BioWare Working “Around the Clock” on Return to Ostagar


BioWare says Return to Ostagar, the Dragon Age: Origins DLC that was supposed to launch two weeks ago, is going to be delayed a little bit longer but claims that all the screwing around will help avoid this kind of nonsense in the future.

Ever wonder what happened to Return to Ostagar? It was originally scheduled for release on January 5 but just hours before it was set to come out, BioWare announced that it would be delayed for unspecified reasons. Several days later, the Xbox 360 version quietly turned up on Live but was then quickly pulled down when it was discovered that it was buggering up people’s games. In the wake of that mini-debacle, BioWare revealed that a title update for the game had resulted in a “previously undetected issue” that was messing with the game’s specialization classes.

The studio has now released a more detailed statement, apologizing to 360 owners who were affected by the update and claiming that it’s working “around the clock” to solve the problem. “DA:O is an incredibly large, very deep and complex game, making it virtually impossible to test every system and permutation possible for each update/DLC,” BioWare’s Fernando Melo said in a message posted on the Dragon Age forums by Community Facilitator Victor Wachter.

“When testing any large endeavor like that, we depend on selectively targeting systems related to the changes being made, prioritized by order of perceived risk,” he continued. “Unfortunately we did not foresee the changes being made to impact the systems it did, which is how something seemingly so visible still managed to avoid the dev team, and multiple test cycles of seasoned QA all through our internal teams, and EA and MS cert teams, and ultimately ended up out to the public.”

Melo said BioWare is updating its test processes across all platforms in order to take “additional edge cases” into account and avoid this kind of mess in the future. Unfortunately, that means further delays in current console updates to the game as well as the Return to Ostagar DLC and there is currently no time frame for when the newest fix will be approved and released. On the upside, he added that while Return to Ostagar is taking longer than expected, “the additional testing actually benefits some of the upcoming DLC and expansion pack, and as such is not expected to impact dates of the future content.”

In the meantime, Melo said that a fix for the Xbox 360 version of Dragon Age: Origins which will restore saved games damaged by the original DLC release is currently being tested and is “looking very good,” and if it passes successfully should be ready to for this week’s title update.

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