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Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Patches, Time and Vegas

Tomorrow I leave for Las Vegas to celebrate mine and my parents' birthdays. Posting will thusly be a little bit shorter, and since I need to get to work packing and sleeping, this will also be a rather short blog.

The Battlefield forums have a real history of trolls and flamers (look it up) always looking for something to complain about. DICE wisely remained out of the war on their own forums, knowing that if they chimed in, the flames would only grow hotter and the trolls tougher. With the recent patch to BC2, long awaited, they addressed many issues the community had, while instituting a whole slew of new ones. There are those who are just happy the patch came out, myself among them, and I hope that the issues stay in minority of players and are addressed quickly.

Of course, however, there are those who are still complaining, some even more vehemently than last time. The question becomes: what do you want from them? Either they get as much done as they can and release, testing again and again for any bugs they can find, or they release small patches with less testing which may cause even more issues than a sweeping patch. DICE has no way to win here, and I pity them. To a point. I do think that if they release a large number of small patches over a short period of time would, in the long run, be a better policy. Feedback would be quick and the testing crew is several dozen times larger than DICE could ever hope to field. Valve follows this model, to a degree, addressing two to four issues at a time and occasionally putting out a sweeping patch that changes the game dramatically. What I've come to realize is that big patches carry with them far more danger than small patches. This is obvious. With the huge difference in computer power from person to person, as well as different operating systems, graphical software and so much else, going big or going home brings more problems than it's worth. Every major update to Team Fortress 2 brought with it so many problems, glitches and exploits that in a thousand years the Quality Assurance people at Valve had any hope of finding.

That being said, there will always be people who want to not see the forest for the trees, as they say, and they'll complain about something. I suppose that's just a fact of life.

C'est la vie,

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