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Messages - [Lestrades.com] Nao 尚
1
The Fatal Problem / Re: Issue(s)
« on October 1st, 03:29 PM »
Note: Lestrades.com was down for 12 to 18 hours, I'm not sure how long exactly. When it started I was already in bed early due to headaches, and when I woke up I was unable to get in touch with the server admin (devotee) to ask him to relaunch the MySQL server which was the issue here.
I guess I finally found an e-mail address that works ;)

I need to consider moving to another server, though. Not being able to reboot it when I'm made aware of an issue isn't great. This wasn't the case when I started the website back in 2017, and there's no reason it should be a problem today. ;)

I'll look into it.
2
The Noble Talk / Re: Game stores & clients (Steam, GOG...)
« on October 1st, 03:26 PM »
So maybe their new system doesn't scale well on larger libraries, I don't know.
I'm getting used to it, but I sure hope they'll fix most of the problems soon.
3
The Noble Talk / Re: What's up at Lestrade's?
« on September 29th, 12:48 PM »
Yeah, Steam has been very unstable these last few weeks, dunno why... DDOS attacks? Either way, it's great to be able to refer to Lestrades.com in these situations, I do the same myself, but that wouldn't be surprising eheh.
Their website doesn't "kick you off" though, it simply expires the login cookie. Normally it shouldn't expire that often... I think there are tools to allow you to extend the lifetime of a cookie, you should look into that.
4
The Noble Talk / Re: What's up at Lestrade's?
« on September 19th, 11:23 AM »
The advantage of showing the names as text is that it doesn't actually hide said category banners. I could simply move the store name to the right side of the banner and have it use a similar plain background, I actually started doing it this way before falling back to a drop shadow. The problem is that I have very limited space on banners :) Perhaps I should just write 'Epic' for Epic Games Store, and 'Rockstar' for Rockstar Social Club (I just realized the names actually overflowed in mobile mode, I'll have to reduce the font size for that.) But I don't know.
I'd say that for a start, it's a good one. :)
And I know a thing or two about incremental UI improvements, ah ah, see my post about the new Steam library interface!
5
The Noble Talk / Game stores & clients (Steam, GOG...)
« on September 19th, 11:20 AM »
Trying to open a new topic to talk about game stores such as Steam (which just unveiled a new beta), or GOG, and their associated communities and launchers/clients (Steam library beta and Galaxy 2.0 are the talk of the town.)



First, in case you didn't notice, Rockstar released their very own launcher for... their very own games, obviously. It's never a good sign, because it adds to fragmentation, but it's not like the store didn't exist before, so I'll let it go. The launcher is limited to Rockstar games, and from what I've heard, it doesn't even have GTA 4 in it, but it should allow you to launch your Steam Rockstar games (eh, what a bargain..... Ahah.) It also offers GTA San Andreas for a limited time. Has anyone heard about differences with the Steam version? I've read that the Steam version crashes a lot, and that the Rockstar version supposedly doesn't, I don't think I'll ever play the game, but that would still be enough to entice me into opening a Rockstar account just to make sure.



Now...

I just want user opinions on the Steam library redesign!

I don't know about you, but I'm on the fence. On the one hand, it looks nice, and it adds extra filtering options such as Steam tags and sort by playtime[1]

On the other hand, it's slow! On my computer at least, and it's not some old crap computer. It's clearly web-based.[2] I'm used to switching between library games with the arrow keys, so I could find out what games needed more achievements to be completed, and it was nearly instantaneous. Now it takes a good couple of seconds to switch to another game! So yes, looks nice, but when I want to be efficient, it's annoying. Especially with my 4500 games. I can't imagine how it must look like on a library with 10k+ items...

Also:

- Scrolling through the text list of games is also slow! It seems to take time to load icons, but if you filter games by name, you'll see it takes a second or so for the list to update, when previously it was instantaneous. Cache, please!

- The library tab in settings is very limited. It allows you to select a smaller, less obnoxious size for game thumbnails, which is great, but doesn't allow you to switch to horizontal banners for them[3], and allows you to disable animations, but that doesn't actually do anything, for me.

- I can no longer group my games by category. The option "Group by category" is there, but it's grayed out. I found no way to re-enable it.

- Where's the Hidden category? I can still hide my games, but can no longer find them.

- I've heard that free games are no longer hidden from your library when you uninstall them, which is great. No need to manually put them into the Hidden category (which is the only reason I used 'Hidden' at all!), which was a trick I found to make them remain in my accessible game list, even when uninstalled. But I'm starting to wonder if they haven't simply removed the hidden category, and my games now show up in the main list..? I'd have to check.

- Can't add multiple categories to a game anymore, I'm not seeing any way to do it. I have to manually right-click, select Add to, select a category, then start again. Way to go for user experience, Valve..!

- Game entries:
* Custom categories no longer show up. Neither does the DLC tab. I remember the store pages don't always have all DLCs available to see, so I often accessed the list from the library page, as sometimes I would get a free soundtrack DLC on them that wasn't listed on the store page.
* They now prominently feature 'activity'... What do I care that a friend added to their wishlist this game I already own? That might be understandable were it a multi-player game, but it also does it for single-player games... Also, I do not, and probably never will, play multi-player, so I'd appreciate if I could disable that... I do care if a friend adds a review for the game, though, that'd be a great place to read about them.
* Community content? I don't care about screenshots! Most community content is that. Make them smaller, maybe. I'm fine with guides and even discussions being linked there, but they're lost among the countless screenshots.
* The 'i' button to show the game description is great, and was really needed. But who thought it'd be great to remember that setting per game, instead of per session or generally..?! If I want to see a game description, I probably want to see them for all my other games at the same time...

Needless to say, right now my experience is very, very lackluster. If at least half of these issues aren't fixed within the next couple of weeks, I'll eagerly go back to the 'old' version, fearing the moment I'll be forced to 'upgrade'. Gosh, Valve, what's happening to you guys..?
 1. Up until now, Lestrade's was actually the only way I was aware of to be able to view your library by playtime in a timely manner when you have thousands of games-- although Lestrade's still has the upper hand because it gives more information, removes farming times, and shows playtime accurately, not rounded by the hour.
 2. I'd have to look into it, with a packet sniffer or something.
 3. Which would make a lot of sense considering only a fraction of my library has vertical thumbnails... Of which I'd like to find the URL scheme, by the way... Again, I'll need to run my packet sniffer... Unless it's already all cached on disk... Hmm...
6
The Noble Talk / Re: What's up at Lestrade's?
« on September 17th, 12:15 AM »
NEW: I'm testing out a new system where I'm showing Steam game banners for itch.io and Epic games, instead of a boring placeholder.

The idea is that I'm getting the 'related' items from those, and if one of them is on Steam, it's very likely that it's the Steam version, so I'm using its banner. If there are multiple Steam apps associated to the game, the oldest one will be used (it may not be a great fallback, so you might find errors here and there, feel free to report them, either here or on the game page, or by PM.)

Epic sample: https://lestrades.com/bundle/7305/
itch.io sample: https://lestrades.com/bundle/7330/

As you can see, I used a custom logo for itch.io, but I'm thinking of just using regular text like with Epic, for consistency.
PS: I'm also planning to do that for GOG and others, but I'm not in a hurry for anything. I was planning to support Groupees, but most of their associated Steam items are marked as children, rather than loosely related. I don't know. I guess I can take that data from their children, too.
7
The Noble Talk / Re: What's up at Lestrade's?
« on September 15th, 02:52 PM »
NEW: This is a quick hack I devised for my own use[1], like often here, except I couldn't be arsed to add a UI for it...
Go to one of your lists (library, wishlist, tradables, blacklist), and add the following to the URL: "?tag=195", and the list will now only show games that have the desired tag number. If there's already a question mark in your list's URL, just add ";tag=195" instead (a semicolon, rather than a question mark.)
To find a tag number, just find a game that has the tag you want, click its tag name, and the tag ID is in the URL, obviously.
 1. I'm trying to find a specific hidden object game I played months ago just by remembering a specific set of backgrounds it uses, but I'm at a loss right now...
8
The Noble Talk / Re: What's up at Lestrade's?
« on September 14th, 12:26 AM »
FIX: I broke some scripts on the site earlier today by mistake, sorry about that. Should be fixed now. (For instance, it had become impossible to add games to your wishlist from a bundle page.)
9
The Noble Talk / Re: What's up at Lestrade's?
« on September 10th, 12:58 AM »
Well, at least someone reads them! :lol:
10
The Noble Talk / Re: What's up at Lestrade's?
« on September 6th, 04:22 AM »
FIX: SteamSpy stopped serving the 'all' version of its API, which is a real bummer (I suppose it got abused by other websites; Lestrade's would only retrieve it once in a while, and then cache it for further processing.)
I modified my code to instead recover the data I used to get there, but game by game. It'll take longer to update (I guess a week for the first pass..? Maybe a bit less?), but it'll get done eventually.
Well, I guess now there's not much that prevents me from directly scraping the Steam store... At least I'd be able to consolidate multiple APIs into a single process, ah ah.
11
The Noble Talk / Re: SteamGifts - is it any good?
« on August 30th, 04:49 PM »
I don't know whether it's harsh or not. I never use it. Iirc I got a total of 4 or 5 free cheap games on it in years of use. Meh.

What has been on my to do list for years though, is a giveaway system for Lestrade's. Not random crap though... But for it to work if need a bigger user base. Meh.
12
The Noble Talk / Re: What's up at Lestrade's?
« on August 29th, 09:10 PM »
FIX: Game pages will now show owners sorted by unfarmed playtime, that is, it will respect the data shown in the user's library. (Previously, it wouldn't remove farmed time from the recorded playtime.)
13
The Noble Talk / Re: What's up at Lestrade's?
« on August 29th, 07:25 PM »
NEW: Worked on the Export feature.

- Added a "Steam only" option: don't export non-Steam items. (TF2 keys and such are considered non-Steam items, here.)
- The textarea will now indicate the length of the text inside. That's important because both websites targeted officially by the Export feature have a limit.
(a) Barter has a 40.000 character limit, although it can (thankfully) be avoided with a short manipulation. There's a warning that shows up if you choose the JSON format, with an additional link to the tutorial.
(b) SteamTrades has 60.000 character limits on both wishlist & tradables. I was able to confirm that the website counts line breaks as two bytes, instead of one. This is probably a leftover from the Internet Explorer area... I don't know. But I'm taking this into account when calculating the text size.
- Finally, I've modified the links to use a new shortened URL[1] for games. They will transparently be turned into full-form URLs, but in the meantime this saved about 10% off all list sizes. (I guess at this point, you can tell both my wishlist and tradables are JUST a couple kilobytes above 60.000 chars, so it's quite useful to me.)
 1. Note: it's encoded in base 64, I could have gone for a higher base by using more characters like @ or ! or commas, etc. but adding one more character only shaved about 3 bytes off the total list size for me, so it was useless. Removing the only two non-alphanumeric characters added about 300 bytes though, so I guess 64 was just the 'right' size for encoding game IDs. Nao out.
14
The Detective League / Re: Missing bundles
« on August 25th, 01:24 AM »
I don't know, I've tailored the system to my own use, which as close as possible to 'logical' as I could imagine.
Junk needs to stay in the database, in case stuff was flagged as junk incorrectly.

PS: I took the liberty to remove tons of bundles from the active bundle list, the StarDock-published ones... They're mostly not bundles, just a glorified sale. Probably GMG has a sake in StarDock or the other way around... I don't see the point of considering a $50 bundle to be called a bundle in the first place.
15
The Detective League / Re: Missing bundles
« on August 22nd, 11:15 AM »
Games that can be added/removed manually from library:
- DLCs
- Pending games (i.e. games that aren't dropping cards yet and not showing up in your public library yet.)
- Steam packages (because they don't show up in public libraries, but they're discovered by the user API, just like both above.)
I don't think Barter does the distinction for pending games. Maybe you can add them through one of the JavaScript extensions, though.

Games that you mentioned are:
- One is an episode (you can buy episodes on Steam but you can't get a Steam key for them, so they're not tradable... And usually, you buy the whole series so that's the thing that's potentially tradable.)
- Config titles, i.e. internal stuff that isn't tradable. One is a Mac version of GTA, which is included in the game when you install it, it's got its own app ID so it's listed at Lestrade's, but if you want to get that, you need to install the parent game. (Or sometimes sibling game, depending how I set up the relationship in the database.)
Generally, anything that gets its own app ID but is installed as part of something else or not found on the Steam store (retail-only keys, level editors for a parent game, private server software, demo, trailer...) won't be tradable on Lestrade's. And thus, can't be removed from your library manually either. I'm flexible on changing details, though! But generally speaking, LT's/BVG's database is really full of stuff that shouldn't even be in there... Which is why they're not discoverable by default.. (You have to select 'junk' in the search type.)
For instance, whenever Steam does a publisher sale weekend, it creates a store page which internally has an app ID, and you can access it through that app ID. This ends up in their huge database and the Steam API returns the type as 'advertising', but... not always. (App types are done manually at Steam, sometimes I guess there are human errors. Which I then manually fix on Lestrade's. But then again there's also human error at Lestrade's, ah ah.)

BTW I suppose you've tried adding games via the 'Add DLCs' button, too..? Sometimes it helps where other solutions don't.