I hate Twitch. While the concept of having a nice place where video game streamers can do walk throughs of new games, show off their skills and prove their worth in competitive matches, Twitch makes it all a horrible mess of a site. It’s awful. It’s predatory. And there is so much competition that the majority probably don’t even make that much money.
The first time I used Twitch, it was for a CS:GO tournament that my brother wanted to watch. The chat was toxic and everything was slow and laggy and awful. I was between adblockers at the time, and the adverts made a bad experience absolutely dreary. And it’s been downhill ever since.
The chat is still horrible. Half of the chat on a stream is either memes or a bunch of retards typing things like !loot or !plat or whatever, thinking they’ll be magically entered into some sort of contest or something. Yes, some people do raffles and that is how you can enter, but these are rare. On slower streams, you might be able to have a meaningful chat with other viewers, but most of the time your comment will disappear, never to be seen again.
What makes Twitch worse though, aside from the crappy adverts, is just how predatory it is. Everything on Twitch is about persuading you to buy things through Twitch to support streamers. Buy subscriptions to streamers. Send them donations. Buy Twitch Prime. Buy emojis. Buy ‘cheers’ and ‘bits’. It’s never-ending. Relentless. And this is on top of the adverts on Twitch that streamers probably get next to no revenue for anyway.
And that’s on top of what streamers themselves have. Luckily most streamers are smart enough not to have annoying noises everywhere, but there’s still often a ton of clutter around. Like, why do you need the chat from your Twitch stream overlaid on your stream? Why do you need giant icons saying someone has subscribed? A bit of text will do. Why are there streamer elements over in-game HUD elements? I want to know how much health you have and what weapons you are using but there’s the latest sub plastered on top of it. Some people go as far as to have showers of stupid emoticons raining down every few seconds.
Currently, there are only two things good thing that Twitch is good for.
The Prime With Prime offer is still ongoing when it comes to Warframe, as is the random lootboxes thing that Overwatch is doing. By signing up with Prime Video (by Amazon), you get a month’s trial of Twitch Prime. This means no adverts and one free ‘sub’ to a channel you like. The Warframe loot is actually really nice – Frost Prime is a strong character and he comes with a super sweet syandana. There is also a second Warframe offer, the Soma Prime and Scindo Prime offer. Both are rather strong weapons that will 100% guaranteed get you through most of the star chart, and if you’re just getting the Twitch Prime trial, they’re worth nabbing. Even if you avoid the trial, you can get a nice syandana by linking your Twitch account to your Warframe account. Thankfully they’ve changed the Twitch Prime trial so it’s nowhere near as horrible as it used to be.
The other is leaving a Warframe stream on in the background so I can get free loot in Warframe. Whenever a streamer you are watching gets an achievement in Warframe, you get a random item. Granted, 70% of that loot has been Starbursts, a random consumable item that creates a small firework display when used, but I have about 300 of them now and they are kinda neat. The other loot is varied. The rarest loot are affinity (experience) boosters, the Frost Harka skin and the Vectis Prime, a gorgeous sniper rifle. Other loot includes the Smoke colour palette, the Hunhow Sentinel mask (a cosmetic for your floating nut sack), Forma blueprints, Nitain extract (super useful!), random resources and blueprints for the Latron, a semi-automatic assault rifle, that can be sold for a nice bundle of credits.
Of course, they did decide to change it so you can only earn achievements from one stream at a time, but that’s not a problem. Genuinely good streamers will hopefully keep their new audiences, while crappy ones will fade away. And you can still get a bunch of Latron blueprints and starburts, which can help you make some nice credits.
But the problem is, Twitch as a site is really damn slow. Alright, running twenty streams on any computer might slow one down, but every computer in this household struggles with just one or two streams. Loading times are obnoxious, even with a fast internet connection. Streams randomly seem to cut out for no reason. And the most annoying thing is that streams never seem to automatically start. Half the time, a stream will start but all you get is a black screen. The whole site seems to needlessly suck up a ton of resources. All it’s doing is playing some video. Youtube streams aren’t like this. I once spent two hours watching some cats and a SpaceX launch and they weren’t nearly as laggy as watching one person play the Binding of Isaac for 45 minutes.
The new beta Twitch doesn’t help. If anything, it’s even slower. It’s nice that you can see which of the channels you follow are live, but otherwise it’s crap.
Plus, Twitch autoplays videos. On the home page. Which is incredibly annoying.