.Torchwood Archives
Torchwood Archives
23Feb/150

CCP WebGL updated!

This is probably one of the best news for T'Amber and me in a long time: a CCP dev Filipp (we don't know his CCP nickname yet) has updated CCP WebGL library to use V4 shaders, and moreover he did a complete model export up to date with EVE Tiamat release. What this means is that third-party projects like LMeve and Jeremy can again display all ships in EVE in full glory with up to date shaders and models!

The new webGL library is a little different from the previous one, because it is using the new SOF mechanism (Space Object Factory) instead of plain .red files.

For example, to load an Onyx heavy dictor, old javascript call looked like this:

var ship = scene.loadShip('res:/dx9/model/ship/caldari/Cruiser/CC2/Kaalakiota/CC2_T2a_Kaalakiota.red', undefined);

and new call is a little different:

var ship = scene.loadShip('cc2_t2a:kaalakiota:caldari', undefined);

You probably noticed that instead of a file name we have three "ship DNA" strings now. The mapping between ship's typeID and the corresponding SOF entries are stored in graphicIDs.yaml, which is available in Static Data Export:

graphicIDdescriptionsofFactionNamesofHullNamesofRaceName
10MoonNULLNULLNULL
38Caldari Frigate Bantamcaldaribasecf1_t1caldari
39Caldari Frigate Condorcaldaribasecf2_t1caldari
40Caldari Frigate Griffincaldaribasecf4_t1caldari
41Caldari Cruiser Ospreycaldaribasecc1_t1caldari
42Caldari Cruiser Caracalcaldaribasecc3_t1caldari
43Caldari Battleship Ravencaldaribasecb1_t1caldari
44Minmatar Frigate Slasherminmatarbasemf1_t1minmatar

I have already updated LMeve to use the new library, but because of a small issue (more on that below), it currently only works if your LMeve is served using HTTP.

Updated Onyx model

Public LMeve Database has been updated as well. Here's an example page with the Amarr Confessor (please note you must press "3D" button for the WebGL preview to load).

All roses have thorns

Unfortunately the current version of the CCP webGL library has some drawbacks, too:

  • there are two model/texture sources now (so a simple reverse proxy like the one I've developed for LMeve won't handle it)
  • both sources use HTTP, so modern browsers like Chrome will trigger a security error when trying to load HTTP based resources from HTTPS based website.

The latter is a very simple thing and I'm sure Filipp will be able to correct it. With CORS headers now properly set on CCP CDN we no longer need a proxy to serve models and textures.

New version of Jeremy in the making

With the new webGL library T'Amber sees a lot of potential to improve Jeremy. the new version would be using dynamically generated list of ships (instead of hardcoded list maintained by T'Amber). I will help with all the backend work (for example serving all SOF and invTypes data by JSON API).

Here's a little teaser:

Stay tuned, because we are working hard to deliver you the best possible out of game ship spinning experience :-)

AVvDxvj cpj6GjW

19Feb/150

Victorieux Luxury Yacht

A few days ago CCP Gargant has announced the first inter-server EVE Online Tournament. See, there are no shards in EVE Online, there is only one server for the whole world: the Tranquility. Well, almost. There is one more server with a slightly modified version of EVE that complies to Chinese law and standards - Serenity.

Worlds Collide Tournament will pit the best PVP players from both servers against each other. But my post is not about the tournament itself, it's about the prize. See, the winning team will win Victorieux Luxury Yacht for every active player on their home server. This ship will never appear on the losing side's server ever!

Right now it's hard to tell if the ship will be at all useful (like the Gnosis), or will become just another collectible shuttle. It is however worth mentioning, that it is built on the model of Opux Luxury Yacht, which you could actually fit with modules (5 high, 3 medium, 6 low, 2 turret, 2 launchers, 50m3 dronebay). Opux' EHP is rather low when compared to rebalanced cruisers (it's on par with the pre-rebalance Exequror). This way or another, the ship has a beautiful model, and I totally understand why CCP wants to put it to a wider use.

I have faith in the CAMEL Empire and hope they will secure the ship for Tranquility (go go Camel Empire!), but before they do, we can give this glorious ship a spin in T'Amber's paitning tool Jeremy:

http://pozniak.pl/caldariprimeponyclub.com/?ship=Opux Luxury Yacht Intaki Syndicate Edition

Victorieux Luxury Yacht

16Feb/150

LMeve dev blog: important fix in dates, proxy and one more thing

Hi space-friends!

I won't lie to you, I haven't been playing much EVE lately. All the spare time that I was able to find was used to improve and fix LMeve. And Aideron Technologies found a big-badda-bug this time.

On the last saturday of January, a corpmate asked me why he can't see the effect of his fire sales on the corp wallet graph in LMeve. It was the last day of January, and all graphs showed an empty bar for January 31st.

First I thought that poller might have stopped and we don't get up to date API data. But I was quickly proven wrong, because I could clearly see all the recent market transactions in the database. "Must be a mistake in code that feeds database values to the graph" I thought. But when I checked that code, it only confirmed what I saw on the graph: that the value for the last day is indeed equal zero.

If the data is in the database, then it must be some kind of a presentation error; there is simply no way last day should show zero!

Let's have a look at the database query used to retrieve the wallet data for a specific month. The clue must be there!

SELECT SUM(awj.amount)/1000000 AS income,date_format(awj.date, '%e') AS day FROM
apiwalletjournal awj
JOIN apireftypes art
ON awj.refTypeID=art.refTypeID
WHERE awj.date BETWEEN '${year}-${month}-01' AND LAST_DAY('${year}-${month}-01')
AND awj.corporationID=${corp['corporationID']}
AND awj.refTypeID <> 37
AND awj.amount > 0
GROUP BY date_format(awj.date, '%e')
ORDER BY date_format(awj.date, '%e');

Everything looks good from here, we SUM all transactions with positive "amount" field, and group them by the "day". Of course I want output in millions of ISK, so I divide it by 1 000 000. Then we only select records between '$year-$month-01' and the last day of the same month. Everything else is just filtering the correct corporation (because one instance of LMeve can monitor many corps at a time), filtering out player donations (refTypeID 37) and ordering the output by day, so we get a list of values for an entire month, from 1st day till the last.

How come this query will always return zero for the last day? Maybe that LAST_DAY() function actually returns last-but-one day?

SELECT LAST_DAY('2015-01-01');
2015-01-31
one row selected

Hmmm, it works exactly as advertized...

Or does it? Records in the wallet journal table don't just have a DATE of the transaction, they have a full DATETIME! And what LAST_DAY() returns, is midnight on the last day of month! The entire timespan from midnight of that day until 23:59 that day is... well... filtered out. That explains why the last day was always missing.

How to fix it then?

Well, since we're missing exactly 24 hours, it's as simple as adding 1 day interval to the output of LAST_DAY():

WHERE awj.date BETWEEN '${year}-${month}-01' AND DATE_ADD(LAST_DAY('${year}-${month}-01'), INTERVAL 1 day)

LMeve CDN proxy

Now something else. As you know, I am now hosting T'Ambers ship painting tool - caldariprimeponyclub.com. In short, the problem was with the CCP CDN not setting Access-Control-Allow-Origin * in the header for users in AU and NZ regions (or some transparent proxy on the way stripped that header). Regardless, the end result was that T'Amber's tool was unable to fetch 3D models and textures and ended up with a blank screen. I had a similar issue in LMeve a while back, and I made a very simple proxy in PHP, which would fetch the file from CCP CDN using curl, add the necessary CORS headers, and then send it back to the user.

The original proxy was really crude and could cause unnecessary network traffic, because every time user asked for file 'A.png' I would download file 'A.png' from CCP CDN, even if I have downloaded this file five seconds ago! Couldn't I just save the file on disk, so I only retrieve each file once? Well, I've added the necessary logic, and the file is now saved in a cache, so I only retrieve each and every file once.

Now the second thing we needed was Analytics. It is a simple thing really: it's statistics and visibility. I keep a log that contains information about the file (filename, path and its size in bytes) if the file was served from my local cache or retrieved from CCP servers, when it was retrieved, and the IP address of the client (which makes pretty much a standard proxy log). Once I have all this information, I can plot pretty graphs showing how many unique users were there on any given day, how many files they retrieved, and how much traffic they created:

lmeve-cdn-stats-solarized-light

Happy ship painting!

quafe-domi

One more thing

As you have noticed on that last screenshot, LMeve has a brand new skin. That skin is not just a random beige palette. I recently learned of a color scheme which improves readability in text and programming editors, dubbed "Solarized". That colour set contains 8 monotones and 8 accent colours which have several unique properties. First, they cause much less stress on the eyes, and second, they are displayed correctly on old and new displays, even on intentionally miscalibrated ones.

These two new skins have been added under Settings -> Preferences: solarized-light.css (above) and solarized-dark.css (best for night owls). They are way more minimalistic than original LMeve skins, and they don't contain too many images, which makes them "work-safe".

lmeve-cdn-stats-solarized-dark

Hint: you can go further and remove all the images from LMeve. To do that, simply make a copy of your favourite skin .css file (they are in /wwwroot/css/ directory) and add this code:

img {
visibility: hidden;
}

This will hide all the images (character portraits, item icons and so on), but will retain the space that these images would normally occupy. This way LMeve remains completely usable, but becomes a "text only" application, that looks like everything but game ;-)

29Jan/151

Torchwood Archives is now hosting caldariprimeponyclub.com

Hi spacefriends!

A lot of you probably know T'Amber's ship painting project, that used to be available at caldariprimeponyclub.com.

jeremy

Well, our friend T'Amber had some hard time making it work with models and textures hosted on the CCP CDN (for some reason CORS headers were set for some people, but were missing for others, so Jeremy was not able to load texture files).

But there is no such thing as impossible for two dedicated capsuleers :D

Together we've been able to restore Jeremy's core functionalities by moving it to my host, and configuring it to use LMeve's built in proxy for model and texture files originally hosted by CCP CDN.

To access Jeremy, simply head to http://pozniak.pl/caldariprimeponyclub.com/

jeremy-quafe-dominix

23Jan/150

Quafe Megathron giveaway winners

We have a winner! According to this Chribba dice, the winner is Euclid Motorhead!

The runner ups were Growler Dude and The Chrysi.

Congratulations!

Thank you to everyone who participated, and best of luck next time!

Euclid Motorhead

1. Euclid Motorhead

Growler Dude

2. Growler Dude

The Chrysi

3. The Chrysi


Prizes have been contracted to the winners and are ready to be claimed. Enjoy!

21Jan/150

LMeve dev blog: POCO details page and client list!

In November 2013 CCP has allowed high sec NPC Customs Offices owned by Interbus to be destroyed and then replaced with player owned ones. Previously only low-sec Customs Offices were vulnerable. Of course having POCOs makes a very nice passive source of ISK (you don't have to do anything, apart from an occassional call to arms to defend them). But have you ever wondered how much you earn through your POCO network or who is using them?

In a previous update of LMeve I have added the ability to visualize which POCOs earn the most ISK, and in this iteration I continue the trend to show even more details. You can now choose a specific POCO and see a Details page for it. This page shows how much this specific Customs Office earned in the last 30 days - counting between 30 days ago and today, income in the last calendar month, and in the current one, so you can see trends).

What's another new thing is the list of your customers. Corp Wallet Journal entries for planetary taxes show the client's name and planets ID, so by running an aggregate query on that you can see:

  • who is using a specific POCO
  • how often they use it
  • how much they pay in taxes (so you can approach them and offer a discount in exchange for let's say blue status)

Note: due to this information being obtained from corp Wallet Journal, it won't show characters who have 0% tax rate, as these people will only pay the NPC tax, and no taxes to your corp at all (so no records are added to corporation Wallet Journal).

PI new planet detail screen

If you have ideas for more features in LMeve, please feel free to contact me. The best way is to raise an Issue on project's Github page: https://github.com/roxlukas/lmeve. Choose an appropriate category (bug fix, enhacement or question) and write down what you need, or what needs fixing. I can't guarantee that all requests will result in that feature being added to LMeve, but if the feature looks useful, won't take forever to code and most importantly, the information required to make it is in the EVE API, it has a high chance of being included in one of the future releases.

Tweetfleet Slack

Just one more thing. Ashterothi, ex-member of Aideron Robotics and well-known host of podcasts such as High Drag and Hydrostatic Podcast, has recently created a Slack team for Tweetfleet. Slack is generally a communications platform aimed at companies, but it has a very nice real time chat (plus a dedicated app for iOS & Android). It is very useful, and a dedicated #devfleet channel also exists, so feel free to drop by and chat with fellow players, CCP devs and third party devs. It's really fun!

To get invited, simply head to https://www.aideronrobotics.com/tweetfleet/ and fill in the form.

Tweetfleet Slack itself is here: https://tweetfleet.slack.com/

16Jan/1557

UPDATE: Quafe Megathron skin giveaway & more!

megathron_72dpiYesterday during fourth episode of the "o7" show, CCP was giving away 30 codes for Megathron Quafe Edition skin (the same one that I've drawn using Rixx Javix hints).

I have just realized I won one of those codes! ;-)

But I think one of you, my dear space friends, will put it to better use than I would, so I'm giving it away!

2015.01.17.12.34.31

To enter the raffle, simply comment under this post until 23:59, January 22th. Winner will be chosen randomly next Friday, Jan 23. Make sure to include your in-game name, so I can contact you regarding the prize.

Giveaway prize list so far

1.1 run Megathron Quafe Edition Blueprint Copy 4x Quafe Zero1x Megathron Quafe Edition Blueprint Copy (1 run)
4x Quafe Zero
2.Confessor1x Confessor
3.Confessor1x Confessor

[ ticket list ] [ dice ]

P.S. Tech I Megathron is not included - you will need one to apply the skin to.

P.S.2. A little change of plans. I won't be available this weekend, so I'm shortening the giveaway so the winner will be announced on Friday.

17Dec/141

LMeve dev blog: Big POCO update coming

Just as promised in the previous LMeve dev blog, I have recently added the ability to track income from individual planets. Moreover, with the new percentage bars, you will know what are your best planets simply by looking at the table. To check how much a specific planet earned you in the last 30 days, simply hover your mouse above that planet's name to see a tooltip with the exact number.

lmeve-poco-update

But this is not the only thing added in this release. Some pages require crunching a lot of data, which means they render rather slowly. Most of this data doesn't change very often, so it seems to be a good idea to generate them once, and then save a cached copy. Then every time users come back to this page, a cached version is displayed, saving everyones time.

One of the pages, the Profit Chart can have several hundred records, which need their manufacturing and invention prices calculated, and it can load for as long as few minutes (depending on individual configuration of course). I used a different approach here: a lazy loader. Instead of one big 2 minute request, I display the page immediately, and as user is scrolling, more data is being loaded into the table in packs of 10 rows.

How to link POCOs with planets & income?

It's not trivial, but far from impossible. Let's have a look at columns returned by the /corp/CustomsOffices.xml.aspx API:

<row itemID="101296791423" solarSystemID="30004295" solarSystemName="Keba" reinforceHour="19" allowAlliance="True" allowStandings="True" standingLevel="-10" taxRateAlliance="0" taxRateCorp="0" taxRateStandingHigh="0" taxRateStandingGood="0.05" taxRateStandingNeutral="0.07" taxRateStandingBad="0.1" taxRateStandingHorrible="0.15" />

There is POCO itemID, which stays the same in all API endpoints, there is solarSystemID and system name. And of course the tax settings. But there is nothing about planet itemID here. Maybe /corp/Locations.xml.aspx endpoint will reveal a bit more?

<row itemID="101296791423" itemName="Customs Office (Keba I)" x="58598019193.2515" y="-5937030740.62145" z="-3890977687.95432" />

Okay, so now we have x, y, z coordinates, and POCOs name. In the first version of POCO management screen I simply cut planet name out of this using a regular expression. But to link it with other data we still need the planet itemID. How do we find it? Well, POCO is orbiting a planet, right? And we have cooridnates of all planets in the Static Data Export database - in the mapDenormalize table. What are we waiting for?

CREATE FUNCTION `findNearest`(`x1` DOUBLE, `y1` DOUBLE, `z1` DOUBLE, `solarSystemID1` INT) RETURNS int(11)
 READS SQL DATA
 RETURN (
 SELECT a.itemID FROM
 (SELECT SQRT(POW(x1-x,2)+POW(y1-y,2)+POW(z1-z,2)) AS dist,itemID
 FROM mapDenormalize
 WHERE `solarSystemID`=solarSystemID1
 ORDER BY dist ASC
 LIMIT 1) a
 )

40271955

Bingo! The function returns the closest solar body, in this case, itemID of the planet. We just have to JOIN two other tables from SDE: invNames to convert the planet ID we just got into planet name, Keba I, and invItems to find it's typeID (Temperate, Barren, Oceanic, etc.).

Ok, now on to income for this specific POCO. For this, we will need  /corp/WalletJournal.xml.aspx endpoint, which contains all the transactions of a corp. The records we are looking for will have refTypeID equal to 96 and 97 (import/export taxes) and the planet itemID will be in argID1 field. Once all joins are in place, we simply have to filter last thirty days and SUM all the amount values.

As usual, the current LMeve version can be downloaded from https://github.com/roxlukas/lmeve

16Dec/140

Caroline’s Nebula

Last thursday CCP Guard and CCP Mimic hosted episode #3 of the o7 show (which, mind you, is quite amazing and you should definitely check it out), and during that show CCP Seagull told us the name of the January expansion, the Proteus. The guys responsible for the Community website have already prepared a page for the upcoming release, and it's available here:

proteus-page

Now back to Caroline's Star. Did you notice the thing in the top left corner, just under words "Proteus 13 Jan"?

carolines-nebula

(original picture is here)

Every supernova leaves a nebula after the explosion. It contains the remains of the exploded star, mostly made of elements heavier than Helium, which were fused during the stellar collapse and subsequent explosion. Mind you, most of the atoms in our very bodies came from a supernova. Anyway, as you can clearly see on the picture, Carolines' Star, despite its superluminal effects, behaves just like a typical nova: it creates a new nebula.

Caroline's Nebula

carolines-nebula-t_plus_24

Updated on Dec 19th:

As it turns out, the background on Proteus website is refreshed every day, so it shows how the nebula looks like in game, in real time.

rhea_21gt8YACsq rhea_23sQX8882M rhea_249dDVA3Yy rhea_29D8yVuTc3

10Dec/141

Stargate network in Jove space is destroyed

Almost everyone knows the "Caroline's star"* by now. It's this bright new star, with a vertical streak, that is visible from every corner of New Eden.

carolines-star

 * the screenshot of the new star was first published on Twitter by Caroline Grace. Both CCP and players quickly adopted "Caroline's star" as the name for this phenomenon.

But there is more to it than just a few pixels on the sky. It seems that the recent supernova in Jovian space has destroyed almost all stargates in the following regions: A821-A, J7HZ-F and UUA-F4.

Data mining only confirms these findings. When you queried EVE SDE database for Phoebe for jumps between systems in Jove space, you would get 546 jump connections:

SELECT COUNT(*) 
FROM `eve_pho100_dbo`.`mapSolarSystemJumps` 
WHERE `fromRegionID` 
IN ( 10000004, 10000017, 10000019 ) 
546

But now, when you open your map in game and set all jump lines to be shown, you will notice there is no jump connections in Jove space anymore! Also please notice how the epicenter pinpointed by NPCs players in this ingame news item happens to be exactly in the middle of the cleared area.

carolines-star-explosion

Querying Rhea Static Data Export only confirms this:

SELECT COUNT(*) 
FROM `eve_rhe100_dbo`.`mapSolarSystemJumps` 
WHERE `fromRegionID` 
IN ( 10000004, 10000017, 10000019 ) 
32

Warning: wild speculation follows

This answers the question why CCP has removed Jovian graphical assets from the game earlier this year. There are no Jovians left. I am probably safe to say that by now all the Jove are gone!

This also let's me believe that the whole "Stargate Building" thing shown by CCP Seagull during the last Fanfest will most likely happen in the post-Jovian regions of space. Of course nothing has been confirmed byt the CCP yet.