Tuesday, 24 April 2012

PC Gamers work harder!

This weekend I shelled out for a new PC (well most of one). It was an epic event in my life, I scurried home to throw my I5-2500k and Gigabyte Z68AP into my new Cooler-Master case (lol, geek talk) I frantically slammed the 8GB of Corsair Vengeance DD3 onto the throbbing hulk of technology and fired up my new best friend.

I installed windows 7 from a USB stick to save time and within a few hours I had a fully updated windows installation installation with every driver my system needed (throwing in a post installation Defrag for good measure.)

Then, for the fun stuff. I installed Steam and restored a backup of many of my games. This process was painless and simple. After the backup was restored I ran the Counter Strike Source 'System stress test' to see if my new machine was working okay (this is a ritual for every fresh install I have done since CSS was launched) All was well and I began re-installing my other games.

Eventually my main priorities where done and here is how they faired on my fresh install:

Lord of the Rings Online: I installed the official client from the website, it updated and ran first time without issue. a great result. - Slow update but it was an easy process.

Battlefield 3: I installed the disk version of the game and Origin updated it for me (nice of it I suppose) this game fired up great and other than Battlenet being pants as usual I was happy with the result.

Team Fortress 2:  An easy as pie steam update. No issues.

Bad Company 2: installed from Origin.... Origin, the slowest of all the updater's.

Star Wars - The Old Republic: As you may expect this is the point of this story. I installed the disk version and ran it. The updater/Launcher was broken out of the box so I then had to get we web-installer that has a file called 'LauncherFix' this sort of fixed the launcher (after a massive update and a lot pointless waiting)

The game then let me login. Upon login I was booted directly to desktop. After literally hours of fiddling and Google searching I figured out that there is a hidden 'ini' file for the launcher that specifies the default resolution, this resolution was way out of what my monitor would handle as well as being a strange size and for some reason this is a reason for the game to crash to desktop. I edited the file and the game ran perfectly.

as this fix was so simple I can't help but wonder why Bioware/EA have not fixed it. According to 'internet people' there are a rainbow of little bugs like this that are effecting different people but so far no 'make it work properly first time' patch.

As a technically minded gamer I (on some level) enjoyed the process of fixing the game but if this had have been a title that I cared about less I would have simply uninstalled it. I'm sure that this one minor bug alone has lost the game countless subscription penny's.

If I where a console gamer patching would have been as easy as sliding in a disk and clicking 'X'  - Steam has the right idea about PC gaming/patching. Origin however needs to lay catch up and GFWL needs to be gone or reinvented entirely. Even Desura understands that its important to reduce the barriers between clicking 'play' and being able to actually, you know... playing.

As a PC gamer I know I have to work harder for my gaming lol's but going as far as expecting me to manually edit ini files is a step to far for most users.

- On a side note - I can now play SWTOR at 102 FPS on highest settings, so, in the end it was totally worth it!

Computers are fun!

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