After The Storm, The Patching

By Alec Meer on November 6th, 2008 at 11:03 pm.

So, most of the season’s biggest games have landed on our hard drives by now, which means two things will follow in their wake:

1) A torrent of finely-detailed complaints about this, that and the other feature. With maybe the occasional compliment thrown in for good measure.
2) Patches!

There tends to be this weird two-sided coin for PC versions of big games – on the hand they often don’t receive quite as much spit’n'polish as the console versions, which is at least partly because there’s no Microsoft or Sony certification hoops to jump through. On the other, that lack of certification means fixing up minor holes can happen a lot more quickly. Case in point – in the last couple of days, two very recent biggies have already seen their first patches: Fallout 3 and Far Cry 2.

Let’s start with the former, because the details are dulldulldull:

Fixed occasional crashes when exiting the game or using Alt F4 to exit.
Fixed crashes when using Alt-Tab while binks or credits were playing.
The game now restarts properly after title updates finish installing.

Which is important stuff even if it’s not fun to talk about, and hopefully suggests Bethesda should be pretty on the ball about sorting out further bugs. Have you lot any particular requests? Oh – you can grab the 6.59Mb patch from here .

FC2′s sounds a bit more significant, sorting out a whole bunch of stuff in both single and multiplayer, as well as adding 5.1 sound support and a benchmark mode. There’s also a list of other issues currently being nosed at here. Full patch notes below, and again, what bugs/failings d’you reckon especially needs a fix sharpish?

Multiplayer

- Server’s IP address now displays in lobby, beside the match’s name (for direct IP join to work)
- Dedicated Server can now be launched in command line.
- Improved match start conditions. Ranked games can now also start if the player max is attained and everybody but the host is ready.
- Fixed a bug causing random crashes when joining a game.
- Ranked matches in progress will no longer display in the match list.
- Fixed players with same name by using identifiers instead of names.
- Fixed crash when creating a LAN game without a network cable.
- The diamond pool is now always validated after class upgrades, reset or rank up to avoid getting more diamonds than you are supposed to for your rank.
- When creating a dedicated server with PunkBuster enabled, then close it to create another but this time with PunkBuster disabled, PunkBuster will still be considered ON, on this new server.
- Fixed a problem where a player could get stuck (and couldn’t get killed) after pressing the interaction key while wounded and getting rescued by a teammate at the same time.
- Fixed players getting disconnected if they have too many user maps and try to enter the map rotation menu in a Player or Ranked match.
- Vehicles will now always respawn even if they are never used.
- Fixed users not being able to see a match if the host switched match mode after a rank.
- Fixed a glitch that could make a player invisible to another.
- Fixed incorrect check for negative values when adjusting diamond count.
- Fixed a problem where a player would render through objects if healing a wounded playing while being wounded at the same time.
- Fixed reload not being interrupted on the host when a client picks a weapon while reloading.
- Fixed Field Manuals not unlocking after game mode change.

Singleplayer

- Fixed health not changing with the difficulty level.
- Keyboard controls remapping in single mode now carry into multiplayer mode.
-A buddy will no longer get stuck when healing him while player is receiving damage.
- Stats of favourite weapon are now properly reset between loaded save games.
- The mortar will no longer move the player through wall.
- Mission objectives markers are now show properly after loading a save game.

General

- Fixed glider key remapping.
- Game will now minimize in order to show the website when clicking on ubi.com.
- Dolby 5.1 is now supported for most sound cards.
- Fixed a random crash that could happen when pressing ESC to cancel a Benchmark run.
- Added CPU Intensive benchmark test run.
- Fixed Jackal Tapes and Partner Tapes pages.

Map editor

- Fixed crash in editor when deleting many objects in very rapid succession.
- Fixed crash in editor during parsing of the map headers.

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106 Comments »

  1. Chis says:

    Will RPS have a Fallout 3 “shakedown” at some point? We’ve had a post about Far Cry 2, and many already about Left 4 Dead. A post-mortem is due for Stalker Clear Sky, also.

    Fallout 3 really isn’t much more than Oblivion in a different setting, with guns. Maybe that IS worth 9/10 to some, but ugh… the writing and map design both seem so uninspired after ploughing through Stalker.

  2. Pags says:

    “- The mortar will no longer move the player through wall.”

    Quite possibly one of my favourite fixes since the legendary Boiling Point’s multiple patches.

  3. Chis says:

    Uninspired, not “inferior”.

    Anti-troll should attempt to expand their vocabulary before replying.

    Anyway on-topic: I’m playing FO3 on a fairly fresh install of XP, very little background tasks outside of AV and audio control panel. It’s crashed on me a few times, VATS sometimes screws up: it becomes slow, none of the clickable targets appear and it’s impossible – most of the time – to get out of it, without exiting to the main menu.

    But, hats off to Beth for no DRM, that alone deserves a sale. Their brand of dungeon-crawling, somewhat soulless though it is, is still quite compelling. Hardly feels different to Oblivion though.

  4. Chis says:

    That was NOT directed to you, Pags, but a poster who’s post has since been removed. Apologies for the confusion.

    Boiling Point… now there’s a game I’ve hardly touched, but found totally fascinating when it had my attention. More fun than Far Cry 2, if you ask me.

  5. Biff says:

    Fallout 3 needs a fix so you don’t accidentally skip large chunks of the main quest while doing some perfectly innocent exploring.

  6. Vivian says:

    Does the FO3 patch bugger yr saves? Cos if it does I’m not touching it with yours.

    PS dunno how it compares to the others cos I havent played them, but I’m a huge looking glass fan, I’m not completely uneducated. and this game is fucking awesome.

  7. Doctor Doc says:

    They did nothing about Far Cry 2… just a lot of mumbo jumbo that no one asked for.

    What the about almost instantly respawning enemies? What about the low FOV on widescreen? Bioshock took forever to fix the exact same problem too (FOV that is), but that is not an excuse to ignore such a simple problem that is so easy to fix.

  8. Kadayi says:

    @Vivian

    No your saves are unaffected by the patch.

  9. Pags says:

    Not to worry Chris, had a feeling it wasn’t directed at me though the lack of another post did confuse me a tad.

    On the topic of comical fixes, does anyone remember the website which essentially just listed all the ludicrous things the patches fixed? I remember almost busting a lung from laughter reading it.

  10. Pags says:

    The patches for Boiling Point*

  11. Larington says:

    I’m really enjoying Fallout 3 and so are quite a few other folks on the course I’m on. Something thats note-worthy is the way that some people have referred to “Oblivion with guns” as being a bad thing, whilst away from the internet I’ve heard it used as a complement. Yes, thats right, a complement.

    Some memory loading/clearance patching on FO3 might be a good idea though, I’m getting limited stutter in the game after having saved/loaded a bit during play (Usually after arriving in a large out-door area) though this is easily fixed by just restarting the game, which doesn’t take long at all.

    The animations can sometimes seem a bit odd if I’m paying attention, but often times I’m too busy doing things to notice.

    Visiting one of the other vaults has freaked me the heck out (Think musicians and you’ll know which one I mean) and as such I’m looking forward to seeing if the other vaults pull off the same effect.

  12. reiver says:

    “Fallout 3 needs a fix so you don’t accidentally skip large chunks of the main quest while doing some perfectly innocent exploring.”

    Thats an end-user malfunction and not in Bethesda’s power to fix. It’s a massive step forward for them to have a consistent approach to the world. Rather than hiding things behind special key doors or arbitrarily spawning them when you trigger the set piece. OB’s world was all the weaker for feeling like it revolved solely around you and Fallout’s world is the stronger for that sense of existence beyond your stimulus.
    You don’t miss out on anything btw all the fed-ex quests are still there just for different rewards. the game adapts suprisingly well to most deviances (try killing 3 dog!).

  13. TheLordHimself says:

    I was getting a little bored of Fallout 3 until I got that hypo gun thing of the slavers. Its just so much fun that thing.

  14. plague says:

    Is the FC2 multiplayer actually worth it? Is anyone playing? I haven’t bothered firing it up.

  15. Meat Circus says:

    Oh my, yes. Fallout 3 is quite the buggy little bitch.

    The more I play, the more frequent bouts of stuttering, CTDs, and complete lockups become.

    PATCH GET!

  16. shon says:

    Quick Fallout3 note. My girlfriend loves Fallout 1 and 2, and can’t play a FPS to save her life. So far she is having a blast with the game and is really happy with the VATS system. I had to help her with picking locks but so far she is enjoying it.

  17. Tei says:

    I love how Fallout feel like a world and not like a game. Even stuff like computers are not overused to describe the world, are here, because are supposed to be here.
    And I have very litte to no crashes.

  18. rabbitsoup says:

    I like fallout 3 less than oblivion purely because the mele combat worked better than the shooting. Although I think this only because I’m used to playing proper FPS but i find the combat lacks a sense or danger or urgency. anyone else find this.

    Also why is it brown OR grey, only 2 colours and they wont mix them. I really cant wait for the mods though having installed FCOM on oblivion made it last an extra year :) but why should it be modders making it fun?

  19. Chris Evans says:

    No love for the Gal Civ 2 mega patching?

    Tut tut ;)

  20. Matt says:

    I was having mega problems with FO3 to begin with. CTDs, random freezes, etc. All seemed related to a tiny ‘rip’ kinda sound I heard whilst playing in headphones. I heard something called ‘ffdshow’ should be disabled to fix it, but I didn’t have that installed so I didn’t think that could be it. But as a last resort I installed ffdshow and asked it to stop using fallout3.exe in one of the settings menus, and since then it hasn’t crashed once. Tis worth a try if anyone is still having problems.

    I’m now free to listen to Danny Kaye and the Andrews Sisters’ “Civilisation” whilst watching the sunrise over the ruined DC skyline. Post-apocalyptia ftw!

  21. manintheshack says:

    Is anyone else having the Audigy bug in FC2? Possibly the worst bug I’ve ever encountered. Every time I reach for syrettes in a medkit my sound card causes the comp to bluescreen and crash. It’s not mentioned in the patch notes which is a pain in the arse because switching to crappy onboard sound is tedious and bad quality. I really can’t go back to that game until that’s fixed and it’s quite a common issue according to the Ubi forums. Tsk.

  22. unique_identifier says:

    manintheshack:

    yeah, my mate has the same bug. of all the places it could bluescreen, hey?

    I’m amused that there’s no mention of hovering zebras or mercs falling out of the sky to their death in the patch notes, but honestly I feel the game is all the more interesting for it.

  23. wcaypahwat says:

    Fallout is a terrible game. If only because its been causing me to go to bed at 5am every night/morning.

    I’ve only had it crash a few times, but I kindof expected it, since Oblivion was hardly the most stable game on my system.

    I’m off now, to see if I can’t eliminate those fould Brotherhood scum from the wastes

  24. Pags says:

    Quick Fallout3 note. My girlfriend loves Fallout 1 and 2, and can’t play a FPS to save her life. So far she is having a blast with the game and is really happy with the VATS system. I had to help her with picking locks but so far she is enjoying it.

    You lucky, lucky person.

  25. Y3k-Bug says:

    To those with issues where VATS slows down the game to a crawl:

    Yet another bug. Turn off AA completely to fix the issue until a patch is released to fix it.

  26. Digit says:

    I would also be interested in hearing a sort of ‘second glance’ at Fallout 3 as I’m wary post-Oblivion which in my humble opinion was broken and unplayable. I would love to get Fallout 3, I’m just not over my fear of being Bethesda’ed.

  27. PleasingFungus says:

    Yeah, ditto Y3K-Bug’s comment on VATS. I did exactly that when I was noticing a problem, and the VATS slowdown very nearly vanished.

    The only bug that bothers me right now is the goddamn Big Town invisi-robots, but that’s fairly minor, so… whatever.

    Lovely game overall. Like Oblivion with guns – that is, excellent.

  28. spd from Russia says:

    FO3 is not “Oblivion with guns”
    its “Stalker with VATS”

  29. Ben Abraham says:

    @Y3K-Bug

    I get that one all the time! But I don’t wanna turn off AA =(

  30. malkav11 says:

    Fallout 3 has DRM. It just has the old-fashioned disc-check kind – SecuROM or Starforce, depending on region. It’s a lot better than limited installs or server activation, but it’s not no DRM.

    Neither Far Cry 2 nor Fallout 3 has exhibited any behavior in the last couple weeks of play that I could identify as buggy, for me. I guess my system loves me.

  31. Mr. President says:

    Does the patch fix inability to reassign some of the controls? Being forced to run Autohotkey every time I run FO3 is the only thing that bothers me really.

  32. Jeremy says:

    “Fallout 3 has DRM. It just has the old-fashioned disc-check kind – SecuROM or Starforce, depending on region. It’s a lot better than limited installs or server activation, but it’s not no DRM.”

    Really? I bought FO3 and FC2 at the same time, immediately installed FO3, then took out the cd and installed FC2. I’ve never been asked to insert the CD for FO3. If it makes any difference, I bought the english version at an import shop in Japan.

    Incidentally, FO3 gets WAY more of my time, and will occupy my whole life once I get the new 37″ installed this weekend :D

  33. unclelou says:

    I am enjoying Fallout 3 a lot – much more than I thought I would.

    Yes, the writing and voice-acting is mostly a bit uninspired, but otherwise it is very, very good. It’s a game that really rewards exploration, and many of the quests are surprisingly well done. VATS is great (though it could have done with a few more options like aimed shots and running) and absolutely necessary to surive, not just a token gesture.

    While they don’t really hit the tone of the Fallout 1/2 universe all that often, you can tell they do love the universe, and the attenion to detail in the game is staggering.

    I am one of those who did like Oblivion, but nevertheless wasn’t too happy with Bethesda doing Fallout 3, and while I still would have preferred an iometric, turn-based FO3 with better writing, it’s much better than I expected.

  34. unclelou says:

    Forgot something: it’s running like a charm for me. I haven’t had a single crash or other significant bug in 30 hours.

  35. Stromko says:

    I was squarely pissed off by how the ‘good’ path for the ritzy hotel quest (you’ll know the one) went, which is a good sign for how much Fallout 3 managed to rope me into its world after 3 days of solid play. That I took a karma hit for wasting a guy who just slaughtered some 30-odd NPCs (including 3 named, dialogued, and all-around ‘good’ characters) after I’d convinced said victims to let the interlopers live with them was just.. senseless. Especially as I had no dialogue or other route whereby my character, or any other character involved, would actually take issue with the wholesale and needless slaughter of innocents.

    That everything I’d done and experienced before then made some semblance of sense, or at least didn’t get past my suspension of disbelief, has convinced me that Fallout 3 has a very engaging, consistent narrative overall. Enough that I’d give even that nasty turn of events a shadow of a doubt, thinking, “Hey, the worst possible result came from my best efforts, I guess that’s supposed to be.. kind of a ‘moral’ story.”

    I don’t think Fallout 3 is ‘Oblivion with Guns’, it’s more like, ‘Oblivion with far superior worldcrafting and storytelling’.

  36. Tei says:

    My only problem with Fallout 3 is that is supersort. I have pay like $60 for this game and already complete. A RPG game is supposed to stay for years, not days.
    Now I have restored a old savegame, and I am exploring *everything*. Withouth the feel of urgency, is not that fun, but there are nice stuff, like the Antagonist v|||STOP…. I don’t want to spoil the game to other people :-)

  37. Tei says:

    There are real green trees in DC? I would love to get to that area. too much grey and grey and brown.

  38. MCDeuce says:

    My one big problem with FO3 was, oddly enough, customizing the hairstyle and facial features. My character’s head would always appear below the bottom of the viewer in the customization thingy — I could see the tips of a mohawk and a bit of sunburned skin, but that was it.

    Just installed the patch, and this also appears to be fixed. After a quick nip over to the plastic surgeon my female character no longer has a mustache and 5 o’clock shadow. This pleases me.

  39. unclelou says:

    “My only problem with Fallout 3 is that is supersort. I have pay like $60 for this game and already complete. A RPG game is supposed to stay for years, not days.”

    Fallout 3 has a massive amount of content. The trick is to do the exploring *before* you finish the main quest. ;-)

  40. neofit says:

    Have they fixed the horrible mouse sensitivity and acceleration problems in FC2? ( Yeah yeah yeah some people don’t mind playing with the controls they way they were at release, good for them but I don’t care ;) ).

  41. Mr. President says:

    Really? I bought FO3 and FC2 at the same time, immediately installed FO3, then took out the cd and installed FC2. I’ve never been asked to insert the CD for FO3. If it makes any difference, I bought the english version at an import shop in Japan.

    It depends on your region. My version demanded that I install “a driver” before I play the game. I chose to nodvd it instead.

  42. Subject 706 says:

    FO3 was better than I thought it would be. More a spin-off than a sequel, but much better than Oblivion, which I started to hate after a few hours. Game runs stable for me, though I had to fix the ffdshow bug.

    Regarding FC2 though…no amount of patching will ever make that a good game.

  43. unclelou says:

    FO3 doesn’t need the disc if you click the fallout3.exe rather than the launcher. I don’t know if that’s the same for all versions, mind.

    @neofit:
    Mouse acceleration in FC2? It doesn’t do that for me. I hate mouse acceleration in FPS games with a burning passion, I would have noticed. But maybe it’s Logitech’s setpoint that interferes with that on my PC.

  44. SwiftRanger says:

    “FO3 doesn’t need the disc if you click the fallout3.exe rather than the launcher. I don’t know if that’s the same for all versions, mind.”

    Works like a charm here, thx.

    If there is one bug I’d like to see removed in F3 then it is the one where you only see your first savegames if you aren’t connected to Live (I think those were made when I hadn’t connected to Live yet). Seriously, I have to connect to GfW Live every time to see my last savegames pop up (and the first savegames are gone then too). I almost had a heart attack when I first saw those first saves only…

  45. Gurrah says:

    Fallouts biggest flaw is the level cap. Seriously, how can you make an open world game and include a cap as low as 20?! I was level 20 before reaching Rivet city, which is at the beginning of the main storyline. I am one of the old, die-hard Fallout fans, and I think Bethesda has done a good job at converting Fallout into something ‘next-gen’ – but the level cap is just stupid and annoying. It doesn’t feel like you accomplish anything after the XP stops pouring in. Sure, you are exploring, but your character does not progress in any way, which is a sad thing.

  46. Mike says:

    “Is anyone else having the Audigy bug in FC2? Possibly the worst bug I’ve ever encountered. Every time I reach for syrettes in a medkit my sound card causes the comp to bluescreen and crash. It’s not mentioned in the patch notes which is a pain in the arse because switching to crappy onboard sound is tedious and bad quality. I really can’t go back to that game until that’s fixed and it’s quite a common issue according to the Ubi forums. Tsk.”

    And once again a point for not buying anything from Creative. Crappy drivers make me cringe …

  47. Turin Turambar says:

    Fallout 3 is Oblivion with guns.

    And a less generic setting. And better npcs, with better dialogue. And better quests with varied solutions. And a better stat system. And a more hidden and well thought level scaling. And a good action/rpg combat system. And a better developed story. And a more accesible beginning.

    So yeah, it’s not really “Oblivion with guns” and that’s it.

    There are two flaws in the game: it’s fucking buggy (way more crashes in my machine than Stalker) and the level cap is way too low in comparison with the size of the world.

  48. Bananaphone says:

    Will there be a patch to make Far Cry 2 not shit?

  49. Larington says:

    Yeah, about the “oblivion with guns” comment, I think its important to note that this is the sort of thing thats said (As it was in the context I used it earlier) by someone who is holding the box or looking at screenshots but hasn’t quite played it yet. Obviously, you start to play it and it becomes evident that its so much more than that.

    And I do so love the attention to detail in this, right down to things like the cats-eyes in the roads.

  50. Heliocentric says:

    @banana that would be the most awesomest patch note ever.

    34. Changed the default value of game_shit() from 1 to 0. This makes the game fail to be not good, creating an improved experience for players with vchar angryinternetman set to 1.