Discussion in 'Article Discussion' started by Sifter3000, 7 Jul 2009.
Developers these days are in the pocket of so-called 'big business'. What this means effectively is shareholders. And shareholders demand short-term profits, or else the share price falls, they kick out the directors and sack everyone.
If you pay for it, then it's a successful product - it doesn't matter if the quality is dire. We have changed from an industry model of having 'master craftsmen' who put their lives into their work, to one where we hire the cheapest temp to get the same job done, so long as the product sells.
Of course there are a few exceptions, like bit-tech where I don't imagine any of the writers see this as just their day job. But look at Hollywood - sequels of sequels is all they push out. Games companies have recognised support doesn't deliver profits. Rather, push out as many new games as possible, and ramp up the marketing spend. We've all fallen for it. The best example is EA Games really, and they are the biggest in the world so no wonder others follow them.
If money were no issue and developers had the same commitment as the unpaid committed modders I think we would see patches quickly - it would be a matter of pride wouldn't it? To take your game as your 'child' as it were, to see it flawed should be embarrassing. The hypothetical modder would be up late at night debugging his code and trying to fix the game.
This is how games developers start out, but then they get bought out, and just to compete with the big boys they have to put the number on the bottom line first. The only payment models that truly benefit from ongoing support are ones where you need to keep paying.
edit: also, I hate CoH as it's too easy/hard. I can't play against humans because I get annihilated within a few minutes, but against AI I beat them without a sweat every time. Except if I have AI allies, because they bug out and just stand in their base :s. There does seem to be carbon-cut strategies for CoH which when I first started playing there weren't so much. Like when I played Command and Conquer 3 online a lot, I realised the way to win was to exploit quick strategies. It's not about out-microing your opponent, or even out-macroing him with better economy.
I employed a 'beam cannon' rush, these are artillery units but have a fair bit of HP. But their damage stacks exponentially, so whereas with tanks with damage x, 5 tanks produce damage of 5*x, beam cannons produce damage of x*x*x*x*x. So if you built 5, they could get into range of the enemies base before they had a significant amount of tanks or anything - maybe one or two - and just target their main buildings. They die in a second, doens't matter if your BC get destroyed as you've just won the game by using a cheap tactic that the only way he would have known was coming would be to guess.
Playing the campaign for CoH I really enjoyed the micro of it, snipers and machine guns supporting each other, placing mines in tactical positions etc. - but play online and I always come across 'mobs' of upgunned infantry, that will annihilate everything unless you have your own mob. Which brings me to the same point I was at with C&C3. The way to win from my experience is not to play the game naturally, but to learn the strategies that win the day on their own. Whether this is sending rocketmen in an halftrack behind their base or spamming pioneers (which they thankfully fixed), there has been little middleground for me when playing CoH
I get weird feelings from Relic.
It's almost as if they've given up on beta testing in recent years. It also feels like they ignore the players.
See DoW2 and its rather disappointingly broken release state, and lack of balance.
It's a disappointing contrast to a good post-release support company like Bohemia Interactive/505 Games and ArmA/ArmA2.
Pretty much agree with Dreaming, too.
What Dreaming said.
I haven't seen a game in years that hasn't needed a patch at one stage or another. And when it's a game that is popular in online play... one patch, sooner or later, breaks the game irrevocably.
Many years ago when I was playing Diablo 2 I had to abandon my first character(barbarian, lvl 60 or 65). Friend told me about new patch which added few cool things to the game. Unfortunately he was playing for a different char class. After an hour of hopeless fight even against the weakest enemies I decided to abandon my first character. Blizzard has completely crippled two combat skills I have based my char on. So many time I have wasted on this character, it really pissed me off. Blizzard has been making more or less imbalanced games for some time but at least they're a bit more moderate when it comes to balancing gameplay now.
the main thing that winds me up is when their mess a game up with a patch and then point blankly refuse to revert the game back.
Star Wars Galaxies is a prime example of this, the game was 1 of the most popular MMO's at 1 point but between their bleeding so called "upgrades" and the release of WoW the game is dying very fast
UO. The last 4/5 years of patches have sucked.
I remember when the valve community update broke natural selection and all hl1 games. It was over 6 months before it was fixed and the games did not work even if you disabled the community stuff....
I've pretty much reached a point now where I never buy games on release, if I can hold my patience I'm rewarded with a cheaper price, fewer bugs, better performance, less intrusive DRM (Farcry 2 e.t.c) and continuity of gameplay.
I broke my own rule for Empire Total War, I even knew that I shouldn't but went ahead and got kicked in the nuts for it... halfway through a SP Campaign the update royally FUBAR'd my plans and I had to start over...
I agree with the theme that these issues all stem from short term financial considerations... but what you can you do apart from learn to Mod
I feel your pain.. same thing happened with c&c generals- ea took over and they patched it once, broke it, I mean peanuts.. you couldn't play without a crash- then posted there would be no more support and shut the servers down.. yay!! go ea way to roid rage your new customers
to be fair, I did buy crysis though on release (one of the few lol) and that went pretty good.. coh is an awesome game- played alot on release.. sad to hear they broke it
Ughhhh yer i feel this pain specially with Company of Heroes...
Original worked flawlessly multiplayer in any mode, then came the Oposing Fronts expantion with its relic online system which basicly broke the game from there on in, never once have I been able to connect to an online match,
My friends and I where at least able to use hamachi and play a LAN based game.
Untill a patch was released that then stopped hamachi from workin, I waited for a long period not playing the game, then managed to find a work around, buy means of diabling all network connection except hamachi, loading the game, hosting a game, and then re-enable all the network connection, great a work around so we can play again!!!!!
Then they bring out the latest expantion, and guess what, with it a bunch of patchs, which now brake the game entirely, it is now impossible for me to play a multiplayer game, which kinda narks me a fair bit considering i spent near £50 on the package for CoH and CoH:OF.
As such I chose to boycott DoW2 and Tales of Valor.
i do think its unfair for the Public to blame the developers.
management is to blame as they continually try to push more stuff out in less time
less time means less developer testing as well as user acceptance testing and then less time to fix the bugs caused by the patch after the user testing stage i dont know why more companies aren't taken to court over releasing software @ £40 that simp[ly does not work!
With UO and generals same problem apply, EA took over both of em and did what they do best
Sorry to hear that Delph, but the one of updates that actually did work with Tales of Valour was completley refreshed netcode that made multiplayer games so much more stable and reliable, and enabled auto-port forwarding in vista.win7.
You can now have a 4vs4 game for example, and not have to contend with tons of lag for everyone, as they switched the hosting system from peer to peer to a single hosted server on the the host's system. Just make sure the host is on a reliable conn and everyone has a great game - no need for Hamachi!
BF2 was my game that i loved until the Dreaded EA Death patch that EA seem to be good at doing is the 1.3 patch's as it Noobed the servers so they could only stay up for an hr or 2 so when it got to Midnight no one would rejoin when the server restarted it self as most do not know how to type reconnect in console it taken them 6-7 months to patch it and that was after they made BF2142 as well !, the 2142 Beta it self had the Same server 1-2 hr server crash bug so they never even bothered to fix it in the beta as well until the last week or so of the beta
they completely destroyed the BF2 community it went from 70,000 to 3000 when that happened (as it used to be reported in the EA link/downloader)
Funnily enough, http://www.eveonline.com/devblog.asp?a=blog&bid=668
Maybe not quite an apology, but they did admit to screwing up.
I was dling the beta for the DoW2 patch last night, but the question is what did they do with the info from the first beta?? It's pretty sad because I like the way DoW2 is set up more than any other RTS but it's annoying as hell to play it when it was as screwed up as it was. At this point I'm not even sure a massive rebalance patch will do anything, because if problems show up in the beta they probably won't be fixed.
The worst beta I have been a part of was 2142. It was the only beta I've ever played where it got progressively worse, and even in the last stage of the beta the titans would still disappear with everyone inside falling to the earth. Needless to say I didn't buy it after that even though I enjoyed it a lot more than BF2 in the early days of the beta.
that sucks really that they can lock onto you in eve when your not fully uncloaks as they could warp jam you before you could enter warp even thought your still cida cloaked
Patch 1.6 for Fallout 3, wiped all my save games, lvl 20 characters. had to start from scratch, could cry.
I made the mistake of adding the new DOW2 beta from the options menu, since then I cannot get Steam to connect to the server on either computer at my place, even after disabling the beta while in offline mode. Managed to connect up on Friday night just before I went to bed, sunday morning back to square one (I'm assuming the beta is responsible, since it worked fine before that, but it could just be Pipex being useless again).
Edit: It's Pipex they're blocking Steam during peak hours
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