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    PlanetQuake | Features | Rants N' Raves | Damn Patches
   

Damn Patches
Don't tell us, just do it!
  — by Pappy-R and the PQ Few

I think game developers talk about a patch for a few reasons. First (call me an optimist) is to let their gamers know they are working on improvements they wanted. I know with Black and White the only thing that kept me from returning the game to the store was the anticipation of a patch.

Next, to let gamers know they have been heard or that they are aware of what needs fixing. It's also I think like a grocery list, you don't forget and the entire house can also add what they want on it. Letting gamers know gives them a chance to submit anything else they think should also be fixed.

New items, no one anticipates new items such as new maps or weapons like the fans of that game. So it builds excitement. It also creates an awareness in the community so that only 25% of the community is aware of the patch when it is released. With pre-pimping, most of the community is aware of it and ready for it's release.

It's the nature of the beast to have patches. As long as humans are behind the creation of a game, there will always be bugs. I have yet to see a single piece of software that did not need bug fixing or upgrading. I think id tries to handle it the best they can. And we have to be tolerant or just think of playing Quake 3 Arena version 1.11. Not!

  — Love2Play

There's always room for improvement in games and that gets addressed in patches as well as just plain bugs. Do you think patches need publicity or should plan files be used only to discuss whether or not Levelord should go back to the same bar as last week? Now it's time for Ash to toss it down on the issue at hand.

Well I'm not sure that there's too awful much to say about this one. I agree, it sucks to be told that the new point release is going to be coming out by some near date, and then it not make it there. I also understand that id Software seems to have more projects going on lately than they've ever had, so I somewhat understand that time issues come up in the office that they don't even expect.

One thing to keep in mind is that the point release really isn't 'out' yet anyway, it's still in beta. So we really haven't been gypped too awful much when it comes to the anticipation of the point release. I consider the warning of the incoming point release something very useful. Even if it still ends up coming later than it was supposed to, I know that it could be any time now, and that I should be keeping my ear to the ground for any murmurs. It also gave the mirrors time to prepare anything that they might have felt necessary to set up.

So, I guess while I sympathize, I still appreciate any hints that id can throw.

  — Ash

So many insights, so many ways to go at one little topic. As with any subject, just stand back and take a look at it from all sides. Each comment today has had value in my eyes, even the original rant from Nick. Now I'll give it my best shot before handing it over to the ultimate judge...the community.

Will mentioned whiners, and I think that has some validity in the way some of the feature changes have been introduced. Whenever something is changed in a Quake game, people react. They react hard and fast from many angles, and that's not really helpful to the developer. In fact issue discussions have slowed down the process at times, making it more work than it should be to get the goods out. That's why we sometimes get the "It's coming soon" info on a patch instead of a feature list of what is either being worked on or worked out.

Love2Play's statement on patches needing pimpage to get out there are right on the money. The patches have been Point Release Betas as Ash pointed out and because they need to be used across the board due to incompatibility with earlier versions. These are betas and require testing by the community, making it vital to have as many varied systems connecting and interacting with the new code as possible. That's a very good reason for the "it's coming" posts from the company IMHO.

Patches are good, point releases are good. Letting us know is good. How do I find value in Nick's rant if I am trying to prove him wrong? I think at the time he wrote the piece we were in the midst of the string of "soon" comments and he was just losing it. In fact, some loose but seemingly dependable times were given as to a release (R.Duffy "Early next week. Did I say that?"). At the time, I think it would be fine to ask for reasons why it was delayed and get the answers. We just have to have a more supportive voice when they do.

  — Pappy-R

What do you think about patch release info, or patches for that matter? Give us your feedback on it.

If you wanna start your own topic, just Rant n'Rave.


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