Site Maintenance, Bug Fixing, and UI Work

Hey Folks!

First of all, I apologize for any site issues you've been experiencing in the past 24 hours. There was a temporary outage last night causing 508 errors, and I also had to take the site offline for about 30 minutes this evening.

It appears the spambots are at it again, creating hundreds of new users per day. I suspect the 508 errors last night were the server's way of saying I was chewing up too many resources processing all of these requests. As a result, I've made some adjustments to the spambot defenses which should help stem the tide. It sort of feels like constantly adjusting shield frequencies in a sci fi movie to stay ahead of an attacking beam weapon.

I know. I know. Nerd alert.

Anyway, since the adjustment, the attacks have diminished a bit. And while I was under the hood, I decided to apply some software updates to the server as well. Hence the 30 minute blackout in the site just a few moments ago.

Hopefully, that should hold us for a little while, at least!

Okay, back to business. Today's work was a 50/50 mix of bug fixes and UI work on the 1024 layout.

The bug fixes were plentiful today, as I plowed through some forum posts. First of all, there was a pretty major bug in the ranged combat code. Namely, unskilled ranged players were getting double weapon ranges instead of half. So I set about fixing that issue.

And while I was in there, I also made some tweaks to the to-hit chances for ranged weapons to treat unskilled players as if the target range was further away. Basically, the game now treats unskilled players as if their targets are twice as far away, for purposes of determining if the weapon is in range, as well as hit chances.

I also tracked down some dead-end encounter paths in the NPC and ATN/Michelle conversations, thanks to some good, detailed bug info from players in the forums. Finding and patching those up was much easier with detailed repro steps, so thanks!

I also decided to change the hiding behavior not to auto-switch campsites. The auto-switching was a relic of the days before the game forced the player to confirm campsites when sleeping/resting, and can be confusing if players prefer a different camp than the game would've chosen (exclusively based on concealment factor).

Burning torches are no longer accepted as "medium shafts" for things like the splint and travois, for your safety :) Balaclava was missing a price, DMC guards were lacking batteries on some occasions, and the tannin tea had a bug that caused its effects to be permanent. That should be fixed next build, too!

Apart from the above, I spent the other part of the day continuing work on the 1024 layout. It's not going to be as pretty as 800 and 1360 widths, simply because it doesn't fill the space as elegantly. However, I think I'm getting a decent compromise using the larger font with smaller items.

As part of this work, I finally yanked out the "ring" item slot. At least for now. UI space is precious, and it isn't even used. Maybe some day I'll put it back, but not without a good reason.

Most of the items and encounter screens are working well enough, and my latest task is getting the battle screen updated in 1024. Someday, the battle screen is going to get an overhaul, I think. But not today. One thing at a time :)

Anyway, we're getting there. Not sure if this means a new build next week or not, but I'll definitely try to get one soon.

That's all for this week. Have a good weekend, all. And see you Monday!