Down at the first hurdle

The Rubicon update crashed for me at the first hurdle – the launcher patch failed with “ImportError: No module named emails.utils”. The launcher would not run after that.

The EVE forums and Facebook page did not make reference to the problem, but it was early days. I commented on Twitter and left the social media pages up while I looked at what I could do.

I found you could re-start the launcher update by deleting the latest launcher patch folder. EVE would just revert to the old launcher and trying updating again. CCP had by then commented on Twitter that a new launcher was being deployed, so it was just a case of trying every 5 minutes until a newly patched launcher downloaded. From there the expansion update worked as expected.

CCP and its Expansion updates have come such a long way – but they still seem to manage tripping up and giving themselves a bloody nose.

If you followed the Twitter chatter you were made aware the problem wasn’t just with you, that a fix was being prepared, and then knew when it was ready. If you didn’t follow the EVE social media this (relatively minor) issue would have been extremely frustrating.

But I am not here to yell at CCP, I am actually here to praise them. Launcher update aside, the Rubicon deployment seemed otherwise to have gone very well. I didn’t pay close attention, but the game world seemed to be back up and running in around the hour mark. Once my client was patched the game was stable and there were no emergency reboots or obvious bugs. (I did read other people complaining about things, but it seemed more isolated to specific combinations of factors, not general problems.) In the first 24 hours I ran 3 simultaneously logged in clients for long periods shooting structures, and I had no memory leaks, no stability issues, in fact – no problems at all.

I can remember the old 24+ hour outages of the past. While I don’t play many other games, I am familiar with DDO and how long its patching is, and the litany of subsequent bug fixes that invariably follow. CCP seem so very close to the point of excellence in this regard.

They seem – from the outside, to be managing the development of the game much better. It looks like they have the formality and structure balanced well with passion and flexibility. While not perfect, they are doing a much better job of listening and responding to their players. They are not over promising, and generally delivering what they say they will. They are still doing plenty of iteration on current features, improving them, while building the framework for future advances. They also seem to be staying faithful to the game.

It is not to say there isn’t a disaster or ten lurking just around the corner – this is CCP after all, but given the turmoil in the world over the last half dozen years, CCP seem to be doing a rather good technical job with their game of EVE.

And if this is all just an illusion – I’m placated, so keep up the good work CCP.

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