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Client updated @ 4:30ish:

- fix "battle freezing bug"

We've added an alert message to the lobby (red text right under the navigation bar). You can look there for the latest news.

Please, please, please -- if you run into the "floating regions not connected to anything" in the client, use http://www.gaiaonline.com/hoc/reportbug and report a bug to us -- we really want to find and fix that bug.
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New client @ 7:32pm:

... since this debate is so lousy. Moderator, you should have just told the candidates to lay off the domestic issues in a foreign policy debate.

- fix for (at least some cases of) maps missing sections later in the game. (And, thanks to everyone that did reportbug for this -- we tracked it down, based on your games).
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New backend @ 4:30pm:

- added essence to gold button back
- fixed end-of-game multiple grant bug
- tweaked mana display
- added crappy foils for 3+ rarity cards (will be better in a bit)
- tweaked armor
- added battle log to make it easier to report card / power bugs. For advanced users only! (Spoiler for details)


Oh, hai, advanced users! Mad props to those who venture where men fear to tread.

We've making the developer battle logs available to those users that are a) interested in the details and b) want to help us track down bugs with the powers and/or cards. Note that this is the absolute crappiest UI imaginable, and we plan to make this available in the flash client at some point in a much pretty format.

Okay, caveats aside, when you're in a game you can open up another tab and go to:

http://www.gaiaonline.com/hoc/battlelog

... this will show you the logs from your currently focused battle. Reload to refresh.
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New backend @ 2:30pm:

- essence to gold temporarily disabled due to exploit
- fixed Nagle Mage special
- fixed Slaughter Wheel targeting
- fixed K_____ of the H______ special
- fixed O___ the G____
- fixed B_____ of A_______
- fixed Keljana
- Man-at-arms needed Defender 10 activated
- fixed bug wherein Kolyr would treacherously attack the unit he buffed last round
- update second cooldown should decrement properly now

PvP change:

- placed people into buckets based on levels -- so, you should get a closer match when you enter the PvP queue. Current buckets are 1-5, 6-10, 11-20, 21-30, and 31+.

more changes in a bit.
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New backend @ 4:30pm:

- changed Mana Convergence to +10 per region
- fixed F____ E________
- fixed Portal Burst
- Kolyr needed anti-solitary set.
- Veteran wasn't increasing speed
- fixed Embrace the Void

New client:

- fix another "missing map sections" bug
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New backend @ 1:31pm:

- fixed demon S____ D____ (specials 1 and 2)
- fixed demon L____ of A___ (special)
- fixed spell M___ C___
- fixed demon C____ the S____ (both specials)
- added daily max for gold conversion

update: there was a glitch in gold conversion that took essence without granting. I regranted the essence back, and the conversion should work now. If you think you lost essence and didn't get your essence back by now then let me know via PM.

n.b.: gold conversion ratio will go down. This is your warning. As we're letting more and more people into the game we'll need to lower the ratio so as to not inadvertently affect the Gaian economy.
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New client as of 4:10pm:

- change Game Guide link
- updated battle text to be MORE DRAMATIC
- fixed some placement bugs
- updated level up screen
- new backgrounds
- new units (clarification: new unit visuals)
- fixed another black map crash

And, for advanced users -- you can test one of the most requested features, lower res / non-animated versions. Details in spoiler.

Oh, hai, advanced users!

If you have lag / slow game issues, we'd really like feedback on whether these options help the game perform better on your box. To enable it, you'll need to add a parameter to the URL. For example, if you have a game:

http://www.gaiaonline.com/hoc/join/?gid=1337

add:

http://www.gaiaonline.com/hoc/join/?gid=1337&extra=m

Alternately, if you have:

http://www.gaiaonline.com/hoc/join/

add:

http://www.gaiaonline.com/hoc/join/?extra=m

The options are:

"s" -- small resolution ( 960 x 600 )
"m" -- medium resolution ( 1024 x 768 )
"l" -- large resolution ( 1366 x 768 )
"p" -- turn off map animations
"b" -- turn off battle animations

So, extra=spb is the lowest resolution with no animations.

Note that resolution control on the strategic map is not working, but animation control and resolution control in battle is working.

Let us know if this helps performance.
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Maintenance tomorrow for a couple of hours -- currently scheduled from 11:00am to 1:00pm PST, but will change. We're changing some backend stuff to take care of some glitches and to lessen the load on the databases, and need to make sure everyone is out the game before we migrate over.
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Maintenance mode. Store and deck editor are okay to use, though.
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Backend + Client.

- combined PvP buckets back into 1 bucket for now
- better handling of non-targeted strategic map spells (i.e., Gnashing)
- increased battle timeout to 20 seconds

Big changes to the backend to reduce server load and improve reliability. Please try the game and let us know if anything seems strange. Especially pay attention to the handling of spells in battle, and make sure the cards are properly removed when you come back to the strategic map.
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Thank you, everyone, for the bug reports and feedback. The general plan for next week:

- release new cards and the new gold pack
- the new cards will be available in the new silver packs, but you'll need to be at least level 30 to get a chance at the new rarity 5s
- gold packs give you a guaranteed 3+ and better chances of 4+
- gold packs only come in one level
- many more bug fixes and tweaks

With the new backend changes in place, we've had the capacity to invite a bunch of new people into the game. We ask that you be kind to them, be understanding, help answer their questions, and try not to stomp them too badly if they happen to play you in PvP.

Other things coming, possibly next week or later:

- we'd really like to fix the PvP glitches, which are causing real problems. We'll probably designate a PvP session at some given time so we can get some concentrated testing.
- we'd like to adjust the essence grants for the game. Right now a 1v6 game scores the same as a 5v6 game, and it doesn't seem right that if you can cleverly snag 6 portals without losing any units then you get substantially less than if you lose your entire army. The game should reward different modes of play.
- some way to sell back cards for essence
- leaderboards
- possibly designate a "no cataclysm" couple of days, where the maps do not cataclysm at all, so you guys can try it and see how it changes the game.

Other things coming, maybe soon:

- adjust the essence => gold conversion down, or put it on a curve, or something
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Some notes on casting Gnashing:

There is a bug here which we will fix; there is a workaround for now.

On the strategic map, Gnashing (and some other spells -- like Portal Sense) are untargeted. When you cast it, the regions are highlighted, but you don't need to click on a region, since it affects all regions.

Unfortunately, there is a bug right now that causes the game to get in a strange state if you do click on a region.

When you try to cast Gnashing on the strategic map, you'll note that the controls change to confirm / cancel -- just confirm in the control panel, and Gnashing will work.
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We're adjusting the essence to gold payout down.

There are a number of issues here:

- we're accelerating the invite rate, and don't want to impact the Gaia economy too much
- hourly rate was way higher than other flash games (specifically, zOMG)
- there's an inherent fairness issue here. Since, due to load issues, not everyone has access to the game, it doesn't seem fair to exclude those people who are unable to be in the beta due to seeing the announcement later than everybody else.

So, we're going to drop down the gold conversion ratio for now. When everyone has access to the game, we can take a look again at the payout ratio again and go from there.

As always, we appreciate feedback and discussion about what the right gold payout should be, both now and when everyone is able to access the game, but please keep it civil.
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Bunch more invites sent out. Prepare for many questions. biggrin
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Tons of invites sent out.

New backend, front end @ 3:30pm:

backend:

- readjust battle timeout based on approx. number of animations to avoid the refresh exploit.
- fix retreat regions
- Z___ the Q___ special + targeting
- M___ the S___ (both specials) + targeting
- K___ the S___ (both specials)
- F___ the P____ (both specials) + targeting
- front row, life drain fixed
- extra card draw should now never take you over 8 cards
- beta bar
- fixed issue with units that died in an unfocused battle showing up on the map the next turn
- map variants

frontend:

- many visual changes to try and get a cleaner look
- fixed battle positioning @ armageddon when in low-quality mode
- fixed casting error that prevented unit assets from loading
- units now fidget a bit

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