As always, please refer to the server update thread for the latest information.
- There was no deployment for the Main (SLS) channel on Tuesday, January 31st, although the regions on that channel were restarted in keeping with the Lab’s policy of restarting regions every 2 weeks, regardless as to whether there is an accompanying deployment.
- On Wednesday, February 1st, all three RC channels should receive the same new server maintenance package. This includes a follow-up to fix BUG-3286 “Can’t move object” fail notifications, which was partially fixed in an earlier deployment. This release should also see some improvement in off-line IM and group notice delivery.
The Maintenance viewer RC was updated on Monday, January 29th to version 184.108.40.2063027 (dated January 25th). Otherwise, all other viewers in the current pipelines remain unchanged from the end of week #4:
- Current Release version: 220.127.116.111958, dated December 1st, promoted December 5th, 2016 – formerly the Project Bento RC viewer
- Project viewers:
- Project Alex Ivy (LXIV), 64-bit project viewer, version 18.104.22.1681863 for Windows and Mac, dated January 10th
- 360-degree snapshot viewer, version 22.214.171.1241712, dated November 23, 2016 – ability to take 360-degree panoramic images – hands-on review – still pending completion of work on the 64-bit viewer, and no updates expected in the immediate future
- Obsolete platform viewer, version 126.96.36.1990847, dated May 8, 2015 – provided for users on Windows XP and OS X versions below 10.7.
There has been an ongoing debate about implementing non-player characters (NPCs) in the form of “created agents” or “scripted agents” (essentially avatars), which can exist in-world without the need for a controlling viewer / client. See feature request BUG-11368 for more.
NPCs are not new to SL, and it had been hoped that Pathfinding (introduced in 2012) would lead to an uptick in their use. However, Pathfinding has never really received widespread acceptance / use, and still carried with it many of the limitations in using “bot” based NPCs – such as the need for each bot to have a direct connection to a managing viewer / client.
Scripted agents, by virtue of using the existing avatar system, coupled with being a new class of object would overcome many of the limitations and issues with the current approach to NPCs and other creature creations. However, implementing such a system is seen as a major undertaking, and one with some major hurdles to clear were it to become a project.
If agents (avatars) were to be used, for example, how can they be kept “alive” when there is no controlling client / viewer connected to them? At the very least a new class of hybrid avatar / object would need to be developed (complete with inventory support). If these agents are to be used to provide things like animals – horses, etc., – there is then potentially the problem of how to change the system so that one avatar can ride another (e.g. your avatar on the NPC horse avatar), and so on.
Currently, there is no planned project to take-on NPCs of this kind – but they are a repeated topic of conversation at Simulator User Group meetings, and it is an idea some at the Lab have been mulling over.
Due to scheduling conflicts, the next Simulator User Group meeting will be on Tuesday, February 14th, 2017.