Sunday, April 25, 2010

I didn't listen, 'cos my brain was missing, and I only found it today

To start out with, Etienne de Crecy's latest performance is breathtaking. Still absolutely amazing what programming mixed with inventive architecture can do.

Really odd note from MMORPG: Sony Online is introducing something called Passport for players of EverQuest II. Essentially, they say it's intended for 'casual players', and it's a five dollar charge (US) to use the game for three days out of any given month.

There are a few problems with this. First, the user can't pick which three days, apparently. Second, it's not a timer-countdown, the user gets 72 hours of use during the month; instead, it has to be consecutive. But, on the other hand, it's a big savings for people who can't plunk down $15 per month until...well, ever. And it still funds the game and developments, from Sony's end of things.

I do like Jaime Skelton's proposal, though, more than I like the Passport concept: find a good, consistent way to charge per day of play (like in-client timers, or countdown cards distributed through the usual sources). The standard $15 per month subscription rate has been around forever, and likely won't change any time soon--but if I only log in to a full-pay game, say, eight days out of the month--well, I could pay $15, which is a savings of having to pay for every day for $30...or, I could just plunk down payment for the eight days I played. I'm finding I really like that idea.

Have I mentioned Gogo's Windlight tutorial page? I'm finding it invaluable for "straight", unprocessed (as in, by PhotoShop or my personal bane of existence, Gimp) images taken in SL.

Actually, since the update, Emerald has added in a ton of the available user-developed presets to the Advanced Sky/Water settings. I don't know if the same presets are available in SnowGlobe and (beta, B-E-T-A) 2.0, but at least they're all active in Emerald.

Snapshots of odd things: the thrones at Grendel's.

Avaria,Flea Bussy,Second Life,thrones

(The Spider Throne; Miss Kamenev, don't look at the large version.)

Avaria,Flea Bussy,Second Life,thrones

(The Spider Throne from the back; Miss Kamenev, again, don't look at the large version I tried to crop on both of these to reduce the spidery aspects..)

Avaria,Flea Bussy,Second Life,thrones

(And the Serpent Throne; Miss Kamenev, this one you can click on, I think.)

Avaria,Flea Bussy,Second Life,thrones
(And the Serpent Throne from the back.)

The approved viewer list has been expanded. Not much of note there, save Emerald. Why is Emerald now on the approved list, and wasn't earlier? I wanted to find out. I downloaded the new version and...well, I'm happy and unhappy in turn.

For one, the big thing I was worrying about, the crippling of exporting? So totally not. I don't care if prims can be exported, I never do that, and if that's selfish, fine, I'm being selfish. But I do care if textures--sculpt maps and .tga files for clothing manufacture and builds--can still be exported.

And they can. So I'm relatively happy with that.

The downside? Apparently everything in the world is now grey under the new rebuild. And I still have the inability to pull in my entire inventory--it stops around 29K or so, every single time.

So still an outstanding bug they haven't fixed, and textures now take decades to load, instead of years. But you can still export things. So...sort of yay?

I'll try and give it a more thorough run-through later.


Icterus Dagger said...

Miss Emilly,

Is your network max bandwith set right? Or is your net connection really sucky? You seem to have issues that have always been related to network for me. I assume you've checked, so forgive if I sound patronizing.

I find the new Emerald a little less stable than the last, but I've had no issues with textures at all. Haven't tried the export function yet.


Alexandra Rucker said...

Just to throw my pennies into the discussion:

Network bandwidth is set to max on mine (5,000 in 1634?), and I'm noticing the gray/unloaded textures hanging around for far longer than they should as well.

It's not my computer - quad core processor, lots of ram and high end nvidia video card, so no it's definitely not my computer :) - it's the client. It's not SL, this time - because Emerald 1101 loaded them just fine and dandy. It's something in the way Emerald 1634 loads - or doesn't load - the textures. It's not my ISP because, well, we got bandwidth to burn...

Yes, it's very aggravating. The ONLY reason I upgraded Emerald was because of that damnable TPV policy and seeing enough people go into paranoid freakouts.

Now whether it's because 1101 had an 8,000 bandwidth max versus 1634's 5,000 bandwidth cap I can't really answer - If Emilly never cranked hers even close to max, it's a moot point. I can just point out what I'm sure it isn't.

Icterus Dagger said...

Thanks for that input, Ms. Alexandra. It's also possible that I am alway at my bandwidth cap, so things seem the same as the have been (I think?). I have no reason t doubt what you've observed, but I guess it can't hurt to make sure one's settings are where they ought to be.

I can't seem to understand why texture loading has been such a persistent problem.. but then again, they still can't get chat right, can they?


Emilly Orr said...

Mr. Dagger,

It is helpful to have the input of people with computers that actually work, to really give a good baseline, but what Alex says doesn't hold any less true for me--yes, until recently, I had an intermittent wireless connection on an iffy system. Now I have a wired connection on an iffy system, and out of sheer habit from my last computer, I've been throttling my bandwidth at 500.

It's now at 2500, a major leap forward, and if my computer tanks at it, we'll go down from there. But I'll check to see what Emerald is like at a higher bandwidth. I really expect it will be the same thing--grey, followed by grey, followed by grey and some walls...

Emilly Orr said...

And Alex,

That was immediately what I noticed--and believe me, when Enerald 1101 is speedy at a bandwidth throttled back to 500? That says something.

Even on my creaky vintage system, if I can't get something to rez in after a minute of waiting, I tend to leave or relog onto Snowglobe. Emerald's basic underlying architecture is usually better, and before 1634, was generally better at everything save for the persistent inventory problem--which, for all I know, is server-based, not client-based, because it's started to pop up in SnowGlobe, too.

(And be fair, I carry 72K in inventory, I NEED to throw things out--I just haven't had the energy of late. AND I keep adding to the problem!)

I'll log in again at 2500 bandwidth, and see if my system can handle full-on total for a while (though I suspect it will curl up in a whimpering ball, begging me to stop). We'll see what happens.

Rhianon Jameson said...

Is there any good information on what the bandwidth slider actually does? Because of this thread, I looked at my settings, and that slider was at 500. In looking at the SL help site, several places suggested that higher numbers didn't necessarily help. Is this a function of the client's network only, or does it also depend on the server side? (I moved it to 1000 for the evening and didn't see any problems, though I'm sure I saw an improvement, either.)

Alexandra Rucker said...

M. Jameson, you make an interesting point. I have say that for me, it does. But then, as mentioned prior, I haz uberbox for SL, and our ISP gives us downstream bandwidth to burn. (I play SL, he plays first person shooters a lot too, we both need it...)

It is *painfully* slow at 500, and much more bearable at max slider bandwidth.

If it's painful no matter where the slider is, I'm thinking it's likely there might be a bandwidth choke or limitation somewhere between the ISP and the user's machine - OR the machine is that prone to choking on SL in the first place (older CPU, very little ram, low-end graphics card, that sort of thing.)

Rhianon Jameson said...

Thank you, Miss Rucker. I continue to tweak. :)

Emilly Orr said...

I just opened CoolSL for the discussion, and afterwards, pulled open Preferences, slid my slider to 2500 on the bandwidth (my 'mid-range' testing setting)...and promptly crashed. :p

Magdalena Kamenev said...

You are so sweet, Miss Orr. Thank you for the warning, although a friend TPed me to that spot to get a Grendel's freebie that was being given away. I managed not to freak out ... and in general, fascinating redesign ...