Creators Hour 08/04/2009
Posted at 22:01 GMT on Wednesday 8th April 2009
<Appocomaster> so if you want to ask any more, /msg CH_Bot your question!
<Appocomaster> Firstly, havoc
<Appocomaster> Havoc was planned to end on Thursday
<Appocomaster> at 20:00 GMT (I think?)
<Appocomaster> but I'm quite happy to extend it to Friday, as we're going to be working from a new server
<Appocomaster> for signups
* Appocomaster pokes zpeti
<Appocomaster> yay more people!
<zpeti> hello everyone :)
<Appocomaster> A few links:
<Appocomaster> Next round details are still available at http://www.planetarion.com/news/new...0-havoc-and-r31
<Appocomaster> we will produce an updated announcement when signups are open
<Appocomaster> Beta testing is also going to be opened about the same time as signups
<Appocomaster> we've not got too much additional functionality
<Appocomaster> Cin's been updating tools during the round so you feel the full benefits as soon as possible
<Appocomaster> and hopefully this will continue for next round
<Appocomaster> we're already planning for next rond
<Lunar_Lamp> (Right, sorry for being late everyone, I've been on the phone to Three trying to get a replacement handset for the one I lost :-()
<Appocomaster> (this is our superorganised sysadmin :P)
<Appocomaster> Pete, did you have anything to add about your general plans?
* Appocomaster nudges Pete
<Appocomaster> (he is there!)
<zpeti> This round I am just looking to add slightly better usability
<zpeti> Hopefully the new skin will suit that
<zpeti> and new signup page
<zpeti> Last round when I logged in I was a bit lost in information
<zpeti> so that's what I was looking to change
<Appocomaster> ok :)
<CH_Bot> (Q 1): <Oizo> Id like some information on round setup, most important length of the round
<Appocomaster> we've got that announced http://www.planetarion.com/news/new...0-havoc-and-r31
<zpeti> 7 weeks long
<zpeti> on a new server
<zpeti> with good redundancy
<Lunar_Lamp> The new server is something we've wanted for a while, and Pete's done some good work to organise this with Fubra.
<zpeti> so hopefully it will run fine
<Lunar_Lamp> We should no longer be at the mercy of every network blip at Fubra.
<Appocomaster> if nothing else, it will speed up tick times
<Lunar_Lamp> Plus, we'll be getting back the same fast disks we had in our old servers, so the occasional slow-downs we've experienced of late should be reduced.
<Appocomaster> ^^ :)
<Appocomaster> no more for the backups etc
<Lunar_Lamp> Also, they aren't using the same virtualisation technology, so I can do more performance analysis and tweaking with proper access to hardware.
<Lunar_Lamp> We've been a bit hamstrung in that regard with the setup that we've had this round.
<Appocomaster> you're just a very hands-on system admin :)
<CH_Bot> (Q 2): <Oizo> Secondly, stats, what about a poll on whether a) new stats as gate is doing them or b) just tweak the ones from last round bit
<Appocomaster> I will be speaking to Gate as soon as he's next online about the current state of the stats
<Appocomaster> and will also view the opinions on the Round 31 stats thread, http://pirate.planetarion.com/showt...d.php?p=3170327
<CH_Bot> (Q 3): <GladiatorLT> will ziks be brough back to prior glory of not losing ships upon attacks, because now they suck during normal round. unly gain value if any1 crashes. and since ziks suck defence, gainin value on fleet is the only way to to really good
<Appocomaster> Ziks were (and are) intrinsically flawed
<Appocomaster> they don't suck during normal round
<Appocomaster> they're just more difficult to play with
<Appocomaster> I know that Ace has had lots of fun stealing in the last few rounds :-)
<CH_Bot> (Q 4): <Nov> Can we finaly make some stats and rules that can dissadvanage ASC, they will pwn next round anyways
<Appocomaster> I don't think that's possible; Asc are generally good at studying stats (and what other players are doing) and try and maximize that
<Appocomaster> and also, from the EoRC log (http://www.planetarion.com/news/news/read/246-eorc-round-30-040408), Lok mentioned the discipline that the players were having
<Appocomaster> so I don't see how that's possible!
<CH_Bot> (Q 5): <GladiatorLT> can we do -1 travel time for incluster attacks too like good old days. just to see how it works out? alliances would lose alot of power and it might reduce blocking
<Appocomaster> we'd have to introduce a -2 bonus to cluster defence
<Appocomaster> and that benefits bigger alliances more than smaller ones
<Appocomaster> We're not planning to for the time being
<Appocomaster> as the game might well split into 10 smaller universes
<CH_Bot> (Q 6): <Oizo> third, login button on homepage needs to be MUCH much much more visible!
<Appocomaster> This is the sort of thing that Pete has been talking about and will be looking into :)
<zpeti> hm :)
<zpeti> wow great question
<zpeti> yes I am onto this :)
<zpeti> also I think signup is quite hard to find, so that will be more visible too
<CH_Bot> (Q 7): <Deathrow^> Last round several planets went into vacation mode when they saw prelaunches on them, will anything be done next round to stop this? or will they keep their easy way out
<Appocomaster> they did lose 3 days of resources
<Appocomaster> and mean that they didn't have any chance of gaining roids for 3 days
<Appocomaster> and also that their galaxy / alliance couldn't use their fleets for defence / attack
<CH_Bot> (Q 8): <GladiatorLT> is anything being done toexpand PA community
<zpeti> I will be spending a bit on advertising, and I have arranged a review on a large blog
<zpeti> with relevant readership
<Appocomaster> are you waiting to update the manual first?
<Appocomaster> I guess he's finished with that
<Appocomaster> but I believe that he's interested in making the game more presentable in his eyes first
<Appocomaster> and the new user support in place
<CH_Bot> (Q 9): <killerbee> when is beta open
<Appocomaster> around the same time as signups (so this friday /saturday)
<CH_Bot> (Q 10): <killerbee> can we remove returned fleets from roll back procedure
<Appocomaster> we have
<CH_Bot> (Q 11): <Nov> Why 90 ppl so many ppl wont play u and we all see it coming that no ally will fill full tage except one and that could fill 150 tag as well
<Appocomaster> This is a concern
<Appocomaster> it's been oft discussed, both in public (2 threads on the forums) and in private
<Appocomaster> we might be looking at removing limits and looking at some other way of ranking alliances (not average score, but ... something else)
<Appocomaster> we are considering several options
<Appocomaster> if you have another idea, feel free to raise it ;)
<CH_Bot> (Q 12): <killerbee> can we have non letter characters in tags plz
<Appocomaster> I'm not sure what you mean
<Appocomaster> and which ones you'd want
<Lunar_Lamp> I think hea means: "I want to create a tag for My_All1nz@@!
<zpeti> sorry wierd internet connection
<zpeti> im back
<Lunar_Lamp> (my apologies for my poor typing this evening :-s)
<Appocomaster> ok, apparently it's & and % and so on
<Appocomaster> we can add some of them
<Appocomaster> but we strip them out, some for security
<Appocomaster> if you want to suggest a list, we can see if they don't compromise anything and add them
<CH_Bot> (Q 13): <Theam> will you do anything to stop ascendancy's dominance? They are pretty much ruining the game!
<Appocomaster> well, that is an interesting topic
<Appocomaster> whilst the expectation is there for some, it's really a game dynamic
<Appocomaster> if we start adding things to break this down, then we'll get complaints we're micromanaging
<Appocomaster> alliances always split (from boredom if nothing else)
<Appocomaster> and I think Asc are intelligent enough to realise the problem they cause
<Appocomaster> so I'd be happy to see if they're willing to solve the solution themselves
<Lunar_Lamp> Also, it's my opinion that it's up to the rest of the universe to take them down if they dislike the way they play.
<Appocomaster> yes, that too
<Appocomaster> it does seem a bit like you can't beat them and so are asking us to :p
<Appocomaster> planet targetting next round, guys!
<CH_Bot> (Q 14): <GladiatorLT> pa us not loading now. during ur CH:) any comments?
<Lunar_Lamp> It is loading :-)
<zpeti> it is for me too...
<Lunar_Lamp> I've got pretty frequent monitoring running on the game 24/7 so I'm always aware of when there's an issue.
<zpeti> maybe someone cut that line at the bottom of the atlantic again
<zpeti> if gladiator meant pa US
<Lunar_Lamp> (I've even already updated my details so that SMSs go to my temporary number rather than my normal one).
<CH_Bot> (Q 15): <LeviathaN> Are Xan in your opinion currently balanced?
<Appocomaster> one ISP might have a temporary issue
<Lunar_Lamp> There are some issues with BT at the moment across the whole internet.
<Appocomaster> we're not really out to quibble about the stats, I'm afraid :(
<Lunar_Lamp> So if BT is your ISP then you may be impacted by that.
<Appocomaster> stats are always difficult to judge
<Appocomaster> all races are arguable
<Appocomaster> zik and their stealing
<Appocomaster> cath and how to balance emp
<Appocomaster> xan's cloak and small ships and how to balance that
<Appocomaster> it will be looked at for next round
<CH_Bot> (Q 16): .add <[ND]DoDDy> why is the round 7 weeks when, I believe a majority wanted more?
<zpeti> I remember it being half and half
<zpeti> and weve just had a long one
<Appocomaster> a lot of people said if we'd have voted at this time, they'd say no
<Appocomaster> a few people recently were talking with me and they all said they voted for 10 weeks and now they're at the end and so tired, they'd not want to do it in a hurry
<CH_Bot> (Q 17): <GladiatorLT> before it was -1 for incluster attacks and defences. you can add -1 attacks and still keep -1 defence too
<Appocomaster> 10 weeks is draining!
<Appocomaster> not always - we had a -1 and a -2 more recently than a -1 and -1
<CH_Bot> (Q 18): <GladiatorLT> how about war minister having a 1 extra fleet slot to defend ingal. in other words making home fleet able to move ingal. i think it was able some years ago
<Appocomaster> we're discussing fleet dynamics, and the number of fleets that should be available
<Appocomaster> though it's obviously a fundamental thing
<Appocomaster> and we'd be very careful about changing it at all
<Appocomaster> without careful studying
<CH_Bot> (Q 19): <AndroX> What kind of advertisement are you aiming at/going to do? Internet based only or can we expect more?
<Appocomaster> Pete ^^
<zpeti> Internet for now
<zpeti> apart from that I answered that one
<CH_Bot> (Q 20): <[ND]DoDDy> This round Xandathrii's stats were awful! Will any changes be done?
<Appocomaster> see ^^
<CH_Bot> (Q 21): <carld> Would it be possible for the login page to gain an autofocus on the username entry box?
<zpeti> good idea :)
<CH_Bot> (Q 22): <carld> Would it be possible to make it so Roids don't get added to your total until your ships get back from the attack?
<Appocomaster> it would be possible
<Appocomaster> I'm not sure if it'd help
<Appocomaster> what if the ships get fleet caught?
<CH_Bot> (Q 23): <AndroX> Appocomaster, now that there's a new owner - that brings along new and fresh ideas - does it make you and other PATeam members eager to get on with the projects and basicaly boost your morales?
<Appocomaster> you'd certainly be giving 8 or so ticks less of resources for the roids ... might not be popular
<Appocomaster> AndroX, Pete has certainly taken new views with him
<Lunar_Lamp> AndroX: we'll see if we can arrange for Pete to be properly initiated ;-)
<Appocomaster> lots of discussion about many aspects of the game has gone on
<Appocomaster> Lunar_Lamp: wrong question!
<Lunar_Lamp> I know! /o\
<Lunar_Lamp> (sorry, I'm trying to find myself a cheap phone at the same time - I'm not very good at this multi-tasking thing)
<zpeti> yeah, I'll be honest new ideas are quite hard to not get shot down
<Appocomaster> we apologise for that
<zpeti> but I'm starting to get a feel for things
<Appocomaster> we're not good for breaking in new owners :(
<zpeti> because I do understand that I don't understand the game that well
<zpeti> so obviously my new changes might be plain wrong
<zpeti> they can also be very good :pp
<Appocomaster> I, for example, have seen and been involved in 3-4 years of suggestions forums ... many of the things Pete is raising have been on there
<Appocomaster> and all the arguments and counter arguments are known
<Appocomaster> so he gets a fairly condensed respons :)
<Appocomaster> but things are moving on
<Appocomaster> and Pete is certainly pushing to improve the presentability and usability of the game
<CH_Bot> (Q 24): <gm|away> how about removing alliance score completely?
<Appocomaster> it's certainly a possibility
<Appocomaster> it is sometimes tempting to give defence a flat -1 and bring back tags
<Appocomaster> no limits
<Appocomaster> some sort of 'unofficial ranking'
<Appocomaster> it's part of the general alliance limits / ranking discussion
<Appocomaster> that we're having internally
<CH_Bot> (Q 25): <AndroX> I suggested this before, but can some1 please make Pea check if the game is up or down and change the topic accordingly? as eventho current topic is funny as hell, it doesnt really sell pa for new players does it? ;P
<Appocomaster> I think Pea is run by Uberfish but I *think* it's part of a fairly standard bot
<Appocomaster> A2, can you confirm? :p
<Appocomaster> obviously not
<A2> a version is available o SourceForge
<Appocomaster> oh you're oped /o\
<A2> under the development name "fireclaw"
<Appocomaster> ah yes
<A2> sorry, thats from the netsplits the otherday
<Appocomaster> that rings a bell
<Appocomaster> that's ok :)
<Appocomaster> probably not
<Appocomaster> I'll nudge Uberfish and see how he'd feel about it
<CH_Bot> (Q 26): <DK> can we remove the counted score for galaxies and just have the them ranked by actual score instead?
<Appocomaster> we will be looking at galaxy ranking scores
<Appocomaster> I have a few ideas about that
<Appocomaster> we rank by counted score to reduce the impact of exiles
<Appocomaster> and to try and encourage you to help increase the sizes of the planets you have
<Appocomaster> so it will be reviewed
<CH_Bot> (Q 27): <AndroX> What is MH team/PA team going to do to prevent abusive fleet names, as seen on greencat this rnd, for happening again?
<Appocomaster> prevention is fairly hard
<Appocomaster> we do auto-filter many names
<Appocomaster> but so many names have several meanings
<Appocomaster> or you can have different languages
<Appocomaster> so what we usually do is, once reported, we take action
<Appocomaster> generally a 3 strikes then you're out
<Appocomaster> I did speak personally with the person who was the worst offender of the aforementioned fleet name incident
<Appocomaster> he did apologise as he had pushed things too far and renamed the fleet without prompting
<Appocomaster> but we do take it seriously
<Appocomaster> we're also looking at the option of, as a punishment, just removing the option of posting on forums, changing fleet names, etc
<Appocomaster> in a "if you abuse your freedom of speech, we will take it away"
<Appocomaster> sort of thing :-)
<Appocomaster> all internal bets on which alliance is going to rack up the bans have been suspended though :
<CH_Bot> (Q 28): <adjuhh> As shown in the poll on the forum, there are quite some ppl who rather have another startday of the round than friday, so does this mean there will be different startdays?
<zpeti> not planned so far
<CH_Bot> (Q 29): <AndroX> zpeti, it is tradition for owners of PA to get themself photographed in a dress when things aren't going as planned. Would you be in to follow this tradition?
<Appocomaster> (this is related to Lunar's earlier comment)
<Lunar_Lamp> To repeat myself: AndroX: we'll see if we can arrange for Pete to be properly initiated ;-)
<Lunar_Lamp> (sorry, I'm having a bit of a nightmare tonight)
<Appocomaster> though I'm sure there's a better pic :/
<Appocomaster> Pete: you've gone silent!
<Appocomaster> well, we're pushed for time
<Appocomaster> he can respond when he sees it :p
<Appocomaster> (maybe he's taking a pic?)
<CH_Bot> (Q 30): <posi> when will the 0 fleets returning eta 1 bug be fixed, or is that even being looked at
<Appocomaster> we will look at it though it's not that high a priority
<CH_Bot> (Q 31): <gm|away> can we get a login box or something next to Home News Forums in the portal so we can login to pa without having to search
<Appocomaster> I know that Pete is pro a login box
<Appocomaster> instead of our current link
<Appocomaster> so we will look at working that in
<CH_Bot> (Q 32): <Light> Why a 3strike rule on fleet names? why not a 1strike then you lose the priviledges to rename your fleets.
<Appocomaster> this is a "3 strike then the planet is closed" rule
<Appocomaster> sometimes people say something and it was purely by accident and they don't repeat offend
<Appocomaster> but we've not currently got the code added to do this
<Appocomaster> (the suspend fleetname stuff)
<Appocomaster> something for me to do this weekend :(
<CH_Bot> (Q 33):
<Appocomaster> that's it!
<CH_Bot> (Q 34):
<Appocomaster> .question 33
* Appocomaster pokes CH_Bot
<CH_Bot> (Q 32): <Light> Why a 3strike rule on fleet names? why not a 1strike then you lose the priviledges to rename your fleets.
<CH_Bot> (Q 33): <GladiatorLT> are there any plans to make option of flash/media interface. would attrackt more new players in my oppinion. now its very hard o drag someone in, when its only numbers and letters.
<Appocomaster> flash / extra media are a big overhead
<Appocomaster> I checked earlier today and I estimate that 5% or more of login are mobiles
<Appocomaster> (maybe as much as 10-15%)
<Appocomaster> if anything, we should be making it more mobile friendly :-)
<Appocomaster> also, flash is nice but expensive and, more importantly, we don't have anyone willing to donate their time to make it
<Appocomaster> if we have someone, then maybe :-)
<CH_Bot> (Q 34): <TXC|TG> i'm sitting at the worlds biggest LAN (the gathering) in hamar norway...there are currently 5.6k ppl here....erlyer years we played pa here...don't you even consider haveing PA name on the biggest lan there is? if you wanna increase the member masses...well this is a good place....let ppl know about uss :)
<Appocomaster> I don't think Pete knows about this; I'll flag it to him for future
<Appocomaster> however, last time we had a TG setup, we had about 20 people playing the speedgame
<Appocomaster> (we tried it last year or the year before)
<Appocomaster> (someone was trying to publicise it for us there and it totally failed and no one played)
<Appocomaster> so ...
<Appocomaster> it's not easy :(
<Appocomaster> we did try before, we can again
<CH_Bot> (Q 35): <posi> when will the mars skin be brought back? >.< i was told it was removed because it wouldnt work with Jolt ads, but i dont see that being a problem anymore...
<Appocomaster> there are still adverts in-game
<Appocomaster> also, there are legal issues around the mars skin
<Appocomaster> and the designer isn't contactable
<Appocomaster> (I tried)
<CH_Bot> (Q 36):
<Appocomaster> general comments to questions
<Appocomaster> flash, if introduced, would be optional
<Appocomaster> (back in round 18 I wanted a flash gal status you could click and swirl. someone even half made me one :/)
<Appocomaster> also, I doubt we'll have even more ships
<Appocomaster> but I'll speak with Gate about it
<Appocomaster> I'll try and get a log of this up aap
<Appocomaster> thanks for your patience and questions :-)
<Appocomaster> though not as many as the 89 from last time!