Patch Problems Persist

First, a note about Anarchy Online's billing process. In Thursday's review update, SenseiPhoenix mentioned that the 9th was the last day of free play. This is only true if players had registered on or before July 9th - the game comes with a free month of play, and anyone registering after the 9th still has yet to be charged monthly fees. We regret the confusion.

In response to the outcry over Thursday's client patch fiasco, Funcom has responded - to some of the allegations.

Tor Andre Wigmostad, Funcom Community Manager, posted several messages in response to message board threads about the lack of features in the 12.4 client patch. His response:

I am very sorry that the news message yesterday was misleading about the content of the latest patch. We put out information about updates and server downtime to make sure that you know what to expect. Errors like this create uncertainty that I will work hard to avoid in the future as Community Manager.

The timing of this error was made even worse by the billing cycle starting for a lot of you today. It could be interpreted as trick to avoid people cancelling their account. I assure you that this was not the intention of the news message. What is important for Funcom now is to show that we have a long-term plan with Anarchy Online, and tricking you into paying for one month is not the way to accomplish this.

A misunderstanding about the order of patch 12.4 and 12.5 and bad phrasing of the text is the reason for this misleading information. However, I don't feel this is a good excuse.

The consequence of the news-message is that a patch that fixed some really serious problems now feels like a serious letdown to a lot of players. That is not something I am very happy with as a Community Manager that would like to get more and better information out to the players.

I will do my outmost to give you the best information in the future. Even if all of you bought an extra copy of the game, it wouldn't be worth the headache I got when I read the comments about the latest patch on the fan-sites and message board.

This was perhaps not the best thread to do one of my first postings on the board as a Community Manager, but somebody had to do it. As some of you probably know, this is my first week in this position. I am working on a lot of things to improve Funcom communication with the fan. From next week I will re-vamp a lot of our procedures for giving information to the fans. Then I am the person to yell at if you don't know what is going on.

Again, I am very sorry for the misleading information in the news messages and it will not happen again.

Also posted in the same thread:

The launcher message is correct. The last patch, 12.4, should have fixed several crash and stability problems. That information is based on our internal testing.

However, I read that a lot of people still have crash problems. If this happens to you, please say OK when the client asks if it is okay send information. Then everything is sent to the team and the programmer working on the code. The more information we get, the easier it will be to dive into your problems.

This also means that we should have information on the effect of the patch. I'll check this with the programmers tomorrow.

The team is still working on the 12.5 patch. I will check also look into this tomorrow and get you some information about what to expect.

I am sorry that I can't be more specific at the moment.

Yesterday, the daily update on the Community page further addressed the situation.

Unfortunately, there was a mixup among players and our support as to what the last patch was going to fix. We'll try to explain what happened. Also, yesterday's patch is now ready as an .exe file.

There is a big patch in our pipeline improving gameplay and balance as well as many different data-related problems in the gameworld. This patch was internally called 12.4 and it had not been put out even on the test-servers, becasue it simply wasn't ready yet.

Then yesterday, we finally traced down a bug that was causing players to disconnect while zoning. We decided to release this patch without waiting for the data patch to go out first, because of the improvements it would bring and because it was not dependent on the other changes. So we renamed the data patch to 12.5 (since it will be later on the list), and named this new patch 12.4. Apparently, this has caused a mixup somewhere in our organization about what it was that was in the patch.

This much talked about patch from yesterday is now ready as an .exe patch as well for those of you who have not had problems with the auto-patcher. You will find it in the launcher window as you load the game.

There have been three responses, and three statements of a communication breakdown. While Funcom is indeed a Norwegian company, the communication issue has arisen several times in the past, and may very well arise again.

It's also worth noting that nowhere has an explanation been offered for the alterations to the August 8th update. As this is a concern of many people, it will be rather telling to see how Funcom explains their actions in this regard.

RPGFan will keep you updated if any new information arises in this situation.

08.11.01 - 11:30 AM