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Where has all the patience gone?

Discussion in 'Xbox 360 Games Forum' started by Rorifett, Nov 2, 2011.

  1. Rorifett

    Rorifett Well-Known Member

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    I'm not gonna pretend that I don't understand peoples frustration when it comes to paying money for a product and it not working however I do feel a lot of dismay that people are so negative about games within the first couple of weeks when they've bought it knowing full well that games these days are rarely released in a 'fully operational' standard.

    The complexity of games coupled with the ridiculous time lines developers are given to release games mean that games are rushed out of the door and without a complete set of testing, given the amount of variables out there it's a wonder how so many games even get past the bug fixing stage.

    It's all very well to say that servers should be able to to take the load and should be strain tested but until a game is launched it's surely quite hard to predict just how much 3 million people playing around the clock is going to affect servers. People are buying and discarding games, developers and producers, sometimes even prior to a full retail release! I find it incredible that games are rarely given a 'bedding in' period before we see a deluge of forum messages denouncing a studios ability to create a game without deliberately do things against us, the consumer.

    If we, as a community, wisened up and stopped buying games on release and waited for the first couple of weeks to pass and patches to come out we'd have a much more enjoyable experience but we're all desperate to get that foothold above our competitors so we crave the first-day release of new games. Not only that but publishers would be much less inclined to push so hard for target dates to be met and much more inclined to push finished projects.

    One area of gaming which isn't quite as 'crippled' upon release is the arcade games which are probably more reminiscent of traditional game developers, smaller teams, smaller scale games where testing and variables are more easily dealt with - it's not often there is a huge outcry against the arcade games, although whether this is because there are less users hence less problems encountered or the testing on these games has been better I'm not sure.

    I guess after a wee ramble I'm just trying to ask folks to chill out for a wee while before having a go, to stop comparing the release of new games to the future release of other games (as if they are going to be any better). This isn't the standard I want for gaming but I have to accept that it is part and parcel of gaming in this day and age, if I don't want to buy into the problems then I shouldn't buy into the release day hype and should wait until things have settled down.
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  2. The Fuggler

    The Fuggler Active Member

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    It's an interesting topic. It seems that Battlefield 3 has had some issues as a result of being rushed to meet EA's deadline, which has really pushed this debate up a notch.

    I agree entirely that consumers will have to get used to the new model of incremental updates unless they are prepared to completely ignore new releases, which will cause publishers to change their model (not likely to happen - we want it all now after all - something of which I'm as guilty as the next man, even though I should know better by now).

    It is a change in the culture and manufacturing process. Back when I were a lad :))), it was all cartridges and local multiplayer. There was no way of patching a game once it had been released, so it had to be as near to perfect as possible.

    These days, publishers believe it is essential to meet tighter deadlines, to ensure a launch in the Christmas window (another topic in itself). On top of that, the mechanism exists to patch games and release more content to try and keep the game and the profits alive for a much longer period. Plus there is the constant stream of data both from the game and its community that can be used to update, cheat or modify the game, so it evolves over time. And games are much more complex now to boot. It is a very different world.

    I haven't played Battlefield 3, but there is no doubt it is a very important release for EA and one that they will be keen to support to ensure that it doesn't do long lasting damage to the brand and its loyal players. Personally, I think it's a shame they didn't have a bit more faith in it and let it have a free run in March (when BFBC2 was released, if I remember rightly? That did pretty well by all accounts). The extra development time and releasing in a period when people had a bit more cash to play with after Christmas would have made sense to me. But what do I know...:)
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  3. stanners987

    stanners987 Member

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    People raising issues about bugs/lag etc is probably needed.
    I think that publishers will be looking at forums to see what errors need fixing.
  4. UKBOY

    UKBOY Member

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    It really is astoundingly simple.

    EA know how many copies were preordered/shipped in each territory and it is virtually impossible to find a server that has free space on it, without you queueing to get in.

    EA know how many servers they require and have delivered far far fewer than are required:unacceptable.
  5. Rorifett

    Rorifett Well-Known Member

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    But it's surely business suicide to create a lobby space for every potential customer though? I'm no EA fan by any standards but you have to look at 'potentially online at 1 time vs number of copies of a game sold'

    Server issues aside though, this isn't just a comment on peoples lack of patience with servers, it's also about the 'game-breaking' issues of weapon balancing etc. - all these things take time to sort out.
  6. Guns_LotsOfGuns

    Guns_LotsOfGuns Moderator/Games Reviewer

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    Its also not that simple, even if it was just a slot for each copy bought, that's what 5+ million, god knows how many servers that boils down to, the type of planning and resources it must take to create, run and maintain that type infrastructure must be crazy. And that just one game!

    Show me an on-line service that can go from next to no activity to 5+ million in a day with no problems or performance issues.

    Anyone who has worked in IT can appreciate that with something this size and this complicated it NEVER goes smoothly! its just the nature of the beast, to expect a perfect launch of anything that big on-line is expecting too much.

    That said its not the first time they have launched anything on-line so at this point they should be a lot better at it than they are!
  7. Boozehound

    Boozehound Active Member

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    My patience for this sort of screw up died with Homefront. I genuinely still cannot believe that game was released in the state it was (especially after looking forward to it for so long) and now I'll very rarely touch a game on release when the core part of it is multiplayer, preferring instead to sit back and see how it pans out before wasting my precious spondoolies on something that doesn't work.
  8. Diskordian

    Diskordian Member

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    I really do not see the issue with battlefield 3, yes I have queue if I want to get in a server with friends but I generally find I can get an instant game when playing alone.
  9. Crovon

    Crovon Active Member

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    The problem with BF3 and EA is that they have had the same server number issues for the past 3 battlefield games, spanning the last 3-4 years and should have learnt their lesson by now.

    There is no excuse for it, every time it happens we get the same answer 'we didnt expect this level of demand/this many users' etc.

    Its not good enough.

    Also with so many games releasing so close to each other (virtually 1 AAA game a week right up to xmas) you cannot expect people to hang around waiting for the same issues to be sorted out, especially if, like me, they have a limited amount of game time.
  10. ozzzy189

    ozzzy189 Active Member

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    Very good points. I'm sticking with bf3, but it would've been nice to see it released in march.
  11. MJC UK

    MJC UK Member

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    I'm not sure I could have waited until March, I'm far too impatient. Oh.

    I can see both sides of the argument here. Why should gamers be patient, in what other industry or service do we have to put up with "buy it now and we'll fix it later"? I'm sure we're all as used to delays as we are buggy games by now, so if the game isn't ready, then delay it until it is. Having said that, it still doesn't mean it will be worth the wait, Alan Wake (supposed to be an Xbox launch game) comes to mind.
  12. Nozey

    Nozey Active Member

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    I think it's amazing that publishers AND consumers think it's okay that I pay my money and get a sub standard product. I can't think of many other industries where this would be accepted, and I think it's unacceptable here too.

    I know there's lot of reasons/excuses and to be honest I don't care what they are. If I'm buying something shiney and new I want it to work. I like to see people get LESS patient and publishers might start using realistic release dates, with less pressure on the DEVS and give them more time for them to produce a finished product.

    It's down to the consumers and the media to start putting emphasis on the 'quality' of releases or soon we may aswell be paying months before we get to play a finished product as the norm. In a way we're all pre-ordering now without knowing it and being given a beta to tide us over.

    I hate that they are getting away with this and wish it could be regualated in some way.

    It's not a lack of consumer patience that's this issue. I don't want to single anything out, but there's been a few releases that I would have been happy to wait until next year to play. I then could have handed over my money and got a polished and playable product.

    Some people are saying that this can't be done now, or that's not the way it works. Look at Gears of war or any of the Halo's, to see that it CAN be done and these games haven't recieved enough credit for being highly polished, yet complex releases that have really only been subject to tweaking, rather then fixing (finishing) post release.

    Sadly it seems to be getting worse and yet more widely accepted.......may I'm too old and grumpy but I feel a little bit mugged everytime I give someone my money in good faith and get something that's not ready.

    On a non-related note - does anyone want to buy one of these cheap roast chicken's I've got for sale*



    *NB - Chicken may still be in beta(egg) form at time of delivery.
  13. King Tones

    King Tones Well-Known Member

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    An excellent point.
    Games are a huge part of the Entertainment industry no different to huge movies releases. Hell some games even beat Movies for sales and profit.
    Imagine waiting to see the new Batman movie and then when you have paid your money you walk into the cinema and only watch half a film and then it comes up saying sorry due to huge demand we wont be releasing the rest of the movie for a few weeks.
    Or buiying a new album and it being only half done or half edited but dont worry we will work on getting it finished we just wanted your money now.

    Might be a stupid analogy but you would want your money back if you purchased a unfinished movie or album so why not with games ??

    And as you put games can get it right, Gears 3 this year and ofcourse the Halo releases.
    Alot of people were annoyed about the Gears 3 release delay but you gotta give praise to them for it because it worked like a dream on release and still does.
    Thats how Games should be released and not just to try and compete with another game or get it out first to take sales.
    I know they are a business and are wanting to make a profit but I want a decent game for my £40.
  14. Nozey

    Nozey Active Member

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    That's a good point about films - If someone released a flim where the post-production/editing etc. wasn't complete - it would get slated by the reviewers ( even if they said they were going to fix it ) - for some reason the reviewers of games are in the publishers pockets and don't mention this type of thing at all. Try and find a review of BF3 where someone mentions that it may seem a bit 'unpolished' and yet see if you can play it for 5 mins without the little critic inside yourself suddenly waking up, getting naked, covering himself in donkey crap and dancing around singing "This game ain't finished yet"......it's kind of noticable.
  15. Boozehound

    Boozehound Active Member

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    It's a real shame that devs are no longer able to adopt id sodtware's "it'll be done when it's done" philosophy due to pressure from publishers. Suppose it was inevitable as gaming is so huge now.
  16. majnu

    majnu Well-Known Member

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    Same, as they say "Once Bitten Twice Shy". That's the reason I did not buy MW3 this year and will not be buying other multiplayer FPS next year.

    With the next generation xbox's rumoured not to play second hand games I think there is more of an incentive for people to sit and wait as trade ins will be a thing of the past. That way devs will probably release games which are "fit for purpose".

    Reading and posting lag problems, hit detection issues, glitches, poor QA gets boring when it is the same thing being reported year after year. You'd think that people would realise that there is a common trend with games that are plagued with this.

    I find I get more bloody enjoyment from an Indie game which costs 68p over retail games that cost £40.
  17. Lostsoul 301281

    Lostsoul 301281 Member

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    It's not just MP games that are affected by annoying bugs.
    Just take Skyrim for example.
    There are countless bigs affecting quests that are still to be fixed.

    I miss the days of purely offline gaming.
    At least games had far fewer problems.
  18. stanners987

    stanners987 Member

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    If that was intentional...

    :rotfl:
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  19. Lostsoul 301281

    Lostsoul 301281 Member

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    Dammit!
    iPhone usually picks up on my mistakes, lol
  20. turk3y

    turk3y Active Member

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    Eggcellent point.....

    There are two parts here, one the content not up to scratch and that is bad, I don't mind release day patches as there will always be more bugs and happy for them to patch as much as they like, in fact I think Microsoft limit the number of patches and updates which seems unfair on developers of larger games.

    The second of infrastructure, I have no doubt most of these big fps's have been well analyzed to work out the average load in a week or so and thats what they launch with, knowing the first instant hit might be too much but they are not buying 3 times the server hardware just to manage that blip. I expect purely bums on seats capacity is not always the issue, network traffic and back end processes might also feel the strain due to sudden high demand, but these things will level when there are lots of users but a much slower trickle of new users logging on. They are playing the numbers game, plus these things always hype the product massively due to its "unprecedented" demand and probably actually sell more copies. Its not great as a user but you can at least understand why, and tolerate the 2 day down time.

    still reserve the right to be old and grumpy like gpv, its relaxing to moan on company time :)

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