While lots of people are probably going to say this isn’t enough, it’s still nice that they’re trying to do something.
The full post is worth a read – it’s pretty short, but I don’t want to reproduce it verbatim. TL;DR below.
So what went wrong? The short answer is: a lot more people logged on than we expected. More people played and played in ways we never saw in the beta.
OK, we agree, that was dumb, but we are committed to fixing it. In the last 48 hours we increased server capacity by 120 percent. It’s working – the number of people who have gotten in and built cities has improved dramatically. The number of disrupted experiences has dropped by roughly 80 percent.
So we’re close to fixed, but not quite there. I’m hoping to post another update this weekend to let everyone know that the launch issues are behind us.
And, by way of apology, “we’re going to offer you a free PC download game from the EA portfolio”. Again, lots of folks will say that’s like piling poo on top of crap, but I like that they’re trying to do something, even if it’s not something that costs them all that much in terms of bottom line. ANY effort to make things right is better than no effort at all. Mistakes (or major screwups) happen – what matters to me at the end of the day is acknowledgement and some attempt to fix things down the line.
So, presumably EA woke up this morning and saw the shitstorm. (Actually it’s very likely most of them worked through the night. I actually love game people, I just hate the way launches are always poo.)
They’re rolling out a server update. Since I’m not sure everyone can access that page, here’s the text:
We are working hard to resolve a problem that is at the heart of the issues which some players have reported. Namely:
Trading not working consistently
- Unable to load/claim city errors
- Getting stuck in a loop in the tutorial
To that end, we are currently rolling out a server update which we believe will improve performance considerably. This will involve restarts over the next 4-5 hours across all of our current severs. Minor player impact may occur, such as trading not working consistently and the region wall not working occasionally. We appreciate your continued patience and support while this fix is being deployed.
Please continue to check back here for updates
It seems the tutorial-loop issue may be fixed already, or that could just be because I finally thought to run the game as admin. Then again, it still wouldn’t let me play. It probably knows I should be working.
I haven’t played enough to have much of an opinion yet. However.
EDIT for full disclosure – after trying to get into a game for half an hour, and then trying to create my own game for another half hour, I’m rapidly sliding out of the “Oh, silly EA” opinion chair and into “You guys just had to force us to play online and you just had to fail to have the server infrastructure (or whatever it is) to cope.”
During the ENTIRE development process, did nobody stop to say “You know, this game will be utterly unplayable if the servers aren’t working, and yet we’re not calling this an MMO?” – or, for that matter “Is it really wise for force the internet connection thing on people for a single-player game? We haven’t done it to the Sims yet, maybe we should hold off on doing it to Sim City…”
I now bring you back to the original, less bitter post.
1. When I buy what has been a single-player game (with recent multiplayer elements) since the late 80s — and I too had SimCity 1.0 on my Mac SE — I expect to be able to enjoy a single player experience. Meaning I should still be able to play if the servers are down.
2. If you’re as big as EA, PLAN FOR LAUNCH. This really isn’t rocket science anymore and saying “Oh, we didn’t expect the internet!” really isn’t an excuse.
3. The cities are too fecking small. I don’t care if I can play 16 cities at once in the same region. What if I want to play one giant, single-player, orgiastic megalopolis? Too bad, so sad, go back to playing the game in the single way Maxis feels you should be able to. Shame shame shame.
4. Did Microsoft give Maxis design lessons? Because it sure feels that way.
5. EDIT – And what’s with the crappy zoom out distance? That’s just nasty.
I guess we’ll see how it goes. I’m sure this version has some interesting new things to offer, and there are some cool new features (like non-grid roads, because not every city in the world is designed the way American cities were), but I’m still a bit peeved.
If I wanted launch day bullshit, I’d have bought an MMO.
Prescriptum: I was going to write this at the end of the post, but as usual I’m rambling far too much and I’m adding pictures and this post is going to be a mile long before I’m done. So: I’d like to thank the folks who have been mailing me in support of this blog. I’m eternally surprised that people read this not just out of bloggerly solidarity but out of – apparently – interest and for entertainment. Personally, I think my post quality has gone down the drain in the last couple of years, but I’m hoping the doldrums will pass and at some point I won’t mind revisiting some of the more interesting discussions & themes out there. In the meantime, thanks for reading and most of all thanks for writing to let me know you’re reading – it’s not essential, but it’s very nice to receive.
TL;DR - No time to play, waah. Pandaclysm kinda cool. Where’s my hatchling? Dailies dailies everywhere and not a drop to drink. Move along now.
My gaming time has been somewhat limited these last few months – okay, for most of this year actually – with the occasional glutton-day interspersed with weeks of not logging into anything much. Which is a shame, because there are several games out there I could, would, should and want to enjoy. Two of them are even “free”, more or less – TSW and GW2 – but when there’s no time, there’s just no time. Read more…
While I haven’t been able to even log into The Secret World in about a month (work, travel, yadda yadda), I did at least get it properly updated yesterday, even if I didn’t actually find any time to play.
And today, my best intentions to the contrary, the spousal unit casually says “You know, those Guild Wars 2 reviews are looking pretty good. Maybe I would like to play it after all.” Since it was his lack of interest that managed to hold me back from pre-ordering (well, that and work, travel, yadda yadda), we immediately headed out to the store* and picked up a couple of copies. It’s not like I’d been drooling over all the screenshots and reviews from fellow bloggers – not to mention Twitter and Facebook updates and actually seeing the game on friends’ computers. Nope. I was resisting. I was being good. It’s all his fault.
It’s installing as I write. I’m not sure how I’m going to find the time for GW2 when I don’t have the time for TSW or WoW or the Sims or indeed anything other than 5 minutes of FreeCell here and there, but it’s a NEW GAME!!!11oneone and, even bigger bonus, it’s free to play. Since TSW is essentially subs-free as well, that’s like Two Good Things all at once.
I know TSW isn’t actually free to play, but the lifetime sub already paid for itself in my view. I’ve probably played maybe 70 hours total, counting futzing around on characters I abandoned and not counting the many hours spent in Beta, so we’re already talking less than $4/hour. Whichever way you slice it, MMOs are still a damn sight cheaper per hour of entertainment than, say, movies.
So now I’m like the woman with two manstresses, or whatever you want to call it. Both are low-maintenance, neither of them is going to get pissy with me if I don’t have time to devote to them, neither of them requires to be taken to dinner, and both will be there whenever I fancy a bit of fun. God only knows how (or if) I’ll find time for Mists of Pandaria when that comes out in a few weeks…
* In the interests of full disclosure I should note that we got a new car last week, that it’s more car than I’ve ever had in terms of power AND bells and whistles, and that we’re jumping into the car and going for a drive on the slightest of tiny excuses. I’ve probably run more “errands” this week and done more mileage than in the last 6 months combined.
No fat pig bought, but a busy 10 days spent in France both to sort out the usual sorty-outy stuff following my dad’s death and to catch up with my step-mother (who had to be there for the same reasons). And yes, we did go to the market; French markets are ace. Much bread, cheese & meat was bought, along with giganormous bouquets of whatever the hell flowers are seasonal – I don’t garden, but most of them were purple and orange – and some hand-made soaps for gifts to people here which had every single security check between Blois and Albuquerque (3 to be exact) examining my carryon for explosive residue. Oops.
It’s amazing how much you have to run around in France just to get the most basic things done; the only thing we’re even marginally efficient about is food, and even that takes time if it’s to be done right and properly enjoyed. I also managed to forget that in August, EVERYONE in France goes on holiday, or vacation as you Americans like to call it. Offices run on skeleton staffs when they don’t just close outright for 2 weeks, people don’t want to give you appointments (too many Facebook updates to catch up with then they do make it back to the office), and overall somehow WE were the inconsiderate ones for needing to do annoying stuff like, you know, let various entities know that there had been a death in the family and all the other stuff that comes with it. Dad, being French himself, really ought to have had better timing.
Nothing happened that warrants posting in what is still mostly a gaming blog, apart from a much-delayed flight back to the US (5 bloody hours) and further delays on connecting flights once I was got there. I am now officially too old to be awake 26 hours in a row – granted, I dozed in various planes, but in some cases (and yesterday was one of them) that dozing only seems to end up making you feel even more tired.
Currently the proud owner of a juniper-offended nose (welcome-home allergies for the metaphorically-challenged) and 2 perfectly poached eyeballs. Someone pass the Hollandaise sauce and some Canadian bacon.
Normal service may or may not resume next week. I haven’t played anything (even Freecell) in the last couple of weeks and the GW2 launch happened while I was sitting in the Charles-de-Gaulle airport lounge trying to convince United Airlines people that mere hydraulic & pressure issues shouldn’t prevent our plane from flying 5000 miles. Initial reports on GW2 seem pretty favourable so far – going only by FB and twitter and whatnot. My RSS feed too can wait another day.
EDIT: Oooh and WordPress’ quote for the day when I posted, which needs to be reproduced here because I’m so concise and to the point. Always. Yep, that’s me. Shorter is better. More matter, less art. Anyway:
I have made this letter longer, because I have not had the time to make it shorter. Blaise Pascal
I could really batter a piece of cod right about now.
More screenshots added here for those who like other people’s holiday snaps.
In other news, trained swords on Sunday and was suddenly much happier with my char. I think the problem has to do with the fact that I couldn’t find the #&*^@*% fist-AoE builder – I’m sure there is one, or there used to be in beta, but I played through almost 50 skill points without a single bloody AOE (not counting the 20-second cooldown one) and it wasn’t fun.
Actually, maybe I just wanted to go back to having a sword. I like swords, even though my newest one makes a drudge board look good. The plan was to also train Assault Rifles just to see how that works with Blades, but at the moment I’m enjoying my Blade/Blood combo so I haven’t put anything into AR yet. Time enough… whenever.