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Who cares if a game has a smooth launch?

QuizzicalQuizzical Posts: 14,784Member Uncommon

Players who are bothered by long queues, server crashes, rampant bugginess, and the like don't play a game on launch day.  Or launch month.  Because they know the game is going to be a mess.  The people who have to deal with a messy launch are by definition the ones who aren't bothered by it much.  So why does it matter if the launch is smooth?

What's far more important is whether the game is good a year later.  Launch day messiness can be fixed and often is, as it's often caused by wild fluctuations in the number of players.  If the game isn't fixed a year later, however, then it probably isn't going to be.

Comments

  • Loke666Loke666 MalmöPosts: 18,000Member Uncommon

    I agree about launch day and even launch week. But after a while they really need the game to work as intended, sitting in que after a month or more just adds irritation and bugs that never get fixed doesn't really help in the long run either.

    Most players just try a game once, and if it still sucks when their free months is out they wont give it a new chanse later no matter what.

    I personally think a game should work as intended a month after launch, and I don't think that is too much to ask for. If the game is in such bad shape that it takes a year or 2 (like VG) to run as it should the game really shouldn't been released before then. It is fine to sell preorders but not to take monthly fees in that case since it really is a paid beta then.

    But if I buy a game for launch date I wont whine about some issues the first weeks, crap happens.

  • helthroshelthros Miami, FLPosts: 1,449Member

    Really? You've gone this entire time in your life without someone teaching you the importance of a good first impression?

  • DarLorkarDarLorkar Texarkana, TXPosts: 704Member Uncommon

    Hey, i get to disagree with Q.:)

     

    The Dev's care. Gaming is still a word of mouth, (friends/family) are your best advertising.

    A lot of people play everything, your right there, that they will play, even at launch. And they will play through the hitches all MMO's seem to have at launch.

    But when they quit the game a month or 2 later, the bugs, Queues, and all the other things that made them wait, or not be able to finish quests, will be things that they remember far longer than the race to lvl cap and the hunt for the next game.

    Those people will spend the rest of there time after racing to the end, telling of every single glitch they hit and how bad it was. They will have no idea, and what is worse, not a care, that all those things were fixed long ago. They will make sure that any time they can they try to tell people that this game is not worth trying.

    For people that do not bother to read the forums, or do not place stock in what others say,  that will not matter. They will play the game and see if it is worth playing for themselves.

    But for anyone that might know people like this or just people that go read up on older games on forums, this bad mouthing can mean lots of people just do not take the chance on games.

    So Dev's care, the fewer bad things people CAN say about your game, even things that have been fixed, the easier it is to draw people into the game later.

     

  • IcewhiteIcewhite Elmhurst, ILPosts: 6,403Member

    Originally posted by helthros

    Really? You've gone this entire time in your life without someone teaching you the importance of a good first impression?

    I'd disagree with first impressions being penultimate.  Important, yes indeed--but its possible to recover from a bad launch.  Ask EVE.

    But the rate at which AoC bled accounts because of a not-smooth launch effectively castrated their entire first two years of development.  So you can't exactly say smooth launches aren't important either.

    Self-pity imprisons us in the walls of our own self-absorption. The whole world shrinks down to the size of our problem, and the more we dwell on it, the smaller we are and the larger the problem seems to grow.

  • wvmaxfangvwwvmaxfangvw Grawn, MIPosts: 22Member

    I agree. I hate the QQ too.

    I had written 6 paragraphs of rage post but just writing it was enough. I deleted all the parts that were just rage... not much left lol

    Moral of the Story: If you're Pre-Order is because of impatience rather than anticipation you're an idiot. Week 1 after launch is only for those in whom patience is a deep set virtue.

  • DarkPonyDarkPony RotterdamPosts: 5,566Member

    I do. Because I might be in it. Just like millions of people who have been eagerly anticipating new games. They want to be able to have a solid gaming experience for their buck. Can't blame 'em.

    I subscribe to Icewhite's AOC assessment: the crashes and random group drops when going in and out of instances almost drove me mad in the first few months.

  • QuizzicalQuizzical Posts: 14,784Member Uncommon

    "The Dev's care. Gaming is still a word of mouth, (friends/family) are your best advertising."

    That's a good point.  But it's still not a reason why players should care, unless there's a risk of a game shutting down because the playerbase is too small.

    "But the rate at which AoC bled accounts because of a not-smooth launch effectively castrated their entire first two years of development."

    Nonsense.  People who are in on launch day mostly aren't going to be the ones who stick around for two years.  People who pick a game and stay with it for a long time were mostly busy with some other game on launch day.  The poeple who are in the beta and at launch day are predominantly those who only play a game briefly before quitting and moving on to the next beta and launch day.

    Besides, was the problem with AoC merely a bad launch day?  Or was it problems that persisted months later?  I'm not arguing that it's no big deal if the game is still a mess six months later.  That is a big problem.  I'm arguing that if the launch is a complete disaster, but everything is running smoothly a couple of months later, that's doing pretty well.

    "I do. Because I might be in it. Just like millions of people who have been eagerly anticipating new games. They want to be able to have a solid gaming experience for their buck. Can't blame 'em."

    Except that the people who want a solid gaming experience know that they way to get it is to wait until a while after launch before jumping in.  They won't be bothered by a messy launch because they won't be part of it.

  • StonesDKStonesDK SomewherePosts: 1,805Member

    Players are there from launch day because they are impatient from lurking on forums all through development. If it's buggy or smooth isn't even on their minds. They just want to play here and now.

     

    Complaining or praising about the launch afterwards is just a reaction based on how they feel here and now.

     

    Sure you can find players who have the patience to see things ironed out but a lot of people don't see it that way

     

    Waiting for something with great anticipation builds up a lot of emotions, which causes logic to fly straight out the window when the day comes where they get to play. I see it time and time again on the boards. One stupid post after another and one unreasonable expectation or demand after another

  • CalmOceansCalmOceans BergenPosts: 2,273Member

    Vanguard was a good game, it has a bad launch, it failed, SoE bought it and now it's dead.

    First impressions 'n stuff.

  • tank017tank017 Glendale, CAPosts: 2,192Member
    A bad launch can turn a lot of customers away.So yes,the devs care.Also, if it's an MMO you're looking forward to,I'm sure you'd want it to succeed in every facet
  • VannorVannor YorkshirePosts: 2,970Member Uncommon

    If they expect us to pay full price at launch then we 'should' expect them to provide the proper service for our money. I don't care about 'this is how its always been' or 'this is wot mmos are like, get used to it'. I know its normal.. I am used to it. In fact, it hardly bothers me at all tbh. But that doesnt change whats right or wrong. You pay for something, you are supposed to get it. Anything else is false economy.

  • QuizzicalQuizzical Posts: 14,784Member Uncommon

    Originally posted by CalmOceans

    Vanguard was a good game, it has a bad launch, it failed, SoE bought it and now it's dead.

    First impressions 'n stuff.

    Vanguard's problem wasn't a bad launch day.  Two years later, the game was still a mess.  For all I know, it might still be a mess today, and nearly five years have passed.  That's an entirely different problem from a bad launch day that gets fixed shortly thereafter.

    One of the reasons why launch day is always so chaotic is that there's a big spike in the playerbase.  It's not just that the playerbase goes way up at launch day (for obvious reasons), but also that it probably goes way down not long after.  If you add a bunch of servers to accommodate launch day smoothly, then they'll probably be half-empty not long afterward, and that creates its own set of problems.

     

  • MadimorgaMadimorga Atlanta, GAPosts: 1,884Member Uncommon

    I'm not the kind of person who hates a game forever because of a bad launch.  I don't even care if minor bugs are in the game years after launch.  Emphasis on minor.  But others do care, so it's important for games to launch as polished as possible.

     

    Beta testers play a huge role in this.  Sometimes a detrimental one.  The first thing I thought when I read about some exploits already discovered in SWTOR was that a large number of beta testers didn't do their job, either deliberately not reporting the exploits or at very least failing to actually test. 

     

    Bad testers.  Bad.

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  • zymurgeistzymurgeist Pittsville, VAPosts: 5,212Member Uncommon

    Originally posted by Madimorga

    I'm not the kind of person who hates a game forever because of a bad launch.  I don't even care if minor bugs are in the game years after launch.  Emphasis on minor.  But others do care, so it's important for games to launch as polished as possible.

     

    Beta testers play a huge role in this.  Sometimes a detrimental one.  The first thing I thought when I read about some exploits already discovered in SWTOR was that a large number of beta testers didn't do their job, either deliberately not reporting the exploits or at very least failing to actually test. 

     

    Bad testers.  Bad.

     Testers did their job. What these people are talking about is the opposite of exploiting. It's actually slower to level that way.

     

    Lots of people have been burned by bad launches and it's no surprise they're gunshy. A smooth launch is reassuring.

    "Strong and bitter words indicate a weak cause" ~Victor Hugo

  • AutemOxAutemOx Fullerton, CAPosts: 1,704Member

    I dont care about my experience the first couple days at all, when I play a MMO I am hoping that it can keep my attention in a long term situation. I started playing SWG and Vanguard on the second day and I just found bugs to be funny, I wasnt upset at all.

    But some people get really upset and never play the game again, or write poor reviews for the game and tell others not to play it.  It is really sad IMO.

    Also what is sad is peoples obsession with the new.

    I think VG is a great example of this... Now it is doing much better it is a great game no more bugs, yet because its not NEW it cant get the press it needs to get going and because it had some bugs at launch it got NEGATIVE REVIEWS that probably will never be updated or looked at again by the review writers.

    Play as your fav retro characters: cnd-online.net. My site: www.lysle.net. Blog: creatingaworld.blogspot.com.

  • free2playfree2play Toronto, ONPosts: 1,868Member Uncommon

    It won't make any difference. If SW-TOR lauches without a glich, the haters will hate, the trolls will troll and people will bitch and complain.

    A perfect launch means the game truly is a clone and everything works because it's refurb. If it's that much of a concern, wait 3 months.

  • blackcat35blackcat35 Lake Orion, MIPosts: 479Member

    I forget the name of the game, but it wasn't even in alpha mode, it just point blank didn't work.  They were selling CD's of worthless software.  Then the "TECHIE" wanted to talk to every single person and walk them thru how to get their game to work.  Sorry, I wasn't getting paid to "TEST" their issues.  And it wasn't just me, it was like at least 90% of the customers, probably 99%.  Suffice it to say they went out of business fast.  Forget the name of the mmorpg too.  And guess what, the game comcept was solid, seemed like it would of been fun.

    USERS -  CUSTOMERS opinion does matter.  Who gives a damn about the dev's.  You lose the customers trust, and cannot test properly, then obviously you cannot maintain the product if you ever get it to run at all.

    You know, when Bethesda released their game, it had a few issues and yes, there are still some bugs, but overall it works and shows it was tested.  And yes, their 1.2 upgrade did break a few things, and yes, bugs are still going on, but people had fun and overall, it works.

    If you release software that doesn't work and is pre-alpha, you will destroy your credibility in the gaming industry.  Any released product should either be post-BETA or clearly labeled its not.

    The guys who made galactic conquest & galactic conquest 2 put out a game, its post-alpha, and they hurt their credibility.  War of Magic:  ELEMENTALS.  Its slowly improving, but I don't like testing a product and not get paid for it.

    I am a computer graduate with a bachelors and been in the industry quite awhile:  I should be paid for my expertise.  I don't like to test for free.  I'm not in alot of betas, I prefer post-beta games.

    If the software won't run, its pre-alpha.  Too many MMORPGS are released as pre-beta with anonomolies (bugs that aren't intended).  WOW when released showed not only well balanced game-play, but was one of the best releases with the fewest problems for the users.  That garners alot of people who can rest assured that the game will be more fun than TROUBLESOME.  People don't play games to not have fun.  PEOPLE PLAY GAMES TO HAVE FUN!  

    DEV's are usually not the programmers.  Its the testers and programmers that determine how good a game is, and their job is easier with good game design.  Poor design means that the best programmer cannot make a good program.  By design it won't work well.  Before you can have good game design, you need a good concept.  You also have to know what you want the final product to be like, otherwise, you cannot create the game designs from the conceptual idea.

    One good game design that was well executed and fun, although its not a mmoprg, was THE MOVIES.  You get to run a SIM of a movie studio and actually make movies while playing the game.

     

     

     

     

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    The game is dead not, this game is good we make it and Romania Tv give it 5 goat heads, this is good rating for game.

  • blackcat35blackcat35 Lake Orion, MIPosts: 479Member

    oh, the name of the game I cannot remember that failed was a subscription based mmorpg.  It was kind of cartoony, and had tactical battles where you controlled multiple units.  It was different, and as I said before, it was good in concept, but lousy execution (pre-alpha).  Not sure if the design was good or not, I knew the idea was solid.

    It didn't fail because of the dev's not wanting to make it work, it failed beccause the customers and even the retailers wouldn't support software that didn't work.  And it didn't work on release, at all.

     

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    The game is dead not, this game is good we make it and Romania Tv give it 5 goat heads, this is good rating for game.

  • Chivalry1978Chivalry1978 Vandergrift, PAPosts: 184Member

    has there ever been a smooth launch for any mmo???/ dont think so even evercrack had wait times and crashes...And dont get me started on wow...And lets not get started on new content and how often that crashes the game cough cough black wing lair...cough cough...

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