Aren't download updates for new games getting out of hand? - Page 2 - AVS Forum
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post #31 of 58 Old 01-02-2012, 10:56 PM
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Originally Posted by TyrantII View Post

Bethesda is a horrible choice.

Two different issues.

If we're talking purely "which developers are out to milk consumers," I'd say Bethesda is actually really generous with content and is highly fan oriented (despite the infamous horse armor debacle and the current internet hubbub). Maybe I'm totally wrong, but I really think this PS3 Skyrim mess has much more to do with design ambition rather than greed. Most companies reign in their design vision in order to make sure their products actually work. Bethesda is usually willing to sacrifice function for the sake of vision. But with Skyrim for PS3, that approach has finally caught up with them.

As I said above, they have no business releasing their games on PS3. It makes it seem like they're subsidizing the cost of developing a quality game on the other platforms at the expense of selling a sub-par version on PS3. It's unconscionable, especially considering Bethesda's creativity, their undeniable passion for their work, and (despite what most folks keep saying) their incredible tech skills. The fact that this game even runs on current consoles and looks as good as it does is a commendable feat.

But if we're talking about "which developers are most guilty of releasing games that need patch after patch"... well, then, yeah, Bethesda's just about the worst offender.

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post #32 of 58 Old 01-03-2012, 08:10 AM
 
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Originally Posted by confidenceman View Post

Two different issues.

If we're talking purely "which developers are out to milk consumers," I'd say Bethesda is actually really generous with content and is highly fan oriented (despite the infamous horse armor debacle and the current internet hubbub). Maybe I'm totally wrong, but I really think this PS3 Skyrim mess has much more to do with design ambition rather than greed. Most companies reign in their design vision in order to make sure their products actually work. Bethesda is usually willing to sacrifice function for the sake of vision. But with Skyrim for PS3, that approach has finally caught up with them.

As I said above, they have no business releasing their games on PS3. It makes it seem like they're subsidizing the cost of developing a quality game on the other platforms at the expense of selling a sub-par version on PS3. It's unconscionable, especially considering Bethesda's creativity, their undeniable passion for their work, and (despite what most folks keep saying) their incredible tech skills. The fact that this game even runs on current consoles and looks as good as it does is a commendable feat.

But if we're talking about "which developers are most guilty of releasing games that need patch after patch"... well, then, yeah, Bethesda's just about the worst offender.

Problem is the same issue was in Elder Scrolls, FO3, & NV. They kept the same implementation decisions on how to deal with persistence, and low and behold the same issues are found in their new engine.

I wouldn't say they're milking their consumer, far from it. The amount of content they put in their games, and the scope is amazing. All I'm saying is something is going totally wrong on the code monkey side of development, where these issues need to addressed but have not for 4 games now.

They've got a implementation that they know will fail eventually unless the game is running on a PC where memory isn't a issue. There's two simple ways around it, lessen persistence on the console versions, or fix the overlying problem from the get go on all systems.

I have a love hate relationship with them, just because I play the **** out of their games. So, I'm always running into this design failure. It's not acceptible to put 60 hours into a game, and find the last missions are crashing because the system ran out of memory to load new assets because you did too much before hand. FO3 and Vegas both screwed me in that regard. I almost was unable to complete FO3 after investing 90 hours into it, when the last mission would slow to a crawl and eventually hard lock my PS3. Sounds like Skyrim won't be different.
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post #33 of 58 Old 01-03-2012, 12:19 PM
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This is kinda 1 reason I have been playing games on my Iphone for the last 8 months, I can just pick it up and play. I also dont really get to play until the kids are in bed, which leaves me an hour or longer if I want to sacrifice my sleep so it is a real pisser when your excited to play and then you see it...an update is required...well crap...sometimes its a quick 5 mins other times its 15 mins....But I do like the fact they devs are able to fix and update games after they have been released.

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post #34 of 58 Old 01-03-2012, 01:09 PM
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it is what it is... I agree it's annoying, but the only other option is to not release the game on time and that would cause more problems than a day 1 800mb patch does... think of the business side of most things and it all makes sense.
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post #35 of 58 Old 01-03-2012, 02:00 PM
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Originally Posted by iamkoza View Post

it is what it is... I agree it's annoying, but the only other option is to not release the game on time and that would cause more problems than a day 1 800mb patch does... think of the business side of most things and it all makes sense.

2 comments:

1) That's not the "only" other option.

2) There's a long history of games missing their deadlines as it is. Even with the ability to put out half tested patch-ware and then update after the fact.

Downloaded patches should be viewed as a necissary evil to be used sparingly by developers. Unfortunately, they seem to be viewed as SOP by most.

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post #36 of 58 Old 01-03-2012, 03:37 PM
 
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If you guys really hate this stuff, then you need to start calling for Beta's to be real beta's like the old days. Now they're nothing more than glorified server stress tests wrapped up as a marketing gimmick. Most Beta's are released when games have already gone gone and been sent to print, and we get HUGE updated 3-6 weeks later to fix the bugs found before release, but after gold date.

Starhawk actually is doing it the old fashion way, and really play testing and balancing online issue before release. Twisted Metal is also doing the same, squishing bugs and balancing internally with huge play-testing teams. No public beta there, but seems like Jaffe has some sort of closed dev network beta going on from whats been talked about.

Show them support with your wallet and other Dev's might take notice.
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post #37 of 58 Old 01-03-2012, 05:15 PM
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Originally Posted by TyrantII View Post

All I'm saying is something is going totally wrong on the code monkey side of development, where these issues need to addressed but have not for 4 games now.

Completely agree.

Bethesda, for better and for worse, still designs like a PC developer, and to be honest, so do many other developers this generation. This is why we're seeing so many of the issues that only used to affect PC games. This generation has seen a lot of major changes in console gaming, and one of the biggest is that the old PC dev studios are now console dev studios. Many haven't changed their old habits. So we end up with releases that need constant patching. That's both a good and a bad thing.

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If you guys really hate this stuff, then you need to start calling for Beta's to be real beta's like the old days. Now they're nothing more than glorified server stress tests wrapped up as a marketing gimmick.

This really only applies to online multiplayer titles. And as far as those games go, you're right.

But with single player games (like Skyrim), betas don't exist (at least in the way you mean). QA teams do the work. These teams aren't very big compared to online beta groups (a few dozen compared to a few thousand or more). Many aren't experienced. They're often not paid much at all. They work hard and long hours. It's incredibly boring and tedious work.

Games these days are just too big and too expensive (some more than others) for QA to catch everything. This really isn't a matter of slipping standards. It's a consequence of bloated AAA game development.

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post #38 of 58 Old 01-07-2012, 05:19 AM
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Originally Posted by jhaines View Post

I have a difficult time with this rationalization. How many other products in your life would you tolerate this amount of bugginess from? If your TV or watch randomly didn't work for 1 hour out of every 70 that you tried to use it, would you stand for that? What if it was your car, or your phone? What if you owned a movie or CD that made your entertainment system puke on a regular basis?

Bethesda's games have a reputation for being far buggier than most other games on the market, and that reputation has most certainly been earned. Yet people continue to buy their incredibly buggy games, and they continue to win game of the year awards for them, so what incentive do they have to ever change their ways?

It's true that the volume of bugs tends to scale proportionally with the amount of content in a software product, but bug injection and removal is driven by the quality of the overall development process. Improve the process and your quality will also improve proportionally. There are a number of processes out there that, if followed diligently, will realize drastic improvements in the quality of their products -- they just need to acknowledge that they have a problem and elect to do something about it.

- Jer

Took me about 30-40 hours before Skyrim first froze on me (still now Im 70 hours in and no lag issues). Uncharted 3 took me about 4 hours. Assassin Creed took me about 1 hour. Fallout: NV about 10 hours (then about once per hour, argh!). Battlefield 3 has already froze on me 5-6 times, more than Skyrim, and I only have about 30 hours in that game. Seems ridiculous to me that people complain about Skyrim/Bethesda. I was more pissed with Uncharted 3 freezing on me.

Skyrim just gets so much playing time, stuff is going to happen. 30-40hours of play time before my first freeze? Thats like 3 other games worth. 70 hours total so far and hardly anything to complain about. Thats like 5-6 games worth of playing time (giving about 12 hours avg). For me, its great.

Do we want games released every 4 or 5 years and be perfect, or every 18-24 months and have these small issues?

People throw away what they could have by insisting on perfection, which they cannot have, and looking for it where they will never find it

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post #39 of 58 Old 01-07-2012, 11:06 AM
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Originally Posted by Wurms View Post

Took me about 30-40 hours before Skyrim first froze on me (still now Im 70 hours in and no lag issues). Uncharted 3 took me about 4 hours. Assassin Creed took me about 1 hour. Fallout: NV about 10 hours (then about once per hour, argh!). Battlefield 3 has already froze on me 5-6 times, more than Skyrim, and I only have about 30 hours in that game. Seems ridiculous to me that people complain about Skyrim/Bethesda. I was more pissed with Uncharted 3 freezing on me.

Skyrim just gets so much playing time, stuff is going to happen. 30-40hours of play time before my first freeze? Thats like 3 other games worth. 70 hours total so far and hardly anything to complain about. Thats like 5-6 games worth of playing time (giving about 12 hours avg). For me, its great.

Do we want games released every 4 or 5 years and be perfect, or every 18-24 months and have these small issues?

People throw away what they could have by insisting on perfection, which they cannot have, and looking for it where they will never find it

Frequency of the game freezing up is always different on the player or console. Everyone plays games like Skyrim differently and to some, it may freezes up much faster. The point is because you can play it for 70 hours without freezing, you cannot guarantee that another player can play for 70 hours or if you restart the game, it will play for another 70 hours without freezing. That's the problem with quality control of the product cannot be guaranteed to have consistent experience with everyone. You could be the one that gets a lot of freezing experience.

As for releasing a game especially big and open world game every 4-5 years. I want to see games well polished before release with very few bugs and guaranteed consistent experience for everyone than one player says it's so stable and next player says it's freezing up too often.

Yes, I rather wait that long because there are so many games in the market. Why spent the past year dreaming about the game, read every hype about it and keep demanding that you can't wait anymore and the game rushes out with full of bugs and freezing issues? Is that the way to enjoy the game that you have been waiting?

If there are fewer games coming out every week, more gamers will spend the time to joy the game and replay it multiple times. What's the enjoyment rushing through games and for big games, you move on to another because 1st playthrough took so much time?

But with the publishers mentality today, it's all about throw as many games in the market, well polished and buggy or not, hope the hype helps to sell enough copies for bad ones, and for good games, the publishers know gamers rather buy the game first and then complain later. So, shipping unpolished and buggy games are the way to do business.

Spend less money in huge marketing and hypes. Every publisher just have to agree that spend smaller amount of marketing to allocate the money to testing and focus on quality control to have mostly bug free games with guaranteed consistent experience. (I know marketing rather blow tons of money to sell the hypes because hypes continue to sell even after the buyer already got lied to multiple times. That's just how game consumer works, never learn and will keep coming back to buy broken games.)
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post #40 of 58 Old 01-09-2012, 10:49 AM
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Originally Posted by Suntan View Post

2 comments:

1) That's not the "only" other option.

2) There's a long history of games missing their deadlines as it is. Even with the ability to put out half tested patch-ware and then update after the fact.

Downloaded patches should be viewed as a necissary evil to be used sparingly by developers. Unfortunately, they seem to be viewed as SOP by most.

-Suntan

it's all about money... they are businesses first, I agree with your point on patch... but it's here to stay
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post #41 of 58 Old 01-10-2012, 05:16 PM
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Does anybody on this thread understand how long it takes to produce a million physical copies of a game? The reason so many games have Day 1 patches is because the code has to be completed and sent to production months before a game is actually released. Developers often continue fixing bugs, coding, adding functionality, etc while the game is in production. Day 1 comes along and you have the latest code.

If it wasn't done this way - the majority of the AAA titles would all be released months later than they currently are.
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post #42 of 58 Old 01-10-2012, 05:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Justin-Dawson View Post

Does anybody on this thread understand how long it takes to produce a million physical copies of a game? The reason so many games have Day 1 patches is because the code has to be completed and sent to production months before a game is actually released. Developers often continue fixing bugs, coding, adding functionality, etc while the game is in production. Day 1 comes along and you have the latest code.

Not "months." A month (roughly). Regardless, this hasn't changed in the history of retail console gaming. If anything, the time between final code and retail is less than it used to be--especially in the era of digital downloads. So that's not the issue.

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post #43 of 58 Old 01-10-2012, 05:47 PM
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Originally Posted by confidenceman View Post

Not "months." A month (roughly). Regardless, this hasn't changed in the history of retail console gaming. If anything, the time between final code and retail is less than it used to be--especially in the era of digital downloads. So that's not the issue.

It's quite short nowadays from handing the "shipping" code to the disc manufacturer. I'll guess it depends total copies need to be printed and contract with them. Game continues get fixed pass the "shipping" code. Once reaching the final shipping dateline, it usually comes down to the testing, development and product managers agree with amount of known bugs, unfixed bugs, risk etc until everyone gives a go. With games, I wouldn't be surprised not missing the dateline and sales profit are a huge determining factor since consumers are will buy them anyway. (Interestingly, there was a hybrid type of DVD that has both pressed and burnable surface. The idea was main or stable codes can be sent for manufacturing ahead and then rest of the new code can be appended onto the same disc by using regular disc burning process. It never took off because it was much more expensive than internet download patch by assuming everyone has internet access).

The old days not even that long ago, there was (I say was, not is) the rule of cost of fixing bugs after the code has shipped vs bugs fixed before shipped. The rule said the cost multiplies by several times if the bug is fixed after shipped. Nowadays especially with games, this rule is ignored because making profit ahead is more important the cost of fixed bugs after shipped. On non-games, many of bugs fixed after shipped is sold as the next version.
Both games and non-games, consumers can't wait to buy them with full of bugs. When bugs are fixed and sold as the next version, consumers are happy to have the next version.

Coming to beta, the old days (again), by the time the product reached beta stage, it's almost as good as shipping quality. Those days, I used to use the beta as my "shipping" code because the beta was that polished. Nowadays, beta is more like alpha code. Features aren't always completed as intended and still full of bugs. And, as long the code doesn't fall apart immediately, it's ready to be the shipping code. Consumers are used to buying broken code because they know there will be day 1 patch and multiple patches following just to get the product semi working as advertised. The joke about users are the best testers is especially true today because that's how most testing are done. Best is the users are happy to pay to be the beta testers.
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post #44 of 58 Old 01-11-2012, 01:46 PM
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Originally Posted by confidenceman View Post

Not "months." A month (roughly). Regardless, this hasn't changed in the history of retail console gaming. If anything, the time between final code and retail is less than it used to be--especially in the era of digital downloads. So that's not the issue.

Since this generation of consoles is the only console generation to ever have downloadable patches...I'm not sure the "history of gaming" argument holds up here...
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post #45 of 58 Old 01-11-2012, 02:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Justin-Dawson View Post

Since this generation of consoles is the only console generation to ever have downloadable patches...I'm not sure the "history of gaming" argument holds up here...

Your argument was that because it takes "months" between going gold and hitting retail, patches are inevitable. I disagreed. I countered that because that turnaround time has actually gotten much shorter over the history of console game development, your argument doesn't hold up.

If your argument were true, then that would mean we would see fewer patches as the time between final code and retail decreases. In fact, the exact opposite seems to be true. Those of us who game on mobile devices are used to almost daily patches, and mobile games have among the shortest turnaround between final code and retail.

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post #46 of 58 Old 01-23-2012, 08:22 AM - Thread Starter
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Oy...Warhammer needs another 900 MB download, now?!

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post #47 of 58 Old 01-23-2012, 08:51 AM
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Originally Posted by Mr. Hanky View Post

Oy...Warhammer needs another 900 MB download, now?!

Play offline. Problem solved.

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post #48 of 58 Old 01-23-2012, 11:22 AM - Thread Starter
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This is no revelation...of course, I can do that. That's the kind of play I do all of the time. I'm just saying, 900 more MB to download, after the original 700 MB?...really?! There's got to be a more elegant way to manage online content apart from the self-contained game on the disc, if it's going to be 100's of MB every month or 2 for some "part" of the game that you may or may not even be using. I cannot even imagine what is being updated/replaced/augmented in a series of updates like that.

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post #49 of 58 Old 01-23-2012, 11:53 AM
 
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DLC doesn't work if you don't see that the other guys with the golden guns and uber skin is the one pwning you.

I'd get used to it. Nickle and diming is only to get worse, and this is the way to do it.

Steam has been doing this for years. Most people just don't realize it because it's always running in their background, updating when people are not looking.
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post #50 of 58 Old 01-23-2012, 11:58 AM - Thread Starter
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Well, that's the way it should be, if it has to be that way. That's why I made sure to word it as asking for a more elegant way to do this kind of stuff. Replacing a CD-ROM's worth of stuff in a bulk update every month over a digital line seems clunky, at best. If every game you own started becoming a chore like this (say a core group of 3-4 games you are focusing on at one time), I guarantee people would think this is pretty ridiculous.

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post #51 of 58 Old 01-23-2012, 12:04 PM - Thread Starter
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Come to think of it, does the Slim even still support background downloading during game execution? I would think it should. My original Phat handled this with grace, but I've noticed that PSN downloads are pretty much frozen in place from the time I start game-play to the time I end the game and return to the dashboard. What is with that??? ...or is it some games block background downloading, now?

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post #52 of 58 Old 01-23-2012, 12:09 PM
 
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We do have an option, it's a paid service.

Really though, it shouldn't be a paid service and pre-cacheing / release day unlock should be a built in feature.

The only time you should have to download and install a massive update should be if you practically always game offline, not giving the system time to background download and update.

But thats backwards Sony for you! MS doesn't have the problem this gen, but it'll be interesting to see how they deal with it next gen when HDD support is a given.
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post #53 of 58 Old 01-23-2012, 02:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Hanky View Post

Well, that's the way it should be, if it has to be that way. That's why I made sure to word it as asking for a more elegant way to do this kind of stuff. Replacing a CD-ROM's worth of stuff in a bulk update every month over a digital line seems clunky, at best. If every game you own started becoming a chore like this (say a core group of 3-4 games you are focusing on at one time), I guarantee people would think this is pretty ridiculous.

There aren't a lot of viable, "elegant" alternatives. Faster network service. Faster PSN service. More efficient pre-loading/background loading. Sony could put a cap on title update sizes, but then that would seriously tie developers' hands and piss off consumers hoping for quick fixes to bugs and balancing.

But, really, the big issue is that Sony's network is all around inefficient and takes a lot more time to DL/install updates than on the other HD console. But as it is, I've never run into an update that takes more than 5-10mins. No big deal.

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post #54 of 58 Old 01-23-2012, 05:41 PM - Thread Starter
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...but does a 900 MB bulk update sound reasonable? I could understand 50-80 MB being needed on occasion, but 900? What's going on over there at Relic?

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post #55 of 58 Old 01-23-2012, 09:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Mr. Hanky View Post

...but does a 900 MB bulk update sound reasonable? I could understand 50-80 MB being needed on occasion, but 900? What's going on over there at Relic?

If you're referring to Space Marine, they released a bunch of DLC (maps, skins, new online modes, etc). And like one of the posters above said, that content is often included in title updates for everyone (since those with and without the extra content have to be able to play together in the same environments). There's no easy alternative. Just set it to download/install, grab a beer, and do something else for 15mins.

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post #56 of 58 Old 01-24-2012, 06:28 AM - Thread Starter
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I wish it would "only" take 15 min on my digital line. Btw, this is 900 MB after the initial 700 MB of downloading when I first got the game. So did they revamp all those maps again, or is it 900 MB of new maps?

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post #57 of 58 Old 01-24-2012, 07:52 AM
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Originally Posted by Mr. Hanky View Post

I wish it would "only" take 15 min on my digital line. Btw, this is 900 MB after the initial 700 MB of downloading when I first got the game. So did they revamp all those maps again, or is it 900 MB of new maps?

Ugh. I think that they also released some free new modes on top of the new maps, so that might explain it (that, or maybe they tossed in a free stealth copy of GT5). And as for download speeds, a lot of the burden lies with Sony's inexplicably slow network. Updates take at least twice as long on PS3 for no good reason.

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post #58 of 58 Old 01-26-2012, 03:08 PM - Thread Starter
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I checked the Space Marines game folder on my ps3, and it appears the 900 MB update was not additive. It evidently replaces the previous 700 MB update (the bulk update to correct bugs appears to have contained more bugs) and adds 200 MB of new material on top of that. It's still 1.6 GB of downloaded material over the course of 2 mos.

I need your sweet love, Rosetta Stone girl!
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