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blankseplocked Rethinking the 'Test' server
 
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General Xenophon
Posted - 2007.12.11 00:59:00 - [1]
 

I realized looking through the threads on the suggestions page that this has been suggested before, but after the last bug ridden expansion I can't help myself but to bring this suggestion up again.

I understand you folks at CCP must be sick to death of hearing complaints from players, and to a degree so am I. There will always be people who complain, but by reducing the number of bugs through testing there may just be fewer complaints and headaches for those of you at CCP to deal with, not to mention you will possibly become even more marketable. Let's take what we have (Eve as it currently stands) and work with it to make it better. After all, that's the goal right? A better Eve means more money for you, and more enjoyment for the players, which can mean more players joining and staying around.

The test server NEEDS to allow complete, thorough, and most of all, accessable testing for ALL players in eve. Yes, everyone has the option to download and try the test server out, but on a whole not everyone chooses to do so. It can never be expected the everyone will WANT to test on the server, but the more testers the better, so why not further encourage testing by rethinking how you run the test server.

I propose that the issue of skillpoints be carefully reconsidered for the test server.

As the test server currently stands, skills are generally out of date (yay more complaints.. *doh*), and when new skills are added people have to train these to really be able to try out them out. This takes away from the efficiency of the whole purpose of the testing. Instead of flying the new ship around, this group of people have to wait until the skill finishing training. Granted there are varying amounts of time this may take, but for you time is money! The more you get out of your testers the better, and if they enjoy their testing experience, even better because they may just come back and do it again. You have deadline for patches and fixes, why not make the processes of finding those errors more efficient?

There will be another group of players who already have the skills trained to use certain things. That's great, they can jump right in and start testing, but part of that tester population is still lagging behind trying to train the new skills and this hurts the efficiency on a whole.

Then you have the group of players who don't have nearly enough of the skills to train the 'new' skills. These are people who may well indeed want to test the ships, but cannot because they just can't use those ships / items yet.

If the purpose is truly to test the new ships and items, why not then give everyone the chance to do so. This saves the grumbling about the skill-points being out of date, and gives everyone a chance to take part in the goal which is the very core of the test server. To find the bugs.

Now, several arguments about how this idea of giving everyone all the skillpoints seems to bring up the issue of people just flying titans around all day. That logic is flawed in part, but not in whole. Yes it could be expected that people would log onto the test server to try out new setups, but is that exactly a bad thing? True testing involves trying new things, trying to push things to the limits, and really digging ones heels in to get the work done. If people want to fly titans, then let them. If they want to amass a blob of 400 dreads, let them. In the process they may just find some bugs that were not seen before.

Thanks for taking the time to read through all of this. Even if it means hearing the same things over again please carefully consider this idea.

insidion
Caldari
Octavian Vanguard
RAZOR Alliance
Posted - 2007.12.11 01:27:00 - [2]
 

Been brought up many, many times. How CCP can possibly think that forcing you to train skills on test is a good idea I'll never know. Adding insult to injury is that the 'give skills' code already exists, it's just that only certain groups (devs, ISD, GM's, etc) are given access to it. Typical CCP. =)

SumDum
AirHawk Alliance
Ministry Of Amarrian Secret Service
Posted - 2007.12.11 01:34:00 - [3]
 

Either skill point rate adjusted or more frequent db mirrors would be a welcome start. It's bad enough to have to keep track of additional skill training on SiSi if you wish to participate in testing.

Even more annoying for me is if you don't log on constantly you have to manually patch SiSi most of the time. And many times just copy over the Eve folder again, then re-patch.

With that issue comes the frequent problems of SiSi hosing your main install, and making you delete your CCP cache folder just to be able to log into TQ again, in turn destroying bookmark folders and other annoying little problems.

All in all, I think CCP could do a better job of making SiSi more attractive or at least easier for those who are willing to spend time away from their main characters to test things that benefit everyone.

General Xenophon
Posted - 2007.12.12 22:42:00 - [4]
 

Originally by: SumDum
Either skill point rate adjusted or more frequent db mirrors would be a welcome start. It's bad enough to have to keep track of additional skill training on SiSi if you wish to participate in testing.

Even more annoying for me is if you don't log on constantly you have to manually patch SiSi most of the time. And many times just copy over the Eve folder again, then re-patch.

With that issue comes the frequent problems of SiSi hosing your main install, and making you delete your CCP cache folder just to be able to log into TQ again, in turn destroying bookmark folders and other annoying little problems.

All in all, I think CCP could do a better job of making SiSi more attractive or at least easier for those who are willing to spend time away from their main characters to test things that benefit everyone.


Yea several great points here. Changing some of these things would add to the efficiency of testing, and make it better for Eve in the long run - less bugs, hopefully happier players, which can mean more players in the long run. If people come to a game and read about all kinds of bugs, then it can be a real turn off.

Thanks for your thoughts folks :).

Nito Musashi
Posted - 2007.12.12 22:52:00 - [5]
 

I posted this before on the features page but my thoughts, on top of the above good ideas.

So i was thinking other day, particularly after trinity, that singularity is woefully underused for true shakedown bug testing and feedback.

How bout the devs put out a call to the eve community to volunteers for test server events where functions and services would be tested for bugs.

Put up a link with a form to fill out such things like;
Your character, your typical play hours and what days of the week you tend to play, your eve experience, your technical know how with computers and hardware, would you be willing and available to login the test server for scheduled tests of patch functionality and bug reporting.

Get a good pool of players with good experience and give them alternate characters with max skills and all ships and services open to them and schedule events, like POS warfare, fleet battles, mission running, manufacturing etc, basically give them a goal and a time to login that devs would monitor get feedback during the event, keep detailed server logs for debugging purposes. And make sure all the participants note and report all bugs and problems they encounter.

Basically make singularity a true beta test platform with a real team of testers and targeted service and bug testing, instead of the current use of sing which is more a if you feel like logging in and testing or not kind of deal.

Oh well just some thoughts that i think would make patch deployments better with some work. Maybe its been proposed before maybe it hasn't but i think a system like this would be good to have.

General Xenophon
Posted - 2007.12.12 23:40:00 - [6]
 

Originally by: Nito Musashi
I posted this before on the features page but my thoughts, on top of the above good ideas.

So i was thinking other day, particularly after trinity, that singularity is woefully underused for true shakedown bug testing and feedback.

How bout the devs put out a call to the eve community to volunteers for test server events where functions and services would be tested for bugs.

Put up a link with a form to fill out such things like;
Your character, your typical play hours and what days of the week you tend to play, your eve experience, your technical know how with computers and hardware, would you be willing and available to login the test server for scheduled tests of patch functionality and bug reporting.

Get a good pool of players with good experience and give them alternate characters with max skills and all ships and services open to them and schedule events, like POS warfare, fleet battles, mission running, manufacturing etc, basically give them a goal and a time to login that devs would monitor get feedback during the event, keep detailed server logs for debugging purposes. And make sure all the participants note and report all bugs and problems they encounter.

Basically make singularity a true beta test platform with a real team of testers and targeted service and bug testing, instead of the current use of sing which is more a if you feel like logging in and testing or not kind of deal.

Oh well just some thoughts that i think would make patch deployments better with some work. Maybe its been proposed before maybe it hasn't but i think a system like this would be good to have.


Wow cool idea. It sounds like something that should be possible to facilitate as well.

Voogru
Gallente
Massive Damage
We Are John Galt
Posted - 2007.12.12 23:51:00 - [7]
 

Everyone having maxed skills on the test server simply means counter-strike in space.

Commoner
Caldari
The Tuskers
Posted - 2007.12.12 23:55:00 - [8]
 

Would be cool with some kind of "Update my skills" button, when you press this button the testserver will update your characters skillpoints with those that you have on Tranquility.

General Xenophon
Posted - 2007.12.13 00:04:00 - [9]
 

Originally by: voogru
Everyone having maxed skills on the test server simply means counter-strike in space.


How so?

Nito Musashi
Posted - 2007.12.13 00:05:00 - [10]
 

I am not saying your character would have maxed skills, i am saying that if you agree to help bug test and login for event you would have a "test" character that would have all maxed skills, or they could do like on the ss of the ships on the mac or linux test server that "give me these skills" button in the required skills tab.

And maybe go one further and make these character only usable during official tests, either way i dont think it matter people like to try things out on sing having a character with level 5 in all skills certainly let you test anything but hardly a accurate representation of your real characters skills and ability.

Just sing as it is, is woefully inadequate for real testing nor do players in traq have any incentive to shake the patch down sing, usually its to go look at some new ship, or check out some new mechanic not to actually do anything much on there, heck more often than not its where people go to test pvp setups in safety.

And i think anyone can agree that eve o does need a better pre live patch shakedown run that could make the live patch that much better to find and eliminate as many bugs as possible before the thing actually hits tranq. Since any old player that has seen a lot of patches know pretty much the weeks following a major patch you might as well set something long to train and go play something else.

Rick Thwaites
Aperture Harmonics
K162
Posted - 2007.12.13 00:06:00 - [11]
 

Why not an option to adjust your skills, like the sliders in (uhoh, I am going to say it), EFT.

That way you can adjust your skills, and check your setups, as well as testing the new ships that CCP designs.

Galack Fyar
Wings of Redemption
Posted - 2007.12.13 00:09:00 - [12]
 

You do know that they really don't have to give us a test server at all, it's a nice addition to allow us to test things and see new features. You should be happy with what you have and stop complaining about it not being good enough.

Nito Musashi
Posted - 2007.12.13 00:19:00 - [13]
 

Originally by: Galack Fyar
You do know that they really don't have to give us a test server at all, it's a nice addition to allow us to test things and see new features. You should be happy with what you have and stop complaining about it not being good enough.


I think it fair to point out that there is something flawed with the idea of a test server, i for one would like to see it a real test platform with real beta testers and organized by the devs for debugging and bug testing, with goals and players that agree to do their best to help out.


Karlemgne
Tides Of War
Posted - 2007.12.13 00:21:00 - [14]
 

The issues is that the test server seems to be using a separate database than the live server.

The result is the test server actually has to mirrored from TQ every time you want the skill points to be accurate and up to date.

Basically, they'd have to change their entire testing infrastructure to do this, which I can't see happening in the foreseeable future.

Moreover, not everyone will use the test server even if it were constantly mirrored. Add to that the fact that 90% of the testing for these games takes place on internal servers completely unaccessible to the regular player base, I can't see CCP wanting to change how sisi works in any significant way.

-K

Cadela Fria
Amarr
x13
Raiden.
Posted - 2007.12.13 00:36:00 - [15]
 

All this talk of having a "special character" with full skill points and using it to show up for "events" and to "test", and getting the playerbase to help testing new patches, and so on and so on - Leads me to thinking, there already is such a thing that's very eagerly used by several players.

Regular players that have fully skilled special characters for testing, they DO exist..they're called Bug Hunters, and they're part of ISD.
Granted last I checked, I read that it requires a lot from you these days, which is one of the reasons I decided not to sign up myself - But it's a system meant to filter out the bad eggs and people who aren't serious about testing etc, so if you want to help, I'd suggest you go sign up for that *shrugs*.

General Xenophon
Posted - 2007.12.13 00:43:00 - [16]
 

Edited by: General Xenophon on 13/12/2007 00:50:22
Originally by: Cadela Fria
All this talk of having a "special character" with full skill points and using it to show up for "events" and to "test", and getting the playerbase to help testing new patches, and so on and so on - Leads me to thinking, there already is such a thing that's very eagerly used by several players.

Regular players that have fully skilled special characters for testing, they DO exist..they're called Bug Hunters, and they're part of ISD.
Granted last I checked, I read that it requires a lot from you these days, which is one of the reasons I decided not to sign up myself - But it's a system meant to filter out the bad eggs and people who aren't serious about testing etc, so if you want to help, I'd suggest you go sign up for that *shrugs*.


Cool. Do you think it might help ease the burden of the bug hunters if there were more people out there testing things out? Would it help or hurt the testing to have everyone with the skill-points needed to test new content?

I guess what I am asking, is the benefit of adding skill-points greater than the drawbacks of doing so. Just something to think about.

Perhaps its the Socrates in me, but I like asking questions. :) Thanks again for the thoughtful input.

Cadela Fria
Amarr
x13
Raiden.
Posted - 2007.12.13 00:54:00 - [17]
 

Originally by: General Xenophon
Originally by: Cadela Fria
All this talk of having a "special character" with full skill points and using it to show up for "events" and to "test", and getting the playerbase to help testing new patches, and so on and so on - Leads me to thinking, there already is such a thing that's very eagerly used by several players.

Regular players that have fully skilled special characters for testing, they DO exist..they're called Bug Hunters, and they're part of ISD.
Granted last I checked, I read that it requires a lot from you these days, which is one of the reasons I decided not to sign up myself - But it's a system meant to filter out the bad eggs and people who aren't serious about testing etc, so if you want to help, I'd suggest you go sign up for that *shrugs*.


Cool. Do you think it might help ease the burden of the bug hunters if there were more people out there testing things out? Would it help or hurt the testing to have everyone with the skillpoints needed to test new content?

Perhaps its the Socrates in me, but I like asking questions. :) Thanks again for the thoughtful input.


Well the way I see it, the more people that qualify to be bug hunters and actually work on testing bugs and reporting it to the devs, or whatever it is they do, the more things get looked into - Thus it's more likely things get fixed a lot faster.

I mean it's not rocket science to anyone here that over 300k subscribers or however many EVE has (most likely a lot more) will cause some strain on the devs..even with the assumption that only every 20 person files a bug report after a new major patch deployment, and with many of the subscribers being the same person, it is still a massive amount of bug reports.

So if you're passionate about the game, and feel you have a tech mind along with a testing gene of sorts, I'd say your best bet is give ISD a call.
The idea of handing out these sort of things left and right without control just sounds like a bad idea to me all around.

Not because I don't have a lot of faith in the majority of the EVE community, but as history shows, there are a (this is going to sound silly, but think about it) large minority roaming around that for the life of them have nothing better to do then complain, throw fits and ruin stuff for everyone the second they can't things EXACTLY like they want them.

So to answer your question: Yes, I think it'd be a great help to them, but you'd have to ask them to be certain. I know they hang out on the coldfront network on IRC in a channel called #eve-chaos. I go there now and again to poke them about test patches etc.

Blind Man
Caldari
Blue Republic
RvB - BLUE Republic
Posted - 2007.12.13 01:06:00 - [18]
 

WAT ABOUT PREMADEZ

General Xenophon
Posted - 2007.12.13 15:34:00 - [19]
 

*Bump* :D

flashfreaking
LFC
Executive Outcomes
Posted - 2007.12.13 15:39:00 - [20]
 

Some good points are being made here, because, right now, SiSi is usually used to test ship setups, which is fine, I use that, but SiSi should involve more bughunting.
so
/signed

Mr Coffee
Gallente
Infinite Improbability Inc
Posted - 2007.12.15 03:44:00 - [21]
 

Edited by: Mr Coffee on 15/12/2007 03:44:18
Cool ideas. The sisi server could use some of these suggestions.

Joie Mains
Vindicator A Team
Posted - 2007.12.15 03:45:00 - [22]
 

Originally by: voogru
Everyone having maxed skills on the test server simply means counter-strike in space.

its c s anyway only not with maxed skills


 

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