Home > Champions Online, MMO Games > Does bug reporting bug you?

Does bug reporting bug you?

August 23, 2009

Many MMO players have probably at some point reported a bug in an MMOG, or perhaps wanted to report a bug.

Unfortunately many MMOs seem to have quite rudimentary issue/bug reporting systems – at least when it comes to in-game support. There is maybe a /bug command which is not documented, if one is lucky there is actually a button or a menu option somewhere. If that one is triggered then there may be some categorisation options and a text field to describe the problem in.

And that’s it.

Categories for bug reporting

Categories for bug reporting

So I was very preasantly surprised when I was going to report a bug in Champions Online. There was a button for it, clearly marked “report a bug” in the help dialog window. It did provide some categories (good start) and then came the surprise – they actually provided an online bug tracking system!

Bug tracking system

Bug tracking system

Not only did it provide a list of my missions (including all completed ones) which I could select froma drop-down box, but it also provides a browse and search functionality for reported issues. I can search and see if others have reported the same. If that is the case, I can press a button to say “me too” essentially. Or you can add more info to the issue. The view also shows the status of various issues, if they are in progress or have been resolved. If your issue is not there, you can simply create a new one.

On top of that, you also have a separate dialog where you can keep track of your issues and see the status of those, update them or close them.

View for your own reported issues

View for your own reported issues

Great job Cryptic! I hope more MMOs will try to incorporate this type of functionality.

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  1. August 23, 2009 at 23:19

    Another good feature. Go Cryptic, nice detail work.

  2. Hambone Hamlet
    August 24, 2009 at 00:28

    I did not even know this was in the game, I guess I was playing instead of testing during closed beta. Anything that makes reporting bugs easy and players feel like someone is actually look at their reports is a great thing.

  3. coppertopper
    August 24, 2009 at 02:15

    “If that is the case, I can press a button to say “me too” essentially”

    Yes – love that. Of all the positive experiences of the CO beta, I never thought bug reporting would be one of them. WAR bug reporting was a nightmare. CO sets the bar and makes it almost a pleasure to report issues for the company to look into.

  4. Bhagpuss
    August 24, 2009 at 10:26

    I just like a simple open panel where I can type, in normal English, the full details of the bug as I understand it. Having to fiddle through menus and select catagories actually deters me from bug reporting.

    This particular model looks fairly well specified, and I’m sure it allows them to automate the process more efficiently at their end, but it would make me feel that I was being asked to do a deal of the work that they are being paid for.

    Also, as someone who has reported bugs routinely in every MMO I’ve played, I have never understood why I would want “feedback”. I know I’ve made the report; if the bug is a common one I can see in-game if and when it gets fixed; if it’s rare I will probably not encounter it again anyway.

    If a dev needs more information from me to try and fix the bug, then by all means contact me and ask (I always include my character name soI can be spoken to in-game, which has happened about twice in ten years). Otherwise, I just trust them to get on with their job and not to pat me on the head for being a good little bug reporter.

  5. August 24, 2009 at 16:05

    They provide with an option to help make their work be more efficient, which everyone benefits from.

    If one do not provide any structure for the input, then only reatively low volumes of incidents can be handled reasonably efficient. Yoy will have persons sitting and re-entering data that players have submitted into a system that would be somewhat similar to what is provided here. That is hardly in their core business and also prone for human error.

    With a bit of structure one can raise the quality of the input and spend more valuable time on fixing the issues rather than interpreting them.

    As for feedback, that comes in a few different shapes. It can be in the form of an actual human response, perhaps for more information. But it can also be the fact that you can see if this is a common issue, perhaps also if there is some type of information lacking so far that you actually can provide that is important.

    I think an important part here is that all this functionality is available in-game – there is no separate web site or something else to deal with. Much easier and more likely for people be able to get to and provide good info if the interface is easy to access while playing.

  6. Zizi
    August 25, 2009 at 08:41

    On a side note, I wanted to mention that this system is a great example of Cryptic listening to its testers instead of just ignoring their opinions to datamine. Back in alpha, this system was in place, but much more basic. A lot of the best features(stickies, tracking your own tickets, being able to add more info to existing issues) came about due to tester requests to improve the system.

    The other thing I’ve come to really love about Cryptic’s testing methods is that you don’t end up having to /bug something and then go post it to the web system and/or forums to make sure they see it– with CO, the best way to get action on issues has always been the in-game system, because it’s where the devs look first.

    This, plus all the integration between the website and the game(you know PMs on the Forums show up in your game mail and vice versa, right? XD) and the announced cross-game mail and PMs with STO are some of my favorite things about what Cryptic’s been doing in the last year I’ve been with CO, as strange as it is. And there’s still a lot about the game itself that’s there to like, IMO.

  7. August 25, 2009 at 16:32

    This system is hands down the best in-game bug reporting system I have EVER seen. I was thoroughly impressed. Of course, only time will tell as to how effective it is at actually getting your tickets answered once it goes live :).

    I *think* you can also monitor your tickets from the website, fairly sure I stumbled across that at one point.

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