So now the new streaming schedule is fully embedded, I thought I would share my thoughts, because I can't help myself.
- Production quality seems to be way up. Less technical issues, everything sounds and looks cripser and cleaner, replays have run better than they were. Everything feels like it's more on time, the intros are neat and I think the overlay is so much better now without the blue bar and all that jazz.
- I'm really glad we're getting more of what I feel is the best stream content - i.e. AFK and Crossing the Streams. These being regular fixtures is great and consistently provide some of the best entertainment you put out, because it allows you to be yourselves - funny, interesting and great at riffing off each other.
- Although I was skeptical, I think LoadingReadyLive has been a great addition and does exactly what it set out to do. I think some of the segments have been the best stuff you've put out, I enjoy how it fills in for the LRRcast and it's become something that I really do look forward to watching now.
That said, there is one massive negative from the new schedule for me, and simply - I'm watching a lot less now. I feel like I would watch almost daily between streams and replays, but now I generally watch twice, maybe three times a week (although I would usually watch Adam's Gamehaus religiously, unfortunately I'm always busy at the time now.)
From my PoV, there are two big reasons as to why.
- For me, some of the shows are now just too niche. They don't hold any appeal to me or the first couple episodes didn't grab me, so I just don't watch them because there's nothing to really bring me in. I don't think there's any need to name the shows as to avoid making people feel bad, but I'm just never going to watch them. This wasn't the case before - even shows I didn't watch often, sometimes they'd be playing something that really got my interest, so I'd drop in for a few streams. But if it's always going to be 'X type of show' or 'X genre of game', I don't feel motivated to watch. Maybe I'm reading too much into this, but I almost feel the hosts are worse off having to always fit the game to the format, rather than just play something they really want to play.
- I know this was done in response to feedback, but I really dislike that the majority of shows will not play the same game over several weeks anymore. Some of my fondest memories of LRR Streams have been the longer playthroughs (Beej's Harvest Moon & Paper Mario, Graham's Drunk Jensen Deus Ex, Ian doing Shenmue, Shovel Knight, DARK, Alex's STALKER runs) that were interesting to follow. I know for some it was tiresome if they didn't like the game, but I miss getting excited to see the latest foray into a particular game, I enjoyed the continuity. Second to that, a lot of the shows I would watch weekly just because I liked watching the host. I loved watching Beej & Heather streaming together, same with Ian & Cori, Graham & Paul. Or just enjoying Kathleen jamming a JRPG and chatting with Heather. I feel like although the group streams are fantastic on CtS/AFK, I think for the other shows, that 'personal' element has really faded. Many of those shows had that sense of hanging out with a friend and it was super relaxed - I now feel a lot more like I am watching something and being 'performed to', so to speak.
I think what compounds this seeing a really interesting and entertaining stream of a game, and then it's just done and we never see it again. (Newday Tewsday is a massive culprit here). I know there's been a bonus here or there, but a lot of one-off streams is a little frustrating. Maybe I'm biased because a lot of my favourite streams fell under this (Beej's Backlog, iHorner, House of Stark) but when the game's different every week on a stream, I just lose interest really quickly.
- Also, I remain eternally sad about the fact we've not had anything to fill the void of GPLP. I really miss that show.
Hopefully that's not overly negative, but I know you guys always listen to feedback, so I thought I'd chuck in my two cents.