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View Full Version : Very Easy Way To Effectively Test A Patch Before It Goes Live


BrickyardRac
01-07-2005, 09:45 AM
<DIV>Allow us to use our Live characters on the test server.</DIV> <DIV> </DIV> <DIV>Instead of all this crap about copying files, starting a character over, etc., allow EVERY player to choose a character, and then offer them a choice to play on Test with that character, as it currently is, level/item/quest-wise.  Even let them gain XP and levels on the test server (but of course all gains are gone once they log out of test).  </DIV> <DIV> </DIV> <DIV>Reset the server when all the rest are, so at most, a dedicated tester has 23 or so hours to XP.  Then if he re-logs, he's back to his Live server state (all XP lost if he played exclusively on Test in the past day).</DIV> <DIV> </DIV> <DIV>Benefits of this are pretty obvious.  You guys will actually get high-level fixes tested adequately.  You will have no (or VERY few) surprises when you put the patch to live (assuming you put the patch that was actually tested on live, which it appears you did not do with this patch).  And you mess up no Live characters (as with the "fixed" quests that are active being reset of someone logs in, at present, on a live server).</DIV> <DIV> </DIV> <DIV>Interested parties (such as armorers) who have only high-level bugs needing fixed can find out, on their own, in under 20 minutes if something is fixed, and can give the appropriate feedback.</DIV> <DIV> </DIV> <DIV>Most people don't want to pay to play a beta, and that's what the current test server is, a beta server.  It doesn't need to be the way it is.</DIV> <DIV> </DIV> <DIV>Today, you guys at SOE would have known within about 30 minutes what the major problems with the "Big Patch" were, and no one's main character would have been messed up.  But you guys didn't even put the full patch on the test server, so there were things that could NOT have been tested by a large amount of people.</DIV>

fusioncon
01-07-2005, 10:11 AM
<DIV>hear hear</DIV> <DIV> </DIV> <DIV>i agree with all of that, but would like to add that some of the issues that arose today could have easily been flushed out by testing at almost any level...</DIV> <DIV> </DIV>

Ver
01-07-2005, 10:35 AM
Greetings,Please consider for a moment what you are asking for from a logistical standpoint.Every character in EQ2 is comprised of database entries. (Looking back at SOE history, more than likely entries in an Oracle DB) There are entries in tables for everything about your character. Each geometrical customization you did when you created your character, all the quests you've ever completed, all the spells/skills you have, all the items you have, all the items you've had, everything in your house, everything you've ever bought on the broker, everything you've ever sold on the broker...Now for each of those entries, think of the entries associated with each one of those items. Its really a quite fascinating lesson in database normalization if you think about it. Its like a vast spiderweb. So imagine this vastly interconnected spiderweb, tables describe relationships between entries in tables (i.e. CHAR_HAS_ITEMS, which would describe the relationship between characters and items, this is vastly oversimplified of course).So for your idea to work, they would need to copy over the DB clusters (more than likely each server is divided into logically arranged clusters contain database instances for items, characters, zones, quests, etc. a server daemon of some sort that controls the overall process, instances zones/dungeons, etc., a communication module for chatting between players/staff, and probably some other miscellaneous systems) that contain the characters and all of their relationships to the world (room, inventory, spells/abilities, etc.), not for one server, but for 15 live servers, into one server cluster. Even over a 1gbit infrastructure and fibrechannel hardware, you could not copy all of the characters and still have any hours in the day left for uptime :-/A much better idea to make Test server function would actually be to listen to tester feedback, something that I'm skeptical is being done right now, because Test server is not a development server, and developers are too busy testing instead on their internal dev servers. Test server is a staging server. That means when things are 99% ready, they come out to Test server to make sure their deployment is ready and at that point major changes usually won't happen. The true development takes place on a server that we can't give feedback on for obvious reasons. Until there is either a slow down between staging and release (maybe a week or so to actually gauge and listen to player feedback), or a change in their development cycle, this isn't likely to change.

KongstadPS
01-07-2005, 02:25 PM
<DIV>Logisticly I don't think it should be that hard. You say copy an entire database, what about do a link from test server to your main char on a sort of "read-only" So only the people who play on tests will have their char copied to test center everytime they log in.</DIV> <DIV> </DIV> <DIV>Its a great idea, because all I get to test on Test server is how well my lvl 11 cleric can vanguish gnolls in Antonica...</DIV> <DIV>:smileyindifferent:</DIV>

Klerik
01-07-2005, 02:52 PM
<DIV>It wouldn't even be that hard of a routine to write on a character login script.</DIV> <DIV> </DIV> <DIV>Klerikal logs in to Test Server</DIV> <DIV>Copy Klerikal from Antonia Bayle to TestServer </DIV> <DIV>Klerikal plays.</DIV> <DIV>Klerikal logs off Test Server</DIV> <DIV>Klerikal deleted from Test.</DIV> <DIV> </DIV> <DIV>(Yes, this is overly simplified)</DIV> <DIV>But, theoretically, if the database tables for Items, Mobs, etc, are all in sync to have the same items, quests, etc with the same "Primary Key" with one-way enforced integrity amongst the character information.  The temp_Klerikal record would be written to test when he logs in, and deleted when he logs out.</DIV> <DIV> </DIV> <DIV>Snap.  Game testing across the entire scope of levels is available.</DIV> <DIV>It could be a script component written and executed exclusively on the test server, and wouldn't affect the live servers at all.  </DIV> <DIV> </DIV> <DIV>I've written some pretty extensive databases in Access and VB6, and have even used this concept on databases pulling information from a phone switch logging database (that holds several million records) so that the end users wouldn't be muddling up my server processor time with running endless queries pulling thousands of records across the line at once.  </DIV> <DIV> </DIV> <DIV>They'd do a request to the database to pull all of "Sue's records" and snap, they'd have a brand new database created on their PC and they could bend twist and destroy it all they wanted to, without chewing up the main server, and without nailing our network bandwidth for hours on end.  </DIV> <DIV> </DIV> <DIV>Granted, the exact dynamics of making something like this work in the EQ2 environment would be different, but the CONCEPT is the same.  Really, how much data would they have to pull across?  My character info (stats and gear) can't take up THAT much processor time / bandwidth.  </DIV> <DIV> </DIV> <DIV>Char=Klerikal</DIV> <DIV>Class=Scout</DIV> <DIV>CLevel=23</DIV> <DIV>Artisan=Woodworker</DIV> <DIV>ALevel=16</DIV> <DIV>BStr=11</DIV> <DIV>BSta=10</DIV> <DIV>....</DIV> <DIV>....</DIV> <DIV>....</DIV> <DIV>    insert all stats / saves</DIV> <DIV> </DIV> <DIV>Ability01=Nimble</DIV> <DIV>Ability01x=5</DIV> <DIV>Ability02=GnollMastery</DIV> <DIV>Ability02=5</DIV> <DIV>etc, for additional abilities</DIV> <DIV>....</DIV> <DIV>SA1=QuickStrike</DIV> <DIV>SA1x=3 (App 3)</DIV> <DIV>etc, etc</DIV> <DIV> </DIV> <DIV>Item_Head=523289 (Item # = Fur lined Snoopy Aviator Hat)</DIV> <DIV>Item_Feet=32213 (Item # = Pink Fuzzy Bunny Slippers of Napping)</DIV> <DIV>etc, etc</DIV> <DIV>..... </DIV> <DIV> </DIV> <DIV>GearSlot1=1234455 (Pristine Rawhide Leather Backpack)</DIV> <DIV>GearSlot1Slots=6</DIV> <DIV>GearSlot1a = 3634 (Gnoll Cookies)</DIV> <DIV>GearSlot1b = 2363 (Baubbleshire Rum Runners)</DIV> <DIV>etc, etc...</DIV> <DIV> </DIV> <DIV> </DIV> <DIV> </DIV> <DIV>You get my point.... it's not that much raw text data that would get copied across the line to the "Test Server"... all told, over a dial up connection, it'd probably take less than 3 seconds to download... so across their ethernet / fiber backbone, it should take ALOT less.</DIV> <DIV> </DIV> <DIV>Then, bang... testing across the entire spectrum of levels.  Copy Character info, gear info per character, quests completed, quests active, skils and abilities.  If the rawdata tables match up and are synchronized across the servers, it should be no problem.</DIV> <P>Message Edited by Klerikal on <SPAN class=date_text>01-07-2005</SPAN> <SPAN class=time_text>05:06 AM</SPAN></P><p>Message Edited by Klerikal on <span class=date_text>01-07-2005</span> <span class=time_text>05:07 AM</span>

Ver
01-07-2005, 04:35 PM
Gosh, I really hope their databases are at least in 2NF, if not 3NF.I'm glad the system you were working on was *read-only*, I can only imagine the kind of redundancy and race conditions that emerge from something like that. Perhaps if you had a properly normalized database with optimized queries it wouldn't matter if someone was querying it all day? But then again, with something like Access perhaps its not as feasible as if you were using an enterprise level system like Oracle or MSSql.From a design standpoint, and even a practical coding standpoint, what you posted is ... :-x ... just looking at 'GearSlot1=1234455' makes me shudder. I mean what if GearSlotXSlots is 0, do you really need to repeat that over and over throughout the character record? What if it was suddenly decided that pristine rawhide leather backpacks should have 20 slots... You would need to do quite a few UPDATE operations to make sure everyone had the new slots. Would it not be more wise to store that in the item table? Even then, you'd only need to store it for items that have slots, so you wouldn't want it as an attribute. Interestingly enough that seems to be another relationship... item_has_slots :-p That way if you decided that you wanted everyone's leatherbackpack to have 20 slots, you could update ONE row, and it would be so. (Assuming you had a relationship like this, if this game is anything like SWG in its DB design, every player crafted item probably gets its own vnum--- er key <img src="/smilies/3b63d1616c5dfcf29f8a7a031aaa7cad.gif" border="0" alt="SMILEY" /> )You need to think in from a relational standpoint, clearly and concisely. Check out <a href="http://www.stuart.iit.edu/courses/im510/database/1NF.htm" target=_blank>this page</a> if you've never recieved any formal DBA/developer training before. I'd rather join across 4 tables than sort through 4 million touples of unindexed data.Luckily for us the engineers and developers at SOE are more than competent at this, and if its feasible hopefully we'll see it come to pass.<p>Message Edited by Verba on <span class=date_text>01-07-2005</span> <span class=time_text>03:37 AM</span>

eq2sha
01-07-2005, 08:52 PM
<DIV>You all may be reasonably educated on database theory, but the fact is that none of us are familiar with their software/hardware setup or codebase.  There is no way to assess the difficulty of such a request.  It's a moot point and there's no reason to post further.</DIV> <DIV> </DIV> <DIV>To the original poster, I think most people would agree that SOE would have a significantly larger testing player base should a concept like that come into fruition...although I would hope that they have already contemplated such a change and the lack of such a mechanism is the result of their conclusion.</DIV> <DIV> </DIV> <DIV> </DIV>

Vayh
01-08-2005, 03:01 AM
<DIV>I imagine its a combination of a standard 3rd Boyce-Cobb normal form transactional database with a purposefully denormalized heavily indexed analytical database that is updated every morning about 10am est.</DIV> <DIV> </DIV> <DIV>thanks i felt like talking some db trash <img src="/smilies/3b63d1616c5dfcf29f8a7a031aaa7cad.gif" border="0" alt="SMILEY" /> working in em all day every day just isnt as much fun as geek-word dropping in posts on a game forum hehe...</DIV> <DIV> </DIV> <DIV>test has to be set so high level effects of the patches can be tested, and en mass. How? who cares. If it isnt done somehow before the next "big patch", at least any problems with server lag will go away quickly.</DIV>

Ethi
01-08-2005, 03:03 AM
<DIV>Why not just add a command like in eqlive test for beta buf?  Just beta buf to a certain adv:art level.  </DIV> <DIV> </DIV> <DIV> </DIV>

JerleMina
01-08-2005, 03:10 AM
<DIV>More effective test method: Fix the bugs we report.</DIV> <DIV> </DIV> <DIV>We never got a followup patch, other than the HO fix.</DIV> <DIV> </DIV>

Gwh
01-08-2005, 05:43 AM
<DIV>> <DIV>More effective test method: Fix the bugs we report.</DIV> <DIV> </DIV> <DIV>We never got a followup patch, other than the HO fix.<</DIV> <DIV> </DIV> <DIV>All the test server foir SOE has ever been is a place to place code and see if it crashes or deletes everything. Anything other than a bug that is glaring obvious and/or helps a player level is not something the will bother with untill they get 1000000 posts as feedback that this might be a problem.</DIV></DIV>

MaximumCarna
01-08-2005, 06:27 AM
<DIV>Just do it like CoH does. You can transfer a toon on live to test. This is of course just one way. You would get higher lvl pcs to test stuff and players would get to try out options before deciding on them for their live pc.</DIV> <DIV>The biggest problem is with big updates, the test server might crash because of all the people trying to play on it.</DIV>

Klerik
01-08-2005, 10:48 AM
<BR> <BLOCKQUOTE> <P> <HR> </P> <P>Verba wrote:</P> <P>I'm glad the system you were working on was *read-only*, </P> <P><FONT color=#ffff00>No, the database itself was not read only.... the data pulled by end users (mostly managers and supervisors running shift reports and block reports) was "instanced" for them, so that they could destroy it however they wanted to without affecting the "real" data on the server.   When you have 25,000 supervisors logging in on Monday morning around the country pulling count reports for their office, it's a server nightmare.  And rather than installing a "cluster" system to handle the load for a few hours on monday morning, a bulk batch report pulling all the info for the office across the WAN just once into their own private copy of "their database" was much better than having them run 100 reports each every day off the live system.   YOU obviously don't have to worry about things like that in your environment, try being a DBA for a WAN that crosses into two seperate countries with over 500 offices.</FONT></P> <P><FONT color=#ffff00>ADT  Security.. ever heard of it?</FONT></P> <P><BR>...... as if you were using an enterprise level system like Oracle or MSSql.<BR><FONT color=#ffff00>Yes, the database system was Enterprise level SQL Server, Access / VB was simply the client side software, so that end users could customize their data reports.</FONT></P> <P> ... just looking at 'GearSlot1=1234455' makes me shudder. </P> <P><FONT color=#ffff00>Obiously you missed the opening line of that section where I specifically stated "this is overly simplified"....  Not everyone knows what a relational database is, or enforced referencial integrity, or what an UPDATE operation is.  I tried to keep the concept as simple as possible so that someone who doesn't have extensive database programming experience could I understand what was being talked about.</FONT></P> <P>..... leather backpacks should have 20 slots... You would need to do quite a few UPDATE operations to make sure everyone....</P> <P><FONT color=#ffff00>If they update the peice of equipment in the item database, yes, they would have to do quite a few update operations.  That's not the point.  The point was, there is a very limited amount of raw data that comprises the character specific information. Everything else pertaining to the character specific data is a link to another table.  And if THOSE tables were synced across the servers, then it's a relatively small amount of data to  be copying over when someone logs into test.</FONT></P> <P> had the new slots. Would it not be more wise to store that in the item table? </P> <P><FONT color=#ffff00>Yes, it would, the info I put up there, was an informal list of the data needed to come across.</FONT></P> <P> That way if you decided that you wanted everyone's leatherbackpack to have 20 slots, you could update ONE row, and it would be so. (Assuming you had a relationship like this, You need to think in from a relational standpoint, clearly and concisely. </P> <P><FONT color=#ffff00>Once again.. yes, the individual tables of course exist, the linear data printed above was "list of data needed to be copied from live to test" in this idea.</FONT></P> <P>Check out <A href="http://www.stuart.iit.edu/courses/im510/database/1NF.htm" target=_blank>this page</A> if you've never recieved any formal DBA/developer training before. </P> <P><FONT color=#ffff00>Had plenty of developer training, thanks.   As stated above, was trying to keep it simple for the individuals who DIDN'T have that type of background.</FONT><BR><BR>Luckily for us the engineers and developers at SOE are more than competent at this, </P> <P><FONT color=#ffff00>Competant?  What about egotistic?  You're whole post you tried making it sound ever so complicated of an idea, instead of looking at the simple concept.  I tried keeping it simple so that the layman could understand what I was saying, and you created a whole post basically to tell me what an idiot I am.</FONT></P> <P><FONT color=#ffff00>Instead, all you've done is prove what a condescending ego-maniac you can be.   I endearingly hope, that if you are professionally employed as a computer analyst, dba, administrator, that you are a little more politically correct and understanding with your non-technical co-workers.</FONT></P> <P>Message Edited by Verba on <SPAN class=date_text>01-07-2005</SPAN> <SPAN class=time_text>03:37 AM</SPAN><BR> <HR> </BLOCKQUOTE><BR>

Klerik
01-08-2005, 10:51 AM
<BR> <BLOCKQUOTE> <HR> MaximumCarnage wrote:<BR> <DIV>Just do it like CoH does. You can transfer a toon on live to test. This is of course just one way. You would get higher lvl pcs to test stuff and players would get to try out options before deciding on them for their live pc.</DIV> <DIV>The biggest problem is with big updates, the test server might crash because of all the people trying to play on it.</DIV><BR> <HR> </BLOCKQUOTE><BR> <P>And that is exactly what I was saying in my original post... the raw data for a single (or 8 characters) would be a minimal amount of data to have to copy from live to test (one way) so that the entire level spectrum could be tested.  </P> <P></FONT> </P>

j
01-08-2005, 01:20 PM
<DIV>What they need to do is randomly pick people ot help them test .</DIV> <DIV> </DIV> <DIV>Give them a house item  like a  wall scroll saying they were a tester for the month of febuary . As a reason to test and have it worth a little presitige .</DIV> <DIV> </DIV> <DIV> </DIV> <DIV>Have those people transfer thier chars over. That way everyone has about a month of testing under thier belts </DIV>

Kwoung
01-09-2005, 03:12 PM
<DIV>Personally I think if they just write a tool to be able to pick out the actual feedback from all the junk that is posted in this forum they would be able to address things a lot more effectively. Spending hours weeding though irrelevant posts looking for actual feedback, instead of being able to jump right to coding the fixes for them and getting them on the Test server, seems like a huge waste to me.</DIV><p>Message Edited by Kwoung on <span class=date_text>01-09-2005</span> <span class=time_text>02:13 AM</span>

Mindole
01-10-2005, 01:14 AM
<DIV>I don't know if anyone ever played City of Heroes before, but their test server was something like this. You could transfer any of your characters at anytime and at any level to test new content. When your character was transferred to test, they would lose all their money and all items in their inventory except what they currently had equipped. Test server was just that, a TEST SERVER. Who cares if the character was allowed to stay there after they logged off? Who cares if they progress too fast? It's a test server. Plain and simple, we NEED high level testers there, and no one feels like grinding to level 50 all over again from scratch. </DIV> <DIV> </DIV> <DIV> </DIV> <DIV>The first part of your idea is good, letting us copy our toons over so we can test high end content...However, there is NO REASON why our experience gains from that point forward on test should be wiped away. Then, you're just defeating the purpose of copying our characters over because we'll never be able to test any content higher than our current level when you copied over. </DIV> <DIV> </DIV> <DIV>I feel strongly that we should be able to copy our characters over to the test server. There are fundemental gameplay issues that are being missed because the highest person on test isn't even in their 30's yet I don't think. The dev's already give no support on test server, so it's important that we be allowed an opportunity to really test the game!</DIV> <DIV> </DIV> <DIV>*edit* just saw someone metion CoH, so yes, I know you know what I'm talkin about</DIV> <DIV> </DIV> <DIV> </DIV><p>Message Edited by Mindoleyk on <span class=date_text>01-09-2005</span> <span class=time_text>12:17 PM</span>

Edian
01-10-2005, 07:41 AM
<DIV>um anyone else not worried about how it would be done and just think its a [expletive ninja'd by Faarbot] idea? I mean who wants to play the same thing they could on live only with more bugs and ooo yeh! nothing you do matters..... Um not me! if im gona play i at least want to get another lvl or get some uber loot or somthing productive. I happen 4 free slots on the test server to play a whole difrent class/race/whatever else with. I've really enjoyed lvling up my monk from scratch</DIV>

WAPCE
01-10-2005, 09:23 AM
<blockquote><hr>Edian wrote:<DIV>um anyone else not worried about how it would be done and just think its a [expletive ninja'd by Faarbot] idea? I mean who wants to play the same thing they could on live only with more bugs and ooo yeh! nothing you do matters..... Um not me!</DIV><hr></blockquote>How do you think testing software works? You test the newer version of what you're already doing and report bugs and regressions. How can you expect to accurately test if you don't have proper controls?<p>Message Edited by WAPCE on <span class=date_text>01-09-2005</span> <span class=time_text>11:38 PM</span>

Sterli
01-10-2005, 03:29 PM
I agree.You need more volume of people testing to avoid problems going live.Allow character copies so more people participate.

Draxre
01-10-2005, 04:26 PM
<DIV>Agree with the volume and level of player characters necessary on test server but this will be useless if they don't APPLY THE FULL PATCHES TO TEST SERVER.</DIV> <DIV> </DIV> <DIV>Even if we are legion, how can we test something not even implemented ?</DIV>

Iseabeil
01-10-2005, 05:37 PM
<DIV>im sorry, but i cant see how letting ppl that has no real interest in testing copy over their characters to test, try out the things they dun dare do in live as it might hurt their character, then if it works, they go back to live and do it, could be in any way good.</DIV> <DIV>ive seen it happen too many times, ppl will always call regular testers elitist, but in the end, only those that are devoted to testing will actually try 100% find bugs that affect gameplay in general and not only bugs that affect them alone. test server is a server that is just as dynamic as all other servers, letting ppl jump in and out will make it highly unstable (not speaking technically unstable), and hurt the purpose of having it.</DIV> <DIV>what id say would be best start to help the test procedure is to make sure all ppl know that it will NOT consume their live server slots, as lots of ppl say they dun wanna play on test as they dun wanna waste a slot, limiting amount of ppl here, wich is the main problem. test ppl are lower lvl than live ppl, partly as it is easier to lvl on more crowded servers.</DIV>

CerraWhisperwind
01-10-2005, 08:21 PM
The very act of copying characters over or even artificially leveling them up can introduce bugs. The only way to have a clean test server is to treat it just like an ordinary server in regards to character development.As it is, there are over 100+ people a night now on test, and people are leveling up. The only problem I can see is the lack of testing instances, as we never have more than one instance of each zone.

Agathorn
01-11-2005, 12:58 AM
I am and always have been vehemently against this whole concept. Since this seems to be a nice civil thread on the subject i'll post my reasoning here.The way I see it there are two kinds of testing that need to be done in a MMO like EverQuest 2. Direct and Indirect.Direct testing is what 99% of you are thinking about when you think about testing and when proposing ideas like this. It is the act of taking Bug A that was reported fixed and testing it to see if it was fixed. Programmer reports that you will no longer turn into a toad when equipping the hammer of swanness, so you equip the hammer of swannes to see if you turn into a toad or not. Direct testing. At this current time I completely agree that we need more help with direct testing. However only at this time. More on that later. In a very large part however, direct testing is handled by QA. Direct testing is often done on in house closed servers and that is what those servers are for.Indirect testing is somewhat unique to MMOs, and is basicly the act of living and playing in the world like you would normally do and seeing what issues you run into. Direct testing will not, can not test like this and will never be able to. You aren't looking for anything specific here, just playing. Indirect testing is specifically what the test server is for. It is direct testing that causes QA to often visit Test server and talk to the players to see what kinds of issues they are experiencing. In order to have bonafide and useful indirect testing you absolutely must have a playerbase who calls Test server thier home server. This simply can not be tested be copying players over and playing for a short period of time.The main problems with at-will character copies from live to test is that 1) They disrupt the indirect testing environment, changing variables and 2) They discourage the active growth of a home test server population that is neccesary for indirect testing. An interesting poll was done on our unofficial forums that shows the top three reasons that Test server players call test our home are 1) Low server population, 2) The chance to help test and improve the game, and 3) The mature playing audience. I guaruntee you that with at-will character copies form live to test every one of those top reasons will be nullified, and you will lose a large percentage of your indirect testers.You folks that keep proposing the at-will character copy solution have to realize that not only is EQ2 itself new, but the test server is even more new. At the present time yes those copies would be beneficial because we don't have level 50 characters to test upper range bugs. But that is only at this time. We actively play just like everyone else and currently have players in the 30s and within a rather short period of time you will start seeing more and more native players able to test the high end content. At that point the at-will character copies becomes completely uneccesary.

Kwoung
01-11-2005, 01:21 AM
<DIV>The one point that everyone who proposes a copy over to Test seems to ignore, is that it just doesn't work. I played on Pendragon DAOC back in the day when char copies were implemented and the end result was 80% less players loggging into the Test server than they had previously. At best, when a big patch was loaded to that server, the players whoes class that ptch affected would copy over and check out the changes to their particular class. Of course, this influx of players rarely (if ever) brought the server population back to its previous levels and the only thing that was being tested was class or tradeskill specific changes. Every other part of the game (the other 95% of it) was left to be tested by the 20% that stuck around and kept playing there full time.</DIV> <DIV> </DIV> <DIV>In short, the end result was direct class and tradeskill testing would occassionally jump to pre-copy levels for very short periods of time and all other areas of game testing suffered a 80% drop.</DIV>

Agathorn
01-11-2005, 01:31 AM
Something I meant to mention but forgot was that at-will character copies essentially turn a test server into a tryout server. Players who've levelled to the point where they can make a character differentiation choice simply copy thier character to test, try out all the choices available to them, find the one they like, then go back to live and play. Not only is this not how the game was intended to be played, but it also gives one more unfair advantage to live players over test players. Will I as a test server player be able to copy my character to live, try out the various choices then return to teat? Of course not.

Kwoung
01-11-2005, 01:40 AM
<BR> <BLOCKQUOTE> <HR> Agathorn wrote:<BR>Not only is this not how the game was intended to be played, but it also gives one more unfair advantage to live players over test players. Will I as a test server player be able to copy my character to live, try out the various choices then return to teat? Of course not.<BR> <HR> </BLOCKQUOTE> <DIV>Fairness doesn't really fit into the equation IMHO.. because as Test players, the option to play on live and copy over like everyone else would be available.</DIV>

Agathorn
01-11-2005, 01:45 AM
<blockquote><hr>Kwoung wrote:<BR><BLOCKQUOTE><HR>Agathorn wrote:<BR>Not only is this not how the game was intended to be played, but it also gives one more unfair advantage to live players over test players. Will I as a test server player be able to copy my character to live, try out the various choices then return to teat? Of course not.<BR><HR></blockquote><DIV>Fairness doesn't really fit into the equation IMHO.. because as Test players, the option to play on live and copy over like everyone else would be available.</div><hr></blockquote>It plays into my previous post though. By having such a system you further hamper native test players, forcing more to play live and reducing your "indirect" testing base even further. Hence the reason I mention the fairness aspect.Overall the at-will character copy system is self defeating and eventual self destructive.

Daffid011
01-11-2005, 02:08 AM
I can back up Kwoung about the DAOC test server as I was there at that time. The idea looks favorable on paper, but it doesn't pan out that way realisitically.--------------------------------------------------However take this into consideration.Go to any general access board and start reading the messages. Look at signal to noise ratio.Now imagine that was the test server feedback forum........-F

Naggyba
01-17-2005, 03:50 AM
This has been the problem with SOE's Test Servers in all their games. They are nothing more than production servers, with the name test. People come to the servers, not to test, but to play on an uncrowded server. They are too concerned with leveling their characters, to do true testing.TONS of bugs make it past the test servers because a LOT of the stuff cannot be tested because of levels or skills, etc.A TRUE test environment will allow for people to make toons the levels they need, with the skills they need, etc. in order to properly test the changes.Another SOE problem is that they love to keep secret the stuff that has changed. How can you properly test something if you don't know what it is you are supposed to be testing?SOE Test Servers have always been ran poorly and improperly. The always have bugs to make it past. OBVIOUS bugs too, because of the way it's been done.SWG did though start doing something that should be done here. LIVE servers copied over to the Test Server and then it published in the patch notes what has been changed and needs to be tested. They still hide a lot of stuff though.PLEASE create a TRUE EQ2 Test Server, for the good of the game. A LOT of the bugs that went live were obvious ones that was on patch how long and still made it out? It's time to put an end ot the Production server called Test and the people that play there for the sole purpose of playing on an uncrowded server and get some REAL testing done, not simply more playing.By allowing people to copy over their live toons, they know what bugs there are and they are able to ACTUALLY TEST THEM. They have the ability and desire to TEST them. They are not out to simply play on an uncrowded server. They are not out to level. They do that alreay on their live server.The people that are making the case to keep Test just like live are simply wanting another failed EQ and SWG test server that is nothing more than a live server with the name test. They simply want somewhere they can go where there are no crowds so they can play the game and level and have access to all the ph4t l3wt in peace, without the crowds.<p>Message Edited by Naggybait on <span class=date_text>01-16-2005</span> <span class=time_text>05:55 PM</span>

CerraWhisperwind
01-17-2005, 06:55 AM
Don't you understand? SOE has people that can make characters any level or class they want to test things. What regular players on test do is generate logs they can examine for oddities and trends. They do this on live servers as well, but test gives them the ability to do this before the live servers get contaminated. The best thing we can do for them is play normally.We are not testers, we are test subjects. We are the white mice of EQ2.

Linolil
01-17-2005, 10:39 AM
<blockquote><hr>CerraWhisperwind wrote:Don't you understand? SOE has people that can make characters any level or class they want to test things. What regular players on test do is generate logs they can examine for oddities and trends. They do this on live servers as well, but test gives them the ability to do this before the live servers get contaminated. The best thing we can do for them is play normally.We are not testers, we are test subjects. We are the white mice of EQ2.<hr></blockquote>Well said. We are there to do the unexpected. When you have a test plan, you decide up front what tests need to be passed. That is what they do on their internal, closed servers. Then, you have a beta release and expose it to the unexpected behaviour of the users. That is where the Test Server fits. The players on Test add the unpredictable to the test plan.The unfortunately part of EQ2's Test Server experience is that they haven't really gotten their patching tools in place to keep it up with the live servers. There was a half dozen patches to the live servers this week alone. As far as I can tell, not one of them made it to the Test Server.

Daffid011
01-17-2005, 09:39 PM
Naggybait, I will try to keep this short seeing there is so much topic....<blockquote><hr>Naggybait wrote:People come to the servers, not to test, but to play on an uncrowded server. They are too concerned with leveling their characters, to do true testing.</span><hr></blockquote>I think you will find most people picked the test server for the QAULITY of player and not the population. While it is nice to run around and not be crowded, it is VERY difficult to put together even a simple xp group. I think most would agree with me that test server is under populated to make it more benefitial for gameplay fun over a live server. The quality of people makes that up for me at least.::Who is more concerned with leveling their characters to do any testing: the people who gave up their live characters and commited to living in a testing environment or the people who never go there and play their characters on a production server, but want to have copies to play on test when the whim strikes them.......<blockquote><hr>Naggybait wrote:By allowing people to copy over their live toons, they know what bugs there are and they are able to ACTUALLY TEST THEM. They have the ability and desire to TEST them. They are not out to simply play on an uncrowded server. They are not out to level. They do that alreay on their live server.</span><hr></blockquote>Do you think your idea will produce solid feedback? I invite you to read this forum here and see how poluted it is with NON-TEST server people posting opinions and rants (by that I mean topics AND replies). Most of that isn't even actual bug/test feedback, just people giving suggestions for new skills, how they think the game should be run or just general complaining because they think the devs will react to it here.Throwing hordes of people at a problems will not necessarily solve it. ::Show me a game that used your copy theory to improve its test process. I can speak from experience that it really messed up the DAOC testing, despite what you THINK it would help. It did the exact opposite. <blockquote><hr>Naggybait wrote:SWG did though start doing something that should be done here. </span><hr></blockquote>I think using SWG as an example of patching and testing earns you a wedgie or something. <img src="/smilies/8a80c6485cd926be453217d59a84a888.gif" border="0" alt="SMILEY" />

Espyderman
01-17-2005, 10:13 PM
<BR> <BLOCKQUOTE> <HR> BrickyardRacer wrote:<BR> <DIV>Allow us to use our Live characters on the test server.</DIV> <DIV> </DIV> <DIV>Instead of all this crap about copying files, starting a character over, etc., allow EVERY player to choose a character, and then offer them a choice to play on Test with that character, as it currently is, level/item/quest-wise.  Even let them gain XP and levels on the test server (but of course all gains are gone once they log out of test).  </DIV> <DIV> </DIV> <DIV>Reset the server when all the rest are, so at most, a dedicated tester has 23 or so hours to XP.  Then if he re-logs, he's back to his Live server state (all XP lost if he played exclusively on Test in the past day).</DIV> <DIV> </DIV> <DIV>Benefits of this are pretty obvious.  You guys will actually get high-level fixes tested adequately.  You will have no (or VERY few) surprises when you put the patch to live (assuming you put the patch that was actually tested on live, which it appears you did not do with this patch).  And you mess up no Live characters (as with the "fixed" quests that are active being reset of someone logs in, at present, on a live server).</DIV> <DIV> </DIV> <DIV>Interested parties (such as armorers) who have only high-level bugs needing fixed can find out, on their own, in under 20 minutes if something is fixed, and can give the appropriate feedback.</DIV> <DIV> </DIV> <DIV>Most people don't want to pay to play a beta, and that's what the current test server is, a beta server.  It doesn't need to be the way it is.</DIV> <DIV> </DIV> <DIV>Today, you guys at SOE would have known within about 30 minutes what the major problems with the "Big Patch" were, and no one's main character would have been messed up.  But you guys didn't even put the full patch on the test server, so there were things that could NOT have been tested by a large amount of people.</DIV><BR> <HR> </BLOCKQUOTE><BR> <P>Im not sure they didnt test everything, we saw problems but this does not conclude they didnt test it. This game programming is probably pretty complicated, and more complicated then hiring new betya testers and allowing them to test more.</P> <P>Personally i think SOE needs to change its stance on customer support, only then will their patches and support be better. im sure they do well in what they do but they seem to lack a bit in some areas. SOE really needs to hire people who are capabl;e of doing their job properly. As rich as they are they can offered it, and nothing less.</P>

Kwoung
01-17-2005, 11:52 PM
<BR> <BLOCKQUOTE> <HR> Naggybait wrote:<BR>This has been the problem with SOE's Test Servers in all their games. They are nothing more than production servers, with the name test. People come to the servers, not to test, but to play on an uncrowded server. They are too concerned with leveling their characters, to do true testing.<BR><BR>The people that are making the case to keep Test just like live are simply wanting another failed EQ and SWG test server that is nothing more than a live server with the name test. They simply want somewhere they can go where there are no crowds so they can play the game and level and have access to all the ph4t l3wt in peace, without the crowds. <HR> </BLOCKQUOTE> <DIV>First off neither EQ or SWG Test servers were "failed" as you put it. Both accounted for finding massive amounts of bugs and exploits that never made it to live. For the bugs that did make it live, a good portion of those were reported and judged by SOE to be acceptable to let go live... that is the part *most* of you fail to understand... they let bugs go live on purpose because they weighed the options and would rather put it live and fix it later rather than delay the rest of the patch because of it.</DIV> <DIV> </DIV> <DIV>As for the bugs that were never found and went live, well it would take 10,000 players playing the Test server (just like a live server has) to even marginally increase the chances that something would be found in the time alloted before the patch was released. AND.. just like the last big patch, there is no saying they  will even publish the supposed fixes to everything that was reported as bugged to the Test Server before sending it live.</DIV> <DIV> </DIV> <DIV>As for the rest of what you said, I play on Test because I prefer dungeons to to give me the feeling of a dungeon and not the feeling of a New York City subway station at rush hour. I also much prefer the overall quality of people that play on Test and a community that helps each other out. I also like not having every single mob I need to progress my quests being camped to heck and back and being told to take a number and get in line if I want to finish one up. All that said, I report every bug I come across to the devs via /bug, /feedback, in tells or in our chat channel when one is there.</DIV> <DIV> </DIV> <DIV>As for me just "playing" the game, well yeah.. thats the point of a test server. SOE has an internal test server where they do all their "controlled" testing.. the public Test server (as pointed out many times above) is for the uncontrolled part of the testing equasion and the players there are expected to play the game as normally as possible and report anything wrong they find along the way... which everyone I know on Test does.</DIV> <DIV> </DIV> <DIV>BTW, SWG had their "copy" servers and guess what... they were desolate wastelands that no one ever logged into for the most part. The only way even a copy Test server like SWG had would work, is if SOE shut down the corrosponding live server and forced everyone to play there... and I can imagine the outcries if that happened. Anyhow, you want to help test, prove it.. roll up a character on Test and show that you are willing to split your time between Test and live. Because the bottom line is, it doesn't matter what character is available to you on Test, you will either spend the time there or you won't and no amount of carrots dangling in front of you will change that.</DIV>

Naggyba
01-18-2005, 03:12 AM
They were failed examples of poor test server setups and continue to be a poor testing environment. EVERY patch, tons of bugs make it through that just jump out and slap you in the face. People who were TRUELY interested in TESTING a patch would have caught these problems. People who are more interested in leveling their toons and playing on an uncrowded server, do NOT make for good testers. It simply makes for an environment where they can level and play the game in more peace.The patches that get put out are proof positive of a failed testing environment.Those that rant and rave about keeping test like a live server without deleting toons and wiping it frequently to weed out bugged characters from bugged patches, are those very people that only want to play on a live production server called test.SOE has yet to ever come up with a TRUE test server.Sure, internal they can make a toon of any level but, obviously they miss a lot of bugs too.Sure, they need people that will play the game normally but, if people were TRUELY interested in being testers, they wouldn't care if their toons got wiped periodically to clear up bugs, because they could become any class they wanted and any level to test the changes that are being put in. If they need level 50s to test a dungeon out, then in minutes, they could have a bunch of level 50s to go through it. If they needed level 10s to test out a new area, they could in minutes have players of that level test it out.I mean the last big patch is a PERFECT example and proof of what I am saying. The last big patch that spent all that time on Test is the best proof anyone could ever have and make their case for them.If people could pop into test, choose the class and level of their toon and give themselves the equipment they need to be able to live through testing areas, etc., there would be as much "is this or that fixed" post. People could pop in, make a level 20 toon with access to everything and all places and go find out for themselves VERY EASILY.If I wanted to go test out a bug in Rivervale or bugged quest or whatever, then if I could just copy over my toon to test and go for it. I could then provide feedback as to whether it truely is fixed or still broke. Just an example.Yes, I am critical of SOE's test server setup. I have dealt with their patches and so called test servers for 6+ years now. I have seen patch after patch come off the test servers with major bugs that just jump out and slap you in the face and should have been caught on test. It's not all the Test players (not testers) fault though as SOE hides a lot of stuff from even the testers too. They still feel the need to hide things and don't have the balls to just come out and post the nerfs, etc.<p>Message Edited by Naggybait on <span class=date_text>01-17-2005</span> <span class=time_text>05:31 PM</span>

Kwoung
01-18-2005, 04:07 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE> <HR> Naggybait wrote:<BR>SOE has yet to ever come up with a TRUE test server.<BR><BR>Sure, internal they can make a toon of any level but, obviously they miss a lot of bugs too.<BR><BR>Sure, they need people that will play the game normally but, if people were TRUELY interested in being testers, they wouldn't care if their toons got wiped periodically to clear up bugs, because they could become any class they wanted and any level to test the changes that are being put in. If they need level 50s to test a dungeon out, then in minutes, they could have a bunch of level 50s to go through it. If they needed level 10s to test out a new area, they could in minutes have players of that level test it out. <HR> </BLOCKQUOTE><BR> <DIV>A "True Tester"?!?! No offence, but only a complete [Removed for Content] would pay SOE $15 a month to work for them. So unless SOE is willing to hire 10,000 new employees to populate a server completely, your idea of what a true tester is, is very flawed.</DIV> <DIV> </DIV> <DIV>I know I wouldn't play on a server that was wiped constantly, nor would I ever copy over to a server to test if that was the option available to me... I pay SOE for fun and relaxation, the fact that I find and report bugs to them is only because I like helping out. You obviously say you would copy over, but history in other games has proven that you are one of the 60 or so players game wide that would do that (and I am betting you wouldn't either except on the very rare occassion... maybe).</DIV> <DIV> </DIV> <DIV>So, if wiping and copying is proven to not populate a test server... and lets take it for granted that SOE can't hire 10,000 new employees for each game they run to populate their test servers , even if they were only paying minumum wage, what do you suggest? In my opinion (and SOE's obviously), the current system offers enough benefits that a subset of their paying customers will help them test consistantly.</DIV> <DIV> </DIV> <DIV><BR> <BLOCKQUOTE> <HR> Naggybait wrote:<BR>If people <STRONG>could </STRONG>pop into test, choose the class and level of their toon and give themselves the equipment they need to be able to live through testing areas, etc., there would be as much "is this or that fixed" post. People <STRONG>could</STRONG> pop in, make a level 20 toon with access to everything and all places and go find out for themselves VERY EASILY.<BR><BR>If I wanted to go test out a bug in Rivervale or bugged quest or whatever, then if I <STRONG>could</STRONG> just copy over my toon to test and go for it. I <STRONG>could</STRONG> then provide feedback as to whether it truely is fixed or still broke. Just an example. <HR> </BLOCKQUOTE></DIV> <DIV>The problem like I pointed out above is.. even if they <STRONG>could</STRONG>.. no one <STRONG>would</STRONG>... as proven in many other games.</DIV> <DIV> </DIV></FONT>

WAPCE
01-18-2005, 04:23 AM
<blockquote><hr>Kwoung wrote:<DIV>The problem like I pointed out above is.. even if they <STRONG>could</STRONG>.. no one <STRONG>would</STRONG>... as proven in many other games.</DIV><DIV> </DIV></FONT><hr></blockquote>Please site evidence to back that up. I have done so countless times in games I have played when allowed to test for my specific bug or annoyance, and do so DAILY for all of the free and open source software that I use.

Kwoung
01-18-2005, 04:41 AM
<BR> <BLOCKQUOTE> <HR> WAPCE wrote:<BR> <BLOCKQUOTE> <HR> Kwoung wrote:<BR> <DIV>The problem like I pointed out above is.. even if they <STRONG>could</STRONG>.. no one <STRONG>would</STRONG>... as proven in many other games.</DIV> </FONT><BR> <HR> </BLOCKQUOTE>Please site evidence to back that up. I have done so countless times in games I have played when allowed to test for my specific bug or annoyance, and do so DAILY for all of the free and open source software that I use.<BR> <HR> </BLOCKQUOTE> <DIV>Two recent examples that offered copying:</DIV> <DIV>DAOC: Copies resulted in a 300% drop in number of logged in testers.</DIV> <DIV>SWG: Copied servers resulted in maybe 20 people logging onto those servers at any given time.. the servers sat 100% empty most of the time though.</DIV> <DIV> </DIV> <DIV>The *only* game I am aware of in which people actually used copies, was UO (long ago in a galaxy far far away)... I have yet to see a game since in which it worked.</DIV>

Daffid011
01-18-2005, 07:08 AM
<blockquote><hr>WAPCE wrote:<blockquote><hr>Kwoung wrote:<DIV>The problem like I pointed out above is.. even if they <STRONG>could</STRONG>.. no one <STRONG>would</STRONG>... as proven in many other games.</DIV><DIV> </DIV></FONT><hr></blockquote>Please site evidence to back that up. I have done so countless times in games I have played when allowed to test for my specific bug or annoyance, and do so DAILY for all of the free and open source software that I use.<hr></blockquote>Dark ages of camelot test server. I witnessed it first hand. Population dropped, more bugs went live, people toured. Everything in the test server got worse, not better. Now please feel free to do the same. Which games test server got better from cloning?"when allowed to test for MY specific bug or annoyance" - That speaks louder than anything I could have said.

WAPCE
01-18-2005, 08:49 PM
<blockquote><hr>Daffid011 wrote:"when allowed to test for MY specific bug or annoyance" - That speaks louder than anything I could have said.<hr></blockquote>Yes, I can only test for regressions and fixes in bugs that have bitten me. Sorry, I can't do much for the ATi users' problems here. <img src="http://home.comcast.net/~axp696/forumimages/smiley/lol.gif">

Lancealittle
01-18-2005, 09:51 PM
<BR> <BLOCKQUOTE> <HR> Naggybait wrote:<BR><BR>If people could pop into test, choose the class and level of their toon and give themselves the equipment they need to be able to live through testing areas, etc., there would be as much "is this or that fixed" post. People could pop in, make a level 20 toon with access to everything and all places and go find out for themselves VERY EASILY.<BR> <HR> </BLOCKQUOTE><BR> <DIV>It seems to me that you want a 'toybox' that you can play with. The kind of testing you're asking for would be the worst idea yet for any testing environment.</DIV> <DIV> </DIV> <DIV>Have someone who plays a level 10 cleric on a live server come over and bump himself to a 50 guardian to join a raid party? The only thing your idea would prove is that 99% of the people who are allowed to play any level have no idea what they are doing.</DIV> <DIV> </DIV> <DIV>You also seem to forget about the developers server. They have code even buggier than what we see on test and they can make characters of any level for the real testing.</DIV> <DIV> </DIV> <DIV>The fact is, test 'is' a production server. It's a production server that 'players' have volunteered to play on a guinea pigs for changes. If you start paying part of my monthy fee, I will gladly test issues you have, but till then I'm a player just like you. </DIV> <DIV> </DIV> <DIV>In beta they wanted to test Permafrost, so they bumped a bunch of people and they got creamed. They balanced the zone to that. The first guild to come up the ranks the real way were able to waltz into a zone that was balanced for groups of people who don't know what their spells are or how to work in a high level raid.</DIV> <DIV> </DIV> <DIV>Letting people /charcopy would get more high level people testing things, but it would bring with it many problems that would pollute the test environment. A better idea would be to allow people to /move to the test server. Make it a permanent move, and they have no choice but to play that character on test server. That could increase the server population at all levels.</DIV> <DIV> </DIV> <DIV>Another idea is to wait till the people playing now have worked their way up the levels the regular way, and hope enough people are around to test all new content and changes.</DIV> <DIV> </DIV> <DIV> </DIV> <DIV> </DIV>

Kwoung
01-18-2005, 10:47 PM
<BR> <BLOCKQUOTE> <HR> WAPCE wrote:<BR>Yes, I can only test for regressions and fixes in bugs that have bitten me. Sorry, I can't do much for the ATi users' problems here. <IMG src="http://home.comcast.net/~axp696/forumimages/smiley/lol.gif"><BR> <HR> </BLOCKQUOTE> <P>And that is main problem with copied characters, among the many other issues pointed out above. What you stated is commonly (almost completely) what copied characters do.</P> <P>1. Player has an issue / pet peeve / etc.. on live.</P> <P>2. Player copies or creates a duplicate (via skill, gear bumps) character on Test</P> <P>3. Player tests to see if their issue is resolved</P> <P>4. Player reports back that issue is fixed, still broken or ignored.</P> <P>5. Player goes back to playing their main character as they have no further reason to "Test" anything.</P> <P>Do you see the problem with that very common scenerio?</P> <P>Let me explain... In short, only fixes to existing issues are ever being tested, which makes up a very small part of the things that need testing. So under this system, this is how it would go.</P> <P>1. SOE publishes a update to Test.</P> <P>2. Players copy over and check if their issue has been addressed.</P> <P>3. Feedback on all those issues is posted.</P> <P>4. Devs tweak based on feedback and publish the update live.</P> <P>5. Players on live scream about all the new bugs that just got patched in (because they were never tested).</P> <P>6. Repeat from step 1.</P> <P>The copy system almost guarentees that live will experience almost every new bug that comes up. At least under the current system, a very large portion of these new bugs are caught and addressed before the patches go live. I am pretty sure most live players don't have a clue how many bugs are actually caught and kept from going live, as they only focus on the few that made it through or were never posted to Test in the first place.<BR></P>

Naggyba
01-19-2005, 12:38 AM
Now you are pulling numbers out of your (thing air, yea). You posting numbers doesn't make it so. I know in SWG, what you state is not the case because I was on test quite often there. Test servers were quite often filled with people, especially beta testing JTL. The server was packed and they made it EASY for people to test. They got the expansion tested quick because people were able to jump in and create any toon they wanted and make it any level they needed (skill level) and they had materials they could get to work with.You know why SWG put in servers where they would do galaxy copies for people to test on where it would copy an entire galaxy, including the players and their stuff? Because there was never enough people on the regualr test server to do quality testing that they needed.UO's test server worked and was always packed and a lot of testing got done because of two things.The players could log in, set their skills to whatever they wanted and had the resources they needed to do testing. They could get resources, houses, anything they needed.The Dev Team posted what they changed and what they wanted people to test. They didn't try and hide stuff.If people want to play and level on test server because they hate playing on live servers and have a problem with getting along with society and the normal people on live, that's fine, let them. Just also give people the ability to copy over their toons from live to the test server.How much of the additions in the big patch that went into Enchanted Lands, Rivervale, Runnyeye, Ferrott, Everfrost, Permafrost and so on, got tested? OMG, guess how much. NONE. Why? Because there are no toons on test high enough to do that testing. Guess what? A LOT of that stuff is still bugged.People on live already know what quest are bugged or what items are bugged or whatever and know what to look for, especially in the 30+ zones. You know how long it's going to take people on test server to get to the quest and zones and items, that we on live have already gotten to? At least another couple months or more. You know how many more bugged things are going to make it to live then?Let people do both. Let those that don't like people and want a world away from people to themselves play on test and level their toons and let the rest of us be able to copy our toons over and do testing on stuff we know is bugged.<p>Message Edited by Naggybait on <span class=date_text>01-18-2005</span> <span class=time_text>02:49 PM</span>

Kwoung
01-19-2005, 01:39 AM
<BR> <BLOCKQUOTE> <HR> Naggybait wrote:<BR>Now you are pulling numbers out of your (thing air, yea). You posting numbers doesn't make it so. I know in SWG, what you state is not the case because I was on test quite often there. Test servers were quite often filled with people, especially beta testing JTL. The server was packed and they made it EASY for people to test. They got the expansion tested quick because people were able to jump in and create any toon they wanted and make it any level they needed (skill level) and they had materials they could get to work with. <HR> </BLOCKQUOTE> <DIV>I am not pulling numbers out of anywhere but fact, I played on SWG Test for a very long time, I also happen to run the SWG Test community board. The server I was referring to was the "copy" servers they kept making, not TC, the full time test server which btw, was populated with full time players and those are what you saw there.. so I guess you just made a pretty good case for full time players on Test servers if you felt that server had plenty of players.</DIV> <DIV> </DIV> <DIV>As for the JTL beta, the key word there is "BETA". That wasn't a patch to TC, it was a full blown beta. No game has one bit of trouble getting players, who want to see the latest and greatest stuff, to come in droves. But since you mentioned it, TC was also filled beyond capacity when the sightseer's can to check out mounts and vehicles when they were released as well.. but none of those updates have anything to do with the day to day testing of updates and patches that are applied to Test Servers that need tested... unless all you care about is that 3 out of the hundreds of patches got tested.</DIV> <DIV> </DIV> <DIV>Edit: I knew someone was going to bring up UO, the only game ever where copies worked.. except that was years ago and it hasn't worked in any game since. Maybe it being one of the first games on the market with almost no competition had a lot to do with the players being willing to drag themselves away from their mains to test? Nowadays, most people would rather fire up the live version one of the miriad of other games available, than take a break from their main to a test server.</DIV><p>Message Edited by Kwoung on <span class=date_text>01-18-2005</span> <span class=time_text>12:43 PM</span>

Lancealittle
01-19-2005, 01:49 AM
<BR> <BLOCKQUOTE> <HR> Naggybait wrote:<BR><BR>How much of the additions in the big patch that went into Enchanted Lands, Rivervale, Runnyeye, Ferrott, Everfrost, Permafrost and so on, got tested? OMG, guess how much. NONE. Why? Because there are no toons on test high enough to do that testing. Guess what? A LOT of that stuff is still bugged.<BR><BR>People on live already know what quest are bugged or what items are bugged or whatever and know what to look for, especially in the 30+ zones. You know how long it's going to take people on test server to get to the quest and zones and items, that we on live have already gotten to? At least another couple months or more. You know how many more bugged things are going to make it to live then?<BR> <HR> </BLOCKQUOTE>Did people on live servers send in /bug reports and /feedback? I bet many did. How would copying to the test server change the amount of bugs already in the game? They are not going to hold back patches till every bug is found and fixed. They have a long list of things to work on now, so having 2000 people log onto test and report bugs that are not fixed every patch will not help their process.<BR> <DIV> </DIV> <DIV>You can one star anyone who doesn't agree with you, but that does not make your ideas any better.</DIV> <DIV> </DIV> <DIV>This is a content game. They want you to explore and discover things as you grow with your character. You won't be able to see all the games content by messing around a few days on the test server. That may work ok for games not based on levels, but it won't work here.</DIV> <DIV> </DIV> <DIV>Here's the bottom line. Sony will NOT allow you to set yourself to any level on ANY test server. That's not how EQ2 will work. It's for the same reasons they won't have sidekicking and mentoring ever in the game. You can argue till your fingers bleed, but at the end of the day you've just wasted your time coming to the Tester Feedback boards. You don't see a reason for a full time test server community, but SOE does, and they are the ones who will determine what is best for the game.</DIV> <DIV> </DIV> <DIV>The test server was opened well after the live servers, so we are going to be behind on levels. We do need more people to play on the server full time. Why don't you roll up a character and get busy. As I said in an earlier post, I'd be all for allowing people who want to come to test do a /move here to add to the number of people trying out the patches. </DIV> <DIV> </DIV> <DIV>One more thing: There is no reason to start calling the people who play on test names. I'll hold back any judgments on you, since a few posts that I don't agree with is no reason for me to get  personal.</DIV> <DIV> </DIV>

Boza
01-19-2005, 09:29 PM
<DIV>There is absolutely no justifiable reason to not allow some kind of /charcopy function to test from the live servers.  The advantages to the overall functionality and stability of the game far outweigh any disadvantages, period.  The assumption that a significant chunk of the gaming population is going to PAY YOU so that they can test YOUR product FOR FREE is absurdly myopic, and anyone who acts surprised when the testing system (as it exists in EQ2 now) fails to work well is blind.  </DIV> <DIV> </DIV> <DIV>It's one thing to expect people to do something like that during a designated beta period, but it's quite another to expect paying customers to test your product ad infinitum, particularly when you clearly state that the test server could be wiped at any time and that there are no guarantees that people's time investments will be protected in any way.  The /charcopy function is an element of MMOGs that every reputable MMO *since* Everquest 1 has instituted as a means-tested method of improving overall functionality of the product. </DIV> <DIV> </DIV> <DIV>The expectation that a significant chunk of the population is going to dedicate themselves to making your product better at the expense of their own time and money is silly, and it's amazing that SOE continues to adhere to this "solution" and that people continue to defend it.  The current test server model is broken, and as with EQ1, functionality and high-level content are not being properly tested before they're pushed to live servers because the test server is underpopulated--because most sane gamers aren't going to spend their money and time on a persistent world that they've already been told point blank could go "poof" for no reason at any time.  It would be a vastly different story if your character existed in a pristine state on its original server, and many, many more players would be willing to spend time on test pre-patch.</DIV><p>Message Edited by Bozack on <span class=date_text>01-19-2005</span> <span class=time_text>08:33 AM</span>

Kwoung
01-19-2005, 10:45 PM
<BR> <BLOCKQUOTE> <HR> Bozack wrote:<BR> <DIV>The current test server model is broken, and as with EQ1, functionality and high-level content are not being properly tested before they're pushed to live servers because the test server is underpopulated <HR> </DIV></BLOCKQUOTE> <DIV>I played EQ Test and never noticed a shortage of high level testing after everyone leveled up, and there was over 1000 players logged in at any given time as far as I could tell. As far as bugs going live, that is going to happen regardless of how many people are testing.. known bugs always get pushed live if they deem it better to release the patch as is and worry about fixing them later. If you are looking for bug free patches, it isn't ever going to happen. Heck, stuff that was reported in beta still isn't fixed in some cases and the game has been live for months now.</DIV> <DIV><BR> <BLOCKQUOTE> <HR> Bozack wrote:<BR> <DIV>It would be a vastly different story if your character existed in a pristine state on its original server, and many, many more players would be willing to spend time on test pre-patch.</DIV> <HR> </BLOCKQUOTE></DIV> <P>No it wouldn't.. I have played on the servers that allowed copies. What happens is, a bunch of people copy over at first, raise heck in their new sandbox that has no GM's... chase away anyone that was actiually playing there... then they go away. A few full time players stick around, the copies almost never log back in and the patches go from mostly tested to mostly untested.</P> <P>Your assumption that anyone would log over to test even if copies were available is 100% wrong, it has proven to be just the opposite, except in the cases of huge content patches that bring the tourists out of the woodwork for a week or so.</P>

Boza
01-20-2005, 12:21 AM
<DIV>Well, thanks for sharing your opinion, again.  I've played habitually and extensively on test servers for EQ1, DAoC, and CoH, and I can unequivocally say that the EQ1 model (which is the same model being used for EQ2) nets by far the worst results, and consistently has lower population numbers and a lower mean level.  The expectation that people are going to pay you to test YOUR product for you is so fundamentally flawed that I can't believe you're trying to logically advocate it as being a sound process.  It belies a company's complete lack of familiarity with both their market share and their consumer base, and violates pretty much every rule of solid qualitative product testing.  </DIV> <DIV> </DIV> <DIV>There's a reason why most of the people who played EQ1 or SWG to a high level have avoided EQ2 like the plague:  SOE has a very long, very spotty reputation for substandard testing and implementation.  It's the worst in the business, with the possible exception of Wolfpack.  I have yet to see a consistent, objective, means-tested justification for expecting people to spend countless hours leveling and questing on a test server where they know from the get-go that the fruits of their leisure time could ostensibly be erased on a whim, without warning or apology.  It's a self-defeating prophecy, and the fact of the matter is that by the time the EQ test server model fields enough players to legitimately stress test the higher-end content, it's long past the time when said content needed to be tested, period.  In EQ1, guilds like Afterlife, FoH, Triton, etc. did nearly ALL of the high-end testing for Sony, AFTER the content went live, because the players on the test server were incapable of accessing the content most of the time (because no one wanted to spend 400 hours leveling characters to raid levels on a test server when it already ate up tons of time doing it on their live server).  </DIV> <DIV> </DIV> <DIV>In DAoC and CoH, the opposite was (is)  true.  Many of the powerful guilds have charcopied en masse to the test server, with the express purpose of insuring that they won't be anally [Removed for Content] by broken content when it's sent to the live servers.  It's a small investment of time on the part of the players that yields tangible, quantifiable results.  If you really think that the EQ method still works, go read some of the EQlive forums about Gates of Discard and Omens of War, and the myriad bugs that *still* persist in those expansions MONTHS after they've been released.  </DIV> <DIV> </DIV> <DIV>The bottom line is that SOE's quality control and playtesting model is horribly and irreparably flawed in its current iteration.  No amount of accusatory, judgemental drivel thrown out saying that people want their own "private playground" (or whatever other blanket idiocies have been spewed in this thread) will change the fundamental fact  that Sony's process notoriously allows broken content to go live, time after time after time after time.  In order for content to be properly tested, people need a reason to test it, and saying "hey kids, spend 40-odd hours a week for a month leveling up a character just to test out this new content on the test server on your own dime!" isn't a very good reason.  The vast majority of EQ2's playerbase is gainfully employed already and, like it or not, beta testing new content with a totally separate character that you're forced to build from scratch is WORK, not leisure.  The sooner the suits at SOE realize that, the better this game will be.    </DIV><p>Message Edited by Bozack on <span class=date_text>01-19-2005</span> <span class=time_text>11:33 AM</span>

Daffid011
01-20-2005, 12:42 AM
Lets assume your test server has nothing but /copied characters:Who is really.........Going to kill a few hundred orc/gnolls so you can get a bootstrutters guide to find out that the quest is bugged and crashes zones when launched? I doubt anyone would, but it was happening.....Going to complete AQ 1-6 quests enough to find out that given enough time without a server reboot, certain mobs do not spawn... ever! I doubt anyone would be around for days to notice, but it was happening. ....Going to continue to stay on the test server for more than five minutes when anyone using a HO crashes the zone. I doubt most would, but it was happening. ....Do a betrayer quest from start to finish? Form a pickup group to do a zek access quest? Go dungeon crawling someplace deep to get some new equipment? --------------------------------I just do not see the incentive of "testing" that is assumed in copies/clones. Why would anyone spend extra time on test just to duplicate the same efforts they will have to do yet again on their real characters when they go back to their real home. Also there is this assumption that clones will somehow get a perfect list of changes so they can hop over and get to testing right off. Where is this list coming from?Sure people will hop over to preview what in the next patch directly affects their character just like they did in DAOC. I keep hearing people claim copies will make testing better or more real, but never see the hows that would prove that theory. Maybe someone can explain why a copied character would spend more man hours testing anything than the people already here? Honestly everything I read makes me believe that clones have more incentive to leave than stay when something is less than perfect for game play. Thats why you ask for copies instead of moves.As for the population....The only thing that keeps the population low is that it takes a little effort to make a new folder for the test files and the fear of the dreaded -character wipe-..... I can't think of a game that wipes characters let alone any reason that it would benefit the testing process. Perhaps this is a little bold of me, but I think I speak for the majority of people here in that we would love more people to come play here.

Kwoung
01-20-2005, 12:49 AM
<BR> <BLOCKQUOTE> <HR> Bozack wrote:<BR> <DIV>Well, thanks for sharing your opinion, again.  I've played habitually and extensively on test servers for EQ1, DAoC, and CoH, and I can unequivocally say that the EQ1 model (which is the same model being used for EQ2) nets by far the worst results, and consistently has lower population numbers and a lower mean level.  The expectation that people are going to pay you to test YOUR product for you is so fundamentally flawed that I can't believe you're trying to logically advocate it as being a sound process.  It belies a company's complete lack of familiarity with both their market share and their consumer base, and violates pretty much every rule of solid qualitative product testing.  <HR> </DIV></BLOCKQUOTE> <DIV>You have to be joking.. DAOC worked better? Sorry,  I played extensively on that server and ran one of the largest guilds there pre-copy (300 very active members) and am very familiar with it. DAOC couldn't get a patch righ to save their life and post copies the average number of logged in users dropped from 300 and climbing quickly (a few months after the server was opened) to about 60 logged in users. Those big guilds you talk about, well I almost never saw them copy over.. except as mentioned in my posts above... when a large content patch offering new features was published. Every one of the hundreds of regular patches went vitrtually untested after they implemented character copy.</DIV> <DIV> </DIV> <DIV>As for CoH.. well that is a very simple game overall and it would be hard to screw that up even without any testing.</DIV> <DIV> </DIV> <DIV>For the model being flawed and getting "wiped on a whim".. well my characters on almost all of SOE's test servers are as old as the servers themselves and still waiting for that big wipe I hear so much about all the time. As for flawed specifically, the current model is not flawed as it offers rewards as compensation for playing on the Test server, whereas there is no compensation other than previewing upcoming content and motivation at all for copies. Since previewing upcoming content is a rare publish and only happens a couple times a year, versus all the other weekly patches that do not contain enough fun new features to attract anyone over to test.. how do you motivate copies to log into the Test server on a daily basis to test changes?</DIV> <DIV> </DIV> <DIV>Anyhow, it sounds to me like you possibly just played on the various games test servers much like many others, when some big new feature was being released. Thus, your view of that system is that there are all sorts of copies on those servers testing everything. Well I have played on most all those servers between those big feature patches as well and I can tell you with absolute certainty, that those servers sit virtually empty for the the other 50 patches per year.</DIV> <DIV> </DIV> <DIV> </DIV>

Lancealittle
01-20-2005, 12:51 AM
<BR> <BLOCKQUOTE> <HR> Bozack wrote:<BR> <DIV>Well, thanks for sharing your opinion, again.  I've played habitually and extensively on test servers for EQ1, DAoC, and CoH, and I can unequivocally say that the EQ1 model (which is the same model being used for EQ2) nets by far the worst results, and consistently has lower population numbers and a lower mean level.  <BR> <HR> </DIV></BLOCKQUOTE><BR> <DIV>What was your name on EQ1 and DAoC test servers? I was Merrilin on EQ1 and Lancealittle on DAoC.</DIV> <DIV> </DIV> <DIV>I find it hard to imagine that you played on the DAoC test server and think that the /charcopy was a good way to test patches.</DIV> <DIV> </DIV> <DIV>The character copy was a way to try out things or look for exploits you could take advantage of when it went live. Hundereds of people all complaining about any nerf or not commenting on buffs was not good tester feedback. They should have let people move their characters to test permanently. That way there was a larger population for testing and not a crowded server trying out a new patch and not giving feedback.</DIV> <DIV> </DIV> <DIV>I agree with you about the EQ1 test server not being able to field the hardcore swarm raid parties, but that won't be an issue in EQ2. With the raid size limit, the population from EQ1 test would have no issues testing all content. </DIV> <DIV> </DIV> <DIV>The best way for them to test would be to pick a random server and just push the patch to it for a week or so before sending it to the other servers. That would never happen of course, so they try to get a server of people who consent to having buggy patches applied there first.</DIV> <DIV> </DIV> <DIV>They need an environment that is a close to a normal player base as possible. Temporary copies would be anything but normal. People would not have guilds, vendors, shared banks, or even a reason to advance their character.</DIV> <DIV> </DIV> <DIV>I'll admit that they need a larger player base on the test server, but I'm not in charge of recruitment. They can't give any in game incentives, because that would poison the data. </DIV> <DIV> </DIV> <DIV> </DIV> <DIV> </DIV> <DIV> </DIV>

Naggyba
01-20-2005, 02:30 AM
SOE may see it that way but, obviously their test methods fail to work. TONS of OBVIOUS bugs get sent ot live EVERY patch and test center people FAIL to catch them, even when they slap you in the face. Test center people are not there to test the game, they are there to play the game on an uncrowded server because they don't like being social with the live people. They want a server to themselves. It's FACT. It's been proven in every SOE game. The test methods fail every patch. You can argue their test methods work till your fingers bleed but, it does not change the fact that the testers are too busy leveling to bother catching bugs, since MAJOR bugs in all sorts of quest, etc. always appear every patch.So, my arguement stands. I have the bugged patches to prove what I am saying. I don't have to resort to numbers out of nowhere or whining about playing hte game normally just so I can have a server to my own away from the normal gameplayers. The patches speak for themselves and prove everything I am saying. You simply don't have the levels to test a lot of the stuff now either.You better look to someone else for the 1 stars, including yourself.You think your statements have weight and merit and prove anything? No more than mine do. Like I said though, I let the patches speak for me. I don't have to say anything. They say it for me.It was not my intention to call people on test any names. It's mearly a statement of how they feel and why they go to the test servers. Test people, out of their own mouths (or words on the boards) say the reason they go to test, is to get away from the normal crowds of the live servers. So they can have zones and stuff to themselves with little to no competition. They also go there because people tend ot be a little better but, of course they HAVE to with the VERY VERY small population, you get blacklisted and you have no way of advancing or getting stuff. I don't pretend to be a psycologist but, to go there to get away from certain types of people? They say right there that there reasons for going ot test is not to actually test the game and help make it better.Point is, there is simply not enough people on test and not enough in the level ranges to test out all the content of the game. Thus, we end up with very bugged patches. They do need a /copy command to allow people to copy over their toons from live to test. Maybe even for only a week or so and then end that ability. It would allow for established players to get there and be able to test content that cannot be done now.In 6 months, we will see how many people are on test and actually testing and see how good the patches are. If EQ and SWG is any indication and EQ2 fits the same pattern as all the other games SOE has test servers for, it will not be much different than it is now.After 6+ years of 3 games having the same testing setup and 6+ years of constantly bugged and failed patches, when the changes were on test servers for weeks and months, yes, I become very jaded towards thier testing methods, the so called testers that supposedly are there to test and yet we still get "slap you in the face" bugs every patch. I know there are actually a FEW, as in can count on 1, maybe 2 hands of people that actually live on the test server to actually test the game. The rest are just there to escape the normal live people.A person's worth, as a tester, should be measured in how many /bug reports they submit and bugs they find. Then you will know the true testers and the players. There are those that go there occasionally just to test out upcoming changes, that submit more /bug reports than the ones that live there.I come here to this thread ot post because I care baout the game and the quality of the patches. I, along with many other people are just tired of the constantly failed patches after 6+ years and 3 games having things done the same way and the same outcome of bugged patches. I an a paying customer and I see a problem and it has yet to change or get better. I have a right to say something about it. Something needs to change. It's not working this way.<STRONG>When the live people have to be the beta testers and do the /bug reports, that supposed to be the Test Server community's job, then there is a failure in the test server. When the live servers are relied upon to do the beta testing, there is a failure in the way things are being tested.</STRONG>I know my statements sound harsh and that I am blasting and name calling the testers and the QA dept. or whoever handles the test servers. I't not really that. I am just tired, after 6+ years, of the same ole same ole of having to /bug and do the testing of the content, on the live servers. Tired of bugs that should have never made it to live. Tired of the failure of the system. So yea, I think it needs to be done differently. Yes, I have been on test servers and provided /bug reports. That still doesn't change how things are done and the failure as a whole.I apologize to anyone who may feel like I called them names.<p>Message Edited by Naggybait on <span class=date_text>01-19-2005</span> <span class=time_text>05:02 PM</span>

Boza
01-20-2005, 02:44 AM
<BR> <BLOCKQUOTE> <HR> Naggybait wrote:<BR>, I let the patches speak for me. I don't have to say anything. They say it for me.<BR> <HR> </BLOCKQUOTE> <P>And that, ladies and gentleman, is the most crystal clear statement that's been made in this entire thread.  The holier-than-thou folks who have somehow convinced themselves that "no one else has EVER been as dedicated to testing a game as I HAVE!!!" can continue to bury their heads in the sand, and the rest of the community will continue to have to beta test broken content (while paying increasingly larger fees, of course)  as it's patched to the live servers.  </P> <P>It will end up no different from EQ1, and it will get progressively worse as the game gets larger, not better.  People who play their main toons on the test server will continue to spew self-righteous nonsense and act like martyrs, and people who want to play the game in a finished, quality-controlled state will continue to be disappointed by SOE's rush-job finger-in-the-dam fixes that are supported by the sycophantic test server permanent population.  Ultimately, though, EVERY SINGLE PATCH will be woefully undertested and rushed to the live environment, and the already tarnished SOE reputation will simply get worse.</P> <P>The continued arrogant attitude that your customers will PAY YOU to test YOUR PRODUCT for bugs is simply sad.  That people continue to defend and embrace it is even more pitiable.  <BR></P>

Iseabeil
01-20-2005, 03:01 AM
<DIV>just make a character on test and lvl it, otherwise stop complaining.</DIV> <DIV>copy characters would hurt the test process, and even if it didnt, it doesnt matter, as SOE has chosen how they want to do testing, and that will not change because a few ppl want to test their own petty personal complains. just accept this is how it is, and try do the best of it.</DIV>

Kwoung
01-20-2005, 03:06 AM
<DIV>Feel free to show me any patch from any MMOG ever, that has not gone live with "Obvious Bugs" in it... I know I can't think of one unless it was just a patch to correct misspellings. You do understand that the publishers know about these bugs in most cases and choose to publish them live and fix them later... right?</DIV> <DIV> </DIV> <DIV>As to the whole Live vs Tester path you guys want to go down... I play both, my guild plays both and we are actually one of the larger guilds on Mistmoore server. The only difference between us, is that we take the time to Test stuff with the system given... and you don't. Instead you offer up excuses as to why you won't, how the system is broken and unless you can have it your way... you aren't going to help.</DIV>

Daffid011
01-20-2005, 03:22 AM
<blockquote><hr>Bozack wrote:<BR><BLOCKQUOTE><HR>Naggybait wrote:<BR>, I let the patches speak for me. I don't have to say anything. They say it for me.<BR><HR></blockquote><P>And that, ladies and gentleman, is the most crystal clear statement that's been made in this entire thread. <BR></p><DIV></div><hr></blockquote>How do you explain the thousands of posts and feedback from live server players detailing bugs that have yet to get patched and STILL exist since launch? Puts a mighty large hole in your assumptions now doesn't it?

CerraWhisperwind
01-20-2005, 03:25 AM
By what yardstick to you measure success?Bugs going live? What percentage of total bugs go live? How can anyone know this? How many bugs were fixed that you had no idea existed vs the ones that were left?Sure a lot of bugs do not get fixed before being pushed to live, but thats life in the real world with time constraints. Not every bug can be tracked down, identified, have the causes determined, fixed, and have the fix tested for futher bugs before the deadline for the patch. If they waited for a bug free patch we would STILL be waiting for the first patch.I have helped the devs try to track down some of these known bugs, and let me tell you it isn't easy. Sure they know it happens, but they don't know WHY it happens or how to fix it. Last month a friend of mine who also plays on test identified a way to cause a bug to happen on demand, and the dev was overjoyed. Eventually it will be fixed, it may even be fixed now, but its not an easy or short process. There are many more bugs that we still can't figure out how to reproduce, and so they can't be fixed.Despite how we have helped the devs with bugs, the players on Test are not testers. We help test specific things every once in a while, but for the most part we help by just playing the game. We do things that no copy character would ever think to do, because we do everything people on live do in the advancement of our characters.If you still are not convinced, it doesn't matter, because its in SoE's hands and amature game developers ranting on a board won't change their mind. I am sure the people on their staff with the years of experience know what to do.

Naggyba
01-20-2005, 04:17 AM
Kwoung, you totally missed the point of everything that has been said and totally twisting everything around.As I said, the patches speak for themselves. If anything is amature, it's the constant broken patches and the inability of the test servers to find and fix them before being pushed live. If anything is amature, it's your desire to play on test as if it were a live server because you can't handle the people on live and move to test to hide in your little closet.The system is obviously not working, as can be seen in patch after patch that was on test before going live.Gotta love those 1 star bandits that have nothing better to do and can't handle a debate.We will just have to agrre that we disagree on how things should be done.I think we can all agree though that something needs to change. That patch after patch, there are bugs that are going live after being on test for awhile. New content is bugged and higher level content is not and cannot be tested because of the limitations of those on test, at the moment.They need to infuse the test server with some high level people with gear and the ability to go in and test the high level content being added. I don't care how they do it, it just needs to be done. They need a good number of people testing the changes. The more people testing the changes they make, the better someone will come up with a way of doing something that will bring out the bugs. Test Center players are no better at doing things other than the way it was meant ot be done, than the live players. If anything, the live players will find it faster as there are more people messing with it.Either way, something needs to change. As a professional programmer for over 10 years, I know how hard it is to find some bugs. I don't need lessons in that area.<p>Message Edited by Naggybait on <span class=date_text>01-19-2005</span> <span class=time_text>06:50 PM</span>

Kwoung
01-20-2005, 06:43 AM
<BR> <BLOCKQUOTE> <HR> Naggybait wrote:<BR>As I said, the patches speak for themselves. If anything is amature, it's the constant broken patches and the inability of the test servers to find and fix them before being pushed live. If anything is amature, it's your desire to play on test as if it were a live server because you can't handle the people on live and move to test to hide in your little closet. <HR> </BLOCKQUOTE> <P>Yes, we can agree to disagree and I am all for keeping this civil. <img src="/smilies/3b63d1616c5dfcf29f8a7a031aaa7cad.gif" border="0" alt="SMILEY" /></P> <P>A couple points just to address what I quoted of your post.</P> <P>Finding bugs is all that happens on the Test Server. Fixing them is an entirely different story and has nothing at all to do with Test Server. As with every game I have ever played, a good 80% or more of the bugs that get published live were "found" and reported on/from the Test Server, prior to them being published live. Thus my statements to the fact that the game publishers know about these bugs and deem it best to publish them anyways and fix them later. No amount of players on Test would change that fact.. the bugs will go live, that is a given.</P> <P>As for claiming I can't handle the people on a live server, this is correct.. I am middle aged and find the immaturity and selfishness displayed by some on those servers, to take away enough from my enjoyment of the game, that I prefer to play on Test. As for hiding in my little closet... not at all, my second most important reason for playing on Test, is I enjoy being part of the process of helping to make a better game. In EQ, DAOC and SWG I personally had great impact on each of those games and felt that my contributions made them considerably better.. not to mention the thousands of bugs, exploits and other issues I personally kept from affecting the live servers. Also, just my being here in this debate pretty much invalidates any theory of me the type to "hide", I am quite the opposite if anything.</P> <P>EDIT: BTW, the game is only 3 months old, the Test Server is little over a month old.. why do you think that high level bugs are a Test Server issue? Shouldn't that be a Beta issue? And no.. almost none of the high level content was tested in beta.</P><p>Message Edited by Kwoung on <span class=date_text>01-19-2005</span> <span class=time_text>05:55 PM</span>

Naggyba
01-20-2005, 12:59 PM
Just to be clear, my statements of hiding in the closet and away from the normal live people, was not directed at you or anyone personally. Just a general statement based on what test server players have posted on forums in the past as to why they play on test and based on the condition of the patches when they go live. It was not a personal jibe thrown at any one person directly. I just wanted to make that clear.You are correct. They only gave a FEW chosen people level 50 in beta the last week or 2 of beta to test the high end content. Most of which was far from being finsshed.I don't put full blame on test players. I know SOE has a lot to do with it. What I and you both say goes back to my point. Something needs to change because we are paying to have a finished product, not to have a test server and STILL be the testers on live for the patches too. We have a right to expect them to be fixed when published live. If the system as a whole is not working, then it needs to change. The current method they use for the test server is only one small part.I admit and recognize there are a few people out there that do their best to try and find bugs on Test. Unfortunately, it's too few to really test all aspects of the content and changes.Yes, test Server is only a month old. That's why they need an infusion of high level players that can test the upper end of the content, as well as the lower end.

Lancealittle
01-20-2005, 07:14 PM
<BR> <BLOCKQUOTE> <P> <HR> <P></P> <P>Naggybait wrote:<BR><BR>I don't put full blame on test players. I know SOE has a lot to do with it. What I and you both say goes back to my point. Something needs to change because we are paying to have a finished product, not to have a test server and STILL be the testers on live for the patches too. We have a right to expect them to be fixed when published live. If the system as a whole is not working, then it needs to change. The current method they use for the test server is only one small part.<BR><BR>I admit and recognize there are a few people out there that do their best to try and find bugs on Test. Unfortunately, it's too few to really test all aspects of the content and changes.<BR><BR>Yes, test Server is only a month old. That's why they need an infusion of high level players that can test the upper end of the content, as well as the lower end.<BR></P> <P> <HR> <P></P></BLOCKQUOTE> <P>I agree with every point here. </P> <P>It would be hard to test every patch extensively and impossible to fix every bug before it goes live. I've not seen an online game that can do that yet. Single player games can get closer. They can freeze their code, test the heck out of it with a team of paid testers and then keep fixing and retesting till they are done. You still see patches that come out to fix single player games, and they don't have the amount of content or balance issues that an online game has.</P> <P>Are there flaws with the EQ2 test program? Sure there are. The thing is, the only way to make it better is to have a full server worth of paid testers, and unless you want to pay $50 a month, that's not going to happen. The next best thing is to try and get as many normal players to 'play' on a test server as you can. There is no way they can ask us to test for free, so any testing we do is a bonus for them. They need to see what issues that come up during normal gameplay. Bumped or copied charracters like some suggest are not part of normal gameplay. Characters that have started from character creation (or have had their characters from live server moved to test permanently) are a part of normal gameplay. Like someone said ealier, there are many things a copy would not want to test. Who would copy a character to test and betray then do it again on live for example? </P> <P>Another point some of us are trying to make is that no amount of players on the Test server would have stopped all the bugs that have gone to live. Some have been out since release, and many are reported and still go live. We would need months of closed beta and frozen code to smash most of the bugs that are live right now. It's more an issue of developer manpower than lack of reported bugs. </P> <P>Everyone on both sides of the issue should re-read the Test FAQ. It has some good information about what the devs expect from the server and people who play on it.</P> <P>Test Server FAQ:<U><FONT color=#800080> <A href="http://eqiiforums.station.sony.com/eq2/board/message?board.id=faq&message.id=17" target=_blank>http://eqiiforums.station.sony.com/eq2/board/message?board.id=faq&message.id=17</A></FONT></U></P> <P><BR> </P>

Daffid011
01-20-2005, 07:16 PM
Thanks for clearing up your generalizing statements Naggy. We are very relieved that you are not singling out anyone specifically with your negative views and instead labeling us all. You know, the people you don't have any personal contact with, but learned all about them from message board posts. Anyhow, DAOC did exactly what you are running on and on about. The FACT is it failed and produced the exact opposite results they (and you) claim it would. Less was tested, population went down, patches took longer and had just as many bugs as before if not more. It was a miserable failure, yet time and again you claim it will help. Guess what, you are wrong.When it is all said and done, people who want to test are here doing it. People who dont want to be bothered with all the aspects of the game and just want to test out their pet project are begging for a character copy.Test is a great server to play on and I invite you to join us.

CerraWhisperwind
01-20-2005, 07:23 PM
They already have people testing all levels of the game in their internal server. The problem with testing specific things though is things you were not expecting get missed. A change to feature A may break feature B without an apparent reason to even suspect. These are the things that show up on live servers only after regular play. What test server does is allow people to do regular play on the code ahead of time in an effort to find these unexpected bugs. If people were copied onto test they would not do regular play, they would do spot testing which is already done on the private test server. What test needs is regular players. Right now there are not enough, we need more people to make test their home.Another issue with copies is they will never know if the bugs discovered are because the character is copied instead of naturally leveled. The act of copying itself can change the conditions that cause a bug to happen. Copied characters might be immune to some bugs, and might have their own bugs that normal characters do not have. This is the main reason they do not allow copies, it would taint the testing environment.Any feature they would ask a copied player to test is already being tested. It is the things that they don't know need to be tested and couldn't ask anyone to test that need to be tested. The only real way to test everything all the time is to just play the game with enough people playing enough different character types with different play styles.

Boza
01-20-2005, 07:34 PM
<P><SPAN><FONT size=2>...and the very fact that you admittedly play on Test to avoid the "live server environment" is testament to why the Test Server in its current iteration is a woefully inadequate testing model.  </FONT></SPAN></P> <P><SPAN><FONT size=2> We can argue this until we're blue in the face, but the fact of the matter is that the model simply does not work, and that most of Naggybait's insistent comments regarding Test Server denizens as being thin-skinned crybabies incapable of playing on live servers because they can't handle the competition has a very strong ring of truth.  The constant holier-than-thou attitude and continual martyrdom point to a tiny fraction of people who somehow believe that, by paying Sony to test Sony's product, they're somehow to be lauded and put on a pedestal because of the perceived sacrifices they make for the rest of us.  No thanks, you're not fooling anyone.  </FONT></SPAN></P> <P><SPAN><FONT size=2></FONT></SPAN> </P> <DIV><SPAN><FONT size=2>The testing system is inadequate, and needs to be overhauled.  Nothing proves this hypothesis more than the persistently underperforming patches and confluence of game-breaking bugs.  All of the justification in the world for what great, selfless people you think you are doesn't change the facts, regardless of your age, crankiness, or inability to deal with l33t d00dness on even a cursory level.  And attitudes like this one:</FONT></SPAN></DIV> <DIV><SPAN></SPAN> </DIV><SPAN> <P><FONT size=3><FONT face="Times New Roman"><SPAN>"just make a character on test and lvl it, otherwise stop complaining.</SPAN></FONT></FONT></P> <DIV><SPAN>copy characters would hurt the test process, and even if it didnt, it doesnt matter, as SOE has chosen how they want to do testing, and that will not change because a few ppl want to test their own petty personal complains. just accept this is how it is, and try do the best of it."</SPAN></DIV> <DIV><SPAN></SPAN> </DIV> <DIV><SPAN><FONT face=Arial color=#ffffff size=2>reveal exactly how self-absorbed the attitude of most test server people is.  The vast majority of us have no desire to level up ANOTHER character on the test server.  Why?  Because we're already testing the bugs on the live servers, because the test server is effectively USELESS in the current format.  If your long-term solution is as simple as "lolz make a char on test and lvl it up, noob,"  then I recommend you get yourself a real job, in the real world.  Most of us already have one, and don't need another--particularly one that WE'RE PAYING SONY to do. </FONT></SPAN></DIV> <DIV><SPAN><FONT face=Arial color=#ffffff size=2></FONT></SPAN> </DIV> <DIV><SPAN><FONT face=Arial color=#ffffff size=2>Now, please justify your myopic, head-in-the-sand attitude with some more sweeping proclamations about how the DAoC/CoH system "doesn't work," despite the fact that the populations of those two games has remained fairly consistent and the playerbase is much happier than either EQ1 or EQ2 with their end product--and despite the fact that you won't even attempt to quantify the sweeping generalization or make even the tiniest attempt to back it up with factual evidence.  The vast majority of complaints on the Camelot forums exist regarding class interbalance (or lack thereof), not technical foibles.  Similarly, Mythic didn't advertise a hand-in-hand partnership with a major GPU manufacturer touting the latest in graphics technology and then proceed to release a product which performs incredibly poorly on the same chipset that they recommended.  Sony does, and continues to do so, because they have a captive audience of fools who vehemently defend a fatally flawed testing system because the "testing" population's primary concern is protecting their own precious private corner of the sandbox so it isn't invaded by folks they've deemed "too immature" to exist on the same server with them.  </FONT></SPAN></SPAN></DIV>

CerraWhisperwind
01-20-2005, 07:45 PM
It sounds like you have some issues with the game itself. Perhaps you might wish to go play DAoC again if it is more to your liking? The test server does work, your claims that it is a failure are just that, claims. I have not seen any 'facts' from you to back up these claims beyond the bugs you are complaining about going live, which have already been explained. The 'Fact' is that no MMORPG exists without bugs, and the newer they are the more bugs they have. Nothing but time will reduce them.Once again, the test server does not exist to eliminate bugs or to keep them from going live. The test server is there to identify bugs. That is all we as players can do. The bugs DO get identified, they just don't get fixed. That is not a problem with the test server.

Boza
01-20-2005, 08:01 PM
<DIV>I never said that you don't identify bugs.  What I said is that you can't identify the bugs with high-level content or raid-oriented content, and as the game continues, that's going to be the content that it's most important to test.  I'm not going to get into making jabs at reading comprehension here, but let's face it:  there's no one in this thread that has even made an attempt to dispute my statements about the woefully inadequate testing of large-scale content in EQLive.  None of the EQ1 uberguilds made the jump to EQ2, they ALL went to WoW, because they were tired of doing the beta testing for SOE.  This same argument has taken place for years in EQLive, and the test denizens there are just as stubborn and self-serving as the folks here.  </DIV> <DIV> </DIV> <DIV>You can't possibly adequately test high-end content on Test the way that it currently exists.  Period.  Given the current model, you never will be able to, because people simply will not donate their time and money to testing Sony's product ad infinitum.  As the game progresses, the amount of bugs that the Test server can even access is going to continually decrease, until it's as ineffectual as it currently is in EQLive.  I, for one, don't want to see that happen; I enjoy this game and would like to see a proper testing system implemented.  Clearly you don't mind watching the game deteriorate even further over time, as long as you don't have to worry about some 13-year-old KSing your content and you don't have to see people running around your server with names like "Pimpn DaHoez."</DIV> <DIV> </DIV> <DIV>That's your cue to start impugning me and claiming that I only think /charcopy is a good idea because I'm somehow "too lazy" to level up a new character or I just want to be able to exploit new content when it goes to live servers.  </DIV>

CerraWhisperwind
01-20-2005, 08:13 PM
'... because people simply will not donate their time and money to testing Sony's product ad infinitum.'People expect everyone else to be just like them with the same motivations and desires. Guess what, thats not the case. EQ1's test server has already shown your above statement to be false. Did you ever play on it?Right now the test server is underpopulated and mostly under 30. This is changing as we have time to level up.Do you have any ideas to help get more people on test at a higher level? Something that the devs will do, not character copy which they cannot do without spoiling the test environment. They cannot even bump people levels or give out in game rewards without adding in more possible bugs. This does not rule out temporary copies or bumps, which they have already said in the FAQ that they might do, but that would only be for specific things as a special case. The permenant ability to copy characters on demand will never happen.

Daffid011
01-20-2005, 08:17 PM
I'm your huckleberry.First, with raid limits of 24 it will not be a problem to test high end content. 24 people is a very managable number. EQlive needed up to 72 people to be online at the same event. Then 36, then 54. They made running a guild a pain. EQlive was based on competition and dislike amongst guilds. EQII promotes team work and sharing, even moreso on test. So yes we should not have much trouble testing higher end content. However, we would love more players here full time and are months behind live servers since test launched much later. It just takes time.I am not 100% familiar with EQ1 test server, but did they have the expasion before it launched so they could test it? If not, they cannot be held responsible to "test" content when put against the most avid powergaming guilds the game has to offer. That is not a fair comparison.People did dispute your claims of testing "large scale" content, but you may have missed it. We are behind in time, just now starting to get patches before live and won't need hoards of people like EQ1. Does that help answer your concerns?As for what you think are clearly our motives, I offer you to come over and play with us. You might just be suprised./charcopy? What is wrong with suggesting /charmove so that more people are here fulltime? You know so that people are playing and testing the patch at the same time,not just dropping in when their server is down. I tell you why, because charcopy suits YOU best and not the TEST PROCESS.

Boza
01-20-2005, 08:30 PM
<DIV>Actually I think /charmove is a great idea.  Regardless of what your impression of me may be, I'm not interested in flooding the server with people who can come and go as they please.  I realize that is a by-product of a /charcopy process, but we obviously disagree on it being the prime motivation for everyone who uses the service in other MMOs.  </DIV> <DIV> </DIV> <DIV>What I would ultimately like to see is more testers; nothing more, nothing less.  I play on Test occasionally, but I'd be lying if I claimed I was willing to put a significant chunk of time into Test, after having already spent countless hours leveling a toon on the live server (and after having played under this ineffectual system for several months in EQLive when Luclin was released).   If /charmove were an option, people would certainly take advantage of it (though then you risk your test model being poisoned by people who are less interested in testing and more interested in simply getting off of a high-pop server).  I think it's a great compromise solution, actually, and that in the long run the advantages would far outweigh the disadvantages.  </DIV> <DIV> </DIV> <DIV>The thing is, SOE is not new to this process.  They, of all companies, should have had this system refined and working like clockwork BEFORE RELEASE.  Not having the Test Server up and running at street date is shameful, and the fact that it's nearly three months after release and they STILL haven't ironed out the system so that content gets pushed to Test *before* it goes live paints a very bleak picture for the future of this enterprise.  There's a reason that consumer confidence in SOE throughout the MMO community is at an all-time low; every time they have an opportunity to compensate for past mistakes, they fail miserably, and they cling stubbornly to outmoded methods that have failed them time and time again.  </DIV> <DIV> </DIV> <DIV>The other thing is that there are plenty of people on the Test Server now who will cry foul, as this thread illustrates.  Like it or not, there's a significant chunk of the Test population that uses "testing" as a facade for "getting away from the huddled masses."  They like the idea of playing on a "special" server and getting "special" attention.  Bottom line, though, is that I would definitely move a high level character to Test permanently if given the option, despite my reservations, because I think something needs to be done to improve the overall functionality of the game--what I will NOT do, however, is start over from scracth simply because SOE couldn't get their act together from day one.  Even with the 24-person raid limit, there's still simply too much content for one underpopulated server to test reliably, and SOE's longstanding policy of pushing out new content before fixing the problems with the old content doesn't appear to be changing.    </DIV>

Boza
01-20-2005, 08:31 PM
<P>Double post.  Thanks Lithium, you rock.</FONT></P><p>Message Edited by Bozack on <span class=date_text>01-20-2005</span> <span class=time_text>07:31 AM</span>

Iseabeil
01-20-2005, 10:22 PM
<DIV>yes, i like that test isnt crowded. i do NOT like that its empty either tho. what i would like most to work on with my test characters is the crafting, there is huge amounts of work needed on that area. the loneliness on test makes it very hard tho, whom are ye gonna sell to? who will sell you the interims ye MUST have? most of us dun want it like it is, we just dun want to see it beein heavily loaded, we want a 'normal' population.  (with mature ppl mind ye <img src="/smilies/8a80c6485cd926be453217d59a84a888.gif" border="0" alt="SMILEY" /> )</DIV> <DIV>copying characters wouldnt help crafting issues at all as i see it, who would spend 4 hours crafting somthing they will not sell as they wont get the money with them back to their main server? who will do AQ1-6 on a temporary character just to see if some variable in AQ3 creates a bug that makes AQ5 impossible to complete? just having the char created with command for lvl, equipment etc, will mean missing many possible corruptions.</DIV> <DIV> </DIV> <DIV>a movechar <EM>might</EM> be very good way to help things for now tho, i aint sure it would be possible to do without risking serious issues. if the devs could move a character from a live server to test without it jeapodizing anything, then all good. i have strong suspicions it cant be done tho.</DIV>

Kwoung
01-20-2005, 11:24 PM
<BR> <BLOCKQUOTE> <HR> Bozack wrote:<BR> <DIV>The other thing is that there are plenty of people on the Test Server now who will cry foul, as this thread illustrates.  Like it or not, there's a significant chunk of the Test population that uses "testing" as a facade for "getting away from the huddled masses."<BR> <HR> </DIV></BLOCKQUOTE> <DIV>That is where you are wrong, I am not aware of anyone on Test that does not want more players on the server and wouldn't support a /charmove. There is a huge difference between moving and copying a character. As for a huge number of folks using it to bail to a lower pop server, I seriously doubt it.. the infinitesimal chance that their character *could* be wiped, would keep most from copying to Test at all.</DIV> <DIV> </DIV> <DIV>You keep making generalizations about attitude and motivations of the folks that play on Test, please stop. You obviously know very little about the motivations and even I who play and interact with these people on a daily basis wouldn't presume to guess the different motivations of hundreds of different people. I do know in my guild through my close friends, a smaller population is far from the primary motivation and most would like to see more players on Test. I will direct you to a little survey we did among ourselves a while back...</DIV> <DIV> </DIV> <DIV><A href="http://www.eq2test.com/viewtopic.php?t=204&sid=38c89735e80b5d014edf45b47d70d33e" target=_blank>http://www.eq2test.com/viewtopic.php?t=204&sid=38c89735e80b5d014edf45b47d70d33e</A></DIV> <DIV> </DIV> <DIV>It clearly show that the primary reason of at least the 25 people that expressed an opinion is to play with a more mature playerbase, with those who prefer a low population being tied with those who are here primarilly to test the game. Personally, from the actiions of people around me and the feedback given the devs in our chat channel, it is very clear that most peoples motivations are a mixture of numerous reasons... but since it took the last dev who asked "anything new wrong" in chat about 30 minutes of fevorish scribbling to get everything down before he could speak again... I think that most players here are reporting the anomoloies they find even if their primary reason is to get away from the crowds.</DIV> <DIV> </DIV> <DIV>BTW, there is nothing wrong with preferring to live in a town, rather than a sprawling metropolis, and you are the only one here who is making an issue of it and claiming that because they prefer a smaller population, they obviously don't care about testiung. Thats like saying just because your coworker lives in the suburbs, he is not as good a programmer as you because you live in the city... obviously there is zero relationship between the two.</DIV><p>Message Edited by Kwoung on <span class=date_text>01-20-2005</span> <span class=time_text>10:30 AM</span>

Naggyba
01-21-2005, 12:17 AM
High end content cannot be tested. Should we wait for another couple months and have bugs being patched to live because of no high level players are on test server and not enough to do raid content testing in normal gameplay? Is it right to expect paying customers on live to do the testing when they have a test server?The testing of normal leveling is done everyday, day after day on live servers. That doesn't need to be tested on the Test Server. Thousands of people do it everyday on live. You have every possible level range and class/race combos being leveled all the time. The only time you would want to check it out, is if they add traditions or other content that would require normal leveling to check out. There simply isn't that much of content that requires normal leveling to test. They already have a HUGE test base for testing normal leveling that they use.Why should I spend yet more months of building a character on test, when I have already put all that time and work into one on live? I would do testing on test if i could COPY a toon over to test. I don't want to move my toon over because 1) I have friends I play with on live. 2) I move my toon and then a bug hits that taints the testing environment (as you all hint at) and they decide in the best interest, they have to wipe the test server (which they have a right to do and there is a small chance that it can happen).I pay $15/month to play the game and it should be as bug free as possible.Should I PAY them to be a tester too? Should I be paying them $15/month to test their game? Seems like they should be paying me. If they want more testers, seems the least they could do for the people that actually play on test, is to have their accounts flagged as free. Just like the guides in EQLive. They had free accounts because they were providing a service to SOE. They had to put in XX amount of hours a week though. SOE is benefiting from having people on test servers testing their code for them. If you spend XX hours a week or month or whatever, then you get it for free.As someone mentioned above, what incentive do people have to level a toon on test and make them a crafter and spend all the hard work and effort, only to have noone to sell their stuff to? There is a LOT of time, effort and work that goes into crafting in this game. WAY too much. Are they going to have thousands of people out there gathering for weeks at a time to maybe get 1 rare that they need to test out a new recipe that the devs have added? So after all that work, in the end, it sits unused because there is noone to sell to because the few people on test already have all they need?Using a /charcopy, people that have already built those crafting skills up and already have the resources they need, can copy over and test the new recipe and make sure it works.There are times like this when a /charcopy would be beneficial. It would help reduce the number of bugged content. Both types of testers can help.What if characters that are there from a /charcopy are removed every day after server reset? They are flagged as temps and removed at server reset.<p>Message Edited by Naggybait on <span class=date_text>01-20-2005</span> <span class=time_text>02:27 PM</span>

Kwoung
01-21-2005, 12:32 AM
<BR> <BLOCKQUOTE> <HR> Naggybait wrote:<BR>High end content cannot be tested. Should we wait for another couple months and have bugs being patched to live because of no high level players are on test server and not enough to do raid content testing in normal gameplay? Is it right to expect paying customers on live to do the testing when they have a test server? <HR> </BLOCKQUOTE> <DIV>You probably won't like this, but it is very normal for that to happen, not just in online games, but in just about everything available in the marketplace. You can consider the folks who level up the quickest and focus on being the first to get places, as what is know as "early adopters". As in many industries, the early adopters are the folks that have to put up with the bugs and usually pay WAY more for the product they purchased.</DIV> <DIV> </DIV> <DIV>As an example, lets look at Palm Pilots. The originals cost over $500, had very limited functionality and getting them to synch with anything other than the Palm Desktop was problematic to say the least. But, loads of early adopters laid out the cash and used those devices. Today, you can pick up a Palm or clone for 20% of the price, they synch flawlessly with most other contact management software and offer tons of features, including the ability to surf the net, check your email, etc, etc, etc... The big difference is, that in online games, instead of your early adopters being successful bussiness people who are more than happy to pay the price and use a buggy new technology to gain a slight advantage, the market here is mostly less mature customers who although they want the benefits of being an early adopter... gripe about the problems they encounter because of the situation they put themselves in.</DIV> <DIV> </DIV> <DIV>In short, it is common business practice to have your paying customers "test" your product to help you refine it. The fact that most gamers do not understand that this is a common business practice, is the problem. SOE however, is well aware that this is how it works and is not making any consessions just because their customerbase for this product is less mature and knowlegable than that of most of their other products customers.</DIV> <DIV> </DIV> <DIV>Edit: If you actually take this to the extreme.. it isn't just the folks who level fast. Pretty much anyone that buys the game within the first year or so of release is an early adopter, and should expect the associated problems and issues with that.</DIV> <DIV> </DIV> <DIV>The big issue with this and online games also happens to be, that "new" parts are constantly being released.. so it appears the products stay buggy and the paying customers are constantly testing for them. To an extent this is true, but if you look back, you will find very few bugs and issues in the original or older expansions of EQ, almost all the issues reside in the newest expansions (as even pointed out above by someone). So pretty much every time a new expansion is released, those that purchase it right away instead of waiting a year or more are once again the early adopters and experience all the associated pains. As a matter of fact, all these people are paying $30-$50 a pop for these addons as well, and the folks that wait can get them mostly bug free and $10 standalone or bundled in a set later on... I guess the entire early adopter scenerio is exactly the same here as with other products.</DIV><p>Message Edited by Kwoung on <span class=date_text>01-20-2005</span> <span class=time_text>12:45 PM</span>

Daffid011
01-21-2005, 01:51 AM
<blockquote><hr>Naggybait wrote:High end content cannot be tested. Should we wait for another couple months and have bugs being patched to live because of no high level players are on test server and not enough to do raid content testing in normal gameplay? Is it right to expect paying customers on live to do the testing when they have a test server?The testing of normal leveling is done everyday, day after day on live servers. That doesn't need to be tested on the Test Server. Thousands of people do it everyday on live. You have every possible level range and class/race combos being leveled all the time. The only time you would want to check it out, is if they add traditions or other content that would require normal leveling to check out. There simply isn't that much of content that requires normal leveling to test. They already have a HUGE test base for testing normal leveling that they se.<hr></blockquote>So now your point is that it is ok for the live servers to get tons of the little bugs, as long as YOU get to test the high end content with copies or even better characters that you can make level 50 with any gear you want! Afterall the high end bugs that affect you are the only ones the really need to be fixed before going live right? You do realize that is what you just said and just how selfish that is.

Boza
01-21-2005, 01:56 AM
<DIV>Kwoung said </DIV> <DIV><BR>"You keep making generalizations about attitude and motivations of the folks that play on Test, please stop. You obviously know very little about the motivations and even I who play and interact with these people."</DIV> <DIV> </DIV> <DIV>Please.  You're making the same generalizations about anyone who suggested a /charcopy option, so save the canned indignance until you get off the phone with the kettle, pot.  Your posts are full of sweeping generalizations about the non-Test population peppered with self-righteous blathering about what an experienced MMO tester you are, yet you leap on the defensive as soon as you're called out as the elitist snob that you are.  Give it a rest; your facade of selflessness and continued ego-stroking is not the issue here--the continued lack of quality testing of this game IS.</DIV> <DIV> </DIV> <DIV>If we can agree that a /charmove option is a viable compromise to boost the population without forcing the poor, victimized test server elite to mingle with the common folk, then why not let go of the feeble attempts at character assassination and move on with trying to achieve a satisfactory praxis?  This situation is not about individuals, it's about the game as a whole.  Clearly those of us who play on the live servers are not happy with the caliber of testing that's taking place, and we've come here to offer suggestions based on our own experience, only to be met with some of the silliest, unquantifiable counterpoints to our suggestions that I've ever seen.  It's the typical test server "you don't play here so you don't know what it's like" attitude:  the bottom line, kids, is that we have to live with the results, which ain't very good, so the system needs some work.  </DIV> <DIV></FONT> </DIV> <DIV>Let's work toward a solution, and stop the childish arguing about who knows more about testing...or we could all just shut up, and as Naggybait suggested, simply let the ongoing patches speak for us.  </DIV>

Naggyba
01-21-2005, 02:19 AM
<blockquote><hr>Daffid011 wrote:<blockquote><hr>Naggybait wrote:High end content cannot be tested. Should we wait for another couple months and have bugs being patched to live because of no high level players are on test server and not enough to do raid content testing in normal gameplay? Is it right to expect paying customers on live to do the testing when they have a test server?The testing of normal leveling is done everyday, day after day on live servers. That doesn't need to be tested on the Test Server. Thousands of people do it everyday on live. You have every possible level range and class/race combos being leveled all the time. The only time you would want to check it out, is if they add traditions or other content that would require normal leveling to check out. There simply isn't that much of content that requires normal leveling to test. They already have a HUGE test base for testing normal leveling that they se.<hr></blockquote>So now your point is that it is ok for the live servers to get tons of the little bugs, as long as YOU get to test the high end content with copies or even better characters that you can make level 50 with any gear you want! Afterall the high end bugs that affect you are the only ones the really need to be fixed before going live right? You do realize that is what you just said and just how selfish that is.<hr></blockquote>You can stop trying to put words in my mouth or twist things around so that you can try and blast me for legitimate concerns and points. If you can't comprehend what is being discussed, then you have major problems.You ever stop and think that the reason I talk about high end content, is because low end content is ALREADY being tested, since there are toons on test server of the levels to test low end, yet none to test high end? DUH<p>Message Edited by Naggybait on <span class=date_text>01-20-2005</span> <span class=time_text>04:32 PM</span>

Kwoung
01-21-2005, 02:20 AM
<BR> <BLOCKQUOTE> <HR> Bozack wrote:<BR> <DIV>Please.  You're making the same generalizations about anyone who suggested a /charcopy option, so save the canned indignance until you get off the phone with the kettle, pot.  Your posts are full of sweeping generalizations about the non-Test population peppered with self-righteous blathering about what an experienced MMO tester you are, yet you leap on the defensive as soon as you're called out as the elitist snob that you are.  Give it a rest; your facade of selflessness and continued ego-stroking is not the issue here--the continued lack of quality testing of this game IS. <HR> </DIV></BLOCKQUOTE> <DIV>There is always someone that has to resort to name calling now isn't there? What was it that was said about when someones argument resorted to that tactic?</DIV> <DIV> </DIV> <DIV>As for me making generalizations.. I think not. Unlike you, I actually do have a very long history of playing on test servers across most of the games out there. I have seen first hand and have long experience with all the different incentives that have been offered by the various publishers, to players, to try and get them to help test. In short, while you are making generalizations and insist on stooping to name calling, I am speaking from years of first hand experience. The bottom line is, that although character copying worked back in the day of UO, it has not worked since.</DIV> <DIV> </DIV> <DIV>As for why it has not worked since, there are many reasons, but all revolve around the players themselves. Back in the days of UO, most players were geeks and hackers who enjoyed that sort of thing, today the games are WAY more mainstream and almost none of the paying customers have the slightest interest at all in helping test.. regardless of incentives. As I also pointed out above, back in the days of UO, there were very few other gaming options available, so taking a break to the UO test server was a viable alternative and break from your main. It also happened to be a great place to work out what the best possible character would be.. which btw is what many of their so-called testers did.. instead of actually testing anything.</DIV> <DIV> </DIV> <DIV>As for your previous statement about entuire guilds copying en-masse in DAOC.  Yeah, I was there, they copied over to try various tactics over and over against the new boss mobs when they were put in, risk free. So when the patch went live, they could easilly defeat them and not have to suffer the multitudes of deaths learning how with their mains. They were not there to help improve the game at all in most cases.. it was completely self serving of them and any testing they did was just a by-product of their attempts to learn about the new mobs.</DIV> <DIV> </DIV> <DIV>BTW, not once have I mentioned not wanting more players on Test and keeping it a sandbox for all the elitists like me, as a matter of fact I have asked for the exact opposite numerous times in this thread. All I am doing, is posting facts from past games as to why much of what you are the proponent of... doesn't work. You on the other hand, have yet to be able supply anything other than your opinion on why what you want would work.</DIV>

Naggyba
01-21-2005, 02:29 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE><HR>Kwoung wrote:<DIV>........</DIV><DIV> </DIV><DIV>As for your previous statement about entuire guilds copying en-masse in DAOC.  Yeah, I was there, they copied over to try various tactics over and over against the new boss mobs when they were put in, risk free. So when the patch went live, they could easilly defeat them and not have to suffer the multitudes of deaths learning how with their mains. They were not there to help improve the game at all in most cases.. it was completely self serving of them and any testing they did was just a by-product of their attempts to learn about the new mobs.</DIV><DIV>.....</DIV><P><HR></P></BLOCKQUOTE>I can understand this as a legitimate concern for not having /charcopy and I agree that is not something that should be done. Something needs to be done though to allow for testing of all levels of the game and content, wihtout having to wait several months for enough people to get to where they can. Also, enough people to do it period, even months from now.<p>Message Edited by Naggybait on <span class=date_text>01-20-2005</span> <span class=time_text>04:34 PM</span>

Kwoung
01-21-2005, 03:00 AM
<BR> <BLOCKQUOTE> <HR> Naggybait wrote:<BR> <BR>Something needs to be done though to allow for testing of all levels of the game and content, wihtout having to wait several months for enough people to get to where they can. Also, enough people to do it period, even months from now. <HR> </BLOCKQUOTE> <P>I actually put my case to the devs in both DAOC and SWG on what would incentivise players to get on and stay on the Test servers... unfortunately they were unwilling to do it because it did in fact lock them down a bit.</P> <P>My suggestion was...</P> <UL> <LI>Take out the caveat that they *can* wipe the server at any time. This more than anything is the #1 reason more people will not play on Test. Heck, most people think the server gets wiped at regular intervals already and do not realize that SOE has never wiped a Test Server.</LI> <LI>Allow for players to move to Test. Once the worry of logging in to a blank character select screen is removed, there is a heck of a lot more players that would be more than happy top play there and put up with and report the bugs.<BR></LI></UL>

Daffid011
01-21-2005, 08:11 PM
Two posts again:"The testing of normal leveling is done everyday, day after day on live servers. That doesn't need to be tested on the Test Server. Thousands of people do it everyday on live. "Last post:"low end content is ALREADY being tested, since there are toons on test server of the levels to test low end, yet none to test high end?"-------------------------I will admit that I am having a hard time understanding what you are trying to say from post to post, but can you blame me?

Lancealittle
01-21-2005, 08:37 PM
<BR> <BLOCKQUOTE> <HR> Naggybait wrote:<BR>The testing of normal leveling is done everyday, day after day on live servers. That doesn't need to be tested on the Test Server. Thousands of people do it everyday on live. You have every possible level range and class/race combos being leveled all the time. The only time you would want to check it out, is if they add traditions or other content that would require normal leveling to check out. There simply isn't that much of content that requires normal leveling to test. They already have a HUGE test base for testing normal leveling that they use.<BR> <HR> </BLOCKQUOTE> <P>That's all very true. People on live servers are sending in bug reports and feedback as well. Once a patch is live they get much more data from production servers.</P> <P>The only thing they want data from on test is the effects of a patch before it's sent live. Once it goes live they will use their internal server to replicate and fix things found on live servers. We don't hear much about a fix, and in the past fixes have gone live before sent to test.</P>

Jel
01-21-2005, 09:32 PM
Kwoung Quote"Take out the caveat that they *can* wipe the server at any time. This more than anything is the #1 reason more people will not play on Test. Heck, most people think the server gets wiped at regular intervals already and do not realize that SOE has never wiped a Test Server."SoE has wiped a Test Server(EQ Test was wiped when raid loot was dropping all over the place), granted it ended up being gear only but the inital wipe was the entire server. This was done with no warning.So it does, can, has, and probably will happen again (maybe next week, maybe in 10 years). Oh and trying to compare UO to EQ is really unfair, since in UO's prime, it took about a week to max out a character so adding the skill gates as they were called was pretty much a non issue. (i played on UO test)Test is here to find client crashing game stopping character corrupting bugs IMO, if the devs wanted people to test every single nuance, quest, tradeskil, etc change that went in they would be providing detailed test patch notes. That's not to say that they dont appreciate the /bugs that they get, but they have internal QA to do that work.(btw im not playing on test here though i did play EQ Test for 4 plus years)<p>Message Edited by Jel on <span class=date_text>01-21-2005</span> <span class=time_text>08:34 AM</span>

guillero
01-21-2005, 09:54 PM
<DIV>deleted my post....nu use and was a bit emotional response!</DIV><p>Message Edited by guillero on <span class=date_text>01-21-2005</span> <span class=time_text>11:46 PM</span>

Kwoung
01-21-2005, 10:03 PM
<BR> <BLOCKQUOTE> <HR> Jel wrote:<BR>SoE has wiped a Test Server(EQ Test was wiped when raid loot was dropping all over the place), granted it ended up being gear only but the inital wipe was the entire server. This was done with no warning. <HR> </BLOCKQUOTE> <DIV>Yes, they did wipe once and then restored all the characters but left the items off.. and since have always just used rollbacks (database restores) to correct any such issues, which they have said many times since they will continue to do, and have no interest in wiping the server as that would effectively destroy their testing environment... which is true. They really only leave the caveat in there now, just to cover themselves in case of some epic disaster that wipes out their test server and all their backups. But yes, theoretically it could happen, however it is almost as likely to happen to a live server as a test server at this point.</DIV> <DIV> </DIV> <DIV>Since then, both DAOC and SWG have both had accidental wipes as well and numerous other patches that made characters in those games 100% unplayable. It was always corrected though, sometimes right away, sometimes it took a couple days.. but the end result was that everyones characters always returned and we kept on testing.</DIV> <DIV> </DIV> <DIV>My overall point though, ws if the odds of something so catistrophic happening are so miniscule, why chase away prospective testers by leading them to believe this is a common occurance and any work they put in their characters on Test is for naught?</DIV><p>Message Edited by Kwoung on <span class=date_text>01-21-2005</span> <span class=time_text>09:05 AM</span>

Naggyba
01-22-2005, 12:39 AM
<blockquote><hr>Daffid011 wrote:Two posts again:"The testing of normal leveling is done everyday, day after day on live servers. That doesn't need to be tested on the Test Server. Thousands of people do it everyday on live. "Last post:"low end content is ALREADY being tested, since there are toons on test server of the levels to test low end, yet none to test high end?"-------------------------I will admit that I am having a hard time understanding what you are trying to say from post to post, but can you blame me?<hr></blockquote>Well, nobody else seems to be having a comprehension problem or a problem following a thread.The testing of normal leveling is done everyday on live servers. This was in response to a post saying that normal leveling needs to be done in order to properly test the system. The point was, the leveling is already being tested everyday by thousands of people on live, in every possible combination, which is practically impossible to do on test with the few number of people, at this time. Normal gameplay is being done by hundreds of thousands of people on live and the only time it would come into play on test would be to test a new race or something of that nature.The low end content already being tested is in response to your smart... comment about me being selfish and only talking about high end content.<p>Message Edited by Naggybait on <span class=date_text>01-21-2005</span> <span class=time_text>02:55 PM</span>

Daffid011
01-22-2005, 12:57 AM
Posted 01-20-2005 11:17 AM -> Message Edited by Naggybait on 01-20-2005 02:27 PMPosted 01-20-2005 01:19 PM -> Message Edited by Naggybait on 01-20-2005 04:32 PMPosted 01-20-2005 01:29 PM -> Message Edited by Naggybait on 01-20-2005 04:34 PMPosted 01-21-2005 11:39 AM -> Message Edited by Naggybait on 01-21-2005 02:44 PMI can think of someone...

indiramourni
01-22-2005, 01:12 AM
<BR> <BLOCKQUOTE> <HR> Verba wrote:<BR>Greetings,<BR><BR>Please consider for a moment what you are asking for from a logistical standpoint.<BR><BR> <HR> </BLOCKQUOTE>The folks at Cryptic allow CoH players to do what the OP proposes, so they have worked out the logistics just fine.   Sure it is a logistical challenge for SoE to implement.  But one worth meeting in the long run to make EQ2 the best it can be.<BR>

CerraWhisperwind
01-22-2005, 03:53 AM
<blockquote><hr>Naggybait wrote:<blockquote><hr>Daffid011 wrote:Two posts again:"The testing of normal leveling is done everyday, day after day on live servers. That doesn't need to be tested on the Test Server. Thousands of people do it everyday on live. "Last post:"low end content is ALREADY being tested, since there are toons on test server of the levels to test low end, yet none to test high end?"-------------------------I will admit that I am having a hard time understanding what you are trying to say from post to post, but can you blame me?<hr></blockquote>Well, nobody else seems to be having a comprehension problem or a problem following a thread.The testing of normal leveling is done everyday on live servers. This was in response to a post saying that normal leveling needs to be done in order to properly test the system. The point was, the leveling is already being tested everyday by thousands of people on live, in every possible combination, which is practically impossible to do on test with the few number of people, at this time. Normal gameplay is being done by hundreds of thousands of people on live and the only time it would come into play on test would be to test a new race or something of that nature.The low end content already being tested is in response to your smart... comment about me being selfish and only talking about high end content.<p>Message Edited by Naggybait on <span class=date_text>01-21-2005</span> <span class=time_text>02:55 PM</span><hr></blockquote>They need to test the day to day leveling BEFORE new code goes live, at least a little bit. Anything they can catch and fix before it goes live is good, and they try to do that. Once its live its too late, live data has been infected.

CerraWhisperwind
01-22-2005, 03:56 AM
<blockquote><hr>indiramourning wrote:<DIV></div><BR><BLOCKQUOTE><HR>Verba wrote:<BR>Greetings,<BR><BR>Please consider for a moment what you are asking for from a logistical standpoint.<BR><BR><HR></blockquote>The folks at Cryptic allow CoH players to do what the OP proposes, so they have worked out the logistics just fine. Sure it is a logistical challenge for SoE to implement. But one worth meeting in the long run to make EQ2 the best it can be.<BR><DIV></div><hr></blockquote>The CoH test server is a place to do cross server raids on endgame bosses to figure out how to do them on live. It is also a place to preview powers before you pick them, and to test the impact on your personal character of any power changes. Nobody levels there, and new non-copied characters? HAH! Thats not a test server, its a demo server.

Iseabeil
01-26-2005, 10:09 AM
<P> </P> <P>/charcopy has been beaten by /movelog...<BR></P> <BLOCKQUOTE> <HR> Also coming up in the next few weeks will be a limited time offer to transfer your character to our new Test Server. For those who have played on Test Servers in other games and prefer both the more dynamic environment and being able to comment on and contribute to game changes in the weeks before they hit the rest of the live servers, we'll be offering you the chance to move over and come play on the more wild frontier of EverQuest II. We'll make sure to let you know on the boards when the time gets closer. <BR><BR> <HR> </BLOCKQUOTE><BR> <DIV>from <A href="http://eq2players.station.sony.com/news_archive.vm?id=336&section=Development&month=current" target=_blank>http://eq2players.station.sony.com/news_archive.vm?id=336&section=Development&month=current</A></DIV> <DIV> </DIV> <DIV> </DIV></FONT>

Kwoung
01-26-2005, 11:42 AM
<DIV>Here is the followup to that, for those worried about wipes and such...</DIV> <DIV><BR> <BLOCKQUOTE> <HR> Gallenite wrote:<BR> <DIV><STRONG><EM>Re: On moving people to Test Server</EM></STRONG></DIV> <DIV> </DIV> <DIV>Our goal for our Test Server is to have a thriving, long-term community of its own, in a manner very similar to EverQuest's.  I'm not certain where the idea of arbitrarily "losing that character" entered into it, but let me assure you that we don't plan on regularly wiping our test server or any such thing.   If that ever <STRONG><EM>did </EM></STRONG>need to happen, it would only be because of some type of catastrophic emergency we had no ability to recover from.  </DIV> <DIV> </DIV> <DIV>Our Test Server, like EverQuest's, is backed up just like a production server, and all the abilities to roll back the game and restore charaters in case of emergency are just as present.  We wouldn't ask you to play there otherwise. <HR> </DIV></BLOCKQUOTE><BR></DIV>

Boza
01-26-2005, 07:36 PM
<DIV>Great!  This is a step in the right direction, at least.  It's nice to see that people's voices are being heard, and hopefully this system will get ironed out sooner rather than later (though I still contest that such a system should have been implemented from launch, given SOE's experience in the MMO market).</DIV>

CerraWhisperwind
01-26-2005, 08:33 PM
This will just be a temporary offer to move people from live to test to make up for the fact that test started late. It will not be a permenant offer, so don't miss your chance. Hopefully we will get enough people now that the server can better simulate a live one.