Thursday, May 21, 2009

Oh It Is Truly Is A Grand 'Ole Time

Headshotting people, getting achievements, backstabbing and being backstabbed (since I suck with the spy). The new patch is out and brought something very strange with it that highlights an issue that is very important when patches come out.
They changed the method in which the new weapons are unlocked. Suffice it to say they used to be tied to the achievement system. But now they are like random loot that you get for... well, thats the problem no one really knows why certain people are getting weapons. Often times duplicates. 
The point is developers need transparency behind the changes they make in a game. So if you say you changed something. You need to explain precisely what those changes are and what they are trying to accomplish by changing it. 

Allegedly Valve will explain the new unlock system later today. So that is alright.

Another game that is pretty good with the transparency is Demigod. Although to understand the aims of patches one needs to find the dev journals on the demigod forums and read those. But the results are quite interesting providing very detailed explanations to thoughts regarding why certain choices were made and so on and so on. 
DotA used to suffer horribly from 'bad patch notes' syndrome. Whereby you would read the patch notes and find horribly vague things like 'x' item altered, 'y' hero remade, 'z' hero slightly weakened... Nowadays the map maker, Icefrog, realizes the first thing the community would do was gut his patch notes and expand them so people could actual understand that the item's cost was increased 100 gold, and its damage increased 2 points. Or that the hero had its Str gain lowered by .4 per level.  Now Icefrog includes the detailed patch notes himself since it is just easier, although more time consuming.

So word to the wise. Do not treat the gaming community like fools. Give us the gritty details (well not super technical gritty) to explain what is going on with each point of a list of changes. Most devs are usually pretty good with it.
But finding something like:
- You now find new and old items as you play, instead of through achievements.
Gives us absolutely no fucking clue as to the meat of what the change actually does. And demands further explanation.

Meh I'm probably overblowing this whole scenario, I mean in 12 hours we should have the TF2 blog update which explains the whole thing. Then we can get back to bitching about how now that we understand it in detail, we fucking hate it, and want the other way we hated back.

Yeesh. There is just no pleasing us gamers is there?


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