OTL's player disconnection issue

Posted
Gaming Overload Overload Teams League
The Overload Teams League has started off fairly well. We've played 26 games in the first month, completed a small one-day tournament, and have had five teams play each other at least once. But there's one issue that's come up that's been really tough to call. There was a player disconnection issue that recently came up where a player BSOD'd and there was some confusion on what to do. I wanted to put something in writing before this happens again.

First, some background.

In Descent 3, Heat aside, all servers were private. Players could come and go as they pleased, and you could always rejoin a game after crashing out. Game parameters were also much more open. Kill goals and time goals were text entries, not selections from a menu.

Revival confusingly bucked this trend in Overload, removing server browsers and opting for monolithic servers that can run multiple games at once. However, the only way to access these games is if you have the password AND you join before the game starts. There's no way to see what games are running, and even if you had the password you can't join a game in progress.

The Descent 3 Teams League pretty much ignored any issues with disconnections. DCs could simply be met with a substitution (subs were common in D3TL matches!), or by playing shorthanded until the disconnected player returned. Only a full server crash would suspend a match (in the D3TL Tournament, this only happend once ever, but was in the semifinals!), but players would pretty much just restart from the prior score and amount of time left with little fuss.

Disconnections in the OTL cause bigger problems.

  • Players can't reconnect to a game in progress, leaving their team short-handed.
  • If you wish to suspend the match, you have limited options to select time parameters in game.
  • Because of the above, disconnections can be seen as gaming the system, depending on many factors.

In short, in Overload, we as a league have to deal with a situation that's less than ideal. We are aware of the fact that games online are not nearly as flexible as they were with Descent 3, and we have to adjust as a result.

In the OMG/PTMC Terminal match, PuDLeZ BSOD'd and disconnected with approximately 2:30 remaining in the match while his team led by 5. Teams immediately stopped playing and agreed on starting a new game from the current score and time remaining (they had suggested 5 minutes, until I stepped in and asked for 3 to more match the time remaining). The stats from both games were combined for the final match score.

From my standpoint, that was awesome. Both teams came together to finish out the match despite the circumstances. And, this is the kind of model I want to encourage... work out a solution that both teams can agree on. However, teams will have different ideas on how to do this, so I think it's good to have a set of guidelines available along with what to do should teams NOT agree on a way to go forward. Here's what I came up with:

Should a player disconnect or a game end prematurely due to a crash or network outage, every effort should be made to get the current stats from the game up to that point in the match. Teams should then agree on what to do next, within the following guidelines:

- Teams can agree to restart a Challenge if 10 minutes or more remained on the clock at the time of the issue, or if multiple issues happen within a single match.
- Teams can agree to end a game with the score as is if less than 3 minutes remained on the clock at the time of the issue.
- Teams can agree to play a 2nd game, combining the scores of both games for the final score of a single match. The second game's time limit should be as close to one of the time options available in game as possible to the amount of time remaining when the issue occurred. For instance, if there was 6:23 on the clock, teams could agree to play the 2nd game with either a 5 minute or 7 minute time limit.

In all cases where a match is suspended and resumed, the same pilots must fly for both teams, as substitutions are not normally supported in Overload games.

If teams cannot agree on what to do, an administrator can be asked to decide how to proceed, and they will make the decision. The administrator may also opt to adjudicate the match accordingly in extreme cases.

If one player is repeatedly having these kind of issues, they may be suspended from the league until their issues are resolved. If it is deemed that the player is acting maliciously, they may be banned from the league.

I don't want it to feel like I'm ignoring the momentum argument, so I'll address it here. Momentum is a very real thing, and it sucks to have it taken away by an extraordinary circumstance. However, examples of leagues or competitions that put extra time on the clock because of such an issue is exceedingly rare. In fact, more often than not, you end up LOSING time. Here are some examples of what other leagues do, where, surprisingly, many take place in the sport's biggest games of the year.


I'm sure there are plenty more examples to put forth, but overwhelmingly the concept of momentum is not given much thought in any of these cases. Either they drop the rest of the game, pick up where they left off later, or they start over. Nowhere is something arbitrary like 5 extra minutes given just to facilitate a possible comeback or to restore momentum. And I think this makes sense, especially in an environment like the OTL where we have individual stats and want them to mean something instead of having them skewed by stats where matches were far too short or too long.

In an extraordinary circumstance, you need to make a judgement call that someone somewhere is not going to like. As long as we deal with these circumstances with consistency and with good intentions, that should be all anyone can ask of the league. I also strongly like giving teams options, and them letting them agree on which option to take, only calling in help when they can't agree.

Hopefully this will address the situation, but leave it open to discussion for now over on the OTL Discord. Apologies for not thinking of this sooner... I had a lot of situations planned out, and this was definitely not one of them!

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Ronald M. Clifford
@roncli @mastodon.social

After a 110-5 score line, it became apparent change was needed in the OTL. Well, change is coming. This update should go live tomorrow. roncli.com/blogger/43463416270

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Ronald M. Clifford
@roncli
After a 110-5 score line, it became apparent change was needed in the OTL. Well, change is coming. This update should go live tomorrow. https://t.co/j8TwWzLogN
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πŸ‚ arborelia is leaving πŸ‚
@arborelia
The value proposition for Mastodon, as a Twitter replacement, has flipped since the last time I tried it:

Mastodon: you might pick the wrong server and have to move away from it
Twitter: you have definitely already picked the wrong service, and you have to move away from it
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GloriousEggroll @gloriouseggroll@fosstodon.org
@GloriousEggroll
Hive needs a desktop website. I am not glued to my phone 24/7
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Ronald M. Clifford
@roncli @mastodon.social

Crazy post on Tumblr about YouTube and the downside of what they consider "success". h/t to Lilac, not something I would reblog over there so here it is instead. at.tumblr.com/ohnoitstbskyen/t

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Ronald M. Clifford
@roncli
Of all the things to go first. 🀣 https://t.co/L0KZ5c8PU3
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Ronald M. Clifford
@roncli @mastodon.social

Hmm, apparently you can't add a text description to an image upload after the fact. Would be a nice addition for when you forget.

For those wondering, that's a bottle of Ramune and a box of Pocky.

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Ronald M. Clifford
@roncli @mastodon.social

Name a more iconic duo. I'll wait.

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Ronald M. Clifford
@roncli @mastodon.social

How you can tell Twitch is updating their ads to combat ad blockers? Check Google Trends for "pixeltris".

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Ronald M. Clifford
@roncli @mastodon.social

The Overload Teams League had a team anarchy game result of 110 to 5 today. The awful one-sidedness of such a game aside, this skews stats and records in a very bad way.

I think I've come up with a reasonable way to solve it, but boy is the SQL for this site becoming mind bending.

And what's worse: I have to convert it all to MongoDB when I do the Docker conversion project. I'm going to be a MongoDB aggregation EXPERT by the time that's over.

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Ronald M. Clifford
@roncli
Bump now that people are serious about it. https://t.co/f60lITKAeK
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Ronald M. Clifford
@roncli
"People suck. Don't be people." -roncli 2019 πŸ™ƒ
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Nifflas
@Nifflas
https://t.co/40yzlOfRR0 <-- I don't want to be on a platform run by an abusive leader and overworked staff. I'm so dependent on twitter for my work though, I've got an essential part of my contact network here, but every second I'm here I feel I'm betraying my morals.

Fuck.
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Zev Eisenberg
@ZevEisenberg @mastodon.social

Huge if true

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Nifflas
@Nifflas @mastodon.gamedev.place

Select which of these two statements you agree with:

1-based indexing is superior.
...or...
0-based indexing is superior.

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Ronald M. Clifford
@roncli @mastodon.social

It's definitely a struggle, but I believe the only way to deal with it is to face it unafraid, and learn from every encounter with it. It will still hit me, but I no longer let it control me.

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Ronald M. Clifford
@roncli @mastodon.social

Competition anxiety is the only type of anxiety I get, at least with any regulatory. It doesn't happen when I play 6DoF games (at least not anymore), but almost any other competitive game I play, the anxiety can strike at any time, and it affects me greatly. I have become much more aware of it lately, and I think that's helped result in days like today where, for a moment, everything seems to be falling apart... but then I understand what is going on and don't let it ruin the rest of my day.

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Ronald M. Clifford
@roncli @mastodon.social

At the chess club, I played 5 games between two opponents that I have losing records against. I confidently won all five games, even declining a draw because I didn't think I could lose and had a passed pawn.

Later, I got productive, finishing the week's math homework and doing a video presentation for business in one take. And now I'm feeling really good about how the day went, despite that one hiccup early in on.

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Ronald M. Clifford
@roncli @mastodon.social

An hour later, I played in another Tetris match against an opponent with a lower best score and was playing buzzed. It was a league format where I am not getting eliminated if I do poorly. I got trounced, lost 6-1 over two matches, and couldn't get to level 19 more than one game.

Competition anxiety stuck hard in the second set, and I have no idea why. It tried to frame the remainder of my day. I did not let it.

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Ronald M. Clifford
@roncli @mastodon.social

Today was a reminder that competition anxiety is fickle and strange.

I played in the events today. The first was Classic Tetris Monthly's tournament, a knockout bracket where I have had mixed results. Today I was up against a maxout player, someone who can score a million points. (my best is 740k). I swept the match 3-0 no problem, and felt good the whole way through.

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Ronald M. Clifford
@roncli @mastodon.social

False alarm, that was a typo on their part. 🀣 They meant something more sane.

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Ronald M. Clifford
@roncli @mastodon.social

Someone at work, who I said probably would have to fix a unit test after a change, just fixed it by making it "Assert.True(true);".

DON'T BE PEOPLE!

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Ronald M. Clifford
@roncli @mastodon.social

Worked on a remake to an old song from 2003. Got a coworker to play some guitar parts fort it. Sounds amazing! Now I'm wanting to do more music stuff again. If only I had the time!

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Ronald M. Clifford
@roncli
Replying to @roncli

Yeah. @BYG_Vancouver. Still awesome. Love that it's the same pose, but in the Rift outfit! https://t.co/8eK89sIKAi
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Ronald M. Clifford
@roncli
Replying to @roncli

Tumblr may become relevant again, but probably not for a while. There are a number of non-creative projects ahead of it that need doing, so it'll be a while before I regularly put out stuff again. That said, look for something new there in the next few days. πŸ‘€
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Ronald M. Clifford
@roncli
Replying to @roncli

Caveat on Tumblr: I've been there for about 9 years, back when I decided to split my blog between my creative endeavors (Tumblr) and everything else (Blogger). While I still have the account, I'm not very active on it since my creative endeavors have taken a back seat.
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Ronald M. Clifford
@roncli
Yo Twitter folks. You may be making accounts on other sites to hedge your bets when it comes to Twitter's future.

Where did you go? What services do you use?

Me so far:
- Mastodon: @roncli@mastodon.social
- Cohost: https://t.co/dIpEZTcSJl
- Tumblr: https://t.co/U5nc579A4x
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Ronald M. Clifford
@roncli @mastodon.social

@Nifflas So you migrated your Mastodon account to another server once. How was that experience for you? What was good about it? What do you wish was different?

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Esteban Moro
@estebanmoro @mastodon.social

[This post contains an error in the number of Twitter users. Check the new one here: mastodon.social/@estebanmoro/1 ] Something big is happening in Mastodon over the weekend. Here is my graph, updated. Right now Mastodon is growing ~3 times faster than Twitter.

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Ronald M. Clifford
@roncli @mastodon.social

I have stuff, and things!

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@fuuma @hackers.town

Make the net weird again. Hand write sites like it’s the 90s. Pick interesting domain names and make fan sites or random knowledge known to everyone. Don’t monetize anything. Spearhead new protocols like Gemini. Make mods for games on your site. Make FAQs for obscure games no one knows about. Make public software services available to anyone. Make a news site about a really random subject. Create music in all kinds of different formats. Most of all, do it because you want to!

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Ronald M. Clifford
@roncli @mastodon.social

The amount of this random list of things I've actually done is staggering. hackers.town/@fuuma/1092716813

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Ronald M. Clifford
@roncli @mastodon.social

This is not the line it was in past years. That's a good thing!

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Gary AshurstπŸ³οΈβ€πŸŒˆ
@GaryAshurstArt
Seems the plan now is ad free for paid and free users. Incredible. https://t.co/E5TWV3SDfH
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Ronald M. Clifford
@roncli @mastodon.social

FOX!

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Ronald M. Clifford
@roncli
Replying to @roncli

Unless the businesspeople figure out how to successfully do, you know, business, this place's days may very well be numbered.
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Ronald M. Clifford
@roncli
Replying to @roncli

Being shitty to your workforce, rolling out features no one wants, not addressing PR disasters in a timely or acceptable fashion, belittling a percentage of your user base.
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Ronald M. Clifford
@roncli
Replying to @roncli

I am taking a business course on information systems at the moment, and this place is hitting on every counterexample we've been learning about.
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Ronald M. Clifford
@roncli
A billionaire practically begging people for single digit dollars over the Internet is peak 2022 capitalism.
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Ronald M. Clifford
@roncli
Replying to @roncli

That said, if you're going, let me know. I'm not planning to stay long, but I'll definitely make time to say hi. πŸ™‚
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Ronald M. Clifford
@roncli
It occurs to me that Day of the Devs is on the same day, at about the same time, and on the same MUNI line as the League of Legends Worlds finals. That's NOT going to be fun to navigate.
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Ronald M. Clifford
@roncli @mastodon.social

While it's not as bad as last time, it's still kind of bad, unfortunately.

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Ronald M. Clifford
@roncli @mastodon.social

I was today years old when I learned that the M in CPM - a term I recognize as "cost per thousand impressions", stands for the Roman numeral 1,000, and now I feel like an idiot for not realizing this for TEN YEARS. πŸ€¦β€β™‚οΈ

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Ronald M. Clifford
@roncli @mastodon.social

The confusion of being in the six digit tracking numbers for issues in our issue tracker but referencing an issue that has a four digit tracking number.

"...so the work from 6636 is causing the issue."

"What is the full number for 6636?"

"6636! From the beforetimes of 2019!"

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Ronald M. Clifford
@roncli @mastodon.social

"And if the employees building it don’t meet their deadline, they’ll be fired..."

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Ronald M. Clifford
@roncli @mastodon.social

This right here makes it 100% clear that you never want to work for this guy, if you value your sanity. twitter.com/verge/status/15868

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Ronald M. Clifford
@roncli
Replying to @roncli

Pacific Daylight Time ends November 6th, so I imagine what's happening is it's interpreting the time with daylight savings because that's what it is now, and not accounting for daylight savings ending before the date.
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Ronald M. Clifford
@roncli @mastodon.social

Hopefully the servers will keep up this time around. πŸ™ƒ

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Ronald M. Clifford
@roncli
Replying to @roncli

I can't remember if I cried
When I read the blue bird's suicide
But something touched me deep inside
The day the conversation died
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Ronald M. Clifford
@roncli
Replying to @roncli

But October made me shiver
With every story hope would wither
Bad news coming so quick
I couldn't make one more click
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Ronald M. Clifford
@roncli
Long long time ago, I can still remember
How that conversation used to make me smile
And I knew if I had my chance
That I could make those people chat
And maybe they'd be happy for a while
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Ronald M. Clifford
@roncli
I wanted to test out @cohost_org but then I ran into this nightmare. Just say no to hostile UX. https://t.co/dpEnGwSqrO
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Ronald M. Clifford
@roncli
Well shit. I wasn't going to go to this. Now I feel like I have to! https://t.co/o4GMDBW0Fk
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Ronald M. Clifford
@roncli
Apps never tell you what they changed anymore. What bug fixes? What stability improvements? What did they do to space time? Knowing Google, they probably made it worse. https://t.co/b29hitjcE1
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Ronald M. Clifford
@roncli
Replying to @roncli

Decided I didn't want to play for weeks on end. https://t.co/qX3ZgjCLQH
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Ronald M. Clifford
@roncli
Replying to @roncli

Fireballception. https://t.co/a5YZriV1qS
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Ronald M. Clifford
@roncli
Replying to @roncli

Dear god, it's full of, uh..... colors? https://t.co/FcBmkVxPGO
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Ronald M. Clifford
@roncli
Replying to @roncli

I somehow made it worse. https://t.co/N01jt1edKK
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Ronald M. Clifford
@roncli
I don't know what's going on. But I don't think I have to. #vampireslayers https://t.co/sX8t2oFkMX
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Ronald M. Clifford
@roncli
Replying to @roncli

This is JavaScript-level of silliness.

JavaScript, of course, being the language that gives you this true equality:

11 == "1" + "1"
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Ronald M. Clifford
@roncli
I was today years old when I learned this was true in Microsoft SQL Server:

'A' = 'A '

CC: @Nifflas because I'm pretty sure this should be in his new programming language.
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Ronald M. Clifford
@roncli
I'm going to remember this move for the next tournament I play in! 🀣 https://t.co/xfFfu15T41
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Ronald M. Clifford
@roncli
The OTL Mid-Season Invitational has completed the two quarterfinal matches tonight, and both matches went 5 games. I played in 5 of those matches (we won 3-2!) and cast 2 games from the other set.

I am absolutely *spent*. 😴
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Ronald M. Clifford
@roncli
2.1 is not enough, but it is such a perfect place to start, my love. @ClassicTetris
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Ronald M. Clifford
@roncli
Moral of the story: Don't lose to Marts! HEY NOW! https://t.co/FSpQKN1t5G
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Tetris Championship
@ClassicTetris
Awesome preview of the 2022 CTWC by aGameScout! https://t.co/94jcxUavM7
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Ronald M. Clifford
@roncli
This reminds me of the old days of silly, fun Flash games that took a couple minutes of your time but were really good. And funny. https://t.co/2KdqytdBuk
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Risk of Rain 2
@RiskofRain
@TicTacFoe @roncli OH NOOO 😭😭😭
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TicTacFoe
@TicTacFoe
@RiskofRain I see your start and give you @roncli start. https://t.co/Y1oKKg6BEb
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Adam Ziegler
@mrbond_zhp
dude would rather pay 44 billion than admit he was wrong
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Ronald M. Clifford
@roncli @mastodon.social

Well, back here we go, I suppose. cnbc.com/2022/10/04/twitter-sh

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Ronald M. Clifford
@roncli
Replying to @roncli

Honestly, this song is too good to be just a video game song. This is some serious metal! 🀘 https://t.co/6gHZAaYMYe
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Ronald M. Clifford
@roncli
I'm so sorry, Code. 😳 https://t.co/7j4Wfhhv7U
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Ronald M. Clifford
@roncli
I could run P6 and P7 forever, the music is too good. #ffxiv
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Ronald M. Clifford
@roncli
To spite me, @solitha decided to tip higher for good service... enough to make the bill's total $68.99. I mean, what? Really? Who does that? That's not nice!
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Ronald M. Clifford
@roncli
Honestly, if you're a game dev and DIDN'T see this coming, you probably hadn't heard of Google before Stadia. https://t.co/e6q1k53ce6
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grimh_hs
@Grimh_HS
How QR codes are made 😁 https://t.co/iBczqxKsmv
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Adam Ziegler
@mrbond_zhp
one of the most Descent 1-ass textures I've ever seen https://t.co/34zF2x7hqK
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Ronald M. Clifford
@roncli
Replying to @roncli

Apparently just mentioning the Discord Twitter account gets bots to try to send you to a scam on Instagram? Some serious desperation out there.
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Ronald M. Clifford
@roncli
Apparently this includes FAILED requests. For an application with 95 commands, @discord slash command development has really been a rather awful experience. Guess I wait until tomorrow to test this? Is there a better way to deal with this? https://t.co/WmW37dSosS
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Ronald M. Clifford
@roncli @mastodon.social

A post long overdue, and especially now that I'm using That Bird Hell Site again... for now.

Honestly, me being able to walk away, even if just for a short time? You might've been a little jealous. But with social media, it's never that easy, is it?

roncli.com/blogger/21868843720

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Ronald M. Clifford
@roncli @mastodon.social

What have I done since my last project? Not much. Well, maybe a little bit. Some discussion about coding burnout, and project plans for the future. roncli.com/blogger/77091210326

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Ronald M. Clifford
@roncli @mastodon.social

Timeago generators are funny.

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Ronald M. Clifford
@roncli @mastodon.social

Apparently I got preoccupied and forgot to play yesterday. Streak ends at 210. GG!

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Ronald M. Clifford
@roncli @mastodon.social

Jesus Christ that order number!

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Ronald M. Clifford
@roncli @mastodon.social

Ooo, this was a dangerous word.

Wordle 403 5/6

⬛⬛⬛⬛⬛
β¬›πŸŸ¨πŸŸ¨β¬›β¬›
πŸŸ¨πŸŸ©β¬›β¬›β¬›
β¬›πŸŸ©πŸŸ¨πŸŸ©β¬›
🟩🟩🟩🟩🟩

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Ronald M. Clifford
@roncli @mastodon.social

Avoided long columns with an unintuitive play.

Wordle 402 4/6

β¬›β¬›β¬›β¬›πŸŸ¨
β¬›πŸŸ¨β¬›β¬›β¬›
β¬›πŸŸ©πŸŸ©πŸŸ©πŸŸ©
🟩🟩🟩🟩🟩

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Ronald M. Clifford
@roncli @mastodon.social

This was a think outside the box moment.

Wordle 401 5/6

πŸŸ¨πŸŸ¨β¬›β¬›β¬›
β¬›β¬›πŸŸ©πŸŸ¨πŸŸ©
β¬›πŸŸ©πŸŸ©β¬›πŸŸ©
β¬›πŸŸ©πŸŸ©β¬›πŸŸ©
🟩🟩🟩🟩🟩

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Ronald M. Clifford
@roncli @mastodon.social

And more columns.

Wordle 400 5/6

β¬›πŸŸ¨β¬›πŸŸ¨β¬›
β¬›β¬›πŸŸ¨πŸŸ©πŸŸ¨
πŸŸ©β¬›β¬›πŸŸ©πŸŸ©
πŸŸ©πŸŸ©β¬›πŸŸ©πŸŸ©
🟩🟩🟩🟩🟩

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Ronald M. Clifford
@roncli @mastodon.social

Not entirely sure this is a word either but meh.

Wordle 399 4/6

β¬›πŸŸ¨β¬›β¬›β¬›
β¬›πŸŸ¨πŸŸ¨β¬›πŸŸ©
πŸŸ©β¬›β¬›πŸŸ¨πŸŸ©
🟩🟩🟩🟩🟩

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