A New Version of MysteryTwister C3 ¶
By: Javex on July 31, 2013, 5:10 p.m.
Less than a year ago, we made the last major update of this website and a lot has happened since then, so it is time for a new version. This time, most of the changes are small and barely visible. Instead we focused on the internals to improve the experience with this page.
Nevertheless, there are some nice changes involved:
1) Solved challenges:
Some time ago we had to take down our RSA-704 challenge because its solution was publicly available. But we didn't want this challenge to just disappear as we had to do in the former version. Luckily, we were already working on a feature just for such an occasion: A challenge for which the solution becomes publicly known. Now it's here: RSA-704 is now back again and you can again solve it – however, you will not receive any points for it, and at the website a warning is displayed so you know, that there will be no points rewarded for it.
While RSA-704 is a nice example, this is mainly targeted at our new way of looking at level X challenges (see this announcement): Now, once a challenge is deemed solved in level X, we can mark it this way.
2) New formula for the awarded points:
We have reworked our formula for calculating points in the hall-of-fame according to your feedback. It is now a bit more complicated as it introduces a coefficient for each level. A challenge of a higher level looses points more slowly than one of a lower level. For a full explanation see the Overall Hall-of-Fame. The global points have thus increased by about 14 %. In the higher ranks there is a higher increase due to the fact that here more level III and level II challenges were solved. The ranks itself are unchanged in the top 10, and in the lower ranks it should only vary slightly to favor those who solved harder challenges.
3) Automatic forum updates & tags:
Because the forum is largely independent of the site itself, we had a problem with updating challenges: Whenever we wanted to update the text (or title, filename, etc.) of a challenge, we had to do it in two places. Furthermore, when a challenge was removed from the system (in some way), we had to manually announce this in the forum. Now, whenever we update a challenge, the forum post is updated, too. Additionally, there are three tags for special challenges available:
4) Multiple authors and better support for authors:
Before the update, it was not really possible to have multiple authors. Instead, the author's name was just a comma separated list of names. This led to the complication that we could not assign a user unambiguously on such multi-author challenges.
In the frontend an author noticed that by not seeing such collaborative challenges in the "My Profile" page as "his". Now this is fixed: All challenges by multiple authors are correctly assigned to all of them. A small notice for the authors: You might want to check your log mail settings under the "My Profile" page as they might have changed in case the information was not a 100 % accurate. You can just re-enable logs if you want them again.
For most of the users there is only one noticeable difference: On a challenge with multiple authors there are now multiple addresses you can contact. Note however, that most of the addresses are placeholder addresses that lead directly to us if the author did not provide an address for himself.
5) Updated Joomla version & bugfixes:
The Joomla version was moved from 1.7 to 2.5. This follows the Joomla recommendation and we are now on an LTS version that is supported for quite some time.
What do you think?
We are now interested what you think of the changes? Also please let us know, in case you notice any problems. While these changes were tested for quite some time now, we can never be a 100 % sure that we found all bugs – so if you encounter any problems, just drop us a message here or via the contact form.
We hope you enjoy this new version!
Your MTC3 team