Producer's Letter: Weekly Updates

Discussion in 'Official News and Announcements' started by Raxxyl, Apr 11, 2014.

  1. raw

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  2. Takoita

    Well, I will not miss weekly updates. Finally finding enough time to play PS2 only to discover the patch two days ago left the game broken and needs a wagonload of hotfixes is not fun at all.
  3. TheBlazing

    Regarding PTS testing.

    You could make "events" taking place on the PTS and advertise it on live more as a special place where you can try new upcoming weapons for free before they go live instead of just "that half-broken client where the devs test stuff and we just happen to also be able to try them out".

    For example, 4 days before an update release, make a publicitary blurb on live informing people that there is new awesome stuff on the PTS, tell them how to download it, and maybe give some form of reward for playing on it (maybe a "test helper" exclusive decal or EXP boosters?).

    Of course, this could bring the problem of people ending up preferring PTS over live due to free stuff. This could simply be prevented by doing regular account wipes and shutting down the server without notice when you don't need it.

    Also, as Exonis pointed out, there should be a way to pull unlimited vehicles and consumables on continents without having to wait for resource ticks. Maybe there should be an "activate offline testing mode" button that disconnects you from the server and makes the whole game clientside, in addition to giving you unlimited resources, allowing you to test whatever you want, wherever you want and whenever you want.
    • Up x 1
  4. kadney

    I have to say that I really appreciate your efforts with the testserver and the updates. Glad to see that you will go from the radical "one update per week", as good as it sounded at the beginning, to the "when it's done" method.

    Regarding the testserver.. I have the client installed aswell and go there from time to time, but there are two issues:

    1) Without "exact" hint's about what changed with each patch, it becomes hard to test things. Write some small patchnotes that show what actually changed so we can dive straight into it.

    2) As much as I would love to participate, and do from time to time, the low population on the PTS kills it for me. I live in western europe and whenever I go to the PTS (Expect from the night, because I sleep.), it's nearly empty. I barely ever see more than 12-24 people spread across the whole server. Makes 3-4 people per continent most of the time.

    I wish I could find the population values for the PTS on some tracking website so we can see when there are "population spikes" on a daily bases and hop in at that point rather than logging in, watching the "changenotes" -> no notes, no clue what changed, watching the population -> nearly dead empty -> log off and play on the regular servers again. :(
    • Up x 2
  5. kadney

    Sick to see WoT at the top of that list. Their "F2P" model is such a PITA.
    "Want to progress faster?" -> buy premium membership (increases exp and cash gain)
    "Want to drive a tank above Tier 6 (it has 10 in total) without worrying that every wrong shot and move will give you a negative bill and burn your credits?" -> buy premium membership
    "Want to farm credits to buy a new tank?" -> buy a premium tank (The good one for farming cost ~40€)
    "Want to kill tanks that are in way higher Tiers without taking care of where to aim?" -> buy premium ammunition with higher penetration values

    They made some minor changes about the premium ammunition thing, so you can buy it with ingame credits aswell, but these still have to be earned.

    That's the main reason why I quit the game in the first hand. And that it got quiet dull and boring after ~3000 matches.

    But to be fair, they say "revenue per player", so you have to take into account how many players each of these games has. I bet that will make the poor number of League of Legends ($ 1.32) look way more interesting.
  6. Kirppu1

    I think that the game needs the 64-bit (As well as the DirectX11) for the sake of stability, performance, and potential for future upgrades(Textures, Drawdistance, etc). For now i really don't care for the "Upgrade now"- button BUT this is the limit where it becomes really annoying. For gameplay wise i really don't have anything for now to complain about.

    There are few things that i do not like, one of the being the fact that the game has over usage of FXAA,(rather use SMAA) it makes the games real beauty go away. It just blurs the character textures.

    Theres another thing regarding the games use of lighting, that is the render distance. For example in Totalbiscuits videos when theres night time you see a ton of tracer fire, why? because the game had a great redering distance for the lights. Now it's just blurring, i know you needed to do that because of the performance issues. But you could have left it for the enthusiasts. For example guy A has an GTX 780 Ti But guy B has an HD7770, guy A needs to have blurry tracer fire because guy B cannot simply run it. But There is a thing that is same with both cards, That being the fact that They are DirectX11 cards making it much much more easy to optimize the game. (Referring to DICE's Frosbite engine render optimization, <iframe src="http://www.slideshare.net/slideshow/embed_code/7207663" width="427" height="356" frameborder="0" marginwidth="0" marginheight="0" scrolling="no" style="border:1px solid #CCC; border-width:1px 1px 0; margin-bottom:5px; max-width: 100%;" allowfullscreen> </iframe> <div style="margin-bottom:5px"> <strong> <a href="https://www.slideshare.net/DICEStudio/directx-11-rendering-in-battlefield-3" title="DirectX 11 Rendering in Battlefield 3" target="_blank">DirectX 11 Rendering in Battlefield 3</a> </strong> from <strong><a href="http://www.slideshare.net/DICEStudio" target="_blank">DICE</a></strong> </div> See page 11. Recommend reading it, provides some intresting ways to optimize the game)

    And therefore allowing both to be happy because the rendering can utilize the clients computer/console much more effectively.
  7. Kirppu1

  8. sindz

    While I appreciate devs or higher up people taking the time to talk to their fanbase at every occasion. But I don't understand why you implemented weekly updates and then admitting yourself that you have a hard time keeping this deadline almost every week (they seemed more rushed and rightfully so, every week is insane to pump out new patches). And if I recall, no one asked for weekly updates since rushed/not thoroughly tested patches are bad for the game and annoying for the playerbase aswell as the devteam and all of SOE who are involved with PS2.

    Please do the patches in a manner of time you can guarantee (or almost) perfect updates, its what both parts want anyhow.
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  9. Scure

    "Tell your friends, bring them back, stream a play session..."
    This is already happening. The marketing is not bad from player side. But the problem is still the bad optimization of the game.
  10. ShureShot

    Do you realise that you forgot to put 'buy some StationCash' in that list?

    With all the focus on membership, it seems that you keep forgetting there are also players who just buy SC. They are not freeloaders, and they don't appreciate being treated as such. I could have bought a year of membership, but decided to go with SC instead.

    Just like everyone who spent a significant amount on SC, I did consider membership. I decided not to. Please show us (players that bought x amount of SC) that you appreciate these customers too. Give us an option to get rid of the 'upgrade now' button. We don't need reminders. What we need is your appreciation and a reason to keep buying more SC.
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  11. OhBamaBinBombin

    Would like to see more time put into 'fine-tuning' or bug fixing before adding new content. Having a few bugs can be a much bigger pain than adding a few new updates can compensate for.
  12. Bindlestiff

    For me, and this may have been said already, if SOE will listen to structured criticism / feedback / response (call it what you like) in order to make the game better, then more people will accept a trade off between playing on PTS and Live. This isn't always the case right now and there are three glaring reasons why.

    1. The build on PTS is never the one that hits Live. We can go back as long as the PTS has been around for examples, but most notably it is usually the things that (perhaps SOE believe will) cause massive controversy that don't get an airing on PTS. You want feedback on the game, give us the game as you intend it to be played out. Let us help you figure out the things you hit bang on the money, and the things that we believe are wide of the mark. Which leads me into:

    2. Open and honest discussion on the changes. Let the community understand better your design decisions; case in point being some of the vehicle balance discussions following the PTS change a week or so ago. Patch notes only go so far, and quite frankly the discussions between the reasoned people in the community have outlined considerable impact these changes will have, and not from a positive direction. I'm a firm believer that the Saron balance is both over the top and forces a single loadout option - the Halberd - and many others have aired their concerns far better than I ever could. It is of course time consuming for every single point to be countered, or be justified, but we need more feedback, need the reasons, the justifications. It is a lot to ask, but we only want the game to improve and if that means people get a better understanding of why, even if they don't agree, then that has to be a good thing.

    Discuss the design decisions with the community in the official community forum, and have designers / developers talk to us in those threads and not leave 20 pages of comments go without any visible sign that they've been heard. Moderate these discussions heavily; non constructive or wayward comments should be instantly removed.

    3. Give PTS a chance to bed down. Don't put up a patch then a few days later roll it live, as that simply doesn't give anywhere near the amount of time needed for people to test.

    People are willing to support the game. People have chosen, and no doubt will continue to, upgrade now. This community, as fiercely competitive and at times toxic as it is, live and breathe this game and want it to succeed. Embrace that, involve us as much as possible, let us understand and - at times where appropriate - let our real game experiences add to the back end stats to get a true representation of how things will play out.

    The vast majority couldn't care less about weekly updates. They just want every update to improve on the last, making the game better, more stable, more fun. Do that and people will soon forget the days when we even had weekly content and will actually look forward to update day, rather than the feeling of dread, fear and loathing that is the case right now.

    TL;DR: If you build it, they will come (not a true TL;DR at all but if you can't be bothered reading it, I can't be bothered doing a TL;DR that makes sense either).
    • Up x 1
  13. LagLight

    It would be great if the test servers had the power to dynamically zone-out large portions of the game map and just force players to play in one particular area like the Zurvan Amp Station setup they had when PS2 was being showcased at (I think) E3. Players were limited to the Amp Station and the three surrounding zones and that kept everyone in one place.
  14. M374FL3X

    Hi guys.
    I'd love to help you test the content and helping you with the issues.
    However not only can I not connect to the official server (EU),
    but I can't even connect to the PTS. Maybe the changes you are doing for Briggs
    should be implemented for EVERY server. But thanks for taking your time.
    • Up x 1
  15. Scientiarum


    Yeah, that is what they did last summer to fix all the bugs then. A monthly content update and a monthly bug fix (and sometimes re-balancing) update.

    There is nothing fundamentally wrong with weekly or bi-weekly content updates, but you have to have the QA team to support said updates. SOE, if you could get a QA team to support the rest of your development team and the pace they are capable of working at I bet everyone would be thrilled to have weekly updates of content so long as they were largely bug free.
    • Up x 1
  16. namd3

    Can you add to your broken of stuff

    SLi- not implemented correctly, Nvidia says the game is Sli compliant and quite frankly its implementation is broken, I bought 2 cards on the belief I'd get performance boost, seriously not happy with you guys or Nvidia

    PhysX- Is Broken another reason why i bought Nvidia, and this is still not fixed!

    Performance- is broken, Massive frame latencies (FPS spikes) while i battle, any FPS junkie will tell thats bad very bad, I have pretty beefy system and I turn every setting on lowest possible to reduce these frame spike and keep frame rates consistent.

    I hope your looking at DX11 then a quick jump up to DX12 and have it ready for its scheduled release in 2015
  17. noobindo

    Excuse me! But do we need this?
    Every time you release another update we get fresh portion of lags, bugs and server crashes. Every time.
    This is a direct consequence of your policy - quantity over quality. Release tomorrow at any cost.
    And then you have a few days to patch holes releasing hotfixes.
    And what do we have at this time? Anything but do not have fun. Agree, it is difficult to enjoy the game, which can't logging in.
    You should release updates when they are fully finished and tested, and not by a certain date.

    You need my help? Ok.
    But every time I log into PTS I realize that apart from me there is only a couple of people. Why?
    First, many ppl simply do not know about PTS. To download PTS client you need to go to this forum, find a topic and there is a link. Why not add information about PTS it launcher?
    Second, when ppl enter empty server, they leaving in few seconds/minutes. You havnt done anything to attract people to PTS.
    When a person comes to PTS, he spends time that could have spent on live. But he will get? Nothing.
    During OMFG when you need the people you offered a reward to all who log in to the server. And it helped. A couple of days there glimmered life.
    Your mistake was condition. You had to give the award not for the fact of log in. You should have to choose a more complex condition. Spend 12 hours on the server. Make a thousand shots. Run 50 km.
    Also, as for both servers used same account, then why not transfer all/part certs earned on PTS to live? This would motivate the players to play.
  18. Bruno Puntz Jones

    Make it so that people have everything to gain and nothing to lose by playing test instead of live, for a single focused period every once in a while, and you will see tons of people testing.

    Any incentive will help a little bit, of course. But the real underlying question is how do you convince a nontrivial number of people to spend a significant amount of time playing on test. The small number of really curious gearheads will check it out just to see the new toys. But most people don't spend time there because the pop is too low to do anything at all. And as long as most people avoid it, the pop stays low.

    For concentrated, short periods, like one weekend, you could get a significant number of people to move over to test wholesale, if you give the right incentives. That means you have to make it so (1) they do not lose any potential progress on their live characters by playing test instead of live for a whole weekend; and (2) playing test is even a little more rewarding than playing live would be for the same time period.

    You can't just do this all the time, because then everyone winds up on test and live is a graveyard. But for one weekend a month, or one weekend every other month, it should be ok, and it would get you a ton of actual testing in a short period, that you could use to do some meaningful revisions before a release.

    So that's why I suggested double or triple XP, with a rollover of all earned gains back to live.
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  19. Furrydaus

    Thanks for being finally open to this issue Developers and I do hope that you guys have understood the situation. If you haven't, then well this is what we were thinking abt last year:
    Updates took too long to be implemented (about 2 months)
    No performance increase, just lag
    Now this year:
    Updates too fast (per week)
    Performance issues
    Server Issues
    Game Bugs

    What I wish to see:
    All of the developers focusing on adjusting and doing the best they can to improve performance
    Updates can wait for about 2-3weeks. We players don't mind and anyways, this gives you guys more time to decide to release it or not after hearing more discussions on the forums for that extra weeks. NOT ALL updates MUST come out.
    Better & Faster Response. Being more openly to the playerbase is extremely crucial in keeping the players interested. Stay in the main forums and do occasionally communicate with reddit users. Put is simply, be more active on the forums.

    Honestly, is it possible for the people at SOE to hire more people to help with Planetside 2? I find that you guys are REALLY short-handed and that Planetside 2 should be more focused on then other games which are succesful. Planetside 2 isn't all too succesful. I dont even know why SOE even fired most of your stuff :(

    Anyways Great Job on being open to players and hope you devs have a great day! Remember, discuss,update ask. The Players are whats keeping the game alive. You are NOT alone, We are not Alone, We are not like others, We are Planetside 2. MAY THE NANITES BE WITH YOU! :)
    • Up x 1
  20. Furrydaus

    Give the Developers a break, they are making mistakes. All of us do. Don't need to reprimand them too much. In the end, they are at a loss. They will lose their jobs. We will just lose a small game. Although some may have payed money in the game, then they should be repayed
    • Up x 1

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