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sunsvortex last won the day on July 15 2013

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  1. This might interest some. Might not interest others, just throwing it out there as an idea that worked for us. We removed our server from all lists back at the end of last Nov, or maybe first of Dec iirc - "you cant see us and you never will be able to". We went to invitation only as we got wayy too many undesirables when we first opened it up. We work it like this - We had 8 initial players, each of those players got 3 slots. They can use those slots as invitations to people they know. They are responsible for those players. If players they are responsible for cause issues, the player that caused the issue is removed and the responsible player is docked a slot or more depending on circumstances. After its been shown that players that were invited under those slots are decent people they were given slots and they invited people in. This allows for a very high quality server with extremely minimal player disruptions, most if not all of which are mistakes and can be readily fixed without issue. I honestly have no idea what our current player count is as I never bother to look or care, but I think there were like 87+ last time I logged in a couple days ago, actively playing, running around having a good time. Since we instated this I have not seen a single issue that could not be easily and readily fixed or made right. So what does all this have to do with player count - Player count doesnt matter - a high quality server with decent people is what matters. The option to blacklist servers based on x criteria is a mountain of problems just waiting to make a gigantic mess. People are going to inflate numbers, they are going to cheat, they are going to do all manner of nefarious things that will be offensive to someone. Welcome to life. You cant code this out. You can however be a bit more selective about your servers reputation, be more selective and sensitive to how you deal with issues that are sure to arise and above all , make sure people are having a good time. Playing Wurm is a long term kind of thing, most people are simply not into a long term commitment to a game, so if they are looking just at numbers, odds are they are not going to be there long anyways. If you have a good server, if your server is appealing, you will get and retain players - If your server is dependable and fair - you will get and retain players, If your server is a place to enjoy the time you spend there - you will get and retain players. word of mouth, a bit of plugging here and there, it all adds up - but you as a server owner - its all up to you. Player numbers are meaningless if you have a desirable server. Do we have the highest population server out there? Not even close. Do we care? Not in the slightest - its not a competition, its a game where we like to do what we like to do. If all someone is looking at are the number of players, do you really want them on your server? Just saying - Its a different perspective - Might work for some people, might not for others.
  2. Wurm 2016

    But this is exactly my point - everything your listing is the same approach that has been used for years. This approach simply has not ever worked beyond keeping a pulse to the game. Thats it. Nothing more. Why should I believe that its going to do anything different now? The best we can hope for is a flattening out of the numbers with some short spikes in pop as new content is released, that will slowly drain away. If were to use WU sales to continue to offset losses then you have to continually develop for it. Ok, according to Budda there are 3 people on it and they are volunteers, which according to him cannot be counted on for very valid reasons, they are after all volunteers, so they are not going to be working full time on it. This is all according to Budda - so now we have WU being put into the same paradigm as WO. Not enough devs/ not enough time. There will always be this fight for dev time between WO and WU and, WU, per Rolf, will loose this fight as WO is the priority. This to me is a no win scenario. It sounds like its personal. So all im saying is, well solve the common issue between both. Not Enough Time - If we bite the bullet and move to a real honest to god game engine - you then start getting ways and means to move off the treadmill by making developers more efficient. You have structure, you have support, you have a much larger labor pool as both Unity and Unreal are extremely popular, you have a collision system that works, no more months at a time trying to figure out how to do flying, jumping or bridges or anything else that requires collision. You have all new classes for combat so everyone can have what they have all asked for for years, art assets from the asset store or for that matter anywhere - Right out of the box. All these things plus a lot lot more can be realized just by moving to something that allready supports it. Yeah its going to take a bit, but when you start talking about ROI, scalability, multiple platforms, efficiency,content, support, labor pools, training -its all there. But Java (The current Wurm Structure Base) can do all this so why waste the time and money and suffer through all the frustration - because If Java can do it - then the devs either havent had the time to build all those things in because there is not enough time or they simply dont have the skills to exploit Java to that degree. In either scenario , in all these years we havent seen any of those things, is there some reason to believe we ever will sitting on Java? Not in my mind. Im not saying at all that the things you listed would not be a good thing to do - Im saying that all those things you listed would be that much better on a different platform.
  3. Wurm 2016

    Let me ask you this then -when is the right time? In all honesty, there will never be a right time. The problem is, anything big enough to move the needle in a positive direction will be deemed -too big /not enough dev time/= not enough time. So it all goes right back to the same thing. Sure you can put some smaller content in and give short term distraction, but its the same thing over and over again...its still the treadmill. If there were in my mind any other way to go to do it I would be pushing it instead of this. I knew this would be an uphill battle because it steps all over the established paradigms. It steps all over everything...but it needs to be done. If we dont move away from it and to a real engine, ....I just dont understand what everyone thinks will happen. Do all these people think were just going to magically get new subs one day? One day for no reason were going to check the graphs and they will be climbing steadily? It takes effort to get those things to move in the direction needed. If the projects that have the best hope of getting us going in that direction are always deemed to take too much time, then its a forever treadmill. I want off of it and the only way off it is to push hard. Sooner or later you have to start addressing fundamental problems on a fundamental level. Its tough...on everyone....but that does not take away from the need to do it. Just because its hard to do, doesnt mean it shouldnt be done, just because its going to put people in some uncomfortable positions, doesnt mean it should not be done. Nothing worthwhile was ever easy. If it was we would already be there.
  4. Wurm 2016

    See here we go, drowning in minutia.......
  5. Wurm 2016

    Well in a sense you are right - I just started doing Java due to WU - I use Java Script fairly often on some specific parts to manipulate web browsers and for me and the people I know, it translates pretty easily. Ok, for you maybe not - fine - who cares, It has no bearing on solving the issue, just yet another excuse to pile on top of the endless ones of why NOT to do it. I couch it under complacency and cynicism. It seems like your trying to turn this into some sort of "the developers dont have the skills to do what needs to be done." Nope - Im not biting. I could go there, but it does no good and moves the conversation away from the point - fixing the NOT ENOUGH TIME problem.
  6. Wurm 2016

    Ok Java Skills Translate to Javascript skills very easily - better?
  7. Wurm 2016

    Sort of - this particular issue is about the ability to --Keyword---- "Create"------ numbers. Has nothing to do with existing numbers except to show its time to do it and stop making excuses not to.
  8. Wurm 2016

    Its not about numbers -its about the future of WURM, Its about what can move us forward and what cant -there are no numbers that can describe that. Its why I am avoiding all that kind of stuff because its not going to do anything -it just doesnt have any bearing on solving a problem. The problem is not enough Devs / Not Enough Time - Doing the same thing that we have been doing for years wont solve a problem. It hasnt yet why would it? Everyone of these things serves only to justify NOT doing it. Ok Well not doing it is not getting us anywhere. And not to mention I can justify building a nuclear bomb under a daycare center -Justifications are just that Justifications -they get in the way. What is the furture of WURM going to look like? If we keep doing the same things we have been doing - itll look exactly like it is today - The time it takes doesnt matter - the cost doesnt matter - whether or not there will be a handful of people crying and whining about it doesnt matter - WO and WU will still be available - plenty of ways and means to merge - these issues are secondary to the main concern and thats fixing the problem of NOT ENOUGH TIME. Once they can start saying -yeah we have the time for that, more and more and more possibilities open up. Solutions can be put in place that today would be unthinkable.
  9. Wurm 2016

    For several reasons - and good questions, very good questions and ill try to give you good answers. The discussion about moving to Unreal Unity has been floating about for the last couple years. The devs have floated it around and some good discussions concerning it were pushed but really nothing came of it. At the time there was a lot going on, new devs, lots of updates, lots of future promise and it looked like the game was setting itself up in a really good positive position. This unfortunately simply didnt work out the way most hoped it would and we slid back into old habits and complacency topped off with a lot more cynicism which has prevailed ever since, until the announcement of WU. WU has shown, without question, that a lot of the ideas in the suggestion threads are not only valid, but very good. It has shown that people prefer a less grindier game, and its put in place a promise of what wurm could be. Unfortunately there is a cost to everything, and the cost here is a large and continuing decline in subs for WO. When WU was first announced my immediate concerns were how anyone would mod this and then not have those mods immediately stepped on by any updates that were pushed. No real answer except - the modders will figure it out / "code around us". Well they did....sort of....using injection though is just a hacking technique and nearly every game published since 2011 has a mod button somewhere. Game developers everywhere started seeing and realizing that they didnt need to try and keep up with all content requests, they could just give the players the tools to do it themselves, and it worked, it worked great. Its now gone so far as to be an expectation and if you dont have a modding infrastructure your working on putting one in. So since Warlander was the one cheerleading it, I knew he was aware of all this and I knew if there was any Wurm dev that wanted to see a true modding infrastructure go in, it would be him. So maybe this whole WU thing was not just a good thing, but a ground floor investment in the furture of where Wurm was going. -------Unfortunately its looking more and more like this is not the case-------- Wurm has some serious problems, its showing its age in the code and in its thinking as a whole. It has a variety of player retention issues, its based on a homemade game structure written in Java, and a variety of little pin prick issues that are in and of themselves not really a big deal but cumulatively serve as one big ugly stick. Aside from all the good that releasing WU did - it failed to do one big thing - solve any problems - It proved a ton of things, but unfortunately, didnt solve any issues. If anything it has given contrast to a lot of those issues and perhaps exacerbated them to one degree or another. Now that being said - It "could have" solved some problems, had certain things been in place, like a modding infrastructure or at least a plan to go forward with this. But when you ask about it you get -Its too big / there are not enough subs / WO is the flagship /takes too much time. And here is where the meat of the issue is - Not Enough Time. I have heard this Not Enough Time excuse for years, on all kinds of issues and projects. Its always about the time it takes. I have heard every dev say it, I have heard Rolf preach it, its just the recurring theme of Wurm development - not enough devs, not enough time, always this has been the issue cited. Ok so how does one solve such an issue. You could hire more devs - this has been tried, they hang out here for a while then leave for all kinds of reasons. So for Wurm this hasnt really worked well. So what else can you do -well you can increase the development throughput by focusing on bug fixing and a lot of smaller content . This is fine but it still doesnt fix the issue, as it may look good in patch notes to see a laundry list of stuff worked on its effects are not enough to drive new subs and push the game in any direction. In fact these approaches have at best just kept a pulse to the game. Buying time, if you will. So since the problem is the amount of time it takes to do projects that have any hope of driving new subs to the game, then it makes sense to look at what is really needed to actually and realistically do this. That would mean moving to a real game engine. A game engine will give you the structure, workflow and efficiency to do projects that are now considered "too big". Lets float some examples. #1 Collision - It took ages to get bridges done -Why - collision - Collision in Unity is drag n drop - on most any item in game. Took CC months to figure out collision for bridges and they still have tons of issues with collision. Move to UU(Unity/Unreal) problem is literally solved. Look at the time saved. Months. Now any project they want to do, that would involve collision, is no longer the big bad plate full of problems it was, so it becomes viable. Not so much time needed. #2 Jumping / Flying / Combat - The collision model in UU fixes jumping and flying instantly - no coding needed. Its not even a project -its inherent. Not even a single line of code needed. Combat has an entirely new set of classes so everyone gets all the things they have wanted / yelled about over the years in a combat system. Youll code here quite a bit to suit needs, but its all scripting, MUCH MUCH quicker than using a low level language like Java. --- Rolf is still talking about jumping /Flying and it hasnt happened - why? -problems with collision and not enough time. Moving to UU = Fixed. Im not advocating putting them in, just using it as a point to illustrate time savings. #3 Art and New Assets - Art takes a long time regardless of the engine you run on, indeed its an entirely separate issue when talking about creating art. CC just lost an art dev, so its getting really farfetched to imagine that they will be pumping out many new graphics anytime soon. This is not to say that Saramon wont be doing his dead level best, but a loss in staff is a loss in content period. With UU you have this available - The Unity Asset Store - anyone whether player or developer can download the art here and use it either in WO or WU. Prices range from Free on up. There are no shortage of people developing art for the asset store so this would assure new content for CC and players for the forseeable future without worrying about how many art devs stay or leave. This is a monstrous amount of time saved in development. The amount of time saved here simply cannot be overstated. So by moving to a real game engine like UU you make the future possible by solving a problem, the biggest problem that has ever existed in Wurm - Not Enough Time. Will it fix everything? NO of course not But by introducing new solutions your by default introducing an entirely new set of problems - Correct - a new set of issues that have and are being addressed by some of the best coders in the world supported by a monstrously huge community of people doing support and sharing thier solutions via the web. And its all about 1 thing---UU---- It Costs too much - Unless your Rolf - you dont know this. Unity is dirt cheap. If you dont have the money for a handful of Unity licenses -the company is going to fold within a few days so it really doesnt matter. Unreal is rather expensive, but you get what you pay for and hands down the graphics capability in Unreal is second to none. Thier graphics pipeline (Which comes free with it) is amazing to say the least. Worst case scenario crowd fund it right here. For Unity your simply asking for chump change. This is a false concern. Its going to take 2 years according to devs to do this - No this is incorrect - Per the devs, they were not taking into account everyone at CC working on it. Thats 5 full time devs plus the vol devs. Break the project down into logical parts, hand those out to the correct people and your looking at 6 months to a year to get a working copy "WITH" all the improvements listed above and much much more. Moving to UU is not just about WU....its about both WO and WU. SO there is no argument about WO being the priority as its still the priority, just on a different engine. If its to be feasable at all its going to take all hands, all devs at CC making it happen. No estimate has ever been contemplated in these terms. Its always been assesed on minimal staff working on it -hence the 2 year scenario. It comes down to this - they have to want to do it, they have to see the value in it, they have to believe that its a good way forward. Its only then will the will to pull together and make it happen exist. Regardless of a time to create debate - they can spend that time doing exactly what they have been doing for the last 10 years and get us exactly where we are now or take the time to actually move forward and get us off the treadmill. Lets float a good example here. Back a couple years ago when this idea was being floated around alot, they decided against it. What would have happened had they bit the bullet then and went ahead with it. Where would we be now? It could have been done, even with the 2 year scenario with minimal staff working on it. We wouldn't be in a position where projects would be too big, WU could have been released with an integrated modding structure, we wouldnt be hearing about how long it takes to x y or z, we would be in a position to realistically address player retention issues, we would be in a position to realistically address inumerable problems, but yet, here we are, the same place, different day, arguing the same things, hearing the same excuses, with the same problems on a treadmill to nowhere. Overrun by complaceny and defeatest attitudes. There will never be a good time to do this, There will always be concerns about doing it There is risk involved in doing it Its going to take a good bit of time to do this. If im guilty of underestimating the time required then the devs are just as guilty of overestimating the time required. But these things are countered by the ability to solve problems-----and not just any problem----- "THE"----- problem that has plagued Wurm from day 1 -Not Enough Time. I hope I have answered, at least in part, some of your questions
  10. Wurm 2016

    According to Rolf there are 5 full time devs - Thats what I based the estimate on - I didnt include the vol devs. If you take those 5 devs - figuring 7 hours a day 5 days a week for 26 weeks -thats 175 hours per week for a total of 4550 working hours for a 6 month period - double it for a years time - 9100 hours without any assistance from vol devs - If just for the sake of this im only going to count you and warlander -lets say your able to do 50% of the time - that equates to 1 extra dev. If you think your time spent is less than that lets just assume all the other vol devs make up for that. Fair enough for a rough average? So lets add in the extra dev - thats 910 hours for 6 months - double it for a year 1820. so now we have between 5460 and 10920 hours. That looks like plenty of time to me to get it moved over including learning curve. Your estimates thus far have always been based on minimal staff working on it. I have never proposed that. In order to make it happen you need everyone to help. All hands - everyone - you do that your in there. So what if it runs over a bit. Risk vs Reward, ROI, Code Management, Scaling - its all there. Its worth the time and effort. Its worth putting things aside to make it happen. As i said before you can spend this time and money doing the same things we have been doing for the past 10 years and getting the same results we have been getting over those years or you can move to something to get you off the treadmill. Im not saying that without a doubt its the cure for all that ills Wurm, but it will give you the tools and structure needed to efficiently manage those issues. Itll put you in a position to better manage everything as well as start moving away from the constant "We dont have the time or resources" excuse thats always used. Dont you ever get tired of having to say that? Doesnt that piss you off a bit? Dont you get tired of being on this treadmill of just keeping your head above water with an intermittent swim for your life? Do away with the defeatest attitudes Stop beating the dead horse Stop with all the excuses and rationales NOT to do it Focus on rationalizing ways and means TO do it Put energy into making things happen and put the circular logic to bed Were going nowhere unless some serious changes are made - while this wont in and of itself cure those issues it will allow you the best chance to address them now and in the future. If the people that build the game wont reinvest in it - where is the incentive for anyone else to?
  11. Wurm 2016

    That really can't happen though. -Wrong - It can and it should. You are seeing this problem from the perspective of someone who has spent a weekend playing with a free edition of an engine? If you have credentials, I'll definitely retract that statement. I dont feel the need to justify myself to a troll. The points: First of all, the engines cost money. Unity would require all of us (including volunteer developers) to pony up money for a per-desk license. If I'm wrong about this, please do correct me. That's $75/mo or $1500 for a limit-support perpetual license. (That much I did find, and support for a currently purchased license ends in March of 2017. No new features, fixes, etc after that point.) Unreal wants 5% per game per month once you make over $3,000. I'm not sure how that applies to an existing product, and we have two: Wurm Unlimited and Wurm Online. That alone would be 5% off the gross of both games, not to mention what is already paid out for existing deals. I can't speak for the CodeClub books, but given that there are only 3 full time developers, I'm not sure if that amount of money would be an easy loss to soak up without raising prices on players. - If you cant afford to buy licenses close the doors you cant afford to run the game as is - no sale - worst case scenario - put a post on these forums asking for the community to support it. Monetize the game correctly and you dont worry about the costs of licensing. - This is a false concern. Rolf should easily be able to afford licensing - Complete Nonsense. I have addressed this concern about 30 times in the last 2 years - no need to rehash it. Devoting the full strength of Code Club at a rewrite would leave both Wurm Online and Wurm Unlimited to stagnate. Given the costs I mentioned above, it doesn't make practical business sense to allow your core money-making products to stagnate in the hope that a rewrite will bring people back or pull new players in. This is called a gamble, and sensible business folks don't take risks like that. -Wrong - a simple post to the effect of " We are currently moving away from Java to Unreal to move the game forward. In order to move the game this way in a feasable timeframe we will need all hands on deck. WO and WU will still be available but no further development will be put into these items as we are moving to a new platform -Insert all the good things to come from it" Done. Period. Budda's estimate is spot on, even with every developer at the keys. How would you know that? I know they didnt take into account everyone working on it. There's a number of issues you are failing to factor in, including incompatibility with current systems. Even if we used a tool to literally port the code right on over, there's likely to be a number of areas which will need rewrites just to get things working. Even if we get a working client done in six months, we will have done nothing for the people who have been paying that entire time and have an unstable and likely bug-prone client to show for it. Consider the history of Wurm and tell me if that will go over well? That estimate doesn't take into account what I mentioned before, which would be the impact on Saroman. New art is the easiest to fix - Go to Asset store download and insert ,done.Right now if I want a new wall type I have to open 3dsmax design it find textures for it and then code it in -Nonsense - Put in an integrated modding infrastructure and life gets really simple really quick - they could make a wall designer and charge for it -pick a wall type , add a texture push a button to add it in -people could go to town making all kinds and post them up for free or sell them. The art and modding are where moving it to a new platform can really shine. If we stopped everything to work on a new client, customers would expect dramatic improvements for putting up with paying in and getting nothing for that amount of time. So we would need quite a number of new art assets that take advantage of the functionalities the new engine gives. We'd also likely cut off some of our customers with older machines as a result. Lastly, and most importantly, having an IDE such as what Unity and Unreal provide does not ensure anything when it comes to a project like this. It makes it easy for novices but you are a novice - and as long as you have and keep volunteer devs coming in there will be plenty of I would call that a strength. Can put all the novices on scripting jobs and leave the low level jobs to full time coders. to point and click their way around to generating game code. A client does a lot more than just render 3D graphics, and we would likely need to do heavy rewrites on the server as well if we must use a Unity or Unreal communication library that might not support our current methods of doing things. That's one of those catches that makes an experienced project manager double or triple their estimates: You cannot know everything, so you assume you don't. On that last point, the client is just part of what needs to be caught up to the future in Wurm. The server also needs some love, as it's responsible for some of the more game-breaking bugs you all experience. The current boat travel one, as well as various server-crossing issues, the spiking lag at times, and many other smaller and less reported issues all live in the server. The server is a far more complicated piece of code than the client is, yet it must work in tandem with the client. If you are also considering a server rewrite, then that estimate of Budda's now approaching a half decade at best. umm thats one of the reasons why you move to a real engine. Then there's Wurm Unlimited! We could focus a rewrite simply on Wurm Online, but we will then have a fractured code base umm we allready have a fractured code base WO /WU seriously, do you even know what you are talking about? It sounds to me like your just arguing to win the argument - doesnt sound like your trying to make any valid point.and likely more threats of all sorts from various WU enthusiasts who quite dearly recall that we would keep WU updated with WO. Well a rewrite for WO, client and even just the required parts of the server, would also mean potentially breaking backwards compatibility for Wurm Unlimited. I didn't even cover the amount of damage the stagnation itself would do to the brand, which people already scream isn't being advertised enough. We would effectively have to not do any advertising at all. What point would there be to bring people to a stagnant game with naught but a promise of a better tomorrow? So in closing: If resources allowed it, would a slow move to a more modern 3D engine be a good idea? Yes, quite possibly. A slow, purposeful movement with a complete rewrite as Budda mentioned would make sense. Is that a likely scenario, regardless of all the arguing, bickering, and ruffled feathers? No, not at all likely. I'm done weighing in on this issue. I think this post pretty much covers everything. Have fun, and good night
  12. Wurm 2016

    Indeed - but there will be plenty of places where you dont need to put in a solution. You may need to rethink the mechanic a bit and decide if certain things are actually needed or not. I get it - there will be those challenges, but for as many challenges as you run into your also going to run into just as many -"hey we dont need all that now we can just do it this way" instances. My bet is that it balances out and works in your favor more times than not.
  13. Wurm 2016

    Another Question for you Budda - when you guys looked at this were you talking about every single person stopping develoment on WO and focusing on moving to the newe platform or only a few working on it?. Just do this - my only request -revisit it. put it in terms of everyone -all hands - and no further development on WO. Then tell me what you think the time frame would be.