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Battlefront should implement a publically viewable bug tracking site.


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As I have played combat mission over a few years now, one thing that I have constantly seen is how disorganized the process of bug tracking/fixing appears to be. People post multiple topics for each game, other bugs simply get lost in existing topics, and unless a beta tester or one of the devs happens to see the post chances are it won't be recognized, whether it be campaign issues, Tac AI issues, or model issues. As such, I feel both Battlefront and the community would greatly benefit from a bug tracking site that allows users to post issues with descriptions and evidence, which can be viewed by all such that people can identify what has already been reported and acknowledged by the team. This would also allow others to contribute additional evidence/discussion to any specific bugs reported.

 

For example, take sites like these from the game Arma

https://feedback.bistudio.com/project/view/1/

And from some mod teams:

https://dev.cup-arma3.org/

http://feedback.rhsmods.org/view_all_bug_page.php

Thoughts?

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3 minutes ago, ASL Veteran said:

BFC has bug tracking software internally.  The bugs that are reported aren't tracked on the public forums.

And this precisely is the issue I'm trying to address. By keeping an internal bug tracking software, no one besides the internal testers know what has already been reported/acknowledged barring a forum reply hidden in a thread somewhere. Unless someone stumbles upon the same intial post/thread that was reporting the bug, chances are no additional evidence will be posted, etc.

Edited by Gkenny
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One problem with a 'public' bug reporting system (using publically submitted bugs) is how much duplication there is in reporting and the quality of that reporting. Even among the beta-testers this happens on occasion. This causes a bit of 'noise' in the reporting, where the developer has to sort through the multiple reports trying to find the best or most workable reports. There is also the issue of attempting to confirm the bugs. Some issues may not be bugs or the details aren't sufficient to reproduce the problem and that clutters up the reporting system. With publically submitted bugs this can be a significant issue.

The closest thing that would be workable with a developer of this size is a public list of acknowledged bugs. This has its pitfalls too though, with the time it takes to resolve some bugs or even what is considered a bug and what isn't. This can give the perception that the game is buggy and will remain so in some customer's views.

 

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1 hour ago, Warts 'n' all said:

Never trust anyone who uses the word "issue", when they mean a problem. That's what my old granny always used to say, except when she was moaning about the Stewarts.

Pointless drivel.

 

1 hour ago, Schrullenhaft said:

One problem with a 'public' bug reporting system (using publically submitted bugs) is how much duplication there is in reporting and the quality of that reporting. Even among the beta-testers this happens on occasion. This causes a bit of 'noise' in the reporting, where the developer has to sort through the multiple reports trying to find the best or most workable reports. There is also the issue of attempting to confirm the bugs. Some issues may not be bugs or the details aren't sufficient to reproduce the problem and that clutters up the reporting system. With publically submitted bugs this can be a significant issue.

The closest thing that would be workable with a developer of this size is a public list of acknowledged bugs. This has its pitfalls too though, with the time it takes to resolve some bugs or even what is considered a bug and what isn't. This can give the perception that the game is buggy and will remain so in some customer's views.

 

While I agree that there are some issues with duplication of reports on bugs, the same thing already happens on the forums at this point, except everything is much more disorganized and hard to find. This also fails to address the fact that if you post about a bug on the forums here, you essentially just have to hope that someone with access to the internal bug tracker not only sees but decides to submit a ticket with what you report, adding an extra level of unneeded separation that likely causes several bugs to fall through the cracks. By letting people report bugs on a centralized system, this is eliminated. And furthermore, community bug trackers are really not too difficult to manage, considering even unpaid mod teams can manage to keep track of them.

 

As for your suggestion, that could also work, or perhaps a BF pinned post in the subforum of each game called "BUG REPORTS" or something to that effect, so that the bugs for each game are at least centralized to a single thread here on the forums. The way it is currently is horribly inefficient.

 

I just want to see that bugs and problems are being reported and acknowledged in some non-convoluted fashion.

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As a beta tester (mention this because it's not obvious in my sig Edited to add: woot, I changed my sig. ;) ), I will say that there are lot of issues reported as "bugs" that are really design decisions with which someone disagrees. I understand and sympathize with the user who sees something and  doesn't know if it has been reported or not or if it's a bug. (Without a deep search and the time it takes to do one...no snideness meant: this is reality.) Other things are not bugs. They're something misunderstood (either historically or gamewise).

But, some of the known, internal, bugs are pretty minor. Some are not yet known. Others are obvious. Some have some big effects but are tough to kill without messing up other stuff. (I cannot say what, but there was a feature that was wanted by beta testers. It was created, baked into a build, and...oh, my: it was horrible in the game. A great lesson.)

A public list would create a fulcrum upon which much would be leveraged against BFC. Haters gonna hate. (Not that your suggestion is one, nor are you a "hater". Just sayin'...) 

If you see something, a beta tester should come along and either show/state why/how it's meant to be that way, or dig into it and internally get the process underway to bring it up so BFC can work the issue. (Oops, "problem". ;) )

 

Edited by c3k
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I think more transparency would lead to less animosity towards BFC, not more.

I recently wrote a (polite) email directly to a beta tester, asking "Is BFC even aware that [some problem]?" The reason I wrote that eail was not to vent anger or attack, but just to find out if the issue was known. I don't want to spend my time testing, arguing on the forums, and reporting a bug if BFC already knows about it.

The answer I got from the beta tester was that yes, BFC is in fact aware of that issue. Which settles it for me and lets me spend my time on other things.

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8 hours ago, c3k said:

If you see something, a beta tester should come along and either show/state why/how it's meant to be that way, or dig into it and internally get the process underway to bring it up so BFC can work the issue. (Oops, "problem". ;) )

Unfortunately, it doesn't always work that way. Many bug reports are just left unanswered, or at least unanswered by anyone on the BFC team. Which means the guy reporting the bug has no way of knowing whether the bug is known about or maybe not a bug at all.

For a recent example, se my post here:

I'm not seeing anyone with a beta tester tag pick this one up. Maybe there's a reason for that, but how am I to know?

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9 hours ago, c3k said:

(I cannot say what, but there was a feature that was wanted by beta testers. It was created, baked into a build, and...oh, my: it was horrible in the game. A great lesson.)

The ones we know about are road-following and/or vehicles following the one in front, which was intended to be in engine 4 in some manner. It's a shame that never came about, but obviously not everything works out.

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1 hour ago, Bulletpoint said:

Unfortunately, it doesn't always work that way. Many bug reports are just left unanswered, or at least unanswered by anyone on the BFC team. Which means the guy reporting the bug has no way of knowing whether the bug is known about or maybe not a bug at all.

For a recent example, se my post here:

I'm not seeing anyone with a beta tester tag pick this one up. Maybe there's a reason for that, but how am I to know?

My bold. 

Your thread has an update. ;)

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Oh, and one more item: the internal tracking system is approaching 10,000 items. I'm not going to see how many are open, how many are bugs, uniform errors, the wrong location for the PzVII b A7 (experimental) smoke discharger, or other such items. Each could be called a "bug".

Can you imagine a forum with 10,000 separate threads???

The tracking software does a great job. It is far better than having some sort of open list (that would have to be managed, updated, etc.).

Just wanted to give you a sense of the scale involved.

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All the beta testers play the game regularly, many of the bugs reported here were already picked up by us beforehand and were already reported. When a new bug is reported here, someone will always check to see if in fact it is a bug and not user error. If it is a bug, it will be reported and BFC will decide if, when and how to deal with it. 

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2 hours ago, Sgt Joch said:

All the beta testers play the game regularly, many of the bugs reported here were already picked up by us beforehand and were already reported. When a new bug is reported here, someone will always check to see if in fact it is a bug and not user error. If it is a bug, it will be reported and BFC will decide if, when and how to deal with it. 

Dude. How did you score that "CM Beta Tester" title? I know I've been behind in my dues. Is that it?

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CMx2 s a mature game engine. There's actually  not much tracking down of 'bugs' these days. For the latest patch testers were told to report all remaining outstanding issues so they can get them fixed in one go. So a missing IU silhouette was fixed here, a funky vehicle model was fixed there. Some issues were debated whether they're 'bugs' or just differences of opinion. I've been using that old aphorism 'Man proposes but God disposes', which means we diligently report stuff to Charles but if Charles doesn't see it as a bug its not a bug.

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3 hours ago, MikeyD said:

CMx2 s a mature game engine. There's actually  not much tracking down of 'bugs' these days. For the latest patch testers were told to report all remaining outstanding issues so they can get them fixed in one go. So a missing IU silhouette was fixed here, a funky vehicle model was fixed there. Some issues were debated whether they're 'bugs' or just differences of opinion. I've been using that old aphorism 'Man proposes but God disposes', which means we diligently report stuff to Charles but if Charles doesn't see it as a bug its not a bug.

Here's how to fix all bugs in one go: Declare them "differences of opinion" 🙂

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3 hours ago, MikeyD said:

CMx2 s a mature game engine. There's actually  not much tracking down of 'bugs' these days. For the latest patch testers were told to report all remaining outstanding issues so they can get them fixed in one go. So a missing IU silhouette was fixed here, a funky vehicle model was fixed there. Some issues were debated whether they're 'bugs' or just differences of opinion. I've been using that old aphorism 'Man proposes but God disposes', which means we diligently report stuff to Charles but if Charles doesn't see it as a bug its not a bug.

Pretty sure the topics below have issues left.  (With the first quote I am aiming at the Vehicle stowage and LOD switching issue on page 3 and 4)

 

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For example, this thread :CM Shock Force2 v2.03 patch has been released.

Has 3 (Though one could be argued intentional) bugs that have not been acknowledged by anyone in those three pages (I'll let you guys dig through the post to find them, since you guys seem to think that's the most efficient way of doing things 😂) . Have they been logged by the team? Who knows? There are many other threads just like this one which have reported bugs that no one has responded to throughout the forums. 

 

People think somehow that suggesting just some sort of more centralized public bug reporting is somehow worse than the current system, which is complete chaos. I am only suggesting this because I simply just want to see the game improve with time, and having a centralized place to report issues would only serve to make this process faster. 

 

 

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If BFC believed more transparency was needed - they'd do that. It's not you and this isn't the first time this topic has come up. There are two decades worth of posts here that attest to this.

All we can do is assume the CM Test Team (aka beta testers) is privy to more of the inner workings then we are. It took three years to undo the damage wrought by the 'evasion' fault and many save games, denials, resistance, etc. to get us to acceptance and ultimately a correction that brought back surrendering (rather than dead) troops. 

It was all accomplished without we pleebs ever gaining insights into how evasion way points are generated when a unit decides to decamp.

We'll never know if a more transparent process would have produced a correction after patch 4.01 or 4.02.

The Javelin guidance correction was issued within weeks. So, someone has a sense of 'severity'.

Save games rule. Keep posting until someone acknowledges the issue. That's the way we roll.

Welcome to the club. Don't take it personally. Play on.

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15 hours ago, Gkenny said:

For example, this thread :CM Shock Force2 v2.03 patch has been released.

Has 3 (Though one could be argued intentional) bugs that have not been acknowledged by anyone in those three pages (I'll let you guys dig through the post to find them, since you guys seem to think that's the most efficient way of doing things 😂) . Have they been logged by the team? Who knows? There are many other threads just like this one which have reported bugs that no one has responded to throughout the forums. 

 

People think somehow that suggesting just some sort of more centralized public bug reporting is somehow worse than the current system, which is complete chaos. I am only suggesting this because I simply just want to see the game improve with time, and having a centralized place to report issues would only serve to make this process faster. 

 

 

You seem to be suggesting that BFC games are some sort of 'open beta' games or something.  That's not the case.  Bug tracking is not chaos for BFC.  Actual software that is designed for bug tracking is used by the company in order to get the appropriate information to the appropriate individuals and the beta testers are charged with providing the appropriate information through the use of that bug tracking software.  While it is appreciated when players find things in the game that may need to be addressed the gaming public has no obligations of any kind in terms of bug tracking.  Customers play the games and enjoy them if they like playing them or stomp around angrily if they don't like the games.  Players can report things or not report things as they desire.  Customers will know that a bug has been addressed when a patch gets released and the patch log is published.  Bug tracking, reporting, and fixing is the obligation of BFC to the customers who buy the game.  There is no obligation by those who play the game to track, report, and fix bugs.  If something gets reported on a public forum more than once or even not at all then it really makes no difference because the public forums are not where the bug tracking is done.  Describing BFC bug tracking as chaos is wildly misinformed.  It may be different than what some are used to, but that doesn't mean that it's chaos.

Leave the bug tracking to BFC.  Perhaps if you get invited to the Beta team some day then you can participate in all the bug tracking and reporting that you would ever want, but for now just go and play the game and enjoy yourself.  

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On 9/17/2020 at 5:15 PM, Gkenny said:

And this precisely is the issue I'm trying to address.

I think it is cute that you think that end users will look first and report a problem if they don't find it already logged. :D

Having said that it's not a terrible idea to have some portion of the bug list visible. Trust me no one wants to see the back and forth with model and art work or the TO&E. If the internal system could have a simple flag to make it visible. Beta testers could flag bugs that come from the forum as public and then forum posters could point at logged bugs if other people find the same ones. Oh heck that sounds like a lot of work already. Only Steve can decide if he thinks that work would be worth it.

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3 hours ago, IanL said:

it's not a terrible idea to have some portion of the bug list visible.

Possibly a problem is that competitors (and in govt contracting everyone want to eat your lunch)  would use any declared bug list as an argument why the contract you are competing for should go elsewhere.

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On 9/17/2020 at 9:07 PM, c3k said:

A public list would create a fulcrum upon which much would be leveraged against BFC

If this is the theme that drives BFC and its business strategy, that's crazy.  Why does BFC care if "haters gonna hate"?  Sarcasm on...Why should BFC care if their customers have knowledge that might help them and BFC?  As long as they are giving these detractors ammo to hate them with...sarcasm off.

 

btw, companies doing business with the private sector and the government keep available "known issues" lists.  In fact, a good government auditor is going to want to see the bug tracking system.  The only reason to hide a "known issues" list is if you don't think it will pass the muster of an organized list.

 

How much time gets wasted by customers on this forum trying to see if something has been reported or responding to something thats been reported.  But that's OK, as long as its not the devs' time.  Just a simple known issue list would be bett6er than nothing.

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4 minutes ago, Thewood1 said:

How much time gets wasted by customers on this forum trying to see if something has been reported or responding to something thats been reported.  But that's OK, as long as its not the devs' time.  Just a simple known issue list would be bett6er than nothing.

I think the vast majority of their customers never visit this site and are instead spending time actually playing the game. What makes you think we forum visitors represent the majority?

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