Patches? Sure, but just one please.

As a software developer, I can completely appreciate that software isn’t ever “done”.  There are always things to fix, things to improve, additional quests to release, whatever.  Therefore, patches are just a way of life, and that’s fine by me.  I understand.

What I don’t get, however, is why on earth they don’t optimize the patching process!  For example, the other week I bought PAIN for the PS3.  So I go through the purchase, download the game from PSN (approx 200MB), and before the game can even start, it has to download and install a 50MB patch.  Now wait a minute! I just downloaded the game, from the source, brand new.  Why on earth wasn’t the patch included in the original download?

Developers: Please don’t make us download a patch just to have to download another patch!  Everquest got this right since the late 90’s.  How have you guys managed to regress?

If you aren’t bored of this rant yet and want to read the full Hellgate: London story that triggered this post, then click here:

Here’s another example: I just picked up Hellgate: London for the PC and installed it.  As soon as I finished the installation process, it told me that there was a patch, so I downloaded and installed that.  Then it opens up a new, fancier, launcher window that tells me there’s a patch to the single player game (but not to the launcher or multiplayer).  OK, fine, whatever.  Download and install the patch.  Great!  Now let’s get gaming.

Not so fast, bucko.  If you want to play multiplayer, then you don’t get the patch option through the launcher.  Instead, as soon as I log in it just starts showing me filenames and percentages (it was left as an exercise to the gamer to determine that they were downloading patches).  Once it’s done with that process, the game restarts itself.  I’m greeted with this great message telling me that there is a patch I have to download and install, and clicking the OK button launches my web browser to a site where I can download a 385MB patch.  Yes, you read that right, 385MB.  So after that thing downloads, I run the patch and get an error message “A newer version of this software is already installed.”

What. The. Hell.

So, I start up Hellgate: London again, and select Multiplayer, and log in.  Now I get a file list of files again (the same files as last time, I seemed to note) with percentages.  No suggestion how many files are left, or anything like that.  After what feels like an eternity, the game restarts itself again, and I login again, and finally I get to the main menu of the game.

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So that was my first impression with Hellgate: London.  I’m glad that I stuck with it, because so far I have been enjoying the heck out of the game.  Look for my review coming to the forums soon!

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Author: TimSpeedle View all posts by
  • Chainer

    I agree Speedle. I am tired of downloading arcade games from the XBL Marketplace only to have to patch the damn thing on my first launch of it. What’s even worse is that my roommate rented Guitar Hero: Aerosmith (which I will put a review of into the forums forthwith) and it already had a patch out for it. Now, typically XBL patch downloads aren’t very troublesome to me, only a matter of seconds. But still, it seems as if new games should wait to come out if they need a patch that quick, and that Arcade games should come patched to the current version number.

    Oh, and as I was typing out this I thought of something they should do to help alleviate this problem. Put an option that you can turn on on the system itself to automatically check for updates and download them upon system boot in the background. But hey, that’s just me.

  • Chainer

    I agree Speedle. I am tired of downloading arcade games from the XBL Marketplace only to have to patch the damn thing on my first launch of it. What’s even worse is that my roommate rented Guitar Hero: Aerosmith (which I will put a review of into the forums forthwith) and it already had a patch out for it. Now, typically XBL patch downloads aren’t very troublesome to me, only a matter of seconds. But still, it seems as if new games should wait to come out if they need a patch that quick, and that Arcade games should come patched to the current version number.

    Oh, and as I was typing out this I thought of something they should do to help alleviate this problem. Put an option that you can turn on on the system itself to automatically check for updates and download them upon system boot in the background. But hey, that’s just me.