30 Seconds of Darkness

After I launch Aion, just after the small screen that sits on your desktop disappears, I’m subjected to an agonising 30 seconds of black screen before the official NCsoft Aion welcome image comes up. Presumably this moment of darkness is due to the game loading it’s memory core and base classes into my CPU’s kernel via the flux capacitor, bypassing my computer’s deflector dish (my mum is gonna think I’m so smart when she reads that). Either way, it’s darn disconcerting.

Maybe my computer isn’t good enough to load it all fast enough although it’s pretty high spec so I hope that’s not the case. I had a similar issue with EQ2 which makes me wonder if it’s more of a design issue than anything else and that the developers just neglected to put up a holding screen or loading bar. I’m definitely one of those guys who likes to see something on my screen at all times, otherwise the little voices in my head start whispering that my computer’s going to explode or melt or something.

Anyone else get the same thing with Aion?

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15 Comments

  1. Nissl says:

    Yup. It’s the longest black screen I’ve stared at in a long time. you’d think they could at least put up a logo.

    If that’s the tradeoff for the in-game performance, though, I don’t mind too much.

    Add it to the large list of little things that could be improved – guild structure, guild bank, early scout play, serviceable but meh ui, chat window opacity, yadda yadda. The great news is that so far there are no big things whatsoever.

  2. xXJayeDuBXx says:

    I get that the first time I boot up the game, after that it gets quicker. That is till the nect day when you go to play.

  3. Frank says:

    I do, and I run a mid-to-high end machine, too. It’s definitely a heavyweight client, but when you consider what it runs on, it isn’t a surprise.

    The bigger (and nice) surprise is that it runs fairly smoothly once you’re in, and the distinct lack of AFK shoppers following today’s patch means things should hopefully go better.

  4. Longasc says:

    My black screen does not last long, but my 2 Ghz Dual Core Samsung Laptop loads quite longish in the beginning, too.

    But I am privileged to load with a logo on screen, yay for my hardware! :)

  5. I chalked it up to my processor being slow at 2.4GHz dual core. The black screen is nuts though. The first couple of times I loaded the game I had to wonder if I had froze up.

    Fun fact, you can turn that black screen white by trying to load the task manager while it’s up :-)

  6. I’m going with “that’s what you get for playing Aion.” ;)

  7. Tesh says:

    We develop for the XBoxLive system, and there are actually publishing standards that mandate that you can’t have that sort of thing. You cannot have a static screen (no animation, no change) for more than 15 seconds, or you will not get approved. That even excludes more than 15 seconds of a cool image or whatever. Loading bars are a good compromise… but many games just load up in 15 seconds or less to dodge the fuss.

    To be fair, it’s easier to mandate that because of the platform standards (you’re not dealing with thousands of possible different PC configurations), but really, players shouldn’t have to wonder if their computer is busted when they start up your program. That’s just bad dev-user relations.

    • Gordon says:

      Very interesting, I never knew those sort of publishing rules exsited! It’s definitely design 101. I remember being told that back in University when we were developing poxy Java applications. A simple image on screen would solve all of the problems :)

  8. Atnor says:

    I get a loooong black screen with an NCSoft logo. Takes freakin forever, but then I guess I’m a tad impatient. It’s definitely longer than the average load time.

    i’ve got a quad core , btw…

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