Global Chat: The death of EverQuest Next

There are some MMO industry events that, when they occur, spark a wildfire of blog posts across the community. This past week’s announcement by Daybreak that the EverQuest Next project was to be canned and that Landmark to be quietly pushed out the door this spring was one such event. It seems that just about everyone has an opinion or a perspective on what this means, not just for Daybreak, but for MMO gamers and the future of the genre’s development.

We’ve rounded up 17 articles and quotes on the subject to pass along as these writers have come together for an impromptu roundtable of all things EQN. For those dealing with grief, frustration, or bewilderment over the announcement, it might help to hear what they have to say.

MMOQuests.com: EverQuest Next cancelled

“Over all I’m just saddened by the announcement. What more can we do except play the games we love, for as long as we are able to love them, and take our precious memories with us when we leave.”

Herding Cats: EverQuest Next, we hardly knew ye

“I hate to kick a company while it’s down, but can we take a moment to reflect on just how terrible a deal the Landmark founder’s packs were in retrospect? Don’t pay for early access, kids, because you never know what’s going to happen.”

Arwyn Sojurner: EverQuest Next cancelled but Landmark launching

“And just like that, my dreams of playing a super cartoony Ratonga in EQN is gone. Sad day.”

The Ancient Gaming Noob: EverQuest Next and the end of the classic MMORPG

“So what happens now?  Is this the end of the road for the classic Western PvE focused fantasy MMORPG?  Is the lineage of Diku MUD dead now?  Should we be happy or mourn its passing?”

The Errant Penman: Remembering EverQuest Next

“Even though it never got a chance to see the light of day, EQN still managed to be an influential MMO through sheer strength of ideas, and I hope those ideas live on to surpass their progenitor.”

Me vs. Myself and I: Rest in pieces, EverQuest Next

“Like I mentioned in my post about H1Z1 splitting up, I have been losing faith in the company as a whole. This announcement that there isn’t a new EverQuest game on the horizon and the fact that I have basically found myself done with the classic titles in the franchise makes me lose it altogether.”

Just for Crits: Pouring one out for EverQuest Next

“On a high, conceptual level, the loss of EverQuest Next is not just a blow to the portfolio of Daybreak, but a blow to the future of the MMO niche. It truly was setting out to revolutionize the industry, and it actually had more than a couple of the building blocks necessary to get that done. I was also a huge fan of the artistic direction they were taking with the new EQ properties — I’m very sad I won’t be questing with a big lion dude anytime soon.”

Tyrannodorkus: EverQuest Next cancelled

“I’m so angry right now. This was my most anticipated game and it’s gone. There was so much promise and it was going to be a more modern version of the EverQuest franchise. The official response was ‘Unfortunately, as we put together the pieces, we found that it wasn’t fun.’ That’s right, they gave us the same excuse that Blizzard gave us for Titan. I would like to know more on why it wasn’t fun. Were they just mimicking their previous games and finding it to be boring? Did the new stuff they wanted to do not work together? Could they not find a proper balance between systems? Or are there more reasons that they aren’t sharing?”

Overly Positive: The end of EverQuest Next and the silver lining of game cancellation

“That aside, while it’s unfortunate a project like EverQuest Next, which had notions of combining world-building, dynamic AI, and fully affected game systems, came to an end, there are some silver linings to be found in such an occurrence. For one, is the flexibility of a company or studio to be able to cancel a project in the first place. You’ve probably seen it before, but many studios can’t simply afford to take a project off the rails. You put in a lot of investment money, marketing, development, and design into any game, and having to push it off the table is never easy or even plausible to do. Some games have to march towards release, coming out to perhaps no-so-good reviews and struggling to regain goodwill. It obviously still hurts them, but if a studio can press the reset button in order to come out with something better, then being able to do that can only help the next project.”

Bio Break: EverQuest Next heartbreak and grappling with the new future of MMOs

Landmark is — and I apologize if you are a fan of it — an incredibly poor consolation prize to the faithful and those interested in the next step of the EverQuest franchise. Daybreak shot itself in both feet this past weekend and undoubtedly wasted countless hours and resources by scrapping this game.”

Wolfshead Online: Another black eye for the MMORPG industry as Daybreak cancels EverQuest Next

“It is never easy for a video game company to publicly admit they have failed and have to cancel their project. What most video gamers don’t realize is that video games are cancelled all the time as projects are conceived covertly without the public knowing about it.”

I has PC: EverQuest not next

“There was little surprise with the announcement of the cancellation of EverQuest Next. Some hopes and dreams were minorly dashed as a game that never really was a game was finally ended the way it began. As an announcement. EQN was never really there so the announcement that they officially ended their prior announcement that they were building some successor had all the shock of telling a 25-year-old that Santa wasn’t real.”

Tales of the Aggronaut: Bad news day

“So when Storybricks parted company in February 2015 and SOE was sold to the holding company that renamed it to Daybreak… I fully expected we would never see anything further from Next. Storybricks was going to be the guts of this new approach at how to create an MMO and allow it to almost center around procedural interactions with he various factions and NPCs in the game.  With that core gone… I could not reason how the game would function, and deliver even half of the lofty promises it had made.”

Murph Versus: EverQuest Nixed — Norrath’s new dawn darkens

“Perhaps this is all a cosmic example of the futility of trying to bottle lightning. Perhaps this is the result of an industry quick to jump on the e-sports bandwagon or rot out its floor just to microtransact individual boards to players for repair. I know for a fact this article will accomplish nothing more than cementing my bang in the face of EverQuest Next’s whimper.”

Inventory Full: Not waving but drowning

“So, we’ll have Landmark, if anyone wants it. We won’t have EQNext. I’m glad about that. Let’s be honest, it looked awful. Other than that jaw-dropping first presentation, when did anything about the project inspire excitement or anticipation from anyone with a strong affection for the franchise?

EQNext was going to be a bright, brash technicolor ARPG in which cartoon characters bounced Tigger-like across frangible landscapes with all the subtlety of a runaway wrecking ball. It would have been a center-targeted, left/right mouse button hammering, console-favoring experience that bore little or no relation to any previous version of Norrath’s story.”

Ogrebear’s Thoughts: EverQuest Next cancelled

“Daybreak says they have things in the pipeline, which I hope they do, ’cause right now things look somewhat bleak for the company.”

Endgame Viable: Goodbye EverQuest Next

“We’ve known all along that Landmark was the prototype for EverQuest Next. I don’t know about anyone else, but I was dreading the day that they released Landmark with Norrath assets and called it EQN, because Landmark is not a very good game. There’s no doubt in my mind that EQ1 and EQ2 fans would have hated it.”

Every day there are tons of terrific, insightful, and unusual articles posted across the MMO gaming blogosphere — and every day, Justin reads as many as he can. Global Chat is a sampling of noteworthy essays, rants, and guides from the past few weeks of MMO discourse.
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50 Comments on "Global Chat: The death of EverQuest Next"

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chucko2010
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chucko2010

This makes me sad…….I was one of the dummies that paid for the founder pack. I wish I could get my money back. I had really high hopes for this game. I would love to see the game released to the public to see if we could maybe work on it. I do feel that I will not be to play anymore daybreak games.  This is also typical from SOE/Lamebreak they got rid of a number games that were good games.

Dresla
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Dresla

Mortam Have to agree with this. As much as I wanted to like this game, I don’t think I would have actually played it.

I was totally sold when I saw the tech demos and the 2hr marathon presentations but early on I realized the art style didn’t sit right with me. It reminded me on why I didn’t play more than 2 days of Wildstar and never tried wow, it’s too Nintendo-like and cartoonish, 
When they started to talk about concepts like double jumping, ‘parkour like gameplay’ (their term I think) and adaptations for game-pads and possible cross platform play I lost most of my interest in the game.

Tandor Shadewalker
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Tandor Shadewalker

KaiserPhoenix I don’t think it’s in decline, I think it’s riding along a plateau – and one that’s so overcrowded that a few are falling off the edge.

KaiserPhoenix
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KaiserPhoenix

Let’s be realistic here: The mmorpg industry is in a decline until a flagship mmorpg product with a new innovation ( like VR) reignites consumer and investor interest.

Until then: Expect more mmo studios to share similar “carbine and daybreak stories”

Tandor Shadewalker
Guest
Tandor Shadewalker

I think we should run a sweepstake on how many articles MOP can wring out of the cancellation of EQN ;)!

Snky
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Snky

It was obvious from the start that SOE was being lazy with this game’s development. When dev teams are out there pouring everything they have into games that still fail, this was a terrible sign from an established company wanting to make a genre-defining AAA experience. Skeptical from day one on EQ:N.

Cramit
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Cramit

Mortam Completely agree.  They made “Wow in EQ” with EQ2, still looking for that true successor.  Hilarious that after all the crap it got, Pantheon is now closer to that than EQ:N was.

Cramit
Guest
Cramit

FoxBat tylercles vicariousfan Ugh, episodes made by Lucas matter, not the 2hrs of flashing lights to keep the modern day public in a seat for the entire run time.  Typical J.J. movie and typical numb nuts thinking it’s great cause of bright colors…….

Reht
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Reht

Mortam You are correct, but it was never about being what the EQ fans wanted, which is unfortunate because EQ1 and EQ2 paid the price for this failure.

Polyanna
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Polyanna

What it means for the EQ franchise seems grim, unless it means that the IP may at some point be sold off to a company that actually wants to do something great with it, and has the means to follow through.

What it means for the genre as a whole is not much. SOE always was a small shop with big ideas. For a while there they somehow managed to attract some of the most amazing, stand out talent in the industry, and they did some great things despite themselves. But at the end of the day SOE in itself always was a minor player. They got a lot of mileage for a long time from being “Sony’s Game Division.” But since they have been out on their own, clear of the Sony halo, it has been obvious just how limited their resources and reach actually are.

Really if EQ Next were any other game by any other name, done by the same little no-name company that is Daybreak today, the cancellation would barely be news at all. It is a crying shame to see the end of what could have been the next big thing for a long loved franchise. But in the grand scheme of things, it’s just a ripple in the pond, not the harbinger of doom.

Cramit
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Cramit

CristianoDiaz malrats Sorry to say but BDO isn’t ground breaking.  Another themepark called a sandbox once more, pretty sad honestly.  Coming from someone who did play as well.  The world feels like every other themebox out there, bland and unimaginative.  But this is all my opinion and I know that, I think you need to realize that you just like the game.

Radfist
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Radfist

voxrath They announced the divorce of Landmark and EQN ages ago and offered refunds. You cant really keep that offer indefinitely, as each financial year they would need to balance the books.

Mortam
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Mortam

When you really look at it, EQN wasn’t what EQ fans wanted. They want a modern version of EQ, not some cartoon video game for kids. The silver lining here is that EQN won’t exist.

Jack Pipsam
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Jack Pipsam

It’s such a shame.
I was really looking forward to it.

Tithian
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Tithian

The entire point of EQN was integration of StoryBricks in a large scale. The moment they announced that they parted ways, Next was essentially dead anyway.

rioinsignia
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rioinsignia

This is the moment that Smedley pulls an announcement out of the bag.

rioinsignia
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rioinsignia

tylercles Seriously?  This is nothing new.  Throughout the years of MMO development interested parties have become fans of the games even before they launch.  Emotions can run high during the various stages of development.

UryuuThe9th
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UryuuThe9th

CristianoDiaz malrats The dumbed down thing I don’t get and I see people saying it everywhere. Granted, maybe I didn’t get to test it out long enough to truly see what everyone means, but in the short amount of time I was playing it, I was OVERLOADED with information and guidance. Explanations of Every. Single. Move. I. Made. Voiced tutorials every step of the way. A giant arrow/dotted line telling me where to go; or hell, just automatically running to where I needed to go without having to so much as even look at the map or quest. 
Yes, I am aware you can turn these things off, but my point is by default they are ON, which means they obviously intended for most people to use them, not the other way around.

malrats
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malrats

PurpleCopper That emergent AI was going to be CRAZY!

PurpleCopper
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PurpleCopper

Wow, I didn’t realize Storybricks was such an integral part of Everquest Next.

Anatidae
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Anatidae

The forest image, the one they used in their first EQNext demo, brings up a few things.

1. A number of years later, and Landmark visuals have BARELY improved over that tech demo. Years! While their source graphical engine, Voxel Farm, and increased in leaps and bounds. VoxelFarm has running water. You can cut and paste complex shapes at any angle. You can drop down multiple primitives at just about any size. Advanced texture control. Twisting of voxels. Voxel physics. The list goes on and on.

2. Of the many years, there has been just about nothing else shown in EQN. 

3. The assets put into Landmark have been far and few between. In fact, an intern straight out of one of the 3D modeling colleges could have created all those assets. It’s not that they are bad, just slow to come and limited. 

4. Again, years, barely any results. 

All this just speaks of a company that was either working on other projects and just ignoring this. Or the dev team on this project was incompetent. In the scheme of things, a company that can’t execute and who fails this badly would have created a really crappy game if they pushed it out with enough money. So, in a way, thank goodness. It’s a shame that they ripped so many people off with the founder pack in Landmark. Shame on them.

RodneySpearsII
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RodneySpearsII

FippyDarkpaw I was talking to a guildmate of mine about the same thing. I have never looked into it, but I think maybe now I will. My trust in Daybreak was already shaky because they have yet to do anything to prove themselves. Well, their first test and they fell on their face. Anything with Daybreak attached to it will be tainted in my eyes for awhile. 

Now I don’t wish anything bad on anyone, especially gaming companies, but if you cant deliver, you are going to lose the trust of gamers really fast.

malrats
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malrats

CristianoDiaz malrats Most of what you listed is just how you feel about it. A node system does not innovate the genre, and everything else more or less already exists in one MMO or another (Archeage, for starters). Don’t get me wrong, it’s a pretty good game for what it is. But between the awful (and overpriced) cash shop, the extreme lack of diversity between characters (given there are a grand total of about three different sets of armor for each class, barely more so AFTER buying costumes for $32 each), laughable voice acting, lack of any real PvE endgame, and the immensely grind-focused aspect of the gameplay, it’s not even close to fair to compare this to what EverQuest Next was going to do for the industry–a host of innovative new features that we genuinely hadn’t really seen in MMOs before.

We’re going to disagree, and that’s fine, but Black Desert Online isn’t a game-changer in the genre in the slightest and can’t come close to tipping the scales in favor of sunshine and rainbows after the heartbreaking EverQuest Next cancellation.

Having said that, I’m glad that you (and some others) are feeling pretty passionate about the game (though there seems to be a huge crowd of negative passion) because the game is really going to need it after people get tired of it en masse.

CristianoDiaz
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CristianoDiaz

malrats there is nothing absurd about it in the slightest. After a million cookie cutter MMOs with basically the same mechanics, the same dumbed down systems, the same everything in a different skin, Black Desert Online is different, varied, deep and incredibly satisfying. From the strategy of the node system, the trade routes, the workers, housing and crafting systmes down to how organic the world feels instead of simply being a collection set pieces as you run from quest hub to quest hub, it’s the most engaging MMO I’ve played in a very long time. Your mileage may vary, but there is nothing else quite like it, and that is a great thing. BDO is not perfect, no game is, but it is nice to

paragonlostinspace
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paragonlostinspace

Off topic but I thought it was cool to see another fellow old GEnie person. Talking about The Ancient Gaming Noob. :) Read his about after reading his remarks.

malrats
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malrats

I’m sorry, but WHAT? I’m going to need an explanation of how BDO is “one of the most exciting changes in MMOs in a very long time.” That is absurd. And I’m speaking as a fan of the game, at least to a reasonable degree.

paragonlostinspace
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paragonlostinspace

RooksGambit Celestial Yeah the wife and I both backed the kickstarter and do the Patreon monthly backing deal and also run AdBlocker, Ghostery, Flashcontrol etc. I’d rather keep them off which would give them even more support but often I find the ads at best annoying and at worst I’ve seen some of what Xijit mentioned. :(

RooksGambit
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RooksGambit

Celestial You’re clearly a gold founder and did your part to support the site (which is awesome) but to others I’d advise against ad-blocking. MassivelyOP is still young, self funded, non corporate and trying to make ends meet. When AOL laid them all off they put everything on the line to start this site themselves. I use an ad blocker but I whitelisted them to support the site.

AdeptusEnginus
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AdeptusEnginus

voxrath If it’s any consolation, if you bought it over two weeks ago, you couldn’t have refunded it anyway. :P
Seriousness, yeah that sucks. I got Landmark on sale like Dystopiq, and fortunately I got it because I actually wanted the building aspect instead of wanting EQN, so the news of EQN’s passing doesn’t effect me as bad as I imagine it did most Landmark players.

Either way, technically you weren’t cheated, but that won’t make the sting any less sharp.

Telos_
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Telos_

Sad that we’ll never see EQN’s “parkour” system.  The last time i played Landmark, there was sort of something like it, but only with jumping.

Celestial
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Celestial

Xijit uBlock Origin on desktop and notebook and Purify on iPhone and iPad are your friends.

FoxBat
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FoxBat

tylercles vicariousfan He said Ep. 8, not Clone Wars or its equivalent.

nshelton
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nshelton

They needed Sonys backing to get that one off the ground unfortunately. I dont really blame Daybreak.  Money only goes so far, sure we all understand that.

cursedseishi
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cursedseishi

@Xijit
Have you sent them tips alerting them to this? A comment in a random article isn’t a good way of informing them of issues like that. I’ve had a few forced redirects thanks to some ads on here using mobile, I sent a tip including links it was trying to redirect me to, and it seemed to clear up pretty quickly afterwards.

Denice J Cook
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Denice J Cook

Ppiper 
Daybreak has all of 15 devs working on EQ2, 5 of whom also double up and work on EQ1.  How much smaller of a team would you like?  My 12-year-old can wrap a pine cone in bale wire and try to host EQ2 on it if you’d like….

FippyDarkpaw
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FippyDarkpaw

Pantheon: Rise of The Fallen. “Rise of The Fallen” starts to take on a whole new meaning. Now with Daybreak on the skids, can McQuaid rise from the ashes on the wings of his fiery avenger? I hope so.

tylercles
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tylercles

vicariousfan tylercles I’m a giant Blizzard fan, but I weathered the cancellations of StarCraft: Ghost and Warcraft Adventures with little more than a shrug and a shake of the head.

vicariousfan
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vicariousfan

tylercles ehh it’s a little different since this isn’t a new IP its the 3rd in a series with a very loyal following. 

Imagine if Disney said they were cancelling EPisode 8

tylercles
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tylercles

voxrath Caveat emptor. Any early access title carries with it the risk that they game will never launch, or launch in a state that’s totally unrecognizable from what it was once sold as. It’s basically gambling. You’re not being cheated if you lose $50 at blackjack; that was the risk you took when you made the choice to play.

tylercles
Guest
tylercles

Mainly what I’ve learned from this is that people are able to have an incredible amount of emotional investment in a game they never played. As a fan of MMOs, I think it’s a shame that an ambitious title got canned, but I never imagined anyone could feel the sorrow or anger people are describing based on nothing but an idea.

Ppiper
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Ppiper

This:  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Private_equity group https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Columbus_Nova. Once SOE sold out to this corporate pariah, the writing was on the wall. They’ll milk EQ and EQ2 until they fail, as well. Hopefully once that happens, and it will happen, the license will be sold to a small dev team similar to what we are seeing today with Camelot, Pantheon etc.

Damonvile
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Damonvile

ArkJag As much as I would have liked to see the EQN they talked about… I had 0 faith in daybreak ever actually doing it. I’m not really sad to see the game canceled. I think what we would have gotten from them if it did launch would have been much much worse.

Damonvile
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Damonvile

Xijit The mobile banner ad is super annoying!

CristianoDiaz
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CristianoDiaz

I don’t think it says much about the MMO industry really. At the same time EQN gets canned, we have Black Desert Online released in the west, and it is one of the most exciting changes in MMOs in a very long time. Things balance out. EQ2 never set the MMO world on fire particularly either (even with its 52,000 expansions). Hopefully it will get a proper sequel someday, but even if it doesn’t, I won’t shed a tear. I do regret having invested in Landmark, though. Lesson learned.

ArkJag
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ArkJag

The biggest take away for me from this entire Landmark/EQN farce is that I’m glad to see Daybreak carry on the dismal and embarrassing reputation of SOE.

EO_Lonegun
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EO_Lonegun

Yup. I learned my lesson about early access the hard way.

Dystopiq
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Dystopiq

voxrath I bought Landmark on sale so I don’t feel too bad but for others…Ouch.

Xijit
Guest
Xijit

Hey, Bree … Some ad that popped on here was a phishing scam that auto redirects the page to a scam “you have a virus” page …
… Seriously, between the never being resolved ad width on mobile & the number of redirection / auto play ads, how much longer are you guys going to keep this crap ad partner.

Ethan 'Isarii' Macfie
Guest
Ethan 'Isarii' Macfie

As someone on the list, I was wondering how long this list was going to be before I even opened it. 

Hahahahahahahahahaha.

I guess everyone had an opinion on this. Thanks for the share.

voxrath
Guest
voxrath

>tfw can’t refund cause I played past the 1-2 hour mark

Is it ok for me to feel cheated? I legit don’t know.

wpDiscuz