Mahhand's Game

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mahhand
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Post by mahhand » Sun Apr 01, 2007 2:32 pm

Ok guys, got done with my first remote game for my gaming group. I had 4 of my 7 players show up online for it, with me hosting on my laptop, with my widescreen 22 inch lcd running next to it as a dual screen setup. I was running BG on my laptop display, with the second display using my DMing program, DM Familiar. BTW I highly recommend this program if you use a laptop while you gm, it is the best thing out their by far IMHO www.paladinpgm.com/dmf

We started the session with a server map load and placing four figures and moving them around the map searching the caves for loot from the battle before at our last game.

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As you can see, i have character names as labels on. If you have been reading the forums like a good BG user, you will know how bad of a mistake that was going to have on our night of gaming. The party moved around ok and searched the caves for loot and other bits of information. During this time, we encountered some snap back on the figures, but where able to move past it.

they then moved outside and i was able to load another map of the cave entrance. I believe this map didn't load from the server on first try for everyone. I switched to the grass map,which worked for everyone, then i reloaded the map from the server, this time it worked fine for all players.

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The party rested for the night, regained spells and lost hps, and then made their way on 9 phantom steeds back through the woods at haste towards their Keep which by now was surely under attack from the Grutta Orcs ( ie super orcs ) that they had struck an uneasy truce with before they had headed north to the cave. They had encountered a strange fog right before coming to the rivers edge that they needed to cross. A simple fact for them as their phantom steeds could walk on water at will.

As the party came out of the fog, they found themselves out in the middle of the river, with a Large part of the war band of Grutta orcs facing them from across on the other side of the river. It was quite a site, and almost beyond disbelief that this party of Orcs was poised and waiting for them right here. Grummish one-eye must surely had something to do with the start of this foul meeting.

At this point i tried loading an encounter with about 30 figs saved, 20 different orcs of 4 different types, and about 10 other figures. All the figures had their name labels turned on. You can imagine how bad this worked out. what followed was i say almost two hours of total frustration. The figures were not updating, snaping back, and not transfering. I tried rebuilding the encounter from scratch, tried to reload it, having people leave and rejoin, re-hosting, ect. To my players credit, they joked about it mainly, I think the beers and Jack was keeping everyone from throwing in the towel. Here is how the encounter looked with the party figures just lined up and with the cursed Name labels on.

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It was only after I realized that Using the character and creature names and labels was screwing up everything. After everyone started with a clean re-launch of BG, i loaded the map from server, and dropped figures and party members. We all use Ventrilo, so i could ask people if they got the figures as i dropped them. I dropped 20 orcs of the same type, and they worked fine, i dropped others figures one at a time after that of different types. players would usually get them one after the other, with a delay once or twice of maybe a min before my last player received the figure. below is how the battle looked halfway into round two of the combat session. Name labels turned off of course.

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We finished up their, as it was late and everyone was taxed pretty bad at this point. I ended the session feeling pretty spent, but feeling that we had figured out a lot. I see that the label bug is being fixed in the next release, this will be very good. I see also that sending the figure movements seems to be easy on BG, even with 4 player clients connected. The maps load from the server very well, and that is a god send.

The two biggest problems i see that really hurt our game, beside the killer label bug of course, is how fast transferring even just a single new figure to multiple clients can take, and also the dice roller. I think from what i have read here in the forums is that director transfers ALL images, figures, objects uncompressed. The server map system seems to have fixed the largest of those transfers. It would be nice if their was a fix for the figures and objects to be faster. I guess i could up my cable connections upload speed, right now is 384k up, but of course that costs money and really isnt a pratical fix for everyone. Maybe if we could load a saved encounter to a server? at least i could build the encounter with figures and objects and map and have it all load quickly? Of course if their is an add on or upgrade to Director that allows sending the data compressed, that would rock, though i bet it would cost money if such a add on is even to be had??? I thought i read somewhere in the forums once that heruca said their was something like that, but it cost like 200.00 or something and wasn't in the budget. If their is let me know Heruca k, maybe we could work out some thing on it, like an investment or some thing, just exploring every option here.

The Problems with the dice roller, ie just making it more user friendly and able to roll different dice with different Mods, saving dice roll setups and macros, and also rolling with text in the chat window, will come i know, so i don't worry about it here.

well, that is the 411 on my first session, the highs and the lows. game on!

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heruca
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Post by heruca » Sun Apr 01, 2007 4:11 pm

Note: I split this from the Developer's Notebook thread and moved it here.

Thanks for posting this detailed report, Mahhand.

There must be a bug somewhere if tokens are taking that long to transfer to all your players. I'll try to track it down. Other media types may be server-loadable soon. Maps was just the start.

An alternative to the name labels (until v1.0.7) is to use the notes feature. Then you only see the label for the figure you're hovering the mouse over, but can still reference a particular unit by name pretty easily. Of course, this assumes you're not using the notes feature for something else.

Suggestion: use the "Edit..." feature to fix the rotation of your PCs. They aren't facing the yellow indicator. Might not matter to you if your game rules don't account for facing, but I think it looks better regardless.

I'm glad to see that you're making use of the bulk unit deployment feature and the increased unit capacity in BRPG.
:arrow: Please help spread the word about BRPG and BGE, and never hesitate to tell me how I can make them better suit your gaming needs.

mahhand
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Post by mahhand » Mon Apr 02, 2007 4:44 pm

Thanks for posting about the notes idea. I really like the labels, hoping they get fixed soon. Big combats like that one really help if you can easyl label the mass of orcs, hehehe.

Full Bleed
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Post by Full Bleed » Mon Apr 02, 2007 11:32 pm

Is there any way that we can use labels that only the GM can see?

I can see that in a big battle like this, having labels might be nice for a GM... but PC's don't really need to see the names.

Balesir
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Post by Balesir » Tue Apr 03, 2007 6:33 am

Well, name text that is in brackets does not show on player clients, so I guess you could just put the whole name in brackets... Alternatively just label everything 'Orc' with a series number after it in brackets - that way the players just see lots of 'Orc' figures but the GM sees 'Orc 1', 'Orc 2', etc.
Balesir

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heruca
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Post by heruca » Tue Apr 03, 2007 12:00 pm

Balesir, I'm not sure the secret name feature supports not having a public name. But it's a good idea, and I'll see if I can add it.

In any case, I think we were discussing workarounds to a label-related bug in v1.0.6b, which manifests when Character Name labels are showing, FoW is on, and a unit has no notes attached.
:arrow: Please help spread the word about BRPG and BGE, and never hesitate to tell me how I can make them better suit your gaming needs.

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