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#99 [fr] 

Sinvaders
Ulu, the thing is by pushed the first changes it just looks like nobody has acknowledge (or think maybe) of the real impact it will have in-game.
Pushing a big changes (which seemed very unbalanced) and then adjust it step by step is not a very nice way for doing this kind of things.
As I already said it multiples times: you should not rush for Jena patch but take a bit of more time to design/implement/test the actual thing and make a bigger patch when everything is ready.


I couldn't agree more. I would much rather have less frequent patches if the patches were better balanced. Slower patches are fine, especially if you pair them with a little communication, like telling us about how things are progressing every once in a while. I have seen this in other games, too - slow patches are fine, it's the silence that causes the community to grow uneasy.

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Luminatrix

Explorer, storyteller, universalist, fighter for freedom and equality.

"Without contraries, there is no progression" - William Blake

#100 [en] 

Luminatrix
Sinvaders
Ulu, the thing is by pushed the first changes it just looks like nobody has acknowledge (or think maybe) of the real impact it will have in-game.
Pushing a big changes (which seemed very unbalanced) and then adjust it step by step is not a very nice way for doing this kind of things.
As I already said it multiples times: you should not rush for Jena patch but take a bit of more time to design/implement/test the actual thing and make a bigger patch when everything is ready.


I couldn't agree more. I would much rather have less frequent patches if the patches were better balanced. Slower patches are fine, especially if you pair them with a little communication, like telling us about how things are progressing every once in a while. I have seen this in other games, too - slow patches are fine, it's the silence that causes the community to grow uneasy.

(To both)

Another aspect of these patch stories and Ryzom that you guys don't seem to realize.
The team is really lacking of testers.

As a result, big change (that impact the whole server) cannot be tested entirely, or not at all.
And players want content update and big change :P
So well.. what to do?

You can still try to help with testing, asking Tamarea on RC.
Or serve as guinea pig for each patch.. or?

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#101 [fr] 

Very poor excuse.
It's just one more reason to take the time before pushing a patch.
The game have been living years without real additions, players can wait for things to be tested.

#102 [en] 

Excuse?
This is no excuse but reality here, and feel free to help instead.
Ofc time need to be taken, that not the point of my comment (but you don't seem to understand it).

Have a look at the Ranged weapons project now.

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#103 [en] 

Sinvaders
Very poor excuse.
It's just one more reason to take the time before pushing a patch.
The game have been living years without real additions, players can wait for things to be tested.

How long are you willing to wait?

Seriously, some changes are in test for a month or two. And after that time it is normal that Tamarea _begs_ to have at least one test report for each platform. While, by me, the reasonable minimum should be 15 (3 platforms x 5 languages). I see 51 names in the Testing team. Yes, not everyone is a tester, there are members of other teams who want or need to observe. But don't tell me it is 90%.

Testing is not much fun. It is long and repetitive work, even with testing tools (that DEVs develop along the way). It requires active attitude, it requires you to think in wide context. And it requires good knowledge of the game. Testing is not "do and forget". You need to come back to see if issues you have found were solved. And then you re-test it again, every single issue fix. While you look for any new regressions. And once someone decide it is good enough, it must all be tested again. And after it is released, you test it again. You must keep track of player issues and when those issues are solved somehow, the process starts again. Testing, re-testing, final testing and post-patch testing. And don't forget unofficial testing/helping aside the process, because all development time non-DEV can save, DEVs can use to work on something else.

And now, think about the fact that the Testing team is, as it looks to me, an usual start point for new volunteers. A volunteer comes to the team, learns basics, complete some testing in one or two patch cycles. And then simply leave, because it is as described above. Or find another place for himself/herself in another team. Or another team pull that volunteer for own projects - the lack of members is a problem for most of teams. And that volunteer has no or just a little time or will for any more future testing.

Yes you are right, testing is not the only problem and I personally do not understand why there is so rush with (some) changes when, by me, it is not ready to release yet. But it always ends with the testing. And we need much more testers than 2.5 or whats the average per change :/

#104 [en] 

Okay, I must be in an alternate universe now; I'm actually (at least mostly) agreeing with both Moniq and Revvy!

Testing takes a ton of dev-hours to do right, and often does not account for all of the ingenuously creative ways the end user (in this case, players) can and will use whatever is released. It's not fun, and it sucks up resources that could be used elsewhere. That's rough for a small team.

That said, there are times where something that is seen as "good enough" and sent prematurely can cause far more problems than waiting. And with Ryzom in particular, I think most of us who have been around a while are used to change happening slowly. We know the team is pretty small, and we have the math skills to know that for a given amount of dev-hours, less devs means more hours. I think that much of the recent kerfluffle may have been a rush to ship, which lead to not testing certain aspects (i.e. - like how equally this patch would treat all four factions, or how equally dynamic events treat each time zone) due to time constraints.

One thing that may help in the future is a combination of communication and patience. I suspect I'm not the only one that would rather hear, "This is a thing we're working on, but it's still not working as intended.", than have a repeat of this fiasco. Sure there will still be some mistakes made, but I think that at least a little more transparency would dampen unrest.

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Do not assume that you speak for all just because you are the loudest voice; there are many who disagree that simply have no desire to waste words on you.

#105 [fr] 

@Moniq and Revvy.

It's a well known fact that the testing team is missing working force.
In my original post, I wasn't directly targeting the testing phase. The point was, pushing a big changes live and then fix the issue step-by-step is not a good approach (specially when the changes is meant to change people habits) and here I am not talking about testing the product before delivery.

About waiting, well, we have been waiting 2 years (something like that, I lost the count) before seeing a change related to a certain event (and the change was actually visible during the event but vanished at the next reboot) live on Atys... so waiting couple of months before a patch is more than OK.
Yes you are right, testing is not the only problem and I personally do not understand why there is so rush with (some) changes when, by me, it is not ready to release yet. But it always ends with the testing. And we need much more testers than 2.5 or whats the average per change :/
+10
One thing that may help in the future is a combination of communication and patience. I suspect I'm not the only one that would rather hear, "This is a thing we're working on, but it's still not working as intended.", than have a repeat of this fiasco. Sure there will still be some mistakes made, but I think that at least a little more transparency would dampen unrest.

It's more or less what I was insinuating with my initial message (don't rush for release, take more time, etc).

PS: I'm not saying this group or this group of people are doing BS.

Last edited by Sinvaders (4 weeks ago)

#106 [en] 

Preface: I know that there are lots of good hearted volunteers involved. Please do not take this personally. I love all of you who have good intentions.

RE: Not enough testers. Not the full picture:


Guys... if ANYONE had told us that new horizons was 100% going to be removed (let's be honest... that's what it is)

NO ONE would be jumping up and down for that , save the most masochistic "give it to me harder, oh yeah" group. I don't need to name names here.

I understand this argument about testing, but there was no transparency.
We just need some more conversation.

If someone told me 2-4 days, plus no buff, on craft misisons... guys.. I could caclulate for you the outrage here. It's obvious that people who are doing 3/4 lands + even tribes can still be stuck with tons of extra mats, if the timer is increased by that much.

Telling me to go do something else is just dictatorship.

The point is, theoertical discussions can bear lots of fruit, not just actual testing. In fact, depending on WHO your testers are, they may think this is JUST FINE (no sap crytals, punitive florist nerf, useless dappers on nh, no free nh transport for neutral +50s, huge buffs to combat missions and no buff to crafting missions, "just go dig" for sap crystals)

It's not just about how many testers. It's about the diversity of testers, and people who aren't pushing a "make it harder, I love it" agenda.

There are specific posts by someone who literally said (paraphrasing):
Sucks for you, that you didn't see this nerf coming. Haha , I made 30 alts, farmed the events, farmed crystals, and now I have stuff, and you don't . Haha, now you have to suffer, and I don't. But OH I really support this change, it's a necessary change, people had too many dappers and crystal anyway (nevermind that I'm laughing at you because I "planned" for this)

With people like this in the community, I'm not sure testers can even be trusted.

-Theoretical discussion is effective.
-Make your changes MORE transparent.
-Don't tell me I need to join the team or email Tamarea to get involved


The patch notes were written in a way, that I feel, hid the reality that this was a blatent nerf. I don't have to defend my statement. It's plain to see. And it needs to stop.

PS. Since the effects of the patch have hit so much pushback, a rush fix-patch would have been advisable, or even a rollback on the patch (or parts of the patch) Some things should be rushed, some should not.

I'm just playing my part. I don't mean to be as abbrasive as I sound. It's just worth saying. Thanks. I have suggested my 2 cents on how to help fix this. More testers, FINE. More theoertical discussion, more transparency, YES.

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#107 [en] 

Testers have no power to change anything directly. We can object and point out what we think is wrong with a specific change, however the goal of testing is to make sure it works as expected by rules we do not make. We are not making decisions and we are unable to delay or stop the release.

To be specific about New Horizons 2.0: We did warn that the change will not make players happy and suggested at least to wait for planned mission changes. The matter of mission adjustment was not known to the Testing team by that time. The answer was it will be release separately, with mission changes following shortly after JY 2603 patch.

I am not sure who you should rather address your text, maybe Level Design team?

#108 [en] 

Moniq
Testers have no power to change anything directly. We can object and point out what we think is wrong with a specific change, however the goal of testing is to make sure it works as expected by rules we do not make. We are not making decisions and we are unable to delay or stop the release.

To be specific about New Horizons 2.0: We did warn that the change will not make players happy and suggested at least to wait for planned mission changes. The matter of mission adjustment was not known to the Testing team by that time. The answer was it will be release separately, with mission changes following shortly after JY 2603 patch.

I am not sure who you should rather address your text, maybe Level Design team?

Thank you for giving your feedback to wait on planned mission changes.

I aimed my feedback at the decision makers who chose to (apparently) disregard smart feedback from testers. In this case I owe some apology to testers ;)

I understand testers are bound by NDA, they cannot/should not share these things before the release. 

My contention was aimed, squarely, at the people who are not sharing the information transparently, and pushing skewed patch notes (not the testers)

Testing is not enough, transparency is key. Hiding information is in bad faith. Not soliciting enough open feedback is a poor decision. So is waiting on the backlash.

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#109 [en] 

I am not under NDA, however I try to avoid spoiling any changes before it was announced. I will also not quote nor post any internal documents.

And yes, you are right, the transparency is one of the biggest remaining problems I see. Except some long time team members I know a bit, new nicknames keep comming and leaving and I barely know who is who and what is he/she responsible for. There are teams that require NDA thus I have no chance to know who is a member or what they really do.

#110 [en] 

Loved
In fact, depending on WHO your testers are, they may think this is JUST FINE (no sap crytals, punitive florist nerf, useless dappers on nh, no free nh transport for neutral +50s, huge buffs to combat missions and no buff to crafting missions, "just go dig" for sap crystals)

It's not just about how many testers. It's about the diversity of testers, and people who aren't pushing a "make it harder, I love it" agenda.

Yeah, I think the testing team needs more folks who work hard enough IRL that they aren't up for running around for 3-4 hours a night (longer than they may have in a single session) to do what they used to in 30 minutes to balance out the folks who think TPs should be removed because "RPGs are about travel". (Whose bright idea was it to put the relevant Tryker NPCs so much further from the capitol than other regions?) Maybe a few more who think effort should be rewarded more than alignment, that fame and factions are merely part of the game instead of it's main focus, and that all factions should be balanced. (How is paying Neutral/Ranger only 40% of what a nationalist earns for the same task without offering a chance to earn equal rewards elsewhere not favoritism anyways?) It might also help if there were more meetings around 02-03 UTC or on Sundays so we could get some alternative perspective into a realtime conversation, but I'm not sure that's logistically feasible.

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Do not assume that you speak for all just because you are the loudest voice; there are many who disagree that simply have no desire to waste words on you.

#111 [en] 

Testing needs some requirements, to compare the release candidate to.

Now of course with game testing, requirements could be a vague/generic "is this change fun", which is completely subjective. Which is the crux of the issue, because you *can* refine such requirements, and restate them like:
  • Is X nerf too strong?
  • Does this affect many people's playstyle?
  • Does this affect daily activities for many players?
  • If the backlash is strong, do we have a plan? Do we rollback?
  • Are the prepared PR statements sufficiently satisfying and detailed? (yes, PR releases can be a testing artifact, in a sense)

So this was either a problem of insufficient input to the testing team, or their feedback was simply not taken into consideration, because someone really wanted to push out the changes. At this point the teams seem to be in damage-control mode, and we are still awaiting more rebalancing patches...

Last edited by Laoviel (4 weeks ago)

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Laoviel, officer of Rift Walkers

#112 [en] 

@Moniq: Can you tell us how many testers did you see on pads in the last 2 months please?

Let's see how much the "community" is involved.

Last edited by Revvy (4 weeks ago)

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#113 [en] 

Revvy
@Moniq: Can you tell us how many testers did you see on pads in the last 2 months please?

Let's see how much the "community" is involved.

That depends on a test (and the number will tell you nothing about test quality). I am also too lazy to search how long and when tests started so I give you numbers for 3 groups of tests:

Last 6 finished: average 4.3 testers (many miss mac os testing)
Final 4 ongoing tests (Gingo server): average 1.8 testers (all miss mac os testing)
More or less recent 5 minor fixes on Atys (must be tested on Atys): 0.6/1.0 testers (just me and I have no resources to do those two remaining tests as much as I would like so I consider my testing to be not completed in two cases)

I did not include Kitin invasions testing (which runs for several months and was tested with bigger groups, thus I have no specific names - only 2 reports but it was about 10 testers at least during all the testing).

Last edited by Moniq (4 weeks ago)

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