The recipe for a popular and successful MMO game

    Surely many of you know what MMO games are. What do you think is really important for the game to always be at its peak, that users did not leave it and it remained popular?

    You would assume that this is a subscription, a free version, special effects, technical capabilities or something else. All of these options are partly correct. However, if the game “flies” at you, but it is tritely boring in it, then very few people can revive it.

    In fact, the answer to this question is quite simple - the popularity and keeping you in the TOP is achieved through the constant production of new content. This mechanism allows users to create something themselves, to introduce new features into existing processes.
    For example, what happened with “Battle for Azeroth” for WOW. As we see, new mechanics, scenarios and locations have done their job.

    New content is really important. However, its quality is equally important.

    So, in the case of PUBG, despite the January peak of popularity and the emergence of new maps, types of weapons, modes, it lost and continues to lose its popularity.

    Why did it happen?

    Firstly, this game was initially not optimized enough. Secondly, she had many problems with the performance of the client server. And, thirdly, their team did not really try to fix all these questions.

    We now turn to the main question: how are MMO games and EPAM related, and what are we doing there? This will tell Vadim Guschenskov , technical Lead Test Automation team, which is engaged in MMO games.
    “Our team is called Identity / Social. In particular, we deal with the infrastructure of the game, which is responsible for the authorization of users, social functions, storage of user data, their identification, and great attention is paid to security, ”says Vadim . - Since our product is really very popular, and, according to the latest data, it has 3.4 million days online, we are constantly attacked. Every day hundreds of hackers are trying to find loopholes. We actually switched to the mode of operation and life under DoS-attacks. ”
    In your opinion, how often does Vadim's team make releases? There is only one correct answer - every day! It's simple: it is very important to deliver new content and add new features to users as quickly as possible.

    The basic principles of automated testing in EPAM: microservice architecture, multi-level test strategy, extensive use of mocking, performance testing and “pure” Agile!

    Vadim :

    “I would like to tell you more about our test strategy. It consists of 4 parts:

    • Isolated testing. Functional testing is conducted in an isolated environment, all dependencies on ours and third-party services are “locks”, and databases, message queues, caches, and so on. run locally in a Docker container. Since this is the first layer of tests, 1200-1300 functional tests are performed for each service.
    • DVT tests. Do not confuse them with Smoke-tests, there are only 2-3 of them. They run on the node in the cluster on which you deployed the application, and are needed to check if it is working properly.
    • Integration tests. We test all integration points, be it prod or CI. In this layer passes about 150 tests.
    • Performance tests. This is the final phase of testing, it is after it that the decision about the release in production is made.

    All these stages pass fairly quickly, in just a few hours. ”

    Returning to the MMO games, to develop a truly successful and high-quality product - you need to be ready for constant changes, the requirements of day-to-day and, of course, for the triple Continuous: production, integration and testing. Also, do not forget about a well-developed test strategy, which should take into account all aspects of testing.
    “As in any barrel of honey, this approach has its own fly in the ointment. This is quite an expensive process, both in terms of time and human resources, says Vadim. - However, here you can also find your advantages: earlier we constantly lacked testers. But in the process of implementing our game, we still came to the conclusion that now we have 1 tester for 4 developers. Nevertheless, we all have time, and our game has become one of the most popular in the world. ”
    As you can see, the recipe for a successful product is quite simple: a cool team, a clear test strategy and daily DoS attacks, which only do what makes you work even more and better!

    The article worked Daria Prokopovich

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