Site Issues and Updates - Discussion Thread

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Site Issues and Updates - Discussion Thread

Postby JuneBarcarolle » Sun Jun 10, 2012 12:08 am

For those who have been with us for the last year or more, you know that the site experiences periodic crashes. Lately we have seen a dramatic increase in the instability of the site as a whole. While it may not look like it, your DM team has been working to find a solution to all of these problems.

The issues we're having stem from the programming of the site itself. Dreamchat was designed using programming that is very outdated, and the customization ddream used makes it difficult to have an outside programmer come in and fix it. And ddream is unavailable to fix it himself. This leaves us with 2 options: Try to find someone that can maybe get the site operational again, or move Digital Dreaming to a new site altogether.

What the DM team has been doing is looking at those options, and finding ways to make either of them work. What we are leaning towards at this point is creating a new site with much more reliable programming. We have a programmer lined up who can do this for us. So now it's a matter of getting the details ironed out as to what he needs to put together for us.

For now we are trying to use the site as is, even if only as a hub for people to continue to communicate. Its tendency to block out large quantities of IP addresses is still a mystery. We have gone through the chat to eliminate spambots, spam blogs, and we delete spam posts when we spot them. But that hasn't seemed to affect the site's performance. If you are having problems with the site "timing out" or "not responding" you can still access it by using Tor. This is a workaround while we build a new home for Digital Dreaming.


If anyone has any questions, concerns, or even suggestions on what things they would like to see included in a new site, please feel free to post here. This thread is for discussion of things related to the current state of the site. (I will keep a separate thread that's dedicated updates and announcements as we go along.)
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Re: Site Issues and Updates - Discussion Thread

Postby J.C. » Sun Jun 10, 2012 11:05 am

Just an FYI. I have found that sometimes when the chat stalls out I have kept the windows open and gone to My Account and logged in there and the site has responded well to that. Not always, but more times than not.

I have also noted that the site in general has been logging me out at an alarming rate.

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Re: Site Issues and Updates - Discussion Thread

Postby Ian » Sun Jun 10, 2012 11:44 am

Your characters are still in SCORES, so that's good.

Oddly, you have three user IDs in SCORES, all with the same e-mail attached. Not sure what's going on there, but it may be an issue of confused identity management--fixing it should just be a matter of giving the characters to the right account. I'll hang out in OOC for a bit; come find me and we'll get it fixed.
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Re: Site Issues and Updates - Discussion Thread

Postby Stam » Mon Jun 11, 2012 1:47 pm

I haz suggestion.

However, it's at least partially dependent on difficulty of programming. So...couched in rudimentary programming...

IF New Chat proves easily compatible with SCORES or other character database for daily login purposes
OR designated programmer proves adept at forging such a link regardless
THEN take below under general advisement only
ELSE Consider return to XP Journals on monthly basis.

Downside: Slightly more work for the DMs on a predictable basis. PCs won't level without IC interaction or adventure
Upside: Fosters more IC interaction, specifically memorable moments for imparting to the XP Journals. Fosters more reliance on adventuring scenes for bulk of XP - which means PCs who had formerly relied on daily login to level will be closer to site guideline wealth-by-level. Given how much the site is focused on daily RP, and how much d20 relies on equipment to boost character power level, I think this is fairly useful.
Mixed Message Depending On Audience: Will also push magical crafters to rejoin daily casual roleplay if they want to continue generating XP to set on fire for commissions/GP.

Programmers may now proceed to beat me for misuse of delicate language. :)
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Re: Site Issues and Updates - Discussion Thread

Postby JuneBarcarolle » Tue Jun 12, 2012 12:04 am

I am curious about this part:

Stam wrote:ELSE Consider return to XP Journals on monthly basis.



I haven't been here for the entirety of the site's history, so I've never seen this system used. For those of us that aren't familiar with it, can you explain how this works?
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Re: Site Issues and Updates - Discussion Thread

Postby Kemian » Tue Jun 12, 2012 6:41 am

I wasn't on the D20 for XP Journals but I did run both Vampire and Mage on the WOD side and the principle is the same. On the 1st of every month the player submits an XP Journal via SCORES Menu. (In WOD you were asked a series of questions which generally equated to 1 XP per question. These were things like "What did you learn this Month?" and "Did you perform any Heroic Actions this Month?"

You were expected to answer the questions in detail essentially providing the DM with significant events you had participated in over the past month and you received between 2 and 5 XP for the previous months RP (As determined by the System DM) Which scores automatically forwarded the journals to whichever DM was responsible for that systems e-mail.

Typically you had until the 7th of each month to submit an XP journal. If you failed to submit one you got no XP. Then it was on the DM to go through the journals for each month and award XP based on what they thought each player deserved. (This is where it could really become labor intensive if everyone submitted journals every month, but the truth was generally only those players that really were active ICly would submit journals at all.)

It certainly is something worth consideration in my opinion and it has the advantage of FORCING players to think about the general direction of their character what their particular wants and needs are. As Stam said it would also remove the leveling without gear.
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Re: Site Issues and Updates - Discussion Thread

Postby Stam » Tue Jun 12, 2012 7:49 am

d20 never used the XP Journals at all - I had experience with them playing Changeling and Vampire on the Seattle side.

And yeah, XP in OWoD is a very different cat from d20. Figuring out how much to hand out each month would be a science all of its own...but it wouldn't require any programming!

Edit: The XP Journals are still live in SCORES and you can go through all the questions for an active character. It's pretty straightforward a process for the PCs. It's more a question for the DMs on how much they choose to award for various events.
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Re: Site Issues and Updates - Discussion Thread

Postby Stam » Tue Jun 12, 2012 10:22 am

Additional side benefit of Journals: You could incorporate monthly shop income into them.
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Re: Site Issues and Updates - Discussion Thread

Postby JuneBarcarolle » Tue Jun 12, 2012 11:57 am

I'll throw in some things I would like to have just from a player perspective.

- the "Are you human" test is essential. Yes we want one of those. ;)

- Art gallery. We used to have one. We might still have one and I just don't know where it is. But I'd like to see that back.

- I want to be able to bring in my own avatar for the forums. I'd also like to be able to put artwork in a signature if possible. (other games I've played have these, but I have no idea how easy that is to set up.)
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Re: Site Issues and Updates - Discussion Thread

Postby Keith » Tue Jun 12, 2012 12:17 pm

Here is a quick thought.

Instead of submitting journals monthly, submit a log of IC chat that your character took part in. We can then easily see what happened, and how long the RP was to award XP accordingly.

Separate the logs by date, and identify the character(s) name(s) in the title of the log so we don't end up with double logs. Decide among those in the RP who will submit the log, and we can then check all the names in the log and see what was posted.

This would award those who go IC, and also be more motivation to go IC.

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Re: Site Issues and Updates - Discussion Thread

Postby Stam » Tue Jun 12, 2012 1:12 pm

June already expressed dismal view of the work required to use XP Journals here, which is just four paragraphs of text once per month per player.

Submitting every scene for DMs to comb over seems like a good way to ensure you guys never, ever get a chance to do anything but work on backlog.
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