Friday with Means - May 14th, 2010: Multipatch
This week Means talks about winding down from the most recent 18.3.3 update to the live servers, as well as a few tidbits on the new engine and some discussion regarding the removal of the 'strafe running' issue.
It has been a very busy couple weeks and I am slowly starting to recover my basic shreds of humanity. At least in these last couple weeks when the team has been here LATE at night working on issues we haven't been lacking for company from other projects :). There have been more than a few issues recently...but for the sheer size of the last update we released that touched on many sensitive areas of the game and changed vitually every single RK playfield it has gone remarkably well. Thanks to everyone who helped us identify problem areas so we could adjust them as soon as possible. From an operational standpoint it was amazing that the support and operations team were able to help us deploy multiple updates as quickly as they did with as much as they currently had on the go with the Conan launch. I owe some people beers. The smart thing to do would have been to delay our update until the Conan launch was over but they told us to run with it and helped us despite being a trifle overworked at the time. Planning to have two products requiring this much attention at the same time was brave...but they certainly pulled it off.
Things people might be wondering about:
Sergey the magical Russian coder came in on yesterday's vacation to do more work on the engine optimization. For the first time he managed to get the new client to run FASTER on old hardware than the old one. This is spectacularly good news. We had currently been planning on a "dual" client that would include everything for BOTH clients...if things continue to improve we might be able to do away with the old one entirely. We don't want to shut anyone out if we can at all help it...and this was a great day. It feels like it is really coming together. We will be working next week to try and build a "complete" client that will be NOT using any internal resources. Should be fun :) 100+ hours of exporting...fun for coders.
Some of you may have noticed that strafe no longer offers a small speed benefit. This was playing havoc with positional sync...and it is important to mention here that it always has. This was not a new development at all. We will be rescaling runspeed in the coming months to make sure that the stat "matters" and that the network can handle the positional updates that are necessary to accurately depict where your opponents are. The current system is the system that came with the release of AO and runspeed numbers have climbed significantly since then. Some adjustments were going to be needed...this is a first important step.
Have a great weekend everyone. The whole team will be drinking at my house tonight :)