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RPGWatch Forums » Comments » News Comments » Fallout: New Vegas - J.E. Sawyer on Bugs

Default Fallout: New Vegas - J.E. Sawyer on Bugs

October 22nd, 2010, 01:04
NMA points to some comments by Josh Sawyer on the Something Awful forums about the bugs in F:NV.
Someone earlier asked if we (Obsidian/Bethesda) knew about the PC bugs that people are currently experiencing. I can't comment on every bug, but I can comment on the higher profile ones:

* Auto/quicksaving bug - I can honestly say that we never saw that bug or heard it reported prior to release. I played the game primarily (and extensively) on the Xbox 360 and PC (I also played on the PS3, but not as much) and never saw anything like that. We are looking into it right now because obviously it's (very) bad.

* NVIDIA + water = lol - This is a known issue that was introduced with NVIDIA's drivers as of (I think) two revs ago. It can affect Fallout 3 as well. We are still discussing it with NVIDIA.

* NPC faces = slow framerate - I hadn't heard of this prior to launch, but I'm going to talk to Frank (our lead programmer) about it.

* CTD Apocalypse - CTDs are often very hard to diagnose, so honestly maybe we have seen "your" issue before, maybe we haven't. These are the hardest to figure out. My apologies. We have to take them on a case by case basis.

* Video Card N + Sound Card Y + This Driver = Death/Bad Framerate - Chances are high that we didn't know that a certain combination of hardware/drivers/some other software would result in something bad happening because, quite frankly, PC compatibility testing is logistically really, really, really hard. That's not an excuse, but I hope it serves as an explanation. Anything that seems to affect a significant number of users and is systemic is something we can hopefully look into.

Please don't take my lack of commentary on bugs to mean that I don't care about them. I just want to avoid hazarding guesses and doing remote amateur troubleshooting. Bethesda's support/testing teams are coordinating known bugs and new reported bugs through to us. I know it's frustrating. I hate seeing people experiencing bugs. We are addressing them as we learn more information about them.
More information.
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October 22nd, 2010, 01:05
I'm glad he's at least responding. But if he really didn't notice bugs when he played, I have to think he's not a very technical person, no offense meant. And I do take great exception to his comment about "PC compatibility testing" being so hard…I understand issues with low quality off-brand on-board hardware, but nearly everyone is having issues on very popular and quality hardware configurations.

The bottom line is they either have extremely incompetent testers, they don't have time to test, or they don't view bugs as a big deal. I'm sure it's a combination, but I personally think the third option is the biggest reason.

Sawyer should have just said what I'm almost certain was the case: "yeah, we knew about a lot of the bugs but we didn't think they were a big deal; we were wrong, and we're fixing them (maybe)."

That being said, I have faith they'll correct the major problems…I just honestly hate to see so much bad press for such a fundamentally awesome game…Obsidian, you make it needlessly painful to be a fan…

(Oh, and I have a personal theory that the Obsidian dev's signed a deal with the devil wherein he'd grant them super-creative and inspired game ideas but those ideas would be inextricably tied to buggy implementation. I'm almost certain I'm right.)
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October 22nd, 2010, 01:15
I'd rather play a flawed gem than a polished turd.
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October 22nd, 2010, 01:28
Originally Posted by Lemonhead View Post
I'd rather play a flawed gem than a polished turd.
And I have the patience to wait for a polished gem! Playing the game next year will be awesome, I'm pretty sure. And I bet I'll save money too…

Originally Posted by magerette
I'm so tired of marketing hype, marketing slang, marketing priorities and general marketing BS that it tends to have the opposite effect on me. (Jaded is the word I'm looking for here.) I can't even read through a whole press release from any AAA title company without wanting to turn off my computer and learn to cross-stitch.
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October 22nd, 2010, 04:08
* Video Card N + Sound Card Y + This Driver = Death/Bad Framerate - Chances are high that we didn't know that a certain combination of hardware/drivers/some other software would result in something bad happening because, quite frankly, PC compatibility testing is logistically really, really, really hard. That's not an excuse, but I hope it serves as an explanation. Anything that seems to affect a significant number of users and is systemic is something we can hopefully look into.
Nice strawman argument. The terrible framerate issues were nearly universally solved by everyone dropping a hacked .dll file into the game's folder. It has little or nothing to do with what video card or sound card or driver people are using.

Their intentions to fix performance don't seem too sincere with me because his words have little credibility.
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October 22nd, 2010, 04:28
Sounds like Obsidian…
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October 22nd, 2010, 05:08
You do know publishers are responsible for Q&A not the developers.

Oh wait, no you obviously didn't.

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October 22nd, 2010, 05:31
Originally Posted by Daroou View Post
Nice strawman argument. The terrible framerate issues were nearly universally solved by everyone dropping a hacked .dll file into the game's folder. It has little or nothing to do with what video card or sound card or driver people are using.

Their intentions to fix performance don't seem too sincere with me because his words have little credibility.
As former 8 years tech support it sounds to me they misunderstood the nature of the problem but a single fan fixed it by realizing it was a known issue with a buggy .dll

My guess is Obsidian being a small company doesn't have the teams of QA people that Oblivion had.

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October 22nd, 2010, 05:53
Why…where did Bethsoft's people go?

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October 22nd, 2010, 09:44
Originally Posted by Dhruin View Post
Why…where did Bethsoft's people go?
Have they ever had Q&A people? I just hope Hunted isn't buggy (Mind you, Unreal Engine 3 games seem to be less buggy than ones on some other engines).

Originally Posted by Brumbek View Post
I'm glad he's at least responding. But if he really didn't notice bugs when he played, I have to think he's not a very technical person, no offense meant. And I do take great exception to his comment about "PC compatibility testing" being so hard…I understand issues with low quality off-brand on-board hardware, but nearly everyone is having issues on very popular and quality hardware configurations.
I don't know, really. I've heard some people having almost bug-free playthroughs, some having terribly bug ridden playthroughs that cause them to give up.

Have to say whilst I was slightly "sad" I wasn't given FO:NV last night, but on the flip side, there'll probably be DLC out by the time I get it, there'll be a few patches out and the modding community will be working hard. Project Beauty HD! <3
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October 22nd, 2010, 10:04
Originally Posted by Lucky Day View Post
but a single fan fixed it by realizing it was a known issue with a buggy .dll
How did he find out ?
And how did he ind out that particular DLL ?

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October 22nd, 2010, 12:45
Probably was an issue in other Gamebryo-engine games - Oblivion, Fallout 3. FO3 especially had it's share of bugs. Though Bethesblah should've helped them with those - remember they also screwed up on almost every DLC release for Fallout 3, so whoever's still bashing them - give Obsidian a break - this ain't a fuck-up of AP proportions and patches are already out.

..chasing a trail of smoke and reason..
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October 22nd, 2010, 13:40
Fallout 3 was a bugfree experience for me. The DLC was a different story but allot seemed due to corruption of files during download from GfWL I also had very little problems with Oblivion.

In Oblivion I only encountered a quest bug once and never in Fallout 3. These are universal bugs which appear in all console and pc versions. I had very little performance/crash problems with both games. Morrowind was a different story in the second category.

Ofcourse, that only means it was bugfree for ME. Maybe it was because my PC system at the time of Oblivion and Fallout 3 had some of the more commonly used component combinations..

Have never been on a support forum for FO3 and Oblivion since their release. Ofcourse they still have a buggy reputation, even to me, since the troubles with Morrowind, but that has been almost 10 years ago.

Still haven't received New Vegas, with auto-patching I'll probably never know if I would have one of those encountered bugs.
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October 22nd, 2010, 14:41
This is why I normally don't start playing a crpg as soon as it's released, especially the large sandbox crpgs. There's always going to be some bugs in a game of this size.
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October 22nd, 2010, 15:39
I haven't had any of the mentioned problem and I get between 30 and over 70 fps on max settings on my Geforce 260 with 257.21 driver. I have come across my first bug though and that is the ammo boxes that you buy from the vendors don't work. I bought 2 and they appeared in my misc inventory and I used them and they disappeared but I didn't get any ammo and now if I buy any they don't appear in my inventory and don't add to my ammo. I'm glad I didn't save after I tried to buy them so I didn't waste my money.
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October 22nd, 2010, 22:58
In case of Alpha Protocol, even after tons of reported bugs, the response from Obsidian was as best lukewarm, at worst unapologetic. In case of New Vagas, within some days of reported bugs, there has been public statement from Bethesda, and blog post from the Lead Designer, along with 1 released patch. Did Sega / Obsidian deliberately chose to let AP die in a bug-ridden state?
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October 22nd, 2010, 23:15
Originally Posted by Aditya View Post
In case of Alpha Protocol, even after tons of reported bugs, the response from Obsidian was as best lukewarm, at worst unapologetic. In case of New Vagas, within some days of reported bugs, there has been public statement from Bethesda, and blog post from the Lead Designer, along with 1 released patch. Did Sega / Obsidian deliberately chose to let AP die in a bug-ridden state?
I could be wrong about this, but publishers have to "allow" patches and then test them. If they said no patches, there's likely not much Obsidian could have done about it.
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October 22nd, 2010, 23:39
Originally Posted by Dwagginz View Post
I could be wrong about this, but publishers have to "allow" patches and then test them. If they said no patches, there's likely not much Obsidian could have done about it.
Correct, as far as I an say from an outside perspective.
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October 23rd, 2010, 03:00
Obsidian pretty much said it was Sega that was the problem with not allowing the release of patches. I wouldn't be surprised if Sega made them release early in an unfinished state also.
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October 23rd, 2010, 05:03
Originally Posted by guenthar View Post
Obsidian pretty much said it was Sega that was the problem with not allowing the release of patches. I wouldn't be surprised if Sega made them release early in an unfinished state also.
I don't know what they "pretty much" said but I know what they (or one of them = Feargus Urquhart) really said . Here's the quote from a news post on Blue's News:
A patch for Alpha Protocol is in the works to update the espionage-themed RPG, reports GameBanshee, after speaking with Obsidian about support for the game at E3. "We wanted to release something fairly quickly based upon some feedback we were getting," Obsidian CEO Feargus Urquhart tells them. "I think [SEGA] wanted to take a different approach by gathering more information over a longer period of time and provide a patch then. That's what we're figuring out right now." Urquhart also answered a question about DLC for the game, which does not give much cause for optimism: "I don't know if [SEGA is] talking about that at all yet. I can say that we're not working on any DLC right now. We'd love to, but we're not."

So what Sega said is… patch = yes but DLC = (most likely) no. And given the delays of AP (i.e. the generous extensions that Obsidian received from Sega) I somehow doubt that too much pressure was applied on the poor, innocent puppies from Obsidian.
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