Vague Patch Notes: Can anyone really objectively report on games with ailments built into them?

Look Ma, no colors!

In July 2021 we launched a roundup tag in our tag cloud that most of us probably didn’t expect to still be in use almost two years later. It’s just a “Blizzard scandal,” but that says all we need to say. I wrote about it at the time, but it’s only gotten worse since then. We’ve seen new studio head Mike Ybarra campaigning to cut bonuses and force a return to the office for virtually no reason, endless anti-union escapades, diversity goals barely met, and our good old friend, his rears its ugly head.

Internal grassroots movement A Better ABK, which is trying to fix things, seems to have lost as often as it has won. For Sobek’s sake, Brian Birmingham was ousted for rebelling against a toxic employee rating system. It seems like Activision-Blizzard was basically digging on its heels, trusting that the people who are upset about all this would forget it all pretty much anytime soon Diablo IV as long as the game was good enough that people still wanted to play it.

And it seems that plan was the right one, because it looks like a whole lot of people who really should know better are willing to just treat Diablo IV like any other game not comes from Activision Blizzard. It’s just the price for deals, apparently.

Just before the start of this particular column, I wrote about the question of how to enjoy video games knowing that people have suffered creating them. It’s not a question with an easy answer, but…this one seems even harder and even more accurate. Because while I could just update this article to ask how people can get excited about it Diablo IV Given the first two paragraphs, I’m more concerned about the calls coming from the house.

Jason Schreier has had a career as a games journalist that is longer and more prestigious than mine. He was also one of the people who worked to bring the story of Activision-Blizzard’s sexual harassment stories into the mainstream, after making it clear he’d heard about such things for years. It is so through his work and his own comments plentiful clear how he feels about the behavior of the company. And yet he speaks on the abbreviated medium of Twitter Diablo IV like it’s just another game, basically no different than any other big-budget release.

I’m not here to dive into Schreier, who I respect; The point is, this is a conflict that even the best games journalists in our industry face. Personally, I’m in a privileged position on the subject Diablo because I’ve never really cared about this franchise and “we turned the saturation down like this is a triple-A game circa 2008” isn’t an appealing pitch to me at all. But I may applying the exact same lens to myself: I can talk about wrestling with this very problem because in November 2022 I had to find out how you speak World of Warcraft: Dragonflight in exactly the same context.

are you real man

If you go back and read my three-part impressions of the expansion, even the longest will only briefly touch on the fact that Activision-Blizzard is one really terrible company. And I wrestled with it a lot. I’ve been wrestling with how best to cover this. I didn’t fight alone either, and that wasn’t news to us either; In particular, MOP Editor Bree and I have spent many hours discussing this over the past few years How to cover the games properly harassing anti-union garbage fire of a business. Oh, and just for added fun, we’re a small, truly independent site, and the coverage of major MMOs is actual Kind of important to our survival.

When does one problem merge into another? Is the fact that surveillance 2 are still missing the PvE modes that should be the central feature of the sequel (and let’s face it, probably never come) in a way with the hideously toxic culture of the company? Can you make a meaningful distinction between them?

can you fence this one Company? Square-Enix runs an amazing MMORPG, Final Fantasy XIV, and we’ve heard little bad about CBU3… but “little” isn’t the same as “none”. But even that little hardly matters when you consider that Square-Enix as a whole is rushing headlong into an NFT project. Are there enough layers between these that it feels comfortable to critique the two things as separate entities? Can do you create a meaningful distinction?

Ubisoft saw a wholesale strike. Sega underpays its workers. nexon. CCP. Amazon. Disney. Companies are doing terrible things everywhere. Studios platforming horrible people. There’s no escaping that, and the reality is that for many players, these actions lack a moral component. You realize that you always have to make some decisions you don’t like, so you take the best information you have and decide what compromises to make based on that information.

But as journalists, it is our job to report on this information. How far is too far? How closely do things have to be related? We should never discuss New world without mentioning the conditions of Amazon workers outside of Amazon Games? (You can all google this, I’m depressed enough by all the other sources here.) When does this cross the line from informative to just flashy?

I don’t know.

we are all that whale

It would be nice if I could show you a line. It would be nice if I could say that Diablo IV is a uniquely awful game and no one should treat it like a game, but rather proof that a bad company is trying to buy into a community pardon. and it Is that…but there are also normal, decent people who worked on the game who aren’t third-act villains rubbing their hands together with glee. They just wanted to make a game in this series and hoped people would find it funny.

And the whole point here is that it’s not up to the players. Life is hard and often disappointing, and the reality is that morality is based on actions, not people. You’re not a bad person if you enjoy playing Ubisoft live service games, even if you realize that Ubisoft is a garbage company. It could be argued that buying a Ubisoft game while strikes are ongoing is a bad deed, but again, how far back does the butterfly effect go? Should you feel personally guilty for closing a closet and starting the chain of events that leads to a typhoon?

The question for me is not whether You play a game but how We should cover these things. And I don’t have an answer to that either. We live in a time where development is more transparent than ever and we have a clearer picture of how the sausage is made than in earlier times. back if Final Fantasy VI When it came out, I certainly didn’t know the game was translated by locking a guy in a room with a novel’s worth of Japanese text and being told to translate it without ever saying a long list of no-no words touch.

Was the press then obliged to report on it? Did you know? Should they have said something? Perhaps. Maybe not. Maybe you say it once, maybe you say it a few dozen times, maybe you never stop saying it. Maybe everything is different, maybe everything feels different, and the whole problem is trying to make it Rule for no rule will ever capture the full scope of the problem.

But I think, just like the question about the consideration of suffering, we have to ask the question. That you, the reader, have to ask yourself the same question. And we can all benefit from having longer memories and being willing to keep several dissonant and uncomfortable things on our mind while making decisions. It could be difficult, and it could be complicated, and we are all forgetting things from time to time… but it makes us more thoughtful. That makes us more considerate.

At the end of the day, we can only hope that shining a light on these things makes us more compassionate and kind. When we can’t do anything else, we can all try to be more considerate… and kind.

blankSometimes you know exactly what’s going on in the MMO genre, and other times you just have vague patch notes letting you know that something has probably changed somewhere. Senior reporter Eliot Lefebvre likes to analyze these types of notes and also vague elements of the genre as a whole. The strength of this analysis can be adjusted under certain circumstances.

Advertising Vague Patch Notes: Can anyone really objectively report on games with ailments built into them?

Curtis Crabtree

Curtis Crabtree is a 24ssports U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. Curtis Crabtree joined 24ssports in 2021 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing:

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