Hello folks! This year's resolution for me is to keep you guys more updated about the progress on the bot on a month-to-month basis. Updates so far have been sporadic, few, and sometimes even far in between, but my goal is to change that starting now and keep all you folks updated on the latest in regards to the bot.
January started out fixing some issues that were reported in December. Due to me personally taking a little break over the holidays, those issues fell a bit behind. Additionally, I made some great strides in improving the bot's performance on the larger scale that the bot has become over the past few months.
This includes moving the bot to an entire new host which has improved the performance of the bot massively due to the latency of this host being much lower than the previous host. There is also no longer any downtime, except for those moments when an update is being applied. This change allows my to get more creative with the bot in the future and should let you guys interact with the bot much quicker.
In the commands department, January brought a few new ones: !weeklyimage, !clips and !loading. The latter 2 Premium commands are meant to be fun in a way that you might find something you might not have known before about the game, or maybe you just like it and want to use it for something else. I say, go nuts. As for the Weekly Images, I had some fun adding that and thought it might be useful for some.
Another great feature that was added but one that might not be noticed so easily, is the usage of a new data source for information within the bot. This allows me to very easily add information directly from the game to the search results. As a result, the effects for food items and tonics are now much more accurate than they were before. In addition, horse stats are now directly linked to the game's statistics, so they are also more accurate. All this new information also prompted me to make a whole heap of new emotes for the different effects, which now also support Discord clients which have their themes set to light better.
Finally, all the images have had support for non-alphabetic characters added. No longer should Japanese, Chinese, and Korean users only see squares when looking for a specific image. This change also improves the internal performance of image generation significantly, which meant the performance of the different image commands improved as well. In addition to the performance gains, it also makes it way easier for me to implement new images in the future. If you have any suggestions, feel free to send them in!
You know it, I know it. Whenever you use the !find command, you can provide whatever you want and the bot will try to search for it. Well, even though it didn't quite make January, the bot has now been updated with an improved search engine. This new search engine allows the bot to find results much quicker, depending on the complexity of the search. In addition, since the whole search architecture has improved as a whole, the response whenever you use !find should be much more snappy than it ever has been before.
Now, as searching can be a fickle thing, I am not quite ready to leave it alone, and more changes and/or improvements might be necessary. I will keep an eye on the search queries that do not turn up any results, and will try to fix them as soon as they pop up. More to come!
In February, I am planning to implement so more changes focusing on the general functionality of the bot. Specifically, I am planning to improve translations and translation support even more. A key aspect of this is allowing Newswire articles and game updates to be retrieved in different languages, where supported by Newswire itself.
In addition, I am planning on adding a new level system, where people can gain XP over time to gain them roles. Unlike other level systems, I plan on making this as Red Dead themed as possible, making it similar to how levels are displayed in the game.
Finally, since I recently added some items to the RDO Map, the bot will need to be updated with those new items as well, this will happen early February and will likely be the first of these upcoming features to hit the bot. Prepare to be able to search for the locations of Bounties during those annoying search missions, directly from within the bot.
I cannot tell you guys enough that I appreciate all the support. Like I mentioned in one of my previous posts, these difficult times have hampered this bot's development somewhat, and those times are not quite over yet, however I am slowly getting back to the task at hand: providing you guys with the most complete knowledge base for the game we all love (or love to hate).
Cheers, and see you next month with another update!