Thursday, January 12, 2017

Forza Horizon 3... A 'First World Problem' Sob Story

UPDATE: Guess what, Australia Post didn't deliver the card today (13th) either. So now I have to wait at least another three days!!

Dear Playground Games / Microsoft,

Ever since I first saw Forza Horizon 3, I was looking forward to it. A fun mix of arcade gaming,

along with a beautiful looking set of Aussie areas and cars to play with.

At the time of release I wasn't working, but starting a new job in mid October meant I could finally buy the game on the last day of October.

Here is what has happened since then. It must surely be that (in a first world context at least) there is no one around who has gone through more expense, time and effort to be able to play this game...
  • Buy game from Microsoft PC download store
  • Two days later the game finishes downloading, finally I can play FH3!
  • I update my graphics driver ready to play
  • Game doesn't load
  • Find out that I need a new CPU as my dual core (despite working on every game I have ever tried) overclocked processor is not supported
  • Buy Quad Core i5 and install it
  • Hurrah! I can play the game...
  • I get through opening race and then the game freezes, crashing my PC
  • I reboot and try again
  • The game crashes my PC halfway through race
  • Try to reboot my PC and it won't start
  • Use recovery to get PC working
  • Test CPU and RAM to make sure CPU is okay
  • Buy backup Hard drive in case of a major hardware failure, and copy all my important files
  • Try another game to see if it the graphics card/driver (which had previously had driver issues, but they had seemingly been fixed by reverting to an older driver - and the card was now out of warranty)
  • Game crashes PC to black
  • PC won't boot
  • Recovery doesn't work
  • Buy a 32GB memory stick to try a full recovery
  • Recovery doesn't work
  • Try several options, and only likely issue is a failed hard drive
  • Buy replacement internal Hard Drive
  • Try to install windows on new hard drive, and it doesn't work
  • Swear loudly (this may have occurred more times than stated in this piece)
  • Try swapping SATA cables
  • Old hard drive immediately boots (seriously, whoever heard of a crash killing a SATA cable!)
  • Try old game to see if cable was the main issue - game crashes to black
  • Take out graphics card and start seeing if I can get it tested/fixed by manufacturer
  • Try onboard graphics card, which works perfectly with no crashes for many many hours
  • Decide to borrow a friends old graphics card to test
  • Old card works perfectly for many many hours
  • Try updating to latest drivers, old card still works
  • Graphics card supplier agree to send my card to manufacturer to test if a pre-warranty fault existed
  • Graphics card manufacturer says they won't test it as out of warranty
  • Numerous emails between myself, supplier and manufacturer
  • Manufacturer eventually agrees to test, but not repair graphics card
  • Christmas Eve, and I spot a great deal on a new graphics card and decide that this is a better idea than repairing the old one. Buy card online.
  • Six days later and not even confirmation of received payment
  • Phone up and find online orders not being processed until four days later
  • Five days days later and no confirmation of received payment
  • Contact supplier and get told payment is there and item will be sent
  • Finally get confirmation that item will be delivered on the 9th... which is now so long after ordering that my partner won't be home to collect it
  • Arrange redirect to office
  • Item now due on the 11th
  • 11th.... item not delivered, but get notification that item will be delivered on the 12th
  • 12th.... get message that item is delayed and will probably be delivered on the 13th
So. In summary.
Two and a half months, $1100 (not including the game), many many many many hours of testing, fault researching, and company chasing after buying Forza Horizon 3... I have STILL not been able to play the game.

Even after that, I am still excited at the prospect that hopefully, HOPEFULLY, tomorrow Australia Post will actually deliver my graphics card, and I will be able to race around Byron Bay in a green Ute.

So Playground games and Microsoft - I just thought you'd like to know the sheer amount of persistence, dedication, time and money that I have spent to play your game... the irony being that I could have bought an Xbox One S with the game right at the start and saved many hundreds of dollars.

As I appreciate your efforts in making a top class game, I hope you appreciate mine in actually attempting to enjoy it.