*Not the Alpha nor the Omega, its the Beta!
Not Too long ago, it was announced that people who preorder MGS4 would get MGO Beta Keys.I’ve been waiting to get the “MGS4” experience for so long and now I finally had a chance! I’m definitely going to buy the game, so preordering wouldn’t hurt. But sadly, this offer was not available in India. Well, there is no surety of the game’s Indian release even.All this was making me more anxious to get my hands on it.I decided that I would play the Beta someway or the other.
One fine day I came across a Kotaku article linking to a GT Profile,telling people how to get into the “free” Japanese open beta. On seeing this, I registered with no second thought. I soon got my Beta Key by e-mail, and was ready to download! My happiness knew no bounds after knowing that I would get my hands on it soon AND help in trying to make the game better.
I was waiting for Apr 17th now, which was the day when the gates to Beta downloads would open, and just a day before that I saw this news! Upon seeing this I was worried about my Beta key, I had a tab for Gmail always open and refreshing inbox whenever I looked at it (even though I know it refreshes automatically ).
*Konami Servers = BOMBED!
In all this hiatus I went to the new Konami id creating portal(now in English) and started creating another Id with fake UK information with the hope that I could atleast get into the UK Beta, but the site was so full of traffic that the pages wouldn’t load and would often return errors after submitting information.But, such errors couldn’t stop me! I kept trying and was able to finally create a UK Id for the game. Now all I had to do was wait and see if I could really get into the beta one way or the other.
Konami site never saw traffic like this before, and it caused huge problems from Id creation troubles to the Beta being delayed by a week
*Japanese Key, European downloads?
Now came the question of downloading the Beta.Due to the delay I had more time to download the thing and luckily, I didn’t get any e-mail about my ID being banned, so maybe, Konami was only doing that to people from areas where the beta is officially available.(lucky! ) Now I had two functional Konami IDs and all ready for downloads!
I was unable to find the beta download link in Japanese PSN Store,I was planning on using the valid key with newly announced UK beta download.But after following a few links and looking at pictures in the japanese MGO site I realised that we had to access a special option from ‘account management’ page to download the Beta.
Now I had to choose between a sure-to-enter japanese version of the beta(have the key,But all text in game would be japanese :S ), or the not-so-sure UK beta (where I could be kicked out for not being in the Uk ). After thinking of all possible consequences I finally decided and started the risky UK BETA download.The download was 7xx MB and it takes 1hr to download 100 mb in my connection! So I started watching movies etc on my PS3 just so that current for keeping the PS3 on all the time would not go to waste.(yeah I think a lot about the electricity wastage ) All the games I own for the PS3, I’ve already beat so there was nothing left to do than watch movies on it.
*Patch the size of the Beta? Whaaa?
3 days and 3 movies later the download was complete, then I got a Shocking PM from my Friend on PS3 saying “You have to download a 700 MB patch after starting the Beta, lol” After 7 hours of download I will now have to endure another 7+ hrs, now with NO background downloading, so no movies or whatever.
I was still wondering if taking all the risk was worth it, because turning on the PS3 (and having the PC also turned on at the same time , ISP problems) would charge a lot for the electricity! but being so near to finally being able to play the game I just didn’t want to quit it, so i started the downloaded BETA file.
The Menu screen was pretty MGS-ey which was a good thing, and as usual I first saw the “other” things before pressing “start game’ The only other thing in this case was a HD trailer for MGO (which itself was around 150 MB of the download me thinks ) and It was the same trailer I saw when it was first announced. so I was kinda sad whole through the video (they could have removed the video and saved us all a lot of time! )
Well, Then I started the beta, and the sound of pressing start itself was something worth noting, it was like a gun shot, but very impressive! it was one of the best gun sound effects I heard in recent times I can say.(Yeah,I keep track of these things too ) and was just what one needed to hear before starting a MGO type battle.
Soon the User agreement showed up and after accepting it it showed that there was a patch and I had to download it, I started the download and the HTML download option didn’t work properly. I restarted the Beta and now started the download in the peer to peer mode and this time it was downloading but there was this HUGE PROBLEM!
The thing is that my ISP is really strange it provides a total bandwidth of 256kbps where its Up+down= 256k (where as in DSL connections I tested, its Up/down =256k each). The peer to peer download thing had a speed limiter, but it was one of the strangest ones I saw till now. instead of giving higher priority for downloading, the upload speed limited to “2x download speed” Now I was stuck with 1/3 the bandwidth for downloading the thing.
The download speeds were very slow (~10K) and because of that, the download would take very long. Here in India electricity is cut off randomly, its something everyone has learnt to accept as if it were a natural disaster.No one can stop it, and one has to suffer the consequences.
Therefore, I was really worried if the thing has resume or not (because downloading 50% and then having the current go off would be a VERY bad thing to happen ).I stopped the download after 1% completion, and upon restarting, it luckily resumed so with a sigh of relief I continued downloading.
This time, I HAD to leave it unattended,I left it turned on for many hours every day, there fore in 2 days with around 12-15 hrs of download time the thing was complete!
*2x uploading done! The Beta calls!
Now I was ready with all my Konami Ids, Game IDs, and Beta Keys, ready to enter the Beta, and finally get my hands on the game! So How was the game?Did in anyway help in making the game better? Lets leave it for the next post