Creators Hour 19/10/05
Posted at 16:52 GMT on Saturday 30th September 2006
<Kloopy> October 19th 2005 19:00 GMT
<Kloopy> Right, so here we are. The day of Round 15 signups.
<Kloopy> Before we let you all in, I guess we should point you to the changelog.
<Kloopy> Back in R14 we said that there wouldn't be much done for this round.
<Kloopy> But luckily Joly have provided us with a dedicated coding resource.
<Kloopy> Which has meant we've got more done than we expected.
<Kloopy> I'd like to thank all the beta testers for their help in the past couple of weeks.
<Appocomaster> (the dedicated coding resource = Kloopy, for anyone that doesn't know)
<Kloopy> And PATeam too, we've been bloody dedicated and motivated recently which is why things are looking alright for this round.
<Kloopy> Appocomaster, any idea where the changelog is?
<Appocomaster> it's password protected
<Kloopy> Oh. ok.
<Appocomaster> manual.planetarion.com is closed while you update it
<Appocomaster> but, most of the features are at http://www.planetarion.com/
<Kloopy> There, that should be better.
<Kloopy> manual.pa.com should work now.
<Kloopy> That looks like the one!
<Kloopy> Any how, without further ado, let's get on to the questions.
<Appocomaster> that has all the changes but those Kloopy just uploaded. It'll be updated in the next day or so :-)
<Kloopy> I have to fill, apparantly.
<Kloopy> The bot isn't quite ready.
<Kloopy> Tempremental thing, I told you it shouldn't have been given a personality Appoco!
<Kloopy> Ok, let's try this:
<CH_Bot> (Q <alch> since we all know that PATEAM was very unorganized the past few rounds resulting of lot of good features and ideas to be rejected or not even being developped, i feel at least (Cant talk at the community basis) that the community isnt involved into PA anymore altho you guys have the suggestions forums and so on, but its more like jolt deciding where the game goes.
<Kloopy> Right, I believe we have got a change happening to Support this round.
<Kloopy> We're changing the way we listen to suggestions and stuff.
<Kloopy> I'm not aware of the details because I've been locked away working on the R15 code.
<Kloopy> But we've been through a bad patch recently, yes. We've lost Spinner, we then had pishy for a while which was great, but things weren't perfect within the team.
<Kloopy> But as I said before we've got our morales up high at the moment.
<Kloopy> Everyone in the team is getting on like friends.
<Appocomaster> the development team is getting larger, and we are going to be discussing new ideas for the upcoming rounds
<Kloopy> Yes, basically you'll see when we've started ticks that we're announcing a major thing for R16, and as part of that we're going to need your input.
<Kloopy> So whether we like it or not you're going to be involved more.
<CH_Bot> (Q 2): <alch> by the way, i want AH back! and i want planetarion development and coding to be more Community driven like it was once, i miss the aspect of what PA was once, Community that was gathering together to have fun, lot of stories, lot of people creating tools and stuff in order to entertain the mass in-between the ticks, Planetarion has become a professional game, and that why people wont join it anymore, they are scared...
<Kloopy> There's a fine line between offering lots of services to the community and letting them develop the things themselves.
<Appocomaster> For those that don't know, AH = Alliance Hosting
<Kloopy> If we provide too much we integrate it into the game and make it impossible for outsiders to compete.
<Kloopy> But if we don't do enough, as you said alch, we lose players because they can't compete with the big alliances.
<Kloopy> I think a decent upgrade of the in-game alliance tools would be good.
<Appocomaster> As you used to help code AH, I'm sure you'll have fun thinking up things to put in there :-)
<Kloopy> But I remember Bashar saying he might be interested in developing his alliance's tools to be open source and available to anyone.
<Kloopy> So I'll have to talk to him.
<Kloopy> But the alliance system we have at the moment is one of the weak points of the game. We're aware of that and it's on our list to concentrate on for R16 development.
<CH_Bot> (Q 3): <[NoS][WP]Heru> can something be done regarding the self-exhile procedure to make it more difficult to exhile yourself into a new gal? I saw the proposed change for r15, but it gives an advantage to bigger planets as they can afford it much easier.
<Kloopy> Every time I think up arguments for features people shoot me down and say I'm totally wrong.
<Kloopy> But I guess that's the nature of this game.
<Appocomaster> To be honest, it is now harder to self / galaxy exile than last round.
<Kloopy> But anyway, the R15 system does what you ask for.
<Kloopy> Ofc the bigger planets will find it easier to self-exile.
<Kloopy> But they're surely big because of in-gal defence and help from their alliance.
<Appocomaster> It does cost *more* for them to self exile :-)
<Kloopy> I wouldn't have thought someon who jumps around the Universe using self-exile would be the top planet.
<Kloopy> So if you think you can come up with a better system for self-exiling please find us on IRC or post on the suggstions forum.
<CH_Bot> (Q 4): <A3px> will xan ever rule this game? its always ter cat and zik.. when will xan have the glory
* Kloopy gives the mic to Appocomaster.
<Appocomaster> Well, anyone that's seen these stats can surely say Xan are in with a good chance this round
<Appocomaster> I don't think I've heard anyone say "Xan are going to be really bad". In fact, they're about the only race that hasn't had this said about them
<Appocomaster> I think that in fact it's Terran's turn to be the top race, as Xan have been a fairly solid race recently
<Appocomaster> It never starts off with people trying to intentionally overpower one race, but it's hard to get the balance as I'm sure anyone has een recently
<Appocomaster> Last round was in some ways a fairly balanced round in terms of the percentage of top players, with Xan and Zik making mid-late round rushes into the top 50.
<Appocomaster> Hopefully (he says with crossed fingers) stats won't be that unbalanced this round, although Xan will be a popular race, I'm sure.
<Appocomaster> I'm not saying Terran will rule this round, btw :-)
<CH_Bot> (Q 5): <[FC]Joa> why only 80 members?
<Kloopy> This refers to the new alliance limit system.
<Kloopy> Let me explain it:
<Kloopy> An alliance can recruit members up to 80 members.
<Kloopy> They can do this as quick as they like.
<Kloopy> Once an alliance reaches 80 members they can still recruit, but at a limited rate.
<Kloopy> As you know each alliance has a rank. The alliance can recruit from 80to 100 members at a rate of one recruit every (14-rank) ticks.
<Kloopy> This means if your alliance was ranked 10th, and you had 85 members, you could recruit once every 4 ticks.
<Kloopy> If your alliance is in the top 5 you cannot recruit at all over 80 members.
<Kloopy> The idea behind this is that the big alliances dominate because they have so many good, big planets in them.
<Kloopy> By limiting their size and growth rate between 80 and 100 members, the alliances made up of smaller planets can have more members and be more of a compeitior for the top spot.
<Kloopy> So Joa, if you're in an alliance of smaller planets the new system will actually help you.
<Appocomaster> I think it'll make for a more interesting and competitive round. Some of the top alliances will try and underplay for the first couple of weeks, recruit, and then try and outgrow the rest with more players. Others will grow early, and will recruit more players if they drop outside the top rankings.
<Kloopy> Oh, and I forgot to mention that the system doesn't kick in until tick 168 which is a full week of ticks.
<Kloopy> It will hopefully provide a more fluid and dynamic political game.
<CH_Bot> (Q 6): <[1up]Idler> The Announcement page is there.. can you please use it? It doesnt have to involve some life changing announcement you know
<Kloopy> Absolutely right. We've really neglected it over the past months.
<Appocomaster> We're doing quite well with all the recent announcements, really.
<Kloopy> But we always post the important things.
<Kloopy> If you think we're withholding worthy announcements, let us know the sort of things you want to hear about.
<Appocomaster> We can announce more of these :-)
<Kloopy> During R16 development I imagine there will be an increased number of posts as we arrange IRC or forums meetings to disucss features and ideas.
<Kloopy> And those should start pretty much straight after ticks as we're not waiting until end of round to develop this time!
<CH_Bot> (Q 7): <Amon|Zzz> <Appocomaster> As announced, it'll start at the same time, with 100 million of each resource, 500 of each roid type, 10 of each construction, and a full tech tree <- why not make the ratio so that it doesn't give xandathrii players unfair advantage?
<Kloopy> I presume this is related to havoc.
<Appocomaster> yes :-)
<Appocomaster> I think you were going to recode those tools for next havoc?
<Kloopy> And yes, for havoc next round I will ensure I've allowed the admins to provide players with a particular ratio of roids dependant on their race.
<Kloopy> Same with resources, I guess.
<Kloopy> So next havoc should be more "fair".
<CH_Bot> (Q 8): <[Orbit]Codey> Where to post suggestions?
<Appocomaster> The suggestions forum on the Planetarion Forums
<Kloopy> Even if we don't actively reply to all ideas, we do read the forum.
<Appocomaster> (Despite popular belief)
<Kloopy> It's the best place to put a feature request or idea for discussion.
<Kloopy> Even if once posted you come and find us on IRC to point us to the thread.
<Kloopy> It gives us a place to have ideas where we can think about responses before posting them.
<Kloopy> If you just talk to us on IRC or leave us emails, they get discarded and forgotten about.
<Kloopy> The suggestions forum is a public place where we can't just leave ideas because we're lazy!
<CH_Bot> (Q 9): <Phil^> is there any decision on the prospect of cargo-ships returning?
<Kloopy> Certianly not for R15.
<Kloopy> And we now have covert ops which allow you to steal resources.
<Kloopy> So I'm not too sure whether it's a necessary feature.
<Kloopy> But if the support is big for their return, I'm sure it can make it into the R16 combat engine.
<Appocomaster> Also, it's getting to the point where you can completely maim someone's planet so it's not playable any more.
<Appocomaster> You can steal roids, destroy structures, kill ships,
<Appocomaster> and now make it even easier to steal resources
<Kloopy> Perhaps we should announce the Super Star Destroy, Appoco? The one that destroys a planet and deletes it from the Universe.
<Kloopy> But don't worry, it gives the credit back to the user to signup again.
<Appocomaster> It'd break the ticker
<Kloopy> (That might have been a lie, by the way. :P)
<Mendosa> q starwars theme
<Kloopy> (The SSD bit, not the giving credit back bit.)
<CH_Bot> (Q 10): <MrFingers> Please can you tell us why you think the advantages of having Galaxy members scan you out-weigh the disadvantages?
<Appocomaster> This is a hotly disputed point on the forums still, I know.
<Appocomaster> But most people seem to forget that galaxy status is there, and you can see a planet's online times (roughly) anyway.
<Appocomaster> If your whole alliance (up to 100 people) can scan you, even if they're (mostly) helping you out, I'm not sure what the issue is with galaxy mates.
<Appocomaster> I think it'll hopefully keep galaxies closer together.
<Kloopy> I think the major argument is that it's easier to get spies in a galaxy than in an alliance.
<Appocomaster> It helps for defence as much as anything, and I think the positives outweigh the negatives, but both are less than most make out <Appocomaster> .nqp
<CH_Bot> (Q 11): <[fc]mad> will we ever have a more in debth research tree where we will be able to make up our own research by selecting certain features to get a totally random tech?
<Appocomaster> I don't think we'll ever have a "totally random" tech tree.
<Appocomaster> However, I'm certainly for making a "tree" out of the current tech "branches", where you can choose to specialise more in one thing or another.
<Kloopy> Research at the moment is a little dull, yes.
<Kloopy> It's sort of a formality rather than part of the game.
<Kloopy> We're aiming to bring it back to the importance where you make decisions which have an influence on your planet.
<Kloopy> Like back in the days of War or Science.
<Kloopy> I know I used to spend many ticks wondering which I'd go.
<Kloopy> So look out for some of our new announcements asking for your input on the R16 tech tree system.
<CH_Bot> (Q 12): <Paddy> can there be a tighter control over alliance names please, as if there is a bad name then it means my college system block both mail
<Kloopy> Yes, this was one of the things on my list for R15 which unfortunately I didn't have time to code.
<Appocomaster> I don't know how easy it'd be to do?
<Kloopy> But if you get a problem at any point come and speak to me on IRC or drop me an email.
<Kloopy> I'll then rename the offending alliance.
<Appocomaster> The same with fleet names and so on
<Kloopy> If I get time to make the change to R15 I will, but I can't promise it.
<CH_Bot> (Q 13): <[1up]Idler> Will the PA admins and other representatives such as biffy take a more active part in the community next round? coming out from the closeth once a month really doenst cut it, and you arent that busy anyways
<Kloopy> We pretty much answered this earlier.
<Kloopy> Yes, over the next round we'll be pretty active compared to usual.
<Kloopy> We'll be developing R16 with lots of your input.
<CH_Bot> (Q 14): <Codey> Is there no other way to get credit than credit cards or at ending ceremony?
<Kloopy> Not at the moment.
<Kloopy> And Jolt don't like the idea of payment centers.
<Kloopy> But I'm thinking of running a payment center myself for people who trust me. I'd allow them to send cash or cheques and once the funds had cleared, I'd buy their credit for them on my CC.
<Kloopy> It would be UK based since that's where I live.
<Kloopy> But we could also find someone to take payments via paypal too probably.
<Appocomaster> I might, I know others have in the past.
<Kloopy> But any form of payment other than Jolt's credit card page is UNOFFICIAL.
<CH_Bot> (Q 15): <GabeZ> Why isnt there an option to delete your account instantly, so you can make a new one in a fixed gal for example?
<Kloopy> We suggest you don't use any form of payment other than the office route unless you are 100% sure of it's authenticity.
<Appocomaster> oh, sorry :-)
<Kloopy> (np, you can do this one. )
<Appocomaster> Yes, some people have been offering paypal transactions in the past that seem a bit dodgey
<Appocomaster> We were going to code a delete option into accounts, although not the same as previously
<Appocomaster> There have been alliances in the past that deleted pretty much en-mass when something went wrong
<Appocomaster> also, if you were able to sign up, look and see what galaxy you were in, delete, sign up again... etc
<Appocomaster> it'd be a bit unfair.
<Appocomaster> I think we were going to have something where you have to set your account to delete, confirm via a code through e-mail, and then wait 24-48 hours to be deleted to stop this sort of thing
<Appocomaster> This would also lessen security risks of people deleting other's accounts (although tbh, if you share your details I can't see how you can complain about getting deleted if they delete your account)
<CH_Bot> (Q 16): <lino-food> i think we should bring cluster attack/defence ETA's back into game || Cluster Alliances FTW!
<Appocomaster> We currently have ETA bonuses for cluster members for defence fleets
<Appocomaster> I don't think (with such a small universe) it's worth bringing back a -1 bonus for incoming too. If nothing else, it'd make defence a lot harder, and you'd have to rely on your galaxy for it.
<Appocomaster> And that'd mean changing other bonuses, and it'd get messy
<Appocomaster> I can't see anything but keeping the current ETA setup - if you disagree, you're welcome to start a discussion about it on PS / PD
<CH_Bot> (Q 17): <Cowmando> when will PBOT come back?
<Kloopy> I'll talk to it's creator and find out for you.
<Appocomaster> the PA Team doesn't control PBOT, unfortunately
<Appocomaster> It was a very useful bot though :-)
<CH_Bot> (Q 18): <Phil^> will the exceptions system be made even tighter since i have heard rumours of people saying they lied to pateam to get an exception for two accounts they owned, so they wouldnt get closed for it
<Appocomaster> oh, btw PBOT is apparently online
<Appocomaster> Exceptions is actually going to be recoded by Kloopy, after problems encountered over last round
<Appocomaster> We are planning to change the limits to some extent - there were some things I thought of mid-round that weren't limited, such as covert opping each other to steal resources, which should be blocked in Round 15 :-)
<Appocomaster> This is why, if you look, the option to register for an exception isn't available at the moment
<Appocomaster> We made most of the deadline :-)
<Kloopy> (By "if you look" he means when you've signed up. :P)
<Assassin> was about to say but neva mind
<Appocomaster> We will try and make sure people don't try and abuse it to hide their cheating behind an exception
<Assassin> dont worry
<Assassin> ill be looking closley into all exceptions this round
<Kloopy> Assassin is bloody determined, I can tell you that for sure.
<CH_Bot> (Q 19): <Dogs> any chance of having a free round any time soon as a .5? what ever the arguments may be.
<Kloopy> I don't know how much we can say.
<Appocomaster> I'm not sure about this. It depends how long the round is.
<Kloopy> But we certainly can't say "No, there's no chance" at the moment.
<Appocomaster> No. It does depend on how fast you code :-)
<Kloopy> Basically it depends on how R15 goes and on the development of R16.
<Kloopy> But there's a SLIGHT SLIGHT possibility.
<Kloopy> We need to continue negotiations with Jolt, etc.
<Appocomaster> There is a chance we'll have a free round, and if not most/all speedrounds seem to be free and should be for the near future
<Appocomaster> and hopefully we'll have a few of those during the round
<CH_Bot> (Q 20): <[VGN]One----> When will the ships stats be final for R15?
<Appocomaster> The ship stats are final for R15, as of (sort of) when I created a thread about it
<Kloopy> They will be publically available once we've updated the game server.
<Kloopy> In the usual way I mean.
<Kloopy> Via the manual.
<Appocomaster> they're currently available at http://www.geocities.com/appocomast.../newstats19.htm , and in 2 hours will be available at http://www.planetarion.com/manual/stats/game/
<Appocomaster> after I've updated them all (assuming Kloopy doesn't copy them for me )
<Kloopy> I was planning on copying them for you.
<Assassin> (they are quite good this round)
<CH_Bot> (Q 21): <[fc]mad> will there be a alliance banking system alongsid the gal bank?
<Appocomaster> I'm not sure how much use it'd get, really. It's a good idea, and is popular with some. I'm sure it'd be used to fund alliance scanners, and maybe smaller players that loose fleet.
<Appocomaster> But there's obviously more room to abuse the system
<Appocomaster> So, depending on how people feel, it may make an appearance :-)
<CH_Bot> (Q 22): <aNgRyDuCk> has there been any change to the hard coding for exceptions, and what exactly are the interaction parameters for ppl in the same home
<Kloopy> Announcement to come soon, I guess.
<Kloopy> As we've said we're in the process of recoding it
<Kloopy> And the limits will change.
<Appocomaster> I think this has been semi-answered already. We'll announce the limitations as soon as we've sorted them, and try and explain it better than last round :-)
<Appocomaster> (I can't say it was explained well last round as I personally wasn't sure of some of the limits until recently)
<CH_Bot> (Q 23): <Phil^> are jolt looking to do another pa-cs tournament in the future?
<Appocomaster> I've talked to biffy about this one, and he's said that as long as he has enough warning to secure the servers, then it can happen.
<Appocomaster> I'm afraid I've not got involved with this much, but I know there's been interest on the forums occasionally.
<Appocomaster> If people get together and say "we'd like to play CS", then it should be fine :-)
<CH_Bot> (Q 24): <Pais> How long will R15 last for as most ppl felt that 10 weeks was too long?
<Kloopy> We really need someone who's willing to organise it.
<Appocomaster> Round 15 will last for 8 weeks
<Appocomaster> (as announced)
<Kloopy> We're planning to finish it in time for you all to have time with family over Christmas.
<Kloopy> We realise that if we run a round through Christmas your parents/kids/relatives wouldn't see you.
<Kloopy> And that isn't really acceptable to our morals.
<Appocomaster> Hopefully people will be more happy with this time length - we'll see how it is by Christmas, and use it to help base future round lengths on.
<Kloopy> So look forward to some festive time off!
<Appocomaster> (I will )
<CH_Bot> (Q 25): <[FC]SS> What does therealmig do on PA Team.. his position is listed as marketing but ive never heard or seen any markting for PA ever?
<Appocomaster> :-) I think you want to answer this yourself?
<Kloopy> He does many things.
<Kloopy> For a start he's our mascot.
<Kloopy> But he's taking on a huge part of R16 development.
<Kloopy> In fact, he's already started.
<Appocomaster> He's helping Kloopy code. An unenviable task.
<Appocomaster> (The amount of code, not working with Kloopy)
<Kloopy> We all have these silly official "roles" but to be honest we work as a team. We're all clubbing together to get things done.
<Kloopy> We have our specalties, of course.
<Appocomaster> Mine is comic relief. I don't do it well
<Kloopy> So we have our own jobs, but just because mig isn't doing much advertising doesn't mean he's not doing anything.
<Kloopy> And the reason not much is happening with advertising is down to reasons with Jolt.
<Kloopy> But hopefully for R16 we'll be able to get some funds for marketing.
<Appocomaster> We'll hopefully get the advertising / merchandise bandwagon rolling for that :-)
<Appocomaster> .nqp (last one)
<CH_Bot> (Q 26): <jer> is there any actual evaluation on the pateam on what they do? so noones just milking it for their INTERNETCOOLPERSONA etc ?
<Appocomaster> oh. This is getting to be a habit
<Appocomaster> You evaluate what we do, as well as biffy. He does actually have a word with us if we're not pulling our weight, usually
<Appocomaster> Generally, if there's lots of "We hate the PA Team" threads on the forum, we know we're doing something wrong, and can work to correct that
<Kloopy> I think I reas some praise on the forums recently. It's fantastic.
<Kloopy> If we're doing things right, do tell us as it gives us the motivation and enthusiasm to carry on.
<Assassin> nice to have praise
<Appocomaster> I had to refresh to check it had loaded correctly
<Kloopy> If all we get is negative comments all the time, we get depressed.
* Assassin looks for igloo
<Assassin> hes a fan
<Kloopy> One more question quickly though...
<CH_Bot> (Q 27): <Psi> we've seen spinner in a dress, when will we see kloopy or appoc in a dress?
<Kloopy> There are photos of me floating around in womens clothing.
<Appocomaster> I'm afraid I haven't been (caught) in a dress ... well ever.
<Kloopy> But the reason I got this question asked it...
<Kloopy> If you want to see me in a dress, buy me one, meet me and I'll wear it. I'm running a project where I'm meeting people as much as I can.
<Kloopy> I'm giving people t-shirts to prove they've met me too!
<Appocomaster> he's desperate to meet people
<Assassin> and moving on
<Kloopy> So you can get a t-shirt and I'll get a dress.
<Kloopy> I'm Matt Chapman, by the way.
<Assassin> im not coming to ur house when ur doing things like that kloopy :/
<Kloopy> And that's enough of a plug for now. I'll pimp the URL next time.
<Appocomaster> ok, thanks for listening :-) Sorry we overran slightly.
<Kloopy> I think that concludes this CH.
<Kloopy> Signups will be open asap.
<Appocomaster> in just under an hour
<Appocomaster> with a new name :-)
<Appocomaster> (go vote! http://pirate.planetarion.com/showt...ad.php?t=187896 )