Sunday, November 3, 2013

Developer Notes #6

Greetings Entropians!

We hope that all of you have had an enjoyable and relaxing summer. Despite the lovely European weather, lots of work has been going on behind the scenes here at the MindArk offices this summer.

With this EU Buzz article, we intend to provide a quick update on what the MindArk team has been working on, along with a roadmap for the next couple of releases.

VU 14.3 - Platform Release
The next Version Update, also known as a platform release, is scheduled for early September and will contain many back-end infrastructure upgrades and maintenance (see below for more info). While this update will not contain any new systems or features, it will contain a large number of improvements and fixes to existing systems. Many of the more frequently reported issues have been corrected in this update, including:
  • Fixed an issue with camera shaking and restricted movement when avatars revive at a revival terminal.
  • Disciple progress is now updated correctly when the disciple kicks a mentor and gets a new mentor.
  • The Friends List now updates correctly when adding or removing friends, without requiring a relog.
  • Many issues affecting vehicles and spaceships have been corrected.
  • Lots of clothing and avatar display issues have been corrected.
  • The tiering cost formula for items with cooldown or upload timers (mainly MindForce chips) has been adjusted to bring the costs in balance with other types of items such as weapons and tools.
  • Dozens of other issues have been corrected and bugs squashed.
As usual, a complete list of fixed issues included in the VU will be posted in the Version Update Release Notes on the day of release.

Planet Partner Release
Scheduled for early October, the next Planet Partner release promises to bring lots of exciting new content to your favorite Entropia Universe planet!

Infrastructure Upgrades
Over the past several platform releases in the earlier part of this year, the first components of a major upgrade to the Entropia Universe infrastructure have been implemented. Much of that groundwork has taken place behind the scenes, without much immediately noticeable impact on the end-user experience. Over the summer, the MindArk dev team has been working hard on building and testing the next phase of the infrastructure upgrade project, both software and hardware. Those improvements will be implemented into Entropia Universe in the upcoming platform release, and the final stages will be deployed in the subsequent platform releases during autumn and early winter.

The benefits of this major infrastructure upgrade are many, including:
  • Greater server capacity (simultaneous users).
  • Improved server stability and expandability as the Entropia Universe population grows.
  • More frequent Version Updates.
  • Ability to deploy small hotfixes to clients very quickly.
  • Much shorter downtimes when new Version Updates are released.
In addition, the new infrastructure will allow our developers and partners to spend much more of their time working on new features, systems and content, and improving existing systems, rather than on packaging and delivering Version Updates.

In short, what this means for Entropians is more frequent, feature-rich, and stable updates to Entropia Universe with less downtime and faster implementation of important fixes when needed.

We appreciate your patience and dedication to Entropia Universe over the past few months during the infrastructure upgrade process, and we look forward to completing the final stages so that you can enjoy a much improved Version Update process in the future.

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