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admin
02-28-2009, 10:10 PM
Hi everyone -

Just a quick update about some changes that will be coming to Cryptograms.org in March 2009.
We've processed more than 12 million played cryptograms and refactored average and record times for all of our puzzles. This includes about 3,000 puzzles which had previously displayed "Not enough statistics to display" messages. That should no longer happen, until the next time we inject new puzzles into the database.
Record times will no longer be saved for "Guests". All new records from 2/28/09 onward will be only from registered users. (A small number of "Guest" records still remain in the database today, but they will start to gradually disappear as they are broken, since no new "Guest" records will be entered).
When you break a record time, you'll now see a little congratulatory message from the Puzzle Baron. :)
Record times will be updated in real time from here on out - previously they were only refactored once every 8-12 weeks. This means we should, in theory, be able to display # of record times held in your scorecard. (This will take some more programming though, and may take a while to implement).
Right now "difficulty" levels are determined solely by the length of the puzzle. This method stinks (sorry!) and it will be replaced in March, so that a puzzle's difficulty rating will be determined by its solving percentage. A puzzle that has been solved 20% of the time will be considered more difficult than a puzzle that has been solved 45% of the time, regardless of the puzzle's length, and will be scored accordingly. (This will be rolled out mid-March).
A warning message will appear on the site one-hour in advance of our normally-scheduled weekly maintenance periods (Saturday mornings, 3am). This will serve as a heads-up that anyone playing competitively, particularly for solving percentages, will want to complete any outstanding games and log-out until they see the warning message disappear. Those who don't care so much about the competition are welcome to ignore the warning and play as usual. (The main problem that could happen is that you'd start a game before the maintenance begins, and try to complete it afterwards, in which case it would likely be counted as a loss.)
Finally, we'll be streamlining our central database. Right now we're adding approximately 2 million game records a month to the database - its been getting quite bloated, and this results in slower page loads. As part of our weekly maintenance we will now be processing and deleting all games so that we will never carry a load of more than a week's worth of games (about 500,000 records max). This should improve the server's overall health and response time.Thanks for playing, as always!

- Stephen

kat
02-28-2009, 11:10 PM
I just broke a record, and the new congratulatory message from the Baron is really funny. Thanks Stephen. That's pretty cool. :D

admin
03-01-2009, 09:01 PM
Just an update - 1,835 new puzzles have been added to the rotation today. New puzzles, as always, will not display average scores or records until they've been solved a certain number of times.

kat
03-02-2009, 12:09 AM
The plane with the banner is a nice touch! :)

ernests
03-02-2009, 02:22 PM
Great stuff. I was going to post a wish-list of features I would like to see but you seem to have anticipated them all.

Will we be able to see how many records other players hold? It would be interesting to see how far behind bansaisequoia I am - although it might be a slightly humbling experience.

bansaisequoia
03-02-2009, 09:47 PM
It would be interesting to see how far behind bansaisequoia I am - although it might be a slightly humbling experience.


http://www.critterlove.com/Images/Yesterdays%20News.jpg

ernests, I don't know if I have more records than anyone else, but if I do, I'm sure I'll be soon overtaken by the Countess and peaceandluv and kat. When I was a kid, Ty Cobb had the most hits in major league baseball. Nowadays, it's Pete Rose. And who knows when Pete Rose will be dethroned:confused:

And come to think of it, Altoid701 impresses the he** (heck) out of me, too.

http://www.mediabistro.com/unbeige/original/altoids.jpg

Yuck! I hate mints. (no offense to you, cryptedian Altoid701)

opallady
03-04-2009, 02:46 AM
I've been out of town and finally got access to a computer so I just now found out about the changes. I think I'm going to like them, especially the instant recognition for fastest time (Hey, it doesn't happen very often!) and the new criteria for difficulty.

Altoid701
03-04-2009, 07:32 AM
And come to think of it, Altoid701 impresses the he** (heck) out of me, too.

http://www.mediabistro.com/unbeige/original/altoids.jpg

Yuck! I hate mints. (no offense to you, cryptedian Altoid701)

Aw, thanks bansai. You impress the heck out of me as well. I remember when I first started I was like "how does he DO it???" because you had pretty much every record time. And no offense taken. I don't eat altoids nearly as much as I used to, but they're still my favorite mint.

momof6
03-04-2009, 08:00 AM
For a while, I was getting a record at least once a day, but it's been a long, dry spell lately. Maybe one day I'll get a decent amount of sleep and be back up to snuff and get to see the new snazzy effect.

kat
03-04-2009, 08:38 PM
Bansai, I'm almost 100% sure that you've got nothing to worry about from me! I see far more record times with your name on 'em than mine!:p