PS3 News: Should We Be Concerned About First-Day Patches? - PS3 News

Members Login: Register | Why sign up? | Forgot Password?

Should We Be Concerned About First-Day Patches?

This news broaches an interesting question, one that isn't dissimilar from the downloadable content question.

It has been revealed that The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim will require a day one patch when it releases later this week. In an e-mail Bethesda sent to us, that patch will address "some minor stability and quest progression issues." We got no further details.

Now, "quest progression issues" could be horribly problematic, although I will say I haven't come across any such nightmares in my play-through thus far. However, we often talk about the possibility of DLC allowing developers to get lazy; i.e., "oh, this isn't really done, but we can fix it and add stuff we didn't add with DLC." Extra content is great, but it's a slippery slope, you know? What's stopping them from releasing a game that's literally only 80% done and then slipping in the "fix-it" DLC as time goes on?

Personally, despite the conspiracy theories, I don't believe there's a lot of that going on, even if it's possible. Most designers are gamers, too, and they want to produce the absolute best product possible. Do you see guys like Kojima letting a game out the door they're not 100% happy with? But this day-one patch thing...it's a little concerning because we need to fix something immediately after buying the game. It just makes it feel like even more of a purposely incomplete product.

The Skyrim patch may not be a big deal, but there's always a "what if" scenario attached. What do you think?

Related Game(s): The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

Tags: the elder scrolls v, skyrim, bethesda, skyrim patch

11/8/2011 9:26:11 AM Ben Dutka

Put this on your webpage or blog:
Email this to a friend
Follow PSX Extreme on Twitter

Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share on Google Share on MySpace Share on Delicious Share on Digg Share on Google Buzz Share via E-Mail Share via Tumblr Share via Posterous

Comments (47 posts)

MeXiCaNFiGhTeR
Tuesday, November 08, 2011 @ 9:42:22 AM
Reply

Yes Sir, we should be concerned. But then again that patch could definitely be important in some way or another. As long as the game is playable I could care less how many patches they release for it.

Agree with this comment 1 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

TheAgingHipster
Tuesday, November 08, 2011 @ 9:42:23 AM
Reply

I don't think we should be CONCERNED, but perhaps annoyed. For me, there is little more frustrating than popping in a new game, only to have to waste time doing a game/system update. But, with the advent of widely-available internet, developers are in a position to continually improve their products, making sure any bugs or little issues they or players run across can still be fixed. I can't be too upset about it, as they're showing a lasting commitment to their games and their fans, but it IS a bit obnoxious.

As for the DLC-as-patch idea, yeah, there's nothing stopping them from doing this, short of their reputation and fan loyalty. Screwing your players is a good way to make sure you never sell another game. As long as the patches are for mostly minor things they didn't have time to fix before the release date, it's fine... but release an 80% finished game with the intention to patch it later, and you'll get gamers rallying with torches and pitchforks.

Agree with this comment 7 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

shadowscorpio
Tuesday, November 08, 2011 @ 9:45:56 AM
Reply

I've heard a lot about games needing patched lately. Are there just not enough game testers out there to catch these issues before release? Or are the game testers just slacking?

Last edited by shadowscorpio on 11/8/2011 9:46:26 AM

Agree with this comment 1 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

WorldEndsWithMe
Tuesday, November 08, 2011 @ 10:06:15 AM

Once a release date is announced they try to stick to it, barring game breaking issues found by the testers they just release the game and fix minor hiccups on the go.

Agree with this comment 2 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

PoopsMcGee
Tuesday, November 08, 2011 @ 3:19:30 PM

I worked as a tester for a while, you wouldn't believe the number of major bugs I reported that came back to me as WNF (Will Not Fix).

Agree with this comment 0 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

MeXiCaNFiGhTeR
Tuesday, November 08, 2011 @ 9:50:01 AM
Reply

In my opinion It's not about the game testers slacking it's about the developers not having enough time to finish their product.

Agree with this comment 5 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

VampDeLeon
Tuesday, November 08, 2011 @ 9:57:29 AM
Reply

I think it should be more concerning to the developers since it means to them that they aren't finished, but to the consumer it can be seen as a positive thing that the developer is at least acknowledging that they are working to improve the game more and not having the consumer pay for an unfinished and left alone product.

Agree with this comment 0 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

WorldEndsWithMe
Tuesday, November 08, 2011 @ 10:03:57 AM
Reply

I think it's mostly BS and I'm not worried about it at all. It takes time to get the game stamped and shipped and we should be thankful the dev teams keep on testing their game long after it has gone out the door. Most games have day 1 updates these days so Skyrim shouldn't be singled out.

Agree with this comment 4 up, 1 down Disagree with this comment

Beamboom
Tuesday, November 08, 2011 @ 10:22:14 AM
Reply

Isn't it *always* like this with new titles? I don't think I can remember a single single title that did not require a patch - usually small - the first time I ran it. I always imagined it was part of some sort of copy protection measurements?

But if I had to choose between devs focusing on adding content and features all the way up to release date followed by minor fixes as patches, or feature freeze long time before release resulting in lesser content but a 100% finished product, I think I'd choose the first.


Last edited by Beamboom on 11/8/2011 10:27:17 AM

Agree with this comment 0 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Tuesday, November 08, 2011 @ 11:04:58 AM

Uh...not always. Before this generation, developers were tasked with shipping a complete product because there was no way to fix anything after it was out the door.

Agree with this comment 3 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Beamboom
Tuesday, November 08, 2011 @ 11:18:42 AM

Yeah yeah, of course, I was being imprecise. I meant *this* gen, I imagine there's always a patch when I insert the disk for the first time in my ps3. Usually a very small patch too.

Well, probably not every single time, but it is very, very common!


Last edited by Beamboom on 11/8/2011 11:22:08 AM

Agree with this comment 0 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Axe99
Tuesday, November 08, 2011 @ 2:58:55 PM

Common, but not always - IL-2:Birds of Prey and Apache Air Assault both didn't need day one patches (I'm a Gaijin Entertainment fanboy, but mainly 'cos they do really good, if niche, stuff), and from memory RUSE was alright as well (although it was oft-delayed, so would have needed a huge day-one patch if they released when originally intended!)

Agree with this comment 0 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Excelsior1
Tuesday, November 08, 2011 @ 10:24:40 AM
Reply

absolutely. 1. it makes console gaming more pc like which i hate. 2. what about the people who don't have their consoles connected to the internet for whatever reasons? i've read it's something like 20% of ps3s that are not connected to the internet. i guess they are just screwed.

games with broken quests should not be allowed out the door period.

bethesda is horrible at game testing and debugging. they have a reputation for shipping games that have serious issues. enough of a bad rep that i think it hurts their bottom line.

@world

one the reasons bethesda gets singled out is they are often guilty of the worse kinds of bugs. the game breaking type.

Last edited by Excelsior1 on 11/8/2011 10:30:19 AM

Agree with this comment 3 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Axe99
Tuesday, November 08, 2011 @ 3:00:17 PM

You're dead right about Bethesda - I love Bethesda games, but I _never_ buy them at launch, 'cos it usually takes a few months for them to get 'em right. It sounds like they've done a much better job with Skyrim, but a day-one patch is only marginally less surprising with a Bethesda game than the sun coming up in the morning ;). I'm happy waiting :).

Agree with this comment 0 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

D1g1tal5torm
Tuesday, November 08, 2011 @ 10:32:59 AM
Reply

I think it's more down to getting the product on physical media, and then releasing a patch that contains the updates between that and release data.

It's no biggie really.

Agree with this comment 2 up, 2 down Disagree with this comment

Highlander
Tuesday, November 08, 2011 @ 10:35:15 AM
Reply

It depends on the nature of the patch. some games have a day 1 patch that's an enhancement or a minor bugfix that was done in the month or so between going gold, pressing discs and shipping to retail. But if a game *requires* a day 1 patch, that's different. If a game absolutely requires the patch, then it wasn't finished prior to release and was rushed out with the Dev knowing that they could patch it later.

I don't like this at all. I think that a game should only go gold when a) it's functionality is complete, b) it's primary and secondary functionality work as intended, and c) no show stopping, game breaking bugs remain. Patches to console games should never be required to allow the game to function as intended, anytime that's the case, it's a failure of quality control by the developer/publisher.

Post release patching needs to be limited to fixing minor bugs, enhancing a game, adding minor functionality, or taking advantage of a new feature added to firmware (such as when Sony added custom soundtrack options). Oh, I'm OK with a game requiring a patch to use recently developed DLC or even to comply with a change in PSN security (for instance).

But day 1 patching leaves a bad taste, especially if without the patch the game is broken.

Agree with this comment 1 up, 3 down Disagree with this comment

Qubex
Wednesday, November 09, 2011 @ 1:52:17 AM

Yes, game production is a complex business. I don't hold it against any developer if they need to release a massive patch from day one, as long as when you get started with the game, it plays well and you are happy with product polish that goes with it.

Incremental improvements are also good, and if developers continue to release a few patches after release to keep making it better, why not.

The better the game the better you feel about spending the money; and you know you can look at your collection and say, " i have the best product money can buy in my collection, and I feel good about that".

I would rather have fewer games in my collection, but let them be the best games, with the leas technical issues...

Q!

"play.experience.enjoy"

Agree with this comment 0 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

bigrailer19
Tuesday, November 08, 2011 @ 10:38:32 AM
Reply

I don't think we should be concerned. Secondly, Ben you are playing the game right now. Does it seem like there's an issue with Skyrim that it desperately needs a patch, or is this something little? If a game was issuing a patch that was very much needed for the game to work, then yes we should be concerned. If Bethesda catches something late and thinks it's a small issue, that can be solved with a day one patch, then so be it.

Agree with this comment 2 up, 1 down Disagree with this comment

PS3addict
Tuesday, November 08, 2011 @ 10:41:24 AM
Reply

I know I have had a few scares with Arkham city. If you do not let the background load for the game disk and just click "x" I have gotten error messages that the game data is corrupt and it throws me out to XMB. Luckily, the second launch loads and my game save is there.
Just too much like Castlevania LOS for me...

Agree with this comment 0 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

ColTater
Tuesday, November 08, 2011 @ 11:56:17 AM

This has happened to me more than once with Arkham City too. Good thing I did what you did and just tried it a second time. Although, the first time it happened I did freak out and told myself that if it doesn't work upon trying it the second time, I was going to throw the disk out the door as I was already 55% complete and although it is a great game, I know I wouldn't have wanted to go back through it all again.

Agree with this comment 0 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

dmiitrie
Tuesday, November 08, 2011 @ 11:39:15 AM
Reply

With rare, but notable, exceptions, these kinds of patches are fairly small, so it's usually just a minor inconvenience. If my choice is between a minor flaw in the game or a 10-15 minute delay in playing it for the first time, that's pretty easy.

Unless the issue is much larger than the statement implies, which is something I'm sure Ben would have noticed, there's really no cause for alarm.

Agree with this comment 0 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Hynad
Tuesday, November 08, 2011 @ 12:40:45 PM
Reply

It's a Bethesda game. Of course you should be worried! The game will need endless patches, yet will remain a glitch fest just like all their other games.

Last edited by Hynad on 11/8/2011 12:41:10 PM

Agree with this comment 2 up, 1 down Disagree with this comment

Victor321
Tuesday, November 08, 2011 @ 1:09:27 PM
Reply

I felt precisely this feeling when I got Battlefield 3, only to sit through the mandatory patch.

It sort of worries me, but for now, like TheAgingHipster said, I'm more perturbed than concerned.

Agree with this comment 1 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Oxvial
Tuesday, November 08, 2011 @ 2:01:12 PM
Reply

Bethesda game day one? lol no thanks gonna wait for the complete and patched edition.

Last edited by Oxvial on 11/8/2011 2:01:32 PM

Agree with this comment 2 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Highlander
Tuesday, November 08, 2011 @ 2:10:36 PM
Reply

You know, this is how MS delivers Windows. No one in their right mind get's a new version of Windows before the first service pack becomes available.

Agree with this comment 3 up, 1 down Disagree with this comment

burnedknight
Tuesday, November 08, 2011 @ 2:17:34 PM
Reply

I'm not really concerned either as long as it's fixing something minor but Bethesda has had some bad glitches before so it worries me

Agree with this comment 0 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

BikerSaint
Tuesday, November 08, 2011 @ 2:39:49 PM
Reply

Earlier in the year, I popped a new game in(can't remember which one though, maybe it was ME2???) expecting to play it for an hour before I absolutely HAD to get to bed.

But instead, I had to sit for over 2 hours on my then slower crappier 1-3 Mbs DLS, just to get through 27 frigging patches and/or updates.

So not only did I NOT get the chance to even sample the frigging game, I also lost an extra valuable hour of my night's normal 5-hour beauty rest.

Agree with this comment 0 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Excelsior1
Tuesday, November 08, 2011 @ 4:21:25 PM

@BikerSaint

Mass Effect 2 was a major pain in the ass to get up and running. It had a madatory half hour hd install in addition to having to download all the patches(very time consuming and can not be done in background).

What really burned my ass was the lengthy proccess you had to go through to gain full access to the PS3's "definitive version" of Mass Effect 2 which includes the interactive comic, all the bonus missioms, extra characters, weapons, ship upgrades, and additional armour options.

EA had all that content locked out by a one time code. Essentially it was an online pass for a sp game. You also had to create an an EA account to redeem your code which served as a key for unlocking all the bonus missions already on the disc. After all that you were forced to download the interactive comic off the Cerebus Network. Oh yeah, the Cerebus Network was down for the first 4 days after ME2 was released so you had no way of redeeming your code. Without that code you are missing out on many hours of great gameplay and other options. No code equals no definitive version.

What an absolutely brutal process that was very pc like. I completely get why pc gaming has died off after getting a taste of what it must feel like to get a pc game working.

Last edited by Excelsior1 on 11/8/2011 4:32:20 PM

Agree with this comment 1 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

PANICinc
Tuesday, November 08, 2011 @ 2:52:36 PM
Reply

People without internet are screwed!

Agree with this comment 1 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

LegendaryWolfeh
Tuesday, November 08, 2011 @ 4:54:43 PM

Nah, they will just be bug ridden.

Agree with this comment 1 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

xnonsuchx
Tuesday, November 08, 2011 @ 3:04:00 PM
Reply

I think that's one of the both good and bad things about having consoles intended to be online...on the one hand, it allows fixes, updates and DLC; but on the other hand, it can also be an excuse to shovel something not-quite-done out the door thinking they can just fix it later. Luckily, I think the latter isn't too common.

Agree with this comment 0 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

fatelementality
Tuesday, November 08, 2011 @ 4:52:50 PM
Reply

Ben, if you would please let us know if u come accross anything fishy in Skyrim, I would be forever grateful. If u do, then I plan on switching my console reservation. Does the game look better on PS3.

Agree with this comment 0 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Excelsior1
Tuesday, November 08, 2011 @ 6:26:45 PM

Unfortunately Ben got the 360 version sent to him by mistake for review I believe. I wish he had the PS3 version of Skyrim becuase Fallout 3 had problems on the PS3 that exist to this very day such as serious frame rate issues during intense action sequences. I am not exaggreating when i say the game would drop to under 5 fps at times. Then there are the game breaking freezing problems that have been well documented in the PS3 version. The game could lock up on you at anytime it seemed forcing you to reset. I hope Skyrim fairs better on the PS3. It's using a new engine i think.

Anyways, the DLC in the Fallout 3 GOTY version was problematic in particular. The sidequest The Pitt could get pretty bad. What is really strange is that sometimes I could play for many hours without encountering problems then boom all the sudden everything goes to hell. It almost seems random. Having said that, there are sections that can be really bad such as the mission were you are escorting that giant robot. It was damn near unplayable. I think it is fair to say that Fallout 3 was not exactly the most stable of games on the PS3 unfortunately.

I would highly suggest waiting for reviews of both versions since you own both consoles and this is a Bethesda game. You might as well try to pick up the best version. I'd like to assume the PS3 version and the 360 version are the same but that was not the case in Fallout 3 which is ofcourse another Bethesda game.

I would finally add that Fallout 3 remains one of my favorite videogames of all time despite its technical problems. It was so good that I was able to put up with its problems. I hear Skyrim is more like Fallout than Oblivion. Ofcourse I was thrilled to hear that.

Last edited by Excelsior1 on 11/8/2011 6:35:37 PM

Agree with this comment 1 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

fatelementality
Tuesday, November 08, 2011 @ 8:02:41 PM

I know that they integrated a lot of features from Fallout 3, I just hope that they left the bugs behind. I have this sinking feeling that I need to change my reserve despite my natural instinct to buy multi-plat games for PS3. Please God, if you exist, cleanse Skyrim. That is all. Oh, and world peace and all that good stuff.

Agree with this comment 0 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Gabriel013
Wednesday, November 09, 2011 @ 1:57:32 AM

I still experience all the problems you highlight with FO3. That is WITH the benefit of the patches.

Agree with this comment 0 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

sha4dowknight05
Tuesday, November 08, 2011 @ 6:04:48 PM
Reply

As long as its not some big patch that takes hours and hours to download then we should be fine!

Agree with this comment 0 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Snaaaake
Tuesday, November 08, 2011 @ 6:51:48 PM
Reply

And I got this feeling even after the patch, the game will still be a bit buggy.

This is after all, Bethesda.

Agree with this comment 0 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

SnipeySnake
Tuesday, November 08, 2011 @ 8:26:24 PM
Reply

As long as its less then 10MB.

Agree with this comment 0 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

BikerSaint
Tuesday, November 08, 2011 @ 10:34:39 PM
Reply

As far as patches go, I wish Kaos wasn't disbanded by THQ, just so it another patch so I could play Homefront without having to reboot my PS3 for the 9th time already.

It seems that different stages, Homefront just freezes up altogether without warning, & then my controller won't work & I can't even eject the disc or even turn off my Slim without having to switch it off right from the power plug adapter that I bought for it(thank goodness I got that off/on switch adapter).

Agree with this comment 0 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Gabriel013
Wednesday, November 09, 2011 @ 1:55:46 AM
Reply

Yes, because there are still gamers without their console connected to the internet so all of them will be experiencing unnecessarily buggy games as they will never benefit from these patches.

I know only a small minority are without the internet at home but I expect there are quite a few young gamers who simply are not allowed to have their consoles connected to the web.

Agree with this comment 1 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

___________
Wednesday, November 09, 2011 @ 2:32:30 AM
Reply

not at all.
problem is games go gold at least a month before release so if developers are going to hit their date they have to ship a slightly unfinished game, and use the remaining month or so fixing things up for a day 1 patch.
either that or delay the game by a month that way they can have their fixes in the game instead of on a patch.
but then the likelihood the extra 1 month adding those things in the game chances are your going to find something else so its a never ending process.
patches are fine as long as there not massive and released every few weeks.
then theres a problem!
nice to see bethesda actually having a patch ready for this on release, instead of their usual 2+ months after release!
i still cant play fallout new vegas without my ps3 catching fire and swearing blue at me!

Agree with this comment 0 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Underdog15
Wednesday, November 09, 2011 @ 1:15:21 PM
Reply

hmm, I think coding these days are much more intricate and fussy than former generations. When you try to make hit detection and draw in more responsive, precise, and at higher resolutions, you increase the window of opportunity for mistakes.

The bigger the project, the more mistakes there will be.

When coupled with deadlines and release dates, it's almost impossible to ship a perfect product. (Although, fyi... WKC2 has not yet had any fixes, nor has it needed any. They will adjust some things in the future to strengthen some weaker classes due to fan response, but it isn't necessary)

Plus, there's a few weeks between the final product and when copies hit store shelves. It isn't unreasonable to think they may find a few errors to fix between finishing the game and the official release date.

Agree with this comment 0 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

wackazoa
Thursday, November 10, 2011 @ 11:20:08 AM
Reply

Depends on the size of the patch for me. If small then I dont have a problem with them fixing testing bugs or glitches. If its large like EA's football games this year then they need to have free DLC to make up for an unfinished game or seriously rework their game staff to fix any more such problems.

Agree with this comment 0 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

RobN
Thursday, November 10, 2011 @ 12:11:14 PM
Reply

If they let the game slip another month so they could get the patch on the gold master and press it on the disks, then you'd be upset that the game slipped another month, right? So which is it -- do you want them to ship on time with a game that's mostly ready and can be easily patched, or do you want them to delay as long as necessary until they have a perfect release?

Agree with this comment 0 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

riptide8
Thursday, November 10, 2011 @ 2:38:40 PM
Reply

It bothers me, in my work I get sued if I have "a day One" f- up.Makes me think of bugs in a defective product...we will see.

Agree with this comment 0 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

DeathOfChaos
Thursday, November 10, 2011 @ 9:56:28 PM
Reply

What's the problem with this? Install the patch, you're done with it, and then you move on...

Agree with this comment 0 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Woomera
Monday, November 14, 2011 @ 2:19:35 PM
Reply

It won't be the first game that this has happened to... I can't remember the name of the game at the moment, but every time you logged on it seemed you need a new patch, Dam annoying...

Agree with this comment 1 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Leave a Comment

Please login or register to leave a comment.

Our Poll

Got the Wii U?
Yep, had mine since day one.
Yeah; I just recently picked it up.
No, but I might get one soon...
No, and I don't ever want one.

Previous Poll Results