Buggy Games - you buy or you pass?

The NWN2 thread and PCGameplay (Belgian game mag) got me thinking.

NWN2 appears to be a very buggy game. Graphical glitches, sound stuttering, AI problems, desktop crashes, buggy item identification: even for an RPG this game is unfinished.

Yet, as PCGameplay stated, people still buy these kind of games en masse. In the NWN2 thread, I heard Morro and others state they don't really care about the bugginess (sp?). Why is that? Because you think/hope you won't be as affected as others? Because you're happy to play with errors until (hopefully) a patch will be available? Because you think it's inevitable such a complicated product has some bugs?

Or are you one of those people that stay clear of buggy products? How do you avoid them? And why? For personal reasons mainly (you don't want to get frustrated); or because you hope to change the attitude of developers by not buying "unfinished products"?

I myself think it's inevitable to have at least some errors and bugs ingame, as long as they don't make my game crash. I can stand some quest bugs or graphical glitches here and there, until they are patched out. But I too hate the current attitude that seems to be the standard of throwing blatantly beta versions of games on the market. 50 euro for an unfinished product: that's a disgrace.

So, your thoughts?

I have two classifications of bugs that define whether or not i'll get a game.

1.) Bugs. Average, ordinary things that, if not too gratuitous in number, I can chuckle at and pass by.

2.) Showstoppers. Showstopping bugs are generally gameplay-changing, Crash-To-Desktop-Inducing gigantic Mothra bugs. For instance, if, in a RPG, I can start on an important quest, but taking up a certain side-quest nullifies the original quest and loses you a plot-important item or if certain actions cause the game to lock up, stuff like that.

If only the former, then if it is a good enough game, I still will buy (Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines). If the latter, no thank you.

Pass - and keep an eye on the title until it's patched. I find this practice also helps me battle the hated Stack.

I will buy if the game is good enough. Every BF game released had loads of bugs in the 1.0 version, which some were showstoppers. Dark Messiah has a showstopper every now and then, but when the game is that good, I will get it.

Every other game which is not on my "ultimate game" list will be left alone if there are too many bugs.

Sadly, I'll buy a buggy game if I want it bad enough. I still have the box for Ultima 9: Dragon Edition. What is a bigger show-stopper to me is bad design. I'd rather play a buggy game that's fun than a boring game that isn't.

I used to buy buggy games because I figured that they'd be patched in due time. I finally learned my lesson with BF2. I no longer buy games with showstopping bugs.

Every game has minor bugs, even console games. The larger & more complex the game, the more bugs there are (I was amused recently when I looked up the list of bugs in the US release of Final Fantasy VI back on the SNES, for example; some of the bugs I'd found myself, others I'd never known about).

If they aren't major bugs, then no, I don't avoid purchasing a game over them. However, anything from major bugs on up to showstoppers I wait for a patch that addresses the problems.

Sadly, there are times that I don't know about these problems when I buy a game at release (a practice I'm doing less and less for pc games these days in particular) and learn about them the hard way.

If I hear a game is buggy before it's widely available, I'm not buying it until it's well patched. If it has a launch-day patch, I'll wait months before I get it.

It's just bad that developers publish those games knowing they aren't ready... And even worse that people KNOW this, and buy them.

It's just bad that developers publish those games knowing they aren't ready... And even worse that people KNOW this, and buy them.

Amen. I don't think many will disagree with you, yet you're the first one telling us you zon't buy bugged out games. Including me. Weird.

I avoid bugged out games. I have more games than time to play anyway. I did make an exception for 2142 though, since the regular BF2 night went away. I mean, I didn't "know" know that it was buggy, but it's the sequel to BF2, so we all knew it'd be buggy, didn't we?

As incredibly cool and awesome of a game Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines was, the extreme bugginess completely killed the experience for me. I was loving the combat, the fighting, the characters... but if a game that low in specs was chugging and stuttering and crashing on my system? No thank you.

So yeah, if a game is buggy enough I will not play it. Sadly I didn't know that Bloodlines hadn't been patched up to snuff before I bought it. Ever since then I always take careful attention to my research of the next game purchase to make sure I'm not buying a worthless disk.

Pass. There are plenty of games that I haven't played that are a few months old (I haven't even made it to Oblivion yet!) that have already been patched. They also tend to be cheaper if you wait.

dejanzie wrote:

NWN2 appears to be a very buggy game. Graphical glitches, sound stuttering, AI problems, desktop crashes, buggy item identification: even for an RPG this game is unfinished.

That I'm going to have to dispute. I have yet to see a single bug in the game through normal use and most of the complaints I've read over at the Bioware forums (yes, Bioware) are from people who're using either the pre-release toolsets, are messing around with trying to play new modules, or are playing with either below-spec hardware or incompatible hardware. NWN2 is not a buggy game by any stretch of the imagination. Whatever's wrong with it is clearly intentional.

BF2 is the only buggy game that I seemed to have tolerated (i.e rebooting my PC after the game just crashed to the desktop 10 straight times). I just loved playing so much that I was able to forget about a lot of the issues.

The only real way to avoid bugs is to wait until real people get their hands on the game. IGN/Gamespot etc have proven they will gloss over even the worst bugs in certain situations so really you have to wait until the thread here gets to 100 posts to find out if it's buggy or not, and wait until the thread is 2 weeks old to find out if its worth the money. If people are still actively posting after two weeks (Oblivion, Chromehounds, Dwarf Fortress) and its your kind of game, its probably worthwhile. On the other hand if the thread is only occasionally resurrected, it's probably a rental or wait-till-it's cheap, if ever, game (The Ship, Defcon, Saints Row, Prey, Titan Quest)

These are how my decisions are made on a limited budget.

Rat Boy wrote:
dejanzie wrote:

NWN2 appears to be a very buggy game. Graphical glitches, sound stuttering, AI problems, desktop crashes, buggy item identification: even for an RPG this game is unfinished.

That I'm going to have to dispute. I have yet to see a single bug in the game through normal use and most of the complaints I've read over at the Bioware forums (yes, Bioware) are from people who're using either the pre-release toolsets, are messing around with trying to play new modules, or are playing with either below-spec hardware or incompatible hardware. NWN2 is not a buggy game by any stretch of the imagination. Whatever's wrong with it is clearly intentional.

I agree 100%. There are people who are in Act3 of NWN2 who have hardly ran into any bugs. NWN2 seems to be fine to me compared to some of today's releases.

It totally depends on the game. Oblivion, Saints Row and the various GTA games all have their share of bugs but nothing that serious.

However, when Morrowind was originally ported over to the xbox (I didn't have a computer that could deal with the pc version) it was so full of bugs it was practically unplayable, the game would crash or freeze up on me literally every fifteen-to-twenty minutes, coupled with horrendous load times. And yet, I bought it, loved it, and didn't stop playing it until Oblivion was released earlier this year.

You know, just because you never encountered bugs doesn't mean it's not buggy. It's just not universally buggy. Myself, I haven't played NWN2. Too much dull dull dull NWN multiplayer burned me out on anything NWN for the near future.

Pass until it works. I got enough games to play as it is.

I generally buy games on release day, so I don't learn of the bugginess till after the fact. Generally I've had very few issues, even with games being touted as very unstable and buggy. Generally if a game is crashing, there is something funky going on in your system, not always the case, but most of the time.

Quintin_Stone wrote:

You know, just because you never encountered bugs doesn't mean it's not buggy. It's just not universally buggy. Myself, I haven't played NWN2. Too much dull dull dull NWN multiplayer burned me out on anything NWN for the near future.

Is it really a bug in the software (and therefore the complete fault of the developers) if it can't be replicated across a variety of PC configurations?

Rat Boy wrote:

Is it really a bug in the software (and therefore the complete fault of the developers) if it can't be replicated across a variety of PC configurations?

Quite possibly. Poor error handling, improper checking of return codes, missing null checks, hardcoded array lengths, bad thread management, all manner of things that can slip through QA and only start showing up in a subset of users. Some gameplay bugs may even show up in a game and yet disappear when a new game is started on the same machine. Mind you, I'm not trying to say that NWN is buggy or that it's not buggy. Just that it shouldn't be so easily dismissed.

Use to be I had to have the games asap, but these days I don't mind waiting a bit. Especially when dealing with mmo's. Release day is always crazy. Like Edwin said I have enough games to keep myself entertained.

As far as PC games go, I wait for the CGW review. Their policy of only reviewing retail versions of the game makes perfect sense, and they're not afraid to savage a game with bugs.

Chalk me up for another one who has had 0 issues with NWN2. Certainly it is harder on my video card than it should be, but the game hasn't crashed and I haven't run into any bugs.

I play a sh*tload of games and very, very rarely run into any bugs at all besides small graphic glitches or something like that. I just played all they way through Vampire:MB with zero bugs.

The last two showstoppers I've encountered where I was forced to wait for a patch were Age of Empires III (audio synch bug) and Railroads! (track-laying and routing clusterf*ck).

Unless it's a multiplayer game (BF2, etc.) where I risk missing out on playing when it's hot, I find there's no incentive to buy before it's patched. With the speed at which PC games drop in price and the possibility of upgrading later always available, I find buying year old PC games lets me play 'em decently and cheaply. Sure, I missed the Oblivion chatter, but when I finally grab it I'll do it cheaply and it'll run without fuss.

One of my favorite games is Arcanum: Of Steamworks and Magick Obscura. I've tried to pass on buggy games ever since. I figure that a game that's horribly buggy but manages to remain one of the most fun I've ever played is probably one in a billion, so it's just not worth it after finding my one shot.

If bugs hinder game progress then I'd be mad. Graphical gliches don't bother me so much - if its a good game I fail to see the point of nit-picking about jaggies.

Budgie games?

IMAGE(http://img165.imageshack.us/img165/342/birdro8.jpg)

lol noob

Unless it's a multiplayer game (BF2, etc.) where I risk missing out on playing when it's hot

This one gets me everytime. I dont buy much anymore with the intention of playing on my own...and having a multiplayer game on day one is worth dealing with a buggy title to me.