Dev Bashing

While we greatly appreciate constructive criticism and feedback, positive or negative – there seems to be a select few users who are desperate to find something to be upset about. They bypass all logic and facts, and come to conclusions which often completely baffle us.

These users seem to have no idea of how a simple business model works, let alone Torn’s infrastructure or development process. Yet this doesn’t stop them from making their opinion heard!

Let’s start off by addressing perhaps one of the most frequent and frustrating comments we receive.



A) Not all developers can fix a single problem, usually it’s down to one developer. If updates are being released while there is an unrelated bug on the site, what does this mean? It means the developers that can fix the bug, are doing so. And the other developers are continuing their work on other projects.

For some reason a large amount of users tend to think that every single developer has the exact same skill sets, and that all developers work on single set projects all at once until they are completed and then move on to the next project. This is of course not the case…

All developers work individually on all different things. It’s very rare that multiple developers work on the exact same code at once as it’s incredibly unproductive.

If there is an issue on the site and only one developer has the resources to fix it … Do the other 7 developers take a week off and go on holiday? Of course not, everything continues as normal, and the single developer is tasked with fixing the issue while the others continue on with their own projects. The issue is made complete priority for the particular developer in charge of it, not the entire team and the resident graphics artist who wouldn’t have any idea how to fix it.



A) While we greatly appreciate sarcasm and think ‘downdate’ is a very clever play on the word ‘update’, this kind of feedback really isn’t helpful. For starters, it’s of course the minority who see updates as negative, and usually these kind of responses are posted within the first five minutes of release.

Internet forums are well known for being the hub of negative feedback, this is especially true on Torn. People are much more likely to venture over to the forums to express their dislike towards an update rather than actually go out of their way to commend it.

Users have to understand that updates are made for the betterment of the entire game in general, for the majority of all players and the future wellbeing of the site. We don’t aim for all updates to be enjoyed by 100% of the community. Often, many updates that improve new player experiences are frowned upon by older players simply because they are not ‘new players’. You have to understand that there’s more to Torn than just you. Tens of thousands of people play, with hundreds of new players signing up every day – Not every single update can benefit you in particular.



Yes! Change is the devil isn’t it?

Are you suggesting we simply, don’t ever work on Torn? Make no updates, no changes, nothing? Simply leave everything as it is… It’s … “Good enough”… “It’ll do” … You’re happy with it’s current state, and feel you could play it for the next 20 years without updates or changes. We should get rid of our developer team, and I’ll spend the rest of my life in Florida sipping freshly squeezed orange juice, basking in the sun and enjoying the donations that now have nothing to be spent on.

Are you mental.

We see this phrase used all of the time here at Torn. Applying this mentality to everything is completely naïve. Things can never be summed up with the simple model of ‘Broken or Fixed’ unless it’s either completely unfulfilling it’s original purpose or 100% perfect, and I’m sure everyone will agree that very few things on Torn are 100% perfect, but at the same time they are fulfilling their purposes to a certain degree. Every update made increases the features fulfillment of its original purpose by a certain amount, so surely we’re always ‘fixing it’ rather than breaking it if we’re following this model anyway.

It’s well known that general change is disliked by a certain few, all over the internet. But it’s also required, and users very quickly adapt and change their opinion. Torn has to be constantly evolving to survive, give changes at least a few days before expressing your absolute hate for them, rather than 30 seconds post-release. I’m sure you’ll find that the few minutes of disliking it are well worth the potential years of loving it.

If it isn’t broken, improve it.



A) Sometimes, we find minor bugs which only affect a few users. In most circumstances these are fixed with the same priority as others, but in some rare cases these require total rebuilds of entire systems in order to be resolved. These rare issues are often very complex and time consuming projects which are put on hold while other higher priority updates and issues are taken care of. They will of course be fixed eventually, they just take time.

Other issues like the notorious ‘random logout bug’ are almost impossible to track down. The only way to quickly fix them is to change the entire system resulting in more, bigger issues being introduced. We’ll get there eventually, but they’re certainly not ‘game breaking’ for now.

We’re always doing everything we can to resolve issues, some issues just take longer than others.



A) I can’t imagine how some users come to this verdict, but we see it every now and then so I thought I may as well address it. Torn is still at the top, and I don’t ever see this changing. The daily users are incredibly stable and show no signs of decline.

We now have more developers than we’ve ever had, and there are no signs that we’ll ever need to downsize. No, this isn’t business propaganda, or us in denial. It’s fact. The huge updates we’re working on will revolutionise Torn and only bring in more players. In my strong opinion, Torn’s going to get a hell of alot bigger way before it starts shrinking.



A) We can’t simply make an announcement which 30,000 people will read when it only affects a small fraction of them. Announcements are reserved for big important news to make sure people read them. If we filled up the announcements with numerous unimportant posts every day, lots of people would stop reading them

We could post on facebook or twitter, but why advertise that there’s a bug or issue to the world when only the minority are experiencing it.

Serious issues are always announced, but minor problems like periodic lag which only affect a certain amount of people at a certain time cannot be posted. Temporary global announcements are often shown at the top of the site when there is a problem which we feel every player online needs to know about.

If there’s an issue which is affecting lots of people, we already know about it, and are already working on the issue. Any staff member can instantly get hold of an admin, who in turn gets hold of the assigned developer. Developers are often woken up in the middle of the night to resolve such problems.


What’s worse is that most of the people making these comments have never donated a cent or referred anyone to the game. We’ve given them hundreds of hours of completely free play time, they’ve used our services, servers and made use of our staff team, yet they feel they can treat developers with a total lack of respect.

Perhaps the issue is not the actual users intelligence, but rather the almost instantaneous time it takes for users to A) Come to an opinion. B) Post their opinion. All they need to do is step back and take a slightly more educated & unbiased view. Take everything into consideration and spend more than 4 seconds formulating a low quality, poorly worded response.

So… Next time you see someone making these kinds of comments, please do us a favour and point them here for an explanation.

As a side note, I think it’s important to mention that we do appreciate and welcome all kinds of feedback. Positive or negative. Providing the negative contains constructive criticism, rather than flaming, bashing and trolling developers who work their asses off for you.


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3 thoughts on “Dev Bashing

  1. This newsletter really looks amazing. I am very impressed. I had no idea DevBashing was going on, and feel it is rude and a waste of the developers’ time and space of the forum. I really enjoy playing this game, and would love to see how the changes work out.
    If you would please make sure that when you update, not to leave the community of legally blind players out. We use programs such as JAWS, an other screen readers to help us out. And we would like to let you know that we sometimes run into some issues while playing. Most commonly unable to become a subscriber. :)
    I would like to thank you for making this MMORPG a very wonderful experience for me, as it is my first one.

  2. Very good explanation of how developers and fixers work. Yes it is quite defensive but needs to be when given the onslaught of misguided criticisms given. I hope what I am about to say is more on the constructive side.

    In my experience whenever releasing any change to the current “in use” system it is important that there should be a reversion plan in place (the undo facility). In some cases the reversion plan can be quite extensive – all dependent upon the changes to be released. Even a relatively minor bug fix always needs a reversion plan. I am not advocating that the better the reversion plan the less need for a strong testing regime – but I acknowledge a reversion plan that can recover back to a good state with the least amount of effort and a minimum of downtime/disruption must releive the pressure on a 100% test pass before release philosophy. And of course such a rigorous reversion discipline prevents staff being diverted away from their scheduled tasks.

  3. Dev bashing indeed happens quite frequently in the forums. I’d say for each update I personally can understand the depth of why nearly every update (though I may not have liked it). Perhaps for every update that limits players (For example lowering the amount of energy you can stack and the bookies betting cap) explain why in the announcement why they were done. I get that you won’t please everyone but that should at least make most players who really care understand why.

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