1. We have a dedicated Player Test Environment on our QA server available for player use. This server will be kept open with periodic database resets, when we will copy the database from the live server. The server database will be updated at least twice a month during a scheduled maintenance window.

    Though players are welcome to use the QA server to experiment or test anything they wish, we will post patch notes and testing directives in this area. Players testing new content, features and systems will greatly help in reducing post release bugs and making the game better.

    To assist players in helping us make the game better, the Test Server will award login bonuses in CotOs and Gold coins to allow players to purchase resources or anything they may need to test from the Crown Store and/or from the in game vendors. In Addition, the Developers will announce dates/times when Dev Assisted Player Test Events will occur on the QA Server.

    Please use the Test Environment Bug and Feedback forums for QA Server activities only.

    You can help test by downloading a new SotA Launcher(QA) installer to download a separate QA copy of the game. It exists independently from the regular live version of the game and installs to a separate folder. To use the Player Test Environment, please download the QA Server client here:

    Windows: https://d2sx9mrt4zumaq.cloudfront.net/Installers/SotAInstaller(QA)-1.2.0.exe

    Mac: https://d2sx9mrt4zumaq.cloudfront.net/Installers/Shroud of the Avatar - Installer(QA) 1.1.0.pkg

    Linux Package: https://d2sx9mrt4zumaq.cloudfront.net/Installers/shroud-of-the-avatar-launcher-qa_1.1.0_amd64.deb

    Linux tar.gz:https://d2sx9mrt4zumaq.cloudfront.net/Installers/shroud-of-the-avatar-launcher-qa_1.1.0.tar.gz

    For information on installing the Steam QA client, click here.

The Bug Brigade Rides Again!

Discussion in 'Player Test Environment (QA Server)' started by Ravalox, Aug 27, 2020.

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  1. Ravalox

    Ravalox Dev At Large Moderator SOTA Developer

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    The Bug Brigade was established to assist the community and the development team to work together to improve the game. Since then the program has gone through a number of changes and was eventually placed on hold. The stability of the game is as important to the development team as it is to the player-base, and for that reason, the program has been revamped and is being relaunched.

    The program is now open to all players in good standing and bug rewards are back! They will awarded be on a progression basis monthly with only a minimal requirement to be filled to qualify.

    We are bringing the bug forums current and will make every effort to have triage and intake for each validated bug. To assist in doing this we have asked @Alley Oop, @Justyn, and @Echondas to take on a moderator role within the bug and feedback forums. Please congratulate them the next time you see them in game or on the forums!

    The Bug Brigade will be open to all. If you feel the game is your home, sign up and assist us in making it a better place to live!!


    The Bug Brigade was established to assist the community and the development team to work together to improve the game. Since then the program has gone through a number of changes and was eventually placed on hold.

    The stability of the game is as important to the development team as it is to the playerbase, and for that reason the program has been revamped and is being relaunched. This document defines the new program’s rules and benefits.

    The Bug Brigade will be open to all. If you feel the game is your home, sign up and assist us in making it a better place to live. The requirements are minimal, and the Bug Hunter incentives are back too!

    This pilot program brings back the progression aspect of rewards. Just maintain your membership by participating and each month you will be rewarded with swag that tells everyone that you care about the game’s state and are a Bug Hunter! Once the program is settled we will aim to extend and maybe expand the rewards. Keep in mind that this is a new program; everyone will start at the same rank in the progression.

    Progression will advance each calendar month players meet the activity criteria in the rules below.
    NOTE: Program rules and structure are subject to change at the Dev Team’s discretion.


    There will be two levels of participation. The base level, “Bug Hunter” is open to all players in good standing. The second level, “Bug Moderator” exists to assist the Dev Team with triage and validation of bugs posted in both the Live and Player Test Environment (PTE) bug forums. The Bug Moderators are made up of veteran players and Bug Hunters by invite.

    Players actively participating in the program will be added to the “Bug Brigade – Bug Hunter” forum group and be given a title “Bug Hunter” that will remain as long as they are active in the program.

    Bug Moderators will be added to the “Bug Brigade – Bug Moderator” forum group and will have a “Bug Moderator” title. The Bug Moderators will be granted full moderation abilities within the Bug Forums (Live and PTE).

    The program will be administered by Ravalox. Questions or concerns regarding the program should be directed to Ravalox via PM on the SotA forums or via support@portalarium.com.

    To sign up for the program, please send @Ravalox a PM on the SotA forums asking to sign up for the Bug Brigade.


    To maintain status as a Bug Hunter, a player needs to submit at least one valid bug each calendar month. The bug submitted will count towards reward progression if verified and submitted with an issue #.

    Bug Hunters must use the bug reporting template by using the /bug (Live) or /devbug (QA Server) command in game, if possible, or use the manual template that is posted in the Bug Forum documentation.

    Bug Hunters are encouraged to add information to existing bug reports where additional details are required. All players are asked not to post commentary or “me too” responses unless a moderator or staff requests it.

    Bug Hunters will get credit for assisting in the verification testing of [Fix Needs Testing] issues. When a bug that has been submitted has been corrected by a patch or other Dev Team action, the Bug Brigade members are encouraged to verify that the bug has been squashed. This can be done by logging onto the QA server or Live Server, depending on where the patch was delivered. Details will be made available by way of a Dev or Moderator post in the Bug thread, and/or Root Bug Forum (Live or Player Test Environment) in the form of a direct request or the patch notes.

    Moderators, Staff, and Bug Moderators have final say on moderation in the Bug Forums. Do not argue with moderation publicly or privately. Contact Ravalox by sending an email to support@portalarium.com with any concerns over moderation.

    In the event a Bug Hunter is not active for a period of three months they will age out and be removed from the program. If a player is removed for inactivity, they are welcome to re-register at any time as long as they are a player in good standing. They will resume at their last progression level.

    Removal for cause: A player will be removed from the program in the event they accrue a Major or above moderation offense in-game, on the SotA Forums, SotA Discord, SotA Twitch, or other official communication channels. Players removed for cause will not be allowed back into the program.

    Examples of events that can cause a player to be removed can include, but are not limited to: Posting Troll Bug Reports; Trolling players, moderators or staff; or a pattern of posting noncontributive posts.

    When a player is removed from the program, whether for cause or inactivity, the Bug Hunter forum title is removed but any in-game titles earned will remain.


    The reward system is a progression, not a lottery. For each month that a player fulfills the program criteria, they will move forward in the progression and will be awarded the associated in-game items in the progression list.

    To qualify for reward progression, the player must be actively registered in the Bug Brigade program and have at least one unique bug verified and assigned an issue#.

    NOTE: As per community rules, posting with an Alt account is not permitted. Only one account can be in the Brigade per person. In the event this occurs please be sure to advise a Bug Brigade Moderator or the Brigade Lead (Ravalox) so that the posts are properly credited. Continual use of Alt accounts can be cause for removal.

    The Bug Hunter title on the SotA Forums will be awarded immediately, Titles and rewards listed below will be awarded after completing the month in progression.

    Progression List (listed in month gateway order):

    Rewards in the below-published progression list will be issued for each successful month completed in the program.

    01. Antennae head gear & In Game Title 1: “Bug Hunter”
    02. Single Ant Cloak
    03. Lady Bug Backpack
    04. Bug Painting A & In Game Title 2: “Associate of Aphids”
    05. Ant Farm
    06. Insect Leg Table
    07. Many Ants Cloak & In Game Title 3: “Bachelor of Beetles”
    08. Bug Painting B
    09. Bug Sprayer and /bugspray Emote
    10. Bug Painting C & In Game Title 4: “Master of Moths”
    11. Butterfly Chair
    12. Corpion Chair
    13. Yellow Fireflies vfx & In Game Title 5: “Doctor of Dragonflies”
    14. Hacked Oracle Flyer
    15. Giant Butterfly pet [Blue]
    16. Butterfly Mask (Purple/Green/Yellow in color [Telethon Version])
    17. Dragonfly pet
    18. Fairy Wings
    19. Monarch Butterfly pet
    20. Dragonfly wings
    21. Hacked Oracle Crawler
    22. Blue Butterfly VFX
    23. Orange Fireflies VFX
    24. Orange Butterfly VFX


    Path to Bug Moderator:

    Any active player in good standing can become a Bug Hunter. In the event the need arises to add a Bug Moderator to the team, they will be selected as per the process defined below.

    Bug Moderators are expected to follow the rules put forth for the Bug Hunters as well as the below:

    Accepting the role of a volunteer moderator on the forums, whether it is as a Bug Moderator or a Forum Moderator, not only comes with the responsibilities of monitoring the forums and assisting the community within the rules defined by the Developer Staff, but also requires restraint in becoming involved in community posts or threads that are in need of moderation, i.e., avoid becoming part of an argument, trolling, or other similar threads that are in violation of the Community Rules. If a thread/post is in need of moderation, please take the appropriate steps: If not able to moderate the item yourself, reach out to the Community Manager or Forum Moderation Staff for assistance.

    Bug Moderators will be assigned a category as a Subject Matter Expert, but are encouraged to review bugs across all categories when possible. All Bug Moderators can process bugs in all categories.

    To maintain status as a Bug Moderator:

    * Triage bugs in the Live and Player Test Environment Bug Forums (updating the Bug Brigade Moderator Discord with issues ready to be processed)

    * Update the Moderator log with any moderation actions taken

    * Moderators are still encouraged to post bugs of their own

    * Attend Bug Moderator Meetings (to be held monthly)


    * A Bug Moderator may be removed if they become inactive for more than 30 days without giving notice of an absence. In the event a Moderator abandons the role and is removed for inactivity, they cannot be re-instated as a moderator. (They can re-register as a Bug Hunter, and will retain their progression level).

    * It is understood that a break from the game and the forums may be needed at times. A Bug Moderator may advise that they need to step away for a longer period of time up to three months. If a Bug Moderator requires a longer absence or needs to step down, they may be re-instated when they return.

    *Cause: A Moderator can be removed for cause for reasons stated under the Bug Hunter Rules or for abusing moderator powers. Abuse of power will be subject to a permanent ban from the game and all official channels.

    *Professionalism: Moderators are expected to work together as well as with the community. Though it is understood that there will be disagreements and the customer is not always right, divisiveness with other Moderators, Staff or the playerbase will be addressed and could lead to removal.


    Adding Moderators:

    Moderators will be selected from pool of Bug hunters ‘sponsored’ by a moderator. Dev Bug Lead will review and make the decision.


    Engage other mods if unsure or if personal conflict exists. Stay professional: Moderators are representing the game and the community.

    Exploit Reports (or reports that are determined to be exploits):

    Remove the thread from public view ASAP. Advise the reporting player via Private Message that the issue will be looked at and the Devs will be given contact information in the event more info is needed, but also instruct them to use support@portalarium.com for any future exploit reports.

    The exploit information should be forwarded to the Dev Bug Lead along with the contact information for the reporting player.

    General Triage:

    * Make sure that the bug template is used. If not suggest the info is gathered using the available commands or ask the questions that the template is made up of, plus any additional information needed manually and add the [need more info] title on the thread.

    * /loc and scene name for where player dungeons and player basements are. /locs within these areas will not allow Devs to be able to locate them.

    * Verify if the bug is reproducible

    * Ask for steps to reproduce, or if possible document the steps

    * Encourage screen shots or short videos

    * Ensure debug string is present

    * A moderator should not verify their own bug posts: A second set of eyes is critical

    Once the bug is validated:

    - Change title to include appropriate tag and change title wording as needed to best reflect the issue reported

    - Update Bug Intake Log

    - Dev will create issue and update thread with issue# then update title and flag url in intake log as processed

    Post-Fix Verification:

    * Once the bug is fixed, it should be in the patch notes

    * Thread with issue# should be updated to reflect [Fix Needs Testing] status

    * Once Fix is verified, the thread is changed to [Fixed] status

    * [Fixed], [Resolved], and [As Designed] threads are to be archived the day after next release (maximum 30 days)

    * [No Response] threads will be archived immediately (since they had sat idle for at least 7 days)


    If a post needs to be moved/merged use the default settings on the menu. There is no need to notify the forum that the thread left. The thread originator can be optionally notified by checking the box as shown in this picture:


    Threads where the subject matter is not actually a bug should be moved to the Feedback or Wishlist forums, depending on the nature of the topic.

    If there is a thread or post that belongs in General, the thread/post should be moderated with a note to the player that non-bug or feedback items are not to be posted in these areas.

    {Editor’s Note: Moderation action guide to be added shortly}

    Standardized Verbiage for responses to player posts:

    Issue: Player did not use the bug template

    Response: Please remember that we need the bug template (use /bug or /devbug in game) to properly process your report. If using the / command is not possible, manually create the template from the information provided at the top of this bug forum.

    Issue: Moderated Post for non relevant information: commentary, bumping, or other post not providing further detail of the issue found.

    Response: [Sent as a PM via the Moderation system] Your post has been removed. The content adds no useful information to the bug report. Please keep opinions and conversation out of the Bug area so Devs do not have to dig through posts and threads for valid information.

    NOTE: If the player is chronically posting in this manner (especially if divisive), a public moderation may be required. This should be handled by a Senior Moderator or Dev Staff.

    {Editor’s Note: Additional example responses will be added over time}

    Thread Title formats:

    Players will post bugs with thread titles that may not relate the issue in the most direct manner. Some light humor may also be employed, and this is not discouraged as long as it does not obscure the issue within or manifest as a troll post. Troll titles should be adjusted ASAP and moderation actions taken if needed.

    Once Verified, edit the title of the thread as needed. Title of the thread should be functional and descriptive of the issue only. Read the title of the thread as if you were looking for information on the issue. If the title doesn’t relate the nature of the issue, re-write it.

    NOTE: Only Moderators or SotA Staff should add Title Tags in most cases. If a player adds a process tag to their own thread, they should be advised of the correct procedure. If they continue, they should be moderated and may lose access to the Bug Brigade program.

    Bug Thread Title Tags (in forum thread life cycle order):

    Community Resolved issues:


    Used by players or moderators for when non-Jira-submitted issues are fixed through forums (like player error, external cause, or player education). Once set to resolved, the thread should be locked. It will be archived at the start of the next release cycle.

    During triage/verification process:

    [Need More Info]

    Used when there is not enough info, such as a detailed description, detailed reproduction directions, or lack of location/template info if warranted.

    [No Response]

    When more info is requested, but not received in a reasonable amount of time. (7 days minimum) then move to archive.


    Use only if merging threads is not possible. Used when an issue # has already been created, post the issue# and thread link (if available) in the thread. Lock duplicate threads.

    [Dev Review]

    Submitted for Developer Review to determine if the issue is a Bug or As Designed


    Triage Completed. Logged for Devs to process into the ticketing system

    [Submitted #<issue#>]

    When an Issue # has been assigned
    (A Bug Moderator can assign submission title if the issue# is known)

    [Improvement #<issue#>]

    Submitted as an improvement (as opposed to a bug)

    After Patch or resolution:

    [Fix Needs Testing #<issue#>]

    Patch on server, issue fix needs to be tested.
    If tests fail, then the original bug should be re-opened (do not create a new thread)

    [Fixed #<issue#>]

    When the bug has been tested after patching and is confirmed fixed. Then the Jira is closed and the thread is archived on the day after the next release. Thread should be locked.

    Developer resolution tags:

    [Patch Pending #<issue#>]

    This will normally be set by a Dev: indicates that the issue is considered fixed, but not present on the QA or live servers yet.

    [As Designed #<issue#>]

    Will not change as a break/fix: thread response should be "Working as intended" or "Please submit this as feedback or a wish-list item, as it is not considered a bug at this time". Thread should be locked or moved to Feedback
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2020
    Time Lord, Aeryk, Merrik and 10 others like this.
  2. Ravalox

    Ravalox Dev At Large Moderator SOTA Developer

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    Added forum thread title tag:

    [Dev Review]

    - Submitted for Developer Review to determine if the issue is a Bug or As Designed

    This allows is to categorize issues that are very ambiguous and submit them to the Dev team for analysis and determination if it is a Bug or if it is "working as intended"
    Paladin Michael, Merrik and Anpu like this.
  3. Ravalox

    Ravalox Dev At Large Moderator SOTA Developer

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    Corrected typo where first month completed showed a forum title. Forum Title is issued at the time of joining the Bug Brigade. The In Game Title 'Bug Hunter" is delivered after the first 30 days in the brigade.

    Everyone has been delivered the correct titles at the correct times, this was only an error in the documentation.
    FrostII and Anpu like this.
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