Might And Magic Heroes VI Crashes And Burns, Ubi Fixing

By Nathan Grayson on May 4th, 2013 at 1:00 pm.

Oh gosh, delivering bad news is always so difficult. I never know how to soften the blow. Good news first? No, no, that never works. Oh, I know: everything that’s ever mattered to you will be gone one day and also Might and Magic Heroes VI has been nigh-unplayable for more than 24 hours. Phew, much better. The rather disturbingly lengthy period of downtime (especially given that the base game’s been out for ages) seems to have kicked off around the recent release of the turn-based strategy’s new Shades of Darkness expansion. Players have been reporting mountains of issues ever since.

Problems include missing content, broken install files, invalid keys, freezes, crashes, and more. Some players have attempted reinstalls, but many are still stuck. Initially, Ubisoft chalked up the downtime to patch-related server maintenance, but that ended many hours ago. Most recently, a Ubi rep offered the following:

“Steam users: If you can see Shades of Darkness in your list then your Version is up to date. There is no need to try and uninstall, reinstall or update until further notice. Lack of Content: For those of you who are unable to access your Content (have greyed out boxes), you will be getting your Content soon. We apologize and thank you for your patience as we correct this issue.”

“We will be updating you as soon as new information develops.”

As of now, the complaint thread continues to grow, which doesn’t bode well for the situation. Ubi’s updates, meanwhile, have been sparse – and thus far have not entirely reflected reality, it would seem. At this point, it’s tough to say what exactly the real underlying cause of all this is, but here’s hoping it’s nothing more than an ugly memory very, very soon. Also, come on publishers: better communication! The first official response apparently took hours, and in this day and age, that just won’t do.

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49 Comments »

  1. golem09 says:

    I almost wanted to buy this. Then I saw that there was still no random map generator.
    I laughed, and got the fez out.

    • b0rsuk says:

      Wait for Age of Wonders III, which comes this fall. It’s a bit different, but makes nods towards Heroes serries this time around (siege from one direction, flying units land between moves). Other than that, the main difference is focus on strategy and fighting actual opponents rather than helpless, passive independents and collecting loot.

      • golem09 says:

        I never played any of the Heroes campaigns, I only play maps with a friend of mine in hot seat coop. So I do hope that AoW III will have a random map generator.

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    • lomaxgnome says:

      While haven’t played this particular version, in previous versions of Heroes the random map generators were essentially worthless anyway, because so much of the strategy and map development relies on areas being blocked off by monster groups, which the random map AI was always terrible with.

      • emorium says:

        Yeah but when you’re playing it in hot-seat coop (like he says in another comment) then strategy doesn’t really matter. I for one had way more fun just exploring a random XL map with my buddy playing against the maximum number of AI players on Hard (on Impossible they weren’t smarter you just started with a handicap). I distinctly remember that there were some zones… “Treasure Island” as we called them… that had resources, awesome artifacts, dragon utopias, etc. You simply don’t have the same fun exploring an arena-type map where everyone gets equal stuff.

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  2. strangeloup says:

    At present, I can only access my Discontent.

  3. xavdeman says:

    Battlefield 3 and Medal of Honor: Warfighter multiplayer servers are also currently down after every match. You get kicked right when they end: https://help.ea.com/article/bf3-mohw-currently-experiencing-intermittent-connectivity
    This has also been going on for many hours.

    • SkittleDiddler says:

      For some of us. getting kicked out of Battlefield 3 matches has been going on since the game came out.

  4. b0rsuk says:

    Akways Online requirement for games which are not inherently multiplayer is a stoopid, greedy idea.

    • Siannah says:

      There is no always online DRM. That part is gone since months and no newer title reintroduced it again. Where have you been?

  5. MeestaNob says:

    A broken Ubi game on launch day? Get out.

    • trjp says:

      Ironically it’s the old game (which has been on-sale for eons) which is most broken.

      Keys for ‘Gold’ only unlock the DLC and NOT THE BASE GAME – 24+ hours since that was reporting it seems only some people have seen a fix.

      My experience of UBI support is that they are incompetent liars – their online support are really just paid to piss you off, they have no powers to fix anything whatsoever. I raised a problem with my UPlay rewards (missing rewards and missing points) THREE MONTHS AGO and all they do is keeping asking me if it’s fixed yet!!

  6. Ninja Foodstuff says:

    I literally just bought MMH6 last night and was just trying to find out how I redeem the DLC codes.

    What a shame.

    EDIT: Yup. I can activate the campaign key through uplay, but then it shows that the campaign is locked when I try to play it.
    THANKS, UBISOFT.
    At least I got to watch the unskippable interlaced intro.

    EDIT 2: I especially approve of this message on the forums:

    “Hi, please be aware we have people working on this issue despite the Bank Holiday weekend and they are working to correct these issues as soon as possible.”

    Shouldn’t that be “despite our insistence on repeatedly making this mistake”

  7. PopeRatzo says:

    Wait, so the game itself works, but the DLC is broken? Or is the game itself unplayable?

    I was looking at this game. Not a bad price and I do seem to recall having had fun with previous Mights and Magics.

    • Grygus says:

      By way of explanation, here is what happened to me (bought the Gold edition on Steam, which includes the two old expansions, but not the brand new one):

      The game installed just fine, and the first time I ran it, it downloaded and installed the new 2.1 patch with no issues whatsoever. UPlay asked for the CD key; Steam had given me three (the Gold edition plus one for each of the two old expansions,) so I gave it the Gold key first. It never asked for any more keys, and I do not see a way to just enter a key into UPlay. But that doesn’t much matter, because when I start the game, it already knows I have the two old expansions. Great! I have no problems with voodoo.

      So I try to start the main campaign, and I can’t. I don’t own the base game, it seems. I also can’t play any of the scenario maps, because they require the base game. The game DOES say that I own the two expansions, but I can’t play any of their scenario maps because you need the base game in order to play an expansion map. The menu claims that I could play an expansion campaign, but I don’t want to because I have that peculiar Gamer’s OCD which means I must play them in order, no matter what. So I haven’t even tried to actually start either of those campaigns, and although I strongly suspect they won’t work since I don’t own the base game, I can’t actually say that’s the case.

      As the article notes, a lot of the anger comes from having to wait so long for so much as confirmation that the problem wasn’t on my end somehow, and that it was a known problem, let alone a fix. Now that we know that they know, I can go back to playing Neverwinter with a clear mind.

      Bottom line is that $15 was still a good price for the product, and in a week when I can play it and have mostly forgotten about all this, I will think it was a good deal.

      • trjp says:

        It was cheaper on Gamersgate the day before ;)

        £9 UK (Steam is £12)

    • Vorphalack says:

      I don’t know about the DLC but i’ve had issues with the base game since launch. There is a crippling memory leak, which oddly enough only affects a select group, but i’m in that group and it makes the game insufferably slow after 20 minutes. You may not be affected, but buy at your own risk. This wasn’t present in the beta so my money is on the Uplay integration causing most of the bugs. When publishers decide to stop forcing useless middleware and ”social networking” features into their games, it will be a good day.

    • TheTuninator says:

      If you want to play a HoMM game again, do yourself a favor and get Heroes III. It’s cheap as hell, DRM-free off of GoG, and still the best game in the series in terms of content and overall design. If you really must have 3D graphics, get Heroes V Tribes of the East. VI is just not up to snuff and has been plagued by bugs like this since release.

  8. Danda says:

    This is what happens when you force Uplay and online game activation in general on people.

  9. Borgadzim says:

    The thing is, that the originial game was not working for Nvidia users for like … 7-8 months, so this is not really a surprise

    • trjp says:

      In fact the game still has issues with new cards, not just nVidia ones.

      nVidia appear worse off (6xx series cards are not supported for the base game at this point) – tho AMD cards are far from untroubled (7xxx series cards are not supported either!!)

  10. Obc says:

    just out of curiosity: are the pirates having the same problem? is there even a pirate version of this?

    • trjp says:

      Quite possibly – it’s possible to play it offline (with some features missing) so they could do that.

      THey obviously won’t have a key problem but their graphics cards won’t fix themselves ;)

    • Chmilz says:

      I tried the pirated version of this closer to launch, and deleted it after about an hour or so of demoing. The game is terrible. Buy HOMMM3 from GOG.

      • Obc says:

        oh i am not gonna pirate this, i asked to find out if pirates are getting the better service than paying costumer.

    • Carnagath says:

      The pirated versions of both the original game and the newest expansion are working fine, since the problem occurs while trying to use your cd keys to unlock specific chunks of content. The pirated versions require no such nonsense, so there is no problem. Still, if you bought this (and I did), there’s noone to blame but yourself. I thought that 15 euros was a low enough price for H6 and 2 campaign DLC’s to justify putting up with some of Ubi’s bullshit, but adding a second layer of security, which doesn’t even work (multiple cd-key authentications on Uplay) for a product that you ALREADY BOUGHT through Steam is past retarded and bordering on intentionally sadistic. Won’t be making that mistake again.

      • Obc says:

        thank god i dont have enough time for games anyway and thus don’t even have the option to bother with unnecessary online requiments in such games.

        seems like pirates are getting the better service….oh ubi…

  11. elfbarf says:

    The game itself isn’t too bad, but technically it has always been a fucking mess, and that’s still true even if you ignore the UPlay/DRM issues. I can’t remember precisely why, but when playing I had to lower the polling rate on my mouse to fix some sort of issue with the game that wasn’t fixed over a year after the game’s release.

  12. greg_ritter says:

    RPS, your timing is just right.
    I bought this game two days ago and started playing. Then BAM! Couldn’t connect to Conflux. “Shame, but no biggie” – foolishly thought I. I started playing offline. Game was great, but then i found a Dynasty item. “Ok, how can i upgrade it?” – I asked my friend. “Through Conflux” – answered he.
    Oh man. I connected to Conflux and started playing. Then BAM! I couldn’t load my offline saves.
    “Ok, it’s annoying” – I thought. I started plating from the beginning.
    THEN FUCKING BAM! Conflux lost connection. I couldn’t load my online saves.
    I went to the forums. I read FAQs. I opened some ports. I started playing again. I connected to Conflux.
    MOTHERFUCKING BAM! Lost connection.

    So I have a choice. To play this game without Conflux and without half the features. Or play this game for five minutes at a time because every time I connect to Conflux it disconnects and I need to reboot the game.

    So thanks, Ubi. Thanks and fuck you.

  13. Neurotic says:

    Just picked up my boxed copy yesterday but haven’t had a chance to install it yet. Phew! I’ll give it a day or two to blow over methinks.

  14. Andrew says:

    I’m not playing the game not because of technical problems, but just because I don’t like it.

  15. trjp says:

    Someone started a petition thread on Steam to have UBI removed from Steam until they “fix their shit”.

    It’s upto THIRTY SEVEN PAGES – mostly positive and supporting responses…

    http://steamcommunity.com/app/48220/discussions/0/810923580576610720/

    • Supahewok says:

      Y’know, the more I think about it, the more I like that idea. Steam is a big part of sales for any publisher on the PC. If releasing multiple, broken games can result in getting blacklisted from Steam until the publisher proves they can release games without them being a mess, publishers might actually give a damn about the state of their game on release. (and after patches later) From what I’ve heard, most publishers know when they’re releasing a broken game, they just figure they can patch it later and they want the sales now.

      It’s not going to happen, of course. Publishers will just start focusing on other online retailers that will let them sell, like Amazon or Gamestop. Steam will find itself with a reduced share of the marketplace. No sane business would ever risk that.

      • AlienMind says:

        That precludes that Gabe gives a damn about what he sells as long it’s selling. I mean, he fucking outsources the review process for indie games (Greenlight) to the crowd!

    • captain nemo says:

      Wish there was a filter option on the steam store to EXclude anything published by Ubisoft…

  16. Skab says:

    Ubi getting this franchise was probably the worst thing that could have happened to it.

    Such a shame that one of my all time favorite series has to be treated like this.

  17. mygaffer says:

    You know I thought Ubisoft might have reversed their stupidity ship and I bought Far Cry 3 Blood Dragon. Then I saw that even though I bought it through Steam I have to install UPlay and launch the game through that. I literally pull up Steam, launch the game, then UPlay launches and I launch the game again, through UPlay.
    WTF
    So I am again on an Ubisoft hiatus. I am sure they give no fucks but I feel pretty good about it. I just wish they didn’t own the rights to Rayman :(

  18. drvoke says:

    No offense, but if you spend money on a ubisoft game, you get what you deserve. Please stop rewarding these scum and encouraging their anticomsumer practices.

  19. Hematite says:

    In related news, I’ve been having a lot of fun with Eador: Masters of the Broken World. The campaign is a series of choices between themed randomly generated maps. Completing maps unlocks new items on the tech tree, so you have to balance theme, size, and rewards when choosing which map to play. Might appeal to some here who like random maps.

    There were a decent few bugs in the interface at release, but I witnessed most of them get patched out in the first week and the gameplay is solid.

  20. Gurvo says:

    I’ve had problems with this game since beta which mainly include not being able to play at all and losing game saves costing between 2-12 hours of play/progress.

    The solution for me was to unselect the “enable cloud save” check box in the uplay options. I have played multiple hours in the last couple of days and, for once, did not notice the service outage. It sucks more because HoMMVI really is a fabulous game, as is Eador.

    Hope this helps!

  21. SandroTheMaster says:

    Godamnit Ubi!

    How hard can it be to just keep your software from melting itself? How can you blunder this up even with the DRM toned down? Seriously?

    • wild_quinine says:

      It’s not toned down. This is the ultimate form of DRM: there’s actually no game there, even though I’ve paid for it. But when I do try to launch a game it takes me to a page where I can buy more (possibly illusory?) content.

  22. revan says:

    This game has been mostly unplayable on Nvidia cards ever since 3xx.xx version drivers. Ubi has been refusing to fix the game since that time. Right about that time I pledged never to buy their game again. All the accumulated offal surrounding HoMM VI has merely surfaced at the time of this latest expansion.

  23. Prime says:

    Nice one, Ubi.

    I’m so very close to giving up on AAA publishers altogether. They’ve failed gaming by running the industry into this fucking horrible state of affairs. My gaming future is filled with Indies and Kickstarters and by the gods it looks bright!