all the different gun options. The entire crafting system, for example. You can take a base gun, regardless of perks and outfit it with a wide variety of muzzles, scopes, etc. Each single item you put on that gun makes it a completely different object with different code. On top of the fact that you can have perks to it. The amount of variables for just one single gun, modified with different aspects there is large. You could have a line of code broken on X gun using X type of scope when it interacts with X tree that causes X to happen.

In your mind as a gamer you go, "well I've seen X happen before in these games, this is the same bug." But it isn't. Again people, do you actually realize how much QA would have to go into a game like this to ensure it to have zero bugs at all?

This response really sums it up. Bethesda never just does the same thing, they always go a bit further and push things so it's not as if they can just perfect their formula.

And Betterly my whole response was not aimed at you. More some of the others I see seriously acting as if Bethesda is laughing to the bank.

@shivermetimbers said:

@artisanbreads: While I pretty much agree with everything you said, there does come a point where the "Jank" comes too frequently and too crippling. New Vegas on PS3 was a good example of a borderline unplayable game (as mentioned here already). I can deal with animation glitches or minor bugs, but crashes, corrupted saves, unplayable framerates/stuttering, etc are harder to forgive no matter how "big" the game is. This all being said, yes, it's gonna happen. However, you have to balance ambition with reality. No game is going to be bug free, especially a game this big; so if Jeff is expecting that, than that's something we can disagree with. If the game is cripplingly awful, as subjective as that is, than I can say the game has failed regardless of ambition. And there's also the fact that as a critic, Jeff wants these games to be better and while that may not always be possible, it's also not his problem if he does find bugs and such annoying. It's just something we can disagree with.

This all being said, I haven't watched the Quick Look. If he does make it seem that he's expecting a perfect technical performance, he has quite the high standard. Again, part of being a critic is demanding more out of experiences. There's also being practical, but the individual has to be the judge of that. If he says the game has a lot of bugs and is therefore unacceptable, we have to read the details of his experience and decide for ourselves. He's not responsible for deadlines and such, he's a critic.

I agree with your post. I am not saying it isn't a grey area and Bethesda couldn't do better hypothetically. And as reviewer, I get why someone would be harsh against bugs in a review because they probably are taking a consumer based stance where you don't really worry about the realities of game development, but outside of that context some act as if Bethesda is just lazy or again, there is some developer out there doing it bug free. Like I've said in here, hardly any developer even dares to tackle a game on this scale because it is extremely hard to do even with the bugs we see in Bethesda products.

I didn't watch the QL either (already own the game, don't want to see any more) but just going of tweets and just comments I have seen in the past.

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@devise22 said:
@demoskinos said:

@devise22: No excuses. They need to fucking fix their games. People hand waving it because "ohhh its such a complicated game" isn't acceptable. Its their job to have their product not go out the door a flaming trash heap.

I'm not saying it's acceptable but the "no excuses" argument needs to die. It makes zero sense. There are REASONS why these games launch buggy. It isn't developer lazyness either. Bethesda has released how many games and made how much money? Some of it is on publisher deadlines, and the ability to finally realize a product. Have you ever even spoken with a developer before? Trust me, the majority I've talked to HATE releasing broken or unfinished games. But it's like any person who does anything remotely creative. I know writers who spend a year going through and editing/re-writing before their editor literally yells and screams at them that if they want to sell something they have to release a product. The same thing goes in the development world. The moment you announce a date, simply pushing the date back more and more for QA purposes isn't entirely in the hands of the developer. The publisher has a point where they are happy, and they tell you that the product is going out the door.

I promise you Bethesda could easily make a bug free or very few game in the 5-6 year development time they are given if they introduced very few new things to the title and made it the same size/scale as a previous game. If they didn't have the time to completely QA smaller games, with less stuff in them in the previous generation, how does operating on the same development window with bigger scale games with more stuff going on and with the added pressure of continually having to introduce new features create a window where QA gets more time than it did last time out?

Yeah but you know who doesn't have to care about those reasons? The consumer. All that matters is the product the consumer pays money for. I'm not even talking about Fallout in particular (since I haven't played it) but that argument bothers me in general. Yes, game development is complicated and I'm sure developers do not want to ship a game unfinished or broken but if a game does ship unfinished or broken then it deserves all the criticism for that. Especially if it's broken, then there is absolutely no excuse in that case. I remember Jeff talking about how he almost wishes that he didn't know as much about game development as he does because it might influence his reviews. If you are willing to put up with that then that's fine but I dislike the fact that every time somebody criticises a Bethesda game for the technical issues somebody goes "well it's a big game and it's complicated and it's a Bethesda game, what were you expecting" as if that somehow invalidates the criticism.

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@devise22: The article doesn't take the Africa map into account then I'm guessing. Which would probably double the size of "the map"; but it's two maps, not one.

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@brandondryrock said:

@johnymyko: Just because they are using the same engine doesn't mean they aren't updating it with new features. For Fallout 4 they've added many new post processing effects to make the game look better.

That's exactly why I said they had a bad car and just painted it with a new color. It's extremely visible how old that engine is by now. It was created for how games played back then, not now. It needs such a big overall that by this point is almost easier to do a new one. I know doing a new engine is harder, but they've done it in the past and these things usually get easier with the time (or at least part of it).

Besides, even with that new coat of paint, those new post processing effects, the game doesn't look that good anyway. I know it's a big open world with a lot of stuff going on, but that doesn't protect it enough for some obvious visual issues.

Is it easier? Have you developed a game engine? If you have, I apologize for being snarky. But I highly doubt that it is just easier to build a game engine from scratch than it is to continue updating their current engine.

Honestly, all I've been disappointed by from the footage I've seen is the lip sync. After playing Witcher 3, it is hard for me to look at other faces in games because the faces in Witcher 3 are the best in a game, in my opinion. Other than that, I love the art style, I love the colors, I like how the wasteland looks, the variety with the different areas, etc.

But I don't understand this idea of them being "protected." Do you mean protected by criticism, the criticism that has dominated every thread about Fallout 4 since it was revealed? All I've heard leading up to release is how shitty the game looks. I would argue that the vocal majority is displeased with the graphics of this game, yet every time someone brings up how bad it looks, they act like nobody has discussed that issue yet.

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As long as they bring what they bring to the Bethesda RPG formula then there's no need to risk a switch to a new engine build. If they want to overhaul their engine i think the smartest move would be to remake Morrowind in a new engine and see how that works out.

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#41  Edited By ArtisanBreads

Also I see multiple people just saying Fallout 4 is an open world game like it's just MGSV or GTA V. It is not just that, it is an open world RPG, which yes makes a big difference. There is much more complexity to the development that requires and the systems that all have to work together in that kind of game. That complexity causes way more issues and hits to performance.

If you want to take a "who cares I'm a consumer" approach that's your choice but it's just not realistic and enjoy your alternative large scale open world RPGs that are bug free I guess. I haven't seen those.

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Bethesda builds games for a hardcore niche fanbase (that just so happens to be a really big niche) that is willing to tolerate the trade off of jank that comes with a huge open-ended game. As long as those players keep buying Bethesda RPGs like hotcakes, Bethesda will have less incentive to improve the technical quality of their games. It doesn't excuse them for making broken-ish games, and we still need to call them out on that, but because Bethesda makes the kind of games that nobody else does and that sell to a certain large audience, the jank is tolerated much more so than in other games.

I think Bethesda is in a unique position in the games industry to be able to get away with so much jank for so long. I'd estimate that it could be as far as 2022 before people start to tire of broken shit in their games. More likely than not, they'll get tired of the Bethesda RPG format, however.

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Also I see multiple people just saying Fallout 4 is an open world game like it's just MGSV or GTA V. It is not just that, it is an open world RPG, which yes makes a big difference. There is much more complexity to the development that requires and the systems that all have to work together in that kind of game. That complexity causes way more issues and hits to performance.

Also the world of Fallout is filled with way more objects that you can interact with in the world than those other two games, which takes a lot to render in real time. I am speculating here, but I wouldn't be surprised if one building in Fallout 4 has more unique items you can interact with than the entire item count you can interact with in MGS V.

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@devise22 said:

I think people actually under estimate how hard it is to get rid of this type of glitchyness. Complaints like "finally switch to a new engine" get thrown around a lot. But people really do forget how hard it is to make a video game of this scale, and this depth, and then release it in a relatively relevant time window with as little bugs as possible.

Remember people we are only a few years removed from when how many AAA titles that are much smaller in scope like BF/Sports Games etc releasing all busted and broken and unplayable. The amount of QA hours it would take to try and find every possible combination/reason for a bug in a Bethesda game would probably push the game so far out of a relevant release window that half of the things the game is doing would be considered "been there done that". If we waited another year say for Fallout, how many more games would be doing the base building thing and be released? Hell Steam is filled with those concepts already. Would it feel like a new and relevant addition to the game that way? I don't know. It already is pushing it even as they release it now.

Yes I realize they work on these games for a long time, but unless they were to internally develop a program to try and catch bugs, the traditional QA process of people playing the game and reporting on what happens is to tough for games this scale imo. It's the whole point of the initial launch of these games, it's the community doing the QA work. It's why Bethesda releases a bunch of patches post launch.

preach

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altairre

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#45  Edited By altairre

Also I see multiple people just saying Fallout 4 is an open world game like it's just MGSV or GTA V. It is not just that, it is an open world RPG, which yes makes a big difference. There is much more complexity to the development that requires and the systems that all have to work together in that kind of game. That complexity causes way more issues and hits to performance.

Let's not say that F4 is by default more complex than MGSV and GTA V because we're literally not in a position to judge that.

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@altairre: Exactly. The consumer shouldn't have to care about that nonsense. They should be able to buy a game that doesn't break. Its the same argument when you get into the "everyone worked on this game really hard its so mean that people gave it a bad score" territory.

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I don't know, man. It sucks but I'm still excited to play Fallout even knowing I didn't finish 3 because of Bethesda's bug filled nonsense. That's just how cool that universe is.

I don't think they have any reason to care about that stuff as long as the sales and GOTY awards keep coming.

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@rorie: Oh wow, that's very interesting. I always figured it was some problem with the system and game working in tandem, not just the game itself. That must have made optimization a real son of a bitch. Thanks, Rorie!

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#49  Edited By paulmako

Everyone has their own threshold for Bethesda jank.

For some people the idea of playing it on a console at all is unacceptable. For others the existence of frame rate drops and bugs are unacceptable.

For others still, like me, I can accept those things in return for everything else their games offer.

I've yet to hit a point where the jank has stopped me having a good time. The jank described for Fallout 4 doesn't sound like it negates the other things the game does well.

I keep hearing that this stuff shouldn't be acceptable, but for a large number of people it acceptable. That's the bottom line. I pre-ordered knowing I was going into jank because I am sure I will enjoy it regardless. Of course that would be a different story if it was unplayable on fire, with constant crashes and stutters etc. But people like me are consciously fine with this.

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@devise22 said:

I think people actually under estimate how hard it is to get rid of this type of glitchyness. Complaints like "finally switch to a new engine" get thrown around a lot. But people really do forget how hard it is to make a video game of this scale, and this depth, and then release it in a relatively relevant time window with as little bugs as possible.

Remember people we are only a few years removed from when how many AAA titles that are much smaller in scope like BF/Sports Games etc releasing all busted and broken and unplayable. The amount of QA hours it would take to try and find every possible combination/reason for a bug in a Bethesda game would probably push the game so far out of a relevant release window that half of the things the game is doing would be considered "been there done that". If we waited another year say for Fallout, how many more games would be doing the base building thing and be released? Hell Steam is filled with those concepts already. Would it feel like a new and relevant addition to the game that way? I don't know. It already is pushing it even as they release it now.

Yes I realize they work on these games for a long time, but unless they were to internally develop a program to try and catch bugs, the traditional QA process of people playing the game and reporting on what happens is to tough for games this scale imo. It's the whole point of the initial launch of these games, it's the community doing the QA work. It's why Bethesda releases a bunch of patches post launch.

If this was an Ubisoft/EA game it would get shitted on. Bethesda though? Never.

Bethesda clearly can't build the worlds they want to, yet they do so anyways. They want to do all this shit and they suck at actually pulling it off. They need to scale back and tighten the experience. I'm not gonna give them a pass because "omg ambitious". No. They clearly aren't capable of doing it so they need to stop.

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