MHWiki:Current events/Archive/2009/April

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Archive for updates taking place April of 2009 in Reverse Chronological Order.
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Today's Updates

22 April 2009

Hi MouseHunters,

We released an update today that has been unpopular with some of our players. We always listen and want to address some of your concerns.

We want to make clear the reasons for the changes so we can better work together to find a solution that everyone can be happy with.

Some players are upset that the +7 luck bonus of the lucky shield gives too great of an advantage to donators. This is our own fault for never fully explaining how luck works. Luck is the least important stat your trap has and only provides a very small occasional boost to help catch mice. Seven luck on average equates to about one less miss a day. Luck also boosts your ability to get loot in a very small way. Traps with around 20 luck will increase your odds by less than 2% for most items in the game.

If you play for free it is because someone else is not and we wanted to give a small, unique token of thanks to those who allow hundreds of thousands of players to play MouseHunt for free everyday.

People who donate by completing offers will also now be rewarded with a Lucky Golden Shield. This should allow people who are not able to donate via PayPal to receive the shield.

The trade request system was starting to become unbalanced. The buyer's section was almost pointless, full of posts that were never responded to. Players would have to reply to dozens of posts to try and scrape together enough sellers to meet their needs. These problems all stem from the root cause that SUPER|brie+ is worth more than 1,000 gold a piece to a majority of players. One of our most requested changes has been to remove the price cap on SUPER|brie+ in trade requests. We remind everyone that 10,000 is not the minimum but rather the maximum. We tried to pick a number that we know no one would ever buy for. We in no way are trying to make a piece worth 10,000. That number is merely in place to avoid errors and scams.

Finally, we apologize for the oversight of the many board competitions when introducing a limit on how much gold a player can send to friends. The generosity and inclusiveness of the community is the most important factor in the success of mousehunt. By attempting to add some checks to prevent scams we inadvertently punished those generous people who are active in the community. This is major oversight by us and we are immediately reversing the changes to the supply transfer system. We are removing the transfer limit and returning the tax rate to its original value.

With the cap on SUPER|brie+ removed we are confident that the amount of players abusing the give to friends feature will fall dramatically.

MouseHunt started as a very simple game where there were no locations, special types of cheese or trading. As more rich content and strategy is added to the game it is sometimes necessary to rebalance some of the core features of the game. We apologize for the oversights we made while making these changes and any stress they may have caused. At times it may hurt, but the vocalness of the community is a great asset to the game. We appreciate everyones feedback and look forward to continuing to making mousehunt the best it can be.

-- Dave Vanderburg

Transfer Limit Increase

22 April 2009

We have just increased the new restriction on gold transfers from 30,000 gold every 24 hours to 250,000 gold every 12 hours.

The give gold function is the most abused feature of the game by dishonest players. The ability to give endless gold also introduces imbalances of newer players with wealthy friends skyrocketing through the game much quicker than intended.

On the topic of the SB+ trading cap increase our intention was to basically remove the cap and allow SB+ to find it's own fair market value. The 10,000 per piece limit is only in place to prevent players from moving large amounts of gold by trading a single piece of cheese. The price will come down as sellers realize what constitutes as a fair price.

-- Dave Vanderburg

New Map, Lucky Shields and Trade Changes

22 April 2009

Strange footprints in Whisker Woods

With the scent of Gnarled cheese in the air some hunters have reported strange happenings in Whisker Woods. Slightly dampened foot prints have been spotted around the tree heading to the west. The King dispatched hunters to investigate only to have them returned with their courage crippled by what they described only as a winged terror.

Luck changes and new lucky shields

Ever wish there was something you could do to help maximize your odds of finding a map piece, potion or other rare drop? The latest research by the King's diligent Royal Trapsmith has revealed that luck now provides a small boost to a hunter's chance to receive loot when catching a mouse.

Word has come from the King that any hunter that gives a donation to the MouseHunt kingdom will not only receive SUPER|brie+ but also be granted a special lucky shield for the following 30 days, which will add 7 luck to your trap! This golden shield will appear instead of the grey MouseHunt logo in the top left of the game as well as be displayed on their profile. The world of MouseHunt would not exist if it were not for the generous support of our players. We wanted to give something unique to everyone who supports the game and help us cover our operational costs.

For those who have donated before this update we will be giving a shield to anyone who has ever donated and been active in the last 30 days.

Changes to trading and giving to friends

The King has raised the 1,000 gold per piece cap on SUPER|brie+ to 10,000 gold per piece but has also increased the tax rate to 20% for both trade requests and gold transfers. This change is to help keep balance as the game progresses and to help players put their gold to better use.

A new limit for giving gold to friends has also been introduced. A hunter can transfer no more than 30,000 gold to other players every 24 hours. For example if you send two of your friends 15,000 gold each you will be unable to send anyone else gold for 24 hours. This new rule is to discourage players from using the give supplies page for trading purposes and reduce the number of players who are victims of dishonest players trying to scam gold. This change will help reduce the thousands support emails we receive to help us concentrate our time on developing new content for the game. We find that 30,000 gold is a healthy amount to help along new players.

-- Dave Vanderburg

Trap Check Fix

15 April 2009

We have just applied an update that completely re-engineers the way trap checks work.

In our old system we were no longer able to generate 24 trap checks per day due to the large number of players we have now reached. Writing all the journals, awarding points, gold and loot creates a lot of database activity that slowly but surely adds up and brings things to a crawl.

The new system now in place generates trap checks much more passively to spread the load more evenly. This new method of handling trap checks has also allowed us to once again give a trap check every hour on the hour.

Please keep in mind that due to the urgency of this update we did not submit through our usual vigorous and lengthy of testing as we do for most of our updates. If a few hiccups occur here and there please rest assured we'll be hard at work to iron out the kinks.

Happy hunting (with trap checks too)!

-- Dave Vanderburg

Testing New Trap Check System

14 April 2009

Hey MouseHunters!

Thought I would post a quick update to give you some information about how far along we are with our trap check solution.

We are currently testing our release candidate for the solution and everything seems to be running smoothly. If everything continues problem free we may be able to go live with our changes sometime tomorrow.

Some players were also noticing some journal entries appearing blank with only the time-stamp and mouse picture. We've isolated the problem and it will be fixed in when we apply the next update.

If plans change we'll let you know. In the meantime keep catching all those Glitchpaw mice!

-- Dave Vanderburg

Trap Check Update

13 April 2009

Hello MouseHunters!

Our number one priority is fixing trap checks and we have been brainstorming for the past day or so on how we can completely re-engineer.

We have come up with a solution that looks very promising to not only restore trap checks to what they were but also ensure that as more and more players join the game we can continue to deliver reliable trap checks.

We are now hard at work developing this solution to get it into testing as soon as possible.

Thanks for your ungoing patience and support.

We'll keep you posted as we progress.

-- Dave Vanderburg

Trap checks are broken

10 April 2009

Trap checks are currently very broken. Despite our best efforts to find a solution this problem persists. The entire team is brainstorming ideas on how we can restructure the way trap checks work because the current implementation is not capable of providing trap checks to the amount of players who play everyday.

We may have to rebuild the trap check system from scratch which may take some time. We'll keep you posted as we continue to work on solving this problem.

-- Dave Vanderburg

Gnarly Rumors

9 April 2009

Rumors are afloat in the Calm Clearing of Whisker Woods! Word has spread of strange pathways, lined with sparkling fairy dust, that lead deeper into the woods.

The dense canopy of the woods keeps the winding pathways rather dark, making them hard to navigate. Surely a hunter will need some sort of guide to find their way through!

Good luck investigating these rumors, hunters...

Also in this update:

- A few minor tweaks to font and layout here and there.

- Some optimizations and better tracking reports for the trap check system.

- Some players noticed a reference to 'Hunting Parties' on their profile pages for a few minutes after we applied the update. That text was accidently added to this release. Parties are something we're working on for the near future and is not quite ready yet. We'll have more information as this feature gets closer to release.

- We have fine-tuned our bot detection scripts so that non-malicious scripts will not trigger our pattern tracking. We remind players that anything that automatically refreshes or loads a page violates the game's rules and is not to be used.

We would also like to remind everyone that the boards are meant as a fun and friendly atmosphere. We get swamped with complaints regarding swearing, insulting, etc. We are beginning to crack down on inappropriate behaviour on the boards so please think before you post.

-- Dave Vanderburg

Forum 'Enhancer' Scripts

8 April 2009

It has come to our attention that some browser scripts/plugins that are designed to integrate MouseHunt player statistics into the discussion board are making undo requests to the game.

These extra requests happen behind the scenes loading MouseHunt pages to grab the necessary data. The problem is that this extra activity triggers King's Reward codes without the player ever seeing them.

This leads to a few problems where players have an unclaimed reward without ever knowing it and strange errors due to the massive amount of requests all coming from the same address.

The extra requests also massively boost how active the game thinks you are. This triggers some of our bot-detection and tracking systems.

We are working on fine-tuning our bot tracking systems as well as working with the developers of these types of scripts so that do not trigger our tracking systems. In the meantime we kindly ask any players who are using any sort of script or plugin that modifies the Facebook discussion boards to add MouseHunt statistics to uninstall them immediately.

To make things clear: If you have installed or use anything that modifies the way Facebook discussion boards look or function please uninstall them.

This will avoid your account being falsely flagged for bot usage as well as save countless requests to our server to help to make the game quicker and more responsive for everyone!

Thanks for your corporation.

-- Dave Vanderburg

System Update

7 April 2009

Today's minor system update was to address a few issues players have been reporting along with various optimizations 'behind-the-scenes'.

Thanks for your patience during the few minutes the game was unavailable.

-- Dave Vanderburg

Using "Bots" WILL get you BANNED!

6 April 2009

Hello Everyone!

This is an announcement to let you all know that we will be banning accounts, without warning, that we detect are using any kind of automated method to play the game.

We are able to use tracking methods within the game to distinguish players from bots and have already disabled dozens of accounts. Some of these accounts had large amounts of points and gold, do not risk losing your progress in the game!

Anything that clicks, refreshes a page or takes any other action in the game via an automated process will trigger these tracking methods. Timers are fine so long as they do not sound the horn at the end of their timer and still require you to be at your computer and click something to actually sound the horn.

To clarify and reiterate...

Anything that will play the game on its own while you are not at your computer constitutes as using a "bot" and will get you banned.

The MH Toolbar is okay to use.

Thank you.

-- Franco D'Auria

Trap Check Info

1 April 2009

Hello MouseHunt communit-tay!

As many of you are aware, trap checks have not been functioning correctly for quite some time. The problem is proving to be challenging to solve without changing some fundamental gameplay elements that contribute to the passive nature of the game.

This issue is a priority for us and we can only ask for your patience while we work on a solution.

How else can you help us? Well as every seasoned MouseHunter knows all of life's problems can be blamed on the dreaded Glitchpaw mouse and it's about time we fought back with traps! So grab your best trap and be on the lookout for any Glitchpaw mice that come your way. Every one caught is sure to help!

-- Dave Vanderburg