Many PC gamers have been pretty upset with Stardock for early connectivity problems with multiplayer mode in Demigod. Lucky for us, Stardock CEO Brad Wardell has always been forthcoming about his company and how they do things, and he has remained up front during the course of this fiasco.
We posted a statement from Wardell on our Demigod forums yesterday, explaining that on top of the unauthorized early release by GameStop, servers have been struck by a depressingly large number of illegal connections.
"The challenge we're running into is that our NAT facilitator servers are getting hammered by the number of requests. That's the most significant issue as it results in users not being able to connect to each other. The solution to this is partly more servers (which we're doing right now) and partly a code update to connect users without using so many resources. We expect to have this largely resolved in the next 24 hours or so.
The other thing we have to do is isolate the warez users off the main server branch so that legitimate customers aren't competing with the 100k+ warez people playing the game for database resources.
The only reason why we haven't had this happen on other games is because we've never had anything like this many users in such a short amount of time. Sins of a Solar Empire was a huge hit but its success came not from an immediate burst of users but rather sustained long term growth which allowed us to keep enhancing the infrastructure as needed with minimal issues for users."
Wardell has been keeping fans in the know by regularly updating his blog with progress reports. Today, we see the day 2 update, which should have everything fixed for the most part. Still, connectivity errors should be greatly reduced:
+ Connection dialog now allows the host to eject players trying to connect.
+ New NAT Connection Server now isolated so not affected by general server load resulting in much faster, better connectivity.
+ Eliminated check for update on launching the game
+ CVP calls asynchronous (a server hicup on our side is a lot less likely to cause users to be disconnected)
This isn’t a silver bullet. This is basically what Demigod would have been like on day 0 (minus the eject button) if the connection server wasn’t getting pounded.
Even with Stardock code monkeys chained to their desks for hours upon hours, a few kinks may persist before everything can be smoothed out. Wardell notes:
That said, we’ve noticed some issues that you should be aware of that we plan to iron out this week including:
1. Because connections happen much faster in custom games, you can occasionally end up with players in the lobby that aren’t truly connected to everyone. Their ping will be yellow (or 0). The host will need to eject one of those players and have them rejoin.
2. This update does nothing for users who are behind a firewall or router that has ports locked. See http://forums.demigodthegame.com/345345 for tips in that area.
3. Obviously this is an update that we would normally want to run through a 2 or 3 limited beta since major surgery was done to the servers to reduce their load. But we felt strongly that we needed to get a release out that showed improvement for most people. We expect to release another update in the next few days once we can see the effect of the connection server in conditions we consider normal.
Always appreciate an executive who understands the value of transparency. Here's to hoping they iron things out before any more gamers rage.