Skyforge is a new F2P MMORPG currently being developed by The Allods Team in collaboration with Obsidian Entertainment and published by My.com that has gone into open beta earlier this week. After being in public hands for a couple of days it has come out that after you install the game your installer by default seeds the game files to other users trying to download the game for themselves. While on paper this might be a cost effective way for the company to get their game downloaded as fast as possible it is incurring some negative effects on those unaware of the uploading happening in the background.
For those who are not aware this connection is called a Peer to Peer (P2P) network and it is most commonly used nowadays for torrents but outside of piracy there are still positive uses for it, such as Microsoft’s plan to deliver Windows 10 updates. Multiple Reddit posts have appeared detailing the issue including one user even showing just how much uploading their computer has done since their install of Skyforge. There is a relatively simple fix to this issue and that while on the client screen you press the gear icon in the upper right above your email and disable all of the checked features, the image below shows what this window looks like by default.
One problem that is also pointed out in the reddit posts is that by default the game launcher starts up with Windows and remains in the background whether you ever interact with it or not. For those who get on the computer after they wake and turn it off when they go to sleep, or even those who just leave their computers on this means that their computer can constantly be uploading without any knowledge of the user.
P2P technology is one that is extremely useful but can also be used with less than great intent in mind. The idea of reducing strain on getting your product out to as many people as possible is a really good idea. The problem that has occurred here is that the users were not informed and that can cause negative effects. In this case users who have an internet plan where they are capped at a certain amount per month, such as myself, could have been caught blowing their cap while leaving their computer doing (what they think) is nothing. An option in the installer for this could have been all that was needed from the developer and I hope that it’s something that they will implement in future updates of the launcher.