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Scott Hartsman on the Conclusion of the First BetaFollow

#1 Dec 09 2010 at 11:32 AM Rating: Excellent
Inkie in Disguise
239 posts
Originally posted by Scott Hartsman:

"Hi, everyone! On behalf of all of us on the RIFT team, and at Trion as a whole, I wanted to say thank you very much for participating in our first beta test.
We’ve been incredibly busy both through the event and in the hours since it ended, poring over all of the feedback and data and making plans for the next one. Between forum posts and in-game reports, you submitted over 20,000 individual pieces of feedback.

We’ve had developers, community, and QA folks looking over it constantly since the event began. Please do realize that your feedback here absolutely does matter.

We learned a lot this weekend. Most notably, we got answers to some critical questions.

What happens when you put the full population of a server on a single side, and effectively keep them in one or two zones for a whole weekend?

Could we patch all of those people? How well would the game hold up technically? How well would it play? How would the rifts and invasions play out?


The pre-patch that started a few days before the event was immediately extremely loaded. Many people were getting the files just fine, but a good number of you had to restart the patcher a few times to get them all.

You helped us figure out the biggest issues with this, and we updated the patcher a few times during the event. By the time the event began, the vast majority of people were seeing successful updates on the first try.

We still have a couple more improvements to make that should make the update experience even better in time for the next beta.

The Servers

Before the event officially began started, it became obvious that a lot more people took us up on our invitation than we had originally anticipated. Within the first hour of the event, we had to double the available number of servers. Those servers all remained highly active throughout the weekend.

The population of Freemarch never dipped below “more than we’ll need to support in the long term,” and the servers stayed responsive and stable throughout the overload.


The starting area of Terminus held up really well. People started slamming in to the point where we got a solid test of the server queues. (Thanks for putting up with that.)

During the first day, it was obvious that the quest targets in Freemarch weren’t nearly plentiful enough, and we made sure to get an update out for that as soon as we could – Based on people’s comments, it looked to have reduced quest blockages by about 95%.

By Saturday, it became obvious that our “wildly crazy active” tuning numbers for rifts, invasions, footholds and the like weren’t getting the result they were supposed to. For the first half of beta, very little of the dynamic game layer was seen or heard from.

Where we had hoped and expected to see invasions rampaging across the countryside, instead the population density had become far too high, such that invasions weren’t even getting off the ground.

We updated the game with even more insanely active tuning on Saturday night to give the invaders a chance to come out and play too, and the response in chat and submitted feedbacks was overwhelmingly positive once that started.

By the time it worked, it was a **** of a sight -- Huge invasions finally freed up, setting up footholds, wiping out the local populace, and eventually being repelled by defenders.

Expect a whole lot more iterations and improvements here in the future, both to rifts and invasions. More types, more activities, and a much better tuned frequency.

We’ve spent a large part of the day today working on our plans to make sure people see obvious improvements to the dynamic layer, both in terms of frequency and diversity in time for the next beta.

From here, we’re going to continue going over everyone’s feedback, and seeing what kinds of adjustments and improvements people really want to see in the game.

We have dozens of other improvements in store, largely thanks to your comments.

Thanks again, and we’ll see you in a couple weeks!

We couldn’t have gotten here without you."

Scott Hartsman
Executive Producer, RIFT
Creepy Girl Extraordinaire
#2 Dec 10 2010 at 3:00 AM Rating: Decent
102 posts
i understand were not supposed to disclose the contents of the beta..

but what are we allowed to say about it? (publicly)

#3 Dec 12 2010 at 1:17 AM Rating: Decent
71 posts
That's a good question, I'm not entirely sure what is "Ok" to talk about. I hear generalized opinions or something, but not details. Like I think it'd be ok for me to say I didn't enjoy playing a cleric, since it's generalized. I don't really know, though.
#4 Dec 12 2010 at 1:28 AM Rating: Decent
45 posts
Good to know something was accomplished. Not sure why they didn't see the invasion problem coming, should have been expected with servers that packed but I guess it is what testing is for after all.

I think that nonspecific impressions are safe, anything more seems a bit too risky.

I'm hoping that they really are listening to complaints. I've seen a few betas where certain major issues got flagged and ignored until expansion time.
#5 Dec 12 2010 at 5:16 AM Rating: Decent
62 posts
I'm certain they're listening to well-written and specific complaints but they said they got how many thousands in only a few days? With that big of a flood no way they actually consider every one.. maybe just skim through them really quickly and weed out the few that seem to have specific information. Heck, they don't even read all of the entries to the VIP contests they post.
#6 Dec 12 2010 at 3:58 PM Rating: Decent
37 posts
Quorwyf wrote:
I'm hoping that they really are listening to complaints. I've seen a few betas where certain major issues got flagged and ignored until expansion time.

I think that RIFT is trying to address issues and complaints. I was on/listening to the RIFT IRC with Steve Chamberlin(Development Director) and Peter Ju (Lead Engineer)that were taking questions/concerns. It was really cool to be honest. Here is the link that they posted afterwards which may be interesting to some of you.

Hopefully this will answer your question Quorwyf if they are listening to complaints. :)

Quoted from RIFTirc

Warzhark asks: How close is the beta to actual working conditions for user based systems. during beta there was an obvious mem leak and graphics seemed a bit sluggish, is your team working on improving this?
<%chamberlin> definitely
<%PeterJu> yeap
<%chamberlin> performance is not yet where it needs to be ultimately, and we get that
<%chamberlin> it is a big focus for us now
<%chamberlin> one of the things I've been working on myself is a tool for analyzing the automated performance data that we collect from alpha players
<%chamberlin> so we can see where the hotspots are, and focus optimization efforts there
<%PeterJu> actually that memory leak was really only exposed from beta, because it required a lot of players entering and exiting your view
<%chamberlin> yeah, and we actually patched a fix for the memory leak on the second day of the beta even
<%chamberlin> actually we delivered several patches during the 3 day event, for bug fixes and content tweaks
<%PeterJu> we try to respond quickly
Currently Playing: Aion - (Kera - Cleric, Rains - Ranger and Calysta - Chanter on Zikel)

Previous MMO's: WOW (Previous Hardcore Raider and PvPer), Warhammer (DOK and WE), Guild Wars, LOTR, AOC and EQ.

Other PC Games: Dragon Origins, Mass Effect, Mass Effect 2, Borderlands
#7 Dec 12 2010 at 9:57 PM Rating: Decent
45 posts
Thanks for the recap. Hopefully they'll stick to that.
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