Game developers are fond of telling us that they’re ‘listening to our feedback’ – but that’s merely the impersonal baseline of accepting suggestions from fans; the ‘thanks for all my birthday wishes’ of community relations; the queen’s wave of beta testing.
Riot would like to do better. This weekend, for instance, they would have liked to tell fans that they were handling a nasty bug before the distraught forum threads began to pop up.
A serious platform error led one PBE tester to post under the provocative title, ‘Riot; can we get at least a little bit of professionalism on PBE?’.
Assistant producer RiotSeb responded, and agreed that communication to PBE testers about bugs isn’t “great or consistent” – “whether we’ve seen them, verified them, fixed them, or even delivered the fixes”.
He explained that the bug which had prompted the thread had already been dealt with, and would disappear in an imminent update.
“My team and I are working on some changes to the PBE community site, since testers deserve to know that their feedback is being heard and acted on,” he went on. “Our approach to collecting and communicating about bugs on the community will probably be a bit different for version 3.15, and we’ll be working to improve more over time.”
That said, RiotSeb suggested that in a test area like the PBE, players need to accept that “things might be broken – even for “several days” as they’re fixed.
“In this case, a subset of players were affected by a bug, and our dev teams reacted within a couple of working days,” he concluded. “It’s not a good experience for those testers, but instability should be understood as part of playing on the beta server.”
Riot are already the envy of their peers when it comes to fan communication, flooding their own forums with prompt responses like this one. But I suppose it can’t hurt to shoot ever higher, can it?
Thanks, Reign of Gaming.