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Meet the Team: Singlebear, QA Lead

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Comments

  • So, I am curious if by what was said on the Twitch stream the other day about everything needing to go past QA. Does that mean news posts also go through you? If so, why are the posted dates wrong on some of them? Ninja Loading Screen Contest was not posted on May 6th, but rather it appeared on May 9th, and thus should be labeled as such.

    We do have some cowboys in the office that will publish stuff without a QA pass. Sometimes it's laziness and sometimes it's due to timing.

    One of the aspects of EME I really love is we are all given a lot of responsibility. I don't work thru a middleman. The other two guys I manage on the QA team are fully responsible for tasking themselves. We hardly micromanage here; it's not part of our culture.

    BUT, it also leads to people publishing stuff without following a QA process. It's something we have recently realized has to improve and we are actively working toward improvements.
  • JasonLucas wrote: »
    My question is: Since TERA NA launch until now, what was the game change that you didn't like, and what was the one that you liked?

    Oh, if possible can you poke Denom about these cat hats changes? It's been a while since he talked about this and I guess we still didn't get these changes, would be great if they can come with next build.

    The Denominator has been poked.

    The current state of the Alliance system is the one I don't like the most. I think this could be so much more than it currently is. It's too exclusive and its impact is too limited. I talked about this earlier, but I really want content that forces players to take responsibility for the state of the game. Content that requires guilds to work together to manage areas of the game world.

    The one I like the most remains the action combat. I was a hardcore wow raider before TERA. My 6 weeks as a playtester 5 years ago changed the way I felt about wow. TERA blew my mind. I have a hard time playing MMOs that still use tab target.
  • msoltysplmsoltyspl ✭✭✭
    edited May 2016
    Bug reports forum section ? Or is support the only way now to beg you [to ping BHS] to fix months - years old bugs ?
  • TownA wrote: »
    Hello, Singlebear! My question is: After each patch, are there any adjustments to the game that are not shown on patch notes? For example, certain item drop rate is changed after patch, but patch notes says nothing about it.
    Thanks!

    I am very disappointed in our quality of patch notes and I believe the blame falls directly on me. One of the members of my team is bilingual (Korean/English) and has the impossible task of turning all the Korean build documentation into a comprehensible testing doc. There is no way he can translate all the documentation in the time he has so he needs to find all the important stuff and toss it onto a document that gets shared out to our team. it is also not something we can easily outsource to a translation team. The documentation is heavy with TERA terminology/names and most of the work is in organizing the content into a testing doc. This testing doc is then used to make our patch notes.

    The reason you don't see all the changes is because we are scrambling to get it all figured out ourselves. Hitting the main points is doable and I feel we are doing it. Getting all the granular stuff in the patch notes as well is not doable, I know a lot of the granular stuff is just as important, but it falls outside our capabilities.

    I constantly bring the QA buildnote process up as my greatest failure at EME. But it is also one I would do again. It has provided us with much more information than we ever had, but it is just simply too much. I need to figure out a better process and I am working toward that goal. Hopefully before my team-member burns out.
  • Espena wrote: »
    Nice to see someone who actually is more technical.

    Q: is there any bug tracker, for game developers (bhs)?
    Q: is BHS fixing every bug did you report them, or there are some issues that bhs wont fix?
    Q: what do you think could help the most with the optimization of the game?

    What did you said about alliances and other stuff is what i like and dislike at same time. Cause of how some players could exploit it and basically broke. But the idea behind this is great!

    Geletron read your post and gave me a dirty look.

    A: Yes. EME has a bug tracker and Bluehole has a different bug tracker. Neither have access to the others main database of bugs. Bluehole created a project in their tracker just for us so that we can clone bugs from our tracker into theirs.
    A: EME sets a priority and severity for every issue we send Bluehole, but as the Dev they have their own priorities. So no, they don't fix every bug we send. Generally EME QA will request EME PD escalate bugs we believe are important, which basically means we want PD to email Bluehole and request a fix asap. So it all depends on the bug; there is no simple answer to this question.
    A: This is out of my realm of expertise. I think Treeshark or Geletron would be the appropriate audience since optimization is mostly in the code and server design.
  • Zoknahal wrote: »
    Hey SingleBear!

    I wanna ask what is the aprox time you and your team is able to work on quick fixes that need to be addressed in game in timely manner. Some bugs or other stuff your team works on sometimes take a very long amount of time for us players to see em fixed, which is annoying most of the time if the bug or whatever is constant.

    And also, You mentioned Tool! Favorite song of Tool? I like "46&2" and "The Pot"

    For hotfixes, we are pretty quick. It takes Operations a couple hours to create the build from the files Bluehole sends. We then patch our QA environment and test which generally is just sanity testing and spot checking the fix since Bluehole has already tested it. Testing takes about 1-3 hours depending on the system. Then we push the build to our staging environment and make sure we have all the pieces in place for our next deploy window.

    But that's not the question you asked. Some things we can fix without Bluehole. These are generally just datasheet edits or localization. Sometimes we need something in the game code changed and that does require Bluehole. They can generally get us a build in a day or two when the issue is considered a critical blocker. A critical blocker is something that prevents gameplay. For example, if the server crashes every time someone takes a flight from Velika to Cresentia.

    Then there are the bugs that you are talking about that don't get fixed quickly. There are too many unique reasons for this so I can't give you a simple answer.

    One of the biggest is probably because the bug is already fixed in an upcoming version of the game. The dev will often de-prioritize these bugs and focus on bugs in the build they are working on internally. This is a mult-region game and the version you see in NA is not the latest version the Dev is working on. Going back to make a hotfix for an older build for something that doesn't exist in their current build has to have a good reason behind it.

    And sometimes the cause is hard to figure out or has a large effect to other systems. We may need to run a script to fix issues caused by the broken game system. It can get very complicated very quick.

    Favorite Tool song is hard to narrow down. It changes. Which is why they are my favorite band. Different songs will fit different moods or situations, but there is always one that fits. For work, I often need to go to The Patient.
  • msoltyspl wrote: »
    Bug reports forum section ? Or is support the only way now to beg you [to ping BHS] to fix months - years old bugs ?

    Spacecats is going to add a Bug thread once the old forums are disabled. It is QA's goal to have a presence in that thread once it is live on these forums.
  • kedros wrote: »
    so then... is there a date when the release date will be revealed :3

    http://www.pcgamer.com/hands-on-with-teras-new-kickass-ninja-class/
  • Ultemecia wrote: »
    SingleBear wrote: »
    I see you mentioned 37 and 42, But what those that means ? the Build Version ?

    Yes. So we are currently live with 39.07.07.EN4. 39.07.07 is the game version and EN4 is the localization version. The dev is responsible for versioning the game and EME versions the localization since we are in full control of that file. You can find your client version by looking at the end of the copyright line at the bottom of the server select screen.

    So what does the 07.07 stand for? When you mentioned "versions" you only specified the first of the three section version number.

    Should just be sub-builds. Like they got 39, then made some changes, so it became 39.0.1. etc etc

    Nailed it.
  • AetonaAetona ✭✭✭
    SingleBear wrote: »
    Blueflam3s wrote: »
    Hi, Singlebear! My question is: What's the story behind your username? When and why did you choose it?

    I've heard some good stories from that question so I'm sure yours won't disappoint!

    I didn't choose it, you all did. I wish I knew where the picture was, but hopefully one of you can find it and post it. We were doing an EME vs players Fraywind Canyon promo and we shard a pic to twitter I believe were I was wearing a green shirt that had "Single" and "Taken" on it with check boxes. Single was checked. Someone commented something about me looking like a "Single Bear" and that swept thru the office. I've gone by Singlebear ever since.

    NMO44im.jpg
    This?
  • Aetona wrote: »
    This?

    YUP!
  • KiraboshiKiraboshi ✭✭✭
    edited May 2016
    This is probably beating a dead horse that has been rotting for a long time, but since QA lead is the one to be answering questions this week I figure eh what the heck might as well ask it anyways:

    *cough**ahem*......Desync.

    Oh yes. Public eternally unfixed bug number 1. Oh and sorry in advance for longposting, but's desync is nearly impossible to cover without at least some wall-of-text.

    So while perfect netcode is obviously impossible, desync is more than just a netcode issue. Primarily concerning knockdowns, where players who are knocked down randomly become unhittable. The interesting thing about desync in Tera is player models will still collide with each other, which means that the Unreal engine fully acknowledges something should have happened. In other words, this is a bug which is completely fixable by BHS by rewriting their collision detection code to also count for skill hit detection. Desync wouldn't be such a big issue if everyone desynced in the same amount...but in pvp this is not the case. Depending on ping, FPS, and various other factors, desync can actually be intentionally exploited to favor one player over another. Right now there are priests in top PvP guilds that are only good because their desync chance on knockdowns is consistently x>50%. Some players even use fps scripts and/or macros to do this. The most disgusting thing about this form of cheating is it doesn't actually change anything in the game files, just causes an artificial performance spike which is indistinguishable from lag. It's impossible to tell who is doing it and who isn't even if you are monitoring the servers 24/7.

    Desync is a huge bug. HUGE. The only reason no one talks about it anymore is because the community has basically given up. Many players ( Far more than your marketing team can imagine ) have quit the game purely because of this one bug.

    So the question is this: Will BHS ever take a look at this issue? Can BHS at the very least rewrite the knockdown coding so hit detection on knocked down targets is calculated client side ( a much requested band aid fix )? Does eme know anything at all about it?

    I know that eme can't do much about it and this would have to be a fix implemented by BHS programmers, I'm just asking whether or not you are still keeping this bug on the table with them, or has eme like the community...given up?

  • Hello, Bear.
    With the Ninja patch "Secrets and Shadows" coming out on the 17th, what will come of current Crusade for PvE? If we anticpipated it correctly, that patch would be removing brhm, schm, fihm, and ds2. [Bythmisral rise, Sky Cruiser, Forsaken Island Hard, and Dreadspire 2] completely to make room for the new dungeons [correct me if i'm wrong or missed one or two]. How wil lthis affect the current crusade? Will you keep the dungeons in until the May 23rd.

    What will come of it all? It's a very tricky situation if players are trying to keep their #1 spot.

    Thanks tons.
  • Kiraboshi wrote: »
    This is probably beating a dead horse that has been rotting for a long time, but since QA lead is the one to be answering questions this week...

    I know you feel like this needed a big explanation, but you're bordering on soapboxing here so please keep questions short and to the point. We all know what desync is.

    On top of that, one of the reasons I want to keep this series going isn't for Q&A purposes, but so people get to know the EME staff, how they go about doing their jobs, and how their work affects you as TERA players. Questions that consist entirely of "why hasn't this been fixed yet?" aren't really what we're going for. Our guests for the week will answer what they can, but if there's a recurring issue you have with the game that's been posted multiple times in the forums, you probably won't get an answer just because it's a different person answering the questions.

  • Hello, Bear.
    With the Ninja patch "Secrets and Shadows" coming out on the 17th, what will come of current Crusade for PvE? If we anticpipated it correctly, that patch would be removing brhm, schm, fihm, and ds2. [Bythmisral rise, Sky Cruiser, Forsaken Island Hard, and Dreadspire 2] completely to make room for the new dungeons [correct me if i'm wrong or missed one or two]. How wil lthis affect the current crusade? Will you keep the dungeons in until the May 23rd.

    What will come of it all? It's a very tricky situation if players are trying to keep their #1 spot.

    Thanks tons.

    We are aware of the issue and are working toward the best resolution we can, but no final plan yet. Sorry, I can't say more right now.

    This is one of the harder elements of the build process. A lot of things change from build to build, but all the different regional builds deploy at different times. Trying to manage this process is very difficult for Bluehole and as a result, we here at EME find ourselves scrambling a bit to make things work out the best they can. Sometimes there are simple solutions. Sometimes we think we have a simple solution, but we create a bigger issue. And sometimes we have to go with the best bad solution available.
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