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DAOC: New patching process E-mail
Monday, 05 November 2007
In order to collect more feedback from the player base, Dark Age of Camelot is introducing a new patching process. Missy Hatch shares some details with us.



In an effort to make the most of the input we receive from players when patches are in testing, we have made some changes to our patching process.


This new procedure will allow more time for testing, collecting feedback, and making changes based on that feedback . Input from our players has always been an integral part of the process, and we feel that this new way of patching to Pendragon will make it even easier to implement your ideas regarding what’s currently in testing.

Here’s an example. Right now, the content for 1.91 is for the most part complete. We plan to let it stay on Pendragon for at least another three weeks to allow time for testing. This will give us time to compile feedback and make changes based on it. In the meantime, we’ll be working on 1.92 internally. The current tentative plan is to send 1.91 live on 11/28 and then send 1.92 to Pendragon following the live patch. Then, while 1.92 is in testing on Pendragon, we’ll be working on 1.93 internally. When 1.92 goes live, we’ll roll 1.93 immediately to Pendragon, and so on. This process will allow us to provide content to you on Pendragon all at once, rather than in weekly chunks, and will allow us to release content on Pendragon well in advance of the live release.

This will also set the stage for the new testing system Chris Rabideau spoke about in his Anniversary post: “I’d like to tell you more about our new test environment: In the coming months, we are going to be deploying a new ‘experimental’ test server to our gaming community (to accompany Pendragon).  This new server will house code changes to highly complex game systems, which will typically require more than one patch cycle to implement.  Changes to or additions of major systems, such as the UI, in-game mail and auction house (to name a few) will be deployed out to this new server ahead of all other servers, including Pendragon.  This will allow the community to log in and see what we’re up to, as well as allow more time for the community to react to and make suggestions about whatever major systems we’re working on.  This will also provide us more time to consider community feedback, and make adjustments where best for the game and its players.”  Read more here .

From this point on, the only Pendragon patches we do on Thursday will be for one of two things.  The first would be when we put the next version up as a whole for the next patch cycle.  The second would be if we need to do a polish/bug fix on Pendragon for the patch sitting on there.  This means that the focus will shift from doing Thursday Pendragon versions.  There might be weeks where we do nothing on Pendragon.  There might be weeks where we take it down for a code fix.  There might be weeks we just have a Hot Fix-like note for Pendragon. In other words, the Pendragon you’ve grown accustomed to is changing, and for the better!
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