Patches are an inevitable part of any MMORPG as the developers push out nerfs, buffs, additional or revised content and of course, fixes. This week two games had patches released that worked in reverse, seemingly breaking more than they fixed.
WoW Insider succintly sums up the latest patch to Blizzard’s World of Warcraft with The disaster of patch 3.0.8. Among the highlights: server-crashing bugs that forced them to shut off the entire PvP zone of Wintergrasp and access to the arenas. Major patches are something veteran WoW players have learned to anticipate with dread. On the plus side, lag-induced deaths are less painful now thanks to the addition of over 60 new graveyards and a buff to ghost run speed.
Meanwhile, the dev team for City of Heroes made the curious decision to push an 80 MB patch live the day before the twice-a-year and incredibly popular Double XP Weekend begins. This thread outlines the many things that weren’t fixed, error-riddled patch notes (a CoH tradition) notwithstanding. Unfixed powers, new features that aren’t actually there and the Virtue server having fits are among the highlights. Also, don’t wear our clothes!
Maintaining a sprawling and gigantic mess of ever-expanding code for a live game is not a simple task and any reasonable player will expect a few bumps along the way but these two examples seem to reflect a growing inability to just get the basics right without screwing something (or many things) up. This is why it’s best to have a diverse gaming library. when your favorite online game goes haywire, you can turn to the ever-reliable alternatives like Solitaire and Minesweeper. Oh Minesweeper, I’ll beat you this time!