Mollom Woes, and Factions Work
As some of you have already noticed, the site was having some issues with Mollom's spam detection plugin. Users were having their legitimate posts gobbled by the spam-eater, and forum-posting was near-paralyzed in the process.
In addition to some tweaks on this site, Mollom has identified some issues on their end, and the result should be more appropriate spam-flagging. It appears Mollom's algorithm was adjusted recently, which has since been corrected. Let me know (via email, if necessary) if you're still caught in the spam traps. Sorry about that!
Today's work was a bit of admin and development effort. The admin stuff was reviewing and executing contracts for suppliers (not fun!), plus some inbox catch-up (slightly less not-fun). And, of course, the aforementioned Mollom-wrangling. (Again, not fun :)
After that, however, I was able to get some more development time in. I managed to find and fix a campsite bug thanks to a player who shared their save file. As I mention in a few tech support threads, it looks like there was a campsite bug that caused items to get stuck or disappear, typically in cases where the game is loaded in a hex with a non-default campsite slotted.
The fix will be in the next build, but in the interim, you should be able to avoid it by either leaving the default campsite in place when saving, or not saving in hexes with non-default camps. (Alternately, you can try leaving the hex, saving, quitting, then reloading your game.)
In addition to the above fix, I also spent some more time working on faction stuff. With the upcoming addition of faction-specific and non-hostile NPCs, I'm thinking it'll be important to have some mystery as to an NPC's intentions when seeing them the first time. Are they hostile? Friendly? Neutral? Are they bluffing or legit?
If they have labels over their head that read "bandit," and all bandits share the same sprite, then there's no mystery. Shoot first, question later. But what if they have more generic appearances, and a name like "unidentified man/woman?" Then you'll need to spend a bit more effort (and take a bit more risk) figuring them out. Maybe they'll side with you against that bandit who stole your sled? Or maybe they'll feign help, and sucker-punch you instead?
I'm not sure yet if I can foster that kind of mind-gaming, but it'd be an appropriate element in a setting like this, and a big win if I can.
We'll see if I can pull it off as work continues tomorrow!