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Is "Beyond the Sword" dead?

Discussion in 'Civ4 - General Discussions' started by toft, Aug 21, 2007.

  1. Solver

    Solver Mohawk Games Designer

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    Experience shows that people take ETAs to be solid promises - and get really, really ticked off if they're not met.
     
  2. toft

    toft King

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    I cant see how that situation compares to the situation at hand.
     
  3. unikey

    unikey Chieftain

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    Its a bug/feature of the copyprotection it works ok on the same hardware running xp64 (its still more stable if run from a mini image) its not the only title to have this problem although it is the only one i've ever had

    Its a UK version


    Simon
     
  4. IronCrown

    IronCrown Black Foe of the World

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    Pirated software is always much more customer-friendly than legally purchased software. No problems with copy protection, no need to juggle DVDs.

    (I bought it though... and don't have problems. So far I haven't felt the need to put any other DVD in my drive so I don't even need a no-cd crack :D )
     
  5. MrCynical

    MrCynical Deity

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    Which I why I wasn't suggesting a firm ETA, more an order of magnitude. Am I still going to be asking these questions next month? Or is there a chance i'll need to wind up my game fast before a rebalancing patch? Giving no ETA creates the strong impression that Firaxis is doing nothing, and after the pathetic effort that was the 3.03 patch, this is only being reinforced by continued silence.

    Firaxis have already demonstrated that they are willing to give a partial patch as a stop gap, even on non-serious issues. Also, I feel you are being over modest. With correctly rebalanced corporate costs, your patch would be at least the equal in quality to most of the ones Firaxis has issued for vanilla and its previous expansions. It is far superior in both percentage of needed fixes actually given, and stability to (for instance) Vanilla 1.74, Warlords 2.13 or BtS 3.03. If Firaxis had come out with just that plus a corporate maintenance fix a few weeks ago, there wouldn't be as anywhere near as many complaints.

    Sadly 3.03 did need testing and wasn't. A patch that I've yet to hear anyone claim benefited them, but introduced two major bugs that even the most basic of testing would have revealed is going to be a stain on Firaxis' reputation for some considerable time to come. "Testing" is also an old excuse from Firaxis for ludicrous delays in patches, and has become weaker with every patch where it has become clear such testing has not occurred.

    Translations - I find it hard to believe the minor documentation changes would take that long to translate. Based on previous patch changes I'd be surprised if that would even take a day. Hardware - I'll grant you there are many possible configurations, but you have fixed most of the bugs in a manner which seems stable on the wide range of configurations belonging to the forum users who have tried it. Balancing issues are not going to affect hardware, so again, this is not a convincing excuse for a delay.

    I know that you're not part of Firaxis, but you are the closest we have to someone there. The few Firaxians who do post here appear very rarely, are still rarer in issuing any useful information, and never enter into discussion. The feedback system on Firaxis' website is as useful as talking to a brick wall. I've yet to see any evidence anyone actually reads the feedback.

    So I realise that its somewhat unfair you're getting most of the growing irritation of the community coming in your direction - you've done far more to fix the game than Firaxis has. The lack of communication means that we have no one else to discuss with though.

    I'm sorry, but I am tired of making excuses for Firaxis or listening to Firaxis' excuses. They should give us, if not a day then at least a week to expect the patch in. They should also give us a list of patch changes, and carry out at least some basic testing. Solver's unofficial patch is damming evidence that they have had far more time than they need to do this already.
     
  6. GoodGame

    GoodGame Red, White, & Blue, baby!

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    @Toft, quit spamming for some other game company. BTS plays well.
     
  7. unikey

    unikey Chieftain

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    Its the first piece of software that I cant use at all on a supposedly supported hardware as it refuses to run clearly firaxis havent upheld their half of the purchase contract Now i'm lucky as I have the ability and the software to use a different os and bypass securerom (unless the law has changed in the last 10 years which it may well have its even legal to do so in the UK as long as you continue to own the original) but I expect the vast majority of users don't meaning they have paid £30 and effectively recieved nothing in return no refund and no communication from firaxis not just on the patch but they havent even bothered to answer the email's i sent them in the last 4 weeks

    I know this is how software developement works my point is that it shouldnt and no other industry (althougth film and music are almost as bad) gets away with such a cavalier attitude when their product doesnt work
    I'm not singling out Firaxis as they are better than alot of companies but this is a BTS forum
    At the end of the day problems like this merely encourage's people to use pirated copies of software which is in no one's best interest. I could have downloaded all of Civ 4 for free which would have saved me almost a hundred pounds and I would have received exactly the same service from firaxis as all the paying customers and while software piracy is theft so is selling a product that doesnt work
    Because I've got it working its merely annoying that i had to spend hours making it work but if anyone hasn't firaxis can no longer claim the moral high ground when someone steals one of their products

    We always give ETA's for fix's for our products and in my experience customers are less likely to be annoyed by a missed date as long as the reason's are communicated to them and even a missed date with no communication is better than just seeming to ignore them
     
  8. RedRalph

    RedRalph Deity

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    Yeah I agree. If an ETA is given and is specifically pointed out to be an estimate, no one with half a brain is going to blame Firaxis if its a few days or a week late. If we could just be told roughly when it would appear... I think this thread demonstrates thats what most people want
     
  9. Florian

    Florian Prince

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    No, Beyond the Sword is not dead. Egad, get some perspective.

    Marathon players will have to switch to Epic for a little while to avoid crazily effective city poisoning. Some games will be lost to the infinite loop bug. Some players (myself included) will have to restart the program and continue from the last autosave from time to time, or turn off the wonder movies. And it'll be a little while before corporations work the way they really should.

    But DEAD? Do you know what the word means? For one thing, dead people never get better. BtS will get better. The doctors are on the job. Have a little patience. It's only the biggest, most ambitious expansion pack ever released for a computer game. It's allowed to have a few issues out of the box.
     
  10. RedRalph

    RedRalph Deity

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    I dont think its dead, I wouldnt be playing it so often if it was. But there are problems that need to be addressed, and it would be nice if we knew roughyl when they would be
     
  11. MarkM

    MarkM Cow Herder

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    Without a doubt there are bugs that need to be fixed. The "infinite loop" one in particular is a critical one -- all the rest (that I know of) might be considered balance tweaking, or inconsistencies across game option settings.

    Having said that though, those that blow things all out of proportion by calling the game "dead" are only discrediting themselves, not Firaxis. Like Florian said: egad! get some perspective!

    I hope Firaxis won't take what the small minority of their users with these unrealistic expectations say, and paint all of their fans on these boards with the same brush, discrediting all of us. I trust you guys know there are things that must be fixed, and though we are patient, we do eagerly await them, and hope you can maybe get a new patch out soon.
     
  12. Solver

    Solver Mohawk Games Designer

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    I find this statement to be rather interesting. How can anyone have the impression that Firaxis is doing nothing, unless they want to have that impression? I mean, they've confirmed online that a "real" patch is in the works, and there are even some statements about what/how will be fixed.



    Modesty is not something I really possess :) Okay, 3.03 is a mess and my patch is far superior to it, no doubt. But I can name at least half a dozen fixes that my patch doesn't have and that a real patch should have - and that's just for the core BtS game, without taking mods into consideration.

    Don't presume to know things that you don't. Again, I agree that 3.03 is a right mess, but it really is exceptional in that regard. Don't assume, though, that 1.61, 2.08., 2.13 and whatever other patch went without testing. The nature of the testing environment is such that the general public will probably never find out exactly what the testers do, but let me assure that their input has indeed had tremendous impact on patches.

    Remember that Firaxis isn't doing the translations. 2K is, and they have limited resources as well and a lot of games. And frankly, the BtS patch is probably not their first priority. Bioshock got released less than 24 hours ago, and that's a major game. Translations for patches aren't so much a problem of the actual translation being time-consuming, but rather a problem of when the translators will get to it.

    That'd be merely because my patch is not a full patch. Yes, AI tweaks or balance issues can be resolved in a hardware-independent way. But a full patch will also change the exe file (unlike my patch, which only changes the dll), and changing the exe means that you also need to run a hardware compatibility test.

    Well, granted, I can't fully appreciate this situation because I have different means of communication with them than most forum users, but really, you'd be surprised. Firaxians read the forums a lot... as for entering discussions, do you really think they should? If they spent their time discussing matters with users over here, then we'd sure only see a patch three months later.

    You've seen how much responses, comments and requests I get with my unofficial patch. And I'm not a "full" Firaxian - if a Firaxian like Alex or Jon were to enter a discussion, they'd be literally swamped with hundreds of posts. I'm remembering the BtS pre-release chat here at CFC now, where after every answerer except Jon and I had left, questions were simply pouring.

    Nah... you guys are being kind to me, so far at least :)

    I'm not trying to make excuses for them, I am trying to explain what the patching process consists of and why it's time-consuming. To release an official patch like I released my unofficial one would be a travesty. It took me a considerable amount of time to fix most of the stuff there (remember, it started out really small), and all the same, bugs were found in the patch that I had to address with later updates. An official patch also needs to be free from these issues.
     
  13. toft

    toft King

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    And if you had read the entire post, you would have been aware that I think BtS runs just fine, it just has some gamebreaking bugs for me anyway. Some call it by another name, and some even ignore it... and im not spamming for anyone or anything... im not even spamming...

    I dont tell you how to play, do I? I'm not playing civ at all until a patch is made...

    Take everything in moderations, coke, suger, beer, civ and even thread-titles. I merely wrote what came into my mind at that time. And the word "dead" seemed pretty fair concerning the activity of support for BtS.

    Spoken as if Firaxis is a religion, and Firaxians are gods. I myself, question everything in life. And this discussion doesnt discredit any of us - if we didnt discuss issues like this, wouldnt we be mindless followers that would end up getting ****** games?

    Generaly I'm pretty satisfied with the game itself - the true problem is information. I know, I might be one of the few, but imagine you spent 30+ hours on one game, and then you discover a bug like the "polute water". Your game isnt ruined - you can still play, but its just not funny, neither is it as it should be. I guess thats a marathon thing. Another thing is that when playing a 30+ game, and you are halfway through, then all of the sudden a patch is available without any notice... oh well, then you can start over again, because its not backwards compatible.

    If information can win wars, maybe it could win some customers too?
     
  14. jdurg

    jdurg Warlord

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    One thing that everybody needs to keep in mind is that Firaxis doesn't work solely on the Civ series of games, and that the actual game code isn't four lines long. Even the simplest of changes to the code could have tremendous impact elsewhere. There is no such thing as a "simple" change to code that complex.

    In addition, if Firaxis said "We'll have our patch out on the 29th" and they didn't get it out until a week later, you'd be insane to not think that there would be people here on the boards and the on the web complaining about how "They're too slow to release a simple patch", etc. etc. I have never seen any company state a release date, not meet the release date, and then be commended for it. Instead, five minutes past the release date go by and people start demanding their money back and state that the game is 100% broken and doesn't work at all.

    If you want to understand what it takes to fix bugs in VERY complex code, take a look at some source code like Linux. Then come and tell me that fixing a 'bug' is easy and should be done in no time flat.
     
  15. Florian

    Florian Prince

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    If you think I was "telling you how to play," you need to work on your reading comprehension.

    Well don't then. But just because you've gone all histrionic and kicked Civ out of the house and declared, "Civ is DEAD to me!" doesn't mean it's actually dead. It's sleeping on my sofa.
     
  16. toft

    toft King

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    Empathy and objectivity certainly isnt among the abilities of a fanatic.
     
  17. Armorydave

    Armorydave Prince

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    I don't play marathon (epic) and have not run into the infinite loop (my games tend to end early :hammer: ) so no problems here. There are a few gameplay issues (spying and worker behavior during war come to mind) but nothing terribly significant. BTS is certainly not "dead" for me and I am enjoying it as much as any past Civ release.

    I certainly hope they get a patch out soon to address the issues that marathon players have and tweak some of the gameplay issues. That said, I suspect a huge % of their player base is satisified with the product as is, so the pressure to get a patch out is probably not terribly great. When that is the case, it makes sense to take a little more time to get it right and address as many issues as possible.

    I run a fairly large company and strongly agree with Solver's sentiments about getting too specific about future patches until they are ready for release. The number of people complaining about a lack of communication is probably miniscule compared to the number of people that would go beserk if a patch was two weeks late because of a last minute issue. It is sort of a complaint insurance policy. You pay a little today in the form of communication complaints to avoid the firestorm of complaint that would accompany a missed date on a "promised" patch.
     
  18. bonafide11

    bonafide11 Worker

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    If BTS is dead, I want hundreds of hours of my life back :(
     
  19. Quagga

    Quagga Former Dictator

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    I've read five pages of this thread. Now I'm ready to vote.

    Beyond the Sword is not dead.

    Now on to the ever-popular most-worthless-unit thread.
     
  20. Kushluk

    Kushluk Warlord

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    BTS was a great game with a lot of great features, but it had some faults that were also pretty great. I play Marathon and only marathon, so that is where my opinion is comming from.
     

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