We always appreciate those who take the time to report the oddities they see in game, but there seems to be some variety in the detail and avenues that people use to get that information to those in a position to fix it. So in the interest of helping organize these reports, and to get the problems with our games fix, there are some suggestions for those who wish to see a problem with the game set right:
The tech team idles rather regularly, and the chances of your report being lost because Windows decided to restart itself, a chat client crashed, a window auto-closed because the client thought it was a good idea, or just bad timing combined with bad connections is very high. If a bug report is lost, then we have a known issue that will never get fixed (and that's bad).
If you believe a bug to be exploitable (that is, unexpected behavior gives mechanical or financial advantage), feel free to PM anyone on the tech staff or the HDM of the server you're on; none of the people on those lists are the sort of chumps who'd just bury a bug, and you can be reasonably sure that it will get forwarded around until someone knows what's going on.
If it's not exploitable, the next question to ask is if it's server specific. This isn't always clear-cut.
- If it's a quest, it's probably a server bug.
- If it's a problem getting around in an area, it's probably a server bug.
- If it's an NPC doing something strange, it's probably a server bug.
- If it has to do with death, it's probably an ACR bug.
- If it's a feat, it's probably a Obsidian bug, but its only hope for a fix will be through the ACR.
- If it's a spell, it's probably an Obsidian bug, but its only hope for a fix will be through the ACR.
- If it happens as part of logging in, it's probably an ACR bug.
- If it happens as part of logging out, it's probably an ACR bug.
- If it's part of the user interface (i.e. DMFI tools, PC tools, etc), it's probably an ACR bug.
I get a lot of reports that amount to "[x] doesn't work" or "[x] is bugged." -- and while this does point me toward something that doesn't work the way you expect it, that doesn't really tell me what I'm looking for. If an orc spawn is "bugged," that could be anywhere from a failure to spawn to orcs spawning in pretty pink dresses (when you said spiked shields and battleaxes... or vice versa. If you tell them to wear pretty pink dresses and they don't, that's something to say.) And this creates a problem-- a lot of bugs get fixed because the people who can fix them have no idea what you're talking about. After all, we test these things when we put them in, and we either genuinely believe that they work fine or we're confident that we've told you all of the ways that they don't.
While it's possible to fix something based on it misbehaving once, because there was something that made the computer think that it was a good idea to do what it did, bugs a usually more complex than one click producing a catastrophic failure, and people are prone (both to their benefit and detriment) to assume that they've done everything exactly the way they thought they have and that feedback was identical until something happens to prevent their progress. Often, this is not the case, and the initial assumption (typically that the action immediately before the bug is observed caused the bug exclusively) can be quite misleading. But! This can often be narrowed down by just trying to make it happen again; and you have the benefit of going through the steps more slowly and thoughtfully and being more likely to record what's going on while you go along.
I know it all sounds like a lot of stuff to do, but I promise that the ends of doing so are that the bugs reported with more and better information in better places are more likely to get fixed-- and the more bugs we fix, the less time you spend bouncing your head off of the keyboard and the more time you get to spend playing the game; think of it as an investment now that pays tiny dividends of reduced frustration for the rest of the time you play here.
And thankyou to all who take the time to report the oddities we see. I promise that the good work of those who diligently gather information for us makes the lives of builders and scripters much easier.
Where to Submit
The ALFA website holds all bug reports. Support tickets can be submitted for individual servers and bug types, as well as for the ACR.