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    PQ | Features | Mailbag | October 24, 1998
   

Sightings

It seems the monkeys are on the rampage again...

First up the hideous green siamese orangutans have escaped from 3Dfx and returned to their barrel here at Mailbag Central, leaving only a pair of soggy banana skins for their tormentors...

And it seems they stopped off at Freak Mail over on Evil Avatar along the way, causing "i" to panic and declare that "gamers are a super intelligent race of apes that plan on ruling the world by removing humans brains and placing them inside the bodies of apes".

While they were there they must have dropped one of my mails, as the latest issue of Freak Mail suspiciously features the WordMasta mail from the last ever HomeWork here at PlanetQuake Mailbag...

Anyway, enough monkeying around - let's get on with this week's one and only PlanetQuake Mailbag!


Patchy Rain

Yesterday's editorial "Death, Taxes and Patches" has already brought in a few e-mails...


From : Michael Ahlf
Subject : Re: Death, Taxes, and Patches...

*SNIP*

The upgrade problem has been in existence since the days of Doom -- not that the game did not run well regardless in its first form, but there WAS the very first networking bug which almost killed many networks at the time.

Since then, it has gone far, ending in more versions than anyone knows, and playing havoc at one point with users trying to keep multiple versions around to "upgrade" their opponents in order to play in networking/modem games.

Not that Id software didn't need to place these patches out -- and, the bugs found DID take a long time to come up, even with widespread play, BUT on the other hand, it is annoying that the multiplayer code didn't have compatibility across updates to make it easy to play.

*SNIP*

Thanks to the programmers and the lack of media coverage, this has quietly slipped into the market and become an almost accepted and/or encouraged practice.

*SNIP*




From : KarB
Subject : Patches... Are THEY behind it?

Could it be a conspericy to increase internet traffic?

And I thought I was paranoid... ;-)


From : Scott Dahlstrom
Subject : Shogo "Patch" heh.. right..

Once again, software developers are falling flat on their faces by not delivering on promises that both they, and this time YOU, PQnetwork, are making. Between all the hype that Monolith has spouted in their plan files, and the reviews that you guys have posted on the PlanetShogo site, I expected this thing to work fairly well. I'm not the sort that usually has problems running games... until now.

It's weird, I had actually started to have some faith that MAYBE Monolith could actually be a company that would indeed fulfill the promise of Quake like performance on an internet game.... Nope.... Two separate machines, two separate connections (one is ISDN btw) and it's no dice for on-line Shogo.

Looks like it's back to being my synical old self again...




The scary thing about Shogo is that the patch was announced (on the net at least) even before the game was released. Monolith admitted there were problems with the release version, and were working on solving them before Shogo even hit the shelves...

And yet they went ahead with the release anyway, knowing that the AI was buggy and the net performance relatively poor, and unless you've been watching PlanetShogo or the developers' .plans you would have no idea that the game you bought was not fully functional.

Yes we got Shogo a few weeks earlier than we would have done if they'd fixed the problems before releasing the game, and apparently the LAN play is great.

But on the other hand deathmatchers will have to download a patch to get good net performance. And because there were problems with the game's AI, no doubt thousands of gamers who bought the game and don't have a net connection will have a broken game and no way of getting the patch, or even knowing it exists, short of finding it by chance on a magazine cover disk...

We've had the same thing with Quake, Quake II, Unreal, and now Shogo. Is it too much to ask for games to be released when they're done?


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