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Vilya

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Tuesday, 9. February 2016, 14:19

Tools , backends and workarounds

Quoted from "Scimitar"

Dear players,

did you know that also the tools we use to manage the games mostly come from the game developers?
There are some exceptions, but for the most part, those tools do not offer a lot of functionality.
So for the most games, we are extremely limited to the set of functions offered by the specific tool.

However, the situation is not as bad as it may sound, and we are currently creating drafts of features also for the tools, which we want to use need to offer more challenging events for you.
The most important thing is to have accurate information and also having that information available for export to some common file format where you can work with.
And the good thing is, that basicly all the information exists. The game actually needs to work with that information. The game "knows" what items you have, and also when you complete a mission for example.
Unfortunately there are many cases, where we cannot access that information easily.

Sometimes it takes a lot of manual analysis to find out who has completed a certain task or did something rewardable in the game.
So the set of challenges and events that we can give you, is not unlimited.

There are some games with better tools and some with worse and most of the time it is about 2 key factors:
- Having all the required information in some list format
- Having the ability to send a certain rewards to a batch of players

So currently in some games we can for example find out, who did the most levelups, who did the most PvP kills, who completed a certain quest or also who was the first to loot a certain item.
Having that information available, we can build events based on that.
LastChaos weekly challenges are only one example how this information can be used. Still it needs a little handcrafting left to do, but at least we have the information in the logfiles or tools.

In some other games accessing this information is very complicated or even impossible. You may be able to look up a certain player, but in case of a challenge, you would not know the winner at that point.
Or in some other games, you do not have the general capability of sending items to players. You need to use workarounds, because the tool does not offer that feature out of the box.
Also some changes can be done "hot" (meaning while the game is running), while some other changes require a server restart to become effective in the game.
We logically cannot restart the servers whenever a player has earned a reward, thus sometimes the special rewards need to be delayed until next maintenance.
However, we believe that getting a reward for completing a mission a little later may be inconvenient, but way better that not getting such rewards at all.

We are currently working to convince the developers to make all the needed information available in a better way - either exporting some lists when you need them, or even writing continuous logs in realtime - some of our games already do that, so we are using those examples to point out all the benefits.
Having that done in Kings and Legends for example, we could offer special rewards for more points during the World Boss fights and encourage players to go beyond the usual 8 points. Or even have special prices for defeating the "unwanted" bosses as many players are only going for the same ones over and over.
Having that done in War 2 Glory, we would not be so limited in designing missions and suffering from a non-resetting mission condition as it happened lately with the war prisoners. We could just give you the task to complete and evaluate it afterwards in Excel or by some scripts that are capable of processing that data.

Even though changing some features in the backends is nothing that you would recognize instantly, but those are also important things that need to be done.
Also if there is a new feature introduced into a game, it is not only creating the playable part, but also updating the backends and tools accordingly.
Giving us a little more freedom about the data can mean a great deal of improving events, rewards and in the end the overall fun in the game.

So, sometimes in the patchlogs you do not find big changes or improvements that you can notice right away, but also maintaining servers - like keeping their OS up to date for example - and also doing "invisible" improvements in the backends are things that happen on a regular basis during the maintenances and are not less important that the game itself.

In the end, we like to present you a variation of events and things you can do in the games apart from "standard".
... written in English by Scimitar (Product Manager of Last Chaos & War 2 Glory & Kings and Legends)
... English translation by Scimitar (Product Manager of Last Chaos & War 2 Glory & Kings and Legends)
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