Ministry Ticket guideline (WIP)

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Ministry Ticket guideline (WIP)

Post by Xephyr » Mon Mar 07, 2016 6:19 am

This post is a work in progress.
This is not an official guideline to making ministry tickets.


If you feel that anything here doesn't reflect what should or shouldn't be on Ministry, please say so so that these guidelines can be a good reference in the future.

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Currently, there's no guidelines for creating tickets on Ministry, but it could use some streamlining - Especially since there's several developers on Ministry now. This post is intended to be a reference to look to before making a ministry ticket - since developers often read every ticket on their part of Ministry, I believe it to be a good idea to keep the tickets concise.

When creating a ticket, be as concise as possible. Include all relevant details, including how you came across the bug and if you're capable of reproducing it. It's also helpful to list what extensions you have enabled. Outline, in particular, how what you're ticketing is demonstratably broken - if you can't do this, there's a good chance its working as intended.

Before you make a ticket:
Check to make sure it's not a known issue. Ministry currently lacks a search function, so this is very forgivable.
To search Ministry, click on the "All" tag on the right side of the page, and then "Load More Records" button on the bottom of the page until all records are shown and use your browser's find function (ctrl+f) to search for relevant terms.

If possible, drop in to the forums or IRC and ask if this is a known issue - more often than not the community can direct you to the right place.

You should not make tickets about bugs you did not find yourself without crediting who discovered it. If you discovered it independently then it's fine.
Is it a bug?
If something isn't functioning like its supposed to, like a mission is broken or you're seeing error messages, then you're clear to go ahead and ticket it. Again, remember to include all relevant details.

Is it unbalanced?
Balancing is a tricky subject. Now that damage per second (DPS) has been somewhat standardized, you should be running into balance issues less frequently after 1.7. However, playtesting is still the best way to balance weapons, and if you see that something is under/over powered, then it warrants a ticket.

To determine if something is unbalanced:
  • -Look at its DPS. If it outperforms other weapons of the same level, that's a good starting point.
    -Look at its damage type. Damage type is automatically adjusted for damage along with level - that's why the Penitent Cannon appears underpowered and the Ballista appears overpowered. Lower tier damage types can have higher DPS than higher tier damage types without being unbalanced.
    -Look at power use. Power use increases with tech level, and weapons that use ammunition use about 1/10th of the average. Sometimes a trend isn't followed for whatever reason, sometimes due to absent-minded copy & pasting, or just regular absent-mindedness. This warrants a ticket.
    -Look at other factors. EMP cannons don't damage armour, but disable a ship for a period of time - because of this, it's a fair trade to have no damage to armour. Weapons with special effects can suffer a hit to DPS while still being balanced.
    -Consider other playstyles. While some may dogfight with howitzers, others may prefer fighting over very long ranges. There's also huge variances in playerships as well - what seems unbalanced on a freighter may actually be a tradeoff for not choosing a gunship.
If you still think a weapon is unbalanced despite following the above, then please consult somebody on IRC or the forums before ticketing it - that sounds like it would be a special case.

Balance can also apply to enemy factions and other stuff in the game. This pops up a bit less frequently, but should only be changed if the ships are demonstrably overpowered for their level (ie. If you absolutely cannot beat them using appropriately leveled equipment, they're unbalanced). Its easier to identify overpowered enemies than underpowered enemies, but underpowered enemies aren't as much of an issue.

Is it a feature request?
Feature requests are requests, by modders and players, for changes to the game that aren't bugs or balance issues. The most commonly implemented of these are those requested by modders, for Tlisp functions or other engine capabilities. When making a feature request, please keep in mind the amount of work you're asking the developer to do. Even simple things can take days of work - Feature requests that require big overhauls of current systems should be discussed here on the forums before a ticket is made. Generally, I don't think you should be making feature requests unless you intend to make extensive use of them.


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Last edited by Xephyr on Tue Mar 22, 2016 10:37 pm, edited 5 times in total.
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Re: Ministry Ticket guideline (WIP)

Post by AssumedPseudonym » Mon Mar 07, 2016 6:33 am

 Under the heading of unbalanced items/ships:

 Consider other playstyles. Just because something is (or makes things) too easy or too difficult with the particular way you play the game doesn’t mean that all players will have the same issue — or even think there is an issue.
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Re: Ministry Ticket guideline (WIP)

Post by Shrike » Thu Mar 10, 2016 2:15 am

The rule of thumb that George has said a few times, but not very publicly (I'll put it to the IRC day question list so he can put something on the record) is that any suggestion that might be contentious, or need discussion and development, should be put on the forums. Not in as many words as that, but that's the general gist. That's why with the weapon rebalancing effort, I started with discussion threads and graphs, then took a summary to Ministry to get George's attention.....then sat back and let George get his own ideas and solutions from the (sometimes very wrong) stuff we'd come up with.


I did raise this general lack of official guidelines as an issue on the staff boards some time ago. The result was George making these two tickets. Both of them are technical-side things, rather than actual movement towards having guidelines.

These generally seem alright to me. In terms of recognising weapon imbalance.....it's a difficult art, and one which is hard to describe. I'll try writing up some of my methods....later.

One guideline I would emphasise is 'Think of the impacts of your change'. Transcendence is a game where changing any one thing can change a great deal of other things in the process. And it's both hard to consider it all, and easy to forget to mention what seems obvious. So if it might (or definitely will) affect another area and mean that it might neem tweaking afterwards....say so in your ticket.


I'd definitely support a community code of conduct or guidelines for ministry/forum/IRC/whatever. Our forum doesn't really have much in the way of rules, and never has. Generally that's fine, but sometimes things get out of control in one of the three main areas. And that sucks, because 1: We only have moderation for two of those. & 2. Having to step in is unpleasant for moderators and everyone else.
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Re: Ministry Ticket guideline (WIP)

Post by Wolfy » Tue Mar 22, 2016 3:27 pm

He's only ever remarked on that once during a steam and on the staff boards, right?

Still official though.
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