If your party likes to play Conclave together at the same time, you’ve probably encountered the most dreaded foe of all:

Another player has acted!

We hate this message, too.

The game displays this message whenever you submit a combat action after another player has acted but before the game has updated your view of the combat to reflect it. Since you might want to change your action based on the result of the previous action, the game cancels the action you submitted and gives you a chance to redo it after updating your view.

This definitely isn’t ideal: your action might still be what you want to do, and in any case it’s just plain annoying to be interrupted. We’ve done a lot of work to make the game run smoothly when you’re playing asynchronously, and one of our priorities is to make similar improvements to realtime play; a big part of that is reducing the number of times you see the “Another player has acted” message.

We’re tackling the problem in two ways. First, we’re making some changes that will reduce the amount of time between one player submitting an action and another player seeing it. That will reduce the window of time in which submitting an action will trigger a conflict and cause you to be interrupted by the message. As a bonus, these changes will reduce the time it takes for chat messages to appear after they’re sent; realtime conversations will feel a bit more … well, realtime afterward. (For those of you curious about the technical details, we’ll be switching from the simple “pull” approach of periodic AJAX polling to a more efficient “push” approach where we maintain a persistent connection and send updates as they occur.)

The second way we plan to tackle the problem is by indicating when other players are online and in the process of taking action. Many chat programs will tell you when a person you’re chatting has started typing, which lets you know that you might want to wait until he or she has had a chance to finish. We’ll do something similar, but for action-taking.

Between the two, we think you’ll see a lot less of the “Another player has acted” message, and the game will be more responsive to boot.