What kind of morons do they have working at Blizzard?

You’re probably right on that front. The motivation not to fuck anything up is a lot higher when you’re selling an industrial-strength financial application.

WoW players will just buy a few more copies of the game in protest.

Q: How do they sleep at night?
A: On a large pile of monies.

Q: What kind of morons do they have working at Blizzard?

A: The kind that wear money hats.

Sorry, there is no excuse for unmanaged code, no matter how many users are using the software.

Sure there is. Lack of profit incentive. Microsoft gets away with it. Wal-Mart drives its manufacturers to release ever-crappier products to meet low-price standards. The world turns.

I’m pretty sure that at least MS doesn’t force you to get patches over peer to peer BT.

Conflating too many separate arguments here, I’m getting out of this thread while there’s still time.

I suspect in the rush to get the hotfix out, some code was committed to the live branch and pushed to the servers that really shouldn’t have been. Someone is going to get the stick…

Nobody gets fired while everyone is still making moneys.

I’m pretty sure Blizzard makes more money then we do.

I’m going to tell you what I think the problem is. The company I work for has done things properly from about year two because they know they are going to have to run with these systems for a long period of time. Your traditional game development mentality is that you don’t care about your code as long as it runs by the release date and your maintenance period is about 15% of the product life cycle so a lot of corners get cut. If there are problems they release two or three patches and that is it. I think the MMO companies still have this mentality even though their software life cycle is more akin to traditional blue collar software in which 75% of your development time is spent in the maintenance phase.

Moving to real MSF Agile is probably a good idea for most development companies, since they still “manage” (and I use the term loosely) projects on the ad-hoc style. It’s no wonder that the defect rates are astronomical for most games.

CMMI is probably totally overkill for game developers, but Agile is a nice fit. I’m really liking the TFS 2005 system, which makes it a lot easier to manage your software engineering process from top to bottom.

The problem with the “money hats” argument is that I doubt very much the programmers have them. Management and ownership, sure, possibly - and therefore they should have a lot more motive to hire the best possible programmers.

Anyway, just a little late night rant about a company that could probably literally hire anyone they wanted to write this software, but apparently has a lot of code monkeys instead.

This kind of thing isn’t really the programmers’ fault. Whoever heads the relevant parts of the game are under pressure from the company. Instead of going through lines of code to make sure their changes don’t break anything (or rewriting existing code so it’s harder to break), or debugging it all on test-servers with a few staffer/beta accounts, they sort of have to rush things out the door. But the benefit of the MMO (particularly WoW) is that you have SIX MILLION TEST USERS who will report breaks. This’ll make it way easier to pintpoint what’s going wrong. I’m sure that this big will be fixed pretty quickly.

lol no shit. This still gets to me even after 2+ years of dealing with it.

That’s SO true. And it just doesn’t want to go away.

I’m basically the only one out there who is saying that MMOs don’t need just “new ideas”, but also a different kind of development that isn’t taken directly out of a single-player production process.

MMOs aren’t a genre. They are worlds on their own, and to work they need a company that is shaped around them. They require a completely different mindset, completely different organizations.

As a programmer, and as a team leader of programmers - I can tell you, I believe this to be the individual programmers fault.

When you introduce a bug that allows something to stack infinitely instead of being capped at 5 - that’s a programmer quality issue.

When you push a new patch and it breaks old stuff, that’s a programmer quality issue - it was a programmer that pushed that patch after all, not a suit.

But ya, I agree with HRose and the previous posters - they went into this with most likely the spaghetti codebase approach that most games have, and it’s biting them in the ass over and over.

Certainly. And my experience here isn’t near yours: I’m a Programmer, but I work part time at my University, and I don’t work with a large team (hey, I’m young). But even my little experience has taught me how crazy-careful you have to be about conflicting with other people’s code. I edit some open source tracking software and even with that I have to be REALLY careful that my features don’t conflict with any possible code updates, or at least make it really easy to udpate my code. So I was kind of extrapolating what it would be like if you’ve got teams of people updating something as big as WoW, and how crazy it would be to debug it with such a fast-paced production schedule. So my post was mostly conjecture, albeit educated conjecture.

Why manage it when they dont need to? what they are doing is obviously good enough.

They could stop all updates, raise the price by $10 a month, and allow only half the players to log in on even days and half on odd days and STILL roll around in massive profit.

So what does mail have to do with Warrior rampage? Do warriors deliver the mail and get mad? <insert “postal” joke here>