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Issue 27, Page...?


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So you're on Discord with your SG the other dayyyyyyyyyy:

 

What if (and this is hypothetical): We have a Page update of nothing but tackling bug fixes?

 

I'm reasonably sure there's a running list, probably even prioritized (because I realize the HC team is a hell of a lot more professional and well-organized than I am), of bugs and wonky things around our house that need attention. Everybody loves new missions, and new powers, and rebalancing, and new costume pieces, and so on and so forth, but the house also sometimes needs a little love inside the walls, not just a new coat of paint on the outside.

 

Would the community as a general body support our incredible team taking the next designated production period to just tackle the bug list? I am not a programmer, or even remotely aware of the undertaking this might require, any more than the "standard code rant, spaghetti nonsense" that we're working with, but if anybody can handle it I have complete faith in our folks.

 

I also realize putting aside more creative pursuits in the name of nitty-gritty stuff like a bug list isn't the most fun idea, but in my own line of work I don't love responding to clients' customers' bullshit on Twitter; it still needs to be done, and I'm the person who needs to do it. 

It's unprecedented, and I personally value that each and every update includes fixes and patches and whatnot, and I've been told bugfixes are akin to whack-a-mole, but I for one would wholly support and applaud suspending new content for a bit in order to tackle both long-standing and newly-spicy little things around our City.

stares at Assassin Strike animation and Return to Battle recharge

What say you? Is this even remotely a good idea?

 

 

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@Aurora Girl - Excelsior - BSOD
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43 minutes ago, Bill Z Bubba said:

 

Yes. I'd honestly love it if the devs made their current bug list public so that we could peruse it prior to starting new bug threads.

 

I hadn't even considered that. Good call!

@Aurora Girl - Excelsior - BSOD
 Aurora Girl  (Blaster)- Energy/Atomic, Queen of Faceplants and former Mayor of Pinnacle Server  Straye  (Brute)- Savage/SR, Survivor of +4 ITF Nictus Crystals and Bobcat's Bane  Aurora Snow  (Corruptor) - Ice/Cold, AV Humiliator  Terraflux  (Controller) - Earth/Rad, Bass Exploder  Spynerette  (Arachnos Soldier) - Night Widow, Super Spy of Sneakiness and Stabbing  Snowberrie  (Tank) - Ice/Spines, Disco Ball and Lady of Winter

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55 minutes ago, Bill Z Bubba said:

 

Yes. I'd honestly love it if the devs made their current bug list public so that we could peruse it prior to starting new bug threads.

The reason that isn't done, is because it could potentially reveal an exploit that would potentially become well known and exacerbate the need for the fix in the first place.

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Yes and no. It's a slippery slope IMO. On one hand, letting players know what is broken and what is being tracked to be fixed is helpful knowledge for the player base to be aware of. On the other hand it can lead to resentment if a bug exists for a long duration of time, perhaps one that has been identified by the HC Team, and either is not being actively addressed or there is not a fix in the pipeline.

 

In all honesty, if a player has the interest/time, they could review the Bug Report forums and identify all of the bugs reported since HC was created, then crosswalk that against all of the patch notes that have been published to see what is left 😅

 

Either way, HC Devs gonna do what they want to do.

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@Glacier Peakis right in that they will do what they want.

 

Realistically it makes sense to follow a pragmatic approach to work on issues in order of magnitude due to their salience. Ie. Does the bug break the game? Does it make something unplayable? Is it an inconvenience? If so how much? And then probably grab some low hanging fruit here and there for good measure.

 

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2 hours ago, aethereal said:

I don't think it's a good idea.  CoH has bugs, sure, but my experience is not majorly impacted by them.  I would prefer new content to bug-fixing, to the extent that that's a tradeoff.


Do you think it's because you don't personally encounter bugs enough to matter to you? It seems with new content there are usually new, undiscovered bugs; shouldn't we ensure the foundation is as good as can be before adding another sunroom?

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 Aurora Girl  (Blaster)- Energy/Atomic, Queen of Faceplants and former Mayor of Pinnacle Server  Straye  (Brute)- Savage/SR, Survivor of +4 ITF Nictus Crystals and Bobcat's Bane  Aurora Snow  (Corruptor) - Ice/Cold, AV Humiliator  Terraflux  (Controller) - Earth/Rad, Bass Exploder  Spynerette  (Arachnos Soldier) - Night Widow, Super Spy of Sneakiness and Stabbing  Snowberrie  (Tank) - Ice/Spines, Disco Ball and Lady of Winter

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10 minutes ago, Aurora_Girl said:


Do you think it's because you don't personally encounter bugs enough to matter to you? It seems with new content there are usually new, undiscovered bugs; shouldn't we ensure the foundation is as good as can be before adding another sunroom?

 

I mean, you asked, I answered.  Could I imagine the game being so buggy that I wanted to pause future feature development to improve existing quality?  Sure.  Is CoH at that level?  Not even remotely, in my experience.

 

When I take hiatuses from the game, it's because it's feeling stale, not buggy.  What draws me back in is chances to use new powersets, newly revitalized character possibilities, and new missions against new enemies, not "that nagging problem is resolved."

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There are several Homecoming developers.  Some are behind the scenes coders and operators, some are powers developers, some are costumes and effects developers, and there are at least two who are content developers.  Content developers will... develop content.  So while the behind the scenes coders and operators and powers developers can and do work on fixing bugs, the others will continue doing what they do.  Would you rather they do nothing for a page?

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19 minutes ago, Apparition said:

There are several Homecoming developers.  Some are behind the scenes coders and operators, some are powers developers, some are costumes and effects developers, and there are at least two who are content developers.  Content developers will... develop content.  So while the behind the scenes coders and operators and powers developers can and do work on fixing bugs, the others will continue doing what they do.  Would you rather they do nothing for a page?

Yeah this. And the reality of development is that even if you have loads of resource for the same thing you can't just keep throwing bodies at a project. There is a limit to the number of people who can work on the same thing without tripping over each other. In addition it's often the case that you need to develop things in a certain order, sometimes a bug can only be fixed after you've done other things first. You may as well carry on much as the homecoming team are doing; both develop and fix as you go along.

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If someone could fix the market bug where it won't display the last 5 (I know the workaround of bidding on it and checking the price that way) that would be cool, but IIRC it was probably not going to happen due to spaghett. 

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To be faaaaaaaiiiiiiiiiiiihhh...

I'd also vote for bug fixes as part of each development stage rather than occupying a whole release.

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28 minutes ago, A Cat said:

If someone could fix the market bug where it won't display the last 5 (I know the workaround of bidding on it and checking the price that way) that would be cool, but IIRC it was probably not going to happen due to spaghett. 


 

IIRC, that’s not a bug.  It was an intentional change during the “secret server” years to try to prevent the servers from being overwhelmed by people constantly checking auction house prices.

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This is actually something I considered asking the team about at some point, since bugs can and do tend to fall to the wayside, depending on their severity and annoyance to fix in the face of current content being developed. For every small QoL issue or bug that gets overlooked, it's +1 issue in the issue tracker so it becomes a dripping bucket issue. Making sure we empty the bucket every now and then to keep the tracker manageable, while not "fun", would provide a nice peace of mind. For visual/fx bugs, it would also mean less possibility that because of issue x, we can't do y until three other things are fixed.

 

It doesn't have to be a whole issue or anything, but rather just an all hands on deck, fix only issues on the tracker for the next patch type of thing. I think it makes sense to do after major page releases since that's when a lot of bugs, related to the page or not, tend to start being submitted in en masse.

 

On the other hand, I can't remember a page where a number of bug fixes don't get included as part of the release, but all in all, I wouldn't mind doing this.

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1 hour ago, Naomi said:

On the other hand, I can't remember a page where a number of bug fixes don't get included as part of the release, but all in all, I wouldn't mind doing this.

 

^^

Balanced approach.

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"Homecoming is not perfect but it is still better than the alternative.. at least so far" - Unknown  (Wise words Unknown!)

Si vis pacem, para bellum

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yeah something like a "known issues" page/thread many games do, just Exploits of course wont be listed for obvious reason 🙂 .

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I'd say no, I wouldn't want that.

 

There are a few reasons, some of which are touched on in the thread already, such as "so what do the people who aren't focused on bug fixing do?" There's also a matter of... let's say "feel." If we have a page of bug fixes, there's not going to be a lot of excitement about it - sure, that *that one bug* that was annoying you got fixed, maybe, but there'll also be plenty of others that didn't or couldn't get fixed (and of course new ones added.) And, of course, griping that "they just waited to get them all at once" and the like.

 

Flip side of that is... we get server restarts and patches every Tuesday. Little things get added or fixed (emotes available, bugs fixed) then, and though it's not *big* progress, it gives a feel that yes, our volunteer devs are continually active working on things. (Not saying they're otherwise *not,* to be clear.)

 

So... yeah, no. Patches for ongoing bugs as they can be fixed. Pages for bigger things - "Hey, we fixed a bug" shouldn't be a focus of that, barring "hey, in the process of fixing this bug, we found this cool thing could be done!" And issues for major updates and milestones.

Primarily on Everlasting. Squid afficionado. Former creator of Copypastas. General smartalec.

 

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Glib remarks aside:

 

Keeping technical debt in check is or should be the goal of any team.

We've seen a lot of effort in this area.

Having a backlog of bugs and to do's is to be expected. Prioritizing that list can be a bit subjective based on a myriad of factors.

 

Publishing that list.. eesh.

How would a list be shared that would not be scrutinized for aged items or questioning of priorities?

It's not that the scrutiny is bad, but when it comes from folks without a lot more information. It can just make more work explaining and bring folks up to speed.

Time that could have been spent elsewhere.

 

I also agree that publishing a list may open the door to exploitation. (Otherwise known as more work and schedule impacts).

 

 

The Homecoming Team efforts to date have been great and should not go unrecognized. Kudos for doing the work and keeping the game breaking issues at bay.

"Homecoming is not perfect but it is still better than the alternative.. at least so far" - Unknown  (Wise words Unknown!)

Si vis pacem, para bellum

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I'm feeling like I was a bit misconstrued:

 

I'm a creative. In no way did I say "everybody but the code monkeys sit on their asses and do nothing for X period of time." If they want a break, take it. They've earned it. In this kind of scenario, they wouldn't have a deadline or rushed schedule to get say, Kallisti Wharf arc chains out and could have *more* time to get them done. 

 

Also: I know we have a public tracker for bugs, and never said the dev-side version needs to be shared. 

 

I like @Naomi's description of the "dripping bucket". 

@Aurora Girl - Excelsior - BSOD
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4 hours ago, Aurora_Girl said:

I'm feeling like I was a bit misconstrued:

 

I'm a creative. In no way did I say "everybody but the code monkeys sit on their asses and do nothing for X period of time." If they want a break, take it. They've earned it. In this kind of scenario, they wouldn't have a deadline or rushed schedule to get say, Kallisti Wharf arc chains out and could have *more* time to get them done. 

 

I don't think it was taken that way. It's a good suggestion with arguments on both sides. I'd still lean to the balanced approach, but if even Naomi thinks a bugfirx release is a good idea...

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On 1/5/2022 at 9:39 AM, Aurora_Girl said:

So you're on Discord with your SG the other dayyyyyyyyyy:

Excellent start. A+

 

///Topic

Not to incite superstition, but i24 was internally/unofficially being called "Fix All The Things", iirc.

 

The fun thing about bugs is everyone has 'em!  It's not just a problem for coders.  We know Cobalt Arachne has mentioned several mission fixes (which covers mission scripts, FX, map editing, enemy definition edits), Naomi has a costume bugs thread, Powerhouse and the rest of the Powers Division always have a bug reports sub-forum full of player issues for them to sort out, so on and etcetera.

 

So... definitely don't think there's any question of "what does everyone else do?"

 

All that said... I don't see this happening with an "Issue" title attached (but definitely a patch between Pages).  I think the more realistic approach would be a feature-light page with a lot of bug fixes.  I tried to imagine i27p3 bereft of most of its features but I think any new Page is always going to have something shiny at this point.  The stakes were simply set too high at i27p1 to imagine otherwise. 

I don't think we need a new quest and epic story every Page, but I would expect any page lacking an arc or TF to instead include content improvements in other ways, and things like powerset touch-ups sure feel like bugfixes sometimes.

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Yeah, I wasn't suggesting ISSUE 28: FUCK CONTENT, FIX BUGS

 

😅

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@Aurora Girl - Excelsior - BSOD
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