PDA

View Full Version : Turbine, I want to discuss Developer Time Spent on DDO



Zaodon
11-05-2008, 01:19 PM
I am Director of Development for my company, and I have 12 software developers and 4 QA people who report to me. I only mention this because I want you to know that I understand, at least generally, how Development Priorities are handled in the development of a Software product.

That said, I know that each new module that you guys produce is given a certain amount of time, and that there is planning done to determine the amount of new content you can provide to us for each new module.

However, I am seeing a disturbing trend from you guys at Turbine. Developer time is being allocated to arbitrarily modify old content, particularly raids, that do not need any modification. It seems that you are allocating developer resources to simply change old content to "freshen it up" and make it different. In most cases, your goal seems to be to make the old content "harder".

Now, I can't speak for all DDO players, but I definitely can speak for myself, my direct friends, and my guildmates when I say this: We'd rather you spent that developer time on new content instead of fiddling with old stuff.

Somehow, you guys got it into your head that if players "learn" a quest so well that they can do it very easily, that you feel the need to modify that quest in some way so that it is no longer so easy.

This is self-defeating.

Let me explain. No matter what quests you release, as long as they are not bugged or just badly designed (*cough*Abbot*cough*), players will repeat them over and over until they are able to do the quest easily. There is no possible way to prevent this from happening. By allocating developer resources to change these quests, you are not providing new content, you are not providing more challenge, and you are just ****ing us off. That leads us to the perception that you're not providing enough new content (which is a valid perception). And that leads us to the perception that DDO is dwindling, and might, at some point, be discontinued.

So, I am writing this to simply let you know that from our point of view, we would much rather have your developers work on new content instead of "messing" with old content in a way that has no value to us as players.

Let me give you an example:
Reaver's Fate isn't more interesting with the changes you just made in Mod 8, its just more annoying. I have no greater or lesser desire to run it now than I did before. Its old content to me, and it will always be old content to me. New players will view it as new content to them, and that's great, but that would be true with the old Reaver or the new Mod 8 Reaver. So, all you really did was give us less content in Mod 8 than you could have, which ****es us off.

Please consider this viewpoint of us long-term players for future development prioritization.

Dymond
11-05-2008, 01:24 PM
You sure you work in software development? Your always going to have to go back and revisit 'old content', either for bug fixes or enhancement requests. I also work for a software company and I know you CAN'T dedicate your entire development cycle to new content or features, its just not possible. You also have to take into account that your new feature may or may not break something from a previous release so you have to go and make sure that all of the software works going forward. You have to fix bugs, both from the existing content and those introduced from the old content and go back and revisit the software as a whole.

Turial
11-05-2008, 01:26 PM
....
However, I am seeing a disturbing trend from you guys at Turbine. Developer time is being allocated to arbitrarily modify old content, particularly raids, that do not need any modification. It seems that you are allocating developer resources to simply change old content to "freshen it up" and make it different. In most cases, your goal seems to be to make the old content "harder".

Now, I can't speak for all DDO players, but I definitely can speak for myself, my direct friends, and my guildmates when I say this: We'd rather you spent that developer time on new content instead of fiddling with old stuff.

Somehow, you guys got it into your head that if players "learn" a quest so well that they can do it very easily, that you feel the need to modify that quest in some way so that it is no longer so easy.

.....

Let me explain. No matter what quests you release, as long as they are not bugged or just badly designed (*cough*Abbot*cough*), players will repeat them over and over until they are able to do the quest easily. There is no possible way to prevent this from happening. By allocating developer resources to change these quests, you are not providing new content, you are not providing more challenge, and you are just ****ing us off. That leads us to the perception that you're not providing enough new content (which is a valid perception). ....

Please consider this viewpoint of us long-term players for future development prioritization.

/agree

Aspenor
11-05-2008, 01:28 PM
A better fix for the Reaver would have been to reinstate the old spawn rates for the elementals. Messing with their saves and such was a mistake.

Granted, I will probably never run the reaver again with any character, so this makes no difference to me. I can see it being annoying for new players that have a much more difficult quest to beat, now.

Turial
11-05-2008, 01:28 PM
You sure you work in software development? Your always going to have to go back and revisit 'old content', either for bug fixes or enhancement requests. I also work for a software company and I know you CAN'T dedicate your entire development cycle to new content or features, its just not possible. You also have to take into account that your new feature may or may not break something from a previous release so you have to go and make sure that all of the software works going forward. You have to fix bugs, both from the existing content and those introduced from the old content and go back and revisit the software as a whole.

Except many of the changes were not about bugs....unless the quests weren't released as intended and the devs just had no idea about it at the time of release, which I would find hard to believe. The devs typically go back and fix unintended things rather quickly.

Zaodon
11-05-2008, 01:29 PM
You sure you work in software development? Your always going to have to go back and revisit 'old content', either for bug fixes or enhancement requests. I also work for a software company and I know you CAN'T dedicate your entire development cycle to new content or features, its just not possible. You also have to take into account that your new feature may or may not break something from a previous release so you have to go and make sure that all of the software works going forward. You have to fix bugs, both from the existing content and those introduced from the old content and go back and revisit the software as a whole.

Sorry, I thought I was more clear about differentiating bug fixing vs. arbitrarily modifying old content for no valid reason other than just to modify it.

Harncw
11-05-2008, 01:29 PM
No wait, I'm a computer hacker! therefore listen to me!

http://forums.ddo.com/showthread.php?t=156722

I like the quest in its newer form.... gotta keep on your toes now!

Zaodon
11-05-2008, 01:30 PM
No wait, I'm a computer hacker! therefore listen to me!

http://forums.ddo.com/showthread.php?t=156722

I like the quest in its newer form.... gotta keep on your toes now!

I didnt mean for the Reaver to be the poster-boy for my comment, I just used it as an example.

juniorpfactors
11-05-2008, 01:31 PM
C
R
I
C
K
E
T
S




Jrp

Dymond
11-05-2008, 01:32 PM
Sorry, I thought I was more clear about differentiating bug fixing vs. arbitrarily modifying old content for no valid reason other than just to modify it.

Look there is a software bug and there is a gameplay bug and those bugs include game balance. Somebody decided that for the level, the quest was unbalanced and needed to be fixed. I'm not arguing the right or wrong of the changes to Reaver or whatever. I'm just arguing that your applying your problems with one quest to the development cycle as a whole.

Harncw
11-05-2008, 01:33 PM
I didnt mean for the Reaver to be the poster-boy for my comment, I just used it as an example.

provide more examples plz

Zaodon
11-05-2008, 01:35 PM
provide more examples plz

- Changing the spawn rate of Mind Flayers for the Hound.
- Altering Sorjek at the end of Tempest Spine (was done a while ago, not in Mod 8)
- Altering the end boss fight in STK (STK? Seriously?)

etc.

edit:
- PotP
- DQ
- Stormcleave

Borror0
11-05-2008, 01:38 PM
Altering the end boss fight in STK (STK? Seriously?)

STK and PotP win the contest of the quests that have been modified the most often.

Aspenor
11-05-2008, 01:39 PM
STK and PotP win the contest of the quests that have been modified the most often.
What about the Demon Queen? That one's up there.

akla_thornfist
11-05-2008, 01:57 PM
oh cmon now turbine has stated many times that they dont revisit old quest that there time is better spent on new content.:rolleyes:

ArkoHighStar
11-05-2008, 02:03 PM
Sorry Stormcleave Outpost has been fiddled with more times than any quest, mostly for the spawn bugs, but that thing took forever to get stable, Stormcleave got balancing changes to the end boss, the minotaur, the fire giant hill, all direct responses to tactics thought of by players

ArkoHighStar
11-05-2008, 02:05 PM
oh cmon now turbine has stated many times that they dont revisit old quest that there time is better spent on new content.:rolleyes:

No what they stated is they do not want to go back and revisit quest chain mechanics for fear of breaking things, however they broke that rule with teh NPE and redoing the goodblade quests. And actually their comments were accurate,since you can see how buggy it has been for people who had already completed the old versions, to try and do the new ones without getting stuck somewhere

Harncw
11-05-2008, 02:12 PM
I do agree that I "would much rather have your developers work on new content instead of "messing" with old content in a way that has no value to us as players. "

however there is more to it than that.... and it does add value to us.


- Changing the spawn rate of Mind Flayers for the Hound.
- Altering Sorjek at the end of Tempest Spine (was done a while ago, not in Mod 8)
- Altering the end boss fight in STK (STK? Seriously?)

etc.

Have not seen hound since change so I'm talking outta my a_s...
but it's not really old content is it? I mean to say that to tweak a dungeon that was introduced 1 version prior.
how much dev time does it take to twiddle the "spawn rate" anyway.

With TS they made him harder and upped the loot and added named items. Maybe an attempt to breath new life into a very cool quest that very few ppl run. And as a developer you know that it is often easier to modify/enhance existing software than to design from zero.

I know ppl were exploiting STK, there was a way to get the giant to bug, I dont know what changed yet, but I prefer that a staple quest for most new players does not end in cheese.

Maybe there was offending code, in the above quests, for lack of a better term it didnt compile, or jibe with the newest version of the game... so they had to go in there anyway... Maybe khyber crashed the other day because someone picked up the 33rd dog charm stone causing an overflow. (yeah that's a stretch I admit)

ppl also *****ed and moaned about ladders that didnt always properly work and stuck spots... so they had to crack the seal anyway...

ppl *****ed about slimes in a library so they made them spiders (catacombs)

Some kinda AI bug got introduced in DQ, and that was more than likely a result of code reuse, they had to go there. Or are you referring to the free for all days of safe spots and ppl able to solo her?

I thought much like you and it took me a while to attempt to see their side of it. I was all "*** give us new content not a new goodblades" but the npe has the benefit of slowing down the plat farmers and should be a more conducive structured environment for the new players (which I am crossing my fingers, we should start seeing soon).

vtecfiend99
11-05-2008, 02:14 PM
No what they stated is they do not want to go back and revisit quest chain mechanics for fear of breaking things, however they broke that rule with teh NPE and redoing the goodblade quests. And actually their comments were accurate,since you can see how buggy it has been for people who had already completed the old versions, to try and do the new ones without getting stuck somewhere

see... their rules are "we're gonna do what we want. go **** yourselves"


the only thing they listen to is sycophantic blabbering. Hence the complete population of mournlands being Turbine slappys. Then, being slappys that they are they do not inform them when their quests/content are BROKEN, DUMB or POINTLESS. they simply path the fastest loot runs, map out every exploit possible and share this info with their guilds. nothing is done about it because... well turbine like a smooch on the bottom a couple times a day

Angelus_dead
11-05-2008, 02:21 PM
Reaver's Fate isn't more interesting with the changes you just made in Mod 8, its just more annoying. I have no greater or lesser desire to run it now than I did before. Its old content to me, and it will always be old content to me. New players will view it as new content to them, and that's great, but that would be true with the old Reaver or the new Mod 8 Reaver.
Wrong. New players who go into the new Reaver may see it as a raid. New players who went into the old Reaver saw it as "Why am I sitting in this corner for 15 minutes before looting a chest?"


So, all you really did was give us less content in Mod 8 than you could have, which ****es us off.
If you want to complain about misplaced priorities leading to a smaller amount of new content, then to focus on tweaking existing quests is a serious red herring. The effort to jiggle the saving throws on some air elemental is trivial compared to building a whole new scripted quest, of any level.

You'd have a point if you complained the New Player Experience or Hirelings detracted from building new quests you want to play, but the minimal effort to tune some raids is hardly worth noticing.

KoboldKiller
11-05-2008, 02:24 PM
Main Entry:re·dun·dant Pronunciation: \-dənt\ Function:adjective Etymology:Latin redundant-, redundans, present participle of redundare to overflow — more at redound (http://www.aolsvc.merriam-webster.aol.com/dictionary/redound)Date:1594 1 a: exceeding what is necessary or normal : superfluous (http://www.aolsvc.merriam-webster.aol.com/dictionary/superfluous) b: characterized by or containing an excess ; specifically : using more words than necessary c: characterized by similarity or repetition <a group of particularly redundant brick buildings> dchiefly British : no longer needed for a job and hence laid off2: profuse (http://www.aolsvc.merriam-webster.aol.com/dictionary/profuse) , lavish (http://www.aolsvc.merriam-webster.aol.com/dictionary/lavish)3: serving as a duplicate for preventing failure of an entire system (as a spacecraft) upon failure of a single component

vtecfiend99
11-05-2008, 02:26 PM
You'd have a point if you complained the New Player Experience or Hirelings detracted from building new quests you want to play, but the minimal effort to tune some raids is hardly worth noticing.

True, it seems to me that it maybe took all of an hour to scale the saves of ellies in there. maybe less?


I just dont agree that cranking the saves of these guys so high was a way to make the quest more fun. Air ellies arent fun to me ( I believe you have an opinion on them also? lol) I've seen people suggest earth ellies along with the air ellies and that seems like it would have been a better solution. or hell... earth and fire eliies. all three spawning like crazy. But then... that takes alot more time and effort than just saying hey, cant finger these mobs anymore.

I just think air ellies suck. maybe it's just me though. Either way I'm sure I wont have trouble looting out new raid items for new alts when i bring them up.

Kistilan
11-05-2008, 02:34 PM
I think the NPE was well-worth the developer's time. We want new players to come, and the NPE definitely is a refreshing and innovative measure to bring sexxy back to DDO.

Zaodon
11-05-2008, 02:34 PM
If you want to complain about misplaced priorities leading to a smaller amount of new content, then to focus on tweaking existing quests is a serious red herring. The effort to jiggle the saving throws on some air elemental is trivial compared to building a whole new scripted quest, of any level.

Not entirely true, Angelus.

Any change to production code requires non-trivial effort:
1. A formal spec has to be written, even if its just 1 paragraph long.
2. The developer has to do the actual work, and test the results on their Dev sandbox.
3. The code has to be checked into the repository, with proper documentation.
4. The QA team then has to write the QA test plan for the change.
5. The QA team then has to test the change using the test plan.
6. The QA team then has to update any prior Regression Tests, if required.
7. If bugs are found, repeat steps 2-6.
8. Changes to go Mournlands. If bugs are found, repeat steps 2-7.

That is not "trivial".

Angelus_dead
11-05-2008, 02:40 PM
I think the NPE was well-worth the developer's time. We want new players to come, and the NPE definitely is a refreshing and innovative measure to bring sexxy back to DDO.
Whether you feel NPE was worthwhile is a separate question. The NPE obviously took a large amount of developer time, including 3d artists, 2d artists, programmers, scripters, and audio. Those resources could have been working on level 18 quests instead, so for a person who feels high level is more important than low for new content, NPE was a real mistake.

However, regardless of which you feel is more valuable, it barely makes sense to complain about adjusting existing raids. The time investment to tweak them is so tiny that it just doesn't make sense to compare. (Once again, asking whether the specific changes were correct is a separate question from if any changes were warranted at all)

Angelus_dead
11-05-2008, 02:41 PM
Not entirely true, Angelus.

Any change to production code requires non-trivial effort:
Not only are those facts incorrect (your software experience is not as complete as you think), but also they don't support your conclusion.



That is not "trivial".
If you deny that a "trivial" software change is possible at all, then that is simply a matter of semantics and you have shifted the goalposts, without changing the meaning of the claims.

Hafeal
11-05-2008, 03:02 PM
Here is my question for all you computer experts. In a game such as this, where you introduce new skills, new spells, new abilities at very different starting points, does it become necessary to re-visit and re-evaluate old content to determine balancing issues?

It is my instinct to say "yes" to this question.

What is everyone else's thought?

Borror0
11-05-2008, 03:07 PM
Here is my question for all you computer experts. In a game such as this, where you introduce new skills, new spells, new abilities at very different starting points, does it become necessary to re-visit and re-evaluate old content to determine balancing issues?

It is my instinct to say "yes" to this question.

My instinct says "Only if it's rewarding".

Turial
11-05-2008, 03:12 PM
Here is my question for all you computer experts. In a game such as this, where you introduce new skills, new spells, new abilities at very different starting points, does it become necessary to re-visit and re-evaluate old content to determine balancing issues?

It is my instinct to say "yes" to this question.

What is everyone else's thought?

I'm going to say it depends on the percieved difficulty of determining balance vs the reward that the balancing would bring.

Ranged combat comes to mind...very hard to balance and a low reward to the majority of the game population.

Another one is odd spells that have limited use but one may use in a few specific dungeons...thinking of the control wind type spells that could be used to get rid of cloud type spells.

VirieSquichie
11-05-2008, 03:28 PM
Not entirely true, Angelus.

Any change to production code requires non-trivial effort:
1. A formal spec has to be written, even if its just 1 paragraph long.
2. The developer has to do the actual work, and test the results on their Dev sandbox.
3. The code has to be checked into the repository, with proper documentation.
4. The QA team then has to write the QA test plan for the change.
5. The QA team then has to test the change using the test plan.
6. The QA team then has to update any prior Regression Tests, if required.
7. If bugs are found, repeat steps 2-6.
8. Changes to go Mournlands. If bugs are found, repeat steps 2-7.

That is not "trivial".

This is assuming that some of these "tuning" changes actually went through #1, 2, 2nd half of 3, 4, 5, 6 and 8. If the dev did it on their own, only the first part of #3 and #7 may have been done...and #7 by that self-same dev. Never underestimate the power of individuals to buck "process" and "wing it".

Baranor
11-05-2008, 03:35 PM
Whether you feel NPE was worthwhile is a separate question. The NPE obviously took a large amount of developer time, including 3d artists, 2d artists, programmers, scripters, and audio. Those resources could have been working on level 18 quests instead, so for a person who feels high level is more important than low for new content, NPE was a real mistake.

However, regardless of which you feel is more valuable, it barely makes sense to complain about adjusting existing raids. The time investment to tweak them is so tiny that it just doesn't make sense to compare. (Once again, asking whether the specific changes were correct is a separate question from if any changes were warranted at all)

While I find the new NPE interesting, one has to wonder if it was nessasary. I've always thought that any(or at least most) new content that wasn't high lvl is counterproductive. Think about it for a second, the more mid and lower lvl quests there are makes it harder to fill groups bcus everyone is trying to fulfill their own needs. Personally I skip any low lvl quest that doesn't offer decent xp when leveling a new toon as it's a waste of time. I may go back later on elite if a need the favor, but usually at high level so it can be knocked out easily and in less time. I have never even done most of the newer low and mid level quests.

Turial
11-05-2008, 03:36 PM
This is assuming that some of these "tuning" changes actually went through #1, 2, 2nd half of 3, 4, 5, 6 and 8. If the dev did it on their own, only the first part of #3 and #7 may have been done...and #7 by that self-same dev. Never underestimate the power of individuals to buck "process" and "wing it".

In the food industry we call that a recall waiting to happen.

DoctorWhofan
11-05-2008, 03:39 PM
- Changing the spawn rate of Mind Flayers for the Hound.

Agreed.

- Altering Sorjek at the end of Tempest Spine (was done a while ago, not in Mod 8)

Oh, that so needed to be fixed. He was a what? two second kill for level 8s on elite? Fire and Ice change, on the other hand, was not nessacary. I run that quest cuz I like it, not because of a challenge.

- Altering the end boss fight in STK (STK? Seriously?)

The Exploit needed to be removed. However, technically speaking, he IS a giant construct, our flimsy sheild wall should not block him. However, it really didn't need to be changed from the original.

etc.

edit:
- PotP

ehh, well, it should havve harder, but maybe not THAT hard. Plus with the xp and loot nerf...
- DQ

Ran the quest twice. Will bow to your experise on this one.


- Stormcleave

Yea and no. I believe you are talking about Pious? right? He shouldn't have been changed. at level we were still wiping (or near wiping), no matter the group. However, unlike PoP and the Abbott, it wasn't a bust.






Answers in Lime.

kinar
11-05-2008, 03:41 PM
Don't actually expect an official Turbine representative to post on this thread. It is a lose - lose situation from a business point of view. We will never get any details about what it takes to run the game.

Every business does this to some point or another. If you open up the details to the public, you will be forced to fix what is wrong and will cause the business to fail financially (because no business can survive without ignoring some aspects of thier business which they know doesn't work quite right).

JetEskimo
11-05-2008, 03:51 PM
OMG I am so happy your not my boss, that post just reeked of Lumbergh in tone.:p

I'm glad to see that if a certain quest isn't working as they intended that they are willing to go back and make adjustments.

Why did they make the changes to STK? Perhaps because it was being farmed like crazy with almost no risk at all. The first time I ran it I was very disappointed that he was *so* easy to beat. "Really, just stand in the corner, shield block, and MM to death?" I was at hoping he would at least take some shots to break down the wall, or something.

Phineasj
11-05-2008, 03:51 PM
I think the NPE was well-worth the developer's time. We want new players to come, and the NPE definitely is a refreshing and innovative measure to bring sexxy back to DDO.

i agree in theory, that this was time well spent, however, if there was some advertising to go along with it? Are trial accounts even working yet? Or is that why there wasnt much advertising? because they released NPE knowing full well there was a crapload wrong with it?

Baranor
11-05-2008, 04:01 PM
Why did they make the changes to STK? Perhaps because it was being farmed like crazy with almost no risk at all. The first time I ran it I was very disappointed that he was *so* easy to beat. "Really, just stand in the corner, shield block, and MM to death?" I was at hoping he would at least take some shots to break down the wall, or something.

The real problem is the AI. If it's a monsters turn to attack, he should attack the nearest target if unable to attack the target it's aggroed on. That would be a complete game changer for most if not all quests

Kistilan
11-05-2008, 04:18 PM
i agree in theory, that this was time well spent, however, if there was some advertising to go along with it? Are trial accounts even working yet? Or is that why there wasnt much advertising? because they released NPE knowing full well there was a crapload wrong with it?

I believe they wanted to refine any problems before further advertising was attempted. You don't want the NPE to be out from day 1 and bringing everyone here all at once because you may have downtime.

However, to give credit where credit's due, there were at least 2, if not 3 or 4 links to MMO Sites that hosted reviews and screens of The New Player Experience. Some advertising was afoot.

Kistilan
11-05-2008, 04:23 PM
Whether you feel NPE was worthwhile is a separate question. The NPE obviously took a large amount of developer time, including 3d artists, 2d artists, programmers, scripters, and audio. Those resources could have been working on level 18 quests instead, so for a person who feels high level is more important than low for new content, NPE was a real mistake.

I'll agree to disagree with those who require high-level only content. Burning out quickly is only a matter of perspective and intent. That's on the player, not the developer. I've played for 3 years and there are about 2 dozen quests I've actually not touched still. Of course, I play LOTRO, Eve Online & Tabula Rasa on the side too... But DDO isn't life... there are other things to do (including when the servers are down).

However, regardless of which you feel is more valuable, it barely makes sense to complain about adjusting existing raids. The time investment to tweak them is so tiny that it just doesn't make sense to compare. (Once again, asking whether the specific changes were correct is a separate question from if any changes were warranted at all)

I feel that adjusting the Reaver Raid in the manner they did was not the best way, although adjustment was required. A different fix could have been implemented. And yes I agree, changing the Saving Throw on an elemental in a specific quest's coding is all of 10 minutes (providing they know where the coding is, unlike the mystery that was Star Wars Galaxies coding.)



My feelings are in red. :)

Zaodon
11-05-2008, 05:08 PM
If you deny that a "trivial" software change is possible at all, then that is simply a matter of semantics and you have shifted the goalposts, without changing the meaning of the claims.

Sorry, but I deal with so-called "trivial" changes to my company's software every single day. What someone non-technical thinks is trivial almost never is.

You do not work at Turbine as a developer. You do not know how trivial or not trivial it was to change the Reaver, the Hound, STK, etc. Yet, you seem comfortable proclaiming that they were all trivial changes.

I guarantee you that if you took all of these changes and put them together and measured the development time spent on them, it would add up to at least 1 completely new quest, if not more.

ehcsztein
11-05-2008, 05:26 PM
Any change to production code requires non-trivial effort:
1. A formal spec has to be written, even if its just 1 paragraph long.
2. The developer has to do the actual work, and test the results on their Dev sandbox.
3. The code has to be checked into the repository, with proper documentation.
4. The QA team then has to write the QA test plan for the change.
5. The QA team then has to test the change using the test plan.
6. The QA team then has to update any prior Regression Tests, if required.
7. If bugs are found, repeat steps 2-6.
8. Changes to go Mournlands. If bugs are found, repeat steps 2-7.


I would love to work in a shop where these were law and not just great ideas to convince business to greenlight projects.

*shrug*

I like the changes that were made in MOD 8 and look forward to more in the future.

Harncw
11-05-2008, 06:12 PM
I guarantee you that if you took all of these changes and put them together and measured the development time spent on them, it would add up to at least 1 completely new quest, if not more.

my response:


You do not work at Turbine as a developer. You do not know how trivial or not trivial it was to change the Reaver, the Hound, STK, etc.

I know, I know totaly outta context... :D

Mindspat
11-05-2008, 06:51 PM
However, I am seeing a disturbing trend from you guys at Turbine. Developer time is being allocated to arbitrarily modify old content, particularly raids, that do not need any modification.



Obviously your job title does not equate an understanding of this type of product development & maintenance. Apparently some of the pre-existing content did in fact need adjustments as such were made.

None the less, most factual statement made by the OP was regarding the preception of some of the players. I suppose the statement "birds of a feather flock together" rings true since I have yet to meet anyone ingame who's the least bit disastisfied with the latest module's additions and modifications. The only place I've come across any dissent is on these forums.

Angelus_dead
11-05-2008, 07:11 PM
Sorry, but I deal with so-called "trivial" changes to my company's software every single day. What someone non-technical thinks is trivial almost never is.
QFE.


You do not work at Turbine as a developer. You do not know how trivial or not trivial it was to change the Reaver, the Hound, STK, etc. Yet, you seem comfortable proclaiming that they were all trivial changes.
That is untrue, and a misrepresentation.

In reality, you do not work at Turbine as a developer, and yet you were happy to proclaim a ludicrous list of expensive procedures around each change that we know for a fact they don't employ.


I guarantee you that if you took all of these changes and put them together and measured the development time spent on them, it would add up to at least 1 completely new quest, if not more.
That is untrue to a laughable degree.

Zaodon
11-06-2008, 08:02 AM
QFE.
In reality, you do not work at Turbine as a developer, and yet you were happy to proclaim a ludicrous list of expensive procedures around each change that we know for a fact they don't employ.

You are just being a **** at this point. Turbine operates just like any other software company. They do, in fact, have a project manager who is taking a queue of issues and prioritizing them for developers to work on, even though sometimes developers do happen to work on things on their own occasionally. They do, in fact, have a Change Control system. They do, in fact, have QA people, who write and use test plans, and do, in fact, use regression tests. They do, in fact, build to Mournlands and test there.

To even imply otherwise, when there have been posts by Turbine employees verifying each and every one of those facts, removes all credibility from your posts.

kinar
11-06-2008, 08:27 AM
You are just being a **** at this point. Turbine operates just like any other software company. They do, in fact, have a project manager who is taking a queue of issues and prioritizing them for developers to work on, even though sometimes developers do happen to work on things on their own occasionally. They do, in fact, have a Change Control system. They do, in fact, have QA people, who write and use test plans, and do, in fact, use regression tests. They do, in fact, build to Mournlands and test there.

To even imply otherwise, when there have been posts by Turbine employees verifying each and every one of those facts, removes all credibility from your posts.

please cite references to this (provide links where you claim "each and every one of those facts" are verified).

And every other software company doesn't have these processes. I know that the one I work for certainly doesn't. In fact, I would be willing to bet that MOST software companies do not undertake every step you detailed. All might have some sort of cludge of the steps you mentioned, but certainly every business has adjusted thier development cycle to eliminate the ones that just don't make sense.

Angelus_dead
11-06-2008, 08:53 AM
You are just being a **** at this point. Turbine operates just like any other software company.
You don't seriously think every software developer follows those steps, do you? Where did you get that idea?


They do, in fact, have a project manager who is taking a queue of issues and prioritizing them for developers to work on, even though sometimes developers do happen to work on things on their own occasionally. They do, in fact, have a Change Control system. They do, in fact, have QA people, who write and use test plans, and do, in fact, use regression tests. They do, in fact, build to Mournlands and test there.
That's a major logical failure: options are not obligations.


To even imply otherwise, when there have been posts by Turbine employees verifying each and every one of those facts, removes all credibility from your posts.
Wrong: you're the one who has destroyed your credibility, and on two completely separate fronts.

Angelus_dead
11-06-2008, 09:03 AM
In fact, I would be willing to bet that MOST software companies do not undertake every step you detailed. All might have some sort of cludge of the steps you mentioned, but certainly every business has adjusted thier development cycle to eliminate the ones that just don't make sense.
His logical failure is observing that an entity can do something or has done it in the past, and deciding this implies that it must always do those things now and forever, and at every opportunity.

As you've noticed, the world would be a really insane place if organizations functioned by those rules. It's called Obsessive Compulsive disorder, in fact.

Zaodon
11-06-2008, 09:20 AM
please cite references to this (provide links where you claim "each and every one of those facts" are verified).

And every other software company doesn't have these processes. I know that the one I work for certainly doesn't. In fact, I would be willing to bet that MOST software companies do not undertake every step you detailed. All might have some sort of cludge of the steps you mentioned, but certainly every business has adjusted thier development cycle to eliminate the ones that just don't make sense.

I would take that bet, and you would owe me a lot of money.

All companies that produce a software product (product meaning they make money from the software) all use industry best practices and standards for software development. This means just the most basic, rudimentary, yet quality-producing processes:
- Project management
- Change Control
- QA (test plans, regression tests and in some cases, load tests)

It doesn't get any simpler than that, and you cannot produce a software product without them. That you think Turbine isn't doing these basic things clearly reveals your complete lack of actual, real-world experience in this field.

And as far searching ddo.com forums for the links from Tolero, FlimsyFirewood, Eldarin, etc., I am not going to waste my time doing it. If you don't want to believe me, don't. If you are curious, do your own searching. I really don't care.

Bottom line is that Turbine has repeatedly claimed they don't nerf, and they don't mess with old content for no reason, yet they have consistently done this, and aside from the annoyance factor, it has the effect of making us, the customers, seriously begin to doubt the stability of this product.

Turial
11-06-2008, 11:12 AM
I would take that bet, and you would owe me a lot of money.

All companies that produce a software product (product meaning they make money from the software) all try to use industry best practices and standards for software development. This means just the most basic, rudimentary, yet quality-producing processes:
- Project management
- Change Control
- QA (test plans, regression tests and in some cases, load tests)

It doesn't get any simpler than that, and you cannot produce a software product without them. That you think Turbine isn't doing these basic things clearly reveals your complete lack of actual, real-world experience in this field.
......

Its the same thing in the food supply. People try to follow the best practices and use all the correct steps. But it doesn't always happen. I would say the software world is looser of these things then the food world due to lack of 3rd party audits and the idea that most software won't kill the user if it does not work. Turbine may have all the ducks in a row but they may not always use each step.

frugal_gourmet
11-06-2008, 11:21 AM
I'm a professional game (graphics) developer, and I can verify that we do not function in the purely ideological fashion outlined. Development time is an incredibly important factor and promising very competitive delivery dates is often one of the primary reasons we win the bid against other software studios.

All time spent on organization and documentation up front does not always save time down the road. And it would illogical to conclude that is always the case.

If we were to exclusively and always function in the fashion proposed, I question whether we would have any contracts and be in business.

tihocan
11-06-2008, 11:34 AM
I'm all for making old quests more enjoyable. And yes, in some situations, it means making them harder (e.g. Reaver and Hound, they're not as boring now). Please continue to do so! :)

Angelus_dead
11-06-2008, 11:36 AM
Its the same thing in the food supply. People try to follow the best practices and use all the correct steps. But it doesn't always happen.
Moreover, to follow the steps listed is not necessarily the "best practice" for software development.

It is a money-wasting practice that reduces ability to react to changing needs, in exchange for an increase in quality that might not even be detectable. In fact, depending on conditions, following those rules could easily reduce overall quality.

I have seen organizations that fell for that; meanwhile, 3 hardworking nerds and a smiling salesman ate their marketshare with an objectively superior product.

Angelus_dead
11-06-2008, 11:38 AM
I would take that bet, and you would owe me a lot of money.

All companies that produce a software product (product meaning they make money from the software) all use industry best practices and standards for software development. This means just the most basic, rudimentary, yet quality-producing processes
You have no idea what you're talking about.

Not only do you obviously lack any direct knowledge of the game or entertainment industries, but you are so eager to leap into unjustified absolute generalizations that your ability to function at your own profession has been called into serious doubt.

Angelus_dead
11-06-2008, 11:59 AM
Bottom line is that Turbine has repeatedly claimed they don't nerf, and they don't mess with old content for no reason, yet they have consistently done this, and aside from the annoyance factor, it has the effect of making us, the customers, seriously begin to doubt the stability of this product.
Claimed they don't nerf: untrue
Don't change things for no reason: true, but anyone will say that if you ask
Consistently done that: absolutely false, and to say otherwise demonstrates a failure

If you don't agree with how Turbine has prioritized some of their changes, or if you think some of them actually made a problem worse instead of improving anything, that's one thing. Certainly it's possible to point out (http://forums.ddo.com/showthread.php?t=153664&highlight=wasted+effort) errors (http://forums.ddo.com/showthread.php?t=158895&highlight=questions) they've made.

However, to claim that the changes were done for absolutely no reason at all is, at best, empty hyperbole.

Nott
11-06-2008, 12:02 PM
I would take that bet, and you would owe me a lot of money.

All companies that produce a software product (product meaning they make money from the software) all use industry best practices and standards for software development.You state that you're the "Director of Development for your company" but you speak like you're a college student in your first semester of Systems Analysis. What you're describing as a given is the way software is developed under ideal situations; when you've actually worked at a handful of companies that make a living providing software, you'll find that shortcuts are taken (often to the detriment of the product) at every step along the way. Sometimes these shortcuts are taken by the software engineer who is trying to do what s/he feels is his _job_ (though less interesting things are also the engineer's job), sometimes it's in order to make a deadline (something we all know Turbine doesn't excel at), sometimes its by management directive (due to money or other pressures). The bottom line is the utopia taught in your analysis class is more likely to be followed in mission-crticial development (where, for example, people die when the requirements are not understood and met), than they are in a computer game company. The ROI isn't there for a company like Turbine to faithfully follow the best practices you quote.

ehcsztein
11-06-2008, 12:17 PM
I am Director of Development for my company, and I have 12 software developers and 4 QA people who report to me.



All companies that produce a software product (product meaning they make money from the software) all use industry best practices and standards for software development. This means just the most basic, rudimentary, yet quality-producing processes:
- Project management
- Change Control
- QA (test plans, regression tests and in some cases, load tests)


Combining the first statement with the beliefs in the second actually makes sense. It is important for Dev Admin to believe that things follow process and protocol etc. Especially in the face of SOX compliance etc etc.

Milolyen
11-06-2008, 12:24 PM
I would take that bet, and you would owe me a lot of money.

All companies that produce a software product (product meaning they make money from the software) all use industry best practices and standards for software development. This means just the most basic, rudimentary, yet quality-producing processes:
- Project management
- Change Control
- QA (test plans, regression tests and in some cases, load tests)

It doesn't get any simpler than that, and you cannot produce a software product without them. That you think Turbine isn't doing these basic things clearly reveals your complete lack of actual, real-world experience in this field.

And as far searching ddo.com forums for the links from Tolero, FlimsyFirewood, Eldarin, etc., I am not going to waste my time doing it. If you don't want to believe me, don't. If you are curious, do your own searching. I really don't care.

Bottom line is that Turbine has repeatedly claimed they don't nerf, and they don't mess with old content for no reason, yet they have consistently done this, and aside from the annoyance factor, it has the effect of making us, the customers, seriously begin to doubt the stability of this product.

Well being in the field of producing software I am sure you are also aware of "Halo Effects" ... Care to explain what this term means and how it effects existing programs and processes as you continue to add on to a product and maintain it?

Milolyen

Angelus_dead
11-06-2008, 12:30 PM
You state that you're the "Director of Development for your company" but you speak like you're a college student in your first semester of Systems Analysis.
Actually, I don't find students using those kinds of rhetorical patterns very much. They're usually smart enough to stay away from absolute pronouncements (like "everyone always") in favor of vague generalizations guarded with weasel-words ("typically developers will attempt to manage...").

That way, not only is it more difficult for a professor to mark them as truly wrong, but they also can more-easily fill the length requirement of the assignment. (That kind of padded essay is more common in the earlier semesters)


What you're describing as a given is the way software is developed under ideal situations
Ideally, there'd be no QA because the developers wouldn't make errors in the first place.

Kistilan
11-06-2008, 12:34 PM
Ideally, there'd be no QA because the developers wouldn't make errors in the first place.

The military uses its QA process not only to find errors, but in a perfect system a QA period is allotted to find new innovative measures & uses that were not previously intended, but 100% beneficial. So ideally a QA will always be present to improve the current system.

Zaodon
11-06-2008, 12:49 PM
I'm a professional game (graphics) developer, and I can verify that we do not function in the purely ideological fashion outlined.

Yes, you do. Sorry to break it to you.

1. At some point, you decide what you're going to do and the timeline in which you're going to do it. That's project management,
2. You download a basic repository like SubVersion or OpenCVS to use for Change Control, and so you can actually build your software in known "versions"
3. You figure out how you need to test your software, then you test it.

I have no idea where you or any other poster got the idea that these basic processes slow down or interfere with software development, or that they are steps that can be skipped.

My development team uses the concept called "eXtreme Programming" or "XP". This is a very rapid development cycle, where the process I described above is shortened and made very efficient. Software is developed in "Iterations", which are very short cycles of time, usually 2-4 weeks. Yet, even in this extremely rapid development cycle, we have project management (we use Eventum, a free ticket tracking tool from the guys at MySQL, which also has some project management features built in). We also have a good development cycle, where specs are light, with only an occasional mock up for more complex features, and we use SubVersion for Change Control. We use Selenium (again, free, open source) for regression testing. We release new software every 4 weeks to production, and don't have too many bugs, and almost never severe ones.

Turbine employees have already verified, on these forums, that they have a project manager for DDO. The developers that post here said, point blank, they use Change Control. They also talked about their QA department that tests the product.

To even remotely suggest that the changes to the Air Eles in Reaver, or the end boss of STK, or the change to the spawn rate of Flayers in Hound *DIDN'T* go through this standard process is LAUGHABLE. Yes, we all read that sometimes, Turbine developers do some code changes "on the fly" on their own time. But to THINK that those changes don't get documented, checked into the repository in the standard way, and then tested by QA is just RIDICULOUS on its face.

You people are completely delusional and clearly not professionals in this field. You are just embarassing yourselves.

ehcsztein
11-06-2008, 12:52 PM
Ideally, there'd be no QA because the developers wouldn't make errors in the first place.

I can't aggree with this. Ideally QA would have more control over the entire process that leads to the code being written. QA does not mean testing. Testing is only to confirm that the developers didn't make errors but, the developers are dependant upon up stream quality measures that are often out of their control resulting in good code for bad requirements.


So ideally a QA will always be present to improve the current system.

Especially in a system that is changed either at a code or hardware level. Software (beyond specialized implementations) is an open ended process. QA should have more control over the direction that a system takes but, quality doesn't equate to profit so choices get made that prevent perfect systems from being established thus feeding changes that are also less than optimal.

In a theoretical world perfect code exists, as a result of perfect quality assurance measures and non-volitional change control practices. It just isn't practical from a business perspective.

ArkoHighStar
11-06-2008, 12:54 PM
Claimed they don't nerf: untrue
Don't change things for no reason: true, but anyone will say that if you ask
Consistently done that: absolutely false, and to say otherwise demonstrates a failure

If you don't agree with how Turbine has prioritized some of their changes, or if you think some of them actually made a problem worse instead of improving anything, that's one thing. Certainly it's possible to point out (http://forums.ddo.com/showthread.php?t=153664&highlight=wasted+effort) errors (http://forums.ddo.com/showthread.php?t=158895&highlight=questions) they've made.

However, to claim that the changes were done for absolutely no reason at all is, at best, empty hyperbole.


To expound a bit on your comments, many people quote Turbine in stating that they indicated that they would not go back and change old quests. This is not accurate. Their comments were strictly related to going back and changing old quest chain/raid flagging mechanisms, because they were afraid that they could cause issues with certain players who were in the middle of these quest chains etc. Their concern was not unfounded as was evidenced with the issues older characters have had with going to Kortho's.

Turbine has constantly for good or bad gone back to older quests and modified content, to either fix things determined by Turbine to be an exploit, or to increase the challenge on items that were not deemed appropriate by Turbine

kinar
11-06-2008, 01:25 PM
Combining the first statement with the beliefs in the second actually makes sense. It is important for Dev Admin to believe that things follow process and protocol etc. Especially in the face of SOX compliance etc etc.

I think you've hit the target with this assessment.

Milolyen
11-06-2008, 01:43 PM
To even remotely suggest that the changes to the Air Eles in Reaver, or the end boss of STK, or the change to the spawn rate of Flayers in Hound *DIDN'T* go through this standard process is LAUGHABLE. Yes, we all read that sometimes, Turbine developers do some code changes "on the fly" on their own time. But to THINK that those changes don't get documented, checked into the repository in the standard way, and then tested by QA is just RIDICULOUS on its face.

You people are completely delusional and clearly not professionals in this field. You are just embarassing yourselves.

You still have yet to explain halo effects and account for them in your thought process that these changes where in fact intentionally made. For those that do not know, when you make changes or additions to a program there is always a very good chance that they will affect the current product in an unforeseen/unintended manner. A huge online program such as this is very susceptible to these "halo effects". Some of these effects may be desirable and some may not. While I am sure turbine takes steps to reduce the number of undesirable effects, it would be to costly and not very time efficient to sit around and think of every possible undesirable side effect of a change and test for it. So some of these things you see as a "change" could very easily just be a halo effect they did not take into account. Then for something like STK Giant Construct at the end, if it was a halo effect then they actually did not waiste time by "changing" it but did not spend time keeping it from getting changed.

But Zaodon ... with you haveing the experience you say you have then you would already know all this.

Milolyen

Angelus_dead
11-06-2008, 01:53 PM
Turbine employees have already verified, on these forums, that they have a project manager for DDO. The developers that post here said, point blank, they use Change Control. They also talked about their QA department that tests the product.
As I already explained, you're having a critical failure of logical reasoning: None of those facts support your extremist claims:


I guarantee you that if you took all of these changes and put them together and measured the development time spent on them, it would add up to at least 1 completely new quest, if not more.



But to THINK that those changes don't get documented, checked into the repository in the standard way, and then tested by QA is just RIDICULOUS on its face.
Maybe if you compared this claim to the original claim you made, then you would stop embarrassing yourself.

But instead, you can't even keep track of what your own position is.


You people are completely delusional and clearly not professionals in this field. You are just embarassing yourselves.
There are a lot of comically incompetent (http://www.dilbert.com) technical professionals. It only takes a couple like you to reinforce the stereotypes.