Releases in general

Sorry for a wall of text and possibly worthless rant in the beginning.

I’m making this thread as a suggestion becouse I didn’t find any better platform and wanted to create discussion about the topic. I’ve also talked with alot of other well distinguished team leaders and devs that play WD and they agree with what I’m about to write.

First of all I’m a senior software developer working in an international listed company for the last 6 years. I get to design and create programs and tools for accounting business, business intelligence and data analytics. My job is pretty chill and I like it alot and can say I’m becoming pretty good at it after studies in uni and working for years in a quality-first company.

My job is easier becouse I have alot of backup. People inspect and discuss about all releases, I have what ever tools I need to do my job and the most important part - I have a team of testers testing my stuff weeks before initial release. This team of testers are the number 1 reason why I’ve managed to do well in my job.

Without testing, there can be all kinds of chain reactions to otherwise working operations. This doesn’t apply to WD straight but my rant is almost over. Without testing I can assure you that most of our releases, not just mine but whole dev teams, could possibly cause some serious damage. If our main systems are down or don’t work properly for a day or even half a day, it costs not thousands but millions of €’s.

As a dev I’m having some issues understanding on how it’s possible to release this kind of content in a pay to be competitive game. For example let’s take a closer look at last seasons Hauhezen. In the initial release playerbase complained that the dragon was not fast enough to do well in Atlas (in a nutshell). Some people, including myself, got an early Lockjaw becouse of that (I’m not complaining, I enjoy Lockjaw for now and he’s gonna be a nice perch boy eventually). This has happened before multiple times, you release dragons that you then proceed to change, either buff or nerf, in the middle of the season and when confronted and reclamated about the issue, your standard answer is “We apologise for the inconvenience, rest assured your feedback will go to the dev team” and that’s it. Then you’re doing it again next season as it seems with the mythic sorcerer we have now. The product is definitely unfinished and should be buffed, don’t get me wrong but the way this is done is just completely wrong.

You guys need to do some serious changes in your processes on how these seasons and new dragons and other products are being released. They need to be tested by a tester that knows something about the game and testing. One could say, you need a professional to test your stuff before releases. I get the fact that it would possibly mean a bit slower production times and actual deadlines but hey, the only pressure I have in my job isn’t life threatning. It’s deadlines and making them while keeping myself and the team happy.

By releasing pretty much finished stuff that might need a SMALL tweak or 2 to be completely done, you’d keep the playerbase much happier in the long run. I would actually be happy to support a game that does things professionally. If I released content like this, I wouldn’t have my job. I’d be fired in a blink of an eye.

Of course as I said I can’t straight up compare my job to mobile gaming business but it’s close enough for me to know there’s something seriously wrong if changes are made pretty much every season to the playerbases most anticipated products.

So my suggestion is; sit down with your team and find a way to test the releases BEFORE they’re released. Not after a release by small group of “testers” from your own playerbase.

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There are a group players that get to test fly the dragons before release and make suggestions. Are those suggestions actually being considered and adjustments made. Are there retests done on adjustments I dont know. I am not one of the privileged.

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Yes I know there has to be some sort of testing before releases but it seems to be minimal and proof of that is that there’s major changes in dragons pretty much every season and in the middle of the season. And if playerbase testers is the only source of knowledge, I’m afraid I’ve got some very bad news.

Other good example is the revamped kindom wars last season.

My other suggestion for the mythic dragons problem is to come up with a way that players can choose again which mythic dragon to get if 1 or the other gets buffed mid season if professional testing before releasing is too tough nut to crack. Would atleast satisfy those, who already got the other dragon becouse other was inferior.

While they do have groups testing and flying - perhaps they need more people in those groups or more variety in the test groups.

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i have brought this up many times as i am also a software developer and last answer i got was that they currently dont have the ability to large scale test in a test environment so that accounts for things like atlas lag during big battles and the like.

as to the dragon testing there is some that test probably not enough across different devices and software which accounts for some of these issues i’m sure with the right know how they could set up an automated test for this however but that takes time and resources to set up they may not have currently available.

and for everything else as a developer yourself you likely know this but a minor/intermittent bug without proper steps to reproduce can’t always hold up the entire process so sometimes they are gonna get pushed through and added to the backlog :man_shrugging: that’s life sometimes.

that said if they fixed one bug for every new content package they released we’d all be having a much better quality of game life.

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Agreed. Also for example robot framework is a fairly simple tool for testing.

Altho I’m not talking about feature bugs alone but simply releasing working stuff that’s on current powerlevel which I think is the goal. That kind of testing usually requires alive tester actually playing the game against variety of differend scenarios to figure out if something is on par with the intended powerlevel. For example Sepulla is clearly behind or so it seems atleast judging from the content and by reading public opinions.

yeah there will always be a need for manual Q.a in most things but more importantly is that pg has to listen to the Q.a dept aswell.

as to sep well :man_shrugging: he’s really bad so far

I’ve been a software engineer and architect for 20’ish years and currently work for one of the top companies in the Fortune 500. What I don’t understand is that testing aside (because I agree with Sin’s basic premise), most companies would have models they would use all the way back in design to balance the dragons before they ever develop. They should have capability models that drive development of new drags but also new capabilities that the dragons have and spells, etc. while I’m sure they do get some feedback, the amount of time they spend fixing bugs and rebalancing suggests a lack of holistic plan around how the product should maintain balance pushing them to default to adjusting manually on the fly. The reality is that real people are spending real money when PG frequently undervalues the money spent by making other branches of greater value after its spent. Think about your customer. While I get it happening on occasion, a Sin is right that this is an every-season thing.

I know we all love the game, but it is very frustrating to a lot of us!

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It is cheaper imo to just release and let players test stuff…thats been this way since years, it is wrong and i agree but i lost my hopes it will ever change.

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if pg was the original developer of the game they might have thought of this who knows but they also aren’t the ones who developed the game they bought it as it was and have been trying to build on top and around what was already there and balanced and that’s what’s been breaking them the game itself was never this monetized until pg bought it

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Thanks for this thread! This was pretty much my intent in the below thread, But I suggested the testers to be GPF and CF. Goddamn I received a lot of sh** for it. But I definitely agree dragons shouldn’t be changed mid season.

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There will always be people complaining that have no clue about development side of things and maybe have gotten so used to the bad stuff that it has become normal. Leading a change isn’t easy and even harder when you have to do it to fellow players as a player yourself via forums.

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Of course it’s cheaper, it’s basically free and even nets them some money through the videos that content creators push out.

The real question is if it’s the professional way. And no, it’s far from being professional.

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Absolute agree, not professional.

@PGGalileo can we get some staff to join the conversation? Would be nice to get some actual answers on how things are done and not just the ordinary “your feedback will be given to the developers”.

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I would add, having a long term development plan would also require you to have a road map that you could actually share with your player base. I have heard many promises to improve communication, but seen very little result. Blogs and details are usually out a couple days before or the same day as content is released. So you barely have time to collect community feedback, let alone implement any changes that you might want to make. For example, the perch changes are mentioned, but without any details until release. More details from pg early on can alleviate the situations that repeatedly occur due to your unknown and unannounced changes.
You have a game that is intensively resource dependent, and a player base that loves to be able to plan how and when they will use their resources. Simple communication from you would allow us to be better prepared for those changes, when they do happen.

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:rofl::rofl::rofl::rofl:

Why pay testers when PG can get people to pay PG for stuff to test for them?

It’s a constant win win win for PG
They put out untested crap

We pay them for it!
Test it for free (to PG)
They then maybe “fix it” just in time to release the next bunch of crap for us to buy again!

With this cycle nothing will ever change!

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