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[ FYI @ DOFUS UNITY ]

By bohemia - SUBSCRIBER - October 14, 2019, 21:51:05
AnkaTracker
[ FYI @ DOFUS UNITY ] 

Good evening,

Sorry for starting a bit late this time, but I've been busy irl.
Before starting, please allow me to mention two recommended readings:
  1. [ FYI @ ABOUT DOFUS ] : DOFUS, 1.29, RETRO, UNITY ( & WAKFU, & KROSMAGA)
  2. [ FYI @ DOFUS CUBE? WAVEN? WHAT THE MARSHMALLOW ARE THOSE? WHAT'S THEIR RELATION WITH DOFUS 1.X/ RETRO/ MONO/ 2.X ??? ]
 

Source (click to read original, in French)

DOFUS UNITY
[Blog note from October 6th, 2019]



[ 0. ] [ INTRO ]

Good evening, everyone,

On tweeter, I have announced you the writing of a message concerning Dofus Unity. But before sharing some IDEAS again, it looks important to me to remind [you] that here I am sharing reflections/ thoughts that may not succeed/ happen. Some [of the] questions that are being presented/ raised, allow me to asses especially the relevance of the topics. I repeat it gently for those who are in trouble/ have problems [with the game] but are sincere in their remarks. For some others, more virulent, haven't you ever noticed that, on social networks, the most unpleasant people are often those who have the least to say?

So, I will try to explain you the processes of reflections, and the different choices that present themselves to us/ available to us. The topics will be multiple, with the main idea being that of making you understand well the issues, so that we all have the same level of understanding on this particular complex subject.

Note: I will name:
  • DOFUS 1 = THE RETRO VERSION;
  • DOFUS 2 = THE CURRENT VERSION;
  • DOFUS UNITY = FOR THE SUBJECT THAT CONCERNS US.


[ 1. ] THE HEALTH OF ANKAMA

I see that is a subject that comes back regularly and it is beginning to crack my nuts that some people give themselves an important air/ appearance, without knowing what they are talking about. So, let's talk a little bit about it. This is important for DOFUS UNITY and [for] the decisions that we will make. Since we are talking about everything, it is important that you understand that the future of DOFUS UNITY is bound inevitably to our financial health. Taking the game to 3D will cost us a nut, and if we were on [financial] brink, we could not even consider it.
First of all, you should know that even before the arrival of DOFUS RETRO, Dofus was doing very well. In September this year, we were 620,000 players per month, and 270,000 players on DOFUS TOUCH. So, very good numbers were already there, Ankama was in very good health.
On October, the arrival of RETRO has created a huge buzz on the game itself, but also on DOFUS 2 and TOUCH. The MAU (monthly active user), therefore statistics, that are to be taken [into account] only in the first 5 days are monstrous. We have won / [and] re-gained almost 300,000 players on RETRO, and 70,000 more on DOFUS 2.
We have beaten a great part of our ebst historical numbers. And even if DOFUS RETRO is just a passenger/ temporary trend as some say, we could very well return to our figures from before DOFUS RETRO, and be satisfied.
This message is not only to shut up the bad voices. The very good financial health of Ankama is equally to be taken into account in the development of our new project. More [financial] means [do] allow us to take our time, and consider, for example, the construction of a team of 3D artists. DOFUS UNITY will be composed, in great part, of a new team, and, on the long run, that costs.
It should also make you understand that, whatever happens, we will not stop DOFUS 2 when we will launch its UNITY version. It will be, for the most part, [the work of] different teams. I am explaining all this to you, so that you [can] understand that everything is connected. The choices that we make, depend on the teams, on our knowledge, our resources, and, as I said above, on your feedback.


[ 2. ] WHO DOES WHAT
...

[ 3. ] COMMUNICATION
...

[ 4. ] SHARING THE VISION
...

[ 5. ] THE AGE OF REASON
...

[ 6. ] KROSMAGA & WAVEN
...

[ 7. ] DOFUS 1 & DOFUS 2
...

[ 8. ] THE REAL PROBLEM : YOUR CHARACTERS
...

[ 9. ] ON PORTING TO UNITY :
[ a. ] Map by map
[ b. ] The economy/ the [economic] exchanges/ the bots
[ c. ] Multi-accounting
[ d. ] The economic model
[ e. ] The housing concept

...

[ 10. ] THE CHOICE OF DOFUS 2
...

[ 11. ] THE CHOICE OF DOFUS 1
...

[ 12. ] MIXING THE TWO
...


(244 comments in French, on the French thread, at the moment of writing this; just to give you an idea on the amount of reactions the original post got so far; no, you don't have to take sick leave to read them all, I don't think I will translate them, not enough spare time in my hands ... )

( like on the other posts from this series, some of the translation will be in this post, some, in the comments; sadly, there is a length cap on max length (in characters, I think) per post, so I don't think I can do all translation in a single block; then, I can not post 2 posts in the same thread, one after another; so I will have to reply on you, guys, to post sometime, if not your opinion/s or vision on the future of Dofus as we know it, and/or on Waven, then at least to post some "ok" or w.e., just to allow me to make a new post with more of the translation, under your post )
 
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I wonder if those player numbers count bots as well.
Cause there certainly is a lot of them,even on the retro servers.

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It would be a certainty if it weren't for the shared subscription between Ankama games. Most bots on Retro are likely the same bots as from 2.0, as there is nothing stopping you being logged into both versions of the game at the same time.

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So when they [if they do] move dofus to unity there will be dofus 2.x and dofus on unity ? 

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[ 2. ] WHO DOES WHAT

To fully understand what our future plans have in store for us, a little review on the past is mandatory. First of all, I have to repeat it, I am not on DOFUS 2 for years now. I will not spit on everything that has been done, far from that. But it is important to understand that I have really lost the control [ / the management] of the project for years. At the beginning by choice, and after because I did not feel welcomed. Today I can speak with more ease, because after years of internal struggles, the team is finally behaving properly. When I say "[the team is behaving] properly", I mean "[the team is behaving] as the Ankama management wants".
Let it be clear, I have never wanted to impose anything very specific in terms of GD. When I have put [other] people to take care of the management of Dofus, I wanted especially to keep a relation with the team concerning the yearly Update and communication. My goal has been always to try to coordinate the universe [of Ankama projects] through brainstorming with teams' leader (when it comes about MMO DOFUS & WAKFU, but also on the animated projects or comics).
What I did not understand, but by living it/ going through it, is that when you leave people in charge of such an important project, it tends to make their heads spin. At Ankama, we have been through this situation multiple times and this is, in my opinion, the reason of many of our past problems. When it is about MMOs that you know, animated projects, our old structures in Paris, Tokyo ... I could simply summarize by saying that, with Kam, we are able to release beautiful projects while we are in control of them, but every time that we have entrusted missions or projects to teams by giving them total freedom, it has always gone into a spin.
I will not dwell too much on a subject that is extremely complex. I am speaking about all this at the beginning, so that you understand that it is very hard for us to return to DOFUS 2 and to understand all the ins and outs of the project.


[ 3. ] COMMUNICATION

Despite the fact that I have stopped any discussion with the DOFUS production team at the time, (I still have people who were capable of pulling out things like "It serves at nothing to exchange ideas with Tot, we have already thought of everything.") , I have always insisted during the years that you, the players, get REALLY listened to. I am not telling you this in an attempt to flatter you [and win your confidence], many of you appreciate me, [while] many others prefer to jump on [/over] me when I manifest myself.After 18 years together, I am not really at the stage of seduction, everything has already been said. So, I can tell you, far away from any sycophancy [/low and excessive flattering], that I am convinced that, since the beginning of the DOFUS adventure, many of you know the game better than we know it. I'm not ashamed to say (I am even proud of it), that when I recruit a player like Mugi to work on specific parts of game design for WAVEN, it is because I know, after 3 discussions, that he manages better than me the rules that I have already written. All it's needed is just to know to put own ego aside. I am giving the example of this young man, because he is my latest recruit in this direction, but they have been many others.

I am convinced 2000%, and this [has been] for years, on the importance of the opinions of the players on our work. 15 years ago, we have worked on DOFUS this way, and now [/today] we resume doing the same for WAVEN.
This is, obviously, not the opinion [/mind frame] of everyone internally. It is hard to admit that the players (your customers) are better than you in certain areas [of expertise]. Like I have said above, I do not see the things like this. I am (or I consider myself as being) a creative [person], and to create well, I have to confront my ideas. That's what I do every day internally. In Kam, at first; then with the people who surround me, on a second time. Really, I spend 50% of my time doing this, whether it is about writing game rules, or scripts for the series/ movie. This way of doing things after Ankama's debut, [it] has never left me. But I have to admit that, during the years, I have lots of troubles to impose this internally. The rare people who think like this are people like Xyale or Alvi (former player too). 
Logan, your new producer in Dofus, and our com/ marketing director are working on this direction/ path as well. WE have never had so many people on this movement, and since this is done gradually, it is hard to realize how much all this has changes the things lately. 
Look, for example, at the marketing offers. For years, I have asked that we do less and in a smarter way. Not that I don't want your money, but, on the contrary, my philosophy has always been not to do to others what I wouldn't like to be done to me. Proposing 3 offers for week, for example, it made me throw up. I said it 100 times but, when you have people who lack imagination, they do not know how to do anything other than what they have been always doing. The same, on communication. I do not seek to be the champion of the communication when I write to you, I seek to exchange ideas. So yes, of course, sometime (maybe often), I misunderstand. But that's normal, in the sense that I am looking for the good idea. And the good idea doesn't come right at the very first time, and especially by keeping it for one self. We work on extremely complicated projects, that require big reflections. In the end, 18 years later, we are still here, being passionate about what we do and with the desire to go further being still intact ... To do always better.
 
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[ 4. ] SHARING THE VISION

You will understand, the difficulty/ challenge is therefor to take 250 - 300 people in one direction, and do in such way that everybody stays on track. I will not lie to you, we have never succeeded. We can take 90% of the Ankamians, but rarely 100% ...
I will give you another example, because this one, I still have it at heart. The version of DOFUS RETRO that you have in hands, it is not totally OUR version of the game. You have asked the return of 1.29 for years, and you have been told that you can not [have it]. We did not have the [program/ code] sources anymore, so it was very hard to revive it and to make it evolve. The sources, [well,], we have found them 10 days ago, and I am convinced today that, at that time, the people who told us that they did not have them, they simply didn't want to be pissed off to launch a new version.
Another anecdote for the road? Several years ago, the revamp of CC weapons in Dofus, do you remember? We have lost 30% of our turn over for months following this revamp. I was on vacation at that time, I did not sleep for weeks. I have thought that the end of Ankama is near by. The people who did that, they knew very well what they were doing.They have put/ sent me a line "CC weapons revamp" in 10 paragraphs, to be sure that I would not see it, and when it happens, I have the right at an "we have warned Tot".
So, of course, something had to be done about the issues related to weapons ... But certainly not that way. One day I will write a beautiful book on all that. The "Ankama success story". It is a succession of stabs in the back, others that we duck, others that we take, and hundreds of problems to solve every week. It is something of an infinity complexity. We have learnt everything over the years, ambushes, alliances, betrayals, scams ... I see Ankama as the Iron Throne. It's a small kingdom in which so much [/ many things] happen.


[ 5. ] THE AGE OF REASON

So, why I am talking to you about this? First of all, because it makes me (feel) good, but mostly to tell you that it is over. There will be other worries, for sure, but those [belonging] of yesterday are fixed/ settled. I have announced it to you by creating this blog almost 2 years ago. I made a commitment to correct things, and that was done. I am satisfied with the people in place today, and [I am] happy with the direction towards which the projects go. I really feel that all these experiences which we have lived, they allow us to discern better on what we need to do.
And what we do need for DOFUS UNITY is to take the time to choose the framework of the project. And this framework, we will define it with you. 

I have told you too much, with the risk of loosing you. If you have to remember one thing, is that everything is connected, and it is rarely as simple as we can imagine. We enter now in the alive [part] of the subject.

 
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All the good girls going to hell, that's a lie we are all going there.

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[ 6. ] KROSMAGA & WAVEN

We talk about DOFUS UNITY, but we can not talk about it properly without approaching the subject of the two games above. K & W represent/ mean a lot to us, since that is about our first experiences on Unity. It is with these two games that we get a feeling/ an experience [of Unity], and that will help us enormously for the development of DOFUS UNITY. Technically, of course, (because a multitude of the tools developed for WAVEN will serve us for our future DOFUS), but not only. In order to create the next DOFUS, we must also consider the technological novelties that have emerged over the last 15 years and, most importantly, the gaming way of today/ the way we play today. We won't hide it, the players have less time, and if the game doesn't "glue" them to it in the first 10 minutes, they stop [playing].
Therefore, WAVEN will allow us to make beautiful experiences. WAWAN fans, do not cry/ shout for the lack of respect from my part, but each project is a little bit also the guinea pig for the next [project]. We ask ourselves millions of questions on WAVEN, and it would be entirely stupid not to take advantage of this for/ in  the future. Therefore, the development of DOFUS UNITY has started a long time ago, even if we do not know yet on which way to go. WAVEN will have its own game play, but as we work on it, we think about DOFUS UNITY systematically. We want to be sure to make the right choices, and when I exchange ideas with you on my blog, it is not following a discussion that [just] took place the day before.


[ 7. ] DOFUS 1 & DOFUS 2

You know better than me the differences between the two games. If I have to summarize my vision very quickly, I would say that the 2nd is much more complete, of course, but we have lost that simple charm of the old one [, of the 1st]. On DOFUS 2 we have enormous Fedex quests that have no other goal but to keep you in the game the longer time possible, and we have dungeons that need you to know how to read a NASA manual in order to be able to finish them. Of course, that is liked a lot by 2000 over-gifted people, who have the time, the brains and the energy to finish tasks worthy of Hercules' 12 labors. DOFUS 2 has become very elitist, that is a fact. I will shock you with this, but all this is pissing me off a lot. I have never wanted to work for 200 people [only]. My desire has always been to be "popular" (in the sense of "big public"/ "mainstream"). I want us to make projects for the family, able to be like-able by everyone. The magic of DOFUS 1 allowed it to have it played by a grandmom' and her little nephews ...

For me, the best game design offers rules that are easy to access, yet difficult to master. I am therefore completely on same wave length with the maxim of Nolan Bushnell, creator of Pong: "All the best games are easy to learn and difficult to master." .

DOFUS 2 has become like a real gas factory over the years. At server level as game rules. Some GDs have launched themselves into concepts that have never been completed. For years we had a GD team that presented itself as GD "system". The GD system, that's the guy who loves numbers and stats, the one who balances and who is the closest to the developer in his way of seeing things. When you have a team that claims to be such, you are in real [deep] shit / in trouble. Attention, I am not saying that it is not necessary, the good GD system is mandatory in a team of GD. But if do not have the "creative" GD next to it, it is dead. You will end up with a very punitive game. You know when you have a GD team system because you can usually see their work. For example, when you face/ fight a monster, and you say "Nuuu, but it is twisted/ weird, the guys behind it are crazy". You will bleed like sick people to understand what they have done (understand, "how to get in their head"), and some of you will keep asking themselves this (those who also play Eve Online, for example). But most other players will tell themselves that the game is not made for them. Blizzard are the world champions of online games because we feel/ perceive in their game that fun mix with a great balance. One does not take precedence over the other. We could talk about this again for hours, but if we stay there, I want you to understand that a big worry/ concern of DOFUS 2  is to re-do/ reconsider all the existing [game]. They are things that we do not want anymore, neither you the players, nor us, the team.


[ 8. ] THE REAL PROBLEM : YOUR CHARACTERS

In the end, there is no need to look very far away to find what is that really touches/ matters to you. You don't want to sit on/ loose years of efforts. You have developed a real empathy with your characters, and to imagine yourselves starting from zero/ scratch, puts you in bad mood. It is perfectly normal (and it is not worth to jump at my throat on social networks, to make me understand this). The real essence of the problem is there. 
But does that justify that we develop exactly the current DOFUS 2, with its flaws/ defects? We will satisfy you (and again, before the thing is done, I am not even sure), but we shoot ourselves in the foot for the future. And then, I think, deep in myself, without having real solutions yet, that perhaps we can find a solution to this problem, while correcting the fundamental problems of DOFUS 2.


[ 9. ] ON PORTING TO UNITY :

Whatever will be the porting to UNITY, these are the essential points that we must analyse:


[ a. ] Map by map : It must remain as it is. We will be able to work on a system for zoom in/ zoom out that is nicer, but even if at first the system is less sexy than a real scroll, it brings a lot of advantages. 

[ b. ] The economy/ the [economic] exchanges/ the bots : One of the major concerns of DOFUS is situated at the level of the economic system. Yes, it [is among the things that] makes its charm. But if we redo the last few moments, we realize that it has done a lot of harm to our baby. because of this free trade, the illegal sites selling objects and Kamas have begun to proliferate. We will not be able to save big changes on this aspect, if we don't want to suffer the same problems. I do not know yet how we will solve this thorny subject while keeping the same flexibility in the economy, but we must change that.

[ c. ] Multi-accounting : I think it will be just as important to allow players to play their characters in one and the same client. 50 - 60 % of you play multi-accounting, and it would be a little silly not to work on this option to facilitate your gaming experience. 

[ d. ] The economic model : As much it is hard to change the economic model on the current DOFUS, just as much as it is hard to do it on a new version, we can consider/ contemplate a free to play. WAVEN is oriented to a full free to play, where cosmetics will be the heart of our income/ revenue (I hope, otherwise it will be hard). Once again, WAVEN will allow us to test a system. Personally, I would like to have as many players as possible, and for that, the barrier of the subscription is not ideal. All that, to say that it is also a huge piece to consider for the porting to Unity.

[ e. ] The housing concept : So, here, there is something a little more personal, but which, I think, it is missing in DOFUS. We are developing some good ideas on WAVEN, regarding the HOUSING aspect, and I think we could take back some things to DOFUS UNITY. That everyone has his/ her own area. They were some excellent concepts on WAKFU, and we could take advantage of that and mix all that a little bit, and do something serious about it.
 
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Greetings! smile

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[ 10. ] THE CHOICE OF DOFUS 2

This was out first hypothesis.This is what it looked to us as being the most proper/ wise thing to do, and, some of it, we have already done it, when we ported DOFUS to mobile, at the time of DOFUS TOUCH. More than 2 years of production, to arrive at a first version. If we go in this direction, we must therefore expect 2 - 3 years of prod' , to have exactly the same content as today.
So, of course, from the point of view of the old players, loosing their characters is inconceivable. I understand perfectly, but you must understand that by going on this direction, we keep ALL THE SAME. The good things and the bad things.
And to what it concerns myself, I find it infinitely more complicated to manage. I am not saying it is impossible, but we are embarking on a particularly epic adventure, and I am afraid that such a way of porting [the game] will not bring us new players arriving [to the game]. I am not going to tell you story tales, we can do it. We can take the time and launch into this/ get into it.
If we take this path, the game will be therefore made of the current players for the most part [of it]. The worse, is what I tell myself, that the old players, used to DOFUS 2 for years and years, will not be able/ will not want to switch to the UNITY version, even if it will be 1000 times more beautiful. You have so many habits [in game], that the shock will be terrible [on porting to UNITY]. When switching to 2.0, we hardly touched the game design, it was a big porting. By forcing the players to make "the move" [to 2.0], we have lost 20 - 30 % of our subscribers. The numbers have exploded, of course, a few months later, but the beginning was horrible. 


[ 11. ] THE CHOICE OF DOFUS 1

By starting from DOFUS 1, the prod' will be much more simple, and, by extension, much more short. Another thing to consider: the performance. the servers of [DOFUS] 1 perform way better than those of [DOFUS] 2. DOFUS 2 having grown over the years, it gives/ it brings to [what we see that] it gives today.
Added to this, there is a a more accessible game play and simpler concepts.

Now, I don't know, but we could very well start by porting DOFUS 1, and evolve it progressively. The basic idea was to re-live the UPDATES one after another, and use the past to make the right choices. We could, very well, propose the players to switch their characters from DOFUS 1 & 2 to the Unity version. You could not necessarily have the exact game content as currently. [To tell you$ the truth, I don't even know how that would be possible. there should be defined the transfer rules.


[ 12. ] MIXING THE TWO

The last hypothesis to make a DOFUS that takes into account all that. It might be necessary to simply mix the idea of starting from DOFUS 1, but going beyond what you have currently in game. We add X [game] content, we modify the real big problems/ worries by consulting you, and we propose a character transfer.
Personally, I would start by keeping a nice drop system and assign some creations of specific objects to professions. The professions could craft objects a little bit stronger than those dropped, it's not very bad, but I think we lost something when removing drops. Some of the excitement has disappeared, steering DOFUS 2 much more towards the economy ...
Of course, in such a version, the character transfer would not give you the exact content as you currently have, but we could define a multitude of rules and exclusive rewards.
We could, why not, think of a whole concept around the transfer and offer a real role to the players, according to their level in DOFUS 2. When I say "a role", I think, for example, at a city that would be reserved to them, with dedicated rooms, titles, and other dedicated interactions.
After, keep in mind that the most difficult is not going to be to transfer your level, Kamas, object, ornaments ... No, the most difficult is in the details, so you have exactly the same things. If in the UNITY version we remove some items, you can not have them ... The same, on the breeding system that is too cumbersome/ burdensome ... Maybe it will not be present at first ... The marriage ...

In short, they are plenty of solutions to find, it is just [important] to know what it is acceptable and what not.

In any case, we have time to discuss all together this subject. There are no emergencies and, as I explained above, the work done on WAVEN serves us to clear/ prepare the field, and the goal is to take the time to put good ideas all together.

Have a nice Sunday and I look forward to reading you[r thoughts].


PS1: Sorry for, certainly, many faults, but I have the eyes flickering. I will make corrections tomorrow.
PS2: Thank you, to all those who leave me messages on the blog. I see that a lot of people start with "Tot, I do not know if you read this message, but ..." . I reassure you, I read them, even if I do not answer.



(end of translation)

Source (click here, to read original, in French) 
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Score : 6425

Thank you for translating. It’s very interesting.

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Score : -67

I'll see you guys in 10 more years for dofus 2:retro :^)

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Score : 555

thank you so much for this, I hope this comes out quickly since flash is about to die.
honestly I understand their statistics, but I would completely revamp the game, the map by map has it's charm but come on...
french and brazilian peoples love Dofus, the rest of the world prefer wakfu, mind you that game is made in java which also sucks and has many issues like memory leaks,  I cannot help myself but to judge that ankama is unfocused and lazy.
they lose subscribers because people don't like change at first yes fact, but they could get the whole world if they ACTUALLY cared about this universe, they want money, all games are P2W not p2p, if I've been playing for 15 years and learned to hate ankama.
if a new player put 500 dollars into the game they can buy enough kamas to put all professions lvl 200, make a full team of 200 mono account and worse, sell kamas for money back. they DO NOT listen to their subscribers or fans in general, have you seen the ridiculous Dofus Touch FAQ they made? saying that it is too much work to update the game, this is their excuse for everything, well try buying less whisky and hiring people, it is 2019 use fiverr for god's sake, after all, fans have made better concept arts and 3D versions than them, fans have made entire class systems on forums, they are blind, the only reason I play is for nostalgia and the fact that we do not have anything like it YET, why did retro got so many players? because we hate ankama choices, most of them at least! part of me wants them to fail horribly so they learn, but the other part wants them to listem to this beautiful community and just quit side projects , focusing on what actually matters.

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Score : 191

I'm from the UK, i've been playing Dofus for 12 years and I hate wakfu.

I've also been playing EVE online for 7 years, I can see the parallel in the direction of the games...catering for the few rather than the many.

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Score : 3161

Did you use google translate on this? Some sentences make no sense

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Score : 191

Didn't we have subs running well into 7 figures before 2.0?

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