New Alpha-Releases with old problems

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Asgorath
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New Alpha-Releases with old problems

Post by Asgorath » 13 Aug 2011, 00:22

Dear Warzone-Team,
I want to say/ask something about the way you work on the new alpha versions called master.
I hope you won´t get me wrong.

For me as a player liking to test the new alpha versions and to support and help improving Warzone it is difficult to understand why new masters being released still contain lots of known bugs.
Like the new master_20110801, just from playing 3 matches I noticed 8 bugs being reported in tickets from former masters
http://developer.wz2100.net/ticket/2468
http://developer.wz2100.net/ticket/2855
http://developer.wz2100.net/ticket/2752
http://developer.wz2100.net/ticket/2749
http://developer.wz2100.net/ticket/2732
http://developer.wz2100.net/ticket/2635
http://developer.wz2100.net/ticket/748
http://developer.wz2100.net/ticket/2576

Apart from bugs already being reported before, there also are some more general things that need to be improved/changed like
- the power system in master
- AI behaviour
- pathfinding


I was testing beta of Firefox 4, Firefox also had some sort of ticket-system like you use. Before releasing a new beta, Firefox first worked off every single ticket of actual beta and fixed it. Step by step, every beta contained less bugs.
Of course I know that people working for Firefox got paid for their work and that they didn´t leak off manpower.

But I think working like they did is much more effective. You don´t carry problems around, no matter if it is a big or small problem.


Just by writing "This release probably contains bugs, please report them so they can be fixed" I as a tester don´t know:
Which problems may they be aware of? Which tickets are they working on? Which tickets did they forget? What bug may they think is less important?
If you are releasing a new master containing known bugs or problems, could you please write them down? Maybe even link the tickets?
I think there would be two major pros:
- Testers would know which problems you are aware of, there wouldn´t be tickets need to be set to "dublicate"
- Progress of Warzone would be much more clearly and you devs always know what you still have to work on

I know that working on every single bug before releasing a new master can take a lot of time and that it may take longer until a new master gets released, but therefore every new master is a huge improvement and a great step to make master being a stable version.
And if you decide to release a new master to check which of your improvements/bugfixes work please write down which tickets/bugs still couldn´t be fixed but are known.


I hope it is possible to understand what I mean and I hope for some comments what you think about my feedback and if you fell the same or not and if things are going to change or not.
More than that, I hope you don´t get this as criticism but as feedback meant to help Warzone

Thank you in advance,
Asgorath

Per
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Re: New Alpha-Releases with old problems

Post by Per » 13 Aug 2011, 00:44

We make new master snapshots whenever we have something new that needs testing. Mostly the reason we have so many small bugs we don't fix yet, is because we have so many big issues we need to fix first. It is not called a beta (or even an alpha) at this point for that reason. If it helps to make a list of 'known issues that we intend to fix', then perhaps we should do that.

And thank you for testing! It really helps.

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Re: New Alpha-Releases with old problems

Post by cybersphinx » 13 Aug 2011, 19:30

Asgorath wrote:For me as a player liking to test the new alpha versions and to support and help improving Warzone it is difficult to understand why new masters being released still contain lots of known bugs.
In general, every bug needs someone who cares enough about it and has the time to fix it.
Like the new master_20110801, just from playing 3 matches I noticed 8 bugs being reported in tickets from former masters
http://developer.wz2100.net/ticket/2468
http://developer.wz2100.net/ticket/2576
http://developer.wz2100.net/ticket/2635
http://developer.wz2100.net/ticket/2732
Rendering bugs. Nice to know, but low priority to fix those bugs specifically, since the ongoing (slowly, like everything) work on the renderer will probably make the fixes irrelevant (compare it to writing a text, if you know that you'll rewrite a paragraph anyway, you don't need to go out of your way to make sure doesn't contain errors).
Missing translations. Also nice to know, in case an existing translation isn't used. If it's just untranslated strings though, it's up to the translator to fix them - or someone with enough time to manually merge strings from 2.3 to master and the other way around, and make sure no correct translation gets removed in the process. If you want to do that, I can automatically generate merge patches, but they need manual fixing.
Unsaved game state. Needs someone to implement that in the savegames (which means that it won't go into 2.3, since that'll break compatibility).
Strange things. Best give a "do X, then Y happens instead of Z" type of description to reproduce them, a savegame "see, it's broken" is less helpful (savegame to prepare for X might be helpful, though master isn't exactly stable in that regard, so those might need updating often).
Hm, the subtitle timing... when I tried the conversion script, it failed on some missing files. A fix for the script, or a patch of the complete converted timings might help. For future timing issues, having the game read .ass files might be nice (discarding the formatting), so text can be timed and positioned in established programs like aegisub.
I was testing beta of Firefox 4, Firefox also had some sort of ticket-system like you use. Before releasing a new beta, Firefox first worked off every single ticket of actual beta and fixed it. Step by step, every beta contained less bugs.
Of course I know that people working for Firefox got paid for their work and that they didn´t leak off manpower.

But I think working like they did is much more effective. You don´t carry problems around, no matter if it is a big or small problem.
That works if you start from a bug-free base, in Warzone there is too much broken to make this feasible (and the potential to break things without noticing, because nobody plays the game, is too high). We do (hopefully) fix those regressions quickly though.
Just by writing "This release probably contains bugs, please report them so they can be fixed" I as a tester don´t know:
Which problems may they be aware of? Which tickets are they working on? Which tickets did they forget? What bug may they think is less important?
If you are releasing a new master containing known bugs or problems, could you please write them down? Maybe even link the tickets?
It would be nice if we had proper bug triaging to set priorities in trac. That needs time though, as would making a list of known bugs.
I think there would be two major pros:
- Testers would know which problems you are aware of, there wouldn´t be tickets need to be set to "dublicate"
- Progress of Warzone would be much more clearly and you devs always know what you still have to work on
We are, more or less, aware of all open tickets. trac is unfortunately missing some features to better handle duplicates, if it could merge tickets and then automatically have the merged ticket take the higher number, common problems would keep at the top of the list (if ordered from newest to latest), and the (somewhat frustrating for both sides) "oh, a duplicate" - "damn, it just got closed" process be changed to something nicer.
I know that working on every single bug before releasing a new master can take a lot of time and that it may take longer until a new master gets released, but therefore every new master is a huge improvement and a great step to make master being a stable version.
As mentioned, the master snapshots are not releases, but more like Firefox nightly builds (aurora or whatever they call them), i.e. the builds that people test to find bugs to be fixed before the next release.
We want information... information... information.

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Re: New Alpha-Releases with old problems

Post by medusa » 14 Aug 2011, 20:37

cybersphinx wrote: That works if you start from a bug-free base, in Warzone there is too much broken to make this feasible (and the potential to break things without noticing, because nobody plays the game, is too high). We do (hopefully) fix those regressions quickly though.
besides those bugs listed you mean?
and why was my other comment deleted?
it was funny!
lighten up guys! XD

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Re: New Alpha-Releases with old problems

Post by vexed » 19 Aug 2011, 21:54

Asgorath wrote:Dear Warzone-Team,
I want to say/ask something about the way you work on the new alpha versions called master.
I hope you won´t get me wrong.
...
Apart from bugs already being reported before, there also are some more general things that need to be improved/changed like
- the power system in master
- AI behaviour
- pathfinding


Thank you in advance,
Asgorath
Care to elaborate on the issues with the newer power system, and also, what specific issues you have with the AI behavior & pathfinding that are not in 2.3.x ?
/facepalm ...Grinch stole Warzone🙈🙉🙊 contra principia negantem non est disputandum
Super busy, don't expect a timely reply back.

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lav_coyote25
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Re: New Alpha-Releases with old problems

Post by lav_coyote25 » 19 Aug 2011, 22:25

medusa wrote: lighten up guys! XD
no. :annoyed:

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Asgorath
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Re: New Alpha-Releases with old problems

Post by Asgorath » 20 Aug 2011, 12:17

vexed wrote:
Asgorath wrote:Dear Warzone-Team,
I want to say/ask something about the way you work on the new alpha versions called master.
I hope you won´t get me wrong.
...
Apart from bugs already being reported before, there also are some more general things that need to be improved/changed like
- the power system in master
- AI behaviour
- pathfinding


Thank you in advance,
Asgorath
Care to elaborate on the issues with the newer power system, and also, what specific issues you have with the AI behavior & pathfinding that are not in 2.3.x ?
Willingly :)

power system:
The power system in master is different to the one in 2.3.x
Because most of the players disliked the new system the old one (the one from 2.3.x) should be re-implemented.
But because of different codes (2.3.x to master) the old system can´t be put into master that easy.
If you want to know even more specific I recommend you to read through this thread:
viewtopic.php?f=6&t=5887&hilit=powersystem

AI:
The AI has improved a lot compared to 2.3.x!! Specially because master features the Semperfi-AI. Semperfi acts cleverer than Nexus-AI and tries some cool tactics.
But still the AI isn´t as smart as you know from other RTS. For example the AI always sends the exactly same amount of units into death by attacking too strong defences again and again.
For more information I can recommend you this two threads:
viewtopic.php?f=3&t=8042
and
viewtopic.php?f=3&t=8001

Pathfinding:
Pathfinding has also improved since 2.3.x. Tanks don´t drive into every second mountain when sending them far away.
But sometimes they still do. Also sometimes trucks still like to drive against a building for about 5-10 seconds before noticing they can´t drive through it and then they surround it...
And if you have more than two units and you send them to the same point you will see they don´t stop when arriving. They will crash into each other and they move and move and move and drive in circles and if you have more than 10 units you will see they are really split up. And if someone attacks then only two ore three tanks will fire because the rest is out of range somewhere away from the point they should be.


If there are more questions, just ask :)

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Re: New Alpha-Releases with old problems

Post by gabranth » 25 Aug 2011, 23:08

Asgorath wrote:Also sometimes trucks still like to drive against a building for about 5-10 seconds before noticing they can´t drive through it and then they surround it...
my tanks/trucks always like making out with turrets i like they need to be reprogrammed so there's less poking and more moving

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Re: New Alpha-Releases with old problems

Post by wayward4now » 31 Aug 2011, 20:17

Asgorath wrote:Dear Warzone-Team,
I want to say/ask something about the way you work on the new alpha versions called master.
I hope you won´t get me wrong.
The last two beta's (Master series) do not trap the mouse in fullscreen mode, using Ubuntu 10.4/Linux. The Beta-3 version works perfectly. So, since I have 6 workspaces, the mouse at the edge skitters into the next workspace in that direction. You guys do a great job! So, maybe whatever difference there is between Beta-3 and Master betas, will help you figure it out. Ric

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Re: New Alpha-Releases with old problems

Post by Zarel » 01 Sep 2011, 03:39

Per wrote:It is not called a beta (or even an alpha)
Yes it is. ;)
alpha.png

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Re: New Alpha-Releases with old problems

Post by effigy » 01 Sep 2011, 04:31

Making official releases out of snapshots warrants being called an alpha, imo. I don't think it should have much to do with how many bugs it has.

A beta release should be mostly bug free, but lacking some planned features.

A release candidate should be a "last chance" to catch new bugs before release.
This is why some features aren't implemented: http://forums.wz2100.net/viewtopic.php?f=30&t=7490&view=unread#p87241

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Re: New Alpha-Releases with old problems

Post by lav_coyote25 » 01 Sep 2011, 04:54

effigy wrote:Making official releases out of snapshots warrants being called an alpha, imo. I don't think it should have much to do with how many bugs it has.

A beta release should be mostly bug free, but lacking some planned features.

A release candidate should be a "last chance" to catch new bugs before release.
also in my opinion - for whatever that means. :hmm:

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Re: New Alpha-Releases with old problems

Post by cybersphinx » 01 Sep 2011, 14:16

wayward4now wrote:The last two beta's (Master series) do not trap the mouse in fullscreen mode, using Ubuntu 10.4/Linux. The Beta-3 version works perfectly. So, since I have 6 workspaces, the mouse at the edge skitters into the next workspace in that direction.
Tried the Trap Cursor (alt-t by default) option yet?
We want information... information... information.

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Re: New Alpha-Releases with old problems

Post by medusa » 01 Sep 2011, 21:27

effigy wrote:Making official releases out of snapshots warrants being called an alpha, imo. I don't think it should have much to do with how many bugs it has.

A beta release should be mostly bug free, but lacking some planned features.

A release candidate should be a "last chance" to catch new bugs before release.
it always has to do with how many bugs it has.
they list over 80 bugs for 2.3 and only 47 for git/master.
that means git/master has less bugs.

Drak0

Re: New Alpha-Releases with old problems

Post by Drak0 » 26 Oct 2011, 09:38

Asgorath wrote:
vexed wrote:
Asgorath wrote: Pathfinding:
Pathfinding has also improved since 2.3.x. Tanks don´t drive into every second mountain when sending them far away.
But sometimes they still do. Also sometimes trucks still like to drive against a building for about 5-10 seconds before noticing they can´t drive through it and then they surround it...
And if you have more than two units and you send them to the same point you will see they don´t stop when arriving. They will crash into each other and they move and move and move and drive in circles and if you have more than 10 units you will see they are really split up. And if someone attacks then only two ore three tanks will fire because the rest is out of range somewhere away from the point they should be.
Maybe try to have an extra feature in the game in which you can put a self destruct on individual tanks that come out, that way if a tank does get stuck you can simply remove it if it never finds its way back to the recycling department.

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