March 18, 2012
Here is the newest update from DICE on Star Wars: Battlefront. Players can expect this new patch in early May.
With Outer Rim just a short two weeks old, the team here at DICE is extremely happy that many of you are enjoying the new additions to the game like Jabba’s Palace, the new Extraction game mode, and of course our new heroes Nien Nunb and Greedo. We love hearing from you about the fun you’re having in the Outer Rim. However, we’re also hearing from some of you about some issues that are detracting from your experience and we wanted to talk you through our plan to address those here today.
Specifically, some have had to deal with confusing UI feedback like Credits not showing up at the end of a match, Hutt Contract progression freezing or resetting, or – my award for most frustrating – having your Rank seemingly roll back. The good news: the team here has jumped on and fixed all of these issues! Our systems for tracking all of the stats are working properly so what players saw was not stats being lost, mixed up, etc.; but instead the UI was not reading the data correctly at times, which resulted in showing you faulty information. Not to worry, however, as all of your progress and stats are being tracked appropriately on the backend and will update correctly with the fixes.
While we've fixed those big ones, as well as some other bugs or gameplay tweaks you'll see in an early May patch (thanks to you all for providing Sledgehammer feedback, seen here), there are still some that we're working on for future updates. For example, you all have been great at highlighting issues around end of the round crashes when you're near or at Rank 60, as well as hits not registering when dog-fighting in Fighter Squadron. We're currently digging into those to continually improve the in-game experience.
Now that you know what we're doing, I'd like to shed a little bit of light on our patching process so you can better understand how we go about creating patches to fix things or introduce new content. Typically after we get in all of the fixes and content that we want, we start squashing bugs that we, alongside our QA teams, have found. Once we get through as many as we can, we submit our update to our platform partners so they can QA it as well. That process has a set period of time, different per partner, where they need to test things on their own. As mentioned by Sledge, we test these things in closed environments. If we tested these things in the same environment as you, you'd be playing some wonky versions of the game! The problem with testing in our own environment is that some systems behave slightly differently than they do when live and can end up producing different results. Perhaps in live environments it's a data transfer timing issue that gets thrown out of sync or the addition of a layer of handshaking between systems that introduces a potential failure point. I'm sure you've heard similar statements on this topic before - small changes can have significant consequences.
That said, when our content goes live, we have a team that springs into action to start running through the game to make sure it works now that it's out there for everyone to play. Although there are a number of them and they are checking diligently for things that are out of order, they may not always experience the same things that you do. On top of that, since every little thing matters, you all will have different situations than our testers such that we may never experience the issue exactly as you do. When that happens, we quickly source videos, written explanations, or get direct player information so that we can try to replicate that exact scenario, all in an effort to arm our developers with the most information, so they know where to start looking for a fix. The more detailed information you can provide when issues arise, the better on our end as the insights are invaluable for resolution.
Know that we're paying attention to your feedback, questions, and excitement. You're why we do what we do, and we want nothing more than to give you the best experience possible.
I hope that allows you all to see some of what we go through on your behalf every time we get updates out to you. Know that we're paying attention to your feedback, questions, and excitement. You're why we do what we do, and we owe it to you to make sure you have a great experience.
-Paul "TheVestalViking" Keslin
Producer, Star Wars Battlefront
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