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KasperVld

About recent community criticism in the direction of the QA & exp testers

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Just to be specific here, we are volunteers too, not internal to Squad. As for the high knowledge of the inner workings, thats all commitment and time :)
Thanks for the clarification, and many thanks for everyone's efforts to help make KSP as good as it can be.

Edit: [...snip...] Thx, TriggerAu

Edited by basic.syntax

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My only criticism would be for whomever thought it was a good idea to put all those new features into v1.0 rather than a v0.95. That was, IMO, a silly idea. Had this release been v0.95, I doubt there'd have been as much negativity (which I certainly don't condone, incidentally), as the expectation would have been more that the bugs would get sorted out in v0.95 so that the only major change for v1.0 would be the version number and a touch of rebranding. Then again I've no idea if SQUAD had a fixed deadline by which they HAD to release the v1.0 (I don't haunt the forums that closely) - maybe their hands were tied on making it v1.0.

Either way, I can only say that I can think of several 'final release' games that I've played over the years that were way more buggy than the various version of KSP that I've played; that SQUAD seem far more appreciative of and responsive to their customers than most (and the community here generally is outstanding compared to most); and as I've remarked elsewhere, I still have v0.9 plus plenty of mods for it to play with, and whilst that may not quite be what SQUAD wanted for a final product, it's amazingly fun to play and will easily keep me happy until such time as the dust has settled on v1.0.

Well done SQUAD and all the testers, and thank you so much for all your hard work!

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The game looks gorgeous, it loads faster and runs like a champ, the new gameplay mechanics and features are fun and interesting, so much to see and do! This has been a great release overall...

... but this should have been v0.95, not v1.0, the hypetrain just steamrolled all over you guys on SQUAD :sticktongue:, I believe you placed the bar a little bit higher than you should have and that's what's triggering this weird response.

Edited by Wooks

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I've been gaming for a long time and have learned to ignore folks with bad attitude. Most of the bad attitide posts, people don't respond to them because it encourages bad behavior.

Life is full of people and the best we can all do is ignore them and take the high road.

Tha majority appreciate the work that everyone has done. We're living in a society of instant gratification. Some parents just didn't teach their kids patience.. Not much you can do but ignore them.

- - - Updated - - -

BTW,

GREAT job to everyone that worked on the project and many thanks!!!

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Ok, from my position of QA with years in the field I want to say that QA (process) is judged not by founded bugs but by not founded bugs that were found by customers. And if your process is bad, then someone has to be responsible for missed defects.

Not QA (process)? Good, then the person who scheduled 1.0. Because we've paid for the game and we, as customers, have all right to kick your ass for bad software which doesn't do everything you said it does. And it IS final product, because it's 1.0, there is no excuses that it's a beta, it has to do promised things.

And if you have some issues which were found, but you weren't able to fix in time for release, then it would be a good practice to let customers know about them before buying by posting list of them, so the same defect would be rereported less and people would complain less about missed defect.

Not responsibility of unpaid QA (person)? Ok, then it's an immature QA process in the company, the company which IS responsible for the quality of it's product.

In my QA experience it was always like that.

P.S. And yes, I decided not to play 1.0 till fixes will be published because I can't stand working with any software where the basic QA check wasn't made for fairings.

Basic checklist for them:

1) Base without plaits has correct mass;

2) Plates adds correct mass

3) When plates are jettisoned the mass is subtracted from the craft's mass.

That's the fist 3 things that have to be tested for fairings's mass testing (5-10 minutes for this) and they weren't... Or if it was intentional, then where is a logic in it, or why it isn't mentioned as a known defect in final release notes (with hotfix release date).

And I don't say that the 1.0 is bad, just, don't speak about good things now.

Edited by ddenis

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Did any of the QA team actually use a Mac for testing? For more than 15 minutes?

I think not.

That being the case, the whole QA process failed to ensure a workable Mac version of KSP was delivered. As it stands it's alpha class software i.e. not useable in its present form. I'm sure the PC and maybe Linux versions fare better but KSP Mac 1.0 isn't fit for purpose and should be withdrawn until QA give it a clean bill of health regarding memory leak crashes.

The memory leak has been present since 0.25 (minimally) and got terminal in 0.9 and hasn't been fixed in 1.0. Where's the QA team input there?

As you can probably tell, I'm very disappointed with the last two releases and unless Squad are prepared to admit that QA reported critical problems with the Mac version and they chose to ignore them (due to time pressure?), I can only blame lazy or non-existant QA testing. It's not like it's hard to replicate - open up the game and run for 15 mins with a few scene changes - it's totally unavoidable.

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Did any of the QA team actually use a Mac for testing? For more than 15 minutes?

I think not.

That being the case, the whole QA process failed to ensure a workable Mac version of KSP was delivered. As it stands it's alpha class software i.e. not useable in its present form. I'm sure the PC and maybe Linux versions fare better but KSP Mac 1.0 isn't fit for purpose and should be withdrawn until QA give it a clean bill of health regarding memory leak crashes.

The memory leak has been present since 0.25 (minimally) and got terminal in 0.9 and hasn't been fixed in 1.0. Where's the QA team input there?

As you can probably tell, I'm very disappointed with the last two releases and unless Squad are prepared to admit that QA reported critical problems with the Mac version and they chose to ignore them (due to time pressure?), I can only blame lazy or non-existant QA testing. It's not like it's hard to replicate - open up the game and run for 15 mins with a few scene changes - it's totally unavoidable.

You may forget that inter-platform building is a very tough task. For starters, what may seem like a memory leak in KSP may in fact be an issue with Unity and Mac. It takes considerable testing and time to boil it down to what actually is causing the memory leaks, and that time is most likely time the development team simply does not have. It could be a very present fact that only a handful of Q&A and experimental testers have a Mac to test KSP on, and there may be nobody on the KSP dev team that actually has a Mac at all. This makes testing and refinement extremely tough, and in a small indie team like the developers of KSP, the money needed to purchase a Mac JUST to start spending HOURS upon HOURS trying to find something that they may not even be able to fix at all, would not be worth it in such a small team. Perhaps you would like to join the Q&A or experimental testers, seeing as you have so much criticism to add? Or do you not have enough time to join the Q&A team? Well maybe the Q&A, experimentals and dev team don't have enough time or resources to begin finding a fix for the Mac platform, when it is apparent that OSX only makes up for around 3% of the steam community. And that's statistics off of one of the BIGGEST gaming platforms to date. With ownership statistics as low as that, why would the developers spend a huge amount of time working on a fix for such a low turnaround group of the community (low turnaround in terms of possible revenue)? Yes, Linux makes up for a smaller percentage of ownership, but considering that builds for both Windows and Linux are not too much separate, as Windows at its very base could be called a type of Unix system, which is why Linux and Windows are both stable in the terms of memory leaks. Another point of consideration - no memory leaks occur on two of the three platforms KSP is built for. No code is changed in the time it is built for each separate platform - it is just cross-compiled. Which begs the question, why is Mac the odd one out? A change of code to fix something on Mac, may in fact cause instabilities in the other platforms due to the cross-compiling, but seeing as the memory leak is only present on one platform it could in fact be boiled down to Unity not playing well with Mac.

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Did any of the QA team actually use a Mac for testing? For more than 15 minutes?

I think not.

That being the case, the whole QA process failed to ensure a workable Mac version of KSP was delivered. As it stands it's alpha class software i.e. not useable in its present form. I'm sure the PC and maybe Linux versions fare better but KSP Mac 1.0 isn't fit for purpose and should be withdrawn until QA give it a clean bill of health regarding memory leak crashes.

The memory leak has been present since 0.25 (minimally) and got terminal in 0.9 and hasn't been fixed in 1.0. Where's the QA team input there?

As you can probably tell, I'm very disappointed with the last two releases and unless Squad are prepared to admit that QA reported critical problems with the Mac version and they chose to ignore them (due to time pressure?), I can only blame lazy or non-existant QA testing. It's not like it's hard to replicate - open up the game and run for 15 mins with a few scene changes - it's totally unavoidable.

I'm not aware of any such serious issues with our Mac build. Please contact support@kerbalspaceprogram.com with all the information that is listed in this thread.

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Other commitments have meant I've hardly had any time for KSP 1.0 (or 1.0.1) and am only just able to sit down with 1.0.2.

Congratulations to everyone, especially on getting updates out so quickly.

Squad and all the volunteers have done a brilliant job and anyone who knows anything about making anything, not just software, will accept that mistakes will be made and things missed out.

The construction industry often uses the term 'snagging' for all the big, solid, countable errors and ommissions, in software we call it 'bugfixing' and it can be an awful lot harder to find the roots of the problems.

It was easy to see the danger in adding and changing so many features for the final release but also understandable that Squad couldn't resist it on their first project.

Next time - and we all hope there is a next - stay cautious.

(And please consider information and publicity apart from awful, useless, bandwidth-eating videos. We're not all TV addicts, sometimes a thousand words is worth a lot more than a half-hour disaster movie).

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Maybe some of the frustration is not with the testers, but with the review / publicity need for the release version to be as bug free as possible.

I've encountered a few bugs without even leaving the pad and have watched various twitch streams also find bugs relatively quickly. Bugs that might have been found and fixed with either a longer experimentals phase or even better a release between .90 and 1.0.

None of us want the full release of KSP to be reviewed as bugged and I suspect that is where the frustration is coming from.

Personally I think the new functionality of 1.0 is excellent, but that Squad missed the opportunity for the large and loyal KSP community the help bug hunt a 0.95 release in preparation for highly polished 1.0.

This. So much this.

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Personally I'm having a fantastic time playing 1.0 and think given that squad, the devs, the tester etc, don't have the same kind of financial backing / man power a some of the larger game developers, they have done a fantastic job.

And I challenge anyone to name a single game that was 100% bug free at release and never needed another update ever again!

I think more people should be giving positive support and thanking these guys for the hard work they have been doing and when something bug like pops up tell the devs in a contructive way so they can go about fixing it - and give them a reasonable amount of time to do so too - reporting a bug and expecting it to be fixed instantly is pretty unfair tbh.

And from the bugs that have made it to release - name a single one that prevented anyone actually playing and enjoying the game? Are you going to tell me an imbalanced fairing or parachute made the game nigh on impossible to play and resulted in you rage quitting? Seriously?

From me, good job squad/Devs/testers, keep it up.

My 2 pence worth :)

EK.

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It really disappoints me that a few people in the community feel the need to behave this way, instead of focussing on how to improve the situation: report that bug, gather information about it, or even help the developers fix the problem. All those things help to resolve the issues that will unavoidably pop up sometimes, and are objectively a far better investments of your time.

I've reported a bug. It's been outstanding since the 0.25 era I believe....

Git 'er done, guys!

No game has ever released without bugs; even PONG may have a bug, given that variables are likely 8-bit, in that a score over 255 resets to 0 (or, if it is signed could cause a crash [i think signed aren't suppose to wrap but may be wrong]).

Most architectures can safely roll signed numbers over. They usually aren't any physically different than an unsigned on modern (70s+) architectures. It's probably some old leftover from one's complement architectures (those have a positive and NEGATIVE zero so rolling 'em might cause an exception. Modern two's complement systems do not have the negative zero problem).

Yes, Linux makes up for a smaller percentage of ownership, but considering that builds for both Windows and Linux are not too much separate, as Windows at its very base could be called a type of Unix system, which is why Linux and Windows are both stable in the terms of memory leaks.

Uh, having some paper POSIX certification doesn't mean that you're a Unix system. Windows architecture is largely DOS / OS/2 derived (Windows NT is the microsoft half of the joint ms/IBM OS/2 effort and the underlying architecture for modern Windows systems), whereas modern Mac OSX stuff is built on top of a BSD foundation (old pre-OSX Mac stuff is it's own oldschool-Apple invented architecture and very different). If you broke it down by families, it would be like [WinNT / OS/2] [MacOSX / Linux], not like [WinNT / Linux] [MacOSX / OS/2] heh.

The problem is most likely something to do with Unity.

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I can forgive anyone for not finding technical bugs, those are tricky and you may not even see them.

But the massive gameplay problems like the parachutes, mining overheating, and LV-N heat issues are/where ridiculous, anybody who tried to use those features even once should have been able to see they where badly in need of fixing.

Q&A needs to be thrown under the bus so that they way it works can be re-evaulated because it failed badly with 1.0 and it seems that only the mass consumer outcry gave us 1.02, which BTW, is fantastic.

Edited by Aerindel

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I'm not aware of any such serious issues with our Mac build.

And this makes me very sad, since it has been an ongoing and worsening problem.

But I hope whoever is in charge of fixing such things at Squad IS aware of it and will finally get around to stomping it.

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Honestly,

it does/did not take a prophet to predict issues when a 1.0 version is released without proper beta, while even adding lots of features to such a 1.0 version.

There have been warnings about this since the earliest ages of product releases in general and since last year for KSP 1.0 in particular.

It was all perfectly predictable, from the bugs (surprisingly few, considering the feature additions, overall "relatively" good job!) to the on target criticism, to the "misguided" criticism.

I agree the criticism at the testers/QA is misguided, but customers tend to overreact in front of the people they actually can see, if the "responsible" people keep hiding in the background and refuse to acknowledge there "responsibility". You cant really complain that some customers are venting where they shouldnt, if you hide where they should/could.

Isnt it a bit cynical to, despite lots of warnings, build a house much too close to the ocean and then shout at the tide for rising uncomfortably close to your house?

1.0 was a great content update, it was just not a great release. If you had not called it release (but relabeled 1.0.2 to 1.0), this would not have happened as it did.

Labels evoke expectations, "mislabeling" provokes discontent, this is marketing/sales/psychology 101, not rocket science.

Edited by Yemo

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It’s often easy to talk to a community when there’s good news to share, a compliment to be given or a discussion to be had. This post is none of those things: these past few days I’ve seen a lot of negativity towards people who volunteer a lot of their free time and their skill to test each and every release of KSP before it sees the light of day to make sure you get the best experience out of it, and that negativity needs to stop.

The QA & Experimental testers are a big part of what made KSP what it is today, and it’s not fair to them to criticize them for not finding each and every bug, especially considering the scope of a game like Kerbal Space Program. If you need to vent I’d rather see you direct your anger at me or even the developers, but I will take a stand when the people who volunteer their time are unfairly criticized.

It really disappoints me that a few people in the community feel the need to behave this way, instead of focussing on how to improve the situation: report that bug, gather information about it, or even help the developers fix the problem. All those things help to resolve the issues that will unavoidably pop up sometimes, and are objectively a far better investments of your time.

Perhaps I went a little far in saying what I did about the testing team. However, It IS time for a change. Squad needs to allow either FAR FAR more people onto the testing team or they need to start doing Steam Betas. Some of these issues were frankly obvious and not being spotted may indicate that the team involved with testing is simply too small.

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Perhaps I went a little far in saying what I did about the testing team. However, It IS time for a change. Squad needs to allow either FAR FAR more people onto the testing team or they need to start doing Steam Betas. Some of these issues were frankly obvious and not being spotted may indicate that the team involved with testing is simply too small.

Can we please stop making assumptions about what was/was not spotted in testing. The only people who can answer questions about the decisions made about what bugs were spotted and whether they got fixed in any specific release are the Squad employees. As testers we are under an NDA not to discuss things during testing (or afterwards). It would go a long way to stop making the testers feel like targets if we stopped making that particular statement, which we cannot confirm or deny.

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Targets? The team got a few negative comments on the forum. I highly doubt people are sending you PMs saying "OMFg ... w3re you testing!!11 You suxOrs!"

Sad that NDA prevents you from talking about testing after the fact. Squad should modify it.

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Did any of the QA team actually use a Mac for testing? For more than 15 minutes?

I think not.

That being the case, the whole QA process failed to ensure a workable Mac version of KSP was delivered. As it stands it's alpha class software i.e. not useable in its present form. I'm sure the PC and maybe Linux versions fare better but KSP Mac 1.0 isn't fit for purpose and should be withdrawn until QA give it a clean bill of health regarding memory leak crashes.

The memory leak has been present since 0.25 (minimally) and got terminal in 0.9 and hasn't been fixed in 1.0. Where's the QA team input there?

As you can probably tell, I'm very disappointed with the last two releases and unless Squad are prepared to admit that QA reported critical problems with the Mac version and they chose to ignore them (due to time pressure?), I can only blame lazy or non-existant QA testing. It's not like it's hard to replicate - open up the game and run for 15 mins with a few scene changes - it's totally unavoidable.

I can assure you, QA on Mac occurred. I'm one of the QA Mac team. Though I didn't spend the hundreds of hours testing I normally would (being a volunteer means real life takes precedent sometimes), overall I probably spent a hundred or so hours testing. A lot of it in 3-5 hour stretches. Not once did I get any memory leak crashes specific to OSX (any leaks were reproducible by the Windows and Linux guys, and fixed. Hope Ted doesn't tase me for saying that.) And I've never got them during 0.25 and 0.90 either. I'm not saying they don't exist, I've just never seen them. I can only report what I see. Perhaps my testing process isn't conducive to having this leak occur, perhaps it's triggered by a specific sequence of scene transitions that I've just never performed. Maybe I should hunt it down one day, on all the systems I have. But please, don't call me and the others lazy.

One answer to this would be something like "Well then make the QA team bigger". My answer to that would be there's no need for it. Experimentals team, perhaps, but not QA. I don't know the relative KSP OSX player base size, but based on the 3% steam community size mentioned earlier, the QA team has a far better OSX representation. There will always be these sorts of things. Even within the the fairly narrow product range of Apple, there is a vast amount of different computer software and hardware combinations. It's impossible to cover all possible combinations. And don't suggest making the dev builds available for everyone to test. It used to be like that, when the community was much much smaller, and it just didn't work. The shockingly bad and useless bug 'reports' were so overwhelming Squad created the experimentals team. Even with warnings and disclaimers everywhere, it just wouldn't work. Trust me, things work a heck of a lot better the way they are currently. Not saying certain things can't improve; there's always room for improvement. Just that the general structure of the process is perfectly adequate.

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It’s often easy to talk to a community when there’s good news to share, a compliment to be given or a discussion to be had. This post is none of those things: these past few days I’ve seen a lot of negativity towards people who volunteer a lot of their free time and their skill to test each and every release of KSP before it sees the light of day to make sure you get the best experience out of it, and that negativity needs to stop.

Hey I have a question - why is Squad using UNPAID VOLUNTARY QA TESTING in the first place? This game is a massive hit and has undoubtedly made oodles of money, and they're leeching freebies out of volunteers? This game isn't a mod for Skyrim, it's a game that's been on the front page of Steam more than any AAA game has before... and the best we can do is the internet version of some intern who isn't even given coffee pot privileges?

Like it or not, people pay money for this game, and we're entitled to a bug-free release. In less than a week Squad had to pinch out two hotfixes, and the latest one contained some terrible knee-jerk untested changes. I'm not even playing the game anymore until this finishes, because as far as I know, half my rockets won't even work without falling apart next week. Sarbian at MechJeb is pulling out his hair dealing with this.

If you don't want people complaining about the QA testers, maybe you should've tried paying them. It's not the customer's fault that 1.0 was rushed and full of obvious bugs, it's SQUAD'S fault. It's also Squad's fault for outsourcing QA to what basically amounts to slave laborers who are actually delusional enough to donate free time to helping a company make money.

Edited by Frostiken

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Targets? The team got a few negative comments on the forum. I highly doubt people are sending you PMs saying "OMFg ... w3re you testing!!11 You suxOrs!"

Sad that NDA prevents you from talking about testing after the fact. Squad should modify it.

I did say "feel" like targets, not that the La Guadaña cartel was across the road (too much Army of TWO ?). Even if it was only a few comments, if it puts some good people off testing in the future (or applying to be testers when there is an opportunity) then it could impact future testing, and I'm pretty sure we all want it to get better.

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Can we please stop making assumptions about what was/was not spotted in testing.

Good point. But the alternative is even more troubling, maybe the testers found the massive gameplay problems of 1.0, reported them, and nobody listened. Either way, something stinks in the QA pipeline.

If 1.02 had been 1.0 the response would have been totally different. 1.0 it seems was actually the true beta.

I also think its funny that they tried to spin 1.02 as just a hot patch when really it was 180º from 1.0 on many things. As usual, honesty solves most things. IF squad just came out and said, "Okay, we where totally off base with 1.0, sorry, we fixed it" all this criticism would stop overnight. (well, maybe not the SSTO guys but there no pleasing them)

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Let me preface my comments by saying that I too find the criticism of the volunteers who do Q&A and test Experimentals by saying that I find the underlying attitude behind these complaints as negative--not constructive, and that this negativity is both unbecoming and out of character for the general tone of this community. I see no real justification for this.

However, having said that I feel the following also needs to be said: Much of the invective and frustration directed at the 1.0.x releases is, well, a bit justified. See...here's the thing. 1.0 is supposed to be the finished product; the "fulfillment of the original design document's vision" as Squad kept saying. Why then, are core aspects of the game being fiddled with?

After a game or software hits 1.0, only minor revisions are supposed to come out OR there's a long time between significant updates that do more than fix bugs. With the aero and ore sotrage tank revisions in the past week, the game is essentially a different experience in 1.0.2 than it was in 1.0--this makes these updates a major revision, not a minor one.

And the time between these two versions is less than a week (let's not mention there were just hours between 1.0.1 and 1.0.2). It doesn't matter if I like or dislike these changes (I agree with the changes, by the way, before you all lump me in the category of people who just need to shut up and L2P). My frustration is that I invested dozens of hours in a game that was working under a rule set that was a lot like Poker, and now, just days later, the game is more like Texas Holdem. It's still a game about drawing cards and having the best hand--KSP is still a game about flying rockets into space--but the impression of the overall experience is entirely different.

Nearly all all my designs that worked in 1.0 no longer work. This would be a small niggle...except that the gameplay is supposed to STOP evolving past release and remain more less static until "DLC" or explicit expansions start being released. Why? Because the beta testers were supposed to have at the game and provided balance feedback well before release. Who are these mysterious beta-testers? We are. The whole community who bought the game in Early Access. See, these are the kinds of game-changing and "frustrating" experiences we Early Access users understood we had bought into. In Early Access, I don't have a complaint when I say "Man, I had to redesign my entire fleet of rockets." It's because Early Access games are supposed to change the fundamental experience of the game--and frequently too.

Instead updates were months in between and rigorously tested well before released to the Early Access crowd and the game remained static between updates. Updates were also relatively small in scale. Adding a few parts here and there, and major mechanics like the Science system and Career mode were gradually introduced element by element. These mechanics are the strongest elements of the game by far. Why? Because the whole Early Access community was testing them well before official launch.

The post-release situation is essentially different. We've had more updates in one week than we've had in four months. That's backwards. We should have been spammed with updates as a whole community in the month or so prior to full release. The fact that the game has received two updates in a week that majorly rebalances the game indicates that it is not currently the "fulfilled vision of the design documents." And that is irritating--because now the game is supposed to be "done."

The whole community should have been testing the new aero model and heating system. The whole community should have been testing the resource gathering mechanics and parts and their balance with the fuel tanks. These are components of the game that should have been released during the beta phase.

Q&A testers and the Experimentals aren't at fault for that...it's Squad's decision making regarding going from .90 to 1.0 in one big update. And while bashing them too is not the correct way to deal with this frustrating situation, criticism of the developer's decision is very much warranted.

I guess what I'm trying to say is: Don't criticize the Q&A people or the Experimentals testers. Criticize the system for these things that Squad designed. Squad had legions of volunteer testers in the Beta versions. They were the Early Access player pool. Squad deliberately and intentionally decided not to release code to this player pool. Why? Because a release version that was essentially just a bug fix version of a Beta .99 that had the new aero model, new thermal system, and resources couldn't be hyped so much. And that's because there wouldn't be many shiny new gameplay elements to "reveal" to the community. We would have had them already and balanced them out to perfection.

But that's exactly what a game release version should be--a small iterative step between a nearly complete Beta version and what you are asking a premium price for. The polished finished product. The kind of product that has had its gameplay niggles and overall balance critiqued into to the ground before the big day. That's not what we have. We have a game that will likely receive patches week after week until it is acceptable. And those of us playing the game will experience rule set changes frequently enough that we might just get frustrated and stop playing.

Nothing is wrong with Poker or Texas Holdem. But gosh darn it, there is something wrong when the average person doesn't know which one they should be playing. And that's what it feels like since 1.0 hit. It's not that the changes themselves are bad. It's that I don't know how to play the game because the rules might be different next week. This kind of instability is appropriate for Early Access. Unacceptable for a 1.0 version.

Edited by Scourge013

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I would like to say thanks to Squad and all the QA people, I have been having a blast with 1.0.

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