Gameplay vs crashing, when to call it quits?

If a game is giving you technical difficulties, be it low FPS, distortion, texture errors, freezing or crashing, at what point do you just get fed up and quit?

That’s my current dilemma with NWN2, as I’m deep into chapter 3 of the original campaign, loving the gameplay and story. The problem is the technical difficulties have increased, at times making the game unplayable as shortly as 15 minutes after a restart. At other times, randomly, I can get a good hour or so in without noticing anything funny happening. The game itself is a blast, and would rate very high in my top games if it ran without a single issue.

So at what point do the technical issues become so great that they overwhelm a great game and make you quit? I’m already resigned to waiting on a new graphics card before I start the MotB expansion campaign, even though I currently have a card that should be more than capable (7900GTX). I’m hoping that it’s just something random with NWN2 and my card, and that a new one will make all the issues go away.

I quit LoTRO a while back because of similar issues, even though at the time the gameplay was still very enjoyable. Quitting LoTRO was a bit easier because I knew I would go back, and I knew that when I do go back, it will be a better game than I left it thanks to all the content updates and patches.

I’m trying to finish up NWN2 because I’m deep into the story (which is great) and if I stop now I’ll likely forget most of it when I come back. So my decision, in terms of NWN2, is made, I’ll just tough it out. How many of you have ever had something similar, where you wanted to love a game, but technical issues forced you to quit and move on to something else, either for the time being or permanently?

4 Responses to Gameplay vs crashing, when to call it quits?

  1. Lucifrank says:

    I have a zero tolerance policy for game crashes. My opinion is if my system meets the minimum system requirements, it’s not acceptable when a piece of software fails to perform at least adequately on it. This is the one area where I feel consoles are markedly superior to PCs. At least with one standardized system across the board, there are never the compatibility and specification issues that seem to constantly plague us as PC gamers.

    Another thing that really gets my goat is when a game is not running properly, you go to that company’s troubleshooting site, and they tell you to add or remove files from the system folder and other such jumping through hoops. This should not be a game player’s problem. To the companies I say, ‘Get a patch up ASAP’ or you’re failing your customer.

    I know many people love flexing their cyber-peens by tinkering around with the inner workings of a piece of software to iron out problems, and that’s fine–but I am not one of them. If installing and properly running a game involves much more than me clicking the “Install” and “OK” buttons a series of times I’m gonna be cranky.

    Of course, crashes are gonna happen every so often, but when they happen with frequency it should be up to the developer to remedy the situation ASAP. We supported their product. We shouldn’t have to do the dirty work for them.

  2. Coherent says:

    It may be a hardware or software quirk specific to your computer/hardware combination/driver setup. It’s highly unlikely that the crashes you’re encountering occurred on their testing machines (unless they didn’t do any testing at all, in which case it would be a great deal MORE buggy).

    Check the forums for similar problems, or try playing it on a different machine with completely different hardware. If the crashes still happen in exactly the same way, dump the game, it’s crap. But it’s likely you’ll have a different experience and will be able to finish the game and enjoy it.

  3. syncaine says:

    Yea I know PART of the issue must be my computer, as it’s too random not to be. But that said, most other games run perfect on my comp, so it’s not like I have a fried gf card or anything. And this is all after going through a very extensive tweak guide for the game.

    That said, a lot of people have different issues with the engine in NWN2, and the forums are full of complaints. I will give them credit for a ton of updates to improve things, but sadly even now the game is not as smooth or stable as it should be.

  4. ArgleBargle says:

    I have been having similar woes with Hellgate: London. At some point during any play session, the screen will freeze for a moment and then the monitor turns off due to “loss of signal” (which I interpret to mean that the video card got hosed). This happens quite regularly in this game, and has never happened in any other game on my system.

    I find the game compelling in a fun “action” way, and I would probably spend many hours on end wiping the tunnels and streets clean of demons. But the game invariably dies and forces me to reboot the computer. As a result, I will often say, “Meh, I’ll just play WoW for a bit”. I also find that knowing that the game is likely to crash, I will often decide to play a different game when I sit down at my computer. There’s lots of competition for my attention –game-wise– these days, and Hellgate: London is causing itself to be dropped way down in my priority list of must-play-now games.

    Needless to say, there’s very little chance I would pay for a subscription to the game now.

    P.S. Syncaine, been reading your blog for about a month now, and it’s often an interesting read. Keep up the good work!

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