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Messages - Matthew Gagnon

So the Colonies have existed in this game for a really, really long time now. By my knowledge at least as far back as 2005. I played them way back in my first stint playing BM in 2007-2010, and I play them today.

The pitch that was made to me about the Colonies "way back when" in my original stint, which seems to still be the pitch today, is that the Colonies are a "light" version of Battlemaster for those of us interested in a slower, more chill, less active place to play. Indeed, that is more or less still the description that leads the article on the Colonies on the BM Wiki page, with a couple other "reasons for existing" listed as well:

QuoteAre things happening so fast you don't know where you are anymore? Are you looking for a more relaxed pace of life? Is the stress of it all finally getting to you? Looking for a truly lightweight version of BattleMaster? Looking for a place to deport hated enemies? If the answer is yes to any of these things, then the Colonies is the place for you!

The reason that I'm writing this post is that after having thought about it for months (and months), and reflecting on what the Colonies says it is versus what it actually is, I've come to the conclusion that the Colonies have failed and that they serve no meaningful purpose at all. Note, however, that I'm not saying they should be shut down... rather I'm simply trying to point out that the game (and we the players) are lying to ourselves about what it is and why it is there, and we should stop doing that if we ever want to make it fun and meaningful to play.

So to evaluate if I'm right about this, let's go back to those things said in the wiki, because they are the only things I've ever heard that seek to justify why the Colonies exist. Again, the main arguments are that it is a slower, lighter-paced, relaxed BM game that could attract people who aren't keen on the "regular" experience of two-turn, battle-centric BM, and that it is a place to deport hated enemies. That's about it. That's all I've ever heard from anyone. Which is fine, I'm just saying there aren't any other reasons I've heard.

Let's deal with that second one first, because we can dispense that one fairly quick(ish).

Do you know anyone who has ever been "deported to the Colonies?"  I've been playing a LONG time, and I can't think of the last person who was deported there, treating it like a penal colony. I think the idea was to make the Colonies a sort of pre-industrial Australia, where we send rabble-rousers, criminals, rebels, etc, giving it a very raw and untamed personality, which would of course make the various realms a lot of fun to play because they'd be inherently unstable, hard to control, and there would be a lot of chaos.

Mechanically the game still, I believe, allows deportations to happen, though I don't usually play a judge so I don't necessarily have the commands in front of me right now. Still, I think you can do it. But does anyone do it? Are there even that many rebels and criminals in the game anymore? My character in Westgard just dealt with a Lurian assassin, and I never even considered deporting him -- we wanted to execute him if we got him (which we eventually did). In retrospect could we have tossed him to the Colonies? Yeah I guess we could've but it never dawned on me because no one really does that... and I think that character had a family member at the Colonies already anyway, so it wouldn't have been a realistic option.

Point is, even if it is mechanically possible, I think we should acknowledge "how the game really plays" versus how it "could" play or how it "should" play. In the end, this just isn't a characteristic of the Colonies today. I think there's a little too much of "it really should be played like this and its just the players who aren't doing what they're supposed to do" in this game, rather than brainstorming about real usage and incentives that would result in certain player behaviors.

Which brings me to the lighter version thing.

There's no doubt it is exactly as advertised with that. The single turn makes travel take a while, battles slow to build, and everything be deliberate and intentional. If that is, in fact, what you want, you are probably getting it.

But does that style of play truly attract anyone to the Colonies? I suggest to you that it does not.

There are two types of people who would be attracted to the Colonies given its different mechanics: 1 - players who do not really play the main Battlemaster game, and would choose to play the Colonies because of how different it is because the barrier to entry is lower and easier (i.e. new players brought into the game b/c of the Colonies), and  2 - players that do have other characters, but would like to also have a chill character too.

So lets deal with those two reasons, because again they are the only logical "pulls" toward the Colonies. If you can think of others, I'm all ears (though I dispute such "pulls" are working).

Regarding the light player who'd like to play BM, but doesn't have the time or want to put in the effort (i.e. attracting players you wouldn't get otherwise), it is very clear that the Colonies have failed to do that. I just conducted a review of the players currently at the Colonies, and right now there are only 48 families that play a noble there, and that includes families like The Undying who are actually BM Gamemaster accounts.

For East Continent, that number is 125 families
For Dwilight, that number is 115 families
For Beluaterra that number is 103 families
For South Island, that number is 46 families

So from a raw numbers perspective, it seems like "regular" Battlemaster attracts 100-120 or so noble families. The Colonies attract less than half that.

I went a step further and went in to look at the families that are there to see what "kind" of player they were. Virtually every single one of those players has at least 2, 3 or even 4 active players outside the Colonies, which suggests that most people who play it are really just seeking a "spare" character to play a little bit more than they do on the other continents. While I can't speak to the psychology of every player, that seems like the most logical explanation.

Indeed, there is only a single family -- one -- that plays the Colonies and only the Colonies, and that is the November Family. And for those of us who know November, he has been an on and off player since 2005, so it isn't as though this somehow attracted new blood or was some kind of recruiting tool for BattleMaster at large to try to get casual players into the family, as it were. There are four families (Mersault, Maxwell, Kingsley and X'arpa) that have a character on the Colonies and only ONE other continent, but remember that Mersault has several paused characters and has been playing for 12 years, Maxwell has been around for 11 years, and Kingsley has been around for 17 years. X'arpa seems to be the only family on the entire island I can point at that is reasonably new, and has only one character from elsewhere, thus possibly meaning that he/she is playing because of the style on the Colonies.

Which brings me to that "second reason" I was speaking about before that would "pull" people toward the Colonies: players that like the normal game but also find the concept of a "chill" character appealing.

I have no true evidence I can use here to characterize player choice, but I will say that anecdotally as somebody who has played the Colonies for a while, I get the sense that this is much less of a reason for participation in the Colonies than you would think. I've heard way too many people frustrated by slow travel times, the impact on war, the malaise on the island, and other complaints that are unique to the Colonies that come directly from the player base currently playing the Colonies. That indicates to me that people are choosing it because it is there, and not necessarily for the mechanics being different. Just my read on it, but I think it is an educated evaluation of things. I certainly know why I'm at the Colonies: it is a way of having one more character.

So I think by now it is reasonably clear that the Colonies do not attract new players (which I find undisputable) and that their pull to the already established player is very weak, and likely nothing all that special. Now let's take a look at gameplay.

Recently I went absolutely bonkers trying to stir up things on the Colonies as the primary instigator to the "religious war" thing that we tried to pull off between Sacris Incendium and the Covenent of the Undying, which dragged basically all the non-Halcyon realms into the fight against Halcyon. I spent WEEKS working on it, spending extra time in the game, writing RPs, working with other players to try to make it fun and build some kind of storyline, etc. I did enough, with the help of several other great players and the GameMasters who were into it, that the war kicked off. I may not have been happy about the "gang up" on Halcyon, but at least it was something... it was activity... it was war... it was something to do. I won't say it was a full time job, but I devoted a LOT of my time (of which I don't have a lot) to doing it, with the hope that it would end up being fun for people.

And then nothing happened.

Long story short, while the war still technically exists, almost nothing has happened in it and it has turned entirely into a dud because the travel times and remoteness of realms is absurd, and just doesn't lend itself to a fun atmosphere where a war can and will be fought. I'm not saying it is impossible or anything, but it is extremely hard, and it has a lot to do with the long wait times and mechanical issues. Add to that a player base that has atrophied from inaction for so long, and it just isn't likely to produce much in the way of action or fun.

And that's my thesis of this entire post: this is supposed to be about fun, and the Colonies are never really going to be fun as they are now.

What was my reward for committing all that time and effort to try to do something fun and interesting? Basically nothing. And that has a powerful disincentive to me ever trying to do something like that again, because why should anyone commit time and effort to things if there isn't much of a point to it and the mechanics make it really hard if not impossible to enjoy the fruits of your effort?

The GameMasters are doing their damndest to help, and I do really like the proposal that was put forth for an all-encompassing human war against the Lich King (something I've advocated for and wanted to see since he first appeared). That's great. But it shouldn't take the GMs trying to "stir things up" to make the experience there fun. The goal of the game should be to mechanically set things up so that it is as enjoyable as possible to play, so that we can recruit new players and share the fun with others.

A really big step was taken in lessening the density requirements, which I greatly appreciate, but I think the Colonies are still fundamentally broken because of the differing mechanics. Maybe I'm wrong and there's this big demand and desire for single day turns and slow as molasses play, but I have my doubts.

Which brings me to "okay, so what do you want to do about it?"

I'm not going to claim to be an expert or say that I have all the answers, but I will say this: I do like that the Colonies are different in some way from the rest of the game, and I think we should seek to preserve that aspect of them. But I think we should ditch entirely the "slow pace" aspect of it, and seek to make it different in other ways... ways that might incentivize fun and expansion. The War Island having only 46 families doesn't bother me because I see more people there who are there specifically because of the mechanical difference (i.e. it is more exciting and interesting because there is constant warfare). Let's make the Colonies have a similar draw.

What I think I might do -- though I'm entirely open to other suggestions -- is make it an "experimental island" in ways that go beyond what Beluaterra is with "testing" code changes and what not. I think things should be different here than they are anywhere else. Some of that might be simple... what if we think of the Colonies undergoing a shift, much like the Americas did after they were settled in the 1500s through the 1600s. At first they were sparse, poor, agrarian, dangerous, and difficult to tame... but eventually populations grew, industry was built, wealth was tapped, and incredible natural resources caused the American colonies to be more prosperous than the mother countries.

Maybe we say that the Colonies in our game are experiencing something similar. Maybe we radically increase population numbers, we dramatically increase personal wealth here. What if we ramped up the size of things, so that troop leaders could command much larger units here -- instead of 100 men, you could carry with you 1,000 or even 5,000 perhaps, turning you into something akin to the commander of a Legion rather than just a minor Lord commanding a small amount of troops in a medieval setting. If everything was "scaled up" proportionally (wealth, population, etc) and everyone experienced the same increases in capacity, you could have some really badass wars where 10 troop leaders could command say 50,000 men into battle... 20 could command 100,000 men or more even. Real numbers that you absolutely saw frequently in antiquity and even sometimes in medieval Europe.

You could do other things that are incentives too... like having a player on the Colonies entitles you to a 10% (or 20%) wealth cap increase for your family... so you can earn and hold more, and the Colonies will likely give you a lot of gold.

And then there are things we could do which I admit would take time and effort to implement and wouldn't be overnight... but I would like to see a complete and total reimagining of the Priest (and frankly the adventurer too) games. Specifically for priests, I would love to see religion strengthened significantly (to give us a reason to actually play it) by treating Priests like adventurers (i.e. not normal nobles you have to sacrifice, but "extra" characters that could be exclusively played), thus ramping up the number of priests we would have... I'd like to see an automatic tithing system whereby nobles would have part of their tax income automatically diverted to the church without having to pay a fee (that no one ever pays). I'd like to see nobles be forced to make a decision of a religion that they must join to be a noble in a realm, subject to added realm commands for the rulers (i.e. default religion, official religion, suggested religion, general tolerance of government to each religion commands, etc).

In other words, I'd love to see the Colonies be a world that had the religious flavor that I think was originally intended by the Priest game, allowing them to flourish and grow, and giving thousands of new potential plot lines to build on and conflict to brew from.

But whatever is done, I think it should remain different from the rest of the game, but should instead become a destination for the players due to those differences, rather than "just another place to store a character" which is what I think it is today.

After all, if we aren't supposed to really care about the continent and it is either boring, slow or lame... than why exactly do we have it? If that's how we're going to run it, we should probably just shut it down and focus on the other islands.

That's my take, at least.

Had a thought. I have a paused character that I have had a chance to do a lot of roleplay about while he is paused... but I would really like to unfreeze her and use her again, and build a new direction for her story.

However, I elevated an adventurer on the same continent who is active. He is currently a ruler, and I really like his character too and don't want to freeze him just to unfreeze her.

I have had two hero characters be killed recently, so I have room to have a character on Beluaterra or South Island... but I would much rather use my established paused character rather than a new character in those spots. I could use a really great bit of roleplay (she has been missing) to create a fun new story about her boat crashing on the new continent, with her having no memory of her kidnapping, and her search for answers in her new home... maybe someday if my other character dies she could then move there opening up even more fun story ideas.

In any event, I can't do any of that, because you have to unpause on the same continent as you were paused on.

I have no idea what may be required to allow a character to unpause and move to another continent at the moment they unfreeze... and acknowledge it may be too hard or too complex, and if so I totally get it. But if it was possible, I think it could allow some great use of paused characters, particularly with new roleplays and what now. It could also help avoid the old "my character died and 5 minutes later a mysterious 'cousin' shows up" phenomenon by introducing a new option.

Thats it, thanks!
Development / Re: Priest game
November 16, 2020, 11:30:48 PM
Forgive my poor choice of words, Tim. I didn't mean to imply the programming change was easy. I more meant that it was "easy" in terms of not needing a fundamental reinvention of the wheel, and that it was mostly a reclassification of sorts. I understand it would probably be a pain in the ass to make happen.

Ultimately, though, I just think it would allow the religion aspect to more easily flourish. Thanks for considering it.
Development / Priest game
November 15, 2020, 03:24:50 PM
A thought I have had, and forgive me if anyone else has ever suggested it.

Religion in BM is excruciating, and I think that one of the main reasons is that to play a priest, you essentially have to sacrifice one of your nobles, and their military capabilities and the like, and turn him into "an adventurer for religion."

While some people like that, most don't I think. While recruiting for a religion I created, that has been some of the most oft repeated reasons why people dont want to become priests: they just don't want to lose their warrior.

So here was my thought: what if priests became bonus characters, like adventureres?

In other words, you had your same number of nobles allowed as you always did, but the adventurers you are allowed to have are actually adventurers OR priests.

I have three adventurers now, and given that option I would probably maintain two priests and one adventurer if given the chance... maybe even three priests.

Ultimately it is a lack of clergy spreading the word that holds things back, and I think categorizing priests how we do now not only cannibalizes warmaking units for the priest game, it also just makes religion in general a much smaller part of a Medieval-ish life than it should be.

I think it would be an easy and productive change.
Helpline / Re: Road Repair?
July 10, 2020, 03:13:07 PM
Oh, cool. So someday that might get to be part of the game? That would be really awesome.

In the meantime, is there anything that can be done to help them, mechanically? How do they repair themselves now?
Helpline / Road Repair?
July 10, 2020, 02:38:34 PM
What is the mechanism for roads to change? Obviously destroying infrastructure through war can damage them (although honestly in all my time here in the game I've only really tried to look or steal food and tear down buildings... does it happen as a side effect of that, or is there a "ruin the roads" option that I don't remember?) -- but I do not seem to understand how to repair them, or how it works.

I've been told by some people that they naturally repair themselves with population and production being high and restored, and that made sense to me. But I do have to say, in my experience, I'm not seeing that move much in Westgard, even in the regions that are at basically full population and full production. Are some regions simply unable to upgrade forever? Or is it meant to take an exhaustingly long time? Or are there things I can do to try to make it happen easier?

Sidenote: This might be something I might suggest as a feature request. I think investing in road infrastructure, even if expensive, is something that should be an option for Lords, Dukes and Rulers. Just imagining real history, and large scale building projects to build roads -- a lot of roads were slow, self created, etc... but a lot were direct and intentional mass buliding projects.

Gotta tell you, in Westgard, the roads have been so bad for so long even in our best regions, that I would absolutely sink some major cash in to repair them to make travel times less miserable. It really saps a lot of the fun out of things to just sit there waiting to move all the time.

Perhaps it could be a mechanism very similar to rebuilding and upgrading walls? That way it would take time, money, it would be a process, etc?

Just an idea, but one I like, because it would be nice to have a little control over that, especially if we have some capital reserves to improve the realm. 
Boy do I have a lot to say on this subject.

Let's start with this: over the tenure of a game with as long standing a history as this, and as "crowdsourced" a makeup, it is only natural that hundreds of things have come up, identified as "problems," and had "solutions" dreamed up to address them. In each case these motivations were without question pure and altruistic.

The problem, though, is that like an overburdened government with too many laws and regulations on top of laws and regulations, we now have -- in my opinion -- layer upon layer of solutions that have tried to fix one thing, but in so doing have broken two other things. These are now built one on top of another, and have cascaded into system failure.

That is Battlemaster right now, IMHO.

Let's start with what ails the game the most: too little war.

The response from GameMasters to this has been, if I am being honest, pretty negative and threatening to players. Rather than asking what might systemically be wrong that takes fundamental incentives away from war, they are saying "invent reasons or we will remove you as ruler." That is backwards.

So, why isn't war happening?

The answer is REAAAAAALLY simple: no one can really conquer much (if any) territory -- due to the noble ratio limitation -- so what the hell are we warring over?

In addition, the maps are so big and the overall player count so low that even if you can expand, you probably don't even necessarily have a neighbor you are really bumping into, so your real target is NPC rogues, not other realms.

In Nothoi, if I had the noble count to take regions right now, my first target would not be another realm. Instead, I would be taking one or two rogue regions nearby that no one else is even bothering with. At current, we cant even conquer regions directly adjacent to our capital because of the noble count issue. I briefly had a chance but lost it because I was out fighting Thalmarkin... then I lost it. Being at war meant I missed a chance to improve our contiguousness and earn more gold/food, which would be the thing that could help attract more nobles. So in this case, I guess war actually decreased my ability to conquer new territory, weirdly.

In any event, do you want to know why Thalmarking got "gangbanged" initially? It was because NONE OF THE REST OF US WERE AT WAR.

If we were all busy with our own little wars with each other, it wouldn't have been either smart or practical to join up in a new expedition. Nothoi and Vordul Sanguinis should be at each other's throats and fighting an all out war over territory right now, but neither of our realms can even capture enough regions next to us to bump into each other. We had a potential conflict brewing over the region of Tindle, but in the end, if I declared war over the region, I couldn't even take the damn thing, so what incentive did I really have to potentially start a war over a region I can't claim?

In any event, neither of our realms could benefit territorially, and there is a ton of rogue land in between us, so there just wasn't a reason to do it. Sure, the rulers could invent slights or RP reasons to fight, but that isn't the way we really want to do thing. Invented, phony, false reasons for war are hollow and empty, and often times we would have to contort ourselves into illogical and irrational actions just to force something to happen that has no reason to really happen.

Anyway, back to the territorial issue -- think of it this way. Why does anyone play Risk? How about any game in the Total War series? It is to battle and conquer territory. To see that map flying your flag over new places. If you can't do that, war becomes not just less imperative, but outright pointless. This is what the original lure of Battlemaster was -- a slow paced, roleplay heavy battle simulator of battle and territorial conquest.

But today, most of us can't even think about taking over anything. And we wonder why there are no incentives for war. We NEED to run into each other and fight over scarcity to truly inspire war.

Let's go beyond, though, because this was originally about alliance blocs, and supranational organizations like the Eastern Continent informal alliances, the Dwilight Alliance of Free Nations, or the fluid quasi-alliances of the south on Beluaterra.

I understand why people have an issue with Alliance bloc size. I really do. I get it. You don't want the Roman Empire coming in and wiping everyone out. But in my opinion, Alliance bloc restrictions, while well intended, ignore very basic fundamentals of human nature.

I have several good friends in this game -- as do all serious players -- and you can talk all you want about "preventing " alliances in a technical, mechanical sense, but any game that makes use of human relationships and then expects realistically to stop cooperation between friends and groups of players who enjoy playing with one another is at a great misapprehension about human nature.

All the mechanics in the world won't stop the fundamental social nature of human beings. I like certain players, our characters have worked together in multiple places, so yeah, whatever the bloc limitations say, it is pretty likely I'm going to help them out when they need it, or vice versa.

This fact is WHY things like alliance groups form beyond limits through every means available, be it guilds or just informal groupings of players that get along. You can try hard to force that not to happen, and I myself try very hard not to fall prey to that impulse. But it is also naive not to acknowledge that even the best players will end up doing it, even if it is just "subconsciously."

If I had a nickel for every time I have read "House [this] has longstanding ties to House [that]" in this game from players who like each other and whose "Houses" really have no ACTUAL long standing ties, I would be a rich man.

This is reality, whether we want to admit it or not, which means that however well intentioned, the system doesn't function the way you want it to, and it never EVER will.

So to these twin issues, how do you deal with it?

In my mind, there are a few things that would naturally fix this, and wouldn't involves GameMaster lecturing and threats, which are inappropriate in a free volunteer based game, and are terrible for player affinity and morale.

The two that come to mind are:

1. Complete destruction of existing maps to make the continents radically smaller. This would end the vast rogue territories that allow realm isolation, and would force region competition. Like it or not, our player base is much too small for every single continent.

2. Eliminate all rules that disincentivizes greed for territory. Goodbye noble limits, or at least make them a sliding scale of some kind. Or, perhaps, change the nature of it to allow different ratio counts to capture different numbers of regions per month. Low count realms can still conquer but maybe slower, thus encouraging the expansion of realms while also providing more of an incentive for healthier realms.

There also could be -- and I have thought a lot about this idea in the past -- a revised limit system to make the region limitation restrict the capture of rogue territories, but if a realm is in a declared war, that realm can capture any number of enemy territories, thus once again incentivizing greed as a motivator, while also disincentivizing peace. Something like that would provide a powerful advantage to war over peace.


Now this is all back of the napkin, and I realize these are somewhat radical. But the reality is that however well intended all these mechanics are, they have conspired to make war less likely, and less profitable, and thus robbing the incentives to do it.

In addition, as much as I love the design and thought and work that was put in on things like the estate system, I think it is time we admit that virtually no one uses it. The Lords manage their region... the knights just choose their estate, and after that do virtually nothing with it, and even in populated realms, tons of estates remain empty, or regions are manipulated by lords inefficiently to financially benefit themselves. While that is historically accurate, I suppose, it doesn't really make the game more fun.

If the estate system went away, than perhaps the ratio could be dropped to simply 1:1 with immediate requirements for appointment upon capture of a region, thereby getting rid of the "untended region" problem, and making everything more simple. Would make for larger realms, more realm spread, make realms bump into each other more, and just create a more rich environment for war.

Ultimately, that is the issue. Gangbangs happen because smaller petty wars aren't happening. If Nothoi was fighting with the Vorduls or the Shattered Vales over territory, we wouldn't even be able to join the Irondale/Thalmarkin war. If Sirion could attack Nivemus for that open territory, the stalemate would be gone AND we could move on from North vs. South mega bloc. If Westgard moved northeast it would bump into Avernus, or south into TG again. Heck it would be easier to found a colony in Darfix, which would then run into both Westgard and TG and make war more likely.

In short, the lack of incentive -- and the massive presence of disincentive -- for war is the real problem here. It isn't alliance size. Alliance size limitations have never existed, even with the mechanical limitation. Obsessing over it is fools gold. The self interest of realms means blocs both form and break up on their own, formally or informally, with or without the blessing of game mechanics. So let's stop caring about them.

Our job is to try to inspire as much war as possible, and the key to that is limited land, limited resources, and an actual ability to acquire those limited things, so we start competing over them.

The only other thing I will suggest outside that for mechanical solutions, if we insist on adding more rules rather than fixing the broken system, than just put in a mechanical limitation to only one declared war with one realm at a time, and make alliances impossible.

But I favor a more fundamental reform.
Helpline / Re: Guild foundation character limit?
June 06, 2020, 07:40:24 PM
Thanks a lot, Tim!
Helpline / Guild foundation character limit?
June 06, 2020, 06:20:37 PM
I filed a bug report on this, but wasn't sure if that was the right way to ask for help with this, so I am posting here too.

I just founded a new guild in Westgard that was intended to be called "Order of the Emerald Shield" which is what I typed in the text box. It let me type it and didn't shorten the text (I did this on mobile) but when I hit "Found Guild" it immediately shortened it and said I had founded the "Order of the Emerald Shi" -- so I assume there is a character limit.

But now the guild is founded and I have this wrong name, and there is no way to change the name that I know of, so I am stuck. Obviously if I had known about that limit prior to hitting the button I would have used a different name.

So minor issue, but I would love if the character limit could be increased by a few letter (3-5 maybe) and I am not sure if the guild's name could be changed to go with it, or if the guild could be deleted and money refunded so I could "refound" it with a different name if we can't up the limit.

Or literally any other suggestions. Thanks.
BM General Discussion / Re: Wiki uploads
September 06, 2019, 12:31:09 PM
Damn. No, unfortunately I just tried to upload 5 different images, (jpegs, PNGs, etc) and they all failed. Same error got thrown:

Could not open lock file for "mwstore://local-backend/local-public/ArylonCOA.png". Make sure your upload directory is configured correctly and your web server has permission to write to that directory. See$wgUploadDirectory for more information.

Return to Main Page.

BM General Discussion / Re: Wiki uploads
September 05, 2019, 11:41:39 PM
No luck here, I'm guessing?
BM General Discussion / Wiki uploads
September 05, 2019, 01:26:52 PM
Quick question, anyone else having an issue uploading images to the Wiki? I'm getting this error:

Could not open lock file for "mwstore://local-backend/local-public/ArylonCOA.png". Make sure your upload directory is configured correctly and your web server has permission to write to that directory. See$wgUploadDirectory for more information.

I've done a lot of wiki development over the years, and this is usually a folder permission issue in the upload directory... but why would that have changed?

I've been away from the game for a while and just came back so maybe there's stuff going on with the wiki I didn't know about, but I was trying to refresh a lot of my old content and it would be nice to work on some images.

Anyone have any insight?