Jan 9, 2012

Posted by in Yellow Posts | 4 Comments

Yellow Posts: A Patching-We-Will-Go!

Lots of bugs are being discussed on the forums. It seems that this week, BioWare has been doing lots of information gathering and communication about bugs and what they are doing to fix them. For instance, if you find yourself in need of doing a Repair install on the TOR game files, you will probably notice that the launcher looks like it is downloading a huge amount of data (about 12GB). Forum poster BouncerPup noticed this and wanted to know why this happened on what should have been a minor repair install. Joveth Gonzalez, Associate Online Community Manager, got an unnamed developer to post about this, which turns out to be just a display problem with the launcher:

Hi everyone, I wanted to pass along this message from one of our developers:

Many of you have expressed concern that when performing a Repair the entire game is downloaded again. While the Launcher messaging does seem to indicate this, that’s not actually what is going on.

When the Launcher detects a corrupted file, it will attempt to restore that file from Version 1. In the Launcher it will appear that, for example, all of Main Assets 1 (12GB) is being downloaded, but in actuality, only the patch files which contain the corrupted file are being downloaded. Typically, this is a single patch file. Now, that said, those files can be very large (up to 2GB), but unless a large number of files are corrupted it will not download the entire 12GB (or in the case of English/French/German Assets 1, 7GB).

For those of you who are experiencing repeated corruption of files and are not having success with Repair, we urge you to try the Launcher Troubleshooting Guide. We’ve discovered new issues (CAS Latency and memory voltage settings) that when corrected have solved the corruption issue for several users. We recognize that this continues to be a vexing issue for some of you and we are continuing to investigate, but as of yet no common thread discovered. We will report any verifiable fixes to the forums.

Thank you

Forum poster Zanathax plays TOR primarily at night. Unfortunately, this is also off-peak times for the game and as such his play time has been interrupted on several occasions by scheduled server outages for BioWare to put patches in place. He says that these patches are too many and too often and are interrupting his gaming experience. This is obviously a problem, but with the game almost three weeks old, everyone should be a little understanding that bugs are going to be found and need to be fixed. Chris Collins, European Community Manger, chimes in to explain the patching process for those that don’t know:

While I can understand that there is frustration around the frequency of patches, as many have already mentioned in this thread, patches are both normal and extremely important to ensure the stability of the game. Some of the issues fixed yesterday and today were absolutely crucial.

Given the complexity of software like Star Wars:The Old Republic, what may appear as a simple fix can take hundreds, if not thousands of man hours to resolve. We have teams working around the clock to make sure that issues are fixed in a timely manner, while maintaining the quality that you’ve come to expect (read: doesn’t break anything else ). The timing of these patches are not designed in ANY way to single any one out; they are, as I’ve mentioned before, done at the point in time where we have one of the lowest number of users connected globally.

No matter when we choose to bring the service down, we will impact someone’s play time – this is simply unavoidable. However, again, it’s important that these issues are fixed as soon as we can, to help ensure the long term stability of Star Wars: The Old Republic.

Originally Posted by Zanathax
EDIT: To be clearer, I am complaining about the servers being down for 8 or 10 hours a night, 3 nights in a row.

To be clear, the downtimes over the last few days have not been 8-10 hours per day, as you mention. While we announce downtime and give a time range, sometimes things do finish early (and of course, sometimes they run over). Over the last few days, we’ve totalled just over 7 hours of downtime. Again, we may have said the game may be offline for longer, but we actually achieved very short maintenance times each day.

See? Cut them some slack guys. They really are doing their best to fix bugs as quickly as they can.

That’s pretty much it for this week in Yellow Posts. So I leave you with this: Do you feel that BioWare is doing too little, just enough, or too much to combat bugs in game? Are they resolving the bugs that you most want to see fixed in a timely manner?

  1. It’s to be expected that the servers go down every now and then. From playing other MMO’s I can happily say that BioWare/EA is doing a really good job at keeping their maintenance times very short.

    My most recent experience before SWTOR was WoW (Before that Anarchy Online and Star Wars Galaxies) where it was beginning to be expected that patch days / maintenance days were almost throw away days in which it wasn’t likely you were going to get much finished due to server instability.

    Knock on wood, that has not been the case for SWTOR and I am very happy about this.

  2. No, fuck bioware. They charge $15/month for a game that you can’t even play.

  3. Really hope they get the shipboard companion conversations fixed sometime soon. I only meant to break the Jedi code, not the game’s.

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