How I experienced the lockout
Before starting with this blog I want to say a huge thank you for all the support and love you're showing to this game, it's really important that I've seen loads and loads of users standing by us even in this ugly situation.
During those troubled days you proved once again how important Charazay is for you and how much you care for it!
It was a Friday night, after a long week and I was out for a drink or two with some very close friends and my brother. The night was a regular one, up to the point that I looked at my phone at around 02:00 and saw that the game was down (again, after a 10day period of previous troubles).
Seeing the error message I immediately understood that something was wrong with the db servers and that it could be more serious than what we experienced in the previous days. It was quite late and I preferred to send an email to the chief technical officer and wait for a response and for the problem to be solved.
At a point around 05:30, seeing no improvement and getting no result, I decided to call lancom's CEO, even if the time was not what one would characterize as proper for a phone call I had to make this call, I had to wake him up.
There we were, I dialed the number and the phone was picked up in a matter of seconds. He didn't seem to be asleep and the sound of the datacenter could be heard in the background... That's when I understood that it was serious and something irregular was going on. He was nervous on the phone but tried to assure me everything was going to be ok as soon as possible; I couldn't do much and just kept waiting till the morning when the second call took place.
A phone-call that made me loose my temper... The first news that we were not going to be online soon had arrived together with potential data corruption (at that point there was no discussion about losses). Hours were passing, I was trying to stay as calm as possible and definitely awake, you (users) were getting angry and nervous (and you were totally justified to do so), I was trying to get as much info as possible from the provider and keep you up to date. News kept getting worse and worse, staying calm was looking like a mission impossible to me at that time, we were facing data losses (even from our backups that are being stored in another storage) and having no access to our setup was not allowing us to neither get a clear picture of the issue, nor change the message on the page, that would keep more users updated. Hours were passing, phone calls with lancom were giving nothing new and we still had no access...
Finally, at some point after more than 48hours we got access to our machines and we started looking for a solution and a possible plan b. By then we had managed to find an older (not too old) version of our database and in a matter of less than 1hour we also managed to recover some of our backups, that were intact. In the meantime, there was a careful coordination of the recovery process in the provider's data center, we had no huge expectations as things might be corrupt, but that was at least something to put some hopes on while working on the plan b.
In the end, after more than 4 "nightmare-ish" days, we were able to have things under control and Charazay was online again bringing a big smile in our faces.
I would like to close this blogpost with a totally different epilogue, saying that I learnt two very important things from this problem. First is related to the game and actually every job or relationship and it goes like that "too much trust (like excessive) and too many expectations (again like excessive) can only lead to troubles". This doesn't mean that trust or expectations should just fly away, but that things have to be "moderated". Second is that no matter how severe a work-related issue seems to be, our (and our beloved ones') health (physical or mental) is way more important and that's the first thing that should be kept in our minds.
Orange Virus project - part 2
Two months down the line after starting this project (more info can be found here - (4288929) it is time to write a quick update...
The team is starting to take the shape after series of youngsters has been bought during the first phase of this project.
Some really nice and interesting data already collected in the federation forum, where all members can follow it in a real time... Every change has been recorded straight away and it is very user friendly..
I will go in to more details to paint the picture how everything works.
In the federation forum you will find the following topics:
"Training" - here you will find my coaches.. Today i had a new addition so you can see how to cover training of the most important skills
"Development strategy" - discussion about the strategy. How to train players for profit and long term development. When to change players training program etc..
"Weekly training reports" - every Thursday i`m recording all improvements in this thread by player. You can find every pop in every skill for all players .
"Players - Purchase history" - you will find every player i bought and how he looked at the time of the purchase.
"economy" - new thread started today to collect the data about the economy when you are in the re-building mode.
After every week update i will add balance sheet.
"ageing and growth update" - you can see how every player was affected by growth.. more data if you like numbers..
"Current squad" - does what it says on the tin...
You can see full skill set for every player with all skills and experience changes recorded in a matter of minutes.
and many more.....
If you found this interesting and useful for yourself, if you are planning to rebuild your own team but you are worried because of unknown, this is a place for you...
Food for thought
I had other things in mind for my next blog (this one) but I've been reading the forums a lot and I've been thinking that it might be time to give it a try and start something new, involving and empowering you, our users.
There are 2 things being discusses lately, 1 is the rookie system and the other is the fan-club.
Let's begin from the rookies part.
It's been one of the most important things in my plans for this game... I have always wanted a really cool and different youth league that would not force to participate but would give you such an option, that means 2 systems and every user being able to choose the one or the other.
We actually at one point discussed a lot within the crew but never went to development and I believe that here we've got a real opportunity that I'll talk about just in a bit.
Second thing is the fan club.
Those who have followed my moves in the game probably know that I have really fought for this script, I believed that it's better (and I still do) than every previous. However I see that many users don't share the same opinion and that the results it gives might be a little too complicated to be understood and should be simplified (for example that in the last weeks promoting teams are already receiving their bonus; users seem to be waiting for an obvious bonus or a higher bonus in the next season (truth is that the bonus continues to be visible in the next season). 1 thing that we have to take into consideration is that this certain part changed quite a few times in the past, creating differences for teams that experienced the one or the other system. To conclude with, I believe that the centre of attention is you, the users, and if you feel improvement is needed we have to offer it to you!
Finally let me demonstrate my thought.
I'd be really interested in forming a group with experienced and passionate users from all over the world that will happily discuss ideas and finally come to a point that we'll be able to create a plan for both matters that seem to be on the top priorities of our user-base (and this could be a first step).
That's all from my side (for now), I'll be looking forward to reading from you and if there's interest to start forming a group!
P.S. I'm not talking about another contributors project, it might look similar, but it's more like teamwork including everybody who feels that can offer something rather than working individually as a contributor.
Online poker- a good way to generate money
This time, our blog won't be Charazay related, but will cover a very interesting and growing topic, educating you about some basic things regarding online poker!
Introduction about online poker
People make use of online poker sites to play poker and earn money. A record shows more than 8 million Americans enjoy playing poker online. With the increase in the number of poker sites more people are joining the pool of enthusiasts who enjoy the game. It also provides opportunity to play with more seasoned players from all over the world. Lots of sites are available now so it becomes difficult to select the best site to play poker. On the other hand, if you are using a Mac or Linux you should use frequent websites which offer cross operating compatibilities or Java based services. Online poker forums are excellent platform for beginners and experts to meet and figure out the finer points of the game.
One of the biggest concerns while playing online is losing the deposit money by playing with established poker players. These sites are regulated by gaming commission and backed by leading financial companies. Online pokers are now dominating the gaming industry by offering round the clock poker tournaments. If you are going to select an online poker room, it is most important to check the internet connection and another requirement for online poker room is the license from a trusted gaming commission. Next you have to check the features of poker room whether the poker room provides the unique features like personalization feature, multi-table feature, operating system compatibility etc.
Online poker software
Online poker software is basically a set of programs designed by the software experts employed at online poker room. Based on the need and knowledge of the player, different online tools and software are available. For example to determine the strength for Hold’em, Stud, and Lowball one of the excellent tool is the pokenum poker hand analyzer, which has the feature of adding cards to the board. Many sites are now in the market in order to sell online poker software. Another factor that needs to be determined while choosing the online poker software is the playability that means whether the games run smoothly without any interruption. Some top names in online poker software are Dave O’Brien’s, iPoker, Wilson, Frugal Gambler Video poker, IRC poker and many more. The biggest online poker room at the moment is Pokerstars. You can download Pokerstars to your PC by following the link (http://www.pokernews.com/pokerstars/).
In case of an inexperienced player, design is most important in order to analyze and understand the game’s various movements at the playing tables, it is also important to check sound standard and display effects. Likewise poker chart software introduced by Ace Analysis Company provides graphics and analysis, which help you record your performance throughout the poker career.
Online poker rooms
Online poker rooms include poker rooms of large online poker and independent poker room. A poker room belongs to online poker network called “skin”. Top name in poker rooms are Prima poker, iGlobal, Tribeca network etc. Always beware of scams and frauds while entering online poker room or playing, some online poker rooms advertise to offer big bonus, more chances to play it free may be a scam. It is always advisable to play in a genuine or respected poker room offering reasonable bonuses. Financial stability, accessible customer services and eases of competition are some other factors that must be considered before selecting online poker room.
Advantages of playing online poker
Online poker method generates huge revenue by three methods:
1. Rake: Rake is a collected from most real money pots.
2. Multi-table and Impromptu: This method is usually specified in tournaments details like real casino tournaments; online tournaments do not cut dealer trip or other expenses.
3. Online poker sites: Some online poker sites like black jack or side bet provide options for players to play against “the hours” for real money
Winning a CWC
Long long time ago there was a team called Aris Thessaloniki. The team was failing to succeed and couldn’t reach the real triumph of the real Basketball club, Aris Thessaloniki back in the 80's and early 90's. So something had to be done or failure was upon us with the curse of that great team...
And then it happened! A blazing thunder hit me when I was shooting a 3point shot (nothing but net!) in an outdoor 3 vs 3 game with some friends. Got dizzy... I thought about where I come from, whats my background in basketball, where I learned to dribble as a kid (all in 1 or 2 seconds)... A.O. Aretsous!!! Thats the name! Lets make this club at least famous I said, around the Charazay world!!! Whooo hooo! So the story of Aretsou from Makedonia, Thessaloniki began...
I started to send scouters around the globe to bring in the team, players with better skills to support our new club of A.O. Aretsous. We got in a buy/sell frenzy trying to adopt to game engine needs and the same time to advance from 2.x division. The journey was hard. With many ups and downs. A trip To Ukraine for holidays and some other business ;), brought me infront of an old coal mine. It was still working, producing necessary coal to power up the nearby old cozy town. I met there the owner Yuri Borisenko. He asked me what do I do for a living and I said I am the owner of a basketball club. Then he proposed me to give me 10 million euros sponsorship, if I was to sign a contract with his younger son Tyhon (useless coalminer). When I saw him I said thats it! This huge guy will take us up to A1 division! He was young, untalented, full of coal dirt but he was very strong indeed. Borisenko Lead Aretsou to the glory of A1!
Then Tziovanos a great player with many trophies AND experience in a CWC final ( where he lost the gold with another Great Greek Team, the Waterteam) came to Aretsou. I realised soon enough, that he was not such a great scorer but he could do many things indeed. Score, pass, defend, etc.. His previous owner though is to blame. Coach Pillius from A1 is well known for his bad luck in our country, and basically he got the pillcurse (rare disease). I realised that when Tziovanos started to shoot and build extra training courts for Aretsou. We have already thanks to him 3 brand new Training centers for youth players. One is called also “The Tzio center”. The curse stroke in the last years semi finals for the National cup. Thats the reason his nickname is “captain bobo”. A player from our really good opponents named bobo, vanished him from the earth in the semis. I talked with tziovanos and told him that he is running out of time. This is it! I said. You will help us to get a trophy now or never! Thats your last chance to redeem yourself from the pillcurse and the loss of the NC final. :D
In A1 thinks where different... Very hard stuff. We tried and tried, but we realised it wasn’t enough. Tziovanos was alone. So we got again in a frenzy to sell and buy again players. The team was getting stronger and started to compete the rest of the teams pretty good. However I wanted more. So I said I will get my best scouter Sotiris (Ronalsot – Red Warriors), and go for a weekend to check some players in Singapore ( We had a great time by the way there, cheap holidays!). While I was drinking some famous tiger beers Sotiris was trying the famous brutal Singapore drink called “Sugar cane juice”: A hand-cranked press, turns this tropical grass into a sweet, cheap drink (classic Sotiris). We got wrecked that night! Next morning I woke up next to a few hot chicks, Sotiris and a tall guy that had on his hand an old oil lamp full of beer. I said whats the hell is going on here? Who is he!? Then Sotiris told me that this guy is the man we are looking for! He said to me yesterday night, while we were wondering around he found a basketball, and as he was totally hammered he scored a basket in the near by court to our hotel. I believed him. So we signed Samsudin and gave him the nickname “Aladdin” from that very moment when we woke up in the hotel room.
After buying Samsudin we were about to go to France for a player my friend Red warriors wanted, but because its another long story, I might tell you later if you like, I signed him! On the way back Sotiris was swearing at me because I stole the quicky scoring machine, and he yelled at me.” NOW IF YOU DONT GET A TROPHY $#@%$##!”
So the time was passing by, I was making a good run in A1 , then I disqualified from CL, went to CWC and then I beat some good teams in the 1st and 2nd round. The turning point to start thinking it serious was the win against Krusty! After that in the leg phase I saw that I could manage with a bit of luck to the final 4!
4!4!4! and here we are! Final 4! We passed De lorean in the semis, and the great day of the final arrived. Before our game though with De Lorean we started to scout players to give everything we got left, for the Precious Trophy, IF it was to qualify again. So the deals where on and locked for 3 more players. King Samo, Dracula and The mariner!
Final game and we had to adopt a clever tactic to bend the opponents Free mind core. It was difficult. However Antelo, the great Spaniard 5 minutes before the final starts, came to the VIP seats to tell me this: “Vasilis, today is my day. Dont be afraid. You will raise that trophy in 40minutes”. And we did it! We spend every last penny just to make Hellas proud in the Charazay world for the first time! Gold!
(http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TcJ-wNmazHQ) THIS IS IT! HISTORY WAS WRITTEN!
The gold team
#4 Marcos "Paella" Antelo
#5 Arsen Antonyan
#9 Jean "Dracula" Cheşnaru
#88 Pilypas "BEAR" Bumblis
#14 Dušan "DuDu" Đurđević
#69 Mario "Super Mario" Jabst
#8 Jacek Konrad
#6 Felix "The Mariner" Mariñas
#15 Makis Mperios The leader 2nd Captain
#7 Bratislav "Rambo" Radovanović
#10 Fivos "Captain Bobo" Tziovanos 1st Captain
#11 Rudi "King Samo" Vidic
#1 Üllar Hõlpus
#16 Carlos “Loco Cannibal” Losada
and in VIP area #12 Tyhon Borisenko ( his jersey hangs at the top Nick Galis Arena)
Our goal now is to try defend our title... Nothing is impossible. Believe it and do it. One chance, one opportunity. Grab it! We did that. A.O Aretsous with no A1 titles, managed to get to the top in CWC in a clever way. You can do it too, try it from season 28 :)
I would like to Thank(snif), Giannikos the chewing gum, Mitsos the Slipper and Kostas the noob and of course Sotiris the skroutz guru.