Sunday, August 05, 2007

Stardate 61596.82 - Patch My Game

Before Loren was born I wasted a great many hours playing computer games. When I look back on all that time, I am constantly reminded of things I might have accomplished (learning to sail, writing a book) had I not been in front of a computer.

When it is cold outside and Loren is napping on the weekend, however, a computer game is a nice temporary diversion. Now that I no-longer can spend an entire afternoon playing a game, I find that the mental break for a couple of hours every couple of weekends is a nice thing. So a year or so ago I purchased Neverwinter Nights 2, the sequel to a game I loved and played start to finish 3 times over the past 6 years.

It has been a year or so since I played the game last, so when I sat down this weekend to play it I clicked on the "update" button. One hour and 15 minutes later, I am still waiting for all the patches to load.

Now, normally I like it when they add features and correct bugs and improve the engine and interface and all those things game makers do, but I've spent more than 50% of Loren's nap - more than 50% of the only true leisure time I'll have all day - waiting for a year's worth of patches to load.

Depressing. If the game wasn't so damn awesome I'd given up 45 minutes ago.



Trailing Male said...

Sounds oddly familiar (sans-child). I am working my way through a game I bought years ago: Starcraft. Not so long ago I worked my way through the original Neverwinter Nights for the first time. The sequel is on my wish list for a future post. At the moment I've put such pursuits on hold, at least until I wrap up my very last college course. After that, I have a few weeks of down-time....:-)

Dave said...

I received about 5 Playstation 2 games 2 Xmas' ago....and most I haven't even had a chance to play yet.

What's leisure time? :P

JamesF said...

Man, I bought the first Neverwinter Nights and it was pile of bug ridden crap. The game had a memory leak, so it would crash every 20 minutes (you could almost set your clock by it). And as I recall there was also a bug in team splash damage. I was playing it co-op and when my partner fireballed and did some damage which accidently hit me as well, it inadvertently made both of us evil characters. Unfortunately we were in a dungeon at the time and didn't realize it, so all our saves were screwed up. We found out when we eventually returned to town and all the high level NPCs would think we were evil and try to kill us. I decided right then they apparently had the world's worst QA team, because I don't know how you could miss something like that. Or how you could actually release the game with a known memory leak that would regularly cause a crash. It just seems unconscionable Fun times. I dropped that game and never looked back.

Right now all my free time (and a lot of the time I should be sleeping at night) are being consumed by Zelda: Twilight Princess. Playtime is 51 hours and counting so far (although I think I'm closing in on the end).

CAPT_Sawyer said...

When I first purchased NWN, I didn't have a PC that could play it, so it sat on the shelf for at least 6 months (maybe longer) before we upgraded our PC (to our current one) and I could play it. I didn't have any of the problems you described, so maybe subsequent patches fixed the game. I played it and both expansion packs multiple times with no issue.

I'd hate to have to buy a whole new deskop just to be able to play this game now, but the desktop is getting pretty old. I upgraded the memory a year ago and the video card 2 years ago but maybe I'm finally at the end of the usefulness of the CPU (P4, 2.66 GHz, 1M of RAM).