The Last of Us Part II fan backlash was "laughable," says Neil Druckmann - Dexerto
The Last of Us

Neil Druckmann explains why The Last of Us 2 fan backlash is “laughable”

Published: 16/Jul/2020 9:24

by Brad Norton

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The Last of Us Part II has undeniably become one of the most controversial games of this console generation, but creative director Neil Druckmann and lead actor Troy Baker have outlined why the community backlash isn’t the most important thing.

The follow up to Naughty Dog’s 2013 hit that introduced us to Joel and Ellie may not have been what die-hard fans expected. Set years later, the storyline breaks from convention and mostly sets out on its own path, establishing plenty of new characters along the way.

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While this unexpected structure led to exceptional sales and an immense critical reception, a vocal minority in the community were less than satisfied. Many players lashed out at not just the game itself, but those involved in making it too.

Now, a few weeks removed from the spotlight, Druckmann has responded to the backlash in a July 15 chat with Baker. In light of Laura Bailey’s “rough aftermath” to the project, the two discussed how they dealt with hateful comments.

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Last of Us Part 2 Joel playing guitar
Naughty Dog
The Last of Us Part II takes place years after the events of the first game.

Given the structure of the narrative in Part II, “it transcends just being a game and it becomes a platform for discourse,” Baker acknowledged. “I knew people would be upset,” Druckmann said. “There’s going to be people that loved the first game, that aren’t going to like this game, I know that.”

Despite how divisive the narrative was, however, they both addressed “how f***ed up” some of the backlash has been. “Some of the discourse is so tribal. You’re either here or you’re there. But the conversation is so much more nuanced.”

From death threats to hurtful imagery and plenty more, developers and actors across the board received a ton of hate for their work on Part II. “There’s so much that I was not prepared for,” Druckmann said.

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“The reaction to the making of this game, to how this game has been received, it’s been a huge learning growth for me. At the end of the day, to all our critics, we listen to that stuff and we digest it, but you’re way less important,”

While certain complaints are taken onboard, much of the hatred is filtered out by devs, Druckmann added. “Some of you are not important at all when you shout or threaten…it’s laughable. We send it to each other as jokes some of the time.”

Last of Us Part 2 Ellie on her horse
Naughty Dog
Ellie’s emotional journey throughout the sequel has proven to be quite divisive.

Not all of the feedback can be taken lightly though. Druckmann acknowledged how some extreme backlash crossed a line. Plenty of threats have even been “sent to authorities and that’s not something to be joked about.”

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Ultimately, he said, the most important thing to Druckmann is the response from those that actually spent time building the game.

“Reviews are cool, but nothing comes close to hearing [Baker], or Laura, or any member of the team that has sent me an email to say that this is the best game I’ve ever worked on,” he said.

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Druckmann & Baker address backlash at 1:16:25 in the video below:

“F*** the haters,” he said. Developers have come to him and expressed how they’ve never been prouder working on anything else in their lives. For Druckmann, that’s the feedback that matters most.

Whether you loved or despised the sequel, hundreds of talented developers dedicated years of their lives to crafting the experience. The least anyone can do is respect the effort that went into the game, especially considering the impact it’s already had for gaming in 2020, for better or worse.

Apex Legends

Apex Legends Evo shields are being nerfed again in Season 7

Published: 8/Oct/2020 1:12 Updated: 8/Oct/2020 1:28

by Alan Bernal

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The Evo Shields in Apex Legends are set for another balance update that could come in Season 7, as Respawn are still fine-tuning how the armor upgrades to its max level.

Respawn brought the Evo Shields in the System Override patch in March, then made them a staple in the battle royale later on. Ever since then, the studio has been trying to find the right balance with the armor and its scaling defense as the game continues.

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As for the studio, the hunt for that equilibrium to the item will continue as Respawn Game Designer Daniel Z. Klein indicated that players could have an increased damage threshold to hit before getting a fully evolved shield.

This change is still in the implementation phases, however, since Respawn need to tinker with the game’s networking to actually bring in the patch.

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Respawn Entertainment
The Evo Armor values for max level will change, most likely in Season 7.

“We have a change planned for red Evo Shields for patch 7.0, but it required a little networking work (don’t ask; game dev is dumb) so we couldn’t ship it in 6.1,” Klein responded to a player who noticed there weren’t any changes to the shields in the Aftermarket update. “The plan is to increase the damage required to go to Red.”

At the time of writing, the Evo Shields need 500 damage inflicted to reach max level. That requirement is going to change, although the developer gave no indication for how much.

Complaints about the gear stem from how many people seem to have a fully upgraded Evo early in games.

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Though this could be attributed to the typical gunfight fiestas that happen at any major POI after dropping into the Arena, the problem is going to get a closer look within the studio.

There’s no word if there will also be a change to the armor max Evo Shields provide, but it’s not likely since Respawn tuned that not too long ago when Season 6 started.

In any case, the company is hoping the next round of changes will leave Apex Legends in a healthier state as it concerns the popular Evo Shields in the game.

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