As long as there will be games, there will be glitches. You’re a gamer, though. You’ve been to the negative worlds of the Mushroom Kingdom, you’ve thrown a car across Liberty City, and you’ve certainly seen a Spartan land in precarious positions after an Energy Sword strike. Glitches mean nothing to you.
But what about mistakes that break the game? Ever walked into a city in your favorite MMO just to fall over dead? How about that hot game you preordered that wasn’t finished when you put it in your Playstation? These are the kinds of horror stories that seasoned gamers only joke about, but such situations are a very real scenario. In fact, I’ve compiled a list of what I believe to be some pretty obscure problems from games you may know, but may not know about their terrible past problems.
Warlords Battlecry III & The No-Good, Very Bad DRM
Warlords Battlecry III is an RTS that came out originally in 2004. While this is not unusual in any respect, the game went to online distribution via Impluse in 2009.
Enlight, the publisher of the original, allowed Impulse to distribute it. While a business deal like this is normal, what the proud owners of the new digital version didn’t expect was archaic DRM coming back to bite them in the Random Number Generator.
With graphics like this, how could you resist?
Yes, the online version included the disk-based DRM. In this case, the random number generation always would return a value equating to zero. A better way to explain it: you’re in a casino, and all the dice have one dot on each side. You are not going to win anything.
Eventually, I'll roll a 20. I'm sure.
This led to two horrible game-breaking issues: your attacks that worked on a percentage never worked, and most of the items you picked up in the game would be the “Elven Ring of Greed.”
Later, a patch would come out, but Impulse originally blamed lack of Vista support until a number of XP users spoke up, saying they had the same issue as well.
Well, not quite this ring, but same idea.
Dead Island: Developer Version
For gamers who rely on Steam, being able to get your games installed without going and buying a boxed copy (let alone putting on pants) is a major boon. Those who looked forward to some zombie-slaying, however, were treated to a very special surprise.
"Happy Birthday! Here's the wrong thing you wanted!"
When the Steam version of Dead Island came out, the wrong version was distributed. The developer’s test copy reached thousands of gamers, allowing them to toggle different camera modes and noclip (ignore walls) at just the press of a button.
The guy in the middle? Missing the head? That's how most people felt.
When the word got out, Deep Silver delivered a patch that fixed around 37 issues, including removing extra files that ordinarily would not be found in a released game.
FreeCell, The Way FreeCell Needs To Be Played
Anyone who has used Windows for longer than five minutes knows that some simple games come included. The game we’re talking about here is one of those games you probably open once, look at the layout, and decide you’re going to stick to Paint instead.
Thankfully, those with Vista and Win7 don’t have to play it in order to win. The game has a “Select Game” option where you can choose what layout of cards to play. Microsoft had the foresight to remove unwinnable and instant-win scenarios from the game originally, but they can still be accessed by typing in -1 or -2 for unwinnable, or -3 and -4 for instant-wins.
Grandma will be so proud of you.
World of Warcraft’s Corrupted Blood Incident
The “Corrupted Blood” incident is a fine example of trolling in its infancy, or poor planning on Blizzard’s behalf.
When Zul’Gurub came out, the final boss had an interesting debuff he would cast. Hakkar’s spell in question was just a spell that dealt damage over time with an interesting error attached: anyone who get too close to the affected player also was infected with the issue.
Questing Gone Wild!
Eventually, players would teleport to the game’s main cities, passing on the debuff to other players and NPCs. NPCs, however, were immune to the symptoms but could still pass it to regular players, causing a lot of death in a short period of time. Blizzard had to resort to restarting servers in order to kill the problem.
You know, maybe it IS time to reboot my PC.
Magicka’s Premature Birth
Forgot a major deadline? We’ve all done it. Arrowhead Game Studios, on the other hand, was a day early and 22 patches short of a finished product.
"26th, right? Why'd you circle the wrong day?"
On January 25th 2011, Magicka came out on Steam with its fair share of bugs and glitches. By the next day, though, the first patch was out to fix most of the issues. It didn’t render the game unplayable, but when you pay for a game, you kind of want all of it.
The most effective soldiers are the ones buried up to their waists in the ground.
A lot of developers use the last day of development time to hunt and destroy any glaring problems, but when that day goes missing, the results… could be hilarious.
You got that right!
Honorable Mention: Mass Effect’s Commander Shepard is afraid of heights.