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Same shit different week

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Within the 1st month of SSG taking over there has been something messed up nearly on a weekly basis. Oddly enough the vast majority of these supposed mistakes always seem to be in the category of things that hold back player progression in some way. Quest progression leading to raid content and the raid content itself.

Last week was the quest advancement of the wrapper for the quest in Hultvis. The week before the inability to complete the Vales Black Book Intro. This week Thikil Gundu closed. After patch this week Anvil Raid npc damage changed to nearly make the raid undoable. Trading for Ember in Hultvis broken until today. Its been like this for over a year and almost every time its something stopping the players from working out a routine for their time and effort. Throughout all of SSG's tenure the track record looks kind of bleak for creating content reliably with consistency that doesn't hold back players. I could go back week after week and list them here and the list would already be numbering in the hundreds.

This makes me think these aren't wholly honest mistakes due to ineptitude or ignorance but rather another system promoted to keep players from completing content in its entirety. All in the name of keeping players logged on, but not for good healthy game play. Instead irritating players while logged on with the hopes they will bite deeper into the SSG carrot and create alts, thereby indirectly keeping them logged on and buying developer time simultaneously. If this is the case then I can't see how it can continue without the majority of sensible players not seeing this tactic in action.

Let's assume. What I typed above is untrue. Just for some balance to the subject. If untrue this would mean that every employee at SSG is constantly being taken off of current projects to go back time and time again to fix and find remedies for the past mistakes. Suggesting they are indeed having to do this, makes their current projects susceptible to the same types of errors. Thus repeating the cycle again and again. Considering this could very well be a truth, I cannot foresee how this game can continue to be published, developed, and distributed to the masses for selling. It just seem inefficient and at a great cost to the long term and top end of the profit production.

In conjunction with the topic regardless of what truth ends up prevailing, Is Cordovan. The front man for SSG who never commits on anything when problems arise. Nor does he commit on the remedy and when it will be applied. The guy is just Dulgabeth spouting out posi speak rhetoric. SSG seems so incompetent at their jobs, they know better than to commit on anything so they do not. They don't even try. Seem incompetent, but I do question this and alot.

To make the current matter worse. SSG now has raiders and crafters at each other over Rimes. Possibly another manipulation to slow player progress. In the end, all of this tallied together makes for a mixture of poison spewing its vapors among the player community. To be straightforward and honest. Its just not a fun place to be. On top of all of this is the players already paid for the latest release and many players are already done with it and yet the instances wont be released for weeks and possibly two months. This case with the late instance release is or could be another example of slowing player progress. Someone looks at the data and "Guys its time. Our players are not logging on." Probably same shit that made SSG release Mirkwood on LS. This type  of manipulation of spoon feeding bit by bit can't keep me playing.

The story is over save for the Scouring and SSG would stretch this out for years. To the point SSG is now outright changing the Cannon Lore (Radagast gave the Beornings the skill to skin change.) to keep continuing all the while manipulating into constant procrastination. Admittedly this last part extremely annoys me. The fucking game should be at its story's end now and the game would be better off for it. Existing in perpetuity in its own context. Enduring in maintenance mode and fixing all the fucking broken shit of the last 12 years. I know this won't happen and the game will be dragged across every pile of shit conceivably possible before finally turning the lights off. Week after week fixing the previous weeks immediate brokeness if it gets in the way of revenue. If it doesn't, fuck it, we'll get to it the next patch.

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I would have hoped SSG/Turbine would have done the smart thing and started writing the fourth age by now....

And yet, they did the greedy thing and screwed up a potentially good MMO....

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I believe there are a few things interacting.

1. The game engine. It was probably never well-written to begin with, and the mess has gotten messier over the years.

2. The game code. The base code was probably just as badly written, and, again, the mess has gotten messier.

3. The interaction between the modules. Can you really predict what happens when one mess interacts with another mess?

4. Knowledge. Most the people who knew anything about the game engine are no longer working for SSG and so the current devs tinker around blindly.

5. Current resources. The devs are shared between LOTRO and DDO, and SSG just doesn't have the resources to produce quality code.

6. The development process. This is a two-fold process. The first is that coding seems to continue right up until the release date, and then QA doesn't get a chance to fully test the feature. The second is that there never seems to be any full-system testing to ensure the changes haven't broken something else.  I sometimes wonder if there is a QA group.

7. The dismissive attitude toward players. They ignore people with expertise in their classes, charge ahead with releases and features despite concerns raised by the players, introduce complex systems and grindy mechanics despite feedback, and generally treat the players like the enemy.

9. The Store. All shall bow to the almighty store!

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1 hour ago, Talisman said:

6. The development process. This is a two-fold process. The first is that coding seems to continue right up until the release date, and then QA doesn't get a chance to fully test the feature. The second is that there never seems to be any full-system testing to ensure the changes haven't broken something else.  I sometimes wonder if there is a QA group.

Even if they were doing agile development, and keeping up with the QA part of things, SSG needs to step back and look at the game client as they really need to bring DDO and LotRO onto the same engine, and even tighter than they are now, otherwise they are going to keep muddling along with a spaghetti code engine.

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8 hours ago, Talisman said:

I believe there are a few things interacting.

1. The game engine. It was probably never well-written to begin with, and the mess has gotten messier over the years.

2. The game code. The base code was probably just as badly written, and, again, the mess has gotten messier.

3. The interaction between the modules. Can you really predict what happens when one mess interacts with another mess?

4. Knowledge. Most the people who knew anything about the game engine are no longer working for SSG and so the current devs tinker around blindly.

5. Current resources. The devs are shared between LOTRO and DDO, and SSG just doesn't have the resources to produce quality code.

6. The development process. This is a two-fold process. The first is that coding seems to continue right up until the release date, and then QA doesn't get a chance to fully test the feature. The second is that there never seems to be any full-system testing to ensure the changes haven't broken something else.  I sometimes wonder if there is a QA group.

7. The dismissive attitude toward players. They ignore people with expertise in their classes, charge ahead with releases and features despite concerns raised by the players, introduce complex systems and grindy mechanics despite feedback, and generally treat the players like the enemy.

9. The Store. All shall bow to the almighty store!

For periods we had little oversight, class devs allowed to do their own thing playing around with a favourite class and ignoring another. Mother Vvyanne with little technical ability allowing everyone free reign to develop, more for their resumes than for the good of the game. Given the lack of knowledge, reason and logic would have you reach out for help but the environment has ever been deceit.  

6 hours ago, Almagnus1 said:

Even if they were doing agile development, and keeping up with the QA part of things, SSG needs to step back and look at the game client as they really need to bring DDO and LotRO onto the same engine, and even tighter than they are now, otherwise they are going to keep muddling along with a spaghetti code engine.

Perhaps engine wise but getting all their inspiration for Lotro development from stuff they have in DDO hasn't so far done much for Lotro. If you hate one game and love the other which are you going to copy over? 

Mac

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All these years from Asheron's Call to today. Turbine and by extension SSG could have been creating a new game engine from the ground up, back to front. Always same bullshit about Turbine was a small company and how SSG is a small Dev company is just passing the $buck. From the company to the shills and whiteknights. All bullshit through and through. SSG should have had this as their 1st goal and main priority from the onset of creating the LLC. Not for LotRO or DDO, but for both all the while creating it for a new game. What new game idk but surely creating a new game engine would open up many doors within and without. I see other game engines being used for newer games and I know that shit isn't free open source material in every case. One person on the payroll could have done this and yes it would take years. How many? Umm let's see. Twelve years? Probably less.

Bottom line is, small minds have small goals.

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Maybe all the "investors" over the years have never had a return or they've just frittered it away, Infinite Crisis?

Have to believe that between Turbine/WB and Daybreak lawyers they had a shitty deal to keep it going.

 

Mac

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5 hours ago, Macdui101 said:

Perhaps engine wise but getting all their inspiration for Lotro development from stuff they have in DDO hasn't so far done much for Lotro. If you hate one game and love the other which are you going to copy over? 

Mac

Well, engine and system wise, as SSG should have done what WoW did, which is take the engine that runs everything, and throw on the 1.12 data and have the engine run that so that you essentially have two games that share a very large percentage of code, thus reducing your overhead.

Given what I've seen from SSG and Turbine, I'm not sure if they've done that yet, or at least have the codebases as close as they should be.

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4 hours ago, Splay said:

All these years from Asheron's Call to today. Turbine and by extension SSG could have been creating a new game engine from the ground up, back to front. Always same bullshit about Turbine was a small company and how SSG is a small Dev company is just passing the $buck. From the company to the shills and whiteknights. All bullshit through and through. SSG should have had this as their 1st goal and main priority from the onset of creating the LLC. Not for LotRO or DDO, but for both all the while creating it for a new game. What new game idk but surely creating a new game engine would open up many doors within and without. I see other game engines being used for newer games and I know that shit isn't free open source material in every case. One person on the payroll could have done this and yes it would take years. How many? Umm let's see. Twelve years? Probably less.

Bottom line is, small minds have small goals.

The game engine used by LOTRO and DDO is the same that was used by AC. It is a proprietary engine that was built in house. The base code is over 20 years old, and was probably badly written to begin with.

Maybe Turbine could have re-written the game engine in 2003 or 2007, or licensed the Unreal engine, when they were flying high with 3 MMOs, but there's no way SSG has the funding or staff to do either these days.

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3 hours ago, Macdui101 said:

Maybe all the "investors" over the years have never had a return or they've just frittered it away, Infinite Crisis?

Have to believe that between Turbine/WB and Daybreak lawyers they had a shitty deal to keep it going.

 

Mac

What investors? The only investor Turbine ever had was WB. WB's investment was an eventual planned buyout per the contract, which the original founder of Turbine intended all along as his cashout. Everyone assumes there is some dude swimming in cash who remains hidden as the investor. The most that occurred was an investment company was created for the sole purpose for WB's eventual ownership. SSG themselves had someone front them a loan to get on their feet, once no longer under the Turbine/WB yoke directly. The loan to create an indie development company is not the same thing as who supplies the cash to keep LotRO going. There is a good chance the SSG loan is already paid off and likely the reason DBG didn't jump in immediately. Also the loan for SSG was likely incorporated into the package deal arbitrated between WB, DBG and SSG from the budget allotted to SSG in the first year. All parties concerned gave SSG a break to get on their feet.

 

Infinite Crisis was a piece of shit built on the same piece of shit engine LotRO and DDO use today. It doesn't surprise me its was shut down and tbh I don't think Turbine was fully committed to making it good. A pet project approved by WB which no one really gave a fuck about but to keep their jobs until WB made the transition to Mobile games. Essentially Infinite Crisis was a filler to take up time on WB's ticket expense.

Any profits Turbine ever made were promptly taken away and the annual budget prevailed. It wasn't like as if Turbine hit it big again raises would be flying out from WB or the annual budget would have been infinite.

My point about the game engine and creating a new one, is there was always room and time to have it bargained for in any given years budget. That never happened.

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7 hours ago, Talisman said:

The game engine used by LOTRO and DDO is the same that was used by AC. It is a proprietary engine that was built in house. The base code is over 20 years old, and was probably badly written to begin with.

Maybe Turbine could have re-written the game engine in 2003 or 2007, or licensed the Unreal engine, when they were flying high with 3 MMOs, but there's no way SSG has the funding or staff to do either these days.

From what little screwing around with performance monitor earlier today and the LotRO client, I suspect there's (at minimum) asset loading code that needs optimization and a handle leak in the game code.

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