Mathano 3 Cataclysm

Yesterday I ran the “Cataclysm” Galactic Event, which wipes a given % number of planets at random.

This effects everybody indiscriminately, meaning that it doesn’t look at family size or player size or anything at all.

It a purely randomly distributed effect that doesn’t care who it hits, but in practice has a stronger impact on larger players and families as they own a larger percent of existing territory.

Why did this happen?

Why did this happen?

Manthano 3 filled up, and new players were joining and reporting that they had no room to explore.

This itself is a result of a bug that allowed people to explore more than 99 planets, which is contrary to Manthano’s design and purpose.

Why was I not notified?

Why was I not notified?

A notification was sent to all HQ pages, but we are receiving reports that not everybody saw it. I am investigating what this means and how to fix that.

Why did I lose planets if I already had fewer than 99?

Why did I lose planets if I already had fewer than 99?

This Galactic Event is not intended to fix the 99 planets bug. They are different things. The “real” fix isn’t in place yet, and you can still explore more than 99 planets, which is still a bug.

What we had here was a tool that was built and used for Infinitum when it reached a similar point. It solved the immediate problem of there being no space left to explore, but it did it in a way that has no concept of “99 planets”.

This was a workaround to solve the urgent need for more space, not a proper fix to drop only certain players to 99 planets.

Why are you enforcing the limit if you said you weren't going to?

Why are you enforcing the limit if you said you weren’t going to?

There was a miscommunication between myself, our moderator @Soull, and the players who were asking about this. For clarity:

  1. This was always going to be enforced. The limit was never officially waived. We never actively “allowed” it, we were unable to get the fix in place due to limited developer availability.

  2. For unrelated reasons, I was MIA earlier this year and @Soull had to field questions on this matter. He gave a response that differed from #1 above, based on his understanding and interpretation of the situation at the time.

    I’m adding this for transparency, not to throw him under the bus. The onus here was mine to ensure that he has the tools and information required to do his job, and that did not happen which is ultimately on me.

    It is inherently confusing for players if Staff are not on the same page, regardless of what the reason may be. @Soull and I are discussing ways to resolve this and prevent similar miscommunications in the future.

  3. There was some mention that a poll was conducted that resulted in this rule being waived. That is not accurate; the only poll we had recently was about an Andro bug, which had nothing to do with Manthano 3.

Will the 99 planet limit be enforced going forward?

Will the 99 planet limit be enforced going forward?

YES. Yes, yes yes. This has always been the case and is not changing.

The fix to prevent passing 99 planets is now #1 priority and I am putting it into IC Dev Sprint 2 ahead of existing priorities.

Until then, players will still be able to explore over 99 planets again but if so they will lose planets again after this fix, so if you go over 99 do so at your own risk.

Why didn't you restart Manthano 3 instead?

Why didn’t you restart Manthano instead?

Ending a galaxy and setting up a new round is not quick, which is another problem altogether.

We had an urgent need to solve this problem immediately and I used the tools that are available.

I do understand that players will leave over this, and some have already left. However, by not addressing this, players were also already leaving but doing so silently. This is why this became an urgent situation.

If we had shut it down for a restart, I do not know when it would be coming back, which would mean even more players would stop playing that whoever is currently leaving.

This is a “lesser of 2 evils” situation. I am making a judgement that the cost of running this Galactic Event is smaller than the cost of the alternatives, including the option of doing nothing.

How are you going to prevent this in the future?

How are you going to prevent this in the future?

  1. As stated, fixing the 99 limit bug is #1 priority and I am committing to having it resolved by the end of this dev sprint, which is March 29.

  2. I’m logging work for @Soull and I to improve our communication processes.

  3. I am logging time to brainstorm ideas on how to solve the larger problem of galaxies running out of space, but doing so in a less disruptive way so that Cataclysm either isn’t needed or is less devastating.

That’s it for now, but feel free to ask more questions if you have them. If you need to vent :ic_angry:, please be reasonable and if you have any tomatoes :tomato: to throw at Staff, go ahead and aim at me and spare our moderation team. :ok_hand:

Thank you, and have a good weekend!

Doing this without any warning to the players was 100% not the right solution.

The Galactic Event is without warning by design, as are all Galactic Events.

No solution we could have applied would be “100% the right solution”. Every option available to us, including warning and waiting, had some form of negative impact.

That said, as mentioned, we will be finding a way to make this less disruptive if we ever need to do it again.

Thank you for your feedback.