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Official: Turns Are In Thread

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The slowing of our turn results means our beloved galaxy is growing.

Yes it is frustrating having to wait longer, and I am guilty of throwing my own fit on the boards about it.

SN allows for many different options to play your empire. Unfortunetly the screens are appealling. I have to agree with Pete about leaving the screens alone. I would hate to stiffle another gamers experience just because I am excited to get my turns faster.

I will totally support cutting doun the convoy route results.

Maybe the battles with the massive screen fleets the reporting can just list the total amount of the Light Screen and Heavy Screen ship classification instead of 40 pages of each ship listed in the order it is desroyed.

How about adding a couple new orders that allow the players to turn on and off convoy route reporting of specific convoy routes.


Goog Gaming Everyone

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And that is worth the game being destroyed , just because some empires have invested heavily in screens?

While I respect anybodies opinion, perhaps you should wait until you have a position that you have been playing for 5 years before you ask the question. It is pretty myopic to arrive in a game as a newbie and criticize all those that have gone before for the tactics that they employ.


I wish you better success managing your position after you have captured a few HW's and need a cheap and effective way to defend them as well as the necessary convoy routes to connect them etc..


If having the game "destroyed" because of investing in screens when screens were the only logical way to deal with the battle system, then so be it. You can't throw out 5 years of strategy and tech development just to deal with unforeseen database problems.


I would also point out that those of us that have been around for a while have all completed entire tech lines without finding the elusive secret to negating the effects of screens. Now the answer seems to be falling out of trees for all to see, but it is not obvious and is not something you are likely to stumble across.


Good luck on your turns, when ever they arrive. I for one look forward to 2500 pages of convoy routes and long battles. And that is just one of my positions.


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Fast convoys can be mitigated somewhat by reducing the data returned on their runs - I've avoided doing that so far, but have considered it: i.e. duplicate the SKIM code (as one example) and use the duplicated code only for Convoy Route runs. Take out most of the text that gets displayed. This would not change the functionality, but would dramatically reduce the amount of text that gets put to the disk, reducing both printout length and processing time. The downside is that for Convoy Route orders (especially LC, OC) you'd lose a lot of data. For those with 1500 page printouts, do you really care about that information? Hard to say. I haven't done that so far, but it is one possible solution.





As one who uses a lot of convoy routes, the most frequently used part of the route is the OC/LC report. For skim CR's the main thing is to know that they run. I would much rather there be a format that says fleet XX skimmed 501 times for 2000 fuel each time and OC's fuel 501 times into pop group #XXXXX the total amount of fuel.


For long distance routes it seems to be a bit more complicated.





Any changes made have to be done so that they do not destroy the viability of player empires that have operated under the conditions as they are ( built up screening forces). Just as changing the day of the week turns are due might help some players out. It could also hurt other players. While getting rid of screen defenses might get your turn results to you a little bit quicker it could also result in a lot of empires getting royally screwed.


As for convoy routes I think you could eliminate a lot of pages of repetitive junk if each convoy route result was dumbed down to something along the lines of Convoy route A executed the following priority steps : 10, 20, 30, 40, 50, 10, 20, 30, 40, 50, 10, 20. Put the responsibility of keeping track of amounts of material skimmed or moved onto the players.



The only way you can verify that things are working as expected is with the LC/OC and SKIM results. Removing those results would give you no way to figure out on your own what has gone wrong and why. The means more calls/emails to Pete demanding answers which takes time away from other more useful tasks.



If you would like to send my your location I will be happy to run over with a couple of NDN's equipped with the elusive technology to demonstrate why you should not build screens. I promise I won't even land troops after I have cleared the skies over your HW. I will simply land a few 100 peace keepers to help your scientist discover the secret.


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You know , hobnob , you need to look at things in the context as they were written , and what Pete wrote...while I know you have played a pbm game or two , so have I.....you have gotten pretty stodgy in what you write , and if you were to read what Pete wrote , then you wallow in false security with your screens....don't like a newbie to this particular game to tell you that?....If you had played in Paul's SN II in Holland , Michael and I would have wiped Draconis / Orion with your carcass...like what I think about you? Now do something about it....be constructive and offer some suggestions as to what to do about this game.....it is obvious if you had read what Pete wrote that eventually the database is going to become so bloated that it is going to take longer and longer to run a turn....right now turns go from Thursday to Saturday to process...in another 6 months , with the bigger empires adding thousands of screens per turn , what is now 3 days is going to become 4 days...it does not take a genius to figure that out , but it seems that fact has completely gone past you. Also , if you did not read what Pete wrote , once the database does start to creek and no longer move , then Pete will have no choice but to do something about those thousands , probably hundreds of thousands of screens out there....then what are you going to do...tell him he can't do that , and in a fit of anger quit after 5-6 years of playing the game....can't you see the writing on the wall?

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...be constructive and offer some suggestions as to what to do about this game.....



Perhaps if you did the same as you tell Hobknob you might get a better response. And being constructive means changes that wont screw over the majority of people who have been playing for years. I've only been playing for a bit over a year so no I am not one of those people. However I can see their point of view.


As far as bringing your NDNs to show me why not to build screens Hobknob its all nice until you remember that for the newer empires without that elusive tech you speak of screens are one of the most viable strategies. The empires I am going to run into for quite some time aren't going to have that elusive tech either. So my screens will be pounding on his screens until one of us gets the tech.


Moving the due date up does not fix the problem. It only moves it a bit further into the future. Sooner or later we will again be at a point where turns arrive on saturdays because of the growth of empires in the game.


Since messing with the screens issue won't be accomplished without pissing off people on one side or the other let's try to cut time off the area that wont upset people. If optimizing the turn results/printouts/pdf generation part of the problem can get us some significant timesaving then in my opinion that should be where we focus our attention.


And yes I do realize that something needs to be done to alleviate the stress on the database, but I think thats going to be more a matter of improvements in computer technology and programming than a fix accomplished by limiting the number of ships an empire can have. Because again through the growth of the game ( new people, people playing more than one empire) you will reach that database cap

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Another way to trim down the number of screens is for one of the players to post the ANZ for the Flag Bridge tech.......


Sakarissa :thumbsup:

The Circle

I've heard that some empires are finding flag bridges in exploration finds, similar to when TWDs were introduced. I bet we'll all have them in year... And a fair amount of empires have them right now. We'll see how well they work this turn and if it speeds up processing.

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Convoy Routes.....short of implementing a limit on fleet speed for Convoy Route runs (a drastic measure I've also avoided implementing, though it would certainly solve the issue instantly), limiting Convoy Route data return is one answer.


We suggest a simple way out of the convoy dilemma some time ago:


Run the route *once* for real, save the results, just redo the results/things be done AP/conv-AP times.

Print out *one* block stating:

route xxx ran y times. maybe followed by a sum of items hauled in each direction.


You might start it with the worst ones, the SKIM-only Convoyroutes easily.

I think we can live with the lost sightings of the convoy routes on their later trips.


It will still have to check fuel consumption for each jump.



Well, it has also to check available goods etc, but all this can be done faster by not actually running and printing the whole route.


All the checking for fleets and the printing would be saved on the repeated runs.


Esp. the simple SKIM convoy route simply using said SKIM order once would be rally fast now.


on a 32 AP ship this would then only check once and not 32 times for sightings; once one entry would be seen, telling you, the fleet skimmed 32 times for its fuel, while jettisoned x amount of fuel, instead of telling you this 32 times.


That would be a reduction of 1:32 ! And that is for just *one* fleet. I have dozens of fleets on this order alone, though most move their allotted amount of APs each turn.


The normal domestic SKIM convoy (SKIM, OC, rinse repeat) would be affected the same way.


Just one report instead of 300-400 !

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How goes it Pete? Any database explosions or implosions? I'm guessing it is time to go to bed :thumbsup:

and check for turns in the morning...

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To throw an idea into the pot...


If I understand correctly the Majority of Screens tend to a 1000 tons of armour, some are junk items etc but not in large quantities and they are just sitting round homeworlds (I realize people build moving fleets of screens but Im not wanting to touch them in this idea).


Instead of them being listed as ships in the database couldnt they be converted into an item like fighters?


We could introduce 7 screen items (one for each armour level), people build them, they dont need fighter bays etc to be loaded into a fleet (but they cant move from a homeworld, same rules as surface fortress).


Maybe they could have a armour multiplier of 10 instead of 9 to encourage people to keep building them.

Then when you are in a battle it lists you have 20,000 Standard Hull screens, 5,000 trizenium flex plate screens etc along with your fighters and drones.


Obviously normal fire and FC would need to be tweaked to fire on the screen objects also but as the combat system needs fixing it might be doable?


That way you reduce the number of screens in the database dramatically and the battle reports should only list the major ships and maybe the attackers moving screen fleet (which remains the same as before).


Just an idea.

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The database/screen discussion should probably go in a separate thread but since it is taking place here . . .


I find it a bit disturbing the game is hitting database limitations. Fleets, convoys, everything is going to keep growing and growing regardless of whether people build screens or not. Stuff will be built faster than Mad Martin and friends will be able to destroy it.


Pete, what DBMS are you using? We have databases at work that have many millions of rows and total multiple terabytes. Sybase, Oracle, MySQL, all the decent ones are unlimited in total database size. Single table size is limited but it is huge. I know the Sybase single table size limit is something like 16 Exabytes! Even the crappy microsoft SQL server should handle multiple Terabyte databases. And if we are already hitting database size limits, I question database performance as well. Perhaps a more professional database engine would also result in faster turn processing. MySQL is free (GNU license) so cost shouldn't be a problem. It should not be hard to replace a SQL DBMS with another one. Maybe Pete should look in to putting his efforts in to swapping out whatever feeble database he is using for a decent one. Disk space is cheap. Let the fleets grow. Turn printout lengths, time to run battles, etc. are other matters that need to be addressed, but the underlying database should not be a limitation these days.


P.S. Where are the turns results?

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My bets are on a crappy Microsoft Access, which is not really a RDBMS :(


Good grief, I hope not! We are pretty much screwed if so. Per a search I just did it is limited to a paltry 2GB. I'm actually shocked it hasn't crashed and corrupted the universe by now.


Bump up turn sheets $1 and hire someone to port it to MySQL or such. I can't imagine the game living much longer with a 2GB cap if it is already bumping it. Fix it now while it is still running rather than suddenly having weeks of down time or having to make do draconian surgery to delete everyones swarm fleets or such.

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