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1-22-2009 @ 8:47PM
I think Leto covered it fairly well...Sure, players were pushing for fixes. But they took 2 months to develop this patch...and the contents (not method of implementation) of the patch was changing up to, what 2 weeks before it was released? Or maybe it was three...There are hundreds of open source projects around the world, coping with this issue very easily, as a hobby, without even a paycheck, or a boss, or project management being done as a seperate task, by someone other than the developers.It's really simple...feature freeze. You pick a point in time, and say "we will not add anything new beyond this, but only fix any bugs we find." Every version control system on the planet provides a "branch" concept, so new things for the next patch can be done in parallel, if necessary. But freezing the content of a patch prevents "feeping creaturism" (far more icky-sounding than the original), which kills more projects than anything except bad management - which of course, causes creeping featurism...Either decide in advance what will be in a patch, or set a deadline for including new things, then test it - starting on the next patch if necessary, but ensuring that the things you include in the next one have had sufficient testing time, and encouraging a development proces, rather than a "let's get it done" - "get what done? You want something, but - how the hell are we supposed to work out what IT does, when IT changes every few days?" dead-end.There's bugs a-plenty in WoW, and lots of things that can/should be scheduled for fixing, and fixed. There's no excuse for a patch that breaks as many things as it fixes (or so it seems), and fails, miserably, to fix so many of the things it claimed to fix...some of them were simply left out completely!Restricting how many things go into a patch simplifies the development and testing process, gets patches out to customers faster to satisfy players who just wanna whine, while avoiding much of the damage done by putting too much stuff into a patch that took so long to prepare that the pressure got too great (whether management, or player) that it was released disastrously early.This is simple stuff...any IT specialist should be aware of these issues (even though we tend to lose sight of them, in the face of a project to work on), and any competant manager should not only undersetand this comprehensively, they should ensure that the techs don't lose sight of it by establishing processes, and sticking to them. And yes, the process can also establish exceptions - that's a minor detail, really.The scale of WoW is no real excuse, it only highlights the importance of doing things properly, not justify making a mess of them.
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