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Author Topic: Eurogamer gives Darkfall Online 2/10 - second review online!  (Read 1698 times)
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Huw the Poo
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« on: May 06, 2009, 06:52:39 AM »

Review

400+ comments and counting - courtesy of a load of indignant DF players.  Very amusing flamewar.  Out of curiosity I sauntered over to the Darkfall forum and, sure enough, there's a handful of very funny threads going on there too.

 Bring your own!
« Last Edit: July 17, 2009, 08:14:21 PM by Huw the Poo » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: May 06, 2009, 06:56:45 AM »

Darkfall has one of the most obscene and hardcorefanboybased communities I've ever met (except this one of course ;-) ), its just crazy over there.

The fact that they havent even been able to fix their sales programme yet, speaks volume of their competence I'm afraid.

That said, I DO hear some good things about it actually, IF you have the time, and play with friends/Clan, the game can be quite interesting it seems.

Perhaps the worst thing about the game, is thats its not as friendly as WoW and the likes, and that is the milestone all other games are compared too.
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« Reply #2 on: May 06, 2009, 07:18:16 AM »

Quote from: Razgon on May 06, 2009, 06:56:45 AM

The fact that they havent even been able to fix their sales programme yet, speaks volume of their competence I'm afraid.

Yeah.  A friend of mine and I were actually interested in this game once, long ago.  Out of curiosity I tried to find where to buy it, just to check prices and all, and despite my best efforts I just couldn't figure out how or where to buy the damn game.  I mean, WTF?

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Perhaps the worst thing about the game, is thats its not as friendly as WoW and the likes

Is that why you wimped out of Eve?  icon_razz
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« Reply #3 on: May 06, 2009, 07:46:26 AM »

LOL!! hehehe, no, sorry - just didnt think I had enough time, but I hope the game is still treating you all well :-)

As for buying it, the shop is open a few hours every day, usually announced on the forum, which is the only part of their website that is updated.
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« Reply #4 on: May 06, 2009, 01:40:57 PM »

Now the DF devs are claiming their server logs show that the Eurogamer reviewer spent just over two hours in-game, and most of that in the character creator!  They're asking for a second review.

Oops!  If that's true, it's pretty shocking.
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« Reply #5 on: May 06, 2009, 01:55:52 PM »

Update:

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Yesterday Eurogamer MMO published a review of Darkfall Online, scoring the game 2/10.

Several hours later, after a bit of email discussion, Aventurine responded on its forum, claiming the review was factually inaccurate and the reviewer had played the game for only two hours.

As I said to Tasos Flambouras from Aventurine yesterday, I take any feedback on our reviews - and especially this kind of response - extremely seriously. However, I disagree with Flambouras' depiction of events.

The reviewer in question, Ed Zitron, disputes the server logs that Aventurine presents as fact. According to the logs they supplied, Ed played the game for just over three hours. Ed says the logs miss out two crucial days and understate others, which suggests they are incomplete, and he insists he played the game for at least nine hours.

I did tell Flambouras - as he writes on the forum - that Ed is a contributor rather than a staff writer, but the implication is that I said this to distance Ed from Eurogamer. This is wrong. Ed Zitron has my full support.

As I told Flambouras, Ed's references and background are immaculate, as many PC Zone readers will attest. I also do not believe server logs are incontrovertible proof of the scenario Aventurine describes. Aventurine says Ed's response is a "lie", and demanded that I take down the review and issue a retraction, but I can't do that on the basis of the evidence presented.

Speaking as someone who hasn't played the game, questions of factual accuracy are more difficult for me to quantify (although the review thread has a crack, and you should read it if you're interested). It's also hard to judge from a distance whether two, nine or 50 hours would be appropriate to review Darkfall, as this clearly varies enormously from game to game.

That said, the passion with which Aventurine has attacked Ed's review is considerable, and the allegations obviously go a long way beyond arguing the toss. With this in mind, it seems only fair to take another look at Darkfall to supplement the review we've already published.

I've already contacted another one of our PC writers, Kieron Gillen, who has agreed to review Darkfall. Kieron is a vastly experienced, award-winning journalist and one of the founding editors of Rock, Paper, Shotgun. I'll publish his review as soon as it's ready, and we will see whether he agrees with Ed or not.

It's safe to say that we've learned some lessons from this episode, and they will be beneficial when it comes to future reviews. In the meantime, any and all discussion of the subject on the forums and comments threads is fine. Just as game developers have to deal with the response to their work, so too do we, and you've every right to criticise and debate it.

So, Eurogamer is saying that this guy is a freelancer, and not a usual writer (to get away from the review itself), and that he played 'nine' hours instead of 3.

I'm sorry...this is a MMO. You can NOT even begin to POSSIBLY review a MMO after playing it for a whopping 9 HOURS. MMOs are like RPGs - things change as you go through the game, thus making a 20 hour investment an absolute minimum to see what the game is like.

VERY sad for even allowing this review in the first place IMHO. This should be outright pulled, a straight up apology posted, and a real reviewer (as already stated is being done) put on to reviewing this.
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« Reply #6 on: May 06, 2009, 02:08:10 PM »

Agreed.  Nine hours is nowhere near enough.  I've never judged an MMO on anything less than a full trial period, at least two weeks of solid play usually.  And I wouldn't even write a review based on that.  To be honest, I'm inclined to believe Aventurine's claims that he barely played the game at all.  The comments thread that followed the review had dozens of DFO players pointing out glaring errors in the review, backed up with evidence mainly comprised of player footage on Youtube.

For shame!
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« Reply #7 on: May 06, 2009, 02:08:46 PM »

If I was a mumorpuger game developer I'd provide reviewers with game characters at starter levels, mid levels, and end-game levels so that they could get an idea of what the entire game has to offer without investing hundreds of hours.
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« Reply #8 on: May 06, 2009, 03:08:45 PM »

Quote from: Destructor on May 06, 2009, 01:55:52 PM

I'm sorry...this is a MMO. You can NOT even begin to POSSIBLY review a MMO after playing it for a whopping 9 HOURS. MMOs are like RPGs - things change as you go through the game, thus making a 20 hour investment an absolute minimum to see what the game is like.

I don't agree. Things differ from game to game, and you can't just assign an arbitrary number of hours to play a game in a given genre to speak to the things that are good and bad about it.

Nine (which is roughly ten) hours played in WoW, for instance, isn't particularly different from twenty hours played. If you're a veteran of the game and know what you're doing, you could hit the first instance within twenty hours played. A newbie without people guiding you through? No.

Putting arbitrary time limits to "qualify" a review is stupid. Rather, the review should be able to encompass gameplay experience through the primary features of the game. For WoW (to continue my example since I'm most familiar with that game) that means playing through around level 20 and the Deadmines if you're Alliance, the Wailing Caverns if you're Horde. Short of playing to high levels and raiding, that gives you enough differentiation of classes and abilities, along with experiencing a group instance, to get a good feel for the game.

Others would be different. EVE Online, for example; that one's a tough nut to figure out, and it's hard to identify what all you need to do and experience to get enough experience to qualify to review it. City of Heroes, on the other hand, wouldn't take as long. By the time you're maybe level 10, you've got a pretty good feel of the game, and the only thing you haven't experienced is a Task Force (no biggie, just a string of missions for a team with a bigger reward at the end) and possibly PvP.
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« Reply #9 on: May 06, 2009, 10:25:21 PM »

Quote from: Farscry on May 06, 2009, 03:08:45 PM

City of Heroes, on the other hand, wouldn't take as long. By the time you're maybe level 10, you've got a pretty good feel of the game, and the only thing you haven't experienced is a Task Force (no biggie, just a string of missions for a team with a bigger reward at the end) and possibly PvP.

And travel powers.

I do disagree though. MMOs like WoW are also quite different from one another even in the starting area. Some of them are better than others. Even in lower end leveling areas things are different. Or at least it used to be when I played.

In short - a single run from 1 to 20 on a single character would not a review make if I was playing WoW.
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« Reply #10 on: May 07, 2009, 10:43:20 AM »

Tasos shouldn't have even acknowledged that ridiculous "review".

I've been playing DF for 4 months now (including beta) and I'm still having a great time.  I didn't last this long in WoW, WAR, DAOC, etc and there is still so much more to do. 

Ships are starting to show up more and more and it won't be long before naval combat is common place.  What other game can you swim to an enemy ship, climb up its nets, kill the crew, steal the vessel, then sail seamlessly for 40 minutes to the other side of the map?

DF has a lot of problems but the core game is amazing.  AV has been listening to their playerbase and patches the game weekly.  I hope they get around to cleaning up some of the rough edges (sound, animations, etc) but I'll be here regardless. 
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« Reply #11 on: May 07, 2009, 01:01:05 PM »

Quote from: wonderpug on May 06, 2009, 02:08:46 PM

If I was a mumorpuger game developer I'd provide reviewers with game characters at starter levels, mid levels, and end-game levels so that they could get an idea of what the entire game has to offer without investing hundreds of hours.

The funny thing is, if you ask them to do that they will. I know at the very least Turbine does.
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« Reply #12 on: May 07, 2009, 01:31:47 PM »

Quote from: Destructor on May 06, 2009, 10:25:21 PM

Quote from: Farscry on May 06, 2009, 03:08:45 PM

City of Heroes, on the other hand, wouldn't take as long. By the time you're maybe level 10, you've got a pretty good feel of the game, and the only thing you haven't experienced is a Task Force (no biggie, just a string of missions for a team with a bigger reward at the end) and possibly PvP.

And travel powers.

I do disagree though. MMOs like WoW are also quite different from one another even in the starting area. Some of them are better than others. Even in lower end leveling areas things are different. Or at least it used to be when I played.

In short - a single run from 1 to 20 on a single character would not a review make if I was playing WoW.

Ooh, good point, I forgot the travel powers, odd because that's one of my favorite things in CoH. biggrin

I think the most ideal approach to reviewing mmo's is to make a sort of "living review". Have the review show up in parts as the reviewer progresses over time, explaining what's good and what's bad so far in their playing experience, and have the whole thing wrap up after, say, a month or two. I don't think you can review from level 1 to level Maximum, that's just onerous and crazy. slywink But yes, the point we definitely agree on is that you also can't just establish an arbitrary "I've played enough" point to cover all mmo's.
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« Reply #13 on: May 09, 2009, 07:13:23 AM »

Aventurine has refused the offer of a re-review.  Reading that I'm really starting to feel sorry for the guys.  The more they speak out about this, the more foolish Eurogamer look.

An excerpt:

Quote
*The evidence: The reviewer’s supervisor and MMO Editor for Eurogamer spent 2 minutes in the character creator but didn’t create a character. Ed Zitron spent 2 hours 33 minutes logged in the game and the character creator. In this time the reviewer tried 9 different characters. Much of the time was spent creating and deleting these characters. 14 minutes before the reviewer stopped playing Darkfall altogether he said in global chat: “how do I cast spells…..help”. During his entire time in the game he repeatedly asks: “what do I do?” in public chat. After less than an hour logged in the game he speaks in race chat and says “this game is awful” His entire chat log shows someone biased that spent very little time in game, didn’t understand even the very basics right before he stopped playing to write his review. We offered to pay to fly one of Eurogamer’s IT people over here and cover all his expenses so he can also inspect all our logs, verify our claims, and see that they are practically impossible to doctor. Eurogamer refused.

eek

That's pretty damning.
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« Reply #14 on: May 11, 2009, 07:31:04 PM »

The following is just ridiculous considering that the reviewer admited he "played" for only about 9 hours:

Quote
You see, anyone can kill anyone. For the most part, your first ten or so hours in Darkfall are spent dying, repeatedly, at the hands of either the AI or a cyber-bully in a wolf-suit. In fact, past that mark, it feels impossible to avoid the clammy hands and bloodied sword of somebody who has specially allocated part of their day to griefing.

Even when you become semi-capable of operation without constant death, there's little to enjoy.

No wondser the devs are angry at him, this is so unprofessional, he should be sued.
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« Reply #15 on: May 11, 2009, 08:44:55 PM »

Indeed.  He points out the PKing like it's a bad thing.  It's a PVP GAME, Zitron, you fucking tit!  That's the whole point!
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« Reply #16 on: May 16, 2009, 02:32:58 PM »

looks like they score better in this review  icon_biggrin
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Huw the Poo
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« Reply #17 on: July 17, 2009, 08:14:05 PM »

Second review is online

It's a really good review, actually, and does a lot to explain Gillen's thought processes as he's obviously well aware of the position he was in.  I won't give the final score away, read it for yourself!  icon_razz

I haven't read the comments yet but there are already over 200 of them, so presumably the game's fans are all over it.
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« Reply #18 on: July 18, 2009, 02:06:19 AM »

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For the record: If I ever actually find out conclusively that someone was lying in this matter, I will do everything I can to destroy them.

I really want to see that happen  icon_mad
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