Recent posts by Feysal on Kongregate

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Topic: Dream World / Invincible Mystic Foiled

The above post was of course mine, forgot to log back on my main account after taking screenshots. Not that it is any secret what my alt was, I’m done with it anyway.

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Topic: Dream World / Invincible Mystic Foiled

Originally posted by mrwiggs8:

Anyone outside the guild benefiting is losing out on a chance of a no defender mystic which is pretty bad.

My only response to this is that if you believe everything that does not benefit you is harming you, your vision is extremely narrow. Would you prefer that I had never built the defenseless Mystic at all, so that no one would have had the chance to hit it? Even if I had succeeded, I cannot see what possible harm it could have done to anyone. King of course knows why I did this since I explained it to him. My goal was to get attention for my offer and to highlight how even supposedly fixed bugs still remain in the game.

Originally posted by omark96:

I’m gonna ignore the fact that you scripted, doesn’t matter much in this case. However, I’m quite interested in getting to know what you believe is so bad about the game architecture? And if you actually can give those things to Playmage all for free then I’m not against it. I even think it would be foolish of Playmage not to accept that offer. They’ve said it themselves that they can’t put down enough resources on this game simply ‘cause it’s not profitable enough.

To make it very short and simple, the way this game is built, it consumes way too much bandwidth and memory for no reason.

To mention some details, this game uses HTTP for everything. Every time the player does anything, a request is sent to the server over HTTP, just like when visiting any web page. The response sent by the server is a piece of HTML markup, which is then placed into the correct place on the screen. There are also some invisible tags in the response for updates to energy and such, but at the basic level all updates are done this way. The problem in this is that the server sends preformatted HTML, much of which is static and never changes, and when it does, no checks are made whether it has changed and an update is necessary. In short, there is a massive overhead of unnecessary HTML markup in the responses from the server. To make a cautious estimate, the amount of bandwidth Playmage is using and paying for could be cut at least by half.

To give an example, take the class selection screen. Every time it is opened, the server sends all of the HTML shown, even when nothing has changed. And when the class is changed, instead of deactivating the old class and activating the new one, the server again sends a complete copy of everything. Nearly 100% of the server response in this case is unnecessary overhead, a single byte to indicate the class change was successful would be enough. This is not an isolated incident either. Removing a single item from bank results in reloading the entire bank screen, and the response contains a copy of the inventory table as well. When changing the equipped weapon, the response contains new copies of the inventory and equipment tables – two copies if done from the inventory screen – as well as a new skill table and other smaller updates. Nearly all of that is information the game already has.

What makes matters worse is that the way the game layouts are built is extremely outdated. Every screen is made of tables nested within tables, which is absolutely terrible. There is just no other way to put it, there is no excuse to still build layouts like that during this millenium. The proper way would be to use styles, which would significantly reduce the amount of markup needed and thereby reduce the overhead.

The single worst mistake though is the fact that since the requests are the same as loading any normal web page, they also get cached as such. When the game is played, the browser cache quickly fills up with countless copies of battle action responses as well as every screen and view you could think of. While I was still playing actively, this would cause any browser I tried the game on to slow down and eventually crash. This is even more unintelligible since there exists a HTTP header named Cache-Control which would be perfect for preventing this. If Playmage used it that is.

I would prefer not to be rude about it, but I cannot avoid the conclusion that some of the people who made this game were incompetent. There is no other explanation for why they would have built the game in a way that continuously wastes their money on unnecessary bandwidth.

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Topic: Dream World / Invincible Mystic Foiled

Greetings Dream World. April Fools’ Day has passed, the day fools are kings and when I meant to make a fool out of kingk, but it seems the joke is on me. Against all odds someone at Playmage fixed the bug I was going to exploit to build another invincible Mystic.

Some of you may remember that this is not the first time this has happened. A guild with the initials ’84 once built a Mystic, which could not be hostiled. The bug was supposedly fixed, but the fix only consisted of forcibly changing the guild initials to remove the apostrophe and preventing new guilds with special characters in their initials from being created. Only, this did not fix the bug at all.

As some of you already know or suspect, I have had my main account suspended, presumably for scripting, although I never received any response to my question why. It may interest you to know that besides scripting, I made numerous other improvements to the game, including a fix to hostiling guilds with special characters in their initials. It occurred to me that I could do a favor to my old guild and troll the developers at once by building a Mystic no one else could hostile and damage except my friends, and three weeks ago I put my plan into action. I spent that time gathering stones with the intent of building a Mystic on the first of April, and telling only my friends how to hostile it. As it turns out, Playmage fixed that bug just in time to allow ZS to wipe out my Mystic within minutes, wasting its potential for near-infinite coins.

It may occur to you that I tried this as some sort of revenge. I want to make it absolutely clear this is not the case. This game has bored me for a long time, and I only kept playing to support my guild, and because it had become an unhealthy obsession. Once I got over my surprise for being caught, I felt relieved. I am not bitter or angry in the least. I planned this long before I was suspended, and the only difference that made was that I could go through with it with no fear of reprisal. I was only sorry for my guild, which had to endure the loss of four of its strongest players in quick succession.

Now, besides helping my friends, there was one other reason I wanted to do this, during a special event no less, and that was to get the attention of Dream World players and developers alike. I want to make an offer. I would like to phrase it as an offer Playmage can’t refuse, though I have obviously lost my trump card, and I never had Luca Brasi holding anyone at gunpoint to begin with. Still, I would love to see what sort of excuse they could come up with to reject me.

What I offer is bug fixes and graphics upgrades. I have fixed a dozen or so bugs, I have not kept an exact count. I also improved the layouts to make scroll bars unnecessary in shop and battle screens, and was about to start on the inventory and bank screens when I was hit with the suspension. I overhauled the tutorial system just before that, just because the original was painful to look at. Given the chance, I could do a lot more too. My coding work on this game has served me well as practice, and what I learned was an important factor in getting me my last job. In that way, I have gained something far more valuable than levels from my scripting. Like any programmer I like knowing my work is being put to use, so I am offering to share it with everyone, free of charge.

Oh, and just in case the nature of my offer is unclear to someone, I am not offering to share the scripting part of what I have created, only bug fixes and other improvements which do not affect how the game is played. Maybe some keyboard shortcuts for changing classes or allies, the game needs those rather badly. If you want them, let kingk and the Playmage staff know that you do.

Comments and criticisms are welcome. I have my own criticisms of this game I may post later. Playmage fixed one of the bugs I did, but there are many more left, and as bad as the visible bugs and problems in this game are, there is something much worse hidden underneath in the game architecture.

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Topic: Dream World / Official Bug Reports Thread (new)

It appears that something broke while making the Girl in Red not give mob killing quests in Hell. Now she gives quests to kill Hell mobs in Atlantis.

I have yet to test whether you can actually advance this quest in Hell. Either way, this is an obvious bug, and makes questing for the Girl in Red rather troublesome in Atlantis.

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Topic: Dream World / Possible hacker?

Originally posted by DeathStryke:

YOU” dont care. We do.

Tell me, what exactly is there to care about?

I can feel the hatred toward Galaxy here, but if you are unbiased about it, he is in fact talking sense.

What you need to understand is that when you click a crystal share link, two distinct operations take place. One is to inform the Dream World server that you shared a crystal. The other is to post a claim link on your profile on the Kongregate server. Either one of these operations can fail while the other succeeds.

Due to my wireless connection being unstable, it often crashes in the middle of an action. The HTTP message from my browser has in fact reached the server, but the response never reaches me. It has happened once or twice in the middle of sharing a crystal. What do you suppose happens next? After I restore my connection, I click the share link again. Later I’ve found duplicate links on my profile, indicating that the first attempt had gone through after all. Now, consider the fact that the HTTP protocol is built with unreliability in mind. Messages can and do get stuck on the barbed wire that seems to make up so much of the Internet, and when requests are not responded to in a timely fashion, they are resent. Imagine if the Dream World server does not respond, but Kongregate does, and you have potential for multiple duplicates of a single claim link.

I have never tried this, but I bet anyone could get two or more claim links on their profile during one day. Explore until you find a crystal to share, then open Dream World in another tab without sharing it. In the new tab, continue exploring until you find another crystal to share. Now click the share links in both tabs. I expect this results in two claim links on your profile.

It is far more interesting what happens on the Dream World server. It is possible that sharing multiple crystals would reset the number of available crystals each time, enabling more than 5 people to claim them, but I find that to be harmless. After all, the person sharing the crystals gets no benefit, and everyone else visiting his profile has a better chance at claiming. If sharing multiple crystals would also enable a single player to claim them it would be far more serious, but even then the person himself would not be able to claim from his own links.

Interestingly, I’ve heard no complaints about a single player being able to claim more than 8 crystals per day. I discovered this by accident during a previous expansion, when I had forgotten exactly how many I had already claimed and kept trying until I must have claimed 12 or so. This was caused by the update of the Dream World server, which also reset the number of crystals I was able to claim.

Furthermore, something that happens to me every week is that I try to claim from an active link, get nothing, but it counts toward my limit. This seems to happen randomly when a previous claim link has not completely loaded on my browser before I click another. During this event, on the day of the expansion I claimed 14 crystals, but 2 of them were lost due to this bug.

My bottom line is that the crystal share and claim system is a bug infested bog of bad code. You should not be surprised by any of the weirdness it causes, and you should certainly not jump to conclusions about someone cheating because of it. Particularly not when there is no advantage to the player doing it.

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Topic: Dream World / 21k puzzles?

Amusing thread you have here. I quite enjoyed the read.

It looks to me that Galaxy was trying to prove a point. The leaderboards are unreliable, making any competition there rather silly. And I do not just mean because people cheat. As many players in my guild have been witness to, my wireless connection is unreliable, and seems to have an exceptional fondness to crash when I’m just about to get my share of a Faction boss. Even after I manage to get online again, the connection to Kongregate’s chat and score servers takes a while to recover, and I often find myself playing while they are down. At other times, Flash crashes, at which point no scores get submitted to Kongregate at all. Still at other times, I see my error console filled with messages related to failed score submissions.

Consequently, I believe my chests opened and puzzles solved scores should be significantly higher. And if I’m having this kind of trouble, I cannot be the only one. This means the leaderboards are fundamentally skewed, even without cheats being involved. I don’t see the sense in competing there.

If you need to see examples, just last week there were 11 people with exactly the same Invasion score. I was one of them, so was Galaxy, as well as a bunch of other people from other guilds. I have no idea why it happened, but it must have had something to do with us being the highest hitters in our respective areas. If the scores are that badly bugged on top of everything else, I find them to be completely meaningless.

Except the daily scores for opened chests. They don’t need to be accurate, they are a good source of crystals to claim either way.

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Topic: Dream World / magic teleporter

In short, +1.

I realize that the people at Playmage want to make money making games, but there was barely anything in the latest update I consider worth paying for. But if there was a premium item that eliminated the travel cost between mainland and Isendel, I would grab that the instant it was possible. I would have grabbed it long ago just to hit the regular Isendel bosses.

Placing the new areas on Isendel, and behind a second dungeon link, was just about as inconvenient as it could possibly be.

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Topic: Dream World / Lack of lvl cap rasie

Originally posted by Avalokitesvara:
Originally posted by kingk:
There needs to be a “reachable finish line” that for lower level players to have a reasonable chance to hit.

This is like asking for people to leave when they hit lv100 :|
Not a great idea.

I don’t post often on the forum, but since this is a topic I have a strong opinion on, I must speak up. I don’t know if I’m in the minority here, but I’m glad the level cap did not change. I don’t want it to. Ever.

Why would the cap need to be raised? It has been mentioned that people would be motivated by improving their character, but leveling has nothing to do with that, quite the opposite. The last time I gained any benefit from leveling was way back when I could first survive Lolith’s strong attack. Since then, every level I have gained has made me weaker, since the Arena bosses have continued to level and have become relatively stronger than they were a few levels ago. For the last four levels I have been penalized for every level I have gained, yet I have not stopped. Rather, I believe I have been one of the fastest risers through the ranks.

In my opinion, people who play this game just to reach an arbitrary number are playing it for the wrong reason. This game should be all about the content, not mindless grinding. There is already quite enough of the latter, and we don’t need one bit more. There is however not nearly enough of the former.

What I have been looking forward to for a long time is reaching the end. But it need not be the end of the game, only an end to the mind numbing boredom that is grinding for experience. If I were to reach level 100 today, it would certainly affect my playing habits. Instead of focusing on Faction War as the only means of gaining experience to level, I could do a bunch of other things that are both more enjoyable to me and more beneficial to the guild. Rage bosses until I reach kill scores over 1000? Sure. Challenge myself at Atlantis to increase my high score? Why not. Help out guild members and friends in lower level areas? Sounds like fun.

What this game should do more is support different playstyles. Right now no one above level 90 would ever rage normal Isendel areas because of their terrible coin return. No one would even think about demon gates or alien portals after getting the badges for them. So why not do something to make those areas more appealing, to add more things that are worth doing? I would love to see all areas in the game become meaningful again, without them being mere coin sinks.

What I’m looking at right now is something not at all to my liking. So we got three more bosses. More health, hit harder, same old same old. And we have six more levels of Hell to look forward to, probably with a level cap increase to make those areas survivable? Instead of adding new content, we get more of the exact same thing, except even more tedious, while older areas continue to become irrelevant as you move along? Instead of reaching my goal, in some months I could enter the last lap only to see the finish line is no longer there, leaving me with nothing but a sense of wasted effort?

To hell with that. Two years of grinding to reach level 100 is enough. It needs to end. Finally, definitively, end.

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Topic: Dream World / My Guild is Deleted. :(

Originally posted by omark96:

I couldn’t care less about whether or not people do this. All I wanted to do was to inform people that doing so is against the rules and that they should take that into consideration before doing it.

Except… it is not.

You said yourself that using alts to gain advantages was forbidden. I did not gain anything from doing this, therefore it is fine. Yes, I used an alt, but it had nothing to do with my main, it was simply convenient.

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Topic: Dream World / My Guild is Deleted. :(

Then I don’t see how that applies. I could have taken over the guilds I did with my main just as easily as with the alt – in fact it would have been easier, since my main is higher level. It just would not have been as convenient to do during an event. In any case, neither my main or the alt gained anything from doing this, it was simply amusing.

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Topic: Dream World / My Guild is Deleted. :(

Which rules does it break though? My guild gained coins in its vault, but they have no effect. I was also not seeking to recruit new members by doing this. None of the guilds I targeted contained active members, indeed I would not have been able to take them over if they had been active. It was just chance that one of them logged in before being kicked, and whether he wants to stay in his new guild is ultimately up to him. So far I have only seen him check in once and not do anything.

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Topic: Dream World / My Guild is Deleted. :(

My posts are few and far between, but this one deserves a followup.

It seems that there are quite enough players of sufficiently high level and bored enough to try this. I looked through the top 500 guilds just a couple days ago, and discovered that many of the guilds mentioned in this thread have disappeared. I only found a handful of old guilds which I took over, and eventually merged into my active guild.

I wonder if anyone has tried this for profit? My guild gained a new member who unexpectedly returned from inactivity, though I have no idea if he will stay – he must be pretty confused waking up in a different guild than the one he fell asleep in. We also gained about 5T coins in our vault, though it hardly matters when we were already Void +10.

At this moment I’m aware of a couple guilds that are eligible to be taken over like this. I wonder if anyone is curious enough to hunt them down?

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Topic: Dream World / Server lag

Finally. Clearing caches did not help, it just made all pictures disappear, but rebooting the system solved whatever the hell it was.

Lost about 20 energy and two hours of Genius and Heroic over this. Not a good way to end an event.

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Topic: Dream World / Server lag

I will withhold my thanks until I see improvement. Right now the game is still inaccessible to me. Trying to enter only causes the game to hang indefinitely. Interestingly, trying to enter S2 instead results in the message “Loading Kongregate API. Please wait…” briefly flashing, after which the browser hangs displaying a black screen.

I wonder if this could somehow be location dependent? I am in Europe.

I really would like this to get actually fixed. I am already losing energy, being unable to spend it or store any more.

By the way, Playmage seems to use Amazon Web Services. You can see their notices here .

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Topic: Dream World / Server lag

Nope. Still cannot enter.

Whatever the problem is, it is preventing the home page from loading. Even when I entered into the browser to test, I got nothing in response, it just hangs indefinitely.

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Topic: Dream World / Server lag

Originally posted by nikathome:

Just check before spaming.

I would recommend you to take your own advice. We know there were lag issues in gameplay, for which the Playmage server was probably responsible. We also know that authentication is not working. I myself have been unable to get in for the past hour and more. You claimed there was no problem with Kongregate due to other games working, but this is irrelevant unless those games also use the authentication API.

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Topic: Dream World / Server lag

The good news is my alt did not time out, and has been able to roam freely for some time now.

The bad news is my main did time out, and my attempts to get back in have consistently failed. The event is pretty much a lost cause now, but I can only store energy for another two hours twenty minutes before I run out of space.

The original problem was lag during gameplay, and not with authentication. I see no improvement with authentication either, it remains completely unresponsive.

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Topic: Dream World / Server lag

What is up with the servers today? Since the day changed there were lag spikes every few minutes, but since 15 minutes ago or more I’m getting no response at all. Except a message saying my session has expired, which is not very useful. Meanwhile the clocks on event, Genius and Heroic are ticking.

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Topic: Dream World / Hard decisions (in DW)

Originally posted by omark96:
Originally posted by Nakazawa:

Buy storage

That’s too expensive…

After you bought all those rings, I’ll have to assume you’re joking here.

I don’t remember making any real tough choices. Smaller ones, like risking an attack against Anithea with fewer dolls than usual, I make all the time.

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Topic: Dream World / Dream world Down? (resolved)

Everything now works for me too. I don’t know if my efforts at fixing the problem have anything to do with it. I added an entry to my hosts file, and I selected the free DNS servers previously posted here.

The hosts entry I added was this – note that the IP address posted earlier is incorrect:

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Topic: Dream World / Dream world Down? (resolved)

As noted earlier, the problem is with the Domain Name Service, or DNS. For some reason it no longer recognizes any Playmage hosts, meaning they cannot be resolved to an IP address. The actual servers may be up and running, but with DNS not working, accessing the servers is impossible.

DNS is a distributed system, and it is reasonable to assume that updates are not simultaneous in every node. The game, or part of it, may still work for some people because their local DNS node has been fixed – or because said node has not been inflicted with amnesia yet.

At this moment, the game does not work for me at all.

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Topic: Dream World / black market

Originally posted by lf2ian:

Maybe we need a new high score: bid

If we do that, we will have people outbidding each other just to show off, paying outrageous sums for the weirdest things.

…Oh, looks like they’re already doing that. “Selling enhance potion, enhance potion, 121 billion coins, any more bids? Anyone? Going once, going twice, sold to the crazy weirdo with way too much money on his hands!”

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Topic: Dream World / Question on stats

1 dex equals 1% critical rate, so clearly the former is much better for you. For players with very high stats the critical rate would be capped and so more dex would be better. I assume that is not the case with you, or you would already know this.

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Topic: Dream World / One Hit Kills

Originally posted by omark96:

You do get more exp if the mob is closer to your level, don’t trust me, try it for yourself. Go to a town, kill 1 normal mob in the first area and then one in the fifth area, compare the exp. So yeah, you get way more exp if you fight mobs that are at your own level.

This has nothing to do with your level, only with the fact that higher level mobs are worth more experience. If it were about the level difference, the reward for killing low level mobs would diminish as you advance and the level gap grows. This is not the case, instead the experience from low level mobs becomes insignificant as the experience requirement for next level grows.

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Topic: Time World / What the heck are the odds for purple hero???

Originally posted by alexgar:

So many people using mathematics wrong. Look, if you throw a dice, what is the chance of getting the number 4? If you say 1/6 you are correct. If you have 1/9000 of being able to get a purple hero, how many tries you should do? 9000. So yes, the odds are 300/9000 or 1/30. You see? really simple. Those who didnt got that number should really check their maths.

“To every problem there exists a solution that is simple, elegant, and wrong.”

Before you criticize the math of others, you should make sure not to humiliate yourself. According to your logic, with a 1/9000 chance you would be guaranteed a success in 9000 tries. This is not the case. Similarly you might as well claim that with a 1/6 chance of rolling 4 with a die, rolling six times would be guaranteed to produce a 4. In fact, since the chance of 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 is always 1/6, rolling a die six times should always produce exactly one of these.

In short, prune’s math is absolutely correct.