Treyarch Explains COD Patch Procedure

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Treyarch Explains COD Patch Procedure

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How does a bug get fixed in a game like Call of Duty, and why does it take so long?

It's no fun to see a bug in a competitive multiplayer game, particularly when it feels like a bug that gives other players an unfair advantage over you. It's probably less fun to be a developer having to fix a bug - especially when millions of people play your game and are screaming at you to fix it five minutes ago.

Perhaps in an attempt to explain to players why bug fixes take time, Treyarch community manager Josh Olin has delivered a lengthy explanation on the topic on the official Black Ops message board. It's a very interesting look into the development process at a studio producing one of the most popular games in the world - and a good explanation as to why developers like Treyarch can't just immediately fix the bugs you see when playing the game.

From start to finish, the process has four major phases: Gathering information/reproducing the bug, testing the patch internally, getting approval from platform manufacturers and, finally, releasing the patch. The entire thing can take four or five weeks - and considering that Black Ops hasn't been on shelves for even a month yet, that might explain why we haven't seen a patch for any of the game's bugs yet.

So the next time you get killed because of a bug in the game, take a deep breath and remember Mr. Olin's words. These things take time, you know.

(COD.com, Via Eurogamer)

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I've never understaood people that get pissed because someone can't cook up a patch in five seconds. They don't understand that not only arte they patching it, but they don't want their patch to talk negatively to another piece of coding...

Shit take time!

It's not gonna stop the bitching, but unlike the last CoD, at least Treyarch is doing something about it. I say take as long as it takes, at least something will get done.

Celtic_Kerr:
I've never understaood people that get pissed because someone can't cook up a patch in five seconds. They don't understand that not only arte they patching it, but they don't want their patch to talk negatively to another piece of coding...

Shit take time!

lol, take a look at the black ops forums on steam. nothing but a bunch of know it all self entitled assholes. sure, i can understand wanting a game to be bug free when it comes out. but when that doesn't happen, they expect immediate results... i'd rather have a patch that fixes things rather that one that fixes a few and breaks 10 more.

uppitycracker:

Celtic_Kerr:
I've never understaood people that get pissed because someone can't cook up a patch in five seconds. They don't understand that not only arte they patching it, but they don't want their patch to talk negatively to another piece of coding...

Shit take time!

lol, take a look at the black ops forums on steam. nothing but a bunch of know it all self entitled assholes. sure, i can understand wanting a game to be bug free when it comes out. but when that doesn't happen, they expect immediate results... i'd rather have a patch that fixes things rather that one that fixes a few and breaks 10 more.

I think the steam user being vocal on the forums are used to Valve updating their games Quickly and continuously, anything that falls short of that is *Heinous!*.

Of course 4-5 weeks does seem overly slow, is that only on consoles? PC has received a Few bug fixes (mainly for the lag and CPU issues). I'm guessing a large amount of that time is Microsoft and Sony pissing around and Treyarch trying to get the patch through the jungle of bureaucracy.

I've had the game since it came out (for PC) and I still can hardly play it. I got that one glitch that doesn't even let you switch your class items at all.

I understand these things take awhile, but these things should have been ironed out before release. I'm hoping they patch it soon.

Well the Wii version got a patch already...nice to know treyarch has their priorities straight :D

(not sarcasm)

AlternatePFG:
I've had the game since it came out (for PC) and I still can hardly play it. I got that one glitch that doesn't even let you switch your class items at all.

I understand these things take awhile, but these things should have been ironed out before release. I'm hoping they patch it soon.

This.

I understand that it takes a while to patch the game, but the PC version was released in an awful state, and despite multiple patches, the issues are still there. They just shouldn't have released it like that, though I'm sure the rush was caused by Activision, not Treyarch.

I remember a time when Publishers weren't all lifeless drones frothing at the mouth about maximising their profit margin and releasing games before they could be properly bug tested, meaning bugs were rare.

I also remember a time before Cash in of Duty, but that's another story.

If their game is broken, I think its only natural that people are impaient for it to be fixed so they can start benefiting from the money they spent on it.

*insert comment about beta able to help find bugs/issues before release here*

More on topic though, I always find it fascinating that people assume that things can be fixed instantly. If you fix a bug, there's a chance it could negatively effect something else, which could do the same to something else if fixed. Its just insane amounts of work and requires time. Be patient dammit.

Of course I can see why they would want a bug-free purchase. Games are expensive. Its natural to assume they would be bug-free. Sadly this isn't the case. However its a joy when you play a game doesn't need a week after release. Reach is the only one that comes to mind though. Almost 3 months since it came out and it hasn't had a patch yet.

I really hope I didn't just accidentally start another Halo/Call of Duty flame war by pointing out Reach doesn't have or need a patch so soon after release.

runedeadthA:

uppitycracker:

Celtic_Kerr:
I've never understaood people that get pissed because someone can't cook up a patch in five seconds. They don't understand that not only arte they patching it, but they don't want their patch to talk negatively to another piece of coding...

Shit take time!

lol, take a look at the black ops forums on steam. nothing but a bunch of know it all self entitled assholes. sure, i can understand wanting a game to be bug free when it comes out. but when that doesn't happen, they expect immediate results... i'd rather have a patch that fixes things rather that one that fixes a few and breaks 10 more.

I think the steam user being vocal on the forums are used to Valve updating their games Quickly and continuously, anything that falls short of that is *Heinous!*.

Of course 4-5 weeks does seem overly slow, is that only on consoles? PC has received a Few bug fixes (mainly for the lag and CPU issues). I'm guessing a large amount of that time is Microsoft and Sony pissing around and Treyarch trying to get the patch through the jungle of bureaucracy.

yeah i'd say you're about half right. so many of hte people crying are on almost new forum accounts, though. a lot of it is probably the console crowd with their first e-machine, hearing how PC gaming is so much better, and having never played a CoD outside of MW2 just don't understand why treyarch isn't making their game playable.

also, the cycle is for both console and PC. they mentioned that while one process does not exist (certification) on PC, the variable OS and hardware factor causes the process to last about the same amount of time.

realistically, it's really not that long considering the tedious nature of a lot of it. gathering information and reproducing it in various forms has got to the the most time consuming, but then making sure it doesn't break anything else has certainly got to take some time.

What kind of glitches are we talking about? Are they only on PC? I've been playing pretty regularly on my 360 and I haven't seen any bugs. Maybe I'm just lucky?

It shouldn't have been broken in the first place. Q&A and bug fixing has taken a back seat to cash cow publishers forcing games out the door asap. Activision actively and knowingly screwed Tryarch on this by enforcing the release date whether it was ready or not, but they don't care. The money is being made, now Activision can just sit back and let Treyarch take all the fallout for the shit that follows.

I'm still waiting for them to fix the dual core problem. Ya list dual core processors on your product and it gets kicked out the door practically unplayable. I get that making a game is a difficult process but WaW and MW2 sure seemed to run great on my PC.

Compare and contrast with Super Meat Boy's PC release. It's the day after the release, and there's already a big patch for it. Not bad considering the development team is two people, only one of whom is doing to coding. Not to mention Arcen Games' "one update per week is a slow week" mentitality to (admittedly beta) updates. Again, we're talking a team of three here.

JUMBO PALACE:
What kind of glitches are we talking about? Are they only on PC? I've been playing pretty regularly on my 360 and I haven't seen any bugs. Maybe I'm just lucky?

For the most part it is PC. Consoles got patched everything quicker, though it is a lot easier for you guys since it is only one system and thats that.

well first they have to have a money fight, then they have to point and laugh at people who suffer from the bug, then they throw darts at the wall to determine they will fix said bug or leave it for later or never, then they sacrifice a puppy

Props to them for informing their community like this.

Well I wonder when they are going to figure out the west coast connection issues because we are being boned because of it.

John Funk:
...considering that Black Ops hasn't been on shelves for even a month yet, that might explain why we haven't seen a patch for any of the game's bugs yet.

I'm calling shenanigans. Treyarch have already released several server-side patches, including an experimental reduction of the knife-lunge range and they've also been (apparently) taking care of reported hackers and cheaters.

I'm sure they're working very hard to get things done... but if coding for PS3 and Xbox 360 is so different, that probably doesn't help. Not to mention the differences between PC and Wii coding. So with four different systems to patch, it's not really a surprise they haven't got any major patches out yet.

Oddly enough a couple of patches already got out and both fixed mostly glitches (at least this is what I noticed) in zombie mode.
Multiplayer is still a mess.
Really.

They should do it like Valve's TF2 patches. One patch made the game imbalanced? Don't worry, there are a dozen more coming in the next few hours!

This can also be kinda said for the general game. When people find a problem with a game everyone thinks "Oh [Insert gaming company here] is full of monkeys who can't do anything right!" They don't even realize the amount of programing, animation, reviewing, etc. went into it! Everything about a game takes time and isn't cooked up in two seconds!

0p3rati0n:
This can also be kinda said for the general game. When people find a problem with a game everyone thinks "Oh [Insert gaming company here] is full of monkeys who can't do anything right!" They don't even realize the amount of programing, animation, reviewing, etc. went into it! Everything about a game takes time and isn't cooked up in two seconds!

Completely fair point usually, except for the fact that the game I paid money for as a quality product was released in a completely unplayable state that was in worse condition than a beta (it was worse than the MoH beta from 6 months before it's release), and a month later the game is still completely unplayable, despite the fact I meet the "Minimum System Requirments", surely that's in breach of some sort of trading standard or something. :|

This game has a few bugs and glitches that are so apparent I'm surprised they haven't fixed it before the game was even released

* The Menu-system is horribly bad. Unresponsive, glitchy and terribly designed.

You can't *STOP* the server list from refreshing once it starts loading up the list. There is no STOP button for Christ sake!

The JOIN-button is buggy. It's broken in fact! You have to click it 10-20 times before it lets you join a server

If you quit a server you are tossed back to the main menu instead of the server list. Who the hell thought this was a good idea?

* The game is INCREDIBLY sluggish to START or even QUIT

The time it takes for the maps to even load is terribly long, significantly longer than Crysis or Bad Company 2, and the maps are nowhere NEAR as big NOR support as many players!
Even on a Hi-End PC rig the game takes immensly long to load, and if I want to quit the game? Takes almost 5 minutes before I'm in control of the computer again. Put in a F10 quit command for christ sake!

* Can't change loadout while in-game

If I want to change weapon or ACOD sight on a rifle, I have to QUIT the current game, go into Operations menu, change my loadout, go BACK to the server list and re-enter the game!

These aren't issues that are hard to reproduce or even FIX! I'm calling the partial BS-card on these arguments from Trayarch for making a subpar console-to-PC port of a game with some serious optimization issues and suffers from significant design flaws!

[gamer]Treyarch needs to stop spending time making excuses and start spending time making a working game.[/gamer]

Good for them working on it. Shame the explanation won't matter to a lot.

Adzma:
I remember a time when Publishers weren't all lifeless drones frothing at the mouth about maximising their profit margin and releasing games before they could be properly bug tested, meaning bugs were rare.

I also remember a time before Cash in of Duty, but that's another story.

No, you don't. You have nostalgia. Games have always, ALWAYS had bugs. It's impossible to test everything.

Treyarch could pay a hundred people to quality test Black Ops for a year, and gamers racked up more total playtime on the first night.

I was under the impression they had patched it already. I should know, the multiplayer freezes and locks up my machine every time without fail, AFTER the patch. Not before. So, yeah, really hanging out for another so I have some hope of playing the darned thing.

CyberAkuma:
This game has a few bugs and glitches that are so apparent I'm surprised they haven't fixed it before the game was even released

* The Menu-system is horribly bad. Unresponsive, glitchy and terribly designed.

You can't *STOP* the server list from refreshing once it starts loading up the list. There is no STOP button for Christ sake!

The JOIN-button is buggy. It's broken in fact! You have to click it 10-20 times before it lets you join a server

If you quit a server you are tossed back to the main menu instead of the server list. Who the hell thought this was a good idea?

* The game is INCREDIBLY sluggish to START or even QUIT

The time it takes for the maps to even load is terribly long, significantly longer than Crysis or Bad Company 2, and the maps are nowhere NEAR as big NOR support as many players!
Even on a Hi-End PC rig the game takes immensly long to load, and if I want to quit the game? Takes almost 5 minutes before I'm in control of the computer again. Put in a F10 quit command for christ sake!

* Can't change loadout while in-game

If I want to change weapon or ACOD sight on a rifle, I have to QUIT the current game, go into Operations menu, change my loadout, go BACK to the server list and re-enter the game!

These aren't issues that are hard to reproduce or even FIX! I'm calling the partial BS-card on these arguments from Trayarch for making a subpar console-to-PC port of a game with some serious optimization issues and suffers from significant design flaws!

Buy it on console?

Microsoft Certification is one of the things that kept Dawn of War 2 patches going so slowly.
Relic would make a post like "Hey guys, we made a patch that fixed all these issues you found. It's ready to go and we're sure it works, but it will be out in two-four weeks due to MS certification. Please be patient!"

John Funk:
the process has four major phases: Gathering information/reproducing the bug, testing the patch internally, getting approval from platform manufacturers and, finally, releasing the patch.>

This is the biggest FAIL I have seen in a while.

In a description of the steps needed to patch the game, they jump from "reproduce bug" to "test finished patch"

Gee, it seems like they're missing something there....like, I don't know MAKING THE PATCH!

Yeah, that's a pretty important part of the PATCHING process.

The longer it takes to release a patch, the more things they're fixing is how I always thought of it. Unless they're lazy, which I hope not.

All i remember is the months of agony brought on by

One man army noobtubing... To me that stands as one of the more unfair exploits in online gaming history. To this day unpatched.

there is nothing even close to that bad in blops.

So. as far as i am concearnd. they have earned a gold start for not having anything that big

The only thing i am bitching about in blops. Is jungle. flying spaghetti monster damn do i hate that map

danpascooch:

John Funk:
the process has four major phases: Gathering information/reproducing the bug, testing the patch internally, getting approval from platform manufacturers and, finally, releasing the patch.>

This is the biggest FAIL I have seen in a while.

In a description of the steps needed to patch the game, they jump from "reproduce bug" to "test finished patch"

Gee, it seems like they're missing something there....like, I don't know MAKING THE PATCH!

Yeah, that's a pretty important part of the PATCHING process.

Olin's original post:
Phase 1: Gather feedback, reproduce reports and implement solutions.

So, yeah. Not really that much of a fail, is it?

OT: I also hope you guys fix the lobby system. Really, I can never get into an HQ match. That's not cool. Maybe that's my internet, but, really, doesn't look like it.

Other than that, at least it's nice to see Treyarch actually talk to their community.

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