I never thought about it before, but ordering a MMO through Steam presents problems. Case-in-point I was expecting to log into the Star Trek Online head start with little incident Friday night after getting home from work. I had made sure I downloaded and patched the client through Steam after removing the beta client I had downloaded through Filefront. That was a massive mistake.
Initially I thought a new patch had been deployed for the head start and was disappointed that Steam was downloading something that was going to take approximately 3 hours. That was until I started looking through the STO community forums and found a plethora of scathing threads spitting venom at Steam, Cryptic and the world in general. After donning my hazmat suit I began digging through the threads and the cause of why Steam was downloading a 10gb file became apparent.
You see, Steam has this little nervous-twitch which rears its ugly head because Steam is OCD at removing corrupt files. When I patched the STO client through the STO launcher, that caused a red flag to be raised as the checksum of the files Steam thought were there had changed. Thusly Steam removed this corruption and when I clicked on my STO launcher Steam began downloading the entire client again. /facepalm.
Fortunately through all of the steaming hatred and threats of litigation there were a handful people that were helpful in providing a solution. That solution entailing the disabling of Steam updates for STO and running the STO launcher directly. It solved the issue for me once the client had finished downloading again and I haven’t had an issue since. Supposedly Steam and Cryptic have already resolved this issue and Steam no longer deems the client corrupt, but I’d still be weary of any future STO patches and how Steam handles them.
So while Steam fucked up the head start launch day for Steam users, Cryptic wasn’t without issue either. I’m baffled over the decision to make preorder bonuses unavailable until Tuesday. For some this meant that the head start was pointless if they had planned on playing as a joined trill. I decided to just play as a regular trill as an extra 500 skill points didn’t end up being a deal-breaker for me. I was anxious to get in-game and get going in earnest on becoming a cruiser captain.
My goal is to reach Lieutenant Commander before the game officially goes live. I’m about halfway there as I reached Lt 5th grade last night despite my limited game-time so far. My impressions of the game haven’t changed much but I have to say that I’m impressed with the server stability so far in the head start. There has been some lag, but other than a random disconnect I haven’t had much issue with being able to play the game.
Now once the game does go live on Tuesday all bets are off. I’m still preparing myself for days, if not weeks, of server stability issues which is one reason I want to reach Lt.Commander by Tuesday. By setting my expectations so low I hope to avoid being disappointed and giving Cryptic a chance to impress me with the game not being a disaster upon arrival. Star Trek is a very popular IP and I’m sure that the servers will take a severe beating on Tuesday.
I’ve committed to giving STO at least a month to grow and develop and I am hopeful that eventually STO will be an awesome game all around. There’s a ton of potential with the game and I’ve only seen very little of what the game has to offer. I can’t wait to jet around in a cruiser and kick some dominion arse. You can expect many more updates involving STO for the coming days and weeks. I may even go into detail of my in-game endeavors as I once did with Final Fantasy XI when I started this blog.