Riot Games recently broke down their process of isolating bugs within the world of League of Legends and how they go about fixes for in-game issues. They also provided useful information for both veterans and newcomers of the popular MOBA on how to be a part of that solution to make the overall game experience a more enjoyable one.
When asked the question "How do you go about collecting and solving bugs," the team responded with a few helpful tid-bits of info that allows players the tools needed to report their own finding, while also understanding the work that the dev team has cut out for them. Their response so cheekily started:
"Bugs, what bugs? You mean Kha'Zix? Yeah, that's working as intended.
Seriously though, we collect bugs in a few ways. We utilize the in-client report option (brings you to this nice form), our official boards' Report a Bug topic, Reddit, various @'s on Twitter, and even a coworker pinging us saying we broke our shit… or, even worse, that we broke their shit.
From there, we track the issue in our database."
Utilising social medias, public forums, and support tickets are a huge part of the process and all count on player participation for an accurate reading. But how does Riot games prio which bugs are a need-to-fix-now problem, and which are a more casual complaint?
"The ticket will tell us where something id happening (Internal environments, PBE, live), what the issue itself is, and how we can reproduce the bug. It'll also include some fancy video and pictures, just in case we aren't sure what we're looking at. This happens to me when I'm working on a skin for someone I don't play, so pretty much anyone except Nami. ;)
Okay, so we've got bugs! Now what? We prioritize the bugs (fixing all major issues first, then moving down the line to minor and trivial issues) and assign them to our devs and they review the bug, spot what went wrong, fix the issue and check it in to the build for review. QA analysts, like myself, will then check that the fix they've made works, and close the ticket out. If the fix didn't work, we bump it over to the dev again for a second look.
Some issues take five minutes to fix, maybe a VO line became unhooked, but some issues do require game designer support and can take an hour or two to fix (or more), depending on complexity!
Once something ships, all remaining open bugs (minor/trivial) will stay open in our backlog. We'll pull from the backlog and fix legacy issues whenever possible. For my team specifically, we aim to fix several legacy bugs a patch."
Whether or not external developer help is required or not depends on the issue, but it looks like for the most part, game maintance is fairly easy to manage for the well-equipped team. If you yourself are running into issues, don't hesitate to submit your own ticket here to be a part of the solution yourself. Until then, you can check out what else the team had to say about champion dances and that pesky River King here.