As “Umbra” anounced in 2011 and now as “Wolcen: Lords of Mayhem” released after ~9.5 years later in February 2020.
What a ruckus is going on the last days, since the days before the release of Wolcen: Lords of Mayhem. But to that I will come later on, because first I have to tell you that I didn’t really had Wolcen in my view until my friends told me they want to play this game and it is gonna be released soon. When I first looked into this game it was in Early Access (Beta) a few days before release and a lot of content was still missing. Not so bad, because it’s still in Beta I thought wrongly at this moment. Not only because the reviews on steam were mostly positive, but also because I was naive and didn’t looked into the history of the game developement.
Let’s start with the media in Germany. We have the GameStar a gaming magazine and website which got a wrong review build of the game. Their results of testing the game were quite disappointing. Bugs, glitches and crashes would occure frequently (espeacially at chapter 2 and further) and hinder you to have a good time with the game (Review: https://www.gamestar.de/artikel/wolcen-im-test-wie-konnte-das-passieren,3354194.html). The developer appoligized later on and clearified that they accidentely gave out an wrong build.
But the build that was given accidentely, was just three weeks old and so you got a glimpse of the problems that propably could occure on release day.
Release day: Thursday 13th Feburary 2020
Going live was estimated for 6 p.m. CET and so it did. Everyone had to download a ~15gb patch or to completly reinstall the game (if you did how the developer suggested). After this I tried to play right away online (6:30 p.m.), but as I thought beforehand, it wasn’t possible. I couldn’t connect to the servers and after half an hour trying to do so, I just started to play offline.
While I didn’t found many bugs so far, the Steam Discussiones are filling up with a lot of diffrent problems.
Day 2: Friday 14th February 2020
Me and my friends could connect online to play together after a lot of connection problems. We were a party of two in the beginning. The connection worked fine ingame, but when friend three wanted to join, it wasn’t possible. We had to leave both the party and game session to join number threes party to play with him. Then with friend four the same problem. After that friend three was walking backwards, while lagging, ingame the whole evening. On his computer everything was fine, but for our party he was just a glitching mess. Luckily it hadn’t any impact on the gameplay and we could play together the whole evening without any further network problems.
While there were no further network problems ,we had the same problems that are mentioned a lot in the Steam Discussion threads, like invisible walls or not attackable enemys. But at least nothing game breaking so far.
Day 3: Saturday 15th February 2020
The server were set on maintanence to solve a lot of online problems. Like connection errors and lost progress, but also wrong skill point calculation and lost items. The maintenance should go until 6 p.m CET. Later on we would know it won’t end on Saturday and go on, at least until Sunday.
For all of us meant that, we would only play offline today. Were I also expierencied the problems like invisible walls and not attackable enemys. But so far no data loss or anything game breaking, probably because im not in chapter two yet.
Day 4: Sunday 16th February 2020
At around 12 p.m. CET via Twitter we got informed that the servers are still offline and the database is getting fixed, but the developer still need some more time to do so.
When the game was to release I didn’t really expected that the online servers would be working. When did they really work the last years on other releases for example Diablo 3 or other online games? It was to expect that that also happens to this indie developer. For me it was more problematic that they put so much new things into the release version that wasn’t tested before. Like the female character and character customization or chapter two and three. Even worse is that chapter one has bugs like invisible walls in it. That was the chapter that was tested in beta on mass and shouldn’t have any bugs in it, but it has.
Even more problematic than the bugs is their communication. You would expect they would use the Steam Discussions instead of Twitter ( https://twitter.com/wolcengame ) or Reddit to inform about the current development. Steam is their release platform of choice and they barely use it for the communication. Not only is their choice of the plattform questionable but also the information or better the choices of words.
They raise expectations and then let you down when they can’t fullifill them. So its just normal when everyone is upset when you say the maintenece goes until 6 p.m. but then it is extended until the next day. When the game started on Kickstarter they also raised the expectations. Later they had to lower them, after they cut off some features like the open world part of the game. The whole situation kinda reminds me on “No Mans Sky”. Hopefully they will recover from it as good as “No Man Sky” did.
The foundation of the game is solid. If they update the game regularly it could be a next Path of Exile or Diablo, but in it current state its more likely to die than to live on. Even if I have fun at least in the moment.
I also read that they had to release the game now, because they run out of money. But don’t take these words of mine as a confirmation for this.
I at least hope, that they will work on this game for long and release new content over time (hopefully for free) and get rid of all those nasty bugs and problems in short time. So that the game can raise and be a competitior for Path of Exile 1 & 2 and Diablo 3 & 4.
And at last just a suggestion for all those who just rage about the game right now:
Refund the game or write some usefull feedback for the developer. The huge raging comments with just hate in it won’t help them or us to get a better game. The developer won’t work or solve problems faster.
Don’t get me wrong. The game shouldn’t be released in this state, but it was. So we have to do the best with our current options, if we want to play this game on a longtime basis. If you kill it now with all those hate and negativity, we propably won’t see any development in the next years. In the end, money is what they need to work on this game and if you rate this game negative just because of some downtime of the server to release, I hope you will rate it positive if the problems are solved.
In the end neither of us wanted this to happen so lets look into the future and hope that we get a good game then.