MMO Year in Review: Blizzard and Bethsoft’s dumpster fire showdown (November 2018)

    
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We’re taking a time-machine back through our MMO coverage, month by month, to hit the highlights and frame our journey before we head into 2019!

November was pretty much a dumpster fire of epic proportions. Blizzard kicked off the month by largely bombing BlizzCon and seeing ActiBlizz stock plummet, thanks in part to the Diablo Immortal disaster. Yes, we have phones.

Then Bethsoft was like, hold my beer, and it pushed out Fallout 76 to abysmal reviews and gamers bewildered over the game’s confusing presentation and piles of bugs, against the backdrop of a class action lawsuit and the canvas bag switcharoo fiasco.

And of course, WildStar sunsetted. Then CCP Games pulled Project Nova back again, admitting it had no hook. On the plus side, the FTC agreed to investigate lockboxes and FFXIV managed to deliver a great Fanfest to cap off the month.

Read on for the whole list from November of this past year!

TOP NEWS STORIES OF NOVEMBER 2018

FAVORITE EDITORIALS OF NOVEMBER 2018

ALL 2018 YEAR-IN-REVIEW POSTS SO FAR

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rafael12104

Well, I knew what I was getting with 76. We all did. Objectively, Skyrim was a buggy mess and so was Fallout 4. The big difference is that prior to 76, Bethesda counted on their games being “must plays” despite the bugs, and 76 did not reach that level of acclaim. Not by a long shot.

I’m still playing 76. But it was a blunder of epic proportions to release it in an early access state and then throw the other PR stupidities on the heap.

Blizz did no such thing, or at least not yet. But it is a much scarier proposition because what they are showing and the resulting perception is much more damaging to their brand.

Will Blizz become another cookie cutter extension of Activision? It sure looks that way, but there is time to change hearts and minds yet again. But will Activision allow it?

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Roger Melly

A friend posted this in our discord channel the other day . It makes a compelling argument that Activision is nearing a total takeover of Blizzard and suggests the consequences of that will probably be dire for the quality of their games .

It has made me think twice about classic WoW because I suspect there is every chance Activision’s pursuit of short term profit over long term gain will pretty much mess that up too .

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Bruno Brito

Considering that Blizzard now has to put out games constantly, i’m willing to bet the quality of their games is already a sinking ship.

And if you consider their treatment of HotS, BfA and HS, i’m hella sure it’s sunken.

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rafael12104

Throw Diablo Immortal right on top too.

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Bruno Brito

I think “trailblazing” has a new meaning.

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Schlag Sweetleaf
lets get ready to stumble.gif
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Armsbend

Gotta give the nod to Fallout – their disaster is actually out and stinking up people’s hard drives from coast to coast.

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Sorenthaz

Eh. The difference is that Blizzard owns multiple beloved franchises and the futures of most of them look to be quite negative with a few retaining a neutral outlook, no real overly positive stuff to look forward to beyond rehashing Warcraft 3 and Vanilla WoW come mid-2019. Everything is pointing towards Blizzard steadily being creatively choked to death by Activision for the sake of making a quick buck to appease shareholders while the Battle.net launcher slowly but steadily transforms into Activision-Blizzard’s PC games platform.

And who knows, maybe within the next ten years it’ll become just Activision again with Blizzard being cannibalized like past studios under Activision that were driven into creative bankruptcy.

Fallout 76 has the opportunity to get better and last I checked there hasn’t been any new drama or explosive panic in the last few weeks. Devs have obviously been quiet due to Christmas/New Years but they’ve already mentioned some stuff to look forward to in the coming weeks.

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Random MMO fan

Devs have obviously been quiet due to Christmas/New Years

They’ve been “quiet” because they are afraid of talking about anything other than bug patches. Especially people like Todd Howard or Pete Hines – both of those are afraid of all the critique that will be poured on them the minute they will decide to release any public statements, talk about any future expansions or do an interview with anyone, so they prefer to stick their heads into the sand until FO76 will be forgotten by most, just like ME:A.

And no, “Christmas/New Years” have nothing to do with anything – take a look at City State Entertainment, Mark Jacobs released a new video on official YT channel like a week ago, then he did a stream on 28th for about an hour or so, where he was answering questions and talking more about plans. Why can he find enough time for such interactive communication and none of the corporate parrots at Bethesda can do the same? ;-)

I know some people like playing Fallout 76, and there’s nothing wrong with having different preferences, but there’s no need to still trying to come up with ridiculous excuses for Bethesda’s shitty behavior (especially when it comes to communicating with people) ;-)

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Sorenthaz

Uh-huh, keep on trolling.

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Schmidt.Capela

Fallout 76 has the opportunity to get better and last I checked there hasn’t been any new drama or explosive panic in the last few weeks.

If you define few as less than 4, sure. Because 4 weeks ago Bethesda customer support platform started leaking personal information to other users, which might yet result in them getting fined (though Bethesda will likely do its damn best to keep the developments of that story out of the spotlight).

Then a week ago there was the $80 Nuka Dark rum bottles that were made of plastic instead of glass. Though that didn’t piss off Fallout fans as much because it’s just crappy merchandise that was never bundled with the game (though it does further push quality expectations lower for anything coming from Bethesda).

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rafael12104

Heh. Diablo seems quite comfortable. Don’t let Vault Boy’s cool drink fool you. He is squirming in that chair.

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Sorenthaz

And then not to be one-upped Blizzard releases even more bad news in December, woo!

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Armsbend

The dumpster fire has been filled to the brim with fuel on a daily basis. At first I thought they’d do everything they could to reassure their fans – now I really don’t think they want to. They want to disappoint them > so they can rid themselves of the fanatical fan > so they can sell their crap to the more passive, accepting semi-fans.

Working theory.

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Sorenthaz

Yeah, the only real good vibes message they gave was for Overwatch by doing another Yule Log stream like they did last year.

Right now the futures of WoW, HotS, Diablo, and Starcraft all look dim. Overwatch and Hearthstone both look like they could be dimming down as well in the near future.

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Schmidt.Capela

That is one of the negative consequences of the Diablo Immortal announcement. By putting the announcement of a mobile game in the spot usually reserved for Blizzard’s biggest announcement for the year, and in sequence releasing a slew of statements about the importance of mobile to the future of Blizzard, they made everyone that prefers gaming on a PC wary of the company’s future. It might be an unwarranted worry, but Blizzard didn’t do anything to dissuade that notion.