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July 9, 2007

An Obsession with Precision

Filed under: Nad's Journal,News Journal — Nadnerb @ 12:29 am Cavern Time

The last few days have been interesting. Aside from playing a rather large number of sardines games, we have uncovered a few particularly satisfying fact nuggets. One of them was the discovery of the exact progression used by the Heek table ranking system. The other was the exact length (in terms of the KI Span measure) of the Minkata distance units.

Prior to recent events, research into the Ahyoheek ranking progression had been severely limited simply by the rate at which one could accrue points, even when your opponents, dummy avatars created for this purpose, had agreed to lose to you. We had manually reached rank 3 with Robert’s “crashtest” avatar, and were going on the assumption that the progression, which so far had been 0, 1, 201, 401, would continue to 801 in an exponential progression. Recently, however, an old bug had resurfaced, and one person, who shall remain anonymous, had randomly acquired over a billion points. (putting them at rank 6175) Since winning a game against someone at that rank will give you 6175 points, things could progress much faster. :lol: Herohtar, and a few others played some games until one person got rank 4, exactly. The conclusion was that the rank is actually more of a recursive addition series, making rank 4, 701. I put together a short script to find rank from score, and tested it against the exceedingly high data points from earlier, and found that it checked out perfectly. The results are detailed on the now updated “Ahyoheek notes” page. Shortly afterward, Herohtar dug up a non-looping formula that could be used to find point values for each rank, which can be found in one of the comments to the page.

The second discovery, which Robert and I made, was made possible by a slight bug in the KI. If you create a marker mission in an area that does not display GZ coordinates, and try to edit the mission in an area that does display them, you will see coordinates for all of the markers, including the ones placed in areas outside the cavern. We simply put markers at each of the marked distance flags, (125, 625, 3125) as well as the center of the age on the compass rose. By finding the distance between the center marker and the flags, we determined that a “Minkata Unit” is exactly 1/25th of a Span, as displayed by the KI. This fits very well with the rest of the game and it’s D’ni history and measuring systems, but directly contradicts the measurement given for a Span in the book of Ti’ana. Now all we need is an official text regarding D’ni length measurements, as we’ve got one for their time units, and their angular measure, Torans, is pretty self explanatory. :P The “Minkata Navigation notes” page has been updated accordingly.

On a related note, I have been working for a while on a script designed to assist mapping coordinates using KI coordinates and markers. A somewhat current development version can be found here. While developing it, I noted that the D’ni angle measures increase clockwise, rather than counterclockwise, like ours usually do. The interface is pretty simple, simply click on the window to move the cursor. The polar coordinates of the cursor in relation to the black cross will be displayed in the text boxes underneath. If you manually edit the polar coordinates in those boxes, the cursor will move in the display. You can add a “marker” to the window by pressing the “+” button to the right of the cursor coordinate display. The marker will appear in the display, and it will be added to the marker list underneath. Clicking on one of the rows in the marker list will select that marker. Once a marker has been selected, the “Distance” measure in the top left corner will display the exact distance between the cursor and the selected marker. You can move markers by using the drop down actions menu. Selecting “Snap to Cursor” will move the selected marker to the cursor, and “Snap Cursor to” will move the cursor to the location of the selected marker. One of the functions not currently exposed by the interface will show the marker list in “raw face” format, which can be imported into Blender, to view the markers in 3D. My Current plan is to create a “Minkata Map” old paper style theme, with the Minkata compass rose in the middle, for this interface, so it can be neatly integrated into the site. :) Izy sounded happy about that design, so I’ll be working on that. ;) The current version is fully compatible with Firefox and Opera, but dragging the interface is disabled in IE.

Finally, with all that obsessive-compulsive math out of the way, we can talk about the fun stuff. (for the rest of ya’s anyway. :D) Sardines! zreyasa hosts games of sardines almost every night. For those not familiar with the game from it’s UU days, it is basically hide and seek adapted for Uru. One person hides, and everyone else tries to find them. Upon finding the hider, the finder sits on top of them, and waits for everyone else to find them. With enough people, they really get packed into those hiding spots like sardines! From there, the rules vary. Our current rules state that while the game is not over until everyone is “in”, the first person “in” gets to hide next round. Some older rules stated that the last person in was to be “it”, but since everyone seems to love hiding, the first in seems more of an incentive. ;) Nadnerb particularly enjoys wearing a bright green hat in a clearly visible location, while at the same time being frustratingly difficult to find. (While still being easy to reach)

So really, you can’t be bored in the cavern between episodes. If you are, you’re not looking for anything to do. :D If history and theorizing is your thing, the Students of D’ni Knowledge meet at 8pm cavern time every Sunday to discuss the various kings books, and we occasionally get brand new translated documents from the DRC. If you like mapping the cavern, finding the discrepancies in the models, or figuring out some of the hidden aspects of the common devices like the heek tables, there’s plenty of stuff there too. Even playing a game like sardines in some interesting locales with a bunch of friends isn’t too hard to come by. Personally, I happen to like calling the door in Delin and Tsogal too. :P

Anyway, I’m seriously in danger of making this page too long to scroll down without discomfort, so I’ll end it here. This has been Nadnerb, giving you his update of what he’s been doing in the cavern, and whatever else he feels like talking about, signing off.



  1. That…was a lot of writing. But a good read nonetheless. :)

    Comment by Isyldar — July 9, 2007 @ 5:10 pm Cavern Time

  2. an updated version of the “thing” has been posted on googlepages.

    Comment by Nadnerb — July 9, 2007 @ 9:32 pm Cavern Time

  3. OMG! I love it!!!!!!!!!!

    Comment by Isyldar — July 9, 2007 @ 10:33 pm Cavern Time

  4. Glad you like it. :)
    As soon as I clean up the formatting and make some new marker graphics, I’ll get it up on here.

    Comment by Nadnerb — July 10, 2007 @ 1:24 am Cavern Time

  5. Spent about a half an hour fighting with wordpress… gave up on that and tried putting the whole thing in the template.. and spent another 2 hours fighting with your page layout styles… Then I finally gave up on that and stuffed the whole thing in an iframe. Works perfectly now. ;)

    Comment by Nadnerb — July 10, 2007 @ 2:00 pm Cavern Time

  6. unfortunately neither opera or IE seem to support transparent backgrounds in iframes.. I’m wondering if it’s worth the trouble to create a matching repeating background..

    Comment by Nadnerb — July 10, 2007 @ 3:42 pm Cavern Time

  7. Well, I’ve updated a few areas of the site. The coordinate mapper is linked from the Texts page, The heek beginner’s guide has a few more paragraphs, and that chatlog is up.

    Comment by Nadnerb — July 11, 2007 @ 12:14 pm Cavern Time

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