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Universe! (bug reporting system)

Posted by Fiss on September 29, 2014

Universe!god-at-his-computer

Current version 1.28c

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Thank you for submitting your bug report!  You are number 2108121329499192910410414828812405391013930193391039013331

Subject: “I’m right & they’re wrong!  Why the hell can’t other people see this?  I’ve worked hard and become so much better – but they look at me like I’m the bad-guy when I explain they are wrong.  I have included a number of screenshots showing specific examples.  Obviously, there is an issue with the teaching system.  All I’m trying to do is share my experiences…why am I getting aggro?”  

Severity: Critical

Category(s):  Learning and Education, PvP

– STATUS: Reviewed – Senior team lead.

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Thank you for submitting your bug report.  As senior team lead of Quality Assurance, I have been authorized to give you a bit of insight into this bug and what we are doing to address it in future versions.

God is hard at work coding features for the upcoming feature release.  As you may already know, we’ve had to push back upgrades such as the user-controllable levels of flatulence and laser-vision several times recently due to a number of serious bugs.  Unfortunately, the No-Clipping error in the Pothole / Sinkhole system, as well as a memory leak in the size parameters for some species of wasps are currently earmarked as higher priority.

Nevertheless, your concerns about the “learning and education” bug have been well documented, and a new feature of the Universe! 2.0 testing roadmap may interest you!  We are currently reviewing the Linear Time model and have decided to alpha-test a new Singularity system that will compress all of space-time into one point.  The code is relatively stable, as it was used for our initial roll-out release of the Universe! product, but in particular this would allow you review and react to all mistakes of your past, present and future in one convenient hyper-aware moment of consciousness, making many of your concerns obsolete!!

How does this address your bug?  Well, the underlying error seems to be when a player mistakenly targets a past character fault and ghosts the resulting attack onto other player characters.  Additional character traits such as ‘Self Loathing’ and ‘Regrets’ seem to escalate and expand the severity of this bug as well.  Unfortunately, this is all part of the Empathy & Social Interaction feature subroutine, and cannot easily be patched without nerfing many other elements of the game.  However, the resulting overuse and spamming of the 1.11d hot-patch “Hindsight 20/20” feature (which is not a replacement/perma-fix, but nonetheless is often referenced in these bug reports) seems to indicate there is a portion of the user-base that would like us at least to play-test a more stable, long-term (as it were) solution.

Changing over to the Singularity Timeline system certainly has it’s benefits for the developer – as you may have seen in various publications of the Dev-Notes the system that God uses has such power features as Omnipresence and Omnipotence, allowing for some interesting hacks and feature placement.  Easier content roll-out and the elimination of the extensive (and buggy) player tutorial systems would certainly make our jobs easier here in QA!  And of course, like I hinted at earlier, you would no longer have to worry about the tendency to review past memories with a much leveled up and modified late-game skill tree…  All those painful memories and embarrassing content choices would no longer apply!  Yes…even the ones like your Fedora phase, or the time you ignored several key dev-note chapters on the sharing of Religion & Philosophy-based player content.  Remember, silly!  It’s NOT an attack skill!  Hahaha!  (Seriously, though…it’s not.)

Keep in mind, however, as assistant Devs and GMs, changes to the game that may benefit us may not end up benefiting the player in the ways you may wish it to.  For this reason, you may never see this feature rolled out into the live player-spawn regions due to the fundamental changes it would bring to the current gaming system.  While I personally have no qualms about using a Singularity system VS Linear Time, we must always think of the players first, who are the primary users and reason we have our jobs in QA in the first place!

Initial playtesting during VERY selective and limited roll-outs to power users has garnered valuable insight to Dev/Player interactions, but extremely negative gameplay reviews.  In particular, we’ve been seeing a dramatic outcry for the instant nerfing of the aging and maturity character building traits, which I’m sure you know directly impact the usefulness and importance of the Wisdom stat.  Furthermore, some users have expressed concern about the wide disparity of some characters projected XP totals, causing a great deal of in-fighting and frustration, as well as the lack of motivation required to complete bonus XP side-quests like “Higher Education” and “Personal Discovery” as well as thousands of others.  Other critical game-balance changing elements such as the Mortality Engine, Science & Exploration, Curiosity (the Stat) and other mission-critical features experienced similar game-altering nerfs.  Initial reviews also showed an increase of undesirable PvP due to several non-power-users aligning themselves with some of the more public player-testers – in many cases expanding the impact of the very bug you reported that all of this was hoping to fix!  For this reason, we in the QA team are not recommending this change be rolled out until a much later patch planned for the Earth.Sol.MilkyWay server cluster, even though it may have better playability on other homeworld shards.

I know that this is probably not what you wanted to hear.  We’ve been receiving this bug report, as I’ve said, a great deal and it’s been a difficult road to decide how to review and test possible gameplay fixes for it.  Even worse: Certain player guilds have accelerated the problem with the Internet Subfeature of the Communications tech-tree!  Now players have a much wider, impersonal base to impress their dislikes of other character’s XP placement and progression often forgetting the fact that just a few short side-quests ago, they were subject to the same character traits! – let’s just say it’s been a nightmare keeping up with the QA side of things.

For now, we are recommending that players combat this perceived ‘bug’ with a few play-style changes.  For the most part, players content on using the Empathy and Inspirational feat-trees have been mostly free of the negative impacts of this bug, and have been able to work around it using Friendship and Peer advantages.  Users who want to continue to work on their Colossal Prick and Asshole class features have not been so lucky, though they do seem to get an unintended synergy bonus to their classes when encountering this bug.  While it is not my intent to influence your style of play, our ongoing QA process may eventually re-label this as a Known Feature in hopes that players can choose to work with it or around it as needed, much like how we have documented other such similar bugs in the past.

(Still working on the Racism/Sexism bugs…even today.  Some players have so many XP points invested in them, it’s quite a challenge to roll out updated social policies, but I suppose that’s what we get for signing up during the Early Access Beta, right? Hah!)

 

Regardless, when encountering this bug, we would like to point out that it gives the player an invitation to complete several important optional side-quests for extra XP.  You may want to look in the Dev Notes releases involving Self-Forgiveness, Understanding (fellow humankind sub-quest) and of course, the large amount of Wisdom bonuses that are available to you should you decide to follow these quests to completion.  You may find that the aura-effect bonuses you receive will mitigate and help other players come to the same conclusion without ever needing to use the more combative social features you spoke of in your report.

 

Thanks again for being a loyal subscriber, and stay tuned for the exciting 1.5 release coming soon to your server:  Interstellar Travel!  Ooooh boy, I’m not going to spoil anything for you, but it’s going to be a LOT of fun.

 

Senior Dev/Quality Assurance team lead:  
E.Metatron, Archangel (first class) & Celestial Scribe.  
A+ Heavensoft Certified Professional.  [prayerto: QADept]
Posted under Manifestoes

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