22 April, 2021

6 Min Read

Assassin’s Creed Valhalla – Dev Blog: Update Pipeline

Today we want to discuss the process behind bringing a title update to life and share our title update roadmap for the foreseeable future.

Our community is at the heart of everything we do, and we always strive to provide you with great experiences. That said, we recognize that some of our recent title updates may not have met your expectations or been up to our standards.

We have made several changes to production pipelines and tools so that we can deliver more robust updates, which we will cover later. We are also shifting from a 4-week to a 5-week Title Update release cycle to allow for more thorough testing and refinement.

With the application of these changes, we have made the decision to delay our next Title Update (1.2.1) to April 27 and Wrath of the Druids expansion to May 13.

ACV Wrath keyart

Title Updates Pipeline

What’s the difference between hotfixes and title updates?

  • A hotfix is a temporary back-end solution that does not feature code or asset changes and therefore does not require a download. This is both a strength and weakness, since it is not possible to make substantial changes through hotfixes.
  • A title update is a full-blown update to the game that adds, changes, or removes code and/or assets and therefore requires files to be downloaded.

Below is a top-level look at our title update pipeline.

ACVH DevBlog Piepline

  1. Issue Identification
    • The dev team identifies a new issue either through our own Quality Assurance team (QA) or through bug reports.
    • Flagged issues are categorized and prioritized based on frequency, severity, and/or player impact. (E.g. Main quest progression blockers will generally see a higher priority than side content or quality of life issues)
  2. Reproduction
    • QA will attempt to reproduce flagged issues and pass them on to the dev team for further investigation if successful.
    • We’re not always able to reproduce an issue on our side. When this happens, we may provide a partial solution if available or ask for more information.
    • The more information you can provide when reporting a bug, the better. (Detailed bug descriptions, videos/screenshots, and game saves are generally what we’re looking for.)
  3. Solution
    • Our development team investigates the cause of flagged issues and works toward a solution.
    • This step can take up to several days depending on the complexity of an issue.
    • Our list of common issues is updated based on the current status:
      • Under Investigation = The team is actively investigating the issue but has not found a solution just yet.
      • Addressed with future title updates = Our team has found a solution.
      • While this is great news, this does not mean a fix is ready for the next title update.
  4. Internal Testing
    • We have two teams auditing our Title Updates. Inside each development team, Quality Control verifies the integrity of the fix before leaving the studio, while our Quality Assurance confirms the quality of our Title Updates at large.
      • If a fix did not work, or causes a regression (return to a less-developed state) with other systems, we’ll go back to Step 3.
    • This step can take anywhere from several hours to days depending on the complexity of the fix.
  5. Submission to platform partners
    • We prepare a title update with all verified fixes and send it to our various platform partners for approval. This is known as “First-Party Submission.”
    • This step may range anywhere from a day to a week and is usually reached a few days before you see the patch notes going live on our website. We then proceed to prepare the title update for deployment across platforms in the days to come.
  6. Title Update Deployment
    • The fixes officially made it! The new title update is now ready to be deployed across platforms.

Fix Timelines

Creating Title Updates is a complex and time-consuming situation for our dev team. We are always striking a balance between including as many fixes for known issues as quickly after spotting them as we can, while also providing new and exciting content for players that may not run into issues at all. Let’s talk about some known issues and why it has taken so much time to address them.

Missing fish: As we’ve shared, we found a potential fix at the beginning of April to populate the missing fish across England. As this solution has a direct impact on existing fauna and mechanics, we moved the full fix into June to further test and refine. However, there’ll be a partial solution with Title Update 1.2.1 (April).

In the Absence of an Ealdorman: This quest has several different cases of issues tied to it that are conditional and can be player-specific. Therefore, you may see fixes in the patch notes that might not address your particular issue with this quest, but rest assured, we are looking into every reported instance.

Pig of Prophecy: As mentioned in the pipeline overview, every issue is categorized based on severity, impact, and frequency. Since the Pig of Prophecy is considered side content, we’ve prioritized more impactful story progression blockers first. All that said, we have found a solution and are aiming to include it with Title Update 1.2.1 (April).


Reporting Bugs

If you wish to report bugs to us, please do so on our player support forum or website and include the following information:

  • Detailed issue description, your platform, and try to answer the Where, when, and what with each report.
  • Screenshots, video footage, and game saves if you can, as these help immensely with reproducing any problems you experience.

What’s to come

Here’s a quick glimpse at our title update roadmap for the foreseeable future.

ACVH DevBlog Timeline EN

Keep an eye on our channels for more details on future updates closer to their respective releases. We’re also currently working on revamping our communication of Known Issues to provide more concrete information about expected fix timelines.

Enjoyed this dev blog? Leave us your feedback and discuss its content on our dedicated dev-blog discord channel or on our forums.

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