Wednesday, October 13, 2021

Bad Image

When I sat down this morning to get my fix of New World there was a big, yellow message across the bottom of the screen warning the servers were about to come down for a scheduled patch, expected downtime five hours. I got half an hour in before the deadline and it's now exactly five hours later so let's see if the servers have come back, shall we. Last time they went over by several hours more so I'm not holding my breath.

Twiddles thumbs as he waits for the game to patch. I could have thought of doing this earlier, couldn't I?

I might have, had I not used my unexpected free time to knock out another post for the Pitchfork 25 series. That will go up on Saturday, when I'm working. I'm at work Sunday, too, so I need to get another done before the weekend. Then I can put up two posts no-one's going to read.

I really need to miss a day's posting deliberately, just to break the run. I haven't missed one since July and now I have this thing going where I have to post every day, whether I want to or not because you can't break a streak. Everyone knows that.

I knew it would happen but I thought it wasn't going to be a problem because, as I was boasting back in Blaugust, I never run out of things to write about and I like blogging at least as much, probably more, than I like gaming. Hubris.

It was true enough until I started playing New World. The thing is, once again as I've mentioned a few times along the way (I do repeat myself, don't I?) much though I enjoyed my time in the original alpha, as New World grew and changed, I felt it was becoming less and less like a game I'd want to spend a lot of time with and more and more like something I could happily dip in and out of as the mood took me.

Which is not what happened. 

Patch is 80% downloaded, by the way.

No, what happened is that New World turned out to be one of those games I think about when I'm not playing and wake up wanting to play. They don't come along all that often although Valheim was one so that's two this year.

Valheim, though, as I keep saying, is not an mmorpg. It feels a lot like one but it's nowhere near as huge, sprawling and open-ended and it doesn't have infinite things to do. As many people commented, for all its addictive properties, once you'd killed the last boss it felt like you were done.

I didn't even kill the last boss. There didn't seem much point since you got nothing for it except a few changes that made the game harder and less fun. I got to the point where I could have killed him and then I stopped. That would never happen in an mmorpg.

Patch finished. Logging in.

Valheim may not be an mmorpg with endless patches adding more and more things to do but it is in early access so there will be a stream of updates and additions over the coming months and most likely years. Unfortunately, unlike an mmorpg, it looks as though they may be on the kind of cadence that allows us to forget we were playing and, judging by the first milestone, Hearth and Home, why we bothered in the first place.

And now Easy Anti-Cheat throws an error for the New World patch. Unknown File Version. Let's try that one more time.

I've played maybe an hour of Valheim since H&H. I was willing to give it a go but when I got into the game I found I just wasn't feeling it. I already built my home there. I've seen all the interesting stuff or nearly all. I read about what had changed and it was just not very interesting. 

I never bothered with the animal breeding that we already had. I don't think I've ever gotten involved with animal breeding systems in any game. The whole concept doesn't appeal to me in any way. The food changes looked dull, the new housing items uninspiring, the changes to biomes minor and forgettable. I have, in fact, forgotten what they were.


Another error. Bad Image of the .exe file this time. Not looking good, is it? Third time lucky?

Steam tells me I played Valheim for 381 hours. That's a lot. Some of it would have been tabbed out while I wrote posts about it but even so. I played Bless Unleashed for 80 hours. That's two games this year I've given huge amounts of time. 

New World, so far, 72 hours. How long is it since it launched? A couple of weeks. Still way behind Valheim at the same stage but when Valheim came out it was cold, dark and wet outside and we were locked down and nothing was open. Now it's unseasonably warm, unexpectedly sunny, and everything's open. Not really a fair comparison.

New World throws yet another error. Reddit tells me I should "rightclick on the game in the steamlibrary, properties, local files, verify integrity of games files" so that's what I'm doing. We'll see if it helps. I bet it doesn't.

One piece of good news. With New World down, I took the opportunity to log Mrs. Bhagpuss's account into Guild Wars 2 and have another go at the mount race in Mad King's Lab. A stunning success!

The race popped within seconds of me logging in. I paid my gold to hire the vendor and that completed another of the Annual achievements. Apparently you need to hire a bunch of vendors for one. Hadn't spotted that. 

I managed to get to the start line with only two visits to the rental guy. A plastic spider bit the first one and when I used the tail swipe to kill it the mount despawned. It really is the worst implementation of the mechanic I've ever seen. 

Fortunately I had plenty of time to get a replacement before the whistle went for the start or the race. There isn't really a whistle. Maybe there should be. 


Steam finished validating but the validation failed. It says "Two files failed to validate and will be reacquiired" Is that the historic future tense? Guess I'll try logging in again and we'll see.

There was a Commander running a squad around the Lab so some of the lanes were clear. There was another player racing and they drew some of the aggro ahead of me. I loped round without getting knocked off or even stunned, which meant I made the two minute timer with relative comfort.

And somehow that completed both the Daily and the Annual achievements. Don't ask me how. I am certain I'd only had one success before then and you need three for the Annual. I was so astonished I logged out in case someone popped up and told me it was a mistake. 

Login fails again. Same error as the first time. Unknown File Version. Time to check the Amazon forums.... Okay, it's me, it seems. NA West and EU have extended downtime but NA East is finished and my server, Zuvendis, is up. One more try at validating and if that doesn't work it's a full re-download and re-install.

I realize this doesn't make for the most thrilling of posts but what can you do? Well, I guess one thing is finish up here and go write that other Pitchfork 25 post. Gotta get it done sometime. Might as well be now.

Here's hoping I get into New World some time today. Or ever again. I was locked out of EverQuest for several weeks once with an error no-one could solve. Eventually it fixed itself. They always do, eventually.

That's online gaming.


  1. Replies
    1. Yeah how could he leave us hanging like this!!?

    2. Hehe! Sorry about that. I ended up having to uninstall and re-install the full game. Left it doing that while I had my tea, came back, logged in and it worked perfectly. Then I spent the rest of the evening playing. Crisis averted!

    3. You did better than we did on the EU servers then, the one I play on (Carcosa) didn't come back until just before 9pm, and others were still down at that point.

      Also, can we just stop and marvel at the concept that you downloaded and re-installed a 40GB game while you had your tea? At least, those of us who can remember 5.25" floppy disks and dial-up modems...


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