Two of my friends confirmed that they got into the weekend beta – I guess I would have heard by now if I was in. Oh well.
Just got home to find a mail saying I’m in! OH! It says in a few days but the beta has already started. I better grab the client quick.
Gamespot web page still says that I failed to get into the beta which means there’s no route to the client download. Looking at the beta forums, this is affecting a lot of people – I suspect all the people that got late keys on Friday. Someone else has posted a link to a set of four .rar files so I’m downloading the first two parts. It’s estimating 50 hours. This isn’t good.
I got the first two files by noon and started the download for the other two .rar files … but it’s crawling – estimating 70 hours. Meanwhile, Gamespot have fixed things so that they acknowledge I’m on the beta. I install their download software. It immediately crashes with an offer to let Microsoft know about the error. I decline and uninstall and try again with the same result. As the beta is running until Monday afternoon, it seems sensible to spend Saturday working so I can play on Monday. I leave the .rar files downloading.
Feeling distinctly annoyed now. I try to remind myself that this doesn’t mean the game has problems – the journey is not the same as the destination. But at the moment it feels like total chaos.
Still showing 30 hours, I’m starting to get nervous. I go to the tech forums where there seem to be a fair amount of people in the same position as I am, unable to get the download. It’s pretty much a Gamespot issue but that’s not stopping the threats to cancel pre-orders etc. The situation is made worse because the boards are open so full of people who did not make it onto the beta. Every reference to can’t download / can’t login is responded to by five people saying “In that case, can I have your key?” There’s a rapidshare link that people are recommending as having a decent download rate. It doesn’t, really, but I’m not convinced these .rar files will ever finish. As my bandwidth is not the limiting factor, I can’t see any reason not to try for both. I go to bed.
The .rar files have finished, hurrah! The other download is showing 30 min to run so I leave it and twitter to all my friends that I finally have the client. I should have installed first: it seems very, very slow. My fears turn out to be correct, the extraction fails stating that some installations files are corrupt and asking me to download a fresh copy. Ugh.
I check the beta forums. Various posts with installation issues receive bitter responses accusing the poster of incompetence and undeserving to be on the beta. I decide against posting.
I wait for the other download to complete – actually an executable pulling all the files down. I finally notice it has exited silently. I find it and run it again – I was tired and grumpy last night and had thought it was a patcher. Now I can see it’s a Funcom downloader which has dropped a set of files and setup.exe into my downloads folder. This might be it!
I cross everything: fingers, toes, I sacrifice chickens to roads, the lot. For the first time I appear to be getting somewhere. For a moment I think it might be stalled but there’s a friendly message warning me that it might take a long time.
I should go look at the tech problems again to see what I should be watching out for but I’m not sure I can face it. I’ll allow my first impression to stand-alone and try not to blame the game too much for the issues I had getting it.
It took an hour to install the software. Finally got a launch option – at which point the launcher starts downloading a 5MB update. It’s pretty fast now so I read through the known issues while I wait. It finishes and then patches the game – another 204MB – estimating yet another hour. I’m bored now.
Sunday Late Afternoon:
Hurrah! I’m in!