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Originally Posted by Sharp
I would ideally like to have access to the dataset so I could draw my own conclusions from it, but I will (for now) accept these numbers as given. I will add that I am not entirely convinced the language used in that survey passes a test for bias, but I don't want to be stuck quibbling about minutiae all day. With that being said, this still all comes back to my initial point that I made 2 pages ago however of, "even if it is what all of the players want, we don't know if it is what Larian wants," and until they clarify what they are and are not willing to budge on, its just a matter of us going back in forth in circular arguments.

Fair. We have some idea of what Larian wants (e.g., "missing is not fun"), but definitely not a full picture.
There is definitely a lot of circular arguments going on in these forums. Hopefully the next update from Larian will give us information on their plan/things they refuse to budge on, so we can better focus discussion.

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Again, I would caution against waiving the white flag at a "not going to budge" comment. I saw Bioware refuse to budge on evil playthroughs for years. And eventually that niche won. There's an old fable about the person who gets the door opened not because the homeowner wanted to open the door but because the people on outside wouldn't stop knocking.

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Originally Posted by KillerRabbit
Again, I would caution against waiving the white flag at a "not going to budge" comment. I saw Bioware refuse to budge on evil playthroughs for years. And eventually that niche won. There's an old fable about the person who gets the door opened not because the homeowner wanted to open the door but because the people on outside wouldn't stop knocking.

I still cannot think of any Bioware games which have dedicated evil paths. In fact, their older games (BG 1 and 2) are the ones which probably have the most evil decisions available in them, over time if anything they have become entrenched in this view. In dragon age origins, you cannot side with the darkspawn and nor is their a path which ends with anything other than the death of the archdemon. My mind has thankfully wiped all memory of DA 2, but unless I am wrong, it didn't have an evil path either. Nor does inquisition. Just because other companies are open to doing evil paths, does not mean bioware has changed at all.

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tl;dr :: none of your argumentation has anything to do with the article.

Bottom line: Swen gave some vacuous answers to pointed questions about player feedback by emphasizing non issues (like "clamouring for more environmental effects!) and skirting others completely (like, I guarantee you that party movement and the chain system will remain untouched, despite how much people hate it).

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You could technically play as "evil" even though it was all for the purpose of defeating the Archdemon.
You could kill the elves to ally yourself with the werewolves (or vice versa).
You could keep an anvil of void to get golems.
You could have wiped out the entire circle to get Templar support.
You could have killed Connor or Isolde to stop the demon.
You could even leave Redclife at the mercy of the undeads.
Dragon Age origins probably had the best wrong path without making the character caricatically evil, unlike BG1 and BG2 where playing the evil character was pointless (the game actively punished you for playing the evil character).

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Originally Posted by KillerRabbit
Again, I would caution against waiving the white flag at a "not going to budge" comment. I saw Bioware refuse to budge on evil playthroughs for years. And eventually that niche won. There's an old fable about the person who gets the door opened not because the homeowner wanted to open the door but because the people on outside wouldn't stop knocking.


If I'm not mistaken, Swen gave an example of Larian being very stubborn about durability (D:OS2 EA) and budging in the end. So we'd have a precedent from Larian. This is also why I'm not against "unlikely" suggestions or suggestions about system Larian described as set in stone (day/night cycle). One exception would be RTwP (unfortunately), since it would require developing a new combat system almost from scratch.

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Originally Posted by Abits

And where do Dragon Age, Mass Effect, and Witcher 3 fit on the "mainstream scale"?


Well, they're up there I just neglected to mention them -- Witcher 3 is a national treasure apparently so that I think is cheating. I don't think DO:S2 came close to any of those three.

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Fun fact, how you approach data analysis totally depends on people.

I've read quickly through the posts about " satisfaction surveys " etc and you guys try to use them to pinpoint if the " general vibe" of this forum is representative of the majority which is supposed to be represented by Steam. It's a very good question and although quite hard to answer( due to the issue with the survey itself) I lived in a word where you actually ignore the majority when analyzing data. You need them to make sure everything works " in general" but when it comes to improving systems average joe isn't loud enough.


If 10 000 people receive a product ( BG3 ^^) most of them should rate it 6 or 8/10. If that happens, the product is good enought.
Then you take every review below 6 and above 8 and the opinion of those guys should actually matter.

The idea being those who rate he product 9 and 10 will talk about it and promote it.
Those who rate it negatively(5 and less) will harm the product's popularity.
And those who say " it's good enough, could be better?" . Well.... those guys won't change anyone's mind.

It's a simplified description of a way more complicated mindset when it comes to approaching data. But if you look at your discussion above from this perspective you can assume that the majority liked it based on steam + the sells. And now you're talking with the 8+ and 5-. The 6/8 will post once and disappear.

Just my 2 cents.


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@virion This is basically the principle that "only the happiest or the most unhappy people leave feedback," right? Therefore, no forum (or steam reviews or whatever) will actually be representative of the true population of players?

I could accept this, with the following caveat. As this product is in EA, many so-called 6-8s might have a stronger desire to participate in the forums than they would otherwise. Quite possibly to advocate against changes by saying that they're happy enough with the current game. This would actually increase the number of "effective 9/10" posters.

Or the opposite could happen: people who would otherwise just rate the game as "fine" are encouraged to find flaws that they'd otherwise not comment on...

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Originally Posted by mrfuji3
@virion This is basically the principle that "only the happiest or the most unhappy people leave feedback," right? Therefore, no forum (or steam reviews or whatever) will actually be representative of the true population of players?

I could accept this, with the following caveat. As this product is in EA, many so-called 6-8s might have a stronger desire to participate in the forums than they would otherwise. Quite possibly to advocate against changes by saying that they're happy enough with the current game. This would actually increase the number of "effective 9/10" posters.

Or the opposite could happen: people who would otherwise just rate the game as "fine" are encouraged to find flaws that they'd otherwise not comment on...


1)this is basically the principle that "only the happiest or the most unhappy people leave feedback," right? Therefore, no forum (or steam reviews or whatever) will actually be representative of the true population of players?

Kinda. But the point is rather that we don't care about the true population of players as long as they are " overall happy". They might leave feedback but we pat them on their head and ignore them. Kinda funny how Electronic Arts did the exact opposite for a long time.

2) The context of the EA is really important too and I skipped it, you are right. Which might explain to some extent why nearly 38% voted 9+ on recommending the EA to others. The low number of respondents it's also one of the reasons. Together with other questions being formulated very poorly and orienting the answers(that last statement can be argued about forever, creating a reliable survey is super complex though).

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1IgN2IAZi8Hho6X_7XpiW-0N_cUYEJvX8/view



The whole reason for approaching data this way is to keep a good "overall" image and eleminate people demoting the product. Enhancing on aspects helping to promote the product is a secondary task.

I talk about this because for some reason people tend to bring this " Niche vs Majority" argument in discussions about features. "If the majority doesn't like it , then it doesn't make sense to even talk about it seriously". It's not the case. The end result will be a few % of people telling you not to buy bg and a few % telling you to buy it at all cost. The 2nd group should be higher than the 1st one.

When you think of it the idea of collecting feedback based of a forum is actually problematic due to this last paragraph alone. A person adressing an issue vocally and saying it's a gigantic issue might be a promoter in reality.
The whole system exists as a customer satisfaction initiative aiming at controlling the image of a company and it's products. That's why it's problematic to apply it to software development in it's pure form too. But with the magic of "telemetry" implemented in video games you could go as far as trying to force the feedback via ingame pop-up at the end of let's say 10 hours of gameplay(after finishing a session for instance) just to get the " satisfaction" number. And then you would know if the majority actually matters.

I think I need to change my life choices and go to game dev, I'm so curious what this data could bring.


Last edited by virion; 14/11/20 03:08 AM.

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Originally Posted by Ellenhard


Your statements are certainly not true, if you'll kindly take the time to actually read what people post here.
I, for one, came here with a respect for the opinions of many people in this thread. And would really like for this thread to stay constructive, even though I hear contradicting opinions.

We are (partially) waiting for Larian representatives to form their own understanding of their resources, willingness to share with us, the capability to ask or direct.

Or it could be like it is now, and while it isn't bad at all on a grand scale, I'd say there will be missed opportunities.


Really? There's only one person who asks the right question thus far and that's Orbax in his signature and there's Whispering Spider who can definitely hold his own and understands the basic questions posed by people like Surface and Sharp.

Yet, in spite of that, no one has actually sketched out what the demographic breakdown would be like at a basic level and what mechanical changes means to each. You can pretty much apply this across the board to all concerns. Here is an example illustrating what I mean:

Given the possibility that Larian has to cater between 5e purists, nostalgia driven players, new players with minimal RPG experience, co-op players (could be a subset of the previous), players who have moderate experience with RPGs but prefer narrative experiences etc. what kind of combat flow would be acceptable to that audience, of what percentage might we lose if we increase the turns of the average combat by say five and how would player experience be if they missed more often? etc. What are the trade offs, how can we tweak the system and maximize users?

Name me anyone who bothers to actually do that because that's, at a bare minimum, what any game dev has to think about when given possible constraints (as highlighted by the interviews) such as these at a minimum (we don't know their other constraints). People like Isaac, Victor, Maximuus, and KillerRabbit simply do not care to answer that basic as fuck question.

There's nothing respectable about opinions that have zero work behind them and not one iota of brain power, you can pretty much compound everything they say into 5e > *. While they understand the rules they don't actually understand the system or its actual break points because they have never put themselves in the shoes of what a DM is supposed to be which is a game designer or a systems architect. If they did then they would at least be able to compete with Larian while heading in a different direction.

But hey it's great that you have respect for opinions that are rarely substantiated or well thought out and would never pass for any technical vigor, bravo.

If you want a thread to be constructive then why don't you take the time to read the interviews you posted and pretend to be in their shoes? Is that so hard to ask?

Oh, wait, it's because you're not interested in asking the hard questions and answering them, I am willing to wager that the questions are above you based on reading your previous posts here.

And I have definitely read most of the posts here, it's basically quips and agreements here and there or circle jerks about how it's not D&D or not BG or it needs to be more BG - again not much real substance behind it and when pushed by either Sharp and others here there's not much of a defense either.

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Originally Posted by Limz
Originally Posted by Ellenhard


Your statements are certainly not true, if you'll kindly take the time to actually read what people post here.
I, for one, came here with a respect for the opinions of many people in this thread. And would really like for this thread to stay constructive, even though I hear contradicting opinions.

We are (partially) waiting for Larian representatives to form their own understanding of their resources, willingness to share with us, the capability to ask or direct.

Or it could be like it is now, and while it isn't bad at all on a grand scale, I'd say there will be missed opportunities.


Really? There's only one person who asks the right question thus far and that's Orbax in his signature and there's Whispering Spider who can definitely hold his own and understands the basic questions posed by people like Surface and Sharp.



Name me anyone who bothers to actually do that because that's, at a bare minimum, what any game dev has to think about when given possible constraints (as highlighted by the interviews) such as these at a minimum (we don't know their other constraints). People like Isaac, Victor, Maximuus, and KillerRabbit simply do not care to answer that basic as fuck question.

There's nothing respectable about opinions that have zero work behind them and not one iota of brain power, you can pretty much compound everything they say into 5e > *. While they understand the rules they don't actually understand the system or its actual break points because they have never put themselves in the shoes of what a DM is supposed to be which is a game designer or a systems architect.



You're trying to do Larian's job for some reason. Just focus on discussing features as you see fit for yourself. That's what others do. If you try to analyze a feature based on audience as a user then I really don't see what you're trying to achieve.


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Originally Posted by Uncle Lester
Originally Posted by KillerRabbit
Again, I would caution against waiving the white flag at a "not going to budge" comment. I saw Bioware refuse to budge on evil playthroughs for years. And eventually that niche won. There's an old fable about the person who gets the door opened not because the homeowner wanted to open the door but because the people on outside wouldn't stop knocking.


If I'm not mistaken, Swen gave an example of Larian being very stubborn about durability (D:OS2 EA) and budging in the end. So we'd have a precedent from Larian. This is also why I'm not against "unlikely" suggestions or suggestions about system Larian described as set in stone (day/night cycle). One exception would be RTwP (unfortunately), since it would require developing a new combat system almost from scratch.


Perfect example! You always lose the battle you don't fight.

Very interesting @Virion. Forum really needs a like button but I do find that valuable.

Also, @Sharp is right to say that Bioware themselves did not move much but I think we would agree that over devs have responded to that discourse.

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Originally Posted by virion


The whole reason for approaching data this way is to keep a good "overall" image and eleminate people demoting the product. Enhancing on aspects helping to promote the product is a secondary task.

I talk about this because for some reason people tend to bring this " Niche vs Majority" argument in discussions about features. "If the majority doesn't like it , then it doesn't make sense to even talk about it seriously". It's not the case. The end result will be a few % of people telling you not to buy bg and a few % telling you to buy it at all cost. The 2nd group should be higher than the 1st one.

When you think of it the idea of collecting feedback based of a forum is actually problematic due to this last paragraph alone. A person adressing an issue vocally and saying it's a gigantic issue might be a promoter in reality.
The whole system exists as a customer satisfaction initiative aiming at controlling the image of a company and it's products. That's why it's problematic to apply it to software development in it's pure form too. But with the magic of "telemetry" implemented in video games you could go as far as trying to force the feedback via ingame pop-up at the end of let's say 10 hours of gameplay(after finishing a session for instance) just to get the " satisfaction" number. And then you would know if the majority actually matters.

I think I need to change my life choices and go to game dev, I'm so curious what this data could bring.



... Or you could just do what they're doing already, by the way welcome to 2020, have you heard of a defunct company called Cambridge Analytica? Or a small company called Facebook or a feature called Google Maps or Waze?

The best way is to look at actual player behavior and mine the players for information then construct profiles based on that and let that inform you while adding forum/reddit/whatever feedback as secondary sources.

Shouldn't the very fact that they have a heat map give you a hint as to what they're thinking and their capabilities? Or the fact that they know what the romance rates are or how many times people have pet a damn thing?

This is where the real data is at, not a stupid survey, not these forums, not reddit.

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Originally Posted by virion

You're trying to do Larian's job for some reason. Just focus on discussing features as you see fit for yourself. That's what others do.


Lol, really?

Asking people to be objective or to think about the problem that's causing them so much discomfort is suddenly Larian's job. You're ridiculous.

Originally Posted by virion

If you try to analyze a feature based on audience as a user then I really don't see what you're trying to achieve.


Then you don't really deserve to work in any field remotely touching a product in any way shape or form right?

You do realize that Larian also plays their own game right? And that other devs play other games right and often go through the same process of thinking?

You know devs that aren't related to video games, such as myself, use a product (like a certain HR/Payroll app) while also having to analyze it from an audience perspective right (hint: it's part of your fucking job)?

So, when you read what I wrote, nowhere did you think that after having achieved what I have asked that there is any gain? No new refinements in arguments, no perspectives, no new questions can be gained?

Like you don't think after applying any argument to these rigors they'll come out stronger or at least have a path to be stronger or have more clarity?

So, you simply prefer people to say "5e is perfectly balanced, we should use this" with no context? Amazing.

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Originally Posted by Limz


... Or you could just do what they're doing already, by the way welcome to 2020, have you heard of a defunct company called Cambridge Analytica? Or a small company called Facebook or a feature called Google Maps or Waze?

The best way is to look at actual player behavior and mine the players for information then construct profiles based on that and let that inform you while adding forum/reddit/whatever feedback as secondary sources.

Shouldn't the very fact that they have a heat map give you a hint as to what they're thinking and their capabilities? Or the fact that they know what the romance rates are or how many times people have pet a damn thing?

This is where the real data is at, not a stupid survey, not these forums, not reddit.


And no point what Larian is doing right now replaces what I talked about.

1) Never heard of Google, thanks for the tip mate. Cool website. wink

2) Agreed about the in-game data but I also mentioned it in my post. So yes, I'm aware of it.

3) The " real data" being from in-game data and not forums or reddit applies to analyzing impact of features on gameplay experience. That's pretty much it. You could admit players dropping the game at a given point is an indicator of the quality but players not finishing games is a way bigger subject than it seems so it's arguably not an argument for quality.



You can claim forums are only a marginal way of gathering feedback about gameplay and in the end aren't the main drive for decisions made by Larian. You will be right. Even if it stills makes sense to have it since you might see solutions to things that are an actual problems according to the data you gathered.

You ignore one aspect in what I said though.

Forums have an impact on the game's image. Those interviews Sven went through are partially based precisely on reddit and this forum.

Now the topic of impact of reviews from metacritic and interviews like the ones listed before on sales is a different subject. Precisely why I talked about the satisfaction meter being added as part of in game data.
Right now you have to guess people's opinion about it. Being able to connect the end result to the gameplay experience is actually a huge thing.


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Originally Posted by Limz
Originally Posted by virion

You're trying to do Larian's job for some reason. Just focus on discussing features as you see fit for yourself. That's what others do.


Lol, really?

Asking people to be objective or to think about the problem that's causing them so much discomfort is suddenly Larian's job. You're ridiculous.

Originally Posted by virion

If you try to analyze a feature based on the audience as a user then I really don't see what you're trying to achieve.


Then you don't really deserve to work in any field remotely touching a product in any way shape or form right?

You do realize that Larian also plays their own game right? And that other devs play other games right and often go through the same process of thinking?

You know devs that aren't related to video games, such as myself, use a product (like a certain HR/Payroll app) while also having to analyze it from an audience perspective right (hint: it's part of your fucking job)?

So, when you read what I wrote, nowhere did you think that after having achieved what I have asked that there is any gain? No new refinements in arguments, no perspectives, no new questions can be gained?

Like you don't think after applying any argument to these rigors they'll come out stronger or at least have a path to be stronger or have more clarity?

So, you simply prefer people to say "5e is perfectly balanced, we should use this" with no context? Amazing.



You could use some chill. I'm taking personal comments as misplaced.


"So, you simply prefer people to say "5e is perfectly balanced, we should use this" with no context? Amazing. "

1)I prefer them to say how they defined themselves as a player, what they want, and why. Three things. No in-game data will give you this explicitely. You can get a profile, what feature they use and you have to figure out why.

2)At no point a user explaining to me he wants a feature but don't think it makes sense because others won't like it because [insert reason] based on his personal experience is to be dissmised[Aka Dev /DM experience]. But the 2nd part of his opinion isn't exactly the center of the discussion. What matters it's he's a DM + Software Dev + Plays X hours a day paired with #1 above.

Your entire paragraph though was aimed at re-centering the entire discussion about the 2nd point. And even more, delving into the details of it(That's how it felt when I was reading it). You're effectively harming yourself in the process in my opinion.


Small disclaimer:
I was talking about something a bit different in my posts on this page, I was referring more to PR in the context of those articles and the forum. Less than the actual impact of the forum on decision making.

Last edited by virion; 14/11/20 04:22 AM.

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Originally Posted by Limz


You do realize that Larian also plays their own game right? And that other devs play other games right and often go through the same process of thinking?

You know devs that aren't related to video games, such as myself, use a product (like a certain HR/Payroll app) while also having to analyze it from an audience perspective right (hint: it's part of your fucking job)?
So, when you read what I wrote, nowhere did you think that after having achieved what I have asked that there is any gain? No new refinements in arguments, no perspectives, no new questions can be gained?
Like you don't think after applying any argument to these rigors they'll come out stronger or at least have a path to be stronger or have more clarity?


Larian is not a person who plays their own game. In actual reality devs rarely do and are mostly very bad at it. Because they actually spend far more time in development and are not really game players but - developers.
And due to that fact have a very different perception of the gameplay when they actually engage in it.

The rest of that reply is just a series of strawman hallucinations about what someone else thinks you created yourself.


Originally Posted by Limz

So, you simply prefer people to say "5e is perfectly balanced, we should use this" with no context? Amazing.

Another ridiculous strawman.

Quote

.. Or you could just do what they're doing already, by the way welcome to 2020, have you heard of a defunct company called Cambridge Analytica? Or a small company called Facebook or a feature called Google Maps or Waze?

What a hilariously self defeating argument in light of how much damage, distortion and various other negative influences and consequences all these companies created out of that specific data mining laser focused on the worst the human kind can offer, their amalgams and issues of how that can be used to draw in and ruin the rest.

Quote
The best way is to look at actual player behavior and mine the players for information then construct profiles based on that and let that inform you while adding forum/reddit/whatever feedback as secondary sources.

Best way for what? Delusions? Amassed lowest common denominators base reflexes?

Not that forums or reddit is much better, but this is the same as if someone would argue that every post and thread on the forums and reddit is equally valuable.

Quote

Shouldn't the very fact that they have a heat map give you a hint as to what they're thinking and their capabilities? Or the fact that they know what the romance rates are or how many times people have pet a damn thing?

Oy, the capabilities. How fancy. The heat maps! They sure tell you almost absolutely nothing because of the very fact players dont have any other options but to go where the content is and engage in as much of it as it is available.
Romance rates? How can any of that data reveal if those rates are happening because players actually really like those romances - or simply because its just content that can be clicked on and it makes little sense to avoid it. Especially early on when nobody knows where such content may lead. Or not. How much of it is actual enjoyment and how much is just early curiosity or fear about missing something?

You need data mining to tell you a lot of people will pet the damn dog? Or try to have sex with every companion they can? Really?

I can tell you the same for much less money - any time you ask. What a big reveal. Astounding data mining technologies and capabilities.

This sort of data can show something. Its not completely worthless but its largely superficial and very amenable to whatever interpretation is easy to make in order to give some easy lines to marketing.


Quote
This is where the real data is at, not a stupid survey, not these forums, not reddit.

Only if you are delusional, ignorant and prefer to lie to yourself. Preference of this kind of extremely limited and distorted data samples happens because its a great excuse to avoid actually dealing with people who play your EA or whatever, which is often difficult and fraught with traps of modern social media and mass temper tantrum reactions.



Last edited by Surface R; 14/11/20 05:25 AM.
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Originally Posted by Surface R



Quote

Shouldn't the very fact that they have a heat map give you a hint as to what they're thinking and their capabilities? Or the fact that they know what the romance rates are or how many times people have pet a damn thing?


Oy, the capabilities. How fancy. The heat maps! They sure tell you almost absolutely nothing because of the very fact players dont have any other options but to go where the content is and engage in as much of it as it is available.
Romance rates? How can any of that data reveal if those rates are happening because players actually really like those romances - or simply because its just content that can be clicked on and it makes little sense to avoid it. Especially early on when nobody knows where such content may lead. Or not. How much of it is actual enjoyment and how much is just early curiosity or fear about missing something?

You need data mining to tell you a lot of people will pet the damn dog? Or try to have sex with every companion they can? Really?

I can tell you the same for much less money - any time you ask. What a big reveal. Astounding data mining technologies and capabilities.




Yeah, it's not a replacement. Forum feedback and in game data analysis provide answers to two different questions basically. Forum provide more "brainstorm" answers but they can be incorporated in the whole process quite efficiently if done well.

I would love steam to provide public info about the playerbase of all games for devs, but I'm afraid that's not gonna happen. For it to be relevant it would require access to playerbase count per game and that's sensitive info for each company.


Last edited by virion; 14/11/20 05:42 AM.

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I've enjoyed the conversation, I've been impressed with the attempts to keep it on track but I'm starting to think

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