Yeah, the site is going slow these days. Maybe it’s because a giant dragon ate the staff. Maybe.
In more interesting news, Valve is looking at changing TF2 again:
Team Fortress 2 lead Robin Walker says that Valve is not entirely happy with its new method of random weapon drops, and could eliminate the unlock system entirely. "I think we’ve learned that the random drop system is only good for some types of things, like the rare cosmetic hats," said Walker to CommunityFortress
Valve’s contiinual work TF2 is highly interesting to me. No other game has its metrics, its player habits and so on tracked in such detail. I really wonder what their tech is like on the other side. Are they parsing massive text files so queries aren’t easy to run or is everything being put into a sql database and queries are done on a regular basis on the gathered information to figure what features work and what doesn’t?
Is there a massive database of every turn ever taken in every game Valve has made since HL2? Could you track it by player ID, see what turns specific players made as specific points? Can you see how often people actually save and reload? Can you we aggregate data of everyone that ever reach a specific point in the map and make design decisions based on the reaction?
If any of that is possible, Valve is way ahead of the game. MMOs can do that, I imagine. But they are already pushing and storing so much data I’m betting they don’t. Heck, I’m betting they don’t based on the ability of the average MMO to find and fix bugs.
Here’s what I’d love to see Valve do. Put up a website that shows all of the info they’ve collected on the likes of HL2. Or EP1 or whatever. Just a site where you can create simple queries by map and location and see what players actually did and how they reacted to things. Of course, Valve probably isn’t sharing that info, if they have it, any time soon. It sure would be fun to peruse though.
What Would Matt Do: I guess I’ll continue to be a data geek wishing I could run queries on real life objects. Or at least that the language to do so was simplier.