Things Are Looking Up For Demigod After Week One

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Posted by Brad (3009 posts) -
LARGE STONE ROBOT IS DISPLEASED.
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.

  

Staff
#1 Posted by Brad (3009 posts) -
LARGE STONE ROBOT IS DISPLEASED.
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.

  

Staff
#2 Posted by ZeroCast (1869 posts) -

Only 8 Heroes to choose from, that's probably the only thing that makes the game quite repetitive, other than that, this is pure DOTA just like you said Brad.

#3 Posted by Contra (247 posts) -

Now I wanna play some DOTA. 

good to hear things are looked up for them though...

#4 Posted by SquirrelGOD (503 posts) -

NO!  Not the DOTA music video!  Damn your black heart, Shoemaker!

#5 Posted by Aerobie (104 posts) -

And aren't these the guys who were saying that pirates weren't a problem?
That seemed to have worked well for them.

#6 Posted by Alphazero (1536 posts) -

I searched for Demigod in the google toolbar built into Firefox, and the first suggestion to come up as I typed
was "demigod torrent".

Boo.

#7 Edited by jakob187 (21671 posts) -

STARDOCK had that much pirating?!  GODDAMN!!!  lol  That's gotta be a hard hit to the balls.


We're gettin' a showcase for this one sometime this week I believe.  I'll probably check it out, but I doubt it'll take me too far away from Dawn of War II and BattleForge.
#8 Posted by trav3ler (168 posts) -

Piracy was only a problem because people had access to the game from one retailer only: Gamestop.  Gamestop releasing early released the game on the public in very small numbers, so all the people who couldn't find a copy probably just pirated it instead.


Basically, GPG got screwed by Gamestop.  I don't know why there hasn't been any talk of legal action yet, cause GS deserves it.
#9 Posted by Hector (3365 posts) -

I'm gonna add that song to iTunes! hahaha!

#10 Posted by KingOfIceland (654 posts) -

AGGHHHHH BASSHUNTER! thanks Sweden, thanks alot.

#11 Posted by NoXious (1338 posts) -

I haven't tried the multiplayer side of the game and I probably wont, because the game itself has a few issues that DotA doesn't seem to have.

Demigod uses the concept of DotA-heroes, and commander heroes. The DotA-heroes part and the whole capturing of certain elements is awesome. You can actually benefit from capturing parts by increasing a factions income or have more gates through which units spawn. Better than DOTA in my opinion - a good concept with a perfect implementation.

But the commander hero thing was NOT done well at all, to me it seems like a concept they thought was fun but didn't have the time to fully implement. The whole UI is just lacking for people like me, that tend to care for their units and try to controle them to the best of their abilities. Units seem to auto-cast, you can't even SEE the skill - you just know it's there. You can't see units' health bars, just your own hero's health. You can't easily select a single unit from your army. You have to look for it on the battlefield which you sometimes just can't do during a battle without turning the camera. 

The worst part, of all things, is not being able to group them! All you have is 3 options of selecting units,  "Army" "Hero" "All (Army+Hero)". There's no way to split the healers from the warriors. 
[NOTE: It might be possible, but I haven't found it yet  in the options and it's not through the usual Ctrl+1-0 - so it's not there then if you ask me! :p]

As a DotA fan I love the 4 assassin heroes and how it works, it probably is superior to DotA for those heroes. But as a player that loves Syllabear and Meepo in DotA because of multiple PERMANENT units, Demigod is a failure in my eyes. 

#12 Posted by addictedtopinescent (3645 posts) -

I want to play this, sorry to hear that with the only 12% being legit copies.

#13 Posted by Kinarion (378 posts) -

Boy ain't right.

#14 Posted by Forcen (1829 posts) -

Basshunter is even worse when you are Swedish, you don't know the half of how bad it is....

#15 Posted by gillman (49 posts) -

This is ignoring the massive issue about the serial's that went out.  The company has formally tried to play it off that all retail keys where used by pirates, but most mods in the forums and the rep that i got to send a picture of my receipt to seemed to be more along the lines of imply that most retail keys where never activated. 

As for myself after 48 hours of back and forth on emails I finally got a new key from Stardock.

#16 Posted by MAST (734 posts) -

I really like the game.

I've only played online once so far, but it was relatively smooth. However, that was earlier today after the game had already been patched. So i guess i dodged most of the online issues. Before today i had just been playing single-player against the AI to get a feel for things.

#17 Posted by MeatSim (10860 posts) -

That sure is one rocky start.

#18 Posted by tekmojo (2302 posts) -

:)

#19 Posted by NT (8 posts) -

I feel truly sorry for Stardock getting double-penetrated by GameStop & pirates, when they have tried to be a good, consumer-friendly publisher.  I'd say, "Shame on you, GameStop," but, futilely, only one layer of flies can coat such an enormous, steaming pile of excrement.

BTW, while I greatly prefer Ventrilo, that video would be more realistic if they referenced Teamspeak, which is what most European MMO players use.

Happy weekend!

#20 Posted by ratzombie (170 posts) -

So if you play DoTA you will be surrounded by sexy ladies? Looks like I need to check it out.

#21 Posted by MordeaniisChaos (5730 posts) -

Wow, sad. I feel terrible for these guys. Fucking Gamestop. And pirates. You jerkwads need to stop. If you dont' have money, then focus on GETTIG UP IN THE WORLD. And if you do, then effing spend it. Don't ruin our industry. I hope these guys get some better luck, this game looks AWESOME. I can't wait to try it out.

#22 Edited by LaszloKovacs (1143 posts) -

This song goes so far into the dark heart of "terrible music" that it pushes through and enters this new realm of terrible music that is also strangely appealing.

Also, dude, 12%? Man, I could maybe see pirating a game to "make a point" about DRM (not something I would do but I've heard this argument used as a justification), or downloading a copy of something that's no longer being produced or sold. But why steal a game from Stardock, one of the very few publishers actively fighting for the rights of consumers? That just sucks.

#23 Edited by Delta_Ass (3280 posts) -

DotA? All I saw in that video were a bunch of hot Swedish girls.

True story.

#24 Posted by Vision (796 posts) -

I haven't played online yet but the singleplayer has been awesome.
I agree only 8 Demigods is a bummer but the different builds you can do with them really adds up a whole lot.
Also the different maps and modes helps too since DotA has the restrictions of only 1 map (Only mid and so on doesn't really count in my opinion since the goal is the same).
I think Stardock has said that 2 free Demigods is on the way and most likely more who's gonna cost.
GPG and Stardock cut their easterbreak to have the game out 1-2 days earlier than announced by the way.

#25 Posted by Vorbis (2750 posts) -

I bought it today after reading about this, wasn't sure about getting it but reading this pushed me forwards. Glad I got it, great fun so far. Some more maps and assassins would be nice, but they have more planned so it's all good.

#26 Posted by Tarakun (225 posts) -

I might check this out. I love me some DotA, and the idea of having it stream-lined down to just a few heroes appeals to me. DotA is awesome, but the amount of stuff to learn is a little overwhelming. I've heard good things about Stardock's stuff too.

The footage I've seen doesn't make me think it'll replace DotA for me, but if there's a good single player campaign it still is worth looking into.

#27 Posted by ArbitraryWater (11742 posts) -

I really don't like DotA. Any time I enter a game I get cursed at and eventually booted for being a n00b by the unflinchingly cruel people who play it, so I really don't have a good time any occasion I feel bored enough to play Warcraft III. Plus that song is terrible.

Online
#28 Posted by Geno (6477 posts) -

Demigod looks amazing, I'll probably get it.

#29 Edited by Al3xand3r (7574 posts) -
jakob187 said:
"STARDOCK had that much pirating?!  GODDAMN!!!  lol  That's gotta be a hard hit to the balls."
They always have that much piracy. They still make good profit, are an evergrowing company by satisfying mostly niche genres PC gamers have longed for, and don't think the means to combat piracy is DRM that compromises the legit customers more than hassles the pirates. So, yeah, they never claimed nobody pirates their stuff or they're successfull because nobody pirates their stuff. Quite the contrary, it's easy as hell to pirate them, but they also offer the value a paying customer expects. That is, a quality game, no stupid DRM, and good post-release support for as long as is necessary. There will always be pirates. You may persuade some to buy your product, but you should satisfy decent paying folk first. Their lower than average piracy rates are probably just because their titles aren't so mainstream, not because pirates respect them.

I don't think Demigod will be another under their belt of success, but piracy is the least of their problems. Also, 100k is probably one of the least pirated games anyway, though I wonder how they don't even have a simple CD-key check in place to avoid clogging the legitimate servers with the pirated copies. It's one thing to not go out of your way to stop pirates, and another to actually let them in on the whole fun without any effort, when it comes to multi player titles like this. Anyway, League of Legends and the game's quality are probably the important issues. I haven't played it yet, but I can't imagine Gas Powered Games making a solid title without glaring issues and obvious shortcomings that should have been dealt with at the conceptual stage. Unless Stardock's involvement was enough to aid them, but they should partner with better studios.
#30 Posted by ppallo (72 posts) -

The sad thing is that in the scandinavia and a little around other europe. This song and others about games and chat room girlfreinds? were extremely popular even hitting top ten lists.

#31 Posted by ISmoochyI (251 posts) -

suuuuch a good song! basshunter is awesome

#32 Edited by MrKlorox (11209 posts) -

Dude... is that what Germanic LAN parties are like? Jeez.

Also, I know Stardock is anti crazy DRM but I'm dumbfounded to read they didn't already have SOME kind of protection keeping the pirated copies offline.

#33 Posted by PJ (1144 posts) -

@MrKlorox  - Germanic LAN? What are you talking about? If you mean the video then thats Dreamhack in Jönköping, Sweden. DH is the larges LAN party in the world whit a record of over 10.000 computers running.

#34 Posted by boatorious (62 posts) -

I refuse to try any DoTA clones until I see their Eurotrash music video.  If I like the video, I'll try the game.

#35 Edited by Jimbo (9814 posts) -

How do they know which are pirated copies and which aren't?  And if they do know, why don't they just deny them access to their servers?

Edit:  Or is that what is meant by "legit users have been separated from pirates on the game's network"?

#36 Posted by Al3xand3r (7574 posts) -

They know because they sold this many, yet this many more tried to access their servers. Or something. And yes, it's stupid that pirates can do that. You'd think they'd at least have a cd key check for online (which is a great system and stops most people, except those serious enough to go play on cracked servers) despite being anti-DRM. Maybe it was a silly ommission, or maybe these articles are inaccurate. I dunno.

#37 Posted by Crono (2670 posts) -

I still don't understand how DOTA ever gained as much acclaim as it has.

#38 Posted by Death_Pigeon (22 posts) -

Ahhh Dota having played it for 6 years years or so i can say yes practically the same but nothing can replace DotA

#39 Posted by Death_Pigeon (22 posts) -

Ahhh Dota having played it for 6 years years or so i can say yes practically the same but nothing can replace DotA

#40 Posted by BoG (5191 posts) -

Im interested in this one, I might have to go out and pick it up. It's unfortunate that almost everyone agrees that the general's UI is really bad, it actually seemed like the idea would be cool.

#41 Posted by Aas (603 posts) -

Damn swedes...

#42 Edited by KnifeySpoony (1164 posts) -

Brad have you checked out Basshunter's song about IRC, Botten Anna?  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RYQUsp-jxDQ

I heard about the pirates on Demigod a couple days ago, that's rough for Stardock, hopefully they end with decent legitimate sales.


#43 Posted by theMcNasty (740 posts) -

Wow, that video was beautiful in the worst way.

#44 Edited by skilzlost (236 posts) -

im gona get my relatives to play that song at my funeral..


stardock have always been famous for looking after there fans.. there paying ones that is .. good on stardock..


#45 Edited by Delta_Ass (3280 posts) -

I think there are several problems with PC games and piracy right now.

First of all, many games now don't release demos beforehand for their games. That's just shooting yourself in the foot, as far as I'm concerned. With the rather draconian return policies for PC games nowadays, you can't really return anything that's been opened. Demos are needed for people to find out if their computer can run the damn thing. And of course, they're also great for helping gamers decide if the product itself is worth buying. 50 bucks is a lot to just spend on a gut feeling. If demos aren't available and people are stuck on the fence about a game, it's easy to be tempted by piracy.

GPG and Stardock had a pretty high hill to climb in order to sell this game to the consumers. First, they had to convince all the DotA fans if this 40 dollar commercial product was a worthy successor to their free Warcraft 3 mod. That's not gonna be easy. Then they had to convince all the other gamers who had never even heard of DotA that this was a fun experience. People don't just spend 40 dollars on a new IP based on some weird Warcraft 3 mod, with cover art that looks like some sort of Supreme Commander clone. They're gonna save their money, especially in this economy, for something familiar and reliable, something they know will be quality. That's gonna be something by either Blizzard, or Valve, or Relic. Not something quirky and new. They needed a demo, at the very least.

The fact that it's a primarily multiplayer game should've led to higher sales. The mistake was in not incorporating a cd-key check for online play. Games with multiplayer are inevitably seen as a better value and more gamers are willing to pay for a game that contains a good singleplayer component as well as multiplayer. You get more mileage for your buck, it's as simple as that. Whereas with some games that just contain a 6-8 hour singleplayer campaign with little replay value, it's harder to justify a 50 dollar purchase. That's about 7 dollars per hour. Prince of Persia and Mirror's Edge come to mind as examples. Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed both of those titles a lot as well-crafted experiences, but they were clearly a lot shorter then something like Dawn of War 2, which can last you about 15 hours for singleplayer and a few months or even years in multiplayer. I think in the future, there should probably be more of a variable pricing scheme for publishers. 30-40 dollars or so for games with quick singleplayer experiences, while the big titles with multiplayer like Call of Duty and so on go with 60 dollar price points. I mean, can you imagine how many more people would've actually given PoP and Mirror's Edge a try if they were priced at 30 dollars rather then the actual 50? Those were great innovative titles, but again the short playtime just didn't make it worthwhile for most.

#46 Posted by BeanoFritz (55 posts) -

Basshunter portrays playing DotA poorly, and gives false hope to players around the world. DotaA does not = Ladies

#47 Posted by chrisser665 (11 posts) -

Wait.   Wait wait wait wait.  Wait.......... a minute.  Those guys are playing... WARcraft.  war CRAFT. Warcraft.  And they have attractive women.  They're playing WARCRAFT... and they have attractive women.  What... in the hell is going on here?  In the States... we kind of, you know... pick on the warcraft folk.  Or I do, at least.  (And play X3 and The Witcher in the safety of my hypocritical home. ;)
But... Warcraft and attractive girls.
...I think I'm going to Sweden.

#48 Posted by Media_Master (3283 posts) -

That video made my day!

#49 Posted by lordofultima (6249 posts) -

Basshunter is strangely infectious.

#50 Posted by piropeople13 (399 posts) -

Sad that people are pirating this game.  Especially from one of the last companies holding out against the DRM swarm.

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