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NQ Your lack of action regarding the schematic fiasco is disturbing


bleakcon
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What follows is perhaps the most critical thing I have said regarding NQ, I don't think it is unfair though.

 

Ok so my understanding is this: In an effort to fix a issue with pricing on a particular schematic someone managed to somehow set every bot order to about 1/100 of the price it should be selling at. Please let me know if I have missed something.

 

Now, full disclosure, I wasn't able to gain from this, I wasn't online, I am telling you now I would have taken full advantage of it and anyone who is honest knows they would too.

 

It might be fair for you to ask me something like "Why are you putting a post up of something you aren't even sure of?".

 

That question would be fair only up until you realise that nothing is being done about it, with NQ stating they were "to err on the side of caution" whatever that means.

 

Caution? It's a bit late for that now isn't it? Where was this caution when someone decided to make changes to live servers. I bet there are a ton of engineers and developers playing this game and almost all of them know the cardinal rule: You never, ever, ever mess with production code or data before fully testing it on a representative environment or as close to one as you can get!

 

By now I suspect many reading this have seen the screenshot of someone holding 112 warp beacon xl schematics, not 1 or 2 but 112, if they also bought the necessary sub components then you are looking at production of an end game item at a scale that just should not be.

 

NQ, where is the philosophy you so passionately and vocally used to defend the changes made in 0.23? Your insistance that having players being able to run up mega factories is a bad idea? Everything you as a company put out at that time is contradictory to the inaction on this issue.

 

NQ, how are you meeting the statement you made after 0.23, you remember don't you? The one that stated you would be more communicative, you would test things out more before you rolled them out, what about internally? Did you not learn from the knee jerk reaction that was the talent reset?

 

NQ, it boggles my mind that you don't see this as a serious problem, it isn't just about those 30 minutes and the minority of players getting a leg up it is about what comes after.

Looking at this selfishly as an example, i mine like a madman for weeks and I finally buy schematics and a warp beacon, i mine more to build the beginnings of a space station, i keep on mining to buy more schematics and before Thursday I at least figured I had made an honest dent into building a foundation in this game; those 30 minutes demolished all that work.

 

These points don't just apply to me, they apply to any player who wasn't lucky enough to get in on the schematic grab.

 

Ok ramble over, NQ it is time to point out why this is all quite disturbing to me as a player (i would hope others too):

 

1. This has demonstrated a severe lack in your processes, you've lost customer confidence

2. Your decision making in the aftermath is abyssmal; your going to do nothing? 

3. The reasoning for your inaction is.....well it isn't reasoning; 'err on the side of caution'.

4. Your inaction points to (from more likely to tinfoil hat):

  a. You truly don't see this as a problem and are content to carry on (your wrong, it's more than just the schematics, it is the message you are sending)

  b. You now see it as a problem but you can't rollback

  c. You always saw it as a problem but you are unable to perform a rollback and you don't want to admit that

  d. You intend to wipe

  e. This was intentional for the benefit of a group of players (tinfoil yes but it's not the first time a mmo has done this).

5. You either can't trace player transactions or don't have the time to rectify your mistake meaning this is an intensive process.

6. Your communication on this matter has been more pointed to 'stay silent and it will blow over' rather than addressing concerns.

7. Your indiffference to this matter

 

I like DU, I see the potential, but potential isn't enough, at this point features won't be enough, your team appears to be lacking process, experience or maybe just passion, that or someone is calling the shots and  overriding the devs decisions, this isn't the first simple mistake as a result of quick decision making or poor thought, something needs to change and it needed to change 4 days ago

 

 

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What baffles me is the apparent lack of ability/willingness to just undo those transactions.  Remove the schematics purchased at an incorrect price, refund the money spent on said schematics to the purchaser.

It would have taken less than 10 minutes to write a query to identify the transactions that occurred in that time frame.

it isn't that hard.

spend a little more time, and it's even possible to write a query to follow all subsequent transactions, and do a removal/refund for those too.

 

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3 minutes ago, DystopianSnowman said:

What baffles me is the apparent lack of ability/willingness to just undo those transactions.  Remove the schematics purchased at an incorrect price, refund the money spent on said schematics to the purchaser.

It would have taken less than 10 minutes to write a query to identify the transactions that occurred in that time frame.

it isn't that hard.

spend a little more time, and it's even possible to write a query to follow all subsequent transactions, and do a removal/refund for those too.

 

If they have the necessary metadata, part of my little essay questioned whether they have. This is why this is so disturbing, it transcends the event itself and gives us an unsettling insight into what is and is not possible, obviously the decision making speaks for itself but that is damned disturbing too.

This isn't a game issue, this is a company issue and that is worse in my opinion.

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1 hour ago, DystopianSnowman said:

It would have taken less than 10 minutes to write a query to identify the transactions that occurred in that time frame.

it isn't that hard.

That would be true if NQ actually keeps these records as they should which frankly I fear they don't as they never considered that requirement due to a lack of understanding what it takes to build a game like DU and they make stuff up along the way without having a solid and well thought through ground level framework.

 

Besides that, undoing these transactions should be a trivial matter. Not to long ago CCP had a somewhat similar issue in EVE and dealt with it swiftly and decisively by rolling back the error and it's fallout without needing to touch anything else. They first communicated that the mistake happend, that it was corrected and that player were not to sell the incorrect blueprints, not make copies and not manufacture from them and that the incorrect blueprint would be replaced in inventory by the correct one and any blueprints or transactions based on the incorrect ones would be undone. Simple, to the point and clear. Next day at daily downtime the changes were executed like announced.. problem solved. THAT is how you deal with these mistakes and it sets the expectation that trying to take advantage is pointless as you will lose your advantage the next day.

 

NQ however continues to send out the expectation that it's fine to take advantage and you wil get away with it as they will not act in any way on it beyond correcting the mistake itself. And that is the big problem, they continue to be terrible communicators and show a chronic lack of ownership of the mistakes the make, refusing to correct the fallout of the mistake.

 

The argument some have that "CCP has had 15 years of experience" means nothing here as NQ clearly is taking many cues from EVE and they have the examples of how CCP deals with these things so they do not NEED to make these mistakes themselves. But something (or someone) in their company culture seems to say/think that they know better and will reinvent the wheel once more anyway. Also 18 years ago, CCP could make these mistakes as the world of online games was very different then, it was itself pretty much in its infancy and many online players were actually still on dial-up connections which is something a lot of the members of this community probably never actively used or are familiar with.

 

 

1 hour ago, bleakcon said:

This isn't a game issue, this is a company issue and that is worse in my opinion.

I agree with his and that makes this all the more worrisome. Everything we see points at both inexperience, lack of comprehension of what goes into dealing with these things and a severe lack of understanding that communication and setting the correct expectations is is key. And I would not blame the CM team here as they are just the messengers, it is the internal decision making that is the problem here. I do not believe they have the ability to actually trigger change in this internally and that is unfortunate.

 

 

 

 

In the end, mistakes happen and they will again. That is OK though as long as the way you deal with them in cleaning up and showing you take learning from them is visible. With NQ neither is the case.

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13 hours ago, blazemonger said:

 And I would not blame the CM team here 

Not for a second to I believe the CM team are at fault, they are a great bunch of peeps and if anything i say appears to be critical of the CM team (unless of course i do it explicitly) then I can assure you I don't believe they are at fault, actually I believe the CM team are a saving grace for NQ.

 

If anything goes wrong within my team that I am responsible for then simply put the fault is my own, it doesn't matter if a junior member made the mistake or I made it, if I am responsible then I am responsible, that is why I hold the upper management of NQ responsible for these blunders; the mistake should not have happened in the first place.

 

Quote

The argument some have that "CCP has had 15 years of experience" means nothing here as NQ clearly is taking many cues from EVE 

I think that argument being used means something, it means that NQ are trying to take cues from a company with a hell of a lot more experience with an MMO in production, this means they need to temper their expectations of what they can achieve.
More to the point my understanding is some of the upper management including JC aren't seasoned game designers, my understanding is they are scientists who decided to build a civ sim, that makes sense and it shows; a grand vision, promises of features and building of hype are all well and good but it is the execution of it all that matters, all this is to say that they really should look at how they are making decisions and be honest with themselves; from my point of view some of these decisions are really harming the reputation of the company never-mind the game.

 

Quote

Besides that, undoing these transactions should be a trivial matter. 

Absolutely it should, if they aren't able to do this then it highlights either a gross inexperience in design or that they are so up against it that they have had to put off implementing such systems, neither of which bode well for a release.

 

Quote

Not to long ago CCP had a somewhat similar issue in EVE and dealt with it swiftly and decisively by rolling back the error and it's fallout without needing to touch anything else. They first communicated that the mistake happend, that it was corrected and that player were not to sell the incorrect blueprints

This was due to them giving out BPOS's instead of BPC's for some kind of competition?

If that is the case then i'd point out that this was a different scenario from what NQ did, giving items to players for a competition is probably a case of inputting a item id, account ids and then executing but what happened to DU was a change in the pricing for every single item sold by bots, where are the tests?

even something mundane such as:

 

// Given 

item_id = someItemWorthFiveThousand
// When

const result = getBotSellPriceForItem(item_id);

// Then

assert(result).is(5000)

 

Would at least act as a really simple guard against these mistakes; their code is probably heaps more complicated and in no way can i expect them to have such a method but I would expect them to have something LIKE this to be run when they make a change to config.

I can only assume they don't - being that this happened - or that the tests were never run in which case big yikes.

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On 1/24/2021 at 5:05 AM, blazemonger said:

And I would not blame the CM team here as they are just the messengers, it is the internal decision making that is the problem here. I do not believe they have the ability to actually trigger change in this internally and that is unfortunate.

In way I feel, that this flawed "internal" thing actualy degraded CMs to "just  messangers". Like Naunet at fist attempted to be our real CM in way (with some success, because people welcomed this short-lived change very warmly), but looks like somewhere during Christmas/New Year she was whiped back into silence, as "normal" NQ communication goes for years now.

 

We have 5 CMs (or more?), but I have no slightest idea what they all doing (besided Pann, who likely workind with surviving half-dozen DU streamers or something).

 

Sure, they may be doing something super-cool in secret, but...

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Remember when they had the bug abuse "amnesty" and asked players to turn themselves in or be banned.... and then nobody got banned...

I said then that I believed NQ did not have the ability to identify - with 100% certainty - those who had or had not abused bugs in the game and were using their weird self-immolation beckoning "amnesty" as a ruse.
This latest unwillingness (or likely inability) to remove the affected schematics from the game makes me believe that I was indeed correct and that NQ have not (yet?) implemented any audit trails within the mater database.

Every database I have built for my clients includes a table or tables containing detail transactional histories of anything important and usually with enough data to automate reversal or rollback 

Sure, the scale of my customers' databases is laughably small, but then I wasn't paid 20,000,000 dollars to develop it.

This does not bode well for release.

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1 hour ago, GraXXoR said:

This latest unwillingness (or likely inability) to remove the affected schematics from the game makes me believe that I was indeed correct and that NQ have not (yet?) implemented any audit trails within the mater database.

This why I think they so vengefully executed poor bastards from M15. 

 

Not because they done something so impossibly harmful for game (lot of 10000% more harmful economical "criminals", outright exploiters walking around free with ill-gotten billions), but because they kinda naked NQ problems in operating (in audit/rollback/repair sense) with data and all like this, put them in position of overall mockery.

 

 

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You know what would really destroy what confidence I have left would be for them to roll back and delete the substantial update to one of my ships that I made while this bug was in place.

 

I didn't know about the bug at the time, and, since I don't do industry except for my fuel facility that I got back up the day after 0.23 dropped, I didn't benefit from it... but you want to punish me for it?

 

Much better that we let the beneficiaries slide. You can't prove that they knew the schematics were underpriced. You can't prove that they wouldn't have paid full price for the schematics they needed during that time if that option had been available. The players didn't do anything wrong. NQ did. (And it was an honest mistake - no punishment for NQ either lol)

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27 minutes ago, Daphne Jones said:

You know what would really destroy what confidence I have left would be for them to roll back and delete the substantial update to one of my ships that I made while this bug was in place.

 

I didn't know about the bug at the time, and, since I don't do industry except for my fuel facility that I got back up the day after 0.23 dropped, I didn't benefit from it... but you want to punish me for it?

 

Much better that we let the beneficiaries slide. You can't prove that they knew the schematics were underpriced. You can't prove that they wouldn't have paid full price for the schematics they needed during that time if that option had been available. The players didn't do anything wrong. NQ did. (And it was an honest mistake - no punishment for NQ either lol)

A rollback is out of the question for the exact  reason you stated, But where i disagree with you is that its just a bad idea to "Let the beneficiaries slide" thats also loony tunes fantasy land. NQ should have rolled back server that day if not that hour. They didint what they did was see ooops and let it slide. Thats a slap in the face of everyone here. Working hard to mine and do industry to make some cash then Boom the few that got all the schematics make billions. 

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Just now, qwertyboom said:

A rollback is out of the question for the exact  reason you stated, But where i disagree with you is that its just a bad idea to "Let the beneficiaries slide" thats also loony tunes fantasy land. NQ should have rolled back server that day if not that hour. They didint what they did was see ooops and let it slide. Thats a slap in the face of everyone here. Working hard to mine and do industry to make some cash then Boom the few that got all the schematics make billions. 

Pretty sure I was rebuilding my ship that day, so still would have messed me up. Not worth it.

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2 hours ago, Daphne Jones said:

Pretty sure I was rebuilding my ship that day, so still would have messed me up. Not worth it.

Going to be blunt with you here, what you mean to say is not worth it for you personally. At the moment you are tunnelling on your ship; unfortunately your ship is going to mean nothing if things like this cause the economy to go down in flames.

 

Secondly, letting it slide is essentially saying to everyone : 'if this happens again take full advantage', it will embolden people to take advantage of similar situations, not to mention the effect this one situation is going to have on those industry players who put months into say specialising in warp beacon production.

It would be like you finishing your ship with the intention of selling it but then someone gives a bunch of player a drm free master blueprint; it doesn't matter that only a few got it, it still devalues your work and makes your goal feel less unique.

 

Finally a rollback isn't necessarily a case of rolling back every action on the server for x amount of time. Many posts, including my original post have stated that really, they should have been able to work through the market transactions and reverse every transaction, e.g.

player a buys a warp beacon xl schematic for x

player b buys the warp beacon xl schematic from a for y.

 

rollback : credit player b with y, delete schematic wherever it may be, refund player a with x quanta, flag player a (identify any failed rollbacks (the player traded to another player for something other that quanta) and flag those for the CM team))

 

simple really, unfortunately NQ waited days instead of an hour so now they are likely to get some scenarios like this:

 

player a buys a warp beacon xl schematic for x

player b buys the warp beacon xl schematic from a for y.

player c trades 5 million hematite for the schematic.

player b makes pure iron with that hamatite

player b makes honeycomb with that hematite

player d buys the honeycomb from player b

player d builds a super cool thing from that pure iron

 

trying to reverse this is problematic because player d could not have possibly known that the honeycomb was made as a result of materials gained by selling contraband :D. 

NQ could try to reverse this but at this point it's a really awful idea and if they make exceptions in these cases i can guarantee there will be players out there that out of caution would have done things like this as soon as they were able.

 

This is exactly why they should have:

1. identified their mistake

2. shut down the servers

3. made the decision to reverse transactions and communicated that to the community.

4. performed the rollback, identified edge cases where they weren't able to and raise with CM team to take manual action using GM tools.

5. servers up.

6. make a decision on whether to take action against players who abused the event and then communicate all of this.

 

meanwhile you would have noticed what would have been about an hour of server down time, annoying yes but not as annoying as figuring out a few months down the line that the game just took a a nose dive because this action had dire consequences to the economy and/or community.

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The point is that I and presumably many others were doing things that would have been destroyed by a roll back and had nothing to do with this particular snafu. A windfall for a few industrialists just doesn't have a big effect on the economy in the long run. They make some money quicker... or if they have the sense to wait for the fix and sell schematics at normal prices, they might make a fair amount of money - so a few get rich. Anyone who want to focus on getting rich in this game can do it - but it's not a game goal, so it doesn't really matter.

 

If people got the cheap schematics for their own use, it might make prices of finished goods drop for a bit... but that won't last.

 

This is a minor blip that will clear up.

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NQ actively, selectively and deliberately allowing damage to the game and it's economy is hardly a "blip". It is a serious concern especially when it is a chronic and relatively frequent occurrence.

 

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9 hours ago, Daphne Jones said:

 

This is a minor blip that will clear up.

Nope, on an economical civilization building noting this is a large thing that cannot be corrected ever again.

 

If the roman empire had gotten a gold injection of their totall net worth times 100 we would probably all speak latin now. If the Germans had an overal industrial boost of times 100 we would all speak german now, or russian.

 

it was not the icecream maker that got a free shop to sell more ice.

And since there is talk here it should have been tested on a test server before, we do not know if this was tested on the ATV server before. Thee is no transparency on matters and that leads to speculation and distrust.

If they really do not want to roll back the most simple solution is to adjust all prices to the 100 factor from today onwards and if possible compensate people who bought schematics between the event and now.

 

Why not just make all prices as they were during the incident and be done with it? Should be a 20minute thing tops :P

 

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1 hour ago, Aaron Cain said:

If the roman empire had gotten a gold injection of their totall net worth times 100 we would probably all speak latin now. If the Germans had an overal industrial boost of times 100 we would all speak german now, or russian.

While Aaron little bit exagerating, its actualy serious grain of truth there -- full implications will be FELT LATER. 

 

Right now ill-goten (or NQ-mistakes gotten), lets say "strategic reserves" hard to trully put in use -- mostly they gathering dust somewhere. Sure, more vulgar people bragging billion here or stack of 100 super-expensive items there, but its all irrelevant, stayin in some vanity fairs Discrod rooms and not felt by general public (that much).

 

Yet, when serious PvP eventualy arrive and, what is most important, enter long-term, grinding (economic) phase, it will be quite... bam-bam, a suprise, that some factions magicly stockpiled x10, x20, x N better, them most of potential competition. And this will be having some snowballing effect too -- using this advantage,  such people will grab more resources and attract more people with classical winning team advantage. 

 

Overall I think nearest asteroid thing can be "alpha-test" of such developments.

 

 

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On 1/23/2021 at 10:05 PM, blazemonger said:

That would be true if NQ actually keeps these records as they should which frankly I fear they don't as they never considered that requirement due to a lack of understanding what it takes to build a game like DU and they make stuff up along the way without having a solid and well thought through ground level framework.

I don't know why this is still up for discussion.

They can do it and have done it in the past. When schematics were first released they were priced too high. NQ then lowered the price and then refunded every player the difference between the new price and the old price.

They have done it, they can do it in the future, they just don't see how this is a big issue.

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36 minutes ago, Darrkwolf said:

I don't know why this is still up for discussion.

They can do it and have done it in the past. When schematics were first released they were priced too high. NQ then lowered the price and then refunded every player the difference between the new price and the old price.

They have done it, they can do it in the future, they just don't see how this is a big issue.

The reduction of schematic costs and refund was actually easier, all they would have needed was all players who bought a certain item at any time;  no need to worry about what happened to that item, all they had to do was refund x amount of quanta to that player.

 

If they don't have additional meta data such as sell timestamp and then logging on trades they won't be able to sort the discussed issue so there is still a question of how extensive their auditing is.

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11 hours ago, Daphne Jones said:

The point is that I and presumably many others were doing things that would have been destroyed by a roll back and had nothing to do with this particular snafu. A windfall for a few industrialists just doesn't have a big effect on the economy in the long run. They make some money quicker... or if they have the sense to wait for the fix and sell schematics at normal prices, they might make a fair amount of money - so a few get rich. Anyone who want to focus on getting rich in this game can do it - but it's not a game goal, so it doesn't really matter.

 

If people got the cheap schematics for their own use, it might make prices of finished goods drop for a bit... but that won't last.

 

This is a minor blip that will clear up.

Apologies but the point is nothing of the sort.

 

Many players love to use the excuse of 'it is a beta expect this', I loathe this because generally it has been used regarding things that would only be acceptable if there was a wipe pre release; in the case of your hour being lost, well that would be unfortunate but they absolutely should have done it (I would have felt this way even if i was online at the time i assure you) because these sort of mistakes are the butterflies that kill a sandbox later on down the line.

 

Regardless of any of that I have already explained to you that they simply should have rolled back any transactions relating to the illegitimate schematics; this would have solved the issue and had zero effect on you; to be clear, THEY SHOULD BE ABLE TO DO THIS. 

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NQ's treatment of bug abuse, has been disappointingly poor.   And their treatment of grey areas has been even worse.

 

Market exploits like these, the container teleportation bugs, and the duplication bugs.   Has massive PvP implications.    In a game about resource scarcity, setting up a civilization, and defending it.   An exploit that makes resources easier/cheaper than they should be, is like a mod that increases enemy head size in a FPS PvP mode.  

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I wish, we get a better explanation, what they will do about the schemetic bug or why they won't do anything.

 

The few lines of explanation last week and ignore the situation since then is very disapointing for me.

 

I realy like this game, i play it for several hours nearly every day sind the Beta start, and the 0.23 changes were fine for me. But a total unbalanced situation because of a bug, destroyes the game for me. I hope there is a solution, because i realy want to play this game (and thats the only reason, i am still here and hoping for a solution).

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