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Question to the developers: will the last update get a preview branch before release?


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As the title mentions. From what the developers have said, the update will be very substantial, perhaps even the largest content update since Early Access. Inevitably, that will come with bugs and issues. So the question will be if the community will be used again (the impression I get up until now is there isn't going to be a preview branch), if there are a select number of testers involved, or if the developer take the whole task of bug hunting on their own. We all have the same goal: to see ONI released in a pristine and polished state, so I'd say do a preview branch so we can help out.

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I think there is virtually no time between the release of QoL 3 and the end of May to squeeze in another another public preview, preparing such would take time that they otherwise will use on polishing the actual release.

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54 minutes ago, Cairath said:

I think there is virtually no time between the release of QoL 3 and the end of May to squeeze in another another public preview, preparing such would take time that they otherwise will use on polishing the actual release.

That depends actually. The latest content update has been under development for some time now, parallel to QoL3.

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2 minutes ago, ToiDiaeRaRIsuOy said:

That depends actually. The latest content update has been under development for some time now, parallel to QoL3.

It sure has been, but preparing a public preview build also takes time ;) It's not as simple as 'let's just upload whatever compiles right now' sort of thing :p

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1 hour ago, Cairath said:

It sure has been, but preparing a public preview build also takes time ;) It's not as simple as 'let's just upload whatever compiles right now' sort of thing :p

I am not claiming it will not cost time, but it should also be doable. Before the QoL updates, the time period between updates was 6 weeks, with 2 weeks of those running the preview branch.

Again, the reason I am asking this, is to ensure the product is properly tested before release. It doesn't matter if I am personally involved in that or not, I can certainly wait those 2 weeks. But from limited developer personel right to full public release, I think we will hit a lot of day one bugs.

I love this game. I don't want its reputation and future tarnished because of crippling issues at its launch. It has lately become a true problem in the gaming world.

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3 hours ago, ToiDiaeRaRIsuOy said:

I am not claiming it will not cost time, but it should also be doable. Before the QoL updates, the time period between updates was 6 weeks, with 2 weeks of those running the preview branch.

Again, the reason I am asking this, is to ensure the product is properly tested before release. It doesn't matter if I am personally involved in that or not, I can certainly wait those 2 weeks. But from limited developer personel right to full public release, I think we will hit a lot of day one bugs.

I love this game. I don't want its reputation and future tarnished because of crippling issues at its launch. It has lately become a true problem in the gaming world.

With the devs splited between qol and launch i guess we will have a preview because the community as a whole helped a lot into finding bugs and " good to have " things, even to tune balance.

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3 hours ago, ToiDiaeRaRIsuOy said:

Again, the reason I am asking this, is to ensure the product is properly tested before release.

It's very likely (I don't quite remember if it was actually officially mentioned and I'd actually say it should be certain, else would be foolish) that for the release version they will have a proper QA team on it. Which to be frank... a decent QA team+management is far better than Early Access, never even mind Early Access Previews. The advantage of Early Access does not lie in finding bad bugs swiftly but many bugs over a long time and get otherwise a lot of feedback... while ofc rather than paying for QA, people pay to be QA.

2 minutes ago, estrogenesys said:

Echoing this sentiment. Astroneer was released with new features that were not beta/EA tested and came out a mess. I don't want that again.

It's worth mentioning that apart from being the first work from that dev, it is not like they fixed the mess after 3 weeks either. It's not that it is on JoWood level but ultimately, real QA is the best QA, when one lets them do it properly... which does not happen always because they are always pressed for time.

If one wants the product to be tested properly, one should rather ask for generous QA which may be a little late at this point since the release date was already given roughly. I personally place my faith in Klei to at least let no game-breakers through (like i.e rockets which were rendered useless for quite a while)... well, maybe I also go a step further and believe that they have enough experience with QA and proper management to ultimately make it proper, while also doing something that is important in another way:

Namely, in terms of sales a proper positive shock/surprise sure counts as merit. Having the content revealed before the release does not affect release sales positively since the "PR bomb" will be smaller. Klei would have my understanding if they want to go down that route because they are confident that their QA will make the release as good as it could be (otherwise, the more bad bugs, the bigger the disaster, voiding the advantage indeed).

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From what the devs said i imagine that the "full game" branch is just the game we are playing just with more content "enabled". Like the new biomes and critters they mentioned are likely using the same systems that are already in place. Most of the bugs that might happen there will happen for us as well. At least that would be the wisest way to do it.

Well no matter how long a group of devs tests stuff bugs will always come through. Players will find those bugs faster obviously since we are higher in numbers. I just hope they made sure the content they added doesn`t change much of the code so it`s less likely to cause bugs.

Anyway there are a few bugs still present in the game that should be fixed before the release as they are pretty gamebreaking and can happen spontanously even due to world generation. Most noteworthy the alchemy bug, changing heavier gasses into lighter, the worldgen PoI override deleting important stuff and the melting doubling resources.

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As a very occasional player, I'd say that to experience most of the game-breaking issues mentioned on this forum, newcomers will first need to invest quite a lot of time in the game. To a point that by that moment such a player may be already considered a success case for the game popularity. Assuming  bug fixes are still planned to happen after the release, I'd think it might make sense pre-release to prioritize issues which disturb in the early-to-mid game, or make the game less entertaining during it. I personally can't think of anything besides maybe a bit glitching hats (and maybe hats being totally not obvious for someone who have not seen them before? maybe the first hat should be automatic?), then maybe dupes being not smart enough to use the nearest storage bin (I think it was maybe somewhat sneakily improved last week? or is it still there? easy to notice in the early game and frustrating), and maaaaaybe pacu imbalance, but that probably is just my personal issue.

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4 hours ago, miauly said:

I'd say that to experience most of the game-breaking issues mentioned on this forum, newcomers will first need to invest quite a lot of time in the game.

Most of the time you will find something you can´t explain or is abusing a bug without you noticing.

 

Like did you ever notice that deodorizers can delete CO2 ?

(Just build algae terrariums and deodorizers next to each other on a low level without a place to sweep the polluted water bottles. The deodorizers will create a vaccume which will result in matter conversion of CO2 rushing into the space.)

 

Or old times drip cooling ?

(Just a vent dripping my access toilett water into a huge reservoir of hot geyser water, and soon my whole temperature overlay was turning blue.)

 

...

 

=> Most of the time you will not notice that you are abusing a bug, or it will just alter the way you build/play the game.

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It is not that I am worried about existing bugs. Most of it is rooted out through the QoL updates, and I am thankful for that.

I think that anybody who has followed the game's development ever since Early Access, knows that literally every iteration came with bugs, glitches and issues. We literally had day one preview branches where the game would crash on start up. Now when the preview branch moved to the live branch, most of these problems where fixed by that point. Some issues kept on lingering and are now being handled through the QoL branches.

Now we have a new, very large content upgrade coming. 3 biomes, new creatures, new plants, new buildings. I am sure the developers learned from the early access period and are much capable of preventing new issues to arise, and if not to better notice them and get them fixed on a much better rate. However, it is a given there will be bugs, glitches and issues. It's practically unavoidable. That's not criticism towards Klei because every game developers is faced with that. There is no perfect development line that avoids growing pains.

Again, what I am worried about is that there is not enough testing done with the new content by the time of release. Rooting out problems requires testing. That has always been the case. If a developer comes in here and says "don't worry, we have freed up more than enough time to test the game out meticously in-house", I will be perfectly fine with that. My single worry is that things are not rushed and not properly tested. I wouldn't give a damn if this was Bethesda, because you know they will screw things up in that department. Klei however abides to a much higher standard, and unfortunaly with that comes higher expectations.

If need be, I'd gladly accept a delay of even a couple of months if that ensures QA is done properly.

13 hours ago, SakuraKoi said:

Namely, in terms of sales a proper positive shock/surprise sure counts as merit. Having the content revealed before the release does not affect release sales positively since the "PR bomb" will be smaller. Klei would have my understanding if they want to go down that route because they are confident that their QA will make the release as good as it could be (otherwise, the more bad bugs, the bigger the disaster, voiding the advantage indeed).

Again, I don't mind of it is a private test or not, as long as it is tested. And yes, a proper professional QA team would of course be better. Maybe that's infact already done and we just don't know. Maybe it isn't due budget constraints.

I do believe that if testing needs to be done, you can draw on this community and its vast knowledge of the game. Send some people around here a PM, arrange None Disclosure Agreements and roll them up in a private testing setting. You will get quite a bit of value out of that without having to spend vast amounts on professional QA!

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