A Discussion About Bugs

Apr 23, 2018

Greetings Hexers! There has been some discussion in the community surrounding bugs and how they relate to competition. We have been following this conversation closely as we care deeply about competitive play. Today we want to step in and clarify our policies surrounding bugs as well as address the current issues with Palm of Granite. To do so, we first need to dive into some light terminology.

Broadly speaking, there are two categories of error that can occur in HEX: Bugs and Exploits. Colloquially the term “bug” is often used to refer to all forms of odd software behavior, but internally this has a specific meaning. A bug is any software issue that has either a neutral effect or a negative effect on the person triggering the bug. This differs from an exploit which has a negative effect on the triggering player’s opponent. This difference is key as it impact how we address these issues. For exploits, standard procedure is to temporarily ban as soon as the exploit has been verified by QA. However for bugs, we sometimes allow players to include these cards in their decks as they wish. The reason for this is twofold:

First, banning all bugged cards (as some players have suggested) is impractical. Bugs have varying degrees of severity. In extreme cases (like triggering a client crash) we will utilize temporary bans on a bugged card, but otherwise they can have a huge range of impact on a game. Many bugs don’t significantly disturb the flow of a game, and blanket bans for those cases would prevent players from using these cards if they so choose. Our policy is thus inform and let players decide for themselves.

Second, as bugged cards typically only affect the user, we want the choice to be in the player’s hands on whether to use a bugged card or not. A player may be fine using a problematic card in one mode and not the other. As they have full control over its inclusion in their deck, our policy is to keep a current list of our known issues and let each player make the final call.

With regards to the Palm of Granite bug, this is something that we have been working on for some time. For those who don’t know already, Palm of Granite currently will sometimes play the Wild Shard that ends up in your hand. This has been a high priority issue as we recognize the card is played in a number of high profile decks, but it has taken some time to fix as it is a complicated problem that touches on some underlying core systems. It has taken us a while to find a good solution that won’t impact other cards in a negative manner. Thankfully, we are close. We built out a solution last Friday, but it needs to be tested extensively and greenlit before we can pass the fix along to everyone.

Finally, I want to end with a reminder that we do care about bugs. Our team spends a great deal of time every day fixing ongoing issues. If it has taken a while for a specific bug to be addressed, it is often because the fix is more complicated than it may seem at the surface. In addition, our team is also hard at work bringing you new and exciting features. For example, the Merry Melee (and a new Corinth vs Corinth mode!) is around the corner, and we have been making good progress on Cosmic Coins and other reward systems to make ladder and Siege more enjoyable for everyone. These special currencies will allow players to get a variety of exclusive rewards, including all new cosmetics. First, we will have fresh battleboards as part of this system (concept art depicted below):

Sanctum of Suffering

We will also be introducing a whole new class of cosmetics which will replace the coin you flip at the beginning of each game with an epic alternate of your choosing:

Molten Coin Cosmetic

We will dive into these rewards and how you earn them in greater detail when we get ready to roll out these systems, but we think they will address some of the concerns many of you have had about incentive to climb outside of the Cosmic Crown Showdown.

See you in the Battlegrounds~

The HEX Team

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