sorry to say, but this is a very bad service, if they are working like hell right now this mean that they made a very deficient game, if they where this Excellent company as you are saying, they would have noticed those huge online problems before they start selling the game, all this work they are having is the reflex of a bad developed game. as i see they just made the game the faster they could, to start selling and get money and forgot about the quality of the final product. so dont come with this "you ppl need to be a little more understanding" the fact is that they made a poor game, and have to fix it now. that's why they are working all that now
I'm curious, so the game is poor because the network library used for the game couldn't handle thousands and thousands of people with very different types of route and ISP setups? A system that worked quite well during the extended beta for the game I might add.
How many games have you developed? While I agree it is a total debacle that a major game be released with multiplayer matchmaking problems, I think you forget that until recently, most games did not include it at all, they either bundled GameSpy Arcade or sent users off to use programs like Microsoft's Zone.
Simply put, the game was well developed. Gas Powered Games, the developer believed the game was done. We ran the game through our own QA process along with our beta testers and we (Stardock) believed the game was ready as well and so it was released.
There are a lot of factors that are virtually impossible to test for. Besides the lack of scaleability in the library we used, there is also the almost unlimited combinations of user ISPs, routers, OSes, etc. If we had a time machine, we would have done a large open multiplayer beta to the public. Then we would have learned, for example, how some ISPs in Brazil packet shape peer-to-peer traffic.
As frustrated as I am personally with the difficulties of the Demigod launch, I think some people fail to realize just how much more complicated getting multiplayer connectivity to work today in games that don't have dedicated servers (i.e. strategy games). I see people comparing Demigod to Battle.net. But when Starcraft came out, people didn't have routers at all let alone people with internet sniffing security programs, anti-virus internet monitors, personal firewalls, ISPs blocking ports to reduce bit-torrent traffic, etc.. etc.. Battle.net and other systems have had years to adapt to that as those things have come up. And it's not like we can license Battle.net.
With the benefit of hindsight, Stardock and Gas Powered Games made a mistake in treating network connectivity the same way one treats licensing a sound library or a 3D library or a video library. We believed (quite obviously wrongly) that you could just plug it in and have the game call Game->ConnectPlayers(a,b,c,d,e,f,g) and voila. And because it worked well in beta, we felt confident to release the game.
Once it became obvious that that wasn't the case, we have spent the last 2 weeks developing a new system ourselves.
On the console, I might point out, developers don't have to mess with any of this. Microsoft and Sony provide this already.
I might also point out that Stardock provides a 100% refund to those who can't get multiplayer connectivity to work. So if you really think we're such a bad company, I recommend getting a refund.