The Rules of Launch-gagement
Three Things Not To Do at Game Launch
By Brock "Brokain" Ferguson
We, as gamers, have become spoiled.
That's right. I said it. Spoiled.
We expect perfection out of the games we play. We gripe at small details that 5 years ago we would've accepted as commonplace. You can visit the forums of any game at any time and find a mass of complaining that can only be rivaled by that of a 5 year old child on a car ride across the United States. Gamers today whine, they gripe, and they even threaten. We've forgotten what things used to be like and how good we have it now and no where is this more true than during the launch phase of a new game. Even as recently as a few weeks ago many of us heard some launch complaints about a game that has had a pretty smooth launch for the most part. I looked at some of the complaints, I listened to them, and I realized that we have forgotten our roots.
Most of us have forgotten the sometimes all day downtimes of early games like EverQuest. What about the constant crashing of the Star Wars Galaxies servers? Remember the projected two hour downtimes of EverQuest II that you could pretty much add an additional 4 hours too? Hell, even World of Warcraft was beset with problems at launch. Frequent server downtime and huge queue lines just to get online to play! And don't even get me started on Vanguard. No game has been without launch issues. Not one. With so many MMOG's that have been released over the years it seems odd that when a game launches there are still threads, sometimes sixty or seventy pages long, detailing how horrible it is that there's downtime and who's to blame.
With Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning looming on the horizon, many gamers are chomping at the bit to play this game. EA Mythic has pushed back the release twice now stating "We will release it when it's ready to release, and not before that time." However I think it would be wise to point out that for all the effort and polish being put on Warhammer Online, it will have bugs at launch. So, in an effort to stave off as much complaining about this as possible, I have put together a short list of things you shouldn't do when WAR has server downtime. This way, you have months to prepare for the inevitable and can plan to use that time to do other stuff... like paint Warhammer minitures (you want something to gripe about? Try painting good eyes on those dang things. A lesson in frustration right there, I tell ya!)
1. Please don't demand you be reimbursed for the down time.
Seriously, how many times does someone have to explain to you that when you break it down it works out to less than $0.25 per day. Okay, WAR has already said they'll be more expensive so let's put it at $0.25 per day just for the benefit of the doubt. Even then? Don't do it. It's a quarter. If you bought a $60.00 game, you can afford the loss of a quarter. Besides, it's either a quarter for a day's worth of entertainment and slaughter or you can go downtown and have a rat gnaw that thing off your face. Either way, it's money well spent and we're all tired of hearing about how you're entitled to that 1-2 hours of your money back because you pay to be able to play. Guess what? So does everyone else, so shut it.
2. No, you can't sue the game company because you couldn't log on.
No, I'm serious about this and no, I don't care how many episodes of Law and Order or JAG you've watched in your lifetime. As a matter of fact, I DARE YOU to take this to a lawyer. They'll look at you like the Judge looked at Jack Thompson during his disbarment proceedings. If you check out the EULA of most games, they have a little clause somewhere in there about having to do maintenence on the game during the life of the game or some such. By agreeing to the EULA, you effectively agree to everything in the EULA... and no, it doesn't matter if I'm out of order, the EULA's out of order, or this whole damn article's out of order. You can't sue the company for doing maintenence on the game, so quit it.
3. Do not, I repeat, DO NOT take a week off in order to play Warhammer Online at launch.
I wish I was kidding, but I'm not. Look folks, be reasonable here. Last year, they added a third thing to the two absolutes in life. It used to be death and taxes, but now it's death, taxes, and lots of downtime during game launch. If you take a week off at the games inception to play the game, then you'll probably be spending a lot of time on the forums bitching about how you can't get into the game and someone owes you money and you're going to sue. Even the Geico caveman waits 2 weeks after launch to take time off to enjoy a new game. You want to have a 72 hour gaming marathon where after three days of Cheetos, Mountain Dew, and not showering, you produce an odor that gets banned by the Geneva Convention as a WMD? Knock yourself out (probably will with a stench like that) but be smart about it and do it after many of the major bugs and server stability has been fixed.
If you follow these very simple suggestions, you can save yourself and others a ton of frustration and unhappiness. It doesn't take Kreskin the Magician to predict the future of any game at launch, people. Don't be that guy or gal. Don't do it. Or else RadarX will send his goons, Guido and Icepick, over to have a "discussion" with you and let me tell you, they don't have a very large vocabulary.
To read the latest guides, news, and features you can visit our Warhammer 40,000: Storm of Vengeance Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning Game Page.