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Patch 1.2 - The Inside Story...

  1. #1
    Relic Entertainment Cowboy's Avatar
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    Jan 2004

    Patch 1.2 - The Inside Story...

    Hiya from Relic…

    I'm just writing a note to everyone because the reaction we're seeing to patch 1.2 isn't exactly what we had hoped it would be, and it means a lot to us that you guys are happy. Thanks to all those who have been defending and supporting us, particularly the admin guys, and to everyone else, hopefully this will shed some light on your questions and concerns...

    We actually did have bigger plans for patch 1.2, including some big changes to NAT traversal and direct connect, which I think would have pleased a lot of you. Unfortunately, these things are really tricky to diagnose, and when we got our fixes into QA we discovered some new bugs that weren't obvious in our dev testing. So we had to make a choice between delaying the patch, and cutting those things out. Since we had a number of other fixes, plus the new maps, we decided to release the smaller patch to give you something new to enjoy over Christmas. Was it the best choice? I still think so. It's hard to judge whether we might be able to fix those other bugs in a month, or whether it will be longer. Since we are always torn between taking time away from our other efforts, it felt like it would be better to send it out, and make the most of the things that were already ready.

    The reality is, making a patch isn't like pressing a button. Every time we change one thing we risk breaking something that already works. There is also time involved with putting the patch together once we've decided what to fix, and after we've actually made the fixes. When we make balance changes, the game has to be retested extensively to make sure we haven't broken any of the balance that existed before, which is a huge task with 4 races! We also have to go through a full QA cycle to make sure everything still works properly on all versions of the game (keep in mind DoW is an international game and changes have to work on all language versions). So, even 'small' changes require a big investment in time and resources.

    Anyway, I guess what I'm trying to say is, we are listening to you, we scan the forums and read your posts and we add all the good suggestions to our bug database so that we can try and address them. Whenever we manage to beg, borrow or steal some people or time to do this stuff, Unfortunately, we have to pick and choose, and hope we get it right! We're definitely trying to think of a better post-launch support strategy for the future, but these things take time, so bear with us!

    For all those that are already "with us" - thank you!!

    Happy holidays everyone....Jonathan

  2. #2
    BETA Noir's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Brooklyn, NY
    Thanks for taking the time to explain,it's much appreciated

    Edit:Actually...will these features that are supposed to be in 1.2 come back at a later date,when they are fixed?

  3. #3
    Thank you for giving us some inside info on this and happy holidays to you too.

  4. #4
    Relic Entertainment
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Much appreciated. Communication like this is all we really needed.

  5. #5
    If other developers *cough Blizzard* took the time to actually listen to the feedback the way you did and comment on why things happened the way they did, I feel that gaming communities in general would be a better place.

    It can't even be described how helpful it is to get a reply like that instead of just ignoring us and releasing 1.3 later to make us feel better.

    Happy Holidays, and thanks for giving us a glimpse of what's going on.

  6. #6
    Thanks for the explanation.

  7. #7
    Sgt Tyr

    I can understand how difficult working on such a large and ambitious project with little resources, time, and people can be. I think that people are failing to take these things into consideration when making judgements about the product and the support you are giving it.

    All in all, I think you guys are doing a great job. Really. I hope you can do enough to make this game a regular in the RTS world for years to come. I LOVE Warhammer 40,000, but since I myself have no ability or talent to make something like DoW, I will continue to appreciate and support all the hard work you all at Relic have put into making this game.

    Thanks, and Happy Holidays Relic.
    -Sgt Tyr

  8. #8
    I be Alpha_1_SLS most places. Alpha_1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 1999
    San Antonio, Texas
    Thanks for the post, I'm glad to hear you will be getting Christmas off after all, hehehe.

    Thanks for the patch and keep up the good work.
    There is power in words.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    yeah thanks, but i for one was abit suprized aswell. Looks like your already is moving on with making other titles, and only trying t osteal some of your coders time from time t otime to work on patching. I for one got terrified reading that. You should have atleast some staff working on issues regurly, hey its called support damit! You guys have relesed a brilliant game, but i for one am not able t oplay it asmuch as i would want due to crashes!

    like i said in the ask a dev tread, is this game getting enuff after relese help? im not talking about blancing that is hard. But please please please look into the amd + nforce2 + ati problems, im a addicted 40k gamer and i would love to be able to play atleas ta couple of games before crashing. As it is now i get a crash almost every game. And it comes at random, the help tread isn't exactly what i had hoped for since t obe able t oplay the game i have to do some drastic bios implements and nerfing my card from 8x to 4x this isn't exactly what i like t odo. So as it is now im in standby mode... im not playing the game until these things are affected. Im hoping t oreturn when i can play! = issues fixed.

    That said i love what you have done with this game, please please please... steal some funds and get a proper post-relese *proper* patch team going!

    that said i love the game! and i would love t oplay it more, but like i said the bugs keep crashing my rig!

  10. #10
    The problem comes when you release a first patch a whole month after release, with some major and simple to fix problems poorly addressed. There are still errors in the luas that have been pointed out on these forums that have not yet been resolved.

    You release another patch a month later with almost no advance on the game (that is not to say that you've no been working, but you must see it from the consumer's prospective). It took a month to fix basic errors in how a percentage was calculated (e.g. Seer damage) then you release a nothing patch another month later, when there are still some serious outstanding issues.

    Why are you upset about the response to patch 1.20? This could have been the best RTS in history but I don't think that it will ever take off in terms of online play now because it was so flawed from the outset with basic errors that took a (needlessly) long time to fix.

  11. #11
    Respectful comments, and at the time when it could have really feckered. Respect

    Althought id recommend another post in 2 weeks saying the progress, but im totally content with this one

  12. #12
    I am really pleased with your message. It is very receptive and inciteful. There is just one concern of mine that I have had for some time. Take for example, the game Age of Mythlogy. Age of Mythlogy had a good amount of patches within the the first months of its release. Then suddenly, after bugs had been removed, they just stopped, even thogh terrible balance issues still existed. I really just want a game where they keep at it and keep listening. I am glad to hear that you're trying the best you can.

    Also, I would like to include a suggestion. Perhaps it would be possible for the Relic community to hold frequent contest in map submissions. Dawn of War players download that tool patch that allows map editing and there could be a very fun contest that would allow the community to contribute to upcomming patches! That would be very exciting. Maps could be judged based on overall playability. Anyways, just a thought. Thank you and Merry Christmas.

  13. #13
    don't worry too much about our response, most of us aren't even worthy of giving one. you guys did a good job.

    happy holidays! :howdy:

  14. #14
    Sorry Relic, but ... you need to do better, thats just it.

    I realize patching isn't pressing a button, but most of the fixes you could do take maybe an afternoon to accomplish

    Sounds to me like someones being lazy.

    Ohh and on a side note, I don't care about the maps that are bad in the first place. I want a balanced game first.

  15. #15
    Member SgtSteve's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    BC, Canada
    Thank you for the information, it IS greatly appreciated. In fact, I am just as happy with this update as I will be with the next patch. This game is fabulous, in terms of gameplay and the rich 40K content; keep up the post-release development and we'll keep telling all our friends and family to buy it!
    No signature today. Perhaps tomorrow.

  16. #16
    This is much appreciated. These kinda company/fan interaction are one of the reasons I'm such a fan of Relic.

  17. #17
    Thanks for the feedback .... it's amazing what a few words can do.

    If there is one lesson I would hope was learned out of this it's that if you have built up community expectations and you are going to deliver something less than those expectations you need to do a little bit of work to reset the expectations or at least explain what you are delivering.

  18. #18
    Many many thanks for the message, it means a lot to those of us that still love playing the game online, regardless of the torrent of calamitous errors that so many 'experts' on here claim to have found.

    I'm sure you guys are doing as much as you can reasonably be expected to do, keep up the good work

  19. #19
    Relic - you do a great job. Thanks for the update. And to the dumb@%#es that think this stuff is just a quick fix - then you do it. What?!? You can't? Then stick to the stuff you know. And for the people that say they can, but it's not their job - it's time to prove it, otherwise your full of bulls$%t.

  20. #20
    Resident AI guy thudmeizer's Avatar
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    Sep 2004
    North Toronto, Canada
    Cowboy! THANK YOU for COMMUNICATING a response to the community! You would NOT believe how many people are waiting for a DirectConnect/NAT resolution to be ironed out!! I am sincerely hoping to see this long outstanding issue resolved due to the # of colleagues I have who alone have NATs! NATs are now near common on everyone's high speed broadband so its a no-brainer more game companies need to support it out-of-the-box!

    Hope you also fix some of the LUA script problems and also consider some of the great comments made in the SUGGESTION forum! Lots of good stuff there, from everyone as well as, well, me. :bandit:

    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to the Relic/THQ staff!!

  21. #21
    Thanks guys for letting us know what's going on.

    While I am happy that some issues have been addressed, this patch feels more to me like a map pack than anything else. I mean, basically all you have here is a fix for a fix, a fix for an ability most people don't even notice, a fix which was suggested back in the Beta, the anti-dropping thing, and two shiny brand spanking new maps. It just seems like they were thrown in to make it worthy of being called a patch, and yet really, it isn't worthy of 1.20-ness. It's more like a 1.11 fix.

    Sorry if I seem overly critical, I'm stoked that support hasn't disappeared, but it just could have been... better. Still, hopefully the next patch fill kill my concerns. And fix the obscene bugginess of Gamespy

  22. #22
    BETA Noir's Avatar
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    Dec 2001
    Brooklyn, NY
    I figure that it was probably meant to have lots more,but the stuff that cropped up axed it into basically DoW 1.11.I just hope they come back soon

    Edit:A short update on this around 2 weeks from now,like another poster asked for,would be nice to have though.

  23. #23
    Member Shakrith's Avatar
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    Mar 2004
    Thanks, cowboy, this really cleared some things up. I now understand why it was so small, and have come to appreciate it.
    Death to the False Emperor!

  24. #24
    Like Unknown just mentioned, I think dropping a short line like this every couple of weeks (or maybe even just once a month) would deflect a lot of the criticism that has been thrown at Relic. Most of it comes from things being so quiet. Not that Relic has to post a pre-changelog every first Tuesday of the month or anything. Of course, they could if they really wanted to.

    But then again, even though this thread itself is trying to fix that, people are still throwing accusations of "lazy" and such around. Let them at least try to make us all happy here.

  25. #25
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    What exactly is this NAT issue in the game? Is it that other players can't join games that you host and automatching won't work?

    Thats something thats happening to me, I'm behind a really sucky multistorey apartments DSL connection that is completely firewalled off and no way to open ports there.

  26. #26
    Comforting words to say the least.

    Oh and ReMan, quite a few people HAVE fixed these problems themselves, however, until the fixes become "official" they aren't of much use to anyone.

    Though some fixes would require rebalancing (Stormboy damage issues I guess), others would definantly not (Falcon invisible brightlance, Raptor's have no texture on their heads, etc).

  27. #27
    NAT issues is in direct connect games. If someone who is using NAT joins your direct connect game, no one can join it anymore.

  28. #28
    About the Balancing Problems.
    How about changing the most obvious balance problems like the top players propose?
    It wouldn't take that long.
    If you don't test the changes before making em, who cares?
    We will test them. We had an unbalanced version when it came out, so IF one of these change would break something different in the game balancewise, only IF that happens, you can patch this again, but you satisfied the community, show that you want to support the game and that you actually hear what we say.

    The Balance Problems after such a patch would be certainly not as strong as they are now, since the community made a lot of tests to find out the actual state does not work, and we thought a lot about the changes that would help.

    Cheers, Left

    PS: Please think about my comment and not just read it and not further think about it.

  29. #29
    Thanks for the feedback. Nevertheless the answer was too generic for me. No hint why lua bugs found by the community weren't fixded. I get the feeling that Relic was surprised by the negative feedback for v1.2 and Cowboy had to do some soothing of the waves without revealing anything new. Ok, they are stealing their time to do some fixes. If it takes them more than 3 month to fix obvious lua typos it will take them foreever to balance the game.

    Thanks for the great game.
    No thanks for the lousy support.

    Merry Xmas to Relic and the DoW community.

  30. #30
    but most of the fixes you could do take maybe an afternoon to accomplish
    You *so* don't know what you are talking about. Yes, I look for forward to a better patch too but for the reasons Cowboy stated, it is not a trivial matter to accomplish patching a complex game like DoW

  31. #31
    Give me more, 64! hybris's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    NOT Germany
    Wow - Thanks!
    It is always great and more explanatory to know the reasons and follow the work behind the patching.
    I'd just wish you guys let us know more before each patch, what is really going on behind the scenes - what to expect, what you aim for, what you have problems with and so on...

  32. #32
    Sigh, another month [or more] to wait in order to have some balance fix..
    Wow, great support here.

    However, thanx for the info and Happy Holydays.
    Last edited by *Eroes*; 18th Dec 04 at 5:11 AM.

  33. #33
    Oh and ReMan, quite a few people HAVE fixed these problems themselves, however, until the fixes become "official" they aren't of much use to anyone.
    Oh so they have tested these fixes accross multiple platflorms and all functions? Done a through QA including all languages? Insured balancing? Or are they just tweaking things the way they think for their favorite race? Something tells me if they released their "fixes" then the same unknowing jerks in this community would tear them a new one just as bad or worse than they having been doing to Relic. These are just my views.

  34. #34
    Thx for the info, Relic, it's appreciated.

    I think the problem is that many of us, me included just don't understand why the things that could be fixed easily, the lua bugs, just aren't getting fixed. Unfortunately your letter didn't explain that explicitly. It just implied that you're "doing something else".

    I can only imagine that you're trying to fix technical bugs that are still around, making it possible for more people to play without crashes etc. I hope that's the case.

    (to all those people saying: fix it yourselves, if it's so easy: there's different types of bugs in this game. I agree that the technical stuff like incompatibilities with ati amd or whatever require lots to fix. But please know that there is a great many typos in the code that the mod community has found that can be stupidly easily fixed, simply by editing. fixing that stuff won't cause new compatibility problems or cause your system to crash or prevent you from connecting to gamespy. it's just some ingame values and references....)

  35. #35
    This is my boomstick! TBS's Avatar
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    Sep 2004
    thanks for the update relic , keep up the communication with the community and hopefully we'll see a lot less doomsday threads on these boards.

    To those wondering why "simple" lua fixes havent been included yet my theory is that Relic is worried about the effect that making those fixes would have on balance. Whatever some people might say, the balance in this game is pretty good for an RTS with 4 unique sides - there are undeniable balance issues that need tweaking but at most levels of play each side has a roughly equal chance vs every other side with the exception of eldar vs orks where the ork player really has to work hard. So, the game works as it is...its not working entirely as intended due to the lua typos but a balance does exist (eg there are Eldar players posting about how the first patch nerfed their race so much that its almost unplayable and theres a top player (Bubbel) posting about how hard Eldar are to beat). Now, if all the lua typos were fixed then units would start acting differently and that could have an adverse effect on this balance - I believe that Orks are the worst affected by lua typos (stikkbombs, stormboyz and their mob morale bonus thingy), yet orks still win battles and have players in the top 20, so fixing the luas could well overpower the ork race (against SM and chaos at least...warp spiders would still give orks a really hard time early game).

    I imagine that Relic are looking closely at what balance changes they will need to make to keep the game balanced whilst fixing the lua entries.

  36. #36
    Dear Relic,

    I know what you're going thru, even though I'm not a programmer, I know how you feel reading perpetual whining from everybody and some very rare "thank you"; I just wanted to tell you that not everybody of us *is* whining, there's a part of us, the community, that really appreciated what you did with Warhammer, we know you're a young software house, but we also know that with such premises (dow) you can grow bigger with our support. Thank you for converting the Warhammer T.T. into such a great RTS, thank you for the interesting ladder you gave us, thank you for all the small soldiers we, not so much grown up children are playing with daily. Thank you for everything, and please forgive us if sometimes we behave like children complaining with Santa Klause cause we didn't get exactly what we wanted.

    Merry Christmas Relic Entertainment.


  37. #37
    Thanks for the update, I'm plenty happy with the patch though anyway, my seer council works properly now

    Happy holidays

  38. #38
    Let me understand, Mafia: who licks Relic's ass is the good one, and the one who complain about all the unbalance problems is the bad guy?

    Wow. Smart people here.

  39. Dawn of War Senior Member  #39
    Antipostmodern Aron_DeTomado's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Tobo, Sweden
    O, shut up *Eroes*!
    I agree with Mafia and im 100% with Relic (or actually im 90% with Relic and 10% with the choclate companies )

  40. #40
    This post is great, and community feels very happy, and somehow taken care, because of this kind details, specially if its related to their (or at least mine) favorite RTS game.
    Now, what i do think is that with the potential that DoW has, it would be very wise (even $ale$ wise), to have an internal effort and drop some resources on a little 'patching & update team', one or two guys, so this could lead the game to:

    a.- People heavily recommending the game to its friends because support and long life possibility (modding capability is great, and thanks for that)
    b.- Reviewers give higher scores, more rants.
    c.- Tournament creators would be more interested in the game, so more people would be interested on it.
    d.- etc...

    If a company looks for number$ i beleive this could help getting some more for them, specially if well planed and starting on game release date, maybe its no too late now.

    Look for example at Total anihilation, that great RTS!, a weekly unit they offered for download!!, and that didn't stopped them from selling great expansion packs for their games, the WH40k universe is very big, think about it!!!

    Thanks for a great game , i only wish for it to become the number 1
    Last edited by ishanor; 18th Dec 04 at 8:14 AM.

  41. #41
    TBS: yes, without all those lua bugs gameplay/balance could be completely different (imagine the defiler's autocannon actually doing damage to inf).

    I hope you are correct and that is a reason why it's taking so long. But then why don't we hear a simple message saying so?

    anyways, happy holidays to you all

  42. #42
    @themafia: That was pretty gross. There is whining/moaning, and then there is the other side of things. Save the caramel.

  43. #43
    O, shut up *Eroes*!
    I agree with Mafia and im 100% with Relic (or actually im 90% with Relic and 10% with the choclate companies )
    Sorry, I do not understand: if I say that I was hoping for a fast fix of the major balance bugs, I get a "shut up"?

    Got it.

  44. Child's Play Donor Technical Help Senior Member General Discussions Senior Member Homeworld Senior Member Forum Subscriber  #44
    Finally done. Moe's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    FL380, most likely
    Guys, please don't start personal fights in here. We have a nifty PM feature that is very easy and comfortable to use.

  45. #45
    Thanks, Relic for posting The Inside Story. These kinds of posts are exactly what we need to keep our spirits high and battlerage going.
    Last edited by Esrhan; 18th Dec 04 at 9:01 AM. Reason: Grammar

  46. #46
    Thank You Relic. It's good to know that despite all the bitching and moaning you do still care about the community. I and many others are looking forward to the next patch and wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

  47. #47
    w000!!! Relic, you guys are awesome its nice to know that the company actually cares about the game and their fans and not liek other companies that just release the game and get their money and lgive us a crappy game

    superb work guys

  48. #48
    While communication is appreciated and i certainly agree with the amount of thought that needs to go into balance - as it took me literaly 15 edits before I got rangers as they need to be., your explanation also shows what we have been saying for a while now.

    1. You, as a company move to "other efforts" way too soon, with very little support left for an existing product.

    2. The effort is simply not true in cases of a simple copy/paste or fixing a "t" to "_t". All your testing needs to entail is copy the persons fix and see if it works yourself. Some of the guys in Adeptus are quite.. adept. Then, once verified send it as a "finished" item to whoever composes the patch for qa guys to play with. Your QA process is suffocating.

    In the future Relic will trully realize the obvious talent we all see to its full potential only if your plans include the fact things will not work right from the get go. None of your games will, bugs are an unavoidable evil, the fact I can put together a medium size project bug free is because I can take all the time in the world. You can't. Therefore, whoever draws up a business plan needs to realise that as well and account for it so you do not have to "beg" for people.

    Frankly I'd rather pay (can) $54.99 for a bug free game than a $49.99 for a rushed game. Multiply those $5 by at least 60% of people who bought DoW, and then tell us it won't cover the costs of a proper patch. Hell your intenrs could do it considering the lua system you use is extremely flexible edit wise, then you could simply spend time to verify or have one person to supervise.

    i'll stop here as ideas just keep coming.

    Just as it is bad to be a perfectionist and never get anything done, so it is bad to rush and compromise.

    I do trust you will explain this to the suits in your offices. Relic has talent, more so than most of the studios putting out games put together, and my honest opinion is DoW is the best game I have seen since HW, or rather - had the potential to be. To quote a smart dude - saddest sentence in the world "it could have been".

    As for caring - hell only an idiot doesn't see it. It shows in every detail in this game. Your suits need a talk to and thats a fact.

    Thank you, and keep making good games. Hopefully some of what we have been saying has got through.

  49. #49
    BETA Noir's Avatar
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    Dec 2001
    Brooklyn, NY
    Well said SPS,a nice mix of criticism and praise,I wish more people followed your example.

  50. #50
    This is my boomstick! TBS's Avatar
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    Sep 2004
    Quote Originally Posted by Sps
    Multiply those $5 by at least 60% of people who bought DoW, and then tell us it won't cover the costs of a proper patch.
    unfortunately, the majority of computer games sales are to casual gamers - they arent as interested in good support as serious gamers. Making the game $5 more expensive than all its competition would hurt sales to those gamers and the extra income generated from the increased sales price wouldnt necessarily cover those lost sales, and being further down the bestseller lists wouldnt help either.

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