Obsidian Shard


Originally launched in March, 2000

Slow Month

Nothing new to report! It has been a slow month sadly, but work is still plodding along.

If you have an interest in helping, I have a number of projects I would love some help with but it'll involve a lot of number crunching and theory work.

Things such as weapon balances, armor balances, spell damage, npc loot etc.

If you've got the time and the inclination, fire me a message.

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Patcher back up, maybe?

I -think- that got the patcher working (worked on my two test machines and the one remote machine), but it is a temporary ugly fix.

A big thanks to BroadBand who had to come out of hiding to work with me on some of this, it was a server level issue.

But yeah, test and let me know if it does/doesn't work in this thread please!

Sidenote: About 12 hours were put into this issue over the past few days between myself and broadband, including breaking the patcher apart, digging up fragments of old notes, and even putting in groundwork in prep for the worst case scenario of building an entire new patcher and installation in record time. Still lots more to do, but for those who wonder where the hours go when it seems staff does nothing, i'm trying to note the hours we do. Also echo put in at least a good 6 trying his darndest to troubleshoot and solve this before escalating it up to me, and i'm sure did more of his own work while i was digging.

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Update on game status

Looks like the game isn't accessible at the moment due to the patcher disagreeing with some new webserver software.

I'll spare you the nitty gritty details - partly because some of it floats over MY head but Bob will be looking into it when he has the chance and I'll just continue plugging away on code while he's doing that.

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Client crashing

We've been alerted to many people crashing when trying to enter the game.

I'll get right onto sorting it out!
Bob update(6/14/2017 1 am cst): What is the first day anyone's seen the Imunify360 notice on the website?
It looks like we've had this issue for the past 3 weeks, since roughly 5/26 or so. Sorry for my delay in finding out about it.
Been digging for the past 3 hours.
Short answer is, looks like we may need to replace the patcher. I'm still digging, but this thing is ancient, has no manual, or source of any kind, and was designed to be hard to dig into originally. We'll see what rabbit i can pull out of my hat.

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Knee deep in code

Test server was up, and then it went down. And it looks like it will be down for a while longer.

But the game is still running - Woo!

Staff have been working on getting the test server up and stable to enable code testing but it has been a bit of a roller coaster journey. The test server is running version 56c of sphere (the main server is running 56b) and fine tuning the scripts to fit this as well as an update to the way we organise scripting has been the focus of Bob and myself over the past month. Due to time constraints, it's been a very difficult month but we're slowly making progress.

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We'll be continuing with server work and a code clean-up to ensure future scripting is simpler. It's nothing exciting gameplay wise but it is essential for the operation of Obsidian.

In addition to this we've started on the overhaul of the website. Things will be a little screwy for another few days so please bear with me on that (html and css aren't my forte so it's a bit of trial and error to get that sorted). Eventually, we'll be rewriting the guides section on the website, creating a new logo and organising a bunch of new webcontent. But that'll be after we get the ball rolling on the test server. For now, it's just a few cosmetic changes for the website.

I'll continue with monthly updates to keep you all in the loop about what's going on!

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Pen! I need a pen!

Can you draw? Can you write? Can you design?

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We are on the lookout for talented artists, writers and scriptwriters to help with a number of projects geared
towards revamping the shard. If you have some artistic or technical skill and can spare some time, we would
love the help. (More detail further down)


As for what has been happening the past month, WELL...here's the scoop as best as I can tell it.


The time loop bug we've suffered again has prompted us to look towards updating the version of sphere we are
using from 56b to 56c. It's not as much of a shift as T3A to T4A was but it will bring new challenges as well as new content.


We've been preparing for the change by establishing a test server that runs alongside the current version. This is so we can
test out the old scripts on the new 56c version and the rest of you can too! It also will give us a sounding board for future
script changes. Changes will be uploaded to the test server first and bugs ironed out before they will be implemented on the
main server. This should make future patch work simpler and cleaner!


The time loop bug has been partially fixed for the moment. We are correcting a few side issues caused by it but it should
be sorted within the week. Timers on racial abilities will be a little long until then, and you may notice you can visit
Cove for the time being.


So over the next month, with the use of the test server, we'll be releasing a steady stream of bug fixes and content to settle
back into the flow of game development. But what's a game without some snazzy graphics?


So we're asking if anyone out there is interested in helping us develop a whole range of artwork for Obsidian. Artwork including
race selection screens, website graphics, logos, banners and desktop icons. If you have any skill in these areas please PM GM
Echo with details of what you would like to help with and what skills you have.


Oh and if you see Raptor on, say hi for me.

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Forums are back up!

So back to posting and complaining. That's what forums are for right?

After a few hours of trying to fix a minor hiccup, Bob realised that it wasn't such a minor hiccup and it was indeed a rather colossal boo boo. Thankfully he was able to sort out the problem and the forums are back to what they were! Monthly update will be out in a few days.

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Forum is borked

Forum is borked, working on getting it un-borked, will be awhile.

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Just whistle while you work

The last few weeks have been incredibly busy behind the scenes!

Systems are being put into place to ensure that we're coming up with a steady stream of bug fixes, new content and balances to the game. There's been so much work to go around lately that we have had to promote staff to share around the work load and as you can see they're learning quickly!

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We're aiming to have a patch out early next month that will include groundwork for a lot of the future releases, the likes of which, I'm sure, you will all thoroughly enjoy. I'll save the excited pitch for when we release the patch with all the glorious details it'll contain.

We have in place a rather detailed plan to overhaul a number of systems and the newly appointed GMs have been hard at work testing, building and coding to help get us back on the right track. We're very much looking forward to showcasing all our hard work in the coming months.

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March Update

Welcome to Obsidian, population currently: 1.

As I sit here, in what was once called Blackthorn's castle, I have a quiet moment of contemplation about what to tackle next. Will it be some mapping work, a bug fix or two or will I just go and open another bottle of wine and kick back watching two dragons tear each other to pieces?

The shard has been quiet for a long time now which I could stomp and complain about but really the only thing that will change that is a lot of hard work.

Monster loot needs to be reworked, map zones aligned, character classes adjusted, staff promoted and demoted, towns to be built and rebuilt, crafting to be overhauled and new events created that inject LIFE back into the game.

Myself and a couple of dedicated staffers (including the newly appointed GM Overdrive, congratulations!) have been working towards getting things firing up again. It's slow work. Agonisingly slow but steady.

We need more scripters, staff, players to run and enjoy a game that is nearly 20 years old. It doesn't have the latest and greatest graphics or sound files and it can be a bit slower than your current game of choice. If we are to bring life back to this game (And I know you all remember the good times) this really will take a LOT of work.

But I'm up for that challenge. Are you?

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