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lukaself

Warframe needs a Bug Tracker

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Posted (edited)

Warframe needs a Bug Tracker

Oooh boy, where to start? I don't know how to sugarcoat this so I won't. (read only the bolded parts for tl,dr 😅)

I"ve been playing Warframe since the beginning and it has always been a bit buggy. It's but a byproduct of warframe's living development and players are mostly fine with this, me included. However the current situation feels like it's going out of hand. We have weapons that simply stop working (Ocucor), game modes completely neglected to the point of being broken for months on end, new systems implemented without any consideration for old standing bugs (dual energy colors while energy colors only work properly for hosts). Cosmetics that are completely forgotten once released, despite bugs (took me two years to get the Edo prime armor fixed, TWO YEARS.), communication issues regarding aspects being considered working as intended while clearly not (ever checked the transparency on kubrow's fur? Tell me again that it's intended the background fur is rendered above the fur at the foreground...), long standing broken animations (gammacor, fishing spears and spearguns with Volt). Do I even need to mention the whole networking and matchmaking system that defers way too much to the host? (Why do I need the permission of the host to switch weapons?)

Not an exhaustive list, far from it.

Gotta give credits where credits are due, game-breaking bugs are fixed insanely fast, however for the rest of them I don't know how the bug report system works internally but from this side it looks like fixing is at the whim of each team, that or stuff gets postponed and forgotten all the time which is frankly worse.

Now I asked myself how could we improve the situation? I checked other games that are known for their long-standing bug issues to see how they cope with it and I stumbled on this:

yYfozLa.png

https://issues.frontierstore.net/

It's an all-fresh system the Elite Dangerous devs, Frontier Developments, came up with to deal with what players consider one of the major weak points of their game: Bugs, just like Warframe. While the picture is pretty self explanatory with what I'd like to see from a proper bug report tracker in Warframe, please note they even went as far as to implement a vote system once a bug is confirmed allowing to focus on popular issues. This could have the added bonus of producing preciously useful data for the developers to use. It works, and it's console friendly! At a glance I can immediately see if my bug already has been submitted, if it has been fixed, if it has been acknowledged, what are the repro steps and how many people reported it already.

If there's only one thing I could choose from the above system to add immediately, I would pick the addition of an "acknowledged" tag to threads that have been logged with the team.

I went on a few furious rants in these very forums because of the frustration of having no feedback other than what the devs or moderators post themselves in the associated threads and often not even getting the bug fixed despite sometimes years of reports... I decided to try and make one last constructive post. I'm serious about this, there is not a single system in Warframe that does not feature obvious bugs and it's ruining everything. If this situation is not seriously looked at, in time, people will just stop contributing.

 

So what do you think everyone? Please leave your thoughts below to help this suggestion get some visibility!

Edited by lukaself
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It has been 6 years and DE is continuously fixing bugs as indicated by every single change log since pretty much beginning

It has been 6 years of bugs...people are still "contributing".

It has been 6 years of bugs..and the game isn't ruined.

 

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Posted (edited)
On 2019-05-01 at 7:06 PM, Chappie1975 said:

It has been 6 years and DE is continuously fixing bugs as indicated by every single change log since pretty much beginning

It has been 6 years of bugs...people are still "contributing".

It has been 6 years of bugs..and the game isn't ruined.

 

All feedback is welcome, negative or positive. I must say that I expected something a tad more constructive than gratuitous denial though, especially if you're going to miscontrue my opening post so much.

How about you develop that a little bit further instead? Why do you think Warframe do not need to improve the way it manages bug reports?

Edited by lukaself
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On 2019-05-01 at 5:45 AM, lukaself said:

(read only the bolded parts for tl,dr 😅)

 

On 2019-05-01 at 5:45 AM, lukaself said:

how could we improve the situation?

On 2019-05-01 at 5:45 AM, lukaself said:

So what do you think everyone? Please leave your thoughts below to help this suggestion get some visibility!

 

I dont understand the tl;dr section.

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Lol, it's a nice pie in the sky idea but if de implimented this the whole dev team would just be fixing bugs and we'd never get so much as another syandana.  It's not known as bugframe for nothing.  

There are some bugs that annoy the living he'll out of me - host migration being the obvious top choice - but you have to just accept them and work around them or they will cause your stress levels to skyrocket and you'll soon give up on the game.   

Too many layers of code going back too many years is the problem.  That's why when one bug gets fixed it often just causes another one somewhere else. 

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Actually a good idea, but unlikely to happen. We could do a community version of it, though? I'd be down with that. 😄

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They don't even seem to read half the bug report forums.  Bring up an issue for months and get nothing until a random attempt to get attention on Reddit finally gets a response.  Who knows how long it would have taken if we just kept using the official bug report forums? @Kontrollo

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2 minutes ago, (PS4)BenHeisennberg said:

They don't even seem to read half the bug report forums.  Bring up an issue for months and get nothing until a random attempt to get attention on Reddit finally gets a response.  Who knows how long it would have taken if we just kept using the official bug report forums? @Kontrollo

For problems which don't concern a lot of people? Can take years. What I found can help sometimes is be an annoying little A****** and link to topics in patch notes threads. You know, "still no fix for..." instead of a thumbs up and a thanks. Sad but true.

¯\_(ツ)_/¯

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Posted (edited)
On 2019-05-13 at 7:41 PM, (XB1)Shodian said:

I dont understand the tl;dr section.

You missed some bolded parts ^^' 

 

On 2019-05-13 at 10:35 PM, Kontrollo said:

For problems which don't concern a lot of people? Can take years. What I found can help sometimes is be an annoying little A****** and link to topics in patch notes threads. You know, "still no fix for..." instead of a thumbs up and a thanks. Sad but true.

¯\_(ツ)_/¯

 

On 2019-05-13 at 8:19 PM, (XB1)Hyperion Rexx said:

Lol, it's a nice pie in the sky idea but if de implimented this the whole dev team would just be fixing bugs and we'd never get so much as another syandana.  It's not known as bugframe for nothing.  

Coming back to the Elite Dangerous bug tracker. It's clear it's not causing more work for the devs, quite the contrary since the community can provide repro steps and even if there's a vote system, it's still the devs who decide which bugs they fix depending on the time investment needed compared to the time and manpower they got. Frontier devs still go at their own rhythm but the communication about these issues stopped being "STILL NO FIX FOR" in places players know the developers read. 

Warframe will always be bugframe, I've come to terms with that long ago... but that doesn't mean we shouldn't try to improve what could be improved. A simple bug tracker would bring better communication and a semblance of method in the current madness. 

Edited by lukaself
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Case in point, the Ocucor:

A patch broke it in March, someone else reported it the same month but the thread disappeared. Reported it again myself April 9 complete with video. I bumped the topic monthly until I  had enough and looked for an occasion to "Still no fix" it on the first page of a patch notes' thread. When I did, It got fixed the next day, four months later... And I consider myself lucky!

Players shouldn't have to ambush the devs on social media to get their attention on sometimes years-old reports. A little organization goes a long way.

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It would be great to have a proper system for reporting and tracking bugs. I've ran into several bugs that, apparently, have been around for years with pretty much 0 acknowledgement from DE and that makes me feel like reporting bugs is useless and just a waste of time. I understand that they can't fix everything at once and have to prioritize, but there should be atleast something signaling us that the report has been seen by someone. For example tags like;
- under investigation
- more information needed
- confirmed
- fixed
- working as intented
- visual only

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A decent bug reporting and tracking system should reduce amount of work for the dev team.

the number of bugs doesn't change because there is a system to track them however the effort to manage those bugs should be reduced. Less clutter on the forums, less things to scan to see if there is a new bug (reddit/twitter/forums/etc).

I wholeheartedly agree with OP that the current system is tragically flawed and they should do something if they want the players to continue to report bugs.  I often go a while without bother to report major bugs since most of the time it seems anything I do report is ignored and certainly never even acknowledged as received.

It would be nice to know if something reported has been seen and made it into the queue - even if it is not being actively worked on.  Otherwise I feel like I need to report the same bugs again and again with every release and it gets old starting new threads "Pressing X when accepting a fissure mission results in being prompted "are you sure you want to play with no relic" is STILL not fixed"  e.g. after every hotfix..

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Honestly I'd rather the teams keep working on the bugs rather than devoting any resources to maintaining and updating a bug tracker just so we can more accurately complain about bugs. 

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2 hours ago, Drasiel said:

Honestly I'd rather the teams keep working on the bugs rather than devoting any resources to maintaining and updating a bug tracker just so we can more accurately complain about bugs. 

The people working on bugs are rarely the ones who update the tracker or forums (based on my experience with other games that have a bug tracker or a well organized bug report forum).

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, Drasiel said:

Honestly I'd rather the teams keep working on the bugs rather than devoting any resources to maintaining and updating a bug tracker just so we can more accurately complain about bugs. 

While I see where you're coming from, they already work on those bugs anyway. They do the sorting and prioritizing work, and above all they do fix a ginormous amount of stuff.

I'm sure you can see how they'd actually save time by not having to sort duplicates, having less erroneous reports by simply marking a bug as "working as intended" as they log it in... They already do all that internally and every time someone comes to the forums and makes another report because they don't know if it's been logged or worked on, it's content the debugging team has to parse, read, identify and sort all over again. Having an open system would help by actually reducing the number of reports they'd have like in the current form of the bug report forum. Something as simple as a "I have this issue too" button for instance would allow the team to quickly prioritize by recurrence for instance.

A little work upstream can save you a lot of time later on. I'm pretty sure DE has already thought about it themselves: They sure as hell know how to manage large scale projects internally and they go above expectations with listening to feedback about design. However, efficient bug reporting needs to be a 2-way road.

Edited by lukaself

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On 2019-07-13 at 12:17 PM, lukaself said:

While I see where you're coming from, they already work on those bugs anyway. They do the sorting and prioritizing work, and above all they do fix a ginormous amount of stuff.

I'm sure you can see how they'd actually save time by not having to sort duplicates, having less erroneous reports by simply marking a bug as "working as intended" as they log it in... They already do all that internally and every time someone comes to the forums and makes another report because they don't know if it's been logged or worked on, it's content the debugging team has to parse, read, identify and sort all over again. Having an open system would help by actually reducing the number of reports they'd have like in the current form of the bug report forum. Something as simple as a "I have this issue too" button for instance would allow the team to quickly prioritize by recurrence for instance.

A little work upstream can save you a lot of time later on. I'm pretty sure DE has already thought about it themselves: They sure as hell know how to manage large scale projects internally and they go above expectations with listening to feedback about design. However, efficient bug reporting needs to be a 2-way road.

The issue I have isn't with the bug tracking itself but with the public side of it. It would be ludicrous to run a game of this complexity without an internal bug tracker so I'm sure they have a program for it.

The first problem is that the specific information required to input a bug may require internal information we are not privy too, which would mean even if you got all the other information with a reliable reproduction that can be easily duplicated you'd still need a guy to put the bug in the logger. 

The second issue is that the bug logger they are using may be designed with the Devs eyes only in mind. So in order to share it with us they would have to design and manage a public form and tracker if there isn't already a web plugin or feature to limit access to what information is accessible in a bug logger. Considering how little development the mobile app sees I am seriously suspect of the availability of resources for such a project. 

As for the complaint about the clutter and confusion of the forums, yes it does look disorganized from our side as forum users. However, those with access to the back end will have more tools to sort, sift and acquire the information found here than we do. They don't have to scroll through the whole forum they only have to review any additional posts per day in the bug forums and you can bet that certain categories are given a much higher priority than others. Right now the forums are no different than a form where you report bugs and assuming there needs to be a guy to supply the extra information to the bug tracking software it's just as effective. 

Then there is the final issue of the communities ability to effectively use the bug tracker. People already can't be bothered to use the search function or even post issues in the right subforum. A bug tracker would not prevent duplicate bugs, nor would it prevent users from reporting confirmed not bugs as bugs. Reading through information before levying a complaint is not humanities strong suit and that can be seen in every bug report section in every game. 

While seeing what bugs are being worked on or are definitely on the Devs radar would be nice, I still see the required work to make a publicly viewable bug tracker as far too much work for far to little gain. 

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Posted (edited)
On 2019-05-13 at 10:35 PM, Kontrollo said:

For problems which don't concern a lot of people? Can take years. What I found can help sometimes is be an annoying little A****** and link to topics in patch notes threads. You know, "still no fix for..." instead of a thumbs up and a thanks. Sad but true. 

Too true. Especially for art stuff, unfortunately 😞

It's always either:

  • Something huge that starts pissing off a lot of people.
  • It's done in the heat of the moment (new thing deploys and devs are looking out for issues).
  • You post it at the right time on the right day and someone notices (the ultimate RNG gamble lol).

Or else, you can be waiting years. They totally need to improve this, because at some point people just get insane levels of frustrations.

Edited by NightmareT12
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For my thoughts on the matter, DE use a ZenDesk system for reporting bugs. Implementing this system you're wanting from the other side would take, likely, an extensive system shift since ZenDesk isn't a DE product.

As far as I'm aware, though, ZenDesk does actually have all the features on DE's end to collate and categorise bug reports to see what is getting reported the most, what is being confirmed as a bug, and what needs attention sooner or later.

The key difference between this one and your one is that in the one you want, the community pushes which bugs are considered the most important, even if something that's reported the least could be the most game breaking. Under the proposed system a bug with syandana clipping on a new Warframe could get the most votes and be pushed to the top, while a bug that causes that frame to suddenly produce sixty-times damage under specific circumstances would merely get chatted about and never actually made into a bug report, and certainly not get to the top of the voting list due to people wanting to keep that bug in the game.

We don't really know what system by which DE judges bugs as important or not, but we do have the change/fix logs going back for years to show that they are listening to our reports and are fixing things as and when they can.

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Posted (edited)
On 2019-07-15 at 1:55 PM, Birdframe_Prime said:

We don't really know what system by which DE judges bugs as important or not, but we do have the change/fix logs going back for years to show that they are listening to our reports and are fixing things as and when they can.

First, thanks to everyone for participating to this discussion, it's not a particularly glamour topic but I think it's important nevertheless.

I never pretended they didn't fix anything, they do regularly, but If these forums are useful at all I think it's only marginal at best. It just seems that they tend to forget about bugs, which is hard to see how it could happen if they were indeed logged in the first place, forcing people to nag them on the front page of unrelated news post, on social media or "still no fix" them in patch notes' threads. If a user-reported bug is not fixed or at least acknowledged in the first week of reporting it, It mostly never will in my experience.

My example with the broken Ocucor earlier? 6 months from the report, no fix until I frontpaged it. Volt's broken prime access? 2 years from the report for a 50€ piece of equipement? Got fixed after contacting one of the studio leads directly. Broken Sword and Shield animations? 3 years, three threads archived and locked and still no fix or answer to this day. All obvious bugs, with obvious causes... See the trend? I can keep the examples coming all day. Unless I make a lot of noise about a bug it doesn't get fixed by reporting it in the forums.

Which is why I think that the bug report forums are inefficient in their current form. It seems the studio is wasting resources just by merely having to manage them.

This is generating frustration and this is that accumulated frustration that pushed me to stop playing completely a few years ago for an extended period of time, so it has the additional cost of pushing people back from the game. From my own experience only a very small fraction of bugs gets fixed after people reported them in these forums. It's usually rather thanks to the internal QA (Kudos to the QA team btw! Despite my complaints about the system, your job is appreciated here!).

I suspect that this is because DE's internal system may actually be as opaque and cumbersome for the developers as it is for the users. There are only two reasons a bug can go through the cracks for so long: Either the system considers an archived report (6months+) as "solved" or the QA team is saturated with reports, probably overworked, constantly pushing back older bugs in favor of bugs in the newest content, without ever getting the time to catch up with the pile of crap accumulating and gradually sapping enjoyment from the core experience.

"Death by a thousand cuts bugs".

Edited by lukaself
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The forums are kind of the wrong tool for this, too. They have a special kind of dynamic with popular and controversial topics that isn't really helping the bug triaging/fixing process. Also, there's no way for a dev to acknowledge a topic/bug without posting in it, and only a few of them want to expose themselves here for obvious reasons.

So there's definitely room for improvement.

Also, if that were ever going to happen, they could make it a special community program like they did with the guides. I'd probably participate, and I wouldn't want a special badge or cosmetic or other incentive, either. Making things more efficient would help everyone.

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Posted (edited)

I'll double down on one of my original suggestions. No need to completely revamp the system to improve it greatly: It would be an immense step forward if we could merely have a feedback on whether a bug has been logged in internally. Nothing fancy, just something with the existing anonymous (on our side) upvote system, for instance adding an "acknowledged" symbol that only developers could use. Providing the feedback a lot of people reporting bugs here crave, just a single click away, would be awesome already!

 

(and it wouldn't piss off the marketing team because they want to control outside communications...I know they're needed but those guys freak me out.)

Edited by lukaself

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Posted (edited)
15 minutes ago, lukaself said:

I'll double down on one of my original suggestions. No need to completely revamp the system to improve it greatly: It would be an immense step forward if we could merely have a feedback on whether a bug has been logged in internally. Nothing fancy, just something with the existing anonymous (on our side) upvote system, for instance adding an "acknowledged" symbol that only developers could use. Providing the feedback a lot of people reporting bugs here crave, just a single click away, would be awesome already!

 

(and it wouldn't piss off the marketing team because they want to control outside communications...I know they're needed but those guys freak me out.)

It would be nice, but would just shift the complaints from whether a bug is seen or not to everyone complaining about "why hasn't their specific bug been fixed yet".

Edited by Atsia

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Posted (edited)
11 minutes ago, Atsia said:

It would be nice, but would just shift the complaints from whether a bug is seen or not to everyone complaining about "why hasn't their specific bug been fixed yet".

If a bug hasn't been seen, don't you think it's justified to bring the devs attention on it until it has? With a feedback system, it becomes less justifiable to spam "still no fix" posts and so I believe a good number will naturally cease. Not all though, because a minority of people will be entitled A******s no matter what you do it's merely a step forward, not a cure for DE's notorious long-standing bugs fixing delays. That part could only be improved internally but this is not what I'm asking for, whether user report bugs efficiently or not has no bearing on that.

Edited by lukaself

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21 hours ago, lukaself said:

My example with the broken Ocucor earlier? 6 months from the report, no fix until I frontpaged it.

I think this is putting way too much on your own contributions.

As I said, DE use a ZenDesk reporting system for actual bug reports, that six months could have simply been how long it took for more people to report the bug, and therefore for more people to be aware of it so that when your post when live, that's why it front paged. It reached a saturation point, and therefore was fixed, I would say it's coincidence, not causality, that your thread and the fix happened in short succession, because that would put it in the vast minority of bug fixes that ever coincide with actual front page bug posts.

Well, besides those points where it literally is just a new update and the community is the bug-checking system for the first month, maybe two, of that content.

21 hours ago, lukaself said:

Either the system considers an archived report (6months+) as "solved" or the QA team is saturated with reports

They're saturated with reports

21 hours ago, lukaself said:

probably overworked

probably

21 hours ago, lukaself said:

constantly pushing back older bugs in favor of bugs in the newest content

Not likely, again it's more likely that the new content releases have the most scrutiny from the players and so the bug reports are filed en-mass over a short period of time driving them up the priority list. Meanwhile the older bugs just haven't reached the priority list due to lack of reports rather than lack of drive to fix them.

21 hours ago, lukaself said:

"Death by a thousand cuts bugs".

Quite. But this is the thing; because there are so many bugs to report, putting them into a voting queue will have the opposite problem that it does now.

People will cluster around the bug they want fixed, and bugs they don't want fixed (game exploits and the like) will receive deliberately no attention.

That system, in Warframe, could result in us seeing a slew of a hundred bug-fixes to cosmetics in the next update and only one fix to a weapon not performing as intended.

And that's because Warframe is a game that's had six years of players deliberately pushing to find new ways to make the game faster, easier, or cheesier for themselves. They would literally bury threads asking for a fix to, say, the Trinity Link Castanas build, because that's a thing players wanted, but DE didn't want.

It's fine in communities where the bugs are largely detrimental to the game, or where the players are largely focused on consistency and others not having an unfair advantage, but Warframe has proven time and again that if a build exists for getting things more quickly and more efficiently than intended, then everyone wants to try that build, they don't want it patched out.

With bug reports currently not only being anonymous to other players, and likely entirely based on a hybrid system of actual game-breaking bugs versus quality of life, and then taking an aggregate of the amount of reporting to combine into an actual priority, at least DE are seeing what's actually happening and how frequently it's happening. They get a far less biased report of events because of it.

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