Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Linden Labs Code Change Threatens Second Life Surfing

Reports have started to come in from sim owners today on the new server code put in place across all sims on the Second Life grid by Linden Labs. The new code is upsetting surfable waves, surfboards and other objects that are rezzed in the water. It may well be that a fix is found to address incompatibilities in surfboards and waves, however in the absence of such a fix the prospect of replacing all waves and surfers replacing all current boards is daunting to say the least!

According to Linden Labs, 'Heather Goodliffe waves are not compatible' with the new version of the Havok4 server software and it's a 'known issue' to the Havok4 roll-out team. Heather Goodliffe waves account for the vast majority of surfable waves in Second Life. At least one sim has been forced to shut down its EPIC wave already. Pipelines and fluffies also seem to be affected, although the full extent of the code issue is not yet known. Pipes have been freezing up, either reducing the frequency of waves or stopping the waves rezzing for periods of time. The pipeline waves that do roll, seem to be rolling faster. However, one change that all surfers everywhere have notices is that they now find that their boards sit 6-12 inches under the water when rezzed!

Apparently Linden Labs are performing tests on the waves and possible options. Linden Labs have just finished rolling out the Second Life Simulator v1.20.0.83683 to all sims on the grid and informed sources say that the physics engine in the new server code is totally different from the previous code and the interaction between 'physical objects' and the waves just do not work as Second Life surfers are used to. The code change also seems to affect maneuvers on the waves, for example some surfers have had difficulty completing frontside wave turns.

It is not currently known whether these changes are going to threaten Saturday's SurfLine Shortboard Pro competition or not. The waves on the new Rezzable Discover sim have been performing well, but some surfers have already felt inconsistencies. Short term, Second Life surfing is going to be messy.

URL: Second Life Simulator v1.20.0.83683 Rollout Completion

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