T O P
thunderfart6

My biggest criticism is that it's not as deep-divey as they present it to be


Hayman68

4-Sided Wading Through the Shallows


AllHailLordBezos

maybe just a 2 sided dive?


Sincost121

Two dimensional dive?


dafrorock

I really wish the GM round table that Matt, Aabria, and Brennen did was the format for 4 sided dive. I also wouldn’t mind if they just made it 2 segments just “what the fuck is up with that” and “deep dive”


EvilDragon

I agree. I would like a more roundtable approach, too. Ladies' Night kind of did that a little bit in the first half but the gimmicks interrupted the flow.


Reak_Nethelbrand

Omg yes, I watched the entire GM round table and I can not get through the 4 sided dives.


Stingra87

I'd be more likely to watch it if it was just this format. I have no patience for the gimmicks and goofy sections.


sonofeevil

My favourite segment outside of a show (aside from All Work No Play). BLM is such a big personality and so funny. He just steals the show. Can wr have BLM host dive?!?!


chaos0310

I mean just the discussion Between Brennan, Aybria, Matt from last week was perfect. Questions on a teleprompter and discussion from then forward. They don’t even need a host just 3-4 of the cast members shooting the shit about their favorite table top game, guided by some questions.


Ko-neko-chan

This! Scrap 4SD. Give us a roundtable with cast members who were involved with the bigger moments during the 3 episodes the roundtable covers. Let them all ask each other questions and just discuss organically. Teleprompter with curated questions is there to help open more conversation. No forced gimmicks.


McRaeWritescom

This deeper philosophical and backend content is what I want more of. I detest overproduced shit. The round table was better than 4SD 100%.


sonofeevil

The round table was basically carried by BLM. I think itn would have been quite a bit dryer without him.


Tulac1

There is just too much going on. A lot of people watch CR because we simply just like the cast talking to each other without it feeling too forced or canned, so I agree completely.


PNGN2187

You hit the nail on the head! That's primarily why I watch Talks (and half of 4-Sided Die). They usually can't answer most of the character questions anyway due to entering spoiler territory.


Ravenach

This. In Talks most of the times the focus was (1) ob the players, how they personally felt or viewed situations in the game; and (2) about the past, so the cast could talk openly without fear of spoiling away thing that hadn’t happened yet in-game. Getting Matt’s insights on things that happened in past sessions was the best part of Talks to me. And I couldn’t care less for questions from the audience. If production needs to get rid of those to actually put in good questions, I’m ok with that trade off.


Anomander

> In Talks most of the times the focus was (1) ob the players, how they personally felt or viewed situations in the game; and (2) about the past, so the cast could talk openly without fear of spoiling away thing that hadn’t happened yet in-game. For most of Talks' run, they were live with the show, so they didn't have to worry about spoiling non-broadcast content - only characters internal lives and future plans might constitute spoilers. I think at the moment, poor question selection is the biggest gaffe within the 4SD format, they're not diligent about asking those sorts of deeper questions. I think they're avoiding more open-ended ones in the hopes of dodging accidental spoilers, but I think it would be a better format to prime the cast better against accidental spoilers and deal with any slips during editing.


Pyrotech_Nick

the fans who submit the questions shouldn't be asking spoilery questions on the first place . And maybe the producers should be a bit better at filtering out said spoilerable questions


qumielo

The tankard questions (Deep dive) aren't actually submitted by the fans. I think partly because of the delay between recording the episode, and uploading it. So fans can't really send in questions from the most recent episode. But if they could intergrate fan questions in that segment (and moderate it like you said), the tower of inquiry could just go like OP said.


Sincost121

I just want the cast to talk to eachother about their characters and the game.


Willingwell92

That's been bugging me since C3 started, everything they've done just feels so overly produced and forced to me its caused it to lose some of its charm imo


marglemcgarglblargle

I was thinking about this the other day, and I have come to the conclusion that the cast feel further away from us. C1 and C2 it really felt like your friends were sitting at the table around you playing their darndest. And it really felt like they could have been friends with how connective that experience was. C3 feels further away, like there is a degree of separation between them and the audience. It’s not worse for me personally, I still enjoy it as a show, but for different reasons. I understand completely why they’ve done this, the community can be intensely toxic. They all look so much happier and more relaxed now too which brings me joy. If I need that Roundtable friend feeling I’ll go back an listen to C1 and C2.


Facelessone001

so you want a parasocial relationship? y'all are some strange people


CarcosanAnarchist

Yeah. It’s one of the reasons I don’t overly engage with the community here. It’s very pro parasocial relationship. I’ll likely get gutted for this, but it’s the reason I don’t like Your Turn to Roll or the C3 song that much. I don’t like encouraging that relationship. I’m just here to watch talented and funny people play DnD.


blackest_francis

The C2 and EXU wrap-up shows were so obviously scripted. It broke my heart a little bit.


pvt_aru

I didn't watch EXU wrap-up, but I can't see how the C2 one is scripted, cause the way I see it, they picked the questions and I'm assuming the cast members have seen the same questions and prepared answers. But scripted? I don't see it.


0011110000110011

They obviously weren't.


Hungover52

Same with the Kickstarter party.


Hungover52

And please, can they kill the cleanup bit at the end? I don't understand why someone thinks extremely fake bullying is funny.


dreamedoutdoll

Feels like a mean spirited jab at minimum wage workers tbh. "Omg can you imagine being a barkeeper and actually having to clean up after people good thing we're middle class!!" I've worked years at a hotel and cleaned up after dozens of people's parties in the lobby. It ain't fun.


R_VD_A

They're actors. All of them have worked in service, except (maybe?) Sam Riegel. They're doing that bit because they know those kind of jobs suck.


SuperToxin

I watched talks to get an inside look at what the characters were thinking and how they are in the story at the time. There just needs to be more questions about the characters/campaign.


Duolingo055

I don't mind the tower of inquiry as a concept but I agree that the questions need to be better vetted


ArrogantDan

For real, I've always hated "If you were a kind of X, which X would you be"


DemoBytom

I really, really hate those pointless questions, that exist on shows just to pad time. It gets boring and old very fast, and listening to people try to cobble together some coherent sentences, regarding a fictional character or something, being a made up drink is just downright wasteful. I had the same problem when D&D Beyond was doing Dev Updates and they'd often throw "What is your favorite dinosaur" questions at people, and then spend 10-15 mins rambling about that, instead actually providing.. dev updates.. or answering questions about the state of the site/service and/or features...


Anomander

> that exist on shows just to pad time. This specific point I think is a little bit missing the meat of those questions in this context. They long banned them from live Q&A for not being immediately-topical enough, and they had to screen them out of Talks for ages while they were looking for episode-relevant questions. Some fans *really* wanted to ask them. Many of the rest of us have zero interest in them and actively don't want that sort of inane nonsense showing up, but CR isn't adding them or even permitting them solely to pad time. There are many fans who desperately want to ask what Caleb's favourite My Little Pony would be or to know what Grog's favourite flower is. I think the "evergreen question" prompt left the door absolutely gaping for them, but I think it's important to acknowledge they are filling a preexisting desire from *some* of the community in that space. People watch CR / Talks / 4SD to get close with characters and cast, and there's a lot of people out there for whom that sort of question is how they understand that.


OnionsHaveLairAction

"I would be X"


movieguyjon

At my first editing job the interns/producers had to come up with hundreds of questions within an hour or two for the hosts to ask talent and they couldn't be questions the people have ever been asked before because we had to be "new and original." They had to resort to a lot of these questions to pad time and because they had no time to come up with genuine, thoughtful questions. So now whenever I see a question like this I roll my eyes and tune out.


PandaUkulele

A good portion of talks questions were simply "when x happened what was going through your head?" Which got a bit boring for me personally. It just became so common and a really easy/lazy question writing. Basically question askers just wanted them to talk about a specific moment when a differently worded question could've gotten direct more specific details. Though it did sometimes bring out more out about their character so I feel like that could potentially be it's own segment. A segment where they talk a bit more about a few big (either specific character or general story) moments in recent episodes. Edit: I guess that's kinda "What the fuck is up with that?" Maybe I just want that segment to be longer? Idk


Flittermous3

Exactly. To me talks often felt like it was dancing around the stuff I really wanted to know. "What the fuck is up with that?" could easily just be the whole show and I think we would be satisfied.


NewberryMathGuy

They should be about character creation/backstory writing topics. For example how do you go about picking a name for your characters?


dkurage

This. If you're gonna do a bunch of generic questions, at least make them interesting.


notmy2ndopinion

Tech-nick-cally, we can submit a ton of interesting questions and then Dani can just toss out the old boring generic ones. … right? (God I hope I’m right, I also hate this segment)


Anomander

I'm pretty sure Dani is actively trying to filter the terrible questions, but constrained by submissions - though Dani is also providing the Tankard Questions and I don't think that, in broad sense, coming up with fascinating questions is where her strengths lie.


HiveMy

I do like the game of Chenga played out over multiple episodes of a show. It just a shame the Tower is so gross that everybody comments on it every time they pull a piece.


0011110000110011

At the bare minimum they have to swap out that tower for an *unpainted* one. It shouldn't be sticky!


GoblinSpore

I think the concept is actually the problem. There needs to be too many generic quesions to fill it up and it's impossible to make all of them consistently interesting.


Anomander

I think they could readily fudge the volume issue in favour of quality - the conceit that each brick is tied to a question doesn't need to be true. Each brick can just result in the next question on the list.


UnboundShade

Agreed, I'd much rather that segment time be given to something else or even used to get an extra question from their cups that are tailored for their characters


DrunkenKarnieMidget

With this community, I have no doubt there have been thousands of questions submitted. It shouldn't be hard to toss aside the asinine ones.


BisonST

Art was removed because if there is a legal dispute with the art, you can't (easily) edit the video to remove the art. It sucks but as CR gets bigger they are a bigger litigation target and need to protect themselves.


koalateecheckers

Would it be an option to have people submit their fanart through a form where they agree to be shared during the breaks or 4SD?


BisonST

Think the concern with that is people can (and maybe did?) submit art that they don't own/create.


TRCrypt_King

That is correct. There was a bit of art fraud so they stopped it and put it on the website


koalateecheckers

Ohhhhh, that makes sense


grandfedoramaster

The problem is that people submit art that isn’t theirs.


tstrube

Is this true? I can remember when G&S just blurred the art in the character bio videos for C1. I was under the impression art was removed because of the difference in time with recording and broadcast but I could easily be wrong.


taly_slayer

They have to re-upload it tho. C3E01 has more than 6.5M views (on YT) and it's only been 6 months. If they had an art reel and someone would come in with a complain, they would have to take it down and they would lose those views. That's a huge impact for a company that distributes their content on YT. It's absolutely not worth the risk. Go and check their gallery on [critrole.com](https://critrole.com) every Monday, it's awesome.


Gulrakrurs

From what I remember, some of that art was straight ripped from the 5e PHB, which is why it was blurred.


spinningdice

I think a lot of it was Pathfinder as it was originally a pathfinder game before they started steaming it. Most depictions of Scanlan were literally just Lem, the iconic bard.


Gulrakrurs

Yeah, I think there was a mixture, I believe Vax was the PHB Rogue image. I could be wrong though


ActualAfternoon2

I LOVED Yee-Haw Game Ranch, and I felt like they were trying to blend them together. But it...doesn't work that well. You can't hear the answers over the yelling. The beer pong worked well honestly, because they could stop and talk. While I like 4 Sided Dive, it makes me laugh, I like watching friends have fun together, it also feels like the questions don't go deep enough often. Only being once a month maybe doesn't help, stuff gets forgotten? That also means there's only been 4 so far, so it's still getting refined. I think it'll get there.


NamelessHenchman

I think the company parting with Brian was for the worse. Certainly he could be abrasive and even confrontational with the community, but he brought the skills of being a great MC and moderator.


Anomander

I think Brian was a lose/lose situation. When he was *on*, he added a shitton of needed counterbalance to the cast and he was a fantastic moderator in Talks. When he was going *off*, he was massive brand risk and a ticking time bomb liable to eventually take something too far and harm CR in the blowback.


ckmidgettfucyou

For me, he was the perfect foil to the sometimes saccharine sweetness that we get from the rest of the gang. He is greatly missed.


smugairle_roin

I agree, that the format is a bit iffy, but I think Ladies night was the best episode so far. Tower questions aside, the why the episode went was by far the most enjoyable. They felt like the were just chatting as friends ( for the most part).


Im_Not_F-ing_14

Agreed! It felt the least scripted and had the most discussion about their characters the campaign itself, and Aabria isn't even in C3!


JWPruett

Aabria is even better; she’s a knowledgeable player and GM who loves Critical Role. The perfect person to put on a set with cast members and have a discussion.


Im_Not_F-ing_14

I love her as a player. Her DMing style didn't mesh with what I like to watch, but she seems like such a fun person to be around


oneonegreenelftoken

We really saw her shine in Calamity. She's a fantastic storyteller, which you could tell from ExU, but (as she said in the GM roundtable), her background isn't in high fantasy, so she doesn't riff as well on it when she has to worldbuild on the fly or lean into a trope to pull a narrative together. But oh man, put her PC in a room with the World Ending Button and she recognizes the narrative duty to push it


notmy2ndopinion

She built Niirdal-Poc which at the time didn’t make sense for EXU:Prime watchers, until we learned that Matt’s PC Dariax was a Divine Soul Sorcerer who derived powers from a new god “The Observer” totally invented by Aabria. And we learned that she created a city that escaped the Calamity during the Age of Arcanum by hiding in plain sight next to … Byroden? Elftown? I don’t have my maps handy. Hearing her describe their powers of potential as “hovering at level 2, before you get a subclass and decide what you become” — suddenly it clicked for me what she was trying to do. It seemed like her story arc for the EXU PCs was on a strangely Epic scale, but it was because of the setting. They could do anything and be anything. Their roads lay ahead of them. That was her EXU legacy she was aiming for - and it wasn’t until her DM round table moment that it crystallized for me.


levthelurker

Niirdal-Poc still doesn't make sense because the trope, the city that survived the apocalypse while everything else needed to be rebuilt, already exists with Vasselheim, which would have remembered Niirdal-Poc and its culture existing as a civilization before the Calamity. It's just not as good of worldbuilding as what Matt and the other consultants he's hired to help flesh out Marquet have made and it's jarring.


GiltPeacock

Vasselheim didn’t hide itself though, so it’s different enough. Niirdal-Poc was probably just forgotten about given that it would have been presumed destroyed almost 1,000 years ago and centuries of apocalypse will mess with generational memory. Plus, it feels pretty distinct from other things we’ve seen


levthelurker

Generational memory really isn't as big a thing in settings with elves. Speaking of elves, Syngorn also hid itself in the faewild and is right nextdoor, so that's another thing that bugs me. Niirdal-Poc isn't a bad DnD concept in and of itself, it just doesn't make sense in Exandria with all of the other stuff going on, which is why it's bad worldbuilding.


GiltPeacock

It is a thing when the calamity went on for centuries and wiped out two thirds of Exandria. Elves can live to 750 at the oldest, so the generation that would have known of the Qoniira Tetrarchy has died out (the portion of the generation that survived the Calamity and lived through the divergence that is). Even those who knew about it would be unable to find Niirdal-Poc as it’s hidden by the Wildmother, so it would make sense that everyone would assume it’s just gone. And someone from Syngorn obviously did find the city as that’s pretty pertinent to the plot. If making sense with the worldbuilding of Exandria is your only gripe, it definitely does. Most people, like Gilmore and Tyriok, know about the Tetrarchy and where it was, they just don’t realize that one of the cities still stands in secret.


Hungover52

And if they want to keep the beer pong bit, but actually drink, just have the actual drinks on a separate table. No dirty pong ball goes into those ones. It ain't rocket science.


RonDong

I just think they need better questions. Not just Tower of Inquiry, but even the ones written by production. Every episode has some good questions, but this recent episode was 2 hours and the only thing we really learned about Fearne was that she’s based on Ashley’s mom. Which isn’t even new information because she mentioned that around the time the first ExU came out.


KiloEchoNiner

100% I watched a little of the latest one earlier today and one of the questions was something to the effect of, “How did Imogen like the airship ride?” And Laura made it exactly as awkward as it should have been. Like, I get it. You can’t get hyper specific or possibly spoil future pilot points, but come on.


Requiem191

The airship question should've been, "Imogen has shown a clear fear of heights with the rickety gondolas in Jrusar. Though it was an improv choice in the moment to give Imogen that phobia, what did she think of the airship? Is she truly afraid of heights or simply wary of potentially shoddy craftsmanship?" It's super wordy, but it at least reads into the situation overall. We didn't really see Imogen being worried about the airship ride, not like with the gondolas. It's still a silly question, but there's ways to ask it that draw out more of an answer.


SpooSpoo42

I hate the evergreen questions too, a total waste of time when we want to hear episode reactions or just organic conversation. I mean we literally had "if you were a plant, what would you be?"


blond-max

I think episodes 3 and especially 4 did great improvements to the format. It's chill and there is space for conversations. Really the fix was easy: to reduce the number of transitions means less time lost in awkwardness and more time discussing subjects. The menu in opening segment also helps the host. The game segment being physical is a big improvement, I think it's a good comprise between those that like to watch live gaming and those of us that don't. I don't care for it but at least it's watchable and breaks the "just talking".


NOT_AN_APPLE

The DM talk with Matt, Brennan and Aabria was minimally structured and allowed everyone to go off on tangents which ultimately led to the funniest clips of the segment. 4SD minimizes these entertaining tangents to get the participants to think up a dumb answer to "what is your character's favorite song" over and over again. I actually think NADDPOD's Short Rest aftershow is a great example of unstructured absolute chaos tangents and the CR programming team should take inspiration.


delecti

I agree that Jenga is the worst part, but I think the questions spawn enough discussion that it's still entertaining. The questions definitely need to be vetted better though; there are enough fans that surely they've received better submissions than "what kind of plant would you be". The initial few video game segments were worse, but they've gotten better, and now it's my favorite part. Beer pong was a perfect framing device for the cast having fun, shooting the shit, hanging out, and also answering questions. We're not getting the community content back. They took that out in favor of art they "own" to some degree or other, it's all either from youtube videos or their various D&D books. After the livestream, that art is just in the youtube video forever, and rights issues are really tricky around fan-submitted content and a youtube video that's just up forever.


dreamedoutdoll

Big agree that beer pong was a great game, loved their interactions around it and was really entertaining to watch. The questions do sometimes spawn interesting discussions, but I want deeper questions to really probe into the characters. I also get that we're only 20-odd episodes in, without anything significantly campaign changing having happened yet, but for a "deep dive" into character discussions its remarkably shallow at times.


mazzar

I don’t think there are very many people who think that all the rolling for host/playing Jenga/drawing from mugs/playing games elements are bringing anything over just having a normal talk show where a host asks questions. But gimmicks aside, the questions are the number one problem with 4SD. The Tower questions are uniformly awful. No offense to people whose questions were selected; you clearly understood the assignment. It’s just that it is almost impossible to have insightful questions that 1) aren’t for a specific person and 2) aren’t about a specific episode/event. They either need to let fans ask real questions (and accept that they might be talking about something from a few weeks ago due to the filming delay) or give up having a fan element. The questions from the mugs are often pretty good, and are really the only thing I’m watching for at this point. I just wish they didn’t draw them randomly. I often wonder what great questions we didn’t get to see because they weren’t picked. There should be some way to make sure that if there’s a really good question that they know they want to discuss, that they can get to it.


Burnout2KForever

I think lately, the CR cast is looking to separate their personal from their professional lives. I know they still love the community, but having seen toxic fanbases in other online spaces (and within the CR community as well!), I get why they are pulling back some. Minimize legal issues by getting rid of fanart segments on videos, minimizing parasocial engagement by removing fan questions and interacting directly with fans a little bit less. These are all intentional, a barrier, likely for their own peace of mind and safety.


Dnew2photo

You likely have the right of it, they need to do what they feel is right to protect the business - the irony of it all is that without you and 6 million other people (give or take a few), who helped support them and funded them during the early days, there wouldn’t be a CR Empire to protect. Before anyone starts launching fireballs my way, let me be clear I’ve watched every episode to date. Why bc they seem like genuinely good souls who are doing what they love and the entertainment is top notch - but I can also point out the fact that CR is a partnership between the cast and their audience - one doesn’t exist without the other. As for the newest incarnation of talks - there is a simple solution. Go back to their roots - after each episode spend 15-30mins talking about what just happened - no host, just round robin. Then they can carve it off and post it as a “Talks”. They don’t have to worry about spoilers and the old talks fans get the insight they want. Then they can spend 30 mins doing the 4SD some other time for fans that like that (spoiler not one of them lol). Both sides get what they want!


Bargeinthelane

I feel like what CR wants for 4SD is just a bit different than what some parts of the audience want. The will of the audience is far from singular, but some want Talks 2, Some want a mash up of basically hangout content, some want deep recap/revelation content about the current campaign. I think the reason that ladies night was so good was because they had something they could go deep on with calamity bring wrapped up. Even with Ashley not being caught up. So we got a bit more specific analysis from Marisha and Aabria about their characters and the process. I believe the evergreen questions in the tower are a conceit about the production schedule and it is the manifestation of the realities of CR being pre-taped (which I have zero problem with). Because they are pre-producing the episodes, it is more difficult to have the cast react to anything on 4SD because depending on how things slot in, they might be making 4SD between episodes being produced. So a campaign episode is done, but unaired so the cast can't respond to it yet. It takes away some of the potential drawing power of 4SD. The best talks episodes came after big events in the previous campaigns where the episode was basically about reacting to the event. 4SD isn't/can't do that on it's current form. I don't think they could react to something like a character death in 4SD in the way talks could in this current iteration.


The_mango55

People probably disagree but I think the gaming section is fun but it needs to be fun to watch games that don’t require specific gaming skill (which not everyone on the cast has) Every time the cast has played Jackbox has been hilarious, they could just do that.


webcest

I would very much watch an entire series worth of Everything is Content: Jackbox Edition


Pandorica_

CR works because whilst the cast are all good to best in field voice actors, they are not actors and when they do something too produced it always feels forced. I understand why they made the decision to move away from Talks. Deals with amazon and it was way less controlled (even if there is a different host) format and could lead to saying something they don't want to. I also feel like they didn't want to do talks every week (entierly understandable) and so wanted to change it up rather than 'talks I now once a month'. Tldr cr works because its more natural than 99% of other content, it loses its charm when it's over produced.


GoblinSpore

Yep, overproduction is a perfect way to put it. The cast has enough charm and charisma that they can carry the show just on their own, no need for all the bells and whistles.


Teerlys

I think this is why a non-cast host is really needed. Let the cast be themselves and answer questions rather than try to run the show and be themselves at the same time.


papasmurf008

I like the random host aspect, but I am with you… just drop the extra stuff and if you want to do video game streams do everything is content.


robcwag

I tend to agree with your points. I still miss "Tallks" probably because it isn't as "produced" as 4-Sided Dive. It is like they are trying to extract the best parts out of Talks and toss in a little of "Game Ranch" to increase engagement but in that extraction they are missing some key factors.


maudiemouse

I think this is also why the DM round table was SO good and engaging! There were no gimmicks, just people chatting and it’s my favourite talk show they’ve done


MileyMan1066

The gimmicks are totally unnecessary. We want to see the cast talk about the game and their characters in a relaxed setting. Bringing in community content is great too, but really, we just wanna hang out and chat.


King_Kthulhu

It's not the best after-show type of format for sure, but it looks like it's a ton of fun for the cast. I imagine the traditional interview/panel type of aftershow is pretty boring for the cast, but this lets them do a bunch of different stuff while just kind of hanging out and talking about the games.


continuumcomplex

I mostly agree. I thought this last 4 sided dive was the best. However, it really feels like they're just trying really hard to make it 'not talksmachina'. But.. they hit the nail on the head originally. TalksMachina is what we wanted. I think some of the quirkiness is kinda fun. Like I'd be all for them keeping the Tower of Inquiry, but I agree that the 'evergreen' questions from the community is...lame. We don't want evergreen questions. We want deep dives into their characters. They can either make it more uncommon to pull from and keep the questions 'evergreen', and we'll just not be that interested in the question part; or make the questions more meaningful. I liked the beer pong WAY more than the other games. However... the questions were even worse. They were pure fluff, even more than the tower of inquiry. If they want to keep this format, I'd rather they took questions directly from the community for most of their questions and stuck those behind the Tower of Inquiry method (don't make them 'evergreen'. Just collect real questions), then spend the rest of the time having them answer questions by Dani/whatever while emphasizing asking \*each other\* questions. If they don't want to rely as much on fan questions for whatever reason (which really seems to be their focus - pushing fan questions out of the process), then stick those behind the Tower and really emphasize the players asking each other questions/having a chat framed around their pre-scripted questions. And sure, have the goblet/deep dive portion at the end. That part is fine, just make sure the questions really are deep dives. ​ \--- ​ Now that being said...1. I did quite like the most recent one but it felt really long. 2. I just watched NY by Night's talk show. It was like 20 minutes of them asking 4-5 questions straight. That's it. And it..was... fine. Not everything needs to be a big, produced spectacle. If we could have 4-sided dive 2-3 times as often, but it's just 20 minutes of answering a few real, pointed, character questions. I'd be 100% down for that.


bertraja

4SD in my opinion suffers from CR's current way of overproducing things, and yes, that includes C3. 4SD feels at times like some **fanfic came to live**. **"If you, random Critter, could make them produce a show, what would it look like?"***"Eeeek! They could totally play video games, and maybe some questions and they would sit in this cool sofa, oh, and i want to know what they think their characters would be like as pokemon, and they totally have different mugs, like in the colors of their characters, and Dani should be there 'cause she's so cool, and oh, they can bring their pets, and just hang out, you know, and ..."* Let's get rid of *all* the bells & whistles. Two cameras, a bottle of booze, and two or three people talk about the frakkin' episodes! C3 to me is overwhelmingly packed with names, factions, connections, history, hints, nudges ... so much so that i have lost the *main plot* what felt like ages ago. So is it too much to ask to just listen to the players (and, occasionally, the DM) untying the narrative knots, so when the next episode starts, i have somewhat of an idea what the Bells Hells is really going on? ^((( Yes i know, this is basically one big "old man yells at cloud" ... but i had to get it off my chest) ))


DraaxLP

I don't think there is a "Main Plot" just yet. Campaign 2 started off in the same fashion. Give it time and it will bloom.


sonofeevil

I think we're in the main plot, but we just can't see the forest for the trees. Once we're on the otherside we'll be able to look back and see the road. I think C3 is going to be <80 episodes. Matt is intertwining a lot of the players stories together in ways he hasn't done before I think to give us a shorter campaign overall. For example Ashton is sent on a heist to same place the lumas twins died tand how they were coincidentally looking into Imogen's mother, then Chetney meets a lady who worked with his old employer. Instead of each character having their own distinct narrative arc that takes place separately, I believe they're trying to make a lot of them overlap to bring the episode count down. My theory is they can see that C3 is not as engaging and might want to finish it up and try again


gslance

> C3 to me is overwhelmingly packed with names, factions, connections, history, hints, nudges ... so much so that i have lost the main plot what felt like ages ago. Oh, my god... this is it for me. It took me *so* long to find any of the intrigue that I felt in previous shows of theirs and I couldn't put a finger on why! But it's this. It's overwhelming, overproduced and there's no fun and/or good talk show to tie it together as we all continue to bask in the glow of a finished episode.


blackest_francis

Pretty sure that's due to the writers Matt has brought on.


bertraja

I think you're right


Patrickd13

As someone who is watching CR2 and CR3 at the same time, In my opinion CR3 feels less bloated with names.


JWPruett

I like the card games and activities. I didn’t understand the game Matt, Taliesin, Travis, and Liam played last month (and no effort was taken to explain, strangely), but they continued to ask questions (the ones Dani writes), so it was still okay. And the beer pong was fucking great. The video games can stay gone. The Tower of Inquiry is my biggest issue. It was funny the first time it was “sticky”, but it continuing to be makes them seem lazy and unprofessional. Somebody fix the dang thing, clearly the people pulling bricks aren’t having fun, and neither is the audience. The fact the questions are usually lame (the cast’s reactions often display this perfectly) makes you wonder why they did it at all. Overall, I honestly enjoy 4SD. It’s not Talks, nothing will be, Talks was nearly as good as the actual Campaigns. It doesn’t need to be. The conversations they have are still a lot of fun and informative, when steered correctly. I think it three years it will be a great show. Talks wasn’t what we remember right at the start either, though it did start better.


Ace-of-Spades88

>It was funny the first time it was “sticky”, but it continuing to be makes them seem lazy and unprofessional. Somebody fix the dang thing, clearly the people pulling bricks aren’t having fun, and neither is the audience. This is something that kinda bugged me too after that following episode. It seemed pretty obvious it wasn't working as intended, yet no one thought to try fixing the issue? It wouldn't take that long to just sand the blocks down and refinish them.


Kiloku

I guess they don't want to "reset" the tower. Hopefully when it falls, the "consequences" are interesting. And then they get rid of it.


Karmadog1983

that's kinda my thought they'll refinish it once it falls, or TBF they tape the show once a month and probably forget about it by the time they sit back down to answer the questions and it isn't high on the priority list


GoblinSpore

I hope that as people provide constructive critisism it gets better, we're here in the first place because we enjoy it :)


grus-plan

Yeah I feel you. This episode has been the best so far, but it still has some pretty big issues. Scrap the tower, scrap the gaming segment and most of all scrap those godawful scripted intros. You should not be running out of time for questions and discussion on a **question and discussion show**


NamelessHenchman

Particularly, a streamed question and discussion show that doesn't necessarily have a limit on the time slot.


OrientedDeer

I enjoy the intros tbh


taly_slayer

I loved all the intros. I hope they keep them, and even better, I hope they make them crazier and crazier. We would not have *Lorraine* if it wasn't for that silly scripted intro.


ThePclank

It seems to me like someone came up with the title "4-Sided Dive", loved it, and forced a 4-segment show out of it.


Hungover52

And somehow didn't use a d4 anywhere in the production. It's right there.


Lahotep

Agreed. This seems like someone’s bad idea that nobody had the guts to point out was awful and now we’re stuck with it.


blackest_francis

Is it just me, or does Dani really seem to hate being there?


pokepok

I dunno. I feel like Dani’s shtick is kinda feigned annoyance/exasperation. But she does laugh a lot less than she did on Talks.


Lahotep

Wouldn’t you if you had to wear that costume and hear about that sticky tower the whole time?


blackest_francis

Dani has always been the audience representation.


Lahotep

And now that the audience participation is fading away?


blackest_francis

Exactly. I wouldn't want to participate in that cringey manufactured show, either.


icemanvvv

I feel like the community takes things too personally sometimes. Not meant as a slight against op, but more of an observations of the comments. I think there are certain things that happen when you go from being an off the books personal dnd group, to being a media juggernaut with an Amazon show that you both creatively manage and star in on top of having your personal dnd game. At the end of the day, they're doing it the way they want, and I don't want it any other way


Named_Bort

I was fan of Talks so I always feel like that was the style of show I wanted, it was actually fairly well done, so anything occupying that space is at a disadvantage for my support. I see alot of "4SD is not my jam" but are there a decent number of people out there who were like "Talks was not my jam, and 4SD is super cool" - i assume there are atleast some. I imagine its hard to test shows that are based on people's responses to a very specific thing so in many ways 4SD has always seemed like a bunch of ideas put together into a variety show. I think its early enough to still give them time to sort it all out, despite what the perception is I imagine there are still spread quite thin in the production department.


hopelessnecromantic7

I've said it once and I will say it again. I think one of Critical Role's biggest mistakes was getting rid of Talks Machina and letting Brian Foster go. I actually enjoy when the cast play video games and board games because I enjoyed watching Yeehaw game ranch and Everything is Content. I like watching the cast let loose and play games with each other. It seems like 4-Sided-Dive is the coalescence of all that. I think they are trying to shift focus to only D&D content to stand out as of they aren't already the biggest D&D content network already. Narrative Telephone, All Work No Play, and ESPECIALLY Between the Sheets we're all incredible nonD&D content that I dearly miss and fear we will never get back. Who know what they have in store for us. Maybe they will bring those shows (sans Between the Sheets) back.


GoblinSpore

I agree in that I also enjoy watching them do other things, but keep it organized, no need to cram everything you can think of into one place in form of 20-minute bits. That's why I mentioned the segment being too short and inconsistent, because if it was it's own separate show, the people who do enjoy it would get more from it and people who don't can just ignore it. I'd kill for them to have a show where every time they play a new board game for an hour or two.


Boza60

Brian has said publicly that it wasn't his choice to leave CR, for what it's worth


GoblinSpore

Well shit, I stand corrected. I'll recract my statement then.


Pharylon

Brian has said publicly he no longer works for CR for reasons "beyond his control"


blackest_francis

Yes, I'd agree that the concept of "Tone it down" is beyond his control.


Pharylon

Yeah, I agree there. Honestly, they should just be more upfront with the fans instead of never saying anything about what happened. It makes everyone look bad.


Dmillz34

No it doesn't. It makes them professional. You dont air out BTS company stuff in a public forum when you are firing an employee.


artemis_floyd

I think this is ultimately where the tension comes from - CR moved from a home game, just a bunch of friends around a table, type vibe to a multimillion dollar company, while still trying to capture that home game feel (but with extras). Trying to keep that "we're just a bunch of friends hanging out" tone while also being a revenue-generating LLC doesn't really work when it comes to things like...personnel decisions, and I think that's where some of the disconnect and tension comes from, if that makes sense.


MegaTater

Seems pretty consistent, same thing happened with Tiberius in Campaign 1. And that was weird at the time too.


ACAnalyst

He was given the boot and it was always obvious, he was given absolutely zero fanfare when he left. Just eerie silence. They've given staff none of us know behind the scenes bigger send offs. Brian would have merrited more, a final farewell talks, hell a between the sheets where the cast interview him, even a fun farewell one shot? Nope, he got a cryptic tweet and then was silent about why for months. It'a been confirmed since too, but the fact people just take whatever is said like that as fact always baffled me. Clearly his twitter "behaviour" was seen as a brand risk, but even if they agree, I found his whole dismissal a little distasteful and cowardly. At least celebrate his contributions first.


Total-Wolverine1999

When you use sexually explicit insults on a minor you’re probably not going to get a big celebratory exit. With how he is on twitter and how he’ll say anything or butt his nose into anything it’s probably for the best that they don’t have a video or any content celebrating him. The dude is one bad twitter exchange away from an even more major fuck up.


HornedHumanoid

People seem to be forgetting that BWF didn’t get fired for “telling it like it is”, or because he wasn’t “positive” enough. BWF got fired because he was terminally online and viewed any criticism of the show as a criticism of him, his fiancée, and his friends, sometimes provoking harassment. That is infinitely more toxic than the squeaky clean corporate stuff CR is doing now.


Total-Wolverine1999

Yep it was funny early on but it started getting out of hand him poking fun at people hating Marisha is fine insulting multiple fans because they give constructive criticism of his show and his friends became way to much. He keeps spreading these lies that he was going after people harassing him I’ve seen multiple of his twitter blow ups it’s not true.


RoeJaz

Honestly I just like the conversation, and to hear them brainstorm about the story they are engaging in. Motivations behind characters, that sort of thing. As soon as they start playing video games or whatever I just end the video. I sort of listen to the episodes as a background podcast sort of thing, so I just listen to the "talk show" part and hit the like button.


Karmadog1983

i think they are trying (in typical CR fashion) to please everybody. "We want an after show", "I loved Hee Haw game ranch", "I miss when they would play Dance Dance Revolution on G&S" ect. so they made a talk show with video games and the cast playing other games and nobody (but me) seems to enjoy it. at some point i wish they would just make what they want and leave it to us to decide if we like it. that is my main criticism of CR they spend way too much time trying to please people that can't/won't be pleased or watch their show regardless of what they do


FrostyBum

I'm pretty sure they stopped the art reels due to copyright issues. They had no way of preventing people from submitting art which they didn't own


Total-Wolverine1999

I genuinely don’t care it’s a talk show about a D&D game, people deify talks but if you look at most of the threads even before the pandemic, people weren’t happy with it, they thought the questions were bad, thought the show was to chaotic and hated that they got rid of gif of the week despite the fact barely anyone sent in stuff for it. Honestly they don’t even need a talk show you’ll understand character decisions eventually and you had multiple of the cast this past episode refuse to go deeper cause of spoilers it’s pretty clear they don’t want to say a lot about their characters. Again I think people deify talks when 90% of the questions were just getting their characters opinions on things that happened which we’d learn immediately the next episode.


Lynkx0501

Hot Take. I absolutely adore 4SD and I love that it’s chaotic and a little cringe. Talks felt like an absolute chore to watch every week, especially when they moved to zoom, and I think that the cast being so desperately overworked brought the quality down for me. I thought they improved on the format in the last two shows and I liked that they spent more time discussing the deeper questions than the tower of inquiry stuff, but I don’t mind some of the light hearted tower stuff. I feel like expectations here are so very high for them because they always put out such a great show, and people need to chill out, let things breathe, and maybe not take it all so seriously all the time. Also, some have mentioned that the cast feels further away. I think this is entirely intentional. I think some cast members were getting very upset at things they were reading here, on Twitter, and out on other platforms, because you can’t please everyone, and decided to withdraw a bit. Matt in particular mentions how parasocial relationships with the fan base have affected him in particular, and one of the reasons people speculated Foster got canned was because he was always shooting back at people on Twitter, so it’s not surprising to see them take a step back for their own mental healths. I’ll get off my soapbox now.


trailorparkprincess

I completely agree dude. I feel like they’re having a lot more fun doing this and I actually watch this. I straight up did not watch talks bc it just felt redundant and boring to me.


Drum82Tx

I may get downvoted for this, but oh well... A lot of this has to do with "Branding", and the domino effect it has had. With 4SD, they being CR, is trying to give their audience something different in the form of a talk show that addresses their Campaign and storylines, while still answering questions from the audience and each other. They are trying to do it every month, with different guests, and still trying to figure out the best way to give everyone what they want. Which is no easy task. Talks was great, because of the dedicated host and the constant update every Tuesday after. But things changed. Becoming a company, a private one at that, means they, Critical Role, have to protect the "brand" and anything associated with it. Brian has already talked about this, and is constantly asked about it on his own platform away from this one. He's vocal, opinionated, and doesn't like someone telling him that he can't say anything negative on his own platform (i.e. FB, Twitter, any/all Social Media). But he was seen as part of the "brand" (face or fixture) and rules are different at that level, and he didn't agree to that. CR already knows they are bad twitch streamers, but they try, and they are going to keep on trying. Will CR ever do a community based questionnaire on what we would want to see on the stream? No. Why? Because it isn't our stream, it's theirs. CR is going to do what they see as funny to them, and not everyone else. It's their "brand" and they are going to do what they want with it. The Art Reels were great and cool, but then artists started suing, threatened to sue, and/or demanded more money then originally agreed upon. Community did this one onto itself and screwed it up for the rest of us. Now there are legal agreements for any and all artwork and photos. Again, protecting the "brand" because others sued or threatened to sue. Now, some people will sit there and say, "why does it matter about branding?" If your "brand" brought in under $10mil from 2019 to 2021, just from Twitch alone, not accounting for Merchandise, and opening doors to other avenues of income or networking. Wouldn't you protect that "brand"? Talks was awesome, what it did for the community was awesome, it's host was awesome, and the questions with conversations was awesome, but it's over now. Even the former host is over it on constantly talking about it, and on his own platform will time out anyone who brings it up. And if Brian is over it, we all need to do the same and get over as well. CR is trying to give us content, can't we just be happy that they are trying their best to do that?


AbyssTraveler

Being happy that they're giving us content doesn't make said content immune to criticism.


Drum82Tx

Understandably, but when the criticism only centers around "it's not talks machina" or "they need to bring Talks back", it's not happening and the criticism is no longer valid. if people keep pushing that point or keep bringing it up, then we are dancing right on into Orion territory of bringing something up that doesn't need to be talked about any more. CR gets it, they already know it was a great show to have every Tuesday, but things changed. Schedules, life, Time Management, personal demands, and company needs. All is playing a roll behind the scenes. We just need to let CR do what they are doing and let them figure it out. They can be allowed to experiment with changing up their talk show as it is their talk show. Reaction and response to Talks in the beginning was the same. People clamored that it was pointless show with no substance and too many dick jokes in between questions. But people got over it and let the creators create and try something different. The only real differences between Talks and 4SD is the frequency that we are getting the shows and what's on it.


Karmadog1983

i'll add this, there is a lot of rose colored glasses going on in regard to Talks, yes i enjoyed it but it was just as chaotic, between Brian's jokes, the cast being goofy in general, the bickering between Dani and Brian(i know it was joking but still), the questions weren't that great, and when they were all the answers were a variant of "it'll come out in game" there was very little of substance that came out of that show


watok

I agree lol and there were so many episodes of Talks that were just... absolutely devoid of content besides jokes and chaos. People are really glamorizing it. And, that was Talks at the end of it's run, whereas 4SD is new and getting better each episode. I also hate fan questions 98% of the time so I'm glad the crew are asking more focused/better ones.


shadowstorm213

I agree, it really was a bigger mess than people remember it being. I feel like it is a combination of nostalgia and a fear of change.


percheron28

I kinda agree, it feels a bit too gimmicky, but on the other hand this is the growing pain of a new show... I would not mind just 4 people on the couch with a few questions here and there to kickstart conversations


Ritzien

Agree. When I saw the Omar cam thing I went "oh no" because I knew that this would be distracting. I'm glad the lil' guy spent the whole show sleeping lol But yeah, I really don' think the show works. The questions are bleh and the cast seem more interested in fucking around than answering them, and I honestly can't blame them. What is this show for, except a nice excuse for them to hang out? I loved Talks, and I loved the side shows where they did nothing but hang out and have fun, but holy fuck don't want a mix of those two together. I'd rather they bring back shows where they do nothing but play, and on the side have a show like Talks. Even then I'd tighten that concept to minimize external distractions. Like a round table, literally just 3 of them sitting at a table talking about something related to their DnD game.


bmf1902

My biggest wish for CR right now is MORE 4-sided Dive.


Ligands

Couldn't agree more, on all points. *gif of the week!*


malorane

So true dude, this should be like 3 different shows. I enjoy and miss the TalkBack concept of why did we do or what our character thinks part, and then they could literally just have a shoot the shit thing where some of them hangout and I would bet money people would watch, and then some time of event/game night like game ranch


taly_slayer

Hot take, you're all focusing on the details that don't matter. The show will never be perfect. Talks wasn't perfect, no matter how much you loved Brian or how shitty your memory is. It also had stupid gimmicks and bad questions. It's their brand. But both Talks and now 4SD are giving us insights into character decisions and player mindset. There's a TON of information we're getting, and it will become more deep as the campaign progresses. Instead of talking about all of that, we continue to spend time misremembering how good Talks was or having *hot takes* about how they are too awkward with a script. *It's their brand.* There are 3 things this community complain about: 1) the prompter intro. It literally lasts less than 2 minutes and it has a lot of potential for evolving into something more fun or crazier. It already gave us Lorraine and Matt's melting brain trying to reference himself. 2) the tower of inquiry. It's a very small segment, and yes, the questions are hit and miss, but that's the only thing they need to adjust. This week, we got interesting insight into Imogen's continuous breaching of privacy and ~~Laerryn~~ Lorraine's sex life. 3) The video games: THEY ARE NOT DOING IT ANYMORE. It already went away. If that's not clear indication they are iterating on it and will continue to find better ways of running the show, then I don't know what to tell you guys. I repeat, it won't ever be perfect. So adjust your expectations and focus on what matters: the characters.


empress_tesla

In my opinion, 4SD is fine in regards to its format, but what’s really killing the talk show aspect is the cast being afraid of spoilers because they’re not sure if the game is up to date for the audience. Honestly, what’s caused the feeling of “overproduction” for me was getting rid of live games. I get that it’s easier for them and less stressful to pre-tape, but it just feels less genuine to me. Because C3 is now pre-taped, it causes them to have to ask a lot more generic questions for 4SD, which just makes the talk show boring. I couldn’t put my finger on it for a while, but this feeling of disconnectedness started around when they came back from Covid break and were pre-taping episodes. Plus I really liked listening to them do deep dives on things that just happened in the previous episode. It helped me if I missed something, didn’t make a connection, explained lore or if a plot needed clarification.


GoblinSpore

Very well said. Community engagement has been going down consistently and now with 4SD it's almost null, the evergreen questions might as well be auto-generated.


1WngdAngel

To each their own, but I prefer 4SD over Talks Machina and BWF's grating presence. I've also never been bothered by their growth into company proper that has to lookout for their best interests over those of the community. \*edit\* A lot of you have rose tinted glasses when in comes to Talks and BWF. The questions there were no better than on 4SD, they were just as generic and offered little insight that wasn't going to be revealed on the very next CR episode. BWF was and is a straight up asshole that went at anyone when he felt justified and suffered the natural consequences of doing so. \*edit 2\* If you at any point in your response here said something along the lines of CR is "too corporate" or "it used to feel like we were at the table together/we were all friends" then you are part of the reason the cast has distanced themselves from the community. Parasocial relationships are unhealthy, period. And if, IF, these were your friends and you're upset that they're successful then you are, quite frankly, a bad friend.


taly_slayer

Plus, he interrupted more often than not or his gimmicks would distract the guest long enough to not answer the question. In contrast, this week, the ladies kept each other focused and even when they went on tangents, they came to the answers. I will never understand the BWF worshipping. He did cool stuff (Between the Sheets and Undeadwood were amazing), but Talks was not the perfect show everyone is remembering.


HornedHumanoid

People have rose tinted glasses for a lot of early CR stuff, especially campaign 1. The show had some of the exact things people complain about now but worse. I can’t tell you how many times I used to go “oh my god get to the point and let your guests speak, Brian” during Talks.


Patrickd13

People here are huge about their Nostalgia unfortunately. Got this one guy who went to my DM's about how I should stop watching CR3 and watch CR1


kuributt

+1


Scarsdale_Punk

Maybe it’s not something she’d be into, but I’d love to see Dani as host. If anyone can ask insightful questions and have great interactions with the cast, it’s her.


RandomStrategy

Just my opinion, but I think 4SD would work better with the simpler format like they did with the GM Roundtable they had with Aabriya, Matt, and Brennan. I've noticed (while I enjoy the actual cameras on when I can watch) it's better when you're able to easily listen to it as a podcast only (I'm not saying get rid of the cameras, but if you can easily enjoy it as a podcast, you will enjoy it more with the cameras, too).


actorgeek

I don’t think it needs to be Talks, but they’ve lost a step by not doing 4SD live. I mean, they’re not really live-streaming anything anymore… it’s all pre-taped. That is perfectly understandable for the campaign and the specials, but I miss them having the chance to have direct fan interaction. That interaction is what really made Talks for me. Yes, they were submitted and screened in advance, but it also allowed for a deeper range of questions because you have a lot more people thinking of things to ask.


OurionMaster

With every segment that I don't personally care for...the thing that bothers me the most is the shallow questions. What the fuck is up with what type of plant would you and your character would be? Like, once is fine. But then the question about the sky ship and that topic has been touched two episodes in a row, everybody was feeling good about it... So do we need Laura AND Marisha to answer it? Just prepare better questions, since you can't have us asking them anyways.


Aqua_Ortus

Honestly... while I do enjoy the tower of inquiry since its the only place we get fan questions (which like, really?), I agree with the other points. I sat my way through both VG segments of the first 2 dives (haven't watched 3 and 4) and I enjoyed the second one more because of Sam and Laura talking lore. I come from a gaming background so I was able to stomach it easier, but it's definitely something that's not for all. Having fan art back would be amazing as well! Maybe the cast members that'll be there pick out a piece or 2 from the gallery that week and talk about the moment it represents, or something along those lines? I rarely see much CR fan art and the stuff I do see is anything the cast/main account retweets. It's sad.


TinyTimeLady

All good points. Maybe even add a segment where they zoom into the minis and board that Matt builds. I’d love to see them close up instead of a wide camera shot in a small box on my phone/computer.


IntercomB

I mean, one of the best questions in episode 4 (Aabria about Laudna) wasn't even prepared, it just happened during the conversation. Shows how much a simple conversation without gimmicks can bring to that kind of show.


bengeemon

Is it truly a hot take to just not click with something?


GalrionMartel

I don’t get the love for Talks. I’ve watched it and found it exceedingly dull. It’s a talk show where the host lacks charisma.


Ampetrix

Hotter take than OP.


Asit1s

While most people here see Brian as charisma personified (and rightfully so) there were plenty of episode that were \_too\_ 'funny' and 'chaotic' to the point that as a viewer, there is little added value other then seeing other friends joke around. Like those instances weren't meant to be on camera or something.


GalrionMartel

Maybe that’s it. I’ve only seen ones in campaign The first half of C2. Many of those were all over the place. I will say that I thoroughly enjoyed his between the sheets interviews.


Total-Wolverine1999

It’s also funny because people criticized talks and Brian went on the show and made fun of the dude for almost an hour who made the post here.


bertraja

That's fair. But if, let's say, one out of four Talks episodes was messy/bad, we still had 3 good episodes in the same time that we get one 4SD. And if one 4SD episode is messy/bad, that's all you get for the next 4 weeks.


Asit1s

Oh don't get me wrong, I liked Talks way more then 4SD, to the point where I'm kinda losing all interest in side programme. But that's fine, creators have to do what creators want to do.


Total-Wolverine1999

It’s hilarious talks was fine, people here act like it brought out the most thought provoking questions that ever existed. When 90% of the questions were along the lines what does Beau think of this new NPC? Does Caleb like this new mission they’re on? What was Jester’s feelings about what happened? All questions you’re going to get the answers to immediately the next episode. The show was just fine, people act like it’s greatest thing ever created despite viewership never being that great for it, I think 4 sided dive gets like double to triple the live viewership.


Responsible-Shower68

But at least it focused on actually interesting *content,* and had focused questions, unlike the current slew of wishy-washy, vague icebreaker questions that aren't campaign, player, or character-specific at all


SurlyJSurly

"CR at its core is not for the video game audience." ? It's a bunch of "nerdy-ass voice actors who sit around and play dungeons and dragons" . And they are all definitely known for their gaming work. Tons of people even bothered to check them out in the 1st place because thats how they knew who these people were. They do Crit Role voices \*in games\*. They do one shots for Elder Scrolls and Doom. The idea there isn't a huge overlap with gaming and Critical Role is laughable.


Cabes86

First off they should just hire/cast someone to run this show, I presume Dani does like a trillion jobs at CR—what helped Talks was that Brian was responsible for: Talks, Between the Sheets, Game Ranch, and Undeadwood; and most of these did not coincide at the same time. Having someone be JUST in charge of this will help them have the brainspace to ask the questions it needs in lieu of live chat questions. If they can’t use fan questions they need to just focus deeply on Dani making pointed questions about either the most recent ep or the most recent run of a character since they last were on the show. They could probably do longer view fan questions about like, ‘what’s some stuff laudna and imogen did pre show?’ Or like, ‘laura, what differences did the original cleric form of jester have from the warlock version we saw?” I was a huge talks and brian fan, and i will say this about talks: there was a definite goof off part to the show and a definite let’s get to business part of the show. I think looking over its format and getting the meat of the show to be as close to Talks’ ‘getting down to business part is key.’


GoblinSpore

Yep, the goofs will come organically, they just couldn't help themselves)


RevNeutron

I agree with everything OP wrote. But I will say this past week I thought the 4 girls pretty much killed it. They were so relaxed and natural and just had fun together. Get rid of 1/2 the gimmicks and just let them interact and ask real questions.


rallydirk32

My thoughts were, having a host who is a player makes it seem like they are self promoting. Having an outsider as a host connected with me, an outsider, more.


BroodyGaming

I think it’s fun, y’all just don’t like change haha. It’s just a talk show about a dnd show. It’ll all be okay. Stop over thinking it.


Benedict_morley

I'll tag on another point: At least once in all 4 episodes someone has asked 'are we fully up to date, can I talk about that'. I've come to just expect it now, it kinda taints the polished/more produced style they're going for. This is definitely a thing even since COVID talks happened as someone would ask on each of those episodes aswell. I understand they have other priorities and different involvement in the company so not everyone will be involved in the actual release and production but it gives the feeling of asking someone directions in their home-town and them not knowing the way. This is more petty annoyance than a real problem but I thought I'd add my opinion.


TunaPounder

I think they've shot themselves in the foot completely by moving away from authentic content to this highly overproduced and underwhelming cringe content. Who wants to hear bullshit time filler catch-all questions? All the extravagance surrounding even the simplest thing, it's like coating shit in sugar


printandpolish

um, did you watch the witches episode. because it was AMAZING. and it still did all of these things.


Boffleslop

I concur with most of your points. The meat of the show is fine, a longer format and more casual chat version of Talks with no host. I find 90% of it quite enjoyable. The scripted portions make me feel more like I'm watching Geek and Sundry content and not Critical Role content. The Tower of Inquiry is horrendous. I understand Jenga is a running joke on the show, but taking a game about the excitement of imminent collapse and slowly playing it over the course of a year? Evergreen questions are only necessary because of the Tower, and the Tower is only necessary to be the vessel for evergreen questions. Your question might sit on the tower for a year and never be asked anyway, perhaps it's on the bottom or it's a support piece that will never be pulled. I fail to see how that's entertaining to anyone. My only other gripe is the show's frequency. Once a month is not often enough. I have begun to forget that the show is on, unless I happen to look at the schedule that day, and it's only the 4th episode. With Talks it was a no brainer. It's Tuesday, it's Talks. I haven't checked the live numbers for audience drop off, perhaps I'm on an island and the only one starting to forget. Talks kept me regularly engaged, a fresh jolt of CR content early in the week that amped me up for Thursday, acted as a recap, etc. While I like the 2 hour format of 4SD, I'd prefer an hour a week to 2 hours a month.


Careless-Confidence7

I believe therr is a certain disconnect from the community which is part or the reason I enjoyed CR content to start with - It felt like we were one. 4 sided Dive is missing this aspect which evergreen questions can't help fulfil, but an inclusion of cosplay, art and compitions can. Talks had its charm and this cobblestone show is not a great way to bring the community together to celebrate and discuss moments in the show.


Sodaontheplane

Not really a hot take as there's a post like this after every episode.


hblair215

This ain't a hot take there chief. That is the most common opinion out there. Give it a shot. If you really don't like it, don't watch it. It's obvious talks and Brian aren't coming back. They may have been liked, but how much of it was the style of show and how much of it was the personalities and shenanigans that happened during the show.


GoblinSpore

That's probably what I'll do a few episodes in if it doesn't change. The thing is, I like the idea of a recap talk show where the cast can chill and answer questions/discuss. I think it's absolutely the style of the show, because the things I'm annoyed about are the forced production bits, the personalities and shenanigans are still there (as much as Brian carried the show, he didn't do it by himself), case in point - the DM round table.


Bowbag_

The show reeks of some kind of higher up trend chasing producer making demands. But it doesn't, which is super fucking weird and confusing


maxvsthegames

Everything Sam has been saying is true. We don't really care about the game part (it had some fun moment) and we don't care about evergreen questions. Basically, just do Talks Machina with a rotating host. That's what people want.


Bslayer7111

It feels waaaay too corporate for me