Community Update - The Merge is Next Week!
Edit 10/Jan: Market trades and auctions will get extended, based on how long the Merge takes. For any day that the game is offline, +1 day gets added to their timers. This ensures that auctions don't end during the Merge downtime, in which case the horse would have gone to the highest bidder. This could have led to unwanted outcomes, for example, if people planned to bid or owners wanted to cancel their auctions, but couldn't due to the downtime. Instead, the system we chose allows auctions to continue once the game is back up.
Dear players, a new year has come, welcome twenty-twenty-two! The Horse Reality team is back from stuffing our faces with cookies and chugging mugs of hot cocoa with whipped cream. While it was the favourite time of year for many of us, it is now time to get back to work and roll up those sleeves, as the Merge is nearly upon us!
Only a few more days till our beloved NL-server will be merged into the COM-server. We want to make sure that no one forgets about our maintenance time for the Merge, so please read the following:
The Merge starts on Tuesday, January 11th, 2022 at 16:00 HR Time (4 pm CET): At that time, horsereality.nl and horsereality.com will both go offline. Playing and logging in will not be possible. Our discord server will stay available during this time. We expect to be back in the evening (HR Time) of Thursday, January 13th, 2022. Once that happens, horsereality.nl will remain offline and unavailable. All the players from horsereality.nl have then been transferred to horsereality.com and will be able to continue their game from there.
Please note that unexpected things can happen, and plans may change accordingly!
🚨 THE MERGE 🚨
➡️ Tuesday, Jan 11 - Around 16:00 HR Time (4pm CET): the servers will become unavailable for everyone and our dev team will get started by making backups.
➡️ Wednesday, Jan 12 - Entire day: the dev team will merge the NL into the COM-server.
➡️ Thursday, Jan 13 - Sometime during this day, horsereality.com will come back online, whereas horsereality.nl will remain offline forever. As of then, every player from horsereality.nl needs to log in on horsereality.com.
We will continue to update the Merge FAQ with the most important information. Some bits and pieces in there are currently outdated, we plan to fix those over the weekend so that the FAQ can be a trusted source of information during the Merge days.
We think it might also be a good idea to create a video to show you how the “transfer account” option works because the process can easily get confusing. Please let us know what you think! Since we wish to make this video, please send any other confusions or pressing questions in regard to the upcoming week as well, so that we can talk about them in the video or try and explain them differently.
❓❓❓There were a few new questions that popped up that we want to address here.❓❓❓
Some of you were wondering how the time of the server will be affected by the Merge. What happens with pregnant horses? With competitions that are running, with conformation shows? - We’ll try to explain this to you, but technical details can be hard to formulate, and you’ll also see how it happens once it happens. Time progression will be a tad weird for a bit, but we’ll go back to business as usual soon enough!
First things first: Time works as time does usually. It passes. We will not break the time-space continuum!
When the game goes offline, all ongoing automated tasks still finish: award ceremonies of events complete, mares in labour finish giving birth, and so on. Once that is done, we will freeze everything in-game to ensure a safe transfer. A backup of both games will be created and then we will finally merge the NL into the COM-server.
After the Merge, everything unfreezes and the internal clock catches up. This keeps the timeline of the game world intact: the pregnancy counters of your mares stay correct; your horses will have aged as usual. A special case are mares that would go into labour - during - the offline time, this can’t happen while the system is down. Once the system catches up after the Merge, they give birth. You will get a notification with the time stamp reflecting the current time. But the foal's birthdate is what it should have been if the server had not been offline, and it will already have aged since its “original” birthdate.
If you have a premium account, your premium time will still go down by a day or two, depending on how long the Merge takes. We will be sure to add +1 premium day to each premium account for any day that the game is offline during the Merge!
We have also seen questions about what will happen with inbox messages, notification settings and the stud market. During the early planning stage of the Merge, these things weren’t planned to get transferred. However, after discussing with our dev team, there might still be some room to transfer them. Our highest priority here are your inbox messages, which we would want to get properly transferred so that no communication between you and other players gets lost. We also thought it would be nice to keep your notification settings remembered as well, just that tiny bit of less hassle. Originally, we didn’t plan to transfer the stud market because the pricing is so different between the COM and NL servers. However, many players might at least want to keep their horses visible on the stud market and simply adjust the prices where necessary by themselves.
Please note that we cannot promise that any or all of these extra transfers can actually happen. We will try our hardest since we know that the added convenience would be lovely, but we have to see if our devs can squeeze it in.
💨 Server Improvements 💨
Lately, our server struggles frequently, especially at times when it’s crowded in the game, such as the late evenings or weekends. It interrupts your gameplay, and we understand and agree that that’s frustrating! Nothing is more annoying than not being able to properly use any kind of software. We also think that these struggles are likely the reason why horse energy and bank interest have been wonky lately, too.
Luckily, we have been planning a move to another server for a while, as mentioned in this news post. We decided to wait with this project until after the Merge, as we felt it would be a waste of resources to move both servers only to have to delete the horsereality.nl server a few months later. It is also safer to do this after the Merge when we have more time again, rather than trying to rush both things and risking them going wrong.
A great thing about our new hosting party is that they offer 24/7 server care, as opposed to us having to do this ourselves. That means: no longer wait till our dev team wakes up when our server crashes during the night. There will actually be real humans available at all times, any time, to take action when something happens. Such a service has always been a dream for us! Now, with so many of you actively playing and supporting the game, this has finally become possible! 💖
Lastly, we want to address a common concern: that the Merge would make the ongoing server hiccups worse. That is not the case! Due to the way the servers get hosted, they function as separate games, but the player activity still affects them both, regardless of whether those players are all logged into one server or spread out across both of them.
🏆 Premium Accounts: Soon 31 instead of 30 days! 🏆
For our first update after the Merge, we want to extend our premium account membership to 31 days instead of the current 30 days! One day more for the same price!
The main advantage is that this won’t ever create a situation again where players miss out on getting their monthly fitting room orb! Since orbs now get paid out on the 1st of each month, but some months have 31 days, it became possible to miss out due to the unlucky timing of the premium account purchase.
If players happen to miss an orb in the time until that update is implemented, we’ll hand out extra orbs manually for them by the end of this month. We think by implementing the 31-day premium membership, there shouldn’t be any orb-related issues anymore, yay!
We will not offer returns or reimbursements of premium days for anyone who purchased a 30-day premium account before the update gets implemented. This has been listed as the time interval of the account all this time and purchasing this item counts as agreeing to the conditions at the time of the purchase.
🖼️ Backgrounds 🖼️
Seeing that we will introduce several new backgrounds this month because of the Merge, we didn’t add a new regular background on this first Monday of the month. Worry not, the rhythm will pick back up as usual in February again!
There will be 3 new backgrounds introduced to the game in total during the Merge: a Dutch Riding School, a Dutch Tulip Field, and an Idyllic Dutch Village. All 3 of them will be part of the Merge Welcome Package that is for the players of the NL-server only (5x Dutch Riding School, 5x Tulip Field, 4x Idyllic Village). The Idyllic Dutch Village will be available for 1-week at the Delta Store straight after the Merge. If you like this background, grab it while you can! The other two are solely made for in the Welcome Package and will be unavailable in the store.
To celebrate the arrival of our NL community, all players will receive one use of the Idyllic Dutch Village background. You’ll also receive a milestone during the week of the Merge. To receive these, you need to log in within 7 days after the Merge is over.
Initially, we said there would be just one special background (Dutch Riding School) in the welcome package, and another one (Idyllic Dutch Village) that is additionally available for temporary purchase at the Delta Store. There is some controversy surrounding the real-life place the Dutch Riding School background was inspired by, that we were unaware of at the time it got drawn. This caused some players to feel discontent with this background being the one to welcome them after the Merge. A dilemma resulted, as some players also said that they like the architecture and atmosphere of the place, and the background was already finished. Eventually, the decision was made to introduce the original two backgrounds as planned, but add another limited edition background (Tulip Field) to the welcome package. We hope that this way, the welcome package will include something to the liking of everyone!
Today's community art feature was brought to you by amarisnorthamerica - thank you so much for your contribution! That looks like one mischievous little horse, and we can’t help but wonder what he or she is up to next!
Would you like to share your art with us? Do it here!
Next Community Update: Next week after the Merge has finished!
The Horse Reality Team