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Proposed Change to Order #990 - Change Ruler's Name

I am curious as to why Order #990 only applies to the starting king/queen, rather than to all starting characters?

What is the object of changing a king's/queen's name, is not for an increase in aesthetic appeal, for flavor's sake, if you will?

Just let it apply to all starting characters, which should be possible if you allow players an unlimited number Order #990. It could still be limited to just Turn #1, and no longer be available after that. It should apply to all emissaries, agents, leaders, and wizards - to all figure/character types.

Is there a particular harm that would come from this? After all, players get to name all of their new characters, anyway. So, what would be lost by going this route with this proposed change?

(12-15-2015, 09:54 AM)Ry Vor Wrote: [ -> ]At some point, we will have a form to change all your character names if you like, independent from issuing orders.
SOURCE DATE: 12-15-2015
I like the idea myself Smile. Going on the pile
(08-28-2023, 01:59 AM)Brekk Wrote: [ -> ]I like the idea myself Smile. Going on the pile

John,

Is there an insurmountable reason as to why the naming of characters is limited to so few characters?

And why are some characters allowed to have more characters when being named than others are?

Examples:
ORDER #510: INVALID COLUMN B VALUE [NAME LENGTH MUST BE BETWEEN 4 AND 20 LETTERS ONLY, SPACES ALLOWED AFTER SECOND LETTER]

ORDER #511: INVALID COLUMN C VALUE [NAME MUST BE 4-12 CHARACTERS ONLY (NO SPACES FIRST TWO CHARACTERS)]


An increase to 25 characters, or to 30 characters, would be far less constraining on players' creativity with their character names. There's likely a coding-related reason for the current limits, but what is it? Why the minimum of four letters, since the interface uses two letter codes for characters? And why the maximum, which is the main limit that I would like tos ee increased, if there's a way to do it that doesn't cause a big coding headache or workaround.
(08-28-2023, 06:39 PM)Maximus Dominus Wrote: [ -> ]
(08-28-2023, 01:59 AM)Brekk Wrote: [ -> ]I like the idea myself Smile. Going on the pile

John,

Is there an insurmountable reason as to why the naming of characters is limited to so few characters?

And why are some characters allowed to have more characters when being named than others are?

Examples:
ORDER #510: INVALID COLUMN B VALUE [NAME LENGTH MUST BE BETWEEN 4 AND 20 LETTERS ONLY, SPACES ALLOWED AFTER SECOND LETTER]

ORDER #511: INVALID COLUMN C VALUE [NAME MUST BE 4-12 CHARACTERS ONLY (NO SPACES FIRST TWO CHARACTERS)]


An increase to 25 characters, or to 30 characters, would be far less constraining on players' creativity with their character names. There's likely a coding-related reason for the current limits, but what is it? Why the minimum of four letters, since the interface uses two letter codes for characters? And why the maximum, which is the main limit that I would like tos ee increased, if there's a way to do it that doesn't cause a big coding headache or workaround.
And why do we have to name and place in a pop center mithril miners?  
Thanks
(08-28-2023, 06:39 PM)Maximus Dominus Wrote: [ -> ]
(08-28-2023, 01:59 AM)Brekk Wrote: [ -> ]I like the idea myself Smile. Going on the pile

John,

Is there an insurmountable reason as to why the naming of characters is limited to so few characters?

And why are some characters allowed to have more characters when being named than others are?

Examples:
ORDER #510: INVALID COLUMN B VALUE [NAME LENGTH MUST BE BETWEEN 4 AND 20 LETTERS ONLY, SPACES ALLOWED AFTER SECOND LETTER]

ORDER #511: INVALID COLUMN C VALUE [NAME MUST BE 4-12 CHARACTERS ONLY (NO SPACES FIRST TWO CHARACTERS)]


An increase to 25 characters, or to 30 characters, would be far less constraining on players' creativity with their character names. There's likely a coding-related reason for the current limits, but what is it? Why the minimum of four letters, since the interface uses two letter codes for characters? And why the maximum, which is the main limit that I would like tos ee increased, if there's a way to do it that doesn't cause a big coding headache or workaround.

I will start with I don't know the answer.  
But its a little like asking why doesn't my gas car run on electric, I mean they both have a hood/trunk/doors etc.  Well the answer is no one built it that way, but damn they look the same on the outside !!!!
(08-28-2023, 09:37 PM)Brekk Wrote: [ -> ]I will start with I don't know the answer.  
But its a little like asking why doesn't my gas car run on electric, I mean they both have a hood/trunk/doors etc.  Well the answer is no one built it that way, but damn they look the same on the outside !!!!

Well, a programmer would have built it.

My guess is that it's an output issue - most likely, an issue of where it outputs the characters' names to on turn results. After all, it's no more difficult to output a lot of text than it is just a little bit of text.

It could be based upon where on the input of the game's interface that the character names get output to. Possibly, the longer character names might be from newer code than the shorter name limit. Maybe it wasn't updated, but that wouldn't account for a maximum of just 20 characters for the other characters.
Let's not assume that everything is in error and needs correction. Some things are the way they are for a reason.

For one, the reason why names are limited in nature is because of backward-compatibility. The player's orders are saved in a specific format that is usable for prior versions of the game. Believe it or not, the order entry website can handle the older 2nd Cycle and 3rd Cycle games. So, instead of having multiple websites for players to use for the particular game they're in (which will only lead to confusion), one site handles all for the sake of simplicity.

Why have a system that can offer the older style of games? Because when Brek configures his new baby the way that he wants, he'll advertise to others in particular previous players to come back and try out the new Alamaze, the game that they once enjoyed. Many of them would want to play the older version that they were accustomed to, so offering the 3rd Cycle The Choosing version could bring in more of the former players than not offering it. So, there's value in allowing backward-compatibility with the older versions of the game.

Secondly, why only the ruler and not all the figures' names are allowed to change is due to a number of reasons. For one, it's a security issue. Whenever a user is allowed to enter text into the system, that value is saved in the SQL database for recall later. By doing so, it also allows the database to be corrupted by a hacker. It's called SQL Injection, and it can destroy your database. Yes, we have some security protocols in place to prevent this from happening, but even major companies like Microsoft and Google have issues with this, and they have the best experts on hand. The low-budget of a PBM game like Alamaze, well, we try our best in avoiding such things.

That's why, the order entry website are pretty much all dropdown lists for the user to choose from. That way, the website fully controls what values the player enters for their orders, and such poses no risk of database injection. So, if we allow more than just the ruler's name to be entered with whatever text the user wants, it could lead to additional problems later on. We try to limit dangerous situations as much as possible. Even major companies like Microsoft have issues with this...

Thirdly, another and an important reason for not allowing the other figure names to be changed is that it may interfere with the general atmosphere and enjoyment of the game. For example, the names for the Ancient Ones Consuls are based on well-respected historical figures like Charlemagne or Socrates. The names for the Demon Princes are Asmodeus and Belial. What if a player changed the name of their Demon Prince to "Joe" or "Clown Fat". Some would think that's funny and ironic to play a serious and powerful Demon Prince character to be named Clown Fat, but what about the other players in the game? Would they really feel the dangerous presence of a powerful Demon Prince figure that is about to wreck havoc in their region with a name like Joe?

Rick caved in the request by some players to change the ruler's name, to help personalize the kingdom for the player, but limited such to only the ruler itself. That way, the game still retains its appeal and general fantasy atmosphere for the other players. It's a give and take situation.

Overall, don't take that everything is in error and needs correction. There may be some important reasons why things are the way they are...
(08-29-2023, 09:13 AM)unclemike Wrote: [ -> ]Let's not assume that everything is in error and needs correction. Some things are the way they are for a reason.

I don't assume that everything is in error and needs correction. Indeed, as a matter of normal routine, I try to be specific, and to specify exactly what I think is broken, or what could be improved upon. I also don't assume that even things that aren't broken, and which may be the way that they are for a valid reason, can't be improved upon. There's an old saying that there's always room for improvement. Not that I always succeed in finding ways to improve various things, but I am quite willing to look, and I'm not inclined to give anything a free pass without at least looking at it.


(08-29-2023, 09:13 AM)unclemike Wrote: [ -> ]For one, the reason why names are limited in nature is because of backward-compatibility. The player's orders are saved in a specific format that is usable for prior versions of the game. Believe it or not, the order entry website can handle the older 2nd Cycle and 3rd Cycle games. So, instead of having multiple websites for players to use for the particular game they're in (which will only lead to confusion), one site handles all for the sake of simplicity.

Understood. Thanks for that explanation.


(08-29-2023, 09:13 AM)unclemike Wrote: [ -> ]Why have a system that can offer the older style of games? Because when Brek configures his new baby the way that he wants, he'll advertise to others in particular previous players to come back and try out the new Alamaze, the game that they once enjoyed. Many of them would want to play the older version that they were accustomed to, so offering the 3rd Cycle The Choosing version could bring in more of the former players than not offering it. So, there's value in allowing backward-compatibility with the older versions of the game.

I'm certainly not opposed to backwards compatibility. Indeed, where previous PlayStations were concerned, I very much wanted backwards compatibility.

I also received an e-mail this morning, in fact, from a fellow who used to play Alamaze, and when I inquired why he no longer played it, he mentioned what he felt were too many customizations, and that he liked Alamaze around 2nd or 3rd cycle.


(08-29-2023, 09:13 AM)unclemike Wrote: [ -> ]Secondly, why only the ruler and not all the figures' names are allowed to change is due to a number of reasons. For one, it's a security issue. Whenever a user is allowed to enter text into the system, that value is saved in the SQL database for recall later. By doing so, it also allows the database to be corrupted by a hacker. It's called SQL Injection, and it can destroy your database. Yes, we have some security protocols in place to prevent this from happening, but even major companies like Microsoft and Google have issues with this, and they have the best experts on hand. The low-budget of a PBM game like Alamaze, well, we try our best in avoiding such things.

Understood, about potential security issues that can arise from SQL injections. Of course, until and unless such things are explained, Alamaze forum users don't really know, do they?


(08-29-2023, 09:13 AM)unclemike Wrote: [ -> ]That's why, the order entry website are pretty much all dropdown lists for the user to choose from. That way, the website fully controls what values the player enters for their orders, and such poses no risk of database injection. So, if we allow more than just the ruler's name to be entered with whatever text the user wants, it could lead to additional problems later on. We try to limit dangerous situations as much as possible. Even major companies like Microsoft have issues with this...

Bad things can certainly happen, but that's true even where there aren't security issues. Even government sites and programs get hacked. There are always nefarious actors in the world.


(08-29-2023, 09:13 AM)unclemike Wrote: [ -> ]Thirdly, another and an important reason for not allowing the other figure names to be changed is that it may interfere with the general atmosphere and enjoyment of the game. For example, the names for the Ancient Ones Consuls are based on well-respected historical figures like Charlemagne or Socrates. The names for the Demon Princes are Asmodeus and Belial. What if a player changed the name of their Demon Prince to "Joe" or "Clown Fat". Some would think that's funny and ironic to play a serious and powerful Demon Prince character to be named Clown Fat, but what about the other players in the game? Would they really feel the dangerous presence of a powerful Demon Prince figure that is about to wreck havoc in their region with a name like Joe?

Understood, but since players can name ALL[u] of their new characters[/u], currently, there's nothing to really stop them from naming new characters Clown Fat, is there? And they can't name their character Joe, because naming of new characters requires a minimum of four letters, right?

I try, to a large degree, to imbue my characters that I name in Alamaze with a bit of colorful flair, in keeping with the fantasy setting. Numerous of the stock names that starting characters are stuck with aren't really in keeping with the fantasy setting, already. Naming conventions for characters and place names don't appear to me to have been a high priority. A lot of them just plain suck. The naming part appears to have been a rush job, in at least some instances.


(08-29-2023, 09:13 AM)unclemike Wrote: [ -> ]Rick caved in the request by some players to change the ruler's name, to help personalize the kingdom for the player, but limited such to only the ruler itself. That way, the game still retains its appeal and general fantasy atmosphere for the other players. It's a give and take situation.

So, Rick caved to a request by players, thereby increasing security vulnerability of the system, where allowing players to rename their starting kings/queens are concerned? So, you're saying that an unnecessary security risk is knowing being taken? Is it safer to let players name new characters than to let them rename starting characters?


(08-29-2023, 09:13 AM)unclemike Wrote: [ -> ]Overall, don't take that everything is in error and needs correction. There may be some important reasons why things are the way they are...

Again, I don't take that everything is in error and needs correction. Certainly, there may, indeed, be some important reasons why things as they are. That's why I ask, so that I can learn. I didn't see the answers posted elsewhere in the forum, though I could have perhaps missed them. I appreciate you taking the tie out to respond, Mike.

On the whole, I do think that there is ample room for improvement in a lot of different areas. If there is no room for improvement, then Alamaze is far worse off than it might at first seem, because how does one grow the Alamaze player base, if there's nothing about the current approach and system that can be improved?

The new owner, john, is the one who retains full decision-making authority. I reminded him of this very recently, in fact, in e-mail, as part of a series of e-mails that I had sent to him inquiring about things, and suggesting various areas of improvement. Me? I don't possess decision-making authority pertaining to Alamaze. But one doesn't need decision-making authority, just to ask questions.

A lot of the current starting names for Alamaze characters are very generic sounding. Here are a few examples: Orchid, Slip Knot, Swordsmen (which is plural, but bestowed upon a single character), Serpent, Crisis, Sudden Seven, Tragedy, Fang, Talon, Tusk. Some of the starting names fit the setting, but more than a few definitely do not. Sudden Seven was a pool tournament, wasn't it?