About a year and a half ago, I bought “Pool of Radiance: Ruins of Myth Drannor” which at the time was hyped as an astounding amazing game, and turned out to be a hideously buggy dungeon crawl. But the combat system was cool, in that it was exactly like an Amiga game called “Realms of Arkania” which I had loved with a deep and undying passion, and I didn’t hit any bugs. I bought it early, played it for awhile, then put it away, tired of a mindless dungeon crawl, managing thereby to miss the six-hundred odd reviews that hailed it as the most worthlessly buggy pile ‘o crap to ever hit the shelf and advising consumers to spend their $40 on skewers to shove in their eyes rather than play this game. Pity, might’ve saved me some angst.

A few weeks ago, low on cash and in the mood for mindless dungeon crawls (having burned myself out roughly a year ago on MMPORGs, I find that it is a deep and persistant burn-out, unlikely to rectify any time soon) I pulled POR out of retirement and found myself gripped. I spent a few glorious evenings hacking through ghouls and undead, and then, tonight, my game idily dropped out to the desktop at a certain point, and I descended screaming into Gamer’s Hell.

There is no fix for this. I browsed forums. I uninstalled. I reinstalled. I forced my husband to do arcane things to drivers. I fiddled with preferences. I did everything short of sacrificing a black cat on my motherboard (and I’ve got a black cat on hand, too.) And still, at this spot, which is, naturally, a Vital and Game Crucial spot, wherein I must kill the orc to get the key to unlock the door to get the sword to hack the crap out’ve the house that Jack built, I am unceremonious dumped.

I could handle all this. I can handle remarkable things. But then I go to the support and find that because this game was evidentally such a trainwreck, the developers stopped putting out patches nine months ago, despite the numerous fatal bugs, because they were losing money supporting it, felt they had fulfilled their contractual obligation, and if it didn’t work, tough cookies.

I am irate. And I am irate, I realize, in the way that only a reformed software pirate can be, because having seen the error of my teenage ways and resolutely paying for every new game that crosses my computer, I simply cannot fathom that a game that I paid money for and fulfill all the various minimum running reqs on, fails to function, and that the makers don’t plan to do anything about it. (I mean, Neverwinter Nights glitched me to a standstill for months, but they fixed it!) So I stomped around the house for a bit, while my husband attempted to talk me down, and now I am quietly fuming. If this was a toaster, and halfway through the toast process, it failed and my toast was returned to me, I would…well, I’d be pissed. Why am I paying money for a product that does not work, will not work, and which the creators do not plan to cause to work?

I realize that this is about a year belated, and everyone else has already complained about this game and moved on, but dangit. I am miffed. I fork over hundreds of dollars a year on games in an effort to cling to the moral high ground, and occasionally, I wonder why.

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