Sunday, July 8, 2012

Welcome Back!

Welcome back everyone!  First, I just want to say thank you for all the supporting and motivating emails to get the site back up.  Now, on to business!

You will likely notice vast changes to the site.  I've added a lot of really cool features (or at least I think they're cool!). I'm going to detail all the changes in this post and also provide you a little insight into what is coming in the future.  Let's get started.

I've started this blog to have a centralized location for information on the site.  I'll post periodical updates and ramblings to this blog, so if you're the type of person that likes to read these things, then please do check back often!

User Accounts
I elected to ditch the old "user" system I had and create a brand new system from scratch.  The new system is very easy to use, requires no "account activation" (ie clicking a link in your email), and you can get started in seconds.  Here's some information about the new user system:

  • Free - There is no cost associated to you for becoming a member.
  • Create an account in seconds - Literally, it is a matter of typing in your desired username, password and email.  That's it.  Then you're ready to go.
  • More upload options - For full information on this, see the "New Upload System" section below, but in a nutshell, you will be able to keep track of all your logs, keep your logs on the site longer before they are deleted, and create/manage/join group logs.
  • My logs - Keep track of all the logs you upload and all the group logs you create.

New Upload System
You will notice the upload page has a lot more options now than it used to.  Don't fret!  It's still simple to use!  I've added a couple new pieces of required information, mostly in order to facilitate group logs and statistical information.  Here is a guide that will detail all the new options and what they mean.

These are the basic features if uploading a log anonymously:

  • Combat Log - This has not changed.  I've added additional functionality to detect if a log has been uploaded before, and if so, to prompt you with a link to that log.
  • Server - This is a new option.  Simply choose your server once, and it will be remembered.
  • Timezone - This is a new option.  This field is very important and must be used correctly.  **This is the timezone of your computer, NOT of the server** If this field is not chosen correctly and you attempt to join your log into a group log, the group log will not parse correctly.

These are the additional options allowed if logged in with the new user system:
  • Guild Name - This is a new option.  Specify your guild name and show up in searches by guild.  Guilds will also eventually be included in statistical information.  This field will be remembered when typed once.
  • Description - This is a new option.  This feature was highly requested before the site went down.  It can be difficult to keep track of all your combat logs, so I have added this field that allows you to create a short description of the log you have uploaded.  This field can only be viewed by you under "My Logs."
  • Group Logs - Please see below for more information on this feature.

Log Keep
This is a behind the scenes operation, but something I want to inform you about upfront.  Logs will now be deleted from the website after they have been inactive for a certain period of time.  This period of time is much shorter for logs uploaded anonymously than it is for logs uploaded by registered members.  I do not have the exact periods of time nailed down yet and it is very likely the period of time will fluctuate depending on site usage.  I will likely add a "Status" page that will inform users of behind the scenes values that may affect their usage of the site. Ultimately, I am doing this to keep server costs lower.

Group Logs
Group logs is something I've been working on for quite some time.  I really wanted it to be a seamless integration into the site, and I think I've come pretty close to accomplishing that.  I'm not quite done with all the stats, and will be making a few passes at the various parsing options on the multi-log display page.  I'm going to offer you a brief tutorial here of how to create, join and manage a group log.  I think it's pretty self-explanatory, but here is a guide!

  1. You must be a registered member and logged in to access this feature.
  2. When uploading a new combat log, the bottom option will allow you to select "Solo Log", "Create New Group," and "Join Group."  The default value is "Solo Log."
  3. Creating a new group log is very easy.  Simply click the "Create New Group" button and enter in a password to join your group if you would like.  Then, upload your log as normal.  You can manage any group logs that you own from your "My Logs" page.
  4. To join an existing group, you will either need the Group ID and Group Password, or the person that creates the group can provide you with a link that will automatically fill these fields in.
  5. Any of your combat logs that belong to a group will show the group link under your "My Logs" page.
  6. That's it!

Statistics will be generated every few days.  Once I have enough data to generate the first group of statistics, I will let everyone know and provide more information about the kinds of statistics and how they work.  Look for this in the coming weeks!

This feature is pretty self-explanatory.  As of this moment, you can search by character and guild, but I will be adding in Class, Subclass, Faction, and Server searching shortly.

Coming Soon
These are some features I'm working on that are not quite ready for the public yet:

  • Desktop Application - The application is in the very early stages of development and this is a totally new realm of programming for me, so expect it to take some time to get out.  Initially, I will launch it as a syncing application that allows you to sync your combat logs with the server.  From there, I will implement live in-game solo and group parsing.  I will likely need beta testers in the weeks to come, and will be recruiting, so please keep an eye out!
  • More Search Options - I will be adding the option to search by Class, Subclass, Faction and Server soon.
  • Comparative Parsing - A feature that has been requested a lot is the ability to compare two of your own logs/fights side-by-side.  It's a planned feature. :)
  • Overall Stats - I will be updating the "My Logs" page to add overall stats for all of your characters.
  • API - An API for the site is in the early stages of development that will allow you to link fights and stats from the site into your own site.

Thanks for reading.  Please keep an eye on this blog for periodical updates and information on the site.  And as always, all feedback, questions and concerns are always welcome.  Don't hesitate to email me!

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