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[TRENCHES] Tuesday, July 30, 2013 - Reprisal

GethGeth LegionPerseus VeilRegistered User, Moderator, Penny Arcade Staff, Vanilla Staff vanilla
edited July 2013 in The Penny Arcade Hub
Reprisal


Reprisal
http://trenchescomic.com/comic/post/reprisal

I am that Guy

Anonymous

I am the “truly insufferable co-worker” from this post:

http://trenchescomic.com/tales/post/you-are-not-your-fucking-bugcount

The title was Neverwinter Nights 2. The licensed property was Dungeons and Dragons.

The original poster’s portrayal of me is a little misguided: I never cared about my bug count.  I’ve been a D&D geek for sometime, and I owned all the books…and yes, even brought them to work. I’d been a weekly GM for years, and loved the Forgotten Realms universe and story.

However, I never cared about my bug count.  I didn’t care how many bugs I submitted.  All I cared about was how good a game we made.  I loved Dungeons and Dragons so much, I wanted the game to be perfect.

As a QA Tester, bugs were the only voice I had: I tried to use that voice to make the game better.

If the poster had ever talked to me, he’d have known how passionate about the game I was. If being passionate about Dungeons and Dragons is a crime, color me guilty and proud of it.

He only saw my bug count as a chore I inflicted…I saw them as the only way I could help him develop the game.


Geth on
SithLrdShadowen
«1

Posts

  • RMS OceanicRMS Oceanic Registered User regular
    I wonder if the first guy will give a rebuttal to this

    Darth WaiterCambiatafortyShadowen
  • freeterfreeter Registered User new member
    As someone who's spent 10 years in the trenches and counting, if I wrote 49 NABs and WNFs for every 1 good bug on a daily basis, I'd get called into a meeting with my lead and management faster than you can cast magic missile.

  • RedthirstRedthirst Registered User regular
    Finally, someone punches Q in the face. But this last panel, does it mean that Cora's dad can tolerate any creature in this game as long as it can play on musical instruments? By the way, Q still carries that printer.

    steam_sig.png
  • agoajagoaj Top Tier One FearRegistered User regular
    I hope the printer becomes The Watch of Trenches

    ujav5b9gwj1s.png
    Spaffy
  • GrisloGrislo Registered User regular
    Redthirst wrote: »
    Finally, someone punches Q in the face. But this last panel, does it mean that Cora's dad can tolerate any creature in this game as long as it can play on musical instruments? By the way, Q still carries that printer.

    I think his problem is that they CAN (and do) play musical instruments. As in, 'my original design features dangerous sloths with long claws, and you've turned them into flute playing pets, you printer carrying wanker!'

    This post was sponsored by Tom Cruise.
    Ori Klein
  • JortalusJortalus Registered User regular
    I get that the guy in the story is "passionate" about Dungeons and Dragons, but he shouldn't have been sending in bugs that are lore/story errors rather than programming errors. If you want to be a story adviser, you had better get a job as one. QA never gets to have a legitimate say in the design decisions of a game, only in the fixing of bugs.

    Commander ZoomAegeriLovelyronyaStormwatcherNaphtaliAndy JoeCaptain ElevenCambiataTofystedethCalicafoodleShadowenCaulk Bite 6KazitronTychoCelchuuu
  • rdxrdx Registered User regular
    As a formerly "passionate" player of both pen-and-paper and CRPG DnD, I'd like to express my sincerest thanks to the truly insufferable co-worker if you're reading this. Fans of the licensed material are buying the game specifically for the attention to detail. As a developer and engineering manager myself, developers need to recognise that the role of QA is more than "find programming errors", its QUALITY ASSURANCE. My QA team is instructed to not just find programming errors, but also usability failures including non-conformance with the specification and anything it references. Yes, other companies do things differently and face unreasonable time/budget constraints, but there's already too much shit software out there, get the budget and time to do it right or don't do it at all please.

    UNHchaboDyvim Tvar
  • HenroidHenroid Mexican kicked from Immigration Thread Centrism is Racism :3Registered User regular
    If your job is to find / report bugs, do your job. If you want to send feedback on the game's mechanics and systems, become a designer. Don't abuse your position in the former to achieve the latter.

    A Dabble Of TheloniusAndy JoeeddtCambiataTofystedethCalicaCommander ZoomfoodleKazitronDeebaser
  • CasualCasual Wiggle Wiggle Wiggle Flap Flap Flap Registered User regular
    They normally go to some lengths to obsucure the name of the game they're talking about, I wonder why this time they came right out and named the game?

    Cambiata
  • Dark Raven XDark Raven X Laugh hard, run fast, be kindRegistered User regular
    Grislo wrote: »
    Redthirst wrote: »
    Finally, someone punches Q in the face. But this last panel, does it mean that Cora's dad can tolerate any creature in this game as long as it can play on musical instruments? By the way, Q still carries that printer.

    I think his problem is that they CAN (and do) play musical instruments. As in, 'my original design features dangerous sloths with long claws, and you've turned them into flute playing pets, you printer carrying wanker!'

    Well the story is about a rhymeblade lutesword thing - I think the implication is that sloths wouldn't be interested in it, cause they wouldn't be able to play it

    Oh brilliant
  • HenroidHenroid Mexican kicked from Immigration Thread Centrism is Racism :3Registered User regular
    I think his problem is that sloth claws are... I mean look at them:

    pet-sloth-diet.jpg

  • agoajagoaj Top Tier One FearRegistered User regular
    Dude is psyched about those claws

    ujav5b9gwj1s.png
    Dark Raven X
  • Grey PaladinGrey Paladin Registered User regular
    Maybe if they'd listen NWN 2 wouldn't be such a triumph of terrible writing.

    "All men dream, but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find that it was vanity; but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dream with open eyes to make it possible." - T.E. Lawrence
  • zepherinzepherin Russian warship, go fuck yourself Registered User regular
    I think Q needed to get a black eye for a while. Next up, someone needs to put a woopin on Isaac.

  • Urban AchieverUrban Achiever Registered User regular
    If you're hired to do 'Job A', don't do 'Job B'. It's novel and all to think a complex game like that is an effort where 100% of the team gets a say in shaping all aspects of the product, but that's not how business works. If you want to do 'Job B', get that job next time!

    LovelyeddtCambiataCalicaCommander ZoomfoodleDeebaser
  • HenroidHenroid Mexican kicked from Immigration Thread Centrism is Racism :3Registered User regular
    BTW I bet Isaac pulled a dick move and set Cora's father on this path.

  • EinzelEinzel Registered User regular
    edited July 2013
    If you're hired to do 'Job A', don't do 'Job B'. It's novel and all to think a complex game like that is an effort where 100% of the team gets a say in shaping all aspects of the product, but that's not how business works. If you want to do 'Job B', get that job next time!

    No, his superiors should have noticed what he was pointing out and changed his position to one where he could correct the games lore errors. As rdx pointed out, licensed properties are often heavily judged on their accuracy to their parent material. I'm fairly certain they would have been able to refill an entry level QA position after moving Mr. Truly Insufferable to the story department. You don't punish effort.

    Einzel on
    UNHchaboOri Klein
  • StormwatcherStormwatcher Blegh BlughRegistered User regular
    edited July 2013
    Einzel wrote: »
    If you're hired to do 'Job A', don't do 'Job B'. It's novel and all to think a complex game like that is an effort where 100% of the team gets a say in shaping all aspects of the product, but that's not how business works. If you want to do 'Job B', get that job next time!

    No, his superiors should have noticed what he was pointing out and changed his position to one where he could correct the games lore errors. As rdx pointed out, licensed properties are often heavily judged on their accuracy to their parent material. I'm fairly certain they would have been able to refill an entry level QA position after moving Mr. Truly Insufferable to the story department. You don't punish effort.

    That's very nice and dreamy, but if people worked like that, no game would ever get released, ever.
    Balancing videogames and PnP games are two completely different tasks. And scrounging crap from 15 year old rulebooks helps no one.

    I had the displeasure of dealing with a person like today's poster, they're not unsung heroes fighting a lonely battle for the faithful players, they're arrogant, disruptive, socially-challenged assholes, who usually talk down to the others with a huge insufferable holier-than-thou attitude.

    Stormwatcher on
    Steam: Stormwatcher | PSN: Stormwatcher33 | Switch: 5961-4777-3491
    camo_sig2.png
    Andy JoeLovelyTofystedethCalicafoodle
  • DarkewolfeDarkewolfe Registered User regular
    I'm sure the design decision with NWN2 was, "Turn out a pretty good game with pretty good story, and no, don't bother hiring any nerds to be loremasters. That'd slow us down."

    So if you have a nerd determined to do QA on an effort area you've deliberately decided not to focus on, they're running counter to your project and need to be removed.

    In all parts of the business world you sometimes make trade-offs, and a member of the team who ignores an executive decision to move in a certain direction is hindering more than helping, even if they have best intentions.

    What is this I don't even.
    CambiataStormwatcherTofystedethCommander Zoomfoodle
  • HenroidHenroid Mexican kicked from Immigration Thread Centrism is Racism :3Registered User regular
    Einzel wrote: »
    If you're hired to do 'Job A', don't do 'Job B'. It's novel and all to think a complex game like that is an effort where 100% of the team gets a say in shaping all aspects of the product, but that's not how business works. If you want to do 'Job B', get that job next time!

    No, his superiors should have noticed what he was pointing out and changed his position to one where he could correct the games lore errors. As rdx pointed out, licensed properties are often heavily judged on their accuracy to their parent material. I'm fairly certain they would have been able to refill an entry level QA position after moving Mr. Truly Insufferable to the story department. You don't punish effort.

    You've never worked for like, a company before, have you?

    kraughmarDarkewolfeSaraLunaCambiataTofystedethCalicaCommander ZoomTychoCelchuuu
  • marsiliesmarsilies Registered User regular
    A few notes on today's tale:

    1) The author seems to think that the person who wrote the original tale was a developer, since he talks about how the "bug" reports were "the only way I could help him develop the game." In fact, the author of the original tale was a fellow QA worker.

    2) The original tale mentions that the "insufferable coworker" changed his ways after a dressing down by the QA lead. This tale doesn't dispute that bit, so it's presumably true. Whatever his motivations, he was obviously going outside his job description, and the company had to tell him to straighten up.

    Commander Zoom
  • Warlock82Warlock82 Never pet a burning dog Registered User regular
    Yeah normally I'd agree he went out of bounds, but I gotta side with rdx on this. D&D is a game defined entirely about its rules. D&D fans are going to care about shit like that. So really they are bugs. Devs can always say "will not fix" (which seems they did), but he was just doing what he thought was right. They could always tell him to stop (which sounds like they did eventually).

    I'll add that one of Blizzard's lore historians got his job pretty much exactly the same way (which is to say, he started in Q&A and documented a ton of lore inconsistencies in quests and dialog).


    Side note - this the first Trenches story that outright calls out what game it's talking about?

    Switch: 2143-7130-1359 | 3DS: 4983-4927-6699 | Steam: warlock82 | PSN: Warlock2282
  • SithLrdSithLrd Rev Registered User new member
    From all of us who played all the shitty D&D games ever, thank you, Insufferable Co-Worker for trying to make a great game.

    The attitude at this link, kids, is why we can't have nice games.
    Geth wrote: »

  • Gamer8585Gamer8585 Registered User regular
    I'm now going to call smacking someone for callously exploiting a beloved IP for money an "Anders Punch"
    \
    As to the tale: Cool, they named the game (the detail keeps the discussion grounded).

    I understand why the guy did what he did, but he was a bit out of line. He was giving notes on design decisions when he should have been focusing on programmatic errors. What he should have done is document the lore inconsistencies and then tried to get a meeting with a dev to ask about them. The dev might have said, "thanks didn't notice that," or "We're going by source book <X>/<statement from IP owner> which is now the official cannon," or "Due to game balance we have to over look various minute of in-universe physics." Whatever the case it would have been better than sending up a phone book sized bug report mainly of what amounted to design criticism.

  • PersuterPersuter Registered User regular
    They aren't bugs - that's why he was getting a bunch of "Not A Bug" responses. A computer game based on a pen-and-paper RPG necessarily has to make some compromises and changes. In pen-and-paper, "balance" or "good gameplay" isn't a big deal because The DM Is Always Right.

    This guy wants to be a designer but doesn't understand what being a designer is - it's not just slavishly copying your source material. A QA guy who puts in *good* game design bugs will get moved up to designer - happens all the time. Guys like this invariably stay in QA.

    Stormwatcher
  • AugusteAuguste Registered User regular
    As someone above said, he changed after his dressing-down. I don't think Insufferable Coworker is arguing that he was doing his job correctly; I think he's disputing the idea that he did it just to pad his bug count.

    fortyDyvim Tvar
  • PonyPony Registered User regular
    No, he was doing it because he was an insufferable grognard who has ideas about the sacredness of D&D, which makes him fucking that guy at the gaming table.

    DarkewolfeApogeeCambiataStormwatcherTofystedethLovelydrunkenpandarenArsenic CanaryAegeriTychoCelchuuu
  • RagoraRagora Registered User new member
    edited July 2013
    Persuter wrote: »
    They aren't bugs - that's why he was getting a bunch of "Not A Bug" responses. A computer game based on a pen-and-paper RPG necessarily has to make some compromises and changes. In pen-and-paper, "balance" or "good gameplay" isn't a big deal because The DM Is Always Right.

    This guy wants to be a designer but doesn't understand what being a designer is - it's not just slavishly copying your source material. A QA guy who puts in *good* game design bugs will get moved up to designer - happens all the time. Guys like this invariably stay in QA.

    Not that I don't agree with you, but it's funny that you're talking about the necessity of change in adapting to video games in the thread for a comic where someone gets punched for his changes in adapting something to a video game.

    Ragora on
  • PonyPony Registered User regular
    What Q is doing isn't adapting, he's whoring.

    DarkewolfeCambiataStormwatcherCommander ZoomMan in the MistsAegeri
  • El SkidEl Skid The frozen white northRegistered User regular
    I'm someone who actually does work in QA (not game QA), and also tends to point things out that may or may not be within my scope. This is widely considered as a good thing (tm) in my case, and I'd like to share some points that might help in future:

    - If you can, understand the goals of the company and the impact of issues you raise. "There's no way that mechatonian armour could allow a slashing weapon to penetrate the armour like that- it's 8 inches of mechatite, which is said to be 14 times stronger than steel!" doesn't really seem like a relevant problem, because it only impacts the small part of the user base that knows this fact and recognizes the armour and cares if it's not exactly right. If you could write it as something like "When you use a slashing weapon against this type of armour it looks unrealistic and breaks user immersion" it is a hell of a lot more likely to get investigated and fixed. It also has the bonus of: If you can't write it that second way, you can probably save your breath because you can't tell them why they should care in a meaningful way.

    - Be on good terms with your superior if possible. Bring things up with them as "I know this isn't really my job, but I don't think this thing is good because of xxx". If they agree, either they will tell you to log a defect against it (and you can put their weight behind getting the issue fixed), or they will raise it through the appropriate channel and you still get to use their weight. If they don't think it's a problem and tell you to drop it, then you drop it (no matter how bad you think it is) and move on for that one issue. If you can manage to get them on your side, you can get things accomplished a lot more effectively than you can on your own. And if not, you pursue another avenue of attack.

    - Don't keep doing the same thing over and over and expect a different result. That's the definition of insanity. If you file 5 bugs and 4 of them come back as "not a bug", you look for a better way to get your message out. You don't log 5 more of the same kinds of bug because then you're just annoying people.

    Basically, most places I've seen actually care for the overall quality of their product(s), and appreciate people bringing things up even if they are outside the scope of their current position. But you have to bring it up the right way, or else you're just an annoying QA guy logging useless bugs and wasting everyone's time. And when you do bring up something that probably should be fixed nobody listens to you.

    CambiataStormwatcherfortyUNHchabofoodleC2B
  • CambiataCambiata Commander Shepard The likes of which even GAWD has never seenRegistered User regular
    I appreciate companies that make it a goal to keep as true to lore as they can (and even hire someone to keep track of the lore). But I also completely understand when a company doesn't have the money to do that kind of thing. If the studio philosophy is to be loosey goosey with the lore, trying to "force" them to care through thousands of useless bug reports doesn't seem heroic in the least.

  • UNHchaboUNHchabo Registered User regular
    Darkewolfe wrote: »
    So if you have a nerd determined to do QA on an effort area you've deliberately decided not to focus on, they're running counter to your project and need to be removed.

    In all parts of the business world you sometimes make trade-offs, and a member of the team who ignores an executive decision to move in a certain direction is hindering more than helping, even if they have best intentions.

    If someone is putting effort into an area that management considers a poor ROI, then it's up to management to make it clear they feel that way. Until he was asked to stop, I'd consider this poster to be doing his job, namely finding ways to improve the product. Once he was asked to put his effort elsewhere, it sounded like he did just that.

    The original poster claimed "49 out of 50" of the filed bugs were closed without a fix. Exactly how long did this QAer's manager let him go before stopping him, if they thought he was going down a path that wasn't worthwhile? Maybe the manager should have stepped in sooner to make sure his employee's time was better spent.

  • zepherinzepherin Russian warship, go fuck yourself Registered User regular
    Pony wrote: »
    What Q is doing isn't adapting, he's whoring.
    Oh god I would love to take the panels and rewrite the script.

    Give me my money
    You think Toots is going to cover for you?
    Where is my money. Is Mr Anders going to have to choke a bitch?

  • StormwatcherStormwatcher Blegh BlughRegistered User regular
    El Skid wrote: »
    I'm someone who actually does work in QA (not game QA), and also tends to point things out that may or may not be within my scope. This is widely considered as a good thing (tm) in my case, and I'd like to share some points that might help in future:

    - If you can, understand the goals of the company and the impact of issues you raise. "There's no way that mechatonian armour could allow a slashing weapon to penetrate the armour like that- it's 8 inches of mechatite, which is said to be 14 times stronger than steel!" doesn't really seem like a relevant problem, because it only impacts the small part of the user base that knows this fact and recognizes the armour and cares if it's not exactly right. If you could write it as something like "When you use a slashing weapon against this type of armour it looks unrealistic and breaks user immersion" it is a hell of a lot more likely to get investigated and fixed. It also has the bonus of: If you can't write it that second way, you can probably save your breath because you can't tell them why they should care in a meaningful way.

    - Be on good terms with your superior if possible. Bring things up with them as "I know this isn't really my job, but I don't think this thing is good because of xxx". If they agree, either they will tell you to log a defect against it (and you can put their weight behind getting the issue fixed), or they will raise it through the appropriate channel and you still get to use their weight. If they don't think it's a problem and tell you to drop it, then you drop it (no matter how bad you think it is) and move on for that one issue. If you can manage to get them on your side, you can get things accomplished a lot more effectively than you can on your own. And if not, you pursue another avenue of attack.

    - Don't keep doing the same thing over and over and expect a different result. That's the definition of insanity. If you file 5 bugs and 4 of them come back as "not a bug", you look for a better way to get your message out. You don't log 5 more of the same kinds of bug because then you're just annoying people.

    Basically, most places I've seen actually care for the overall quality of their product(s), and appreciate people bringing things up even if they are outside the scope of their current position. But you have to bring it up the right way, or else you're just an annoying QA guy logging useless bugs and wasting everyone's time. And when you do bring up something that probably should be fixed nobody listens to you.

    I'm sure you're not posting 50 "NAB"s a day, anyway.

    Steam: Stormwatcher | PSN: Stormwatcher33 | Switch: 5961-4777-3491
    camo_sig2.png
    El Skid
  • EinzelEinzel Registered User regular
    Henroid wrote: »
    Einzel wrote: »
    If you're hired to do 'Job A', don't do 'Job B'. It's novel and all to think a complex game like that is an effort where 100% of the team gets a say in shaping all aspects of the product, but that's not how business works. If you want to do 'Job B', get that job next time!

    No, his superiors should have noticed what he was pointing out and changed his position to one where he could correct the games lore errors. As rdx pointed out, licensed properties are often heavily judged on their accuracy to their parent material. I'm fairly certain they would have been able to refill an entry level QA position after moving Mr. Truly Insufferable to the story department. You don't punish effort.

    You've never worked for like, a company before, have you?

    Plenty of poorly run ones, yes. So I speak from experience, and also from a QC perspective (much different industry).

  • HenroidHenroid Mexican kicked from Immigration Thread Centrism is Racism :3Registered User regular
    Warlock82 wrote: »
    Yeah normally I'd agree he went out of bounds, but I gotta side with rdx on this. D&D is a game defined entirely about its rules. D&D fans are going to care about shit like that. So really they are bugs. Devs can always say "will not fix" (which seems they did), but he was just doing what he thought was right. They could always tell him to stop (which sounds like they did eventually).

    I'll add that one of Blizzard's lore historians got his job pretty much exactly the same way (which is to say, he started in Q&A and documented a ton of lore inconsistencies in quests and dialog).


    Side note - this the first Trenches story that outright calls out what game it's talking about?

    There's a difference between bugs - things that aren't working as designed - and differences in design from derived material. Knights of the Old Republic derived a lot from D&D, but it was also different in a lot of those things utilized from D&D.

  • fortyforty Registered User regular
    Now he just needs to punch every other character in this comic.

    Tales drama!

  • fortyforty Registered User regular
    edited July 2013
    Hey, I remember that! (Edit: Lots more follow-up as well.) Also it was fun reading the various guesses about the game in question.

    forty on
  • DedwrekkaDedwrekka Metal Hell adjacentRegistered User regular
    edited July 2013
    rdx wrote: »
    As a formerly "passionate" player of both pen-and-paper and CRPG DnD, I'd like to express my sincerest thanks to the truly insufferable co-worker if you're reading this. Fans of the licensed material are buying the game specifically for the attention to detail. As a developer and engineering manager myself, developers need to recognise that the role of QA is more than "find programming errors", its QUALITY ASSURANCE. My QA team is instructed to not just find programming errors, but also usability failures including non-conformance with the specification and anything it references. Yes, other companies do things differently and face unreasonable time/budget constraints, but there's already too much shit software out there, get the budget and time to do it right or don't do it at all please.

    He had no sway, he wasn't going to have sway, and he will not have sway. At least not as a QA tester. Doing what he did with the bug reports wasn't ever going to change the game it was just going to end up losing him his job. You have a problem with the game, talk to the story writers.
    As for authenticity, DnD throws that out the window as much as any game based on the franchise for the purpose of balance.
    Einzel wrote: »
    If you're hired to do 'Job A', don't do 'Job B'. It's novel and all to think a complex game like that is an effort where 100% of the team gets a say in shaping all aspects of the product, but that's not how business works. If you want to do 'Job B', get that job next time!

    No, his superiors should have noticed what he was pointing out and changed his position to one where he could correct the games lore errors. As rdx pointed out, licensed properties are often heavily judged on their accuracy to their parent material. I'm fairly certain they would have been able to refill an entry level QA position after moving Mr. Truly Insufferable to the story department. You don't punish effort.

    No, you don't punish extra effort. You punish the hell out of someone not doing their job and trying to do someone else's job instead. If he wanted to try and change the lore, he should have tried to find a way to do it on his own time. That's extra effort. Instead he tried to do it while he was supposed to be looking for legitimate bugs. That's wasted effort.

    Dedwrekka on
    CambiataCommander ZoomTofystedethA Dabble Of Thelonius
  • Unsaturated15Unsaturated15 Registered User new member
    And who says nobody ever finds anybody in Missed Connections?

    LovelyDeebaser
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