31 March 2012

The Joke's On Me

I threw the switch and opened this year's April Fool's Day ("AFD") area.  While I was busy doing some last minute fussing, I noticed within the player window that one player's name had suddenly changed.  I went to investigate and I found, to my horror, that the old Angbang area was now opened.

This came as a surprise to me, because this was an area which I had not opened!  I did a quick check and discovered that (somehow) the portal leading from the current AFD area to town was not leading to town — as indicated within my copy of the world file — but instead was leading to the old AFD Encore Nexus.

Ugh.  I quickly applied a patch so that the exit portal to town actually lead to town.  I would have left the old Nexus area opened, but some of the areas within the encore required preparation (and bug fixes) which simply had not been prepared (nor fixed).

I hope that this is the only joke played on me for this update!

29 March 2012

Like A Boss

One of the super secret additions that I included this update is a "Boss Template," a generic monster that can be used (and modified) as a Big Boss Monster.

The idea behind the boss monster is that the boss will always be a slaughter, regardless of how much of a terrifying histia/troilus/detha combination it has.  I want the focus to shift from "let me as an individual tag so that I can get my experience" to "let's work together to bring this beast to its knees!"  I have had some thoughts on such design, and I now enter the phase of testing this concept for viability.

It is an experimental template — I assume that it will work! — and perhaps this weekend I can ask for some suckers volunteers in the fairgrounds to test it out.

[Edit]: The part that I forgot to mention was that, upon the Boss Monster's death, everyone within the area would receive experience.  It will not matter if you tagged or not.  You receive experience when the boss is defeated.

22 March 2012

Ready For A Change

I can't believe that I got everything done, although after staying awake past 2:00am, I am certainly paying for my labors this morning.  Nothing that several cups of coffee can't cure!

There were two scripts that I wanted to modify and both goals were achieved. The first change concerned one of my favorite scripts which powers "itemless" quests.  One of the issues that I discovered whilst using this script is that there is more math than there needs to be: I struggled to find the sum of bit fields, such as 2^15 + 2^11 + 2^7 + 2^0.  I created a shortcut for this script which eliminated my need to provide the calculations; the script now cheerfully does this math for me.

The second change was a little nerve-wracking, as it involved adding a new feature to our filtering function.  I am always nervous when modifying any of the major scripts, and filter.func is a major script.  I added a small hook which enables other scripts (such as sayinitstring, our major speech script, or the reward script which runs almost all of the New Ash quests) to check the bits of an itemless quest.  This opens a lot of options for quests and, in a weird way, nearly eliminates the need for the itemless quest script itself.

And as a bonus I added some giant spider-chickens.  These monsters are both terrifying and a challenge and okay no I didn't really do that.  Updating those two scripts were challenging enough!

I am ready for the changes of V747!

21 March 2012

One Hundred Percent

Sometimes I get a little lucky.

The V747 update has been postponed until Thursday which gives me an extra day to fuss with my scripts for this update.  I am entering precarious territory, as I am now seriously thinking "well, what if I were to try making such-and-such changes to this script, and then hook in support for that script, and then do this and this and that..." — which is no different from how I typically think! — but now there is a firm time frame in which such changes need to happen, and not a lot of time to test a lot of changes.

My kid sister, a CPA, was once told by her supervisor "I'll back your work 100%.  All I ask in return is that your work be 100% right."  I view my relationship with the other GMs with that quote in mind: they'll support (endure?) my rascalities 100% as long as my work is 100% right.

...even when I am still updating scripts on the eve of an update.

20 March 2012

Update V747

... is in my rear view mirror, but I find myself watching the mirror rather than watching the road.  While I can not change any of the content that I have submitted (60+ areas: my helpers have been busy!), I can still upload and edit data files.  I am not yet satisfied with some of the scripts, so I have been uploading changes well past the Friday deadline.

There is still a little smoothing to do on one portion of one script, and I hope to have that resolved by the time the server reboots on Wednesday evening.

05 March 2012

let num == ohnoes

My eyes are burning from staring at a script for four hours.  Normally this would not be a problem, but this time it is because I am staring at a math problem.

Longtime readers may recall my relationship with math.  I am trying to do something comparatively simple — or it would be simple if I knew what the heck I was doing! — and I am very close to having the correct mathematical solution.  I currently have the "almost chicken" solution (as in "'almost chicken' doesn't make good soup"); the script is almost doing what I want it to do, but it is also doing a lot of things that I do not want it to do.

A casual glance at our informal poll indicates that many people are interested in a new April Fools' Day area.  I will begin building some new areas as soon as I can get my goofy numbers to add correctly!