1. Download three patches totalling 1.5G.
2. Attempt to install patches, discover that installation is blocked until game is registered.
3. Attempt to register game, discover that the key provided in the pack is supposedly invalid.
4. Mutter darkly, open help ticket with company.
5. Surf around for registration issues, discover that registration only works in IE and some settings have to be changed.
6. Attempt registration in IE, still invalid.
7. Read some more, discover that not only do you have to register through IE, you also have to be logged into the website using IE, at the same time, for it to work.
8. Complete registration while cussing under breath about who the hell insists on IE these days?
9. Attempt to install patches. Discover that one patch is corrupted.
10. Finally cave and use a torrent to fix the patch rather than downloading another 900MB.
11. Use little Nero tool to check that none of the other patches are corrupted.
12. Install patches.
I'm told there might still be an issue to fix in which the DirectX 9 that the game installs can corrupt the Direct X 10 I already have, and I'll possibly have to reinstall 10. But so far it seems to be playing OK. The easiest part of this whole install was the patch that makes it run on Windows 7. Seriously.
OK so far, I haven't actually played that much but it seems quite enjoyable. The combat doesn't seem particularly involved after Dragon Age, but I'm told this game is more about the storyline anyway. It's kind of dark, and it annoys me the way Main Female Character's boobs are a) falling out of her top and b) jiggling so much they look like they're on some kind of pneumatic bouncing device, but this is something I've become accustomed to in games*.
And then I installed Planescape: Torment, which Just Works. Although I did find a list of mods you can do to make it run faster, fix bugs and get it to run in higher resolution. Unfortunately, the high resolution mod (which is the one I want - I really dislike crappy res these days) has a bug that makes it crash the minute the game proper starts. So that's currently running on the plain install with the ONE patch that's been released since it came out.
Crappy res aside, one patch? And it Just Works? Yay those guys!
* Sad but true. I really dislike the sexualisation of women in video games but the reality is that if I want to play RPGs I more or less have to put up with it or my options will be severely limited. The level of sexualisation does affect my purchasing choices - for example I would not buy Guild Wars no matter how good it is, purely because of the representation on the cover:
Also, check out the difference between the armour of the male characters and the 'armour' of the females:
I guess one could assume that it's because the females are better in combat and therefore don't need full body armour. But I think it's more likely that the people who made Guild Wars: Factions assumed that the majority market would be teenage boys. Fair assumption? Not even slightly. In 2007, 41% of PC gamers were women, and the average age of a gamer is 35 (this is in the US, but hey, they've enough people to be considered reasonably representative).
And the skimpy thing in video games is improving, slowly. Dragon Age has men as well as women in leather mini skirts, and only one token set of boobs falling out of a top, instead of every female character being modelled on Red Sonja. However, the fact is that if a woman like me wants to play RPGs, she has a limited choice of games if she cares about the way her gender is represented in them. Meanwhile, women are sadly under-represented in the game industry, although that's perhaps not surprising when attitudes like this still abound.
I am told this figure of only 10% of game developers being women is slowly changing, however a quick look around hasn't revealed any studies to back this up. My feeling is that it is changing, simply because more recent games seem to be at least paying lip service to the fact that women might play them and that we might not want to be staring at tits and ass** the entire time. However, a word to game developers - be careful of homogenising women. I've seen it in various forums - there's a view that gamers are diverse, there's RPGers, and FPSers and RTSers, and racers... and women. Like we're single group who like one thing only. And that's a dangerous road to tread - the road that leads to The Future Of Gaming For Women. Can I just say ARGH! *STABSTABSTAB*
Women are RPGers, and FPSers and RTSers, and racers, and other things I've probably forgotten. We don't need a separate category of games for us, we just want realistic representation in the categories we already know and love. Seriously, Atari. Get over yourselves.
** At this juncture I would like to suggest to anyone who thinks I'm being oversensitive about the amount of ladybits I get to look at while playing, that you imagine your favourite male character going through the gameworld dressed in nothing but a thong - he starts with a spandex one and later in the game can get a metal-studded one with +20 armour, but you get to stare at his asscrack and nipples the entire time. Mmmm..
One strange thing - Heroes of Might and Magic 3, one of my all time favourite games, is also one of my oldest games (incidentally, that Just Works in Win7 too), and it has very little of the stuff that makes me go *GNNG* in games.
And I'm not the only one that feels this way. The gaming industry needs to get its shit together. Women my age have purchasing power. I spend considerable amounts of money on games. And I really am choosing to avoid games that portray women as weak, scantily-clad victims. Or even strong, scantily-clad protagonists.
At least, as much as possible I am. If I wanted to avoid this completely, I'd have to give up gaming. And that would be.. unfortunate.