UPDATE Grace Period has been extended! Extra points for Customer Service Cryptic… better late than never!
Firstly, I’d like to say I’ve thoroughly enjoyed Champions Online so far, It is an excellent game, if a little rough around the edges at times. However, we in Europe – and particularly the UK – (Other countries have been affected by some of these issues, but the majority pertain to the EU and the UK) have been left in the lurch in many respects.
The first, which pertains to anyone outside of the Americas, is that there is only one ‘server’ – okay, there are multiple physical servers, but only one world (Like EVE), and they’re all in the one place. Unlike EVE however, this is a high-action game, the closest an MMO gets to a twitch shooter. Ping Matters.
CO is easilly playable at 200ms ping (not quite as low as FPS’s require however) and my ping normally hovers around that. I say normally, because there are times when it spikes nastilly. This leads to horrible rubber banding at times and while I’ve been particularly fortunate on this front, it has happened (particularly at peak times, like Saturday) – and I’ve witnessed my friend Winston playing, and playing with his level of rubber banding made him physically ill. It also made him a useless healer. He shares his connection with his familly though, so his connection is getting used more, but he plays WoW fine, and his ping in FPS games is relativly low, the distance just exaccerbates another problem.
I also found myself being kicked from the server more often during peak times (and no, it was not my connection, as I stayed on Teamspeak the whole time) and yet I hear no complaints on the forums from players in the Americas on this issue.
Secondly is the pre-order Grace Period. The game was released in the EU on Friday, September 4th, when it was dispatched by Royal Mail in the UK. The grace period ended today, Monday 7th September, 3 days later.
Saturday: Local Mail Stike in Bristol – a main thoroughfare for Mail from the Channel Islands (Where many of the pre-order companies hold stock)
Sunday: No Mail Delivered on a Sunday
Monday: Mail Strike Continues.
The only day we had a chance of getting our game delivered was Friday, the day of dispatch, had any of the companies sent the goods out on the 3rd (Which they claimed to have done). Now, I’m not at home at the moment, so it could be that I will get home and it’ll be there. I don’t hold my breath as it could still be at the Bristol sorting office. Tomorrow being the first day they have a chance to sort out the backlog from Saturday, I don’t expect it to arrive till midweek.
If it HAS gotten lost in the mail, I’d have to wait until the 16th before I can claim it as lost goods and get another one sent out.
Cryptic have utterly balls up this ‘grace period’ pallaver. If it were truely a grace period, it’d be until Wednesday, to allow for this kind of thing. They’re behaving like they’ve never released a game before.
I feel slightly ashamed to be filled with such vitriol regarding this but it’s patent stupidity on Cryptic’s part to count a weekend as part of any grace period, let alone a weekend where an entire country has it’s mail system clogged.