The New Client – A Big ‘Thank You’ To all Involved at Bethesda and Sparkypants!
Today has been a day many of us have been anticipating for a long time – the new client for The Elder Scrolls Legends has been released. The release was announced as causing a downtime of a day maybe more. A new app had to be released and deployed to Google Play Store, the Apple Store and to PC at the same time. Even anyone working in software engineering can only try to imagine the magnitude of this undertaking. It’s like exchanging the wheels and the engine of a car while the car is driving. So, I will say it loud and clear for all the great people at Sparkypants and Bethesda and all the people raving about some relatively minor issues that this is an amazing job done. A stellar job! A lot of people have been working extremely hard over the past weeks and months and particularly the last two days to make it happen. And I would like to extend a big, big thank you for the great work they have done!
I will share with you my story of the new client release. You all will have your own and a few in our community have gotten a little bit aggro and over the top with it. Maybe I am the only person who had a really fun time with the new client and who SEES the many major improvements the new client already provides today. But let me share my experience.
The Release Day
During the day, over here in Europe, Bethesda announced a slight delay with the rollout of the new client. So I drove back home in the evening and didn’t really know what to do with my time, because I was so anxiously awaiting the new client. I checked Twitter for news about a zillion time an hour, prepared some blog content for the future and was just looking for that one thing I really wanted to do – you will call me nerdy, and sure, yes, you are not wrong – my goal was to play Jiub as the first card in a ladder game on the new client. I had just for this purpose saved some soul gems to craft him as a premium. I totally love his voice tag line – I am a Hunter, I am a Redeemer, I am Jiub. So, this was just my personal goal and I waited until after midnight. The client was not yet in a state that I could login, so I went to sleep as I had a few important meetings at work and couldn’t be late in the morning. So I fell asleep in peaceful anticipation.
The Morning of the Release
Of course, I had set the alarm clock to wake me early as Bethesda had announced that it would be only hours away. So at like 6 am in the morning, I opened the new client on my iPad and iPhone. There was the Sparkypants logo and now it would let me login. It needed to download a lot of things like a 1000 little items and it took like forever, but once it had, I opened the client. This was at like 7 am German time on 26th September. I saw the new login screen. Wow, that was looking pretty purple with Almalexia and so on. The first thing I checked was whether my collection was there. I browsed through it. Everything as it should be. Wow! What an amazing job. My gold, my gems, all my cards are there. So, I knew I was in a rush, so I had time for probably one game. I had prepared a Jiub deck. My plan was to concede immediately if I wouldn’t draw him to hand after the Mulligan. The first three cards come up, and, wow, there was my Jiub. Premium. Beautiful. I’ll share the screenshot.
I also drew a Steel Scimitar. How cool. You can see a little graphic bug on Crusader’s Assault. That black area. It was happening for some of the card animations. But my Jiub went down and gave me his voice line. I was totally happy. Unfortunately, my opponent was able to remove him, before I got Jiub to convert. Nonetheless, I won this first game, and it has been a very memorable and special moment.
It was a bit awkward, to get used to the new client – it felt a bit different than I was used to, but it is still the Legends I love. So I went to work, bought some packs on my iPhone during lunch break and opened them. As my collection is complete I convert all cards to premiums and this went much faster than in the old client. It’s a bit different on the usability and I accidentally put 2 cards away that I didn’t want to, but I will get them back in no time, so no worries.
I obviously wanted to get home fast to play more and experiment a bit more. As I was driving home, I must admit, i was opening Reddit. Holy Moses. What I read there was just a flame war that was going on. People being disappointed, deleting the game, and I was like, wait a minute, what’s happening here? So I read a few of those headlines and a few comments and I saw CVH comments somewhere in the middle and I was like: what the f* is going on here? Bugs? But why so negative. As I was driving I couldn’t spend too much time reading, and as I arrived home, I opened the new client and played a few more games. I had to see for myself. And I noticed that it’s a bit different and some graphics weren’t rolling along so fluidly, so I then looked to the Blood Warriors Guild discord. People had been collecting bug reports and were also not in a very good mood. I wasn’t really understanding what all the trouble was about, because I was and I am very confident that Bethesda working with Sparkypants will easily and very fast edge out those issues. Probably most of the things would anyway be known to them already. So I thought just give em time, and keep enjoying the game.
A few fellow players had actually said, they had deleted the client because they were disappointed, frustrated, outraged. And to some degree I can be sympathetic, but I work in product management in a software company, knowing how hard software engineering can be and what a massively huge task this whole client migration was. So no one with some reasonable understanding of software development would expect this to go without any bugs. In fact, one can expect multiple critical and major issues and countless cosmetic and minor problems. This is a complete rewrite of the game. Let’s make no mistake here. Not a single line of code was reused. So I think people might have been overreacting and I turned back to the game and just played a few more games.
The Patch 1.2.6
Then, I noticed that a new update was available in the App Store of my iPhone. I looked and couldn’t believe it – it was for TESL. I downloaded it. Lighting fast. Hmm. It really looked much better now. High fidelity. The glitches with the graphics were almost completely gone. The animations running much more smoothly. Wow. It looked amazing, the cards and everything much sharper. To be honest – now I was really impressed. I laid back and said ok, give this a go. So I hopped onto the ladder for a few games. I played a Warrior Mid-aggro deck that floWMega had provided me with. I was on rank 1, not yet legend and just played a few games. And it felt very good. I didn’t notice any wrong card interactions, the texts were easy to read on the cards and I don’t have the best eyes, I’m over 40. So all of a sudden, I couldn’t believe what I saw. It was petamax. The one and only. I was paired with him. Wow, I never get to those high ranks in Legends to be playing against such strong players. Those of you, who don’t know, petamax has created one of the most extraordinary decks, that cycle all cards in a few turns. And he was playing scout. So I thought, oh my god, what a day. I can play against this legendary player today, on the new client, with my Jiub in the morning and then all of these negative things faded away, and I just played the game. I have played the deck of his myself and I know how difficult it can be on some turns while you cycle the deck to get through with your turn, before the turn timer hits zero. But it was lightning fast. Much faster than it used to be on my iPad on the old client. I could start the card plays already earlier, which usually one could only do on the PC client. So I was here, on this memorable day, with the new client, my Jiub from early in the morning, now playing THE LEGENDARY PETAMAX HIMSELF. I couldn’t take enough screenshots, and I don’t want to brag, because I only got lucky in my card draws and I will probably be never ever given the opportunity to be playing him again. But this was my Legends moment. The best ever. I won this one game.
So whatever you guys have been experiencing during the day, all the frustration and expectations that maybe you think haven’t been met. Give this new client a fair chance. Wait a few days if it helps you to get some distance from your maybe not so good experience. But don’t give up on Bethesda or Sparkypants, because the client and the cards in the client have gotten more updates in the last 12 hours than they would usually get within an entire month. Give this thing a chance and just play a few games after you slept a night over it. There is so much good stuff in it and more to come.
They gave out three packs for free, so that’s great. They gave out a great new card back, that looks amazing. And when you win three games you get a new screen with your 15 gold in it which is not just showing the coins but a few gems and stuff in it. Won’t buy you anything else but tells me that there is a game publisher and a game developer and game designer behind this who cares about the little details. And there are many more for us all to find. Just have a look and play, and stop making everybody feel miserable with your reddit flames. Be decent, voice your criticism but start to enjoy the new client. It is much much better, than you think!! Time will prove this!
And again – thanks to everyone at Sparkypants and Bethesda making this possible. Keep up the great work!