Coming Soon: SQL Packhorses

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Coming Soon: SQL Packhorses

Unread post by DaloLorn »

For a long time, packhorses have paid for their mobility and usefulness with volatility (modified saddlebags could be wiped entirely on a server crash) and an inability to correctly cross server boundaries. They've also been difficult for staff to interfere with in the event that rollbacks or repairs to the saddlebag data were needed, with very few people having a complete notion of how to work with them.

Not anymore.

This weekend's update will release a new SQL saddlebag, modeled after the bank storage system. (In fact, it reuses like 99% of the storage scripts/GUI, and the same database table.) At the same time, deposits to the old saddlebag system will become impossible, though the bags will be available for item withdrawal indefinitely due to our current inability to automatically migrate their contents out of the system.

The storage UI sucks! Why couldn't we have just fixed the old system?
A combination of ignorance and technical issues. I don't fully understand how the old system works, so retrofitting it to use SQL is a big ask. Worse, this would not have any effect on the possibility of losing your entire saddlebag in a server crash. Consequently, this was both the biggest and the easiest upgrade possible at the moment.

(I'm open to suggestions on how to improve storage QoL, though!)

I used to use the saddlebag as an improvised storefront. Don't I lose that ability now?
Nope. One of the biggest changes I made to the storage code was to allow other PCs preview-only access to a horse's storage. (One of the other big changes was to make horses always read their owner's vault instead of whoever was accessing them.)

This has been tested already on the live server - one member of QC would pull out a horse and put a few items into their SQL saddlebag. Another QCer would then try to access the saddlebag: The deposit and withdraw buttons were removed, leaving only the preview button.

Can we preview saddlebag items wherever we go?
... Unfortunately not. I've got some theoretical solutions that would let stored items be previewed on any map without risking item-duping exploits, but for the time being, only maps with a storage preview box will support saddlebag preview. Sorry. :(

(For instance, Soubar or FAI is fine, but Boareskyr Bridge will only show names and let you withdraw items without previewing. As a rule, maps not containing a regular storage NPC should not be expected to have a preview box.)

What's the storage capacity?
Shared with the storage vault, at a combined total of I think 1000 items? A considerable increase for anyone who isn't currently in danger of maxing out their storage vault, considering the old bags could, IIRC, only hold 100 items.

Won't both systems get cluttered up by each other?
The saddlebag only shows saddlebag items, so it won't experience any clutter from the regular vault. That said, the inverse is currently not the case, but this may change at a later date. There's ups and downs to both approaches, so I went with the path of lesser resistance by default.

When will we lose access to our old saddlebags?
Although we advise migrating at your earliest convenience, there is currently no timetable for the full removal of the old saddlebag system. Too many items could be irretrievably lost if we removed the bags too soon, and there's no telling how long it might be before we can safely say there's nothing left in the system.

Someday, surely... but not in the foreseeable future.

What other differences exist between the two systems?
The new saddlebags don't have any weight. They've got the same contents on both servers, they're basically incapable of losing items... (The same failure modes necessarily apply as for the storage vault, and I can't really imagine how you'd lose a vault item in the first place unless the whole database started falling apart...)

There might have been one or two more, but I can't remember right now.
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Re: Coming Soon: SQL Packhorses

Unread post by Steve »

Very cool Dalo!

I might actually start using this system now!

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Re: Coming Soon: SQL Packhorses

Unread post by Kitunenotsume »

DaloLorn wrote: Sat Aug 26, 2023 2:34 pm What's the storage capacity?
Shared with the storage vault, at a combined total of I think 1000 items? A considerable increase for anyone who isn't currently in danger of maxing out their storage vault, considering the old bags could, IIRC, only hold 100 items.
A word of warning to anyone close to capacity on both - Be cautious when moving over to the new saddlebag system, since the total capacity is 100 stacks lower. The horse inventory does not tell you how much space you have left before hitting the shared 1000 max, and the decrease is almost 3 character-tabs worth of space.

So if you are like me and tried to just extract and move over, the inventory will be full of heavy stuff you can no longer put away.
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