Sunday, January 29, 2006


(Haven't) Just Played: Auto Assault

I signed myself up for the public beta of Auto Assault, which is the new MMORPG from the guys who do City of Heros/Villains and a few others. It's basically Mad Max - you have a car, strap some weapons to it, and blow stuff up. In other words, it looked fantastic.

The client was somewhere in the order of 3gig, and obviously had to be downloaded. So I started the process going sometime on Wednesday or Thursday night. The beta started around Saturday morning our time, so the plan was to have everything ready to go so I could try it out whenever I got the chance over the weekend.

Unfortunately, things didn't really work out properly. When I tried to launch the game, the application crashed. So I ran the handy "check files" app, and discovered that one of the files (naturally the biggest one - 250mbs) was corrupt. So it started to re-download it. When that finished, the same thing happened.

So in other words, my computer has spent the weekend downloading the same file with the occasional break to try and start a corrupted application. I did all the natural and obvious things, except for uninstalling and starting over again - by the time I'd started considering that, it was too late anyway. I maybe could have found some help on the forums, but I couldn't really be bothered wasting my time - if I had a free moment, I wanted to do something fun, not bother with broken software. I found myself pining for World of Warcraft, where the patch downloading just works (I know this is an unfair comparison - WoW is almost two years more mature).

I did send them an email though, so hopefully they'll be able to fix my problem for the release version:

I was very keen to try Auto Assault - it looked like it would be lots of fun. Unfortunately, I've reached the end of my weekend (I'm located in Australia), and I haven't had the chance to play.

I started downloading the client almost as soon as the instruction email came through. I have a 512Kbit/sec ADSL connection with a 20gig limit, so the client size didn't worry me too much. I started it running, and just walked away. Unfortunately I ran out of harddrive space around the 85% mark. So I deleted a few gigs worth of stuff, and resumed the download.

When it finally finished, I attempted to launch the client, but it died before it had finished loading. I read the instructions, so then patched the client, reset my machine, patched again and then ran the checksum. It discovered that ofe of the files (full-maps.glm_0. was corrupted, so started to re-download it.

This pattern repeated itself for the rest of the weekend - everything would finish downloading, the client would crash, the checksums wouldn't match so I'd have to start downloading again. So after more than 72 hours and half my download limit reached, I'm forced to give up.

Unfortunately this has left me not really wanting to risk dealing with Auto Assault again - or at least risk paying money for a game that I won't be able to play. But hopefully I've given you enough information to correct the problem, and hopefully others had more luck with the game.
EDIT: Hmmm. I just got an auto-generated email back from the support address basically telling me that I'm spam. It thinks I'm spam because my email address isn't linked to an account, but if I'm not spam, then I can sign up for an account. It only takes about a minute, and I only have to do it once! I figure they must mean "once more", because I've already singed up for an account - they even sent me a confirmation message after I activated it to the same address.

WoW is looking better and better...

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