The Log is a Lie

Hey there, it's me, The. Long time no see, eh ?

In the last two months i have been working on Helix, a part of our backend responsible to process the in-game logs, processes, maps and notifications.

This piece of software will prove invaluable to HE2 since it is low-weight and supports parallel processes (ie: it can process the requests of several players at the same time with minimal overhead to our servers, reducing the overall response time of most operations and reducing the risk of downtime)

So, i thought now would be a good time to provide you with an insight in the new mechanics of logs in HE2

So far, the log has been just like a text file that all VPC (in-game server) had whose contents anyone could edit. That way, as you know, there would be no way to know, by using the logs, if anyone have accessed your computer except by camping and that unfortunately incentivized the development of "log camping bots". This has expected the player to be fast (ie: have a good internet provider and fast clicking skills) to be safe and had to keep pressing F5 every few seconds to make any use of the logs

As you can see, this is a flawed design for a stealth game. So, we changed somethings:

  • Every log is now an independent entry

    That way you may be able to filter logs in a server by their message, you may filter only logs that you have created (ie: by logging into a server) or even by their date

  • Any log may have revisions

    In HE2 you will be able to edit any log using a software called log editor but anyone can undo your edition by using a log recover software with a version equal or superior to your editor. That way, if you have a good editor, you will be able to deceive other players by editing logs; if you have a good recover, you can avoid those traps. But be aware, you can't be certain if a log is edited or not since we won't tell you if your recovery failed because you're already looking on the original log or because your log recover is not good enough ;)

  • Any log can be hidden

    If you have a good hider (the one you actually use to hide software) you can hide a log. Obviously, you can seek logs using the seeker.

  • Some logs may be fake

    If you are expecting to deceive someone, it may be interesting to forge logs using your log editor. By the way, the fake log can be deleted by a log recover as long as the recover version is higher or equal to the editor version used to create it (and it's revisions should it have any)

  • New logs will appear on your screen automatically

    No longer will you have to keep refreshing the page to look for new log entries, they will appear (and change) automatically on your screen as soon as they are created (or edited) as long as you are on the logs screen

With those changes, Hacker Experience 2 is getting closer to an stealth game than a "click as fast as you can" game, hope you like those changes.

Stay tuned, my next post will be about processes.

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São Carlos, Brazil Website
Former PHP victim, currently working with Elixir, Elm, distributed systems and some hardcore systems administration.