Bildo has a link up on his site to an interview with OaC Product Directory Jorgen Thoraldsen from MMORPG.com where he attempts to shed some light on the widely-reported (and whined about) problems with the AoC open beta client. He asserts that the client is not, in fact, an old one as asserted by the fan community;
And yes, I have seen the same rumors that it’s old, but it’s not entirely true. We tried to include the best we had on a stable approach, but in our eagerness to please we wanted to get a few additional fixes out (hence we pushed the launch back a couple of hours). In order to reach the May 1st date some of those fixes led to unwanted side-effects which weren’t discovered in time. For some, it got a bit rockier than we wanted. We are running an extensive survey now, and from the first few hundred replies (which should be statistically correct), it seems that most people are actually having tons of fun AND good performance. We are humble about it though, and admit that things could have gone smoother, but the experience some people have had now has helped us to improve for launch, which is what really matters.
He also assures us this won’t be the release client, because they are going to work Real Hard the last 3 weeks;
It for sure won’t be the one we have on release! I mean, 150 experienced MMO developers working crunch are able to polish, a lot;) We are making some great updates and fixes based on the lessons learned, lessons we would not have received without the stress we put our servers and systems under. I must stress that it was, and is, beta, and the verdict should come for our launch version, not the version three weeks before.
Once again, the software tester in me is screaming Danger! Danger!
I know they know what they are doing better than I do. I, in fact, can have no idea what they are doing or thinking. I just think that there are deeper issues here. I wouldn’t be surprised if the launch were problematic on some level. Particularly troubling is his assertion that the problem is with a minority of testers. When asked about how he responded to the reports of poor performance;
This is true for a minority of the players, but I feel pretty confident it’s not because of their systems alone but because of stalls and memory leaks, or even simpler things like trying high settings on a low-end machine. I mean, with the graphics we have, no lowest spec machine can even be kicked to perform well on high. I have to point out that a number of players are reporting stellar performance on the very same approach (meeting recommended specs). We cannot knee jerk to forums posts though, we need to ensure that the data we get, and where we subsequently put our best coder brains, is based on logic and correct data. We have now gathered loads of data, and we have learned a lot. It will surely improve for launch.
We’re not making this stuff up, Jorgen.
I guess that 49% is still a minority, so he could be leveling with us on this one. After seeing what I have see, I want more than “improved for launch” before I part with any greenbacks. I want effing awesome for launch.
I like the game and the gameplay. I like the environments. I am just worried that they haven’t got their proverbial ducks in a row.