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Vengarr
Jun 17, 2010

Smashed before noon


Empress Theonora posted:

This is what I think, too. Overwatch felt accessible in a way no other competitive shooter has before or since. Like, as much as I fondly remember hanging out with friends and playing TF2 back in the day, I was miserably bad at it, and felt like a liability to whatever team got stuck with me.

Early Overwatch, on the other hand, seemed to cater to a wide range of playstyles and skill levels, which meant I was still able to feel like I was helping my team and having a real effect on the course of a game despite my relative lack of traditional FPS skills (like, um… aiming). Playing as Mercy back then was honestly the only time I’ve really enjoyed a multiplayer shooter for the game itself.

I think this is why they put a traditional-style tanking role in. You instinctively get into the flow of the game. Heal tank, keep people from killing tank, push with tank. Helps ease the learning curve tremendously when you can tell new players “look, just follow the big guy and shoot anyone wearing a different color”.

This was explicitly the Heavy’s intended role in TF2–to anchor the team. It just happened that his lifespan was measured in seconds with all the Snipers and Spies running around.

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Disargeria
May 5, 2010


Another day another lawsuit:

https://www.scribd.com/document/527872353/US-Equal-Employment-Opportunity-Commission-vs-Activision-Blizzard

HopperUK
Apr 29, 2007

Why would an ambulance be leaving the hospital?

I mean I played Medic in TF2 because of my lack of FPS skills and it was amazing. It's impossible to play that class so badly that you're not helping at all. Wouldn't play competitive though, I don't want actual pressure in my video games.

Kith
Sep 17, 2009

You never learn anything
by doing it right.





Jury trial demanded. You could say they're in... a blizzard of poo poo. :cool:

blastron
Dec 11, 2007

Don't doodle on it!



Aaaaand they settled it.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/activision-blizzard-agrees-to-pay-18-million-to-settle-eeoc-probe-11632784605

quote:

Activision Blizzard Inc. on Monday said it has agreed to pay $18 million as part of a settlement with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission that had been examining allegations of gender-based harassment and retaliation at the embattled videogame-publishing giant.

Santa Monica, Calif.-based Activision, with about 10,000 employees across the world, agreed to an outside monitor approved by the EEOC to make sure Activision is complying with its settlement agreement, according to a company press release. The person will report directly to the EEOC and Activision’s Board of Directors.

The EEOC since 2018 had been looking into the allegations, according to a complaint the agency filed against Activision in U.S. District Court shortly before the settlement.

The EEOC, in the complaint, said that “employees were subjected sexual harassment that was severe or pervasive to alter the conditions of employment.” Activision “failed to take corrective and preventative measures,” according to the complaint.

This is specifically the EEOC one, not the California state one nor the SEC one.

ErrEff
Feb 13, 2012

Have you heard the good news?

Look deeply into my eyes.

STADIA!



https://www.theverge.com/2021/9/27/22697341/us-eeoc-sues-activision-blizzard-sexual-harassment-discrimination

quote:

The Wall Street Journal reported last week that Activision Blizzard was in settlement talks with the EEOC, and the company said in a statement that it was “actively engaged in continued discussions with the EEOC.” In its complaint, the EEOC says it notified the company of its findings on June 15th after launching an investigation in September of 2018, then engaged in “extensive conciliation discussions” with Activision Blizzard. But “the Commission was unable to secure through informal methods an acceptable conciliation agreement,” it notes. The lawsuit is now seeking a jury trial over the allegations.

:blizz:

Kith
Sep 17, 2009

You never learn anything
by doing it right.




eighteen million dollary-doos

Cythereal
Nov 8, 2009



https://twitter.com/ethangach/status/1442613417349627904?s=20

mutata
Mar 1, 2003
:toot:

Except the EEOC one is being settled for $18mil.

Detective No. 27
Jun 7, 2006



mutata posted:

Except the EEOC one is being settled for $18mil.

It's emerging news so I'm guessing he might not have been aware.

$18 million, what is that, a couple weeks worth of Hearthstone transactions?

ErrEff
Feb 13, 2012

Have you heard the good news?

Look deeply into my eyes.

STADIA!


https://investor.activision.com/consent-decree-with-EEOC

Actual settlement filing.

quote:

Defendants expressly deny that they subjected any individual or group of individuals to sexual harassment, pregnancy discrimination and/or related retaliation, deny all allegations of wrongdoing, liability, damages and entitlement to other relief set forth in the Action whether arising under Title VII or analogous state and local laws, deny any group or systemic discrimination or harassment, and deny that any of their policies and procedures are inadequate. However, the Parties recognize that through this Decree the Parties can avoid the expense, distraction and possible litigation associated with such a dispute and thus the Parties wish to resolve all issues through this Decree.

quote:

Defendants will provide a total fund of $18,000,000 to be available to Eligible Claimants to resolve this Action. Within thirty (30) calendar days of the Effective Date, Defendants will cause that sum to be deposited into the Settlement Fund and provide the EEOC with written verification of that funding within seven (7) calendar days of deposit.

quote:

The EEOC has full and complete discretion under the terms of this Decree to determine who is an Eligible Claimant meeting the requirements of eligibility for payment and the amount and characterization of such payments as income, wages or otherwise, as hereinafter described in this Decree.

Kanos
Sep 6, 2006

was there a time when speedwagon didn't get trolled

Blaise330 posted:

street fighter 5 launched with no arcade or story mode but slowly became a success overall through patches, having a very forgiving fanbase, constant dev support, and being a 90s franchise thats too big to fully fail. Also dota 2 launched with a million dollar esports tourney. Being a sequel helps cause people had years to fall in love with the franchise casually in the previous game. OW being as big as it was without being a sequel was a huge blown opportunity.

DotA 2 is kind of cheating in this example, because the game started explicitly as a direct port of DotA 1 to a new engine and focused very heavily on achieving almost exact parity with DotA 1 from its conception until a very long time after its release until it finally achieved exact 1:1 content parity, at which point Icefrog finally sunset the old DotA map and started bringing DotA 2 in its own direction.

It's kind of like if Starcraft 2 had just been Brood War on a new engine for the first year or more of its existence before Blizzard started adding unique SC2 things.

Horizon Burning
Oct 23, 2019
:discourse:


but i mean even dota 2 has had issues with a steadily declining playerbase, incomprehensible decisions on the part of valve, a lack of new content, a lack of existing content, and generally becoming a year by year attempt by valve to give the playerbase less and less while raking in $$$$$

SubponticatePoster
Aug 9, 2004

Every day takes figurin' out all over again how to fuckin' live.


Slippery Tilde

Detective No. 27 posted:

It's emerging news so I'm guessing he might not have been aware.

$18 million, what is that, a couple weeks worth of Hearthstone transactions?
I think Bobby has that much spare change in his couch cushions. Every CoD installment makes billions, and that's one game. Just once I'd like to see a fine levied against a giant corporation at "hosed around, found out" levels, like their entire revenue streams for the offending timeframes (not just "profits").

ErrEff
Feb 13, 2012

Have you heard the good news?

Look deeply into my eyes.

STADIA!


Detective No. 27 posted:

$18 million, what is that, a couple weeks worth of Hearthstone transactions?

https://www.gamespot.com/articles/call-of-duty-had-its-biggest-year-ever-in-2020-full-game-microtransaction-sales-booming/1100-6487151/

GameSpot posted:

In total, Activision Blizzard made $2.4 billion in revenue for Q4, which compares to $1.9 billion for the same period last year.

For the full year, Activision made $8.09 billion in revenue, up from $6.49 billion last year. Revenue from digital channels reached $6.66 billion. This was Activision Blizzard's biggest year in its 30-year history.

Herstory Begins Now
Aug 5, 2003



I would kill to have the full inside story of what goes on at valve cuz that place is in like top 5 studios in the industry that release the least for the amount of money spent. Like there's the obvious stuff that they don't assign people to projects and to get work done on your project you have to convince people to help you do it, which is by all accounts exactly as dysfunctional as it sounds. But man there has to be so much more to that story

Vakal
May 11, 2008


Herstory Begins Now posted:

I would kill to have the full inside story of what goes on at valve cuz that place is in like top 5 studios in the industry that release the least for the amount of money spent. Like there's the obvious stuff that they don't assign people to projects and to get work done on your project you have to convince people to help you do it, which is by all accounts exactly as dysfunctional as it sounds. But man there has to be so much more to that story

Just look up a video of a pelican eating so much fish that they are unable to fly until they puke some of back out. Then just mentally replace the pelican with Valve and the fish with bundles of money.

Detective No. 27
Jun 7, 2006



Cythereal
Nov 8, 2009



A goon in discord with a legal background pointed out that in material terms, Blizzard's actually a pretty small company as these things go, under 5k people. By the standards of EEOC settlements, 18 million is nigh unheard of for a company this small. EEOC settlements are rarely punitive, they're expressly intended to be "here's some blood money to get people back in their feet, don't get our attention again." This is actually pretty remarkable in a bad way.

PenguinKnight
Apr 6, 2009





mutata posted:

This is where I float. Most fun I ever had in Overwatch was right at the beginning when no one knew wtf was good and then later when I would just party up with some friends on voice chat and do whatever.

That and the Mei snowball mode. Yeah, that's right, it's me. The one guy who likes the Snowball mode.

i liked the snowball mode too :)

that mode and junkenstein’s revenge were about the only times i had fun in OW

Horizon Burning
Oct 23, 2019
:discourse:


Herstory Begins Now posted:

I would kill to have the full inside story of what goes on at valve cuz that place is in like top 5 studios in the industry that release the least for the amount of money spent. Like there's the obvious stuff that they don't assign people to projects and to get work done on your project you have to convince people to help you do it, which is by all accounts exactly as dysfunctional as it sounds. But man there has to be so much more to that story

it'd be really interesting, yeah. perhaps the most interesting story to me is diretide. it was a halloween 5v5 capture the flag game mode for dota 2 that was beloved by the community the first year it ran (2012). there's a few reasons for it -- partially that it was fun, that it was basically a risk-free teamfight game mode (so a good way to learn heroes in actual fights without loving up a whole match) and that you got 2-3 cosmetics from winning and participating in any given match. valve said it would be an annual event.

next year (2013), it didn't run. this is what led to the 'volvo give' meme because people got so agitated that they rang volvo to get them to release diretide and volvo got on social media to laugh about it. a little bit later, valve pressed the button and diretide kicked off again.

the next diretide was in 2020. and it was actually kinda bizarre because valve put a ton of work into the mode and released it with zero warning. unsurprisingly, it was absolutely miserly when it came to getting rewards. but the amount of work they put into it was just strange - tons of new cosmetics, splash screen, etc. i can't help but think it was an attempt to recapture players (dota 2's player numbers had dropped by like 25% in the year leading up to the event.) but i'm not sure how well it worked out because despite making so many new cosmetics, drops, etc... you needed to buy a key to actually unlock the chests.

on top of this, you've got things like removing skeleton king due to china and putting him back in the game... providing you paid, like, $600 dollars in their battle pass.

i'd love to know the thought process here. like, who decided to resurrect diretide and put so much effort into it when literally flicking a button to activate the game mode was impossible for almost a decade previous? personally, i think valve thought dota 2 would blow league of legends out of the water and when that didn't happen they just kinda started going through the motions. i think they've done pretty lovely stuff to parts of the pro scene but i don't really follow that enough. i remember gaben hopping on the dota 2 subreddit to castigate some presenter at one of their events with a rather unprofessional post.

haha, oh yeah, they did a thing where they tried to pay less (or maybe not pay at all) the presenters and commentators for the events but instead would give them a cut off the 'autographed' cosmetics sold on the DOTA 2 store.

Horizon Burning fucked around with this message at 01:15 on Sep 28, 2021

Voyager I
Jun 29, 2012

This is how your posting feels.


For what it's worth, team balance was a frequent problem in TF2 as well. "Why do we have four Snipers and no Medic?" was a constant complaint, and in anything short of extraordinary circumstances the team with more Medics was hugely favored to win.

Spy and Sniper in particular were the awful combination of being very alluring to players who wanted to feel clever or safe while contributing absolutely nothing to the team in the hands of an inexperienced player.

Moola
Aug 16, 2006






Voyager I posted:

For what it's worth, team balance was a frequent problem in TF2 as well. "Why do we have four Snipers and no Medic?" was a constant complaint, and in anything short of extraordinary circumstances the team with more Medics was hugely favored to win.

Spy and Sniper in particular were the awful combination of being very alluring to players who wanted to feel clever or safe while contributing absolutely nothing to the team in the hands of an inexperienced player.

hell even a good spy had diminishing returns on how helpful they were for the team

Cyster
Jul 22, 2007

Things are going to be okay.



I played OW longer than I should have, but early on I settled exclusively in Random Heroes mode. Hard for people to be tryhard and bitch about your picks when the computer's picking 'em. You could practice a character you weren't great at and could really turn the tide if you rolled one you knew well, but because of its random nature, it was rare for anyone to get too mad or toxic in chat. Bad at your current hero? Whatever, just try your best, you'll probably die quickly and be back in the fray later.

I distinctly remember one payload round where we had rolled five Genjis at once and were inexplicably killing it as we ran the payload to the end. The other team's comp just couldn't handle it. We were apologizing profusely the whole way home.

And yes, sometimes that meant there were four tanks and two healers and everyone was miserable for a little bit, but more often than not it kept the game frenetic and not too serious. It was the only real way I could play it after a while.

Propaganda Hour
Aug 25, 2008

YOU PEOPLE ARE PIGS!



Robert Brooks is leaving Blizzard. Story & franchise senior writer with Blizzard since 2012. Prolific dude. He's written dozens of books for Blizzard, including the Chronicles lore compediums. That's a huge loss for every series at Blizzard.

https://twitter.com/RoBrooks13/status/1442587889376784386?s=20

Abroham Lincoln
Sep 19, 2011

Note to self: This one's the good one





Cyster posted:

You could practice a character you weren't great at and could really turn the tide if you rolled one you knew well, but because of its random nature, it was rare for anyone to get too mad or toxic in chat.

There was a good stretch of time where I'd gotten fed up with the toxic people in Quick Play and played nothing but the random heroes mode and that experience was inexplicably worlds more toxic.

I think a good part of it was people not actually having control of their picks only making them saltier in general. RNG fucks them and their mental state deteriorates to the point where they're just nakedly typing slurs in chat over and over.

Blaise330
Aug 13, 2007

GOD'S FAVORITE CHAMPION


The REAL Goobusters posted:

citation needed, game still sucks

A game doesn't need you to like it to be successful. League taught me that.

Arzachel
May 12, 2012


Blaise330 posted:

A game doesn't need you to like it to be successful. League taught me that.

It's hard to understate how hard Capcom dropped the ball on SFV

Prism
Dec 22, 2007

yospos


If SFV hadn't been Literally Street Fighter it would have been dead and forgotten within a month. It was real bad. (I haven't kept up with it, so I can't speak for how it is now.)

Blaise330
Aug 13, 2007

GOD'S FAVORITE CHAMPION


Prism posted:

If SFV hadn't been Literally Street Fighter it would have been dead and forgotten within a month. It was real bad. (I haven't kept up with it, so I can't speak for how it is now.)

It got much better, each version update added new gameplay mechanics. The old director left capcom and now people who know how to make a fighting game are in charge. The roster balance is good, a top 32 bracket will have like 20-25 characters. It's still the #1 fgc esport game (high praise, I know).

Blaise330 fucked around with this message at 12:43 on Sep 28, 2021

Voyager I
Jun 29, 2012

This is how your posting feels.


I know we're supposed to be laughing at another senior figure leaving the company, but the overarching plots for the last decade of Blizzard products have been stupendously bad as a whole, so this is probably a positive change?

Cythereal
Nov 8, 2009



Voyager I posted:

I know we're supposed to be laughing at another senior figure leaving the company, but the overarching plots for the last decade of Blizzard products have been stupendously bad as a whole, so this is probably a positive change?

Edit: I looked him up, and he's actually thought of very highly by much of the fanbase. He was a lead writer in the first two Chronicles book, and he wrote Hellscream (the book), Death From Above, and Warbringers: Azshara among other things.

Cythereal fucked around with this message at 18:49 on Sep 28, 2021

webmeister
Jan 31, 2007

The answer is, mate, because I want to do you slowly. There has to be a bit of sport in this for all of us. In the psychological battle stakes, we are stripped down and ready to go. I want to see those ashen-faced performances; I want more of them. I want to be encouraged. I want to see you squirm.

Cythereal posted:

Edit: I looked him up, and he's actually thought of very highly by much of the fanbase. He was a lead writer in the first two Chronicles book, and he wrote Hellscream (the book), Death From Above, and Warbringers: Azshara among other things.

I mean the bar for Blizzard writers is basically “doesn’t publicly thirst for Sylvanus” at this point

Buckwheat Sings
Feb 9, 2005


webmeister posted:

I mean the bar for Blizzard writers is basically “doesn’t publicly thirst for Sylvanus” at this point

I think so. Nothing more exciting than an unstoppable unrelateable elf dead lady with the personality of a piece of cardboard. At least it's not 'corruption'.

Sometimes I wonder if writers for AAA games just couldn't hack it as actual writers so here they are.

1stGear
Jan 16, 2010

hey kid how's the cake


Warbringers: Azshara, at least, is legitimately good, though obviously the art, music, and acting is doing as much heavy lifting as the writing. A lot of the animated shorts released leading up to the expansions were excellent and good demonstrations on how WoW's story and characters could be compelling.

And then the writers for the in-game stuff completely squandered them again and again.

The REAL Goobusters
Apr 25, 2008



Blaise330 posted:

It got much better, each version update added new gameplay mechanics. The old director left capcom and now people who know how to make a fighting game are in charge. The roster balance is good, a top 32 bracket will have like 20-25 characters. It's still the #1 fgc esport game (high praise, I know).

tekken and gg better

Street Fighter 5 - 5.5 million
https://twitter.com/Harada_TEKKEN/status/1373965767692095488

sorry you're just wrong

Khanstant
Apr 5, 2007

:d::s::h::c::d::h::s::c::d::h::c::s::d:

The REAL Goobusters posted:

can't blame esports when the game was never fun to begin with.

People who sucked at shooters loved it because it was essentially baby's first fps. Sorry, it was never good and the good stuff it did have, blizzard was very quick to nerf it because it pissed off casual players. It was rear end!

this seems backwards and people who suck at shooters are a bigger market to aim for than the niche of aggressive trigger pullers who value being really good at playing gun violence simulators a really specific way. blizzard spent all the post-launch patches nerfing and changing things to appease the esports competitive super gold rank whatever players. they got rid of hero dupes and nerfing the hell out of the fun classes that let bad players have fun and hang around average players and esports ragers. Sometimes deleting characters by just wiping skills or rewriting the character. I think the last time I played Mercy couldn't even resurrect anymore or some poo poo lol

they spent the games lifespan trying to appease a fundamentally unappeasable crowd of folks, in a never ending story if you give a mouse a cookie, it's going to want to get it's filthy mouse turds droppin in a glass of milk too.

pnutz
Jan 5, 2015


Khanstant posted:

this seems backwards and people who suck at shooters are a bigger market to aim for than the niche of aggressive trigger pullers who value being really good at playing gun violence simulators a really specific way. blizzard spent all the post-launch patches nerfing and changing things to appease the esports competitive super gold rank whatever players. they got rid of hero dupes and nerfing the hell out of the fun classes that let bad players have fun and hang around average players and esports ragers. Sometimes deleting characters by just wiping skills or rewriting the character. I think the last time I played Mercy couldn't even resurrect anymore or some poo poo lol

they spent the games lifespan trying to appease a fundamentally unappeasable crowd of folks, in a never ending story if you give a mouse a cookie, it's going to want to get it's filthy mouse turds droppin in a glass of milk too.

and this is why csgo at least has braindead tdm and casual mode (and even splitting off dust2 into its own category)

Regalingualius
Jan 6, 2012


Looks like he also wrote the most METAL of the Lords of War cinematics for WoD

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LG3RVCEwCPg

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mdxi
Mar 13, 2006

to JERK OFF is to be close to GOD... only with SPURTING



Algid posted:

My alt reality wish is that early MTG just printed out entire sets for purchase

Well, that would be this reality. In 1993 my best friend went off to university, discovered MtG, and became so obsessed with it that he got a job just so he could save up for the giant $300 (that's $575 now) box which contained one of every original card, plus like 20 of each land. Then he came home over break and used that to teach me how to play.

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