First a Recap of Opening Weekend · Friday night and Saturday morning was amazing. People were getting in and building stuff. The worlds filled up really rapidly, and we had occasional Island crashes (due to memory leaks). We knew we had to fix the memory leaks right away, so we did.
· Saturday night, we had an update to provide, so we planned an outage to make that happen. We also decided to make some server load changes at the same time. Oops. That turned out to be awful. The server changes we made caused the worlds to buckle under load when players entered the game. And that caused HUGE problems for 5-6 hours thereafter until we finally got it under control about 2pm on Sunday.
· Now (Monday) those changes are stable and people can add into the game very easily. BUT...we still have some urgent issues.
Claims We overestimated how many claims we thought would fit on a single world. So, now, we have too few worlds for the number of players we have in Alpha.
Solution: Spin up more worlds. As soon as humanly possible. The first such world (Serenity) will open tonight if possible. Tomorrow morning if we run into snags. We are acquiring hardware for more right now and will let you know ASAP when we’re ready to fire them up.
Also, the map and claim interfaces are practically impenetrable with the huge number of claims on a single Island. What looked decent when we had 10-15 claims looks horrific with hundreds.
Solution: We are completely overhauling the map and claims interface to make it extremely easy to understand at a glance.
Details: o You will never see a Claim buffer again. We still HAVE claim buffers, but they’ll be invisible. You will have “claimable space” and “unclaimable” space. Claimable space is blue, and unclaimable is red. o This is just a ‘paintover’ of the terrain on the map. No more 3D representations of buffer spaces. Those are dead, dead, dead. o To place a claim, you just open the map, look for a blue section and go place your claim there. o On the other hand, your claim boundaries will still be shown as a 3D box. That way you can see where the claim is located vertically. (up in the sky, on the surface, or below-ground) o There’s a few more nice things getting added since we’re touching it, but those will be obvious when you see the new interface.
· We intend to get this improved interface up and running this week sometime.
So what else are we working on? PLEASE NOTE: Just because something is not on this list does not mean we are unaware of it. There are many things to improve and add to this game, but this is the list of immediate stuff that we're attacking right now.
- Server stability
o The memory leak fixes helped a LOT, but although they are smaller, there are still other memory leaks. Eliminating those will extend periods of time between Island resets.
- Fixing Templates
o These don’t persist between logins right now. Which is terrible because that’s exactly the opposite of what’s intended. Fix coming ASAP.
- Logout position needs to be maintained so that players don’t login to some bizarre position instead.
- We’re setting things up so that having a tool equipped doesn’t force you to unequip it in order to use a building tool. (Should auto-de-equip instead.)
- A means to get back “inside the world” if someone manages to get stuck outside of it
o Players are using the ADD block functionality to get out of the world. We’re creating a rescue plan for those folks as well as looking into ways to prevent that from happening.
- Invert Y-Axis functionality
o Many folks are used to having reversed Y-axis controls and they get very turned around without it.
- To prevent our voxel database from crashing under load, we are converting it to 64-bit processes. That will make our DB very stable, and we can then ensure that any other issues no longer have this variable in the discussion so we can narrow down any other “voxel loss” issues quickly.
- Bug fixes for a few recipes and salvage rewards
- The 20% resource potion is supposed to last two weeks but wears off when you log out right now. (Obviously, that’s much less useful.) We’re fixing this and restoring the effect to players.
- More character customizations (art team)
- More props (art team)
- More biomes (art team)