No joke: Patch 2.400 a major disaster

He's really disappointed this time.

He's really disappointed this time.

I have really, really tried to give Relic/THQ the benefit of the doubt. Not just in print here at Rifles Ready!, where I’ve largely refrained from any outraged outbursts, but mentally, all the time. These geniuses made COH not only one of the best RTS games ever, but one of the best WWII games as well. Clearly something has happened at Relic. Either the geniuses are gone, replaced with significantly more incompetent people, or the geniuses have suddenly had their brains sucked out by aliens and are now retards. I guess it’s also possible that, following the established patterns of most gaming companies, now that 90% of the profits on a product have been made, there’s just about zero financial sense in supporting it vigorously. In the context of my “gaming company of geniuses” analogy, this would be like the corporate paymasters allowing the geniuses one hour a month to support COH.

A few days ago I referenced the Captain Picard facepalm with tongue firmly in cheek, celebrating April Fool’s Day. Given the laughable state of 2.400, a Picard facepalm alone is no longer sufficient.

"No words, Number One. No words for this."

"No words, Number One. No words for this."

Maybe you haven’t seen the 2.400 bug list? Well, here’s a few bile-provoking highlights:

  • Tiger crew has no speech.
  • MGs switching targets while garrisoned.
  • Gliders can be landed in Axis HQ sectors.
  • AT guns, Flak 88, Howitzers, and Nebelwerfers cannot be repaired.
  • Audio announcements (under attack, unit complete etc) are half as loud as they were, and hardly noticeable if anything is going on onscreen.
  • The capture sector audio notification mixes up fuel and ammo.
  • All vehicles (tanks, light armor and most unarmored vehicles) get stuck when moving near a Kettenkrad. The unit will not move until you order the Kettenkrad to another location.
  • Map goes black when M8 collides with building.
  • Commando artillery now drops onto the map one second after being called in.
  • Officer Artillery from the RCA British doctrine drops instantly as soon as it is used.
  • All mortar barrages can only be used in areas with line of sight, but no longer in the fog of war
  • picard_wtfHow the flying f*ck do you manage to remove audio from a unit, grant MGs free-fire abilities and prevent units from being repaired ACCIDENTALLY? How the hell is COH coded on the inside? It feels like most of these bugs could only occur if legitimate patch changes, like adjusting tank penetration and range values, were tied to ALL SORTS OF RANDOM SHIT, like audio notifications and such.

    Even if this were the case (and COH would rank as the most poorly programmed game of all time if true), there is no way bugs this significant could have been missed during QA testing. It feels fair to say there was no meaningful QA testing done on patch 2.400.

    I tried to list the most game-breaking bugs, most of which have actually been reproduced and confirmed by Relic. You can click the above link for the full list of bugs (in fairness some of them probably existed in 2.301 and a few probably are one-time flukes).

    We’re being told these bugs will be squashed quickly, with the biggest ones being fixed in patch 2.500 (to release alongside COH: Tales of Valor). Patch 2.501 will follow suit, and this will mop up whatever is left. But this is no excuse. One YEAR to release this shit? Tales of Valor is the last Relic game I’m buying. If COH2 rolls around, I’ll reconsider. But I’m done with this fucking company.


    15 Responses to No joke: Patch 2.400 a major disaster

    1. Weslanator44 says:

      They better fix the bugs…FAST! On the other hand all the things that were fixed made the patch worth the wait. All we can do is hope and pray that Relic will fix everything.

    2. colonelcommissar says:

      Hmm, while I share your sentiments regarding the year-long patch (and its respective feth-ups), for me personally, I think its too preemptive to say: “I’ll never buy from *this* company ever again”, or something to that effect. As someone else posted in the forums, a great game judged on its own merits will be purchased, regardless of which company developed / published it.

      Anyways, re: patch – I’m just going to sit tight and wait for the next patch release and hope that everything goes down well. While this might sound like wishful thinking, in my mind there isn’t another RTS game out there that can compete with CoH in terms of strategic depth, fun and/or coolness. As such, there isn’t much you can really do except hope for better next time. Besides, at least they’ve acknowledged the problems (thanks to the community) and are (hopefully!) working on rectifying them.

      Note: Apologies to Starcraft lovers, but I’ve never been a fan – I played for several hours and (1) couldn’t distinguish between the different buildings, and (2) was given the immediate impression of old C&C gameplay (i.e. Power Plant > Rax > WarFactory > 50 *insert unit* > win). 😀

    3. Michael Schmidt says:

      I get the feeling they had to bring new coders on board to replace the original ones that quit, and they hacked what was there to make the changes, and rather sloppily. Hard to imagine how such random bugs could be realized otherwise.

    4. And? says:

      I am amused.

    5. @ Comissar — We know there are companies out there that do not compromise on supporting their games. Blizzard is one. It’s not like there’s no working model of what a great gaming company should look like.

      Take even crappy old EA for instance. Never has a C&C or Red Alert patch come out that introduced crazy, insane bugs that had nothing to do with the changes. It stretches the mind to think about the Rube-Goldberg-like connection between the 2.400 audio/MG-targeting bugs and the balance changes that were actually made.

      And this happened more than once, even PRIOR to 2.301, when presumably the “original coders” were still working there.

    6. Michael Schmidt says:

      Well, then, if it happened when the original coders were on board, then this is especially pitiful. I can’t imagine how they could get a project of this size working with messy code like that. I would NOT want to be the person trying to debug this, I’ll tell you that.

    7. General_II says:

      I imaging that there may be some rush or inefficiency going on with Relic trying to get a patch out for Dawn of War II.

    8. Bitter Boy says:

      The patch seemed needless in the first place. It’s perfectly acceptable to stop making major gameplay changes to a game that doesn’t sell anymore. You had to have known that the patch would be a fiasco when it took a year to make, and most of the changes were made to things that weren’t broken in the first place. Sounds like they outsourced the programming to India and didn’t actually translate to the new programmers what they wanted them to do.

    9. Yes, English-language translation issues! That’s the one possibility that explains the mind-blowing randomness of the bugs, WITHOUT requiring the internal code to be an unorganized shitfest/clusterfuck.

      In all seriousness, Relic should’ve outsourced the patching to a few dedicated community folks. I’m going to go and struggle bitterly to be grateful that we got a new patch AT ALL.

    10. Logabob says:

      Battle For Middle Earth 2 was one of EA’s popular RTS games for a little while (i.e. until they rolled out their next PoS), but it’s balance was atrocious. So eventually, EA just worked with Gamereplays to bring out a balance patch, which was done completely by MaDDox (from GR) if I recall correctly. The patch was fantastic and really breathed life into a game which up till then had potential and little else.

      It really makes me wish that Relic would work with GR in the same manner.

      You’re entitled to your opinion, but I will point out that you have vastly understated what Starcraft actually is and don’t seem to grasp it at a deeper level.

    11. colonelcommissar says:

      @ Corkscrew; fair enough re: your opinion in terms of never buying Relic again, that’s up to you. I might just add that I love CoH as much as a hardcore fan can (it is hands down the only PC game I play week in and week out these days) – and while I’m frustrated at the multitude of bugs found in patch 2.4 (plus the 1 year development timeframe), I’m not going to let that frustration creep into my enjoyment of the game.

      I console myself with the fact that Relic does have a liaison working with the community, that another patch is anticipated in the near future (lol, I won’t insert a joke re: time here, there’s plenty enough in the forums), and that there are other dedicated fans of CoH out there, who are also frustrated at the time and [apparent] ‘effort’ put into such an appalling patch – and who are willing to voice their doubts, concerns and objections to the way Relic has handled things.

      Although none of the aforementioned factors justify the state of the patch, it reassures me that Relic will pull it through in the end, even if it means that we have to wait. In the meantime, I’m going to continue playing CoH 2.4 and wait to see what 2.5 brings.

      @ Logabob; I’m aware of Starcraft’s position as the most balanced, most played, most successful (etc) RTS game of all time – I was merely stating that the game itself wasn’t my idea of great gaming. Perhaps if I’d spent 20+ more hours on it than I had, maybe I would’ve looked upon it with the same kinda perspective that I do with CoH.

      As it goes, I had no intention of disparaging Starcraft – I simply called it as I saw it. However, I must say that I get worried when I’m told that I don’t grasp a game at a deeper level… of consciousness perhaps (?) – like a religion? j/k 😀

    12. Logabob says:

      @ commissar
      By “deeper level” I mean your immediate impression that it was like C&C’s primitive build & spam point and click gameplay is just that; an immediate, superficial impression. For instance, CoH and SC have more in common than SC and C&C; such as a tactical counter system instead of a hard-counter system, or faction-unique tech trees. The macro respect is what makes SC appear like C&C on the surface, but it is drastically more complex.

    13. My friend on Facebook shared this link with me and I’m not dissapointed at all that I came here.

    14. […] comes the medicine. TOV comes hand-in-hand with patch 2.501, which solves many problems from the unmitigated disaster of 2.400, but introduces even bigger gamebreakers. The Pak 38 seems to gain offensive first-strike damage […]

    15. Joellen says:

      Hola , Happy Fool’s Day!!

      There is an envelope on the windshield with a note of apology and two tickets to a music concert. The note reads, “I apologize for taking your car, but my wife was having a baby and I had to hot-wire your ignition to rush her to the hospital. Please forgive the inconvenience. Here are two tickets for tonight’s concert of Garth Brooks, the country-and-western music star.”
      Their faith in humanity restored, the couple attends the concert and returns home late. They find their house has been robbed. Valuable goods have been taken from throughout the house, from basement to attic. And, there is a note on the door reading, “Well, you still have your car. I have to put my newly born kid through college somehow, don’t I?”

      Happy April Fool’s Day!

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