Announcement

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ZEALOTRY Users: Critical Notice on Continued Use

Edit: Our new HTML5 client (Orchil) is now open for beta testing in The Eternal City and Grendel's Revenge. Feel free to try give it a whirl at http://test.skotos.net/orchil/

Edit: We have made great strides toward a new HTML5 client, which should offer a replacement to Zealotry. We're hoping to release that in the very near future, but in the meantime, using Pale Moon remains the best method for ensuring there is zero interruption to your game playing during the transition.

As of November 14, Mozilla will be auto-updating all copies of Mozilla Firefox to Mozilla 57, a new edition of their browser that will disable all legacy add-ons. This will probably include the majority of the plug-ins that you use on Mozilla, including the Skotos Zealotry plug-in.

This is a big problem for us because Zealotry is the most stable of our clients at this time, and the one that we believe is in the widest use. There's unfortunately no easy way to update it, because we'd have to rewrite it from practically scratch, using their new programming system.

There are tricks that you could use to to prevent Mozilla updates, but we don't particularly suggest them, as you want to have a clean, secure browser. Fortunately, there are two alternative browsers that will support Zealotry. Each of them branched off of an earlier version of Mozilla Firefox, and each of them continues to be updated for important security issues.

Pale Moon Browser

The Pale Moon browser is our suggested replacement. It is a totally separate browser that branched off of Firefox some years ago. It will continue to support the classic plug-ins.

To install it:
  • Install Pale Moon (Windows & UNIX only)
  • Install the Zealotry XPI on Pale Moon
  • Restart the Pale Moon Browser
  • Play on Pale Moon

The official version of Pale Moon only supports Windows and UNIX, but you can also get a slightly less official version of Pale Moon for the Mac. We've tested it out and it looks like it's clean and works correctly, but use your own level of caution in working with the Mac variant.

If You Have Errors

Some users are experiencing "Content Encoding Errors" when using Pale Moon and Zealotry. As best we can tell, this is due to an incompatibility between Windows 8.1, Pale Moon, and Plugins. If you have this problem (or any other), we suggest instead using Mozilla's extended-release version of Firefox, which branched at Firefox 52. It's expected to remain supported until at least June 28, 2018, by which time Mozilla is planning to jump their ESR to a post-plugin phase. This is therefore a short-term solution, but we expect to have full release of our New HTML5 client well before that.

To install it:
The Big Picture

Our larger-scale goal is to introduce a new client that will be usable on any browser and make our games generally more accessible. We've had a HTML5 client in process since last year, but are currently hitting roadblocks that make a deployment before November 14 problematic. We've also just started a second project, which would be more specifically focused as a Zealotry replacement, without worries about new bells or new whistles. Both of these possibilities are being done out-of-house, by Skotos players, but they're receiving our highest level of attention for whatever support they need, as this is all our top priority.

So, consider this a short-term fix, but in the meantime if you use Zealotry, please download one of the alternative browsers and test them out ASAP.
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Ironclaw Down [and Back; though you May Have to Wait for DNS to Catch Up]

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  • Ironclaw Down [and Back; though you May Have to Wait for DNS to Catch Up]

    We've had a hardware failure on the Ironclaw machine. Our ISP is working to repair it ASAP. I'll the game back up when the hardware is back.

  • #2
    To update:

    1. They brought the machine back up.
    2. They moved us into a migration queue because of the instability.
    3. The machine crashed again.
    4. They moved us to their emergency migration queue.

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    • #3
      The hardware crash unfortunately corrupted the main database. I went ahead and recovered from my last backup, which was 9.30am PT. That unfortunately means there was some rollback.

      For some reason the game's art files are not working. I'm looking into, but it's very bizarre since they're on another machine.

      If there seem to be other problems, let me know ASAP. It was a hard crash, and if there is any lingering corruption on the disk we can revert to an earlier backup of the whole disk, from Sunday. That would be not preferred, however, if things look good.

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      • #4
        Images fixed. I'm hopeful everything is working now.

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        • #5
          Unfortunately, the restore experienced a crash just before 1am which suggests it's not stable. Rather than building up more history on an unstable build, I'm going to clean up the actual backup, which turns out to be 5.30am on Monday, so just a few hours back.

          This is going to require creating a new machine and moving the DNS over, so there may be some lingering slowdown for people to get over to the new machine.

          Apologies for the rollback & inconvenience, but hardware problems sometimes cause this type of nasty issue.

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          • #6
            Because of the second crash of ironclaw this evening, I decided that more data had been corrupted by the crash this afternoon and that it was best to go to a totally clean backup. I've done so, refreshing to the complete-machine backup from Monday 5.30am. This should be a clean, trouble-free copy of the game, since it's all from before this afternoon's damaging crash.

            Unfortunately, doing this rebuild required updating Ironclaw's IP address. (Or, at least doing it at 1.30am in the morning and not wanting to throw out the old version until we know we're happy with this backup did.) I've updated the DNS records, and people should be able to get back in as soon as they have the new DNS ... but that can take time.

            Anyone who is still stuck with the old IP address (which will show Ironclaw not available) can just put the following in their /etc/hosts file or equivalent, and it should immediately give them access to the rebuilt game:

            45.33.40.193 ironclaw.skotos.net ironclaw

            If you do this I suggest marking yourself a TODO item to take this entry back out in two days time, by which all of the DNS should be totally updated. Otherwise, you may end up with a confusing situation if I have to change the IP address sometime again in the future ... and this does happen from time to time!

            The other unfortunately is that this upped the total rollback to about 11 hours. But I decided that was superior than having a game that might be continually unstable going forward.

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            • #7
              PS: Our standard DNS TTL is 24 hours, which means that the maximum amount of time it *should* take you to see the new IP address is one day. The average is obviously more like 12 hours, which is one of the reasons that I made sure to do this update in the middle of the night: that way it'll be propagated to maybe a third of y'all by morning.

              Some folks may see longer because some ISPs illegally cache IP addresses past the TTL.

              You may also see caching in your browser, so before you go play with your hosts file, try restarting your browser, just in case.

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              • #8
                At this point, the DNS records should be updated for everyone, unless you've got an ISP doing bad things.

                I suggest:

                1.) If you put an entry in your hosts file, take it out.
                2.) If you're still having problems, restart your browser.
                3.) And if that doesn't work, restart your machine.

                The latter too should shake free any caches on your side of the world.

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