Category Monolith Mondays

Vacation end, finally.

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Week 38 is over, finally. Back from the sea and ready for the final run! So, what have I been up to while luxuriating at the seaside and doing nothing? Well, I’ve been busy doing nothing of any relevance, thank you very much.

So, what are we waiting for?

On the upside, the final sett pictures have arrived and all that’s left to finish before the new run boils down to:

  • Update the wiki with new info and fill’er up – this might take a few days of hard work, there’s plenty that needs to be updated.
  • Prep the mailer template – waiting on the refreshed logo for this one, but it should arrive soon as well.
  • Set up some sort of donation scheme – for those crazyheads that insist on donating.

… and that’s about it.

Now that I’m back I’m anxious to get the new round rolling as fast as I can...

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(Another) Vacation Edition

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Week 37 is over. It’s been a long long week dedicated to watching out my small kids don’t kill themselves on stairs or other challenging 3D objects in the real world. Yes, it’s forced vacation time again, and it will last until next Sunday.

Thus, I doubt week 38 will bring anything at all.

Nevertheless, just so you can’t say “You did nothing at all for two weeks!”, here’s is a brief recap of my almost non-existent Dominance work lately:

  • Territories now update dynamically. Whenever a new player is created, or Elders join or fire neayas, territory overlay will auto-regenerate and everyone will receive a fresh update. Well, that’s worth something, right?
  • Cathedral, Adobe and Tower images are processed and in...
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Biomes revisited

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Week 36 is over. This was a short week with but a few items fixed. While we’re waiting for the remainder of new sett images to arrive the development is slowly winding down, as nothing of concequence remains to be fixed except occasional bug or safety-related feature.

In essence – once I have all sett images the new round will commence.

Biomes

I’ve redrawn the biome placeholders. It’s extremely difficult to differentiate between 5-6 types of forest within a 50×50 pixel hex, so there’s always plenty of room for improvement. However, for now this is workable.

I’ll have to have a little chat with the biome generator about increasing the biome scatter. Currently huge swaths of land fall under a single biome type, which is not something I particularly prefer or like.

Cosmetics

A small tweak to...

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Galleys and Triremes

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Week 35 is over. We had some interesting water-related developments and more UI spit-and-polish.

Triremes and Galleys

Avatars and caravans can now wade into water. It takes a full tick to embark onto ships or to disassemble ships back into horses, but once in water, avatars get a significant movement boost. Caravans – not so much (not at all).

The big one is caravan, smaller ones are avatars. Yo-ho-ho.

This change brought some refreshing news – we no longer have to use A* pathfinding algorithm but in most cases can simply draw a line from A to B and say “that’s it, deal with it”. Avatars traversing that path will enter water and exit water as required.

Territory Bonuses

Remember the territories from last week? They now serve a purpose:

Own hexes grant bonuses to lore and defense, represe...

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Territories!

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Week 34 is over. Last week started with finalization of minor fixes and issues and then went somewhere else entirely.

Territories and map controls

A territory is a piece of land belonging to a certain empire. All elders within that empire contribute to territory ownership, regardless of inter-empire relations. Yes, it’s quite possible to have separatist territories which claim land for their own gain, but even those territories boost the overall empire projection. Here is an example of what it may look like:

The emperor of this particular empire decided their color was a green shade...

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When fixes become features…

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Week 33 is over. While the idea behind last week’s fixes was to, well, fix whatever’s left, some of the more wishlisty items became a reality and changed the gameplay in somewhat important ways.

Let’s see what’s new.

New and Updated Spells

Since we lost Build Village, Declare Town and Metropolis from Erol spell list, Erol felt severely depreciated. Fear not, Erol is back in business with a nice counter-list:

  • Ungrow Monolith – this is a cheap spell that will destroy own monoliths. It’s trivial to cast and works only on own monoliths.
  • Thorned Bog – a debuff spell, cast on mono/throne and creates a Mental-Lapseish field that slows down all enemy avatars.
  • Blend with the Forest – the “ward” spell often asked for, this one will hide army numbers from enemies (and potentially even DP, with suffi...
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Sifting even harder

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Week 32 is over. In the the vein of last week‘s handling of smaller issues, I’ve continued to update everything else that was still on the table. Not finished yet, but we’re getting closer to a stable release, and hopefully a new round will soon follow.

Hardware migrations

I’ve re-purposed an older machine to serve as the primary Dominance host. Its name is V8, as in the last of, being the last System x tower IBM has ever made. Still, with its 8 Xeon cores at 3.5GHz and 72 gigs of RAM, it already crunches faster than the newer but lower-clock server Dom resided thus far.

This took a better part of 2 days, as every reboot cycle takes (as expected) ages, and there have been a host of reboot cycles due to lockups – the server simply refused to boot into Xen hypervisor with Stretch’s fresh ins...

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Sifting through issues

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Week 31 is over. This week was, as announced, dedicated to some “minor” issues, which actually comprise the rest of work remaining before the new round. Let’s start from beginning.

Follow me clusterfuck and Stubbs

An issue was raised in the first weeks of Gamma 1 as to who moves when, and why, after all avatars and their followers have moved, some avatars fell behind.

This was due to non-deterministic handling of avatars – or to explain as simple as possible – wrong avatars moved first. For example, if A follows B follows C, and B decides to move first, B will move, pulling A onto C’s location, and then C decides to move and ends up hexes away from B and A. This is clearly wrong, but what is the correct procedure?

  1. Deal with everything that has fixed destinations...
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Biomes and 3D.

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Week 30 is over. This week was dedicated to biomifying Dominance map – everything from tweaking the biome generator to displaying the new combined map in the client in some form that’s easy to comprehend.

The Map

Let’s start here. The current map, ignoring placeholder graphics for biomes, should look like this:

You can see two relatively important features – the higher the hex is, the whiter its biome image becomes, and now we have a terrace system for displaying higher elevations.

Yes, the biomes are ugly, this is deliberate. Let’s see a larger picture.

There are about 15 different biomes, granting modifiers as much as you’d expect. A tropical rain forest will penalize terrain lore, but grant bonuses to defense...

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Trucking Artifacts

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Week 29 is over. This week was dedicated primarily to caravans and biomes, so let’s see what’s new in these departments.

Caravans and Artifacts

In the image above you can see the updated Artifacts form, now with transport options and artifacts cap. Cap is simple: 4 + title. It applies onto all artifacts you have and are forging and you won’t be able to start forging if your treasury is full. Also, this is a soft cap – stealing artifacts through attain or simply dropping ranks can push you over the cap with no ill effects, except for the block on acquisition of new artifacts through spells and trade.

Transporting artifacts is simple – you point your caravan at a friendly throne and once it reaches it, assuming sufficient space in treasury, the artifact is transferred to target elder...

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