Stardock and Gas Powered Games' new strategy combat PC game Demigod has been getting a lot of press this week--but probably not the kind of press those companies would have wanted. Stardock has been quite forthcoming about the development team's travails, posting a series of updates on the company's site as problems ebbed and flowed.
First it was Gamestop breaking Demigod's scheduled street date, releasing it almost a week early and forcing Stardock employees to miss their Easter weekend break--after already slaving away in crunch mode for weeks--so they could work around the clock getting the multiplayer infrastructure working.
Then it seemed the company's breakneck efforts were largely in vain, as that infrastructure withered under the demand of more than 100,000 players hitting the game's servers simultaneously, making online matches mostly unplayable. It probably didn't help morale much at Stardock that the vast majority of those server requests were coming from pirated copies of the game; the company cited a scant 12% of connections as coming from legitimately purchased games.
Seems the light has finally appeared at the end of the tunnel, as the most recent update says legit users have been separated from pirates on the game's network and won't be affected by the overwhelming glut of server traffic now. So if you've been waiting to play some Demigod online without significant hassle, this weekend might be the first chance you really have to do it.
I'm going to crack into Demigod myself this weekend, largely because I've just gotten into the six-year-old phenomenon that is the Warcraft III mod Defense of the Ancients. Much like Riot Games' upcoming League of Legends, Demigod is purportedly cut from the DOTA cloth, though both of the retail games offer a small fraction of the literally dozens of hero characters in DOTA. I'll be curious to see how Demigod manages to differentiate itself. Stay tuned for some thoughts on the game, and the stability of its online experience, next week.
For those of you who already took the Demigod plunge, what's your experience been so far? Are things smoothing out for you online?
And if you're just scratching your head about all of this and want to know what the whole DOTA thing was about in the first place, I really can't tell you anything that this video won't slap you in the face with, so here, just watch.