Back in January, I wrote about the OOBE of my iRiver H10 player, and I've got another horrid first run story today.
Daniel's been pestering us to get DnD Online, and yesterday it arrived. I figured I'd install it for him (to save him the trouble).
Man, talk about hideous first run experiences. First off, the CD installed SLOWLY. Now the machine I'm running this on isn't the fastest on the planet, but I can rip CDs in way less time than the game installed. My guess is that they were decompressing data on the fly or something. But slow installations aren't a huge issue, I know how hard it can be to copy tons of data onto a machine.
My biggest complaints came when I launched the application.
It popped up a pretty splash screen, and some status text flashed on the screen about checking for web sites, etc. Then it hung. I waited for about 5 minutes and no progress, it just hung. What was worse is that the app didn't show up in the task manager list so I had to find dndlauncher.exe in taskmgr and kill it manually.
So I restarted. This time it started and made it through the initial UI, and presented a new loader screen. The loader started downloading two versions of the client executable. That was wierd, the game's only been online for 7 days and there are already 2 new versions of the client available? No big deal. One thing I noticed was that the download was SLOW - 10KB per second according to the progress meter. Looking at the network traffic in taskmgr, it wasn't receiving any data, the client was just slow.
And then it hung downloading the client executable. This time it DID have an entry in the taskbar, but I couldn't right click on it to stop it, I had to go back to the task manager to kill it.
Third try, this time it got through downloading the client programs, and it started patching game data. There were 50(!) patches available for the game. Again, this is a game that's been online for all of 7 days, and there were ALREADY 50 patches for game data? And once again, the launcher hung downloading the patches. And I'm still getting 10KB/second download speeds.
Fourth try (I'm getting pretty annoyed at this point), and it starts downloading more patches. This time, the patches came in quickly - 75KB/second. My guess is that their load balancing solution on their patch servers doesn't work, and some of the patch machines were overloaded.
And again the game hung after downloading all the patches.
The game also installs a notification area icon, this time I clicked on it. A menu flashed on the screen really quickly, and then disappeared. So back to taskmgr to kill the launcher app.
On the 5th time, I was finally allowed to log in and start the game, but still.... 4 hangs of the client app that required taskmgr intervention to recover? 10KB/sec download speeds?
And then there's the notification area icon. By default, the game installs itself into the notification area, and it's set to download game patches every 4 hours.
Every 4 hours? They patch this game frequently enough that you need to check for patches EVERY FOUR HOURS?!!
I've not played the game beyond racing through the character creation mechanism, this is Daniel's game to play, I have absolutely no opinions about the relative quality of the game (although it seemed to be very pretty for the 2 minutes I played it)
I know this is a major new game in its first week or so of retail release, so it's expected that things may be overloaded - there were 10 new characters in the entry area when I logged in, so the game servers are clearly being hammered, but still...