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Update on Engine 4 patches

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5 hours ago, Michael Emrys said:

Which must be hand crafted by blind monks in a Tibetan mountain lamasery, the location of which nobody is very sure of.

Michael

😂😂 😂😂 Be funny if it was not all so disappointing and unnecessary though Michael, i can't think of another active game developer, that i follow,  that treats its loyal customers with such disdain, its really saddening and so easily solvable.

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Posted (edited)

I'm just not feeling this disdain.....They're a tiny outfit, trying to do a fairly major job and, by & large, when they do release something, it's very, very good. 

You should try dealing with some small model companies, then you'd know what disdain really felt like.  ;)

Edited by Sgt.Squarehead

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Hi Folks,

I apologize for this well well well overdue update and status report (yes, this is an official update). Hopefully, in addition to providing some information it will help everyone understand a fundamental difference between this patch and previous patches. 

The status on the patches is they are FINALLY in the last stages of testing.  The unintended consequences of doing all of them at once and standardizing TO&E across all WW2 games proved to be vastly more work than expected since the last update.  Standardize X Formation and it works for Game 1 and Game 2, but a tester says “hey it wasn’t like that for Game 3”.  Which requires fixing the issue and going through the testing process again, usually costing us about a week to get everything fixed and back out to testers.  Then someone finds an issue with Game 1 that wasn’t discovered before and the cycle continues.

 
Part of the problem is there’s SO MANY OPTIONS for units in each game that it’s really impossible to go through one at a time.  The TO&E for a specific formation can vary by month within the game.  A formation that is available for 12-16 months of time could be correct for all but one.  And yeah, that’s happened more times than I can count.  Going to a vehicle option menu and finding NO VEHICLES, for example, isn’t something people would find acceptable ;-).  Plus, the amount of cumulative knowledge necessary to know what is/isn’t right/wrong for a particular setting, timeframe, force, etc. means individual testers are going to miss a lot of problems simply because they don’t know the options they’re looking at are wrong in some way (“Oh, I didn’t know the Hampstertruppen Einsatzkommandos weren’t available in July 1944 in Italy because the only two units were in Normandy and Eastern Fronts”).

 

 

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In my work, we have resolved all these test combinations by developing test automation to insure regression testing so that we can concentrate on testing the new features of a given release.

Don't you have hidden API to script at least TO&E tests? Seems this will be a useful investment.

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1 hour ago, BFCElvis said:

Hi Folks,

I apologize for this well well well overdue update and status report (yes, this is an official update). Hopefully, in addition to providing some information it will help everyone understand a fundamental difference between this patch and previous patches. 

The status on the patches is they are FINALLY in the last stages of testing.  The unintended consequences of doing all of them at once and standardizing TO&E across all WW2 games proved to be vastly more work than expected since the last update....

Appreciate the update.

Doesn't sound like we should be expecting a patch to CMBS. Is this so?

Also, can you provide an ETA for the outstanding campaigns (CA/UK/etc) in CMSF2?

 

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6 hours ago, BFCElvis said:

Hi Folks,

I apologize for this well well well overdue update and status report (yes, this is an official update). Hopefully, in addition to providing some information it will help everyone understand a fundamental difference between this patch and previous patches. 

The status on the patches is they are FINALLY in the last stages of testing.  The unintended consequences of doing all of them at once and standardizing TO&E across all WW2 games proved to be vastly more work than expected since the last update.  Standardize X Formation and it works for Game 1 and Game 2, but a tester says “hey it wasn’t like that for Game 3”.  Which requires fixing the issue and going through the testing process again, usually costing us about a week to get everything fixed and back out to testers.  Then someone finds an issue with Game 1 that wasn’t discovered before and the cycle continues.

 
Part of the problem is there’s SO MANY OPTIONS for units in each game that it’s really impossible to go through one at a time.  The TO&E for a specific formation can vary by month within the game.  A formation that is available for 12-16 months of time could be correct for all but one.  And yeah, that’s happened more times than I can count.  Going to a vehicle option menu and finding NO VEHICLES, for example, isn’t something people would find acceptable ;-).  Plus, the amount of cumulative knowledge necessary to know what is/isn’t right/wrong for a particular setting, timeframe, force, etc. means individual testers are going to miss a lot of problems simply because they don’t know the options they’re looking at are wrong in some way (“Oh, I didn’t know the Hampstertruppen Einsatzkommandos weren’t available in July 1944 in Italy because the only two units were in Normandy and Eastern Fronts”).

 

 

Thanks for the update Elvis! Looking forward to the release. 

 

5 hours ago, Howler said:

Doesn't sound like we should be expecting a patch to CMBS. Is this so?

As the patches are engine patches, the following games will receive a patch when they are released:

Combat Mission Black Sea

Combat Mission Battle for Normandy

Combat Mission Red Thunder

Combat Mission Fortress Italy

Combat Mission Final Blitzkrieg 

CMSF2 already has the engine patch applied, so I don’t think it’ll be getting a patch this round.

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8 hours ago, BFCElvis said:

Plus, the amount of cumulative knowledge necessary to know what is/isn’t right/wrong for a particular setting, timeframe, force, etc. means individual testers are going to miss a lot of problems simply because they don’t know the options they’re looking at are wrong in some way (“Oh, I didn’t know the Hampstertruppen Einsatzkommandos weren’t available in July 1944 in Italy because the only two units were in Normandy and Eastern Fronts”).

Why didn't you hand down the TO&E with timeframe as it should be in a PDF and have the testers check against that? Someone must be using a master at some point, I can't believe you are creating the formations as you go.

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Sure seems like this is the story we hear with each update on this patch...

- Its more work than we expected

- OOBs are hard

- We keep finding stuff in testing

I'm really not sure what to think.  I go away for a while, play other games, come back and see what's going on...not much  I want the freaking patch done so we can start hoping on new modules.  Alas, I suspect we might be years away from modules for some games.  If I had a vote, which I don't, I'd say scrap everything after the patch and start CM3.

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, IICptMillerII said:

As the patches are engine patches, the following games will receive a patch when they are released:

Combat Mission Black Sea

Combat Mission Battle for Normandy

Combat Mission Red Thunder

Combat Mission Fortress Italy

Combat Mission Final Blitzkrieg 

CMSF2 already has the engine patch applied, so I don’t think it’ll be getting a patch this round.

I'm not sure what could be further delaying the CMBS patch in that case. It should've been fairly straightforward from a TOE perspective...

Anyhow, it's good to know a patch for CMBS is also incoming.

Edited by Howler

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Posted (edited)
13 hours ago, ncc1701e said:

In my work, we have resolved all these test combinations by developing test automation to insure regression testing so that we can concentrate on testing the new features of a given release.

Don't you have hidden API to script at least TO&E tests? Seems this will be a useful investment.

LOL yeah umm to actually develop that would take more time than the patch and likely still be wrong.  Sure Charles could stop what he is doing to try and create that, but the net result would likely be that everything grinds to a halt and there is no progress.  I don't think you fully understand the variable complexity of the ToE and how much is actually being researched as the modules are built.  You can't build regression testing if you don't have the data yet as to what you would test.  The assumption that there is an agreed upon ToE database for all these forces covering the war is a 50 ton fly in your ointment.

I frankly have no idea how they even keep this stuff straight, certain individuals must have massive libraries and near eidetic memory to recall it all.

Edited by sburke

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Posted (edited)
5 hours ago, Ivan Zaitzev said:

Why didn't you hand down the TO&E with timeframe as it should be in a PDF and have the testers check against that? Someone must be using a master at some point, I can't believe you are creating the formations as you go.

Not mostly, but the research of it does continue and there are items that are debated and then there are game constraints that sometimes make it difficult to actually represent the detail.  You may recall some of the discussion on how the vehicle occupancies affected unit ToEs for CMBS which theoretically should have been more clear cut.  It doesn't always work that way.  The army can decide that Joe Specialist on the grenade launcher will have to sit with another squad in the 3rd Stryker, but in CM you can't do that.  Either the team fits or it doesn't.

Folks should by now understand that the game team/squad structure and it's intersection of actual ToE is a pain point.  One that Steve does his best to make fit, but it can get very difficult with unintended consequences when you start changing the ToE for dates.

Folks should also appreciate that the testers are just other players.  We feel the pain just as much.  That we have more visibility as to current state doesn't make us any less anxious to get the patch out there or frustrated that it isn't.

Edited by sburke

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1 hour ago, sburke said:

Not mostly, but the research of it does continue and there are items that are debated and then there are game constraints that sometimes make it difficult to actually represent the detail.  You may recall some of the discussion on how the vehicle occupancies affected unit ToEs for CMBS which theoretically should have been more clear cut.  It doesn't always work that way.  The army can decide that Joe Specialist on the grenade launcher will have to sit with another squad in the 3rd Stryker, but in CM you can't do that.  Either the team fits or it doesn't.

Folks should by now understand that the game team/squad structure and it's intersection of actual ToE is a pain point.  One that Steve does his best to make fit, but it can get very difficult with unintended consequences when you start changing the ToE for dates.

Folks should also appreciate that the testers are just other players.  We feel the pain just as much.  That we have more visibility as to current state doesn't make us any less anxious to get the patch out there or frustrated that it isn't.

I can totally appreciate and sympathise that  things do not go according to plan. Whilst we are all waiting for the patch to be released, i'm sure none of us want it released until it is thoroughly tested. My only gripe, time and again, is to do with communication, or lack of, between developer and user.

BFC Elvis has now posted above, which may have taken him about 5 minutes to do, if BFC had posted this two or three weeks ago then at least it shows some thought towards communication and transparency between the two parties, and goes a long way to keeping everyone onside i believe personally.

 

regards

 

slippy

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, sburke said:

LOL yeah umm to actually develop that would take more time than the patch and likely still be wrong.  Sure Charles could stop what he is doing to try and create that, but the net result would likely be that everything grinds to a halt and there is no progress.  I don't think you fully understand the variable complexity of the ToE and how much is actually being researched as the modules are built.  You can't build regression testing if you don't have the data yet as to what you would test.  The assumption that there is an agreed upon ToE database for all these forces covering the war is a 50 ton fly in your ointment.

I frankly have no idea how they even keep this stuff straight, certain individuals must have massive libraries and near eidetic memory to recall it all.

The best time to do that kind of thing is at the start of a project. It's a bit too late for that now, yeah.

 

8 hours ago, Ivan Zaitzev said:

Why didn't you hand down the TO&E with timeframe as it should be in a PDF and have the testers check against that? Someone must be using a master at some point, I can't believe you are creating the formations as you go.

How often was stuff like Git used just before 2010? Because I figure it would have helped a lot. How much has BF changed its working methods after the OG CM's?

Edited by Frenchy56

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10 hours ago, Ivan Zaitzev said:

Why didn't you hand down the TO&E with timeframe as it should be in a PDF and have the testers check against that? Someone must be using a master at some point, I can't believe you are creating the formations as you go.

One of the issues is that TO&E and unit types available change by the year and sometimes by the month. To take Fortress Italy as an example, multiple countries involved, each of those with arrival and withdrawal dates of types of units and those unit types TO&E changed many times as time passed. You theoretically could write an all encompassing TO&E document. Theoretically. If you had someone to do it.🙂

9 hours ago, Thewood1 said:

I want the freaking patch done so we can start hoping on new modules.  

I think it ok to say that the patches and modules are being worked on simultaneously (without getting into gory details or violating any confidentiality).

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5 minutes ago, RepsolCBR said:

What will be the greatest benefits of these " standardized TO&Es for all WW2 titles" going forward ?

That it's done and they don't have to do it again.....Ever!  ;)

That's my guess and my hope TBH. 

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27 minutes ago, Sgt.Squarehead said:

That it's done and they don't have to do it again.....Ever!  ;)

 

Yepp ! 😎

Hopefully this effort will also benefit the development of any future CM3 games.

Or are BFC planning on staying with CM2 and provide us with early war and north africa games perhaps...

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Again... beating a dead horse....

Roadmap

  • deliverable A         date X
  • deliverable B         date Y
  • deliverable C         date Z

Don't need to know details.

Absolutely prefer periodic updates  that are better than quarterly. We seem to be no farther ahead than we were when SF2 was released in December...

This wouldn't be a problem if this was known months ago. I'm not sure what to make of an update that is even less informative than the previous one issued last Jan/Feb.

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