Reddit Q&A - February 7th
Executive Producer, Chris Wynn sets aside some time to talk with the community each week.
Big thanks to everyone who came out today to ask questions and provide some feedback. Many of the questions were already answered in the last Q&A so I tried to pick some fresh ones.
Here's a recap of our Q&A from today, February 7th. You can find the full Reddit thread right here - Chris Wynn
Hi Wynn. Thanks for taking the time to communicate with the fans. We love this game and are just frustrated by the technical challenges we face in bugs or server performance. I hope you can be open about the following:
- A quickfix patch was published in the "hopes" that it would fix some issues and then was rolledback immediately when it broke everything. Then the major patch on Jan 25th claimed to fix a whole host of issues that are obviously still present in the game. Did your dev team lose critical members? Are you understaffed? I don't get how seasoned programmers would find either of the above acceptable. Basically, why are we getting poor or no fixes anymore? Management issues?
- The first gas and mid game can be pretty slow. Half of PV is always safe for the first 15 minutes of the game which leads to some stale gameplay. I would love for more of the map to be used and for gas to come faster to shave about 5 minutes off of each game.
- Car1z1. Vehicles are extremely diverse in this game as a means to move around, engage targets advantageously, rush targets and even exit unfavorable engagements safely. What direction do you want to take vehicles in h1z1? Do you feel that they are doing too much right now?
- Any comments on desync issues with the server? We've all had some obvious moments of desync where a target is not even moving and our deliberate shots are not hitting them but they seem to be hitting us no problem. I'm talking about people crouched over looting still not getting hit.
- Cross region play is still an issue. Dying to players connecting from Asia is obnoxious. They teleport, don't get hit properly and then suddenly we're dead.
- The community would be more satisfied with fixing current issues than getting new features implemented. Do you agree?
- Are there any features you're excited to see added to the game eventually?
- I think I may have mentioned something about that quickfix patch previously. It was the one that we put up and then unfortunately introduced the weapon switch lag and had to rollback. We certainly don't intend to introduce new issues, and we made process changes to ensure an issue that obvious doesn't get introduced. I have mentioned before, but testing a game like this is incredibly difficult because our ability to test at scale is limited to resources. This is part of why we made some changes to how we use the test servers and why it is so important to get as many people as possible to help us test those releases.
- I mentioned these ones before, but we are planning on changing some of the gas dynamics to utilize more of the map and speed up some of those early phases. Similar to too many cars at the end of the match, that is not how we intend the end game to be so we will be making a change to help address that end game.
- Desyncs/servers/hit reg are not good. Our current number one priority and focus is on server issues to ensure those are running smoothly and remove that as a variable into the other issues. Once we feel good about the health of the servers, we will jump into specific issues that we are seeing with desyncs, etc.
- I mentioned previously that we were working on a solution to crack down on poor connections to regions. Then we got hit by some unexpected server issues that became our number one priority. Once we solve those, we can get back to the solution we began to improve that scenario.
- We agree on the priorities and are focusing on fixing current issues rather than implementing new features. That is why we haven't put in scoring for 2's and 5's as an example. Sometimes fixing an issue involves making some large fundamental changes which takes time to do properly.
- What is being done to both optimize KOTK and improve game bugs? Is a lot of your time put towards it? Will shadows ever be able to be turned off again?
- Do you guys realize that in these next few months you're on thin ice? More screw ups will lead to the game many of us love being abandoned.
- What causes these launch issues that effect 90-100% of your player base? Is it related to poor coding, poor management, or both? As I type this I can't even launch the game.
- Do you check this subreddit often? If so, I'm sure you see the countless complaints on here.
- Do you guys see this game becoming an E-Sport in the future? Are any steps currently being made towards that?
- I hope you know we all want this game to succeed as much as you guys (hopefully) do
Yes, we have a group of people focused on optimizations. This will take some time to see the results in game as there are some big changes that we are making under the hood.
I try and jump onto this subreddit every night. It can be hard to find time during the day when I spend so much time trying to clarify priorities and provide direction to the team. So my usual routine is to spend some time with the kids when I get home and then try to get a little time on here and twitter. Sometimes other priorities keep me away, but I usually don't go more than 2 days without being able to jump into a thread here or there, or share a thread with the team if it helps provide some clarity on a problem we are investigating. We also have a our community managers spend a lot of their time in here.
Yes, I do think it has the potential to be a successful esport. With the success or our invitationals it has drawn the interest of a number of pro teams who have already put together teams or are in the process of doing so. The game is so easy to watch and understand that it lends itself to it pretty naturally.
So I have a couple of Questions. Some are bigger issues some are smaller but having any of them answered is fine.
- Will there be a patch in the near future to fix the shotgun and God-Like AR Hipfire? The hipfire imo is better than the shotgun close quarters on a more consistent basis.
- I think the truck needs a speed boost. It is way too slow even with it's turbo. I'm better off on an ATV. It's to easy to get killed from and super slow. I think it needs to be looked at.
- Personally I think the Magnum needs to be evaluated as to its power and how people abuse it. Too many people just drive up, shoot the car, and leave. Yes it's a legitimate strategy but the point of the game is to survive and be the last man standing. Not play like a whimp and hide. Magnum needs a slight nerf.
- Safe Zone sizes are way too big in the current map. Most of the time before the first wave of gas is released the game is down to less than 40 people and the safe zone is 1/3 of the map still. Even by the end of the game with like 5-7 people and the safe zone is just way too large or the other option would be to add more people and make them 200+ man servers in NA.
- After the most recent update I can no longer tab out of a loot bag while shredding materials in the loot bag. It makes people more vulnerable to kill.
Other than that keep up the good work! Excited to see what 2017 holds for this game.
I can basically answer all of your questions with yes. All of the weapons and vehicles will be undergoing balance changes to resolve some problems we see in the gameplay. However, this is being prioritized lower than getting rid of some current issues in the game.
- Will we be able to see any network stats in-game, so that we can judge whether it is worth playing? I say this because sometimes the games seems fine, but as soon as someone appears they are teleporting everywhere.
- Any plans to speed up the game (gas spreading)?
- Have the EU server upgrades worked as expected?
- Where do you see the game going? I love the game (apart from the network and performance issues) and want to know how it will develop.
- Yes, we will be adding a ping count to the in game hud, that is being worked on right now. We may add more information, but are going to start with ping.
- Yes, we think it is too slow in the beginning. Would like to see it get moving faster at the beginning of the game, also making some bigger changes to gas dynamics that I have mentioned elsewhere.
- Yes and no. When we rolled them out, it was a little rough. Right now they are working pretty well from what we can see. But we still get a lot of reports of players experiencing issues. So this is still our number one priority to work out. Just last week we spun up an entirely new QA group based in Ireland to get more localized testing and reporting on those servers. Things have been pretty good for them, though we did get some good info yesterday on a few problems they experienced. We are also working with another QA group that is a bit more distributed around Europe to provide testing and feedback. We are investigating some specific problems that we don't like the looks of and adding more monitoring and health info to better diagnose the state of the servers at all times.
- I see the game getting better and better. Our high level focus would break down to resolving current issues that are holding the game back, then looking to add depth to the gameplay to make it more engaging and rewarding. Gas ring changes, vehicle changes, weapon balancing, etc, etc, is all where we will go to add depth rather than breadth.
Hi Wynn, Thank you for this Q&A I would just like to say before my questions that it seems you guys will give us updates on fixes/patches. However when things fall through you guys don't seem to say much of anything. As a community who loves this game all we ask is for more communication and information!
- Will you guys ever have a means to accurately communicate with the player base as to what is going on?
- What is the status on Desync/Lag/Server issues? With multiple log in issues over the last few days and the reoccurring issue of non NA players playing on NA.
- Possibility of other maps?
- Will we ever get rewards while playing vs just getting locked crates aside from the create every 5 levels till max 100?
- Will we ever get rewards for winning or placing top 3-5 in EVERY game mode NOT Just singles.
- Will we ever be able to alt tab or alt Enter at all without crashing 80% of the time? I can alt tab alt enter EVERY game I have ever played as many times as I want until I bought this game.
- What is going on with proximity looting?
- What is going on with changes to vehicles/ejecting at full speed.
- Will vehicles ever get adjusted such as gas usage, so that end game doesn't feel like 10 car roller derby.
- Will we ever get weapon variety? New weapons? Changes to the AK? Within the same question will loot tables ever be adjusted?
Thank you for taking the time in reading my post!
When something goes wrong, our attention and focus turns towards resolving that as quickly as we can and sometimes that comes at the expense of outward communication. Part of doing these on a regular basis, along with trying to be as available as possible on twitter, community outbreak, etc, is to make ourselves available to provide clarity and answer questions.
The login issues over the past few days have certainly been frustrating. It is a problem in our platform services that are affecting all Daybreak titles. The platform team is a good group of people and worked flat out all weekend to try and resolve the problems that popped up. Looks like with the last round of changes yesterday, things are pretty stable, but they are still making some underlying changes to keep this from happening again.
Match rewards are being discussed but no concrete details to provide right now. The top priority is around stability and removing current issues, so this gets de-prioritized against those challenges.
If you answer just one of these questions i'll be happy:
- Will we be able to ever turn shadows off instead of doing the glitch?
- Do you have any plans of making the skillgap between good and bad players bigger? Even players with 5 kills in their entire top 10 can laserbeam and get lucky two taps. Advice is to change something about the shotgun or removing it (most rng-based gun in any game ever) and are you planning on addingt any new fighting mechanics so experienced players can actually find it fun again?
- How do you plan on fixing so that you can actually tab out of the game without crashing half of the time?
- Do you plan on making the game more fast-paced/making the game shorter?
- Any plans on removing two-hit lammies completely? theyre way too overpowered in a lot of situations.
- Im sure you devs are aware that with every patch, just about as many problems appear, as the ones youve fixed. Do you think you will be able to keep old bugs and a ton of new bugs from entering the game with every patch in the future?
We are in the midst of some bigger game optimizations. Once we get through those we will re-evaluate shadows on/off.
Yes, I mentioned some gas mechanic changes in some of the other responses that will make games faster and shorter overall.
Definitely aware of the problems of introducing new bugs. We continue to make process changes every time it happens to prevent it from happening again. Fundamentally, it is extremely difficult given the complexity of the code base. A single, seemingly innocent, change can have pretty big effects, so we have to be really careful.
I just wanted to point out that ALL questions regarding consoles were down voted to oblivion... When will we know something about console release?
Like I said last time, we are still committed to a high quality game on the console. But until we have some really concrete details to share, it doesn't really make sense to spend a lot of time talking about it.
A live Q&A would be appreciated, fielding questions from here/Twitter.
Will discuss doing a live one on twitter. Follow the H1Z1KotK twitter channel, if we do it, we will announce it there.
Any plans to purchase more servers for all regions so that queue times may finally become instant?
As part of all the work we are doing right now on servers, we are evaluating how many servers are needed and where. I could see a scenario where NA and EU end up with multiple data centers within their regions. A little bit tricky given our architecture, but we have been working to improve that over the last month to make it easier. Also somewhat dependent on player population, but that has been really healthy as of late and could likely support it.
Have you considered increasing the frequency of game patches? For a game still in development, this game sees long periods of time of having no changes. With the amount of players this game has, the test server should be updated on a DAILY basis with the latest code the team is working on. Players would be willing to test them out and provide feedback.
The current pace of updates makes it feel like this game isnt being worked on very seriously
Yes, but patches are costly in terms of time. Each patch has to be tested and issues resolved before releasing live. By increasing the frequency, we tend to get less done because we spend more of our time doing more logistical activities to prepare it going live. So we have recently slowed patches down in order to increase the amount of capacity that we can use to actually make game changes.
why is there still a 7 day trade lock? seems kind of redundant, since the steam two factor auth was released
It is in place due to fraud. People use stolen credit cards to fraud the game and its players, so we put the seven day lock to prevent that sort of un-seedy behavior from happening.
The game is still labelled as "early access" on steam. While we've had two major invitationals (I competed in the qualifiers for the latest one and got 4th from dying to gas D:) I don't wan't to ask when the game is released as that wouldn't be the right question.
My question is: What would constitute the game being "finished" and out of early access?
Thanks in advance!
That's a good question.
Quality needs to improve. Once we get that worked out, then make an overall balance pass and update, then we can start to evaluate leaving early access.
What are some POSITIVE things you can tell us about the future of this game?
It is a unique experience that is only going to get better. A lot better.
Will you guys ever lower the player limit on NA back to 150?
Yes. We raised it globally to help with some server issues we were trying to resolve. We feel like we worked those out, but I don't want to go back to 150 in the middle of the pre-season as it would be unfair, and really difficult to catch some people. So don't expect a change until this pre-season wraps up.
Since everything else have been asked. I heard that you're going to add new skins to skull store so do you have an ETA for it and can you tell what kind of skins you're going to add to the store?
No ETA given all of the other more important things on our plate. But the plan is to update it just like we did with the scrapyard in the last update.
Where is Daybreak at with Spectate Mode? Also what about the Ability to Re-Queue, at the 'Exit Game' Menu?
Another task that got re-prioritized due to the server issues. But we are getting a resource back over and focused on this so we can finish it up and smooth out that camera while you are observing your teammates.
I mentioned the re-queue in the last one. Will definitely entertain it, but from a priority perspective, we are looking into optimizing the time in between games to make that shorter. Once we are good there, we can look at a re-queue button.
Are you guys at daybreak working on a deathmatch type or a shooting range so the community can train their aim skill (bullet drop and stuff)? If yes, is it going to take alot to come out?
Working on, not yet. We are in the process of a redesign of training mode. Central to that change is a shooting range to practice with the weapons and learn the "feel" of the bullets to get more skilled there. Once we get through some other challenges and free up some resources, we will jump into this.
Hi Wynn, Greetings from the UK. This will be a controversial question however the community needs to hear more about "Hack Accusations" and what's being done to make the game "Fair for everyone". Furthermore I've been paying close attention to this subject at a distance. If you could answer the summary of questions below for the community that would be great!
- What measures are being put in place to combat hacking withing the community.
- How successful has your mission been thus far to prevent wider exposure to Hacking.
- A handful of new streamers in the KOTK community have suspiciously got 35+ Kill wins. Do you go through the Leaderboards and verify the Authenticity of these achievements. Do you have hidden statistics that can clarify if these people are Real or Fake?
- Assumptions are being made in the community. I don't want to go into depth. However my question is. If a respected player / streamer happens to become the subject to backlash from community members and video claims will you help in anyway clear the persons name?
- Remember the reference you made back in the day. "Once a cheater. Always a cheater" Where there were no second chances. Can we see more of this vigorous approach on cheating instead of reporting cheaters. I liked seeing players who cheat get banned it's a good feeling.
- I hardly ever see cheaters get banned. I don't like this discreet business. We need to see it happen in full effect. We know your busy with bugs and fixes but can you bring back the "Live Ban Broadcast" ?
Yeah, I have seen almost all of the videos personally. We investigate each and every one of them. We do check the leaderboards (and other game stats) for cases that are outside of the norm. If we find something, we take action against the account.
While a hack does appear from time to time, by far and large these are shut down by a number of in-game measures. It is a constant race to police the integrity of the game and investigate new reports of an active cheat. It is discussed very often here internally.
It is our policy though to not publicly post a list of people who were banned.
Launch window for the next major update?
Skirmishes have a few more bugs to get worked out so that they behave properly. Has been a bit tricky, but trying to put that behind us as soon as we can.
The next updates will likely be smaller ones with a few bug fixes as we get some put to bed. We will get those pushed out as soon as we are confident in them. Server changes are ongoing and will be rolled out as we finish threads of improvements.