Bug Fixes - Random Thoughts - Dev Rant

remixninja

New Member
Hello Devs.

So the main reason I'm ranting has to do with a combination of things. A player who has been around since very early alpha and I started on your shard when the main server went down, but I'm fairly new to the game. We have noticed things that seem very strange on this server with regard to some bugs that didn't previously exist, as well as some things that seem different or are missing. With the preface out of the way, I want to say that we are grateful for the work that has been done, and without you guys spending your extra time and effort, there wouldn't be this awesome server to keep playing on and the chance to get some solid understanding of the engine and mechanics before the live game starts (which I'm sure we can all agree will be quite some time down the road.) We also want to have a good time, build some characters, and have some epic battles.

Kazan - You mentioned in discord that there are a plentiful amount of bugs in the base game that CS isn't fixing. Specifically, a bug around guards ignoring criminals. 2 guys almost murdered me in town the other day, 1 attacked the guards to distract them, the other guy tried to murder me. I ran to a group of other guards near by and they stood there doing nothing. That being said, it's probably within the game mechanics currently, and I'm sure it will be addressed at some point. TBH I can't say whether this was a previous issue or not from my lack of experience. If you say it was introduced by CS, then I believe you. Either way I want to use this bug as a good example of what I'm trying to say, though. I don't think that you should spend your time trying to fix it - and here's why:

1. If CS has an existing bug like that, you are repeating work by implementing the same fix that they will put in. This also makes your code incompatible with any future releases of the game code, right? I know none of you are going to have the time to go refactor tons of code for every update. This isn't to say you shouldn't patch game breaking bugs in the meantime, but I think it's important to take a hard look at the future / growth of the shard and really give alot of thought to what you want to build or accomplish here.

2. There are tons of issues with the core code base of the game, and I'm not saying all of the fixes you guys have done are bad. Fixing mob spawns, balancing spell staves, making items sellable. These all seem like solid things to patch for your server to sustain life. Implementing an anti speed hacking mechanism within the game code? Not so much. I showed the game to a few people and as soon as they started rubber banding they lost interest in the shard almost immediately, thinking it was either server or connection issues (they are both on fiber connections). My friend and I were farming dungeons the other day, and after the mobs ran into the walls a third time because of some weird pathing issue, we logged off frustrated.

3. Implementing fixes for parts of the game that are core and being used throughout different parts of the engine is not an easy task. I don't doubt your guys' talents as game developers, but I know that it's quite difficult to fix these kinds of issues without introducing bugs in other areas of the game. More often than not the efforts of 1-2 people only solving the problem at hand is not enough to fix larger problems that exist in any complex code base. What it ends up looking like to your users/players ends up seeming like a never ending stream of issues.

I think that overall, trying to fix fundamental problems in the code base to make the server stable and enjoyable is a good thing. I do think, however, that this mentality of "trying to fix all the bugs that CS introduced" can go a bit too far and ruin the gameplay experience for people playing, whether it be a noob or experienced player. I know you guys only have a handful of devs working in their spare time, so it's in my best interest as well as the other players on the shard that I write this wall of text. I think you guys have done very well with the small team you have available, so kudos to you guys. In a big way, the challenges you face trying to run and sustain a server like this are astronomical compared to your resources, so believe me when I say I'm only making these critical observations because I care about the efforts you have put forth. I'd love to see your road map with regards to development and perhaps I can offer some of my own time to help, but as of right now I'll get down off of my non-soap box :heart: :D
 

Merrenwen

Administrator
Staff member
1. It does not always mean a refactoring or a rewrite, in fact up until alpha3, the rewrites (prealpha to alpha1 to alpha2 and all the 20 some odd versions in between) were relatively painless. The main change came with alpha3, where a lot of the game was rewritten but a lot left undone or not working. Then came four updates, which fixed / broke more each time. Unfortunately it's close to impossible to write fresh code on a broken system, so we have to fix certain key things. We had 200 tickets in our bug report system at one point, they are now down to 40 open ones. That's unfixed bugs, some we will address and some we won't.

2. We absolutely DID NOT implement an anti-speed hack system. Citadel did this and we have no control over it, we cannot turn it off nor can we fine tune it. I have BEGGED Supreem for a way to turn it down or off and he said "We can do that" and it's been three weeks. We can also not do anything about collision. We have no access to anything that allows us to fix it.

3. Our coders *are* working on valuable systems and content. I have gotten to a point where I don't talk about a lot of it, because others copy us or our ideas. But rest assured, that even if it seems like nothing is going on, we are making progress and I'm trying to deflect some of the little stuff so that the real coders can work on the big stuff.

4. Help is always appreciated, and if that is your desire, there is an application on the website under "staff". We would certainly love to have more hands on board!! :)

Thank you for taking the time to thoughtfully submit this. I am appreciative and humbled that our players do care about the efforts that we are making. Thanks!

Oh the guards! The guards previously just stood around all the time. They are still not working 100% but they are at least back to the semi-functioning state which is "normal" in the scope of the vanilla game. Making them better will require custom coding. I started a jail/justice system a few weeks ago and have been tied up with helping players and such. I'll get back to it but really...for me...I'd rather work on our ability conversion and new magic system at this time, and hit on jail/justice when we have other components in that Kazan is working on.
 

remixninja

New Member
Awesome feedback.

I'm glad to hear you have a good idea of where you want to go with your shard, because that will bring in players and keep them here if they feel like the "game" is being fleshed out :) I'm kind of sick of everyone just trying to re-create UO verbatim. There are wonderful ideas in UO that could contribute to a new game, but if I want to play uo I'll go play it.

On a different note, I think it's really tough also with the way CS is handling community servers. I am hopeful for you guys, but it's going to be a tough battle to keep players especially when the live servers go up, people will always travel to the bigger population. That being said, I think community servers have a rare opportunity to offer features and additions to the game that wouldn't exist otherwise. Not sure if that's their plan or not but I am really hoping they utilize the work of places like this.

Whoever at CS thought the speed hack system was a good idea, should be slapped, physically and verbally.

I'm not sure if it's the collision or the pathfinding, but I think that module needs a serious refactor! So with your game code there are certain parts of the code you can't touch like collision?

Cool, if I feel like I can contribute enough time to be helpful I'll go fill out an app! Time is a rare resource these days but I've been wanting to start on a new game project.

Thanks for taking the time to respond to my rant, I really do appreciate it, and anyone with the some questions rattling around in their head will too :)
 
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