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Update on Engine 4 patches

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, BFCElvis said:

I do apologize for not giving you an ETA. It is certainly reasonable and understandable that you're asking for one. But, I posted short of giving an ETA for a couple of reasons. The biggest one is that until it is ready to be uploaded for release things can (and have) come to light and cause delays. It would be unfair to you try to slap a date or timeline that may not be met. I can say, as I did in my post, that it is in the final throes of creation.

Yeah, giving an ETA that can not be followed would be awkward. It's not like someone has already talked about a before March 2019 ETA, right? ūüôā

Edited by JSj

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, sburke said:

If you are asking about the patch, that is something only BF can address.  If you are asking about the campaigns, it is simply effort.  Campaigns are generally done by the testers.  .......  when it rains....

@BFCElvis was kind enough to say that no ETA can be given for BS. I'm good with that as it acknowledges that a patch is forthcoming. As for the SF2 campaigns, I'm only looking for something only the lines of July or October or whenever. No ETA for the campaigns is fine. At least now, I can stop thinking it's imminent.

I realize that there are only 24 hours in a day and that stuff happens. I'm sure you testers are doing your best and that priorities are dictated to you. It's often a thankless job but I nonetheless thank you and your fellow brethren for your good efforts.

Edited by Howler

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2 hours ago, Howler said:

I'm sure you testers are doing your best and that priorities are dictated to you.

Including by real paying jobs as well as families to support and simply be with.

Michael

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Posted (edited)

Actually it's all quite simple. BF can't give release dates, because they don't know themselves. That's annoying, surprising, etc. but there it is. They are working as quickly as  they can, on that we can trust. Let's give them time and relax. They will learn their lessons for the future out of all this, of that I'm also sure.

Personally I'm hoping for a release before the end of the year of both modules, but that is not guaranteed, I think. So be it then. Even that won't be the end of the world. In the meantime:

The sand of the desert is sodden red,‚ÄĒ
Red with the wreck of a square that broke; ‚ÄĒ
The Gatling's jammed and the Colonel dead,
And the regiment blind with dust and smoke.
The river of death has brimmed his banks,
And England's far, and Honour a name,
But the voice of a schoolboy rallies the ranks:
'Play up! play up! and play the game! '

P.s. Happy Eastern, folks!

Edited by Aragorn2002

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5 hours ago, Michael Emrys said:

Including by real paying jobs as well as families to support and simply be with.

Michael

Totally understand that Michael, and really appreciate the effort you and others put into testing for us all to enjoy the finished product. It can be really difficult balancing work and family, and finding time for this hobby can be extremely hard sometimes.

 

I really am appreciative of the work you and BFC do to bring us this very unique game, as mentioned several times before, my only wish is for a little communication. If there is a delay then fine, but if someone could just post a little line up saying something like 'run into problems with TO&E, no release before xxxx date' then that would satisfy me. Its just that beginning of March was mentioned and so i find myself checking everyday to see if there has been any news, when really a little message to say 'delayed at least a month' would have sufficed.

Obviously we have now had an update so im happy again for a while¬†ūüėČ

 

regards

 

slippy

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15 hours ago, slippy said:

I really am appreciative of the work you and BFC...

Please, credit only where it is due. I am not a tester in any formal sense. I am just a player like yourself and many others. If in my play I might turn up something that I feel needs reporting, I will do so. But so do many others who have contributed more than I.

Michael

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On 4/21/2019 at 3:55 AM, JSj said:

Yeah, giving an ETA that can not be followed would be awkward. It's not like someone has already talked about a before March 2019 ETA, right? ūüôā

Well, comments like yours are probably the reason that BFC usually never give time estimates on releases. Because some people will always latch on to that date - and start whining if it is not met.

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1 hour ago, umlaut said:

Well, comments like yours are probably the reason that BFC usually never give time estimates on releases. Because some people will always latch on to that date - and start whining if it is not met.

 

864F4141-6C16-43BE-85F3-829FA163EF3C.jpeg

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2 hours ago, umlaut said:

Well, comments like yours are probably the reason that BFC usually never give time estimates on releases. Because some people will always latch on to that date - and start whining if it is not met.

Whining has more to do with no information, let alone a simple revised ETA, being provided. It's not rocket science - revise a slipped March deadline by providing a *timely* update of... July or October or early-2020 [pick a date]. Posting every other month that we're almost there isn't an effective way of communicating with your customers.

It's not that complicated. What you want to avoid is the mishandling of expectations. Said expectations being set initially, not by the customer, but by the developer.

It's not difficult... post an an update before you blow past the last one. Otherwise, you mangle expectations.

Anyhow, it is what it is. It's obviously more effective to be reactive rather than to be proactive with deliverables.

Plus, it's lot more fun to be wading through 22 pages of my useless posts than it would be to reference a locked thread of *timely* updates from the developer.

Now let's back to eating our young...

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4 hours ago, Howler said:

Whining has more to do with no information, let alone a simple revised ETA, being provided. It's not rocket science - revise a slipped March deadline by providing a *timely* update of... July or October or early-2020 [pick a date]. Posting every other month that we're almost there isn't an effective way of communicating with your customers.

It's not that complicated. What you want to avoid is the mishandling of expectations. Said expectations being set initially, not by the customer, but by the developer.

It's not difficult... post an an update before you blow past the last one. Otherwise, you mangle expectations.

Anyhow, it is what it is. It's obviously more effective to be reactive rather than to be proactive with deliverables.

Plus, it's lot more fun to be wading through 22 pages of my useless posts than it would be to reference a locked thread of *timely* updates from the developer.

Now let's back to eating our young...

Now that it is part of my job description, I plan to post more frequent updates.....Not just for the patch but on other projects as well. Unfortunately, ....there will be times that those updates won't be much more than some form of "still banging away at it. It won't be this week but we're getting closer". Heck, if you had asked me for my candid predictions in February, I would have said "definitely before March 1st"....which is some of the danger with giving even loose ETAs.....it's sometimes very hard to predict when the the unexpected pops up (I guess by definition of "unexpected"). 

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There is nothing wrong with giving out ETAs and nothing wrong with missing them if something comes up, but when it becomes obvious you are going to miss your ETA you should inform interested parties. To not do so is a Dick Movetm

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2 hours ago, BFCElvis said:

Now that it is part of my job description, I plan to post more frequent updates.....Not just for the patch but on other projects as well. Unfortunately, ....there will be times that those updates won't be much more than some form of "still banging away at it. It won't be this week but we're getting closer". Heck, if you had asked me for my candid predictions in February, I would have said "definitely before March 1st"....which is some of the danger with giving even loose ETAs.....it's sometimes very hard to predict when the the unexpected pops up (I guess by definition of "unexpected"). 

If I may - there's nothing wrong with loose ETAs as long as they are in the future. Push the ETA out further before you slip past it. The worst that happens is that you deliver "early" as in something intended for a month(s) down the road is out next week instead.

It's easier to be forgiven for delivering sooner. Sure, you'll have someone bitch that you said June but actually released it April 30th. But most will forgive.

The reverse isn't true as these, now, 23 pages of posts attest to.

All the best. Always.

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I don't understand how TO&E has anything to do with patch 4 issues. I mean I am glad they are trying to fix issues in this area but really all people have been asking for is a fix for infantry under arty fire leaving cover. An issue that was introduced what two years ago? Two years is a long time for a fix. I really feel the TOE should have been tackled separately.

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Posted (edited)
39 minutes ago, Zveroboy1 said:

I don't understand how TO&E has anything to do with patch 4 issues. I mean I am glad they are trying to fix issues in this area but really all people have been asking for is a fix for infantry under arty fire leaving cover. An issue that was introduced what two years ago? Two years is a long time for a fix. I really feel the TOE should have been tackled separately.

I am not a person then it seems. ūüėČ

Sorting out the issues with tentative icons, mortar acquiring issues, Bren fire rate issues, also yes some TO&E things (purchasing Vickers detachments giving you Headquarter detachments instead, whole formations missing in QB that exist in SD, formations missing their vehicles and so on). Then yeah sure after all that infantry under artillery fire behaviour would be good.

Edited by Oliver_88

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51 minutes ago, Zveroboy1 said:

I don't understand how TO&E has anything to do with patch 4 issues. I mean I am glad they are trying to fix issues in this area but really all people have been asking for is a fix for infantry under arty fire leaving cover. An issue that was introduced what two years ago? Two years is a long time for a fix. I really feel the TOE should have been tackled separately.

The reason TO&E fixes are being bundled together with the infantry behavior fixes was explained by Steve in a post last summer iirc. Basically, instead of doing incremental patches, they decided to go for one big engine patch that would affect all games running on v4. Again iirc, Steve stated that in the future (after the large patch comes out for all v4 engine games) they will go back to focusing on incremental patches. 

For now its the nature of the beast and we're all stuck with it, but it sounds like things will improve going forward. As Elvis has said, the patches are in the final stages of testing. Hopefully, things go smoothly from here and the patches are released soon and put all of this to rest. I know I'm looking forward to that. 

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Fair enough but it is still a bit aggravating that a hotfix hasn't been released separately. Because there is a piece of code included in SF2 that works just fine and clearly fixes this behaviour.

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And this is why a lot of game companies now focus on releasing smaller and more frequent patches.  Exactly why.  I would prefer 10 patches over two years  than one big patch every two years.  

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Different type of profession but still relevant for the discussion:

I am a pilot flying about 200 passenger per leg from A to B.

There are a LOT of variables at work in the process getting passengers and their luggage from A to B safely and in a timely manner.

There are a few cardinal sins to be made when things do not go as planned and get people angry quickly in my experience:

-Not giving any information at all

-Making promises you can’t make true.

-Lying about the situation

I often see that we are affraid to bring bad news and then try to make plans to keep people happy as long as we can, or just decide not to give information in order to avoid discussion.

This doesn’t work and frankly, people are perfectly capable to accepting bad news.

Its all about how the flow of information is managed once things go wrong that define wether those 200 people disembark with respect or outrage in the end.

- Addressing people frequently even though there isn’t any news is very much appreciated.

-Giving a timeframe helps people feeling respected even though you might have to adjust that timeframe once in a while.

I am not saying I am a guru, but these are important lessons we get taught as captains and I feel its quite applicable to whats going on here lately.

Just my two cents, really.

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I am a software developer also, so I understand as much as anyone that predicting release dates is an almost impossible task.  You nearly always hit unexpected roadblocks in this business that are almost impossible to account for until you get down & dirty in the code.  I am like Steve in this aspect - I tend to always give a very optimistic "best case" date when I start a new project, and I very very rarely actually hit that date. 

The difference is that once a week, I inform my bosses of any challenges I'm encountering and update my estimated completion date based off of the latest information I have.  If I made a habit of saying I will have something complete before the beginning of March then completely going silent until almost the end of April, I wouldn't have a job.  It takes literally 5 minutes to give an update, and it shows the people who provide my livelihood that I am a) actually making progress and b) have enough respect for them that I will keep them in the loop as to what's going on.

I am very glad to see that Elvis will be taking this role on.  Honestly if it wasn't for the outstanding support he provides for this company, I would have completely moved on long ago.

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3 hours ago, Yskonyn said:

whats going on 

There is only one reply to people who say "whats going on". "Marvin Gaye 1971". Which I seem to remember was about the time that Ajax were teaching the world how to play Total Football.

Just my tuppence ha'penny worth. 

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Posted (edited)
7 hours ago, Thewood1 said:

And this is why a lot of game companies now focus on releasing smaller and more frequent patches.  Exactly why.  I would prefer 10 patches over two years  than one big patch every two years.  

I understand the point that you're trying to make. It has some validity when the design lends itself to rapid alterations. I just happen to be one of these "if it's not broke" Luddites and would rather not see any patches to a design this "complex". Sure, "content" tweaks are one thing. The current "mods" attest to how benign such alterations can be as the likelihood of impacting engine behavior is minimal. Altering unit responses under certain conditions and path finding are more fundamental and apt to cause a lot of problems with perceived 'fitness'. Some caution is warranted even if it means years...

 I suspect we are dealing with an older code base that is straining. There seems to be a lot of effort lately to consolidate core features after the fact. Perhaps to be better positioned for CM3... dunno. I'm an optimist that way.

You get to point where your process and discipline was excellent 20 years ago, good at 15, fine at 10, doable at 5 but, then very rapidly breaks as the years of Christmas's past all come home to bite you. It's always something that is at first perceived to be 'minor' that kills such a host.

I do understand your point. I would rather we deal with expectations and transparency as it's better to always be 6 months away over the course of 22 months than it is to always be 3 months late, or imminent, over the same period.

Edited by Howler

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As to complexity of the game, its no more complex than Graviteam or Il2.  And a completely valid point is legacy code being the issue.  Its seems to be the same issue over at eSims with Steel Beasts also.  But this game was developed around 2006/2007, not 1999.  That's not far from when Graviteam originally hit the streets.  They are just a small shop also. 

To me, the main difference is Graviteam eventually got in bed with Steam and eliminated a number of logistical issues with their game they were wasting their time with.  As soon as Graiteam went to Steam, updates started coming out more frequently.  BFC has chosen to build all that themselves.  Think of all the time Steve has stated he spent fixing the store that could have been spent fixing all these OOB issues.  Is that worth the piece of BFC's soul that Steam asks for?  I don't know.

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1 hour ago, Thewood1 said:

As to complexity of the game, its no more complex than Graviteam or Il2.  And a completely valid point is legacy code being the issue.  Its seems to be the same issue over at eSims with Steel Beasts also.  But this game was developed around 2006/2007, not 1999.  That's not far from when Graviteam originally hit the streets.  They are just a small shop also. 

To me, the main difference is Graviteam eventually got in bed with Steam and eliminated a number of logistical issues with their game they were wasting their time with.  As soon as Graiteam went to Steam, updates started coming out more frequently.  BFC has chosen to build all that themselves.  Think of all the time Steve has stated he spent fixing the store that could have been spent fixing all these OOB issues.  Is that worth the piece of BFC's soul that Steam asks for?  I don't know.

By complexity, I mean the effort required to maintain the code base. I'm not implying that CM is more feature/model rich, or "realistic", than any similar product on the market. I also don't think partnering with Steam is the 'silver bullet' that will miraculously resolve all issues. I view Steam as a distribution platform. As such, I'm not convinced it gets us much closer. In other words, I'm willing to grant that Steam could simplify a release (patching) process. I'm not sure Steam helps significantly to the construction effort leading to a release which seems to be where we are at. 

One thing that we should expect is better management of expectations. The rest is woulda, coulda, shoulda. Hopefully we all take away lessons learned...

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, Thewood1 said:

As to complexity of the game, its no more complex than Graviteam or Il2.  And a completely valid point is legacy code being the issue.  Its seems to be the same issue over at eSims with Steel Beasts also.  But this game was developed around 2006/2007, not 1999.  That's not far from when Graviteam originally hit the streets.  They are just a small shop also. 

It's a more question of quantity, than quality. BFC supports 6 standalone games -- each with their own DLC. Graviteam supports only 2: Mius Front and Tunisia 1943 (a recent branch). However, they do not support Achtung Panzer (some campaigns are sold as DLC, though), Steel Armour or Steel Fury. So, a great deal of their content is left obsolete.

CM may benefit from convenient automated patching (not necessarily Steam). But, the main issue is the plethora of wide ranging standalone titles that we know and love. I hope BFC manages to synchronize and standardize all the titles, in one form or another.

GUEST_df836ff5-fbf8-4a29-8371-31b698f767

Edited by DerKommissar

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