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Posted by Ender on Saturday, February 28, 2015, 8:00:43 pm (ET)

In case you haven't heard, a bug was discovered in the tournament code that significantly affected the results of edition 1. Because of this, the results are invalid and the tournament will be repeated.

No action is required on your part. The same snapshot of bots from the original tournament will be used to run the tournament because that part of the code was unaffected. I will be taking down the existing results soon and will be moving the tournament's state back to "scheduled".

I'll re-run the tournament either tonight or tomorrow. I'll also make sure that per-bot results are available from the start to help give confidence in the validity of the results. If all goes smoothly and folks are generally satisfied with the output, sometime after that I will give out trophies and other awards.

Sorry about this everyone. As I mentioned on the bug thread, I take pride in the quality of this game and this is probably the most glaring issue bots4 has ever had so far in its 4.5 year stretch. It was just subtle enough to be able to trick an untrained eye during testing (read: me), but was obvious enough to anyone fully investing their time and energy into this game (read: you).

Posted by Ender on Sunday, February 1, 2015, 1:20:18 pm (ET)

Happy February everyone. The code for the scheduling and registration portions of tournaments is complete, so I've opened up registration for edition 1. Head on over to the homepage once you're logged in and register for a modest kudos fee.

Note that the actual tournament is still a ways off - it's scheduled for February 25. Future editions won't have registration this far in advance, but I figured I'd open the first one up early to let people preprare for the category ranges and to drum up some excitement for this long-awaited feature. :)

More details about all the inner workings of tournaments will be shared later, but here are some highlights:

  • Every bot will fight every other bot within its category once.
  • The bot with the most wins in a category is the category winner.
  • Bots will receive trophies, kudos, and experience based on their performance within their category.
  • There will be a clan aspect. I'm still working out the exact details, but it will involve trophies.
  • The category you register for (which is based on your level at time of registration) is not necessarily the category you will compete in (which is based on your level at time of tournament).
  • Unlike in bots2, you won't be logged out during the tournament. A snapshot of your bot will be taken at the start of the tournament, so what you are wearing and how your stats are distributed at that time will be what decides your performance.

Good luck and happy tournament bot building!

Congrats to Shoegazer [102] for leading <Eternal> to victory in the January 2015 clan competition and securing a 11th George Washington platinum trophy! Monthly energy has been reset and a new round has begun.

rank clan owner energy month
1 <Eternal> Shoegazer [102]
4,827,347 (x5.48)
2 <Escapism> ReneDescartes [220]
3,397,301 (x3.85)
3 <Alliance> Pothead [100]
2,474,766 (x2.80)
4 <Berzerker Barbarians> mrvain [138]
1,148,814 (x1.29)
5 <Peace> ACE 10 [55]
1,069,118 (x1.20)
6 <Platinium Squad> neps0 [70] 1,022,471 (x1.16)
7 <Reservoir Dogs> Mr Green [80] 983,295 (x1.25)
8 <Atreides> gr33n [82]
968,031 (x1.10)
9 <THC> THC20 [55]
957,703 (x1.08)
10 <Zion> LittleCause [90]
926,113 (x1.04)

Also see:

Posted by Ender on Friday, January 30, 2015, 10:22:51 pm (ET)

I noticed this morning that the hall of fame page was consistently taking almost a second to load. This is quite slow - it didn't have the same snappy feel as other pages on the site. I looked into it and found that the cause was an unoptimized database query. The problem was obvious, so I put a fix in before I went to work.

This wouldn't normally be newsworthy material, but when I got home tonight I remembered my pingdom uptime monitoring happens to be configured to hit the hall of fame. I logged in and found a nice chart from the past 24 hours showcasing the effect of the change I'd made this morning:

~800ms average to ~250ms average. Very satisfying!

Posted by Ender on Thursday, January 29, 2015, 2:14:34 am (ET)

Finishing upon last year's theme of automation, permanently moving stars no longer requires interacting with a human (read: me)! This change comes with a number of additional goodies:

  • Additional metadata now included for stars - Star age and original owner are now listed for each star. This is to help protect players against fallout from chargebacks. Read the chargeback guide on the star management page for more details.
  • Email confirmation - As an extra layer of safety, permanent moves now require email confirmation.
  • 2 step perm move process - Recipients of perm stars must explicitly accept incoming stars as part of a 2 step "propose and accept" process to protect traders and help them pay attention to star age.
  • Star purchase history, dating back to the beginning of time, is now available on the star management page.
  • Star perm move history, starting from now, is now available on the star management page.
  • Stats and various breakdowns of stars is now available on the star management page.

As always, but especially with a big and complicated update like this, please be on the lookout for bugs and report any in the bug subforum.

This should be the last recurring chore of mine to automate, leaving more time for real development work. \o/

Obligatory social media stuff: