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Case Giver and Case File Changes

Sleuth Admin
Sleuth Admin

Three new changes have gone live today. Thanks to those of you who sent me feedback on these issues.

1) If you quit or are kicked out of an agency, any private case files are now marked as not-private. This is just to prevent private case files from sitting around forever when somebody leaves. All such existing stale files are now marked not-private as well (this is retroactive).

2) You are no longer allowed to store favor cases in Case Files. This change is not retroactive, so if you have favors sitting around in case files, they are still accessible. This change (along with #3 below) is meant to make treasure hunts more competitive and longer-lasting.

1) Most Case Giving Contacts now give you one less case option at a time.
15-39 = 1 Case offered
40+ = 2 Cases offered
The exception is your original Contact (Sergeant or Reporter), who will still offer 2-3 cases. The primary reason for this change is to make Treasure Hunts tougher (and hence worth doing), but it should also make contact building a little more interesting. I realise the downside of this is that older players had an easier path than newer players, but I think the positives outweigh the negatives on this.



Replies
Detective Joseph Chen
Detective Joseph Chen

@Droid: You know, that's a good idea you have there, for Ben to set up a new server for subscribers, because I used to play another online game where the game can support more than 1 million accounts with 7 servers & still rising daily. ^_^

Droid
Droid

I think Ben is into penny-pinching; if he can save a few bucks per month by not scaling it up past one virtual server and disk bucket at Amazon then he thinks he's making more profit even though he could have twice as many players if he paid for a faster service.

I know it's a pain buy one of these anti-bot type-the-letters-in login screens popping up now and then might speed it up a bit at the cost of kicking off one unsubscribed programmer and his bots as well.

bilbot-the-hommit
bilbot-the-hommit

@Droid:
You might want to check on your side of Internet. Don't be penny-pinching: buy you a real PC and a real Internet connection.

I can launch hundreds of bots without having SOM slow down on me.

Detective Sissy Andrews
Detective Sissy Andrews

@ Bilbot.. I don't think that Droid's the one at fault here.. I've been trying to play for 10 mins. now and the rooms don't load at all.. I have high speed internet.. So i think what's messed up here is neither the computer nor the interner connection, it's the damn server.. I'm totally supporting a server for subscribed players only, because back when my sub. was still valid i couldn't play more than 10 cases a day due to a SUPER SLOW server.. So Ben you should set up another server because i really wanna renew my sub. but i'm having second thoughts because it didn't seem that i got what i paid for once before.. That's constructive criticism BTW. :)


Bilbot can you teach me how to become hotshot programmer like yourself. :)

bilbot-the-hommit
bilbot-the-hommit

@Sissy

Slow response times are not always the fault of the server. Droid already mentioned that he had an old PC and a poor internet connection, hence my remark.

To be fair, I live in Europe so I tend to play off peak hours. But I never noticed very bad response times. However they are very erratic, which is a pain somewhere (I read the Coc). Most of the time, I get an answer from the server in less than 1 second but sometimes it takes more than 5 seconds. A well tuned server would provide an even response time like *always* 1,5 seconds.

If you really wish to explore the dark side of computing, there are a lot of good sites teaching you how to program. As I don't need them anymore, I can't recommend one in particular.

If you are on bot programming in Windows, check Autoit.
If you are on Internet programming, check PHP or Python.
If you are on graphics/game programming, check Flash.

Combine Flash and Python, you can create your own Sleuth SoM.

Not real programming but computer fun anyway, you can use "traceroute" (and its partner: the famous "ping") to find out who is slowing down your connection.

Droid
Droid

If it was my PC it would be as slow in the morning (GMT) when there are 30 users connected as it is in the evenings when there's 100.

Droid
Droid

bilbot is so clever, I haven't got past using "tail -f flashlog.txt | grep evidence" yet.

Sleuth Admin
Sleuth Admin

The primary constraint on the performance of the server is the amount of case related records the game hangs onto indefinitely. You may have noticed that you can leave a case open on a given detective and still come back to it months later in the exact same state. That means we're leaving around millions of suspect, evidence, object, etc records for players who try the game out and stop playing in the middle of a case. It is convenient for players, but pretty wasteful in terms of database usage.

I ran a database cleanup script last night that removes a lot of historical data and it seems to have considerably reduced server side processing times (about 60\% faster thus far). I'm going to run a couple more scripts tonight that should improve things further.

Once that is done, I'll automate those scripts to run on a weekly basis which should keep us in better shape going forward.

The only difference you may notice is that if you leave a detective with a case open for a month or more, you may login to find that case quit. I'm also planning to start removing old, unused detectives, so there may be some previously taken detective names becoming available in the near future.

We do also have options in terms of buying more processing capacity. While Sleuth doesn't make a lot of money, it does currently bring in more money than it costs to run, so we have some leeway to consider that option if necessary.

There are obviously network issues that are outside of our control (how fast the internet is between each individual subscriber and us largely depends on your ISP), so we can't guarantee that everybody is going to notice these improvements equally.

Droid
Droid

It's certainly much faster Ben, thanks.

Night Owl
Night Owl

Yahooooooo, many thanks Ben :) its twice as fast now, i can do twice as many cases in the same time now !!!

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