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141  Economy / Marketplace / Re: 1000 BTC Giveaway – Dragon’s Tale Beta Test Celebration on: January 27, 2011, 04:42:13 PM

I’d just like to update everyone on the state of the Dragon’s Tale Beta Party / 1000 BTC giveaway.

We’re still scheduled to have the party on Sunday, February 6th, from noon until 6:30p.m. Eastern (GMT-0500). 
So far twenty-one players have gotten a tour and consequently an invitation from either me or another mentor.  So as of right now, if everyone shows up, each player will get approximately 24 (500/21) Bitcoins to play with. If some don't show up by, say, 4:00, I'll consider those coins unclaimed, and will distribute them in some surprise way. There's still plenty of time to take a tour.

Now, some updates about the game and the party structure I outlined earlier (we’re still working on it so this is subject to some small changes, but expect nothing substantial, perhaps just small tweaks here & there – the structure will be finalized and published before the party).

First, we’ve officially introduced games based on BTM & BTU as well as BTC.  A BTM ("BitMill") is one-thousandth of a Bitcoin, and a BTU ("BitMicron") is one-millionth of a bitcoin.  This will to allow players of varying bankrolls to play the different games as they like.  Look for the soldier statues holding spears of Bitcoins, Bitmills, and Bitmicrons to find the higher- and lower-stakes games.

Regarding the 100 BTC “biggest winner” bonus (and the consolation prize): we will award those based on the largest winning (and losing) streaks. So if you have a big loss and a big comeback, or vise-versa, you could win both prizes.

We’re keeping the specifics of the 200 BTC in “other giveaways” secret until the party, but I’ll give a few teasers here: at random times throughout the party we’ll be giving away coins in the form of coin-showers… we’ll make system-wide announcements a short bit before the event and then everyone who gets to the area can try to catch the falling coins.

Also, we’ll have “party challenges” – tasks for you to attempt to complete during the party.  They range from very simple to very difficult.  Some require you to cooperate and play with others; others will be tasks you can accomplish on your own.  Completing the party challenges serves two purposes.  First, every party challenge that you complete earns you a raffle ticket into the game-lease giveaway.  Secondly, we’ll be giving away bonuses based on completing as many  challenges as possible from a special “Party Quest” - leaderboards scattered around town let you track progress vs. other players.

After the party, you will have the option to fill out a survey, in which you will be able to stake your claim to the two 50 BTC bounties… the 50 BTC bounty for the best game suggestion will be awarded by a panel of eGenesis staff and Dragon’s Tale volunteers; if any previously unknown bugs are found, we will award 50 BTC to the most critical bug submitter – this will be determined by me (the programmer) alone.

I hope this starts to address the questions I’ve been receiving and, as always, please don’t hesitate to ask me here or in-game about anything else.

I look forward to seeing everyone on February 6.

Good Luck!
142  Economy / Marketplace / Re: 1000 BTC Giveaway – Dragon’s Tale Beta Test Celebration on: January 24, 2011, 04:18:01 PM
I'll be online today until at least 5:00PM EST. If, say, 3:00PM works for you, log in then. If others want to do a tour at 3:00PM today, just log in and we'll get a group together.

143  Economy / Marketplace / Re: 1000 BTC Giveaway – Dragon’s Tale Beta Test Celebration on: January 23, 2011, 01:43:27 AM
A 64 bit Linux build is on our to-do list. It probably won't make it in by Feb 6 though. I know that (at least in Ubuntu) it's possible to install the 32 bit libraries to get it to work, but I don't recall which ones are needed. (I use Linux on my desktop, but I'm not a Linux expert.) I'll ask the guy that maintains the Linux distro what is involved.
144  Economy / Marketplace / Re: 1000 BTC Giveaway – Dragon’s Tale Beta Test Celebration on: January 14, 2011, 03:26:07 PM
Right, it's on Feb 6, which is a Sunday. I'm still working out the prize pools, but I'm thinking something like this:

500 BTC split among those that have logged in beforehand and been flagged by an existing mentor. We'll give this out as those on the list log in. So far, 5 people in that group.
100 BTC bonus BTC to the person that wins the most Bitcoins.
100 BTC consolation prize to whoever loses the most.
50 BTC bounty for the best suggestion for the game
50 BTC bounty for best bug-find. (If no unknown bugs are found, I'll roll this over to something else.)
200 BTC worth of other giveaways. I'm creating a bunch of mini-quests, and maybe we'll do giveaways based on who completes the most mini-quests.

145  Economy / Marketplace / Re: 1000 BTC Giveaway – Dragon’s Tale Beta Test Celebration on: January 14, 2011, 02:57:27 PM
Pegasus - pretty much any GPU will work, and bandwidth (once you have downloaded all resources) is around 5kbps. So (not counting the initial download), it will actually work over a modem.

So far just 5 people have signed up, so 200 Bitcoins each on average. I'll be online all day for tours.
146  Economy / Marketplace / Re: 1000 BTC Giveaway – Dragon’s Tale Beta Test Celebration on: January 10, 2011, 04:07:29 PM
Cynosure - I see you've logged in, and I think Ramapithecus flagged you for the Feb 6 giveaway, but you can check that by clicking on your avatar, and then Utility/Feb 6 Party Information.

Pegasus - It's a closed source server/client. I've considered open-sourcing it, but to reap the advantages of open-source requires some resources (documentation, increased project management) that I can't spare ATM. It may eventually happen, or may happen with the next client/server architecture that I'm developing. We do maintain a PPC version of the client for OSX.

I'll be in game most of today for anyone that wants a quick tour and flag for Feb 6.
147  Economy / Marketplace / 1000 BTC Giveaway – Dragon’s Tale Beta Test Celebration on: January 09, 2011, 04:50:39 PM
Over the first weekend of February 6, Dragon’s Tale, the Bitcoin-powered Gambling MMORPG, will host a party to commemorate our forthcoming Beta release with a Grand Opening Party… by giving away one grand in Bitcoins!

We will be giving away 1000 Bitcoins to readers of the forum (and of course our current players) who sign up for the party and show up to help demo all our new features.

For newcomers or those of you who may not have been by since our Alpha party in October, you’ll find:

    * A modified world design with more games and more to discover.
    * New PvP (Player-vs. Player) games with no house advantage: Smart players can expect >100% return.
    * Multiplayer strategy games with no house advantage.
    * Micro-stakes games with wagers of 1/1000 Bitcoin. Play for hours with a single Bitcoin.
    * Many more skill games in which using a smarter strategy than other players have will give you a big edge.
    * Dragon’s Treasures, bundles of 100 Bitcoins, awarded based on your play.
    * A greatly expanded Level system: Completing Level Quests increases the rate that you earn Dragon’s Treasures.
    * A new mentorship program in which experienced players get rewarded for helping out new players. Even if you don’t gamble, you can still earn Dragon’s Treasures by introducing new players to the game and showing them around.

And on the day of the party, in addition to free coins, expect:

    * A world-wide treasure hunt for hidden prizes.
    * Bonuses for the biggest winners, and even a 100 BTC consolation prize for the biggest loser!
    * Scheduled raffles, giveaways, and other surprises throughout.
    * A chance to own a piece of Dragon’s Tale. Depending on turnout, we’ll be giving away ownership of a single game for a 3-month period. For that game, you are the house.

Why are we doing this?
Obviously we’d love for you to try Dragon’s Tale, fall in love with it, and tell all your friends, but we’re throwing this party because we value the input of and feedback from the Bitcoin community.

We’re trying to create something never before seen with this game. With Dragon’s Tale we’re striving to create a platform that simultaneously embodies the social recreation that MMORPGs provide as well as the excitement known to the casual - and advantage gambler… within the context of this new cryptocurrency that has caught all of our attention.

Are we trying to be something for everybody? Absolutely not. We’re trying to be something novel, exciting, and, most importantly, fun for a select group, and we while we believe that many of’s readers will be among that group, we know that’s readers won’t bite their tongues when it comes to giving us useful feedback.

As such, a significant portion of the giveaway will go to those who provide us their comments and critiques in the days after the event. We’ll be providing bounties for the best suggestions, best critiques, and more.

What’s the catch?
Simple – we want your input. This is a no-strings-attached giveaway. You will not be required to deposit any BTC whatsoever to participate, play, or win. But since we’re after your feedback, we need our partygoers to be familiar with the basic operations of the game – anyway, we hope to be way too busy entertaining to answer your questions during the party itself!

So, in order to be invited to the giveaway party, all we ask is that you log in to Dragon’s Tale sometime prior to the day of the event, and learn enough from me (Di) or one of the game’s current Mentors (Ramapithecus, Kat) to explain them to others. We’ll then flag you as eligible for the main giveaway on the 6th. We will schedule game tours and Q&A sessions over the next month, but often we’re online anyway, and are happy show you around at odd hours. We can’t offer tours 24/7 while we gear up for the party, but suffice it to say we’ll make every attempt to accommodate anybody who expresses an interest. We’re a small company but we’re fortunate enough to have volunteers from around the world, so we hope to be able to accommodate everyone’s schedule/time zone.

To sum up:

   1. This February 6th, we’ll be giving away 1,000 BTC to our current players and to members at our Beta Test Celebration.
   2. No deposit is required. You  don’t need to give any personal information – the surveys will be conducted in-game so you don’t even need to provide an email address.
   3. In order to get invited to the party, all we ask is that you first learn the basics of the game by logging in to the game ahead of time, and get familiar with some of the games.
   4. Orientations will be scheduled as demanded, and we hope to create a schedule that will accommodate absolutely everyone.
   5. Everyone who attends the party will get a party-favor (in BTC of course), and we know that the night will see some big winners.

We’re working around the clock to get ready for our party, so we’re still hammering out the fine points, but please don’t hesitate to ask me any questions in the meantime.

To download the client software, visit:

Hope to see you there!
148  Bitcoin / Bitcoin Discussion / Terminology for Fractional Bitcoins on: December 30, 2010, 04:28:29 PM
I've adopted the following in Dragon's Tale - is there some more accepted convention? Should we come up with some standard?

0.001 Bitcoin : "1 Bitmill" or "1 BTM"
0.000001 Bitcoin : "1 Bitmicron" or "1 BTU"

Mill seems ok, because mills are used to specify tax rates (1 mill == 1/1000th of the value of an asset.)

I don't really care for the Bitmicron abbreviation because I always read it as a British Thermal Unit, and the Greek mu symbol is hard to type. Furthermore, microns are a unit of length.

149  Economy / Trading Discussion / Re: A Heroin Store on: December 08, 2010, 01:03:42 AM
The original idea was one where all transactions are conducted over a website only accessible via Tor. This part has been viable for years - it's always the money part that makes it risky for both the seller and the buyer.

The parts involving mail and double-sending drugs are ways to make the business scale, and make it work globally. They give plausible deniability to those receiving drugs.

I see lots of comments in this thread that "it would never work" and "the feds will come after you", but nothing detailing a specific way that they would detect who was mailing the drugs or running the business. The closest anyone came was Babylon, who suggested that the police might stake out all mailboxes in the area the packages came from, but that 's easily diffused: Locating the business in New York City, with 100k(?) public mailboxes would do the trick, or using common packaging like business envelopes.

(And to those that don't understand the concept of a thought experiment: No, I'm not actually planning to start a heroin store.)

150  Economy / Marketplace / Re: (now accepting Visa/Mastercard) on: November 30, 2010, 01:53:46 PM
FWIW, I've known Chaord for a while now, and he's a stand-up guy.

I've been directing people to when they need Bitcoins to play Dragon's Tale, and all have reported quick and hassle-free service.
151  Economy / Gambling / Re: Dragon's Tale - a Massively Multiplayer Online RPG/Casino on: November 09, 2010, 04:23:32 PM
We shouldn't require admin rights, so although this may work, I'd like to understand what is different about WIndows 7...

Are you changing elaunch.exe to administrator rights, or eclientc.exe? If the later, then the file egenesis.bug from the install directory will be helpful.
152  Economy / Gambling / Re: Dragon's Tale - a Massively Multiplayer Online RPG/Casino on: November 07, 2010, 07:08:50 PM
Contact me at either of the above phone numbers and I'll try to help. (If you call today, use the 1-412-973-7914 number.)
153  Economy / Marketplace / Dragon's Tale - Skill-based Games Playsession on: November 05, 2010, 04:33:27 AM
It's been a couple weeks since the last Dragon's Tale play session - in that time I've focused exclusively on skill-based games. I've done most of these games with no house edge: This means that smart players should be able to consistently make Bitcoin by playing - I think that's pretty cool. I'll introduce the first five such games in-world, in a play session:

    Saturday, Nov 6 from 4:00PM EDT (GMT-0400) until 6:00 PM

Games include the strategic fishing game Rice Pond, the spatial reasoning game Reflection, the mind-reading game Tug, Parimutuel Beetle Racing, and The Eight Treasures of Chinese Cuisine.

Dragon's Tale is a 50M+ download, so it's a good idea to download the client ahead of time:

Native clients are available for Windows, MacOS, and Linux.
154  Economy / Gambling / Re: Dragon's Tale - a Massively Multiplayer Online RPG/Casino on: November 05, 2010, 01:22:13 AM
I was just doing some work on that part today - I may have introduced a bug.
You can contact me at 1-800-498-3004 or 1-412-973-7914 and I'll be able to tell what's going wrong.


This is now fixed, thanks.
155  Economy / Marketplace / Re: Halloween Game: Werewolf on: October 30, 2010, 02:49:28 PM
Yeah, this needs 12+ people to be fun, so I think I won't code this - looks like no interest at all. (I'm surprised - I've done this before inside ATITD and it's a blast.)

What I will do though, is for the next Dragon's Tale play session - probably a few days from now - focus entirely on PvP games with 100% return. (IOW, a smart player can expect a >100% EV for each "bet.")
156  Economy / Marketplace / Halloween Game: Werewolf on: October 29, 2010, 02:41:42 AM
I'm thinking of running the classic game Werewolf within Dragon's Tale as a Halloween event. Though we'd play for Bitcoins, the house wouldn't take anything. Here's how Werewolf works:

Three people are secretly picked as Werewolves. A werewolf knows that he is a werewolf, others do not.
Everyone else, about 10 people, are Villagers. One of the Villagers is a Seer.

Play proceeds in day-night cycles. During the day:
1. Werewolves can smell up to 1 other person to determine if they are also a werewolf.
2. Villagers can vote on a person to lynch. It takes a majority to lynch someone. Once a person is lynched, it is known whether he was in fact a werewolf.
3. The seer can scry one person to determine if they are a werewolf.

During the night:
1. Werewolves can attack. It takes 2 werewolves working together to attack.

The game ends when there are less than 2 werewolves (Villagers Win), or when there are no more Villagers (Werewolves win.) The pool of Bitcoins is split evenly among the living winners.

The game would be played within Dragon's Tale, starting at 2:00PM EDT (GMT-0400); each round would be about 10 minutes.
157  Economy / Trading Discussion / Re: A Heroin Store on: October 23, 2010, 09:31:59 PM
I addressed this in my original post: The seller maintains a list of both customers and innocent people. When a customer places an order, identical packages go out to both him, and a randomly selected innocent. The innocent list is equal in size to the customer list, so that receiving regular shipments of heroin fails to even meet a "preponderance of the evidence" standard.
158  Bitcoin / Development & Technical Discussion / Re: [PATCH] implement 'listtransactions' on: October 20, 2010, 02:35:39 PM

Could you have listtransactions also include the comment field associated with a transaction? Here's the problem I'm running into:

Dragon's Tale MMO does periodic (every 3 minutes) checkpoints. If someone has withdrawn BTC since the last checkpoint and the server crashes, then when it comes back up (restoring the most recent checkpoint), they could withdraw the same BTC again!

I deal with the opposite case cleanly: When someone requests an address to use to deposit BTC, I label that address and use getreceivedbylabel when computing their balance: My server and bitcoind are always in agreement WRT how many BTC the person has deposited. But unless I can query bitcoind about how many BTC were sent out on behalf of a player, I just have to trust the value stored in the last checkpoint file - very dangerous!

My solution is to record a comment consisting of the player's name, in each outbound transaction, and then when doing a restore, read in the last N transactions to correct for unrecorded outbound transactions in the game's database.

FWIW, this is almost exactly the same technique we use to sync the game database and our credit card merchant's database in A Tale in the Desert.
159  Economy / Gambling / Re: Dragon's Tale - a Massively Multiplayer Online RPG/Casino on: October 15, 2010, 03:49:53 PM
Not a bad idea, but while you've changed the format in how many of the games of chance are played, it's still essentially the same rules as many standard gambling games. The firework game, for example, is slots with a different skin.  You thought way outside of the box with a lot of ATITD's games, Seven Blades for example, it stands to reason that if you really put your mind to it you could create some gambling games for this that would be very unique.

Actually, Sevenblade is Liar's Poker, re-skinned.

But you're right - there are a limited number of pure games of chance, unless you introduce decision making or skill-based PvP.

There will be games with both decision making and PvP, but there's a nasty little game design secret that tells me that these will account for a tiny fraction of the games played in Dragon's Tale. The reasons are related:

Skill-based PvP games are fun for the people that tend to win, and frustrating for the people that tend to lose. This was overwhelmingly obvious in Tales 1 and 2: We had an entire Discipline (1/7th of the game) that revolved around 2-player abstract games. It was a hugely popular discipline at first, but those people that tended to lose most of the time would get frustrated and quit the game, leaving a smaller, smarter population of Conflict Disciples. Then the less-smart half of those that remained would get frustrated and leave, etc., until we ended up with about a half dozen total geniuses. (Two of them were in fact Math PhDs.)

Decision-Making games have a related problem: In order to set rates of return, I need to be sure I know the optimal play strategy. If I just sort of "wing it", then it's a matter of time before someone discovers a strategy with a 100%+ return and writes a macro to bankrupt the casino.

An alternative approach is to have dynamic payback rates (which is the method that I've decided to use.) A daemon will watch overall player returns and adjust either the cost to play, or the payoff table. With this method, it's possible for the smartest players to play with 100%+ return, but still have the house profit overall. Returns for typical players will then tend to be quite a bit lower than all the other games in Dragon's Tale, because smart players will play very heavily. (Or even write macros to play for them, quickly and perfectly.)

So I think that both types of games will have very few players, and that fun & easy games of pure chance will dominate. But we'll see - I like doing experiments Smiley
160  Economy / Gambling / Re: Dragon's Tale - a Massively Multiplayer Online RPG/Casino on: October 15, 2010, 03:08:55 PM
I've consulted with 3 lawyers and read the relevant statutes myself. Federal law deals entirely with extending credit for purposes of wagering, and the transmission of that credit over wires, or of checks over wires for purposes of wagering, etc. Online gambling itself appears to break no federal law:

An interesting part of the law is that the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System can make new regulations as to what is considered a "designated payment system." Wouldn't it be wild if they made such a regulation about Bitcoin?!? All three lawyers agreed that they don't just do that sort of thing by surprise and then a minute later start arresting people.

Pennsylvania law prevents some forms of gambling when done at establishments, or when the wager is based on the results of a political contest, or "pool selling" (though that also seems to be establishment based.) It also prohibits the manufacture of physical items used in gambling. Playing cards are specifically allowed to be manufactured, though it's interesting that dice are not specifically allowed. IOW, Pennsylvania law is pretty specific. That said...

Dragon's Tale is certainly "closer" to violating Pennsylvania law, though other MMOs would be equally close, if they contain any chance elements. Pennsylvania law, unlike most states, does not apply a "predominantly elements of chance" clause (which is often used to outlaw poker games at the state level.)

That said, if it's determined that Dragon's Tale does violate Pennsylvania law, it's an easy matter to relocate the servers to another state.
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