Wednesday, January 9, 2008

The Waiting Continues... Still

There has still been no response from Atari. I post merely to inform you that we haven't given up just yet.

Things are looking grim in regards to getting a patch for the game, but a couple of Atari forum members have found some things that seem to improve gameplay to some extent. In addition to this, some interesting, to say the least, internet port usage has been uncovered by forum members. There is speculation that this is tied to the reason that online performance is so poor.

Forum members End_of_All and Joh have handled most of this, so be on the look out for their posts (in the last few pages of the lengthy tread). You can view the thread here:

Aside from this, many forum members, myself included, have decided to give Atari until the end of the work week to give us a response (we have literally heard nothing). If this does not happen, many of us will be returning our games to used game retailers out of our disgust for the company's customer service.

Here's to hoping for the best.


Monday, December 31, 2007

The Waiting Continues

It's New Years Eve for a short while longer. Atari's offices are said to be opening on January 2nd. It'll be two weeks since our last response from Atari or its employees as of that point, but, with any luck, we'll hear from Atari Support or our forum contact, Ciel, then.

There isn't much more that can be said or done at this point, but I wanted to encourage everyone to continue writing Atari Support until we get a response, and I wanted to make sure that it was clear that our efforts continue on in spite of an update here.

Finally, I would like to take a moment to thank a couple of Atari forum members for their contributions to our work, PureCutThroat, exchrystalsword, and gx-nickb. Though Teknoman started this, and I've worked hard to organize efforts and direct communication, the help of these individuals are certainly noteworthy.

Please, continue to make your contributions to our efforts in whatever way that is. Comment here with your experiences, send your letters to Atari Support, and do whatever else you see fitting.

Happy New Years to you all. Here's to hoping that 2008 brings us many no/low-lag DBZ matches.


Thursday, December 20, 2007

Still No Response

Unfortunately, it looks like we won't be getting a fix for the game this year. What's worse, however, is that it doesn't look like we'll be getting any response from Atari this year since their offices are closed all of next week. Since our Atari correspondent, known to us a Ciel, is already on holiday, any word we might get from Atari this year will come directly from the company. With this in mind, many of Atari's community forum members are sending regular messages to Atari Support through their contact form. At this point, we're looking to apply pressure on Atari for a legitimate response by sending a surplus of requests. We are doing what we can, but your assistance would help us.

To help us, please tell Atari of your discontent, and desire for a significant response, through their contact form. Below is my letter to Atari Support, being used by others in the community, which you can use if you would like.

Atari needs to respond to us. If we continue to apply pressure, they will have to do just that at some point. For Atari to leave the product as it is would be understandable for a business, but to say nothing to us is unacceptable. Continue to fight ignorance by spreading word of the game's present state of brokenness.

Above all, stay strong.

Atari Support,

I'm writing in regards to the horrific lag that I, and countless others, am experiencing in the online mode of Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi 3 for the Wii.

You have advised your customers to buy a wired network adapter, blaming the lag on a faulty connection. Though several valid arguments can be made against this prescription, many of your customers tried the wired adapter anyway. However, as suspected, very few customers found any improvement in gameplay. Some customers ran objective speed tests, and found little, if any, improvement in their connection with the wired adapter. First hand experience has shown your so-called solution to be invalid.

If that were not enough, Nintendo has stated time and time again that it has given Atari information on how to fix the game code. Atari has yet to acknowledge this code fault, and gamers are not happy about this. We are not happy being brushed off and treated as ignorant. Our research is strong and proven. We want a true statement from you.

Clearly, it is up to Atari to decide whether or not a patch is developed and released, but Atari is rapidly losing respect by feigning ignorance towards faulty code. Customers are feeling cheated out of their money because of how bad the online component of this game is. Customers are ready to return their games at a loss on principle. Customers are declaring that they won't be buying any more Atari products if this game isn't fixed.

However, these same gamers want to give their allegiance to Atari, and they love this game's potential. These same gamers are ready to bring in multiple other customers to buy the game if it is fixed. There will be a cut into profits if the fix, as Nintendo has given Atari information on, is developed, but there will be many loyal customers brought into the fold. However, if Atari does not develop the fix, Atari will be losing a lot of customers, and will continue to receive anti-hype through the word-of-mouth of disappointed fans.

All the same, most customers are even more angry with Atari's unwillingness to respond and admit fault than the fact Atari is showing little willingness to actually fix the game with the information Nintendo provided. So, until Atari issues a statement announcing that the code is bad, and that Atari is either going to fix the game or leave it, we will continue to write Atari Support and spread word of how broken this product is.

To see our research, arguments, and expectations, view our progress blog:

Looking, with respect, for a response.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

A Customer's Response

I've decided to post a comment written on Atari's forum. Known as chstar, this poster seems to articulate what most owners of the game are thinking. His comment is as follows:
I am in the military, so as such I don't get paid all that much. So I have to pick and choose which games I want to buy carefully. Once I heard this game was online it was a no brainer for me. That being pretty much the only reason I bought this game. As this series is one of my favorite series of all time, but I really didn't want BT3 knowing it wasn't going to have that much improvement. But online made it worth it. Now I honestly feel cheated. And with Atari not providing any kind of answer and just ignoring us, well it really pisses me off.

That said Atari, I love this series I really do. But I will sell this game come Friday if we don't hear some kind of response from you guys. And though it might not mean much, being only one person, hopefully you guys are starting to get some kind of picture of how disappointed some of us are.

This really does seem to be a fair sample of what others, myself among them, are saying. We want a direct response, Atari. You decide what that response is, but we will keep pressing until we get it.


Nintendo's Response on a Possible Patch

I sent Nintendo a message through their support system the other day in hope of finding out whether or not Atari could, technically speaking, release a downloadable patch for DBZ: BT3. I received a reply today. It didn't directly confirm or deny the possibility of such a thing, but, based on Nintendo's wording, I think that it is technically possible for Atari to release a downloadable patch. Here is the actual response:


We appreciate your concern on this issue, but at this time, we have no information on what form a solution may take. As this game was published by Atari and the decision is theirs on how to proceed, I suggest keeping in contact with them for the latest news and announcements.

Nintendo of America Inc.
R.M. Rickets

Nintendo's home page:
Power Line (Automated Product Info): (425) 885-7529

Since Nintendo's wording is "what form a solution may take," I draw two conclusions from this. First of all, this indirectly confirms (again) that a solution is plausible (such as the solution Nintendo gave Atari). But, more importantly, a possible downloadable patch is not denied. If it were not possible to release a downloadable patch, Nintendo would have said so. Since Nintendo didn't declare it impossible for a downloadable patch to be made, it would hold to reason that it is, technically, possible.

I wish that I had more information, or a positive report, to give you, but this is the only word I have for now.


New Response Regarding No Response

Earlier today, our Atari employee contact on the Atari forums posted a brief note. Known to us as Ciel, her response is as follows:
Unfortunately I haven't received any response yet. I'll be sending the blog out and asking again for some updates. I'll be away for the holidays starting tomorrow, though. Also FYI -- Atari's office will be closed all of next week.

Things are looking grim for getting a fix, or even an admission of fault, this year. Please continue to get the word out about the lag situation; it would be unfortunate for others to feel swindled because of their ignorance.


Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Now on Digg

This website/blog is now on Digg. You can help us gain publicity by Digging this article.

We also have letters out to the editors of IGN, Gamespot, Gamespy,, Gamepro, and Nintendo Power, containing the information found on this website.


Monday, December 17, 2007

What We Want to See

Now that we've established the facts of what is in play here, as well as where we stand and why, we are ready to detail what it is we want to see from Atari.

First, we want to see Atari come to terms with the fact that their code is faulty. As nice as it is to save face, it is too late for Atari to pretend that its faulty code isn't a reality. We are aware of Nintendo giving Atari information on how to fix the problem (on top of acknowledging that the problem exists), and it is disrespectful towards the customers to treat those seeking truth as if they are ignorant with such avoidance tactics. We are not fooled, and we want Atari to own up to its mistakes.

After that, we want Atari to stop telling consumers to buy additional hardware that they do not need. There is no reason to cause a customer to buy things that will not help them, especially since Atari sees no profit from the movement of wired networking adapters.

Next, we want to see Atari make a press statement that actually publicizes the brokenness of the online play in its game. It is unfair to continue to promote a game as having online play when the gameplay is fundamentally broken.

Finally, and most importantly, we want to see Atari fix its code. Though we want to see Atari act responsibly towards the public by doing the things mentioned above, many customers will forgive them for quietly putting out the fix if the fix is actually released. We do not want to pay for replacement discs or downloaded patches, but this should be a given. We are willing to forgive these things, and we will remain loyal customers of Atari, if Atari follows Nintendo's advice and makes the game playable.

In short, we want to see Atari live up to its claims or change them.

Readers, in a respectful manner, please continue to seek out a fix for Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi 3's online play.

Gaming companies, particularly Atari, we are not dogs that will roll over on command. If you want our respect, please respect us; make good your claims if you want our continued patronage.

In all due respect.

Where We Are Now

Please read through "What We Have So Far" before reading this.

As of now, we have filed many emails with Atari's support system, and we have an Atari employee on the Atari community forums that is directing our posts to the proper parties, with our first hand research, findings from our communication with customer support, and our arguments based on these things. With our findings listed below, here is where we now stand:

We are not content with Atari's claim that the lag is the result of a faulty wireless connection. First hand experience has shown a wired connection to not improve gameplay. Moreover, we are convinced that this is not, in fact, the fix that Nintendo suggested to Atari. However, we are convinced that Nintendo's advised fix is, actually, a plausible one. As such, we want to see Atari fix their game in the way that Nintendo advised. We are continually contacting Atari with our research and arguments, and we are also contacting Nintendo for information on what exactly they recommended as a fix. Beyond this, we are looking to add pressure and demand by involving as much gaming press as possible. If we do not see a fix from Atari in the near future, we will seek to return our copies of the game and make it a point to no longer support Atari as a company.

In short, we have strong reason to believe that a true fix is possible, and we will not be content with anything less than that. We will continue to do what we must to persuade Atari to make right what they shipped wrong.

These things are said and done with all due respect.


What We Have So Far

Thank you for looking into our streamlined collection of information pertaining to our work on getting an actual fix for the online play of Atari's Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi 3 on the Wii. So far, our work has been tracked on Atari's official forums, and that thread is still alive and well, but we wanted to have a place for collecting our research and arguments without excess posts mixed in with our updates (you can view that thread here). In this post, I'm going to try and pull our existing research into a cohesive whole. The next post will detail where we stand, and the third post will show explain what it is we hope to see if Atari wants our continued support as consumers.

Please feel free to comment as you see fit, but keep it intelligent. Also, please show your support for our cause by writing Atari and Nintendo with requests for a true fix; writing game media giants like IGN and Gamespot for publicity would be helpful, too.


What we know:
After making multiple contacts with Nintendo, Nintendo states that they know why the lag is happening, and they state that they have given Atari the information needed to fix it (see note 1 for a more detailed explanation).
Upon asking Atari about the fix prescribed by Nintendo, Atari informs consumers that it is a connection issue, and that consumers need to buy a wired network adapter to make the game playable (see note 2).
Most consumers doubt the practicality of Atari's solution, but many try it anyway; most consumers find little-to-no improvement, but a small number of consumers claim to have increased performance (see note 3).
Further contact with Nintendo regarding Atari's solution results in Nintendo representatives denying that Atari's solution is what Nintendo advised (see note 4).

What we think is true:
Atari's implementation of the networking portion of the game code is fundamentally flawed. Nintendo found the flaw and informed Atari of a way to fix it. Atari, not wanting to spend the money to have its developers create and disperse the code fix, declares that the fault rests on the shoulders of the consumer and that an added peripheral is necessary to make the game playable. In effect, we think that Atari is wanting to save money even if that means having a fundamentally broken product on shelves.

Why we think this is true:
First of all, it seems more than a little odd that Nintendo would tell Atari to tell its customers that the fault is in a bad connection, requiring a new piece of hardware to make things work, instead of simply telling the customers directly. Secondly, other games (which would seem to have higher connection demands) such as Medal of Honor: Heroes 2 (which handles 32 players on a single server) have very minimal, if at all existent, lag. Next, first hand experience with a wired network adapter, has shown little-to-no improvement in connection speed with the help of objective third-party tests. Finally, Nintendo itself has stated that the fix it advised is not to buy a wired adapter. Therefore, we have strong reason to believe that there actually are (viably fixable) flaws in the code that Atari simply doesn't want to fix.

1. Direct quote from an email response from Nintendo to Teknoman:

Hello, I’m sorry to hear about the issues you’re having playing Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi 3 online. Our role in online play is matching players up. Once the match, race, or fight starts, you’re connected directly in a peer-to-peer format and no longer connected to Nintendo servers.

From the reports we have received, we have determined that this is an in-game peer-to-peer latency issue and not something that occurs through Nintendo’s servers. We have provided Atari information on how they can address this issue and recommend contacting them.
To get their contact information, go to the following web address and click on Atari: of America Inc.R.M. Rickets Nintendo's home page: Power Line (Automated Product Info): (425) 885-7529

2. Direct quote from a response from Atari to myself and others:
Thank you for contacting Atari Support. Atari would like to sincerely apologize for any multiplayer lag issues you may be experiencing within Dragon Ball Z®: Budokai Tenkaichi 3.

If you are experiencing multiplayer lag, this may be due to Wifi wireless internet connections or poor signal from the your ISP. To resolve this issue, please ensure both players involved in multiplayer gameplay use a hard wired connection – this should solve current lag issues.

Please accept our sincere apologies for any inconvenience this might have caused you from enjoying Dragon Ball Z®: Budokai Tenkaichi 3 and thank you for your continued support.

Thank You,
Atari Support

3. Of the people on Atari's community forums that attempted to use a wired adapter (myself included), only one member claims to have gotten an improved connection. My objective speed tests (through the website showed speeds with the wired adapter to be roughly the same as the wireless connection of the Wii hardware. After optimizing my wireless connection, I was able to get an upload speed of ~340kbps to various locations throughout the country; my download speed was around 2mbps. With the wired adapter, my speeds were nearly identical with the same tests. Attempts to play the game online showed no improvement. On the same wired connection, and the same speed tests, my Windows XP PC (fairly low stats) was able to get close to 8mbps downloads and 700kbps uploads.

4. In phone conversations with Nintendo representatives, Teknoman has the following information to share:
I just got a call from Bryce, a Wi-Fi tech at Nintendo of America, about the Budokai Tenkachi 3 online issues, and he said they are actually working with Atari to fix the problem. They say it does have something to do with the game itself, as in its netcode, not their servers. So now they are both working on a sure fire fix to alleviate the problems. He even went so far as to mention the IGN review.
Got through to another wi-fi tech, and he said that if it was as simple as just using wired connections instead or having a better connection in general, then Nintendo would've just simply replied with that in the email instead of telling us that they provided Atari with information on how to fix the problem.

However, he also said that he really didnt have any information on what exactly Nintendo provided Atari with, but he could assure me it certainly wasn't [the use of a wired connection].