20 April 2006

Bugs with the update

Tuesday we have updated the server to include the new summonable monsters. Due to the fact that it wasn't tested, there were a few problems.
The first problem was that some of the ingredients required for summoning the new monsters were not tagged as a 'resource' by the server, which has caused them not to be in the Manufacture window, making it impossible to summon them.
This problem has been addressed imediately, and was fixed in 1 hour.
Another bigger problem was that the Pawn script (the script that powers most of the NPCs and quests) has been updated to include a quest that wasn't properly implemented and tested. I didn't know that has been commited to the CVS, so that quest had inadvertently apeared in the game. This resulted in some people flags being set in the wrong order, so now, even though the quest was fixed, they can not complete that quest.

The main problem though was that some of the new monsters didn't have summoning specific code in their AI routines, and that caused them to act as normal monsters... attacking players and stuff. A few newbies died because of it.
After people reported the problem I told everyone not to summon buggy monsters in populated, non PK maps, until the problem was fixed.
Now everything works fine, except for some people that got their flags messed up and can't finish that quest. Not really a big deal, it was a newbie quest anyway, but it made me reconsider having people implementing quests.
I think I'll just stick to do it myself in the future.

6 Comments:

Blogger Donny said...

Sounds like some interesting bugs, i would have liked to see a bunch of people getting slaughtered by their own summoned animals would have been interesting for the most part, good to hear the fixes were fairly easy and quick. About the quest that is unfinishable, wouldn't it be possible to add some code to allow players to cancel a quest that they didn't want to finish that way the it would fix the issue and also give users the choice of cleaning old quests they do not wish to complete so that it doesn't fill their quest log. Most RPG's do have this implemented but sometimes after a game has already been written I understand going back and adding something like that might not always be as easy as it may seem depending on how the quests are implemented.

Just a thought those summoning weapons sound very cool I'm going to have to try them out when I get on again.

21/4/06 00:21  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

No offense meant, and I really like the game and the updates (and the frequency of the updates), but I think that a programmer of your level and with your experience should know better than to do an update without even having tested the summoning _once_. At least the "ingredients in the manu window" problem would have been found immediately.

Besides, I think that user-contributed quests would be a nice thing, because it is hard work to come up with new quests, and they make the game more interesting, so I wouldnt put it aside completely. But you maybe should think about a way how quests could be added on a "modular" basis, so they could be active only after your approvement.

Anyway, thanks for your work and your dedication - I know how hard life as a programmer can be, and that you often only get the bashing and rarely the thanks you deserve. I hope that having more than 600 people online at the same time on a regular basis shows you how how many people like the game and appreciate your work!

21/4/06 05:12  
Blogger Radu said...

Donny:
No one got slaughtered by their own animals, because a summoner that can summon high levle monsters is usually a good fighter himself.
As for ways to fix those few people that can't complete the quest, yes, there are ways to do it, but it's not worth it. That quest was mainly for newbies, and the reward wasn't too high, so I'd better work are more important stuff.

Anonymous:
Usually whenever we write or modify code for the server, we do test it. However, this didn't involve any new code (at least I thought it wouldn't), it required only some definition files updated, and a small scripting update.
Besides, we did a user backup before we restarted the server, so if anything went really wrong, we would have been able to do a minimal rollback.

Another factor is that I don't have time to do eveything I'd like to do. Sometimes I come from work at 4:30, then spend one hour replying to e-mails, forum private messages, and so on. I also have to eat, work at new stuff, maybe watch a movie, and so on.

21/4/06 16:44  
Blogger Donny said...

Oh well the way you said a few newbies died because of it I thought you had ment they had summoned animals that killed themselves but you were talking about higher level players killing lower level players I take it. As for the other thing I had figured it wouldn't be worth it but was just a thought.

To Anonymous, I agree somewhat about not testing new code but when dealing with code you already know works sometimes you don't always think of every possible outcome I would know I've done it plenty of times when working on clients programs and end up breaking something that gets fixed within a matter of minutes because I didn't think of something rather trivial.

21/4/06 19:50  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

From my knowledge of EL, having the quest non-completeable for some could be bad if it was planned to be used as a trigger in the future if completed. Like, to start another quest, that one has to be completed first.

21/4/06 20:44  
Anonymous Mundaus said...

Just to let you know...
I ran into the bug on the quest but have now been able to complete it. The only problem is not knowing what the NC woman wants. If you bring her the correct pots then the quest gets back on track (for me at least, dont know if this would work in all cases.)
Thanks for a great game!

23/4/06 19:01  

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