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“This review bombing craze has gotten completely out of control”

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Last week the ARPG Last Epoch went into full release. There were negative reviews on Steam due to the server difficulties. The German Twitch streamer Maurice Weber now commented on the problem. MeinMMO author Linda Baumgartl gives her assessment.

Who is the person you are talking about? Maurice Weber started as an editor at GameStar and is now a Twitch streamer with his own channel.

In addition to strategy games, he is best known for his love of the Diablo series. And he also has a lot to gain from the new ARPG Last Epoch.

Disclaimer: Maurice Weber is an integral brand and OOC of Webedia Gaming.
GameStar, GamePro and MeinMMO are part of Webedia.

What problems were there? After almost 5 years in early access, Last Epoch went into full release last week, on February 21st. The title of the indie development studio had Eleventh Hour Games especially major server problems.

Players had to struggle with long loading times when changing areas, sometimes lost the connection or were unable to log in online at all.

The developers have been working on the difficulties since then, but have not yet been able to completely eliminate the problems.

Here you can see the launch trailer for the new action RPG:

Last Epoch: The ARPG shows classes, battles and challenges in the launch trailer

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“People. Stop.”

On X, Maurice now commented on the currently heavily criticized server problems at Last Epoch. He firmly takes the side of the game, which was originally started as a fan project, and appeals to everyone to put an end to the “review bombing madness”.

People. Stop it. Last Epoch is one of the best games of the last few years, it comes from a small team and was much more successful than expected and it EVEN HAS AN OFFLINE MODE. This review bombing craze has gotten completely out of control.

– Maurice Weber (via X)

However, the term “review bombing” in particular receives a lot of criticism in the comments.

“It's not review bombing, if I buy a game that advertises an online mode and I can't get in for days, then that's a negative experience for me and therefore a negative review,” writes a user, for example Maihopawango.

But what exactly is review bombing? So-called review bombing describes the symbolic bombardment of a product with negative, and rarely positive, reviews.

  • Possible targets are primarily films, but also video games.
  • The purpose is usually to affect sales of the product in question, i.e. to exercise a kind of boycott.
  • Reviews are often written before the product has even been published.
  • It is also typical to create multiple accounts in order to artificially increase the number of reviews.

Last Epoch is a product that has been officially released and has a real issue that affects usability. Those who want to play online are often unable to do so.

Many of the negative Steam reviews base their rating on these server problems and actually seem to come from players sharing their experiences with the game.

Seen this way, the negative reviews of Last Epoch on Steam are not classic review bombing.

Justified criticism – from both sides?

That's my view: Regardless of whether you want to classify the Last Epoch case as a review bombing or not – I fundamentally understand what Maurice means with his statement.

  • Only due to (hopefully) temporary problems does the game receive a large number of negative reviews that do not reflect the quality of the actual game.
  • It is questionable whether everyone who writes a negative review will actually adjust their rating if the game can fix its server problems.

In addition, this is the first release from a small development studio that probably didn't expect the explosive increase in player numbers.

Last Epoch has 6 times more players at release than in Early Access

What are the player numbers actually like? On release day, Last Epoch broke the 150,000 active player mark (via SteamDB). On Sunday, February 25, that number rose again to over 250,000. For comparison: the highest number of players during the early access phase was just over 40,000, and averaged in the lower four-digit range.

If Eleventh Hour Games Should have expected this success can certainly be debated. My personal feeling is that you can give the team a few more days to fix the problem.

In fact, I noticed a significant improvement on Sunday compared to the release day. On the evening of its release, the game was unplayable for me online. Yesterday afternoon and evening I was able to play almost without any problems. So things are heading in the right direction.

By the way: To anyone who owned a version of Last Epoch at the time of the server problems, the developer is giving away a cosmetic item as an apology for the problems. This is an autumnal cloak that you will receive automatically.

The other side? On the other hand, I also think it's completely legitimate to write a negative review if you have technical problems with a game. I actually think this is important because it can warn other players of potential disappointment. You just have to pay attention to the right size.

  • Definitely not okay are various insults directed at the developers, which unfortunately sometimes appear.
  • Exaggerated and unnecessarily repeated complaints are simply not effective. The developer is aware and is working on the problem. If you're really dissatisfied, you should be able to easily return the game on Steam if you haven't exceeded 2 hours of play time.

If you act within an objective and fair framework, it should definitely be up to you how you want to rate a game.

If you don't particularly value an online gaming experience, you can also use Last Epoch's offline mode, which was released when version 1.0 was released. Here you can already enjoy the game without any problems. You can find out which new features have been added here: The new competition for Diablo 4 is leaving early access after 5 years and is releasing 2 new subclasses

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