Update 6/6/12 1:30am PT: After being down for about 5 hours tonight, Merge Gaming is back up again. The update seems to have fixed some of the stability related bugs, while other bugs such as the filters, lobby, and options, are still not fixed.
Merge Gaming 6.0 launched with much anticipation today. The downtime for the overhaul was about twice as long as planned. With many new features, players were expecting much improved software. While there were some new features, some of those features were bugged. Some features that players take for granted stopped working altogether. After being live for about six hours, Merge Gaming decided that there were so many problems with the new Merge Gaming 6.0 that it would have to be taken offline. At the time of this post, the entire network is down and has been for close to two hours.
The main complaint by most players was lag. While I did not experience any lag problems, many of the games that I played had players that would time out on their action. Some players would time out when it was time to post their blinds. Lag was by far the biggest complaint, but certainly not the only complaint.
Seated Players Missing From Lobby
Merge Gaming 6.0 altered some features that would normally be considered standard features in poker software. The improved lobby left off one major feature. Players could not see the list of players sitting at the table when clicking on a table from the lobby. To see the player list, a player would have to click a tiny arrow in the left side of the table listing. This would expand the table line in the lobby and show a list of players. This list was bugged in itself though, as only six player names could be seen at any given time. There was also a small image of the table with all players in this drop down area. The image was too small for most players to see player names.
No Auto Post Blind Check Box
Another major complaint by players was the removal of the Auto Post Blind feature from the tables. This feature allowed players to decide on a table by table basis if they would auto post. This feature is still within the software under player options, but many players could not find it as it was not in an obvious place. This option made a player keep the same choice for all tables. Many players complained that they wanted to have this option at individual tables, and not be forced to have to choose one option for all players.
Hand History Feature Not Working Properly
The hand history feature was virtually removed from the software. In the previous version, a player could click the hand history feature in the upper left corner of the table to see an image of the last hand. Now that feature opens an index. The player must sort through the index to find the exact game. Players that are playing on multiple tables would find it nearly impossible to find the hand that they were looking for within a reasonable amount of time.
Tournaments Were Not Balancing
The multi table tournaments had a bug as well. The table balancing mechanism was not working for some tournaments. This meant that some tables would be nearly full, while other tables had very short handed action. It was reported that tables were not closing until a player had won the table, instead of closing when there were enough open seats at other tables.
Filters Need Work
There were complaints about the filters too. It was impossible for a player to filter just one limit for a cash game. The minimum setting was two limits. Tournaments also could not be filtered properly, as the filter stopped at $1 on the low end. This excluded freerolls and tournaments under $1. There was also no way in the filter to see all available tournaments. The tournaments could only be viewed by game. This meant that a player looking to play more than one game had to look in each lobby. The filter also could not be saved, meaning a player would have to click through the filter each time to find what they wanted.
Mini View Issues
Player also complained about the lack of Mini View, a feature in the previous software that helped make tables as small as possible to help multi tablers. A Hero Poker representative, who has been very active helping players, gave instructions on how to get the tables that small. When players figured this out, they complained that the cards were too small to read.
Player to Player Transfer Issues
Transfers were down for some players, while limited to $100 for other players. The cashier was not working for me at all, although other players did not report this, unless maybe that is why some players could not make transfers. The Player Admin area completely disappeared from the software.
Tracking Software Not Working
Tracking software not working is another big complaint. This is not for Merge Gaming to fix. The companies that produce tracking software must work with the new version of the software to produce a patch to make their software compatible with Merge Gaming 6.0.
New Stat Feature Displayed Wrong Stats
The software upgrade also came with an improved stat function. This function did not work though. It provided false information, and was basically useless.
There is Hope
All is not bad with this update. Multi tabling appears to be easier. The note feature was improved. It also looks like there will be a time bank improvement, although its exact use was unclear at the time that the site went down. I think that once the bugs are worked out, this software will be much improved over the previous version. It just did not seem like it was ready to be released yet.
These bugs are not all of the reported bugs. Some players reported bugs others did not have. Some of the reported bugs were from players not being able to find the setting in the software to fix it. Be patient, the software should be live again later tonight or early tomorrow morning.