Developer Diary: Updates and Bugs
Let's take a look at how Wargaming prepares new versions of Blitz, the importance of updates, and why fixing a minor bug can sometimes take two months.
Updates Big and Small
All the things that go into updates -- vehicles, maps, rebalancing -- are handled by different departments. This allows us to streamline development and work on multiple areas at the same time. That said, not every update includes every type of feature. That’s because the time it takes to develop, test and review any additions can vary, so it’s nigh impossible to release everything in one update.
We also focus on technical "under-the-hood" improvements that allow us to speed up development, lay the foundation for new features, and optimize the game’s graphics, gameplay or server settings. Sometimes what goes in an update is determined by external factors, like the M4AE3E8 Fury being released as a tie-in for the "Fury" movie.
Code, Test, Release
Preparing big features like Crew Skills, Clan Supply or camouflage takes a lot of time to roll out. Just because a new feature is ready, doesn’t mean it’s going to appear in the game right away. Here’s why features can take up to a month to appear in the game:
- Game stabilization takes two weeks. During this time we put together new builds of the game for testing and bug fixing. This gives us a chance to track down outstanding issues and correct them before release.
- Once we have a stable version, we submit it to our partners (Apple, Google, etc.), for verification. This can take up to two weeks.
- Once the version gets approved, we set the release date.
In addition to updating the game client that’s on your device, we also have to update our servers. These updates can help us solve network problems (like long response times, connection stability, etcetc.) and fix issues that aren’t direct connectedly related to the game client.
An example from a while back would be the reloading bug on the Hellcat. We fixed the timing quickly on the server so that it functioned as intended, but it still displayed the incorrect reload time in the client until the next client update.
It’s a Month-Old Bug!
Imagine a bug gets discovered a week after the release of Update 2.10. While it might seem counterintuitive, that bug won’t get fixed until Update 2.12 or 2.13. Why?
Well, first off, we’ve already submitted 2.11 for verification, so we won’t be able to include the fix in that version. By then, we’re already hard at work stabilizing 2.12, so time is limited, and if we’re unable to find and fix the bug in a week it probably won’t make it into 2.12. That means it won’t be taken care of until work on 2.13 ramps up, which will then take a month or two to arrive on your device.\
Hopefully this helped you better understand why it can seem like forever for bugs to get fixed. And we didn't even mention factors like the severity of the bug or how many players it affects -- generally, our best advice is to have a little patience. We work hard on Blitz, and we’re dedicated to solving any issues that might pop up!