Friday, December 25, 2009

Some Holiday Treats: A tank and a freebie

Our first ICS compliant tank is now available. I have dubbed it the Goblin, a name I find appropriate due to it's small size and green color. It is a light tank, fast and maneuverable. It also makes a great starting point for more advanced tanks that I have planned out. You can find it for sale at our Caledon Cape Wrath office here. Below are some pictures...

(So cute!)

(The Goblin has extra armor in the front as well as the sides thanks to the new hard/soft point system introduced in ICS 3.0.)

(I plan on adding weak points to the exposed engines and boilers on all our vehicles from here on out. It adds a nice strategic element I think. Shown here is the Goblins weak spot, doing double damage to the tank if it gets hit in the boiler. Make sure you protect that weak spot!)

We also have available our first freebie ironclad ship the MSS Ugly Duckling. We have gotten a lot of requests for something like this and what better time then the holidays to release it? This will help when we have new recruits just jumping in who want to participate in the big ironclad battles. Even though the Ugly Duckling can't go toe-to-toe with any of the other ships, it can still play a very good support role and give the new recruit something to test drive in. The Ugly Duckling vendor crates will be sent out to most places that have our vendors set up. We also have it available at our shop if you can't find it anywhere else. Below are some pictures...

(Ugly but still kinda cute.)

(Ok so she has some damage...hey it's free quit whining!)

(This is an inside view. I didn't have time to patch some of those bullet holes up. Hey no biggie it's above the water line.)

Saturday, December 12, 2009

The Trouble With Mono

We are recompiling all of the ships back to LSL and will soon release a V14 update. The reason for this is because mono has severe issues in regards to initiation overhead and anything mono that is rezzed or enters a sim severely cripples it. More details can be found here...

You have no idea how frustrating it is to have put all that work in these ships only to find out they don't run very well in a group battle. At least I know what the biggest problem is now so I can properly fix it. We also have been working on reducing the HUD to ship talk so the combination of these two methods will make battles much smoother.

We tested 3 LSL compiled ships using these methods in Obsidian Sea and found that border crossings to be much less painful, as well as the ships generally being more responsive as a whole. This will also do wonders for the machine gun equipped ships, as every single bullet they fire is mono, meaning massive overhead issues for the sim. This is often why in large melees the gatlings will get stuck firing in a loop and cripple the sim.

I would advise anyone who makes ICS compliant vehicles or weapons to try recompiling them back to LSL and see how much they improve. If you type crtl+shift+1 inworld you can measure the statistics and see it for yourselves. Note that this issue only concerns rezzing or sim border crossing. If you have something that is static and stays in one place, it should be just fine in mono.

Also note that if anything you wear has mono scripts in them, such as hair-resizers or AOs then they will cause considerable damage when you cross a sim border. Most hair-resizers have the option of killing all the scripts inside once you have it set the way you like it, however for AO issues I might recommend the Emerald viewer here...

The reason why I recommend Emerald viewer is because it has a built in AO system, meaning you do not need to wear any scripts because it is all handled in the client. Not sure how much that actually helps but it is certainly worth a shot, if not for that then for the many other useful features that come with Emerald.

One last thing. It seems there are several alternatives for XStreet available. -collection of freebie items -offers many more features such as banking, vendor systems, etc -offers over 80,000 individual textures -another nice alternative with over 18,000 items

Hmmm looks very promising, we will keep an eye on that one.