Updates, Bugfixes, and UAT Community Engagement
My intention with this post is to provide context on what I feel has players most frustrated, my speculative reasons as to why the problem continues to occur time and again, and how both players and developers can contribute to the fix.
I want to get the obvious out of the way first; there will always be players unhappy with changes or prioritization of coming changes and they will always be the most vocal. Having said that, I do think that the number of people currently unhappy/frustrated is higher than what would be considered normal.
I'd apologize for the wall of text in advance... but I'm not sorry. ;)
Updates seem to be a bittersweet experience time and again. New and refreshed content is great; the bugs that come with said content is not. Players have come to expect this and developers have come to expect players lashing out in less than constructive ways. Herein lies the disconnect; players see the same broken pattern happening again and again when said pattern is obviously broken. Developers express the same sentiment time and again; higher community engagement in testing is required to fix the broken cycle. Both sides are frustrated with the other because neither feels like they are being heard.
Further frustration occurs when bugfixes are deployed. The expectation being that this bugfix will address the most gameplay impacting issues to improve overall player experience. Unfortunately, bugfix patches are often paired with new content/feature deployments which seem to bring forth new bugs. Rinse and repeat the process above: Player frustrated, dev frustrated, cycle repeats.
UAT Community Engagement
Players want patches to be relatively bug-free, or at least free of game-breaking bugs. Developers need people to assist in testing to accomplish that goal. Players don't seem to care to playtest and I believe developers are at a point where they feel asking for player assistance testing is a waste of time. Bugs don't get noticed prior to deployment, patch is deployed with game-breaking bugs, bugfix patches meant to be the fix often exacerbate the issue. Before anyone quotes this section I will say this: The reasons for the current state do not f**king matter. If we turn this into a blame game we all lose. So please, PLEASE, keep that negativity to yourself. I don't care nor does it matter how valid the reasons for the current state are; IT DOESN'T MATTER.
How do we break the cycle?
- Step 1: Read the bold parts of my above paragraph. Still feel the need to point fingers? READ IT AGAIN: NO ONE CARES AND THIS ISN'T HELPFUL.
- Step 2: Players and developers need to communicate and collaborate.
- Please give players advance notice of testing periods. 1 week minimum advance notice recommended.
- Communicate through Discord Announcement, Forums, Website, and most importantly the MAIN MENU ANNOUNCEMENT!
- PAY ATTENTION TO ANNOUNCEMENTS.
- Squad has a tight-knit and dedicated community. You have good relationships with several servers/communities; work with us! <3
- Set time aside for one night during testing period to test. Get your friends/Clanmates involved.
- Developers: Control the UAT. If the data you need is for certain factions or game modes: Make it happen. Don't let players dictate track attack or destruction when RAAS/AAS/etc is going to give you the data needed.
- Keep track of possible bugs/glitches you come across. Call it out in chat during the UAT so that devs can observe.
- Notate the issue: What is the issue? What layer was it on? What were you doing?
- Post your findings in the Game Support thread on the forums!
- Acknowledge player reports! Do you need more info? If so, what? Will videos of bugs help?
- DO NOT DEPLOY UPDATES WITHOUT ADDRESSING BUGS. DELAYED CONTENT IS BETTER THAN BROKEN CONTENT EVEN IF PLAYERS WHINE.
Important mention that, while not the core of the issue, certainly makes matters worse:
The update process regarding disk usage and what appears to be stalled installs/downloads needs addressed. I believe I've seen possible fixes mentioned; list suggestions here!
As always: PLEASE DM me via Discord or @ me in Bella's Battleground Discord if you have questions, need clarification, or want me to elaborate on any of the points above.