28 August 2006

The update 1.3.2 should be tomorrow

Everything is ready, the Windows client, the Linux client, the OSX client.
The test server has been tested, and everything seems to be OK. Unless something happens, I plan to have the update tomorrow evening. We could have done it this weekend, but usually I try not to have the updates in the weekends, because the weekends are busier, and the fewer people downloading the update at the same time, the better.
Some of the new things include:
1. A new map in the gold cave
2. 2 new armors (the augmented leather torso and pants)
3. Quite a few new items (all the 'new' armors and swords now have a rare version, and the new summoning books)
4. 3 new summonable monsters (Arctic Chimeran, Yeti and Giant).
5. The interguild command now requires a guildrank of 6, to prevent abuse.
6. Fixed a very rare bug where you could die twice if you were poisoned during the last hit. That bug has been there for almost 3 years now, and I just found out about it today.
7. Some client bugfixes.

All of the updates besides for the client bug fixes could have been done without a client update (the maps and new items could have been added using the autoupdate feature).

On an unrelated note, our previous host e-mailed me and said that our site didn't cause the problems. Turned out to be a server missconfiguration. He asked us if we want to come back, but now we already made the arangements to move the website to a dedicated machine in France, and even though we will pay twice as much, we'll have unlimited bandwidth, which means we can put the downloads on our own site as well.

22 August 2006


Currently our website is down, the host disactivated it complely.
It seems that there were too many requests that were still killing the server. I have no idea what is causing that. It is possible that it was a DoS attack, in which case we will have to do some IP filtering in the firewall.
Right now, we'll be using Learner's server to host our website, and later on we'll move it on the new dedicated server when it's done.
If everything goes well, our site should be up and running again by tonight.

Maintaining the status quo

Sometimes running a MMO is not only about adding new stuff, but taking care so that the current stuff works, and works good.

For example, for some unknown reason, our forums were taking an unreasonable amount of CPU time, and we tracked the problem to the MySQL server, but it might run deeper than that.
Either way, our host asked us to shut it down, because it was killing all the sites on that machine. Currently the forums are down, but Learner will put them on his machine in a few hours, and later on, when the new dedicated server is available, we will move the whole site there. We expect to be able to do so in a week or less.

Just like the game server, the web server will also be in France, but in a different data-center, and hosted by a different company. The good thing is that we have unlimited bandwidth for a flat fee of about 50 USD/month, which is very reasonable.

Soon after that, we will have to move the game server as well, from one machine to another, on the same data-center. The new server will be a dual P4 Xeon, 3 GHZ, 1GB RAM. So much better than the dual P3 1 Ghz that we are using now.
This in itself is a pretty complex operation, because we will have to set it up in such a way that we can have more than 1024 connections from the same process.
So a lot of work and tests will be needed.

And this are only the technical problems, the human problems are constant and more overwhelming. Who said it isn't fun to run a MMO?

20 August 2006

Back home

The trip was quite nice, except for the getting there and comming back part.
We had 3 flights each direction, and our first flight was late, which caused us to miss the other two flights. Fortunately they arranged an acceptable replacement, and we were delayed only two hours in total.
When we came back, we didn't miss any flight, although I will never again fly with Air France. Even if they pay me to fly with them. The flight was delayed for more than 1 hour because of their inability to count the passangers. They thought they were missing someone, but when they counted for the 4th time, they realized they didn't miss anyone. I guess they should get some abacus or something.

One other problem was that I couldn't smoke in or betwqeen the first two flights, which made me extremly irrated. I had a nicotine withdrawal, and I tried to eat some tabacco, which helped a little, but not quite enough. Next time I will get some nicotine patches or something.

We went to the Black Sea, and the weather was pretty nice, but I was a little bit dissapointed because it was way too crowded. Next year, I will go to some different place.
We also went and visited 'Dracula's castle', which would be the Bran Castle. It has nothing to do with Dracula, but hey, who am I to disagree with the Western Mythology?
On that trip we visited some old fortress as well, where I managed to drop my cellphone and it got fucked in the process (the screen cracked :/)
I will not get a PDA/Cellphone hybrid again, because you can break two toys at once. If it were only a cellphone, it would have survived the drop, but because it was a PDA with a touchscreen, the screen cracked, due to not being properly enforced.

Now that we are home, we have to work on EL, as usually. I hope to get this update done as soon as possible, and have to see if the sound bug has finally been fixed or not.
One other thing I have to do is move the website, because our host complained that our forums take way too much CPU time, so we have to get a dedicated server. Our game host suggested us a dedicated hosting service in France, which is about 50 USD/month, with totally unlimited transfer. I don't think we can get any better offer than that.
And speaking of servers, we will more than likely get a dual P4 Xeon 3 Ghz for the game server, but will have to see how much it will cost. Hopefully less than 1K USD (that's a scrap machine that someone is throwing away).

Later on I will post some nice pictures of our trip.