Posted: Sat Sep 5 16:33:02 2015
Welcome to another weekly update!
We didn't reboot, but we did crash, which I guess is a thing.
One of the reasons I'm overhauling the system is to make it much easier to diagnose what's causing crashes. The thing that crashed us Friday morning, after more than 2 months of uninterrupted uptime, is the same thing which was crashing us frequently in June. That's not great, but this time I at least got more data from the crash logs, and should be able to start diagnosing it.
It has also brought back to my attention the need for GDB (a debugger) to be working ASAP, so that's what our system helper and I have been working on. Now we (mostly he) got it working, which is a large, fantastic step towards having a more mature, more advanced system.
That's been the past 24 hours, but we have 168 more hours of officially unofficial updates to catch you up on!
Iyara's been on vacation, so she did QA spotchecks last weekend, but we'll have more things to officially announce after she properly QAs it.
Last week was spent attempting to settle and finalize the infrastructure which will allow for much better and more accurate content changelogs. A recurring complaint that I receive is that something significant (or not) was changed in-game, and yet there's no changelog for it. In seeking to have a more transparent and stable game, we attempt to put all changes that players can see in the changelog. Sometimes, sometimes frequently, things slip through. A big reason for this is that we don't really have a way of determining what changed in-game and how. There's a very primitive list of when who touched what, but in an environment where i'm frequently adding system-scale things that necessitate 2200 NPCs having a flag updated on them at once, if one of them was changed before the mass-change, I record the mass change, and not the individual ones. Multiply this by how many small and system-wide changes occur during a given reboot (hint: lots) and things fall through the cracks.
The solution to this has a lot of overlap with the other problems I was already solving, which is dumping all content into source control. This way, we not only see what changed and who did it and when, but those records don't conflict with other changes, and we also have backups if we ever need a paper trail or to undo a large change. Progress!
There are a few roadbumps to actually implementing this, which is the system dumping garbage data into the changelogs, which represents something like 177k lines every dev reboot, which... Slightly conflicts with the 1 line = 1 change policy this should represent. Most of my week has been spent resolving these issues.
I spent a decent chunk of Thursday and Friday chasing down content bug reports, like (UNOFFICIALLY, NOT A REAL ANNOUNCEMENT)...
- Verified protection from evil/good skillpowers don't work. They didn't, but they do now.
- Researched arcane shield working at all. Results are yet unclear, but I've added debug to find out more.
- Made the bog nightmare in the Magencia level-scale somewhat reasonably. Might require further tweaking.
- Verified there's no way for archons to reach the bog nightmare. There wasn't, but there is now.
- Verified that CoF/magma evocation's skillpower worked. It did, but now it does even better.
- Correctly toggled ether invocation/evocation as Vandyne spells, so they benefit from following Vandyne.
- Verified that passive druid bonuses work. They did on evocations, and didn't on invocations, but they do now.
- Verified concentration works. It does.
- Verified the wis% to heal extra works. It doesn't.
- Looked at the kno% to damage extra. It didn't work, but does now.
- Look at libraries bonus memorization. It didn't work, but does now.
- Looked at skill redundancy reporting. There was an off-by-one error, meaning many fewer skills were getting smaller bonuses than they should've. Fixed now!
- Fixed a bunch of crash bugs that've never happened, but could.
- Added 90 new relics in a new relic line, which are +10 skillpowers
- Added skillpowers to call lightning, ice wind, create food, and mesmerize
- Improved the activation rate and logic on shadow imps
In short: lots of progress. Mostly focused on being able to reboot stably, but also fixing bugs while I'm in there. I'm attending a conference most of next week, so my updates will be lighter, but the week after that we'll be aiming to wrap up all of this.