Sunday, April 20, 2008

Metal Gear Online Beta Registration SUCKS

The MGO Beta starts tomorrow so I figured I'd better get off my ass and head down to Best Buy to pick up a Metal Gear Saga Vol. 2 disc and get myself an access key. Best Buy had a bunch on the shelf, so no problem there. Even better, when I got the thing home and cracked it open, it had a 12 character beta key and not the useless 9 character codes a lot of people were getting (which requires a phone call to Konami to get the right code).

The beta downloaded reasonably fast, but I suppose at this point most people have had it downloaded for days.

After downloading and installation you need to download the Ver. 1.01 patch which also downloaded pretty quickly (you have the choice of HTTP or BitTorrent download; I chose the Torrent file). After installing that comes the real pain in the ass: registering for a Konami ID AND a MGS Game ID. That's right, you won't be using your PSN ID for this game and you will have to create not one, but two new names. Great.

Konami apparently thought Nintendo's Friend Code system wasn't complicated enough and decided to see if they could top them.

Right off the bat, I had the same problem as I did when trying to register my PSN name: for whatever reason, "skullivan" isn't a valid name. It's not just that someone else has it already (they don't), it's just not allowed. After trying for 20 minutes to come up with something I like, none of which are available or allowed (it has to be 8 characters minimum) I see that you can have periods in your name. I decide I can live with "skul.livan" and, lo and behold, THAT is an acceptable KonamiID.

It's then that I realize that I also have to create a GameID. I assume it won't let me use the same name as the Konami ID so I try all sorts of combinations of skullivan with a period in it. skulliva.n,, skulli.van, etc. All "unavailable", which, again, means it's just flat out not allowed, not that someone already has it. If someone else has it, you get "This ID is already in use". Keep in mind that every time you check the availability of a name it takes about 20 seconds and then another 10 seconds or so to get back to the main entry screen once the check is complete. So glad I have fiber optic internet.

Finally, I just give in and try what I entered as my KonamiID and sure enough, "Your KonamiID cannot be the same as your GameID." So I change my KonamiID to a different name, figuring it'll never be shown in game anyway, and make skul.livan my GameID. Hallelujah, that works.

It ain't over yet, though. Now I have to come up with new passwords for each ID because they both have different requirements. Konami ID passwords have to be 8-32 characters with at least one number, GameID passwords have to be 4-16 numbers, no letters. WTF? I don't want passwords at all, let alone two new ones with silly requirements.

What a tremendous amount of bother for something that is completely unnecessary. If this Beta was for 360, this story would've ended after the second paragraph.

It's worth noting too that my experience went about as smoothly as possible. A lot of people weren't able to get the KonamiID site to work at all and had to get other people to create ID's for them.

In any case, I'm all setup and should be able to play as soon as the beta goes live later tonight. You currently get an error message if you attempt to connect. Given how long I usually spend playing Betas, I probably spent more time downloading, installing and registering than I ever will actually playing the game.

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