Welcome to Gaia! ::

Just allowed people with blocked signature to re-enable themselves. Though I seemed to have broke name changing. gonk Time to get to work!

Otakon is around the corner, everything had been sent to the convention. It's going to be exciting to see more Gaia members, though this time our panel will be held in a tiny room! eek
Otakon was a lot of fun! The crowd at the social was twice as big as last year and everyone at the panel was great. Hope we can get a bigger room for the panel next year. whee

After a long struggle the new diskless servers now run a lot faster, and should be able to tackle much more load. With some more testing, we should be able to make all the web servers diskless and have them create avatar previews at the same time. This way, there will be no more slowdown on the profile page when donation items or regular items are released. 3nodding
A new profile server was installed two days ago, and somehow the new server caused tons of network problems which lead to a lot of the "server not found" errors. On top of that, a network cable also went bad. It wasn't until yesterday at midnight that all the problems were fixed. crying

I'm still working on the server side of things, but Gaia Towns is coming along and we'll have a version ready for testing real soon. whee
The pre-release alpha testing of Township had been moving along, we expected that the system would completely fall apart upon initial release and sure enough it did. sweatdrop Though after numerous testing and fixes we have identified many of the bottlenecks, fixed a lot of bugs, and are really close to an actual general release now.

Code wise we had changed a lot of back end code, from avatar saving to gold handling. This caused a lot of small bugs that needed to be fixed just as Gaia Towns was being released. It'll be a lot of sleepless nights until the dust settles. sweatdrop
A recent bug in the user ad server caused the front page to hang for a minute... After countless hours troubleshooting, pages now load in less than 0.05 seconds now. whee

Just waiting for B5 to be here so we can launch the preview release of Gaia Towns. Can't wait to start debugging again. surprised
After 2 and a half years of service, the trusty peyo server had been put to rest. In replacement of peyo are 4 seperate servers handling the avatars on our site.

We used to have a small group of servers handling avatar saving, and all of them would try to save to peyo at the same time. Although peyo can handle the display of avatars, it cannot handle the large amount of save requests during item release or during events.

Now avatar saves to a database, and the four avatar servers will share the load in saving. Hope everything will work well when traffic is high. whee
The Township chat server is relatively stable now and we're shooting for the public release for next week. However, there are a few features that we still want to implement, and there isn't a solid date as to when the features will finish and debugged fully.

The Gaia Towns release will only mark the beginning of a lot of creative features that will appear on Gaia. I can't wait to release all the related features that will come after the release of Gaia Towns. whee
October will be an exciting month! We are almost finished with the general release of Gaia Towns, at the same time, the new profile page will also be ready for general release, plus the new avatar contest will be here!

Aside from all the new features, Halloween is also coming up! We'll have more story development and of course, the Halloween event itself. wink

Finally our old firewall had been replaced and all the short system outages are gone finally. A lot of other system upgrades are taking place to make sure that pages load fast during heavy usage. Hope nothing breaks during Halloween. sweatdrop
Gaia's been slow because of a lack of web servers...

Been scrambling to get everything working right for the event. gonk So far we've went through a lot of configuration adjustments and tweaking just to get the pages to load within 3 seconds. We need more web servers but we've been having a battle getting more power and rack space from our provider.

We have one of the best ISP in San Jose, same one that serves big sites like Google, Yahoo, and big companies like Nintendo. But maybe because we're not a big company, our request for expansion had been delayed over and over, and two weeks ago they had just increased our rental fee by three times. Now we have to shop for a new ISP with decent pricing and with plenty of free space for us to grow. Moving the 200 servers to a new location will be daunting, but look like it's something that must be done...

Meanwhile, we took the job of avatar preview and avatar save away from the forum web servers to hopefully get some speed back to the event. Bugs related to very high traffic volumes had been dealt with, and our load blancer plus firewall had also been tweaked because of the increase in traffic during the event.

If all goes well, we should be able to move to a new location next month and the Christmas event will not end up being as slow as this! domokun
With the help of many admins and developers, Gaia is now running much faster, with new firewalls, load balancers, software changes, and performance tweaks in place. A lot more work still need to be done, and more web servers will be added to increase the speed of the site by the beginning of December.

We've been working on one more casino game recently, and though the work is complete, there are a lot of testing that need to go through. Hope we can show it to everyone soon.
Hope everyone enjoy the new items for this month. Next week's avatar arena should have much more pretty avatars to look at. ^_^ Speaking of whcih, the new avatar arena and housing arena will be one of many features that focuses on customization, along with the constantly improving user profile page. We have a ton of new features planned for the profile page, one of which is the idea of allowing users to create and sell customizable themes. Details on that has yet to be decided though.

Last few days had been busy reworking the donation system so that it will not be affected by site outages, and we're also working on a problem resolution center so that people who haven't received their donation item from paypal can instantly check on their status and get their problem resolved.

Looking at last week's featured avatars in the arena, I noticed that a lot of us are sporting black clothings. I then found out that I am one of them. XD Perhaps it's time to promote a little bit of variety in what we wear. whee
The donation problems should finally be resolved. Hope everybody who didn't receive donation items have had their items recovered.

A new page header had been in the works for quite some time now, and we should be able to launch it today. The main feature is that it'll allow direct links to most of the features on Gaia, and for new users, the menu will show descriptions of each feature. Gaia regular users can collaspe the header to allow more content to show on screen. We'll need a lot of feedback from the new menu as we perfect it.
Been scrambling to fix the gold granting related problems, setting up the 50 new web servers, and working out small bugs that happened since the move to our new service provider.

It'll be fun to see the site running fast again. At the same time I hope that everyone will like this year's Christmas event and Christmas items. ^^

We had always hoped that the new navigation system will be more convenient for everyone. There are still a lot of bugs to sort out, not to mention other changes in the overall looks and layout. The link categories "My Gaia", "community" and "games" are clickable too, for those who miss the old one click shortcut to the forum area. wink
Hope everyone enjoyed the new year event. We've got quite an interesting story event coming up for Janurary. It'll be quite unexpected, let's just say. sweatdrop

The tagging features should help everyone find other members that have similar interests, while other forums, threads, journals, and even art arena entries should have tags to help everyone find interesting topics, artwork, or articles.

We're still planning out the many new features for Gaia Towns. We're hoping that houses will soon have more features related to the house owner than being just a chat room. Hope to have some preliminary features out soon.
A lot of our recent effort is in backend development, from speeding up the site to speeding up feature development, it felt like we have taken a step back from focusing new features.

Though for the last few months Lone Danger had been hard at work on an info page that will gather interesting and entertaining information for users when they login. The new bank is close to completion and everyone will be able to trade game items.

There are also new items that will be released this month. The art team is working overtime on site, item, and game artwork to make this happen.

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