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  • Round 107 Ticks Start: Friday 31st May 2024

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  • Round 105 -The Legend of PontyPandy: 403

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  • 1 Jan:

Creators Hour 11/1/06

<Appocomaster> right
<Appocomaster> sorry about the late start
<Appocomaster> everyone else is basically ill apart from me
<Appocomaster> but welcome to the latest in a wonderful series of CH
<Appocomaster> if you wish to submit a question for me to (attempt to) answer, please /msg my wonderful assistant, CH_Bot
<Appocomaster> I won't be looking at PMs until I run out of questions or until 9pm, so
<Appocomaster> this might be quite short, so ask any question you want, please
<Appocomaster> .nqp
<CH_Bot> (Q 1): <Sherlock> Hey was wondering whats happening with the dumps etc? As techies etc will need a wee bit of notice for changes to teh game in a major way
<Appocomaster> the dumps will only change if we're putting more information in. I don't think they're going to change, at least not purposefully. If they do, we'll make sure you have a sample to adjust your tools accordingly
<Appocomaster> .nqp
<CH_Bot> (Q 2): <Intruder> Whats are the PA's Plans to advertize the game??
<Appocomaster> Well, as you can see, I did put us down on that mpodg (?) site, and hopefully when the round is moving again
we'll get quite a few hits there
<Appocomaster> jackle is/was making a banner (his computer broke, so we can't get it off of him), and biffy has assured
me that he'll put it up on some of jolt's bigger sites to get us more advertising while the free round is running, and
when PAN starts
<Appocomaster> so, hopefully advertising will increase I know everyone, including the PA Team, would like to see an increase in it
<Appocomaster> .nqp
<CH_Bot> (Q 3): <aNgRyDuCk> will the PA team make the same effort in the free round to curb multying etc, as we know a lot of multi planets will sign up, and will exception tools be working properly
<Appocomaster> Kloopy has assured me that exceptions is coded fully enough to implement in the free round
<Appocomaster> so, unless we have some major technical difficulties, I can't see it not being implemented for the free round
<Appocomaster> As far as multihunting is concerned, we're having a meeting sometime in the next week to discuss exactly what'll happen in the free round, but as far as I know we're not going to be letting the rules slide
<Appocomaster> obviously we're aware that support planets will be more of an issue with free accounts, so if we have time we'll try and coax some extra basic tools out of Kloopy (or someone can teach me sql instead )
<Appocomaster> .nqp
<CH_Bot> (Q 4): <Intruder> there will be just one or more free rounds intending to incresing testers/playerbase for PAN?
<Appocomaster> this is a bit of an old question, but as people can see we've had one speedgame, are having another one this
weekend, and then have the (almost normal length) free round
<Appocomaster> we're not quite sure what's happening afterwards - if people aren't aware, Kloopy (and indeed, a lot of the PA Team) are actually ill, to varying degrees
<Appocomaster> we've enlisted some coding help, and the portal is being worked on to make a perminant front end - literally, you only need 1 account and then signup to games as and when they appear
<Appocomaster> this will hopefully put an end to confusion over which server is running what game, when the servers are being reset, different usernames and passwords for different games, and so forth
<Appocomaster> it'll also mean people might visit the portal more, and we can then increase the content on the portal back to previous levels - a few people have contacted me regarding sorting something out on there, and so hopefully sometime after PAN has been released we'll see about getting columnists
<Appocomaster> .nqp
<CH_Bot> (Q 5): <CuTtooth> Sorry to sound dumb. but the next full round of PA is free?
<Appocomaster> yes, it is free. Unless otherwise stated (basically until PAN), anything we're running is free :-)
<Appocomaster> .nqp
<CH_Bot> (Q 6): <Kieker-Jan> a lot has been said bout support planets and in/out tag defence. can u tell us what PA-team
is going to counter that in Pan ie hardcode/eula/undecided
<Appocomaster> a lot has obviously been discussed about this
<Appocomaster> I'm personally of the opinion that hardcoded limits are bad for the game
<Appocomaster> and so will try and steer away from blocking all out of galaxy + alliance defence
<Appocomaster> I'd prefer some limit to how much you can defend a specific tag - this would allow people to defend
different tags more, and could still be abused, but would still be harder to abuse
<Appocomaster> basically, nothing has been finalised, but we will try and add code to stop defence support planets (and
monitor attack support planets, hopefully!)
<Appocomaster> .nqp
<CH_Bot> (Q 7): <Mistwraith> who is coding pan ? and how is that coding going ?
<Appocomaster> Kloopy is coding most of PAN - all the ingame stuff. He's unfortunately not done as much as expected - on
friday he gets blood results back to find out what's wrong with him
<Appocomaster> therealmig is coding the portal and the frontend for planetarion, including as many of the tools as
he can get done :-)
<Appocomaster> this will include things like the ability to transfer credits between accounts, a support system outside
of the games themselves, and hopefully the ability to submit articles / etc
<Appocomaster> .nqp
<CH_Bot> (Q 8): <Kieker-Jan> apart from the sickness in PA-team how is the coding for PAN comming along.. ie how far
behind scedual are u?
<Appocomaster> well, that's a similar question to the one before
<Appocomaster> we weren't working to a particular schedule, and actually changing the free round didn't extend it at all
<Appocomaster> hopefully, we'll be able to open signups for PAN coded stuff sometime in may
<Appocomaster> that was what our "provisional schedule" that we knocked up before christmas had penciled in
<Appocomaster> I know it's a long way away - from this end of january it looks like summer, practically
<Appocomaster> but as, after havoc, we're practically in april at the end of the free round
<Appocomaster> and we were hopefully going to have a public beta first
<Appocomaster> hopefully there won't be too long a gap for people to get bored
<Appocomaster> .nqp
<CH_Bot> (Q 9): <[ND]Sprit^zZz> We have seen a lots of talking and writing about new and shiny PAN. ( sounds gread and I
like it ) But, have we seen some dates? or atleast how long away, years? months?
<Appocomaster> ^^ just did that :-)
<Appocomaster> .nqp
<CH_Bot> (Q 10): <Smudge> There have been a number of Community Initiatives, such as the one alch spear headed, to try and improve the game for new players. Are there any plans for these sorts of things to be headlined by PA Team / Helpers or is it up to the community to act in an unofficial manner
<Appocomaster> at the moment, I don't think that we're going to be starting anything up
<Appocomaster> as most of our efforts are directed into PAN and related issues
<Appocomaster> while I'd like to see perhaps one or two people, whether pa team, mh, support team or just members of the community, acting as liasons between the community and everyone else, and making sure that the community's ideas and desires aren't completely neglected, a few people have told me that this has already happened and didn't work out, so that may not work
<Appocomaster> I'd like to see more happening in the community - I know that someone was planning, for example, to rent a CS:S server from Jolt and have it for Planetarion players if they wanted to play together
<Appocomaster> and people are welcome to come up with suggestions - there's a few graphics discussions going on at the moment on the forums, which are great
<Appocomaster> I don't think we'll be spearheading much in the near future, though
<Appocomaster> .nqp
<CH_Bot> (Q 11): <Shyne> Will PAN incorporate a bcalc? Its a relatively small tool to create
<Appocomaster> I'm not 100% sure
<Appocomaster> i'll speak to Kloopy - it really shouldn't be too big an issue to make it
<Appocomaster> and it's quite a popular and sensible idea
<Appocomaster> it's been suggested before, but it's just one of those things that never usually makes the cut, as there's
so many 3rd party battle calcs anyway
<Appocomaster> over the last round i've seen 5-6 public ones in a few different styles
<Appocomaster> so there's no real urgent need for one
<Appocomaster> but we'll see if we can fit it in
<Appocomaster> .nqp
<CH_Bot> (Q 12): <Smudge> Since PA is going from PA:X to PA:N, is there any plans to release / hire out old servers which people can run there own games on?
<Appocomaster> I assume you mean current servers with the old code base
<Appocomaster> we'll hopefully manage to keep the old code base this time
<Appocomaster> but we've only got 3 servers
<Appocomaster> one for the portal, which (currently) isn't stable enough to run games
<Appocomaster> one which is generally used for beta testing, but in the event of beta testing not happening could be used
for speedgames etc
<Appocomaster> and the current game server
<Appocomaster> realistically, the biggest issue is still harddrive space
<Appocomaster> as backups keep taking up space, and we keep backups of older rounds on the server still
<Appocomaster> which, along with having 2 tickers running, is the issue about running 2 games at once
<Appocomaster> we'd probably have to run the tickers at :00 and :30, and that wouldn't be any use for things like speedgames
<Appocomaster> I'm afraid Jolt won't invest in things like more servers to rent out old code on unless there's enough demand to actually make it worth doing
<Appocomaster> .nqp
<CH_Bot> (Q 13): <Mistwraith> talking of 3rd party tools .. ely has hosted the search engine for a very lonmg time now .. its open source .. so anyone can have it now .. why does pa not run a copy ?
<Appocomaster> if we did make a battlecalc, it'd just be easier to run it through the combat engine
<Appocomaster> you can't get any more accurate than that :-)
<Appocomaster> .nqp
<CH_Bot> (Q 14): <aNgRyDuCk> why nto just go to a 60 member limit in alliances and blow off this increase so many members based on score, rank etc
<Appocomaster> no
<Appocomaster> I think the smaller alliances, if they can cope with more people, deserve to have a few more players
<Appocomaster> it makes them more competitive, and allows some alliances such as F-Crew and ToF to take on newer players
<Appocomaster> it can be abused to some extent
<Appocomaster> but the time limits do cut down the abuse
<Appocomaster> and potential abuse
<Appocomaster> .nqp
<CH_Bot> (Q 15): <Smudge> Kloopy is having small meets with PA Players. Will there / is there any plans for an official PA Meet up, either in a city or at a LAN event (ie I-series)
<Appocomaster> there isn't a plan for an official Meet at the moment, I'm afraid
<Appocomaster> the problem with I-Series, as mentioned before,is that it's run by multiplay, Jolt's competitors
<Appocomaster> and they're not willing to pay someone to move a server and stand guard all day
<Appocomaster> If people want to have meets they're welcome to - GD often have them in London
<Appocomaster> and there was the birmingham "meet" recently
<Appocomaster> .nqp
<CH_Bot> (Q 16): <Kieker-Jan> u have been askin alliancs to offer their tools to creat integrated tools in PA, has any alliance come forward to offer bots and/or other tools and whats the current status on those tools
<Appocomaster> I've been offered access to a couple of alliances, and have made some notes on it
<Appocomaster> together with Kloopy's experience from AH, and our personal knowledge, we're (well, I am :P) planning for good enough tools to at least rival alliances with a fair technical staff
<Appocomaster> and we can cheat - instead of getting the members to copy and paste overview/ gal status / scans etc, we can just make buttons to submit information to your alliance if we really have to :P
<Appocomaster> .nqp
<CH_Bot> (Q 17): <Phil^> are jolt paying kloopy in coffee beans or fosters cans?
<Appocomaster> oh, I thought i'd moved this one :/
<Appocomaster> I'm not sure myself
<Appocomaster> I'll have to go and investigate sometime
<Appocomaster> as Kloopy claimed to have most of the symptoms of some sort of liver disease, I'd go for fosters
<Appocomaster> .nqp
<CH_Bot> (Q 18): <Odysseus> Is there are chance of bringing back pds?
<Appocomaster> no!
<Appocomaster> I'm personally against PDS, and I know the suggestions forum uses anyone who mentions those words as target practice
<Appocomaster> we'll probably have it as an option in the new combat engine, simply as it should only be a couple of extra lines of code
<Appocomaster> and if we do end up renting out servers for speedgames, someone might want to use it
<Appocomaster> but there's no plan to have it in a real round again
<Appocomaster> it's just too hard to balance
<Appocomaster> .nqp
<CH_Bot> (Q 19): <Fiery> Can you get different standard gal pics this round? I'm ever so bored of the current ones.
<Appocomaster> it depends who we can bribe to do graphics
<Appocomaster> we've already made jackle a member of the support team and a multihunter
<Appocomaster> we'll have to wait and see what he comes up with before offering him anything else :
<Appocomaster> if anyone would be willing to submit graphics to be used as the standard gal pic, they're willing to
<Appocomaster> but they'd probably have to sign something saying they transfer all ownership over to Jolt, and so forth
<Appocomaster> Jolt don't want to take the chance of someone saying "I don't love you any more, I'm going to sue you for using my galaxy picture design"
<Appocomaster> this is why they're addicted to the imfamous "NDA"
<Appocomaster> .nqp
<CH_Bot> (Q 20): <Phil^> Are the multihunters in the habit of listening to certain music tracks when MHing and which tracks are they? ( mine was one of Wagner - Ride of the valkyries , or Star trek ( tos ) - fight music ( the dah dah dah da da da da dah daaaah dah one ))
<Appocomaster> I'm afraid I listen to nothing special when looking for multis
<Appocomaster> though I do smile if something like "can't touch this" pops on the radio
<Appocomaster> .nqp
<CH_Bot> (Q 21): <Smudge|PMonly> Are you concerned by the PA Team's inability to control there own staff members who were following set rules, most noticibly with the recent Wishmaster issue in which PA Team broke there own rules by closing him? What safe gaurds are in place for next round to avoid this issue and how has this issue effected the development for next round, with regards to galaxy pictures?
<Appocomaster> I should really have reordered the questions
<Appocomaster> Actually, biffy was the one that closed Wishmaster
<Appocomaster> we've obviously put out rules since this question was submitted
<Appocomaster> I think it was hiding at the back of a couple of rounds of CH questions, like Phil's questions were
<Appocomaster> we do want to have rules so that everyone can see what is and isn't allowed
<Appocomaster> but if we make too many rules, someone will spot something we haven't made a rule for, people will abuse it
<Appocomaster> so we'd prefer to keep things slightly more vauge if possible to cover all possibilities
<Appocomaster> .nqp
<CH_Bot> (Q 22):
<Appocomaster> ahh!
<Appocomaster> .repeat
<CH_Bot> (Q 22): <Smudge> The current betas are acting / being run a bit weird atm. Will there be any organisation for further betas? In the "old days" there were specific things to test out
<Appocomaster> the current beta is basically Jester testing stats (#beta for more information)
<Appocomaster> he's currently revising them to his latest version - there's a thread on the forums .... somewhere
<Appocomaster> http://pirate.planetarion.com/showt...d.php?p=2980766
<Appocomaster> if you want to join in the discussion
<Appocomaster> the recent betas we've always had aims
<Appocomaster> even if some people don't realise and use it as a speedgame
<Appocomaster> .nqp
<CH_Bot> (Q 23): <Mistwraith> not the battle calc the whole thing of the target search and info..
<Appocomaster> I'm not sure if we'll have some sort of option to search...
<Appocomaster> mit used to (and does again, I think) do it, and that was the closest we got
<Appocomaster> I guess we could add it to the portal
<Appocomaster> but tbh, whatever we make may well not be as good as sandmans or pilkara
<Appocomaster> we could just steal pilkara
<Appocomaster> but i'm sure it can be improved
<Appocomaster> and over time, it'd get overlooked
<Appocomaster> in a way, having things hosted externally is good, and helps to build the community
<Appocomaster> .nqp
<CH_Bot> (Q 24): <Kieker-Jan> how does pa-team stand on the alliance status screen suggestion?
<Appocomaster> I think views are mixed. Mine are, certainly
<Appocomaster> it does give alliances an awful lot of power, and they'll probably just paste it into their tools for an analysis
<Appocomaster> as if you imagine 100+ fleets just with your alliance's activity, defence aside, it'd get messy
<Appocomaster> if it included incoming hostiles and defence on your planets, I can see headaches from top 20 players being fleetcaught
<Appocomaster> I'm all for increasing alliance tools to some degree - a searchable intelligence database with automatically added scans from alliance members, notes on each planet, parsers for members to put overview/gal status / etc in so their alliance can gain intelligence
<Appocomaster> but I'm not sure this is necessary as it is
<Appocomaster> the only related feature which might be interesting is the one being knocked around about reporting alliance incomings
<Appocomaster> but again, some people feel it makes players even more "lazy" and not willing to get online to help their alliance
<Appocomaster> while it's not our responsibility to keep alliance members motivated, we can obviously make it more easy or difficult depending on what features are added and removed - see the prelaunch thread
<Appocomaster> .nqp
<CH_Bot> (Q 25): <Smudge> Will we ever see any PA Team in dresses?
<Appocomaster> I'm sure we've seen this question before
<Appocomaster> I've never been in a dress
<Appocomaster> I don't think
<Appocomaster> so going by that I don't think it'll happen
<Appocomaster> unless you get me drunk, and I don't drink
<Appocomaster> Kloopy has admitted "dressing" up before
<Appocomaster> once, I think he claims
<Appocomaster> I'm not sure about others
<Appocomaster> maybe if you catch one of us at a meet, we'll see who you can get drunk enough to agree
<Appocomaster> .nqp
<CH_Bot> (Q 26):
<Appocomaster> well, I've run out of questions
<Appocomaster> again!
<Appocomaster> oh, one more
<Appocomaster> .repeat
<CH_Bot> (Q 26): <Kieker-Jan> a popular idea is to have a midround break, is this also popular enuf under pa-team to find its way to the game (/me hopes not)
<Appocomaster> having a mid round break has, on and off, been a popular idea
<Appocomaster> and I think that 1/2 - 2/3 of the way through the round, it might be nice just to have a breather
<Appocomaster> i know it's a race for endurance
<Appocomaster> but, as I know from personal experience, it ends up being whoevers left willing to keep organising the alliance after everyone burns out and runs off
<Appocomaster> and if Planetarion is going to become a bit more people friendly, we might end up seeing a break or two
<Appocomaster> last one this time
<Appocomaster> then i'll shut up
<Appocomaster> .nqp
<CH_Bot> (Q 27): <Ali> Will there be any new races or any major new points in battle for PAN?
<Appocomaster> there's no plans specifically for a new race, though if we have time i'm convincing Kloopy that having the ability to literally have as many / few races as we want (within reason) should be coded for
<Appocomaster> so, if we get bored and want to restructure the ships research tree and the races and so on, we can
<Appocomaster> battle points, I think that XP for defence, in a limited way, might rear it's head
<Appocomaster> but not too much more exciting at the moment
<Appocomaster> we did have a few interesting ideas that were combat related, but they aren't going to be fixed in time for the first version of PAN
<Appocomaster> we'll see how things go
<Appocomaster> thanks for putting up with me for almost an hour
<Appocomaster> I think it's time for me to run off
<Appocomaster> the log will be up as soon as I modify CH_Bot's log - for some reason it sticks return characters in the longer lines. I need to fix that
<Appocomaster> if you have any more questions you can think of for next CH, then /msg CH_Bot
<Appocomaster> it'll be around until I forget to turn it on after rebooting my computer