Friday, February 25, 2011

Rift: Launch?

Or not really?

I could sum this whole thing up by just saying:
The character selection screen is AWESOME... not.
It was all I got to see of the game, though.

I had completely forgotten to uninstall the beta client and install the new one so, when I got home, at around 7 pm (GMT+0) that's what I did. It took me about an hour, hour and a half to download the 8 gigs. But by this time an eerie feeling had crept in. I was hearing a lot of moaning and complaining on vent and some numbers floating around: "2300" said one vent voice, "1500" said another, "just under 600" went a third. What was this? Some sort of queue? Surely not!

Should've taken the hint
Now, I know every launch has its hiccups and setbacks. I was expecting that. But I was expecting something more on the lines of server instability, mobs just not being enough, unbearable amounts of lag. I would have welcomed that. Anything was better than 3 hours staring at the character selection screen, watching those numbers slowly climb down. Hell, I would have even put up with the russians.

Every server was full (except a few french and german ones) so we decided to stick it out and wait to get in our guild's server. I'm fairly competent at staying completely still for long periods of time. Mike will often nudge me when I'm watching a movie yelling "YOU ASLEEP?" in my ear when I'm not. But this was boring as shit.

So, after climbing from queue position 2880 to 600 I decided I deserved a little treat. I alt-tabbed to play a little spider solitaire. Yes, the most interesting thing I dared to do without exhausting my computer's resources which I was saving for a night of intense gaming. I tabbed back a few times (read "about 50") to move my mouse around. I'd been fairly lucky all night, only having had 2 disconnects and getting right back to my position same as I was before. Others had not been so lucky.

But, for some reason, I got distracted and that's when it happened. My third disconnect dropped me down to 1300. It was disheartening, to say the least. All I could muster was a "fuck it" and I logged out.

"They're probably all getting drunk at the launch party."
Yes. Yes, I believe they are.
Now, as I said before, I was expecting a few setbacks but, in the end, I'm a paying customer. I paid good money to be able to play the game on the headstart launch day. Or so I thought. Apparently, I paid good money to alt-tab between the character selection screen and spider solitaire. In the end, I don't care what the developer's hardships are/were/are going to be. Do I need to care? Should I? I'm paying them. Me and countless others lined their pockets with millions of their chosen currency. Millions. They knew how many of us there were. They just had to divide all the money they made by how much they were charging per copy. So I don't get this and, frankly, I don't care to get it. I care not to like it.

This really gets to me. I mean, reeeeeaaaaally gets to me. I mean, here we are, struggling to keep up a household with one and a half paycheks in the middle of a financial crisis and we buy 2 copies of the fucking thing thinking that "hey, maybe a little time playing with friends will help take our minds off important things for a bit". Fuck that, have a screen with a countdown, dream about all the other cool things you could be doing (like playing that sweet Dragon Age 2 demo) and sweat it out.

Things didn't go so well for people that actually got to play the game either, due to the lag and over-population issues (which were to be expected as the entire existing player base was currently in the starting area). "OMG even the mobs are getting queued".

But I would've liked having been able to make that remark. I would've liked to have reserved my two character names. Instead I got a bad after-taste in my mouth that has nothing to do with my over consumption of Red Bull and cigarettes.

Bah. I was a bit "meh" at the game before, I'm just numb at it now. I'm sure I'll forget all about this when I actually get to play it decently. If I live to play it after these first three months, I'm sure I'll even look back at this and tsk tsk tsk at myself for my current disbelief.

Here's hoping.

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