Single-player RTS campaigns are great and all, but matching wits with the CPU’s cold robo-logic is only enjoyable for so long. After the story’s curtains close, we dive straight into multiplayer and never look back. But – if Demigod’s numbers are any indication – we may be in the minority. See, according to Stardock, a pithy 23% of players even tried to march their troops across the information super highway in Demigod. In other words, many never even succeeded in playing a single online match.
“Demigod continues to sell thousands of copies weekly – enough to remain at retail during the Christmas season despite it coming out last Spring – but the number of people available to play online is typically less than 2,000 at a given time. This is in stark contrast to MMORPGs and FPS’s which tend to have very large online communities,” read Stardock’s report.
This, of course, is made all the more startling by the fact that Demigod doesn’t even have a single-player storyline. Future Stardock RTSes, however, won’t make the same mistake.
“Our conclusion is that strategy games that we make and publish in the future will support multiplayer but will not sacrifice the single player experience to do so,” Stardock noted.
Granted, Demigod was notorious for hobbling out the gate with crippling online issues, so that may have sent a few players back into the CPU’s cold embrace. Still though, the game’s been out since spring, so we doubt those early missteps are completely to blame.
Maybe we’re just so awesome at Demigod that we scared everyone else away. But, uh, we can’t play a match right now. We, er… have turkey in the oven! Yup.
(Phew. Only time of year that excuse actually works!)
It is said that a great game is easy to learn but difficult to master. Demigod has the latter part down—the former, not so much. Veterans of the Warcraft III mod Defense of the Ancients, from which this game draws much of its inspiration, will have an easy time grasping the excellent concept, but to most other players it’s a very new form of multiplayer role-playing game, and the lack of tutorials makes learning the ropes a challenge.
To make a long, superfluous story short, portals on both sides of a symmetrical map spew out waves of AI-controlled troops that clash in the middle. Controlling a single powerful character, your goal is to push the tide of battle back at the enemy and topple their citadel. It sounds fairly simple, but thanks to a blizzard of game elements such as eight character classes, structure and minion upgrades, item purchasing, and flag capturing, Demigod becomes extremely complex.
Boy, if we had a nickel for every time we couldn’t afford a game, we could afford more games. Eventually, though, our goldmine of nickels would run dry (since we’d be able to afford games, obviously – keep up) and then we’d be thankful for free demos like the one Stardock’s put out for RTS/RPG hybrid Demigod.
"The demo features online Internet multiplayer games, the Cataract map and four playable Demigods (Regulus, Rook, Sedna and Lord Erebus.) All of the gameplay modes (Conquest, Dominate, Fortress and Slaughter) in Demigod are available to play in the demo,” said Stardock of the demo’s content.
Click here to download it, so then you can click more things and eventually kill them. Good, wholesome fun. What have you got to lose?
In the beginning, Gas Powered Games created RTS/RPG hybrid Demigod, and all seemed pretty good. However, fittingly enough for something called Demigod, the game’s launch was far from perfect. Servers gasped and sputtered under the weight of literally hundreds of thousands of pirates, and legitimate customers just got a big, fat Out of Order sign for all their troubles. Thankfully, publisher Stardock promised a few goodies to those who weathered the storm, and now, the developer’s delivering.
First up, Stardock’s mailing out discount coupons that knock 50% off the price of a second copy of Demigod. You know, for friends or family. Something like that. At the very least, that’ll grant you the opportunity to tell said recipient of your miserly gift about how, back in the day, you paid full price for Demigod and walked 15 miles through unstable servers to play it. And you liked it.
There’s a catch, however: the clock’s ticking on this coupon, and it finishes “early next week.” Really though, it’s not like you’re making a tough decision or anything. Demigod, Demigod, or Demigod – which is it gonna be?
Don’t start badgering Stardock into apologizing for their apology just yet, though. Next week, the publisher’s sending out a second batch of apology coupons, this time good for 20% off any game from its Impulse download platform. Should neither coupon be enough to douse the flames of your fury, Stardock’s also promising more deals down the road for regular Demigod players.
And if you still aren’t satisfied, just look at it this way: Stardock didn’t have to do any of this.
Yeah, we know why you’re here. And frankly, we’re grateful. We’re fully aware that – if not for the fact that Stardock’s servers are currently screaming under the weight of something akin to the game’s giant stone mascot – you’d be playing Demigod right now. But you’re not. You’re here. However, being the altruists that we are, we have a solution to your problem. First though, here’s why you’re not currently using Demigod to RPG while you RTS.
“The only reason why we haven't had this happen on other games is because we've never had anything like this many users in such a short amount of time. Sins of a Solar Empire was a huge hit but its success came not from an immediate burst of users but rather sustained long term growth which allowed us to keep enhancing the infrastructure as needed with minimal issues for users,” publisher Stardock told 1UP.
But where’s the sudden swarm of players coming from? Mostly, piracy. Apparently, “100k+” warez users have been fervently competing with legitimate customers both in and outside the game.
The good news: Stardock’s working tirelessly to correct the problem, and should have things in tip-top shape within 24 hours. The bad news: that’s 24 hours of waiting. Hey, we never said it was a good solution.
In penance, Stardock is sending a few of its employees to throw down with players, should you need any advice or just a decent opponent to play against.
So, for those who’ve actually stayed atop Stardock’s coveted hill long enough to complete a full game, how is it?