Friday, April 11, 2008

First post-Havok4 havoc Second Life surfing competition now set for 19 April

Time for Vibers to paddle out and practice!

The VSA (Vibrations Surf Alliance) confirmed today that its third Surf Jam of the year will now take place on Saturday 19 April 2008 at 1100hrs SLT (1800 hrs GMT) on Majini Island, making it the first Second Life surfing competition to take place in the post- Havok4 update world. The competition was scheduled for this Saturday 12 April.

"The VSA Surf Jam has been moved to April 19th to allow organizers a few days to assess the post-Havok havoc and inform the VSA group members gather the staff to make
Surf Jam 3 as much fun as possible in spite of the recent changes in Second Life," said VW Sands, organiser and Bishara Resorts Estate Manager. "Look out for in-world notices for information and heat draws for Surf Jam 3!"

Vibers will now have to wait until next weekend to
find went who gets to stand on top of the winners' podium and how Second Life's new physics will make its mark on the competition. The last Surf Jam was won by Buffy Monro, with February's winner Oneill Auer coming second and Jaqueline Infinity close on their heels in her second number three placing of this year.


The monthly Surf Jam's are members only events, which take place on
Majini Island, part of the Bishara Resorts sim. Competition entries are limited to 20 competitors and surfers face off in four preliminary heats, narrowing down to 10 surfers in the semis and 5 for the finals' heats.

Please note that VSA competition surfers must register again for the Surf Jam 3 as soon as possible in light of the new date (i.e. competition registrations for the orginal date are not valid for the rescheduled event). The heats draw is expected to be announced on or before Friday 18 April.

Surfers contact: VW Sands


SurfWatch:
Buffy wins big at Surf Jam!
SurfWatch:
Surfing Calendar - March-April 2008
SurfWatch:
ONeill Crowned VSA Surf Jam champ! (2 Feb 2008)
SurfWatch: SURF REPORT -- Majini Island

SLURL: Majini Island

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Post-Havok4 Surf Report

Well, its been over a week since Linden Labs rolled out new Havok4 server code across the grid and changed Second Life surfing as we knew it. The server code disruption to waves and surfing was followed by big connectivity problems on Friday and Saturday including a complete lock-down of the grid and then by a number of updates and fixes during the past week including another rolling restart. So, now the dust seems to have settled a little, perhaps its a good time to check the status of Second Life's waves.

An EPIC II wave breaking: literally it seems

Sources told SurfWatch during the Havok4 update that there were major changes to the physics engine in the new server code that affects the interaction between 'physical objects', including those of waves, boards and other objects in the water. Several sims had to shut down their wave generators completely, some waves stopped of their own accord and at least one sim's set of wave generators were shut down by Linden Labs for fear of overloading the server. Epics were the worst affected, with a variety of issues from waves sitting lower in the water, to failing to stop and over running the sim to failing to support surfers so that they slipped straight through the back of the wave. However, pipes and fluffies had their share of problems: including flying waves!

Today, most waves are up and running much better than directly after the update, with the notable exception of several Epic II waves. However, the physics has definitely changed. The pipeline waves are 'slippy', on the whole faster and more difficult to surf and there have been issues reported with surfers slipping through the waves and out the back. The wave generators for pipes also seem to stall from time to time, leaving periods of time with no waves.

Waiting for the pipes at a popular pipeline break

Boards still rezz a few inches under the water and when surfing are more difficult to control. The code change has affected how surfboards maneuver, interact with the waves and turn. Meanwhile, not much has changed since last week. However, whatever 'normal' used to be doesn't exist at the moment. Many experienced surfers have said that they are learning how to surf all over again, which is fine for experienced surfers, but the current HG waves and boards are definitely more difficult to beginners in the current environment.

The only Linden Labs comment specifically on waves was that 'Heather Goodliffe waves are not compatible' with the new version of the Havok4 server software and it was a 'known issue' to the Havok4 roll-out team. The in-world notecard from Heather Goodliffe after the Havok4 update explained that Heather's team would be working on Havok4 code-related issues over the next few weeks. Predictably surfboard sales and new wave generator sales have almost stopped since Havok4 due to the air of uncertainty. So, like it or not, most of us can only wait and see how issues may be resolved and what the immediate future holds for
post-Havok4 surfing in Second Life.

Here's a round up of some pop
ular surfing beaches and wave performance as of today:


Bundoran Reef - New three section long pipeline 2.0 waves and fluffies now running.


Black River Harbor - Pipelines and fluffies now up and running.


Chi Island - Pipelines and fluffies now up and running.


Heliopolis - Pipelines and fluffies now up and running.


Majini Island - Pipelines and fluffies now up and running. The sims Epic II was shut down after the Havok4 update and hasn't been reinstated yet.


Moana'lna Beach (Weather Island) - This Epic II wave is running and has some obvious quirks as a result of Havok4. The wave starts off lower in the water and surfers begin surfing on top of the crest of the wave! Its also possible to slip through the wave and out the back of the wave. Strange, but its a wild ride!


Monkeh Barrel - The sim's Epic II was running up the beach after Havok4. Monkeh is now in better shape, you can surf it! This wave has always been a wild ride and still is!


Nymph Beach - Pipelines and fluffies now up and running.


Neart - The Epic II wave was down after the Havok4 update, but is now back up and running. However, the run is about two thirds of the distance that it was pre-Havok4 and has plenty of inconsistencies.


Qan Li Surf - Pipelines and fluffies now up and running.


Rezzable Discover - The surf sim launched just prior to Havok4 is still running the new pipeline 2.0 waves and fluffies. The waves behave differently to pre-Havok4, but sim performance is still good overall.


Surf Camp / Primworks - Running pipeline 2.0 waves and fluffies on their short beach break.


Tavarua Beach - Epic II wave is running and is certainly a different wave post-Havoc4, but looks in fairly good shape.


Tikki Tattoo - Pipelines and fluffies now up and running.


Truth Beach - Pipelines and fluffies now up and running.


Tsunami Beach - Pipelines and fluffies now up and running.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Surfing calendar - April-May 2008

VSA Surf Jam
Saturday 19 April 2008, 1100 hrs SLT (1800 hrs GMT)

The third Vibrations Surf Alliance Surf Jam of 2008 takes place on Saturday 19 April at 1100hrs SLT on Majini Island, part of the Bishara Resorts sim. The monthly Surf Jam's are members only events, limited to 20 competitors. Surfers will face off in four preliminary heats, narrowing down to 10 surfers in the semis and 5 for the finals' heats.

Surfers contact: VW Sands

Useful Links

SurfWatch:
First post-Havok4 havoc Second Life surfing competition now set for 19 April
SurfWatch: VSA Surf Jam report, 2 February
SLURL: Majini Island

SLSA Surfline Shortboard Pro Competition
Saturday 26 April 2008
, 1100 hrs SLT (1800 hrs GMT)

The SLSA SurfLine Shortboard Pro competition on pipeline waves, is now scheduled for Saturday 26 April 2008 at 1100 hrs Second Life time (SLT) at Rezzable Discover (this event was originally scheduled for 22 March, then postponed to Saturday 5 April then postponed due to SL technical issues). 40 surfers are expected to take part in 8 heats.

Please note that a new registration process will be opened for the re-scheduled event prior to the competition and surfers who wish to take part in the April 26th event must register for the new date when the SLSA begins accepting registrations even if they were registered for the April 5th competition. New registrations and a new heats draw will apply for this competition.

Surfers contact: Sierra Sugar,
Milo Voss, Carenahh Kuu and Radical Twang

Useful links

URL: SLSA competition calendar

URL: Judging Criteria
URL: Competition Day Requirements (for Surfers and Spectators)

SLURL: Rezzable Discover

SLSA Neart Competition
Saturday 24 May 2008, 1100 hrs SLT (1800 hrs GMT)

After the Second Life Surfing Association's Monkeh Barrel competition changed to pipeline waves at the last minute, Neart, in the West of Ireland group of sims, is now expected to be the association's first longboard event of 2008. This event has been postponed from Saturday 26 April to Saturday 24 May 2008 (as of 7 April 2008). As usual, a field of 40 surfers are expected to take part in 8 heats starting at 1100 hrs Second Life time (SLT).

Surfers contact: Sierra Sugar,
Milo Voss, Carenahh Kuu and Radical Twang

Useful links

URL: SLSA competition calendar
SLURL: Neart



Updated as of 11 April 2008