936.2 Hostage Ware?

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Dimitris
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RE: 936.2 Hostage Ware?

Post by Dimitris »

So here's a list of the new weapon types and in which version they are supported. I was originally going to post this later, but I didn't plan on being labelled as "hostage taker" (still waiting for an apology & retraction on that BTW). If I delay this more then who knows, next thing maybe I'll be an ex-Einsatztruppen member in hiding.

* Tactical EMP (Directional) and Hypersonic Glide Vehicles (HGVs): Enabled only in the professional edition. These weapons do not work in v1.11 SR7 at all, and in v1.12+ a scenario containing them is blocked from loading.

* Tactical EMP (Omnidirectional), Phase-2 High-Energy Lasers (HELs) and Railguns & HVPs: Enabled with a License for "Chains of War". These weapons do not work in v1.11 SR7 at all, and in v1.12+ if a CoW license is not present, a scenario containing them is blocked from loading.

* Phase-1 HELs (ABL-1 COIL laser and LaWS laser) and all other weapon types: Freely usable in all versions.
Dimitris
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RE: 936.2 Hostage Ware?

Post by Dimitris »

1. In earlier versions, all forms of lasers were available to add to platforms. No restrictions and paid DLC content wasn't discussed.

In past versions only the Phase-1 lasers (ABL and LaWS) were available. These are still now freely available for use, and in fact they enjoy the modelling improvements that were created in order to add the new laser types.
3. In the latest version, scenarios with lasers that were not re-activated will not load at all. Scenario designers must downgrade to the previous version of the game, remove the "now forbidden" lasers, and then re-upgrade the game...which seems a little tedious.
You and some others keep saying "downgrade". Did we instruct everyone to make a backup of their existing installation, yes or no?

If you did as we instructed, you now have a separate, fully working v1.11 SR7 installation in addition to your v1.12 RC setup. So load the scenario file in there, remove the new lasers or other new weapons, save the scenario. Done.
Maybe it's possible to allow loading of scenarios containing the DLC-only lasers in the newest game version, with a note that those lasers will not function unless you purchase the DLC? (similar to the note when all lasers were deactivated).

You have to consider this from the end-user's point of view. If I try loading a scenario with the new weapon types and I'm blocked at the loading screen, it's a minor annoyance. If I load the scenario, invest time and energy into planning etc., then at the last moment discover that I cannot use some new weapon that my plan hinges on, I'll be in an axe-murdering mood. And the axe-wielding player will not blame the careless scen author. He'll come after us.

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Kitchens Sink
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RE: 936.2 Hostage Ware?

Post by Kitchens Sink »

Sunburn, thanks for your response.

I gave up axe-murdering a long time ago. There just didn't seem to be much of a future in it, and chain saws are much more effective anyhow.

p.s. The "hostage-ware" title sure wasn't my idea


KS
peterc100248
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RE: 936.2 Hostage Ware?

Post by peterc100248 »

"Maybe just add a message that the weapon won't fire if you don't own the DLC. I can see it easily becoming a major problem if scenario authors who have the DLC start to release scenarios with these weapons in it and not releasing a different version without those weapons. With the current "lock out" feature that peter is talking about, this might create a large divide in the C:MANO community in terms of scenario authors and community testers."

You didn't address this.

"I want to be clear here. I'm not concerned that the laser/AGS gun rounds are not usable. I'm concerned that scenarios created prior to 936.2 that happen to have whatever now triggers the "unloadable" feature (or any feature yet to be discovered), or new scenarios created under 936.2 without the upgrade that trigger the trap, are effectively rendered unusable if saved.

As things stand, that is a divergent path. Without seeing your code, I would think it can be easily corrected with a simple "if then else" qualifier for those features that only come into play with the upgrade, but that is a guess.
"

You didn't address this, except to say that the answer is to have TWO iterations of CMANO running. Are you going to instruct the entire installed user base to do that? I wouldn't want to do that. I'm not going to come after you. Thankfully, you said that. Your fanboys would go into orbit had I said it.

Look, I understand completely what you guys are doing. You have been doing an excellent job. I think you need to understand that once you start charging money for your product, you are really no different than any other commercial enterprise. I have no issue with you doing that, but the relationship does change - like it or not.

I'm not sure what you would say if you owned a business, purchased software to do accounting for that business, and suddenly, after an update, the software crashed every time you tried to load your payroll. Then you get a little pop-up note saying if you'll just buy an upgrade, you can get the payroll feature back with a few improvements. Or you, can just "downgrade" and have the payroll feature back, complete with bugs, but "we won't support the version you payed for." Meanwhile, all the work you put into your payroll is useless.

Looking at the qualifications Matrix prefers of future employees, it seems there is an understanding of how important it is to have a good relationship with their customer base:

http://www.matrixgames.com/news/2143/Ne ... .Games.LLC

"Hostage Ware" is not a personal insult. It is a common phrase in the computer industry and is directed at the code one generates that, knowingly or unknowingly, does what you may not have intended it to. If you took it personally, I apologize to you. That doesn't change my opinion of the little "feature trap". Even had you written the code, "Hostage Ware" is not directed at a person. I spent 25 years developing systems and software for the defense of the free world. Had my customers informed me I had written "Hostage Ware", I wouldn't be waiting on an apology. I would have been trying to figure out what went wrong, and how I could smooth ruffled feathers.
Dimitris
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RE: 936.2 Hostage Ware?

Post by Dimitris »

ORIGINAL: peterc100248
"Maybe just add a message that the weapon won't fire if you don't own the DLC. I can see it easily becoming a major problem if scenario authors who have the DLC start to release scenarios with these weapons in it and not releasing a different version without those weapons. With the current "lock out" feature that peter is talking about, this might create a large divide in the C:MANO community in terms of scenario authors and community testers."

You didn't address this.
I did. See above. Blocking a player mid-scenario is bad. Axe-crazy bad. Blocking the scenario at load is not ideal, but a much lesser evil.

Another solution has been suggested to us, by a rational customer, and we're looking into its feasibility.
"I want to be clear here. I'm not concerned that the laser/AGS gun rounds are not usable. I'm concerned that scenarios created prior to 936.2 that happen to have whatever now triggers the "unloadable" feature (or any feature yet to be discovered), or new scenarios created under 936.2 without the upgrade that trigger the trap, are effectively rendered unusable if saved.

As things stand, that is a divergent path. Without seeing your code, I would think it can be easily corrected with a simple "if then else" qualifier for those features that only come into play with the upgrade, but that is a guess.
"
The eternal "it's a simple fix" assumption looking from the outside. This also skirts the question of why a scen author would add non-working weapons in a platform in the first place.
You didn't address this, except to say that the answer is to have TWO iterations of CMANO running. Are you going to instruct the entire installed user base to do that?
Nope, just the ones who do pointless stuff like putting non-working lasers on ships.
Look, I understand completely what you guys are doing. You have been doing an excellent job. I think you need to understand that once you start charging money for your product, you are really no different than any other commercial enterprise. I have no issue with you doing that, but the relationship does change - like it or not.
Indeed. Apparently we also have to deal with customers whose default-mode reaction to a change is "you're screwing us". Thankfully a very small percentage of our user pool.
I'm not sure what you would say if you owned a business, purchased software to do accounting for that business, and suddenly, after an update, the software crashed every time you tried to load your payroll. Then you get a little pop-up note saying if you'll just buy an upgrade, you can get the payroll feature back with a few improvements. Or you, can just "downgrade" and have the payroll feature back, complete with bugs, but "we won't support the version you payed for." Meanwhile, all the work you put into your payroll is useless.
Fallacious comparison. Your example's payroll software worked correctly before the upgrade and stopped working after it. The SSF laser that you added on the ship was not working before, and is not working after the update either. What has changed is that now the blocking check happens earlier (at scen load) rather than mid-play. I understand how this can irritate scen authors who put non-working lasers on ships, but it protects players from the mistake of these same authors.
Looking at the qualifications Matrix prefers of future employees, it seems there is an understanding of how important it is to have a good relationship with their customer base:

http://www.matrixgames.com/news/2143/Ne ... .Games.LLC
Indeed. Thank God we have an excellent working relationship with every single one of our pro clients. It probably helps that their default reaction to a functionality change that creates an issue to them is not to publicly accuse us of bait-and-switching them. I can see how that would raise bumps on our cooperation.
"Hostage Ware" is not a personal insult.
It's so cute when you seriously claim that.
It is a common phrase in the computer industry and is directed at the code one generates that, knowingly or unknowingly, does what you may not have intended it to.
That's the definition of a bug. "Hostage ware" is another thing entirely. You're not the only one with decades in the software trade.
If you took it personally, I apologize to you. That doesn't change my opinion of the little "feature trap". Even had you written the code, "Hostage Ware" is not directed at a person. I spent 25 years developing systems and software for the defense of the free world. Had my customers informed me I had written "Hostage Ware", I wouldn't be waiting on an apology. I would have been trying to figure out what went wrong, and how I could smooth ruffled feathers.
Your sorta-apology is sorta-accepted.

Moving on.
Lowlaner2012
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RE: 936.2 Hostage Ware?

Post by Lowlaner2012 »

Considering the addition, fixes/modifications and support over the years I am more than happy to pay for dlc every now and then...

Other software/game developers are way more aggressive in how they release new features and content, I mean half the games on steam have ridiculous amounts of payed for dlc after you buy the core game...

So yes I will gladly buy CoW when its released...

Ill be sorry to see you go Mike, you give the devs a positive, caring and human face on the forums..

Cheers
mikmykWS
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RE: 936.2 Hostage Ware?

Post by mikmykWS »

ORIGINAL: highlandcharge

Considering the addition, fixes/modifications and support over the years I am more than happy to pay for dlc every now and then...

Other software/game developers are way more aggressive in how they release new features and content, I mean half the games on steam have ridiculous amounts of payed for dlc after you buy the core game...

So yes I will gladly buy CoW when its released...

Ill be sorry to see you go Mike, you give the devs a positive, caring and human face on the forums..

Cheers

Thanks! You guys were great to work for and with and hope to be so lucky with the next thing.

Mike
Lowlaner2012
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RE: 936.2 Hostage Ware?

Post by Lowlaner2012 »

So "cough" Mike when can I expect my free copy of CoW?

Just joking [:D]
mikmykWS
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RE: 936.2 Hostage Ware?

Post by mikmykWS »

ORIGINAL: highlandcharge

So "cough" Mike when can I expect my free copy of CoW?

Just joking [:D]

LOL[:D]

Seriously though if you want access to stuff join beta.

Thanks!

Mike
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tjhkkr
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RE: 936.2 Hostage Ware?

Post by tjhkkr »

ORIGINAL: mikmyk
Hey I'm secure enough with who I am for a dude smooch! Anytime pal!
Once CoW ships I'm retiring from Command work anyways. I't was a great ride did what I wanted to do but time to have a normal life:)
Dimitris is not looking to hose anybody. Like always he tries to do his best.
Mike
Oh man! I am REALLY sorry to hear this. [:(]
But I get it...
Here is to you, matey!
He is jolly good fellow... and so say all of us!
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