All-Ivy Risk Tournament resumes after transitioning to new server
The All-Ivy Risk Tournament resumed Saturday, more than a month after it was suspended because of technical difficulties due to growing popularity.
The administrators of gocrosscampus.com, the site hosting the tournament, were able to successfully switch over to new servers on Dec. 1, restarting an intense game involving thousands of students and alumni from across the Ivy League. The tournament is an online version of Risk — a popular board game in which players compete with each other for global dominance — where players battle for control of the Northeast United States.
The game was paused indefinitely more than a month ago after the website became sluggish and users had increasing difficulty logging on. Even after the system was simplified by removing interactive map features, technical problems persisted. Troops disappeared and processing each round took up to five hours.
"We wanted to be 100 percent certain and make sure everything would work," Brad Hargreaves, who is one of the game's founders and a senior at Yale, said. "We weren't going to rush it and if it took a month then it took a month — and it did."
Major changes include the addition of four new servers, restoration of interactive map features and more efficient code.
Since the transition to new servers, administrators note that visits have more than doubled, page views have increased by five times and the servers have not presented problems.
Administrators note that while they are pleased with the changes, challenges still lie ahead. Because it is difficult to copy information from one server to another, data collision may occur, and high traffic may still reduce the website's responsiveness. Hargreaves said, however, that "[the site] more than likely won't go down again."
The game resumed at the point just before Princeton knocked out the now-revived Columbia. Other schools still in the game are Brown, Cornell, Dartmouth and Yale.
"We're now in a very strong position. I wouldn't say it's impossible, but it if we eliminate Yale from the game then we'll win," player Charles Li '11 said. "Realistically the winner will be Yale, Cornell or Princeton, and we have a better chance than Cornell."
Since the game began, Princeton has conquered all of New Jersey, New York City, the western part of Long Island and eastern third of Pennsylvania, as well as one territory in Connecticut. On the most recent turn, Princeton shared a border with Yale for the first time in the game.
"It's going better than expected," Matt Alexander '10, commander of the Princeton team, said. "Hopefully now we can get more people to participate now that it doesn't take people half an hour to log on to the site."
It is unclear whether different academic schedules at each of the Ivy League schools will affect participation rates. Aside from Princeton, all five other schools still in the tournament are in the middle of their final exams.
Hargreaves did not find cause for concern, however, citing the tournament as a good diversion during exam periods.
"There isn't usually a big party scene this time of the year, at least at Yale, and this will provide a needed distraction," he said.
Hargreaves said the game will conclude before Christmas, either with one school taking over the entire map, or, in the case of a stalemate, through multiple lightning rounds per day.
"If you've got an account, get back in the game and help us win," Li, who handles the accounts of five other Princeton players as their proxy, said. "I'll be placing my armies, like, every day. It's a great way to procrastinate."
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