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9-17-2009 @ 1:08PM
180,000 bugs doesn't seem like that much to me for a game that has been running for over five years, as gone through two expansions has thousands of quest and items, and has new non-expansion content added on a fairly regular basis. Considering a bug could be anything from a tree clipping the side of a hill, to instances not being launched and that this number contains the fixed bugs, it's not surprising to me at all.
9-17-2009 @ 1:26PM
I agree completely, shawnmgraham. Having done some QA and user acceptance testing (and thus had to report and track bugs) for in-house software, I can barely imagine how complex the code needed to run WoW must be, and so that many bugs sounds quite reasonable. And for all we know, 60% of them could be resolved already. I know I personally have seen bugs as minor as a mob halfway inside a tree, so something like that would probably be tracked in the database, while still having little or no impact on the way anyone plays the game. Not a top priority, certainly.Also note, the number of GMs and customer service reps needed doesn't necessarily correlate with the number of bugs. While they do get bug reports from customers, most of the time they are likely just recording them and passing them on to the developers and QA testers. I expect that they spend a lot of time dealing with hacked accounts and loot issues etc etc etc, and those are probably NOT bug-related.
9-17-2009 @ 1:27PM
Yeah, I think it's fairly normal for any 5 year old product to have had 180k bugs in its lifecycle. Of course, I'm sure that a much smaller number are active currently.
9-17-2009 @ 1:59PM
I fully agree the number of bugs is perfectly reasonable. My question is this: how many of these bugs have been open, unresolved, and still applicable for 4+ years?Because I know there are some evade-glitched mobs that have been sitting there, evading, for as long as I can remember. Or quest mobs in the WPL that, when they get down to 20%, disengage from combat, return to their patrol, recover their health because they're out of combat, and potentially (depending on where you were standing when you were fighting them) immediately aggro on you again. Eventually you manage to get them on a big crit that skips over the bug or something, but we're talking about some of the early content here that is still frustratingly screwed up.It's not like I'm threatening to quit over it or anything, but a fix really should have been rolled out for some of these somewhere along the way, and it's probably a relatively small tweak in their behavior code.
9-17-2009 @ 3:10PM
Everyone is forgetting one point, to me it is not a big number when you look at how many registered users there are, and how many of those bugs might be repeats of the same bug by different users (we don't know if their system checks for this)?Still in 4+ years of running software for millions of users i consider it a testament to blizzard, look at firefox they currently have 500,000 bugs in their tracker. I am also sure that some os's have had that many bugs to. Thumbs up for blizzard.
9-17-2009 @ 3:20PM
Coming from a former life in QC, there's something else to consider, that this 180k bugs is probably the TOTAL number of bugs ever entered into what I am sure is a very robust database of "bugs" or "Issues" some of the earlier bugs are probably from the first build of the game or even going as far back as "Concept bugs".In other words, go back 3-4 years before the first games came out, or whenever they started developing the game, and that's when they started the 180k count. That sounds about right for a game as big as WoW.Look at Madden, EA for the first several years tracked a lot of the older Madden bugs on paper, my friend working on that project as an associate had to report on what they called "legacy" bugs at the start of each new itteration of the game. So even before the project for the year even started out, there was like 4-5 thousand bugs that still existed, or were there to remind devs where they could run into trouble.180k big number, but not when you consider the man hours put into this game. figure out the man hours spent developing WoW, or the $ paid to devs working on WoW. Those numbers should be rather staggering. You'll never see them published, but I imagine in some cave of some CEOs office on the corner of his desk is a digital counter with like 20 digits just ticking away.
9-17-2009 @ 3:22PM
I also agree. Having done QA and managed software testing departments, I concur with the other posters who guess that this number includes both fixed and "non-bug' reports - duplicate bugs, deferred bugs, "bugs" that are really system enhancement (e.g. feature requests).The more informative number would be the number of active/open bugs.
9-17-2009 @ 3:23PM
I agree, working in development for past 10+ years, bug databases tend to contain bugs that some people can't seem to let go of, and bugs that are so obscure or edge case that they will only occur in very rare circumstances.
9-17-2009 @ 4:46PM
More than the fact that the number of bugs seems legit, this should be an eye-opener to other companies and their MMOs. Wow is by far the most polished AAA MMO on the market, and while this number represents 5 years of bugs, it hammers home the point that part of being a top-notch MMO is spending a lot of resources on polish.
9-17-2009 @ 7:00PM
Exactly. They answered their own question, right there in the article. There aren't 180k ACTIVE bugs... there have been 180k bugs TOTAL, including resolved issues ("have been fixed," as you say above). I'm guessing this also includes bugs on content that never made it to the live servers. (See an issue in the PTR? Add it to the tracking database! Had an issue back in the alpha of the original release? Good bet it's in the database!)
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