Lecture Series Index

February 13th, 2003

Q & A Index

Topics Covered

Post-Titles Progress?
Bug Lotto Frequency
Housing Rent On Again?
Greece & Updates/Fixes?
Area Proposal Question
No Direction Msg Bug & Flee
Item Reset Bug Progress?
Revamp to Board System?
How often Mud Rebooted?
Bug with Sloth During Combat?

Additional Topics Answered

General Suggestions/Questions

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Post-Titles Progress?

Herbert says, 'post title progress, gimme an update!'

Herbert says, 'i know its bein discussed, so whats the latest'

Herbert pulls out an old turntable and a broken record.

LadyAce says, 'Some changes should go in tomorrow.'

Herbert says, 'bugger, i haveta go, throw some witty remarks into the Q&A log about the post title thing, and make my exit look swishy and romantic'

Herbert nods to himself.

Herbert disappears blandly and expects it to look MUCH fancier in the logs.

Trinity laughs.

Phoebe peers around intently.


Bug Lotto Frequency

Tim says, 'Just curious about the bug lotto: how often does it happen? The help file says weekly, but the last one I see on welcome is from 3 weeks ago or so.'

Kaige says, 'the lists are compiled weekly... kae's had some real life stress which is easing up, but she's currently on vacation for a week, so they get done when she can'

Kaige nods her agreement with Isam.

Tim nods solemnly.

Tim says, 'just curious'

Kaige says, 'but you're only up against people from the same week each time they are done tho'


Housing Rent On Again?

Phoebe says, 'any idea when yer gonna start charging rent again?'

Kaige says, 'probably tomorrow'

Phoebe says, 'i am not here much any more and dun wanna lose my house'

Trinity better go money run then.

Isam says, 'hehe no rent- they musta been nice for certain people :P'

Lorenzo nods his agreement with Isam.

Phoebe nods her agreement with Isam.

LadyAce says, 'you should've been stocking up while rent was free :)'

LadyAce tickles Trinity.

Trinity says, 'Heck, I was buildin'!'

Isam says, 'that would have been Un-lazy LA...'

Kaige says, 'well better a week or so free for everyone instead of 7-34 people getting charged nightly at random'

LadyAce nods her agreement with Kaige.

Lorenzo put away a few pennies for rainier days.

Lorenzo says, 'but only a few :('


Greece & Updates/Fixes?

Trinity says, 'So, what are the odds we can have PIsles ripped out and have something worthwhile put there?'

Trinity says, 'No, seriously...'

Trinity giggles.

Isam laughs.

Isam says, 'pisles rocks :P'

Trinity says, 'Is there going to be re-vamping of it in the near future?'

Lorenzo giggles at Trinity.

Lorenzo says to Trinity, 'have any bad experiences there lately?'

Trinity says, 'Its quite buggy and narsty in place.'

Lorenzo grins evilly at Trinity.. wonder what he's thinking...

Sandra says, 'I doubt it. Bug fixes are probably all. But I couldn't even tell you when'

Isam says, 'well the cyclops cave needs work'

Trinity nods her agreement with Isam.

Trinity says to Isam, 'That specifically.'

Trinity looks up into the sky and ponders.

Trinity says, 'but, I mean, the whole place just kind of...well, needs something done to it.'

Trinity shrugs philosophically.

Sandra nods solemnly.

Kaige says, 'I was the last one to muck with that.. so I'll take a look see what I did/can do'

LadyAce says, 'All areas need maintainers, ultimately.'

Lorenzo says, 'once choc's area goes in, there'll be a place that's invented the atom bomb...'

Trinity whistles appreciatively.

Phoebe says, 'what area is that?'

Isam says, 'oh cool can we nuke indus then?'

Kaige says to LadyAce, 'not just ultimately.. but regularly'

Trinity nods her agreement with Kaige.

LadyAce nods her agreement with Kaige.

Kaige says, 'Prohibition New hampshire'

LadyAce says, 'He's doing prohibition-era new hampshire.'

Phoebe says, 'somet things are nice about indus'

Lorenzo says, 'wait, not choc'

Lorenzo peers at himself myopically.

LadyAce says, 'so I dunno what he means about a bomb :P'

Phoebe says, 'can autohunt there'

Trinity says, 'Well, more than most areas, that one is populated by...erm...what I like to refer to as the "newbie-problem"'

Isam says, 'but really'

Lorenzo points at Kaige.

LadyAce says, 'we already have WWII....'

LadyAce shrugs helplessly.

Isam says, 'prohibition is 20's no?'

Lorenzo says, 'happy family tv land'

Kaige says to Lorenzo, 'thinking of 1950s Americana?'

Lorenzo nods his agreement with Kaige.

Kaige says, 'that's Ptah and mine'

Lorenzo says, 'couldna remember the name :)'

Kaige says, 'and no progress there in a while'

Trinity pokes Sandra in the ribs.

LadyAce says to Trinity, 'newbie-eating, you mean? :)'

Sandra says to Trinity, 'I agree greece isn't a newbie area'

Isam says, 'here's a question- new zone, when? :P'

Trinity says to Sandra, 'Builder board...update it...now!'

Sandra ponders Trinity's existence.

Isam says, 'none of these zones are very big. I don't understand why it takes so long :('

LadyAce says, 'No areas are in final testing, so we can't give you any timeframes.'

Trinity ponders her own existence - better keep an eye on her.

Phoebe peers at Isam, looking him up and down.

Sandra nods her agreement with LadyAce.

Lorenzo says to Isam, 'define 'big''

LadyAce says, 'Well, if they don't seem "big" to you, you might not be looking at the same traits we do'

Isam says to Lorenzo, 'well 100rooms is averedge, alot of these are smaller'

Sandra says, 'greece is 300 rooms'

Sandra says, 'most are over 100'

LadyAce says, 'Which rooms are smaller? :P'

Kaige says, 'my areas directory is 52 mb'

Isam says, 'really?'

LadyAce says, 'Crusades is 200 rooms.'

LadyAce shrugs helplessly.

Isam says, 'hmm'

Sandra nods her agreement with Isam.

LadyAce says, 'maybe you haven't seen everything :)'

Isam says, 'ok, then we obviously need less moves'

LadyAce giggles.

Isam says, 'actually i've done all the crusades quests excepting the AT stuff'

Trinity chuckles politely at Isam's feeble witticism.

LadyAce says, 'or you should pretype less'

Sandra says, 'the way older areas are smaller, but the newer ones are most certainly over 100 ;)'

Trinity looks up into the sky and ponders.

Isam says, 'hmm'

Trinity says, 'Hrm.'

LadyAce says, 'quests aren't all of it, when it comes to exploring.'

LadyAce shrugs helplessly.

Isam says, 'ok i'm quite certain i've been in every room too :P'

Sandra giggles.

Tim chuckles politely.

Trinity says, 'So like...when submitting a builder proposal...the area should be more than 100? Or 100? or 200? *was under the impression one should shoot for'

Phoebe says, 'i haven't even been in every room in pictland'

Sandra says, 'I doubt it. Have you been in the underside of a rotting piece of meat?'

Isam says, 'cute'

Kaige knows there's at least 25 in the seoni no one's been to yet.

Sandra says to Trinity, '100. Plan for 100'

Trinity nods her agreement with Sandra.

Trinity says to Sandra, 'okies'

Isam says, 'really'

Isam says, 'rooms nobody has been to'

Phoebe says, 'seoni is scary'

Kaige says, 'yeah. cause they don't have an exit into them yet.'

Lorenzo nods his agreement with Phoebe.

Sandra giggles.

LadyAce giggles at Kaige.

Isam says, 'i don't spend time in indus'


Area Proposal Question

Tim says, 'For a builder proposal can an area be subdivided into several areas? so they can be implemented one at a time as several projects?'

Kaige says, 'like Somme was?'

LadyAce says, 'anything that goes in needs to stand on its own'

Sandra says, 'You should propose only what you plan to build first. You can put at the end your ideas for expansion'

Trinity says, 'Excellent example'

Tim says, 'great, thanks'

Kaige says, 'the only trick with doing that... is you have to make sure each of those pieces presents a complete and playable and fun area in itself as well'

Sandra says, 'I don't want to hear more about an expansion than about the original area idea ;)'

Sandra nods her agreement with Kaige.

Tim says, 'What I have in mind should be workable like that'

LadyAce says, 'well, the first step in any idea is to get Sandra's approval on the idea'

Kaige says, 'cause if piece A doesn't make sense without C, and you never even get to B... well.. doesn't make for a very fun area in the long run'

LadyAce says, 'then research your brains out'

Tim says, 'already did step A, and working on step B as we speak'


No Direction Msg Bug & Flee

Lorenzo says, 'I sent this to the q&a channel, but i'm big on instant gratification. any status updates on the bug I brought up a while back concerning mob flees?'

Trinity giggles at Lorenzo.

LadyAce has created a dhole!

Kaige says, 'haven't heard any mention of it on the coder list.'

Tim says, 'GAH'

Phoebe laughs.

Tim mutters under his breath.

Kaige says, 'bob!'

Sandra says, 'where you can't see 'em?'

Isam says, 'disappearing mobs?'

Lorenzo nods his agreement with Sandra.

Kaige says, 'not just mobs.. sometimes even people walking in here don't show up'

Sandra says, 'I dunno, but it's annoying and I hate it. ;)'

Sandra nods her agreement with Kaige.

Lorenzo says, 'the mob panics and attempts to flee, and that's the last you see or hear of it'

Tim nods solemnly.

Tim says, 'I've seen that happen'

Kaige says to Sandra, 'so get yer can of Raid and hunt it down'

Trinity says, 'That's the problem I encountered with the cyclops today. Except, he didn't even panic and attempt to flee.'

Trinity says, 'He just poofed.'

Sandra says to Kaige, 'that's a scary thing to say to me'

Phoebe says, 'is it possible they just wander off fast? or are they gone on tell?'

Sandra giggles.

LadyAce says, 'he has an act to go away after a certain amount of time'

Sandra says, 'you know how I code!'

LadyAce says, 'he doesn't have any exceptions handling to notice if he's busy before he does that'

Lorenzo says, 'someone suggested that it might be related to the phenomenon of not seeing your groupies arrive after you in a room'

Kaige says, 'the "leaves/arrives" message is going off into the ether'

LadyAce says, 'the enter/leave stuff is buggy and all does seem related, yeah. Same with repops being funky.'

Kaige says, 'and it's in a section of code that few dare to venture.'

Kaige sighs loudly.

Lorenzo says to Kaige, 'does it say /* abandon hope, all ye who enter here */ ?'

Kaige says, 'no that's board.c'

Lorenzo likes that piece of xterm.


Item Reset Bug Progress?

Tim says, 'Anything about the shopkeeper bug I mentioned last time?'

A dhole licks Tim.

Tim sighs loudly.

LadyAce says to Tim, 'another dhole :('

Tim sighs loudly.

Isam says, 'seems like some large/serious bugs'

LadyAce says, 'shopkeepers without stuff, mobs missing stuff.'

Tim says, 'someone wanna help me kill the curio shop owner to see if the same thing happens? I noticed he's missing the treasure maps'

LadyAce says, 'weird pesky stuff with memory, more likely.'

Trinity doesn't need a flashy exit.

Trinity gives a big hug to everyone in the room.

LadyAce says, 'once a mob's object loading stuff gets broken, it stays broken until reboot, and then it works ok.'

Tim nods solemnly.

LadyAce says, 'which seems like a sure sign of a memory issue'

LadyAce says, 'because if it were code, it'd happen all the time'

LadyAce says, 'not just start happening in weird places all of a sudden and then go away.'

Kaige says, 'and be easily duplicated on a testmud... which Nell's still fully stocked'

Tim says, 'From what I've seen it's always happened with quest-related items'

LadyAce says, 'nah, it happens to all kinds of stuff'

Tim shrugs helplessly.

LadyAce says, 'shopkeeper inventories, mob eq.....'

Tim says, 'guess I only cared when it happened to quest-related stuff'

Kaige did however get a box of .45 caliber shells out of thin air today on her testmud.

LadyAce nods her agreement with Tim.

LadyAce winks suggestively at Tim.

Lorenzo says to Kaige, 'but it skeeery'

Kaige says, 'and that's just bad memory weirdness.'

Lorenzo says to Kaige, 'you could stick in a command to call abort() and drop a core file, then undump it so that you can essentially reanimate the mud with all its state intact'


Revamp to Board System?

Isam says, 'hey any plans to make the board/writing system usable? i recommend allowing a very long line, then a autoformat down to whats visible on telnet :P'

Lorenzo says to Kaige, 'well... there *is* one way to do it'

Phoebe says, 'the board syste really does suck'

Phoebe says, 'all kinda of weirdness'

Isam says, 'its the whole writing thing'

LadyAce says, 'it's the ugliest area of the code, essentially.'

Kaige says, 'too many cooks preparing the spaghetti'

Kaige nods her agreement with LadyAce.

Phoebe says, 'about 1/2 the time I post I have to post 2, 3, 4, or more times to get it to show'

Lorenzo ducks to the ground.


How often Mud Rebooted?

Tim says, 'how often is the Mud rebooted normally (without including crashes)'

Kaige says, 'weekly on Fridays'

Tim nods solemnly.

LadyAce says, 'we haven't rebooted the machine since I moved it into my new place....'

Kaige says, 'but that's just the code.. not the machine itself.'

LadyAce says, 'the application is restarted weekly in general'

Tim says, 'so if I experience that bug earlier in the week I need to get me 30 charmies or so and get them to chat/move a lot'

Kaige says, 'sometimes we run two weeks, but that's unusual to have no code and no area updates'

LadyAce says, 'causing a crash is a good way to get deleted.'

Tim blinks.

Kaige says to Tim, 'only if you want a warning and lose your channels in the process'

LadyAce says, 'and anyway that's a way to cause lots of lag...not likely to cause a crash.'

Isam says, 'why not just have a scheduled reboot...'

Tim says, 'ok, not that way then'

Tim says, 'yesh'

Kaige says to Isam, 'we do.. just not at a set time on fridays.'

LadyAce says, 'it's pretty set though, usually it's about the time I log in, like 2pm :P'

Kaige says, 'tho I do try to shoot for around noon.'

Isam says, 'I mean one you don't have to do. just have it reboot every night at midnight :P'

Kaige says, 'yuck!'

LadyAce says, 'we don't need reboots that often, and it's a big disruption to players.'

Isam says, 'well ok with this rent system i suppose it is'

Kaige says, 'also with all the objects that are laying around in the world that aren't owned...and people who would be mid quest... yuck.'

Isam says, 'just plan your quests around the reboot'

Isam says, 'and dont bother with nonsense that takes many many rl hours ;)'

Phoebe giggles at Isam.

Kaige says, 'the idea isn't to see if we can stay up 24 hours.. ideally it'd be to never reboot if possible... otherwise you lose a lot on the persistence and continuity fronts'


Bug with Sloth During Combat?

Yzzy says, 'well, im wondering if the rough dagger is broken'

Yzzy says, 'well no, in its special mainly'

Yzzy says, 'you bring its power of making the mob rest, the mob gets up right away'

LadyAce says, 'some mobs have that kind of code set on them'

Yzzy says, 'if you have prio, the special happens after you attack, they attack you and stand, what benifit are you having from the special?'

Axis says to Yzzy, 'your right'

Yzzy says, 'its not just certain mobs, all mobs stand'

Axis says, 'it should last wait a round'

Yzzy nods his agreement with Axis.

Axis says, 'otherwise its just useless :p'

Yzzy says, 'some sort of length to it, so that the special gives some sort of benifit'

Yzzy says, 'so is the dagger meant to work as it is now or do I have a point about the length of the special?'

LadyAce says, 'if it went on to bug channel, give it some time for coders to take a look?'

Yzzy says, 'ohh, never knew it did go on bug channel'

LadyAce says, 'it doesn't sound like a very good special'

LadyAce says, 'oh, Kaige said somethin'

LadyAce says, 'if you didn't report it, do so'

Yzzy says, 'was not sure if Kaige was talking to me'

LadyAce says, 'she said she saw it on bug channel'

Yzzy says, 'ok, I will'

LadyAce says, 'well, if there's any doubt :) bug channel away'


Additional Topics Answered

This section is intended to address some of the things that come up repeatedly and also provide a place where players can submit questions via the feedback channel (Q&A) so questions can be logged when they're thought of and the answers reported back here.

Also, some of the builders will often have some feedback on suggestions and typos that get reported with some of their reasoning for why things are the way they are or won't be incorporated into the areas.


General Suggestions/Questions

o Why does each operate cost double the mana and mv? I mean, is it going to be like this in the future, where mv and mana cost continue to rise? Heck, if someone ask me a heal right now... I probably have to debate how much time it will cost me regening it back, since I don't have meditate or rent for chalice. Are you forcing us to use those items and skills? It seems that this change pretty much screw us surgeons that i) don't have much time on here each day, ii) can't get chalice or meditate.
In comparison to other skillsets, the cost for first aid was nonexistent and the cost for operating negligible. The costs and healing rates are now more in line with what mages get. Yes, this change does hurt lower level and lower mind surgeons more than the high level, high mind ones. But it shouldn't make them impossible, just balanced.
o Why does a con hitter hit less and do less damage even when they have the same or higher dex rating then a dex?
People seem to have found the optimal "sweet spot" for dex weapons, but haven't really yet for con and str. You may want to try a new weapon that gets either more or less hits with it. You probably also want to max your damroll as well as your hitroll to make sure you're getting the most out of hour hits.
o I would like to see an auto assist command that you can turn on and off, as in if a group member and only group member attacks something, you will on the round following intial combat, join in helping them kill whatever the target is.
This has been suggested a few times lately. One of the entries in HELP CHANGES reads, "We do not intend to ever have automapping, autolooting, aliases, or any other commands that permit players to not pay attention to the game as they play."
o We should collect interest on our gold in the bank every day.
Considering how much gold pours into the game in various other ways, this is very unlikely to ever happen. The number of drains and costs for players to use their gold are simply too few in relation to the amount that comes into the game continuously.
o Umm.. is it just me or should prestige affect rent? (it always used to) i've got 80 prestige purty constantly (-prestige item) and offer tells me i can rent the full extra thousand?
Yes. This was changed back in October 2000 to be a straight 1k + 1k for each level you have gained. This was changed because most people already had and maintained the 100 prestige and we're still looking into ways to make prestige more meaningful in other ways.
o Can we have a new prompt more focus on rper? Rather than having numbers, can we have a word describing it instead? For example full hp would be, Health, Perfect... Number wise can still be seen when typing score, and the old number on prompt can still be usable to other when they want it
Passed this suggestion on to the coders. No reason we couldn't. The stats showing as a percentage is one way of approaching this, but yes, having words would be more immersive.
o Is there a way for us to use 2.target when using the locate spell?
Not currently. The idea behind this spell was it wasn't an extremely powerful, or extremely accurate spell. The spell locates the first thing it finds going through the world with the keyword you use.
o If there is a stink flag that you have and taking a bath removes it, should not we be able to use perfume or scents to cover it up, take for example the perfume in Agrabah or the flacon of strawberry scent in Malta?
One response to this question was amusing: "Somehow I don't think any amount of perfume can cancel out a bad smell - probably make it worse at that intensity." On a more practical level, until we have acts that objects can use anywhere and aren't tied to a specific room or mobile, it isn't very feasible either.
o I can cast sustained breath, but I can't access the help file.
There are several spells that unfortunately duplicate skill file names. You can get to the helpfiles for those spells by using HELP SPELL_NAME SPELL. Sorry for the confusion.

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