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PostPosted: Wed Jul 07, 2010 2:12 pm 
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EX-TER-MI-NATE! I-LU-MI-NATE! GY-RATE!


:D

Thinking back, the whole pellet episode epitomized the original concept of Uru, which wasn't just about puzzle-solving; there was also the idea that we were taking an active part in the over-arching story by contributing to the restoration of the Cavern, and a part of that restoration was the returning of the Lake to its original brightness and day/night cycle. It's an idea that's hard to recall now after so much has happened, but the hope was that we'd see gradual improvements in Ae'gura as restoration progressed. That is, new areas opened, existing areas cleaned up and rebuilt, etc. There was always to be something to work for, and a true community spirit. I loved the concept of the pellets, as it was a chance to use D'ni technology in the way it was originally intended. I was really disappointed when I found that our millions of pellet points were all for naught.

Cheers,

Mowog

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 07, 2010 2:30 pm 
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Mowog wrote:
I was really disappointed when I found that our millions of pellet points were all for naught.

Who told you that? No one at Cyan, I'm sure. The pellets all mattered then. What was done before still matters now. And what is done now is still worthwhile to the health of the lake.

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 07, 2010 3:23 pm 
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Stop being coy and kindly provide some actual information, JWPlatt. Without knowing how the pellets have an impact, there's no way to tell they are. People don't just believe they somehow magically will and it would seem there is no code in the game for the pellets to have an impact.

Instead of repeating the same vague assertion, maybe this time you'll actually back it up with facts. What's more likely is that you'll continue with the non-answers, pretending you're clever or providing a puzzle for the fans to figure out (you're not, it's not).

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 07, 2010 3:37 pm 
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I would not wish to reduce the enjoyment of your sport in pursuing me, Whilyam. ;)

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 07, 2010 5:37 pm 
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JWPlatt is being playful. He has no inside information.

I don't think the pellets were meant to mean nothing -- they were meant to lighten the lake. However, the lake never lightened. From what I read, something was broken, and it wasn't fixed. Dropping the pellets does not do anything in terms of changing the game, never did. From what I've read, some people enjoy making them.

Me, I don't do the pellets -- I don't see the point.

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 07, 2010 7:19 pm 
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I drop the pellets, then I up the gamma. I blink my eyes twice. Short term memory loss takes care of the rest.

:P

nerfy

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 07, 2010 7:55 pm 
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mszv wrote:
JWPlatt is being playful. He has no inside information.

Are you absolutely positive about that? If so, what's your source? ... (and the circle continues) :wink:



Anyhoo, I like Nerfy's solution. :lol:

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 07, 2010 7:59 pm 
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Pellets have no point...


... They're rounded at both ends. :P

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 07, 2010 9:35 pm 
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To Mac_Fife:


:)
Good one :) Hehe!

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 07, 2010 9:39 pm 
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Tai'lahr wrote:
mszv wrote:
JWPlatt is being playful. He has no inside information.

Are you absolutely positive about that? If so, what's your source? ... (and the circle continues) :wink:



Anyhoo, I like Nerfy's solution. :lol:


You know, thinking about this -- I misspoke. Of course I have no idea if JWPlatt has inside info. Not in the slighest.

All I'm saying is the old stuff -- the pellets were supposed to lighten the lake, from what I read, and they never did. I never dropped pellets in the multiplayer game (did in the solo player version) -- wasn't going to do that until I saw, in game, that it would work. I'm not into having faith that something we do in game will have an effect on lighting the lake. Other people can go there (and they do), but that's not me. I also didn't want to feel like I was being mean person/people around -- what would be the correct number of pellets for Cyan to decide that the lake would lighten? If you make it part of gameplay, instead of deciding arbitrarily that the right number had been dropped -- that just seemed more fair. Now maybe Cyan had something built in (part of gameplay) so that dropping the pellets would cause the lake to lighten -- and we could figure it out from what was in game -- maybe that was there all along, and the bug disabled that. I just never got that feeling -- and I admit I could be completely, completely wrong!

If it comes back, and dropping pellets causes the lake to lighten -- personally, I'd like to see the information in game, available to all players -- part of Uru's gameplay. That's just my preference.

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 07, 2010 10:31 pm 
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It doesn't matter to me if pellets have a "point" or not, it's something interactive to do in cavern, which is what matters to me.

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 07, 2010 10:48 pm 
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The most fun I've participated in with pellets, besides meeting ICly with Laxman and doing all that, was the Pellet Challenge. The Pellet Challenge was where a group of people would see how many points they could help a single avatar collect in one hour. I forget the exact numbers, but we at the Revelations hood exchanged leads several times with the German community hood from maybe 40-some thousand points, to 60-some thousand, to eventually in the 90-thousands, I believe, as we improved our methods. The Germans won in the end. Wow! It was really amazing. And fun. And that was the "point" for us at the time. I'd like to see anyone - anyone at all! - beat those scores.

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 07, 2010 10:51 pm 
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mszv wrote:
I never dropped pellets in the multiplayer game (did in the solo player version) -- wasn't going to do that until I saw, in game, that it would work.

If everyone felt that way and waited for someone else to do something that would cause an effect, then it would never happen, would it?

Whether you participate or not, you are part of the lake lighting experiment which, IMHO, was intended to reveal answers to questions such as:
* Can the community work together to accomplish a larger task?
* Will the believers be able to convince the non-believers to do their fair share and thus accomplish the task quicker?
* Or, will it just be left to the fanatical faithful to make it happen over a longer period of time?


JWPlatt wrote:
The Pellet Challenge...

The Librarian is slacking, so here's more info with linkies:

[spoiler=The Pellet Challenge]The Pellet Challenge was issued by Marck and the German Community after they teamed up to allow one explorer to collect 73,044 points within one hour. They used 15 Er’cana instances and dropped a total of 75 pellets. Part of the challenge is for a team to work out a procedure which allows an explorer to collect and drop pellets at this or a better rate. The Revelations Hood took the challenge and, on the third attempt, were able to hit 16 Er’canas and drop 79 pellets to collect 77,750 points. The R.E.B.E.L. Hood took the challenge twice and on the second attempt managed to visit 17 Er'canas to drop 85 pellets and collect a total of 82,603 points. But, before the cavern closed, the German Community regained their title by dropping 93 pellets in 19 Er'canas and collecting 85,406 points in one hour!

The Pellet Challenge

see How It Works here.[/spoiler]

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 07, 2010 11:39 pm 
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There is currently nothing wired to the global lake scores but it would be easy to wire them to the cavern's fog brightness settings. All it takes are a few lines of Python code. For example for every 50000000 points the brightness could go up a tiny notch. It would be subtle, no bells and whistles, but at least it would do something.

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 08, 2010 12:24 am 
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OK. Being a recovered pellet addict and finally over the waiting in that long line of people waiting a turn at the Er'Cana book when it was released, here is what I believe was supposed to happen with the pellets:


After a couple of centuries of neglect, the algae in the lake have become dormant. When healthy, they apparently have a cycle of brightening and dimming that approximates the day/night cycle of a D'ni day. In order to bring them back to health, we have to put enough nutrients back into the lake to reestablish this cycle. Hence, we have to make and drop pellets in the City Silo in the Uran District (D'ni Ashem'en). Laxman install a device at the Ferry Docks to monitor the algae (the "Dalek"). Unfortunately, it never seemed to work properly and was eventually removed. (So much for backstory...)

[speculation=on]

Now there has been much talk about why this never worked. Some say the code is broken and others say it was never in there in the first place. Still others point to UU when someone brightened up the whole Cavern. Personally, I do not think the code was ever in there. There is one set of textures and the Cavern was built to implememt just one level of illumination. Yes, one can fiddle with the gamma and brighten the place up just like you can increase the brightness of a picture but usually with poor results. However this will not allow a smooth and gradual increase and decrease in light level. I'm not sure how it could be done to meet Cyan's demanding postion on visual quality.

How was it supposed to work? Well, each "perfect" pellet (952-1000 KI points) adds 200 nutrient points to the lake. Others add less and exploders and steam and bubblers can actually add negative points. Based on the drop rate and average daily pellet scores, I (believe) Cyan was trying to establish a minimum set point where the algae would have become healthy enough to start the cycle and a minimum daily drop rate to maintain the level. As the algae consumed the nutrients, the total nutrient level would start to drop and require yet more pellets to be made and dropped to maintain the light cycle. With the lack of any mechanism to actually brighten up the Cavern, this set point was never made (or at least made public).

The light meter should have been able to work as the only data it needed was the the total current nutrient score that should have been stored in the vault somewhere. We know the hood KI pellet point scores are stored so it makes sense that the other score is also maintained. In order to work, there had to be a scale where the trip point number was some point on the light meter scale. Either the code was wrong or this set point was never determined so the scale (0 to 100%) was undefined. For whatever reason, the meter never worked.

So what's the point of pellets? For now, nothing. Other than competing for the highest score, or the Pellet Marathon event, there's not much use for them. Once the source is released, perhaps someone can figure out how to get it to all work. (I just noticed D'Lanor's post on fog brightness... maybe there is a way...)

[speculation=off]


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