If everybody knew how bug squashing worked, then perhaps we'd all be more understanding for Arkane. That's what I think about it anyway
A little background info on where I got this information:
I've had the pleasure of having talked to actual developers in the past, because I was frustrated about the lack of updates (sound familiar?)... so this is my layman's understanding of the whole thing, as explained to me and as I've read elsewhere.
How this thread is set up:
-An assumption you'll have to accept for the basis of my thoughts to make any sense or hold any meaning (if you don't accept them, find another thread to read I guess )
-An example of what happens with most development teams bug squashing tasks.
-Why Arkane should be forgiven for taking awhile.
Without further ado!
First off, we all have to assume that the developers are in fact, working. In my opinion, it is silly to think that there is a team of 25-200 people twiddling their thumbs and drinking soda being paid, but I know some of you out there disagree. My reasoning for thinking they are working?
At a real world job, they'd just get fired if they did that.
But, hey, what do I know.
Either way,please, if only for the sake of this thread, trust that Arkane is definitely doing SOMETHING productive.
TRIAGE AND BUGS (WOOT)
(If you don't know what triage is, I guess you're out of luck ).
Think of bug squashing like a triage:
Game-stopping bugs are priority number one; thats why you see mostly FX cards dealt with on the SP patch list because those card owners experienced the most game-stopping bugs.
The development team decides the priorities on a case-by-case basis, but game-stopping bugs are universally priority #1. Why might this be?
Well, they cause the biggest headaches, and you can only see how by looking at an example.
The developers, through testing, have discovered a game-stopping bug that affects 25% of players (this is a severe case).The developers probe the game's code to find out:
1) Why the bug occurred
2) Which lines of code are related to the affected code
3) How those related lines of code will be affected by altering the buggy code
(But Addraek! You didn't include "fixing the bug!" Why's that? Are you saying the team never fixes bugs?)
Well Johnny, Programmers write lines of code to be interrelated and cohesive so that a game can function... but unfortunately, cohesion means when there's a bug to fix, repairing it will CAUSE MORE PROBLEMS ELSEWHERE IN THE CODE, AND SOMETIMES IN UNEXPECTED AREAS.
It sucks, but thats how it is.
Back to the example:
Let's now assume that the team has tried several different methods of fixing this bug, and are down to two solutions after several weeks:
1) Alter the code and eliminate the bug, but cause a new bug that randomly locks up the players' computer; this new bug shows up on 1 out of 10 of testing workstations
2) Implement a workaround that gets by the massive crash bug, but on 1 out of 5 testing workstations, framerates drop by 50%; the game is playable, but lagged.
Regardless of which option they take, some players are going to suffer no matter WHAT the developers do because these players slip through every crack by bad luck .
The developers are aware of all these conflicts that arise, so they're doing their best to ensure the maximum amount of people can be saved with minimal collateral problems.
Chances are, standing around some whiteboard with a bunch of bug titles scattered all over it are a team of Arkane employees debating about which evil is lesser at this very moment.
Based on what I've said in this thread, I hope its clear to you guys that the next patch is taking a long time because Arkane cares about the players, and is upset that the publishers rushed them into releasing a game with many game-stopping bugs, not because they don't care.
Lastly, I want to add that "rushing" the developers or threatening them is going to do nothing; they're not working on the patch for the hell of it, they're working on it for your benefit.
If you get nothing else from this thread, please get this:
No amount of b!tching is going to change how arduous a task bug fixing is. Please keep your cool.
Thanks for reading,