announcements

This page contains all game announcements from after July 10, 2012. The legacy announcements page contains all older updates.

Congrats to ReneDescartes [290] for leading <Escapism> to victory in the July 2017 clan competition and securing a 23rd George Washington platinum trophy! Monthly energy has been reset and a new round has begun.

rank clan owner energy month
1 <Escapism> ReneDescartes [290]
5,651,277 (x6.54)
2 <Eternal> Shoegazer [103]
4,879,704 (x6.68)
3 <Myrmidons> Phyrize [130]
1,268,317 (x2.94)
4 <Reaper of souls> diablek [271]
1,204,460 (x1.35)
5 <Knights Templar> Furby Prototype [110]
1,139,705 (x1.30)
6 <Pirate Haven> The Pirate [225]
1,076,283 (x1.28)
7 <duk> rix21 [62]
980,946 (x1.10)
8 <Mental Remedy> AP1 [100] 938,128 (x1.05)
9 <Bacteria> Bac13 [100] 937,970 (x1.05)
10 <Boom> boom03 [100] 935,836 (x1.05)

Also see:

Congrats to ReneDescartes [290] for leading <Escapism> to victory in the June 2017 clan competition and securing a 22nd George Washington platinum trophy! Monthly energy has been reset and a new round has begun.

rank clan owner energy month
1 <Escapism> ReneDescartes [290]
3,631,166 (x4.63)
2 <Empire> Lucious Lyon [90]
1,494,302 (x1.87)
3 <Pirate Haven> The Pirate [225]
1,457,194 (x1.99)
4 <Reaper of souls> diablek [271]
1,339,392 (x1.55)
5 <Eternal> Shoegazer [103]
1,193,861 (x1.38)
6 <Platinium Squad> jezz [349]
1,001,410 (x1.16)
7 <Z Fighters> Juv0 [72]
1,000,672 (x1.28)
8 <Berzerker Barbarians> mrvain [139]
977,586 (x1.13)
9 <Rapture> Satanus Inaximasus [335]
975,431 (x1.13)
10 <KillThemAll> RaithenMaldrin [130]
969,628 (x1.19)

Also see:

Congrats to ReneDescartes [290] for leading <Escapism> to victory in the May 2017 clan competition and securing a 21st George Washington platinum trophy! Monthly energy has been reset and a new round has begun.

rank clan owner energy month
1 <Escapism> ReneDescartes [290]
4,823,014 (x5.91)
2 <Pirate Haven> Master Blaster [100]
1,880,309 (x2.34)
3 <Z Fighters> Juv0 [72]
1,379,928 (x2.07)
4 <KillThemAll> RaithenMaldrin [130]
1,226,988 (x1.42)
5 <Eternal> Shoegazer [103]
1,191,315 (x1.36)
6 <Reaper of souls> diablek [271]
1,115,522 (x1.25)
7 <Berzerker Barbarians> mrvain [139]
1,055,523 (x1.18)
8 <Platinium Squad> jezz [348]
934,968 (x1.05)
9 <Malicious Villainous> The Wilderness [44] 915,951 (x1.03)
10 <Mental Remedy> AP1 [100] 902,450 (x1.01)

Also see:

Congrats to ReneDescartes [290] for leading <Escapism> to victory in the April 2017 clan competition and securing a 20th George Washington platinum trophy! Monthly energy has been reset and a new round has begun.

rank clan owner energy month
1 <Escapism> ReneDescartes [290]
6,442,482 (x8.19)
2 <Pirate Haven> Master Blaster [100]
3,710,526 (x4.89)
3 <Reaper of souls> diablek [271]
1,487,773 (x1.76)
4 <Eternal> Shoegazer [103]
1,002,804 (x1.16)
5 <Berzerker Barbarians> mrvain [139]
972,991 (x1.13)
6 <KillThemAll> RaithenMaldrin [129]
963,569 (x1.23)
7 <Malicious Villainous> The Wilderness [44] 889,769 (x1.03)
8 <In Extremis> Redless [306] 873,916 (x1.01)
9 <Mental Remedy> AP1 [100] 873,890 (x1.01)
10 <Ophidian> Oph2 [100] 873,829 (x1.01)

Also see:

Congrats to ReneDescartes [290] for leading <Escapism> to victory in the March 2017 clan competition and securing a 19th George Washington platinum trophy! Monthly energy has been reset and a new round has begun.

rank clan owner energy month
1 <Escapism> ReneDescartes [290]
3,885,476 (x4.37)
2 <Pirate Haven> The Pirate [188]
3,447,161 (x4.93)
3 <Eternal> Shoegazer [103]
1,497,120 (x1.75)
4 <Reaper of souls> diablek [271]
1,299,448 (x1.51)
5 <Berzerker Barbarians> mrvain [139]
1,149,761 (x1.29)
6 <duk> rix21 [62]
945,026 (x1.06)
7 <Platinium Squad> jezz [345]
932,631 (x1.05)
8 <KillThemAll> RaithenMaldrin [124]
927,546 (x1.22)
9 <Rapture> Satanus Inaximasus [335]
923,400 (x1.04)
10 <Malicious Villainous> The Wilderness [44] 903,472 (x1.01)

Also see:

Congrats to ReneDescartes [290] for leading <Escapism> to victory in the February 2017 clan competition and securing a 18th George Washington platinum trophy! Monthly energy has been reset and a new round has begun.

rank clan owner energy month
1 <Escapism> ReneDescartes [290]
4,139,938 (x5.47)
2 <Malicious Villainous> The Wilderness [44] 2,418,790 (x3.05)
3 <Pirate Haven> The Pirate [177]
2,035,692 (x2.87)
4 <Eternal> Shoegazer [103]
1,729,472 (x2.21)
5 <Reaper of souls> diablek [271]
1,354,790 (x1.68)
6 <duk> jerro [100]
1,012,084 (x1.26)
7 <KillThemAll> RaithenMaldrin [116]
994,029 (x2.87)
8 <Rapture> Satanus Inaximasus [335]
963,614 (x1.20)
9 <Berzerker Barbarians> mrvain [139]
908,594 (x1.13)
10 <Platinium Squad> olli [270]
880,635 (x1.10)

Also see:

Congrats to ReneDescartes [290] for leading <Escapism> to victory in the January 2017 clan competition and securing a 17th George Washington platinum trophy! Monthly energy has been reset and a new round has begun.

rank clan owner energy month
1 <Escapism> ReneDescartes [290]
4,204,122 (x4.92)
2 <Pirate Haven> The Pirate [173]
4,026,348 (x5.18)
3 <PMS> Mentos [39]
2,214,976 (x2.66)
4 <Eternal> Shoegazer [103]
2,159,559 (x2.44)
5 <Malicious Villainous> The Wilderness [44] 1,859,641 (x2.12)
6 <Reaper of souls> diablek [271]
1,510,322 (x1.72)
7 <duk> jerro [100]
940,313 (x1.06)
8 <Xenoblade> shadow_rith [37] 928,872 (x1.05)
9 <In Extremis> Redless [306] 928,840 (x1.04)
10 <Platinium Squad> jezz [342]
921,959 (x1.04)

Also see:

Posted by Ender on Wednesday, January 25, 2017, 2:03:34 am (ET)

The hall of fame page has a new section at the bottom for "longevity" rankings. The idea of these rankings is to show the best-of-the-best clans and bots across the game's lifetime. Rankings are listed for the following:

  • Clans (monthly energy)
  • Clans (tournaments)
  • Bots (monthly energy)

And there are two ranking modes:

  • Winners only - Ranked by number of first-place finishes.
  • All (via Formula One points) - Ranked by a point system corresponding to finish position.

For example, here are the monthly energy clan rankings using Formula One points. The idea of this page is that it shows the best clans across the game's lifetime, taking account not just first-place finishes, but also consistent top 10 performance.

If you have any questions about this addition, feel free to ask here. Enjoy!

Congrats to ReneDescartes [290] for leading <Escapism> to victory in the December 2016 clan competition and securing a 16th George Washington platinum trophy! Monthly energy has been reset and a new round has begun.

rank clan owner energy month
1 <Escapism> ReneDescartes [290]
4,340,131 (x5.09)
2 <PMS> Mentos [37]
4,173,810 (x5.91)
3 <Pirate Haven> The Pirate [171]
2,244,103 (x3.00)
4 <Eternal> Shoegazer [103]
2,014,009 (x2.33)
5 <Reaper of souls> diablek [271]
981,914 (x1.10)
6 <Berzerker Barbarians> mrvain [139]
960,091 (x1.08)
7 <Malicious Villainous> The Wilderness [42] 923,709 (x1.03)
8 <duk> jerro [100]
921,712 (x1.03)
9 <Atreides> Crab Whistler [130]
911,988 (x1.02)
10 <Rapture> Satanus Inaximasus [333]
904,982 (x1.01)

Also see:

Posted by Ender on Sunday, December 11, 2016, 10:09:32 pm (ET)

The B.O.T.S. Union is pretty upset about this one folks. Clans with a daily tax of over 2^31 kudos (a little over 2.1 billion kudos...or 2,147,483,648 to be precise) have mistakenly not been having their taxes collected. This bug has now been corrected, so if you're in an affected clan, start paying up!

Also, :hattip: to the anonymous reporter of this bug. It's been a problem for awhile, but it works to the advantage of players in big clans, so there was an incentive to not report it. This is a good opportunity to remind everyone of my reward policy for certain bugs, which I hope can incentivize the reporting of these kinds of issues sooner in the future.

To that end, I've rewarded the anonymous reporter with 3 stars. Enjoy!

Congrats to ReneDescartes [290] for leading <Escapism> to victory in the November 2016 clan competition and securing a 15th George Washington platinum trophy! Monthly energy has been reset and a new round has begun.

rank clan owner energy month
1 <Escapism> ReneDescartes [290]
2,470,086 (x2.99)
2 <Eternal> Shoegazer [103]
1,890,310 (x2.25)
3 <Pirate Haven> The Pirate [168]
1,616,342 (x3.63)
4 <Malicious Villainous> The Wilderness [42] 1,303,389 (x1.51)
5 <Reaper of souls> diablek [271]
1,231,872 (x1.43)
6 <PMS> Carlton [72] 989,543 (x5.50)
7 <Silence is Golden> Fallen 1 [28] 985,808 (x2.32)
8 <Xenoblade> shadow_rith [37] 932,501 (x1.08)
9 <In Extremis> Redless [305] 928,683 (x1.07)
10 <duk> jerro [100]
928,096 (x1.07)

Also see:

Congrats to ReneDescartes [290] for leading <Escapism> to victory in the October 2016 clan competition and securing a 14th George Washington platinum trophy! Monthly energy has been reset and a new round has begun.

rank clan owner energy month
1 <Escapism> ReneDescartes [290]
2,784,324 (x3.23)
2 <Reaper of souls> diablek [271]
1,377,095 (x1.60)
3 <Silence is Golden> The Goddess [121] 1,353,253 (x5.27)
4 <Eternal> Shoegazer [103]
1,112,592 (x1.25)
5 <Malicious Villainous> The Wilderness [41] 1,085,183 (x1.22)
6 <Berzerker Barbarians> mrvain [139]
963,265 (x1.08)
7 <duk> jerro [99]
916,374 (x1.03)
8 <Portugal> Esvz [226]
909,004 (x1.02)
9 <Xenoblade> shadow_rith [37] 907,257 (x1.03)
10 <In Extremis> Redless [302] 900,470 (x1.01)

Also see:

Congrats to ReneDescartes [290] for leading <Escapism> to victory in the September 2016 clan competition and securing a 13th George Washington platinum trophy! Monthly energy has been reset and a new round has begun.

rank clan owner energy month
1 <Escapism> ReneDescartes [290]
3,260,959 (x3.88)
2 <Malicious Villainous> The Wilderness [41] 2,151,583 (x2.49)
3 <Reaper of souls> diablek [271]
1,921,571 (x2.23)
4 <Eternal> Shoegazer [103]
1,092,834 (x1.26)
5 <Berzerker Barbarians> mrvain [139]
942,460 (x1.09)
6 <meh> sully8 [81]
920,826 (x1.07)
7 <In Extremis> Cadaverous [180] 907,931 (x1.05)
8 <duk> jerro [99]
896,148 (x1.04)
9 <Rapture> Satanus Inaximasus [331]
879,497 (x1.02)
10 <Portugal> Esvz [226]
874,549 (x1.01)

Also see:

Posted by Ender on Wednesday, September 7, 2016, 7:15:22 pm (ET)

Similar to the category 1 split that happened shortly after tournaments were first introduced, it's come time for another split. This time, the existing category 2 (201-300) is being split into two new categories (201-250 and 251-300). This will help even out the playing field a bit for bots in the lower 200s.

Thanks to Myriad for the suggestion.

Congrats to ReneDescartes [290] for leading <Escapism> to victory in the August 2016 clan competition and securing a 12th George Washington platinum trophy! Monthly energy has been reset and a new round has begun.

rank clan owner energy month
1 <Escapism> ReneDescartes [290]
2,662,585 (x3.08)
2 <Reaper of souls> diablek [270]
2,010,743 (x2.44)
3 <Malicious Villainous> The Wilderness [41] 1,724,857 (x1.93)
4 <Atreides> Crab Whistler [130]
1,213,328 (x1.36)
5 <Eternal> Shoegazer [103]
990,548 (x1.13)
6 <Berzerker Barbarians> mrvain [139]
961,321 (x1.08)
7 <Bird Law Boys> Cosby [183]
926,132 (x1.33)
8 <Rapture> Satanus Inaximasus [330]
919,621 (x1.03)
9 <In Extremis> Cadaverous [180] 915,901 (x1.03)
10 <Ophidian> Oph2 [100] 902,022 (x1.01)

Also see:

Congrats to ReneDescartes [290] for leading <Escapism> to victory in the July 2016 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 <Escapism> ReneDescartes [290]
3,397,004 (x3.84)
2 <Malicious Villainous> The Wilderness [40] 3,079,032 (x3.49)
3 <Atreides> Crab Whistler [130]
1,245,941 (x1.40)
4 <Eternal> Shoegazer [103]
1,232,560 (x1.39)
5 <Berzerker Barbarians> mrvain [139]
1,023,164 (x1.15)
6 <duk> jerro [99]
1,005,508 (x1.13)
7 <Reaper of souls> diablek [270]
953,413 (x1.09)
8 <Peace> ACE 10 [55]
931,509 (x1.08)
9 <Rapture> Satanus Inaximasus [330]
911,158 (x1.02)
10 <Platinium Squad> jezz [335]
893,039 (x1.00)

Also see:

Posted by Ender on Wednesday, July 20, 2016, 10:49:23 pm (ET)

There's a new link on the online page - the online history page. It shows historical stats for how many bots were online at once and online over the past 1, 7, and 30 days over time. Data goes back to February 2011, but with some caveats; see the info on that page for full details.

My goal of publicly providing this data is twofold:

  1. Measure the success of new player engagement efforts - As I talked about a couple weeks ago, lately I've had my eye towards improving the new player experience in order to do a better job at attracting and retaining new players. Number of online bots is by no means a perfect measure of activity or engagement, but it's not terrible and is more powerful (I think) than what I can do with Google Analytics out of the box.

  2. Give more visibility into game health - It's no secret that game activity has waned over the years since launch in 2011. Some decline after the initial excitement of the game launch was expected, but there's a steady downward trend over the years. The charts provide a somewhat depressing though honest picture - while there is definitely a downward trend, there's not no activity. It's with the existing/remaining core contingent of active players logging on every day (thank you!) that I hope to grow the game back into what it was before, and more.

Enjoy! I hope you find this interesting.

Posted by Ender on Tuesday, July 19, 2016, 11:28:29 pm (ET)

My host has informed me that they need to reboot the server the game is hosted on to apply a security update. It is scheduled for:

Friday, 2016-07-22 15:00:00 UTC

Which is:

Friday, 2016-07-22 11:00:00 EDT (server time)

The game will be unavailable during the maintenance. Unfortunately this is around the time of the day when there are typically the most number of bots online - while there is a 2 hour window allocated, the actual downtime may be much less.

Posted by Ender on Wednesday, July 13, 2016, 11:10:12 pm (ET)

If you're not interested in the finer details and minutiae of the game, you can stop reading now.

As many folks are aware, who hits first in a battle depends on you and your opponent's intelligence stat. A random number from 0 to $int (inclusive) is chosen - the higher roll gets to hit first. In the event of a tie, the attacker goes first.

Okay, so tiny edge for the attacker - no big deal, right? Well, remember that as of March 1, 2012, minimum effective int is 1 (it was always 5 in bots2). For bots that are supposed to be the top of their class, effective int will be 1, so this edge case is actually pretty common. For a 1 int vs. 1 int battle, some quick math tells us the attacker will go first 75% of the time.

Still not a big deal though, right? Enter tournaments. Due to my obsessive personality and need for everything to be deterministic, the order that bots battle each other is well defined:

  1. Get all the bots in a category.
  2. Sort them by id.
  3. Have the first bot battle all the others that come after it (i.e. all other bots).
  4. Have the second bot battle all the others that come after it (i.e. all other bots except the first bot).
  5. Repeat until you reach the end of the list of bots.

In case you missed it, the bot with the lower id will always be the attacker. 1 int bots are especially common in tournaments, so there is therefore a small edge for bots with lower ids. Hitting first is certainly an edge, but just how large this edge is would be difficult to estimate. In reality, I imagine the difference is extremely tiny and unlikely to have actually affected any results more than normal statistical variance would have introduced.

In any case, this is fixed. Attackers no longer have an advantage - in the event of a tie, an additional roll is done where each bot has a 50% chance of winning. Thanks to Esvrainzas for identifying this possibility way back in April 2015, a mere month after tournaments were first introduced. Shame on me for taking this long to fix the bug!

Over the past few weeks, though very little user-visible has changed, I've been busy refactoring some of the oldest code making this game tick - the login and authentication code. Obviously it's important to get this stuff right, so I've been doing pretty extensive testing in my local development environment before pushing to the live server. As is typical with software development though, at least a couple bugs slipped through:

  • If you logged into the same bot with multiple browsers and then logged out on one, you would enter "stealth mode": you wouldn't appear in the online list and your profile would show you as offline, but you'd still be able to act on the other browser that's still logged in. Thanks to shoyuken for reporting this.

  • The captcha page does background polling to see if you solved the captcha on another bot or tab. This background polling didn't update your "last active" time in the past, but due to a bug in the refactoring, it did, making it look like everyone was suspiciously refreshing the captcha page every 5 seconds. Thanks to ReneDescartes for reporting this.

Both of these bugs are fixed now, but be on the lookout for more subtle/non-obvious login-related bugs. There could certainly be more lurking! You can report them on this thread or in the bugs subforum if you want to help me stay organized; they'll get squashed either way though.

Finally, for those of you that read this far, I'll share why I was doing this refactoring and tease what's coming next. :) As some of you know, much of my focus lately has been on revamping the new player experience. In order for the game to be successful, the game has to be attractive to new players and successful in drawing them in. Paid advertising campaigns are useless if potential players get to the homepage and have no idea what to do. I have several plans in the works for improving the new player experience, but chief among them will be a way to try the game without registering. Not to get too technical, but this will mean having a way to substitute session-based authentication for cookie-based authentication. The refactoring I've been doing has been to make the game code agnostic to the type of authentication of the logged-in bot.

Feel free to ask questions about what's in store for the new player experience. Much, but not all of it has been fleshed out at this point and I hope to roll it all out over the coming months, with the ultimate goal of breathing some much-needed new life into the game.

Congrats to Shoegazer [103] for leading <Eternal> to victory in the June 2016 clan competition and securing a 16th George Washington platinum trophy! Monthly energy has been reset and a new round has begun.

rank clan owner energy month
1 <Eternal> Shoegazer [103]
3,877,442 (x4.68)
2 <Escapism> ReneDescartes [290]
2,299,065 (x2.66)
3 <Malicious Villainous> The Wilderness [39] 1,476,938 (x1.75)
4 <Atreides> Crab Whistler [130]
1,165,214 (x1.35)
5 <duk> jerro [99]
934,455 (x1.08)
6 <Reaper of souls> diablek [270]
925,693 (x1.07)
7 <Berzerker Barbarians> mrvain [139]
908,082 (x1.06)
8 <Platinium Squad> jezz [335]
899,335 (x1.04)
9 <Dump> F1fty [279]
889,823 (x1.03)
10 <Rapture> Satanus Inaximasus [330]
889,365 (x1.03)

Also see:

Congrats to MrZal2 [100] for leading <Malicious Villainous> to victory in the May 2016 clan competition and securing a 1st George Washington platinum trophy! Monthly energy has been reset and a new round has begun.

rank clan owner energy month
1 <Malicious Villainous> MrZal2 [100] 3,999,813 (x4.64)
2 <Escapism> ReneDescartes [290]
2,280,122 (x2.56)
3 <Eternal> Shoegazer [103]
1,831,395 (x2.06)
4 <Reaper of souls> diablek [270]
1,041,755 (x1.18)
5 <duk> jerro [99]
950,970 (x1.07)
6 <Rapture> Satanus Inaximasus [330]
948,245 (x1.06)
7 <Platinium Squad> jezz [333]
937,504 (x1.05)
8 <Peace> ACE 10 [55]
928,346 (x1.04)
9 <Berzerker Barbarians> mrvain [139]
921,773 (x1.03)
10 <Atreides> Crab Whistler [130]
914,314 (x1.03)

Also see:

As you may remember, some high-end armors were added/updated last October. The absorb formula was also tweaked past 1600 defense. I'm happy to announce these changes are at long last reflected on Bots Unauthorized:

  • The Build Calculator has the new/updated armors and uses the updated absorb formula after 1600 defense.
  • The Armors list has the new/updated items (as well as individual item pages too).
  • The Armor Planner has the new/updated non-unique armors.
  • The Game Formulas page has the post-1600 defense absorb formula.

Keep an eye out for errors. I spot-checked my work, but I definitely could have made a mistake. This codebase is extremely old (some parts are over 10 years old!) and was written when I was much less experienced, so it's not very maintainable. Updating it is pretty tedious and error-prone. If you spot anything wrong, just report it on this thread and I'll fix it up.

Footnote for those paying close attention: You might notice the "Old Calc" has been removed from the sidebar. For those that have been around a long time, I created this circa ~2006 before the days of Google Chrome and fast Javascript execution. It's different than the newer calculator in that all of its computation is done serverside instead of clientside. For example, when using the newer calculator in IE6, it would pause for tens of seconds (!) between each action. Anyway, in the interest of not carrying forward an obsolete tool for which a replacement exists, I didn't bother updating the armors or absorb formula on the old calc and instead removed it.

Congrats to Shoegazer [103] for leading <Eternal> to victory in the April 2016 clan competition and securing a 15th George Washington platinum trophy! Monthly energy has been reset and a new round has begun.

rank clan owner energy month
1 <Eternal> Shoegazer [103]
3,258,599 (x3.89)
2 <Malicious Villainous> MrZal2 [100] 2,245,169 (x2.62)
3 <Escapism> ReneDescartes [290]
1,769,054 (x2.05)
4 <Reaper of souls> diablek [270]
1,093,296 (x1.29)
5 <Atreides> Crab Whistler [130]
1,060,171 (x1.23)
6 <duk> jerro [99]
977,548 (x1.13)
7 <Rapture> Satanus Inaximasus [330]
960,690 (x1.11)
8 <Peace> ACE 10 [55]
959,457 (x1.13)
9 <Xenoblade> shadow_rith [37] 947,788 (x1.11)
10 <Bird Law Boys> Cosby [172]
940,393 (x4.32)

Also see:

Congrats to Luth [238] for leading <Malicious Villainous> to victory in the March 2016 clan competition and securing a 1st George Washington platinum trophy! Monthly energy has been reset and a new round has begun.

rank clan owner energy month
1 <Malicious Villainous> Luth [238]
4,094,079 (x5.55)
2 <Eternal> Shoegazer [103]
3,207,167 (x3.68)
3 <Escapism> ReneDescartes [290]
1,989,712 (x2.24)
4 <Xenoblade> shadow_rith [36] 1,663,241 (x1.92)
5 <Reaper of souls> diablek [248]
1,465,449 (x1.69)
6 <Murder And Death> santelmo01 [38]
1,096,831 (x2.89)
7 <Peace> ACE 10 [55]
1,051,056 (x1.19)
8 <Platinium Squad> jezz [328]
921,353 (x1.04)
9 <Berzerker Barbarians> mrvain [139]
893,176 (x1.00)
10 <Apes> ape01 [63] 892,991 (x1.00)

Also see:

Congrats to ReneDescartes [290] for leading <Escapism> to victory in the February 2016 clan competition and securing a 10th George Washington platinum trophy! Monthly energy has been reset and a new round has begun.

rank clan owner energy month
1 <Escapism> ReneDescartes [290]
2,560,149 (x3.08)
2 <Eternal> Shoegazer [103]
1,912,132 (x2.30)
3 <Reaper of souls> diablek [235]
1,629,956 (x2.20)
4 <Mythology> NaturalBorn [46]
1,333,390 (x1.79)
5 <Murder And Death> santelmo01 [35]
1,072,800 (x5.04)
6 <Peace> ACE 10 [55]
1,053,610 (x1.27)
7 <Imperium> Corrino [100] 978,844 (x1.20)
8 <Berzerker Barbarians> mrvain [139]
895,128 (x1.07)
9 <Reservoir Dogs> Mr Green [80] 886,638 (x1.28)
10 <Platinium Squad> jezz [324]
884,904 (x1.06)

Also see:

Congrats to ReneDescartes [290] for leading <Escapism> to victory in the January 2016 clan competition and securing a 9th George Washington platinum trophy! Monthly energy has been reset and a new round has begun.

rank clan owner energy month
1 <Escapism> ReneDescartes [290]
4,832,106 (x5.50)
2 <Eternal> Shoegazer [103]
2,142,970 (x2.46)
3 <Reaper of souls> diablek [163]
1,374,598 (x3.64)
4 <MODE> Luthrin [100]
1,090,018 (x1.40)
5 <Mythology> NaturalBorn [44]
1,031,406 (x1.42)
6 <Rapture> Satanus Inaximasus [329]
1,015,107 (x1.14)
7 <Berzerker Barbarians> mrvain [139]
933,696 (x1.05)
8 <Peace> ACE 10 [55]
927,457 (x1.04)
9 <The Plastic Fangs> Bandit [201]
907,623 (x1.02)
10 <Platinium Squad> jezz [322]
903,248 (x1.01)

Also see:

Congrats to Shoegazer [103] for leading <Eternal> to victory in the December 2015 clan competition and securing a 14th George Washington platinum trophy! Monthly energy has been reset and a new round has begun.

rank clan owner energy month
1 <Eternal> Shoegazer [103]
6,345,020 (x7.88)
2 <Escapism> ReneDescartes [290]
5,014,842 (x5.76)
3 <Rapture> Satanus Inaximasus [329]
1,204,998 (x1.43)
4 <Mythology> Marley [109]
1,035,213 (x1.37)
5 <Metallica> Metallica02 [100]
972,007 (x1.09)
6 <Peace> ACE 10 [55]
939,019 (x1.06)
7 <Reservoir Dogs> Mr Green [80] 934,980 (x1.13)
8 <Atreides> Crab Whistler [130]
926,465 (x1.04)
9 <Platinium Squad> jezz [320]
918,913 (x1.03)
10 <Apes> ape01 [63] 914,908 (x1.02)

Also see:

Posted by Ender on Thursday, December 31, 2015, 11:30:38 am (ET)

As you may have noticed, my historically stable host of 5+ years, Linode, has been having repeated DoS issues in many of their data centers over the past week or so. They've been posting updates to their status blog pretty frequently as problems arise (bots4 is hosted in their Atlanta data center), so that is a good place to look if you're curious about what's going on. The problems have also been discussed on Hacker News.

These DoS problems have been translating into some periodic downtime for the game as well as perhaps increased latency. You can look at the game's public Pingdom uptime monitoring page to get an idea of how much downtime this is creating. It's short on most days (under 10 minutes), but there was 59 minutes of downtime on 12/27.

Short of switching to a new host, there isn't really a whole lot I can do. I'm not quite ready to leave Linode, so I just wanted to make a quick announcement that I'm aware of and am monitoring the situation. Sorry for the inconvenience and thank you for your patience. :(

Posted by Ender on Sunday, December 13, 2015, 5:27:25 pm (ET)

My host has informed me that they need to reboot the server the game is hosted on to apply a security update. It is scheduled for:

2015-12-15 7:00:00 AM UTC

Which is:

2015-12-15 2:00:00 AM EST (server time)

The game will be unavailable during the maintenance. There's a 2 hour window allocated, but the actual downtime may be much less. Hopefully this won't impact too many people as this is usually the least busy time of day for the game.

Congrats to ReneDescartes [290] for leading <Escapism> to victory in the November 2015 clan competition and securing a 8th George Washington platinum trophy! Monthly energy has been reset and a new round has begun.

rank clan owner energy month
1 <Escapism> ReneDescartes [290]
5,403,133 (x6.43)
2 <Eternal> Shoegazer [103]
5,289,491 (x6.64)
3 <Mythology> Marley [109]
1,165,663 (x1.52)
4 <Reservoir Dogs> Mr Green [80] 1,154,187 (x1.48)
5 <Peace> ACE 10 [55]
1,067,887 (x1.25)
6 <Rapture> Satanus Inaximasus [329]
1,048,813 (x1.22)
7 <Platinium Squad> jezz [316]
898,211 (x1.05)
8 <Berzerker Barbarians> mrvain [139]
876,965 (x1.02)
9 <Well> yep01 [100] 867,993 (x1.01)
10 <The Plastic Fangs> Rhb6 [120]
865,569 (x1.01)

Also see:

Congrats to ReneDescartes [290] for leading <Escapism> to victory in the October 2015 clan competition and securing a 7th George Washington platinum trophy! Monthly energy has been reset and a new round has begun.

rank clan owner energy month
1 <Escapism> ReneDescartes [290]
3,866,859 (x4.33)
2 <Eternal> Shoegazer [103]
2,816,890 (x3.18)
3 <Peace> ACE 10 [55]
1,192,057 (x1.34)
4 <Platinium Squad> neps0 [70] 1,097,858 (x1.23)
5 <Rapture> Satanus Inaximasus [327]
1,034,389 (x1.16)
6 <Reservoir Dogs> Mr Green [80] 948,800 (x1.31)
7 <Berzerker Barbarians> mrvain [139]
928,189 (x1.04)
8 <Atreides> Crab Whistler [130]
924,929 (x1.04)
9 <Alliance> Off Tap [69]
907,601 (x1.02)
10 <Imperium> Corrino [100] 907,480 (x1.02)

Also see:

Do you have a high-end bot with more than 400 strength? If so, then you're going to want to read this update closely! If not, then you're going to want to start leveling up. :)

11 new high-end armors have been added:

  • 3 are unique and 8 are non-unique.
  • 3 are body armors, 3 are helmets, 2 are gloves, and 3 are boots.

11 existing high-end armors have been modified:

  • 9 are unique and 2 are non-unique.
  • 3 are body armors, 3 are helmets, 3 are gloves, and 2 are boots.
  • On modified armors, only defense and stat modifiers (str, dex, con, int) have changed.
  • In particular, required strength has not changed for any armor.
  • Some armors were buffed slightly, others were nerfed slightly.
  • If currently own one of these armors, its stats were changed (i.e. the change applies to existing armors, not just new ones).

The absorb formula has changed:

  • At 1600 defense and lower, absorb is the same.
  • At 1601 defense and higher, absorb increases more slowly than before.
  • This was necessary to be able to add new high-end armors. Without doing this, bots would have neared max absorb too quickly.

Huge thanks to ReneDescartes for doing the heavy lifting of balancing all these changes. This update would not have happened without his diligence and hard work. Please share your thoughts on this update by responding to this thread. Your feedback will be important in determining whether more effort is spent on these kinds of itemization changes in the future.

Enjoy!

Congrats to ReneDescartes [290] for leading <Escapism> to victory in the September 2015 clan competition and securing a 6th George Washington platinum trophy! Monthly energy has been reset and a new round has begun.

rank clan owner energy month
1 <Escapism> ReneDescartes [290]
5,205,024 (x6.08)
2 <Eternal> Shoegazer [103]
4,246,136 (x5.04)
3 <Rapture> Satanus Inaximasus [326]
990,104 (x1.19)
4 <Atreides> Crab Whistler [130]
969,629 (x1.12)
5 <Berzerker Barbarians> mrvain [139]
904,497 (x1.05)
6 <Platinium Squad> neps0 [70] 902,952 (x1.05)
7 <Peace> ACE 10 [55]
893,069 (x1.04)
8 <Alliance> Off Tap [69]
880,504 (x1.02)
9 <Imperium> Corrino [100] 879,426 (x1.02)
10 <Well> yep01 [100] 874,642 (x1.01)

Also see:

Congrats to ReneDescartes [290] for leading <Escapism> to victory in the August 2015 clan competition and securing a 5th George Washington platinum trophy! Monthly energy has been reset and a new round has begun.

rank clan owner energy month
1 <Escapism> ReneDescartes [290]
5,423,484 (x6.27)
2 <Eternal> Shoegazer [103]
2,268,859 (x2.58)
3 <Rapture> Satanus Inaximasus [325]
1,365,668 (x1.53)
4 <Berzerker Barbarians> mrvain [139]
963,764 (x1.08)
5 <Mondays Pills> endone40 [100]
944,416 (x1.06)
6 <Imperium> Corrino [100] 942,834 (x1.06)
7 <Alliance> Off Tap [69]
941,927 (x1.06)
8 <Atreides> Crab Whistler [130]
936,477 (x1.10)
9 <Platinium Squad> jezz [301]
932,688 (x1.04)
10 <Zion> LittleCause [90]
923,521 (x1.11)

Also see:

Posted by Ender on Monday, August 17, 2015, 12:10:26 am (ET)

This long overdue and long requested post office management feature has at last been added. Here are the details:

  • You can no longer see a bmail thread that you have deleted. This is an instant and permanent action that cannot be undone.
  • Clicking a delete button triggers a confirmation warning due to the permanent nature of this action.
  • Assuming the sender/recipient has not deleted the thread too, they can still read it, but can no longer reply.
  • Bmails can be deleted one-at-a-time from the single thread view (i.e. when reading a bmail).
  • Bmails can be deleted in bulk from the main post office page, which supports Gmail-like features such as mass selection and shift selection.

This should help those that want to keep clean inboxes, help scrub accounts before selling, and effectively eliminate one of the more annoying forms of griefing (bmail spam bomb - a punishable offense, for the record). Enjoy!

Congrats to ReneDescartes [290] for leading <Escapism> to victory in the July 2015 clan competition and securing a 4th George Washington platinum trophy! Monthly energy has been reset and a new round has begun.

rank clan owner energy month
1 <Escapism> ReneDescartes [290]
6,483,208 (x7.64)
2 <Eternal> Shoegazer [103]
5,738,645 (x6.93)
3 <Rapture> Satanus Inaximasus [323]
1,576,362 (x1.81)
4 <Peace> ACE 10 [55]
1,000,800 (x1.12)
5 <Atreides> Crab Whistler [130]
979,848 (x1.11)
6 <Reservoir Dogs> Mr Green [80] 971,075 (x1.16)
7 <Platinium Squad> jezz [299]
951,457 (x1.07)
8 <Standard Model> Stm1 [100] 945,927 (x1.06)
9 <In Extremis> Cadaverous [180] 940,446 (x1.05)
10 <Alliance> Zach Alliance [195]
938,207 (x1.05)

Also see:

Congrats to ReneDescartes [287] for leading <Escapism> to victory in the June 2015 clan competition and securing a 3rd George Washington platinum trophy! Monthly energy has been reset and a new round has begun.

rank clan owner energy month
1 <Escapism> ReneDescartes [287]
5,988,819 (x8.76)
2 <Alliance> Pothead [101]
5,768,647 (x7.44)
3 <Eternal> Shoegazer [102]
2,741,129 (x3.30)
4 <Rapture> Satanus Inaximasus [321]
1,493,952 (x1.80)
5 <Atreides> Crab Whistler [130]
1,442,513 (x1.71)
6 <Reservoir Dogs> Mr Green [80] 993,534 (x1.25)
7 <Peace> ACE 10 [55]
980,031 (x1.13)
8 <Platinium Squad> jezz [295]
956,400 (x1.13)
9 <Berzerker Barbarians> mrvain [139]
943,344 (x1.09)
10 <In Extremis> Cadaverous [180] 939,729 (x1.09)

Also see:

Congrats to Experimental [286] for leading <Atreides> to victory in the May 2015 clan competition and securing a 1st George Washington platinum trophy! Monthly energy has been reset and a new round has begun.

rank clan owner energy month
1 <Atreides> Experimental [286]
5,711,562 (x7.04)
2 <Eternal> Shoegazer [102]
2,584,385 (x3.08)
3 <Escapism> ReneDescartes [282]
2,158,242 (x2.42)
4 <Alliance> Pothead [100]
1,466,139 (x1.64)
5 <Berzerker Barbarians> mrvain [139]
1,094,428 (x1.23)
6 <Platinium Squad> neps0 [70] 1,048,541 (x1.17)
7 <Peace> ACE 10 [55]
1,000,603 (x1.13)
8 <Reservoir Dogs> Mr Green [80] 981,533 (x1.22)
9 <Zion> LittleCause [90]
980,264 (x1.18)
10 <Elemental> Cerebus [43]
965,122 (x1.08)

Also see:

Congrats to Shoegazer [102] for leading <Eternal> to victory in the April 2015 clan competition and securing a 13th George Washington platinum trophy! Monthly energy has been reset and a new round has begun.

rank clan owner energy month
1 <Eternal> Shoegazer [102]
4,836,479 (x5.86)
2 <Escapism> ReneDescartes [254]
4,089,151 (x4.81)
3 <Atreides> Crab Whistler [130]
1,237,094 (x1.44)
4 <Elemental> Cerebus [43]
1,102,230 (x1.28)
5 <Berzerker Barbarians> mrvain [139]
981,071 (x1.14)
6 <Alliance> Pothead [100]
955,182 (x1.11)
7 <Peace> ACE 10 [55]
949,746 (x1.11)
8 <Reservoir Dogs> Mr Green [80] 943,546 (x1.20)
9 <Platinium Squad> neps0 [70] 927,383 (x1.08)
10 <Model Citizens> Serial Killers01 [100]
920,948 (x1.07)

Also see:

Congrats to Shoegazer [102] for leading <Eternal> to victory in the March 2015 clan competition and securing a 12th George Washington platinum trophy! Monthly energy has been reset and a new round has begun.

rank clan owner energy month
1 <Eternal> Shoegazer [102]
4,286,087 (x5.09)
2 <Alliance> Pothead [100]
2,828,571 (x3.28)
3 <Escapism> ReneDescartes [237]
2,237,118 (x2.58)
4 <Atreides> Crab Whistler [130]
1,523,837 (x1.75)
5 <Zion> LittleCause [90]
1,291,685 (x1.49)
6 <Equilibrium> Cleric [92] 1,101,998 (x4.49)
7 <Peace> ACE 10 [55]
1,098,895 (x1.24)
8 <Elemental> Cerebus [43]
1,072,469 (x1.24)
9 <Reservoir Dogs> Mr Green [80] 1,069,502 (x1.29)
10 <Platinium Squad> neps0 [70] 1,019,586 (x1.15)

Also see:

Registration for tournament edition 2 is just under 12 hours away! The actual tournament will happen precisely 5 days after that. Here are the changes you can expect to see:

  • Based on feedback, the existing category 1, which is level 201+, has been split. The new category 1 is level 301+ and the new category 2 is level 201-300. All other categories have been shifted as needed and there are now 17 categories in total instead of 16.
  • Based on feedback, entry fees have been substantially reduced. They are now 20% of what they used to be.

And here are some other goodies for tournament results that you can expect to see roll out over the next few weeks:

  • Tournament landing page - Right now the only place to jump into tournament results is from the homepage and even that link will temporarily go away once the next tournament is scheduled. This new landing page will be a one-stop shop for all tournament needs.
  • In-depth clan results - See how all bots in a particular clan fared in a particular tournament edition.
  • Navigation between editions/categories - Same idea as how you can "scroll" between months in the monthly clan race history, you'll be able to "scroll" between editions and categories within editions.
  • Historical bot results - Similar to monthly clan race history for bots, see performance of a bot across multiple tournament editions.
  • Historical clan results - Similar to monthly clan race history for clans, see performance of a clan across multiple tournament editions.
Posted by Ender on Sunday, March 1, 2015, 11:37:58 pm (ET)

My host has informed me that there's going to be some unavoidable downtime on Saturday, March 7, at 4pm UTC (so 11am EST, which is server time) to apply a security patch to their servers. I've also setup this link which will serve as a countdown so that you don't have to think about the timezone nonsense:

Countdown to downtime

The game will be completely inaccessible during this time. Note that the downtime window is 2 hours, but it might not actually take that long. Sorry for the inconvenience.

Congrats to Singularis [175] for leading <Escapism> to victory in the February 2015 clan competition and securing a 1st George Washington platinum trophy! Monthly energy has been reset and a new round has begun.

rank clan owner energy month
1 <Escapism> Singularis [175] 3,934,280 (x4.93)
2 <Eternal> Shoegazer [102]
3,570,258 (x4.43)
3 <Elemental> chimpus [99]
1,936,840 (x2.42)
4 <Zion> LittleCause [90]
1,486,460 (x2.06)
5 <Alliance> Pothead [100]
1,339,802 (x1.69)
6 <Atreides> Experimental [281]
1,259,227 (x1.62)
7 <Platinium Squad> neps0 [70] 974,312 (x1.21)
8 <Peace> ACE 10 [55]
947,210 (x1.18)
9 <Reservoir Dogs> Mr Green [80] 943,366 (x1.32)
10 <Berzerker Barbarians> mrvain [138]
901,939 (x1.12)

Also see:

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/

Congrats to Shoegazer [102] for leading <Eternal> to victory in the December 2014 clan competition and securing a 10th George Washington platinum trophy! Monthly energy has been reset and a new round has begun.

rank clan owner energy month
1 <Eternal> Shoegazer [102]
4,790,880 (x5.39)
2 <Alliance> Leader2 [72]
3,499,369 (x4.29)
3 <Escapism> ReneDescartes [220]
3,041,911 (x3.54)
4 <Atreides> gr33n [82]
1,093,614 (x1.23)
5 <Zion> Taoism [33]
1,032,034 (x1.22)
6 <Berzerker Barbarians> mrvain [138]
1,012,136 (x1.13)
7 <Peace> ACE 10 [55]
1,010,317 (x1.13)
8 <Platinium Squad> neps0 [70] 997,891 (x1.12)
9 <Rapture> Satanus Inaximasus [302]
978,413 (x1.10)
10 <Reservoir Dogs> Mr Green [80] 972,922 (x1.37)

Also see:

Congrats to ReneDescartes [220] for leading <Escapism> to victory in the November 2014 clan competition and securing a 2nd George Washington platinum trophy! Monthly energy has been reset and a new round has begun.

rank clan owner energy month
1 <Escapism> ReneDescartes [220]
7,092,107 (x8.25)
2 <Eternal> Shoegazer [102]
6,526,407 (x7.66)
3 <Alliance> Pothead [74]
5,646,825 (x7.00)
4 <Platinium Squad> neps0 [70] 1,015,235 (x1.21)
5 <Z Fighters> Juv0 [99]
981,604 (x1.15)
6 <Reservoir Dogs> Mr Green [80] 955,693 (x1.38)
7 <Berzerker Barbarians> mrvain [138]
952,753 (x1.10)
8 <Peace> ACE 10 [55]
944,827 (x1.09)
9 <Atreides> gr33n [82]
915,864 (x1.08)
10 <Rapture> Satanus Inaximasus [300]
891,712 (x1.03)

Also see:

Congrats to Shoegazer [102] for leading <Eternal> to victory in the October 2014 clan competition and securing a 9th George Washington platinum trophy! Monthly energy has been reset and a new round has begun.

rank clan owner energy month
1 <Eternal> Shoegazer [102]
6,921,691 (x7.91)
2 <Alliance> Leader2 [72]
3,802,259 (x5.27)
3 <Escapism> ReneDescartes [220]
2,157,104 (x2.47)
4 <Z Fighters> Juv0 [99]
1,459,148 (x1.68)
5 <Atreides> gr33n [82]
1,341,382 (x1.51)
6 <Reservoir Dogs> Mr Green [80] 1,074,787 (x1.56)
7 <Peace> ACE 10 [55]
1,031,879 (x1.16)
8 <The Reason> overdose7 [123]
1,024,389 (x1.16)
9 <Berzerker Barbarians> mrvain [138]
983,995 (x1.10)
10 <Rapture> Satanus Inaximasus [299]
960,203 (x1.08)

Also see:

Posted by Ender on Saturday, October 11, 2014, 3:32:21 pm (ET)

As you may have noticed, I have a tendency to add little flavorful hidden messages throughout the game for doing various obscure things. Sheldon Cooper recently picked up on this with regards to the birth date settings, so I decided to turn it into a little game. Here are the rules:

  1. The bot to post a screenshot of the final age-based hidden message wins 1 free star.
  2. The star is of course transferable, but the trophy points are not, so respond on the bot that you want to get the trophy points on.
  3. You must post responses to this thread.
  4. Every hidden message is in a green box. If it's red, it's an error and it doesn't count.
  5. Either a screenshot or copy/paste is fine.
  6. It doesn't matter how many you find, only the person to post the 9th and final hidden message wins.

Here's the current status of what's been found (5 out of 9):

  1. "Glorius escape from the womb, comrade!" - Set the current day as your birth date.
  2. "Please report to the training room for your regularly scheduled beatings, infant." - Set birth date so that your age is under 2.
  3. "Okay, but you're probably lying about your age." - Set birth date so that your age is under 5.
  4. "Okay, but you're probably lying about your age (and if you're really under the age of 10, this game probably isn't for you)." - Set birth date so that your age is under 10.
  5. "Cool, you have the same birthday as me (Ender)! Carry on. :)" - Set your birth date day/month to, well, mine. :)
  6. (unknown)
  7. (unknown)
  8. (unknown)
  9. (unknown)

Keep in mind it may not be beneficial to immediately post any hidden messages you come across. Only the person to post the last one wins anything!

Good luck. :)

Posted by Ender on Saturday, October 4, 2014, 10:43:06 pm (ET)

The time it takes to idle out from the game has been increased from 15 minutes to 60 minutes. This should help avoid frustrating situations where you have to step away from the computer for a short time and don't make it back before the idle timeout.

The online list now also has a color-coded "idle" column to show how long each bot has been idle. With this list now potentially showing bots that haven't been active in close to an hour, this will help give you a quicker impression of which bots are truly active at any given time.

Thanks to Agent Zord for the suggestion!

P.S. Fun trivia fact: The idle timeout in bots2 was 10 minutes.

Congrats to Shoegazer [102] for leading <Eternal> to victory in the September 2014 clan competition and securing a 8th George Washington platinum trophy! Monthly energy has been reset and a new round has begun.

rank clan owner energy month
1 <Eternal> Shoegazer [102]
5,956,946 (x7.47)
2 <lHl Luthrin lHl> Luthrin [100]
2,156,433 (x2.75)
3 <Escapism> ReneDescartes [220]
2,108,504 (x2.61)
4 <Peace> ACE 10 [55]
2,022,635 (x2.36)
5 <Atreides> gr33n [82]
1,605,709 (x1.92)
6 <Z Fighters> Juv0 [95]
1,084,396 (x1.57)
7 <Rapture> Satanus Inaximasus [298]
1,042,660 (x1.21)
8 <The Reason> overdose7 [122]
1,030,056 (x1.19)
9 <VIP> vip04 [58] 965,511 (x1.12)
10 <Platinium Squad> neps0 [70] 960,488 (x1.16)

Also see:

Posted by Ender on Wednesday, September 24, 2014, 1:37:34 am (ET)

What is Smarty and why should you care about it?

Smarty is a PHP Templating Engine. In short, it is what wires together (a) all the logic in the game's backend with (b) how the data from the backend gets presented in the browser. It's the glue that holds together every page on this site.

You probably don't have to care about it. The only reason I'm announcing this is because it's a major version upgrade with breaking changes. I've done my best to fix everything that it breaks before enabling it, but mistakes of course happen, especially with big changes like this.

Please be on the lookout for anything obscure this may have broken (if you do find something, either reply here or more preferably create a bug thread) and enjoy the perhaps small performance boost this upgrade results in (the main benefit of the upgrade has more to do with my use of it).

Posted by Ender on Monday, September 15, 2014, 3:48:52 am (ET)

Continuing with this year's theme of automation, getting and changing custom logos on bots with 9+ stars no longer requires interacting with a human (read: me)! The details:

  • There's a new field on the workshop settings page.
  • The new field is only editable for bots with 9+ stars.
  • Like bot/clan images, you use Imgur to upload your logo.
  • Unlike bot/clan images, the logo will be downloaded to the bots4 server and thus the Imgur URL you use will not be saved.
  • Some basic validation is done on things like image dimensions and extension.

This update is a big win for everyone. Players no longer have to wait for me to manually move a file around and I have one less recurring game maintenance task to deal with, freeing me up to work on more interesting updates.

Stay tuned for self-service perm star moves. That should be the last recurring chore of mine to automate. \o/

Posted by Ender on Monday, September 15, 2014, 1:07:15 am (ET)

I just added two small improvements that had been suggested by players:

  • New fields on clan profiles - Clan profiles now include average level, wins, losses, and ratio. Thanks to Pothead for the suggestion.
  • Improved trophy shop sorting - The Mindreave buffs are now sorted in the order you'd expect: I, II, III. Thanks to Jans for the suggestion.

Congrats to Shoegazer [102] for leading <Eternal> to victory in the August 2014 clan competition and securing a 7th George Washington platinum trophy! Monthly energy has been reset and a new round has begun.

rank clan owner energy month
1 <Eternal> Shoegazer [102]
8,208,366 (x9.91)
2 <Atreides> gr33n [82]
6,737,101 (x8.02)
3 <The Reason> overdose7 [122]
1,973,074 (x2.24)
4 <lHl Luthrin lHl> Luthrin [100]
1,834,421 (x2.25)
5 <Peace> ACE 10 [55]
1,341,658 (x1.52)
6 <Escapism> ReneDescartes [220]
1,332,838 (x1.51)
7 <Rapture> Satanus Inaximasus [295]
965,312 (x1.09)
8 <Standard Model> Stm1 [100] 900,984 (x1.02)
9 <Model Citizens> Serial Killers01 [100]
900,280 (x1.02)
10 <The Lonely Island> Daikatana [190] 898,041 (x1.01)

Also see:

Posted by Ender on Saturday, August 2, 2014, 2:11:19 pm (ET)

Sorry for the long (almost 5.5 hours!) downtime. :(

It was the same old kernel crashing issue that has plagued the game every now and then. I keep putting off the updates because it's such a rare crash and I'm usually around to fix it quickly when it does happen.

This time, it happened to be early in my first night of vacation and I overslept, so yeah. Thanks to the many, many people who contacted me about this. When I woke up and looked at my phone and saw I had 8721312 notifications, I knew something was wrong. :)

Sorry again for the trouble and I'll work at getting that kernel updated soon!

Congrats to Shoegazer [102] for leading <Eternal> to victory in the July 2014 clan competition and securing a 6th George Washington platinum trophy! Monthly energy has been reset and a new round has begun.

rank clan owner energy month
1 <Eternal> Shoegazer [102]
3,999,483 (x4.94)
2 <Escapism> ReneDescartes [220]
2,960,962 (x3.36)
3 <The Reason> overdose7 [122]
1,842,585 (x2.22)
4 <Barcode> Damon [30]
1,704,250 (x2.38)
5 <Atreides> gr33n [81]
1,421,233 (x1.79)
6 <lHl Luthrin lHl> l Lion l [67]
1,010,136 (x1.15)
7 <Model Citizens> Serial Killers01 [100]
987,702 (x1.11)
8 <Peace> ACE 10 [55]
979,110 (x1.11)
9 <VIP> vip04 [58] 936,409 (x1.06)
10 <Platinium Squad> neps0 [70] 935,578 (x1.05)

Also see:

Congrats to Shoegazer [102] for leading <Eternal> to victory in the June 2014 clan competition and securing a 5th George Washington platinum trophy! Monthly energy has been reset and a new round has begun.

rank clan owner energy month
1 <Eternal> Shoegazer [102]
4,999,453 (x6.09)
2 <Escapism> ReneDescartes [220]
2,310,447 (x2.67)
3 <Atreides> gr33n [81]
1,993,668 (x2.38)
4 <Peace> ACE 10 [54]
1,842,097 (x2.14)
5 <lHl Luthrin lHl> l Lion l [67]
1,385,343 (x2.76)
6 <yxhackers> mort [74]
1,353,711 (x1.64)
7 <Take> Take10 [62]
969,042 (x1.13)
8 <Reservoir Dogs> Mr Green [80] 927,244 (x1.43)
9 <VIP> vip04 [58] 921,031 (x1.07)
10 <Platinium Squad> neps0 [70] 913,643 (x1.06)

Also see:

Congrats to ReneDescartes [220] for leading <Escapism> to victory in the May 2014 clan competition and securing a 1st George Washington platinum trophy! Monthly energy has been reset and a new round has begun.

rank clan owner energy month
1 <Escapism> ReneDescartes [220]
6,254,788 (x7.43)
2 <Eternal> Shoegazer [101]
3,828,606 (x4.64)
3 <Atreides> gr33n [81]
1,679,297 (x1.88)
4 <yxhackers> mort [74]
1,244,089 (x1.63)
5 <Peace> ACE 10 [54]
1,118,659 (x1.26)
6 <Rapture> Satanus Inaximasus [293]
1,044,304 (x1.17)
7 <Take> Take10 [62]
1,022,450 (x1.15)
8 <Mondays Pill> endone40 [100]
948,956 (x1.06)
9 <Platinium Squad> neps0 [70] 914,382 (x1.04)
10 <Portugal> Esv [250]
907,469 (x1.02)

Also see:

Posted by Ender on Monday, May 5, 2014, 11:15:20 pm (ET)

If your clan makes use of IRC, you can now show this off in your clan profile via a new clan setting. This will allow people to click a link on your clan profile to join your clan's channel.

Congrats to Shoegazer [101] for leading <Eternal> to victory in the April 2014 clan competition and securing a 4th George Washington platinum trophy! Monthly energy has been reset and a new round has begun.

rank clan owner energy month
1 <Eternal> Shoegazer [101]
5,851,117 (x7.05)
2 <Escapism> ReneDescartes [220]
4,196,803 (x5.13)
3 <Atreides> gr33n [81]
1,235,032 (x1.48)
4 <Peace> ACE 10 [54]
1,229,384 (x1.44)
5 <yxhackers> mort [74]
1,104,331 (x1.73)
6 <Berzerker Barbarians> mrvain [138]
966,020 (x1.13)
7 <Take> Take10 [62]
962,488 (x1.12)
8 <Rapture> Satanus Inaximasus [290]
916,655 (x1.10)
9 <Mondays Pill> endone40 [100]
885,598 (x1.17)
10 <The Reason> overdose7 [122]
885,379 (x1.08)

Also see:

Posted by Ender on Thursday, April 17, 2014, 12:06:29 am (ET)

(yeah, this update is being posted super late!)

Congrats to Shoegazer [101] for leading <Eternal> to victory in the March 2014 clan competition and securing a George Washington platinum trophy! Monthly energy has been reset and a new round has begun.

rank clan owner energy month
1 <Eternal> Shoegazer [101]
13,234,317 (x17.01)
2 <Escapism> ReneDescartes [220]
12,573,783 (x15.05)
3 <Zion> Earl Grey [99]
1,209,096 (x1.37)
4 <Atreides> gr33n [81]
1,041,067 (x1.17)
5 <yxhackers> mort [74]
1,023,094 (x1.96)
6 <Berzerker Barbarians> mrvain [138]
1,003,928 (x1.13)
7 <Peace> ACE 10 [54]
990,253 (x1.12)
8 <Rapture> Satanus Inaximasus [289]
941,801 (x1.06)
9 <Voltage> pecker head2 [103]
938,268 (x1.05)
10 <Rape Machines> rm4 [69] 931,989 (x1.05)

Also see:

(yeah, this update is being posted super duper late!)

Congrats to Myriad [349] for leading <Escapism> to victory in the February 2014 clan competition and securing a George Washington platinum trophy! Monthly energy has been reset and a new round has begun.

rank clan owner energy month
1 <Escapism> Myriad [349]
5,678,795 (x7.72)
2 <Zion> Ville [133]
3,724,879 (x5.25)
3 <Eternal> Shoegazer [100]
2,110,505 (x2.72)
4 <Atreides> gr33n [81]
1,229,280 (x1.57)
5 <The Reason> overdose7 [122]
1,025,883 (x1.63)
6 <yxhackers> mort [74]
976,434 (x2.34)
7 <Peace> ACE 10 [54]
950,987 (x1.18)
8 <Take> Take10 [62]
913,752 (x1.13)
9 <Reservoir Dogs> Mr Green [80] 883,991 (x1.49)
10 <Rapture> Satanus Inaximasus [285]
868,250 (x1.09)

Also see:

Posted by Ender on Wednesday, March 26, 2014, 11:29:13 am (ET)

The server was down from 10:32am - 11:15am ET (server time) today for a grand total of 43 minutes. The cause was the same as the 2+ hour outage last September. This embarassingly means I indeed never got around to applying those long-overdue updates! I'll try to get to them soon to avoid this in the future. Sorry for the trouble, all.

Congrats to Myriad [349] for leading <Escapism> to victory in the January 2014 clan competition and securing a George Washington platinum trophy! Monthly energy has been reset and a new round has begun.

rank clan owner energy month
1 <Escapism> Myriad [349]
8,457,912 (x10.79)
2 <Zion> Ville [133]
6,161,458 (x7.92)
3 <Eternal> Shoegazer [100]
2,258,682 (x2.85)
4 <Atreides> gr33n [81]
1,476,063 (x1.81)
5 <Peace> ACE 10 [54]
1,309,273 (x1.47)
6 <Emotionalism> Sylent [64]
1,290,341 (x2.04)
7 <Reservoir Dogs> Mr Green [80] 1,255,476 (x1.81)
8 <Take> Take10 [62]
998,905 (x1.12)
9 <Berzerker Barbarians> mrvain [138]
919,392 (x1.04)
10 <Green Day> GD02 [100]
914,765 (x1.02)

Also see:

Posted by Ender on Friday, January 31, 2014, 10:29:47 am (ET)

Starting tonight with the end of January, you'll notice two changes in the usual end-of-month happenings:

  • All end-of-month trophies will be awarded automatically
  • Clan and bot historical results will be instantly available

In the past, players have had to wait for me to do some manual work before they received certain trophies like the ones based on monthly energy. Clan and bot results also weren't available until this happened. Automating this process eliminates a tedious monthly maintenance task of mine and frees up more of my time for building interesting things like tournaments. Expect to see a few more of these maintenance-killing updates in the coming months (hint: self-serve perm star moves, self-serve logo uploads, and my end-of-month announcement post).

As with all changes, but especially a big one like this, be on the lookout for anything unusual. I've gone to great pains to ensure the end-of-month script will produce the correct output by running it many, many times and diffing it against the expected output, but things can and do go wrong. That being said, I have high hopes that nothing bad will happen. :)

Posted by Ender on Tuesday, January 21, 2014, 10:29:54 pm (ET)

Deleted clans are now styled differently than active clans:

<Active clan>

<Deleted clan>

One neat thing about this is that it provides a new perspective when looking at historical results (currently the only place deleted clan names can appear). For example, did you know that of the 84 clans that finished the game's first official month (July 2011), a mere 6 still exist?

As an extra bonus, deleted clans also now have simple profile pages listing their historical results. If you don't remember, until now, navigating to a deleted clan resulted in an error.

Are you wondering why you can't find your old clan? Data was backfilled with historical clan results. This means that if your clan was deleted the same month it was created, it was not backfilled. Going forward, all clan names will be archived.

And finally, why make this change? With tournaments coming soon, there will be an additional place that deleted clan names can appear: historical tournament results. The primary motivation for this change was to clean up how deleted clan names are stored in the database, specifically so that handling them in historical tournament results would be cleaner. The player-visible changes I pointed out are just some now-low-hanging fruit that were made accessible by said changes.

Enjoy!

Posted by Ender on Sunday, January 19, 2014, 9:15:18 am (ET)

I read about the Internet's 1% rule the other day and found it interesting:

In Internet culture, the 1% rule is a rule of thumb pertaining to participation in an internet community, stating that only 1% of the users of a website actively create new content, while the other 99% of the participants only lurk.

I've heard similar things about sites like Reddit where the vast majority of people just lurk and this got me to thinking: how does this apply to bots4? I did some simple command-line hacking on the server logs to get a rough idea of how many unique people visit the site and how many unique people are active on the game forums.

This command shows how many unique IP addresses visited the site in December 2013:

$ cut -d ' ' -f 1 201312*.log | sort -u | wc -l 6635

And this command shows how many unique IP addresses made POST requests on pages containing the substring "forum" (which is an approximation of how many unique IPs wrote on the forums):

$ grep POST 201312*.log | grep forum | cut -d ' ' -f 1 | sort -u | wc -l 546

This isn't a perfect measurement for a few reasons (for instance, IP addresses don't correspond exactly one-to-one with unique people, but it's a good approximation), but 546 / 6,635 = 8.2%. This is higher than the direct quote above, but if you read the Wikipedia article, it talks about content creators and content contributors, which tend to correspond to 1% and 9%, respectively.

So what's the takeaway? As an active forum member myself, I think it's easy to forget that there's a silent majority that plays this game and doesn't really communicate too broadly. There are a ton of familiar faces, but there's an order of magnitude more of unfamiliar faces. It would probably be beneficial to everyone for me to find ways to more easily solicit opinions from this silent majority, either directly (quick polls) or indirectly (usage metrics).

Posted by Ender on Tuesday, January 14, 2014, 8:50:56 pm (ET)

A few of you that updated to Chrome 32 noticed the floating sidebar no longer worked. The game has been updated to stop using the fields that got deprecated, so it's working now. If you were waiting to update to Chrome 32 because of this or had disabled the floating sidebars in the meantime, you can update/reenable now.

Thanks to Fishwick for reporting and thanks to Rith for helping narrow this down to Chrome 32.

Posted by Ender on Monday, January 13, 2014, 11:22:45 pm (ET)

Hot on the heels of yesterday's update enforcing captchas per-IP instead of per-bot are two followup improvements to captcha in response to player feedback:

  1. In addition to not showing a captcha if your IP has completed one recently, you won't see one if your bot has completed one recently either. This subtle change is necessary to properly handle cases where your IP frequently changes.
  2. The captcha page now polls in the background to detect whether you've completed a captcha on another tab/window recently. This is useful for the case where you have a handful of bots open at once and navigate to the captcha page on all of them at the same time.

Thanks for shoyuken and samulii for reporting these issues so quickly.

Posted by Ender on Sunday, January 12, 2014, 6:44:17 pm (ET)

This is good news for multi-botters and people that play on the same connection as their siblings, friends, coworkers, and so on. The time between captcha appearances is now based on your IP address instead of which bot you're using. In other words, any individual connection will only have to complete a captcha every 15-25 minutes regardless of how many bots you use.

Posted by Ender on Wednesday, January 8, 2014, 1:32:16 am (ET)

As of today, the concept of non-competing (NC) clan members no longer exists. This change went through a decent amount of discussion to work out some details, but it's pretty straightforward. Here are the main points:

  • The NC rank no longer exists
  • Only the top 20 members of a clan, ranked by monthly energy, count for monthly rankings and clan-based end-of-month trophies
  • A new workshop setting is available to disable automatic hourly energy gain

In effect, the process of managing which bots count for rankings is now handled automatically by the game instead of requiring clan leaders to do this manually. The new workshop setting provides NC-like functionality for social players that want to be in a clan without providing others an incentive to attack them. Here are some other smaller details about this update:

  • Clan profiles now have a "rank" column which is based on monthly energy
  • Bots on clan profiles are now sorted by rank (i.e. monthly energy)
  • Toggling automatic hourly energy gain does not reset your monthly energy, unlike demoting to NC
  • All clan members are "full" members now in that all count towards clan platinum count, clan total energy, etc.
  • Clan tax now doubles for every additional 5 members past 20 (as opposed to every additional 5 NCs)
  • Clan owners can receive multiple end-of-month clan trophies now that they are not guaranteed a ranking position
  • Existing NCs have automatic hourly energy disabled by default
  • Existing non-NCs have automatic hourly energy enabled by default
  • New bots have automatic hourly energy enabled by default
  • Existing NCs were "promoted" to the lowest clan rank

As always, but especially after a semi-large update like this that touches a lot of code, please start a new bug thread for any issues or strangeness that you may encounter. Thanks!

Posted by Ender on Sunday, January 5, 2014, 3:08:50 pm (ET)

^Jane^, the game's IRC bot, has another new feature. As you may know, she periodically stocks requested items in the showroom. This happens every 10-120 minutes, so this was a common occurrence:

-!- Bonzo [webchat@clueless.net] has joined #bots4
< Bonzo> when wuz jane last herr?
< Bonzo> hallo?
< Bonzo> logs?

But now:

-!- Bean [webchat@ansible.net] has joined #bots4
< Bean> ho, peeps
< Bean> !jane
<@^Jane^> The backroom door last shut 31 minutes ago (it will open again in 0-88 minutes).
Posted by Ender on Friday, January 3, 2014, 6:18:57 pm (ET)

I came across this page from my Google Analytics referral tracking:

http://5outh.github.io/posts/2013-12-19-bots4-clone.html

I knew it was over my head when I got to this:

"I only assume a basic familiarity with monad transformers in this post."

It was interesting nonetheless and I'm fascinated at the level of the detail put into this, so kudos to Mr. Kovach!

Posted by Ender on Thursday, January 2, 2014, 11:01:27 pm (ET)

Congrats to Myriad [349] for leading <Escapism> to victory in the December 2013 clan competition and securing a George Washington platinum trophy! Monthly energy has been reset and a new round has begun.

rank clan owner energy month
1 <Escapism> Myriad [349]
5,662,660 (x6.49)
2 <Atreides> gr33n [81]
3,532,318 (x4.09)
3 <Zion> Ville [132]
2,168,012 (x2.86)
4 <Eternal> Shoegazer [100]
1,587,277 (x1.92)
5 <Sangue Novo> Esvz [220]
1,524,450 (x3.29)
6 <Peace> ACE 10 [54]
1,334,615 (x1.50)
7 <Emotionalism> Sylent [64]
1,292,329 (x2.05)
8 <Take> Take10 [62]
1,066,410 (x1.19)
9 <Berzerker Barbarians> mrvain [138]
1,025,139 (x1.15)
10 <In Extremis> Cadaverous [180] 970,693 (x1.21)

Also see:

Posted by Ender on Tuesday, December 3, 2013, 9:07:56 pm (ET)

Congrats to Ville [131] for leading <Zion> to victory in the November 2013 clan competition and securing a George Washington platinum trophy! Monthly energy has been reset and a new round has begun.

rank clan owner energy month
1 <Zion> Ville [131]
10,667,435 (x13.29)
2 <Eternal> Shoegazer [100]
5,808,025 (x6.92)
3 <Escapism> Myriad [348]
1,305,084 (x1.61)
4 <Dinosaur Kings> zipter111 [76] 1,297,279 (x2.15)
5 <The Reason> overdose7 [122]
1,134,308 (x1.61)
6 <Atreides> gr33n [81]
1,056,290 (x1.32)
7 <Take> Take10 [62]
1,055,546 (x1.22)
8 <Peace> ACE 10 [54]
1,019,301 (x1.27)
9 <Standard Model> Stm1 [100] 983,992 (x1.18)
10 <In Extremis> Cadaverous [180] 964,791 (x1.24)

Also see:

Posted by Ender on Wednesday, November 20, 2013, 12:22:09 am (ET)

^Jane^, the game's intrepid IRC bot, has a new feature. In addition to periodically stocking requested items in the showroom, she will now respond to "!find <name>" commands such as follows:

21:54:54 <@Ender> !find zion
21:54:55 <@^Jane^> zion: http://bots4.net/profile/458 [bot]
21:54:56 <@^Jane^> Zion: http://bots4.net/clans/profile/2724 [clan]

<name> can be an account username or clan name. Only exact matches are supported, so it's more of a lookup tool than a search tool.

Posted by Ender on Saturday, November 9, 2013, 11:11:33 am (ET)

It's been a long-standing UI quirk that buffs always pulse when their duration gets down to 10 or less, even when inactive, meaning if you were saving a buff with a short remaining duration by keeping it inactive, it would always be there annoyingly pulsing. This is no more! Buffs will now only pulse when their duration gets down to 10 or less and they're active.

Posted by Ender on Thursday, November 7, 2013, 10:37:03 pm (ET)

Just in case you missed this being mentioned in the October 2013 Q&A responses, a handful of new fields have been added to profiles. Fill them out if you want to or leave them empty. Enjoy!

Posted by Ender on Wednesday, November 6, 2013, 11:00:18 pm (ET)

Thanks to all who participated in the October 2013 Q&A! There were 92 votes on 9 questions from 19 people. Here are my responses, in order of question popularity:

1. (+13/-1) "Okey. What can you tell us about the tournament? Things like cat´s, rewards? And of course... a delivery date would also be nice :)" - Benny

Nothing is 100% final, but here is how things are looking for now:

  • Trophy awards for individual bots, including platinums.
  • Trophy awards for clans, including platinums.
  • Historical results on your bot profile.
  • No level-adjustment formula. High-level bots rejoice!
  • You won't be logged out while the tournament takes place.
  • The categories are already decided/implemented. Details can be found here.

Astute readers will recognize this answer as being mostly the same as what I said last year when asked. As for a delivery date, there's nothing I can commit to because it'll just make me look bad if I miss the target, so I don't want to put that pressure on myself. I don't want to give the impression it's delayed indefinitely either though because I very much intend on finishing it soon Tournaments are my next major project to complete.

2. (+11/-1) "Why are profile settings for Age, Gender, Occupation and Homepage still TODO after almost 3 years?" - Shoegazer

Check again. :)

3. (+11/-1) "When can we expect you to begin work on the Showroom overhaul? And will we see it take as long as tournaments before it gets done?" - Nosferatu

By showroom overhaul, do you mean adding/changing item stats or do you mean updating its ancient interface to something more intuitive? I'll assume you meant the latter because I see a question below that's clearly about the former.

This is in my "nice to have" bucket. The current interface works for most players, with completely new players being the biggest and most important exception. Once I start closing in on bigger parity items like tournaments, I'll start moving onto things like interface improvements, which this would fall under. So don't expect to see this anytime soon, but it will eventually come.

4. (+11/-3) "When can we finally(!) see NC gone?" - Nosferatu

Sooner than tournaments! For those that don't know, I plan to get rid of NC as part of simplifying the codebase for tournaments. This will get rid of a handful of edge cases that I didn't want to have to deal with in new code. It will also (in my opinion) make clan management less cumbersome for clan leaders.

5. (+5/-0) "Will we see new weapons anytime soon?" - DNM

People that have been on the forums for awhile know that my position on game balance issues like this is to stay away. The bots2 balance seemed to work reasonably well, but there are some areas for improvement. I've shied away from patching things up because I want to make sure I do it right, which will mean lots of simulation and testing. The good news is that the implementation of tournaments will yield some reusable components that I can use to test things. The bad news is that I'm still not sure where this stands in terms of long-term priority once tournaments are complete.

6. (+10/-4) "when will we be able to control our own perm star transfers?" - Default User

I'd like to do this very soon actually. Moving stars manually is a drain on everyone. You guys have to wait for me to login and do it. I have to deal with the basically daily chore of manual database updates, which cuts into development time. There are some checks and balances I'll want to implement alongside this though, so I'm unsure of the size of the project. That being said, it may or may not come before tournaments.

7. (+4/-2) "What do you think about the current state of the game? I think activity is decreasing, can you tell why?" - Esvrainzas

Things look pretty healthy from my perspective. None of the metrics reported by Google Analytics indicate a long-term decline, though some months definitely see more or less activity depending on whether there's a close clan race going on. And IRC activity has definitely picked up by at least an order of magnitude ever since ^Jane^ started stocking showroom items. That addition has had the wonderful effect on the level of activity in there.

8. (+1/-0) "The ability of having multiple email's on an account. which reduce the stealing of shared bots. originally thought of by Default User" - Barricaade

I think this would be confusing. Who has to approve the addition of more email addresses? The answer seems to be that every currently-verified email has to approve it, which sounds messy and difficult to implement, and probably confusing for players. I don't think the work involved for something like this is warranted to better support bot-sharing.

9. (+4/-10) "Any possibilities for graphics? Images of Bots, Weapons etc just to enhance visuals in game ;) and can i make them!" - Dazzekiel

This question took a bit of a beating, but I would like (long, long term) to eventually have item images in the showroom like bots2 did. It might also be neat to have player avatars next to forum posts and such that change based on level and what equipment you're wearing. Planning doesn't get much more long-term than this though, so don't hold your breath. :)

Posted by Ender on Sunday, November 3, 2013, 6:35:37 pm (ET)

Congrats to Ville [131] for leading <Zion> to victory in the October 2013 clan competition and securing a George Washington platinum trophy! Monthly energy has been reset and a new round has begun.

rank clan owner energy month
1 <Zion> Ville [131]
6,913,387 (x9.17)
2 <Eternal> Shoegazer [99]
2,786,453 (x3.37)
3 <Escapism> Myriad [348]
2,764,193 (x3.53)
4 <Peace> ACE 10 [54]
1,770,923 (x2.05)
5 <Dinosaur Kings> zipter111 [76] 1,484,963 (x3.63)
6 <Atreides> gr33n [81]
1,290,619 (x1.49)
7 <Take> Take10 [61]
1,079,441 (x1.21)
8 <Infinity> Seras [108]
1,031,597 (x1.60)
9 <Veritas Aequitas> shadow_rith [73] 954,436 (x1.12)
10 <Berzerker Barbarians> mrvain [138]
948,389 (x1.08)

Also see:

Posted by Ender on Friday, October 25, 2013, 1:05:47 am (ET)

The October 2013 Q&A is now open for questions.

  • You can ask me anything about the game.
  • Follow the link above to ask a question (that's why this thread is locked).
  • Want to know why tournaments still aren't done? Wondering when NC will be going away? Now's your chance to ask!
  • To give me a better idea of what the community thinks is important, vote for your favorite questions.
  • I will post my responses to questions in a few days.

(It's been awhile since I've done one of these. Thanks to Serpent01 for asking me to do this again.)

Posted by Ender on Monday, October 7, 2013, 8:36:25 pm (ET)

(sorry for the delay in posting this, I just returned from vacation!)

Congrats to Ville [130] for leading <Zion> to victory in the September 2013 clan competition and securing a George Washington platinum trophy! Monthly energy has been reset and a new round has begun.

rank clan owner energy month
1 <Zion> Ville [130]
7,258,366 (x10.86)
2 <Escapism> Myriad [348]
2,952,452 (x3.70)
3 <Eternal> Shoegazer [98]
2,399,357 (x2.81)
4 <Atreides> gr33n [81]
1,104,271 (x1.43)
5 <Take> Take10 [61]
985,768 (x1.15)
6 <Peace> ACE 10 [54]
951,665 (x1.15)
7 <Veritas Aequitas> shadow_rith [73] 918,263 (x1.07)
8 <The Lonely Island> User Name [321] 913,194 (x1.10)
9 <In Extremis> Cadaverous [180] 888,507 (x1.17)
10 <Rapture> Satanus Inaximasus [269]
873,843 (x1.17)

Also see:

Posted by Ender on Tuesday, September 17, 2013, 6:26:01 am (ET)

The entire site was offline for a little over 2 hours:

PingdomAlert UP:
 bots4.net/hall-of-fame (bots4.net) is UP again at 2013-09-17 06:16:39, after 2h 17m of downtime.

This was a first. The game has been unplayable on the order of hours in the past a few times, but never before has the entire site gone offline. This time the actual VPS itself crashed and as best I can tell, it's because I'm running an outdated Kernel version.

Anyway, the game's server is obviously long overdue for some updates, so there will probably be some more downtime (scheduled, this time!) in the future to apply these. Stay tuned and sorry for the inconvenience.

Congrats to gr33n [81] for leading <Atreides> to victory in the August 2013 clan competition and securing a George Washington platinum trophy! Monthly energy has been reset and a new round has begun.

rank clan owner energy month
1 <Atreides> gr33n [81]
12,792,089 (x14.62)
2 <Eternal> Shoegazer [98]
3,113,065 (x3.53)
3 <Escapism> Myriad [347]
1,535,816 (x1.88)
4 <Take> Take10 [61]
1,115,547 (x1.25)
5 <House of Batiatus> Scabara [227]
1,111,579 (x1.78)
6 <Shoe is op> Bronco1 [72]
1,091,442 (x1.26)
7 <The Reason> TheCause [362]
1,052,053 (x1.28)
8 <Peace> ACE 10 [54]
1,040,612 (x1.21)
9 <In Extremis> Cadaverous [180] 1,015,319 (x1.32)
10 <The Lonely Island> User Name [316] 1,010,140 (x1.16)

Also see:

Posted by Ender on Sunday, August 25, 2013, 2:38:44 pm (ET)

Up from 1. It feels silly to post a standalone update for such a small change, but I figured people that create lots of bots would probably like to know. :) Thanks to Default User for the suggestion.

Posted by Ender on Saturday, August 24, 2013, 11:21:37 pm (ET)

As promised, chat giveaways now use a lottery format, so there's no more pressure to be the first to respond. Come on in to the chat room and snag some items!

Posted by Ender on Saturday, August 24, 2013, 12:11:41 pm (ET)

Levels that contain no bots to attack are no longer linked to on the fight list page. This is mainly useful for higher level bots where things can get a bit sparse. Thanks to Xj2 for the suggestion.

Posted by Ender on Saturday, August 17, 2013, 4:40:40 pm (ET)

For the past couple days, ^Jane^, the game's IRC bot, has been periodically stocking requested items in the showroom. An example is probably easiest:

[21:24:57] <^Jane^> The delivery girl turns her back with the backroom left open! (!take <item> to take an item)
[21:25:12] <L65> !take raven caw
[21:25:12] <^Jane^> [L65] sneaks a [Raven Caw] into the next showroom delivery.
[21:25:17] <Default> !take Behemoth Boots
[21:25:34] <Default> damn you L65

So unless you enjoy camping, come check it out! We're in #bots4 on QuakeNet. If you don't know what that means, the chat page has an easy way to connect.

Also note that this sort of integration between the game and the game's IRC channel is still in its infancy. It's something I want to do more of, so I'm very open to other ideas! Some possibilities I have in mind include having ^Jane^ give out short-term buffs, kudos, and even small durability restorations. If you have other ideas (within reason of course, nothing too overpowered, but lucrative enough to make people want to come to the chat channel), please share them here. Enjoy!

Posted by Ender on Saturday, August 10, 2013, 3:04:00 pm (ET)

You can now demote yourself in clans. This means, for example, that you no longer have to wait for a clan leader to come online to demote your bot to NC, if desired. Thanks to Scabara for the suggestion.

Posted by Ender on Tuesday, August 6, 2013, 9:47:37 pm (ET)

25 new high-end platinum trophies have been added (and retroactively awarded where possible):

Props go out to shoyuken's suggestion and OneTarget's suggestion!

Posted by Ender on Thursday, August 1, 2013, 10:50:26 pm (ET)

The stat thresholds required for end-of-month trophies (e.g. Top 10 STR) are now available in the documentation. This has been a long-requested feature and was recently briefly discussed, so head on over and check out what's needed for 1st, 10th, 25th, and 100th in each stat.

Posted by Ender on Thursday, August 1, 2013, 12:26:44 am (ET)

Congrats to Shoegazer [97] for leading <Eternal> to victory in the July 2013 clan competition and securing a George Washington platinum trophy! Monthly energy has been reset and a new round has begun.

rank clan owner energy month
1 <Eternal> Shoegazer [97]
12,499,003 (x16.16)
2 <Escapism> Myriad [346]
12,270,648 (x14.29)
3 <Berzerker Barbarians> mrvain [138]
1,463,278 (x1.65)
4 <Atreides> gr33n [80]
1,365,788 (x1.98)
5 <Reservoir Dogs> Mr Green [80] 1,185,612 (x2.39)
6 <The Reason> TheCause [359]
1,131,379 (x1.38)
7 <Take> Take10 [61]
1,054,154 (x1.18)
8 <The Lonely Island> User Name [307] 1,013,952 (x1.17)
9 <Peace> hope1 [54]
1,011,431 (x1.19)
10 <In Extremis> Cadaverous [180] 901,692 (x1.06)

Also see:

Posted by Ender on Wednesday, July 24, 2013, 10:58:36 pm (ET)

The documentation page has historically been notoriously slow because of all the aggregate stats it computes on the fly, often taking 10-20 seconds to load (and likely affecting load times for other players on other pages). These stats are now cached so that they will be computed at most once per hour, thus greatly increasing the page's speed when the cache is hit.

Posted by Ender on Saturday, July 20, 2013, 10:09:06 am (ET)

Sorry about that, the game wasn't working from about 12:05am ET today until a few minutes ago. The server ran out of disk space and this caused all sorts of things to go wonky.

Embarrassingly, this has happened before (and again, even). I periodically compress old database backups and log files to avoid this, and even less periodically transfer them off the server, but if I ever forget to do this for awhile, as was the case here, this happens.

Anyway, I'll be looking into ways of avoiding this in the future. Log files should probably be kept on a separate partition or something so that in the event that it does fill up, it won't affect everything else. Sorry again!

Posted by Ender on Thursday, July 18, 2013, 7:11:54 pm (ET)

You may have read about some of my previous escapades in trying to acquire this little gem...at long last I have succeeded! bots2.net now redirects here (as does bots4.com for good measure), which will help old bots2 players find bots4, give us traffic from old game listing/review sites, and so on.

Posted by Ender on Wednesday, July 10, 2013, 12:43:36 am (ET)

Congrats to Shoegazer [93] for leading <Eternal> to victory in the June 2013 clan competition and securing a George Washington platinum trophy! Monthly energy has been reset and a new round has begun.

rank clan owner energy month
1 <Eternal> Shoegazer [93]
8,972,007 (x11.92)
2 <Escapism> Myriad [345]
7,591,823 (x9.97)
3 <Atreides> gr33n [80]
1,311,098 (x1.83)
4 <Berzerker Barbarians> mrvain [138]
1,176,649 (x1.36)
5 <Take> Take10 [61]
1,026,015 (x1.19)
6 <In Extremis> Cadaverous [180] 964,125 (x1.17)
7 <Final Fantasy> Tifa Lockhart [57]
940,068 (x1.18)
8 <Arcane> Leader2 [136]
929,115 (x1.37)
9 <Standard Model> Singularis [200] 915,884 (x1.12)
10 <FK U TREASURY> Vindicator [133] 906,334 (x1.05)

Also see:

Posted by Ender on Friday, June 14, 2013, 1:45:38 am (ET)

A new workshop option is available that allows you to automatically donate a portion of your battle winnings towards your clan's treasury.

Congrats to Myriad [344] for leading <Escapism> to victory in the May 2013 clan competition and securing a George Washington platinum trophy! Monthly energy has been reset and a new round has begun.

rank clan owner energy month
1 <Escapism> Myriad [344]
4,991,655 (x5.61)
2 <Arcane> Lobster [129]
4,253,365 (x5.52)
3 <Eternal> Shoegazer [92]
2,540,120 (x2.98)
4 <Atreides> gr33n [80]
2,067,881 (x2.87)
5 <Take> Take10 [61]
1,124,532 (x1.26)
6 <Peace> boo1 [64]
1,033,512 (x1.21)
7 <Berzerker Barbarians> mrvain [138]
1,016,424 (x1.14)
8 <Final Fantasy> Rith [130]
962,187 (x1.17)
9 <In Extremis> Cadaverous [180] 961,927 (x1.13)
10 <FK U TREASURY> Vindicator [133] 954,478 (x1.07)

Also see:

Congrats to Myriad [342] for leading <Escapism> to victory in the April 2013 clan competition and securing a George Washington platinum trophy! Monthly energy has been reset and a new round has begun.

rank clan owner energy month
1 <Escapism> Myriad [342]
4,354,537 (x5.14)
2 <Eternal> Shoegazer [92]
3,161,797 (x3.87)
3 <Arcane> Leader2 [136]
1,490,231 (x3.68)
4 <Atreides> gr33n [80]
1,414,744 (x2.10)
5 <Take> Take10 [61]
1,125,805 (x1.30)
6 <Rapture> Satanus Inaximasus [255]
1,067,531 (x1.43)
7 <Berzerker Barbarians> mrvain [138]
1,041,723 (x1.21)
8 <Final Fantasy> Rith [130]
974,780 (x1.25)
9 <In Extremis> Cadaverous [180] 912,496 (x1.11)
10 <FK U TREASURY> Warbringer [230]
864,825 (x1.00)

Also see:

Posted by Ender on Sunday, April 28, 2013, 11:48:01 pm (ET)

Can't remember the name of that bot you made a year ago? Did you register an email address to it? If so, you're in luck: the workshop settings page now has an option to view all bots associated with your email.

Good luck uncovering lost treasure and thanks to Ilithrial for the suggestion.

Congrats to Myriad [340] for leading <Escapism> to victory in the March 2013 clan competition and securing a George Washington platinum trophy! Monthly energy has been reset and a new round has begun.

rank clan owner energy month
1 <Escapism> Myriad [340]
12,010,099 (x14.32)
2 <Eternal> Shoegazer [92]
9,686,737 (x11.21)
3 <Final Fantasy> Rith [130]
1,351,201 (x1.75)
4 <Take> Take10 [61]
1,229,036 (x1.40)
5 <Berzerker Barbarians> mrvain [138]
1,134,302 (x1.27)
6 <Atreides> gr33n [80]
978,970 (x1.19)
7 <The Lonely Island> User Name [285] 892,910 (x1.00)
8 <Diplomacy> Vector Alpha [129] 881,517 (x1.00)
9 <Peace> boo1 [64]
865,150 (x1.18)
10 <In Extremis> Cadaverous [180] 862,132 (x1.32)

Also see:

Posted by Ender on Wednesday, March 27, 2013, 5:59:47 pm (ET)

Check it out!

  • Chinese - 现在,bots4支持非英语字符在论坛帖子和私人讯息!
  • Croatian - bots4 sada podržava ne-engleske znakove u postova iu privatnim porukama!
  • Dutch - bots4 ondersteunt nu niet-Engels tekens in alle berichten en prive berichten!
  • Filipino - Ang bots4 ngayon sumusuporta sa mga di-Ingles na character sa mga post ng forum at sa mga pribadong mensahe!
  • Finnish - bots4 tukee nyt ei-Englanti merkkejä foorumin viesteistä ja yksityiset viestit!
  • Japanese - bots4は現在、フォーラムの投稿やプライベートメッセージで英語以外の文字をサポートしています!
  • Korean - bots4 지금은 포럼 게시물과 비공개 메시지에서 영어 이외의 문자를 지원합니다!
  • Portuguese - bots4 agora suporta caracteres não-ingleses em posts do fórum e nas mensagens privadas!
  • Russian - bots4 теперь поддерживает не-английских символов в форуме и в личные сообщения!
  • Swedish - bots4 stöder nu icke-engelska tecken i foruminlägg och privata meddelanden!
  • Thai - bots4 ขณะนี้สนับสนุนอักขระที่ไม่ใช่ภาษาอังกฤษในกระทู้เว็บบอร์ดและในข้อความส่วนตัว!

Many thanks to those that helped debug and test this. Unfortunately, existing posts and bmails will continue to not support non-English characters, but going forward they will.

Posted by Ender on Saturday, March 9, 2013, 1:42:07 pm (ET)

Do you hate seeing this error message? If so, then I have good news: it's gone!

Posted by Ender on Tuesday, March 5, 2013, 10:48:04 pm (ET)

I fixed a nasty little bug that was preventing the showroom countdown from progressing in Chrome. Read on for the gory details if you're interested. :)

Congrats to Serpentine [200] for leading <Escapism> to victory in the February 2013 clan competition and securing a George Washington platinum trophy! Monthly energy has been reset and a new round has begun.

rank clan owner energy month
1 <Escapism> Serpentine [200] 5,414,125 (x7.29)
2 <Eternal> Shoegazer [91]
4,132,938 (x6.08)
3 <Atreides> gr33n [80]
1,988,523 (x2.67)
4 <Final Fantasy> Rith [130]
1,760,771 (x2.39)
5 <Take> Take10 [61]
1,116,815 (x1.39)
6 <ASSASSINS CREED> Kumi [117]
999,366 (x1.44)
7 <IMMORTAL GODS> Sotiris [103]
894,151 (x1.18)
8 <Berzerker Barbarians> mrvain [136]
857,529 (x1.06)
9 <The Reason> TheCause [346]
815,545 (x1.33)
10 <Standard Model> Stm1 [100] 807,555 (x1.00)

Also see:

Congrats to Myriad [336] for leading <Escapism> to victory in the January 2013 clan competition and securing a George Washington platinum trophy! This comes hot off the back of their December 2012 win, which broke the 17 month winning streak by <Eternal>. Will they be able to continue? Monthly energy has been reset and a new round has begun.

rank clan owner energy month
1 <Escapism> Myriad [336]
6,288,518 (x7.29)
2 <Eternal> neps [375]
2,663,765 (x3.12)
3 <The Reason> TheCause [344]
2,072,659 (x2.60)
4 <IMMORTAL GODS> Sotiris [103]
1,417,146 (x1.74)
5 <Lost> Icms [134]
1,387,209 (x3.03)
6 <Berzerker Barbarians> mrvain [136]
1,263,900 (x1.42)
7 <ASSASSINS CREED> Kumi [117]
1,240,108 (x1.87)
8 <Take> Take10 [61]
1,175,913 (x1.33)
9 <Atreides> gr33n [80]
1,150,770 (x1.41)
10 <Final Fantasy> SerahFarron [135]
1,047,586 (x1.95)

Also see:

Posted by Ender on Saturday, January 5, 2013, 7:33:33 pm (ET)

Just like the battle page can flash the title when a battle is over, the showroom now has the same capability for when a new delivery arrives:

Note that the battle page used to append "(done)", but now both flashing titles prepend "(!)" because the base showroom title was a little too long.

This feature can be disabled in the workshop settings.

Thanks to Inferno and Paradox for the suggestion!

Posted by Ender on Wednesday, January 2, 2013, 1:08:46 am (ET)

Congrats to Apex [133] for leading <Escapism> to victory in the December 2012 clan competition and securing a George Washington platinum trophy! This ends the massive 17 month winning streak by <Eternal> that stretched back to the very beginning of bots4. Monthly energy has been reset and a new round has begun.

rank clan owner energy month
1 <Escapism> Apex [133] 9,715,560 (x11.50)
2 <Eternal> neps [375]
2,389,388 (x2.79)
3 <Mercator Mortalis> Sylent [63]
1,791,513 (x2.44)
4 <IMMORTAL GODS> Sotiris [103]
1,417,519 (x1.98)
5 <Berzerker Barbarians> mrvain [136]
1,271,865 (x1.44)
6 <Clementine> Fishwick [130] 1,160,522 (x1.38)
7 <Take> Take10 [59]
1,130,393 (x1.28)
8 <Atreides> gr33n [80]
997,873 (x1.39)
9 <The Reason> TheCause [341]
952,576 (x1.27)
10 <Diplomacy> Vector Alpha [129] 922,593 (x1.03)

Also see:

Posted by Ender on Tuesday, December 11, 2012, 11:52:28 pm (ET)

Congrats to neps [374] for leading <Eternal> to victory in the November 2012 clan competition and securing a George Washington platinum trophy! Monthly energy has been reset and a new round has begun.

rank clan owner energy month
1 <Eternal> neps [374]
5,300,369 (x6.20)
2 <Clementine> Fishwick [130] 3,018,499 (x3.60)
3 <IMMORTAL GODS> Sotiris [102]
2,907,350 (x4.15)
4 <Escapism> Myriad [332]
2,371,020 (x2.92)
5 <Berzerker Barbarians> mrvain [136]
1,303,082 (x1.51)
6 <The Reason> TheCause [335]
1,061,665 (x1.38)
7 <Take> Take10 [50]
1,011,218 (x1.26)
8 <Xenocide> LazyLegand [89]
933,852 (x4.44)
9 <Rapture> Satanus Inaximasus [237]
932,764 (x1.16)
10 <Ophidian> Oph1 [100] 930,903 (x1.08)

Also see:

Posted by Ender on Wednesday, November 7, 2012, 10:56:07 pm (ET)

Congrats to neps [373] for leading <Eternal> to victory in the October 2012 clan competition and securing a George Washington platinum trophy! Monthly energy has been reset and a new round has begun.

rank clan owner energy month
1 <Eternal> neps [373]
8,560,520 (x1.35)
2 <Neps> Cyborg LX [165]
5,688,798 (x1.19)
3 <Clementine> Fishwick [130] 5,284,881 (x1.17)
4 <Escapism> Myriad [330]
4,916,737 (x1.11)
5 <meow> imacat [115]
3,724,499 (x1.00)
6 <IMMORTAL GODS> Sotiris [102]
3,711,834 (x1.36)
7 <The Lonely Island> User Name [257] 3,657,742 (x1.00)
8 <Clan Razer> Sphex [115]
3,656,325 (x1.00)
9 <Ophidian> Oph1 [100] 3,544,163 (x1.00)
10 <Standard Model> Stm1 [100] 3,521,206 (x1.00)

Also see:

Posted by Ender on Wednesday, October 31, 2012, 11:36:55 pm (ET)

A few tweaks have been made to the energy system for the new round that begins in just over 20 minutes:

  • Min EPH has been raised from 5 to 20.
  • A max EPH of 60 has been introduced.
  • Energy increase and experience reduction buffs have had their durations increased from 500 to 1,000.
  • All bots active in the past 7 days have received a 1,000 duration buff called "Mindless Energy Sap". It increases energy gain by 250% and reduces experience gain to 25% of normal.

Good luck and may the best clan win!

Posted by Ender on Tuesday, October 9, 2012, 8:30:00 pm (ET)

(I spaced out and forgot to post this at the beginning of the month, so here it is now.)

Congrats to neps [370] for leading <Eternal> to victory in the September 2012 clan competition and securing a George Washington platinum trophy! Monthly energy has been reset and a new round has begun.

rank clan owner energy month
1 <Eternal> neps [370]
11,701,893 (x1.49)
2 <Escapism> Myriad [328]
8,737,122 (x1.44)
3 <Clementine> Fishwick [69] 3,652,307 (x1.27)
4 <Ophidian> Oph1 [100] 3,388,002 (x1.00)
5 <Ascendance> Emyx [150]
3,369,905 (x1.01)
6 <Electronics> Electronics01 [90] 3,197,757 (x1.00)
7 <Diplomacy> Vector Alpha [129] 3,166,213 (x1.00)
8 <Bacteria> Bac1 [100] 3,128,301 (x1.00)
9 <The Lonely Island> Toothless [180] 3,062,084 (x1.00)
10 <Rapture> Satanus Inaximasus [236]
2,867,014 (x1.02)

Also see:

Posted by Ender on Tuesday, September 25, 2012, 10:29:46 pm (ET)

The main clan rankings page (and the historical ones) is now sortable by all fields.

Thanks to Fishwick for the suggestion!

Posted by Ender on Saturday, September 15, 2012, 4:36:41 pm (ET)

Thanks to all who participated in the August 2012 Q&A! There were 38 votes on 7 questions from 12 people. Here are my responses, in order of question popularity:

1. (+8/-1) "how far off are tournaments?" - Spazz

Tournaments! This is probably the most-requested feature lately and the good news is that it is the next major project I am working on. The design is mostly fleshed out at this point and I've began preliminary coding work. To get you excited, here are some features it will have (disclaimer: some of it may change as the project evolves):

  • Trophy awards for individual bots, including platinums.
  • Trophy awards for clans, including platinums.
  • Historical results on your bot profile.
  • No level-adjustment formula. High-level bots rejoice!
  • You won't be logged out while the tournament takes place.

I've historically been pretty bad with time estimates, but I'm aiming to have tournaments done by the end of the year.

2. (+6/-4) "captcha captcha captcha, do you still intend to replace it?" - Angelo

I currently have no plans of replacing captcha. Thinking long-term though, greatly decreasing its frequency and/or only using it in special circumstances isn't entirely out of the question, but that's really far down the road.

Also, I did some forum searches and wasn't able to uncover anything where I said I was planning on replacing captcha, though I say a great number of things and so this is certainly possible.

3. (+2/-0) "P2 W2 Trophy for collecting all trophies ("Paradox") Rather than doing an All for One style trophy, perhaps it could be broken down in to sub categories where the player is awarded a trophy for completely each sub type." - Nosferatu

This was just meant as a joke trophy I think, since in order to obtain it, you would first have to obtain it, thus the paradox.

As for your suggestion, that would require the game to know trophy groupings, which is actually something I want to do to improve the UI for them since right now it's just this mess of random trophies in a list. So I'm not against it, but there'd be some preliminary work to get through first.

4. (+2/-0) "Would it possible to have Manic Cranium's durability raised to 1200, to put it on par to that of the armor in its class, such as Troll Shoe, Raven Caw, & Satans Claw?" - Nosferatu

This isn't an unreasonable request, but my blanket response for equipment tweaks has been that I didn't want to change what bots2 had (just yet). For what it's worth, the durability on Manic is in line with the other unique helmets in its defense range. Only at 225 req str do you start to see 1200 durability helmets (Manic is 192).

5. (+3/-1) "Will Crystallized ArmoUr ever be Americanized? (drop the extra U)" - Draoi

Proubably nout.

6. (+4/-3) "Do you have any plans on making trophies for "top loosing" equivalent to the "top winners" trophies already in game?" - Mithrandon

Not really. Losses was intentionally left out of the HoF, as was the HoF rank in bot profiles.

7. (+2/-2) "I think if you changed Desert Boots to something more fun, like Dessert boots(how I read it in my head), a lot more people would enjoy this fantastic armor." - Draoi

This sounds like a sweet idea for a tasty browser extension.

8. (not from official Q&A) "Will freaking remain possible for the life of Bots4?" - Xplode

Almost certainly. This somewhat heated thread contains my views on the subject.

9. (not from official Q&A) "will the energy system remain as it is? so whores have been replaced with dumpers and you no longer play the majority of your time on your main bot?" - Xplode
I imagine the players that spend a lot of time on non-main dumper bots are mostly the ones coming in at the top of the energy rankings each month and that this does not represent the majority. That being said, I do think it would be better for the game's long-term success for this to not be necessary to be a top player.
Posted by Ender on Wednesday, September 12, 2012, 11:18:59 pm (ET)

Congrats to neps [366] for leading <Eternal> to victory in the August 2012 clan competition and securing a George Washington platinum trophy! Monthly energy has been reset and a new round has begun.

rank clan owner energy month
1 <Eternal> neps [366]
7,105,535 (x1.25)
2 <Rapture> Satanus Inaximasus [233]
4,584,648 (x1.19)
3 <Escapism> Myriad [326]
4,149,117 (x1.06)
4 <Ascendance> Emyx [150]
3,538,646 (x1.00)
5 <Ophidian> Oph1 [100] 3,487,433 (x1.00)
6 <Phobia> Harpaxophobia [111] 3,483,150 (x0.97)
7 <Corruption> Nidorina [104]
3,359,257 (x1.01)
8 <Bacteria> Bac1 [100] 3,347,038 (x1.00)
9 <Diplomacy> Vector Alpha [129] 3,343,481 (x1.00)
10 <Standard Model> Stm1 [100] 3,342,962 (x1.00)

Also see:

Posted by Ender on Sunday, August 5, 2012, 6:53:11 pm (ET)

In case you missed the good news, yesterday I finally broke down and added the long-requested [1,2,3,4,5,6,7] extra damage message beyond the 700 damage FLORIFY. When hitting for 1k+, you'll now see: ENDERFIED

As an added bonus, you'll also get a shiny new gold trophy for unlocking this (congrats to the 51 bots that have already done so), so dust off those high max damage weapons and get to it!

[1] http://bots4.net/forum/6/697
[2] http://bots4.net/forum/8/1225
[3] http://bots4.net/forum/8/1480
[4] http://bots4.net/forum/4/1473
[5] http://bots4.net/forum/4/1494
[6] http://bots4.net/forum/4/4008
[7] http://bots4.net/forum/4/4233

Posted by Ender on Saturday, August 4, 2012, 10:14:17 am (ET)

The August 2012 Q&A is now open for questions. Vote for questions you think are interesting and ask your own if you want. I will post my responses to the top questions in a few days.

Posted by Ender on Wednesday, August 1, 2012, 9:14:39 am (ET)

Congrats to Jules [93] for leading <Eternal> to victory in the July 2012 clan competition and securing a George Washington platinum trophy! Monthly energy has been reset and a new round has begun.

rank clan owner energy month
1 <Eternal> Jules [93]
9,080,356 (x1.57)
2 <Ascendance> Emyx [150]
4,260,814 (x1.12)
3 <The Lonely Island> Galen Marek [130] 3,439,544 (x1.00)
4 <Standard Model> Stm1 [100] 3,155,503 (x1.00)
5 <Escapism> Myriad [324]
3,114,789 (x1.03)
6 <Bacteria> Bac1 [100] 3,110,151 (x1.00)
7 <Boondock Saints> Blitzed [46]
2,980,740 (x1.12)
8 <Atreides> gr33n [79]
2,979,804 (x1.09)
9 <Phobia> Harpaxophobia [111] 2,847,852 (x1.00)
10 <Ophidian> Oph1 [100] 2,847,800 (x1.01)

Also see:

Posted by Ender on Sunday, July 29, 2012, 1:06:57 pm (ET)

I'll give 3 stars to the bot that comes up with the best solution to this.

Update 8/4 11:49am: The contest is over and shoyuken is the winner! Thanks to all who participated.

While investigating why some pages were loading slow, I noticed a lot of time was being spent on one particular game function: expToLevel(). If you're interested in math and want to take a stab at optimizing this, read on!

First, some background. The game doesn't actually store the level of your bot, but rather the exp of your bot. This makes some calculations easier, but others harder. In particular, converting exp to level is a very common operation that also happens to be very slow. This is where you come in! Here's the current PHP function (and its helper):

private function expToLevel($experience) {
    $level = 1;
    $totalexp = 250;
    $tolevel = 50;
    while ($experience >= $totalexp + $tolevel) {
        $totalexp += $tolevel;
        $tolevel = $totalexp * Experience::getMultiplier($level);
        $level++;
    }
    return $level;
}

private static function getMultiplier($level) {
    switch (true) {
        case $level < 35:
            return 0.3;
        case $level < 80:
            return 0.1;
        case $level < 150:
            return 0.08;
        case $level < 180:
            return 0.05;
        default:
            return 0.03;
    }
}

As you can see, it starts at level 1, and keeps going up until the exp for that level exceeds the provided exp value. The higher your level is, the longer it will take to finish. This is dirty, ugly, and inefficient, but it works and was good enough as a quick hack when I was prototyping this game in 2010. Now that we're in 2012 and we have lots of high level bots, this has become a bottleneck on any page that lists a lot of bots (hall of fame, fight lists, long forum threads, etc.).

A better solution almost surely exists, probably one that doesn't involve a loop. In computer science terms, I have a linear time function and am looking for a constant time function. Other random notes:

  • The language you use doesn't really matter (pseudocode is fine too) because it's really the algorithm that's of interest here, not the implementation, which I can handle.
  • As a starting point, I imagine a closed-form solution to this would probably involve logarithms with the multipliers (.3, .1, .08, .05, .03) as bases.
  • Using dropoff level total exp values as constants is fine, but other than those, try to keep it general.
  • I'm looking for something pretty fully sketched out. I could probably work this out on my own with enough time, but it's the details that are going to take some time to get right.
  • Use <blockquote> and <pre> tags if you want to format your code like mine.
  • Hardcoding the exp values for each level is a valid solution, but I won't accept it here. This is what I'll end up doing if we can't find anything, but I'm hoping we can find something more elegant.

Good luck and thanks for making the game faster!

Posted by Ender on Monday, July 16, 2012, 11:36:31 pm (ET)

Thanks to all who participated in the July 2012 Q&A! There were 45 votes on 5 questions from 17 people. Here are my responses, in order of question popularity:

1. (+10/-1) "Do you plan on adding/revamping the showroom selections(armor/weapons/shields) with newer items when you do the overhaul of the showroom you have stated you are working on?" - Nosferatu

New equipment is most certainly in store, but it's still a long ways off. I want to take the time to do it right, which will include careful balancing and testing, in order to add items in a way that's fun and interesting, not but disruptive to the current game balance. This is unfortunately low priority at the moment while core features like tournaments are being worked on.

2. (+9/-1) "Do you plan on adding a mobile stylesheet or mobile version of the game, for example, smartphones like Android and iOS?" - Anonymous

This answer has two parts:

The first is that yes, I intend on adding better support for mobile web browsers. There are already some workshop options to optimize gameplay on mobile phones, but these can be improved and made unnecessary/automatic in some cases.

The second part is that no, I don't currently have plans for a bots4 app. Unlike a website optimized for mobile web browsers, this would have to be updated separately to include each new feature/update, plus this would have to be written per-platform (one for iOS, one for Android, one for Windows). I would love to have this, but I don't currently have the time resources to invest into it.

3. (+8/-4) "Do you plan on adding additional game avenues so the game is not centered around fighting? (clan competition, energy, wins, ratio, future tournaments)" - First Question

The main focus of the game is intended to be the monthly energy race, but it's also intended that there are other ways to play. You can train your bot to get to a really high level, collect trophies, or participate on the forums, for example. Beyond that, no, fighting will always be a major focus.

4. (+3/-0) "pew pew............when are you going to give our bots lasers/guns. and maybe some artillery. special attacks?" - Arkuden

I think this is meant mostly in jest, but adding some extra strategy/flavor to the battle system would be a long-term project unlikely to be seen anytime soon.

5. (+6/-3) "The Dark Energy and Mindreave buffs only have 500 charges but cost the same amount of trophy points as the 1000 charge buffs, is there any chance of getting them moved up to 1000 charges (preferable) or halving their trophy point cost?" - Anonymous

This is intentional because they pretty directly help with the energy race, so I wanted the cost to be higher. Decreasing your exp per fight will let you stay in a level range longer and taking more energy per fight speaks for itself.

Posted by Ender on Thursday, July 12, 2012, 10:00:11 pm (ET)

The stash now has a color-coded durability column. Here are the colors:

  • Green - Full durability
  • Yellow - Less than full durability
  • Red - No durability
Posted by Ender on Tuesday, July 10, 2012, 3:49:12 am (ET)

Welcome to the new section for game announcements! Featuring the following:

  • Announcements now come in the form of special forum posts, allowing you to reply directly.
  • An extra forum counter in the sidebar turns red when there are new unread announcements to help you to stay on top of updates.
  • The headline of the latest announcement is shown on the top right of every page.
  • Visible on homepage without logging in.
  • I'll have much more freedom to post more detailed updates with content like tables, images, etc.

The legacy announcements from before this change are of course available too.