September 07, 2009

Open Beta upon us

The Open Beta started... for some at least. Seems NCsoft is having serious issues, many of which have a different cause. One of things that really annoys me is that if you try to login and the NCsoft authentication server is down, the game will close on you instead of just informing you and let you try it again. WTF? From reading the boards it also looks like that there are still error windows that have not been translated properly yet and point customers to the korean website/support. There is a poll on the official beta forums, that reads (accumulated): 46.80% with lag issues, 34.59% having different issues that prevent playing properly and only 18.61% have no issues at all. Ofc a poll like this is not representative, but gives an indication.

Do i have trouble myself? Yes, i do. Game Guard closes my game via "The game or Game Guard was modified." error. From what i read the latest Game Guard version injected some new issues with Firewalls and such. During the initial closed beta i had trouble with my old firewall and switched to the free version of Agnitum Outpost Firewall, which is very good and i can only recommend. After giving Aion and Game Guard all access via the settings i have not had any problems with GG anymore during the CB events. Well, now it seems GG decides the Firewall is a threat. Funny thing is that just disabling the firewall for testing purpose is not enough. I've read on the forums that people with Comodo or Outpost Firewall have had success to get rid of the error by completely deinstalling the firewall. But c'mon... seriously? I will not pay to play a program that has me deinstalling firewall software that is configured correctly to give Aion and Game Guard full access. It's worse enough Game Guard being a rootkit and hooking *every* process on your computer, instead of just protecting Aion memory & files. This behaviour causes GG for some players to use up 25%-50% of CPU power btw. Does it surprise you that more and more players are willing to test unauthorized programs to kill Game Guard? I won't touch any of those and can't advice this, but can understand more and more players getting annoyed. NCsoft promised us that all Game Guard issues would be solved for launch, so far it does not look very promising tbh.

More issues (and I'm not even posting all):

If you get the ID/password mismatch error, thats usually due to you not updating your game account (NOT master account) password. Go and check if your account says you're ready, if not change your password and you are good to go.

"You cannot run any more client" is another error a bunch of people gets. No fix for this so far, even reinstalling the client does not seem to fix this.

Some players get an error message cause their account has been suspended temporarily due to missed payments. Others report their Beta accounts being banned completely due to violating the user agreement.

Legion names get cut off after 16 characters despite initially being able to use 32 characters.

Some huge lag and disconnect issues for people as well. For some people adding the server IPs to the command line of Aion did help.

Another issues seems to be the automatic race balancing rules. No one knows yet how wide the margin is, but i hear a lot of players complain they are not able to create the race they want on their servers. Either there is a large imbalance in player preference or the margin is very small.

Add to all those many more smaller Game Guard problems and issues people have and you can imagine why people are upset. One thing that bothers me is the bad information flow from NCsoft towards the players. There is no proper thread with informations on all issues and if there is a solution or how they will fix it. The offial Aion website does not have any infos at all concerning issues, people are somehow forced to read the twitter feeds from the community team - which IMO is bad information policy and they make it too easy for themselves. We need proper info channels, some players can't even access the beta forum as they have issues creating an account. Twitter is fine for marketing purposes, but NOT for support. There are very few posts from NCsoft support in the official beta forums, its mostly players trying to help players. Is this the kind of support we can expect after launch? Or is it just that NCsoft does not have any answers to give us? Then maybe an accumulated thread with known issues, which is updated regularly, would help.

Do i think Aion is ready for launch? Maybe... if they can deal with the issues today and not on the last day of the open beta phase. But the communication channels between the NCsoft Community Managers and the player base definately is not atm. There needs to be official info on issues. On a sidenote: My last email to Ayase is unanswered since August 26th btw, which is why i did not bother to ask further questions about more official infos.

I'll try to keep you guys posted should i hear about proper working solution to errors.

Here are two threads at AionSource that are updated regularly that might offer some help:
Installation & Troubleshooting FAQ
Gameguard Error Codes (and some other errors) and their Known fixes


Anonymous said...

I bet that poll on the official beta forums would be even worse if we could log in on those forums.

Ive been trying to register for the last two days but it fails.

OB is unplayable for me now, 5000ms pings and rubberbanding all over the place.



Zog said...

GaeGuard is a RootKit. I am very unhappy about having it on my machine and am currently considering walking away from this game as I am uncomfortable giving anyone that much power over my PC.

Anonymous said...

Great post! This sums up my feelings about Aion customer support at the moment. I understand "beta" and "working out some kinks" but the communication from the support team, or lack thereof, has been a total mess. I hope they get this fixed before Live. I really want to play this game, I truly love it already, but I can not justify spending money on another MMO if that's the type of customer service I can expect.

Anikka said...

Ugh... great post. I feel very strongly about Twitter as a means of Updates/Communication. Everything you posted makes sense.

I hope someone from NC tweets about this blog, to prove that they listen and address real players issues with the whole shabang and not just shoving a game out broken and unplayable.

Anonymous said...

Thulf, I had the GameGuard errors last night but they ALL disappeared for me tonight, did they do the same for you??

WeRT said...

Server Castor : not even single lag spike.

Server Ven...somethingsomething : awesome lag, worst then in WAR ... 3-4 sec. for server response is annoying as hell...

Anonymous said...

Believe there are some tools out there that let you disable GG when playing Aion.

Thulf said...

There are, but you violate the user agreement by using them. Ergo you can get banned for disabling Game Guard.