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This is a blog for informal commentary about the MUD - where it has been, where it is going, and where it is now.

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But Who's Counting?, posted on Sun Jan 20 19:52:13 2013
Posted by: Thoreksken
Category: General
A lot of players occasionally file a bug or idea report. A lot of creators occasionally fix bugs. Some players file a lot of reports. Some creators frequently and actively seek out these reports in order to improve the experience of playing Discworld MUD.

But how many reports are we talking about? And how many creators are involved in closing them?

This blog will talk a little about that, taking the statistics for the past year as a starting point.

In 2012 a total of 5312 reports were filed. Roughly a quarter of these (1259) were related to projects in playtesting, leaving 4053 reports filed in game or - for a figure that's easier to understand - almost a dozen each day.

I'll briefly note that not all bugs that get fixed show up in reports - we do occasionally notice that something's wrong before it gets reported (Yes, really!) and we also have some logging functionality that helps us track down certain types of bugs. The rest of this blog will talk about the ones that were reported though.

When we take a closer look, we find out that the list of 4053 reports contains 2270 bugs, 1185 ideas, 591 typos and 7 comments. These numbers mainly tell me two things: firstly that we still have a bit of work to do to improve the quality of this game, and secondly that we are lucky to have a player base that cares enough to report issues and actively provides us with suggestions for further improvements and additions to the game.

I'd like to explicitly thank every player who's ever filed a bug report. While seeing a new one show up rarely makes me happy, without them many issues (be they major or minor) would go unnoticed, or even if we did notice the issue the additional info provided with the report often makes it easier to track down and fix the underlying cause. So please keep reporting!

So it's good news that 4053 reports were filed in the past year! Not as good though is that we only managed to close 3184 (we did close all but a few of the 1259 playtesting related reports) so we've still got a bit of work to do. Note that a fairly large proportion of those that stayed open are ideas rather than bugs or typos.

That doesn't mean we have been ignoring these reports of course. I can assure you that every report that gets filed gets read, often by multiple people. Admittedly this doesn't always result in a response. There are various reasons for this, perhaps the main one being that Discworld MUD is truly huge and quite complex, so that no single creator knows how everything works. One thing we can certainly improve in is getting each bug to the right creator and making sure that each part of the MUD has enough creators with the right skill set assigned to it. However, with a fairly fluid creator base this is not an easy thing to do.

That said I'd like to make it clear that quite a lot of us creators are involved in bug fixing in one way or another. I'll even put a number to it: last year 42(!) different creators closed at least one report. 14 of those handled more than 100 reports each. This includes creators with various levels of experience and assigned to very different projects, not just those who've been here a long time or those that can write code with their eyes closed.

While all these creators deserve credit for their efforts, there are a few that deserve a special mention. The first of these is Kaylar, 2012's Bugfixer Extraordinaire and leading the pack with 557 reports closed. That amounts to an average of 1,5 reports each day! The silver medal goes to Epic, whose achievement comes close to matching her name. Woom was not too far behind although his bug fixing work in 2012 pales compared to what he's done in the past. He is truly the Bugfixingest Creator in the history of Discworld.

I'm sure there's a lot more that you'd like to know, such as "When does a creator fix bugs?", "How exactly does she or he go about it?", "How do you decide which idea reports to deny?" and most likely also "Why is that bug report I filed still not fixed?". Perhaps I or another cre will explain some of that in a later blog post. The idea behind this one was to provide you with an idea of the amount of reports that we deal with and I hope that's been of some interest to you.

I'll close with one final statistic: just a few minutes ago report 134544 was filed. Let me spell that out for you: this is the one hundred thirty four thousand five hundred forty fourth report since we rebooted the database in 2004. How about that?



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