It happens when you least expect it. You go to put on your new pair of pants when you realize that there's a texture missing. As you notice it, your Chairman Meow clips through the floor and a door explodes towards you instead of inward. They're all...
You rush to the forums and note that others are having the same issue. What do you do? When will it be fixed? Will Chairman Meow ever come back?!
When they rear their ugly head you can rest assured that the following guide will help you post effectively to give us the most information to solve the issue:
JSL's Guide to Reporting Bugs:
Chapter 1. What is a bug?
A bug is best described as an error in a software program that causes unintentional, unexpected or incorrect results within that software. That's a fairly broad definition! A bug could be any of the following:
- A monster or mob not taking any damage.
- Statistics not functioning properly; a weapon that is supposed to give +25 to hit gives -25 to hit instead.
- Textures missing from armor or gear.
- A UI (User Interface) Flaw that prevents a link or a button from working. Likewise, a screen opens when it shouldn't.
- A weapon is being used two-handed but you still have a shield equipped.
- Quest text being misleading or grammatically incorrect.
These are obviously just examples. When trying to decide if something is a bug or not the best thing to do is to look back at definition and consider; Did you expect that to happen? Were you intended to be able to hold two guns and a shield? If not, it's probably a bug.
If you're not sure, read on and do the following steps to make a post anyway.
Chapter 2. I'm pretty sure "X" is a bug. What do I do?
First, make sure you have a big enough shoe...
Just kidding. There are several steps and ways you can see if something is a bug.
The step I tend to start with is data gathering. If I experience something strange, I may turn to Flip and ask if he experienced something similar. Likewise, you can get into the game and see if others see or have witnessed something similar. It may seem menial. You may get "no's" or "I don't know's." Don't let that hinder your quest but take it into account.
Next, try to remember the steps that lead to the bug. Under some conditions it's ok to act those steps out (you've probably heard that this is called re-pro'ing, or reproducing); maybe it's just a texture missing from a piece of armor. That easy to do again; just put it on. However, if it's something that will result in your death or a permanent change to your character (death count) then you probably just want to try and write the steps down as best as you can. Remember; we devs don't care about our death count. "Flip and Stamos die for YOU!™"
As an additional note; if it's a bug that could be considered an exploit it's very important that you do not "re-pro" once you've found it. An exploit is taking advantage of a bug in order to gain something that you wouldn't have otherwise or naturally have acquired. A good example of an exploit; you note that the third chest in Slouch-O: 2 gives six million gold every time you open it. It's fairly clear this wasn't intentional. Report the bug to us immediately (preferably via a private message) and we will fix it as soon as possible. Taking advantage of known exploits could lead to your account being banned.
If you can, take a screen shot:
Finally, if you can, note down anything tech-related that may be important or relevant. Here's a great example of this. Glauk did a fantastic job of pointing out that it's a platform based issue. While we nearly always look through all platforms anyway, it's a great way to ensure we know where to point our bug stomping shoes.
Chapter 3. Should I post in the forums? If so, how?
The short answer is a resounding yes.
It's always good to see if someone else has been having a similar problem in the past few weeks. At the very least, try looking back through the past 2-3 pages, more if you want, of forum posts that have been made. It's possible someone else has already asked a question that you want an answer to. This helps reduce forum clutter and allows us to answer your questions faster.
If a post has already been made, by all means, add to it! The following forum post is another great example where more data helped us flag down an important bug in the game.
If it hasn't been then get ready to make your post.
Chapter 4. The Forum Post.
Sam speaks on this often and it's true; your forum post's title is very important. If you want more people to post on it, agree with you, and to investigate then make sure your forum post's title is effective and to the point.
Example of a bad title: LOLZ GAEM IS BROKE!!
Example of a good title: Texture missing on "Pants of Awesome."
After that, the rest is easy. Look back to the steps you took in Chapter 2 and note everything that you can. Relate it back to another previous post and your original thread can look like this:
Title: Dying with half health in UC Shipyard.
"I was fighting in the UC Shipyard when I died with half of my health remaining. I didn't want to reproduce it and try to die again, but, I do remember that I was fighting a pack of mobs when it happened. The engineer didn't even know that I was dead!
I asked my guild mates and a lot of them have said they've had a similar issue; note that they all play on different platforms. I play on iPad. It happened to me again a few days later and I'm fairly sure it's not supposed to happen. I took a screen shot and will post it also.
Chapter 5. What next?
Keep checking the thread. We will try to provide as much information as possible regarding the bugs you've noticed and communicate our changes in getting them fixed.
Don't flame others; help build an atmosphere of investigation
Don't fret; we don't always respond to all bug reports. That doesn't mean we're not looking into it.
Keep posting! Pocket Legends and Star Legends both have two of the best communities I have seen when it comes to posting issues and helping others.