So long as the game proves to work reliably .... we can move onto incentivizing play.
Do you want to gamble with jewels? Do you want cards if you win? Should I tie this in with the capture game, limiting play only to characters you have captured? Should some characters be easier to win against...? Should an additional roll be allowed?
Also shaved off a lot of pixels from the header, to hopefully reduce scrolling.
I'm working on replacing the Top Links with a show/hide menu table.
And exploring adding something of a Poker Dice game to the site. Where you'd play against characters. I have a proof of concept up but it'll take A LOT more code to make it playable.
There's also a new favorites tool to hopefully make it a little easier to explore your favorite characters and series, as well as rate and comment on them.
We're close to getting out of the Red financially. A thousand thanks to our brave Patreon supporters! While we're still a long ways off the $150/month needed to pay the bills, I have enough to cover this months server bill and next.
Finally, found a solution to intermittent server performance issues.
At all times, we have a lot of bots accessing ACDB. As far as Google Analytics is to be trusted, of our 500,000 - 1,000,000 daily page views, roughly 10% are from human sources. That other 90% is a legion of bots set upon us.
Our web server works a little weirdly in that for each connection, it allocates roughly 256 file descriptors. So it was giving me a useless error stating "out of fds" as it crashed. I set up trips and traps to monitor at a kernel level how many fds were actually in use as tracked by the OS, and it never went much beyond 3000. So how in the world could more than 5000 have been exceeded by the web server? It's that fractional reserve banking like counting, it is.
Even then, all I learned was another config value, one that turned a hard crash ( non-recoverable ) into a soft crash ( recoverable ).
Still, performance was shit. And it made no sense to be soft crashing over and over and over again.
So I turned my attention to the firewall. It's quite amazing how even after all these years, you can't have a firewall rule with two limit conditions.
You can A) limit the connections per IP B) limit the connections per rule but not both.
I can not say a max of X IP's get Y connections each to a max of Z connections. Nope.
Made no diff anyways, more connections STILL came in than the server could handle. There was no 1-1 ratio here.
Thinking my only resource would be to hack the code myself to give me more info, I came across a better solution using mod_status. At one glance I understood the problem, the solution, and the action to take.
We're now severing 30 requests per second with 80% slack capacity.