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Bonus Series quest incompletable bug - 12/29/2016

STAR WARS: The Old Republic > English > General Discussion > Bug Reports
Bonus Series quest incompletable bug - 12/29/2016

SteveTheCynic's Avatar


SteveTheCynic
12.30.2017 , 07:21 AM | #11
Quote: Originally Posted by PorsaLindahl View Post
Planetary bonus areas are set apart from the planetary and class story missions, so you shouldn't even see any bonus area missions until after you've done your class story on each planet (level has nothing to do with it), and then spoken with the bonus mission npc and then each mission unlocks subsequent missions. Like unlocking the daily missions on Yavin-4 the first time you do them.

I don't know what bug the OP is talking about specifically. He doesn't state what it is. He just gives what he considers simple solutions that should already exist. Bonus series missions should listed separately (in a sub-category) from the main/side missions.
What you say at the beginning of the first paragraph isn't actually true, especially on Republic Taris (where this bug is most often encountered).

Terminology:
* Master mission: the mission you pick up, usually in the spaceport or somewhere similar, that tells you to do a series of missions for specific NPCs. In some cases, the spaceport mission sends you to the master mission giver.
* Component mission: the missions you must do to satisfy the master mission.

The bug is that you take and complete at least one component mission before acqurining the master mission, and the master mission does not recognise this, AND the component mission does not become available. The master mission can then never be completed on that character.

There are different versions of exactly where the bug is (they are mutually exclusive):
* The component mission givers should not give the component missions if you don't have the master mission open.
* The master mission should recognise that you have already completed the component mission(s).

And why is RTaris so prone to this? Well, because the component missions are, and always have been, for characters of about the same level as the later parts of the planet was designed for, in an area that's right next to those areas and easy to stray into. These days, level sync has meant that other planets are also prone to this:
* Nar Shaddaa's Republic series no longer takes place in a level 31 area on a level 22-26 planet.
* Hoth's Republic series no longer takes place in a level 45-47 area on a level 37-40 planet.
* etc.

And other planets also tend not to send you anywhere near the bonus series areas until you begin those series.

There are various solutions to this, and I won't bore everyone by going over them again.
http://www.swtor.com/r/Hg3sV2
To go to Belsavis, you must go to Belsavis.
> @"Biff.5312" said:
> Exercise your whimsy.

_Tarkus_'s Avatar


_Tarkus_
01.01.2018 , 10:21 AM | #12
I can't believe this was found out years ago and yet these bugs are still here. I'm now bugged on Taris. Thanks Bioware.
Make vanilla content great again!

tummiswtor's Avatar


tummiswtor
01.01.2018 , 12:03 PM | #13
Wanted to do Tatooine Bonus series becouse there is cool Lightsaber as reward, that I looking for and boom, It force me to talk with NPC that don't want to speak with me. Same on another planet... Taris or Balmorra... someone told me I need 60 or 65 level, I have 70 and did all quests, exploration quests, story quests on Tatooine and still doesn't work.

So sad that few quests doesnt working, half of Codex entries, but no one cares becouse it don't bring new players and make no profit, just "another useless thing that waste time to repair"

Feel free to use my Referral Friend link! New Subscriber get +7 days of sub!

http://www.swtor.com/r/KFtMTM

Backonin's Avatar


Backonin
01.17.2018 , 04:28 AM | #14
In next patch (5.7) they are gonna fix some various bugs. I wish that this bug would be included, but surely again it will be skipped. I don`t know how much time needs to pass for fixing it?

SteveTheCynic's Avatar


SteveTheCynic
01.17.2018 , 07:59 AM | #15
Quote: Originally Posted by Backonin View Post
In next patch (5.7) they are gonna fix some various bugs. I wish that this bug would be included, but surely again it will be skipped. I don`t know how much time needs to pass for fixing it?
It's a low priority bug fix by almost any standard of bug fixing:
* It doesn't prevent people from progressing their class stories.
* It doesn't cause the client to crash, nor the servers.
* It doesn't block completion of the main "Story Arc" mission line on any planet.
* It doesn't prevent people from running Ups, Ops, and FPs, nor does it affect Warzone and GSF participation.
* It doesn't prevent people from standing in their ships and running railshooter missions.
* It doesn't affect people's use of their strongholds.
* [Cynically] It doesn't affect how people acquire and use Cartel Market items. [This is meant as a joke.]

Having thought a bit about what (in general terms) they'd have to do to fix it, I'd say that it's also likely to be expensive to fix.

A low-priority bug that's expensive to fix ==> not gonna get fixed any time soon.

DISCLAIMER: I am a programmer, although not of games, and I have been doing this work for more than 25 years.
http://www.swtor.com/r/Hg3sV2
To go to Belsavis, you must go to Belsavis.
> @"Biff.5312" said:
> Exercise your whimsy.

wagbag's Avatar


wagbag
12.29.2018 , 09:41 AM | #16
i just recently came back to this game a few months ago, the bonus series quests are still bugging out and this is a post from 2016...how is this still a problem?

SteveTheCynic's Avatar


SteveTheCynic
12.31.2018 , 04:57 AM | #17
Quote: Originally Posted by wagbag View Post
i just recently came back to this game a few months ago, the bonus series quests are still bugging out and this is a post from 2016...how is this still a problem?
I guess that reading the explanation in the post directly above yours is too difficult.

* It's a low priority bug because it doesn't affect the progression of the main story, nor of the <Story Arc> series, and it doesn't break anything else in the game.
* Any "sane" fix is hard to devise and risky to implement.

On that basis, if I were a project manager, I would put it way far down the list of bugs to fix.
http://www.swtor.com/r/Hg3sV2
To go to Belsavis, you must go to Belsavis.
> @"Biff.5312" said:
> Exercise your whimsy.

Kryptonomic's Avatar


Kryptonomic
01.01.2019 , 04:54 PM | #18
Quote: Originally Posted by SteveTheCynic View Post
I guess that reading the explanation in the post directly above yours is too difficult.
Apparently it's also too difficult to be civil?

Quote:
* It's a low priority bug because it doesn't affect the progression of the main story, nor of the <Story Arc> series, and it doesn't break anything else in the game.
* Any "sane" fix is hard to devise and risky to implement.

On that basis, if I were a project manager, I would put it way far down the list of bugs to fix.
Actually, the fix is easy in this case. The quest chains are stored in the database via flags. The problem with this particular quest chain is that the subsequent series of quests are available before the first in the series is done. This is because the flag in the database is not set to indicate the quests are dependent quests. So they all show up at once, rather than dependent on which one has been completed. Literally flipping that flag would fix the issue.

This was brought up during actual testing (not user testing) years ago. Bioware simply didn't fix it. Part of the reason for the lack of fix was because at that time the bonus series missions were gated by your level and as long as people didn't overlevel, this issue could be considered mitigated a bit. That became less true as they made leveling so much quicker.

The reason it wasn't fixed after even that is because it was known the bonus series elements were going to be deprioritized. From an in-game perspective, that entailed moving quest givers to the fleet (which actually wouldn't have mitigated this issue). The bonus series were seen now as getting in the way of getting players to later content and the work they were prioritizing more.

Perhaps ironically, the quest chain system is actually one of the areas where the dev team doesn't have tight coupling and low cohesion in the code base.

Tofu_Shark's Avatar


Tofu_Shark
02.08.2019 , 02:55 AM | #19
Quote: Originally Posted by _Tarkus_ View Post
I can't believe this was found out years ago and yet these bugs are still here. I'm now bugged on Taris. Thanks Bioware.
Quote: Originally Posted by tummiswtor View Post
Wanted to do Tatooine Bonus series becouse there is cool Lightsaber as reward, that I looking for and boom, It force me to talk with NPC that don't want to speak with me. Same on another planet... Taris or Balmorra... someone told me I need 60 or 65 level, I have 70 and did all quests, exploration quests, story quests on Tatooine and still doesn't work.

So sad that few quests doesnt working, half of Codex entries, but no one cares becouse it don't bring new players and make no profit, just "another useless thing that waste time to repair"
Guys, please share your experience with this bug in the main thread. http://www.swtor.com/community/showthread.php?t=849398 There's lot of info about that bug there.

Quote: Originally Posted by SteveTheCynic View Post
It's a low priority bug fix by almost any standard of bug fixing:
* It doesn't prevent people from progressing their class stories.
* It doesn't cause the client to crash, nor the servers.
* It doesn't block completion of the main "Story Arc" mission line on any planet.
* It doesn't prevent people from running Ups, Ops, and FPs, nor does it affect Warzone and GSF participation.
* It doesn't prevent people from standing in their ships and running railshooter missions.
* It doesn't affect people's use of their strongholds.
* [Cynically] It doesn't affect how people acquire and use Cartel Market items. [This is meant as a joke.]

Having thought a bit about what (in general terms) they'd have to do to fix it, I'd say that it's also likely to be expensive to fix.

A low-priority bug that's expensive to fix ==> not gonna get fixed any time soon.

DISCLAIMER: I am a programmer, although not of games, and I have been doing this work for more than 25 years.
Quote: Originally Posted by SteveTheCynic View Post
I guess that reading the explanation in the post directly above yours is too difficult.

* It's a low priority bug because it doesn't affect the progression of the main story, nor of the <Story Arc> series, and it doesn't break anything else in the game.
* Any "sane" fix is hard to devise and risky to implement.

On that basis, if I were a project manager, I would put it way far down the list of bugs to fix.
There's no need to be a jerk.

I understand your point as a programmer having to prioritize, as well as the business' position but from a customer service point-of-view, it's really, really, bad customer service. Even the little things matter to the customer...and this isn't really a little thing. People notice these things and assume you don't care. If this is the conclusion drawn, most people will take their business elsewhere without saying a word about it. I cannot even begin to imagine the number of players that quit the game because they ran into this bug.

Where I work, I have very little control over things. Most of the time, I can only pester someone until a problem is fixed. Sometimes I have to pick my battles. However, this isn't my job, so I can just harass and keep sending tickets periodically until they fix the damn bug and any other persistent bugs.

I notice little annoyances that a lot of people either don't notice or just shrug off and deal with, but as a business, no one should have to just "deal with" inconveniences. A business' goal should be to provide an excellent product, maintain the excellence of that product, enhance the customer's experience with the product or service, and provide the best customer service possible. A customer should not have to deal with technical problems, just as much as they shouldn't have to deal with crap customer service. It is our job as customers to hold the business accountable by voicing our opinions, pointing out problems, and as a last resort, taking our business elsewhere. Most people just skip right to the last option.

This is not to be taken as a direct analogy, because I don't think the Bonus Series bug is a minor inconvenience. It's a huge problem. It's not like you can just hit a button and go back. You would have to start a new character to get back to where you were before you triggered the bug, and make efforts to not do it again by using a guide.

You are like Flingeld. You are telling everyone to give up, just because it seems like an effort in futility.
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SteveTheCynic's Avatar


SteveTheCynic
02.08.2019 , 04:21 AM | #20
Quote: Originally Posted by Kryptonomic View Post
Apparently it's also too difficult to be civil?
I'm disinclined to be civil to people who post "why isn't this fixed?" immediately after a post that explains why it hasn't been fixed, as if they didn't bother to read what was written, but yes, you're right, I should restrain that disinclination. Sorry.
Quote: Originally Posted by Kryptonomic View Post
Actually, the fix is easy in this case. The quest chains are stored in the database via flags. The problem with this particular quest chain is that the subsequent series of quests are available before the first in the series is done. This is because the flag in the database is not set to indicate the quests are dependent quests. So they all show up at once, rather than dependent on which one has been completed. Literally flipping that flag would fix the issue.
That prevents the bug from biting the next character, but what about all the characters that are already in the "broken" state? That's the potentially difficult part to get right. (And it's more of a "human factors" difficulty - how do you present the fix to players? I'd be inclined to fix the dependency flags and then just wipe all trace of completion on all characters everywhere.)
Quote: Originally Posted by Kryptonomic View Post
This was brought up during actual testing (not user testing) years ago. Bioware simply didn't fix it. Part of the reason for the lack of fix was because at that time the bonus series missions were gated by your level and as long as people didn't overlevel, this issue could be considered mitigated a bit. That became less true as they made leveling so much quicker.
They were gated by level significantly above their planets' "natural" level, sure, *except on Pub Taris and Imp Balmorra*. On both those planets, they are gated at the same level as you would "naturally" be at the end of the planet without overlevelling, *and* on Pub Taris, they are right next to an area where people will be questing near the end of their class story segment and <Story Arc> series. It's easy to stray into the Bonus Series component mission area by accident on Pub Taris (but harder on Imp Balmorra), and hey, look, some missions I can take.
Quote: Originally Posted by Kryptonomic View Post
The reason it wasn't fixed after even that is because it was known the bonus series elements were going to be deprioritized. From an in-game perspective, that entailed moving quest givers to the fleet (which actually wouldn't have mitigated this issue). The bonus series were seen now as getting in the way of getting players to later content and the work they were prioritizing more.
I like reading your explanations of how their development process functioned (or, occasionally, didn't function). Thanks for this explanation.
Quote: Originally Posted by Kryptonomic View Post
Perhaps ironically, the quest chain system is actually one of the areas where the dev team doesn't have tight coupling and low cohesion in the code base.
The more I see large codebases, the more I'm convinced that Yourdon and Constantine's Structured Design: Fundamentals of a Discipline of Computer Program and Systems Design should be required reading for *all* programmers, and that we should be allowed to slap them with wet mackerels when they ignore the lessons. (And I include myself in the list of slappees, by the way.)
http://www.swtor.com/r/Hg3sV2
To go to Belsavis, you must go to Belsavis.
> @"Biff.5312" said:
> Exercise your whimsy.