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altairre

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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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altairre

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I've followed the leaked content as well and honestly I don't really like what I'm seeing/reading. The game looks fairly rough graphically speaking but even if you take that for granted in a Fallout game the aspect that is really disappointing is the new dialogue system. I always liked how many options are available to you and how different you could behave in the conversations, especially in New Vegas. That is just not the case anymore in F4. Dialogue options are extremely limited and you don't really know what your character is going to say anymore because you only have a short summary to go on (similar to Mass Effect). By far the worst design decision is that, apparently, you can't go back and ask/talk about the other options, the dialogue just progresses and there is no "nevermind, let's go back to that topic". It's baffling to me because nearly every other RPG let's you do that. Furthermore charisma doesn't influence you options as much as it did in F3 or NV. That's the stuff I like about those games and the fact that they changed it so drastically (for the worse) doesn't exactly inspire confidence.

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@nasar7 said:

@spraynardtatum: For what it's worth, I mostly agree with you. If anyone cared enough to sue, it doesn't seem too hard to prove that they continued to market a game that, essentially, no longer existed at that point, based on features that had been deliberately scrapped a year before release. They could've simply shifted their marketing to "Diablo in space" and that would've been more honest and everyone would've been cool with that.

Now where I don't agree with you is that consumers are definitely partly to blame. Too many people are willing to pay for overpriced crap released as DLC for a game that, by an employee's own admission, was the bare minimum of acceptability at launch.

No, you can't sue them for false advertising because it isn't. People had this discussion multiple times already. If the marketing materials are based on an unfinished product that is subject to change then there is no guarantee that what they're showing will be in the finished game. That's why developers are comfortable showing off early footage and ideas in the first place.

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#5  Edited By altairre

@spraynardtatum: Videogames are constantly showing off stuff that doesn't make it into the final version of the game. Comparing that to toilet paper is absurd. That's partially why you have the "everything is subject to change" line in trailers, alphas or betas. You must be real mad at Lionhead games if you're calling false advertising here (which this is definitely not by the way because again, pitches, trailers, dev diaries or whatever are always subject to change).

I also already wrote that I agree that they handled the pricing structure poorly but they're by far not the worst offenders when it comes to value and pricing of content. MGSV insurance and the Arkham Knight season pass are examples of that. It's just weird to me that you'd call Destiny a scam when other games launch broken and barely functional especially now that you know that it wasn't planned in Destiny's case.

At the end of the day companies like Activision are always going to try and make as much profit as they can but ultimately it is up to the consumer to decide which products are worth supporting because how is it going to work otherwise? Looking at the success of the DLC it looks like quite a few people thought Destiny brought enough to the table to be worthy of that support. You may not like it (I've made a fair share of snide remarks about Destiny myself) but that doesn't make it a "con" or a "scam".

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#6  Edited By altairre

Bungie may not have made the game to fool their customers but they damn well marketed it to fool their customers. And lied during E3 conferences. And lied to the media. And will continue lying because it really really really seems to work in their favor.

They didn't need to address that they completely fucked up their original vision and they had to scrap and rebuild most of their game in their marketing. That would be stupid and I'm surprised you would even take that away from what I said when that would be so ludicrous. They just needed to market it as the game it was actually going to be! Simple! Honest! They knew for a year that the thing was gutted and they shrouded everything in mystery and didn't back down from their original pitches. And still are selling that content for lots of money

I'm not saying people are tricked into enjoying something. I'm saying Bungie/Activision tricked people into paying a lot more for a lot less. That isn't okay!

This whole thing seems like they're testing the limits of what people will accept. What's the bare minimum amount of content we can offer for the most amount of money? Will users pay for emotes if we tell them it's so we can use that money elsewhere (when it was profitable before the game even released)? Can we get people to accidentally buy the wrong version of our DLC if we offer 5 different and convoluted ways to purchase it? It's a big scam and I feel pretty confident in that statement.

What would honest marketing be for you in this case then? What were they supposed to say? Do you expect them to tell people that the content that ended up being DLC was supposed to be in the game to begin with? Nobody would do that! Also how are they continuing to lie now? Additionally, at the time when the DLC came out people knew what Destiny was because they were playing it and they knew if they wanted to invest the money for the DLC. If you played Destiny and liked it enough to buy the DLC then how did Bungie trick you? It's not like that stuff was done the day it came out. As far as microtransactions go, I don't like them either, even if they're only cosmetic but I just don't see what makes Destiny is so especially malicious in your eyes.

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#7  Edited By altairre

@spraynardtatum said:

@ll_exile_ll: I understand things get cut all the time when making a game. Just because that's a normal process in game development doesn't mean that it can never be nefarious. I stopped giving Bungie the benefit of the doubt when Destiny proved to be the opposite of what it was marketed as. The pitch they were using up to release (when they became the highest preordered new ip of all time) was not the game they were selling for $60 but actually the game they were eventually going to attempt to sell for $200-2000. That is nefarious and not okay. If these were their problems a year before release they should have also completely overhauled their marketing strategy. They didn't.

The marketing for the game claimed you could go anywhere on a planet so even with European Deadzone and the ship they're still miles away what they publicly stated they were selling. Nefarious or stupid or clever or cowardly or whatever you call it they never owned up to the fact that they lied. This article, if accurate, proves that they lied to their fans in a majority of their marketing! And they're going to continue to profit off of those lies with each expansion! Now they have micro transactions too! Bungie and Activision have been being almost exclusively nefarious in my opinion. Destiny is one of the biggest cons in video game history.

That's a weird position to take after reading that story. Bungie didn't make that game with the intent of fooling their customers. They wanted it to be this incredibly ambitious thing and it didn't work out in the end due to the problems the article mentions. It still took a huge amount of work to get where they're now (nine weeks crunch for the Dark Below, I bet it fucking sucks to be a dev on that game). which is why I don't understand your earlier statement that they somehow benefitted from their "original inadequacies".

You also can't expect them to come out and say "well the development of this game was super fucked and it isn't what whe originally wanted it to be but please buy it anyway". That's just not how marketing works. Of course they tried to salvage it as best as they could and most of the devs were proud of how the game turned out in the end (see the 90 Metacritic expectation part). Do you remember the beta feedback? It was extremely positive in general. I personally didn't much care for it but a lot of other people did. Don't forget that there are also a lot of people who enjoyed playing vanilla Destiny and are still enjoying it now with TTK. Bungie didn't trick those people into enjoying it or into buying the DLC which is why the notion that this is "one of the biggest cons in video game history" is ridiculous.

Does it suck that they had to cut all those corners? Absolutely. Do I think the pricing structure is handled poorly? I totally do but they're not alone with that problem. Should they have signed the publishing deal the way it was framed? Probably not. Destiny is a disappointing game in many ways and one with a ton of squandered potential but it is not the malicious scheme you make it out to be.

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altairre

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#8  Edited By altairre

@humanity said:

@jesus_phish: I don't know any of the people working at Kotaku but each time I go over there it seems to be a bunch of memes, anime and occasional game related news, all in a highly unorganized format. Most of video game 'reporting' these days comes in the form of editorials that seem to concern themselves with buzz words and hot topics. Thats not to say they aren't penned by good writers, but the subject matter is usually uninspired. You hardly ever get these sort of stories that give us all a lucrative look behind the curtain of games development, which I think is something way more interesting than discussing the moral implications of a video game characters wardrobe.

Jason Schreier is one of the best in the business without question. His pieces on crunch and layoffs in the industry are other good examples of that. I don't always agree with his opinions but he absolutely knows his shit. To be fair though, these stories take a really long time to write because a lot of research goes into them. I think he worked on this Destiny story for about a year. That's just not enough content for a site in general regardless of what you think of Kotaku specifically (don't much care for it myself personally) but at least they do have pieces like this at all. Weirdly enough the most interesting long form articles tend to come from Kotaku and Polygon these days, both of which I usually avoid. Still, credit where credit is due.

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#9  Edited By altairre

Jason Schreier published a great in depth article on Kotaku today about what is and was going on behind the scenes of Destiny's development. I can only encourage anyone remotely interested in that topic to read it, I certainly found it to be extremely interesting. Here's a choice quote that stood out to me:

“Let’s say a designer wants to go in and move a resource node two inches,” said one person familiar with the engine. “They go into the editor. First they have to load their map overnight. It takes eight hours to input their map overnight. They get [into the office] in the morning. If their importer didn’t fail, they open the map. It takes about 20 minutes to open. They go in and they move that node two feet. And then they’d do a 15-20 minute compile. Just to do a half-second change.”

More at the link: http://kotaku.com/the-messy-true-story-behind-the-making-of-destiny-1737556731

What do you guys think about this? I kind of want to see the original story supercut because considering how Destiny and TTK turned out it's hard to imagine that it was even more linear and campy.

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Updated once more with launch day reviews.

Got my hands on the collector's edition today and both gwent decks are really nice with a total of 154 cards. Looking forward to playing it.