Tell the Truth, Get Banned

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Tony Stewart’s return to NASCAR Sprint Cup competition this week after a nasty preseason injury made headlines for all the wrong reasons, as Stewart was immediately fined upwards of $35,000 for drawing attention to a potential safety hazard. NASCAR has not required teams to ensure all five lug nuts are installed prior to the vehicle leaving pit lane; a scenario which Stewart rightfully claims could injure competitors in a spectacular fashion. With NASCAR’s push for a safe racing environment dating all the way back to the events of the 2001 Daytona 500, a push that has seen everything from the HANS Device to Safer Barriers become mainstream technology, it’s highly hypocritical of the Florida-based sanctioning body to allow drivers to leave pit lane without the goddamn wheels properly attached to the car. Rather than take a serious look at the concerns brought up by a respected driver, NASCAR opted to instead penalize a three time champion.

Those who have taken the time to explore the virtual world and subsequent community message boards offered by Slightly Mad Studios for their newest racing simulator, Project CARS, are all too familiar with this situation. Desperate to cover up the numerous technical issues with their title, the team from the United Kingdom have spent the past year silencing criticism of their game – even allowing the head of their entire operation to liberally run around the forums and call their own customers idiots. What was once a title that promised to revolutionize the entire genre of sim racing, is now little more than an example in how to successfully breed an army of viral marketers.

Eleven months after release, and with a Game of the Year Edition approaching, you’d think the team at Slightly Mad Studios would have began to understand that this buffoonish approach to customer relations was doing them no favors; however, the same fascist community environment still exists. You can’t point out issues on the official Project CARS forums without getting banned.

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In a thread from April 18th, 2016, discussion began regarding the game’s text chat feature literally not working unless you’re physically out on the track running laps – essentially meaning you have to park your ass on the side of the road just to talk to people. Project CARS forum member Default mentions that text chat was previously possible at all times when inside an online lobby, but a recent official patch from Slightly Mad Studios broke the feature – and it still hasn’t been fixed. Super Moderator Remco Van Dijk visited the thread not to inform users that the team was working on fixing the issue, but to instead claim the staff’s feelings were hurt and instruct Default not to insult the developer. Of course, he thinks that’s an absurd response, so he lips off the moderator and receives a ban for his efforts.

Users discussing the banning of Default on Reddit quickly come to the OP’s defense, claiming the Project CARS forums were a “cult-like echo chamber”, and “history will not be forgotten when they try to market & sell the sequel.” These comments are not pulled from an unbiased subreddit with a wholly-negative view of Project CARS, but rather the official subreddit dedicated to fans of the game. If your own customers and supporters are aware that there is a tangible push to silence criticism, and are forced to explore the alternative options just to discuss the game online, you’ve probably been doing something very wrong as a developer. These kinds of rants are typically reserved for Derek Smart-like figures, whose sole intentions are to bring down a rival piece of software. None of this should be uttered by your own fans, who otherwise enjoy the game for what it is.

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Default also goes on to claim his own personal experience with the game has been less than satisfactory, and keep in mind this is after nine major patches to the title. Another user chimes in to say some of the bugs listed were present in the launch-day version of the game, which was ripe full of technical issues.

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User GT3Racer links to a 23 minute odyssey created by YouTube personality Stella Stig after the game’s depressing launch last may, who spends the entire duration of the footage browsing through the official Project CARS forums himself – commenting on the unprofessional approach taken by Slightly Mad Studios when conversing with their customers. Some of these customers have been on-board with the project for years, and instead they are treated like hostile enemies for questioning how the end product was less than satisfactory given the time invested into it.

When your own fans are aware that there is a mass censorship campaign underway on the game’s official forums, it’s probably time to re-think your approach to customer relations to ensure your long-term reputation isn’t affected. I get that no message board wants a billion different wishlist threads because some customers thought career mode was a bit under-developed, or they’re sad that their favorite car wasn’t included, but what’s being displayed above is an entirely different situation. We’re looking at a consumer product that shipped with demonstrable technical issues, and Slightly Mad Studios have opted to stick their fingers in their ears and label literally anyone who finds even a minor problem within their product as a “troll” with nothing better to do. It feels as if I’m watching an episode of Kitchen Nightmares, but on this occasion, there isn’t a Gordon Ramsay-like figure to lose his marbles on Ian Bell.

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78 thoughts on “Tell the Truth, Get Banned

  1. So although I was an investor in project cars from the beginning it early on became clear to me this was NOT a Racing Simulation it was someplace in between arcade and Simulation and I accepted this but how they have developed and handled this game has left me very disappointed to say the least but it was there choice and time will tell if they can ever create a winner.

    To be honest my problems have NOT been with Project cars I have posted a number of bug issues with no troubles my problem has been with rFactor2 every time I post negatively about the title I get a literal flood of how dare you say this relies.

    Interestingly the title I find has the most helpful and accepting group is Assetto Corsa regardless to what you say they seem to accept things far better.

    They say the truth will set you free so I guess all the free time you have after getting banned is helping you live longer HEHE..

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    1. I think SMS have proven they are incapable of delivering something you could consider a simulation. They still haven’t gotten away from the NFS shift template. rFactor 2, though it has many issues, isn’t quite the disaster that Project Cars is but I think the difference is, ISI doesn’t encourage a hostile and disrespectful attitude towards dissenters in the way SMS or Kunos do.

      Personally, it makes me wonder why people get so fired up about these games at all. Aren’t there more important things in life to worry about? The vitriol in the community at large is astounding.

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      1. Well it’s important to remember that people use entertainment as a temporary escape from reality. Two hours behind the wheel of a virtual race car can offset the stress caused by a retarded boss, financial difficulties, a psychotic former romantic partner, or struggles within a social circle.

        So there’s going to be a strong response when after a shitty day at work, you come home to the guy that made your new video game personally calling you an idiot because you found a bug. Instrad of relaxing and playing some pCars, an internet cult is running around calling you a liar. That’s kinda fucked up.

        And those fanboys exist because they lack guidance in the real world. No job or social circle, so they cling to the praise they’re given by the cult leader… sorry…. developer to establish a sense of belonging.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. SMS have created a strange kind of cult around themselves and this game. Their behavior is not that of rational humans and I do believe their idiotic actions will come back to haunt them when the sequel comes out. Never mind the fact that it will suck as much as the first one. I would never give my money to people like that.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Sadly it’s becoming norm to attack customers these days, it’s no longer something exclusive to WMD. From locking threads to banning, even when the dev’s argument is not correct. The “vigilante defenders who keep an eye on lots of forums” certainly applies to another game as well.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. But projectBroken has amazing graphics, so according to the average VirtualR reader that’s all that matters. Who cares if during a thunderstorm you can drive a car faster with dry tires instead of rain tires and viceversa when you can take screenshots at 4k 1080p because we’re in 2016 and graphics is all that matters?

    Oggy, I suggest you to follow an indie game called Racing Apex ( http://www.moddb.com/games/racing-apex ). It has by far much more simulation value than projectBroken.

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  5. The title fell way short of my expectations as a very early backer of the game. A lot of the car models are beautifully crafted and I think the laser scanned few tracks they have in the game are well done. However thats about it for the positives in the game. The physics are a poor joke. It is basically like a NFS Shift game with a physics mod enabled. The FFB is just all kinds of wierd too.

    Still, im enjoying the cheques that keep arriving into my account…

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  6. The only thing that surprises me here, is NASCAR’s actions against Stewart.

    The rest is literally just SMS being SMS.

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  7. Before reading the moderators name I knew it would be Remco. The man is so far into Ian’s rectum he should change his name to haemorrhoid.

    SMS have a proven track record of broken games with pretty graphics, except nowadays EA isn’t around to be blamed for a rushed release. If people buy pCARS #2 despite all of the bullshit, they deserve what they get!

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  8. Still never had a problem on either the public or private forums. Still never had a game breaking bug in pCars. Still enjoying every second of both the game and the forums. 🙂

    Guess I’m still “just lucky”.

    P.S still also enjoying seeing people (not you James) go crazy over the game even though they’ve never played the game :’) hahahahaha

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    1. My buddy picked it up for $20 on the Xbox One.

      With an hour or so, we experienced a bug where the qualifying positions werent saved if we restarted the race. Also ran into an issue where the AI got stuck in the pitlane. And the notorious AI cutting. Oh, and the HUD not saving.

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      1. Sucks for you guys… I once had a bug in Maya that lost me 2 weeks worth of work due to a corrupt save file. None of my friends had the bug though. *shrugs*

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  9. That’s the problem isn’t it, in sim racing – there’s not much to talk about. So you just have to churn the same old rubbish out time and again. Is it really different on other forums, for other sims?

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  10. The headline of this article should rather be “Make countless sarcastic remarks to stir things up and continue to do so although you were warned already, get banned for two weeks.”

    But of course this wouldn’t fit with the typical PRC “SMS are evil” articles and Default’s victim role he’s playing…

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    1. I was sent a warning in July 2015 because I liked a post where a random guy owned a dev and showed he knew the game better than him in a discussion about tyre temperatures. The warning came through PM, and I was told I was supporting someone who had been “abusive” towards a dev.

      I told them the warning was nonsense and there was nothing abusive in the post I liked. Next thing I knew was that I was banned.

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  11. @Sev what about this situation? Did I hacked the game to disable hidden assists and make the car lose control? (medium tyres and optimum track, I was doing a special event and had TC off on purpose) Maybe next time show us some of your gameplay with driver input telemetry so that we can see on what are your claims based.

    ps. no sound in the video because the program only records with stereo and I had 5.1, so I forgot it.

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    1. *hack

      Sev, is possible that if you disabled TC in the launcher, the server had abs and tc on, so it overrode your offline assists. Which means it brought TC back to 1/12, the strongest.

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  12. The mods over there are complete cock smoking nerds who think they are important, they are the most pathetic bunch of yes men on any forum on the net, they make it a childish environment over there, the mods there are a joke of the sim racing world, forget about the game, just have a look at origins of most of their names, no more needs to be said.

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  13. Hey PRC, you should do an article about their completely bugged “Word Championship Timetrial” where the usual SMS quality currently shows up.

    1. Ghosts don’t match the leaderboard times, any ghost is uploaded but not the one which shows the times you did, which is really shitty because …
    2. The game not beeing able to detect if the car drives on track or in the gravel so the validity of a lap needs to be checked manually by watching the ghost.
    3. Some users are able to use assits, others are not which is completely unfair.

    All things above have been reported many many times and monthes ago but SMS just sucks as they always did.

    – Tirewear turned on though they state it’s not
    – Ice cold brakes at the beginning of a lap though they stated this should be fixed after it’s been broken by a patch for months now. After warming them up a lap, tires are cold with their pressurees set to default and already show wear (beeing slower).

    Another point where they show their skills is by beeing able to show names above cars properly.
    They broke it with V10, tried to fix it with V10.1 and another time with V10.3 but they are still broken.

    I started to believe the Erdogan adjutants (some call’em mods though) when they say:
    It’s not good to fix so “complicated bugs” in this late state of the game as fixing might brake even more. So they don’t even try to fix ‘easy’ bugs anymore.
    Just like the one Default got banned for in this article.

    Though they state this like a given IT development fact (which is laughable even for a it amateur) they just show off they lost control over their code.

    I 100% expect the same happening for pcars2, there’s the same level of strange shitdecisionsmaking as it was in pcars1 development.

    It will be Project Bugs 2 with Ian ‘Idiot’ Bell and moderators beeing educated by Erdogan himself.
    Only things which will improoved are the asshole level of Ian “Idiot” Bell, the number of bugs and mods will have a refresh course by Erdogan personally.

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  14. LOL, let me add one more to project bugs:

    Project Cars, the only racing game not beeing able to show the right race results.
    Do the ultimate journey to race to P1. The game will show you as P2 or maybe P3 though.

    Happens often. Has been confirmed by development and is in the game since day 1.
    Now make a guess. To complicated to fix. LOL

    They should get a differend job or maybe better not work at all.

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    1. I remember Empty Box having a few of those, thought it was R3E not PCARS. Not in the mood to search back 2 years of videos though.

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  15. This is what goes on with nearly every single forum, be it a general gaming forum or a special dedicated one. It’s how things changed over time and it’s sad, and I will drop a few paragraphs about this.

    The people who used to become mods, supermods, etc were mostly dedicated good honest people who were willing to help, because they spent so much time there. It’s how I eventually got a job in what nowadays is considered paid professional games journalism 15 years back, by being a swell guy putting his interest of gaming and his free time to good use, the official crew approached me and said I was a swell knowledgable guy and they’d like to have me in a more official position.

    These days it’s like highly politically engaged US college kids from either coast and nothing else is what gets recruited, you gotta suck up and kiss up in the right direction while calling for the streets to run red with those who say the slightest thing that in their mind can be seen as a negative toward the developers or general site staff. Don’t want to write examples but you have most ilkely heard of peoples experiences with moderation on those places.

    The days I spent as a forum mod (and eventually an admin) were the days of humankind where it was okay to point out that somebody didn’t look very attractive or that they had bad breath or that they should stop behaving like an ass, even in person. Today, words even on the internet, in opt-in forms of social media with options to block and mute people, are considered physical violence, violence that the police in an increasing amount of countries respond to.

    I’m happy that the banned user spoke out about this, I hope everybody who get an unjust ban anywhere take it to reddit or whatnot and do. The more people able to tell their story and show their evidence, the greater the chance that site admins begin to understand why activity rates fall together with their ad-view income.

    Make internet great again.

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    1. I think if not a reason, then at least one aspect which is encouraging these dev and mod meltdowns, are many sim racers themselves. If you just browse both some game forums as well as some major sim racing sites, you can’t deny that those places wouldn’t be in many cases filled with complete yes men and fan boys. In my mind I can’t unerstand why some people can get so agitated about some dude writing something about pretend race cars on internet. They will immediately rush to defend these bans or, for example, get seemingly angry or frustrated about stuff written in PRC. What the fuck!?

      While I don’t personally agree with everything that is written here, I still don’t need to burst in rants about what Oggie is writing here. Even if I disagree, I simply don’t care that much because I have far more important things in my life than pretend race cars and my toy wheel. I just can’t crasp the way these people are thinking. It just baffles me. I’d understand their rage if somebody would call their sister a five dollar crack whore who sucks bloody AIDS cocks for money, but getting heated for a simple game is just ridicilous. So, in the end, it is easy for the devs to follow the suit some of the sim racers are showing. If more people would just tell these mods and devs to fuck off with their attitude and game, then either they would need to make a reality check and change their behaviour, or then their forums would soon be empty and sales of the sequel or next DLC pretty damn low. Too many of us simply swallowing the full load of crap these people are shitting on our mouth.

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      1. So you say is meaningless for people to care about things you don’t care? I don’t care if someone insults your sister, but I understand why you care and why you will try to defend her.

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        1. That sister stuff was meant to be more of an joke, but I still find defending your close relative more understandable than some software code. But perhaps that’s just me. So in my opinion people getting heated over a some fucking game is simply ridicilous. I just can’t get it that somebody can have so strong feelings for some computer software meant for people’s pastime. In most cases we are talking about a 50-100 buck worth of investment depending on a level of DLC shit and something that almost everyone in western world can get in an instant. I guess these games then mean a world to some people, but I think it is just awfully weird. Don’t you?

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            1. What action? Somebody saying something nasty about my preferred software code which I don’t agree? Exactly my point. I don’t get how some people see some game so fucking important that they bother to get agitated or need to defend it to the point being so. Why don’t they spend that time just gaming instead being angry over something so ridicilous and just let haters hate. That’s what I do and its more fun.

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                1. Probably so true and it is actually quite clear to me now. So, because of the above reasons their true pastime is getting agitated on internet instead of sim racing. Didn’t expect this exactly, but fits the bill for sure.

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      2. I just don’t understand why they are willing to dish it out, but can’t accept it served back to them in equal measure… it’s the same as the kid crying because he wanted to touch a hornet nest and doesn’t understand that actions have consequences. Act like a shithead on a forum, get banned.

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  16. The game is so “unpopular” .. that is the most played sim (according to Steam Charts)… that’s the reason of why the devs aren’t giving a F about those “victims”. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Asserting that “popular” equals “good” is a fallacious argument that SMS apologists are fond of making. No serious sim racer takes this game seriously. Get over it.

      Like

      1. He never said or implied pcars being popular means good/bad. But he wanted to say that despite pcars having game issues, it remains popular among racing games. So no matter how you or this blog want to portray that pcars or assetto corsa are bad games and have no simulation value, they remain popular among sim racers, especially when all these hat0rzzz don’t even dare to record gameplay of themselves to actually support their constant shitting on the game.

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    2. The Ford Escort is the second best selling car of all time and was one of Americas best selling and most popular cars of the early 80’s and was a giant pile of shit. There goes your popular equals good argument.

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  17. I have no doubt gamers who get banned from game makers forums by mods or the developers can feel hard done by but you only have to look at this site for a few minutes and realize that other forums are going have the same sort of people posting….The heads of studios on Project Cars,Assetto Corsa and Automobilista take time out to interact with customers and all end up having a so called meltdown at some time due to the demands of some entitled people who do not know how to be constructive.Other studios like Turn 10 with Forza upset their customers by opting for the bare minimum of interaction with customers.

    I visited Project Cars forum once and SMS put up some posts/messages for a day or so that a Nintendo guy had sent to them.The guy had totally lost the plot and was wishing cancer etc. on the developers for not making Project Cars for the Wii.After reading that crap I give the people that run forums a lot more slack,especially as only a tiny minority post on forums so it is not representative of all people who play the game.

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    1. They don´t need anyone to behave poorly to have a meltdown. They can have it simply because a random user shows they know the game better than them.

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    2. Although they might react badly to jerks, they also react badly to measured, thoughtful criticism. The developers are for the most part, nerds lacking in people skills and should leave community engagement to others if they can’t act like adults. And they’ve proven they can’t.

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  18. Only if those people would stop at “measured, thoughtful criticism”, instead of continuing to passively mock, use sarcasm, and 😉 faces. Then nobody would have to deal with your remarks and things that trigger people. Ain’t nobody got a problem if you find a game issue, be it game or gameplay, then show some evidence and repeatable problem. But once you enter the other territory, expect things to not always go your way smoothly.

    But why criticism? Criticism means: “the expression of disapproval of someone or something on the basis of perceived faults or mistakes.” and “the analysis and judgement of the merits and faults of a literary or artistic work.”

    Which means your criticism will always be subjective and your point of view.

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      1. Which mindset? The one where I said is ok for people to report bugs and issues? I’ve never seen any dev banning for simply reporting game problems. And this blog never showed anything on that. They only showed divergence between some devs and some users.

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    1. Dude, we talk about a game where cars dissapear on replays, results won’t match what happened on the track and slicks work better than inters in light rain. Nothing “subjective” about saying it sucks balls.

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      1. Ok, you reported a game bug. But you’re not satisfied, you need to go and annoy them, maybe they’ll work faster and better. Hurrah for negativity in the workplace.

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        1. No they’ll just keep ignoring bugs, acting like high and mighty jerks, and coming up with new and exciting ways to scam people out of their money while reducing mediocre games. That is their track record, after all.

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        2. I didn’t report anything in any way. I’m telling you about shit that is broken in your game and it’s not down to opinion.

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          1. Ok you told about shit that is broken. What difference does it make what I say next if you already talked about game problems? Will you change your mind or what? Or do you just like to insist and repeat yourself over and over? Stop with the obsession, you already did your duty of “telling shit that is broken in the game”.

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            1. YOU are obsessed. You tried to imply criticism of the game was based on biased views. I gave you cold hard facts that warrant criticism. Get over it, people criticise the game because it’s a turd, not because of irrational hate.

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    2. I know you SMS apologists want to just waive your hand and say “oh you’re just an idiot and your subjective views don’t mean anything,” as if that will somehow just invalidate all criticism of this game. But the reality is, the studio has done some really scummy things, they have treated customers badly, and the game has fallen short of expectations.

      Objectively, bad decisions were made. Objectively, the game is bugged. Objectively, SMS has refused to fix those bugs. Objectively, SMS have mishandled this game. Objectively, Project Cars is a disappointment to the majority of sim racers.

      Ian and his crew are big boys, they don’t need you standing up for them. They made their bed and they have to lay in it. I’m sorry if you’re so offended by people saying they don’t like the game, but maybe if it bothers you so much, you need to take a step back.

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      1. “if it bothers you so much, you need to take a step back”
        Please follow your own advice. Saying that something is broken for 1000x won’t fix it. Unless you just want that particular bug to achieve high visibility because it was mentioned a 1000x, and then hoping the devs will deal with that first.

        Why does it bother you that other people are “standing up for them”? Do you fear the devs won’t fix that problem because other people aren’t talking as aggressively as you about it? Maybe that particular problem only bothers you and not the others as much as you think.

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  19. I’ts pretty sad that the game was a broken mess day one and is a still a broken mess today after 9 or so broken patches …….

    25 Titles I have on ps4 and not has corrupted saves and blue screen crashes , wall bugs , ffb is a complete joke the way it was implemented …..

    Fucking terrible title from a terrible development team who have no fuckn Idea how to even run a forum let alone a games company .

    Ian Bell just completes the package of a pile of steaming SHIT!

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  20. If you suck the game off on PC Forum enough you get made a mod, just have a look at the most recent mod on PC forum, let’s call him Mr C, he spends all day there blindly defending the game like a parrot on meth, loves taking mouthfuls from the mods and boss, he’s an embarrassment to himself, so they make him a mod.
    There is so much sperm swapping going on on PC forums, the mods are like a human centipede, it’s pathetic stuff, the funny thing is that the mods are the type of guys that would have been bashed at high school for being complete losers and teachers pets, being a mod is what those people do when they leave school to give them some power.
    Do they even realise how they are viewed, i bet they don’t admit in public they are a mod there, and don’t they love these brain dead and personality dead mod’s, German and Middle Eastern fools who cant even communicate properly or even understand the basics of English expression.
    They are so stupid they cant see they are getting used, but they have such low self esteems that they don’t mind being used because it gives them power and makes them feel important.
    Seem’s like a win win for all of them.

    Like

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