Off Topic Dicussion

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Internet Backlash Syndrome This thread comprises my thoughts on a phenomenon that seems prevalent in recent game releases: Internet Backlash Syndrome. This refers to a situation where forums dedicated to a game become filled with posts by angry users declaring they will "never play X game series again" or that "Y developer is only about the money". I want to examine some recent non-Blizzard-related instances of this phenomenon, and their causes. Feel free to skip to the section that most interests you, as this is a lengthy post. Valve (Portal 2): To the Moon! For Science! This is probably the controversy I know the least about, having not personally played Portal 2. I am however aware that there was/is some controversy regarding the moon and the game's ending. Please provide details if you have any. BioWare (Mass Effect 3): The END???!!! (also Day[1] DLC) Another ending controversy. I have not played all the way through ME 3 as yet, but I plan to. It's my understanding that many people were dissatisfied with the ending of ME 3 as being too dark or not fulfilling enough (basically not a neat "happy" ending). I do know for a fact, via an article in Game Informer magazine, that many fans have petitioned BioWare to release a DLC alternate ending. My personal opinion is that this is a strange thing to expect from a company. When I read a book series with an ending I don't like (for example, the Inheritance Cycle or Karen Miller's Innocent Mage books), I don't write a letter to the author demanding that they release a new edition of the book with an ending that I like, or even an alternate final chapter in ebook form. That would be silly. Also, some have complained about the availability from launch of paid DLC for ME 3. If it was ready at day 1, why was it not packed into the game? This is like asking why auto dealers don't throw in options like heated seats, electronic locks, and electrically powered car windows for free. Deluxe content is extra. Nintendo (Skyward Sword): Fi, Ghirahim's Tongue, Fi, Dungeons, and Fi Many people found problems with Nintendo's latest Legends of Zelda title, Skyward Sword. Some found the game's main antagonist to not be (ahem!) masculine enough. Some said the new dungeons were too easy, contained too many hints, or were too similar to each other in design. But by far, the majority of complaints seem to revolve around Fi, Link's new companion (which makes sense, since she is present for most of the game). Frankly, even I find things to dislike about Fi. Her weird robotic demeanor (she talks like HAL from Space Odessey) was off-putting to many people (and humorous to others). Her wooden facial animation while singing was...disturbing. Most of all, her dousing feature, over-obvious hints, and obnoxious low battery and health warnings were a distraction to many gamers. Bethesda (Skyrim): FUS-RO-....DARN! COME BACK HERE, DRAGON! Many gamers have bashed Skyrim on the basis of its many bugs, most notably those surrounding dragons (especially the ones flying backward at warp speed). I have been fortunate to encounter no serious dragon glitches and relatively few others in Skyrim. That said, I have crashed to desktop 4 times, had the entire world turn Pepto-Pink, and, on one notable occasion, had two broken quest NPCs follow me, zombielike, endlessly chanting "For Kodlak!". I nearly went insane before I finally decided there was no way to repair the quest and loaded an earlier save, losing 3 hours of progress. That said, gamers (somewhat irrationally) held up Morrowind, of all titles, as an example of Elder Scrolls Nirvana: perfectly designed and free of bugs. Apparently they forgot that there were more design flaws, exploits and bugs in Morrowind than can be counted. At level 2, a character with a levitate potion and basic fireball spell could kill maybe the 3rd most powerful person in the game (Umbra) and take his epic sword (also Umbra). Locks would resist any attempt to open them with magic or skill. Drinking too many potions at once would cause the game to crash. Guards could approach you to make an arrest, and all you had to do was drop stolen items at your feet to avoid confiscation. Etc, etc, ad nauseum. Firaxis (Civilization 5): Protest ALL the things! I cannot list everything that was complained about at Civ 5's launch. More notable complaints include: Bad diplomacy AI, bad combat AI, 1 unit per tile, no religion, no espionage, policies OP/UP/Not fun, global happiness. Some of these complaints were legitimate concerns. It took about 4 months of patching to make Civ 5 truly enjoyable (even for me) and about a year for it to begin to reach it's true potential. Clearly a longer play-testing session or beta was needed before launch. That said, some of the comments about Sid Meyer on the CivFanatics forums were over the top, practically blaming him for every evil since the Fall of Man. Serously, go to the CivFanatics forum and look at some threads from shortly after launch. The moderators eventually merged all the complaints into a single "rage" thread, from which comments were deleted once the thread reached maximum capacity. Some people literallly made a thread saying that Civ 6 would be a first-person shooter, because Firaxis hated their fan base. Since then, things have improved. Firaxis has announced the return of religions and espionage in their upcoming expansion, and many problems with the AI and general balance issues have been resolved through patching. In summary, Internet Backlash Syndrome is hardly limited to Blizzard, Starcraft 2, WoW, or Diablo 3. It is a phenomenon that pervades the Internet, sometimes legitimately but always vocally, and will probably probably remain an inevitable part of the gaming landscape in the future. Daerbon44
May 30, 2012 May 30, 2012