When I woke up yesterday morning and came to work, I started immediately looking for some blogs and impressions on Age of Conan's Open Beta. After all, I'm deeply invested in this game and I've been in the beta for months and haven't been able to say anything. I was looking forward to hearing about how surprised people were with Funcom's latest game.
And instead of them being surprised... I was. Reports across several forums and blogs of a fun game with some SERIOUS performance issues. I was stunned, really. That couldn't be right. As I'd been in the beta I'd watched an unfinished and buggy game become one of my favorite MMOGs to date - one that was ready to hit store shelves soon. I whole-heartedly expected to see thousands of other people similarly pleased with the client, its promising combat mechanics, and beautiful graphics even on lower-end computers. I expected people to be pissed that they were stuck at 13 and 13 only, but never did I expect all the shouts of crashing and leaking and BSODs.
Because these issues had been rectified in the weeks past, somewhat miraculously. Indeed in the Closed Beta there are still bugs. There are still some wrinkles to iron out. But by and large the game I'd been playing was very nearly ready to hit the hands of eager players looking for something new. The problems people were having with the Open Beta were issues that arose and were eradicated (for the most part) several weeks prior.
After talking back and forth with Keen (one of many affected by crashing, memory leaks, and poor FPS performance), we came to a realization. He got into Closed Beta and it just so happens that indeed Funcom IS using an older beta client on the Open Beta servers - one full of bugs that are outdated, crashes, and memory leaks that had been squashed.
I'm glad I'm not crazy, and that the game I play on the Closed Beta servers is as polished as it seems... but I can't help but wonder what caused Funcom to initiate its biggest pre-launch publicity event with code that was outdated and leaves a bad taste in the mouths of prospective customers.
I guess all I can do as a fan and one who's seen just how fun this game can be is hope Funcom patches the Open Beta client up to where the Closed Beta is. Because not only are the Open Beta testers getting a false image of what the game's like, but Funcom's potentially losing a lot of customers.
I'll cross my fingers and pray to Crom I guess.