Updating Best Practices

Comments on the other post reminded me of how patching can be done well: City of Heroes, yet again leading the industry from five years ago. Patches pre-load, with this being an automatic option when you log off in the week before a major patch. This does not help much if you are returning to see the new stuff, but current players have it pre-loaded. (Again, yay for Steam for doing that on upcoming releases.) That frees up bandwidth for those returning players.

Note two different parts: automatically updating without more clicks, and it does this as an option when you log off. It does not keep you from playing right now, which is what we all want. I believe the PlayNC updater will do something similar to what I like with Steam’s automatic updates, but I do not keep it running because I rarely have multiple NCSoft games active at once.

: Zubon

8 thoughts on “Updating Best Practices”

  1. That does sound nice!

    But it’s hard not to be jaded against the hope that such good ideas will become popular, when we still live in a world where some MMOs make you wait through the 30-second log-out before you can CLOSE THE PROGRAM. manwhat. Need and alt-F4 macro. :P

  2. LoTRO has decided that pre-patches are bad, it seems, having given up on one for SoM. The post from the devs is here on the subject: http://forums.lotro.com/showthread.php?p=4207792#post4207792

    Considering there is no other way to get the media for the game (it’s digital only), this has to be the worst idea ever concieved in this game, and that is coming from the perspective of a person who really likes both the game and the quality of the dev work normally.

  3. Yes and no.
    I totally hate the Blizzard Background Downloader, which seems to be similar to what you mentioned.

    I don’t want ANY application hogging my bandwidth and downloading stuff when I didn’t tell it to.

    Fully agree with the “1 click from start of download to playable game” though.

    1. CoH’s prepatcher is completely obvious about what it’s doing and can be cancelled at any time, so I wouldn;t say it’s all that bad.

      And for my money, Guild Wars’ patching method is perhaps one of the best there’s ever been. The only way it could be better is if it was predictive, so that it starts patching area two while you’re fighting through area 1.

  4. Turbine has been doing well for me with DDO and the Turbine download manager for me.. I’ve set it to just go ahead and update as it pleases, downloading only when my (always-on cable) connection is idle. I’ve never even seen it have to apply a patch, let alone download it when I want to play.
    The initial download was also pretty nice, letting me start to play once it had the character generator and starting island, while getting the rest of the game ready as I rolled up and did tutorial type things.

  5. Guild Wars was great IMHO, pre-loading patches and streaming in new content as well. I remember being amazed at seeing the little lightning bolt indicating new stuff was downloading for the game back when it first launched.

  6. From personal experience, it seems to be a general rule of thumb that if they have a stable and have finally made the jump to having their own download manager to work with all of them, they’re pretty good about it.

    Most NCsoft titles are good about it really, thanks to the Launcher. Turbine, as mentioned before is also good about it. Haven’t looked into SOE lately though… everyone else to my knowledge is sub-par.

Comments are closed.