As some of you may have noticed, we’ve been experiencing some problems with server access, starting early yesterday morning. This post is intended to shed some light on the situation, explain what happened and what was done to address the issue. Yesterday, our servers were not accessible due to the DDOS attack on our DNS provider, which led to errors accessing the site from both web and mobile clients. Once we discovered the problem, we switched to another DNS provider, and during that process some of you may have experienced difficulties with GodWiki access as well as with data update latency on the iPhone. As of now, all of the problems we know about have been resolved and everything should work as usual. However, if you’re still experiencing some difficulties, please let us know in the comments. We apologize for any inconvenience.
On recent server access problems
Working through the ideas
Since the early days of Godville, we’ve been accepting various feedback sent by you guys. Unfortunately, it turned out to be hard to process all of the ideas in real-time and, as things stand today, some of the types have been delayed for several months. We’re certainly not happy with that situation, but while we are working hard on it, there have been some improvements to the ideabox process that should make things a little bit better.
Starting today, the ingenious pieces section (available after level 15) will also mark rejected ideas, giving you better information on its state once voting by the community is completed. So, accepted ideas will be highlighted blue, rejected ones – red. If there is no red or blue highlight, your idea is still awaiting its destiny. We’ll be working through our catch up plan, hoping to get back to you with more good news on this soon.
If your idea got rejected, don’t hurry to get upset. If you believe that it matches the game’s spirit and is actually really awesome – bring it up for discussion in the special forum topic. We’ll be monitoring the discussion there, and if something great shows up, it may find its way into the game.
On pets and friends
It is time to shed more light on your hero’s friendships. Friends have been joining the heroes occasionally and now that they are close, they may be stopping by more frequently. Specifically, whenever the gods of two befriended heroes watch over their champions, they increase the chances for those heroes to meet somewhere in the wilds of Godville. Friends can lend a hand during a perilous fight, provide companionship on sick-leave in a city, share a drink together, or just sit and chitchat near a campfire. Either way, the presence of a friend is usually helpful, and, starting today, there’s going to be more of it.
Another piece of good news is the creation of the Taming pantheon (we’re not sure about the name of this pantheon, so if you have an idea – go ahead and share it with everyone in the comments. New names and types of pets are also very much welcomed). The most active and high-level animals as well as their owners will take their hard-earned places there. The oracle has foretold great things for pets upon reaching level 30, but oracles are notoriously difficult to understand and it will be a while before anybody figures out what will happen. It is very likely that pets will die several times in the process, but a grieving hero may offer prayers in a city (with a solid amount of gold) to have some chance of reviving their beloved companion.
And finally, iPhone app for Godville 2.2.1 is out. It addresses some stability problems and some issues in the ideabox. Hope you’ll like it.
Enlarge your accumulator
Today’s game update comes with several nifty features. The new iPhone app (2.2) now has cozy visual turn separation in duels, that has been available for a while in the browser. Meanwhile, browser-powered gods can now take advantage of the highlighting in the diary that’s been available for a while on the iPhone. For further convenience, your influences during the duels will also be highlighted. These small touches to the user interface are going to make playing the game a bit better.
And probably the most exciting news – starting now, everyone can accumulate up to three charges from godpower (instead of one charge like it was before). This should make controlling your hero easier and more reliable. To make it even better, everyone who has been watching over their heroes recently is awarded with three additional charges for the accumulator. Give your champion some fun!
Heroes’ Best Friends
According to some unknown laws of the Godville universe, every hero should have a little company on his dangerous adventures. Traditionally, heroes look for like-minded creatures with a similar IQ level so they feel comfortable around each other. Once they find one, they will gladly start spending their time, nerves and money for a beloved pet, occasionally getting something nice and worthless in return. Despite their utter uselessness, personal brutes are becoming incredibly popular among Godville’s inhabitants. The trend is really taking off since heroes finally learned some basic animal training.
Once the hero reaches adulthood (level 18), he begins to look for a critter to domesticate among semi-defeated monsters. In theory, the older and more experienced the hero gets, the better pet he could tame. In practice, however, it’s very likely that he will stick to the first appropriate one he meets. Still, it can take a while to find that appropriate one among the gazillions of monsters out there. It’s important to note that it is up to the hero to tame the pet, not to the god. The hero finds the one he likes, bridles it, and even gives it a name – all by himself. The god has no control over the pawn’s brute whatsoever, so just relax and leave it to your champion. Like their masters, pets can level-up, get stronger and become even more useful. And just like the heroes, sometimes they die.
Depending on the type and class, pets can have different abilities. Some of them can quickly perform urgent in-the-middle-of-the-battle surgeries, restoring their master’s health. More aggressive ones may prefer to give the enemy a hard time instead. And some very special ones can be strong enough to quickly grab the owner and escort him in some random (and hopefully right) direction. It’s also worth noting that pets are quite reluctant to help for most of the time, which doesn’t really matter that much, because true heroes are going to love them anyway.
Besides the pets, here are some other smaller changes that got into the pipeline:
- PvP duels now have better visual separation of turns, which should make it easier for gods to understand what’s going on.
- The issue with overlong duels has been addressed as well. Somewhere after turn 50, the damage (and heals) inflicted to the heroes in the duel will slowly start to increase.
- For easier troubleshooting of Turbo and Super-Turbo update modes we are launching a special website, where you can test if it works for you or not. More on this in the turbo-mode FAQ.
Pantheons – Newer and Bigger
The results of numerous fights and other sport events in the arena should be preserved for the forthcoming generations. Besides, no matter what people might say, there just has to be a leader board of the best fighters. So, here it is – The Pantheon of Gladiatorship – the place where Godville’s best fighters can measure their success. The new pantheon turned out to be a big one, so other pantheons felt jealous and decided to enlarge themselves as well.
The next change is to the ideabox. We wanted to make sure that people get the idea of the game when they get access to ideabox voting. It’s hard to say how long it should be, but it just felt that unlocking it a couple levels later than now will do more good than harm. From now on, the top menu link to the ideabox will be available starting from level 15.
And last but not least, a few of you might know that we have a twitter account. We’re not quite sure how exactly it will be used – maybe we’ll post some micro-updates or share some internal godville-related stuff. If you have any brilliant ideas of how it can helpful to you – let us know.
iPad and a whole bunch of goodies
It’s been a while since our last post, but finally we’re back with a big portion of good news. Get ready for a long post and… read on!
The first is… the iPad. Yes, you guessed it right, the all new 2.0 version of our iPhone app now natively supports the iPad. Instead of just scaling up the existing iPhone interface for a bigger screen, we decided to completely remake it to better utilize the screen estate the iPad provides. It took us quite a while, but it was totally worth it. Check it out:
For those who are on the iPhones, there are cool new features too: landscape orientation is available on practically all screens of the app. (and if for some reason you don’t like the new screen auto-rotation feature – there is a switch to restore old behavior in Menu -> Profile). Also, iPhone4 owners can finally enjoy new icons that had been redrawn for Retina Display. Godville App 2.0 is already in the AppStore, go check it out!
Did you notice the new link in the top menu? Yes, now we also have our very own wiki. Thanks to Spode and some other folks, our wiki already has more than 70 articles, including the GuideBook to help you look around. The wiki is integrated with the game, accessible from the browser, iPhone and iPad and can be edited by everyone whose hero has reached level 15.
Finally, we want to mention Turbo mode. Some of you were already using it, while others didn’t really know about it. Well, Turbo mode significantly improves responsiveness of the hero page when you interact with it. Let’s say you send a god voice to your champion. If turbo mode is disabled, you’ll probably see a reaction on your action on 30-60 seconds, but if turbo mode is enabled, you’ll see the result in 1-3 seconds. Pretty cool, huh? Not only does it update the page faster, it also uses less bandwidth and reduces the load on our servers. Recently we worked on some issues that turbo mode had and now we believe that it’s good enough to be enabled by default for everyone who is not using it yet. But don’t worry, if by some reason it fails to enable itself on your first access of the “hero” page, it should gracefully fallback to the standard update mode. We’ve written a detailed description on how turbo mode works and how to troubleshoot it if it doesn’t in this forum topic. If you’re experiencing issues with it, let us know.
Arena Grand Opening
Hooray! The Godville iPhone app has been updated to version 1.2. It brings a bunch of bugfixes, a nice battery usage optimization if you don’t close the app for long periods of time, and a brand new and totally awesome feature – Arena – a special place where your hero can fight others to glorify your name! Those of you who always wanted to have a little bit more interaction within the game are going to love it.
Once your hero reaches level 10, you will be given an option to send your hero to the Arena. There your champion will be able to have fights with other infidels sent there by their gods. Unlike loosely-controlled and deadly in-travel skirmishes, arena duels always happen by the will of gods, and because they take place in a more or less civilized place, no one will let the heroes die in the process. Furthermore, the heroes who occasionally have fun at the Arena are less likely to get into a deadly fight during their journeys. The winning hero of Arena duel will receive some special bonuses, including a shiny new golden brick, while his god will completely restore his godpower and even get one godpower accumulator charge as a result of such an effective prayer. The number of charges that one can receive for winning at the arena is unlimited. More details on this feature can be found in our updated FAQ.
One more impotant feature that became available today is an ability to buy additional charges for your godpower accumulator using in-app purchases in the iPhone app or PayPal if you play in the browser. We were concerned that some of you may not like this for a variety of reasons, so we want to reassure you that this change will not make any significant difference to the game you know and enjoy. It’s a merely a way to thank us in a more material way and show your support for ongoing game development, while receiving a little treat in exchange. It’s worth noting that additional charges do not give players a total advantage over other players. Almost everything in Godville is decided by the roll of a virtual dice, with an always present chance for a bad outcome. The only thing you can do with more charges is to roll this dice a little bit more often. After all, Godville is the game for relaxation and pleasure, and it’s totally unnecessary to “play it” as an usual game.
Every single day makes the heroes grow wiser and wiser, until the moment their brain reaches a new level and they learn something completely new. Today is that day – all our heroes have just learned something new about the trophies of battle. Suddenly they’ve realized that some of the items they find are different from the others. Not only can they be sold to the traders, but they can also be used to the owner’s advantage. The simplest of these artifacts will come in handy as first-aid kits, possibly saving the heroes from another death. The most experienced and the wisest champions have already started to gather healing items from nearby traders and drug stores.
More sophisticated artifacts require more intelligence to operate, so it’s not surprising that heroes have no idea how to activate them. However, almighty and omniscient gods (or goddesses) are there to help – by using a certain amount of godpower, you will be able to activate those items for your pawn. Once activated, the item will affect the hero in a variety of ways – it may teleport him to a town, give him a couple of golden bricks or do something awesome or crazy for him. You can get more information about the item’s effect by hovering the mouse cursor over the activation sign (@) or by tapping on the disclosure icon, if you’re playing on an iPhone or iPod touch.
Just 9 days ago, the Godville app for the iPhone went live at the AppStore. Since then we have received a tremendous number of ideas and new phrase submissions, thousands of grammar corrections and a couple of bug reports for the app. Today we are happy to say that version 1.1 is out. Not only does it have most of the reported bugs fixed, but it also brings you a couple of cool new features: nicer responses for god controls, votes for the random shouts you see in the diary and an easier to use ideabox. Find more on this update in the app’s forum topic and please rate the app, if you like it.
Thanks to the app, a lots of new gods have found their place in Godville. All these gods need to be different from one another somehow, so that heroes won’t confuse them in their prayers. To help the heroes out, today we are not only nearly doubling the sizes of existing pantheons, but also adding three new ones: pantheons of construction, creation and destruction.
The pantheon of construction represents the heroes who have got closest to one of the main goals of every hero – building a temple for his god. There you see how the progress of your champion relates to that of others, based on the temple completion state. The gold bricks can be obtained by completing quests, winning in fights and other means (check out our FAQ for more details).
Pantheons of creation and destruction represent two distinct sides of heroes’ characters: goodness and evil. Repeating encourages make heroes kinder, whereas punishments make them angrier and more evil. The heroes with the most defined character take higher places in these pantheons. Small hint: true evil heroes hate kindness, as much as the kindest heroes avoid any signs of anger. So if you want your hero to stay on top of one of these pantheons, you probably would be better to use only one of the influences.
A quick reminder: once your hero reaches level 12, he will unlock a brand new feature for you – ideabox votes. If you’re playing in the browser, you’ll see a new ideabox link in the top menu. If you playing from the iPhone, the link will appear in Menu->Ideabox page (in the iPhone client it won’t show up until level 15, but you can open pantheons and click on the ideabox link from the browser page). There you can see various game items and phrases submitted by other players and vote for them. Remember: the more good ideas you vote up (and more not so good ideas you vote down), the more interesting adventures your hero’s adventures will be.