Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Funcom's J. "Funny O" Tharaldsen Clears Up Open Beta Issues

I only call him "Funny O" because I don't want to even try and reproduce the O with a slash through it on my keyboard. I've never been knowledgeable about how to do this, so let's just call him Tharaldsen or J for short. I'm sure he won't mind.

Now, J's gone ahead and done an interview with to clear up some of what's been going on in the open beta thus far, most specifically the performance issues a great many people have been experiencing. We have heard that the Fileplanet Beta client is actually an old client and won't be the one used on release. Can you speak to that?

J. Tharaldsen: I have seen the same rumors that it's old, but it's not entirely true. We tried to include the best we had on a stable approach, but in our eagerness to please we wanted to get a few additional fixes out (hence we pushed the launch back a couple of hours). In order to reach the May 1st date some of those fixes led to unwanted side-effects which weren't discovered in time. For some, it got a bit rockier than we wanted. We are running an extensive survey now, and from the first few hundred replies (which should be statistically correct), it seems that most people are actually having tons of fun AND good performance. We are humble about it though, and admit that things could have gone smoother, but the experience some people have had now has helped us to improve for launch, which is what really matters...

Well there you have it I guess. So it's not necessarily an older client, just an oddly put together version that came with some serious side-effects. Still a "DOH!" moment for Funcom, but at least they're admitting it. Hopefully the patch to open up all content on the 10th for Open Beta will bring with it some necessary fixes to wash the bitter taste out of the mouths of some folks who are not exactly as impressed as I am.

Read the full interview HERE.


Keen said...

.... I was happier thinking they just gave FilePlanet a crappy old client.

Bildo said...

It's still the case really... just now we know that it's more a technical flub than a "we'll just give them an older version" flub.

I know we hardcore types like to panic at these things... but honestly, while it's distressing I think we read far too much into them.

There were similar client problems in LotRO just before the OB, and the same with WoW. TR had the same issue, but there's wasn't so much a question of performance.

This is all reason why Open Betas should no longer be held. Instead free-trials a few weeks after launch should be given out. At least then, if it's a client issue there's no denying that it's a live game and then it can be fairly judged.

Pre-release clients leaving a bad taste in the players mouths is sad and unfair... but wholly the developer's fault.

Anonymous said...

Not sure I like the implications either way:

either they had a relatively stable client for, as you say, their largest pre-release publicity event and they chose to f@ck it up with a half-assed, ill thought out last minute patch, or

the OB client was a complete POS, they hammered on it a bit and in true quality is job 1 fashion decided to let it fly (and they're lying about it).

Neither one of these gives me much confidence in Funcom's ability to simply execute. Particularly when they start with two strikes against them from the Anarchy Online debacle.

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Anonymous said...

Well!..... there you have it I guess. So it's not necessarily an older client and ability to simply execute..........

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