Ghost Recon Xbox... Patched?

http://forums.ubi.com/messages/message_view-topic.asp?name=us_ghostrecon_ts&id=zxwdp

–Dave

aha!!! what was saying about the abuse that is sure to come with patching of XBox games?

There we have it :roll:

You know, it really sounds bad when you read that thread, but I have to wonder how many Xbox owners are or were PC gamers and will simply figure it’s no big deal. It sets such a horrible precedent for their service for games to come out like that, apparently rushed to cash in on the Holiday season. The worst thing is the usual bumbling by the publisher who seems unwilling to properly admit to the problems. That probably means many people will be beyond their return period and be stuck trading the game in (for next to nothing) or eating it. Yuck.

I just don’t see how Microsoft can prevent it though unless they’re going to QA everything that comes through their door. Even then, with so many ISPs, so many different brands of cable/DSL modem, etc. etc., there’s always going to be a potential for major screwups. Hopefully, this won’t bleed over into the single player experiences, but it’s certainly a box that, once opened, will never be able to be closed.

–Dave

I don’t know, but it doesn’t look like a game patch to me. It looks like they may have to find a workaround for some ISP’s who don’t perform as well as they should. Is that a patch?

Question
I cannot find any Ghost Recon games online with my Xbox Live. What is wrong?

Answer
When searching for multiplayer games on Xbox Live, you must search through the Opti-Match option. If the search comes back without any results, you may want to continue trying a few times until a list of available games come up. If the game search continues to come up without results, try narrowing down your game search criteria. For example, try selecting certain game types (coop, team, solo) or max players, as search options to narrow down the search.

Also if you are on a cable modem or dsl link that you share with other users you may be running into bandwidth issues. If there are too many other users sharing the connection at the time you are attempting to play the Quality Assurance check that runs when looking for servers may not find any acceptable servers due to bandwidth congestion.

Ubi Soft and Microsoft are looking into this issue. Currently our best guess is that certain ISP’s (Rogers and Shaw mainly) are not able to return server information in the 10 seconds allotted by the MS QoS check or that the ISP for some reason will not give a 200 ms or less ping rate and as such fails the quality check resulting in no servers showing. If we find that this is something that can be fixed via an update over XBL, then we will fix it. The QoS cannot be removed completely as it is a Microsoft requirement. The 10 second check is also hardcoded into Live. We will post back here when we have more information.

A guy with the rank of Technical Support posted this in the thread…I missed it the first time too…which is why I put the question mark on this thread’s subject.

A live update patch addressing the can’t find games issue should be available around the second week of January.

That sounds like a patch to me.

–Dave

Microsoft does QA everything, that’s how you get cert. So do other console makers, it’s standard practice. As for the online thing, every console maker will have the same problems, at least with the hard drive there is a chance to fix things without having to send your disc back.

I was going to quote the exact same passage Reeko did. I’m sure there are plenty of console games in need of patches, but this particular issue does sound like an ISP issue. Games are being hosted by individuals on their Xboxes, not on centralized servers at microsoft HQ-- so they are subject to any ISP problems/restrictions.

But if you read the passage, it’s clear that these are broadband customers having the problem and that some setting in Live may be part of it.

Bottom line, it’s going to require a patch. Welcome to the slippery slope…

As for the online thing, every console maker will have the same problems, at least with the hard drive there is a chance to fix things without having to send your disc back.

Spoken like a true PC game developer.

–Dave

Ubi Soft and Microsoft are looking into this issue. Currently our best guess is that certain ISP’s (Rogers and Shaw mainly) are not able to return server information in the 10 seconds allotted by the MS QoS check or that the ISP for some reason will not give a 200 ms or less ping rate and as such fails the quality check resulting in no servers showing. If we find that this is something that can be fixed via an update over XBL, then we will fix it. The QoS cannot be removed completely as it is a Microsoft requirement. The 10 second check is also hardcoded into Live. We will post back here when we have more information.

Actually, now that I’ve had time to digest this a bit further, I wonder if the fault isn’t with Red Storm after all. Shouldn’t all Xbox live titles have this problem if it’s really an ISP issue? Posters in the forum specifically said that they had no trouble pulling up games in MechAssault on the same Xbox and the same network configuration.

I’ll second that. As an Xbox Live user I have no problems finding Mechassault games. I had assumed that Ghost Recon was not selling well and didn’t have many people starting online games until I read the thread on the Ubi board.

Heh… spoken like a true Xbox hater.

I’m not going to speak in defense of buggy releases, but I think it’s misleading to imply that before the Xbox, console games never needed patches. Bugs are more widespread in PC games, since the QA standards are often lower and decentralized, but console games have their share. The only difference is that you can’t fix them. Or at least you you couldn’t, prior to the Xbox.

I’m not really sure how you can manage to spin this as a bad thing, unless you believe that developers will take this as a carte blanche invitation to ship buggy games. Except that it isn’t really their choice anyway, since MS gets to certify every game before it ships.

How is it bad to have an online patch for the online portion of any game? We might as well bitch about massively multiplayer games needing patches or getting content upgrades.

Vice City has bugs, but it can’t be patched and is single-player. That’s way more problematic then this.

I’m not going to speak in defense of buggy releases, but I think it’s misleading to imply that before the Xbox, console games never needed patches. Bugs are more widespread in PC games, since the QA standards are often lower and decentralized, but console games have their share. The only difference is that you can’t fix them. Or at least you you couldn’t, prior to the Xbox.

No, it is absolutely not misleading to imply that console games didn’t need patches. Console games have never, ever, had the amount of bugs that PC games ship with. You can count on one hand the console games that required any kind of change to their code to fix the game. Most console games don’t ship with any bugs, or if they have them, they’re so minor, you’ll never encounter them or know they exist. This has always been true up to the current consoles.

It’s absolutely nothing like the PC games industry which for the last eight or so years has been rife with unfinished product and gamestopping bugs. PC games are KNOWN for their often chronic failure on people’s computers. So much so that part of the PC gaming vernacular is all the terms associated with constant PC maintenance like driver updates, etc. Not a release goes by without some kind of problem on some kind of hardware. Beyond that, many PC games get game altering patches that both fix bugs that cause crashes to the desktop or change gameplay entirely. PC games are always a moving target. It’s the single least appealing part of PC gaming to the majority of consumers. Those that it appeals to are almost always tweakers of some kind, with as much time to spend futzing with their computer as they spend actually gaming.

I’m not really sure how you can manage to spin this as a bad thing, unless you believe that developers will take this as a carte blanche invitation to ship buggy games. Except that it isn’t really their choice anyway, since MS gets to certify every game before it ships.

It is guaranteed to be a slippery slope. It got by MS QA this time, what’s to stop that from happening again? When Christmas rolls around, not even a company like MS is going to have the resources to dedicate to weeding out all the bugs in their 3rd party releases. That’s obviously what’s happened here. Just because you CAN fix it doesn’t make it a happy occasion. I think your PC colored glasses are clouding your opinion on this one. You’re used to it. Console gamers are absolutely not used to patches of any kind. They just don’t exist and didn’t need to exist until…well…until Microsoft came into the picture.

–Dave

Ever hear of silent revisions?

Oh, and if you didn’t realize it we have worked on one console game before and are currently working on 2 more.

MDK2…yes, I know. I played it on the Dreamcast. It’s a nice game. Very well done. Your company’s bread and butter is PC games though. There’s a big disparity in your publishing portfolio there. But like many PC games makers, you’ve left for the more competitive, greener (so they say) pastures of console games, leaving many angry PC gamers that were looking forward to your Star Wars game behind.

…and no, I’m not one of them.

–Dave

Okay, here’s a cluestick for you. Consoles are on the whole greener pastures because even a moderate hit on a console makes more money than most PC games. There are a few exceptions, but most PC games sell a fraction of the equivalent title on a console. Even with licensing fees, consoles are better once you get up and running (dev kits, etc).

Also, we are making a PC version of KotOR. So, who exaclty are we leaving behind?

Honestly, where do you get your “insight” on the games industry?

P.S. - For a guy that claims to have no bias you come across as the complete opposite.

There’s nothing more annoying than someone saying “I told you so.” Actually, someone saying “I told you so” in reference to something that millions already held to be true is much worse.

I agree. In fact, I said as much in my last post.

You can count on one hand the console games that required any kind of change to their code to fix the game. Most console games don’t ship with any bugs, or if they have them, they’re so minor, you’ll never encounter them or know they exist. This has always been true up to the current consoles.

And it’s still true. This particular problem, in fact, is limited to a group of players (people playing the game online) that you yourself have described as a “very small niche.” The majority of people playing Ghost Recon on the Xbox probably don’t even know there is a bug.

It’s absolutely nothing like the PC games industry which for the last eight or so years has been rife with unfinished product and gamestopping bugs.

I’m going to assume that this means that you have only been playing PC games for eight years, because if not, you are excercising some pretty selective memory here. PC games have always been buggy. The difference was that, in the past, it was harder to fix them. So you lived with the bugs or moved on to another game. Or you spent hours trying to download patches over a BBS, or you had the publisher send you a fix on floppy through the mail. I’ve done all four. Bugs aren’t, like, some sort of new invention of the 90s. And they aren’t exactly a rampant problem in any of the new consoles, either.

PC games are KNOWN for their often chronic failure on people’s computers. So much so that part of the PC gaming vernacular is all the terms associated with constant PC maintenance like driver updates, etc. Not a release goes by without some kind of problem on some kind of hardware.

This problem has more to do with the PC’s open hardware architecture than with buggy software. I’m not sure how it’s relevant, since consoles are, by definition, fixed platforms.

It’s the single least appealing part of PC gaming to the majority of consumers. Those that it appeals to are almost always tweakers of some kind, with as much time to spend futzing with their computer as they spend actually gaming.

I don’t claim to speak for the majority of consumers, but the current state of bugs in PC gaming bothers me very little.

It is guaranteed to be a slippery slope. It got by MS QA this time, what’s to stop that from happening again? When Christmas rolls around, not even a company like MS is going to have the resources to dedicate to weeding out all the bugs in their 3rd party releases.

Why not? Sony does, and they have about a gagillion more releases than MS does. Why can’t we say the same thing of Nintendo? They do plenty of third party games. I’m not sure what your reasoning is, here.

Just because you CAN fix it doesn’t make it a happy occasion.

Happier than if you couldn’t fix it.

I think your PC colored glasses are clouding your opinion on this one. You’re used to it. Console gamers are absolutely not used to patches of any kind. They just don’t exist and didn’t need to exist until…well…until Microsoft came into the picture.

Wow. That’s a pretty sweeping statement based on one bug in one game. I have a whole library of Xbox games that don’t need patches. I guess I just got lucky. For the record, I also have a whole library of GameCube games that don’t need patches (standard disclaimer to avoid firing up the patented Dave Long Anti-Xbox Pro-Nintendo Flame Machine). If there is some sort of trend here that I’m suppoised to be seeing, I don’t see it.

Ever play the original release of Gran Turismo 2?

No, people are known to fuck up their computers. I haven’t had a game refuse to run on my PC in… well, I can’t remember the last time. And I bet if you took any Dell machine built in the last five years off the assembly line, you could run every game not called Strike Fighters on it without problem. It’s only when people load up hundreds of shitty apps, and the typical Windows degradation takes place, that games suffer from “chronic failure to run.”

And yeah, that’s a serious problem. But overall, the “problem” with buggy PC games is overblown. The majority of games released are actually fine; however, it’s the high-end, “gamer” games that have issues. The budgetware and simple games, which a lot of masses buy, are typically fine. There were no major bugs in The Sims or RollerCoaster Tycoon, for example.

You’re used to it. Console gamers are absolutely not used to patches of any kind. They just don’t exist and didn’t need to exist until…well…until Microsoft came into the picture.

They’re not used to patches because there was no way to issue patches. I bet those people who bought Gran Tourismo 2 out of the gate wished they could patch it to make it work. According to a google search, the Japanese version of Sonic Adventure on the Dreamcast, as well as Ready to Rumble for that platform, had serious bug problems.

As all consoles head online, patches will happen because they can. No game ships bug free, not even a console game.