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Back-end improvements, disguises

FYI, I am currently working on improvements on the back-end. The goal is to separate the Donator status from the user level. The first result will be that people won’t be called “SettlerDonator” anymore, but “Settler” and “Donator” separately. Currently, the system works with only one set of levels and this requires people to have 2 different, independent¬† levels at the same time, and eventually more. The ultimate goal is that we can have a set of different levels that can be used to give in-game user rights for specific commands or access to specific things without interfering with other functions. For example, we will be able to give access to lots by group membership or hand out specific disguises by achievements.

This change is quite involved however since the system is working with the current levels in MANY parts of the code and all of those need to be changed. While I have the code reasonably compartmentalized for other things (like deposit etc), the userlevels are spread all over the system. I made some way forward by finding all the functions that change, check or manage userlevels and consolidate them in one file, but now I have to make sure they all can deal with several levels being found for one user and to interpret them dynamically instead of relying on hard-coded terms.

So in effect you won’t see a lot of new improvements in the coming few days but some instances where things break for a bit when I screw up the code :D.

Also, disguises are switched off for now until I have time to figure out some strange issues with the plugin we are currently using. Please stand by for updates there.

Changes to User Promotion voting system

Thanks everyone who contributed to the discussion about the user votes. I have now made the following changes:

  • A proposal will have to include a 100 word reason for the promotion. This reason will be public to potential voters, but the promoters name will remain hidden.
  • I changed the “power” each voter level has. instead of 1-2-4-8 it’s now 1-3-6-10. This makes it easier for higher levels to down-vote a lower rank promotion and therefore requires more broad support for people on the lower rank if someone from a higher rank objects.
  • You can now Vote, Veto, Abstain or “No Vote” on a proposal. If you Abstain, this will be recorded and you won’t be reminded about the proposal anymore. “No Vote yet” will keep the proposal in your reminder. You can still change your mind while the proposal is running.
  • There is now a 1 month deadline for a proposal to be completed instead of 2 months.

Future plans:

  • I want to allow proposals only every second month, e.g. every odd month of the year (Jan, March etc). DONE!
  • The current changes are preliminary and we will see how it goes. Please continue to contribute to the matter and we can then make further changes.

Continuing the Kingdom Lots discussion, Part 2: Giving lots back

In order to give lots back, there is the general question about the mechanics of what can be given back and what that actually means.

Giving back a lot finally means that it should have a quality that justifies the lot to be preserved and never be reset. It’s therefore the same requirement as a winner in a building contest. I plan to enable some sort of a judging process as for the user promotion voting process. So we need to make a list of judgement criteria that allows people to vote on a build by answering the same questions for any possible submission. Possible ratings are:

  • Detail level
  • Good use of land/space
  • Originality/beauty/interesting
  • Theme (does it have one?)
  • Natural fit with surrounding/landscape
  • Others Options?

I would think that a minimum score in each category would be required. On top of that, a sum of all scores should be required as well, and that one should be higher than the combined minimum score of all together. Then we would ask for people to vote on it. But who?

  • Only people of a higher rank can vote
  • Anyone can vote, but give different influence to lower ranks
  • Other options?

Once a lot has been given back, the question comes what will be the reward for that. Again, different choices:

  • The right to get more kingdom lots (as written in the update to the previous post)
  • Simple rewards (a home, a deposit box etc)
  • A rank? While I think that the current ranking system is a bit more for behavior (i.e. being responsible enough to be able to ban others), we could introduce a new “virtual” rank that is mostly cosmetic with a point system. That rank would make someone am “Architect 3” or three star-architect for example. Each star rank would be incrementally more difficult to reach. So one lot given back would make you a 1-star, 5 a 3-star or something like that. It would show up as a prefix or suffix to the name. Essentially it would be like the achievements but it would be very very visible and carried across current ranks.
  • Anything else?

Continuing the Kingdom Lots discussion, Part 1: Price

What is a good price increment for kingdom lots?

This boils down to the question how many lots one can reasonably have as a project and how many people should be required from a certain size on to participate in the purchase of lots. If one ever only – by reasonable standards – to have one “private” lot and another 2×2 larger project lot, we have 5 lots that should be somewhat affordable for example. For larger projects one should either be really rich or have others support them in buying and building. The current 250k Uncs for 5 lots is a bit on the high side for that.

We can argue that larger builds need 3×3 as a size as well, so 10 lots would be the right number in that range. Specially when one needs to occupy land that is not along the lot borders such as a larger island, this becomes helpful. Beyond that 3×3 sice, I think that builds would become either unmanageable or ambitious beyond a reasonable level – as a single project to be done in a 1-man show.

Then there is the question how much one should pay for 10 lots – in the latter case.

[Update:]

Something completely different than just price limits:

One option that just came to my mind is to make a limit how many lots one can have by checking how many they gave back so far. This would mean that you cannot get 2 lots if you have not given one back so far. So with each lot that you give back, you can increase the limit of lots that you can own in the kingdom. Example:

Everyone is allowed to have x+1 (main) lots in kingdom. You start with 1+1=2. Once you give one back, you are back at 1, you can get 2 new ones (2+1=3). Give those 2 back, and you get 3 new ones (3+1=4) and so on. This way we avoid people starting mega-projects in 2×2 spaces that they can never finish because they cannot even finish a 1 lot build. We might still make incremental pricing, but the fact that someone has finished a lot of builds allows them to increase their size with the assurance that they actually do something with it.

[/Update]

Please comment below with your opinions on this matter.

Update on the lag issue

So I have been investigating on what is keeping the Villager chunks alive and got some replies there. It seems that there are some very old bugs in Spigot that they tried to fix to make it more work like the Vanilla server, which in turn caused the Villagers to become persistent despite no users being near. This has caused issues also for other servers.

The end result is that I tried to change a spigot setting that might fix the issue, but I need to observe this going forward. For this, I need to get more info from my lag-tracking plugin. There is an issue with it however. If you know basic Java, please stop by on GitHub and help me solve the issue. The issue has been resolved!

 

Achievement code, 1st step finalized!

I have now finalized the first step. This means:

  • The calculation of levels is working 100% now.
  • We have a super-easy way to add new achievements
  • We have 3 achievements in place already. I plan to add new ones step by step (like everyday one new one or so)
  • The display in the user profile is somewhat usable and informative.
  • Levels are updated daily. There is an option to manually update levels for individual users, not sure yet where/when to do that. One option would be when the user page is viewed.

Today’s development updates

This is a daily update on the status of the work done behind the scenes.
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