Right, it depends on how it’s implemented, tl;dr being optional.
The way it’s made at THM - not gonna do that. It’s a thing that’s great for beginners but the same time a roadblock for intermediates or pros. I don’t like win/lose solutions if you could easily think of a win/win instead. I don’t like things that block me, have enough of that in my life.
Implementing things that are useless to me (pwnbox, new design, tracks) take away dev time and things that are important to me remain unfixed. You’ll find lots of these discussions on the “Maschine” forums from NI, meaning I’m not the only one worrying about such things even though it’s “none of my biz”.
It happened when I first saw the Starting Point, back when it was new, my VPN didn’t work. I did draw the wrong conclusion that I had to do the starting point to regain access. So I made it half way through, in the beginning I was still in good mood and welcomed that little refresher. Half way through I was cursing at that thing, some didn’t work, some was badly explained (instructions unclear, built a house instead), some was just not the way I’m used to do it. I was happy to find out my conclusion about VPN was wrong and it was just a temporary glitch.
Doing the same lame thing your competitor did for years is anything but disruptive.
I definitely do agree with that, I think that instead of adding new features constantly, they should use some of that development time to fix issues with the platform; Exhibit A: My friend who does a lot of HackTheBox constantly got his points deduced for reasons, he contacted support about it and the best they could help him with was “You lose points after machines retire.” The thing was that none of the machines he did were retiring, (sometimes he would lose just 5 points, other times he could literally lost hundred(s) of points for absolutely no reason) he just kept losing points for no reason. It was very frustrating to say the least. - Not to mention he was a VIP user too, you’d expect a more incline to help him for that too.
HackTheBox surprisingly has a lot of bugs, especially with the web UI - I haven’t tried out the new UI much, most of it is probably fixed now, but I still prefer the simple old UI because of its simplistic nature; Yes things can still be nice without having to look like it’s futuristic xD
And I can’t forget that when I was VIP, I had a lot of issues with the spawning machines feature and I absolutely agree on the starting machine issues, I personally haven’t tried it out, but I see a HTB thread on it like every 2nd day of the week.
I obviously love HTB and all the things the guys working at HTB are doing, that’s why I find stuff like this very frustrating. I want them to take this thread as constructive criticism rather than direct “hate”. I think they need to spend a bit more time fixing a lot of the development issues. An example of a thing I’d like fixed or improved on is possibly the layout/UI of the forum, the forum looks very buggy/clumsy with a lot of the issues, we don’t even know the optimal profile picture image resolution so most of the time we’re really just guessing and hoping the image gets cropped nicely, and the fact that we have API keys in our HackTheBox account settings but absolutely no API documentation? (for some strange reason) I’m giving HackTheBox the benefit of the doubt as they’re not exactly a Google competitor where they have multiple of teams/departments for fixing software issues and making new features. So I’m being patient about this. But yeah, this is also my 2 cent on this whole thing.
Edit: I’m sorry about the long message, hopefully it wasn’t too much of an annoyance, lol.
Hopefully HTB sees this thread and responds appropriately.