Rumor: Bloo happy on one level.

A few weeks ago I downloaded “libircclient” and toyed with it for a few hours, set up an IRC server (last time I touched IRC was back at Demon probably in 95-97) and dircproxy. On Sunday, I decided to go ahead and build an API around libircclient; spent maybe 3 hours doing that.

I figured it might be worth a little tinkering to plug it into one of the game servers to toy with the idea of using an external chat interface for game monitoring/management. IRC is still one of the few IM protocols that you can run your own, private servers for…

Monday I decided to spend my lunch plugging that API into the server project, specifically the strat host, such that with only minimal intrusive lines of code, the strat server was configured to log into the IRC server and join a particular channel. If the server crashes, it will appear to leave the channel, with a couple of channel messages at various critical state changes.

So I plugged it into the chat host too – 8 minutes, and decided to value-add that by having it join a few extra channels and mapping those to in-game channels (crs, gm, hc) so that CMs and staff can more easily monitor the game from without.

The reality is this is primarily a monitoring tool. If the API wasn’t so slim and easy to work with, stable, compact, efficient and robust, I would probably just have extended ircd or one of the “mini ircd”s to support netcode2 and let the chat server talk to it natively; but I reckon I’d have had to write a lot more code and I’d have had to more intimately refamiliarize myself with the innards of ircd and/or the irc protocols.

I was thinking that getting anyone in the office – other than bloo – to use the irc server would be a dead horse flogging. But Doc, Hallpass and even Toto were in there :) Latham pointed me at Trillian which isn’t a great IRC client but it is pretty convenient and – since the IRC network is entirely inside our internal network, we’re not going to be doing any hardcore IRC stuff: for our purposes, /me is advanced.

I’m impressed by how easily it came together, how stable its been despite how I’ve tried to break it. I owe most of that to libircclient tho.

Trying to explain it to Doc was fun – I forgot to translate to human first and I think I gave him images of the chat server physically typing on a keyboard to operate an MSN messenger type client and log in to some “remote” messaging service. In actuality, its fairly simple: they’re two chat servers, the IRC is the boss of the IRC conversations and chat is just a client in that context. You might even call it a bot. It’s just a bot with some whammy.

Inevitably, some of you are going to (again) suggest IRC as a chat system for the game itself. Right, and if x-rays are safe enough for healthcare then they must be safe.

IRC is Internet Relay Chat. Its all about the distribution of messages, and not the efficiency of messaging (or it wouldn’t be a text-based protocol, for starters). If we had lots of zone processes and players were well distributed across distinct processes – then IRC might make sense.

In the case of the monitoring system I’ve implemented, efficiency is not a concern – a handful of CMs/staff interacting with the server with 1-3s lag is quite acceptable; one CPU provides the services for all of the game processes and cost of off-loading to that CPU has a minimal footprint – we’re sending less than 0.1% of all game chat to it.


Poor DOC…give him a break……

Oh yeah, Big Brother called…

External Wiki? Check.
Internal Wiki? Check.
Bug/issue tracker installed and actually used? Check.
Internal IRC? Check.

Those are the big three I felt necessary when I came back. ‘Course, I felt they were IMMEDIATELY necessary but they actually took 1.5 years of nagging. Baby needs to take bigger steps faster.

Complete redesign of account and support pages…that will take longer.

Sending the username with a password reset? Ex.

Don’t tell Ramp I brought it up.

That’s ticket #771 in our system.

Heh Gnasche,
I almost reupped twice, but the whole username/password stuff took so long I walked away totally frustrated.

Just as well, I still don’t really have the time or money for it.

Yeah, getting your password can take a short bit if you can’t remember one of these:


and two of these


because then Gnasche or I have to try to find the account someone is looking for, which is often complicated by the person not using their real last name, using a different email address, not remember their username, etc. And then we need to make sure it isn’t someone else saying, “Hey, I lost my account password. The account was either “Killer” or “Doc” or “Gophur” – not sure what email address I used, but hook me up yo!”

In your case, Brasidus, all you need to do is remember to refer to your email address with the ISP that begins with a C.

But, bloo, he still won’t know what username to log into his account with. (unless I’m missing something)

I think gnasche means an option to say “here’s my email address, please email me my username”.

At the time I tried, my email address had changed, Sparrow did me the honour of getting me a unique handle “Lee(tm)”, unfortunatley I did not know how to input that, and every time I tried I never recieved what I expected. It was a while back though, and I do not recall that tool you linked. I don’t think I even ever used my CD key I had (pre-ordered and recieved on June 6th) I just migrated from the beta server.

So far though that seems to have worked, but if I need to verify things from the email address you have on file that still won’t work because it’s about a year out of date.

I’ve always supported WWIIOL and never ragged on it, I just had issues when I tried to get back a couple of times.

If this works I’ll try and hop in on some of the trials, it looks like y’all have done a great job of lowing the time needed in game to enjoy it, something I don’t have much of I fear.


Lee / Brasidus

It worked!
Thanks, and sorry for the hijack!

Now that is service. :)

Gnasche, my point was that if you can remember
1) your game name,
2) your real last name, and
3) your email address

The password reset page will work.

Yes, lots of people can’t remember their usernames because they chose a bad one, or more commonly, they’ve got 5 years of old trials and never bothered to write down their actual username. Indicating pilot failure at the intarwebs. If you’re going to give a company your credit card number, it behooves you to preserve the information that allows the account to be accessed.

My favorite is people who have the username of one account as the gamename of another. That is a VERY BAD IDEA, YOU NUMBSKULLS WHO NEVER WRITE ANYTHING DOWN! :-)

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