Pay attention - this is how you gripe
I'm absolutely estatic about the release of TA but I've still yet to purchase it. This is for several reasons, upcoming exams and the fact I can't just swing by my EB to buy it.
Those reasons are pretty incidental. My biggest reason is i'm a bit shy about buying 'unfinished' games. When I say that I'm not levelling an accusation at Stardock - I simply recognise my tendency to become emotionally involved with too many games that, for one reason or another, have some glaring issue which causes no end of grief.
I recently walked away from a game I loved dearly, Company of Heroes, because of continued and persistant balance issues spanning nearly a year. It finally got through to me that the large level of frustration had been ruining my enjoyment of what was supposed to be a destressing activity, not a stress inducing one.
Now I spent a truely unhealthy amount of time on that game, spare time and otherwise. I won a fan competition and now have a huge framed piece of internal concept art on my bedroom wall which gives me bittersweet feelings everytime I look at it. I don't think I need to lay out that walking away from the game was a pretty big step but I felt like I had no other choice.
As much as I want to purchase TA I hesitate because of what I am seeing in the forums. In my mind I envision ninjas with laptops sliding down the bat pole to combat the problem with alternating lighting from a 'showstopping bug detected' sign flooding the scene. However thats the little boy inside who wants to play with spaceships and hold a magnifying glass between the sun and Kora.
The adult inside recognises the realities that this is a business and resources are finite. The bug will be fixed, its just going to take time. Stardock did not develop flawless code from the outset and then break several things that they can later fix so nobody cottons on to the fact they have an Iconian locked in the basement doing most of the hard work.
Gamers are traditionally at the mercy of the developer after they have purchased the product. Some developers, and I believe Stardock is in this category, take the feedback very seriously and attempt to do their very best to address customer concerns despite not being really all that beholden to the customer. EA Games would not be success it is if gamers held grudges and were not huge suckers.
(See also - George Lucas ruined my childho.... Star Wars III! I'll have 46 tickets to opening night please)
However many developers are ethically corrupt in this department and rely on marketing to sell what is essentially a public beta that may or may not be brought up to release candidate level in several years. I've been bitten on the arse by this too many times now so I feel compelled to get a consensus of a 'all clear' from the poor saps who faithfully lined up to buy it on day one.
Its interesting to note that it is not the money that bothers me so much, its the emotional let down after geeking out over a title. Master of Orion III still makes me wake up screaming in the middle of the night in a cold sweat (okay not really...)
Once TA gets through these teething troubles I'll definately be buying it. Until then I'm content to stick with DA. Part of me wants to buy it so Stardock has extra money to throw at these kinds of problems, but the rest is cynical and no longer trusting. I wonder how many other people have simliar thoughts?
(Yes i'm fairly transparent in my motives here - so what