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Found 7 results

  1. Dear Ninja, Today we fixed one of the biggest server crashes plaguing the games development, and with it comes a lot of lessons for the future of the game's development. We now know some things to look out for and avoid when coding the game, and we now have the means to debug crashes like this in the future. The reason this particular crash was so unsolvable was that it wasn't actually crashing the server. It was creating an infinite loop in calling server game logic. Which didn't crash the server and provide any debug information, and our current server was not able to give any debug information when attempting to debug through the latest version of Visual Studio. It turns out that our dated technology required the use of dated copies of Windows and a dated copy of Visual Studio to give us the debug information we needed, and I would not have been able to discover this without @Seth. It also took @Robin's knowledge in debugging methods to figure out what was causing it. I've spent the last couple of weeks blindly testing the server to see what would cause crashes, it took me and Seth stress testing parts of the game blindly, as we collected useful data and information from players about what they felt was causing the crashes. While I cannot disclose the exact cause as of yet for the game's server security, I would like to say that some of the information given did in fact make sense once the bug was found. The discovery took the efforts of Seth, Robin and myself convening over a long period of time analyzing the course of action to solve the bug. I also would like to thank Pokemon Planet's creator, Brody, for also providing assistance, and advising possible courses of action as well @Abhi for agreeing to put aside time from his busy exam schedule to look into it when I called him. Lastly I'd like to thank all the players who have been patient and sending me reports on possible causes for the crashes over the last week. Thank you to Nintendave @Bolan Vongola @Dayum Mirana @Riley @Sukki Ohiya @Jellal Kuraen @Oriax @Itachi Himitsu @Lumy @Shissei @MrChubb The Hozuki @Origami Heart User_name @Lain and whoever else gave useful feedback and encouragement, you're all top notch beta testers. This may not be the last problem causing crashes, but we now have the means to debug any similar problems (which there might be). Hopefully this means a much more stable Nin Online server immediately, or in the weeks to come. However, I would like to apologize in advance that the goals of 2018 (Adv. Masteries / Mist) may come a bit later than end of the year. I was initially going to rush out a lot of content by the end of 2018, but I've decided that in the spirit of Christmas, I'll be working on making the server stable and doing a Christmas event again, because we haven't had holiday events this year. Regards, Rory
  2. design

    Dear Ninja, As of today we're putting a new feature into testing, it may or may not drastically improve your frame rate depending on your situation. However, I'm hopeful from initial tests that this will help many of you with previously low frame rates or only decent frame rates. Previously, the game was running in DirectX8 which in itself has quite some compatibility issues with modern Windows systems. We now have the game running with DirectX9 as the renderer, abeit through the work of a wrapper, which means the API calls are all done through DirectX9 API calls now. In my personal case, FPS was almost doubled throughout the game, and it's now more playable in 3440x1440 (3K Ultrawide) for me. DirectX8 (1080P) Leaf Village: 40-57 FPS Valley of the End: 40-50 FPS Chakra Forest / Forest of Ambushes: 50-55 FPS DirectX9 (1080P) Leaf Village: 97-100 FPS (My monitor is capped at 100hz Refresh Rate) Valley of the End: 80-85 FPS Chakra Forest / Forest of Ambushes: 90-100 FPS (My monitor is capped at 100hz Refresh Rate) DirectX8 (3K Ultrawide) Leaf Village: 14-25 FPS DirectX9 (3K Ultrawide) Leaf Village: 43-48 FPS PS: Do note that if your monitor is capped at 60hz Refresh Rate, the game will cap at 60 FPS. Anything above doesn't display because your monitor can only show 60 new images a second. Hope you enjoy this update! Regards, Rory
  3. design

    Dear Ninjas, This development log is to explain why some people have bad ping and why tunnel programs like ExitLag and NoPing help with that, and why it is out of our control. What is Ping? So Ping or Latency with Nin Online is the amount of milliseconds it takes for your client (in whichever country you are in) to send a packet of data to and fro the server located in North America. How do Tunnel programs work? First of all, watch this: https://www.nptunnel.com/en/how-it-works If you were to assume that data is moving linearly from your computer to our server and back, that should mean that Tunnel programs are somehow making data move faster than the physical limitations of our network sea cables etc. right? Wrong. Tunnel services simply provide more direct access to our game by running dedicated servers in strategic locations. This reduces ping drastically in some cases if your ISP is not providing you with a direct connection to servers (in this case) in Canada. Why is my ISP being a little shit and not giving my a direct connection to Canadian servers? Some people wonder why is it sometimes even when you're not located far away from the server, you can get bad ping? It's because your ISP is being a little shit or you've bought into an ISP that isn't being completely transparent with you on how they tranfer data. https://www.makeuseof.com/tag/isp-peering-high-speed-internet-slow/ ISPs do this because they can sell your "high quality / premium" plans labelled with fancy terms like gigabit connection or 1gb/s speeds. Without actually shelling out money to provide you direct connections. They're also not lying to you because your connection speed will actually really be 1gb/s - just to local servers or servers that are favorable. So how is it not our problem your ISP is being a little shit? In some sense, it does become our problem. When you experience lag, our game service suffers. We also need to find ways to optimize further (within physical limitations of science) to make it so our server can make you feel like latency doesn't exist. Why is it some other games have better ping for me? This can be for a variety of reasons. Firstly, they could be using non-authoritative server architectures. Which means more of the game's data is being processed on your client locally. However, for an Online RPG where we need to prevent hacking, this is not ideal because the more things processed on the client side, the easier it is to cheat. When all data is processed on a server, it is called an authoritative server. They could also be located nearer to you or have their own tunnel service dedicated to their game. They could also just not be transparent about the actual ping you have and use advanced client side lag compensation methods that make the game seem like it isn't lagging like I'll explain below. How do we deal with lag in an online game with an authoritative server? We compensate by making actions you take reflect on your client before they actually happen on the server, in some cases. But this is a move that has to be done strategically on only some areas of the game. Examples are, movement. If you move in Nin Online, it reflects on your client right away. However, this in rare cases can cause a situation where your client thinks you're on one spot, but the server knows you are actually somewhere else. We deal with this by making sure your client holds you in the spot where the server knows you are, until your client is ready to move again. We also minimize the amount of time the data takes to process on the server before a return packet is sent to your client. That is within on control. How it works is.. Client Packet is Sent ------ (Eg. 100ms) -------> Server Processes Packet (eg. 10ms) Server Packet is Sent -------- (Eg. 100ms) -------> Client receives packet The ping would be 210ms in this case. Because the Data was processing on our server for 10ms before the server started giving your client a response. However, our ability to optimize this is very limited at this point. The reason being, our server is capable of performing tens of millions of calculations per second. This means any packet that is send is almost instantly processes. It spends almost no time at all on our server before it gives you a response. Our server is actually so powerful that we cap the amount of calculations it attempts to perform to how many it actually needs to. So far on a busy time, the server performs around 30,000-50,000 calculations per second. Which is almost 0.1% of the server's calculation processing prowess. There was a point in time where we had a lot we could do to optimize the game to be less laggy. We've solved the problems within our control like major issues that caused the server to hang when certain things were done for example. But there is two things we can't solve.. your ISPs lies and the engineering and physical limitations of data transfer (in 2018). Perhaps breakthroughs like quantum entanglement will create a quantum internet where we can transfer data instantaneously, but until then, we can only dream. Why is our current and only server in North America? Conclusion There's also the chance that if we can make Nin Online populated and monetarily profitable enough, we can run multiple servers in different locations. But right now, the only thing that will do is dilute the player base in a game focused on community, RP and engaging in fights with other players. On a bright side, we've got a major breakthrough for FPS lag!
  4. Dear Ninja, Here's another long form design rant. If you haven't seen the first one, read about the balance philosophy here. These development logs are less visually appealing, but give just as much insight about the future of the game. So if you're interested in game development, you'll probably enjoy my walls of text! The Problem This one is titled "the case against punishing for PvP crimes" to emphasize how much of a choice and dilemma this has been for the game. In the past, when a player for example, killed an enemy ninja repeatedly too many times, they were in a situation where they could squeal on the killer in order to get justice. There was a gray line between what was allowed and what wasn't in some situations eg. which paths can you block / how many tiles away your traps have to be from the entrance, and even if it was clear in cases, the moderation and punishment of said crimes would come down to subjective bias (how close are you to the moderation team, what terms are you on with an admin, your reputation as a player, what village you're from and the GM handling your case etc.). Not all players would report being harassed, because some players can deal with it and understand that dying to enemies in an Open PvP world is part of the game experience. Before I go any further, because I think your rage meter is filling up and you're about to comment how stupid I am down below, I'm going to state that I completely understand that it is not fun once a certain threshold is passed and that no single player should have that much control over another player's experience. It is not fun to be dominated (unless you're into that) by another player and spawn killed for hours. It is not fun to be surprised by traps when you walk into a door (unless you're into that) with no counter play possible. My point in this case is only to explain why moderation is not the solution, and explain the real solutions and why it takes awhile to get them done. If the game allows you to do it without cheating or exploiting any glitches, you should be free to do it. In the same way that Tigers not being able to walk on water or swim can be used to the ninja's advantage. These design choices. In the past, rules seemed grey about trapping enemies around corners to deal damage to them without getting damage in return. But they were always very clear, as long as you did not abuse any glitches (eg. using 3 players to block off the mob's target player, making it endlessly try to hit that player specifically, and not hit any), it is part of the game's design. You are free to use the terrain to trap enemies. In the same way, if the game allows you to place traps on the warp tiles (not a glitch) we cannot punish you for doing what the game allows you to. In the past, moderating these crimes on a case by case basis was a he said she said situation of finding out who is guilty. Which is like bringing two players to court for one persons accusations each time somebody is unhappy about being harassed. We would then have to hear the other side of the story and then the other side again, and again to find out when the cycle of hate began. The biggest lesson I learned from trying to moderate this is that - rarely ever will anyone just decides hey I want to spend the next 3 hours killing the same guy to ruin his day. In most cases, the player has good reason to. Sometimes that player has a mission that requires him to kill X number of enemies (and since the game allows you to kill the same people, why not?) - design problem not moderation problem. Sometimes that player has a bounty, so is being rewarded for repeatedly killing the victim. A lot of the time the player being killed endlessly had triggered feelings of injustice by killing another of that player's lowbie villager whom is now being avenged. In all of these cases, the moderation of said case is grey. It is also design problems, that the game doesn't punish you and sometimes even rewards you for hindering another player's experience. In some of these cases, it is intended. A world where open world PvP and leaving your village to find being a missing ninja is hard for example. In some cases, it isn't intended. A world where getting spawn camped for 3 hours is okay for example. So what defined harassment in open world PvP with actual factions that are opposed to one another? Is killing a player 3 or 4 times in an hour too much? Even if it is completely within character to do so (eg. Sand killing leafs is intended). Regardless so, it is still not the moderation team's job to ban each case of people deciding to play the game - the way the game allows them to. The job of the moderation team is to ban people who are playing the game in ways the game doesn't allow them to by cheating or using 3rd party programs, or offending another player out of character. The solution As time goes by and cases of "this isn't fun" happens. We learn what kind of behaviors to encourage in the game, and what kind not to. There are things overlooked like placing traps wherever you want sounds great in theory, but is highly annoying when done on warp tiles and around them. The solution is from a development and design. For example, preventing putting traps on tiles that are too close to the warp tile manually. Not fun being killed 4 times in a row by an enemy just because it completes his mission? The game shouldn't allow him to complete his mission that way. Not fun being killed for 3 hours in a row for now reason? The game should make it harder for him to accomplish that with guard NPCs or No Fighting Zones which allow you to sneak out. Not fun being killed for 3 hours endlessly because you killed a lowbie from his village? Stop being a dick and expect to get away with it you dumbass. Regards, Rory
  5. Dear Ninja, Here's another wall of text, this one talking about the core game designs and philosophy behind.. Daily Missions! Before there was daily missions, the only way to level up was to grind. Killing enemies repeatedly. When initially designing Nin Online, one of the hardest problems was trying to create a variety of ways for players to level up. One of the ideas was to make it so open-world PvP gave experience. Another idea was to reward medical ninja for healing players. This would turn out to be a big headache because of all the ways this would cause huge infinitely experience exploits. Preventing Exploits As simple as it sounds, giving experience to ninja for killing other ninja, or healing other ninja is not possible because it opens up better ways to train with no risk, opening up exploits where you can just stand outside a hospital and make one character kill another to level up, or you can pay high level ninja to let you kill them for hours to level up. Or you could just use a bot to do all those things. One of the things that having missions that limit the amount you can do such things is that you can't plan to just "cheat" the system to the top. The missions tell you to kill X players, and once you're done with that, your next goal is collect X bounty. This way, you can't just AFK near the hospital and bot for hours getting XP from killing people. We still want to reward players for open world pvp, but we don't want to do it carelessly or replace killing mobs, or actually doing missions. So we make the rewards part of the missions system. Where who and why you kill. Is it just any enemy? or is it somebody with a bounty? As time goes on, we can make it increasingly more specific. Eg. missions that tell you to kill 1 Mist village ninja. Kill 1 Sand village ninja. Kill 3 Missing Ninja. Kill 1 ninja from Level 10-30. These are all tasks that both reward for open world pvp, and prevent you from exploiting or just repeatedly paying the highest level player around to AFK and let you kill him for hours to level up. Variety While preventing infinite experience loops is an important function. It is far from the main purpose of the system. The main purpose in the system is to create variety in the game play experience and the journey to becoming a powerful ninja. Instead of a repetitive grind, the daily missions give you a random journey to go on. A mission like "Collect 30 Something" provides you with more options than just going out and killing for XP. If you have spare Ryo, you can buy it from somebody. Your journey then becomes meeting up with this player in a location to make the exchange happen. A mission like "Kill X Enemy Ninja" lets you take a break from the endless grind to interact with other players. Team up. Explore the larger world. Infiltrate the enemy villages. Although not encouraged, it also allows you to attempt to negotiate exchanges with enemy village ninja. A mission like "Collect X Bounty Rewards" let's you open up your bingo book and find players who are enemies of the village, then track them down based on where you think they'd likely be for their level range, or based on their village. A mission like "Time off!" puts you in a place where you can relax and where you have time to burn, to socialize. Although the reward is low, it is there, and doing nothing but socializing for a few minutes can be seen as a good break from grinding. If you're not up to it, then better luck on the RNG, but getting experience for doing little to nothing and just appreciating the world is a good break nevertheless. The balance in how much experience it should give you is important, and maybe we haven't quite got it right. It should be enough so that you have the choice between just grinding - or doing nothing and getting a lesser reward, but hey, the RNG village mission assigners told you to do it so might as well just chill for awhile. We also send enemies potentially your way, so it's not always completely peaceful. There's also tons of missions that provide short stories and ask you to go on small adventures like finding a missing cat, or retrieving a hawk. You may bump into other players during the time, or you can ask people for help on where they would likely be, creating a way for experienced players to help new players in a way besides letting people kill you for XP (back to Preventing Exploits). Variety in experience for these missions can be drastic, but the way we balance it is so that your journey to maximum level is only a matter of time. If you just complete your dailies, eventually you will get to maximum level. Sometimes that journey might give you more experience, or sometimes it will give you less. But it's balanced so that eventually your luck will get you there at the same rate as everyone else, so that you don't feel the pressure to just grind your way to max level. The Limit The limit on daily mission exists so that we can provide the option to abandon missions. We want ninja to complete their missions. But we also don't want them to be stuck on a mission forever when it's not possible for them to finish it if there's no players online. The way we balance missions to give you experienced fairly so that all missions are worth doing, is by limiting it. We don't want players just abandoning the low experience missions to reroll for high experience missions. If given a choice, nobody wants to do the lower experience missions because you start to see Time vs. Reward. Of course it's meaningless to take a break and do "Guard Duty" if the Documents Mission is just more productive. But thats not fun. Feeling as if the only viable way to play is if you abandon your guard duty to get documents just kills variety. Then you're stupid not to! Back in earlier versions of the game, we could already see this behavior when we allowed players to share missions (this was an experiment that Seth did). What happened was the entire game play became a matter of finding players with the high experience missions and begging them to share it with you. Because you'd be stupid not to! Why waste your time doing something like "Guard Duty", when you could do "Retrieve Documents" which gives you more experience in less time? But the entire balance of rewards is designed to take you to max level eventually. The high XP missions exist because the low XP missions exist. If the game let you choose to only do the currently high XP missions, then those high XP missions would have to be nerfed to the point where it still takes you about the same time to get to max level. We want ninja to take their time to get to max level, because at every level tier, there is opportunity for unique RP, unique battles and unique experiences. (But this topic is for another design development log!) Lore The final case for daily missions being the way they are is the lore. It's clear in the Naruto series that ninja just don't choose what missions they're assigned to. The story of any ninja in Nin Online shouldn't be "I completed Retrieve Documents 1000 times to become a Jonin". The variety in experiences is what made your ninja the powerful ninja he is. To paint a fuller picture, daily missions are supposed to be the grind that you don't see ninja in the Naruto series do. It's mentioned and shown many times in the series that when you're not watching team InoShikaCho doing a crazy mission arc, they are out serving the village in less epic ways. The Toad village Arc at level 30 in Nin Online is a storyline arc that took a long time to do, and creates a one-time off story arc that is something that would be showcased in the anime series. While daily missions are the missions you don't see. But in Nin Online, you play as one ninja all the way, you see his full picture. Him doing epic adventures, and also taking time off! Eventually what we want is for there to be an interesting Toad village arc-like story mission for every village at every 10 levels. I'm currently planning level 20 arcs for the Leaf village to be something like a Zabuza arc for example. Conclusion It's 7am in the morning and I'm sure I've missed out a lot of points. I might be all over the place with my explanation, and I'm sure it'll still leave some questions unanswered, or it might have completely went over your head and you still don't understand why Daily Missions are random and how the solve the grind mobs problem. In which case, I'll probably do a second version of this dev log when I'm less sleepy! Regards, Rory
  6. Dear Ninja, With the eventual release of new higher level content, expect that a lot of changes will happen to current jutsu. A lot jutsu will have cast times and longer cooldowns, but people will have a lot more jutsu overall. Yeahhhh. Regards, Rory
  7. Dear Ninja, First of it's kind rant Dev log. Balance is hard. Everyone has a favorite kind of ninja they want to be, and in an anime/manga, you don't have to consider balancing it in any legible way. When initially designing each mastery, I had a vision for it to affect the players gameplay heavily, for them to be good in certain scenarios, weak in others and also plan unique training experiences for them. For example, as a Tools Ninja, you would have a unique advantage in battles where you could prepare in advance by placing traps. You would have a harder time in spur of the moment battles or ambushes. You would also spend a lot more ryo on tools, hence have a harder time leveling up. As a fire ninja, you would have a big advantage in small arenas. Without any meaningful crowd control, you would rely heavily on AoE and landing your jutsu, which would be more easily done when there is little place to run. The large open world of Nin Online has little tight spaces besides bridges and valleys, but as new arenas are used for more chunin exams, maybe we'll see arenas where this mastery and others shine more. Sword ninja and Fan ninja are the only mastery where you need to hunt for your weapon. As more boss fights come, you will hunt for better weapons with better stats. I got a message from somebody saying tool ninjas were unbalanced because it was too broken because they OP when they can prepare for fights but are useless when they are fighting unprepared.. Good job me? My point is that there's a special place for each mastery in the games balance. The ideal end point is not where every mastery is balanced in a 1v1 fight or a 5v5 team fight. The end goal is for each mastery to have areas where it excels, and are weak in. Arenas where some will prosper and others fail. The end goal is not for support medics to have the same easy time training as Taijutsu ninja. The ideal balance is when each class feels like it has enough merit and fun points to be worth the training. There's a lot more to do, and always will be more I can do to improve the experience of each mastery. Sometimes tweaking values isn't enough, and sometimes it fixes things entirely. But there's more to balancing and game design than everything being fair in a 1v1 fight and I hope everyone who reads this gets my vision at least. PS: Typed on my phone right before bed. Ignore typos!