Burn them or Forgive them?

Can you tell what game I've been playing lately?

Ahhh, patch-day. Anyone who has been playing MMOs for any period of time has come to love and loathe these wonderous days of days. When large updates come down the pipe, the hordes of players flock to the game en-masse to experience the new shineys of the world they love so much. With so many people running across that bridge back to a wonderland of fun, it’s no surprise that things go wrong from time to time. Yesterday with WAR was no different. All servers were announced with downtime around 8pm EST, and slated to last till 9 pm, then 10:30 pm, and lastly, for 11:30 pm. At 11:30, the servers did come up.  Right now as I type this, servers are down again, until a prospected 5:00 pm EST. This is a lot of downtime for Mythic, and one that I can’t remember being equalled previously with any other patch. For Mythic mind you, I can easily recall the time of EQ2 and WoW where patches and expansions required DAYS of downtime to finally get things smoothed out. So, this lead me to wonder, how do people feel about these perilous adventures in newness?

I’ve never been one to rage at games for downtime. I recall fondly the days when I worked from home and could make my own hours. I was playing EQ2 primarily at the time, and when I couldn’t get in the game (there used to be daily maintenance time of an hour in the early AM), I would work, watch Antique Road Show (no, really), play DotA, or actually chat in the lobby with a moderator who would tell us when servers were back up. I was always one of those people who tried to calm others down, and would laugh at myself when people would say things along the lines of, “But I took today off to play!” or some such drivel. Sorry, but your day off is not the responsibility of “Game Developer X”. So, when it comes to downtime from a patch or a large update, I tend to be fairly pacifistic about the whole situation. I always have other hobbies or activities to do.

It was amusing to me to go to the forums today, and see people counting down time at 11:30, declaring Mythic failed at 11:31 for not having the servers up. They reportedly came up at 11:36 for the curious among you. It really does seem like there are a large contingent of players that have never dealt with realities of patch day. In a way, I can see their point, they pay for a service, the service was denied them, and the exact return of said service was dubious, and misrepresented. I just don’t understand the drama of it all. Anyone who was dealt with tech issues or software releases, gaming or otherwise, knows there are ALWAYS problems that can’t be found in small-scale testing. It’s only when a release hits the market that the breadth of problems get found.

For my camp, not to go all overly positive on you (that’s someone else’s niche), I forgive them. Problems happen, and developers fix them as fast as possible. They want us in there, playing, not just to make money, but because they want us to enjoy their work.

Chime in, where do you sit?

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About Shadow
Making serious business out of internet spaceships.

14 Responses to Burn them or Forgive them?

  1. Rancid says:

    I actually posted about this late last night, as I was getting face-melted by BWs. I say it’s part of the MMO experience. And really, 3.5 hours isn’t bad.

    http://www.war4scrubs.com/2010/05/rip-hamster-we-knew-the-well/

    • shadowwar says:

      Grr, leaving comments fail on your blog from work. Love your examples as they are the exact ones I was thinking of, but was too lazy to hunt the reports down.

      Weren’t you doing Back to the Dark Age? Is it no more?

      • Rancid says:

        You can nix it off the list, for now. Had some issues and decided to move to WAR. Lot more active community, which helps writing. 🙂

  2. openedge1 says:

    What we are REALLY seeing here though is the contingent of WAR players who are disgruntled with Mythic and that they have been slow to do ANYTHING with the game at all.

    So finally, here we are. WAR gets a patch of “new-ness” and guess what? You cannot play it as we need to fix this or that issue.

    This thus causes players to be upset. It makes them wonder “Why were these issues not found to begin with”…not knowing the dire mess Mythic is in to begin with.

    I am sure they are understaffed, and as with most MMO’s, for some reason, not able to find all issues until reported. When I am still waiting a week for a report to a CSR about a quest bug, I call that woefully under-manned (womaned…hehe).

    So, right now, Mythic does not have but a small group of cheerleaders, and the ongoing issues, like billing, stolen accounts, hacked accounts, and now patch messes….well, maybe you can see the other side too and why people are bitching.

    • shadowwar says:

      “…and that they have been slow to do ANYTHING with the game at all.”

      I couldn’t disagree with this statement any more if I tried.

      • openedge1 says:

        In comparison to???

        When was the last major content update? And then lets look at that compared to other MMO’s that are doing ok (not Vanguard style)?

        As to MY slow comment, I guess it is the fact that two tickets of mine entered to CSR’s have been sitting for a week for a quest issue, and no further discussion for either of them, as they continue to sit in the queue…does not help me think Mythic is “fast”.

        All I am trying to say is, you can look at this from the “Poor devs” point of view…or look at it from customers who maybe had their credit card billed 100 times or had their account stolen recently…and you can see how another “issue” is NOT what Mythic needed is all.

      • shadowwar says:

        Bah, IE totally wipe out my reply.

        Summation: Dont’ expect replies to BUG reports. It’s there to report a bug, not get a response from an admin. If you need an issue resolved in game, use appeal. It says as such when you submit it.

        And I’m saying in comparison to any game. PvP games are player content driven, not developer-content driven. 4 new classes, an entire new zone, multiple new dungeons, currency systems, weapons, armor, scenarios, and live events (not weekend warfronts) have all been released since launch.

        Lastly, your “issues” are moot. All games experience them. The billing issue was the only unique “Mythic” one. They deserve to be critisized for that, and held accountable for it. When they tackle an issue like this downtime with VASTLY superior speed and communication than the genre norm, it’s not an “issue”.

        And that was the short version!

  3. Helldorf says:

    Agreed, as one of my favorite Christmas Vacation quotes “It’s all part of the experience”. It’s not like this is an everyday happening. I think some of the players just need to grow up and actually use some commonsense. Riigghhtt, well, we can all wish for something. . .

  4. Kesarin says:

    I’m with you – I’d rather the servers be down so that they can fix things (like DoTs and HoTs lasting hours) rather than have to deal with that while the server is up. I think at this point, people just like to piss and moan about the game, even though they enjoy it. It’s similar to Brits always going on about the weather, even on a nice day. 🙂 It was a huge patch with lots of changes. There’s always going to be *something* that doesn’t get caught on the PTS – shit happens.

  5. Tyanon says:

    I am giving them a pass on this one. Mythic patch days have been amazing compared to back in WoW. Every WoW patch day my guild would plan all sorts of raids and it would always fail due to bugs, instability, downtime, patcher issues etc..

    Hopefully they took a good look at how the BW/Sorcs ended up after the patch. Even BW’s are posting how rediculous their burst is now, and while I do need to give it a better shot, I am very concerned about a large number of people’s perception of the changed bws/sorcs.

  6. Readda says:

    GOA delayed deploying it in Europe for an extra day till Mythic sorted there issues, so thanks for all the beta-testing guys!

    • shadowwar says:

      Glad to lend a hand! But I hear your servers are still down right now. *sad panda* Hope you get to pillage and destroy soon!

  7. Clokwerk says:

    Shit dota is old school come play H o N!!!

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