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Beamdog's Official Statement (4-6-2016)

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Comments

  • OsigoldOsigold Member Posts: 117
    Sids1188 said:

    @Osigold I can see that you are adamant that the review bombing isn't coming from GG. To me that looks pretty oblivious, but lets assume for the sake of discussion, that it's true. To an outsider looking in it absolutely looks like they are coming from GG, and that's looking really bad for them. If you want to rescue GGs image in all of this, I would advise you get in touch with whoever is prominent in that community and tell them to publically condemn review bombing in no uncertain terms. If people within that community are doing so, or bragging about it, shame them. Inform them they are being detrimental to the group and going against it's ideals.

    Do that and you guys might come out looking alright. Don't and you are leaving yourselves to be typecast as the villains by whatever splinter groups or randoms might be doing it.

    Aside: I'm getting pissy about all this, so I don't think I'll be responding to anything more until I calm down tomorrow. Apologies for that.

    GamerGate have been vilified from the start by the same people who were vilifying plain old gamers before there was such a thing as GamerGate. You get used to it, and just learn to accept that people who do their research will know better, and you try to provide context to others where it is necessary, as in this case.

    I do fear that you have missed my main point, however. While you shouldn't conflate GamerGate with anyone posting a negative review, the real message to take away here is that there is no such thing as "review bombing". Even if a group of people did decide to get together and review the same game at the same time and give it low marks because they thought that it deserved them for the same reasons, then that's still... just... speech. So long as they are amateurs, and so long as they are not telling deliberate lies or basing their reviews off of false information, then they are merely expressing their opinions in places that permit them to do exactly that.

    This is not some dastardly act of devilry, and you cannot make it into one because they don't meet your personal standards for what a review should be or how it should be scored. They're laypeople, their opinion has no more weight than the reader decides to give it and we should not assume that the reader is stupid.

    Similarly, if a person using steam would not buy the game on account of how they feel like its themes and tone are not appropriate within the venue of a Baldur's Gate bridge expansion, then they are absolutely free to upvote the negative reviews (if they successfully convey the information that would have prevented that person from enjoying the game) and downvote the positive reviews (if they fail to warn the person about the themes and tone that would have spilt the game for them).

    It is creepy and dangerous to take other people's speech and turn it into something that you describe as "bombing" just because you don't like the result on an aggregate score that has no more or less weight than anyone decides to give to it. People could vilify you and condemn your speech in exactly the same fashion.

    prem0nitionbluntfeatherRathenau
  • DurenasDurenas Member Posts: 505
    Vitor said:

    @Dee and @TrentOster, what about the feedbacks about the 2.0 UI's design? Are you going to give an option for those who would like to restore 1.3 design?

    What about the various sounds in inventory that went away in Siege of Dragonspear? Is this a bug, or was this really a design choice?

    The UI is customizeable now. You can build it however you want.

    GenderNihilismGirdle
  • DarkDoggDarkDogg Member Posts: 598
    Hi @Dee !
    Right now I'm deciding "to buy or not to buy" =)
    I've read the main post. Trent mentioned some updtes in the multiplayer and writing.
    I guess you're discussing here trannies again, I don't want to take part in it, still I have 1 important question for you (not mentioned) that bothers me and many others:

    Do you plan any updates or fixes on the SOD's GUI?

  • DeeDee Member Posts: 10,447
    @Osigold Looks like you may have been typing while I was posting, so I'll repost this here:
    Dee said:

    Folks, this thread shouldn't be used to talk about GamerGate or review-bombing. If you want to discuss either of those topics (and they're both hot-button issues that are likely to make a number of people uncomfortable, so I wouldn't recommend it), you may do so in the Off Topic forum.

    Any further discussion on review-bombing or GamerGate will be deleted from this thread; if you want to discuss it, start a new one in Off Topic.

    GenderNihilismGirdle
  • OsigoldOsigold Member Posts: 117
    @Dee Yeah, I was. Sorry about that! I think I've said enough anyway. Happy gaming!

    Dee
  • VitorVitor Member Posts: 286
    edited April 2016
    Amberion said:

    Vitor said:

    @Dee and @TrentOster, what about the feedbacks about the 2.0 UI's design? Are you going to give an option for those who would like to restore 1.3 design?

    What about the various sounds in inventory that went away in Siege of Dragonspear? Is this a bug, or was this really a design choice?

    The UI is customizeable now. You can build it however you want.
    Well, then teach me how to do it, @Amberion. When I click to view information of my equipments, it doesn't have that classic sounds of backpacks and pockets. How do you add it in?

    Also, those drops on difficulty are terribly annoying. The interface is arguably undesirable and unplayable at this point. Does anybody have a say if this weekend we'll already have at least this kind of essential fixes?

  • DurenasDurenas Member Posts: 505
    Vitor said:

    Amberion said:

    Vitor said:

    @Dee and @TrentOster, what about the feedbacks about the 2.0 UI's design? Are you going to give an option for those who would like to restore 1.3 design?

    What about the various sounds in inventory that went away in Siege of Dragonspear? Is this a bug, or was this really a design choice?

    The UI is customizeable now. You can build it however you want.
    Well, then teach me how to do it, @Amberion. When I click to view information of my equipments, it doesn't have that classic sounds of backpacks and pockets. How do you add it in?

    Also, those drops on difficulty are terribly annoying. The interface is arguably undesirable and unplayable at this point. Does anybody have a say if this weekend we'll already have at least this kind of essential fixes?
    I'm still learning it myself. When I find out, I'll let you know.

  • carugacaruga Member Posts: 365
    Did not know about the moddable UI. Where do I start, is there a toolset/manual for it?

  • daedalusAIdaedalusAI Member Posts: 4
    edited April 2016
    As someone who had an eye on SoD and read plenty of reviews the official statement is pathetic and really doesn't bode well:
    • the majority of reviews complained about a plethora of bugs - yet the offical statement only speaks of "having recieved feedback on some bugs" and only multiplayer issues are listed as technical problems
    • the game was advertized as having a cross-platform multiplayer - yet said multiplayer apparently doesn't even work
    • literally begging for good reviews as a response to negative reviews really leaves a sour taste behind
    In summary that statement was more advertisement than an actual statement about the current state of the game and what doesn't work and how and when it's fixed.
    Is it just me or are game producers like politicians nowadays: hollow words, unable to be upfront on the current state of their product and as a result only admitting what is obvious and can't be denied?

    You can't make a customer out of me with such a behaviour.

    Post edited by daedalusAI on
    MivsanDantos4Rathenau
  • BillyH666BillyH666 Member Posts: 96
    edited April 2016
    Pez said:

    shawne said:

    Pez said:

    YOUR games? Don't be delusional, you don't have games. Baldur's Gate is not your game, Icewind Dale is not your game and definitely SoD is not your game. It's a playable mod at best, and not a very good one.

    Understand your place at the table and don't take credit for others hard work.

    Wizards of the Coast licensed these games to Beamdog. BG and IWD are more theirs than they'll ever be yours. So... *shrug*
    I never said they were mine. In that matter I'm much more respectful than Beamdog.

    And they may own the license, but still not their games, they created NOTHING. Just this SoD mod.
    Most beamdog employees (especially the founders) helped create the original baldur's gate games, so yeah, it's their game.

    GenderNihilismGirdleAyiekiemf2112
  • Diego_DereshiDiego_Dereshi Member Posts: 1
    edited April 2016
    Hey, very good news.
    * I'm a GamerGater and here's some more feedback that I think are related to improving the game and the topics discussed in the announcement:

    - Besides the lack of depth in Mizhena, which you guys noticed, the forced and unrealistic way this case (and others) is presented are also problems.

    Which are amplified by the biggest problem when it comes to them: the lack of ROLE PLAYING options.
    There are plenty of options in other cases but then you guys present us with things like this but don't gives us options to challenge them in anyway!
    Not even a discussion, THAT's the issue with them.

    - Implement Safana's old personality in the Expansion's Safana;
    (I really can't see how anyone tought that Safana being a strong woman, confident in her beauty & sexuality and using them to get what she wants meant that she was a "sex object"...)

    - Corwin's romance is sudden;

    - On one side I support you keeping the Gamergate joke in the game, but on the other, it really doesn't fit and already dates the game... ;

    (- Optional old color scheme for the User Interface? It's just so charming;)

    - - - - - - - - - - -

    And feedback on a less related note (your announcements, handling of controversy, Gamergate... - Please warn me if you don't want this part here and where should I put it):

    * I was very surprised with this news, specially after you, instead of owning up to your failures, decided to push a false narrative of non-existent transphobia, non-existent harrassment campaigns, etc.
    I hope you guys continue with this new approach from now on. :smile:

    * I saw complaints of censorship in the Steam forums but instead of just taking people's words for it, I checked multiple closed threads and I think you're doing a good job there.
    Maybe it's a good idea to make the bigger threads of the most discussed topics, Stickies to avoid people making many more and you having to close them.

    * In the Gamergate case, I really think you need to be more informed, if you don't want to make a big research directly in the sources, I suggest the works of @Brad_Glasgow, an ethical and unbiased Freelance Writer who even wrote this for you:
    "Beamdog, let me show you the way out of this controversy."
    (https://medium.com/@Brad_Glasgow/beamdog-let-me-show-you-the-way-out-of-this-controversy-d0359d5ace8c#.dkfy5scb2)

    His Twitter: https://twitter.com/Brad_Glasgow
    His Medium: https://medium.com/@Brad_Glasgow

    o/

    CorelliaRathenau
  • BillyH666BillyH666 Member Posts: 96
    @Dee sou you plan on fixing the UI? Good, there have been some problems for me, sometimes the inventory registers a double click on my items. Also, if possible, will there be the addition of a "classic" UI mode? I think that would placate some people who liked the old ui.

  • killerrabbitkillerrabbit Member Posts: 402
    Customer: I see you are discussing the issue of [racial epithet deleted] at the lunch counter still. Oh, any news on improving those milkshakes? I'm trying to decide whether to buy one.

    Counter guy: We expect to have a new flavor in soon.

  • Mikey205Mikey205 Member Posts: 302

    Hey, very good news.
    * I'm a GamerGater and here's some more feedback that I think are related to improving the game and the topics discussed in the announcement:

    - Besides the lack of depth in Mizhena, which you guys noticed, the forced and unrealistic way this case (and others) is presented are also problems.

    Which are amplified by the biggest problem when it comes to them: the lack of ROLE PLAYING options.
    There are plenty of options in other cases but then you guys present us with things like this but don't gives us options to challenge them in anyway!
    Not even a discussion, THAT's the issue with them.

    - Implement Safana's old personality in the Expansion's Safana;
    (I really can't see how anyone tought that Safana being a strong woman, confident in her beauty & sexuality and using them to get what she wants meant that she was a "sex object"...)

    - Corwin's romance is sudden;

    - On one side I support you keeping the Gamergate joke in the game, but on the other, it really doesn't fit and already dates the game... ;

    (- Optional old color scheme for the User Interface? It's just so charming;)

    - - - - - - - - - - -

    And feedback on a less related note (your announcements, handling of controversy, Gamergate... - Please warn me if you don't want this part here and where should I put it):

    * I was very surprised with this news, specially after you, instead of owning up to your failures, decided to push a false narrative of non-existent transphobia, non-existent harrassment campaigns, etc.
    I hope you guys continue with this new approach from now on. :smile:

    * I saw complaints of censorship in the Steam forums but instead of just taking people's words for it, I checked multiple closed threads and I think you're doing a good job there.
    Maybe it's a good idea to make the bigger threads of the most discussed topics, Stickies to avoid people making many more and you having to close them.

    * In the Gamergate case, I really think you need to be more informed, if you don't want to make a big research directly in the sources, I suggest the works of @Brad_Glasgow, an ethical and unbiased Freelance Writer who even wrote this for you:
    "Beamdog, let me show you the way out of this controversy."
    (https://medium.com/@Brad_Glasgow/beamdog-let-me-show-you-the-way-out-of-this-controversy-d0359d5ace8c#.dkfy5scb2)

    His Twitter: https://twitter.com/Brad_Glasgow
    His Medium: https://medium.com/@Brad_Glasgow

    o/

    (I'm brazilian, sorry for any english mistakes)

    I agree that to integrate the character properly roleplaying options should be allowed meaning positive, negative and neutral interactions. The message needs to be that everyone should be treated the same. A person is a person and deserves to be treated as an individual.

    Ive heard Safanas and Jaheiras personalities are more or less the same albeit some personality fleshing out (which also happened in BG2 for Jaheira). Could it be Ambers words were not chosen wisely in that interview and now thats colouring perceptions a bit? I certainly didnt think BG was sexist in anyway.

  • Mikey205Mikey205 Member Posts: 302
    BillyH666 said:

    @Dee sou you plan on fixing the UI? Good, there have been some problems for me, sometimes the inventory registers a double click on my items. Also, if possible, will there be the addition of a "classic" UI mode? I think that would placate some people who liked the old ui.

    Msin issue for me on the ui (which overall I love) is the lack of tactile sounds when opening scrolls etc... makes me think something is broken. Another big issue I have is with how you can scroll over the edge of map abyss. Before everything kicked off I raised this in a thread as being very unattractive and immersion breaking which i think it had a great deal of support.

  • booinyoureyesbooinyoureyes Member Posts: 6,162
    BillyH666 said:

    you plan on fixing the UI? Good, there have been some problems for me, sometimes the inventory registers a double click on my items. Also, if possible, will there be the addition of a "classic" UI mode? I think that would placate some people who liked the old ui.

    One problem I've seen is when there is a strength 18/xx the second number after the slash is cut off

  • KhalophisKhalophis Member Posts: 7
    I've just had to make an account so that I can give my two cents.

    I just want to say I'm a massive fan of Baldur's Gate and own every variant ever made from the big box editions through the budget releases to the enhanced versions.

    First off I was really annoyed I've lost all of my saves without warning. I've never modded EE or used Shadow or EEkeeper. Wish I'd had some warning so I could have backed up my saves before the update.

    Anyway the main issue I want to address is this: Please make all the UI "improvements" etc optional. Have a classic mode. For example I like the new map screen, it looks very slick but I hate with a passion the new spellbook look and character record etc. Not only do they look ugly; in the case of the character record and character creation screens they make it unnecessary convoluted to use.

    I can't help feeling that a number of people in charge of these changes have gone on a campaign of change for the sake of change; to show that their ideas are somehow "better" than how the game was originally conceived.

    Furthermore many of the changes are quite jarring either not following the original art style or failing to understand the original games themes and characterisation. Many of the new portraits look too much like Icewind Dale (I know they were painted by the same person but the art style is wrong of BG. I'm a fan of IWD but don't mix styles). It's clear Beamdog can follow the original style for example Dorn et al portraits look like the BG style and it just comes across as lazy with the other portraits added.

    In regards to the gender issues raised I can't help feeling it shows that a number of people involved either don't know the setting or never played the games. The whole issue of a transsexual in Faerûn is ludicrous because it's a world of magic. A person could easily change their gender in the Realms with one of the following: A polymorph spell or potion, a limited Wish or Wish Spell, a magic item, intervention from a god to name but a few. The point I'm making is two fold:

    1) The average person in Faerûn wouldn't care about your gender/gender identity. Therefore you'd be unlikely to bring it up in a conversation with a stranger.
    2) The whole issue could have been handled better. For example in the game itself there is the Girdle of Femininity/Masculinity could that have been turned into a quest to give the girdle to someone who wanted to swap genders? Furthermore a certain mage in BG2 has a gender swapping plot line. That could have easily been expanded perhaps he might have explored staying as a women, maybe he would have been happier? Perhaps a certain female Halfling would have been more interested in the "new look".

    I'm sorry this has turned into an essay. I could add a lot more to be honest but will put this out there to see what others think. Before EE came out I sent Beamdog a laundry list of bugs and ideas for improvements and I'm sad to say most if not all with either ignored or more bugs replaced the corrected ones. If you want dialogue with your community have it, don't go through the motions of listening and then get upset when people dislike what you're doing with a beloved and establish franchise.

    WillyML4Rathenau
  • rapsam2003rapsam2003 Member Posts: 1,632

    As someone who had an eye on SoD and read plenty of reviews the official statement is pathetic and really doesn't bode well:

    • the majority of reviews complained about a plethora of bugs - yet the offical statement only speaks of "having recieved feedback on some bugs" and only multiplayer issues are listed as technical problems
    A majority of the statements threw in bugs because "all those other guys did too". Most of those idiots also don't even have any hours played on Steam.

    the game was advertized as having a cross-platform multiplayer - yet said multiplayer apparently doesn't even work
    This is a known issue. It has been stated that it is being worked on.

    literally begging for good reviews as a response to negative reviews really leaves a sour taste behind
    Hardly what's being done. The devs are saying, "If you liked it, tell us". They've already heard from the all the anti-SJW jackasses. Using the perceived notion of SJW bull as an excuse to judge a game (when that's a non-issue) is just ass-hattery.


    In summary that statement was more advertisement than an actual statement about the current state of the game and what doesn't work and how and when it's fixed.

    The point of the statement was to address the controversy, not to address the state of the game.


    Milo
  • jjstraka34jjstraka34 Member Posts: 7,405
    edited April 2016
    Well, checking back 24 hours after the statement was released, and as predicted, Beamdog's capitulation has not only failed to quell the issue, but now it appears that people want Safana and Jaheira to be rewritten as well. What a shock....

    killerrabbit
  • MiloMilo Member Posts: 59

    Well, checking back 24 hours after the statement was released, and as predicted, Beamdog's capitulation has not only failed to quell the issue, but now it appears that people want Safana and Jaheira to be rewritten as well. What a shock....

    Give an inch, take a mile.

    Was always going to go that way.

    killerrabbit
  • carugacaruga Member Posts: 365

    Well, checking back 24 hours after the statement was released, and as predicted, Beamdog's capitulation has not only failed to quell the issue, but now it appears that people want Safana and Jaheira to be rewritten as well. What a shock....

    Some people. The request is silly, even if one would desire it to happen. There comes a point where you'd be uprooting the entire plot and would just have to rewrite and revoice the entire thing.

    killerrabbit
  • Mikey205Mikey205 Member Posts: 302
    It's much diminished actually. The scores are creeping up on Steam too (positive reviews still being downvoted though).

    booinyoureyes
  • jjstraka34jjstraka34 Member Posts: 7,405
    I'm sure the new uproar about Safana and Jaheira (what is this, the 5th or 6th different goalpost that has been moved??) has nothing to do with the fact that the GG crew believes Amber Scott was responsible for their direction....nothing at all....

    killerrabbitAyiekie
  • MivsanMivsan Member Posts: 138
    I couldn't care less about SoD's writing and all the related SJW/GG/whatever else issues, as I've not purchased the expansion, knowing the quality of Beamdog's original content in the Enhanced Editions of Baldur's Gate games.

    The one thing I would like to comment on, however, is that in Mr. Oster's statement, there's almost no mention (aside from multiplayer and "some bugs") of issues that actually matter - technical and gameplay related issues introduced by the distaster that is patch 2.0.:
    Horrible graphics "improvements", poorly thought out UI changes, completely silly, backwards design of the portrait system and character import list, utterly non-functional revert option to 1.3. and LOTS of bugs.

    If it wasn't for this part, I wouldn't have commented at all:
    "We’ve received valuable feedback around some bugs we failed to catch for ship. We're hard at work right now patching up the issues that slipped through and we're striving to ship fixes and improvements quickly."

    Just in my thread about 2.0. alone (not to mention all the other threads and bug reports), I've discovered DOZENS of bugs over quick, minimalistic runs of both EEs (therefore, FAR from actual thorough testing). I encountered several bugs in the first 20 MINUTES of playing. Saying that "some bugs slipped through" is a bit of an understatement, don't you think? I'm truly sorry for sounding harsh, but Beamdog's QA is a joke.

    Not to be misunderstood - I loved the custodial work Beamdog has done up until now, but dislike their original writing and patch 2.0.. Speaking purely from the viewpoint of a person who didn't purchase anything new, but had the patch 2.0. forced on them (on Steam) to ruin a product I really liked (both EE games, version 1.3.).

    Please disregard my post if this is off topic, but I feel like patch 2.0. is an integral enough part of the whole SoD release to warrant a comment.

    HeavylineVitorRathenau
  • BelleSorciereBelleSorciere Member Posts: 1,938
    Osigold said:

    There's no evidence of a concerted campaign, except for the sheer number of negative user reviews on metacritic - more reviews of SoD than of Batman: Arkham Knight or the Fallout 4 DLC in fact. Which is to say there's rather a lot of evidence of such a concerted campaign, and anyone who's not biased can see it.

    I can see your confusion, but that doesn't imply co-ordination, only controversy. A lot of people heard about content in the game that they thought warranted use of their speech and so they spoke. That can happen spontaneously.

    In fact, it's a big part of the issue that's affecting social media and the internet as a whole right now. We have a lot of ways to amplify a signal (shares, likes, the way some content appears to others based on its popularity) and something can easily escalate to the point where lots of people decide to take the same action independently of each other with an aggregate result that can be pretty intense. There's a lot of examples of this, and I'm afraid we're only going to see more.
    I'm not confused. I know what I've seen. I know what I am seeing right now. Keep trying to spin this whole thing into something that it isn't, but know that to many of us it is blatantly obvious.

    GenderNihilismGirdlerorikonAyiekiemf2112
  • BelleSorciereBelleSorciere Member Posts: 1,938
    edited April 2016
    redking said:


    But lets get to the core of the inappropriateness of a transexual, post-op or pre-op in a fantasy setting in which there is magic to easily remedy these issues. Magic can be used to change the gender, for real, of someone like Mizhena, and thus Mizhena would no longer be transexual. Alternatively magic could be used to resolve Mizhena's gender dysphoria, and make Mizhena's feelings of gender identity match her biological sex. Either way there is no reason for someone like Mizhena to have unresolved gender dysphoria issues unless Mizhena didn't have access to appropriate clerical magic, which is unlikely since Mizhena also happens to be a Paladin.

    This shows you really don't know a lot about what it is to be trans. I'm not claiming to be an expert myself, but I am pretty sure it encapsulates the experiences of being transgender which includes sex assignment differing from one's actual gender - so magic wouldn't make someone "not transgender."

    And from Mizhena's commentary in the game, it looks like she doesn't have unresolved gender dysphoria issues.
    redking said:


    Perhaps after reading this some of you may feel that people like me shouldn't be allowed to exist. I mean, how dare I go against the zeitgeist and right-thinking? I see that there are millions like me, however, and most of them are game buyers, especially buyers of RPGs. A little bit of consideration would go a long way.

    It's pretty terrible of you to demand consideration for yourself while arguing that consideration for other people is just wrong and shouldn't be allowed. In an ideal world, consideration for views like yours will continue to diminish over time as transgender people become more accepted and understood, and fewer people profess your variety of ignorance because there will be fewer and fewer excuses for that ignorance.

    GenderNihilismGirdleAyiekie
  • KhalophisKhalophis Member Posts: 7

    the new uproar about Safana and Jaheira

    I can't comment on others views on the matter but my criticism of the the alterations are as follows: Safana and Jaheira are established characters with clear personalities. You may not like them as characters but they're clearly established. You can't suddenly alter other peoples writing and give no reason. If Beamdog wished to alter the characters they should have created an arc for them to follow which would have organically grown their personalities rather than a sudden change.

    Furthermore the establish characters were fine. It says more about the writers never playing the game and making assumptions about them based on existing biases. For example Jaheira "nags" Khalid because he is cowardly (even to the point where he is programmed to flee more often than other NPC because of this lower breaking point). Jaheira offers wise council in both games and clearly grows as a character.

    Safana has one of the highest intelligence and charisma rating in the game and clearly using her charms to manipulate others (she even has a free charm spell ability which she can use to control others). She is chaotic neutral and will use all of her assets to get what she wants.

    If the writers didn't like a character they could either development them with quests or create their own content (which they have). I also feel the same about other media being altered for example the unnecessary and awful directors cuts of the "Warriors" and "Stargate Children of the gods" which just made silly and pointless changes.

    And finally if you are using an established franchise don't be surprised if people are very sensitive about any alternations. If the quality of various individuals content is so high they may wish to consider creating their own game from scratch and let the market decide; rather than standing on the shoulders of giants and declaring themselves the tallest person in the world.

    VitorMivsanSharGuidesMyHandRathenau
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