dmihalik avatar

Every bug is Sacred


Since I got my Xbox I’ve not really played many games on my computer. I recently got a new computer, and I became interested in computer gaming again. I saw a few ads over at Penny Arcade for a game called “Sacred.” The ads stated it was “A Diablo clone done right.” It looked pretty fun and was on sale when I was at Fry’s so I decided to give it a try.

This game is, by far, the buggiest game I’ve ever played. It’s the buggiest piece of software that I’ve ever paid money for. I’ve heard that in single-player mode that there are not nearly as many bugs. I purchased this game to play cooperatively with Jessie, so I don’t want to play single-player. Almost all these bugs have been reported by other people on the Sacred forums, so I’m not the only one experiencing these problems.

This game is hardly even beta quality. Thousands of people got duped into paying $40 to beta test this game. I wish I could have sat in on the pre-release meetings for this game. When I think about it, I see this guy talking and saying one of these options:

  1. “We finished developing the game yesterday, we’ll burn it on a CD today, and we’ll start making money.” (completely forgetting the “testing” step of software development)
  2. “We’ve found a couple bugs in testing but we don’t think anyone will notice.” (understatement of the year)
  3. “If we work really hard, maybe we can get a patch out before people can buy the game” (something all-too-common with games these days)

Here are all the bugs I’ve experienced:

  • On my machine, the game would not run at all without patching it first. This is probably related to the fact that I’m running XP SP2 RC1. Not entirely their fault.

  • Every time the person who runs the server saves and loads the game, their character’s name disappears. There are workaround for this, but this seems like such a common use case that they might have tested it.

  • There are so many problems with horses, I don’t know where to begin.

    • When you save your game and reload, your horse disappears, along with the saddle you put on it. You can swap in a cheap saddle before you close the game, but if the game crashes you never have a chance to swap.
    • If your horse dies while you are on it, you become invisible to the other players in the game.
    • Often times when you get on your horse it wont move. You have to get off, move to a new screen and then try getting on again.
  • While I am running the server on my machine, the game has a 50% chance of crashing when I save the game. That’s the most annoying point in time to crash. It usually goes something like “Whew. I’m glad that’s over. I should save… Doh!” The only thing I can really tell that’s different about my machine from Jessie’s is that I have Hyperthreading.

  • There is a pretty good chance you can’t finish many of the side-quests. You can finish the task, go back to the person and they act like nothing happened.

  • Sometimes when people follow you for quests, they keep following you after you finish the quest. Jessie and I both have our own little posse that follow us around and don’t really do anything useful.

  • I have a ring that’s not a ring. When I pick it up and drop it, it sounds like a weapon. But I can’t equip it as a ring or a weapon.

  • Sometimes large areas of the screen are black. Sometimes when it’s black there are walls, and sometimes there are not. Sometimes you can walk in the black area and sometimes you can’t. People and chests show up, but you’re just walking around in a black hole.

The one thing this game has going for it is that it’s actually pretty fun. Even though we’ve experienced all these bugs, we keep playing. We’ll probably keep playing until we hit a bug that corrupts one of our characters and we wont really feel like starting over.