Dev Notes/Progress

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  • #3287
    Admin

    Lvl 4 Europe
    Goblin
    Posts: 75

    Since I haven’t had time to put together proper patch notes I’ll use this space for some quick thoughts and updates. There is too much to list everything so this will be incomplete for now.

    Maintenance was finally performed on all servers which resulted in noticeable stability and lag improvements compared to before. There are still some problems, but less frequent now. Also I think I am finally finished debugging the GPU issues on certain mobile devices. Here are some bugs or issues I’m looking into:

    -Bug with reconnects: Rarely, people may reconnect into a body of themselves that is without an inventory and possibly from the past. The solution so far is to login again, though it may require 1 minute offline to clear the old version before logging in again. The inventory items always reappear.

    -A server slowdown or CPU heavy process was found on USEast after about 30-40hrs of uptime. When CPU usage gets too high it starts causing lag. The CPU profiler needs some maintenance and then I can investigate this. A restart seems to clear up the problem for now.

    -Decay was changed a few days ago to help clear the ruins a bit faster. Nature adjacent floor tiles will decay noticeably faster. Normal supported structures were only increased by 1% (4%->5%). Unsupported structures (touching less than 2 adjacent structures) have been increased to 60% but can’t decay until the structure is at least a minute old.

    -A new server crash was discovered on USWest, only observed twice so far. This seems related to a third-party networking module which went through some changes in the last few days. A patch from them fixed a critical server hang recently (also only on USWest) but this new crash still needs attention. Not sure if I have to wait for another patch from them, or if I can find a fix on my end.

    -Some Chaos leveling upgrades don’t persist through restarts, like cooldown (attack speed). Once they level it again it fixes itself (not possible at max level).

    -Several people are asking for a different method to purchase diamonds other than the website Paypal form. I will try to integrate Play Store payments for mobile, and possibly other methods as soon as I get a chance.

    -Difficult altar spawns (notably dire wolves) are persisting through restarts while normal spawns are not, which is causing heart attacks on supposedly easy underworld levels. Consider this a Halloween feature until I patch it.

    -There were some reports of an ability cooldown bug. Haven’t had time to investigate this yet.

    -I hear the requests for an Asian and South American server. I would like to improve stability more before I consider investing in more servers.

    Unfortunately my main job will be taking up most of my time this weekend but I will try to keep an eye on things. Thanks for your patience and support πŸ™‚

    #3347
    Admin

    Lvl 4 Europe
    Goblin
    Posts: 75

    Some more updates for you guys:

    Clone/Inventory/Reconnect bug: Since this bug only happens during particular lag spike conditions I can’t reproduce it on my local test server. Instead I’ve been testing code on USEast and EU to see the results. My first couple of tests didn’t fix the bug but they helped narrow it down. Now that my latest code has been uploaded I haven’t noticed this bug anymore. I’m not positive it’s solved completely but I will probably know after a few more days. As of today this code has been applied to all 3 servers.

    Server Lag on USEast: This is my new high priority bug. I believe this has occurred on other servers but it’s a daily thing on USEast, requiring a restart to clear up. USWest can go days without issue. From the very limited profiling data I’ve been able to collect before the server crashes I’ve seen that the garbage collector is taking too long. I think what might help this is reworking the population counter which is run every 10 seconds. It makes sense that USEast has a lot of junk to count. This is one of the top 3 cpu intensive functions anyways so its time to optimize it, which should increase the player cap again. If smoothing out the memory allocation on this doesn’t solve the collection pauses I’ll move onto my next suspects.

    Network error on USWest: I don’t know why I haven’t seen this on other servers yet. I thought it was gone as USWest was humming along with no issue for well over 60 hours. It showed up again this morning so I will have to look into this still, or see if the websocket guys have another patch.

    Play Store payments: I started work on this and am about 20-25% done. I also fixed a caching issue with the perks/gift forms on the website – so it might be fixed for people who were having trouble. One person reported they had to use CTRL+F5 to refresh the form after the fix.

    Altar spawns: Any new altar spawns as of yesterday should not persist through restarts, so clear out your dire wolves and rest a little easier tonight.

    It sounds like our mapper is nearing completion on the new area. I have been reading all your suggestions and collecting notes on things I find interesting. It’ll be nice to add some content again, these high priority issues just make it difficult. Not to mention my job, which I should probably return to now..

    #3382
    Admin

    Lvl 4 Europe
    Goblin
    Posts: 75

    Updates:

    Server Lag: Even though the node.js team haven’t released their fix yet I was able to find an older version that has solved the problem for us. USEast has been running smoothly for 12 hours with no issues so this is no longer high priority if not fixed completely. I will still switch back to the new node version when they are more stable for some small performance increases. Last night when I confirmed stability on USEast I started to wonder when the issue would appear on USWest.. I looked and was surprised to find the lag pattern had just started for them, going for about 2 hours. I changed the node version immediately and restarted after over 90 hours of uptime, they were noticeably surprised by the lag and the restart. They will never know USEast’s pain πŸ™‚ As for Europe they will probably survive until the node patch but I will keep an eye out and downgrade them if necessary. I’m happy I don’t have to stress over this and monitor it anymore, so I can get back to other game issues. EDIT: After 15 hrs of uptime this version suddenly showed some lag issues on USEast. I can deal with restarting once or twice a day compared to every hour like before but I really hope node gets their release out soon (the fix is ready and approved, just not officially released).

    Play Store Payments: This is my next high priority item and the most requested one. I hope to finish this within a week if time allows. I will also be finishing up my new population counting mechanism which will improve performance and increase player capacity.

    Spawn location: We’ve been thinking of setting the default spawn to a recall tile in crossroads instead of a random spot in Galebrook. This would stop the confusion around people spawning in large unfloored bases. Quiet has already started a thread with this idea, and it may eventually help with Seryn/Apollo’s idea of a walled city though that has other problems that would need to be addressed. I also think it would be nice to spawn on your own recall tile after death. I can do this after putting in some protections for spawn camping.

    High level griefing: I have received some feedback from various people frustrated with newbie PKing. I wont be able to implement anything major to deal with this since it would negatively impact the sandbox environment. However I do have an infamy system in the works that should reduce the problem, in addition to some special guard towers I made that can be put in market square.

    The Websocket crash: Rare enough that I wont worry about it for a while, especially since it’s outside code like the server lag issue. I may switch to a different websocket library anyways, especially if they don’t post a fix in the near future.

    Reconnect/Clone issues: This seems to be fixed for now. I have noticed some strange edge cases that might be related, though it could just be my logging not showing the whole picture. Haven’t received any reports on inventory/clone issues since last update so this is lower priority either way.

    Irukandji (and Balthazar) added a page to the wiki with all the current costume options. I linked to it on the ‘become a supporter’ page.

    I can almost start thinking about the Taming Patch again! Additionally it would be nice to implement some aesthetic improvements, like tools to decorate houses/farms better. Have been thinking of some new bosses too. Look forward to some fun patches in the future πŸ™‚

    • This reply was modified 1 year, 8 months ago by  Admin.
    #3459
    Admin

    Lvl 4 Europe
    Goblin
    Posts: 75

    Latest updates:

    First a Warning: It was reported to me that reincarnations might be giving too much dust since they don’t reset ‘time alive’. I’ll be capping the time alive value in the dust formula soon. Anyone who has a high ‘time alive’ (like a month or more) may want to take advantage of this in the next couple of days until I upload this change.

    Server Stability: The lag spikes from USEast and others are mostly a thing of the past now. The new node.js version was released recently and I put it on USEast to test (I will update node on USWest & Europe soon). Things have been running pretty smooth since. There may have been one spike still, which was related to some memory limitations I believe. Those limits have been increased, though I will probably need to optimize some things related to infiniteness of the UW πŸ™‚ There was also a newly discovered crash related to anvils that I patched.

    The rare network crash may have been fixed in my latest ninja patch as well. I didn’t want to wait for a release from the websocket guys so I found a workaround. Hopefully I will see less demands for a server restart warning for these unexpected crashes on USWest πŸ˜€

    Spawn locations: USWest and USEast have this new mechanic now. Europe stubbornly has over 80 hours uptime so it will probably be in the upcoming patch for them. The mechanic is that whenever you die and spawn (or use an escape lantern or mercy statue), you will spawn at the recall tile you chose, or crossroads if you don’t have a recall point set. If you die with less than 30 seconds time alive then your recall point will be cleared and you’ll go to crossroads. This is to prevent spawn camping issues.

    High level griefers: The first version of the new infamy system will be in the upcoming server patch. It will be especially punishing for players who kill far below their own level. For instance, making it easier to kill them for a time. Zone switching wont protect them either. This will encourage people to pick fights closer to their own level when possible. The full details of how this works will be in the patch notes.

    Play Store Payments: Still laying the groundwork for this although it has been pushed back some. I’ve been adding more logging tools and will soon be changing up the Paypal form a bit to match what the Play Store will offer.

    You may have noticed I fixed the website avatar syncing between all servers and the website. I also display the last server used in the forum replies so everyone knows where people are coming from. A bug with the mobile nav menu was fixed too for anyone who struggled with that.

    I’ve been working on some monitoring tools so I can launch new servers soon. I’m not positive when it will be, but the priority is Singapore and Texas most likely. I am also looking into a Brazilian server but that will be a little harder and more expensive to do.

    This upcoming patch is more for balance and probably wont include the new items/areas, but those shouldn’t be too far off. I need to get out a new client patch as well to allow for the new servers, the play store payments, and a fix for people who listen to background music. Long days! Hopefully my family still recognizes me..

    #3596
    Admin

    Lvl 4 Europe
    Goblin
    Posts: 75

    Latest update regarding infamy (active 11/9 6:30am PST)

    Raiding vs towers is viable again: Infamy damage for arrow towers is now capped at 300s so you wont gain anymore than that from towers alone. I had a plan to balance this against something else I’m working on for destruction, but I have to anticipate delays so this little change will restore some much needed balance. It allows you to tank arrows continually as the attacker once again. And as the defenders of the base if you catch barbarians at the gates you have a few minutes to try and kill them without penalty. I also slightly reduced the arrow damage bonus but its mostly noticeable at higher levels of infamy.

    I’m planning to add a more clear indicator on infamous players soon, though it might have to wait until the next client update.

    If you’re reading this and you or your friends have concerns about retaining the ‘sandbox’ elements of the game as much as possible – don’t worry I hear you loud and clear. I am the same as you, I made this from the ground up as an experiment to see how pure a sandbox I could make a game. I am continually balancing to enable multiple playstyles and get out of the way whenever possible. If you’ve been around for longer you know that this game had permadeath and permalogin and many more hardcore elements over the last 2 years. My experiments and data collection showed me a lot. There are reasons pure sandboxes don’t survive in reality – for example: people want an escape, people want casual most of the time even if they tell themselves otherwise, power consolidates at the top, and the newbies become abused and unheard.

    A low population game isn’t as fun for anyone, and my experiments show a clear increase in player retention when I enforce certain checks and balances. There is a silent majority that has been sending me feedback in private regarding this and I’m happy to finally be able to deliver this infamy system for them – but know that I will continually monitor and balance it to allow for PKers and raiders because they are a very important part of the game and I will never let that die. Just need a little time for balance after every patch.

    Here are previous changes I posted in a thread in case anyone missed it:

    Attacking anyone sets a flat rate of 10 infamy (if they have less than 10 and the victim has no infamy). You wont get any infamy yourself for retaliating.

    This way you have at least 10 seconds to kill them. If they keep attacking you then the infamy will keep resetting to 10 so you are free to fight to the death. It will now show a local notice β€˜Infamous!’ on a player who just becomes vulnerable. Then it will say β€˜Safe!’ when it wears off. Also fixed a bug with mobs related to this.

    Market Towers can shoot over objects and only attack people with infamy. So you are safe to retaliate or hunt down infamous players. Market towers give no extra infamy.

    Normal towers give no infamy if you are attacking an infamous player. Their penalty was reduced. Fixed a bug where they would shoot over obstacles at infamous players.

    Will be monitoring the numbers and adjusting as necessary. Thanks for your patience.

    #3676
    Admin

    Lvl 4 Europe
    Goblin
    Posts: 75

    Newest changes just made live on all servers:

    -Heavy and Medium Armor slow penalty will now only apply when you have recently been in combat. So now you can explore or initiate at full speed with all armors. Only light armor users move at full speed during combat.

    -Added the /roll command: This will show a dice roll in local chat. The default number of sides is 6 but you can specify a different number, for example: /roll 20

    -You can now attack your own structures without drawing tower fire. You can also attack neighboring structures (like walls touching yours), freshly built structures, or dummies without drawing fire.

    -Max tower damage bonus vs highly infamous people reduced from 120 to 100.

    -Reincarnated people give less of an infamy penalty when killed. When calculating the penalty for the level difference it will add their blue stars multiplied by 2. So for example a veteran player who has reincarnated 10 times and is level 10 will actually count as level 30 when killed.

    -When infamous players are PKed it will say ‘Executed’ rather than ‘Murdered’ in the death announcement.

    More to come. Have fun!

    #3759
    Admin

    Lvl 4 Europe
    Goblin
    Posts: 75

    Updates:

    A bug was reported this morning: apparently players who never had infamy before wouldn’t get infamy for attacking a player, but would for other cases. This was fixed and updated to the server along with some other changes I’ve added throughout the day. All online player’s infamy was cleared at this time in case they were affected by the bug. I finished adding an infamy cap per kill (1 hr), and reduced gold cost at altars some. Note that if you have infamy yourself then others will not get infamy for attacking you. Let me know if there are any other bugs related to this.

    Edit for evening patch: I changed the scaling formula to be way smoother for the speed debuff. Now you will gradually increase up to a medium armor slow(50) for a 1hr penalty, and hit the max heavy armor amount of slow(100) at 2hr+ infamy. This shouldn’t be nearly as noticeable now, especially for small time pvpers.

    There was a DDoS attack the other day that was mitigated, but it helped expose a bug with supporter clothes resetting. The bug should be fixed now. There had also been a couple reports of rare inventory problems. This may or may not be fixed now so will keep an eye on it.

    A couple rare crashes were discovered and fixed – one related to bellows and another related to escape ropes. There may have been a crash related to the networking library on USWest so I might have to swap that out after all. It’s rare enough that I’ll probably delay it so I can get some other things done. I have also seen some occasional cpu/lag spikes today on West and EU. It may be a certain type of action that’s causing it so I’ll try to do some profiling when I get a chance.

    Priorities: Google payments, infamy icon, a new server, and new content!

    #3819
    Admin

    Lvl 4 Europe
    Goblin
    Posts: 75

    Uploaded a patch today with some new changes:

    -A skull icon now shows next to your name when you get infamy. It also shows a countdown number on your character when you have 3 seconds left.
    -You can no longer squat for a long time in newbie village, it will graduate you to crossroads.

    I also changed some code to smooth out the CPU load with removing large amounts of objects. I’m probably going to investigate other resource hogs soon to reduce lag with higher populations.

    #3896
    Admin

    Lvl 4 Europe
    Goblin
    Posts: 75

    Some big changes being tested now, which I will try to summarize until I can get better patch notes together:

    Dogs can herd farm animals when following you.

    Animal gates now function as a personal gate by default. They can be toggled with /allow to be public. They stay open for 1 minute before closing, or can be closed manually. This is to have time for herding animals. Default hp for new gates increased to 1000. Can still be dragon scaled to increase hp.

    Food percentage shows on the info window for animals. Dogs also show the name of their owner.
    Level and reincarnations show on the info window for players.

    Farming now requires some manual upkeep and care for your animals otherwise they will die normally after their 3 day lifespan without breeding.

    Farm animals now enter breed mode when they are between 70-90% food. Natural grass gives them some food but not enough to breed. Farm animals prefer to breed on grass and wont breed if there are too many of the same kind of animal nearby. Breeding population cap significantly increased. Milk and wool wont be available if food is under 20%.

    You can feed sheep and cows tinder or lettuce to increase their food while outside. Chickens will eat worms on the grass. Additionally, chickens have a chance to molt feathers onto grass when they are between 10-30% food. This may require some manipulation of their food levels, for example using a chicken coop. Molting and breeding status will be indicated in the npc info window.

    Eggs that are fertile no longer stack so you will know you have a potential baby chick when you pick up an egg that doesn’t join with the others. Fertile eggs only hatch after a minute on grass, so you can now sell them in shops (or pretend to sell them).

    Turtles can drop lettuce seeds. Chicken feather drop rate on death reduced.

    Trees now always plant successfully, and have a lifespan of about a week.

    Old food now rots away after a second longer expiration period.
    Chaos now spawn their own hammer if they don’t find a weapon within 24 hours.
    Added some code to prevent item duplication during lag.
    Newbie village spawns have been slightly adjusted and will continue being adjusted over time.

    All the above is subject to balance changes as usual.

    A new server is coming very soon to help keep the population growing without too much lag. Please send any critical bugs or concerns through the contact form. Thanks for testing!

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