Bugs, Bugs, Bugs
It's been quite a while since I first announced that I was working on changes to the infrastructure of how bugs are reported and processed in Eve (first announced here). I've been rolling out changes in phases, starting internally here at CCP with the bigger shakeups, and slowly moving outwards while maintaining and upgrading from those initial foundations.
I've finally reached the point were external changes are starting to happen, although they're initially minor to players, they involve some huge changes for our volunteer bug hunters and GMs.
The good old Eve-Insider bug reporting form is there, with one or two things that were only marginally useful pruned away, and much more information provided on-hand to inform everyone about the ways to submit reports that are likely to help the most, and hence get things fixed quicker.
The ingame bug reporting forms were removed in the last patch in anticipation of this (some more vocal people seemed to think that had meant we'd removed them completely in order to keep everyone quiet, which just wasn't true). Those ingame pages were highly misleading, and many people thought they were acted upon in a similar way to petitions, which made it clear to me that the way we were presenting them was deeply flawed and obviously causing confusion and frustration.
The important changes are mostly under the hood. We now have the ability to expand things to allow for 2 way communication in a variety of ways, all of which need some careful consideration and preferably gradual implementation to see how we go and refine ideas on what we need to do to get to bug fixing nirvana.
Changes have also allowed me to give direct access for the bughunter volunteer group to our internal defect lists (and far improved general access for the GMs), which allows them to work with us and coordinate without having a big wall obstructing communication both ways. As you'd hope, this allows us to take much better advantage of their knowledge as well as much faster. Instead of two lists that things sit in waiting to go through and be dealt with (external bug reports, internal filtered reports pending processing), we're now down to a single list of items pending filtering, which also means things are much less likely to get lost in the cracks that develop from these big lists without individual responsibility.
I hope that sheds some light on why I'm quite optimisitic that the changes I'm working on really are going to lead to a better experience on tranquility, and also gives you a break from Oveur for a blog ;) [I'm jealous really!]