Anarchy Online Patch Problems?

It's been over a month since the release of Anarchy Online, and the fun that has accompanied the game (both in-game and outside), and the latest out of the Funcom camp has some fans scratching their heads and demanding explanations.

Today, August 9th, is the first day of billing - if you had registered the game on or prior to July 9th (when Funcom deemed the game stable enough to charge for), your billing cycle has begun.

Yesterday, on the Anarchy Online community page, the following update was posted:

Patch 12.4 Tomorrow, Major Disconnection Fix
by AO Live Team
2001/08/09 00:29 UTC/GMT

We will release a new client patch tomorrow.

With much enthusiasm and anticipation, we will release client patch 12.4 tomorrow, August 9th. Among the many bug fixes, game tweaks, enhancements and additions to the world of Rubi-Ka, we have made a major update to how Anarchy Online handles zoning. With this very important update, we expect that many of the disconnection problems that have plagued players in the past have indeed been remedied. In addition, we have identified and fixed many of the most frequent client crashes within Anarchy Online.

We are very excited about the results of tomorrow's 12.4 patch and we hope that you, the players of Anarchy Online, will be as well. As always, more detailed information and patch specifics will be available tomorrow in the patcher message upon the patch's release.

The "enhancements and additions" mentioned are more specifically detailed in a paragraph in the August 6th update:

At the moment we are in the process of completing a new client patch. It will be a data patch that will contain a lot of bug- fixes, but also additional content. There will be brand new MOBs, and a range of new items for you to enjoy. We can't give you an exact ETA for when it will be put on the test server, but we are working extremely hard to get it ready ASAP.

Given the two updates, many fans were expecting a comprehensive patch on August 9th. Those logging on today have indeed received the 12.4 client patch, but the "detailed information and patch specifics" amounted to the following:

Changes from 12.3.5 to 12.4

- Increased stability on client.
- Fixed problems with disconnects

Observant readers will notice that there is very little detail present in the patch notes. By reading the accumulated patch notes since the game went live (version 11.5), the phrase "increased stability" has appeared 11 separate times, which has many players wondering if the game is indeed more stable (reports on message boards are mixed, as they have been for just about every stability patch since release). Moreover, the 12.4 patch reportedly never was enacted on the test server before released to the general public, so it's unsure how thorough the patch really is.

Some more news has just surfaced regarding the August 8th update. Several posters to the official Anarchy Online message boards have discovered that the August 8th update was later modified by Funcom and an additional, 3rd paragraph was added. The paragraph reads as follows:

Also please be aware that this patch is not the data patch we talked about earlier. This patch will be released on testlive ASAP. We will go more into details on that tomorrow. This one will now be 12.5 as we saw it vital to get the stability fixes out as soon as possible.

In other words, after the 12.4 client patch was released without new content, the previous day's news update was changed to delay expectations for the content that wasn't ready in time for the new content patch - and all on the first day of billing.

The content that was promised for customers who continued to pay beyond the free month hasn't been added to the game, and Funcom is changing news updates to justify the delay. Interpret the facts as you will.

08.09.01 - 10:00 PM