Platform, device version and operating system:
Screenshot or image:
What you were expecting to happen, and what actually happened:
This bug revolves around the text in the first and third images. The “Pest Control” Campaign Task reads, “Defeat Treasure Gnomes (not including Battlecrashers and Valravens)”.
On the 25th January, we had a rather extraordinary alignment of circumstances. As shown in the second screenshot, the Adventure Board included the Mythic task, “Search for Keys VI,” whose battles are entirely populated by enemies from The Vault kingdom (including Cedric, all types of Gnome, the Heart of Rage and Valravens).
At the time of the first screenshot, I had not yet done any of the battles under “Search for Keys VI”. At the time of the third screenshot, I had completed all battles on the Adventure Board. As you can see, my killing of the various Treasure Gnomes (including two pure Treasure Gnomes – screenshots available) did not count towards the “Pest Control” task.
So now, the question is, what does count towards “Pest Control.”
I’ll start by saying that I presume Valravens do not, under any circumstances. Nor does Cedric or Heart of Rage. But all the Vault enemies named “Something Gnome” do count – in the right situation.
Here are the possible situations:
- Using a Vault Key.
- A Gnome randomly replacing another troop in PvP, Explore, or an Adventure Board battle. When the replacement troop is not a Gnome, it is referred to as a “Battlecrasher.”
- A Gnome appearing as an enemy in an Adventure Board battle (such as Search for Keys VI).
- A Gnome appearing as an enemy in Explore (this used to occur in Zaejin).
- A Gnome appearing in PvP/Guild Wars that a player has included in their defence team.
- A Gnome appearing in your own PvP defence team when you use the Test Defence button.
- A Gnome appearing in another player’s PvP defence team when you battle them via their profile.
I believe I’ve covered all the possibilities. (Except that Treasure Gnomes might also have a chance to appear in Quest battles or Challenges; this falls under option 2.)
As far as I know:
- 1 and 2 DO count towards Pest Control
- 3 DOES NOT count towards Pest Control (as shown by the screenshots)
- 4 is no longer possible
- 5 DOES NOT count towards Pest Control
- 6 MIGHT count towards Pest Control because of a bug that applies to all Campaign Tasks – but it shouldn’t
- 7 probably DOES NOT count towards Pest Control
We really have two issues here:
a) Is the random appearance of a Gnome in a battle (case 2) a “Battlecrasher”, or does it have another name?
b) Why do the game-generated Gnomes on the Adventure Board (case 3) not count towards Pest Control?
If we examine the wording of the task, “Defeat Treasure Gnomes (not including Battlecrashers and Valravens),” we would expect cases 1, 3, 5, 6, 7 to all count towards Pest Control. Since “Training Battles” (whatever they are) are explicitly excluded from many Campaign Tasks, let’s give the devs the benefit of the doubt, and say that this rules out cases 6 and 7.
Unfortunately, we still have a problem. Cases 3 and 5 are NOT ruled out (they’re not training battles), but case 2 is ruled out – because that’s the definition of a Gnome-type Battlecrasher.
Of course, this may seem like semantics since we “all” know what the devs mean… Only, most players don’t participate in the community in any way. So having the wording say nearly the exact opposite of what is intended really does need some URGENT ATTENTION.
Conclusion: What Needs to Be Done
Since reading takes a lot less time than action, I’m going to make the necessary action (in my opinion) as simple as possible:
Change the text of the Pest Control task so it says: “Defeat Treasure Gnomes in the Vault or as Battlecrashers (except Valravens)”
The whole idea of including the text “Except in Training Battles” for many tasks is arse-backwards. For starters, it requires you to define what a Training Battle is, since it’s by no means obvious. The reality is that the only battles which don’t count for any Campaign Tasks are Testing your own PvP Defence, and challenging someone from their profile. Therefore, it would be a LOT less confusing to skip the whole “except training battles” thing, and instead put the text “Does not contribute towards Campaign Tasks.” on the battle screens for those two circumstances. I mean, this really does seem bleedingly obvious to me.
Other Campaign Task Bugs – A Passing Mention
For some reason, some Campaign Tasks can now be completed in case 6, and possibly case 7. This is really obviously a bug. It seems to have come in with the last update.
A number of tasks are listed as do something in “any battle.” There is an ambiguity that suggests it has to be done in a single battle. Dropping the word “any” would remove all ambiguity.
The Silver and Bronze tasks, “Glory Hound,” also use the term “any battle,” but this is completely wrong. The Glory Hound tasks only get Glory credit from PvP battles. Please change “any battle” to “PvP battles”.
The Real Bottom Line
This stuff is NOT trivial. It is very easy to fix (compared to program logic bugs).
If you seriously can’t fit fixing this stuff into your schedule, then:
- You are showing immense disrespect to your players.
- You are going to lose players a lot more quickly than if you attended to these “little things” on a regular basis.
- Gems of War is critically understaffed.
- The schedule you are working to is badly devised. (This is extremely common in the software industry, and is the sole responsibility of the person doing the negotiating, according to Mike Bithell, of “Thomas Was Alone” fame.)
- Your staff are being exploited, under the previous two points.
The psychology of scheduling these kinds of tasks is covered in some detail by Covey in his pioneering, 1989 book, “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.” He calls them Class C tasks – stuff which is important, but not really urgent. Also, frequently quite small tasks. Stuff like booking an appointment for a haircut, or a performance review meeting.
Essentially, these tasks slip through the cracks, unless you make an explicit effort to prevent that. Because the tasks are mostly small, the best way to do that is to set aside explicit time in the schedule for Class C tasks. When that time comes, only then do you decide which tasks to do during that time – related tasks are a good option, especially in software.
Now, this is all extremely well known in the business world – at least, by people who actually care about doing their job better. I find it hideously sad that I have to outline this stuff to a professional software company that has been making games for over 30 years.