Asheron’s Call is becoming a shoddy, shoddy game. While praised as having one of the most stable releases in the industry, the game has entered a death spiral, getting worse and worse each passing day. In a recent letter to the players, the newest Turbine producer, Ken Troop, addresses lag, packet loss, and the disconnects resulting for them. I recommend reading his letter, then returning to this rant.
First off, that is almost a masterpiece in spin. “We are aware of the issues. We’re working hard. We’re so happy so few players are being affected.”
A few players? Hey, Ken, I haven’t played with a single other player in game where he or I aren’t disconnecting or crashing to desktop left and right. Even if that were the only problem, I’d still be bitching. No, no. It gets better.
I want it explained to me, from someone at Turbine preferably, how I can be running across a perfectly flat piece of ground then suddenly receive massive impact damage from falling. I was in a field, and I fell to my death. I was almost willing to accept being thrown off a mountain last night (I was standing nowhere near a ledge), but then I fall to my death while in the middle of a field? That’s a bit more than a lag/packet loss issue.
Did I mention characters are spontaneously logging out? Not disconnecting. Not crashing. Just logging out all on their own, much of the time in the middle of combat.
There are problems with this game. Many more than the devs or Mr. Troop are letting on. Whatever was installed in this latest patch has wreaked havoc on the playability of the game. The network code isn’t compatible with the AC hardware, they tell us. They couldn’t possibly know, because these issues only occurred during peak playing times.
Bullshit. I, and many of the people I play with, rarely play during peak. These issues have reared their ugly heads during non-peak as well. Is there any testing going on at Turbine before this crap gets thrown at the public?
This morning, the game was patched again. This patch is meant to help the lag and packet loss issues. There is yet another change in the network code. I’d like to let the readers know how this patch is affecting playability, but alas, I cannot. Why? Well, when the Zone files try to patch, I get the following message:
Your computer is trying to update your Zone files, but is receiving old stored files from your ISP or network. Wait for your ISP or network to update their files and try again later.
Yes, now it’s my ISP’s fault I cannot play the game. It couldn’t possibly be that Turbine has utterly fucked up their network code. No, no. It’s now my ISP’s problem.
I’m sure my ISP is going to rush to change the files just so I can play Asheron’s Call. I called AT&T@home, my cable modem provider. When I informed them of the problem, the man at the other end of the line laughed and laughed and laughed.
But it’s not Turbine’s problem anymore, you see. It’s my ISP’s. I hope your ISP bends over backwards to accommodate Turbine and the Zone’s new network code, because I got the impression mine won’t.
There is much speculation that all these network code changes are going in place because of the new expansion and the upcoming sequel. I won’t be buying either if this mess doesn’t get sorted out soon, and Turbine doesn’t start supplying some answers.
Bad code, bad hardware, and a bad patch. Yet, somehow, I think their credit card charging process will be chugging along just fine this month.
If you have the ISP problems that affected me, do not attempt to patch through any of the quick launch areas of the Zone. Go to the AC main page, click on worlds, pick your server, then click on the “silent” chatroom of of your choice. That’s how I finally got it to download properly.
Expecting a download to go smoothly is asking too much.