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Patch 307.02

I'm looking at the patch notes for one of yesterday's patches, 307.02, and I can't help but think: There's no way this DLC was finished when they released it! 

Yes, this is the biggest of the patches since the release of Genesis: Part 1, but there have been so many fixes - almost daily! - since the release 2,5 weeks ago. I find it impossible to believe most of these issues were not know before release - and if they weren't, Wildcard really, really needs to do something about how they test things before releasing!!

That could be the case, though: Honestly, as a programmer myself, there are some issues I find it hard to believe passed through even the most rudimentary testing and I can't see how any programmer with even the smallest amount of care for their work would not test the feature they're developing.

 

I get that they can't forsee everything and that things are much different when released to such a large amount of players with different hardware and different play styles. That's not what I'm talking about. I get those errors! What I am talking about are the issues that are such common use cases it's impossible to see how the devs even tested them!

 

Basically, what I'm getting at is: please, please delay the DLC more, delay it for 6 months, delay it 10 times, just test your code and finish it before releasing!!!

Spoiler

Current Version: 307.02 3/13/2020

  • Adjusted Ferox knockback distance for PvE scenarios in which it could move other tribes tames
  • Increase to timers on various beta and alpha race missions
  • Fixed instances where the lunar buff would remain after using a TEK Teleporter
  • Fixed a rare occurrence where Ferox could jump through the mesh or get through the world barrier
  • Fixed a bug where Ferox could jump while over-encumbered
  • Fixed a bug that caused Ferox taming meter to be invisible
  • Corrected Ferox size when attached with the Sarco's barrel roll
  • Removed the ability for BloodStalker to grab and pull forest/desert kaiju
  • Improved navigation issues on Escort Missions
  • Removed the Crab's ability to pick up the Dodo-basketball
  • Improved reliabilty of HLNA teleportation when traveling with tames
  • Fixed several taming effectiveness and taming multiplier bugs with BloodStalker and Giant Turtle
  • Fixed a case where Space Whale could blink behind static meshes
  • Fixed a bug with Ferox that allowed it to stay transformed by forcefeeding
  • Fixed an issue with mindwipes that caused them to have an increased cooldown timer
  • Adjusted platform saddles to prevent cheesing Gauntlet MissionsCHECK
  • Removed the ability to place structures on baby turtles
  • Fixed an instance in which tamed dinos would be launched long distances by avalanches
  • Adjusted the loot quality and rewards on several missions
  • Improved the overall feel and appearance when webbed by BloodStalker
  • Fixed a visual bug with the Space Whale saddle that caused skins to remain on when the saddle is removed
  • Adjusted the Giant Turtles basing logic to prevent extreme use cases
  • Reduced mobility for BloodStalker while over-encumbered
  • Fixed a bug where the Giant Turtle could be tamed out of render distance
  • Improved placement of walls when using an Ocean Platform
  • Fixed an instance where players with glide suits weren't being reeled in properly by BloodStalker
  • Removed the ability to apply a skin to the Giant Turtle and Space Whale platform saddle when structures have been placed
  • Fixed an instance where the mining drill could dismount players
  • Fixed occurences where players could incorrectly get inside of Gauntlet missions
  • Creatures can no longer attack through the barrier while on Gauntlet missions
  • Added Deinonychus saddle to the engrams list
  • Fixed a visual bug with the Hover Skiff rotation when restarting the server
  • Improved performance while riding over rocky terrain on the Hover Skiff
  • Fixed a bug with Ferox taming methods
  • Fixed an instance in which the BloodStalker's web could remain attached after teleporting with HLNA
  • Fixed a rare occurrence where the Dodo Basketball mission could not be completed after switching languages
  • Fixed several visual bugs with HLNA teleportation
  • Fixed a bug that prevented players using gamepads from using the throw attack on Karkinos
  • Fixed an issue that caused a Follow whistle command when holding 'B' on a gamepad
  • Added the ability to use the Reaper tailspin attack while using a gamepad
  • Schools of fish no longer damage rafts and motorboats
  • Improved several areas where localization was missing or incorrectly
  • Fixed an occurrence where the mining drill sound would remain playing after mounting a dinos
  • Fixed instances with damage scaling while using weapons with projectiles
  • Added several missing items to the HLNA Hexagon Store
  • Removed the ability to give birth to Reapers while on Genesis
  • Fixed a rare bug that caused recent mission progress to be lost after a server restart
  • Added a HUD notification during the VR Boss fight to indicate you've reached the limit
  • Fixed a bug that caused the Space Whale corpse to disappear after 1 hit
  • Increased the reliability of repairing glitches
  • Basilisks can now be tamed on Fertilized Magmasaur Eggs
  • Fixed several mesh holes
  • Improved turrets ability to damage cruise missiles in low FPS settings
  • Improved several visual components in the Mission UI
  • Fixed a bug that prevented several Genesis dinos from being downloaded on Aberration
  • Fixed occurrences where Magmasaur could damage structures out of turret range

Spoiler is a paste of the patch notes I'm talking about.

Edited by Zahlea
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I dont what to criticise but you can definitely tell that there were no second pass looks at Genesis. Dinos dissapearing underground, large swathes of map area where you can see the barebone mesh environment that they could not even be bothered to texture/cover with fauna. 

Pathways that were deliberately put in there then randomly blocked by terrain.

Mission pathways that vanish into the mountain or spawn at the top a cliff, sometimes leading you off the edge of a cliff. 

Bugged out dinos.

I've been a player since it first came out as a steam early access game in 2015 and 5 yrs on the same day one bugs are around. Dinos spawning in holes, crack and on top of trees etc.

 

I just wish (as we all did back in EA) that they would spend more time fixing and optimizing it. Its an awesome game.

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On 3/14/2020 at 4:45 PM, CRAGZUK said:

I just wish (as we all did back in EA) that they would spend more time fixing and optimizing it. Its an awesome game.

I believe that they do spend significant time fixing and optimising. But it doesn't help much when they're rushed - be it from stakeholders or community members crying about delays - to release new content that introduce so many new bugs or even reintroduce old bugs. At least that's my view of what the main problem is :) 

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Programmers have a task of "make X that works as such" and they do that, they are not supposed to do testing of how it would work in combination with other dinos and features of the game. Only if it works as described in assigned task. Not saying they always succeed at that though ? 

As for testers, I guess they knew and reported at least half of the bugs on release date, but only critical/major ones getting fixed and other stuff is left in game to fix it later, so they can meet their deadlines.

 

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44 minutes ago, deedoubleu said:

Programmers have a task of "make X that works as such" and they do that, they are not supposed to do testing of how it would work in combination with other dinos and features of the game. Only if it works as described in assigned task. Not saying they always succeed at that though ? 

That's not entirely true. There is a thing called "Regression testing" that means you need to make sure you didn't break old features. There's also something called TDD (Test Driven Development), while not optimally suited for game development, it can definitely be used in part to make sure you don't break existing code.

Besides that, some (far from all) issues introduce bugs that I find it impossible to believe were missed if they even tested the feature normally. If you test your feature and find it introduced a bug in existing code, then that's a bug with your feature that needs to be fixed before you move on.

46 minutes ago, deedoubleu said:

As for testers, I guess they knew and reported at least half of the bugs on release date, but only critical/major ones getting fixed and other stuff is left in game to fix it later, so they can meet their deadlines.

Yes, that's what I meant by it being rushed :) And that's something that needs to change. I would rather wait 6 more months for them to fix bugs before releasing the content than have it as it is now. Because we all know that no matter how many bugs they already know about - there are going to be so many more discovered when such a large player base with such different hardware and play styles get their hands on it, so why release with a whole bunch of known bugs as well?!

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34 minutes ago, Zahlea said:

 ...Regression testing ... Test Driven Development...

I don't think it's applicable. Say you need to make new structure. How can you make sure it doesn't break something? Hit it with every weapon, attack with every dino, build in every biome on every map on every surface type? You tried all that and it appears that server crashes if poop collides with this structure. Checking everything just doesn't seem possible.

You as a programmer in this example.

Now You as a whole dev team should try as much common scenarios as possible before new stuff gets added to live game and preferably fix any found issues and not just bury everything that doesn't crash the server, in bugtracker with low priority.

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1 hour ago, deedoubleu said:

I don't think it's applicable. Say you need to make new structure. How can you make sure it doesn't break something? Hit it with every weapon, attack with every dino, build in every biome on every map on every surface type? You tried all that and it appears that server crashes if poop collides with this structure. Checking everything just doesn't seem possible.

You as a programmer in this example.

Now You as a whole dev team should try as much common scenarios as possible before new stuff gets added to live game and preferably fix any found issues and not just bury everything that doesn't crash the server, in bugtracker with low priority.

I don't really agree. As one programmer, sure, maybe. But I'm talking about how the team works. For instance, at my job we do releases every other week and before we do any release the whole team gets together and tests all the usual gameplay to make sure nothing has been broken and test the new features specifically. Even then, things might obviously get through, but at least you make sure you didn't break the normal gameplay. That's the type of regression testing I'm talking about, that I don't think is in place and that I think definitely should be!

Either way, it seems like we both agree that whatever it is that they do and should do, it doesn't include enough testing?

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32 minutes ago, Zahlea said:

Either way, it seems like we both agree that whatever it is that they do and should do, it doesn't include enough testing?

Absolutely.

Mission are perfect example - wasn't that hard to catch alpha races are unbeatable. This specific case would not require any significant changes, just changing timings and it still took how long, two weeks? Even when they added fix for it in huge patch, yet again it was anything from guesswork to averaging highscores across all servers, but surely not a result of proper testing.

Another thing that bothers me a lot is that WC devs know better than anyone how laggy ark is on official servers, but for some reason they pretend to think that everyone running it on LAN and with empty server. So they design gameplay, balance and everything else for sterile lab conditions very few players will have.

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Edit: spelling

Edit: Before anybody gets uppity about equating a game to life or death, I'm implying the motivation behind this behavior from WC, not that Ark is more important than car safety, negligence law would be hard to apply to gaming... the only thing that would make WC release better software is if the consumers demand it. The current market says otherwise however.

--

It's an example of the current state of software (not just gaming) development.

How far can owners/management push developers before the job market shifts?

How low quality can the game go before people really start to revolt and revenue dips?

How many corners can be cut and maintain current levels of production?

It's all about numbers and the consumers (we) are losing because we put up with too much and the studios know it.

They (the studios) also know the varied and dynamic world of what runs on what platforms etc... hardware & software - which translates to, "there's enough people that can run this and put up with this to be profitable that it continues as, "business as usual"."

I encourage all to read and/or watch the scene/part in "Fight Club" where the discussion of doing a recall is brought up - not sure if this is the exact quote:

 

Quote

NarratorA new car built by my company leaves somewhere traveling at 60 mph. The rear differential locks up. The car crashes and burns with everyone trapped inside. Now, should we initiate a recall? Take the number of vehicles in the field, A, multiply by the probable rate of failure, B, multiply by the average out-of-court settlement, C. A times B times C equals X. If X is less than the cost of a recall, we don't do one.

One can substitute variables of software deployment, patches and release cycles and you can roughly gauge what the thinking and motivation is behind releasing software half baked and the implications to the studio.

Edited by glassman2u
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19 hours ago, glassman2u said:

It's all about numbers and the consumers (we) are losing because we put up with too much and the studios know it.

So true! I know I'm at fault for putting up with a bit too much and then I'm still way harsher and making conscious decisions than most gamers seem to be based on forums. It doesn't help that a lot of gamers - too many - are so young they don't really understand the impact of making choices of where to spend your money :/ 

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