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Minkata Shard Tester's Guide (in layman's terms)

Posted: Fri Jan 06, 2012 1:58 am
by Tai'lahr
The purpose of this post is to simplify the procedures and instructions already available on this site, but which may not be clear to the average explorer or are not easily found among the vast amounts of information here. It’s my hope that this will make it easier for first time testers to participate. If I have failed and you still have a question, please don’t hesitate to send me a PM. I will do my best to answer or clarify an issue, and possibly include it here.

Purpose of the Shard
The Minkata Test Shard was created to provide a place for testing bug fixes and new features which are destined to be submitted to CyanWorlds for proposed inclusion in Myst Online Uru Live: Again (MOULa).

Why participate?
This is an opportunity for anyone and everyone in the Uru community to make a contribution towards bringing bug fixes and new features to MOULa. Tired of getting Net 6 errors, crashing out of bahro caves, and waiting on the Minkata sparklie? Here’s your chance to speed up the process of getting those and many other bugs fixed. Plus, you could be one of the first to test out new features.

Experience required: Technically, none.
And, by that, I mean that you don’t need to have any technical experience. This post will walk you through all that stuff in layman’s terms. However, you do need to have played Cyan’s MOULa and the more you’ve played it, the better a tester you’ll be for the Minkata shard.

What is expected of testers?
Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to play the game as you usually would, but with a little more awareness and if/when you encounter a bug or crash, submit a ticket on it. More on that below.


System requirements:
The system requirements for the Minkata Testing Shard are the same as for CyanWorld’s Myst Online Uru Live: Again (MOULa), but you may need to update DirectX.

Register to the forum.
Although not required, shard testers are strongly encouraged to register to the forums and subscribe to the PING thread so you can receive e-mail notifications of updates to the shard which may affect your testing. Note: In order to post to the forum, you’ll need to join the Members group. See How To: Post New Topics – Forum and Project Membership Then, we’d love for you to post to the Introductions for Shard Testers thread.

Sign up for the shard.
How to Sign Up and Access the Shard
You should receive an e-mail response almost immediately. If not, check your spam folder to see if it landed there. If it hasn’t arrived within an hour, then try again or PM rarified and tell him what e-mail address you used.
Troubleshooting Launcher Issues:
What do I do if I encounter a problem with launching the game?
Since the Minkata shard is very much like MOULa, you can start by checking the Common Problems and How To Solve Them thread in the Technical Section of the MOUL forums. If it's not addressed there, then check the OU support Knowledge base to see if it's a known issue. You can also check the Minkata test shard—discussions and questions thread and other threads in this section to see if it's been addressed there.

Common issues specific to the shard include:
Error Message wrote:UruExplorer.exe - Unable To Locate Component
This application has failed to start because d3dx9_27.dll was not found. Re-installing the application may fix this problem.
You need to update your DirectX - even if your current version works fine with MOULa, the updated version is required for the OU Minkata shard. See here for more details and a download link in the OpenUru Knowledgebase.
Error Message wrote:File not found on server: Data\dat\BahroCave_District_YeeshaCave.prp.gz
and / or
Error Message wrote:The application or DLL C:\Progarm Files\Uru Live Minkata\MSVCR71.dll is not a valid Windows image. Please check against your installation diskette.
This indicates that your MOULa files weren't properly copied over to the OpenUru-Minkata shard folder. You can try deleting and re-copying the files, but it's possible that the MOULa files are corrupted and you'll need to refresh those by launching MOULa before making new copies for the OpenUru-Minkata shard folder. See here for more details in the OpenUru Knowledgebase.

The launcher appears to have stopped.
The Minkata launcher will take longer to get started than MOULa because it's comparing some files that the MOULa launcher doesn't. However, the server or network may be down and it will take several minutes for the game to "time out." (You can find the online status on the OU Foundry home page or at the top of any page in Hesk .) Lastly, there may be a lingering game launcher program still running on your computer. See Patcher Problems ("I'm stuck at "Initializing Patcher..." ) in the Common Problems and How To Solve Them thread on the MOUL forums.

What to do while playing:
As you play through the game, take notes and periodically jot down what you’re doing so that if a bug or crash occurs, you will know what to tell the support team in your ticket. I like to use the chatlog to make notes because it includes timestamps so my notes can be matched up to details in other logs. More on chatlogs:
To start a chatlog, type /startlog
A chatlog will continue to run even if you log out (not quit) to change avatars. To stop the chatlog, type /stoplog or quit the game.
Chatlogs are saved in the Documents/Uru Live/Log folder. The most recent one will be “Chat.0.log” with up to four being saved. Each time you start a log, the last one will move down.
  • * If you crash, jot down the time so you can include it in your report. This will help the support team to compare your report to their own logs and to any logs you provide to them.

    * If you get a crash report in game (aka "stack trace" or “stack dump”), please copy and paste that into a text file for attachment to the ticket. More on stack dumps:
    If you get an Error message pop up like this, hit the Copy button and then paste the call stack as text into a text file or directly into the support ticket.
    * If something unexpected (other than a crash) happens, make a note of what you expected to happen and what actually happened, the specific location, and the action you were doing at the time.
Is the bug reproducible?
When the Spy Room Bahro Stone shelf in Teledahn didn’t open until I quit the game and came back, I chalked it up to lag (possibly on my end), but when it happened to my second avatar, I decided it was worth investigating. So, I created a new avatar and this time, I noted my steps in the chatlog. Then, I was able to note the exact times in my ticket of when it didn’t appear and then when it did appear.

Collecting data logs for the ticket
Data logs from the Minkata shard are currently being sent to your Documents/Uru Live folder, but they’re working to change that so that there will be a new folder called Uru Live Minkata Shard. Look in the Log folder for a file called “UruLive120101.Live.log” (but with the current date) – this is the one you’ll want to submit with your ticket. You might want to rename it something like “Tai’sBahroCaveCrash” and you’ll need to zip it up. In Windows, you can "zip" any file by right-clicking it with your mouse and choosing "Send To..." and then "Compressed (zipped) folder". Then, attach the ZIP file to your ticket.

Go to the Help Desk and click Submit a Ticket. The ticket is pretty self-explanatory, but a few things to note are:

Name: they prefer you use one that is a forum name they're likely to recognize either from here or the MOUL forums.

Message:Here’s where you write what happened. A good description of the issue is important. Include as many details as you can recall such as the specific location and description of the action. Note what you expected to happen and what actually happened. If you include your avatar’s name, the support team may even be able to match the information to log files from the server. And, if you have used the chatlog to make your notes, you can provide the specific time the issue occurred. (Note: Chatlog times are in local (your) time, but other logs are on Greenwich Mean Time (GMT), so be sure to note the difference.) Example:"At 01/03 15:22:24 Central Standard Time, I was in the public instance of Ae'gura with my avatar named "Tailahr", standing on the sign near the DRC tent in the Tokotah plaza. I hit the space bar and forward key expecting to make a grand leap, but instead, the avatar just slid down to the ground."

Computer System Details: Provide information about your computer system here - at minimum, Make and model, Video card type, Processor speed, and System memory. How to collect the relevant data on your system:
You can use a diagnostic program like BelArc Advisor or, on Windows computers, the DXDiag program. To access DXDiag, hit the Start button, choose Run, type in “dxdiag” and hit Enter. After a moment of collecting info, it pops up, and different information is spread across the different tabs you can select. If you don’t want to pick the information out and type it in, you can choose to "Save All Information" and that will create a .txt file that can be attached to a report.
Tip: Save time by keeping this information in a text file so you can copy & paste it each time you submit a new ticket.

Attachments: You can add up to two attachments to your ticket: Currently these are limited to files of not more than 1MB in size and only some common file types are accepted (e.g. JPG, PNG, BMP, TXT, DOC, XLS, PDF, ZIP, RAR): If you wish to submit mutiple small files (such as several screenshots), then it's best to zip them into a single attachment. Also, to submit a log file, you’ll need to zip it.

Once the ticket is submitted, you will receive an auto-reply e-mail which includes the ticket number and a link so you can check back on the progress of your ticket. No further notices will be sent, unless they have a question for you.