Jump to content

  • Curse Sites
Help

Moderator

Member Since 01 Nov 2012
Offline Last Active Nov 15 2014 05:11 PM
***--

Posts I've Made

In Topic: The bawts.

18 May 2014 - 02:10 PM

Are you sure you don't want a 2nd hand kitchen from Manchester to watch the free live streamed premier league matches?

In Topic: Hello

21 April 2014 - 10:14 PM

Lets not push our luck, shall we.

In Topic: Does Blizzard realize they have people on payrole who do nothing?

20 April 2014 - 11:50 PM

In terms of why there it seemed like there were so many changes coming more quickly in TBC/WOTLK, that is simply because the attitude to hotfixing was different. It shifted during late WOTLK and was completely changed entering Cataclysm.

For WOTLK is was not uncommon for the patch cycle process to go like this:

- Patch 2.2 release
- Day 1: 20 hotfixes
- Day 2: 15 hotfixes
- Day 3: 10 hotfixes
- Day 4: 5 hotfixes
- Day 5: 3 hotfixes
- Day 8: 4 hotfixes
- Day 9: 11 hotfixes
- Day 10: 5 hotfixes

The result of this was that it became extremely hard for the team to communicate to users that these changes were happening, and why. During this period, the term 'stealth nerf' was often thrown around because of the sheer speed of changes and the fact that most of them were not even documented for the end users, just implemented.

Since WOTLK, the patch process is now much more like this:

- Patch 5.2 release
- Day 7: 10 hotfixes (generally boss bugfixes) + blog post
- Day 14: 10 hotfixes (generally boss bugfixes) + blog post
- Day 21: Final hotfixes (generally boss bugfixes) + blog post

It was very clear and (internally) very well documented that when a patch comes out there is confusion over what has changed. When there is then a change every day for the following 3 weeks, most of which affecting player power, caused extreme frustration and annoyance for the majority of users. This resulted in a very real drop in subscriptions as users could not keep up with the game and how it was changing (e.g: one day I do 200 damage, next day I do 300 damage, today I do 150 damage. Why is this, if I don't read the website? Why is my power changing so rapidly?)

The aim now is to have most things caught during PTR/QA, to avoid needing to have 150 hotfixes following a major patch.

In Topic: Does Blizzard realize they have people on payrole who do nothing?

19 April 2014 - 12:47 PM

Flavour:

Quote

Just because it comes out that X has been broken for Y months, doesn't mean anybody knew about it. Even if somewhere, at some point, a user reported the problem, it first of all needs to make it to the ears of the developer through the QA process for it to be delt with. If QA took a look at the issue and decided that there was not a problem, it would never have even made it to the developers. Your bug reports do not go straight to Holinka's inbox, they go to a general repository to then be broken apart, verified and assigned as tasks from team leaders, when/as required.

To provide emphasis, the problem(s) most likely never even reached the ears of the developers, so they were never informed about these bugs. They will have either got lost in the process along the way, or until a larger fuss was kicked up, not enough investigation from the QA department went into looking at the issues, as on first glance they looked correct.

If you imagine 100 bug reports a day, of which 99% are unfounded, it's not feasible to spend 5 hours looking into each bug. It'll be a case of grouping up bug reports, seeing which are reports the most, looking at those for the most time and placing a much lower priority on the ones that are only reports once or twice. With a user base of 12,000,000 players, you'd expect a lot of reports if X isn't working properly. If only user A reports the issue, then odds are at best it's going to have one member of QA give it a quick glance, do a quick test to see that they're satisfied and then move on.

In Topic: Does Blizzard realize they have people on payrole who do nothing?

19 April 2014 - 12:39 PM

If you've ever worked at a big IT/gaming company (circa 2,000 employees), either as a programmer, developer or data analyst, you would know that it's not simply a case of "X needs Y". There are extremely long, complex processes behind everything and every suggestion before it can even be considered being implemented into the game. That's not to mention the approval process.

Blizzard Entertainment do not have single developers for single classes, they have an entire team for all the classes. From which, they have to balance all classes, in all situations, for all specs, whilst keeping it easy to understand for the end user. That's far from an easy task. Changing Frostbolt to do 200% damage in PvP but 100% damage in PvE isn't as simple as changing a bit of code and adding some information to a tooltip - They have to consider:

- How are we going to tell users about this change
- How easy is it for a user to understand the change
- Is the tool-tip going to be bloated
- Does this open the doors for further changes to also be done
- When can we get the translations done by for all supported languages
- Does it require a client build? If so, is it a high enough priority to warrant a client side patch

Even once you've done all that, you need to implement the change on an internal build, do internal QA and tick off every box you've ever known to ensure that no other bugs are introduced with this minor fix. In development, it's not uncommon that changing one minor things, can affect something major elsewhere. There was a post from Blizzard in 2009 about a hot-fix they implemented for class balance, which ended up breaking Onyxia. Completely unrelated, completely separate part of the game, but such is the way of code, especially with a game which now stretches over 50,000,000 lines of code.

Just because it comes out that X has been broken for Y months, doesn't mean anybody knew about it. Even if somewhere, at some point, a user reported the problem, it first of all needs to make it to the ears of the developer through the QA process for it to be delt with. If QA took a look at the issue and decided that there was not a problem, it would never have even made it to the developers. Your bug reports do not go straight to Holinka's inbox, they go to a general repository to then be broken apart, verified and assigned as tasks from team leaders, when/as required.

Put simply, sometimes at work I spend an entire week doing particular tasks, but if you asked me to quantify my results for the week in terms of something visual, I probably wouldn't be able to. It doesn't mean that you've spent 40-60 hours a week doing nothing, it means that you've been working on tasks, investigating, meeting, or even just doing code behind the scenes for future applications. Don't forget that all of these changes that are in the WoD alpha notes, for the most part, are class balance changes. They weren't dreamt up over night, they will have been months of number crunching, decision making and organization to attempt rebalanced across the board.

Take from this what you will, but this is coming from hands on experience in the gaming industry and this field.

<