How to help

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defaultuser
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Re: How to help

#16 Post by defaultuser »

You need to understand the build mechanism a bit more. Items have both a total PP and a minimum number of turns required to build. Each turn they will only use PP/turns or thereabouts. As your production goes up, then many items won't use the full turn's PP, so extra will cascade down to the next item(s) in the queue. What you see is expected.

tabbydan
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Re: How to help

#17 Post by tabbydan »

I've got some general suggestions for working towards 1.0; and questions

1) one problem I see with FreeOrion is that it is both very complicated and hard to get information. So I'd really suggest a lot of "streamlining" efforts (a number of which could be achieved in the previously mentioned text in the Pedia)
a) text for the game should have at the top the relevant information, and then after it the "story" part can take place. I enjoy some of the "stories" in the game such as the one for the "Happybirthday" robots. But when I'm playing a game I mainly care about how things fit together (like this tech will make industry grow by X, ships penetrate shields of strength Y etc). So far, I bump into lots of Pedia info that is wordy, not entertaining, I have to read all the way through the story, and I still don't understand it.
b) indexing Pedia etc should be a lot better than it is, currently if I want to find something out I have to randomly click on techs and read the descriptions to see if they do what I want
c) annoying aspects should probably be culled. It's fine to have "natives" who are very difficult to conquer or other obstacles, but natives like the Raargh (could be misspelling that) just make the game less fun because if you conquer them they are basically useless. I might get told "oh you need to build concentration camps, get rid of them, then recolonize the planet" that seems like a lot of annoying work for no reward, plus it kind of contradicts the long story line on them. If the Raargh are really stone age, wouldn't I either be able to wipe them out easily from orbit or via ground troops?

2) One of the most fun things about the original Master of Orion was the diplomacy, trade, computer "personalities" etc. That seems to be completely absent from this game. I don't see any way to trade with computer players, have any sort of diplomacy, etc. That might be a very difficult goal for FreeOrion as the only 4x game I played where the computer opponents felt "real" and there were big reasons to do diplomacy was Master of Orion.

Some of the problems I've encountered playing the game include:
1) the tech tree and Pedia are pretty clumsy and unless you set the display of the tech tree to show you all possibilities (not just the ones you can research now) it can be incredibly difficult to figure out how to get things. For instance, I never knew how to get Exobots until I made the tech tree show all possibilities.
2) some aspects even with the information given seem to have hidden steps or the like. I've played games where I have "Domesticated MegaFauna" researched, and a planet with some nest on it having an outpost... but I still don't see what to do to make or control said creatures
3) I'm attacking some computer player and trying to take over their worlds, only now they have good shields on them. I have no idea what tech I have to develop to get my ground troops through the shields

If someone can point me to where the "String Tables" (or whatever the blobs of text are called that are used by the Pedia etc) I might be able to look those over and give some suggestions

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Oberlus
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Re: How to help

#18 Post by Oberlus »

tabbydan wrote: Sat Sep 12, 2020 9:44 pm a) text for the game should have at the top the relevant information, and then after it the "story" part can take place.
b) indexing Pedia etc should be a lot better
c) annoying aspects should probably be culled.

2) One of the most fun things about the original Master of Orion was the diplomacy, trade, computer "personalities" etc. That seems to be completely absent from this game.
All good suggestions that devs are aware of (they are cyclical). To fix them the only resource needed is manpower. Active development is focused in implementation of the missing features, bugfixing and balancing. If any of those devs focus on the documentation or other polishing, the game would develop considerably slower (development began in 2003...), because no one else willing to contribute can do what they do. So I am glad that devs are not "losing" time on details like that.
However, actual help for that polishing from interested people that can't do programming (C++/python), AI, etc. but can help rewriting, indexing and polishing of documentation is always welcome.

It's fine to have "natives" who are very difficult to conquer or other obstacles, but natives like the Raargh (could be misspelling that) just make the game less fun because if you conquer them they are basically useless.
If they are really useless for you, just don't conquer them. There are good natives to have and bad ones too. Removing all bad ones is not funnier to everyone.
it kind of contradicts the long story line on them. If the Raargh are really stone age, wouldn't I either be able to wipe them out easily from orbit or via ground troops?
They are fierce and powerful fighters on the ground, and that's why they require more effort to conquer. If what you want is to wipe them out before conquering, use bombardment to reduce their pop. to zero.
the only 4x game I played where the computer opponents felt "real" and there were big reasons to do diplomacy was Master of Orion.
In MoO2 it was so easy to exploit diplomacy with AIs and make them puppets. It wasn't actually "real" since you could fool them into exchanges clearly bad for them. When playing against humans it was much different, real diplomacy.

1) the tech tree and Pedia are pretty clumsy and unless you set the display of the tech tree to show you all possibilities (not just the ones you can research now) it can be incredibly difficult to figure out how to get things.
I agree completely. I changed my persistent_config.xml to hide completed techs and show unavailable techs.
2) some aspects even with the information given seem to have hidden steps or the like.
A detailed list of such aspects would be necessary to fix them.
I've played games where I have "Domesticated MegaFauna" researched, and a planet with some nest on it having an outpost... but I still don't see what to do to make or control said creatures
Maybe the Pedia should be more specific. Currently we have:

The text about the tech: "Though huge and alien the time-tested arts of domestication can also be applied to the space monsters that travel the starlanes. Building Colonies or Outposts at monster nests will enable the raising of domesticated monsters."
It's not clear about how you raise those monsters.
In each of the monster nests: "At some point young <monster> will rise from this place. With knowledge of [[tech SHP_DOMESTIC_MONSTER]], these mega-fauna could be domesticated."
Again, it's ambiguous.
It is not that "at some point" monsters will rise from the nest (as in "at some point a door will open and monsters will come out of it"), but that monsters will be born at random frequency.
With tech SHP_DOMESTIC_MONSTER it is not that the monsters "could" be domesticated, but that the hatched monster become automatically controlled by the empire.

3) I'm attacking some computer player and trying to take over their worlds, only now they have good shields on them. I have no idea what tech I have to develop to get my ground troops through the shields
You are right, I can't find any place where player is informed of that. Troop pod description talks about minimum number of troops for a successful invasion, how to select the ones you want, and that ships are lost after using them. But nothing about the requirement of zero planetary shields to be able to initiate an invasion.

If someone can point me to where the "String Tables" (or whatever the blobs of text are called that are used by the Pedia etc) I might be able to look those over and give some suggestions
They are in the default/stringtables folder.
Better than suggestions would be actual working on the files to contribute to the project.

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Vezzra
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Re: How to help

#19 Post by Vezzra »

tabbydan wrote: Sat Sep 12, 2020 9:44 pmOne of the most fun things about the original Master of Orion was the diplomacy, trade, computer "personalities" etc. That seems to be completely absent from this game.
Because FO is still in alpha, meaning it is incomplete. The things you mention are on the todo list (at least some of them), but not yet implemented.

As Oberlus pointed out, we're working with only so much manpower. FO is only a very small open source project, so things move along very slowly...

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Geoff the Medio
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Re: How to help

#20 Post by Geoff the Medio »

tabbydan wrote: Sat Sep 12, 2020 9:44 pma) text for the game should have at the top the relevant information, and then after it the "story" part can take place. I enjoy some of the "stories" in the game such as the one for the "Happybirthday" robots. But when I'm playing a game I mainly care about how things fit together (like this tech will make industry grow by X, ships penetrate shields of strength Y etc). So far, I bump into lots of Pedia info that is wordy, not entertaining, I have to read all the way through the story, and I still don't understand it.
Where specifically is this a problem? Most pedia articles already do put the gameplay info at the top, or at least most of it, before any story info. For the "Happybirthday" example, the pedia text is:
Abandoned, lonely underwater robots, programmed to sing "happy birthday" to themselves at regular intervals.
Prefer Ocean planets.
Robotic Metabolism, Telepathy

− Bad Industry: 75%
+ Good Research: 150%
− Bad Influence: 75%
− Bad Population: 75%
+ Great Supply: +2
− Bad Defensive Ground Troops: 50%
− Bad Offensive Ground Troops: 50%
− Bad Planetary Stealth: −20 malus
+ Good Detection Range: +25 bonus
− Slow Colonization: +20% time to build colonies
− Narrow Planet Tolerance: flourishes on fewer types.

Can Produce Ships
Can Colonize Planets

Default Focus: Research

Likes: Research

Environment Preferences:
Swamp : Poor
Toxic : Hostile
Inferno : Hostile
Radiated : Hostile
Barren : Hostile
Tundra : Hostile
Desert : Hostile
Terran : Poor
Ocean : Good

Asteroids : Uninhabitable
Gas Giant : Uninhabitable

No Homeworld

Description: Robotic exploration submersibles.
Though some have more bulky and blocky forms, most happybirthdays are streamlined and somewhat fish-like in shape. They all have one or more cameras and manipulator arms, usually forward facing. They also host a suit of sensors for temperature, vibrations, chemicals, radar, sonar, electrical and magnetic fields, though these often vary from model to model. They are functional in a wide range of temperature and pressure conditions in an aquatic environment.

Any happybirthday can repair any other happybirthday, and their systems often have redundant pairs for just such a reason. Sufficiently large groups can fully repair any other member of their kind, and through this same process also make a completely new unit. New units have the same programming as their parents, but a blank memory, to be filled by exploring their environment.

Homeworld: Foreveralone.
A vast and deep ocean planet. It is believed that they were originally created to survey the planet for potential colonization. It is not know why they were abandoned, but theories range from their creators deciding the planet was unsuitable for colonization, to being wiped out for some reason or another. Though the oceans are vast and there are many interesting features and life forms, there is little about the planet they were sent to that would indicate why they were sent to that world in particular.

Social Structure: Codependent.
A lone happybirthday will (psychologically) latch onto the nearest (preferably alien) sentient being and declare their eternal friendship. Their goal to alleviate their loneliness by find another being to be their friend, forever and ever and ever...

Colonization is slow and industry inefficient due to species-wide depression, sometimes leading to bouts of mass suicide. However since they don't want to make enemies and they always want to make new friends they are eager traders.

History: Sad.
Whether it is the initial lonely quest to explore their homeworld, their abandonment by their creators, the interval war, or their quest into space to find friendship, their existence has been a sad, depressing and lonely one.
Other than a single sentence summary of the species on the first line, the next half of the length (depending on layout) is relevant gameplay info. I assume that one line summary isn't the issue... so what is? Are there specific other pedia articles that still have a long story / fluff text blurb before the gameplay info?
b) indexing Pedia etc should be a lot better than it is, currently if I want to find something out I have to randomly click on techs and read the descriptions to see if they do what I want
What do you mean by "indexing"? What are you trying to search for but not finding what you want? How do you search... by using the search function, or just clicking through the category links from the top level index page?
c) annoying aspects should probably be culled. It's fine to have "natives" who are very difficult to conquer or other obstacles, but natives like the Raargh (could be misspelling that) just make the game less fun because if you conquer them they are basically useless.
There are lots of things that can make a planet, for example, more or less useful to a player. Having a not-especially-useful native species is one. Various harmful specials are another. Do you suggest removing every variation that is or is potentially sightly negative? Or what makes Raargh specifically "annoying" and not other similar stuff?

tabbydan
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Re: How to help

#21 Post by tabbydan »

It's fine to have "natives" who are very difficult to conquer or other obstacles, but natives like the Raargh (could be misspelling that) just make the game less fun because if you conquer them they are basically useless.
If they are really useless for you, just don't conquer them. There are good natives to have and bad ones too. Removing all bad ones is not funnier to everyone.
it kind of contradicts the long story line on them. If the Raargh are really stone age, wouldn't I either be able to wipe them out easily from orbit or via ground troops?
They are fierce and powerful fighters on the ground, and that's why they require more effort to conquer. If what you want is to wipe them out before conquering, use bombardment to reduce their pop. to zero.

Regardless, the "story" says "stone age". 20th century technologies (machine gun, flame thrower, tank, etc) would be enough to wipe out any "stone age" culture completely. A more consistent story might be "this planet is contaminated by: " (take your pick numerous possibilities: radioactive isotopes, insidious nanites, bio-engineered adaptive pathogens, deadly time or space distortions, fierce robots) and then you need technology X or Y to remediate the planet before you take it over
the only 4x game I played where the computer opponents felt "real" and there were big reasons to do diplomacy was Master of Orion.
In MoO2 it was so easy to exploit diplomacy with AIs and make them puppets. It wasn't actually "real" since you could fool them into exchanges clearly bad for them. When playing against humans it was much different, real diplomacy.

I was talking about the original Moo, that one really required a player to use the tool of diplomacy, and computer opponents did feel like they had consistent personalities. Most AI opponents tend to feel (like the ones in the Civ franchise) erratic and there's no real point or reward to anything other than total war for the whole game.
I've played games where I have "Domesticated MegaFauna" researched, and a planet with some nest on it having an outpost... but I still don't see what to do to make or control said creatures
Maybe the Pedia should be more specific. Currently we have:

The text about the tech: "Though huge and alien the time-tested arts of domestication can also be applied to the space monsters that travel the starlanes. Building Colonies or Outposts at monster nests will enable the raising of domesticated monsters."
It's not clear about how you raise those monsters.
In each of the monster nests: "At some point young <monster> will rise from this place. With knowledge of [[tech SHP_DOMESTIC_MONSTER]], these mega-fauna could be domesticated."
Again, it's ambiguous.
It is not that "at some point" monsters will rise from the nest (as in "at some point a door will open and monsters will come out of it"), but that monsters will be born at random frequency.
With tech SHP_DOMESTIC_MONSTER it is not that the monsters "could" be domesticated, but that the hatched monster become automatically controlled by the empire.

I was assuming what you said in the final sentence, but it seemed like one time I had met the criteria (technology + outpost at nest site) some monster either popped up there or elsewhere and wiped the outpost out. It was very confusing, as are many aspects of the game.

3) I'm attacking some computer player and trying to take over their worlds, only now they have good shields on them. I have no idea what tech I have to develop to get my ground troops through the shields
You are right, I can't find any place where player is informed of that. Troop pod description talks about minimum number of troops for a successful invasion, how to select the ones you want, and that ships are lost after using them. But nothing about the requirement of zero planetary shields to be able to initiate an invasion.

I should amend my statement. There could be several reasons why I can't invade (stealth, shields, or maybe even some other aspect I don't get). The problem is I send a fleet there and no battle happens, troops don't land. Nothing tells me what I need to do to overcome either the stealth or shields or whatever is the issue. It's fine to have obstacles for battle or invasion (such as stealth, shields), but it is very frustrating to have no way of finding out what the issue is, or what you can do to overcome it. In MOO shields could be an obstacle but you could always tell if that was the case and you knew exactly how to overcome it.

If someone can point me to where the "String Tables" (or whatever the blobs of text are called that are used by the Pedia etc) I might be able to look those over and give some suggestions
They are in the default/stringtables folder.
Better than suggestions would be actual working on the files to contribute to the project.
[/quote]


I'm perfectly wiling to help out on this. I just wish to say a few things:
1) I'm not currently on your dev team- so I don't know where "default/stringtables" is (for starters I'm not familiar with where your repository is, not sure how to get access, etc)
2) until I fully understand concept X I probably should just make comments. That is, there are numerous aspects in the game that confuse me (I can make a small list of ones I remember off the top of my head, but it's really a small subset) and until I actually know how they work if I make a change to the text I could be making it worse rather than better)

Points of confusion:
-asteroid reformation:
-the text seems to imply that if you want ships with asteroid parts (rock armor, asteroid hulls) you need a system with a shipyard, and you need an asteroid re-processor in the same star-system. However, I was able to make ships with "rock armor" in system other than the one with the re-processor. Maybe it needs to be the same system for asteroid hulls, or maybe the text implication is off.
-nothing indicates if there is any advantage to having more than one asteroid reprocessing station (like availability goes up) or not
-asteroid systems are often marked "poor" not sure if it is poor as a colony for exobots, poor for reprocessing, poor for industrial output, or what. Some asteroid belts are marked as high in minerals, again it is unclear if this is just a boost to the industry output, makes for better reprocessing, or makes for a better exobot colony, or some combo
-Robots:
-robots show up as a ship part if you develop a robotic hull line, however, there are lots of things that are confusing with them.
-if I add a robot as a part in a robotic ship line I often get the 'clear as mud' warning "That is ROBOTIC" and am prevented from building the ship. Can I only build it at an exobot colony with a shipyard? Or what do I need to do?
-the result of having the robot on board also is slightly unclear. The text seems to indicate that if you have one ship with one robot it gets an extra shield power of 1. If you have two ships with one robot each they somehow add their robotic shields to each other... and the effect is capped at a group of 20. I didn't see any mention on what happened if you had more than one robot on one ship.
-Compressed energy hulls were almost as confusing as the asteroid reformation. But it looked like there I really had to build it in the same system as had a star of a given type (the main thing that confused me was how to meet the other requirements which took a little while)
-Gas giant generators:
-if they only generate industrial output for their system, does that mean that one should only build them in systems where you have colonies and gas giant planets? Or if you have a star system with just gas giants does it increase your overall empire production to put generators there
-Solar generators:
-the text here is bad because it says in the Pedia that industry output for said system is multiplied by X given the type of star (values being different for different stars). The problem is that the value of X is always < 1. So if we take it literally the industrial output goes down if you make said generator (the text should be 1.4 rather than 0.4....)

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Geoff the Medio
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Re: How to help

#22 Post by Geoff the Medio »

tabbydan wrote: Sun Sep 13, 2020 9:13 pmI'm not currently on your dev team- so I don't know where "default/stringtables" is (for starters I'm not familiar with where your repository is, not sure how to get access, etc)
https://github.com/freeorion/freeorion/ ... ringtables

It's a guthub repository. You don't need any special "access" to make pull request, which is the preferred means to submit a patch / change.

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Re: How to help

#23 Post by defaultuser »

I recommend using the Preview feature for posting. That last long post had seriously broken quoting. You can use the Edit control to fix it as well.

tabbydan
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Re: How to help

#24 Post by tabbydan »

I'm going to make some suggestions (a number of which should be easy to implement), and note some things I've observed.

Easy fixes for playability:

object chart
-add to the sort orders: sort by max population size, sort by max population growth rate (selecting species, make all species selectable, but your specie(s) appear at the top of the list in a different color (highlight color))
-sort by star type (for binary and other multiple star systems the object would appear for both star types with an * indicting more than one star type)
-object chart sort by specials (both planetary specials, and also monster nests)

Toggle option on the star map display to indicate "I have explicitly put a ship in this location". Since it seems like sending a ship to a location is different than sending a ship through a location (triggering event specials such as derelict scout, derelict tanker) when the toggle is on, locations where a ship has been put get a different color than locations where a ship has never been to (or just passed through).

Auto-explore options: option for scouts (or other selected ships) to auto explore unexplored map locations. Several sub-options "avoid seen monsters" (default on, ability to switch to "attack monsters" for armed ships with a warning for unarmed ships), option to restrict travel outwards such that they can always come back to a refueling point- alternatively that they keep going outwards and after they slowly gain fuel the resume going outward.

Toggle option to get a ship route that bypasses monsters (and/or be able to specify a custom route for ships from start to finish)

I noticed something that I think is a bug in the program, but with a little text it could be turned into a feature. I played a game where I put an output at a monster's nest location. I noticed that I had the option of building a xenoresurection lab there. After the lab was built one tamed monster appeared, but the nest was gone. With some text featuring the trade-off (you get a monster at the time you build the lab without having to wait, and maybe one monster of a slightly stronger type (for ones of multiple levels)) I think this could be a feature rather than a bug. Also in terms of nests the game doesn't explain things well. For instance, on a kraken nest, at first you get weak "larval krakens" it is unclear if this ever changes (for instance, after the passage of time do the krakens that come out come out at a stronger level? or do krakens just get stronger as they get older? or is there some way you can take a larval kraken and develop it (take it to a shipyard, or take it to a shipyard and put a production item on the queue at that location to "upgrade kraken").

Shields and stealth are still very confusing to me (and probably to any other newcomer to the game). Planetary shields (at least for "native" populations) seem to work like armor rather than the typical sci-fi shield. A very weak weapon can gradually wear down a powerful shield because it doesn't seem to recharge (at least for "native" populations). Perhaps, when showing the shield of a native or something else, put the current recharge rate along with the shield strength (I assume computer players have shields that recharge based on some formula; for planets I'm assuming it is based on if the planet is set to "defense" priority and whatever the "defensive regeneration technology" level is; for ships I assume the shields don't slowly wear down from turn to turn but recharge between each attack so they require an attack strength to be greater than the shield strength).

For stealth it is again very confusing. There should be some way of clearly indicating what technology level you need to develop to overcome the stealth. Since planetary and ship stealth seem to be separate maybe marking the object (say "p45" on a planet) and then in the tech tree specifying in the top of each technology "p60; s17" indicating what level of planetary and/or ship stealth it is capable of overcoming- then I could understand.

Most "specials" in the game are not well explained. For instance, there are a number of specials (positronium ash, monopol magnets, etc) which give a boost to robots, if you set that world to growth it is supposed to apply to all robot planets in your empire. What is not explained is, what if you have more than one of these and you set both to "growth" do the bonuses stack or not?
Likewise, there are bonuses that apply to lithic, organic, etc life forms. Again it is not well explained if said bonuses stack or not. Worse, sometimes it is unclear if the bonus applies in the first place. For instance, if I am chato, am I "organic", "photosynthetic", "lithic" which bonuses apply to me? Bonuses should have text at the end indicating what races the bonuses apply to.
Another weird one is minerals in asteroids that promote lithic growth. Last time I checked asteroids are only habitable by robots, so how would this lithic bonus ever take effect? Could it only be applied if you used factory world to change the asteroids into a world and then put a lithic organism there?

Conquering "ancient guardians" I think should give a xenoresurrection lab option where you can build an improved exobot (maybe slightly better than your existing robot in production, research, defense; maybe you can't get an exact copy of the ancient guardians but can get some technology to improve your exobot).

The SitRep event window is currently very noisy. I'd put at the top of SitRep a link to any battle results, ships reaching a given waypoint, ships gathering enough fuel to continue; then after all the important stuff you can mention the movement of other people's ships, hints etc. As it is, I have to filter a lot of junk in SitRep and usually the stuff I care about I have to scroll down to get and frequently miss. Maybe set up options for sorting SitRep (explicit sort order where you can select what items appear first)

defaultuser
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Re: How to help

#25 Post by defaultuser »

For instance, if I am chato, am I "organic", "photosynthetic", "lithic" which bonuses apply to me?
You're photosynthetic. You can check the species entry to see which it is.

The Pedia also provides this information:
Pedia wrote:Each species is classified according their Metabolism.

Gaseous
Lithic
Organic
Phototrophic
Robotic
Self-Sustaining
Super Testers
When you click on the classifications, it will list the species:
Pedia wrote:List of Phototrophic Metabolism species:

Chato
Cynos
Kilandow
Laenfa

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Re: How to help

#26 Post by Ophiuchus »

tabbydan wrote: Thu Oct 15, 2020 4:41 pm Toggle option to get a ship route that bypasses monsters (and/or be able to specify a custom route for ships from start to finish)
You can set waypoints by pressing ctrl while setting targets. So ctrl+click first waypoint, ctrl+click second waypoint, .. ctrl+click finish.
Any code or patches in anything posted here is released under the CC and GPL licences in use for the FO project.

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