Patchy at best

Hurrah its time for another ranty post. This week my chosen subject is MMO client patchers.

For those of you that don’t play MMOs, they tend to have continuous updates released for the game, which automatically patch your files to the latest version when you start-up the game client. At times it can be frustrating but if you regularly playing a game, patches are normally small.

But my main annoyance isn’t at the patches nor at the patchers, it’s more where within the games start-up sequence they sit.

Example 1

I recently tried to start playing Planetside again, (flocking with my old outfit), the only issue is that SOEs method of patching won’t allow you to update the game files without an active subscription (or free-play if they have one running). This means unless I subscribe I can’t get the latest version of the game.

Example 2

I received an email from CCP to re-activate my account for 5 days. Great stuff, I boot up the game, which announces a patch is needed and it downloads the files and my client is update.
All of this occurs with-out me even going near a login box and infact the 5 days hasn’t even been activated yet because I would prefer to use it when I have time available.

I can’t understand why anyone would employ such a old style system any more and indeed recent MMO titles have taken this on board and understand that players don’t want to sit staring at a loading bar for hours of their subscription, welcome-back or even free trail time.