Talk Amongst Yourselves

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Hey folks, this is Kotaku Australia with a very fun announcement. We've recently started up a Discord channel for you to share your love of all things gaming and pop culture — and we'd love for you to join us.

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  • Good morning TAYbies.

    I spent the weekend alternately hitting things with a steel sword and a silver sword. Have opened up Skellige but there’s still much to do in Velen. Am going with main story as I hit level, mostly.

    Very much enjoying the writing and setting.

  • Anyone getting the CovidSafe app?
    I’m torn because it’s a good idea but the government has an absolutely terrible record when it comes to personal data and none of the safeguards they’ve put in place have ever stopped them before.

    • I tried looking at it by their own track record. That made me decide against it. I don’t trust them enough. Especially from a government that wants to have encryption back doors.

      • To be fair they only want back doors on other people’s stuff. Any back doors into government apps will be entirely unintentional. =P

        Personally I’m pretty torn. It’s a good idea in theory and I’m already keeping a soft interaction log so really it’s just a more efficient version of that, but this is the sort of thing that has to be done with so much caution and oversight. I imagine there’s already a lot of people out there waiting for that one case that justifies them gaining access to the information for non-COVID-19 purposes.

        I’d feel a lot more comfortable if it was a totally anonymous purpose built device but even as a pure software solution getting something ‘safe’ out in time for it to make a difference is unlikely.

        • I guess it’s also important to note that case tracking has proved to be a very powerful tool so I’m definitely not against this sort of thing being worked on in case of future pandemics. As serious as this is, if something even more serious comes along being able to opt-in on something like this day one of a pandemic could save countless lives. Definitely a tool that needs to exist ahead of time.

          It’s a weird world we live in. We’re stuck weighing up the potential malice, incompetence, lack of empathy and general dickery that we know the government is capable of against the value of a life saving device.

          • I really don’t have an issue with it on paper even if our government has a less then stellar record, the app that S Korea uses was far more invasive (and mandatory).

            that said I don’t see what the rush is tbh. it’s not like once we hit the magical 40% uptake mark all our travel restrictions and lock downs will be over. I’d probably give it several weeks to a month before I bother… especially if the government really releases the source code

    • At face value the privacy policy sounds reasonable. I might consider it in a week or two when there’s been a chance for people to attempt to poke holes in it, because you can be sure people will try.

    • Downloaded and installed.

      Most of the information is stored locally, it’s just a tool to notify you in the event that someone else you share the same space with at some stage later turns out to have the virus.

      And in any case, it’s hard to see how the information being collected could actually be exploited in any kind of meaningful way. It’s not like it’s tracking credit card transactions, recording your birthdate, rooting your phone or even collecting your real name (you are explicitly told that you can use a pseudonym).

      And frankly, the sooner we are all out of this the better, and the more people who have the app the sooner we can shut this whole thing down and get back to our lives. Yeah, hell yeah I’ve installed it.

      And if you’re like 99% of the population and download without a second thought any random app from the app store that takes your fancy then you shouldn’t have a problem either. If you’ve already removed half the protections on your phone by rooting it then you’d also be more than a little bit hypocritical to hesitate.

      On the other hand, if you are someone who keeps your phone studiously clean from anything non-stock, well, I can respect that.

    • In principle, yes.

      In practice, waiting a week for the following reasons:

      1) I’m not leaving the house much, and if I am it’s to cycle a 15km loop, not to be anywhere anyone else is.

      2) Infosec friends are tearing it down, and looking for holes. Nothing worrisome yet, relatively, but a few days will tell the tale.

      3) First versions are always buggy, the iOS version isn’t well optimised. Give it a few days for issues to emerge and get patched.

      After that, I’ll be happy to install it.

    • I’m waiting for a full source code release and privacy audit before I think about installing it. Honestly though I don’t see the need for such an app when Apple and Google are both working on their own tracking solutions that will work better (especially Apple’s, which will function without needing the app to be running in the foreground).

      It doesn’t help that the Australian government has an abysmal record on digital privacy, meaning that I try and minimise the amount of of government apps on my phone at the best of times.

    • I haven’t yet but a lot of my paranoid nerd friends are saying it isn’t actually too bad from a privacy perspective and it’s fine.
      There are a lot of other issues with the app though from a feature / bug perspective.

    • Heh, I work for the Government, and I still won’t. The track record with data is terrible, and the iOS app doesn’t even work, thus reducing its effectiveness in half. Big nope from me.

  • I’ve been playing Trials of Mana (the Secret of Mana 2 / Seiken Densetsu 3 remake) for PS4. It’s not mind blowingly awesome, so it won’t win Game of the Year 2020, but I am enjoying it. Honestly, it’s how the 2018 remake of Secret of Mana should have been handled… that remake was a huge disappointment, especially since the original 1993 Super Nintendo game is one of my all-time favourite games.

    I’ve “finished” Trials of Mana but to my surprise, it turns out after the credits have rolled… there’s a little bit more to the story? So I’m hoping to polish this one off tonight, before returning to Persona 5 Royal.

    I’ve played and finished a fair few games this year. Here’s what I’ve done:

    – The Witcher III: Wild Hunt and Hearts of Stone, PC
    – Final Fantasy XV: Royal Edition for Windows (including all DLC packs), PC
    – Resident Evil 3 remake, PS4
    – Final Fantasy VII remake, PS4
    – Trials of Mana (sort of, mostly), PS4

  • Good morning!

    I am currently stuck at my desk finishing an assignment for my masters – totally regretting the decision to study again.

    What I want to be doing is getting back into Animal Crossing, finishing BoTW (got about halfway through then never went back to it), and maybe even fitting in some Witcher 3.

    If anyone has any suggestions for fairly easy two-player games for the Xbox please let me know. I have been trying to get my girlfriend into gaming for a while now, with some success with Harry Potter lego (she’s a massive HP fan) and Unraveled 2. Just watched a trailer for Moving Out which looks like a whole heap of fun.

    Any suggestions are welcome.

    • Moving Out’s very chill and lots of laughs. No frustration like you’d get with Overcooked, either, so I’d recommend it.

  • I’m enjoying this animal crossing a lot more than the others, but I really wish tools didn’t break so quickly

  • From Gizmodo:
    The current Oculus Quest is the same size as the other Oculus headsets and weighs about 560 kilograms.

    Imagine the processing power a half-ton headset would have!

    In all seriousness though, I’d buy a Quest tomorrow if it was a bit lighter and had a more current processor in it to get a bit more of a graphics improvement. Making a single headset that can be tethered or standalone or wireless back to the PC makes sense.

    I still wish FB hadn’t bought Oculus though, I struggle to do anything that supports the Zuck empire.

    • Just listened Tulsi Gabbard on the Joe Rogan podcast, she was advocating for splitting up the tech conglomerates like Facebook so they can’t monopolize everything

      Surprise surprise after she said this her page was shutdown with no explanation as to why it what policy she violated, still no explanation and this was like 8 months ago.

  • I’ve been watching a lot of anime lately, so I might do some small reviews.

    Listeners
    Found on Anime Lab.
    Status: Simulcasting

    Synopsis
    A young man named Echo lives in a world without music. One day at work, while stirring through trash, he discovers a girl. She has an output jack on her hip meaning she’s a player. These players are special because they can produce music while also piloting a mech called equipment.
    This encounter sets them both on a journey of discovery.

    Review
    Don’t go into listeners expecting FLCL or epic mech battles. One of the greatest characters is the world itself. Also, try to give listeners at least two episodes as the first one is all world building as can seem fairly generic.
    Trying to spot all the music references and Stuff is fun too!

    Similar anime : honestly, it’s pretty original. I don’t think it’s much like anything else

  • Bofuri. I don’t want to get hurt so I’ll Max out my defense!
    Found on Anime Lab
    Status: Season one finished, season two announced

    Synopsis
    Kaede Konjo tries out the newest DiveVR MMORPG at the insistence of her gamer loving friend. Not wanting to get hurt she chooses the great shield class and puts all her points in vitality.
    How can she play the game when she can barely move due to Min maxing?!

    Review
    Bofuri is a bunch of wholesome. It’s always interesting to see how Maple (kaede’s in game character) deals with the challenges she’s facing. You can’t help but want her to overcome her ordeals and though you know she ultimately will, it’s always interesting to see how it happens.
    Bofuri is a very easy watch with every character generally being quite likeable.

    Similar anime: that time I got reincarnated as a slime, My life as a villianess:All routes lead to doom!

    • Thanks, this sounds interesting. I love reading “that time I got reincarnated as a slime” so similar stories as anime should be fun.

  • Princess Connect Re:Dive!
    Found on Crunchyroll
    Status: Simulcasting

    Synopsis
    A young man with amnesia is awoken by a young elf girl Kokkoro. She’s there to be his guide in this world. They meet up with the Miss starving peckish Pecorine, a powerful sword user who only thinks about her stomach. There is a secret to the world, one where the truth is a lie and a lie is a truth.

    Review
    Princess connect is based on a mobile game, but don’t let that dissuade you. It’s light and fluffy with a bunch of incredibly stupid humor. the Main Character, Yuuki, is the amnesiac that is closer to a child. A lot of the dumb humour comes from him or Pecorine’s airheadedness. The anime changes from saving the world, to focusing on food. However, it looks as though under all the silliness, something awful is brewing.

    Similar anime: Konosuba, Cautious Hero: This hero is overly cautious!, Steven Universe(without singing)

  • My life as a villainess: All routes lead to doom!
    Found on Crunchyroll
    Status: Simulcasting

    Synopsis
    After taking a tumble and hitting her head, Catarina discovers that she has memories of her past life. In her previous life she was an Otome tragic, one of her favourite games being Fortune Quest. She also recalls the villain of the game; Catarina! The same one she is now! In each of the questlines, Catarina is either killed or exiled, and so begins the quest to avoid the doom flags and live beyond the age of 17!

    Review
    On the surface, this is a reverse Harem. Underneath, it’s still a reverse Harem. Catalina is oblivious to how people feel about her which is a Harem trope. It’s a very silly anime with the main character forgetting to think before she acts. It’s an easy and enjoyable watch. It’s also rather wholesome. I don’t think there will be any hidden gut punches.

    Similar anime: Ascendance of a bookworm, Bofuri, That time I got reincarnated as a slime

    • I see you’ve been on a similar isekai binge to my friends and I 🙂
      Another interesting Crunchyroll simulcast is The 8th son? Are you kidding me?

      Did you check out Wise Man’s Grandchild back when it came out? – that and the first season of DanMachi (Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon?) are some of my comfort anime to rewatch from time to time.

      • I’m currently watching the 8th son, but I am very tempted to drop it as the pacing seems off. It’s a huge pity cause I very much enjoyed the first three episodes and the fifth.

        • It’s definitely a slightly awkward one since it seems to be trying to deal more with politicking than fight scenes (and also risks getting a bit haremy), but this is where I think simulcasts can sometimes be better than a full series binge – pacing is less serious an issue if it’s one episode out of four if you watch all your weekly simulcasts together like a classic Saturday morning cartoon show.

          The isekai that really bugged me pacing-wise was Arifureta – From Commonplace to World’s Strongest – and apparently that was missing a lot of stuff from the manga!

          • For me it’s more that he started off a poor noble, but by episode 4 he had a mansion, money and a title. I will probably continue to watch it, but it’s definitely one of the much weaker ones. I plan to write a review on it later

    • Oh gawd Bakarina is a bloody awesome series 😀

      Also I would say full harem with Bakarina since reverse implies well…reverse of the usual trope harem 1 guy many girls to 1 girl many guys… Bakarina is so adorable everyone wants to be with her EVERYONE!

      • I’m so glad her character changed after the fall. I hated the first one.
        I do love
        That she starts off trying to avoid the flags, but she accidentally keeps stealing the boys limelight. Maria is very much struggling to resist!

  • Plunderer
    Found on AnimeLab
    Status: Simulcasting

    Synopsis
    The people of land of Alcia are controlled by a count. If that count reaches Zero, you get pulled into the abyss. Hina witnessed this happen to her mother, but as she’s being pulled in, she hands her an object telling her to give it to the legendary aces. Hina has journeyed for years since then, finally arriving in the town where the Ace is rumoured to have been.

    Review
    The humour is stupid. Let’s just get that right of the bat. One of the characters is a complete perv, but you can’t help but like him. The actual series takes a while to get going. The first quarter of the anime is slightly frivolous with a few hard hitting things, but it really changes around episode 9-10. It sucker punches you. Hard.

    Similar anime: Konosuba (for the first 9 episodes), Shield hero. The Saga of Tanya the Evil.

  • President! It’s time for battle!
    Found on AnimeLab
    Status: Simulcasting

    Synopsis
    In the world of gatepedia, companies enter dungeons in order to obtain Rare earth. Rare earth is an energy source gatepedia runs on and is worth a lot of money.
    Minatou is persuaded by his childhood friend friend Fitoria, to take over the Kibou company which was originally run by his father, who mysteriously went missing!

    Review
    President, it’s time for battle is an anime based on a stradegy mobile game. Do not let this put you off. Kibou company is certainly the underdog company of Gatepedia. It has a NEET for a president, it’s nearing bankruptcy and there is a lot of competition for dungeons.
    I think of it as a competent konosuba but with business themes. It’s fairly light hearted with an intriguing mystery occurring. The characters are fairly likeable and you can’t help but want them to succeed.

    Similar anime: konosuba, Princess connect Re Dive

  • The Tower of God manga is really good, y’all.

    Also, I want to get back into Hunter x Hunter but I’m like hundreds of chapters behind and that’s a little daunting.

    • Tower of god is a webtoon. You need to weeb right =P

      Demon slayer is very close to the end if you want something that will end.

      • Webtoon, manga, it’s a comic I read on my phone/browser :p

        At least with HxH I know the characters and backstories. I don’t know if I’m ready to invest from scratch again.

        • Demon slayer you could watch the 24 episode anime and then catch up on the rest on manga. It’s only 204 chapters, shorter than monthly releases as it’s a weekly Shounen Jump one

          • I saw it come up on my Animelab recommendations, funnily enough! So I might give that a look.

          • It takes a while to get going. But by episode 9 you’ll probably be heaps invested. If you’re willing to wait, the next arc will be in a movie. UFO table have done a great job translating the manga to anime. I often have no idea what’s happening in fight scenes in the manga, but the anime is a work of art.

        • Watch it @alexwalker soon youll have the hardcore weeb on you with pitchforks and fire once you start mixing up them manga ith manhua and manwha! =P

  • If you’re wondering why I am reviewing these separately, it’s so people can discuss the anime in it’s own chain =D

  • The 8th son? Are you kidding me?!
    Found on Crunchyroll
    Status: Simulcasting

    Synopsis
    Ichinomiya Shingo is an everyday office worker in Japan. He sits down to his pork cutlet and while waiting for the rice to cook, closes his eyes. When he opens them, he finds out that he’s now the 5 year old Wendellin Baumeister, the 8th son of an impoverished noble family!

    Review
    The 8th son starts off strong. We find out that no one will inherit anything, except the first son. Well (wendellin), must also tread carefully as he doesn’t want to cause a succession issue. This gets resolved by the 4th episode. Considering the big issue made of it, I was expecting it to be more of an issue.
    The pacing is a bit weird with the anime often ignoring fights. It just skips them or shows the backlines. I’m not sure if this is a funding issue, but it just seems strange. It’s the opposite of Show, don’t tell.
    Things just seems to fall into Well’s lap, and he has a few teammates, but we barely see them interact.
    Sorry, I know this review is a bit harsh, but I went in expecting something similar to an epic struggle. I was disappointed. If you’re looking for something easy to watch and not too serious. It’s pretty good. Also, I enjoy that Well says that being a Noble is a massive pain. I can’t help but think Ascendance did it better.

    Similar anime: Ascendance of a bookworm.

    • Hachinante is a pretty average Isekai most of the time ie. Op hero power trip. IIRC some of the intrigue with the family gets brought up again once the mc becomes established but the animes super fast pacing/skipping is reminding me of arifureta where the story and pacing is sacrificed a bit to fit in the 13 episode season..

      Also reminds me of Maou-sama retry…. a decent isekai that was looked over because the budget for the animation was terrible

      • I considered reading the light novel instead. I think I just wanted it to a bit more like Shield hero and Ascendance and it wasn’t

  • Gleipnir
    Found on AnimeLab
    Status: Simulcasting

    Synopsis
    Kagaya Shuuichi can turn into a giant furry mascot dog. He doesn’t know how it happened, only that it did. He uses this power to save a beautiful girl, who finds out his secret. In exchange for helping her, she decides to use him for her own agenda.

    Review
    Let me just say I only watched two episodes. This anime is dripping in sex. It’s in your face, everything is a euphemism. I, personally, can deal with some of it, but I struggled to get through this.
    This anime comes across as edgy. Super edgy. It just wasn’t my thing, which is a pity because there was an intriguing mystery hidden underneath all that horny. It is very obviously aimed at teenage boys.

    Similar anime: Gantz. Goblin Slayer.

  • @alexwalker

    Could be an interesting write up, Bethesda does it again, pissing away more gamer goodwill.

    Turns out with the latest Doom Eternal PC patch, they force users to install Denuvo Anti-cheat which is a kernel level driver and force even singleplayer gamers to use it.

    It’s similar to Valorant’s system but isn’t always on but it is susceptible to the same issues especially if its a half-arsed driver which led to some Valorant users being soft-bricked from their system when the anti-cheat disabled keyboard and mouse drivers.

    • Yeah I was looking at that over the weekend. I might not get time to dig into it further today (losing a ton of the day to new site testing), but it’s on my radar!

  • Bungo and Alchemist
    found on AnimeLab
    Status: simulcasting

    Synopsis
    A mysterious force called the taint is threatening to remove all literature from Earth. Only Delvers, a representation of an author feelings at the time the book was created, can stop it. An interesting look into classical literature and what makes it great.

    Review
    Bungo and Alchemist would be a fairly generic anime if not for the interesting premise. luckily it’s not a book an episode type thing either. Rather you get some history on the authors as they interact and attempt to destroy the taint. Often the authors will share thoughts on what the books meant to them and that authors style of writing. There is some action, but it’s a lot less interesting then the actual book discussion.

    Similar anime: Nothing really springs to mind, but it’s probably a fairly niche anime that may only appeal to certain people. (kinda like Shogi based animes and stuff like that)

        • Ooohhh.. i havent considered Target as a “video game retailer” in years. I mean most Targets have continually been downsizing the electronics floor space like KMart before their overhaul.

          Its a smart move to be honest. Target just hasnt been up to scratch compared to Big W. They’ve focused so much on clothes since the cheap everyday niche has been given to Kmart that the variety in their floorspace kept shrinking.

  • Well bloody hell…. my device just warned me im about to hit my 10gig alert… i was like how the hell am i about to hit 10gigs on this device? (For clarification this device is only used for browsing and mobage no heavy use like streaming)

    Checked my usage and over 95% of data was my browser… how… and then it hits me.. all the damned bloody auto playing videos on Kotaku. Thanks kotaku… now does anybody know of a browser on android that can block them? Because for sme reason Chrome on mobile doesnt havead-ons =/

  • Weren’t we supposed to get the full (official) details on Foxtel Binge sometime today? Expecting it to be a rip-off in some form or another but still curious…

  • Did anyone else read the story about PETA protesting animal crossings museums, suprised that nothing appeared here.

  • This is probably related to the change happening to gizmodo, but at the bottom of articles, the gizmodo section doesn’t look like it is updating anymore.

    And on that note, might take some getting used to that scrolling to the end of a gizmodo article automatically loads another article instead of showing comments and links to other articles. I prefer the old way, but times are always a changin

  • Can anyone point me to the details of what is happening with Gizmodo? Up until the recent changes it was my go to tech site but I can’t stand the layout and the US-centric nature of it makes it rather confusing to understand (prices and dates mainly, not to mention the sloppy copy-editing). Suggestions for alternate sites would be much appreciated too. Will keep reading Kotaku in this current format but may be looking for an alternative if/when it heads the same way – which, sadly, feels inevitable.

    I’m not blaming the site, btw, it’s got to do what it’s got to do. I don’t expect anyone to pander to what I want, but there are too many things that I find off putting with these changes.

      • Yeah, if there’s specific feedback you have, we can look into that. There’s obviously still bugs, just like there was when these redesigns were launched, so some of the things that are annoying you may not be designed to.

    • I’m sure people appreciate it, I don’t watch a lot of anime but your reviews do pique my interest.

    • I just jumped on here. I’ve been enjoying the reviews, thank you.

      Netflix just got One Piece. I’d recommend this to everyone, so if you haven’t seen it before and have Netflix, log in and start watching. ( I finally got my 9 year old and 7 year old to watch a show with subtitles and they were laughing! )

  • Holy fucking shit is the redesign of kotaku horrible.
    Using dark mode of this website for as long as its been around to this blinding monstrosity.

    • After downloading the dark reader plugin which turns EVERY website into darkmode.
      Its SO much better not having my retinas burned.

  • CHANGE IT BACK CHANGE IT BACK CHANGE IT BACK
    this is fuckin terrible, my dudes! it was fine the way it was!

    removing up/down votes is an interesting, but probably wise choice.
    removing dark mode was a fucking TERRIBLE choice. I’m guessing it was overlooked, rather than intentional, which is how I feel about the action of making this update go live.
    anyway
    CHANGE IT BACK CHANGE IT BACK CHANGE IT BACK

    • You might wanna download the ‘Dark Reader’ Plugin.
      Its the ONLY thing that makes the redesign workable.
      Up/downvotes im okay with, But losing the ability to see if someone has replied to your message is big “wtf”.

      • Yeah, that one convinces me this is a case of not-thought-through.
        Unless they’re intentionally trying to kill off community engagement?

        • Of course nobody is trying to kill off engagement. Come on.

          Site redesigns are always a bit painful because it’s just not possible to get every feature over in the first batch; there’s a lot of other features at play. One of the biggest factors here was the work on the backend (we have a visual editor now, instead of just writing raw goddamn HTML all the time). There’s new systems for the EDM as well and a ton of different changes to syndication and tagging that all take an enormous amount of time to get right, because the sites have so many hundreds of thousands of stories to bring over from when they were first set up.

          We’ll iron things out and continue working on the readability, believe me – we’ve already spent most of the weekend logging various issues and things to be sorted into a priority list, as you’d expect. But there’s always going to be a few bumps in the first few weeks. As someone who was on the other side the last time we did this, the rollout has been a bit smoother; the last redesign had a major flaw when it went live that stopped me from editing or publishing new posts, and things that were live on the front page were just completely broken for a while.

          People always think these things are way easier than they actually are, and I promise you, it’s a nightmare. Genuinely. It’s not as straightforward as just swapping out a WordPress plugin or a theme and then hitting live.

    • There’s definitely some decent things in there, at a glance it’s running smoother, but it feels hyperactive. Doesn’t seem to scale to different resolutions well at all. It seems like one of those overly busy websites that doubles down on quantity over quality. The ones where they don’t expect you to actually read anything. Maybe it makes sense on their partner sites that have faster news cycles.
      I’ll probably get used to it but right now it feels like content is poorly defined. A comment, article, different type of article, it all just rolls into one continuous blob of text and images.

      • If we can make a list:
        * Doesn’t scale to different resolutions well
        * No dark mode
        * No notifications for when you’ve received a reply
        * No text formatting (maybe they weren’t used enough to justify keeping but spoiler was good for spoilers)
        * Nathan Grayson still on payroll
        * “Endless content” style of appending articles to end of articles can make scrolling to comments a nightmare

        • What resolutions are you trying to scale to (this will help);

          Dark mode noted, notifications noted, text formatting is still in there technically like so but the prompts haven’t carried over. Cut the Nathan stuff, crapping on authors has never been OK and you know Kotaku AU is run by a separate company with separate editorial teams.

          The infinite scroll thing I think is more not being able to cleanly navigate or jump to comments; that’s something that can be solved with a button or improved functionality. I’d also add that there should be an extended prompt letting you know who you’re replying to when making a comment (ie. comes up with the username/post time).

          Generally: many thanks. Bullet point stuff makes it very easy for people to chase down (and also for me to feed it back up the chain).

          • I can’t really monkey with the resolution right now but it doesn’t seem like it’s anchored well so even as low as 1920 x 1080 results in two giant columns on either side of the page. Probably 30-40% is dedicated to it and only about a third of that space is actually used for the ads.
            The other articles/sponsored articles column knocks everything pretty far off center, so combined with the side columns I have to look to my right at a very slim article rather than focusing straight forward. If the article column was wider I don’t think it’d be a problem but right now it feels like boxes within boxes within awkwardly placed boxes.

            With the endless content I don’t think it’s really anyone’s cup of tea but I get why you guys need to do things like that. For the most part it seems like you guys have made it pretty seamless. I’d just like it if things were more clearly defined.

            Bug wise there also seems to be an issue with the ‘find us on Twitch’ background in Chrome. After scrolling to a new article it gets pushed into the middle and bumped into the foreground. I think it’s just clashing with the ad that was already on the page (in this case the Intel processor ad).

            Also I don’t want to harp on it but I do think it’s important to say that when you put eight articles up top consisting of one medium image, three small images and four with no images, it sends the message that four articles aren’t worth reading, three are filler and the medium one might be ok.
            Visually it screams lack of confidence in your content. When I load up the front page it seems like the only thing you guys have confidence in is ARK. Like I said in my other comment that’s fine if you have a really fast news cycle, but in this case I’m not looking at anything that sells itself as important.
            I get that Monday morning AEST in the middle of a pandemic is slow but gaming news is rarely fast and this layout amplifies that by branding half of the articles as not even worth an image.
            I’m sure you’ve got plenty of people with design backgrounds and actual traffic stats looking at it. I’d just hate to see you guys get locked into a layout that devalues your content.

          • Also, hitting Reply does not prompt for Login, if you are not logged in. Instead nothing happens.
            Instead I had to scroll to the top, select Login, then scroll back down to find the comment I wanted to reply to.

    • I’ve mailed some stuff in earlier, but yesterday and today I’ve noticed that some of the side/border ads (JB, Lenovo) have been intruding onto the article and other links, so that anything you try to click (Desktop – Chrome) takes you to the ad page instead of following the link or posting a reply comment. A quick and dirty F5 won’t always fix it either, but CTRL+F5 seems to do the trick more often than not.

    • Are reply chains smaller now?

      I’d also like to mention some times the infinite scroll stops working, so then I’m cut off from literally years of content. I only managed to get back to here via the “In Real Life” tag.

      • And the search field (clicking the magnifying glass) doesn’t do anything.
        I do like to complain a lot (it’s fun) but this update doesn’t feel like it was beta tested at all!

  • @alexwalker: on the new site, the “Logged in as $username” link above the comment box seems to point at the WordPress admin interface, and it seems to be generally accessible.

    It seems fairly well locked down only providing a screen to edit my profile information (with a few more fields than the link in the top right shows), and a dashboard page showing recent comments. Presumably this is an oversight though, right?

  • The new site is a disaster.

    As others have said, the whole website now looks like an Outbrain link farm with all the quality content buried so far in that it’s completely lost in all the pointless filler such as the top 6 banner articles and the useless ‘deals’ sidebar.

    I have had the same filler “The Full Lego Super Mario Launch Lineup Will Run You Nearly $1,000” centre top on the main page for the last 24 hours. I presume, given the prominence, that this is a promo but it’s not listed as such. I can’t imagine why else it would be sitting front and centre for so long while a dozen higher quality articles slip down and off the main page.

    One can’t even see the time stamped content until the 7th article down.

    I can’t even parse the site visually. Due to my over-stimulated 21st century brain I have long ago taught myself to completely ignore most extraneous content, such as ads and filler, and zero in on actual content. The new site completely disables my ability to ignore busyness.

    My inability to ignore busyness may seem a bonus to marketing types, because on paper it forces me to read all the useless content in order to sift for the useful. In practice, I just won’t read “PlayStation Has A Ton Of Bargains Under $20” and “They’re Finally Making A New Pokémon Snap”, or anything else, because I just don’t have the mental energy. Instead, I’ll just be off to several much more readable and easier to parse sites instead.

    Article scrolling is just confusing given how wordy some of the articles are and how much ad content is crammed between each one. Trying to work out where the comments and ads start and stop and the new article begins is just a nightmare. Also, I just tested out the scrolling feature again right now and being a bit to vigorous with it crashed my browser (Firefox).

    At the very least, please turn off article scrolling outside of the main page. The odds of me being interested in actually reading two sequential articles one after the other are virtually zero – sorting such things is actually what the main page is traditionally for, after all.

    • That top stories should be cycled out. It was stuck for a while because of some bugs in the backend that meant instead of being able to search for the articles we wanted to highlight, the CMS was just giving us a chronological list of posts to pick from. From every post that had ever been written.

      You can imagine what that was like. It’s been fixed up, so that problem shouldn’t happen (unless it’s a public holiday or nobody’s working – we always have to manually curate what the top articles are).

      Time stamps are on all articles, in-article and on the front page. But the font’s small and that can be adjusted for better visibility. The new design also has pushed the comments further up the page than what the old design had, so it should be easier to work out where the comments are, not harder.

      I think the problem you’re citing is that you’re after less news stories, and want more higher quality feature writing. That’s something we can permanently surface much better with this design using the 3rd column on the skybox. “Kotaku Longreads” or a header of some description would probably be good for that.

      As always, thanks for your patience and the feedback. I say this a lot, and I know it must seem blase, but it seriously helps. It makes it easier for those who aren’t on the site everyday to understand the UX things that matter most to people.

      And, as I have done for almost five years, I appreciate the time you have spent reading. I’m eternally grateful, truly.

      • I appreciate your considered and detailed response. Obviously I’ve had huge value out of the site for many years. Let’s hope that the quality doesn’t end up getting completely buried in the redesign, but I think I’ve said that already. Thanks again. 🙂

      • Another minor annoyance is that is you login it redirects you to the homepage rather than the article you are on. So if you login to comment you have to go hunting for the article again

      • Well, obviously nothing has changed, but I’m just popping by to say that I did wonder if once I got used to the site parseability might improve as my brain adapted to know where to look. It hasn’t.

        The site remains an unreadable mess and scrolling happens far too fast to easily pick up on breaks between content – I find myself scrolling up and down several times if, for example, I am trying to scroll to the end of an article to get to the punch line or comments. Some sort of graphical indicator, or better yet a forced hard pause for a second or so, would help, although I’d still much prefer if it was turned off entirely when clicking through to an individual article.

        Also, time stamps do not appear in the top six featured articles on the front page, nor does the comments indicator. The absence makes these six articles appear old by default, and the inability to see which of these articles is attracting comments reads as if these articles are not generating any buzz, and are therefore probably dull.

        Still very happy to see the thumb-based popularity contest gone, it really reduces the incentive for pile-ons.

        You mention “you’re after less news stories, and want more higher quality feature writing”, which isn’t strictly true. I like both, but consume each quite differently. Feature articles take time to process and encourages interaction in the comments. ‘News stories’ are fine as well, but there is a ton of candy-flavoured filler there – these are quick browse elements that sometimes deserve a quick dip in and sometimes only warrant a scan of the headline. The system of scrolling both chronologically treats both as if they are consumed the same way (slowly, reading every word).

        We haven’t yet had a 30 image cosplay article pop through yet, or a ‘community review’ Steam screencap fest, but when we do all those un-thumbnailed images are really going to emphasise the shittyness of the scrolling system, especially if you’re on a data-capped mobile plan.

        • Timestamps don’t appear on the skybox (that’s the featured stories section you’re talking about). But that’s been the case on the last version of the website, the one before that, and the original version of Kotaku as well. They’ve never had timestamps or comment indicators; that’s only ever appeared on the main feed. It’s pretty normal that we’d carry that design methodology over, especially since this is the first time since I’ve been working on the site hearing that specific complaint.

          I don’t miss the removal of upvotes/downvotes either, but I would still like some kind of reporting feature for everyone. There’s more work to be done with the comments, especially since the way threads work was designed for a different type of scale. We have to completely rethink how that works and what it looks like, though.

  • I notice that a number of articles have comments disabled. Is there any pattern to which ones are open to comments and which ones aren’t?

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