Welcome to Crestfall Gaming

Register now to Crestfall Gaming. Once registered and logged in, you will be able to contribute to this site by submitting your own content or replying to existing content. You'll be able to customize your profile, receive reputation points as a reward for submitting content, while also communicating with other members via your own private inbox, plus much more! This message will be removed once you have signed in.


  • Content count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Everything posted by Darkrasp

  1. Good evening, I suppose by now pretty much everyone is up to speed on the latest drama, and I want to clear up a couple things immediately. I can state unequivocally that neither Asura or myself, nor any of the beta team, had any idea about what was happening at Elysium. For myself, I have completely ignored their staff chat for weeks, and concerned myself exclusively with our beta and development of the Benediction emulator. I found out about it because I was hanging out with the team and watching Nogar stream a BWL run when their servers went down. I messaged Asura's cellphone to let him know; he was getting ready for bed at the time. Despite having worked in proximity to the involved personages for years, we did not have any suspicions that this was going on. Frankly I never really cared what was going on at Elysium, so I never asked. I don't know how long it's been happening for, or when it started. Maybe it was irresponsible of us not to pay more attention, but we've had our blinders on and been focused on our own development work - not the day-to-day of the Elysium live realms. As far as development of our emulator goes, we have no intention of stopping, but we do have a number of details to attend to. So, obviously we're disappointed with all this. It was unexpected, to say the least. I'll mention now that for the time being we've pulled our association with the Elysium project, and continue to develop on our own. Furthermore all Elysium staff have been removed from the Beta team, including Crogge. Because Crogge was the systems administrator, this means that we have a lot of administrative issues to work out. We need a new host for our Beta realm, code repository, etc. More importantly, we no longer have a Russian owner to keep the B wolves from the door, so we have to consider our options in terms of hosting and ownership from a legal perspective. Our developers will still be able to work locally, but we will be closing down the official Beta realm, and potentially these forums, until we can sort out a number of ownership questions. Neither Asura nor myself are willing to accept the risk and responsibility of ownership at this time, therefore the possibility is open for another merger/partnership, name change, etc. None of that has been decided, but all options are on the table right now so I'm just putting it out there. I have tomorrow off work, so I will be talking to Asura and the rest of our team members, most of whom have already gone to bed. We'll start banging out a plan of action going forward for our project. We have no intention of letting our work thus far go to waste, but it is important for us to maintain the integrity of our team and our project, and absolutely critical for us to limit our legal liability. We'll let you know when we have more information to share. If the forums are shut down, we will reach out through reddit/Discord with any critical updates.
  2. I'm utterly boggled by this comment. Normally I'd just eat the criticism and not respond, because as you mentioned, I don't like doing PR work, however this is blatantly untrue. You may have wished or assumed differently, but this has always been a hobby project. Every member of the team here is either a full time student or has full time employment. Crestfall is not, has not been, and will never be the number one priority for any of us. We're serious about launching the server when it's ready, but that doesn't mean we set deadlines or force people to work more than they want to. We made an effort to be more professional in our communications, and that resulted in Asura pretty much going quiet on the forums and reddit while I took over as the face of the project, but we never changed the way we develop and never intended to. Every time I invite someone to the beta team, I tell them up front that we run this on the Fight Club principle that you choose your own level of involvement. Beta testers have been made into scripters or developers because they wanted to contribute more. Hell, I started off as a researcher, not even a tester, and worked my way up to Core dev by virtue of being trustworthy and willing to learn new things. As long as progress is being made toward launching, I'm happy. I'm not checking time cards here, I'm just volunteering what marginal talents I have as I see fit. The people who contribute to this project, Asura, Niko and myself included, do so only as much as we want to. If I feel like taking a week off and painting instead of coding, then I'm going to do that, and I genuinely don't give a crap about "but muh deadlines!!!!". If Niko doesn't want to introduce himself to the community, he's under no obligation to do so. That's his choice. Our most recent update to the test realm, just over a week ago, had over 500 new fixes on it from a half dozen devs. Despite all the mess of the latest scandal, not a single team member, not even a single beta tester, has even expressed concern about the future of the project, much less walked away. This isn't a business, nor will it ever be one, but that doesn't mean that nobody is working or that nothing is getting done. It's just getting done on our timetable, which doesn't have a deadline on it.
  3. Our options for mergers, partnerships and new ownership are still all on the table. We aren't going to make any decisions right now, but rather just keep working on our own for a while and examine our options when we are closer to being ready for Open Beta. We've had a number of groups and individuals reach out to us, all of whom have gotten the same response. As far as financing goes, we can afford to cover all the costs of development prior to an official release announcement. We have not accepted any money from anyone thus far, and we will not do so until we are required to scale up our operations for public use. We intend that our financial situation and gamemaster logs will be very transparent. Regarding the forums, it is an inevitability that they will be shut down and relocated, as they are currently still hosted by Crogge. We are making an effort to archive the content which may or may not be possible to restore on a new host. We'll do our best but no promises.
  4. Good evening, This post should be a quick one, as I suspected it was a bit of a rough go the last couple weeks for me due to work. Late shift eats up pretty much all my free time, plus I had a wedding to attend, among other junk (cough cough D:OS2 cough). Also Asura is away for three weeks, one week on a business trip and then two weeks back in the States visiting family. Even so, I did manage to get a couple things done. I got the mob AI correctly ignoring targets with knockout, sleep, and some stun effects on them. What this means is basically that if a mob gouges your tank, it will turn to the next highest threat person if one is available. Certain stuns work the same way, like Chromaggus' Time Lapse, among others, even though they don't break on damage. I showed a video of that last post but the mob was all twitchy, so if you rewatch that video and ignore the twitching, that's how it works now. With some feedback from the testers we found that mobs were not using their interrupts quite correctly. Basically a mob with a kick, pummel, shield bash etc. ability would hold their interrupt until their target is casting, then immediately attempt to interrupt the spell. However they would ignore other in-range casters and only watch their current target. We made a small change that will allow them to interrupt any nearby valid target that is casting. Now things will be a little bit worse for groups whose healers or casters are poorly positioned, or for tanks who try to kite a mob through a group of players. Thanks to coolmodi for doing that video, btw. We've also got dozens if not hundreds of database fixes spread out across the whole dev and scripting team. All kinds of stuff, again, creature spells, quest scripts, droprates, etc. The biggish news from my perspective is that I got write access to the code repositiory and remote access to the beta realm, so that I can push changes and updates to the repo and beta realm. It's useful since Asura is away on business a lot now, so this way we don't have to go long stretches without updates. I'm still getting the hang of all that but it's fairly straightforward. I've asked all the scripters and the database team to have their patches to me by Thursday with the intention of updating the beta realm on Friday. Once that bit of work is done, we'll also be bringing on yet another scripter, Cragus. I'm thinking we'll add a new scripter every two weeks or so until either we run out of volunteers or we run out of scripts to write. I'm working on a couple other things currently that I hope to have done soon. One is an expansion to the scripting engine so that scripters can force fail a quest. Right now the only way a quest can fail is if it is a timed quest and the timer runs out, but we need to be able to have it fail if, for example, an escort NPC is killed. I wrote that up, it works, but I want Asura to review it before I submit it since I haven't messed with the Lua engine before. Another thing I'm working on is a database change with a new handler for disjunctive quest conditions. For example there is an early Human quest where you have to explore a mine, and there are two different area triggers you can hit that will complete the condition. Right now since both are in the database, it requires you to hit both of them, when it should be just one or the other. So I'm basically considering how to handle the "either this trigger OR that trigger" condition. Got some ideas that I think will work, but I just haven't had time to sit down and code them. The last thing currently in progress is some new handling for auras which modify your health by a percentage. There's some weird math in there, a bunch of stuff doesn't work at all, etc. I've got it mostly working but some weird stuff is happening on login/logout so there's something either missing or out of sequence when characters are being loaded. Again, it's just a matter of finding the time to do it. Once I've applied everyone's patches and updated the beta realm, that's probably my first priority. I don't want to drag this out so I'll leave it there for now. My next blog post will be Monday, October 16th. Talk to you soon, and thanks again for your continued interest in Crestfall.
  5. Edit: The volume levels in the video clips are all over the place. I apologize for that, they were taken as I was working on the mechanics in question, and I wasn't paying attention to the volume. The third one regarding skinning is super loud, so headphone users be forewarned. I'll pay more attention to volume next time. Good afternoon, A busy couple of weeks around here, had some time off so lots of work getting done. We've been expanding our DB team and are happy to welcome Coolmodi as a database dev and scripter. He's already set up and contributing fixes. We've also expanded the beta tester pool again and brought in a few more testers. We're going through a lot of content presently, writing quest scripts, adjusting drop rates, adding in missing quest items, correcting npc abilities, etc. Most of that work is relatively simple database work. Adjusting a spell's implicit target, correcting typos, or handling issues from earlier parses. I'll give a couple examples, with video, even. A spell's implicit target is how the core decides how a spell affects units when it is cast. Obviously a spell is targeted in a specific way, whether it's your current target (Kick), yourself (Frost Armor), all friendlies in an area (Tranquility), or a target destination (Rain of Fire). There are around 50 different ones in vanilla, TBC adds another 20ish. This implicit target is a property of the spell itself, hardcoded into the client dbc files. Part of what the core does is interpret this data and include handlers for each of those target types so that when something wants to target "EFF_TARGET_INVISIBLE_OR_HIDDEN_ENEMIES_AT_LOCATION_RADIUS", it can find the correct units. We run into some problems with this where the implicit targets of a spell don't really mesh with how our handlers work, so we have to override them. This is most commonly an issue on Triggered spells. One we had a problem with was Lash, which is an attack spell used by raptors that hits you for damage and makes you drop your weapon. Blizzard did it a little different than usual, where instead of directly disarming the player by giving Lash a disarm effect targeted at "Current Target", they instead "Trigger" a new spell on the player called Dropped Weapon. This new spell is a debuff that sits on the player that disarms the target, and it's target type is "Self". The issue is that the triggered spell is inheriting the original caster, so the disarm effect is going back on the raptor that cast the spell in the first place. Which doesn't matter that much because they have no weapon anyways, but it's wrong and it looks stupid, so we fix that by overriding the implicit target of the triggered spell from Self to Current. Changing how triggered spells work will break all kinds of stuff, and this only affects a handful of spells, so we just solve it with the override. Another spell that works this way is actually the teleport spells to go up and down from Archmage Xylem's tower in Azshara. The NPCs cast the teleport spells on you when you complete the repeatable quests they offer, but it was behaving very badly, teleporting the NPCs around instead of the player, or having no effect at all, again due to inherited caster GUIDs from the spell trigger. We switch around the implicit targets, and we get a nice clean teleport, like so. Another content issue we frequently see is a loot issue caused by how we parsed quest items. Basically certain quest items aren't dropping because they aren't flagged as quest items and got missed when I did the loot database rebuild. It applies to quests where you have to do things like this: go kill a mob, get a key, open a chest, take an item from the chest, and return the item to a questgiver. In this case, the item you had to return to the questgiver was properly flagged as a quest item, since it is the requirement of the quest, however that key was not flagged, and so was never entered into the table. There aren't too many of these, and a lot of them are already fixed, but it's still something that crops up now and then. There are also a couple of quests with funky prerequisites that got adjusted, like this guy here. Aside from that, scripting of quests, and correction of typos, or adding missing abilities to NPCs. That's all being done database side. Soulson also submitted a huge patch updating patrol route waypoints for hundreds of creatures so that's also getting nicer. Core side, I've written another half dozen patches. First one is implementation of a weighted vertical component to aggro range. Previously we were using the 2D distance formula for calculating aggro range with a line of sight check, meaning you couldn't aggro if you didn't have LoS, but if you were flying over enemies 100 yards above them, they would still aggro on you. Clearly that's wrong. Watched a bunch of retail stuff and I'm pretty satisfied with the current formula, a 3D rangefinder that weights vertical distance more heavily than horizontal, so you should be safe standing on ledges above enemy units. I didn't take video of this one. You'll have to take my word for it. I did a patch that corrected a bug with skinning where it rejected you from skinning anything but a beast. Some dumb hardcoded check, I have no idea why it was there. Now it correctly just checks to see if the creature CAN generate skinning loot, and if it can, it lets you skin it. Now you can skin dragonkin and silithids and whatever else. Hooray! Next up was a quick fix for humanoids that DON'T drop gold. Similar to the last bug, there was a hardcoded thing that was an error prevention mechanism, if a humanoid creature seemed to be "missing" a money entry in the database, it would randomly generate money for it based on level. Unfortunately this meant that humanoids that are not supposed to drop gold, did, because their zero was misinterpreted as "missing data". I got rid of that override and we'll trust the testers to notify us if any humanoids come along that aren't dropping the money they should. Did a quick patch to give testers access to a few more GM commands for quest testing and reviving. I'm waiting for review on a patch that fixes a major issue with the Haste aura. It works fine, just want to make sure I've done it correctly so I'm letting Asura check it out first. Basically for this one, the formula we were using for attack speed increases/decreases was incorrect. If you think of a mob with a 2.0 attack speed, that's one attack per 2000 milliseconds. If they get a 100% slow, their attack timer should change to 4000, and they'll attack half as fast. If they get a 100% haste, their attack timer would go to 1000, and they would attack twice as fast. What was happening instead was that the percentage was being applied as a percentage of the delay.. So basically 100% haste would remove 100% of the delay, mobs would have a 0.0 attack speed, and they'd rip out attacks literally as fast as the core could process it. This was turning Mor'ladim into an absolute wrecking ball when he cast Enraging Memories. It was actually pretty funny to see him instantly destroy anything that got into his melee range, but obviously that had to be fixed. On the other hand, if a mob got an ability that halved it's attack speed, like Scarlet/Crimson paladin-type mobs that cast Divine Shield, their attack speed would go into a divide-by-zero situation and immediately crash the server. So, good job us, we're stupid, but hey, it's fixed now. Didn't take a video of this one either, though maybe I should so you can see how hilarious instagib Mor'Ladim is. Lemme know if you want and I'll attach one later, I'm short on time atm. What I'm working on now is a change to stuns and targeting. If you played retail you'll notice that mobs will tend to ignore targets that are crowd controlled when there are other targets available which are not disabled. This applies to some kinds of crowd control but not all, even some kinds of the same kinds of crowd control. For example, a mob which uses a sleep or a knockout will always turn to a non-disabled target if one is available. However, stuns are 50/50, some do cause the Ignore, and some do not. I got a working implementation of this but it's a bit wonky, the targeting is going strange and the mob is all twitchy, so I'm working on that still. Hopefully I get that done soonish. I'm working the late shift at work the next few days so I won't have a lot of time to do much other than sleep and earn my pay. Beyond that, a few hundred db fixes for loot, creatures, etc. No big stuff there. Pvt.8Ball has been pouring over loot templates to get potion/scroll/gem/bag/lockbox etc. droprates all tidied up, so kudos to him for taking that on. So, progress being made, we're chugging along. Probably going to add another scripter after the next update cycle to continue speeding things up. I gotta go run some errands now so I'm out of here. My next post will be Monday, October 2nd. That's all for now. As always, feel free to ask questions or leave comments below. Talk to you soon, and thanks again for your continued interest in Crestfall.
  6. It stuns you for a couple seconds with like a mana shield visual effect, then warps you up. Same thing on the way down. Afaik that's all the visual you get.
  7. Whitekidney isn't in charge. He doesn't make the rules, and he has zero say over the Crestfall realms. As far as I'm aware, the Benediction realms will be running with a ban on VPN connections. Unless it comes from Crogge and specifically says it applies to us, it doesn't apply to us.
  8. Good evening, Alright, so it's been a few weeks since my last post. My backpacking trip was pretty good. Rained a lot, but we still had a good time. Nice to get away from the 9 to 5 anyways. Since getting back we've been pounding out a lot of work. We brought in another ten beta testers and got rid of a couple inactive ones. The new testers are settling in well and churning out a lot of content reports. More than enough to keep us busy for the time being. We now have three scripters working away on writing quest and event scripts, and plans to bring on a couple more soon-ish. The ones we have now have identified a few things they want added to the scripting system so Asura is working on those changes. I've spent a lot of time with the new testers getting them set up with what they need, but I have to give credit to the existing beta team, who have been amazing with helping the new people get comfortable and productive. For myself, since coming back I've submitted four core patches and a couple database updates. The new reports coming in are mostly database related so I've been tackling the loot-related issues. If the backlog gets too big I'll assist with some of the other ones as well, but I'm hoping that Nogar will be able to push through those and leave me to core work. So, my core patches for this week have been a patch that fixed a problem with the level of Guardians when they get summoned, a fix for an issue with spell damage penalties, the big absorb patch that fixed four issues with absorbs, and implementation of the Daze mechanic when getting hit from behind. Also a one-line fix to correct a typo that prevented mobs from getting tagged, but since that literally took 2 minutes I don't really count that as a fix. First thing, Guardians. This is a type of summoned creature that has a specific duration and "belongs" to the summoner. The limited duration distinguishes it from a pet, and the ownership distinguishes it from a "wild" summon. A "wild" summon is a creature that gets summoned and then behaves entirely independently with no connection to the summoner. Some examples of Guardians are like.. the Compact Harvest Reapers summoned by the goblins in the foundry in Deadmines, or the Frost Spectres summoned by the last boss in RFD. Players can also summon guardians, typically through using items like the Dog Whistle from Houndmaster Locksey, the Mechanical Yeti, or the Barov Peasant Caller. These spells work differently for players and creatures. A creature-summoned guardian typically matches the level of the creature that summoned it (with some exceptions - Morganth's minions are actually 3 levels above him), while guardians summoned by players also match the summoner level, but only to a maximum, defined by the level of the item itself. So a Scarlet Tracking Hound will max out at level 35, a Mechanical Yeti will max out at level 58, etc. I wrote up a patch that does this, Asura took it and made a few modifications, and I think it's done now. The spell damage penalty patch has to do with spells below level 20 getting their spelldamage coefficient scaled down. There was an issue with some new code that caused ALL damage to get scaled down instead of just the bonus damage. It's a little more complicated than you might think because if you have mods that increase spell damage by a percentage, that applies to both the initial and bonus damage, where this penalty only applies to the bonus. Anyways, little bit of reordering required but nothing major. The absorb patch was a little more complicated because it had to fix four problems with absorbs. First we had to research the actual correct implementation of them. There was some argument over whether they were a simple First-On-First-Off system or if they would eat school-specific buffs before moving on to general buffs. It was proven through video evidence that First-On-First-Off is the correct method (excluding Mana Shield - more on this later). Imbaslap found a Sapphiron video from a mage perspective where he pops Ice Barrier, then Frost Ward, and the Ice Barrier is removed before the Frost Ward when the only damage being taken is from the frost aura. Our system was already set up to work that way, so that was good, no problem there. However, a typo and a missing increment meant that popping Ice Barrier put the server into an infinite loop, effectively crashing it. That was the easiest fix. Second problem was the removal of absorb auras when they were used up. Basically we keep a running tally of how many points of absorb are left in each buff you have, but we weren't actually removing the aura when they ran out. They'd stop working, and you would take damage, but it would LOOK like you still had Ice Barrier, or Power Word: Shield, or whatever, on your character. Fixing that involved building a list of each "empty" absorb and then removing all the used up auras at the end of the damage calculation. Third problem was Mana Shield, which is annoying because it's a special snowflake. In Vanilla, Mana Shield was only capable of absorbing physical damage, and after some patch, I think 1.11, it would always be the LAST absorb used. We had some handling for this but it was incorrect. Basically the absorb would check to see if you had anything other than Mana Shield and take from that, then it would take from Mana Shield. Which sounds right, except that it was missing the part that zeroed out what was left over, so the same amount of damage that got removed by Ice Barrier would ALSO get eaten by Mana Shield. Took a little while to actually figure that out, but it ended up only needing one line to fix. Last problem was that due to a typo in some code that was shuffled around recently, physical attacks would actually run through the absorption code twice. While they wouldn't do any additional damage to your health, they ate through shields twice as fast. That one was also a one-line fix that just took a little while to find. Final fix was the implementation of Daze when being hit from behind by mobs. Pretty interesting formula for this one. Turns out Ascent already had a function for it, but it was kinda sloppy, the code was dated, and it wasn't actually called from anywhere else so it was just sitting around unused. I tuned it up to make it more efficient and self-contained and put it into the autoattack code. Tested and working beautifully. Alright, so that was my week. I just wanted to point out something quickly that came up in conversation with, and while getting reports from, our new beta testers. We get asked a lot about the loot tables and drop rates. I spend quite a bit of time checking over them, largely because a primary source used by people is the vanilladb page, which is notoriously unreliable. I've talked before about how they show clam meat dropping from all kinds of creatures, among other weirdnesses caused by incorrect reporting from the wowhead client if you have a creature targeted while you open a container. That's one thing and most people know about that by now. The bigger problem with vanilladb is their quest item drop rates, and I think this has a lot to do with why levelling on private servers is so trivial compared to how it was on retail. I'm going to give just a few examples of this so you can see what I mean in a moment, but basically we get a question where they might think a drop rate is set too low, or that they're only getting 25% on something when vanilladb says it should be 80%. First off, vanilladb has a thing about setting virtually all quest item drops to either 80% or 100%. Our quest drop database was parsed back in TBC and I've gone through and manually adjusted a lot of it, taking data from archived pages, comments, and in some cases, common sense. Very few quest items have a high drop rate, especially in Vanilla. I know that in some cases the drop rates are reported low due to items not dropping for people who aren't on the quest, but at the same time, people who aren't on the quest aren't typically grinding those mobs, either. Not while levelling, anyways, obviously high level mobs are a different story, but we can look at STV as a pretty good example of some issues. I'll show two of them so you can see what I mean. First up, Split Bone Necklaces. We can see here the vanilladb page showing the drop rates for them: Meanwhile, the comment section from Wowhead, dating back to TBC, has the following remarks: Forgive the sloppy red lines, I'm using the same images I was using earlier to explain this in our beta chat. I think you get the point though. Clearly it should take quite a while to grind these items out, it shouldn't be nearly a lock to get one off every troll. Our database has this item set to roughly 20%, in accordance with our old parse, tidied up by myself to round off the 18.52142 etc. Next up, we'll have a look at the quest Mok'thardin's Enchantment: Hm, from that quest text, it seems like they should be pretty rare and at least somewhat difficult to get. Let's have a look at the comments and see what the experience of players from retail was on getting them: Yikes. I bet vanilladb has the droprate set pretty low, then. Let's check it out: 100%. Well, I guess that certainly simplifies the process and gets you levelling faster. We're going with a more Blizzlike 3%. So yeah. The point is that we've gone to great lengths to really recreate the experience of playing Vanilla WoW here. Yes, it has taken us a long time to get this far, but we're really not overlooking any details. We're pushing through reports and writing content every day. The new testers are enthusiastic and busy. Alright, it's started to thunderstorm here and I may lose power. I want to get this posted before that happens so I'll wrap this up right now. My next blog post will be on Monday, September 18th. As always, feel free to leave comments or ask questions below. Talk to you soon, and thanks again for your continued interest in Crestfall. Edit: Reposted on Elysium forums here.
  9. Problem solved.
  10. Odds that you are going to get a release date are pretty slim. In fact, I'm just going to go ahead and say we are not going to give out a release date on Monday. Nor will we give a release date before we are confident we can keep to it. I think this horse has been beaten to the point that I sometimes feel like CF is turning into my own personal Raskolnikov's Dream, but once again, we don't make promises here. This is a hobby project and any timeline we give out is an estimation based on current progress at that time. We're breaking in a new developer and Asura is scaling back his involvement, so the situation now is a lot different than it was even two or three months ago. Obviously our own expectations are changing all the time, and no, we don't feel a need to communicate every little delay or decision to the community because that's the kind of shit that stirs the reddit toiletbowl into a stinking, nasty tornado that I'm beyond tired of dealing with. We'll see how things go as Niko is brought up to speed, and once we see how much he will be contributing to development and how the new dynamic plays out with Asura in a non-leadership role, we'll be better able to assess timelines. Simply put, we're more interested in making progress than we are in reporting that progress, and that attitude isn't likely to change anytime soon.
  11. Good evening, Between my vacation and the sheer quantity of PR nonsense I've had to deal with, plus sifting through applications and picking the next batch of beta testers, I haven't got much actual work done on the realm over the last two weeks. I'm postponing this blog post one week, so we'll pick back up on Monday, September 4th and we can do a review of our progress then. Thanks and talk to you soon.
  12. Context for bans, this is the nature of the posts that we deleted: As much fun as the pity party has been, I'd really enjoy not having to come on here and deal with nonsense like this, so if we can keep it civil that would be great.
  13. That's quite enough. Couple bans going out and the topic is getting locked.
  14. Good evening, Another two weeks passed. We're still plugging away but not that much has been going on. Asura has been busy with IRL stuff and hasn't had much time for code review or getting done a lot of the stuff we wanted to get done. We're currently looking at ways to address that and speed things back up, when we get something figured out we'll make an announcement, whether it's moving around some people, bringing on new people, or something more.. radical. In any case, when we know, you'll know. Also, it's partly my fault; I've been lazy and spent a bunch of time playing Path of Exile with a buddy from work. Got bored of that pretty quick though. After you finish A10 the game is literally just an endless treadmill with no purpose whatsoever. Waste of a week, imo. I regret it now. So I'm still waiting on patches to be approved and for a core push. In the meantime, we're still getting some small things done. Nogar has been dilligently scripting away and is presently working on the Undead starter areas. He asked me for some help the other day with an interesting problem for the quest The Dormant Shade. There aren't a whole lot of quests like this in the game.. basically it's something we refer to as a subquest.. which is a quest only available while you're another quest. In this one, the big quest is to go get some candles from a box, use the candle on a table which then summons an NPC and kill that NPC to complete the quest. Blizz were a bit funky with it though and made using the candle on the table into it's own subquest. It's one of those quests that you don't have to accept, you just have the candle, walk up to it, and hit Complete. A script condition summons the NPC when that quest is completed. The trouble is with those quests that you don't have to Accept. Hmm.. another example is like, turning in Marks of Honor from battlegrounds after the first one. You just walk up to the NPC with the stuff in your inventory, talk to them, and hit "Complete" in the bottom of the dialog box. Little bit of background on that system, the dialog box is a constructed packet sent to the client by the server. The packet contains a bunch of information, and there are three or four different ones. One is the "Quest Details", which is basically the mob saying what they want, (displays the Details text) and giving you the option to "Accept" or "Cancel". If you accept, then you accept the quest and the dialog box closes. The second one is the "Request Items" version, which is where it shows the Progress text and checks to see if the player has the required items/conditions for that quest. If they do, it gives them the option to "Continue" (which takes those items, and moves along to the Offer Reward packet), or cancel. If they don't meet the completion requirements, it greys out the Continue option. The third one is the "Offer Reward" version, which shows the completion text and offers the reward for the quest. The player options are "Complete" or Cancel. Completing marks the quest as done and gives the player whatever reward is called for. So the trouble is with quests that go straight to the Offer Reward section, but also require items. The Offer Reward page doesn't actually check to see if the player has anything, or remove the items - that's done by the Request Items dialog, so we can't go straight to that. The Request Items dialog doesn't work either because hitting "Continue" in this case doesn't have anywhere to go to. It bugs out because it's looking for quest details that don't exist, since the player never actually accepted the quest in the first place. I spent a few hours on this one and the best conclusion I can come to is that either there is some alternate version or way of building of one of these packets that just isn't documented, or there's a whole different packet that I don't know about. We got it working by displaying a blank details page for now, so you have to accept it and then complete it. It's not a huge deal, it's two extra clicks, but it's kind of annoying. We can also just bypass the subquest entirely by careful scripting of the framing quest. Either way, it's playable, but not perfect. I've been meaning to ask Asura about it but haven't been able to catch up with him. I'll take another stab at that once the boss has had a look. The other thing I've been working on is absorb mechanics. Asura recently rewrote the whole absorb system and it's not working perfectly yet. I'm pretty sure his method is fine, but it's behaving a little strange so there is something off in the procedure. First problem was just a typo that caused the server to go into an infinite loop and crash whenever I cast Ice Barrier. Thanks to some help from Cragus we nailed that one pretty quickly, and now I'm onto the strange behavior. Basically when you get an absorb buff applied to you, there's a dynamic list of absorbs attached to your character that it gets pushed onto. When you take damage, it iterates through that list in order and figures out if that spell is capable of blocking the school of damage in question. If so, it pulls from that shield first until it's gone. If there is still more damage, it moves onto the next shield, if one exists, until there are no shields left, at which point the rest of the damage is dealt to the player. The first problem is that when a shield runs out of "absorption points", the buff isn't actually removed. It doesn't work anymore, mind, damage goes through fine, but the aura still sits on the player until it times out, so that's one thing that needs fixing. The other problem is Mana Shield, specifically when used in conjunction with another absorb. Mana Shield has it's own goofy handling because it has to also do mana damage, which complicates things a little bit. It still counts as one of your absorbs in the list but is handled differently because it's a different aura type, and has some special handling in the absorption code after the rest of the stuff is dealt with. The result in-game is that Mana Shield works fine on it's own, but when used simultaneously with Ice Barrier or another shield, sometimes the Mana Shield buff is disappearing before it should, and I'm not certain why yet. Whether damage is incorrectly being applied to both Mana Shield and the other shield, or somehow shared between them, or some bizarre multiplier is happening, I don't know yet. I'll crack it shortly, it's not that big a deal. It's just what I'm working on presently so I figured I'd talk about it. Alright, I think that's enough for now. I'm working late shift the next two days, then going backpacking for a few more. I'll be in the woods for four days with no tech higher than a sharp knife, so I won't be around for the next week or so. Depending on what happens in the following week, I may or may not delay my next blog post depending on whether or not I have time to get anything of substance done after I get back. I'll let you know when I return, for now we'll say I'm going to keep the schedule and my next post will be Monday, August 28th, subject to change. As always, feel free to ask questions or leave comments below, and thanks again for your continued interest in Crestfall.
  15. Hey, it's me. Since Elicas is no longer here, I'm going to take over this time. I'm also going to shamelessly steal most of the header bit from his previous Q&A. All questions for this Q&A were taken from replies to the last Q&A post. As always, we'd like to remind you all that questions regarding a release date will be ignored and that Asura currently remains committed to a 2017 release. You will be the first ones to know about the release date as we approach it. There is currently no further news regarding the Open Beta release we are working towards. Please note that I'm going to suspend writing the Q&A posts until we get a new CM willing to take on the task. This takes a couple hours to write up and I'd rather spend that time on actual development. You can still ask questions, but I'm not going to set a timeline on when they will be answered right now. Without further ado, away we go: Does the recent Gummy server drama have any effect on Crestfall's plans? No. Does Crestfall intend to make a list of all the retail WoW changes you are implementing? No, but it's not a bad idea. I suppose it would probably be possible to draw something up. Might not be totally comprehensive but it wouldn't be a bad call to let people know of any custom changes we make and our reasoning behind them all in one place. It might be more of a personal question, but what do you guys think of the course that retail WoW has taken in general, and the Legion expansion in particular? Are there any good ideas or features somewhere along the way you'd be really excited to (re-)implement on Crestfall? I can't say I speak for the team on this one, but I'll answer from my own perspective. I think retail WoW has become an entirely different game, by an entirely different team, for an entirely different audience. The current team has made no bones about how their intention was to turn WoW into a fantasy-themed Candy Crush game. Anyone can play, microtransactions are omnipresent, and the purpose isn't to make a good game, but to squeeze as much money from it as possible. To that end they introduced "features" which made it easier and easier for players to play alone, to the point that you can now run full raids without having a single person on your friends list, or even being in a guild. They changed the itemization system from a dynamic and involved process where people theorycrafted, and eventually decided on which items were optimal for which specs, at what point crit is worth more than hit, or hit is worth more than spell damage, or how much itemization you need for stamina, etc., to one where "the upgrade to Sword +500 is Sword +501". All the itemization decisions have been removed from the game, character building is virtually automated and no thought needs to go into it. If I remember right, this came from the fact that so many items were being discarded because they were only good for a certain class or spec.. As legacy players, many of us are familiar with farming a raid and after a few weeks, melting a ton of gear just because nobody wants or needs it. In the new WoW, items rarely go to waste because they can be used by anyone, but at the same time, you lose the excitement of finally getting that drop you've been waiting for. The most fun thing for me about WoW was playing with friends. I was in four or five guilds over my time playing retail, and even though I quit in 2009, there are still a half dozen people I keep in touch with regularly. Nobody ever called each other by their character's names. Everyone was on a first name basis. Our guild ran two Karazhan runs in TBC, I was raid leading the "Red" team. The tanks were Greg and Ryan. My healers were Charles, James and Joey. The DPS was Rob, Trey, Joe, Christina and Me. Our alternates were Jenn and Tony. I still talk to most of them. The environment on a retail Vanilla/TBC server was radically different. Retail had population caps around 3000. You didn't see much of the other faction, you recognized guild tags of the top guilds and you'd know a few people who were top PVPers, or maybe specific rivals, but not many. Mostly you just saw your own faction. So cut that population in half, down to 1500. Some of those players would be in different time zones, or only played during the day. We did have a couple overseas guilds who played while I was asleep, or in school. So cut that population in half again, down to about 750. Now, you probably went to a school with that many kids. You weren't friends with all of them, but after a couple years you certainly recognize most of them. In WoW, that meant knowing who the good guilds were, who the bad guilds were, who the ninjas were, who you had to call to get a Lionheart Helm crafted, etc. There was a legit community, and the experience of getting to know all those people, joining a guild, doing dungeons and group quests and raids with the same people week after week built actual, lasting friendships. I enjoyed that aspect of the game far more than I enjoyed the game itself. For that reason, I don't particularly like the way WoW has gone. It's dumbed-down and antisocial where it used to be complex and communal. There's nothing about the later expansions that I would want to bring back into Vanilla. What would you do if, even after retuning, guilds find the content easy after launch? Or vice versa, how quickly would you nerf content if it was not being cleared? We don't intend to spend a lot of time on re-tuning content over and over after launch. If we undershoot with some bosses, then we undershoot. We don't want to go into funserver territory by making huge changes. Encounters that are clearly overtuned beyond any realistic means of defeating them would likely be hotfixed, though we think this is unlikely to occur. Making bosses into uber-challenge-mode encounters or significantly changing the fights is something we might try, but that would be done as a side-project unconnected to the main servers. Kind of like a special, temporary, tournament realm. Will add-ons like bigwigs and other raid add-ons become obsolete due to significant changes in raid encounters? They'll still be useful, but we do intend to modify ability timers, and make them more random, so they won't be as accurate. Will there be a /world channel or will chat be kept to specific zone or linked through cities? We aren't going to create or maintain a /world channel. If players decide to create a custom channel with this function, it will be up to them to moderate it - we aren't going to be the chat police. Gold selling/account selling aside, what happens in a private channel is private. If you don't like what you see in a private channel, leave it. How will you address AH botting and add-ons like auctioneer. I don't want to go into any detail on our proposed techniques because that would make it easier for botters to attempt coding work-arounds. More sophisticated anti-cheat leads to more sophisticated bots. That's just a fact. We do have a few ideas, but there's no point in giving the cheaters a heads up on how we plan to slow them down. Do you have any plans to police monopolizing like cartels/mafia? A lower population cap and randomizing of spawn locations for certain controllable resources should reduce the effectiveness of cartels. To an extent, this is metagame behavior and beyond our control, but there are some measures we can take that make domination of a resource significantly more difficult. These are likely to be dealt with post-launch, should the need arise. Any official information on how procs with weapons/totems/trinkets will work together and their official proc rates that you can share? I did a lot of exhaustive research, and I need once again to recognize the assistance of the community in doing so, that got a lot of proc rates out of old comments from the web. After that, I derived an itemization formula that let me basically break down itemization points and solve them for weapon DPS. Uhh.. it's complicated, but basically you can figure out how much DPS a proc should be "worth" on an item if it doesn't have a documented proc rate. If you know how much damage it does, and you know how much DPS it should be doing, you can easily determine how often it should proc based on the speed of that weapon. A weapon with 2.0 speed hits 30 times a minute. If it needs to proc 10 times per minute, then it's proc rate is going to be 33%. Mathemagical. I won't share the full list of proc rates simply because it was a lot of work and I don't want to give it away for free to every other realm. Armor set procs tend towards a flat 4 or 5%. Totems I think are around 20%, but don't quote me on that. I'm pretty sure they're fine anyways. On the PvE realm will PvP be flagged on during world boss encounters? We are considering this, and some more radical changes such as making the areas around those bosses into FFA-PVP zones, though it's unlikely that we'll actually make any custom changes of that nature. For now it's likely that they will stay Blizzlike. Will node spawns end up clustered around less trafficked areas, or will they be evenly spread around the map at all times? Our pooling system will work by having a group of nodes in an area, and then activating some number of those nodes at random, so for example, in a cave there might be 10 spawn locations for a Copper Vein, of which no more than 6 at a time can be active. Whenever one is harvested, a node is selected at random from the empty positions and queued up to spawn after the appropriate delay for that resource type. Furthermore, when a node spawns, it doesn't always spawn in the exact same location. The initial spawn point is a fixed set of coordinates, but the item is generated using the random movement generator, so basically we just set the initial possible location, and then the node can generate anywhere within say 15 yards of that point. Because it uses the pathfinding generator, we know that it spawn in a pathable location, so they shouldn't be spawning inside walls or under floors. It does mean that sometimes a node will appear in a slightly unblizzlike location, maybe out in the middle of a cave floor instead of along the walls, but we consider this worth the benefit of breaking glider bots that use a path of pre-set coordinates to harvest resources. This system is still in development, and will require a lot of work to build the database of shared pools. For that reason we anticipate this being implemented and worked on late in the beta process, and will likely require refining even after launch. We may also delay implementation until post-launch, or change the implementation, should it prove too time-consuming or complicated. Will all the RP-Stuff be well scripted? As much as possible, yes. A lot of it is already done. I'm sure there are things we have missed, but the world is pretty lively already and we will continue to work on it when we find missing events. Will custom channels be disabled or have limitations placed on them? We're not going to disable them, though we are considering putting a limit on how many people can join them. I don't know what that limit would be. Fifty people? Two hundred people? No idea. Very little discussion has been had on this topic and no final decisions have been reached. Custom chat channels, in our opinion, are a use-at-own-risk platform. We won't be moderating or monitoring them except for gold/account sellers. If you don't like what's on the radio, you don't have to listen to it - you can change the station, or turn it off. Same with private chat channels. Since it is possible to use an alt account in major cities, will that account be tied to the main account? And in fact, will there be separate game accounts under the "forum account"? We don't have any of this functionality at the moment. It's something we can investigate. We can already determine if accounts are being accessed from the same IP address, but we haven't tied this into the forums or any type of account management page. Where will the proxies be and how much will they affect my ping? We have not decided on final locations for the proxy servers yet. They cost money to set up and more money to maintain, so we will not activate them until right before launch. The effect they will have on your ping is going to vary greatly depending on where you are. We will provide more information on this prior to launch. Does Crestfall have the movement lag or "stutter" that affects a lot of other private servers? No. Alright that's all the questions for this round. As I mentioned, you can continue to ask questions, but we won't have another official Q&A post until we get a new CM willing to take up the job. We'll announce when that happens. Thanks again for your continued interest in Crestfall.
  16. I'd rather things not run off in wild speculation. Suffice to say it's a big deal, but not as big a deal as Crogge is making it sound. It wouldn't be fair for me to post something and then just take off for four days and not have anyone answer questions. We also need to bring the rest of the staff up to speed before we make it public. The announcement will come Sunday or Monday, once I'm back from backpacking.
  17. I asked you to stop. You didn't, so now I'm making you. Topic is closed. If this pops up again somewhere else I'm just going to start handing out "vacations". Keep your drama to yourselves or go flush it down the toilet of /r/wowservers where shit like that belongs.
  18. Good afternoon, I'm sure many of you have read the recent round of drama on wowservers. We had hoped that moving to silent development after the LGN fallout would allow us to move forward with our most dedicated, committed beta testers and focus purely on development. Obviously, someone wasn't on the same page as the rest of the team. Said post was clever. Just enough truth, twisted to be presented in the worst possible light (and mixed with some outright lies), in order to make things look significantly worse than what they are. So, to the truths from said post. Yes, around 15 people from the beta team have become inactive over the last 2-3 months. Yes, Ghostly is now 'leading' the testers. This isn't because Asura can't be bothered, but because we did learn from when Outstanding quit and decided to start delegating some of the responsibility to others. Yes, the dungeon/raid clustering node is currently switched off, we already know clustering works and aren't interested in working on that content at this time. Yes, we recently missed a deadline for Q&A 4. It's drafted, Asura got back from his business trip on Saturday and it is just waiting for review. It should be with you shortly: As you can see from when Q&A 3 was closed, we anticipated a delay because of Asuras business trip. This is not news to anyone who was paying attention to the forums. On to the meat of the matter: Bugged classes unfixed since January/February? True, and untrue. Class fixes have been a lower priority over resolving underlying mechanics like dodge chance calculations, pathing, and things of that nature, but they've been getting picked at, and are now a major focus. The last big push of class fixes was 11 days ago, which fixed about 200 broken player spells. Our first scripters have access to the scripting machine and are now active. It's behind schedule, but it is active. Soulson has some connection issues which are taking time to fix, hopefully those are resolved soon. Crogge is not, has never been, and will never be, a dev or a scripter on Crestfall. He handles hardware and the website behind the scenes, so as long as the machines are running, he's doing his job. He has also never threatened beta testers with removal from the project, aside from one time whe he did warn people to stop carrying on a personal vendetta on the Elysium forums which was reflecting badly on the Crestfall team. While many events remain to script, the 1-60 experience is far from unfinished. It is entirely possible to level 1-60 through every zone in the game and the majority of quests can be completed. Does this mean we're ready for release? No it doesn't, hence why we're still in beta and still have scripters working through the content polishing it. PvP has been informally tested throughout the project and is far from "completely" untested. A PvP-specific testing wave is planned to come in before open beta. We are completely rewriting this emulator using the Ascent framework. This isn't the hackfixed Mangos realms we've been used to for the last seven years. There are no band-aid fixes to get things to an approximation of blizzlike. We have completely torn out whole sections of code and written them from the ground up, in line with modern professional coding standards. This includes systems such as the spell attribute system, loot templates and profiles for every mob and boss in the game, the clustering system and many more. These haven't been patched over by a team working from a relatively modern Mangos release, they have been personally rewritten from scratch by our core and database devs. Testers have reported well over a thousand issues so far, and our fix rate is currently around 65%. That doesn't mean there aren't still more things to find, but it should show the percentage and how far we have moved along as a project. Currently, Asura is working on an in-depth debug system for testers in cooperation with Roadblock, who is building a custom addon that will feed more data back to the devs and allow testers to get detailed info on combat calculations. This gives testers unheard-of ability to scrutinize the internal workings of the code, and should help expose any remaining core bugs still undiscovered. Now, on to the accusations made against Asura personally: Regarding the slip to 2018, is it possible? Yes it is. Do we remain committed to trying to release this year? Yes we do. The moment we change the aim of our release from 2017 to 2018 we will let you know. It's basically a matter of things being done when they are done. This is a hobby project that we work on because we want to. Reality is, yeah, the project could probably be better managed, but this is the way we do it. Asura is the only one with the knowledge and expertise to run the show, not to mention that the entire project, from conception, was his idea. Maybe you don't like his style of leadership, but that's too bad. Maybe he's not the hero you deserve, but he's the one we need right now. We haven't been setting deadlines for our teams; we allowed people to contribute what they can, as they can, knowing that everything is building towards the final goal. When we state an estimated date for something, that means it's an estimate based on current progress, not a deadline we're setting for ourselves. Estimates change, and while some people seem to want that to indicate that nothing is being done, all it actually means is that "shit happened", whether that's real-life obligations, particularly difficult code rewrites, building additional debug functionality for testers, or just taking some time off to recharge. All of us, staff, testers, and the community at large, are volunteers here. We haven't asked for or accepted one dollar from the community. Crogge, Asura and Darkrasp have shouldered the entire cost of development (hosting and domains for these forums, the code repo, the beta realm, hardware and software for security, etc.) without blinking an eye. I stress: We do this because we enjoy it. The work, spending time with friends, the whole thing. This isn't a business, or a PR firm, or a government project.. it's a hobby. The only way we quit this is if it is no longer enjoyable, something a good chunk of our contemporaries seem dead-set on making it. Happily, we're perfectly content to tell them to screw off and keep on doing things our way, regardless. If you want this to be a professionally run and managed enterprise, you're in the wrong place. Go call up Viper and Daemon, if you can find them. Crestfall, by hook or by crook, is going to get finished, but it will be done on our terms. Period. All that said, we do recognize that the undisciplined approach we have been taking gives people hesitations as to our progress, since, although work is always being done, it's difficult to put that into any kind of a timeline or flowchart. This was intentional on our part, since, as a hobby project, we didn't want to be held to a deadline, making something that we should be enjoying into a source of stress. What we would like to do is develop a clear plan of attack, some sort of progress checklist where we can mark off items as being formally finished or in-progress. Due to the complex nature of what we're making, this list would be obviously be subject to changes, but at least it would give some sort of visual indication of progress, so the community can actually see what's being tested, what's being worked on, and what's finished. This will take some time to assemble, and we're not completely certain how exactly to set it up for display yet, but we feel it will be a useful way to keep the community in touch with what is happening and allow you to see that yes, things are getting done, and yes, we are moving towards release. We had envisioned and started building a number of tools that would somewhat automate this process, so we'll be investigating exactly what would be required to integrate those into something publicly visible, to determine how much time that would take and whether or not the outcome justifies the delay. In the meantime, we wish to do at least a little bit of a return to our roots, and begin engaging with our community again more frequently. While our forum schedule will remain largely the same, we have reopened the public discord and invite you to join us. This will be a little bit of a distraction for us, but we feel it's an important part of building the realm and worth the time investment. In order to keep things to a manageable level for us, we are interested in selecting a few additional mods/CMs to assist with management of the public discord. Interested applicants should message Darkrasp on the forums. Further to that, we will also be adding some additional beta testers to replace the few who left recently. So, in conclusion, and we thank you for sticking around long enough to read this wall of text, our team is still motivated and still producing. Our intention in scaling back our communication with the community was to avoid drama and be able to work faster with less distraction, however the lack of communication seems to be driving too much doubt about our project. We're trying to find a balance point that allows us to maintain our communication without compromising too much on lost development time. It's also important for us to restate that this is a project we do as a hobby; we do it because we enjoy it, and we won't be pressured into making promises or holding ourselves to deadlines. We are committed to releasing, but we won't release garbage. This is going to be done, and it's going to be done right. We thank you very much for your patience, your understanding, and of course, your continued interest in Crestfall.
  19. Not liking the way this is going. Don't make this stuff personal. Only warning.
  20. We're actively avoiding hype at the moment. That Alpha Preview took a huge expenditure of time to create. Hours to pick what features to showcase, hours to get the footage, hours to decide on and create the logo, writing the text, rewriting the text, figuring out how long we wanted the whole video, figuring out how long each feature should be on for, cutting out footage, going back to get more footage, then actually doing the editing. Then finding mistakes and having to go back and do things over again. We're a very small team and none of us specialize in video production, so it's very time consuming for us. Right now we feel that time is better spent on development. As far as building hype up, we're actively trying NOT to build hype. As Rawne mentioned, hype gets us more page views on the forums, sure, but it also gets more trolls on the forums, and more drama on reddit/Discord, more attacks from other private servers, and more junk mail from Activision. A whole lot of nonsense that none of us want to spend time dealing with, especially with so much work left to do. I get about 10-20 hours per week of free time to spend working on CF. Writing a blog post is roughly 2 hours. Filling out the Q&A is roughly 2 hours. Browsing the forums and responding to threads like this, you guessed it, roughly two hours. The more PR I do, the less coding I do. As a junior dev, my time isn't nearly as valuable as Asura's time is, which is why I'm the one doing these things instead of him. When things get out of hand and he has to deal with them personally, that really slows the project down. For that reason, we're still trying to keep things on the down-low for the time being. More videos will come, but not until we're closer to release.
  21. 1) Auctioneer should still work, at least mostly work anyways. Might be some limitations, but we don't intend to ban or entirely break the addon at this point. Don't want to get into specifics at this time. 2) More random. Call it un-Blizzlike if you want, you also didn't have 1.12 talents during patch 1.4 on retail either. 3) We don't have a huge team or unlimited time, so the vast majority of custom changes that people request are ignored or discarded. When we decide on how something will work, the topic is typically closed. People are welcome to make suggestions, but there are plenty of things they're just going to have to live with. We are very aware of the dangers of entering the custom changes rabbit hole. We don't make a lot, and the ones that we do are for specific reasons. 1) It's an anti-griefing measure. As I said, we're unlikely to make any changes like this unless it's becoming a serious problem. 2) The idea is to release content at first in a highly buffed state to give the tryhards a challenge, and then tune it back so other guilds can catch up, much like what Blizzard did on retail. 3) It will be one difficulty for everyone, but that difficulty will change over time. 4) Probably not going to happen, though we may seek community input when it comes time to tune down the encounters. 5) I have my own question: Why do you put a space between the end of your sentence and the question mark? 1) As long as someone scripts it, yes. Our scripting engine will support it. 2) Yes.
  22. Locking this thread now so I can start putting together the answer post.
  23. Good evening, I forgot about this update, so it's already very late. I'll try to keep it short so I can get to bed at a reasonable time. First the other guys, Asura's been working on a ton of stuff, we've been making a push to get our TBC realm alpha-ready, so he's been working on a bunch of things for that. Before you go off and complain that we should be focusing on Vanilla.. we know. Working on TBC is a nice change of pace, and it exposes problems and optimizations in the core that apply to TBC and Vanilla, so there's benefits to the Vanilla realm from doing this work, aside from that of just showing how serious we are about progression through expansions. Right now, with the same realmlist, you can connect to our loginserver with both a Vanilla and TBC client. The Realmserver will automatically detect which client you are using and direct you to the appropriate server selection. TBC is still pretty unstable, but you can login and play. Quests work, creatures work, AI works, flying works, etc. Asura has been converting the guild bank system over to support clustering. It's pretty ridiculously complicated compared to a regular bank. If you recall back to my last blog post, the inventory system in Vanilla only ever applies to one character at a time, and all your items are indexed as a combination of a container ID and slot ID. In the case of guild banks that no longer works. You have to be able to handle multiple characters, so they have their own unique database storage, but you also have to allow specifications for which characters have access to which banks, and which items and pages within those banks. The banks have to be able to transfer items back and forth to players, and back and forth amongst themselves, so we need both worldserver and realmserver handling for it. Complex stuff that's well over my head, but he seems to enjoy it for some reason. So yeah, we have a pretty big push coming. Asura was supposed to get it done this weekend, slightly delayed due to time restrictions and just the sheer amount of code in it. This patch includes all the new debug tools, and a lot of fixes for problems found while working on TBC, plus some reported issues, Nogar's patches, and my pending patches, so we're excited to push that out to our testers, but it's complex enough that it is taking a little more time than anticipated. I figure a couple days and it will go live on our Beta realm. Nogar has been going through the zone checklists our testers have been submitting and both fixing generic database issues like drop rates, and also messing around with both the SQL and Lua scripting systems. My understanding is that he's been fighting through the early shaman totem quests, getting them scripted. We accepted four applications for Discord moderators. Djlovedrop, Maronics, Seefly and Swen. They're settling in nicely and public chat is generally a friendly place, so happily keeping it under control isn't too onerous a task. Alright, now for my bit I guess. The last little while I've been working on two things, both of which are now done and submitted, just waiting for approval and the push now. First was a collaborative effort between Gorbulas and myself. We have a database table that specifies what items a new character is created with, and some of the testers were making reports about characters being created with weird items. Elf and Troll hunters, for example, were starting at level 1 with a level 32 cloth belt equipped and no ammunition. Orcs also had a waterbreathing elixir with 0 charges that couldn't be used, moved, or deleted. Real bizarre stuff. We tried changing around items in the database thinking it must be a bug with how that table was being loaded into memory on server boot. If you have a problem with your loading code, you can store garbage vaules, or just whatever random value happens to be in a specific memory location at the time of boot, so we figured these items must be a result of bad db loading code. Turns out the db is loading just fine, but those items weren't being pulled from the database at all, they were being pulled from a client file that's supposed to specify which items a player starts with, and since our code for loading was using the db structure instead of the dbc structure, we got some extremely weird results. So, we ditched the dbc code and just made it load correctly from the database, then fixed up a few errors in the database. Now it's working very nicely, and we were able to chop out a whole bunch of now-extraneous code, which is always nice. Next thing I worked on, and this took the bulk of the time, was a reorder of the loot template IDs and some adjustment code in the core. Our loot system, which I've also described in significant detail, is based on templates. A mob will be assigned some number of templates it gets to roll on in order to generate loot, and it does so in ascending order of Template ID. That's all well and good, but it had the side effect of also displaying the loot in the loot window in order of Template ID, which I knew was going to be an issue for players. I mean, the same loot is there, it's just the order that's incorrect, but that kind of thing will drive people crazy, and by extension, drive me crazy, since I'm the one who would have to deal with the complaints about it, so I wanted to get that cleared up. When I first built the system, I did use a system for numbering the templates, just for ease of use while assigning loot, but the order was arbitrary, and again, just for ease of use at the time. I wasn't thinking about the display order. What I had to do was more or less write a series of SQL queries that changed the Template IDs and put them in an order much closer to what they should be. There will still be a few items out of order, mostly either quest items that are also equippable (quest items have the highest set of template id numbers and will always be the last thing in a creature's loot list, but equipment should appear early in the list). Or mobs that have a static drop or zone drop that isn't equipment (certain tradeskill items, mostly, and a few quest starter items). In any case, there are few enough of them that they can be addressed individually as necessary, the larger part of the work is now done. It did create an issue with world drop items, which are handled differently in the core. As we've covered before, our world drop templates are generated dynamically based on the level of the NPC in question, meaning a level 62 elite can drop a Teebu's, but a level 61 version of the same mob cannot. What we did in the was set the Template Id of those to a negative number, and then in the core when you wanted to generate loot, it would know if it saw a negative number to use the world drop generation algorithm, and otherwise use the regular generation algorithm. Problem is world drops in that case would ALWAYS appear first on the list, which might be okay for trash mobs, but makes boss loot tables look very strange. I reordered those templates into a spot in the order more appropriate to them, after the static and zone drops, but before tradeskill and junk items. This also required changing the core handling because those numbers were no longer negative, and it also affected loot tables for items (think Kum'isha's Junk), and gameobjects (think Cache of the Firelord, or just regular old treasure chests). Bit of a nightmare to juggle all that without inadvertently screwing something else up. Accidentally missing a template, or doing them in the wrong order such that one overwrites another, would be a nightmare to try to identify and fix later. It was absolutely essential that I be painstakingly careful with it and get it right the first time.. A mistake there would have far-reaching effects that we might not even notice until we had gone to open beta, or worse, release. That is absolutely not the kind of thing you want to get wrong and have to try to fix afterwards. So, with few exceptions, you should be seeing all equipment unique to that mob first, then any special zone equipment drops, then any world equipment drops, then tradeskill items, then junk items, then quest items. Pretty sure that's the way it's supposed to shake out. I'm happy with it, anyways, and I don't particularly want to spend more time on it anyways. Alright well, I'll leave it there for now. It's after midnight and I need to get up early tomorrow. My next blog post will be on Monday, August 14th. As always, feel free to ask questions or leave comments below. Talk to you soon, and thanks again for your continued interest in Crestfall.
  24. I'm not sure I understand what you're saying. Having the most powerful proc take precedence on any given swing is blizzlike, so I don't know what you're on about here. The only thing about the system I've got that isn't blizzlike is the ability for items which grant extra strikes to proc off themselves, which was possible for a while in retail but was eventually nerfed. We're starting with it nerfed and leaving it that way. The clamor in here is for an un-blizzlike change, which would be so negligible a buff that it would be nearly impossible to even notice a difference in-game. How this topic always manages to spiral out of control like this is utterly beyond me. I said I would look at it, but it's unlikely that I'm going to make any changes to the system as it is already described.