Changing mechanics of the core system of a private server can lead to regressions as you could see in the previous Open Sessions we made. Even if we fixed these bugs really quickly (at worst we can revert the change), we must admit that they are always annoying for the players.
Test automation offers a possibility to perform these types of testing effectively. Once automated tests have been developed, they can be run quickly and repeatedly. Many times, this can be a cost-effective method for regression testing of software products that have a long maintenance life. Even minor patches over the lifetime of the application can cause existing features to break which were working at an earlier point in time.
On Nostalrius, we integrated the first test automation system to our knowledge for a wow private server. Our tests can be run once we finished a fix to check for regressions, or even speed up the development (No more connection required to check if bugs are fixed). Our testing framework allows us to spawn players, creatures, pets, start duels, cast spells, etc ... so that any bug can now be added to our testing list.
Currently, the test automation system is still young, but it is updated everyday day now, based on our testers' feedback and on some of the issues we fix, heading more and more to a mature system, increasing the server stability.
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