Diablo IV - Beta Impressions

Samtemdo8

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I mean yes.

The thing is, the outcry from the playerbase has been sort of accusing Blizzard developers of not playing the game. Of course Blizzard doesn't understand what our problems with the game are, because they don't play the game themselves so they are ignorant of the problems they are causing.

Then this video drops as seemingly a response to those player accusations. Only for the video to showcase two people who clearly aren't involved with any decisions that players are shitting on right now.

Top that off with them showing these two girls who clearly aren't gamers, in a video about playing the game and you are just super confused. What's the point of this? If you wanted a video about your architectural design, then just have a video about the architecture and have them showcase their concepts in a slide show. There was no reason to shove a controller into their hands because all it does it make them and Blizzard look bad.

Top that off with the fact that Blizzard seems to really really really be leaning into their new-found diversity hiring policy. Every press video, every developer showcase, all of these videos have deliberately shown female and trans employees working on the game and it leaves a bad message hanging in the air. Is blizzard hiring people based off their LBGT-status for the sake of having those people on the payroll? If so, then they are hiring people who can't do the job required of them and the games coming out of the company are clearly proving this.

It's fucked up as well that they are showing the staff that showcase LBGT representation as if trying to parade them around to prove how unbigoted they are. It's like they are show animals being let out of the developer cage for the carnival of whatever video.

I don't fucking care who develops a video game. Black, brown, gay, trans, furry, vegan, I don't fucking care. I only care about having a good game to play at the end of the say. That's all I want. And when your developer videos are more about showcasing the diversity of the people working on the game, over what the game actually has to offer, then you are fucking wasting everyone's time.
They basically went the polar opposite end of the spectrum

"SEE WE'RE NOT A BUNCH OF DUDE BROS THAT LIKE TO PARTY AND GET DRUNK AND ACT HORNY ON OUR FEMALE EMPLOYEES THAT DON'T CONTRIBUTE MUCH TO GAME DEVELOPMENT"

"SEE WE HAVE A BLACK FEMALE AS THE POPE OF THE MAJOR RELIGION IN DIABLO 4"
 
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CriticalGaming

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They basically went the polar opposite end of the spectrum

"SEE WE'RE NOT A BUNCH OF DUDE BROS THAT LIKE TO PARTY AND GET DRUNK AND ACT HORNY ON OUR FEMALE EMPLOYEES THAT DON'T CONTRIBUTE MUCH TO GAME DEVELOPMENT"

"SEE WE HAVE A BLACK FEMALE AS THE POPE OF THE MAJOR RELIGION IN DIABLO 4"
Not to mention they removed every bit of cleavage in WoW. Replacing portraits of cartoon girls with baskets of fruit because you can't be sexist with fruit, only with fruits but that's not the same thing as apples, and bananas.
 

Samtemdo8

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Not to mention they removed every bit of cleavage in WoW. Replacing portraits of cartoon girls with baskets of fruit because you can't be sexist with fruit, only with fruits but that's not the same thing as apples, and bananas.
Small potatoes. WOW's horniness was still on the Rated T level spectrum

They never had true fan service like games from japan.

No quests that's about a beach party with all the ladies in skimpy bikinis or anything like that
 

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Not to mention they removed every bit of cleavage in WoW. Replacing portraits of cartoon girls with baskets of fruit because you can't be sexist with fruit, only with fruits but that's not the same thing as apples, and bananas.
Small potatoes. WOW's horniness was still on the Rated T level spectrum
Even at a Teen Rating, Tekken, Fatal Fury/KOF and Street Fighter still gets away with more explicit fan-service than WoW ever could.





 
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CriticalGaming

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Even at Teen Rating, Tekken, Fatal Fury/KOF and Street Fighter still gets away with more explicit fan-service than WoW ever could.





It is 100% a panic move by Blizzard which just proves that all those allegations were totally true. Because you dont try to hide shit when you dont have things to hide.
 
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Hawki

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I don't have the means of watching the video in question right now, but as to some of the comments:
3. The builds for each class made no fucking sense, which if it IS them actually playing further showcases that they don't know how to play their own game.
How is that an issue though? I couldn't tell you anything about builds in any game, I'm sure you'd say the same about my toon right now, but how is that an issue? If this was a "how to" video, maybe, MAYBE there would be a ledge to stand on, but again, I don't see the issue here.

4. They talk about a communal effort when making the project, which works in the ART AND DESIGN level of the game, but not in the coding aspect. So if they really passed around the same bits of code to several different people, it would explain why a bunch of the game doesn't fucking work. And also explains the bad design choices on fundamental systems.
Sorry, what about the game doesn't work? I'm up to Act III right now, apart from disconnects (which seems to be a computer thing rather than a server thing at this point), I haven't encountered any broken functionality.

If they were trying to prove that the developers actually play their own game, then they failed. One of the girls even states that they actively test everything they put into the game, which is not true. It's OBVIOUSLY not true because if they tested the game then they would realize that core stats do not work. They would realize that nearly half of the skills on EVERY class are useless. They would realize that the Stats on gear do next to nothing, in favor of a couple of key modifiers, in which case they wouldn't have dropped a patch that reduced the best stats in the game by 40FUCKING PERCENT. They would have realized that the tiny inventory is a fucking problem, and wouldn't have made a seasonal mechanic that eats up EVEN MORE INVENTORY SPACE!!!!!
Sorry, again, how? Based on what I've played, none of that rings true.

I know, different strokes, different folks, but it's like we're playing completely different games. That, or something happens beyond where I've got up to.

I mean yes.

The thing is, the outcry from the playerbase has been sort of accusing Blizzard developers of not playing the game. Of course Blizzard doesn't understand what our problems with the game are, because they don't play the game themselves so they are ignorant of the problems they are causing.
By what reasoning? All the problems you listed were on the level of gameplay, this video, as I understand it, was based on art design.

Then this video drops as seemingly a response to those player accusations. Only for the video to showcase two people who clearly aren't involved with any decisions that players are shitting on right now.

Top that off with them showing these two girls who clearly aren't gamers, in a video about playing the game and you are just super confused. What's the point of this? If you wanted a video about your architectural design, then just have a video about the architecture and have them showcase their concepts in a slide show. There was no reason to shove a controller into their hands because all it does it make them and Blizzard look bad.

Top that off with the fact that Blizzard seems to really really really be leaning into their new-found diversity hiring policy. Every press video, every developer showcase, all of these videos have deliberately shown female and trans employees working on the game and it leaves a bad message hanging in the air. Is blizzard hiring people based off their LBGT-status for the sake of having those people on the payroll? If so, then they are hiring people who can't do the job required of them and the games coming out of the company are clearly proving this.

It's fucked up as well that they are showing the staff that showcase LBGT representation as if trying to parade them around to prove how unbigoted they are. It's like they are show animals being let out of the developer cage for the carnival of whatever video.
Oh God, here we go.

First, this:


You clearly don't have a problem with some homogenous groups, and take issue when people point them out, but take issue with other groups.

Second, I'm sorry, you'll need stats for that, because I haven't seen anything like what you're describing. To claim that every video has shown "female and trans employees" is an outright lie, when the most recent dev update (the one where Immortal and D4 were both discussed) was a group of 4 men. So, by your logic, 4 men is totally fine, 2 women isn't. For the record, I don't think there's an issue or virtue with either, but if you want to play identity politics, at least keep it consistent.

Third, I did a quick look at the YouTube page for Diablo and did a gender count by image from post-launch. I counted 9 men and 5 women. So unless you have actual statistics, you're triggered by the presence of a gender that's only just above 50% of the presence of another gender.

I don't fucking care who develops a video game. Black, brown, gay, trans, furry, vegan, I don't fucking care. I only care about having a good game to play at the end of the say. That's all I want. And when your developer videos are more about showcasing the diversity of the people working on the game, over what the game actually has to offer, then you are fucking wasting everyone's time.
Except you clearly do, because you've spent paragraphs ranting about it. No-one asked you about all the types of people you listed, you made it a big declaration to say "I don't care about those people, what are you saying?" If you didn't care, why are you making such a big deal of the things you clearly don't care about when, as far as I can tell, the video itself doesn't?

It's the same tripe that people always spill out when they say "I'm not prejudiced against X, I just don't like forced diversity" or whatnot.

My only experience with this game is via the pre-launch beta they publicly released like a month prior and I had an ok time with it?

And yet I'm hearing here that this game is as unplayable as Mafia 3 was at launch
I don't know anything about the state of Mafia III, but the short version is that D4 is playable.

The long version is that I've suffered multiple disconnects, and while things aren't as bad as they were, they aren't perfect now, and I've suffered more deaths/log-outs than I care to name. However, I'm not sure if that's down to the servers or my own computer, because even when I'm not playing anything, it's still suffering connection issues at various points.

They basically went the polar opposite end of the spectrum

"SEE WE HAVE A BLACK FEMALE AS THE POPE OF THE MAJOR RELIGION IN DIABLO 4"
...what the fuck did I just read?

For any of that to be true, you'd have to demonstrate that Prava was either:

1: Propped up within the game itself based on the inherent characteristics you described.

2: Point to an example where she's propped up from outside the game based on the inherent characteristics you described.

Since you haven't played the game, I'll assume that you don't have anything to back up the first option. Based on everything I've played so far, nothing like what you're describing has occurred (nor is it present in Book of Lorath, where Prava is referenced). Not to mention that Prava isn't even a pope-esque figure (that would be a que-hegan) within Sanctuary; Zakarum is undoubtedly based on the Catholic church, the Cathedral of Light isn't.

If it's option 2, then I assume you have something to back that up, because I haven't seen anything like what you're describing. Certainly Prava's been featured in blog/twitter posts, none of them have ever drawn special attention to her innate characteristics.

If you have nothing to back up either of those options, I'm left to ask what the issue is.
 
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Samtemdo8

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I don't have the means of watching the video in question right now, but as to some of the comments:


How is that an issue though? I couldn't tell you anything about builds in any game, I'm sure you'd say the same about my toon right now, but how is that an issue? If this was a "how to" video, maybe, MAYBE there would be a ledge to stand on, but again, I don't see the issue here.



Sorry, what about the game doesn't work? I'm up to Act III right now, apart from disconnects (which seems to be a computer thing rather than a server thing at this point), I haven't encountered any broken functionality.



Sorry, again, how? Based on what I've played, none of that rings true.

I know, different strokes, different folks, but it's like we're playing completely different games. That, or something happens beyond where I've got up to.



By what reasoning? All the problems you listed were on the level of gameplay, this video, as I understand it, was based on art design.



Oh God, here we go.

First, this:


You clearly don't have a problem with some homogenous groups, and take issue when people point them out, but take issue with other groups.

Second, I'm sorry, you'll need stats for that, because I haven't seen anything like what you're describing. To claim that every video has shown "female and trans employees" is an outright lie, when the most recent dev update (the one where Immortal and D4 were both discussed) was a group of 4 men. So, by your logic, 4 men is totally fine, 2 women isn't. For the record, I don't think there's an issue or virtue with either, but if you want to play identity politics, at least keep it consistent.

Third, I did a quick look at the YouTube page for Diablo and did a gender count by image from post-launch. I counted 9 men and 5 women. So unless you have actual statistics, you're triggered by the presence of a gender that's only just above 50% of the presence of another gender.



Except you clearly do, because you've spent paragraphs ranting about it. No-one asked you about all the types of people you listed, you made it a big declaration to say "I don't care about those people, what are you saying?" If you didn't care, why are you making such a big deal of the things you clearly don't care about when, as far as I can tell, the video itself doesn't?

It's the same tripe that people always spill out when they say "I'm not prejudiced against X, I just don't like forced diversity" or whatnot.



I don't know anything about the state of Mafia III, but the short version is that D4 is playable.

The long version is that I've suffered multiple disconnects, and while things aren't as bad as they were, they aren't perfect now, and I've suffered more deaths/log-outs than I care to name. However, I'm not sure if that's down to the servers or my own computer, because even when I'm not playing anything, it's still suffering connection issues at various points.



...what the fuck did I just read?

For any of that to be true, you'd have to demonstrate that Prava was either:

1: Propped up within the game itself based on the inherent characteristics you described.

2: Point to an example where she's propped up from outside the game based on the inherent characteristics you described.

Since you haven't played the game, I'll assume that you don't have anything to back up the first option. Based on everything I've played so far, nothing like what you're describing has occurred (nor is it present in Book of Lorath, where Prava is referenced). Not to mention that Prava isn't even a pope-esque figure (that would be a que-hegan) within Sanctuary; Zakarum is undoubtedly based on the Catholic church, the Cathedral of Light isn't.

If it's option 2, then I assume you have something to back that up, because I haven't seen anything like what you're describing. Certainly Prava's been featured in blog/twitter posts, none of them have ever drawn special attention to her innate characteristics.

If you have nothing to back up either of those options, I'm left to ask what the issue is.
Yeah that was just me uncritically thinking.

And I should have stated that historically the Paladin in Diablo 2 (even before the remaster) was black.
 

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So, I watched the video. Here are my honest thoughts:

-I like the idea of a Zakarum Cathedral being taken over by the Drowned, it fits thematically with the state of the world.

-Drowned bells, church bells...hardy hah hah.

-Touching on what Crit ranted about...um, yes? Art is a collaberative job. They're discussing art assets. How the hell is this even controversial?

-Wait, if this is a Zakarum cathedral, why's there a Knight Penitent?

-I like the storm shrine too, in case you're wondering

-Architecture degree, gets into dungeon design...yeah, makes sense, I guess.

-Don't worry, I'm average as well. :p

So, that's it.

I mean, really? This is what got people up in arms? It isn't even a particularly interesting video, it's just two devs chilling out, playing a game. And that's an issue because they're, I dunno, not good enough? Seemed fine to me. Granted, I'm not one to talk, but if the point of your video is explicitly about art and dungeon design, focusing on gameplay is silly. It's like grilling a game designer for not knowing lore stuff - it's a different field.
 

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Yeah that was just me uncritically thinking.

And I should have stated that historically the Paladin in Diablo 2 (even before the remaster) was black.
So was the Sorcerer in D1.

It's silly to obsess over skin colour in Diablo when no-one in the setting itself does.
 
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CriticalGaming

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How is that an issue though? I couldn't tell you anything about builds in any game, I'm sure you'd say the same about my toon right now, but how is that an issue? If this was a "how to" video, maybe, MAYBE there would be a ledge to stand on, but again, I don't see the issue here.
For regular players it isnt an issue, play what you want even if it is bad and you get roadblocked by the content on your own. "Bad" builds in games like Diablo and PoE are set ups that cannot do the games content without a crazy level of skill and if you have that much skill you are also probably smarter with you build choices anyway.

It is a problem for Diablo devs to have set ups like this because it showcases or at least heavily implies that the developers arent playing their own game. Because if they were they would know how to make build set ups that work. Watch the video when you can because youll see them not even use the skills on their bar which also just indicated that the people working on the dont know how to play it.

For regular joe players that is fine. Coming from the developers themselves it is a very bad look. Especially when players have been accusing Blizz of not knowing how their own game works.

Sorry, what about the game doesn't work? I'm up to Act III right now, apart from disconnects (which seems to be a computer thing rather than a server thing at this point), I haven't encountered any broken functionality.
Ive talked about this but here is a short list.

Elemental resistances dont work, the horse doesnt work, most of the stats in the game dont work (things like damage against frozen enemies or close enemies or far enemies, etc), the stating forumla for damage doesnt provide enough damage to the players and most of the power comes from the paragon board and simply being level 100. Several unique legendaries have stats on them that do not benefit the build they are meant for. For example Ghors whirlwind gloves have attack speed on them, whirlwind does not gain any benefit from attack speed. And you cannot reroll stats on uniques so you are stuck with dead stats. They recently changed a few uniques because they were useless entirely like the Barbarian shoes that granted bonus damage to frozen enmies, which sounds cool but Barbarians have no way to freeze enemies so the boots are kind of pointless for a Barb dont you think.

There are more things. But you can look up videos if you care.

In your instance, you are still in the campaign and the campaign works fine. But the campaign isnt really the content or the driving force behind people playing games like this. There is a reason the game lets you skip the campaign on all future characters once you beat it one time. If all you want out of the game is a decent campaign then i guess you'll be fine with the game and not notice any of the problems.
 

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@hawk i do want to point out that i did say if they wanted a video of showcasing art and whatever then that is totally fine and there didnt need to be devs playing the game.

However there have been forum posts, tweets, reddits, all accusing blizzard devs of not playing their own game and therefore not understanding all the annoying things that people have problems with, from the way builds work to the way items work.

Then Blizzard drops this video calling it "adventure with dev" suggesting nothing about it being an art showcase and seemingly being a response to what people have been accusing the devs of. The we are giving to art designers trying to fumble througb generic content.

It isnt a problem with the people or the video itself. Now people are feeling like Blizzard is just mocking us with their bad game design.
 

sXeth

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For regular players it isnt an issue, play what you want even if it is bad and you get roadblocked by the content on your own. "Bad" builds in games like Diablo and PoE are set ups that cannot do the games content without a crazy level of skill and if you have that much skill you are also probably smarter with you build choices anyway.

It is a problem for Diablo devs to have set ups like this because it showcases or at least heavily implies that the developers arent playing their own game. Because if they were they would know how to make build set ups that work. Watch the video when you can because youll see them not even use the skills on their bar which also just indicated that the people working on the dont know how to play it.

For regular joe players that is fine. Coming from the developers themselves it is a very bad look. Especially when players have been accusing Blizz of not knowing how their own game works.
I mean it would depend on the devs in question. If its the art team or whatever, fair play. If its the guy in charge of game balance or class design, kind of an issue. (Which was literally a thing in Warframe for a few years before the recent changeover in personnel, the guy in charge of the balance hadn't actually played the game in years and was mostly making decisions based off usage analytics). Which also had a series of iffy new frame (classes essentially) because they'd show them off in weird god/dev mode with no mods installed instead of any kind of real gameplay scenario (and most were correspondingly underwhelming before several updates)
 
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hanselthecaretaker2

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They certainly give a shit now.
Only because they were called out on it and were forced to. They don’t get any props when the only reason they’re doing it is to save what’s left of their grunt staff bottom line.
 
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Hawki

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For regular players it isnt an issue, play what you want even if it is bad and you get roadblocked by the content on your own. "Bad" builds in games like Diablo and PoE are set ups that cannot do the games content without a crazy level of skill and if you have that much skill you are also probably smarter with you build choices anyway.
Well, yes, I know, that's generally how builds work in ARPGs. It's one of the things I liked about D3 in that given the rune system, you weren't locked into a skillset the way you might be in other games. D4, I'm not as fond of, but it seems like a decent middleground between D1/D2 and D3/DI in regards to how it approaches skills.

It is a problem for Diablo devs to have set ups like this because it showcases or at least heavily implies that the developers arent playing their own game. Because if they were they would know how to make build set ups that work. Watch the video when you can because youll see them not even use the skills on their bar which also just indicated that the people working on the dont know how to play it.
Except again, the people playing it are dungeon designers, not class designers. If this was a video like "How to play (class)," sure, the gripes would make sense, but you're fixating on something that's incidental to the video itself.

@hawk i do want to point out that i did say if they wanted a video of showcasing art and whatever then that is totally fine and there didnt need to be devs playing the game.

However there have been forum posts, tweets, reddits, all accusing blizzard devs of not playing their own game and therefore not understanding all the annoying things that people have problems with, from the way builds work to the way items work.

Then Blizzard drops this video calling it "adventure with dev" suggesting nothing about it being an art showcase and seemingly being a response to what people have been accusing the devs of. The we are giving to art designers trying to fumble througb generic content.
Art/dungeon developers are still developers. A "developer," as I'd call it, is anyone who works on the game itself.

If all the problems you've listed exist in D4, fair enough, I can't comment on them if they're only an endgame thing, but fixating on a video like this is a silly tangent.

For instance, suppose we had a developer do a "How to play the Necromancer," going over builds and skills and whatnot. Suppose, in that video, the developer conveys utter ignorance on the class lore - how Trag'Oul directed Mendeln to form the Priests of Rathma (heck, Rathma himself), how Mendeln was the first deathspeaker and Davos the second, the story of Xul, of Lethes, of how the Necropolis was attacked and Jurdann killed in D3, etc. I'd certainly be irritated, but it would be silly to kick up a fuss because it's not the focus of the video.
 

CriticalGaming

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If all the problems you've listed exist in D4, fair enough, I can't comment on them if they're only an endgame thing, but fixating on a video like this is a silly tangent.
My list only scratches the surface trust me. If you want to dig deep into it there are plenty of videos for that. My favorite is that the reason our stash is small (in a game about collecting loot btw) is because the game loads the entire inventory and stash of EVERY player you see on screen, and if they added more inventory or stash space it would crash the servers.

Honestly i think one of the biggest things that people are upset at Blizzard with in regards to D4 is that the vast majority of the game's issues are not issues in the other Diablo and blizzard games. Again it proves the developer arrogance in that they couldn't even be bothered playing Diablo 2, 3, or WoW? Let alone play the king of the genre right now in Path of Exile!? You are making an ARPG, the first thing every person on that fucking team should have been doing is playing other ARPG's so they know what to fucking do and what NOT to do.

Yet here is D4 making mistakes that aren't issues in Blizzard's own other games. And that is frankly unforgivable, and should have been removed sometime in development when they realized the limitations it enforced upon the player.

Of course that could also just be a lie they are using because they are planning on putting stash tabs in the microtransaction store, which is worse.

Art/dungeon developers are still developers. A "developer," as I'd call it, is anyone who works on the game itself.

If all the problems you've listed exist in D4, fair enough, I can't comment on them if they're only an endgame thing, but fixating on a video like this is a silly tangent.

For instance, suppose we had a developer do a "How to play the Necromancer," going over builds and skills and whatnot. Suppose, in that video, the developer conveys utter ignorance on the class lore - how Trag'Oul directed Mendeln to form the Priests of Rathma (heck, Rathma himself), how Mendeln was the first deathspeaker and Davos the second, the story of Xul, of Lethes, of how the Necropolis was attacked and Jurdann killed in D3, etc. I'd certainly be irritated, but it would be silly to kick up a fuss because it's not the focus of the video.
Again that is fair. But Optics matter to the user base and when this video is what drops seemingly in response to player accusations, it's bad optics. And imo no matter how you slice it, there really is no excuse for sloppy builds or gameplay to be used in ANY developer video. Even if you are art team, are you somehow excused for never playing the game you're making? I don't think so because art is an important part of making the game feel a certain way, and you'd want to play the game to make sure your art assets fit into the world. They don't have to be pros at the game, but they should appear to have at least a little competency in playing a game they've been working on for 7 years. Don't you think?
 

sXeth

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Honestly i think one of the biggest things that people are upset at Blizzard with in regards to D4 is that the vast majority of the game's issues are not issues in the other Diablo and blizzard games. Again it proves the developer arrogance in that they couldn't even be bothered playing Diablo 2, 3, or WoW? Let alone play the king of the genre right now in Path of Exile!? You are making an ARPG, the first thing every person on that fucking team should have been doing is playing other ARPG's so they know what to fucking do and what NOT to do.
Pfft, next you'll suggest Todd Howard should have played a survival game before releasing Fallout 76 (if you are at all familiar with any survival game, that entire first announcement onstage is just a hilarious train of WTFery lol)
 
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CriticalGaming

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Pfft, next you'll suggest Todd Howard should have played a survival game before releasing Fallout 76 (if you are at all familiar with any survival game, that entire first announcement onstage is just a hilarious train of WTFery lol)
I'd rather suggest Todd just stop talking about his games. He's like a richer Sean Murray. Or maybe a Peter Moulenuex...err Fable dude.
 
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