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Looks like they're gonna have to start calling it the LOSTry

bluhmanbluhman Posts: 2,360 Arc User
edited March 5 in Off Topic
STO and NW get brought down to our level as their Foundry's explode in source code. From the ashes rise some badges, a jungle thing, and a nice light for trekkies, and a cape for larpers, done in the style of 'killed 5000 anvil enemies perk in CO'.

https://arcgames.com/en/games/star-trek-online/news/detail/11102923-foundry-sunset-april-11%2C-2019

Join them, at.... wait crap that was an hour ago when they streamed, oh. Well, here's the playback of the livestream, featuring 40 minutes of fireside chat https://twitch.tv/videos/390451312##

Anyways, no official news item on this was posted here because our foundry was super-dead before theirs even was thinking of dying.

With the one distinctive feature of these MMOs now dead, what'll happen to their playerbases, I can't help but wonder?
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Comments

  • bringmeaslabbringmeaslab Posts: 162 Arc User
    You're right, Bluhman, it would obviously be very easy for the devs to add the foundry to CO, since it's already in STO and NW. I don't know why they don't.
  • jonsillsjonsills Posts: 6,265 Arc User
    You're right, Bluhman, it would obviously be very easy for the devs to add the foundry to CO, since it's already in STO and NW. I don't know why they don't.
    That was sarcasm, right? (Sorry, we don't have sarcasm on my planet, so I sometimes fail to notice it when I'm not paying attention.)
    "Science teaches us to expect -- demand -- more than just eerie mysteries. What use is a puzzle that can't be solved? Patience is fine, but I'm not going to stop asking the universe to make sense!"

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  • spinnytopspinnytop Posts: 16,041 Arc User
    edited March 5
    STO News wrote:
    However, the legacy knowledge required to maintain the Foundry at our quality standards is no longer available.

    Geez, they really are down to our level. If only somebody had documented that knowledge. Pattern detected.​​
  • ealford1985ealford1985 Posts: 3,288 Arc User
    edited March 5
    Tell them people to get a notebook or something....ain’t no excuse for people to not know how to do things when people quit

    Or however they no longer available
  • sistersiliconsistersilicon Posts: 1,686 Arc User
    As I recall, Paragon Studios eventually had to freeze supergroup base development in City of Heroes because the code was poorly written and poorly documented, and everybody who originally worked on it left with Cryptic in the divorce. So yeah, same $#!^, different publisher.
    Choose your enemies carefully, because they will define you / Make them interesting, because in some ways they will mind you
    They're not there in the beginning, but when your story ends / Gonna last with you longer than your friends
  • ealford1985ealford1985 Posts: 3,288 Arc User
    Supervisor: well hello Jim

    Jim: morning sir

    Supervisor: what are we working on this day?

    Jim: well I just created a new feature for the game; it’s going to revolutionize the industry. We will be the GOLD standard in our genre.

    Supervisor: that’s amazing! Say...do me a favor and do NOT forward me step by step instructions on what you have done and how someone else could care on if you are not here. I want to be left complete in the dark. In fact, delete all note. Good work Jim, carry on.
  • pantagruel01pantagruel01 Posts: 6,558 Arc User
    Supervisor: that’s amazing! Say...do me a favor and do NOT forward me step by step instructions on what you have done and how someone else could care on if you are not here. I want to be left complete in the dark. In fact, delete all note. Good work Jim, carry on.
    You have clearly not worked in the software industry if you think that's remotely unusual.
  • ealford1985ealford1985 Posts: 3,288 Arc User
    Nope I haven’t and don’t. But clearly they are doing it wrong if they have to close **** down because people leave with all the knowledge on certain aspects of a game...imagine if that was applied to other jobs.

    Bob: Nuke codes? Oh no....Jim!!

    Bob: And we have a cure for aids! Well...we have a 10% cure, the other guy quit to manage a In and Out.

    Bob: we are getting ready to launch this new website, except the main designer decided to say F U and deleted everything. Gooooood thing we had it backed up and had another employee working with him, that would have been stupid.

    If this is the way things are done.....maybezzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz they are doing it wrong?
  • pantagruel01pantagruel01 Posts: 6,558 Arc User
    edited March 5
    If this is the way things are done.....maybezzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz they are doing it wrong?
    It's not as simple as that. The basic problem is that future proofing your code is not free; you are in essence paying an increased up-front cost for easier maintenance. There are a number of reasons a company might choose not to do that, and even if you do it, often you still reach a point in code where it needs an expensive refactoring (that said, some things I've heard about the code suggests that early Cryptic code is pretty heinous).

    It is also worth noting that this is really a resourcing decision. It's certainly possible to bring in new people and either get them up to speed on the existing code, or just rip out the old code and replace with something new, but it's expensive and slow and it's quite possible that the benefits don't justify the cost (my experience with UGC in games is that it's problematic even if it works perfectly).
  • flyingfinnflyingfinn Posts: 8,044 Arc User
    It's cheaper to tear down a building, than repair/maintenance stuff after 10-20 years.
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  • aesicaaesica Posts: 2,424 Arc User
    Another thing I want to point out is that sometimes, programmers make their code difficult for others to maintain on purpose in order to artificially inflate their own value to the company.

    "Sorry sir, it's pretty complicated and I'm not sure anyone else really knows the ins and outs of the system like me."

    "Yeah, I had some other guys look at it and they couldn't make heads or tails of anything. Since you know the code so well, I think I'll make you project lead."

    "Heh heh, it worked. Sucker!"

    It's shitty, and while I'm not saying that's what happened with the Foundry, this is a thing that happens sometimes.
    (Hopefully) Useful CO Resources: HeroCreator (character planner), Cosmic Timers/Alert Checklist, Blood Moon Map, Anniversary Cat Map, and more (eventually, anyway).
  • sistersiliconsistersilicon Posts: 1,686 Arc User
    aesica wrote: »
    Another thing I want to point out is that sometimes, programmers make their code difficult for others to maintain on purpose in order to artificially inflate their own value to the company.

    "Sorry sir, it's pretty complicated and I'm not sure anyone else really knows the ins and outs of the system like me."

    "Yeah, I had some other guys look at it and they couldn't make heads or tails of anything. Since you know the code so well, I think I'll make you project lead."

    "Heh heh, it worked. Sucker!"

    It's shitty, and while I'm not saying that's what happened with the Foundry, this is a thing that happens sometimes.

    I have, sadly, on more than one occasion, refactored somebody else’s job security into maintainable code. Then again, one of the cases was written in VB6 by a guy who wasn’t too bright and quit without giving two weeks notice, so maybe it wasn’t really intentional.
    Choose your enemies carefully, because they will define you / Make them interesting, because in some ways they will mind you
    They're not there in the beginning, but when your story ends / Gonna last with you longer than your friends
  • jonsillsjonsills Posts: 6,265 Arc User
    Back in the '80s, we had to convert old FORTAN code into COBOL. Did you know that FORTRAN doesn't exactly encourage commenting? And so very many times, something came up that had to be solved yesterday, so the programmer working on it brute-forced an approach. After a few years of this, you get spaghetti code, no matter how careful everyone is, because nobody wants to budget for time to fix it later. "It still works, doesn't it?"

    The only reason we were able to do our job was because it was a military shop, and you don't have to pay overtime to enlisted personnel. Now, change this around - it's a civilian shop, located in a state with solid overtime laws. Something in the interface broke during the last game update, and now this feature doesn't work. The players are screaming for blood. This needs fixed now!! So somebody kludges a quick hack to make it work, and the suits then demand that they turn their attention to the next update, because the "slow" rate of game updates is looking bad in the media.

    There's no time to comment, there's no time to document, and then suddenly you're not even on that team any more, you're working on this other project or just plain fired. So the spaghetti just gets more complex over time, until the only way to fix it is to cut the whole thing out. You can't recode it, because the budget just isn't there. Welcome to the wonderful world of software development.
    "Science teaches us to expect -- demand -- more than just eerie mysteries. What use is a puzzle that can't be solved? Patience is fine, but I'm not going to stop asking the universe to make sense!"

    - David Brin, "Those Eyes"
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  • bluhmanbluhman Posts: 2,360 Arc User
    To be fair, you have to have a very high IQ to document code.

    more seriously there's a pretty fine line to walk when documenting between "Nothing is commented what does this even do" and "you wrote a J.R.R. Tolkien novel about your code, tldr lol."

    The only excuse for this falling apart is that the original coders actually did, in fact, not do a good job probably because Atari rushed them. There's ways to make games with formulaic, sensible, re-used components. You can have a commonly-defined entity object; plan for the future by making each feature of a game act as a 'machine' you can pump other parts through, and in the process doesn't endlessly obfuscate or over-complicate what the result might be. In a perfectly-coded CO, it'd probably take the team less than a day, if they wanted, to tack a completely arbitrary advantage like "Concussive Escape - Knock back enemies within 15 feet of you" on to every single power as a choice with zero confusion as to whether any unintended bugs will happen.

    Then we have the reality of CO where the reason that this game never even got a Foundry in the first place, from what I remember, was "we forgot to tag static objects with human-readable names ¯\_(ツ)_/¯"

    Quick GameDev story: When I was much younger, I made a game where I had just coded maps as hard coded strings (terrible I know) because I was on a tight time budget. underscores denoted passable tiles, and plusses were impassable ones. The player character would then A* search their way through that static map. The strings also were hard-coded to transfer between static different sets. Later on they wanted me to add randomly-generated map sequences and elevators. That wasn't happening with that kind of setup.

    Especially if you think Expansion Packs and DLC are gonna be happening in your game please design them with expandability and reuse in mind! And also with clear understanding of what parts connect to what, that lack of last point is probably how we ended up with the death animation on enemies being replaced with a cheering animation for a month and a half.
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  • spinnytopspinnytop Posts: 16,041 Arc User
    Microsoft Word will no longer be supporting page breaks because the legacy knowledge to maintain this feature is no longer available.​​
  • pantagruel01pantagruel01 Posts: 6,558 Arc User
    bluhman wrote: »
    more seriously there's a pretty fine line to walk when documenting between "Nothing is commented what does this even do" and "you wrote a J.R.R. Tolkien novel about your code, tldr lol."
    And everyone's favorite, "this comment reflects what the code did five years ago, which it no longer does."
  • wingedkagoutiwingedkagouti Posts: 484 Arc User
    bluhman wrote: »
    more seriously there's a pretty fine line to walk when documenting between "Nothing is commented what does this even do" and "you wrote a J.R.R. Tolkien novel about your code, tldr lol."
    And everyone's favorite, "this comment reflects what the code did five years ago, which it no longer does."
    Even better when there is good and thorough documentation for the system you're working on, but that documentation is split between 6+ different locations on the intranet. Some of the information found in those locations pertain to the code as it is now while other information in that location pertain to how the system looked 10+ years ago. And it isn't clear which is which until you do a parse on each piece of documentation and compare it to the current code.

    I've encountered that once, and some of the old documentation was for the system as it looked two major versions ago.
  • avianosavianos Posts: 5,028 Arc User
    and by Coincidence in the same period, nerdSlayer made a video for STO


    Some people in the comments are asking him to do Death of the Game: Champions Online next
    e2a.png​​
    An Introvert guy who use CO to make his characters playable but farms way to much to archieve that
    Playing as EVERYTHING but Superheroes (BUT they are my Heroes) Eternal Silver since 1 February 2011
    Currently playing with 75+ Characters (7 ATs, 68 FFs) Loving all of them, ALTitis for Life
  • jonsillsjonsills Posts: 6,265 Arc User
    Well, according to these people both CO and STO died back in open beta, so...
    "Science teaches us to expect -- demand -- more than just eerie mysteries. What use is a puzzle that can't be solved? Patience is fine, but I'm not going to stop asking the universe to make sense!"

    - David Brin, "Those Eyes"
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  • spinnytopspinnytop Posts: 16,041 Arc User
    edited March 7
    If we treated people like we treat video games:

    People: Man, it's a shame that grandma died.

    Person: What? Grandma's not dead, I just talked to her.

    People: Nope, grandma is dead, you can tell because she no longer bakes cookies.

    Person: Um...she's literally walking in the room with a plate of cookies right now. Look, there she is.

    People: Mmmm, nope, maybe if it was a tray of cookies. Plate of cookies means she's dead.​​
  • avianosavianos Posts: 5,028 Arc User
    edited March 8
    spinnytop wrote: »
    If we treated people like we treat video games:
    People: Man, it's a shame that grandma died.
    Person: What? Grandma's not dead, I just talked to her.
    People: Nope, grandma is dead, you can tell because she no longer bakes cookies.
    Person: Um...she's literally walking in the room with a plate of cookies right now. Look, there she is.
    People: Mmmm, nope, maybe if it was a tray of cookies. Plate of cookies means she's dead.
    Basically
    tumblr_pmyos5AYWA1xlv8m3o1_540.gif
    tumblr_pmyos5AYWA1xlv8m3o2_r1_540.gif
    tumblr_pmyos5AYWA1xlv8m3o3_r1_540.gif
    ​​
    An Introvert guy who use CO to make his characters playable but farms way to much to archieve that
    Playing as EVERYTHING but Superheroes (BUT they are my Heroes) Eternal Silver since 1 February 2011
    Currently playing with 75+ Characters (7 ATs, 68 FFs) Loving all of them, ALTitis for Life
  • sistersiliconsistersilicon Posts: 1,686 Arc User
    Choose your enemies carefully, because they will define you / Make them interesting, because in some ways they will mind you
    They're not there in the beginning, but when your story ends / Gonna last with you longer than your friends
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