1. We have added a Gift Upgrades feature that allows you to gift an account upgrade to another member, just in time for the holiday season. You can see the gift option when going to the Account Upgrades screen, or on any user profile screen.
    Dismiss Notice

Now that we have Steam, why no constant stream of patches?

Discussion in 'Civ5 - General Discussions' started by EmpireOfCats, Oct 5, 2010.

  1. EmpireOfCats

    EmpireOfCats Death to Giant Robots

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2010
    Messages:
    522
    Location:
    Europe
    So I come back to the game after a few days, to check what all has been patched, and ... nothing. Not one single patch, except for something about a Spanish version of XP.

    I don't understand.

    One of the great things about Steam -- and, yes, I'm a big fan -- is that you can push even the smallest patch with no hassle to the user. It just updates when you start the game. So what Firaxis could, nay, should be doing is pushing out a stream of little patches, at least one a week, if not more. It could be something little -- heaven knows even the documentation needs work.

    The psychological impact alone would be worth it: I don't mind waiting (well, that much) if I know things are happening, the same way people don't mind a line that is constantly moving -- it's standing around that they hate. Having even a small patch waiting for you every time you fire up the game would send the most powerful signal possible that the developers are working to bring the game to a playable state.

    We don't have to do this like in the Bad Old Days where there would be a giant patch after six months. We have the technology to "release often". If they aren't using the power of Steam, why did they even bother with it?
     
  2. Fistalis

    Fistalis Prince

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2009
    Messages:
    373
    If I had to guess.. then i would say any patches are going to be tested much more because of this design. If you fix something on 5% of your users and break something on 10% with a steam patch and no way to rollback then your only causing more problems for yourself.. your product and your users. Or.. they simply are waiting to see if they break even before they continue supporting it.
     
  3. SomethingWitty

    SomethingWitty Prince

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2005
    Messages:
    533
    There have been three patches already. Fail.
     
  4. Novem

    Novem Chieftain

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2006
    Messages:
    75
    You can't patch what isn't there. I'm sure when a patch is available it will be updated. Patience grasshopper. =]
     
  5. loveandpolitics

    loveandpolitics Chieftain

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2005
    Messages:
    72
    Three patches plus a pre release patch? How is that not a lot in the short amount of time since this game has been released? Or were you expecting hourly updates? Keep in mind that every patch has game breaking potential, so they can't go overboard. Also, many people won't exactly be happy with constant patches.

    2 O'Clock: Increased hammer production for balance purposes.
    3 O'Clock: Oops, the game just broke, remove patch.
    4 O'Clock: Rerelease fixed version of patch.
    5 O'Clock: Oops, AI can't handle new hammers, roll back patch.

    Get the point?

    Also, modders have already released most of the balance changes I want, so if they can just fix friggin permanent peace...Ugh.
     
  6. duxup

    duxup Prince

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2001
    Messages:
    385
    There have been quite a few patches already.
     
  7. EmpireOfCats

    EmpireOfCats Death to Giant Robots

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2010
    Messages:
    522
    Location:
    Europe
    There ist exactly one patch on record, if you discount the Spanish XP problem. It was released on September 27. Steam doesn't know about a third patch, unless it came out today and we Europeans have to wait four extra days for it again (or maybe it was released before we got the game outside North America, so it doesn't show on my list?). Given the state of the game (terrible), this is not a lot at all.

    There simpler and smaller your patch is, the easier it is to make sure you didn't screw up, and the quicker you can fix it if you do ("rollback"). Say you fix A in a small patch. If stuff breaks, you know it was A, and only A. Say, on the other hand, you fix ABCDEFGHI and J in your large, complicated patch. If stuff breaks, it could be ABCDEFGHI or J, or the way A interacts with B, or C, or D, or E, or ... you get the point. There is a reason for the saying "release early, release often". Small fixes applied in sequence are easier to deal with than one big complicated patch all at once.

    Steam, used properly, lets you leverage this. Say all you do in a patch is add a page to the Civilopedia about unit costs. That's all. Push it out -- the customer has a better product and sees that you are doing something (I'm hearing a lot of talk about Sid spending time on the golf course in various forums). Next, fix the Magellan Achievement. That's all. Push it out -- gives the customer something to do, keeps him playing the game ...

    I'm afraid that Firaxis is still stuck in the pre-Steam mindset, where you bundle up your patches to a giant ball because you have to have the user go to some webpage, download the patch, start it, etc. Those days should be over and done with. They least they should be doing at this point in the cycle is release a patch a week. Yes, some things will take longer -- the combat AI, if it can be fixed at all, for example -- but there are all kinds of smaller things that should be doable far more quickly.
     
  8. Dusk

    Dusk Prince

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2007
    Messages:
    351
    No one on this forum can answer that question to the extent that would satisfy you. If you wish to ask Firaxis, you know their website.

    Really? I count 3: http://forums.2kgames.com/forums/showthread.php?t=89117
     
  9. Palfouri

    Palfouri Chieftain

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2010
    Messages:
    85
    I assume because the fanbase is still of the mindset that a patch must fix everything, and if they release early patches they'll be accused of not working hard enough.

    This is the board that irrationally hates Steam, mind.
     
  10. Stinson

    Stinson Chieftain

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2005
    Messages:
    25
    Steam is a distribution platform, not a programming aide. Things still need to be programmed and tested, re-programmed and re-tested, re-re-programmed and re-re-tested, etc., etc., etc., etc., etc., etc.
     
  11. renohol

    renohol Warlord

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2007
    Messages:
    201
    Better question is why did i pay $50 for a game that I can't play because it says that I can't connect to stupid Steam now and why is it when I get sick of playing Civ5 when it does play and quit I get a barage of spam from Steam.
     
  12. Veshta

    Veshta Warlord

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2009
    Messages:
    289
    Now that we have internet and cloud storage why does all institutions still make hard-copies of the digital documents before archiving them?

    I doubt Firaxis are equipped or staffed to feed constant small fixes that Steam encourages, they are probably slaving away in the cubicles getting a whopper ready for release .. just as they have always done. Old dogs learning tricks and all that :D
    - Open Steam,
    - Go to 'Steam' menu option,
    - Select 'Go Offline'
    Now you can play all you want without an internet connection, the Steam app still has to run though but it doesn't try to connect and you won't get any updates until you go online again.
     
  13. Tridus

    Tridus Warlord

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2007
    Messages:
    132
    Patches can only be developed and tested so fast. It's not just some guy changing values and throwing it out there. Steam (and similar platforms) make the distribution part easier, but they don't do anything for development and testing, which are the real bottlenecks.

    At work when I'm doing development versions for users to test, I've cranked out 5 updates in a single day. But to a production product? No way! And my userbase is a lot smaller and a lot more uniform due to corporate centralized configuration management.
     
  14. So?

    So? Chieftain

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2002
    Messages:
    27
    Agreed. Sorry guys. If we're LUCKY we'll get a substantial balance fix patch before christmas, but I wouldn't bet on it. Sometime in early 11 before non-trivial bugs are worked out.
     
  15. Lay_Lay

    Lay_Lay King

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2007
    Messages:
    839
    Civ 4 was patched via the Civ 4 interface, not some website as you assumed. So I believe your thread fails. Steam did not invent the concept of no hassle patching.
     
  16. Maniacal

    Maniacal the green Napoleon

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2005
    Messages:
    18,778
    Location:
    British Columbia, Canada
    Have some patience, it takes time to fix bugs. Patches are not going to come out any quicker than if there wasn't Steam (they just are downloaded automatically (depending on your settings)).
     
  17. delra

    delra Warlord

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2010
    Messages:
    180
    Patch you will buy for $20 as DLC.
     
  18. Palfouri

    Palfouri Chieftain

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2010
    Messages:
    85
    Why are you complaining? I presume you all bought Warlords and BtS.
     
  19. shinkicker

    shinkicker Warlord

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2010
    Messages:
    130
    One of the patches actually broke part of the game and introduced the "Choose Selection" bug.

    So I'd rather they took their time and thoroughly tested future patches. So far, most of the problems I can just work around for a while until there's a good, solid fix available.
     
  20. Bridger

    Bridger Prince

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2005
    Messages:
    314
    Keep in mind that it's typical for the entire development studio to go on a 2 week vacation right after a game is released. This is to make up for many long weeks worked during crunch time.
     

Share This Page