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The Junkbox

This blog is mostly about MMORPG's or whatever else pops into my head and I decide to write about.

Author: galad2003

Warhammer Online Open Beta Review Part 1 - Launch

Posted by galad2003 Tuesday September 9 2008 at 11:51AM
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No one should ever mess with another person’s desk without asking, and for crying out loud if you need a sticky don’t take the whole stack. My whole life is on my desk and when someone messes around with it, they are messing with my life. My job, my hobbies, pictures of my family are all on my desk. I get all protective and territorial over it. Don’t touch a guy’s desk! I guess I’ll have to start marking my territory….

Now that I got that off my chest let’s talk about Warhammer. The open beta for Warhammer Online started a little rocky for me. About 45 minutes late I could start patching which went excruciatingly slow. Five hours later on my broadband connection I was 96% complete, and then I get an error message and the whole patcher crashes. After some fiddling around with no success I give up. Boy was I frustrated. A late start a slow patch download, half my Sunday gone and no dice on playing. Like many of you I am sure, I freed up my whole day just to play.

Being a veteran to many beta tests and launches of bad games I took it in stride however. I reopened the patcher and went to the store. I‘m not going to waste my day anymore on waiting on a MMORPG. When I got back everything was patched and up and running…yay!!! Lesson learned – sometimes when you are frustrated just walk away.

All in all I hope this was a test to see how their servers could handle the strain. If this is how they plan to launch then they will have problems. I have struggled through much worst launches but the bar has been raised, whether it is fair or not. People expect a near perfect launch (and apparently a near perfect open beta launch too- which I will talk about in an upcoming blog).

I have to give Mythic a C+ for how they handled the launch and patch process. Slow patching, errors, crashes, late launch time all need to be improved for launch day. Maybe they should practice taking the servers down and opening them back up to get some practice, because when people log on they want to play NOW!!! Whether that is the right attitude or not I will leave up to you, but I know in my job, when I have a deadline I better meet it, test or not. What do you think? Later I will talk about some issues with the GOA launch in Europe and the rest of my open beta review.
 

MacroPlanet writes:

I won't really comment on this little review, I'll wait until your open beta review to see if I agree/disagree with your points.

 

Where you had problems, I didn't.  I downloaded the game fast, patches went fast and smooth when the game's open beta launched, I was in there with no problems.

Tue Sep 09 2008 12:01PM Report
ravenshroud writes:

I had 6 hours of frustration as well.  Absolutely terribe OB luanch.  Not having official forums is one of the biggest problems.  Giving authentication errors when the problem is NOT authentication is another.

Not telling people they didn;t have the beta key registered, which you had to do twice, was a third.

Not specifying a download time, not letting downloads occur before servers came up, horrible commmunications. 

All of this reminds me of.....oh yeah, Mythic.

D+, as it eventually worked

 

Tue Sep 09 2008 3:15PM Report
streea writes:

I was 96% complete, and then I get an error message and the whole patcher crashes.

This part has me confused. Even if the client crashes, it's already downloaded stuff, so it just scans over it and picks up where it left off. You may lose 5-10 minutes, but that's it. In fact, mine did the same thing at about 95-96%, but I restarted it and it continued on in no time.

Tue Sep 09 2008 3:49PM Report
gan3f writes:

you remind me of Milton Waddams the guy from office space when someone took his stapler.

Tue Sep 09 2008 4:21PM Report
galad2003 writes:

streea - when it crashed the client would not resume downloading for me. After an hour of it still sitting there it still had not resumed the patch. I went and ran some errands for a few hours and came back, leaving the client open and it said patch 100% complete.

My main complaint isn't that however, it was like ravenshroud said, having no official forums to try and collaborate with my fellow gamers to figure it out.  That and a general lack of communication from Mythic as to the 45 minute delay on openeing the servers.  pretty much everything ravenshroud said.  It being a beta all that is understandable.

Remember I am only grading the whole launch process at this point, not the overall game. C is considered an average grade and i thought this launch was slightly better than average.

 

Tue Sep 09 2008 4:47PM Report
galad2003 writes:

streea - when it crashed the client would not resume downloading for me. After an hour of it still sitting there it still had not resumed the patch. I went and ran some errands for a few hours and came back, leaving the client open and it said patch 100% complete.

My main complaint isn't that however, it was like ravenshroud said, having no official forums to try and collaborate with my fellow gamers to figure it out.  That and a general lack of communication from Mythic as to the 45 minute delay on openeing the servers.  pretty much everything ravenshroud said.  It being a beta all that is understandable.

Remember I am only grading the whole launch process at this point, not the overall game. C is considered an average grade and i thought this launch was slightly better than average.

 

Tue Sep 09 2008 4:47PM Report
galad2003 writes:

gan3f - "if they take my stapler I'll burn the whole building down"

Office Space rocks! sad thign is no one at my place of work seems to have every seen the movie!??

Tue Sep 09 2008 4:49PM Report
Tron420 writes:

if you don't want a beta experience, don't participate in beta events...

Tue Sep 09 2008 11:42PM Report
Thekandy writes:

So, after writing this blog post i take you didn't participate in the LotRO stress test?
I remember a whole weekend of just trying to connect to the server while reading about how others were already trying a second character.
If you only lost half a day, consider yourselves lucky, it's called a beta for one reason, and that's because they want it tested, it's not just an early access but a testing run.

Wed Sep 10 2008 5:44AM Report
Jetrpg writes:

Most people do not even realize how wonderful war's preformence has been because they really have little to no experience. 

The game acctually works, it has end game content in it Right now, i can loot stuff, the abilities fire, the servers are not super lagged, the game works, rofl five hours ... Only five hours most game day releases / open beta releases people do not get the d/l started for six hours (looking at 80% of previous mid to large mmos).

But i do know the issue you are talking about mythic d/ls have always had it. But it should resume.

Wed Sep 10 2008 9:33AM Report
galad2003 writes:

Thekandy - actually I did participate in LOTRO beta, from early closed beta till launch. I thought that was one of the best launches of a game i have witnessed to date.  Of course they used the D&D online engine so they had a lot of bugs worked out already. 

 

The stress test ran fine for me.  It was sluggish as hell but considering the number of people, it was understandable.  The thing about that was Turbine kept the community very well informed, they let everyone know they were deliberately doing that to test how well their servers could handle it.

In fact the LoTRO launch was so solid that it has irrevocably raised the bar for me, all other launches for me will be judged by theirs.

 

Everyone please don't take my C+ rating as an overall rating for the game, I am just rating that one aspect.  I am trying to do a thourough review of each aspect and give a grade on each piece.  Its great to read your guys feedback, keep it coming!

Thu Sep 11 2008 1:57PM Report

MMORPG.com writes:
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