Saturday, January 31, 2009

The Trader and an Emperor at Play

It would seem that the fun did not end with the Huds coming back to life... it was only beginning.

Shortly after I posted that the huds were dead, they did come back to life. And before long they went down again for another hour or so (more work).

When they came back, things were a bit... interesting for a while.

For starters, my first month or two back, I was not
"La Reina Zorra Vulpine Eldrich
of Caledon"

anymore. Instead I was

"The Eternally Patient Vulpine Eldrich
of Caledon"

But as if that weren't enough, several months later, I became

"MoLove's Minion Vulpine Eldrich
of Egypt"

This is where you hit the panic button. I checked my companion, and it said I was in my usual line, within Caledon. But the hud said... wait, there must be some sort of database malfunction here. Maybe I've been confused with someone else. So I send Mo an IM, asking him who 'MoLove's Minion' is. His reply? Apparently, everyone! Hmmm....

The next month, I was back in Caledon with my proper title, though the smile on Mo's face lasted for hours. Oh, but things weren't finished yet. A couple of months later..

"La Reina Zorra Vulpine Eldrich
OMG! Where is your land?"

Well, the land line read "0 acres (0 personal)" which would have been worrying earlier... but I'd decided by this time that I really couldn't believe what I was reading. So I waited. Sure enough, the next month it was

"La Reina Zorra Vulpine Eldrich
Ok, back to normal now..."

Well, the line about my land was normal, but the date wasn't. It didn't say Feb. 1110, it said Feb. 2009. Who ever heard of a crazy date like that?

But the day continued. Queen Ellie got a chance to give away a tract of land- for free. I'm sure all of the other monarchs did as well. Then the trader came-- to the whole Empire! He hadn't done that in ages.

The Emperor was testing his new server, and had decided that the best way to load test it was to send a Trader to every kingdom at the same time. He was right. Unfortunately, his server didn't do so well. The Trader came, true, but afterwards a lot of us started missing months. "Your Tiny Empires Hud seems to have missed a turn..." well it wasn't my fault, it was the server not getting back to it in time!

The Emperor admitted his server had a few bugs it needed to get worked out. And life resumed its normal pace for a while.

But the next evening, more special messages appeared. Apparently, if the Emperor got an IM from at least one person whose name started with every letter of the alphabet- within that month- then the trader would come. He was flooded with IM's, and must have been kept very busy tracking them (between laughs). But at the end of the month, he was still missing three letters. (O, X, and Y, I believe) So no trader. But then he proposed a riddle, in which two kingdoms were referenced. If the riddle was solved, a trader would come.

The riddle was solved. (The kingdoms in question were Mysterious Woods and Devonshire.)

This was in the evening, so a lot of people were on. And with the games beforehand about "maybe a trader will come", interest was even more piqued than usual. Not surprisingly, a new load test happened! The emperor declared that the server was getting and handling more than thirty five requests per second. Apparently that's good- it's certainly good enough to keep an empire-wide trader going at prime time week night.

This time, the Trader year did not have a problem- no reported missed months, and lots of people enjoying his benefits. The Emperor announced himself satisfied with the server's performance. Well, in a way. His exact quote was

"This server appears to be kicking several different kinds of ass, in many interesting ways, using several martial arts techniques"

So, what new changes are around the corner? Obviously new hardware is in place, with an upgraded performance enabling lots of fun things. And, also obviously, we have an Emperor who is not at all hesitant about playing with his powers to shake things out of their usual routines. One obvious possibility is an empire-wide trader, again, for good. It's happened twice now, and server limitations may not be a problem anymore.

Time will tell. And, I suspect, not too much of it will be needed!

No comments: