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 NDA is gone as of tomorrow morning

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DragonShark
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PostSubject: NDA is gone as of tomorrow morning   Mon Aug 18, 2008 11:52 am

http://vnboards.ign.com/warhammer_online_age_of_reckoning_general_board/b22997/108251860/p1/?2

From Mark Jacobs


I'm going to be posting a lot over the next few days but here's a quick update/explanation of where things stand now:

1) As to the type of Open Beta that we are having, I've said for over three years that our Open Beta is not going to be a "Everybody come into the pool, the water's fine!" type of Open Beta. We have never been interested in just having hundreds of thousands of people beat against our servers just so a few thousand can get in. I'm not familiar with any MMORPG company offering an OB where they can support everyone who wants in to the OB. OBs are usually limited in the number of servers/amount of bandwidth that is available for the OB players. If you offer an OB with an almost unlimited number of keys (or keys that vastly outnumber server capacity), you're either really using to stress test your login process or doing it solely as a PR move. I'd rather have an OB where we know the size of the potential player pool and have enough servers and bandwidth so people can actually get into our OB. We'll be distributing lots of keys to our OB with our partners, just as other MMO developers have done in the past. More on this down the road a bit.

2) As to the length of the OB, we have never said that it was going to be a month nor have we ever hinted at it that. The vast majority of OBs run by MMORPG companies have not lasted a month. Is a week too short? I wish we could have made it longer (maybe 2 weeks) but the timing just didn't work out. OB is the last hurdle before the game goes LIVE and with the added Preview Weekend, we lost a few days that might have been able to go into the OB. So, for those that pre-ordered the game, the added Preview Weekend gives you some extra time before the OB. For those that haven't pre-ordered the game and are upset that the OB isn't long enough of a time to tell if you like the game, then I'll say the same thing I've also said for years, then wait a few days or a week, etc. until after the game launches and decide then. Frankly, once the NDA lifts and with the information storm that will follow its release, I can't imagine that players won't have enough time and information to make an informed buying decision.

3) As to the lifting of the NDA and the start of Open Beta, I've been very clear on the fact that the two things are not related at all.

4) As to the NDA, we expect to lift it tomorrow morning. I was hoping it was going to be today but I wanted to wait till I got the beta reports from the weekend and we just didn't have enough time to get everything coordinated with our partners in order for the press release to go out today. This is not the fault of GOA at all, we just had a lot of data to go through and by the time we did that, it would have been too late to put out the release today. As to the three issues that were holding up the release, I'll be discussing them tomorrow. While I wish that we could have lifted the NDA a couple of weeks ago, I'll explain why tomorrow. Given how many MMOs/games don't lift the NDA until launch (or just before or in some cases, never), our lifting it more than 4 weeks (only slightly but it's still 4+ weeks out), is more than sufficient for all the information about the game to hit the Internet.

5) As to the "Why am I downloading the client weeks in advance" stuff, well, it's because we wanted to avoid the situation where we tell people that OB is starting in a week and then people couldn't get the client in time. If we had done that, there would have been lots and lots of posts saying "Epic Fail Mythic, I couldn't get the client in time for your OB!!!!' if things went wrong. By allowing people to download the client early, everybody will have plenty of time to get the client. While I'm usually quite willing to admit when we make a mistake, letting people get the client early is not a mistake, it is simply another way to make it easier for people to get the client. Given the issues with the Torrent solution we used, anyone who says that we are wrong to let people download the client early is simply looking to bash us for no reason.

6) As to how people are going to get the client, as has been speculated, we have added FilePlanet to our file distribution methods. As promised, you do not have to be a FP subscriber to download the client. By retaining both our current methods and by adding FP, we are once again making it more convenient for players to get our game. Additionally, when the game goes LIVE, we will be using our own Mythic Patcher to download updates to the game just as we did with DAoC in addition to other possible methods.

So, that's the quick update for now.

Mark

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