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Messages - Regisbull

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So, it seems that I'm poised to keep reporting and asking for improvements on this stability issue.

I had once again a Hanamikoji game that crashed. Yay !
As soon as I saw the yellow light and then the message "Connection issue. Trying to reconnect. Error code : SEND", I pressed "refresh page". Sadly, it didn't reload. The progress bar stopped about 20% through. I opened another tab and opened Facebook, just to confirm that *I* was still connected to the internet. I tried refreshing the Happy Meeple tab again, and it wouldn't go beyond 20%. I then opened Happy Meeple in that tab and it told me "please, don't open multiple windows", so I went to the previous tab that told me "match cancelled". Awesome.

1) Again, could something be done about stability ?
2) Why does "match cancelled" mean "we will count as if you lost a game" ? Really, cancelled should mean "we won't update anything".
3) Can I get my counters manually moved back to where it was ?

Since I started not following the daily quests that much, some time ago, my personal quest has been to hold good running series in the games I like. To each their own tastes after all.
Right now I had 12 wins in a row at Hanamikoji. I was working on number 13 and doing pretty well in the second round. Except that I feel I am facing a d20 rolled every game, and if it yields a 1 the game is a loss to me no matter what.
It's unfair. It's frustrating.
Can I get my wins-in-a-row counter set back to 12 ?

Thanks for the reply !

That's good to know. Indeed, Hanamikoji is a game where I can spend quite some time thinking about my choice, and since I was thinking I'd just reload the tab when I'd be ready, the 45-second window had passed by the time I reloaded. I'll make sure to reload immediately from now on.

I understand that few changes could be a 2-minute operation anyway. Changing the value of one parameter and recompiling might be on the faster side, working toward a more stable Happy Meeple certainly is far from that side. That's why I was suggesting also a rethinking of the current system regarding interrupted games.

And on this matter, I think there are two fronts that could be worked on (at least).
On the one hand, there could be some options for leaving a game. They could include
- (propose to) concede the game ("you've clearly won, we don't need to move the cards until the end"),
- propose to abandon the game ("ah, I mis-clicked, hence this stupid move ... well, shall we start over ?"), and the important one
- the game has crashed, let me out.
On the other hand, the penalties for a game left without good reason could be differentiated according to whether the opponent was a bot or a human.


I'd like to follow up on this previous message on mine.

I guess it's never pleasant to deal with a frustrated person, as they tend to radiate anger and negativity. (I, at least, don't like dealing with frustrated people.) But while I try to always keep my words moderate and constructive, both because this is written communication and because it's often more productive, I'd like to notify that I am presently very, very frustrated by this issue.

What issue ? The one of receiving all the penalties associated with a lost game when the game I was playing was interrupted because of a bug (or so it appears to me). Right now the penalty that bothers me the most is the ELO one, but like previously, that doesn't matter.
The question is : why do I receive penalties when, by my indications, the fault was on Happy Meeple's side ?

Just to be specific about the particular incident which makes me bring up the general issue again, I was playing a game of Hanamikoji. While thinking about which card to take from the ones the bot offered me, I see the green light become red and a blue rectangle in the left telling me there is a connection issue. I didn't experience any wifi/internet disconnection as I could still browse the web, but whatever, the connection between Happy Meeple's servers and my computer seem to have had a problem, so be it. Safe in the knowledge that this was no longer a big issue, I reload the tab with my game (now that a recent change has allowed for this). Unfortunately, I am presented with a message telling me that the game has been cancelled. I'm back to home page, and my game was counted as a loss. Great !

So, coming back to the big point : why does Happy Meeple penalise players when the interruption of a game is not their fault ?

I'm sure the answer is along the line of "the Happy Meeple program does not know whether a game was interrupted by a player leaving (be it due to their decision or a bug on their computer) or because of a bug on its side".
If that is the answer then, firstly, I feel this denotes a programming/design philosophy that either considers that bugs on the Happy Meeple side are impossible (they are not), or that when in doubt it's easier to penalise the players (not really nice), or else the issue just hasn't really been factored in (please factor them in).
1) would it not be possible to improve the stability of Happy Meeple ?
2) could there be a way for a player to signal that a game ended because of a bug, and receive no penalty for it ?

Notice that 1) alone wouldn't solve the problem unless the probability of a bug was reduced to 0. However small the probability of a bug is, if I get penalised when it happens, it is still unfair.

I have logged probably as many hours of connection on the competitor/alternative website Board Game Arena. And I never had this issue.

First, the connection between players and games is more robust on BGA. I have seen opponents disappear for 2-3 minutes and come back telling the others at the table that they had to restart their computer. It may even have happened to me, I don't remember. And yes, it is possible to restart one's computer and get back to the table. Let alone switch off and on your wifi. So long as a player has time left for their turn, the other players can't kick him or her out of the game and the game doesn't stop. I don't know how BGA is programmed, I just know that it's possible.

Second, on BGA, each player has a reputation score (a single one, not one per game). People who leave a game lose reputation (and possibly also ELO for that game, though players who decide to finish the game won't earn much, and that makes sense since it's hard to update a skill score when the game ended abnormally). Then other players may not want to play with low reputation players. And I'm certain that this is what penalties are for : disincentivise players to leave a game once it has started.

Which brings me to a third point, specific to Happy Meeple. Since it offers the possibility to play against bot, why do I get penalised when my game against a bot is interrupted ? The bots don't mind when a game is interrupted ! (And yes, in today's incident, I was playing against a bot.)

Yes, I have tried using "access by link only", it works.

But for one thing, it causes a pop-up window/message that gives me the link and which I have to close before starting, so it's slightly inconvenient (very slightly, I admit). Secondly, it is just a "quick and dirty" work-around that does not solve the problem. So I thought it would be more likely to be spotted and repaired if I reported it.

@Happy Meeple : cool ! I think enquiring into and repairing the issue with "restricted > friends only" is the most important. But if you can see about "restricted > all players" as well, that'd be great.


I'd like to report what seems to be a bug. That or I am really missing something.

I just started a game of Lost Cities and wanted to play against a bot, so I chose "access to the table is limited" and then "only friends" (of which I have none). And sure enough, within barely a second, I was playing against another user. How does that happen ?

It is not the first time I notice this. So far I have observed it only with Lost Cities but I do not know whether this bug is present for all games, or just Lost Cities.

My assumption is that the players I am matched with chose the simplified interface (from home/games and not the inn). I assume that a human player in the inn wouldn't join a table as quickly and casually if there is a lock icon on top of it, but a human having chosen "play" via the simplified interface would just let the program find a match and would not know how the opponent was found. This program could "forget" to check the accessibility options of the currently open tables waiting for a game to begin, and thus send the player on a supposedly limited access table.

I didn't ask the player I just played with (on the other hand, he didn't even reply to "hi !"). Next time I could try to investigate with my undesired opponent how he or she ended up matched with me. Though I'd rather just not have the problem at all.

Since I'm reporting about this issue, I'd like to ask : what is the use of the option "access to the table is limited", sub-option "all players" ?
I understand "friends", "selection of friends" and "link only", but "all players" sounds contradictory with "limited access", and redundant with "the table is open to everyone". Also, from a code perspective, I can see how this would open the door to bugs. If there is no good reason for it (perhaps there are some that I just can't think of), perhaps it would be preferable to remove it. It could even remove the bug I reported.

Tutorial, training, online play / Re: Forfeit Option
« on: 22/03/18, 05:21pm »
I second that. In fact there are various reasons to want to leave, or simply to concede a game. Mis-click is one.

Also, in a game like Siberia or Keltis Or, it is sometimes clear before the end that one cannot win. In Keltis Or in particular, if I can see that there is no way I can still increase my score (I'm at max stones and blocked in each colour), and that my opponent already has a greater score, then there is little point going through tours and tours until the game ends.

Actually that can happen in Lost Cities too.

It's not the first time this happens to me, but it is getting really, really frustrating. So I write this post in hope that some changes can be made in order to solve the issue. Which leads to a more general request.

Often enough, games crash. Not very often fortunately, but often enough that it has happened to me about a dozen times already.
When that happens, there is no way out except by logging out of the website. This triggers several penalties:
- Successive wins is reset to 0, as the game is counted as lost.
- ELO score is lost, as happens in a loss.
- It is sometimes not possible to reopen a table within seconds, as penalty for leaving.
Out of these, the one that really frustrates me is the first one, but that does not matter much. The fundamental problem is that players are penalised for a failure of the game's code/the Happy Meeple website. (Just to specify: I checked and my connection otherwise works fine.) It is very unfair.

I suppose it is not easy to automatically detect a crashed game and cancel it (inducing no loss for either player). But this raises another, more general question, which has also been in my mind for a while: why is there no way out of a game apart from logging out ? It's like unplugging a desktop computer to switch it off —there's usually a less radical way to do that.

Could there not be a "leave game" button ?

Upon clicking it, one could have several options : "I want to leave because the game crashed" (this might lead to submitting an error report), "I want to leave because the human opponent is writing inappropriate/offensive comments" (this might lead to blacklisting him or her for me so that person could not play with me again), "I want to concede the game for my own reasons". I would argue that only the third example should really be counted as a loss.

This would be a most welcome new feature !

I'm adding a comment for visibility.

I totally agree. A draw shouldn't be counted as a defeat. It probably shouldn't be counted as a victory for both players either, since those are two-player games. Just a draw. So if I'm on a streak and have 4 victories without a loss, after a draw, I'd still be at 4 victories without a loss.

So I'd quite happy if this was implemented :)

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