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All Microgaming slots auto-updating?

Discussion in 'Online Casinos' started by ChopleyIOM, Apr 4, 2012.

    Apr 4, 2012
  1. ChopleyIOM

    ChopleyIOM Hearthstone Addict webby

    Occupation:
    Kobold Geomancer
    Location:
    UK
    I've tried launching three different MG casinos across three different PCs this evening, and they all immediately start background downloading.

    Seems to be a small update to each game rather than one overarching update, certainly all the slots I've tried so far have a brief downloading period before launching, and this is despite every PC having a complete cache of all games in the C:\ProgramData\MGS\cache folder prior to today. (Has been stable at about 10.1GB for quite a while.)

    I'm sure there's nothing sinister going on but one does wonder what the update is, I can understand a client software update, or new games being downloaded, but what needs changing on ancient games like Boogie Monsters? (Unless I'm mis-reading what's happening, but it seems odd that every individual game has a 'downloading' pause when launched.)
     
  2. Apr 4, 2012
  3. vinylweatherman

    vinylweatherman You type well loads CAG MM

    Occupation:
    STILL At Leisure
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    1 new game "Karate Pig", but WHY are all the other 400+ games downloading all over again. MGS have been asked this numerous times, but will not say why. The new game downloads and launches in seconds, but the lobby spends the following HOUR or more doing something to the existing games.

    MGS motto, "why spend 10 seconds doing something that you can get done in 2 hours":(
     
  4. Apr 4, 2012
  5. ChopleyIOM

    ChopleyIOM Hearthstone Addict webby

    Occupation:
    Kobold Geomancer
    Location:
    UK
    This is what concerns me.

    For the record I am not making any accusation here, but I do not understand what on earth needs to be changed with all the existing games that are already on the casino. (If indeed this is what the download is doing.)

    It's not downloading all the games again, (for the full MG catalogue to download on a fresh install takes over 24 hours as it sort of 'trickle downloads' any time any MG casino software is running until complete, and it uses a shared cache across all casinos at C:\ProgramData\MGS\cache), but as far as I can tell it is doing something to all of them.

    I have to say that this is where my paranoia circuits kick in, certainly if you were wanting to do a little casino-wide tweak to RTP, I guess this is how you'd do it.

    It would be nice if an MG rep here at CM could explain what this update is, as it feels like more than just adding one new game to the casino software!

    EDIT - I just launched the new Karate Pig game at 32Red on the kitchen laptop, then closed the game and went back to the main games view screen, and the background downloading carried on. Then I just fired up a random old slot (Rainbows End) and that had a little 'downloading' period before it started :(
     
  6. Apr 4, 2012
  7. Tirilej

    Tirilej Still a Lady CAG MM

    Occupation:
    Breathing
    Location:
    Sweden
    I don't know if you just started playing MG casinos, but this has happened to me and everyone else every time there is a new game.
    It's really annoying.
    Does it really takes 24hours for you to download a new MG casino? That's very long:eek2:
    I takes a few hours for me but that's only because I'm playing at the same time.
    Some casinos never get's fully downloaded until the next update comes along:rolleyes:
     
  8. Apr 4, 2012
  9. ChopleyIOM

    ChopleyIOM Hearthstone Addict webby

    Occupation:
    Kobold Geomancer
    Location:
    UK
    I bought a new laptop for the kitchen a few weeks ago, so installed 32Red and just left it downloading the entire casino overnight (and all the next day too :)), it was well over 24 hours before it'll pulled down the 10GB+ of data that it wanted to.

    That just seems to be how fast it goes, it's not my connection speed (I'm on 16meg ADSL that can max out Steam downloads at 1.3MB/s for hours on end), it seems to be by design so that it doesn't aggressively take over a connection.

    As for it always doing this 'verifies every game' thing in the past, I suppose I have tangentially noticed it in the past, but I was always usually playing at the same time so it never sunk in. As I now have multiple casinos installed across multiple PCs, it's become more noticeable :)
     
  10. Apr 4, 2012
  11. Tirilej

    Tirilej Still a Lady CAG MM

    Occupation:
    Breathing
    Location:
    Sweden
    I try to only have three MG's downloaded at the same time. The more you have the more the games seemed to slow down, at least on my old computer.
    But 24hours. No way it takes that long for me, and I switch computer rather often since they don't always want to work the way I want them to so I do know that:p
     
  12. Apr 4, 2012
  13. vinylweatherman

    vinylweatherman You type well loads CAG MM

    Occupation:
    STILL At Leisure
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    This has happened, but was rather a dismissal rather than an explanation. We were told that there was nothing being changed, just the new games being added. This explanation does not cover the fact that OLD games state "downloading" when launched during the process, nor the very clear evidence of the download progress bars in the lobby showing existing games being deleted (greyed out), and then immediately reinstalled.
     
  14. Apr 5, 2012
  15. AudiManinBoro

    AudiManinBoro Ueber Meister MM

    Occupation:
    Sales
    Location:
    UK
    I dont believe they are being re installed VWM merely tweaked in some fashion. On my home broadband unfortunatly its slow, no more than 1 Mb and a new game can take anywhere from 5 minutes to half an hour to download depending on its size and complexity but what your all talking about regarding the auto updating of existing games happens to me too and with all them (like everyone else i imagine) but it doesnt take anywhere near as long. Even with my paltry broadband max it only takes a minute or so for each game to auto update as it moves down the list so it cannot be a complete reinstall. I dont know what their doing but it definatly fals into the tweaking category
     
  16. Apr 5, 2012
  17. vinylweatherman

    vinylweatherman You type well loads CAG MM

    Occupation:
    STILL At Leisure
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    I see this, and it clearly is not a full reinstall, yet since MGS games are supposedly never changed once released, there is no need even for this "tweak". These "tweaks" can happen SEVERAL times a month, yet unlike new game releases, they are unannounced, and we are not allowed to know the details of what changes are being made. Other softwares (non casino) have auto update features where the existing version is tweaked, but there is usually a changes document available that details what these changes are.

    With MGS, and despite the regular tweaks to existing games, there is no obvious difference between the "before" and "after" in most cases.

    Even though much less bandwidth is used than for a full game reinstall, the "tweaking" can last for an hour or more, and more or less monopolises the processor during that time such that doing something else instead whilst waiting for the process to complete can be painful. Worse, this happens at EVERY MGS casino, as rather than one tweak being applied across the board, each MGS casino has to go through the process itself, so that's one hour or more per installed casino.

    I thought the common cache design was supposed to stop this, with the first MGS casino launched taking an hour or two, but the rest using those updates right away rather than having to repeat the process.
     
  18. Apr 5, 2012
  19. AudiManinBoro

    AudiManinBoro Ueber Meister MM

    Occupation:
    Sales
    Location:
    UK
    You are right here, I just recently got a new pc and my first casino 32Red took eonssssssssss to load down all the games on my broadband being 1 meg as you can imagine :D however my second casino install Dash loads any game I want within seconds pretty much which proves the cache is working as it is supposed to. Im not sure what the minor tweaks and updates are to existing games, maybe some form of stability match to allolw compatability with any new releases that come out I dont know but I do know that the caching works once you have your first mg casino fully downloaded.



     
  20. Apr 5, 2012
  21. zap987

    zap987 Meister Member PABnononaccred2

    Occupation:
    .
    Location:
    Sweden
    If they wanted to tweak something with regards to RTP they would do it server side and it would be close to impossible to notice, if you actually downloaded the exact reel strip layouts and such I'm sure someone would have figured out a way to dig them out long ago.

    Most likely the reason it tries to redownload has something to do with how they mark versions of the casino lobby and the games and it might not actually be downloading, just making sure the client and the server has the same version. Even if it is downloading stuff it could be identical files or changes only because the underlying technology they use has changed. Sure there is probably a better way to do it, MGS has shown over and over that they are bad at creating good software but it is very unlikely that it has any actual effect for players past a few seconds delay when starting a game the first time each month.
     
    1 person likes this.
  22. Apr 5, 2012
  23. vinylweatherman

    vinylweatherman You type well loads CAG MM

    Occupation:
    STILL At Leisure
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    So why the reluctance to tell us this?

    A change to RTP WOULD require client side tweaks, as this would mean changing the reelstrips.

    The actual reelstrips ARE held locally, but in an encoded form. This makes them almost impossible to dig out.
     
  24. Apr 5, 2012
  25. zap987

    zap987 Meister Member PABnononaccred2

    Occupation:
    .
    Location:
    Sweden
    I'm guessing they don't tell us because they don't tell us anything and refuse to communicate with their players? Not like this is the only issue where we get no information from MGS.

    Encoded or not, if they are stored locally it wouldn't be that hard, if the casino client can decode them so can someone that puts some effort into it, it's not like what the casino client does on your computer is secret. True, the reels you see spin do have symbols in the right orders so at some point the reel strips are in the memory of your computer so it should be quite possible for someone interested enough to dig them out. Still very much doubt they ever change them once a slot is released and if they did want to change RTP without anyone knowing it they could do that without showing the game as downloading if they wanted to, the amount of data needed to update reel strips should take something like 0.1 seconds to download even on the slowest of connections.
     
  26. Apr 5, 2012
  27. vinylweatherman

    vinylweatherman You type well loads CAG MM

    Occupation:
    STILL At Leisure
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    I am currently launching all my MGS casinos, and each one takes over an hour to install the ONE new slot and do whatever it has to with the existing games. It is taking just as long for the second and third casinos as the first, so the common cache has not helped in this update cycle.
     
  28. Apr 5, 2012
  29. ChopleyIOM

    ChopleyIOM Hearthstone Addict webby

    Occupation:
    Kobold Geomancer
    Location:
    UK
    I try to put stuff like this to the back of my mind when playing MG slots, but I can't deny that it makes me uneasy.

    Even a simple changelog, or a pop-up message saying 'we're updating your casino software' would help.

    Watching every single MG casino I have installed, across three different PCs, all wanting to do something that takes about an hour of download activity each, makes me wonder what's going on.
     
  30. Apr 7, 2012
  31. ChopleyIOM

    ChopleyIOM Hearthstone Addict webby

    Occupation:
    Kobold Geomancer
    Location:
    UK
    I've got fed up with them now TBH, having software perform such a big update with no word whatsoever as to what it's doing is really annoying.

    On top of that there's the fact that the cache folder finishes up at over 10GB in size, which is a pain in the arse on my main PC as it's a gaming PC so has a 128GB SSD as its system drive, and losing 10GB of that to a casino install is a pain in the arse. There's no choice on where to install the cache to either, so I have no option to put that 10GB over on my data drive.

    Taking a break from MG casinos, and have uninstalled them from all my PCs - (interestingly, uninstalling the last MG casino on a PC DOESN'T delete the cache folder, you have to do that yourself, assuming you even know it exists.....) - going to spend a bit of time (and money!) with 3Dice instead.

    Call it beginner's luck but their slots are running a lot better for me than MG's slots have done in quite some time.
     
  32. Apr 7, 2012
  33. vinylweatherman

    vinylweatherman You type well loads CAG MM

    Occupation:
    STILL At Leisure
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    That is something that worries me over my next major upgrade to a new PC. This cache folder suffers from TWO "SSD Killers", loads of tiny files, and loads of write activity. SSDs are suited to the OS and software that needs to be launched quickly, usually at boot time. It is NOT suited to "data" in any form, as write activity wears out the flash memory elements over time. One should also not defrag an SSD as one might a conventional drive.

    Ideally, the MGS cache should go on a secondary drive, a conventional but fast one, such as the Velociraptor from WD. These are not that far behind SSD speeds, but are more tolerant of the repeated write activity one gets with the MGS updates.

    MGS casinos did once offer a choice of where to install, but now they force this to it's own dedicated folder on the system drive. If it is possible to change these locations, it is not something MGS have given advice on.

    I plan to look into this at some point, as it would be worth knowing if this was possible, and still have working MGS casinos.

    I think I know where to start looking;)

    It would depend on how the install path is coded in the installer. If it is hard coded as "C:/microgaming/casino/" then we're screwed, but I suspect they have used Windows functions to get the default paths from the individual PC configurations so that the install will work on as wide a range of Windows OS versions and implementations as possible. If this is so, it just might be possible to force both the installs and the cache onto a secondary drive. Unfortunately, this would be a change for ALL software using these default locations, not just MGS.
     
  34. Apr 7, 2012
  35. ChopleyIOM

    ChopleyIOM Hearthstone Addict webby

    Occupation:
    Kobold Geomancer
    Location:
    UK
    I raised a ticket with 32Red asking if there was any way to change the install location or move the cache somewhere else after installation.

    Their response was prompt and polite, as you'd expect from 32Red, but the answer was 'No you can't do anything about it, apart from use the Flash casino'.

    I had a trawl through the registry and all the MG keys are in hex and probably hashed as well - if you wanted to move the cache you'd have to properly hack it, something which I suspect would fall foul of the T&Cs and possibly get reported back to the MG Mothership as someone trying to do something dodgy with their software.
     
    1 person likes this.
  36. Apr 7, 2012
  37. vinylweatherman

    vinylweatherman You type well loads CAG MM

    Occupation:
    STILL At Leisure
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    You would not move anything, but find a way to set the install to go elsewhere.

    It would not matter where the software and cache were installed, so long as pointers were set correctly so that the files could be found.

    It is an issue that needs addressing sooner rather than later, because the "one size fits all" approach is going to cause increasing problems, especially with custom PC builds now, and even mainstream kit in the near future.

    If Microgaming don't know of a way to address this, maybe I can beat them to it and get another free dinner out of 32Red in a posh London restaurant:p
     

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