Here we go, month 2 of the campaign. If you missed last month’s adventure log, check it out "here":http://forums.obsidianportal.com/comments.php?DiscussionID=4127&page=1
So what’s new?
After upgrading 2 of our servers last month, and adding a bunch of code fixes and feature upgrades, OP should be running faster for the majority of GMs and players.
We are aware that there might be some account-specific issues that are lingering, so do report those at the "customer support site":http://help.obsidianportal.com where Aaron will be helping to resolve issues that might come up.
I’ll be shifting my role going forward - from a one-man army managing the Facebook Page, Twitter account, looking in on the forum, managing the forum and getting some sleep where I can, I’ll be focusing more from this month onwards.
Most of my time will be spent managing the tech development team and working closely with our inner council - wolfhound, ChainsawXIV and a new member Keryth387 to help flesh out the kickstarter stretch goals and resolve bug issues. We’ll be doing a big push for DSTs (dynamic stylesheet templates) in the coming weeks and if you haven’t used them in your campaigns yet, you’ll want to check out some of the stuff we have in store.
I’ll be checking in the forums every 1-2 days and I will also check in on weekends/holidays for any issues that might come up. The major lesson learnt in Jan is to install our updates on Mondays or Tuesdays to minimize disruptions to weekend gaming sessions.
In the past couple of weeks we’ve also seen the start/re-start of various initiatives like the COTM/COTY, spearheaded by killervp, and Kallak will be helping to organize blog submissions from the community. Do reach out to each of them to lend your voice to the community.
During the kickstarter, one of the stretch goals mentioned was a file storage limit of 10gb per Ascendant campaign and 250mb per free user campaign. On a “per campaign” level, the economics don’t quite work out, so for Ascendant members, we’ve already put a 10gb file storage locker in place.
The biggest, power users on OP are at about 4-5gb now, so there ought to be room to grow for the next 2 years (unless everyone starts uploading UHD video to their accounts….). We will figure out the next step beyond 10gb when we’re a little closer to it, and are working out some plans now.
For free users, it’s not feasible to offer 250mb per free user account, and there’s been some robust discussion about this.
I’ve also discussed this with management and they have approved a 60-day trial for a 10mb file storage locker for free users.
Why a trial? Because we need to gather data and look at the numbers and ensure that it makes sense for free users, paid users and OP itself.
Depending on how the trial goes, we will either:
1) Maintain the file storage locker at 10mb for free users
2) Revert the file storage locker to 2mb for free users.
3) Adjust the file storage locker to somewhere between 2mb and 10mb.
Also, as the consequences of increasing the file storage by 400% for 200,000+ users may be a little unpredictable, we may end the trial earlier, if things go in an unexpected direction.
On the tech development front, our Ruby on Rails team is continuing to chip away at kickstarter stretch goals, with custom campaign URLs, name generator up for testing next week.
We are also working on a fix for the file uploading and will have code ready for testing next week.
We are also aware of persistent issues with YouTube embedding and embedding from other video sites. There are a number of security measures in place which prevent external sites from injecting spyware, malware, adware on your computers and some of these measures are preventing videos from being easily embedded, as the java could be used to breach your computer. We will be allocating developer resources to address this in due course.
With some of the stuff that is restarting, like the COTMs, we’ll be building up some of the tech support so that the COTM section on the campaigns page and COTM badges can be updated in a shorter span of time. Else it could take about 1-2 weeks till we have it more automated.
We are receptive to feedback, so based on your comments, suggestions, we aim to refine the fixes and feature upgrades in a manner to suits your playing style.
Our goal, on the tech front, is to continue to release fixes and feature upgrades every 1-2 weeks, so checking in regularly will enable you to see the progress we’re making.
These are features that we would also like to see on the site. They are realistically, priorities that we’ll be working on in the later part of the year, once we have completed all the kickstarter stretch goals and legacy bug issues.
Else, we’ll be continuing to post updates in this thread till the end of the month.
As always, you are welcome to reach out to me via email: [email protected], via skype: andreww38, or via PM on OP: my "OP profile":https://www.obsidianportal.com/profile/andreww38
And to finish off in a punny manner, stay tuned as The OP awakens.
Would you say you're going to improve the site's... OPeration?
Is the positive reaction to these changes going to be... OP the charts?
I hope fixes are deployed after adequate testing and not with... A roll of the dice.
Nah, good stuff though. I'm staying tuned.
Maybe it's time to launch the 'Ascendant membership gifting' feature that was about 80% done when I took over the project...
How soon is your birthday?
This week, we see Keryth987 and twiggyleaf joining the inner council, which probably isn't as illuminati-ish or structured as you might think.
Keryth's role has been mentioned in my initial post, twiggyleaf will be helping with leading the OP user badges, assembling his team to brainstorm meaningful badges to add/earn.
On the tech front, I did a custom campaign URL beta test - this is where your custom domain like AmazingAnimeRPG.com can be mapped onto your tmntgame.obsidianportal.com campaign url. This can be a little wonky and we're expecting to push the beta next Mon or Tues, then spend the week troubleshooting it, cos it doesn't play nice with all the domain name registrars.
I've used "namecheap":https://www.namecheap.com/?aff=2206 for the past 9 years and have done most of the testing using my domains from there. You can also use others like "GoDaddy":http://godaddy.com though they tend to try to upsell you on a bunch of stuff (most of why you won't need).
If you do decide to go with Namecheap, you can use the coupon code "SNOBANQ" to get a discount.
COM Registration $9.66 + $0.18 ICANN Fee
COM Transfer $8.84 + $0.18 ICANN Fee
NET Registration $11.32 + $0.18 ICANN Fee
NET Transfer $10.52 + $0.18 ICANN Fee
ORG Registration $11.01
ORG Transfer $10.21
INFO Registration and (or) Transfer $9.66
BIZ Registration $11.07
BIZ Transfer $10.89
Hurry, though – this is a limited time offer and is also restricted to 30 uses per account! Monthly coupons can be applied only to 1-year domain registrations
Note that I'm not endorsing Namecheap, they're just who I've been using for my own stuff. You can choose to use any domain name you already own, and the only thing you need to do is purchase the domain (typically in 1-year increments) to get custom campaign URLs to work (you don't need any website builder or buy any hosting), just the domain name will do.
In most cases, Internet users will tend to remember a ".com" domain easier than a ".net", ".info". I buy .com domains for my own websites. Custom campaigns will work with any domain extension, although if you buy a .porn or .xxx then there is a chance that Firefox, IE, Chrome might filter it as an "objectionable URL" and you'll end up in the doghouse. (although pathfinderRPG.xxx would be kinda funny).
Another suggestion would be to buy the domain name on a 1-year-registration basis, then renew/re-subscribe as you come to a year, even if there is a strong temptation to do a 10-year registration on StarWarsRPG.com (Disney will probably send you a Cease&Desist and take it away from you in less time than it does Solo to do a Corelian system run in 7 parsecs...)
More stuff will be posted about this once the custom campaign url code is pushed to the server next week.
also, Chainsaw diagnosed the cause of my wiki edit window loading hangup issue... something amiss with the content_summary.json (which is beyond my control), which is way more promising then the solution being offered by OP: e.g. that I should manually copy thousands of wiki pages to a new campaign... but there has been no response to this development...
happy just that the solution is no longer stripping tables and undoing years of work, or manually copying thousands of wiki pages to another campaign
My players just rend to have an habit of accumulating contacts (including very useless ones) so they can brag about the depths of their rolodex ;-)
So before a campaign is over I end up with lots of NPCs to keep track of.
At the moment we're on a tight schedule to get the kickstarter stretch goals out the door as they've been pending since 2013.
We will get to the issue you're facing.
There's 100+ issues to tackle, so we're hitting the most life-threatening ones first.
Aaron has now told one person to "chill out", another that they should only report privately, one that a 502 error was just temporary and to relax, another that "its not a big deal" when they reported an error.... I could go on, but neither Jerry nor Alex were ever outright rude like Aaron is.
Just trying to help out.
Just trying to help out.
I'll see how we can better improve our communication.
If you're experiencing this, please post in "this customer support ticket":http://help.obsidianportal.com/discussions/problems/18523-internal-server-error-500.
Our techs are looking into the issue and will work on a fix, if needed.
1) Character name generator is in for orcs and elves. Note that there is a male/female toggle and we have different prefixes/suffixes for each gender. Kudos for wolfhound on sharing his game data and helping us put the logic together. Accessible when you create a character and do name generation for each respective race. Dwarf names had already been in.
2) Just in: Being able to type dates (instead of using only mouse navigation) for your campaign calendar and adventure log.
We are still doing some refinement on this, because it should allow you to set up adventure logs beyond the present time (eg: 2017, Cyberpunk 2020, Twilight 2025, etc). But the system is not playing nice (I might have failed my saving throw on dominate software). Will continue working with techs to see if we can get this working as it should, and give those doing futuristic campaigns to set up to 3000 AD once the gremlins have been eradicated.
3) Custom campaign URLs: In the system now, Need to do documentation, cos there is some domain name magic involved with this. Cos your domain name registrar needs to "talk" to OP, then OP will show your campaign URL when the domain name is entered. Hoping to resolve this by end of week, else we will hold off till Monday to put in new code.
4) PC/NPC Character page refinement: On the "Style" tab of campaign settings (eg: https://andreww-s-op-fixes-updates-upgrades.obsidianportal.com/settings/style-settings), in the right column, you have a setting for the PC / NPC headers on your "Characters" page. You also can select the option "Hide PC NPC Text ", so it will be transparent and you can style the headers with a graphic banner, or do other CSS magic.
5) File uploading: We have refined the code for uploading files, so this should work better. The code is pretty complex, so it might generate some errors with certain types of files. We are here to continue refining/fixing it till it work consistently. Please file a "customer support ticket":http://help.obsidianportal.com if you encounter problems.
Note that embedding of youtube or other videos has to do with security-type settings, so we are addressing that in a separate tech task.
Caveat: As we put in new fixes, we are aware that other stuff might break in the process, so file a "support ticket":http://help.obsidianportal.com so we can help you. We are aware of some users encountering 500/502 errors and have flagged that as a high priority task for our techs to look into and will focus on fixing it within the next 12-24 hours.
There was some data corruption which occurred when we loaded in the fixes for the PC/NPC header custom color/hide update. This resulted in some wiki pages generating "500 error" messages.
Techs have fixed it, so there should not be any futher 500 errors related to wiki pages or character pages specifically.
If you do encounter them, please file a "support ticket":http://help.obsidianportal.com/ and we'll get to it.
1) You can type dates for date fields - calendar, adventure log.
2) Adventure logs can be set up to 3000 AD.
We've also put in some fixes in the adventure log, so if you have stuff appearing every x time interval, eg: 2010, 2100, 2350, 2600, 2699, 3000, only those years will appear in the navigation column on the right.
Else I am guessing have 1000+ years appearing in the right column would make things somewhat unwieldly.
So feel free to play with setting adventure logs in the future (We had to battle a few timelords to break out of the 2016 constraint). And have tested that the time-space continuum appears stable till 3000 AD.
As you might know, time travel is a finnicky thing, so play with your adventure logs, test it, break it, report any issues to Rip Hunter or on the "customer support helpdesk":http://help.obsidianportal.com and we'll fix it.
Happy time travelling.
PS: There were some early Error 500 issues, this was due to some data corruption in the wiki as we were putting in updates on Mon/Tues. This has been resolved. If you are experiencing such errors still, file a ticket at the customer support desk.
I have flagged this as a priority fix for the tech team and have told them we need the task to be completed by the Friday morning (US timezone).
If you are experiencing this, please make a ticket at the "customer support desk":http://help.obsidianportal.com and we'll verify that your page is working.
"I met a traveller from an antique land....."
CotM May 2016: Mysteria: set in Wolfgang Baur’s MIDGARD.
Previous CotM Aug 2012: Shimring: High Level Multiplanar Campaign
Inner Council Member
Please head over to the "customer support desk":http://help.obsidianportal.com to let us know if you're hitting "error 500" messages on your pages.
Note also, that weeks ago we ran a system-wide script that rewrote problematic URLs like:
1) my_favorite_game.obsidianportal.com to my-favorite-game.obsidianportal.com (because underscore characters can't be interpreted by internet browsers). Spanish and Nordic letters with accents are also considered "illegal characters" by a number of browsers (unless you install foreign language packs, etc).
So the issue with this is that when you append /dashboard or /characters to the end of your URL (to access your wikis sub pages), it violates the 255-character rule for internet browsers, and since it can't process and display the url, it shows up as an error. Please be like the other nice GMs out there and use campaign titles/urls like the-genocide-of-elves or beans-beans-beans-oops, so it confirms nicely to the 255-char rule. it's good practice too.
If your old campaign URL has been re-written, then trying to access the old URL which might have been bookmarked in your browser will lead to an "error 500" message. The fix for this is to navigate to your campaign via your OP panel, then bookmark the new URL.
The new URLs work better because it won't gum up OP's code base, and averts data corruption of the entire database (ie: ragnarok). While we run regular backups on our close to 20gb player/campaign database, do note that restoring the backup could take more than 8+ hours (our tech team set up a manually-initiated backup and it was still running when they came into the office the next day...), so good practises help everyone.
The tests will take place on Monday, from about 1am EST till about 4am. During this period, there might be instances of the server going down. We will attempt to reboot immediately.
Please take note if you're doing any work on your wikis during this time. If the server crashes before you save your work, you could lose that data.
Once the custom campaign URL feature is working relatively consistently, you can test it too.
We'll only do this at the start of the week, so there's adequate time to fix stuff ahead of averting fubar-ing your account before next weekend.
This is AaSampson. I’m your new community manager with a big update regarding how we’d like to handle public discussions here at OP. First OP would like to thank Alex RedEye for his able-bodied assistance in standing in this role for a while.
In our efforts to evaluate and address issues in a timely and organized manner we’re noticing a few constants. Users are often experiencing the same issues in the same time frame, everyone wants timely, organized, updates - and a lot of us are following the threads of others with the same problem looking for answers. In light of this awareness we’re implementing a change to how we address public discussions.
OP is implementing “Master tickets/Announcements”. Master tickets will function as public discussions containing only updates on the issue posted exclusively by the administrators. These tickets will act as central hubs for updates and greatly improve Tech Support, Ops, and Development’s ability to keep all users up to date on their ticket (and issue) status.
OP users will still open discussions exactly as they have before. For example, if you have an issue - you open the public discussion page and create a private or public ticket detailing your issue.
However, if your issue is determined (by us) to be identical/related to the master, we will then notify you of the Master Ticket assigned to your issue, subscribe you to updates on the master ticket, and provide a link to the master ticket. Your ticket title may also be amended to better clarify which Master Ticket your issue relates to. This will dramatically streamline our ability to resolve critical issues in a timely, and visible, manner.
If your individual issue presents different symptoms, or you have an issue that is unrelated to any standing Master Tickets, we will address it individually as we have in the past (we WILL actually address it as opposed to some of the issues in the past.) Users will still be able to ask for updates on their specific issues if they feel they need more immediate attention for an individual situation.
The OP community has already used this method of ticketing when dealing with the 500,502,504 issues: http://help.obsidianportal.com/discussions/problems/17190-keep-getting-500-502-or-504-errors This thread has 50+ users currently subscribed to updates. An even larger number of users monitored this thread for the intermittent outage that occurred last month. By consolidating users to an area, we can clarify the lines of communication saving you time and frustration.
This change will roll out over the next few weeks as I write out the Master Tickets regarding specific issues and direct existing tickets to their respective hub.
Examples of this process can be found here:
A few changes you’ve probably already noticed include:
-Initial ticket responses in the first 8 hours
- Request for private tickets on issues reported in public discussions. Our intention here is not to hide information but to create a direct channel between support/development and you. If you’re comfortable with making the discussion public and we don’t expose any sensitive account information, then please feel free to make your individual ticket public- if you feel it serves the greater good.
-Short professional responses. During peak hours we’ll be churning through quite a few tickets \ in our effort to solve your issues, and we’ll sometimes appear to be a bit frank. No disrespect is intended AT ALL- and as you’ll often hear me say. “Please reach out to me anytime with any issues or questions”. (as an aside- us/we in Support is, at this point, really “me” so bear with me and we’ll get there and get it solved with honesty, humor, and mutual respect.)
- To help us help you, PLEASE include a brief timeline leading up to your issue- screenshots, URLs to your campaign, and any impacted functions. The more detail I (we) have the faster I can turn solve those problems. Sharing is caring.
As a final note, a very special thanks to ChainsawXIV, KillerVP , Schiann and several other members of this incredible community that take the time to update user issues. We (really- all of us here) appreciate the assistance and encourage OP users to collaborate. Collaboration decreases turnaround time and keeps information flowing into Technical Support and Development. The company has recently added two additional developers to help resolve long-standing bugs, inter-related issues, and to help achieve our committed goals.
I must go now my people need me. (dry sense of humor- you are my people!) Please reach out to me anytime with any issues or questions
We're not sure what's causing this, I'm flagging it as a priority issue for the techs to look at and aim to have it resolved by Thursday morning.
1) "Search by user" - You can access this via the campaign search bar located in the top-right corner of your campaign page. Besides, items, character names, etc, there is a "User" search. This is a global search (eg: queries our user database), the other searches are specific to the campaign.
2) "GM-Only pages" - will only be sent to the GM, Co-GM (ie: Your players won't get notifications that there are 5 basilisks and Tiamut sitting in the next room...). Co-GM roles have been tweaked, so you can do more Co-GM-ly things. Let us know in comments if it's working better, cos I've been working the tech guys hard on this.
3) "Child-Parent Selector Custom CSS" ----- IQ 12 explanation: "Allow for the ">" character to be used in custom CSS for proper styling of items"
4) "External Links Missing Class" ---- IQ 12 explanation: " External links using the Textile method don’t have class names assigned, can’t be easily singled out for styling - setup class for these items"
Please enjoy trying out these features, breaking it, report any bugs you find!
The Daemon Codex did not come with detailed instructions, so we may have...uh...unleashed a few greater demons in the making of these fixes.
There may be a few gremlins lurking in the system, so our techs are on standby to refine these features further.
We will likely hold the refinements till next Mon/Tues, just cos we don't want to precipitate the cataclysm over Fri-Sun (then we'll have REAL problems).
Anyhoo, thanks for your continued support and feedback, we are striving to make Midhelm, er, OP a better place.
This isn't as noticeable on smaller campaigns, but with bigger campaigns (like with Tau's), the slower page load is very noticeable (to the extent of 30-60 seconds).
The tech team is rewriting the wiki code so that we can minimize the amount of code being loaded. This is a pretty time intensive process to troubleshoot and ensure that we're loading what we're supposed to load and leaving the "fat"/"bloat" behind. If we mess up, you'll see everyone's favorite "Error 500" message.
We are aiming to have some sort of test fix for this soon.
We are keeping our fingers crossed and working toward being able to push a fix to the server on Mon/Tues.
Note that you may experience 500 errors while the fix is being tested.
We'll do our best to limit the downtime (our programmers, we have 2 of them, work a 8.5 hour workday).
Once the heavy lifting is done, GMs with big campaigns will notice a speed increase, while GMs with smaller campaigns should experience a modest speed increase (just cos you weren't working from a 30 sec page load base).
Aaron or I will post updates as the fix comes online.
(We'll stay clear of doing anything crazy before the weekend)
Also now user will be able to mention class with hyperlink by this syntax
@"(class name)Text to display":http://[email protected]
and if user didnt mentioned any class with their hyperlink than "external-link" class will be added on wiki page load
If you have additional questions about the fix, post them in the comments and we'll get the programmer to clarify, if needed.