Discord, I like you, however oh boy do I hate you on the identical time. I have been utilizing the platform for eight years now, and in that point I’ve seen a number of modifications. A lot of them have been fairly good, too: Video calls and display screen sharing in 2017, threads in 2022, profile biographies in 2021—critically, how did that one take so lengthy?
On the flip aspect some updates have been… not so good. Most of them appear to have taken place over the course of the final 12 months, and I’ve to confess, I am sort of uninterested in it at this level. For a way a lot Discord has change into so closely intertwined with my every day life, I sincerely want they’d cease messing round with what makes it such a very good platform to be on within the first place.
I do really fairly like sure stuff Discord has launched this yr. Uploadable file sizes have been elevated throughout the board which, as somebody who loves sending random clips and seize I’ve taken, is a much-appreciated change. Discord even has an in-house clipping operate now too, one thing I have not taken a lot benefit of however looks like an important evolution of display screen share.
I’ve additionally had method an excessive amount of enjoyable dicking round with soundboards and entry sounds—where you may take a soundboard sound chunk you could have and Discord will use it to announce that you have joined a voice name. It is not a mandatory characteristic, positive, however I’ve discovered entry sounds surprisingly helpful for understanding who’s becoming a member of a name with out having to tab out of no matter I am doing to decipher the most recent arrival. My important gripe is that it is a characteristic locked behind Discord Nitro, locking out my buddies who do not pay for the subscription.
However actually that is… sort of where it ends. As I used to be attempting to wrack my mind and take into consideration what’s annoyed me a lot about Discord this yr, it is bloated options, what looks like an more and more unstable consumer, heavy monetisation and a knack for one way or the other making every little thing a lot worse to make use of.
That is simply on the PC consumer—don’t fret, I am gonna get to regardless of the hell Discord is doing with its cell app in a bit—where issues are beginning to really feel slightly raggedy. We’re huge display screen sharers in my buddy group, which made the latest color points for these of us with NVIDIA graphics playing cards much more annoying.
Streams would disintegrate to a washed-out monochrome palette, inflicting me to desperately attempt to piece collectively regardless of the hell my buddy was taking part in or watching among the many trash-tier bitrate and color palette that seemed straight out of an outdated 256-colour GIF. Contemplating considered one of Discord Nitro’s advantages is the next stream high quality and framerate, it wasn’t probably the most preferrred state of affairs.
Then you definately’ve received some reasonably questionable additions this yr. Tremendous reactions by far really feel like some of the pointless options added to Discord in a sizzling sec. It is one thing I not often make use of, as a result of why would I? Common-ass reactions are actually right there. It is cute to see slightly emoji explosion on the display screen every so often, however I battle to think about a very good use for them.
Let’s not neglect the 2 or three days where Discord determined so as to add the “AKA” operate to everybody’s profile playing cards, which meant anytime I wished to see what a buddy was listening to or taking part in I needed to first scroll down each single alias they’d in all of our shared Discord servers. It is already neatly tucked away in a single bar on the prime of my DMs, having it shoved right into a tiny field was not the reminder I wanted that my one buddy goes by about 50 totally different names, for no matter purpose.
There was additionally the much-maligned username change that got here into impact earlier this yr. Discord switched out its discriminators for full @-style usernames akin to Twitter and Instagram, a move that wasn’t notably beloved. Many, together with myself, welcomed the truth that discriminators felt slightly extra personal and tough to search out for any overly enthusiastic folks in our lives, and the power for a number of folks to have the identical title was appreciated. Discord appeared to disagree, and the modifications went by way of regardless. It is nonetheless some of the heavily-criticised modifications the app has made thus far, and one which I am actually not overly keen on.
We have seen the swift dying of a characteristic that I genuinely actually appreciated. Emoji packs may have been a improbable strategy to declutter my checklist of all of the rattling servers I am in only for cute, tiny JPEG reactions of cats and bunny rabbits. They had been small bundles of emojis that servers may put collectively and be utilised by different non-members throughout the app, one thing which I assumed was actual helpful. But it is a characteristic that by no means made it out of the experimental section, being killed off in December.
Pay to bitch
All of this has been occurring within the midst of encroaching monetisation. Paid profile decorations and avatar frames have slowly been trickling in, and whereas they don’t seem to be too in your face with pushing gross sales, it is positively a noticeable factor each time I attempt to edit something in my bio. It does really feel like a protracted overdue addition from a purely monetary perspective—Nitro has been Discord’s important income for a sizzling sec, and there is at all times a need for elevated customisation. App themes are locked behind Nitro too, however none of them are notably attention-grabbing sufficient to justify the $10 a month if it is all you care about.
My frustration with Discord on PC this yr has been effervescent within the background, however nowhere extra does that feeling come to fruition than with its cell app. Crashes, fixed makes an attempt to attach when booting up the app or becoming a member of voice calls and, lastly, the dreaded new UI change. It is one thing that was really pushed to me a number of months in the past, however now appears to have hit the broader person base.
I’ve by no means seen this many individuals label a evaluate as useful within the Play Retailer, not to mention twice! from r/discordapp
It sucks. It sucks so dangerous. It feels so rattling dangerous to navigate. Admittedly it was one way or the other even worse when it was first pushed out to me in October—server lists received moved to a tiny collapsible bar on the backside of the display screen reasonably than in an easy-to-parse scrollable sidebar. Issues are trying slightly nearer to the unique cell structure now however oh boy, is it gradual as hell.
DMs have been plucked away from the server checklist and tucked away in a separate tab which makes it much more annoying to examine on my common servers and again out simply to examine who’s despatched me a message. The underside navigation bar takes up a ridiculous quantity of display screen area and the elevated reliance on swiping round feels terrible. It is an update so dangerous that Discord’s discussion board is flooded with folks begging for the entire thing to be reverted.
It is irritating as a result of I actually do take pleasure in utilizing Discord. It is where I discuss to all of my mates, each in teams and individually. It is where I do quiz nights, streams, game events, film nights and video calls. It has been my platform of alternative for years, and the very last thing I need is to resent one thing I’ve put a lot psychological funding into.
I additionally perceive that Discord has to strive all of those irritating little modifications or consider new issues to throw in to innovate and develop. That is enterprise, child, however simply because I get it doesn’t suggest I’ve to adore it. I am conserving my fingers crossed that they will ultimately cease messing with all the good things and provides us extra of what we may really do with. Rising the DM group dimension is my greatest pet peeve at once. For actual, why is it solely 10 members within the yr of our lord 2024? I am going to take that over an excellent response any day.