Bumpy launch for Red Orchestra
Steam’s run of smooth releases since Half-Life 2 came to and end tonight as confusion, invalidated content and slow downloads marred the release of Red Orchestra: Ostfront 41-45.
Troubles began immediately after release, with the small download usually consisting of final binary files delivered at a snail’s pace, as slow as 6Kb/s for some users. When their download eventually completed impatient gamers then found that the game would launch and immediately crash, an issue usually associated with outdated version of DirectX when seen with Source games, but here resolved by manually validating the game’s caches. When this process was complete users discovered that 20% of the game, probably representing the content from the second phase of the preload, needed to be downloaded again, once more at low speeds for many. The first reports of people entering the game eventually began to filter through at 7:35GMT, over half an hour after release. Complaints of ‘outdated server’ error messages followed, seemingly related to outdated account rights that could be resolved by logging in and out of Steam.
Causes are still unclear, but several possibilities are already emerging. Steam’s content servers are not experiencing unusually high load except for those in Europe, where, critically, the majority of Ostfront’s fan base is installed; load balancing taking its toll once again. Also, that a chunk of game data equal to the second preload required downloading again after manual validation suggests some form of corruption between the two preload phases: phase one’s decryption perhaps performed during validation, but phase two’s 20% being discarded as invalid.
This post will be updated if and when new details emerge.