September 30, 2009
The NCSoft Launcher…
I’m going to try and keep this short, for your sake. However, as much as I’m enjoying Aion at the moment (and I do think it’s a great game), I really despise the NCSoft Launcher.
In my opinion, it is useless overhead we are incurring each time we wish to load our favorite game. You could argue that it does keep your NCSoft games up to date and it is able to repair corrupt game files, but I think these two don’t nearly make up for the shortcomings of this annoying little program. First, most games these days do a check for updates when you launch them or, in the case of MMOs, when you log on to the game servers. Second, although a repair shouldn’t be necessary, it would be easy enough to incorporate this into a standalone program that users can run as needed.
The launcher itself seems to be the cause of many of my issues lately. I can’t count how many times in the last week it has thought that Aion was not up to date (when it was) or that it encountered an error the last time it was run. Both of these have made it necessary to choose to force the game to play without checking for updates or repairing, since I know damn well that nothing is wrong with it.
Aion has crashed on me on occasion, but I don’t find it bothers me as much as the fact that when you log off or get disconnected from the game servers, you end up back at the launcher and have to reload the game in order to log back on. The game takes a considerable amount of time to load, and if it was already loaded why do I need to head back to this annoying little program to reload it and make sure everything is just peachy before I can play again?
I’m happy that NCSoft decided to remove GameGuard from the Aion release (for now anyway, we’ll see about that later on), but I really don’t like their launcher. I don’t own any other NCSoft games*, and I don’t really understand the purpose of this program other than to annoy me each time I want to play Aion. Why should I have to load a program before I can load my game? Especially if it provides no added value to the experience?
* As an aside, I may have once described in great detail how much I disliked Guild Wars and it’s expansions to the developers and NCSoft PR folks at E3 one year.