Drakensang releases Sands of Malice patch and servers collapse. Twice.

We’re back online… we think…

Fans of MMO giant Drakensang suffered a double whammy this week when the highly anticipated Sands of Malice patch triggered a server meltdown. Twice.

Drakensang Sand of Malice

Announced in mid-February, the SoM update promised an Arabian Nights theme with new content, extended maps, and more gameplay. What it delivered was a wealth of IT problems. Less than twelve hours after rolling out the new material, the servers took a hit.

Drakensang was back up and running within a few hours, just to have the servers collapse again.

The servers weren’t the only problem…

The expansion also leveled down some characters. During a separate bug in the game (known as the “Dragan Event Bug”), some players gained an exponential amount of bonus experience. This triggered additional problems for the new patch.

“The extra XP caused undesirable character issues with the new level expansion,” Bigpoint Games, the developers of Drakensang, claimed on their website, “and we needed to fix that to make sure those issues wouldn’t affect your ability to play. That is why we leveled everyone exceeding a certain XP range down to the maximum XP amount for level 50.”

Finally live

Once the servers finally gained some stability, it seems the wait was worth it. The SoM update added swaths of new material, including:

  • an increased level cap to 55 (raised from 50)
  • a new dungeon
  • the introduction of Runes
  • new epic quest lines
  • a unique desert-themed map
  • all new customization options
  • “Deeps of Demise” arena
  • over 160 new items

Originally released in 2011, Drakensang has been a massively popular game since the beginning. Touted as the perfect alternative to Diablo III, it has rolled out several expansions in recent years – but perhaps none as headache-triggering as Sands of Malice.

As all us gamers know: when a new patch hits, we want to play. If the game goes down, the time it takes to come back up can seem so long, it makes us wonder if the developers are testing space-time theories instead of their servers.

Holding steady for now

Luckily, since the double meltdown during the initial twenty-four hours, the Drakensang expansion has been going strong, and even offering bonuses and rewards to players current lost in the swirling deserts of the game’s latest patch.

Only time will tell if the servers can maintain their current online state. While they are, we’ll play. Hard.

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