Originally posted on SWGEmu Forums
Table of Contents
- SWGEmu Development Update
- The Launch of the Liberator Galaxy
- The Launch of the New SWGEmu Site
- Manual Donations
- Staff Updates
- Quick Stats
- Staff Round-Table
SWGEmu Development Update
Major Additions/Changes since October 1st
The following list highlights the work that has been done since the release of the Object Restructure at the beginning of October. For a comprehensive Nova Test Center feature list be sure to read the Project Status Thread as well as get the full details on code submissions on the SWGEmu Trac Timeline. An explanation of the OR and the past work done can be found in the End of Summer Update.
- Software Transactional Memory
- Speed Hack Detection
- Line of Sight
- Player Cities
- Stat Migration
- In-Game Bug Reporting
The past year has been great for development! Here are a few of the most recent projects being worked on by the development team.
In the past, deadlocks have been a problem for the project and finding their root cause. In order to resolve these deadlocks and remove them from being a factor in future development, Oru has been working on creating a Software Transactional Memory Manager for the engine which will prevent server tasks from failing and crashing the server. This will allow developers to find and prevent complex issues in the core easier in the future.
One of the major combat features previously never implemented was Line of Sight. Line of Sight prevents players from shooting each other on opposite sides of a building to keep combat fair and even. TheAnswer has recently re-implemented this feature and is working on completing the process by converting the way terrain is handled in the game. The conversion taking place will also remove the need for heightmaps on the server.
For some time now, the crafting system has been one of the most complete features in-game. Kyle has been working on refining the system and removing any bugs that are found in it. The list of features left uncompleted dwindles smaller each week and it is evident that the system is coming together nicely.
One of the biggest features that was released with the Object Restructure was the addition of structures. This includes houses, factories, guild halls, and player city structures. Along with player city structures simply being able to be placed, Player Cities themselves are functioning and implemented. cRush has been working hard over the past few months to bring us the last few features and bug fixes before they'll be considered essentially complete.
One of the biggest features missing from TC:Nova that was previously available is the implementation of global creature spawns and PvE. dannuic is working hard to implement all of the scripts and attributes of creatures, spawning, and artificial intelligence involved with creatures. There is a great amount of work to be done within this system that will require a TON of testing so please be patient and helpful with testing during the upcoming months.
We acknowledge that the code on Nova Test Center is lacking in some areas that were previously implemented (though other areas are far more advanced). The goal of the development team is to continue working on all previously implemented areas as well as some brand new features. These areas include factions, creatures, loot, combat and professions.
The Launch of the Liberator Galaxy
With this announcement, SWGEmu is launching a second server which will run the pre-October 1st, 2010 version of code. Most of the community refers to this code as "Pre-Object Restructure" or "Pre-OR". This server is designed to be a "Play" server on which users can enjoy some of the old parts of the SWGEmu code that have not been re-implemented in the current codebase on TC: Nova. Be aware that this server is simply temporary until Nova Test Center has more features and will only be run as long as it is does not disrupt the team's resources on the current TC: Nova development.
While we hope that users will enjoy this new addition to our Galaxy List, we will not be devoting any development time to the Liberator galaxy. The project focus is still the completion of the software currently on the Nova Test Center. DO NOT report any bugs to the Mantis bug tracker as there will be no fixes nor any additions to the Liberator Galaxy for its duration. The Support Team will only respond and assist on technical issues like a player stuck in the air on Rori or a spam bot deliberately trying to crash the server. Support resources will not be taken away from TC: Nova so the player base on the Liberator galaxy will have to police itself or return to playing on TC: Nova where the Game Masters reside. The Moderator Team does not have time for the Liberator galaxy player arguements on IRC or the forums as they need to focus on TC: Nova as well. On the new site's forum there is a sub-forum under "General" called The Sarlacc Pit that has relaxed rules for "Forum PvP". This sub-forum can be used by the Liberator players for heated debates but must not go outside this area or you may earn infractions. All other areas of the SWGEmu services will be using the recently updated rules and infractions policy on the current forums that has very stiff and long penalties for disrupting the developement of this project.
People may also be curious to know whether this will affect the performance or progress of Nova Test Center. If the performance of Nova Test Center is degrading due to Liberator, steps will be taken such as introducing a player cap or upgrade server hardware, donations permitting. Nova Test Center is to remain the priority server of this project and all resources will be made available to it first before the Liberator galaxy.
In order to log on to SWGEmu servers using Launchpad Enhanced, select the drop-down menu at the top and select "Official SWGEmu Servers", from the list. Hit play to launch the client. You'll then be prompted to log into the SWGEmu network and select a galaxy. You can then continue to create characters and play as normal. The code revision that Liberator will be using is the same Pre-Object Restructure. There is, however, one slight change to the Jedi system but we will leave that to the community to discover.
The Liberator galaxy and Nova Test Center are being wiped with this launch and the new site. You will be required to register on the new site, see next section for details, before logging in to play on the servers. We do not plan on wiping the Liberator galaxy unless there is a major problem that requires a wipe to fix the server. Please be aware that the Liberator galaxy will not be available when TC: Nova is offline because they share login servers.
The new forums have the following areas for the Liberator players to interact:
Liberator Trade Forum
Liberator Events (Unofficial)
Liberator Guild Recruitment
Official Liberator Events
We hope that you will enjoy this new server while we continue to bring some of the Pre-OR features back to Nova Test Center!
Launch of the New SWGEmu Site
Over the past few months, the development team and website development team have been working on building and improving an efficient, stable website. With our current website, crashes and down times have happened because of plugins, database errors, clutter, and degradation. Due to these many problems, we decided a few months ago that a new solution was necessary.
Aside from the previously listed problems, separate log ins were required for each service provided (forum, IRC, Mantis, wiki and TC). The new website, powered by vBulletin Suite 4.1, will incorporate each individual service into the same account login name and password. This allows for better consistency for the users as well as the moderators being able to separate infractions to each individual service. Please note that the new IRC server is not ready at this time but all of the other services are using the new global registration system.
As stated in previous updates, we have decided that the simplest and most efficient way of opening up this new website for use is by starting fresh. The old services are being kept as an archive for Staff to reference so all the highly valued work done on research and bug reporting is not lost. All accounts in both poor and good standing will be wiped clean and all are welcome to return and sign up for the new site and services. We hope that each and every one of you takes this opportunity to contribute to our great community and make it even better than it was before.
In order to re-register for the new website, users will need to proceed to www.swgemu.com/registration and click on, "Transfer Existing Account". Even if you have an existing account on SWGEmu, you can choose the option, "Create New Account", to get a new name as long as that name is not already taken on the new or old site. If transfering your account, you will be prompted to enter in your current SWGEmu forum credentials and click "Register". This will automatically create your account for each service on the SWGEmu network and transfer over your join date, birth date, and post count. Please be aware that names must be 3-40 characters in length and only contain letters, numbers, hyphens, underscores and spaces. If your old username does not comply to these conventions, you will be prompted to enter a new, unused username when re-registering. Once registration is complete, then you can proceed to the use all the features of the new site. Please note that the new IRC server is not ready at this time.
While the main purpose of building the new website is to streamline and improve on the old, there are a few additions to the new website and forums as well. Besides multiple new themes already available, there will be a new area of the forum created especially for "Forum PvP". This OPT-IN area will be a place where the rules are relaxed and players are allowed to let loose on other players about in-game battles, strategy, etc. Be aware that mentioning racist or other inappropriate topics of conversation is still going to be strictly moderated (see the special forum rules for the full details). We hope those of you who choose to opt-in to this area will enjoy, "The Sarlacc Pit".
The new Announcements section has been reworked to focus on three distinct areas: Project Updates, Test Center Updates and Test Center Events. The new Blog feature of vBulletin Suite 4.1 will be the place to find new Developer Chat Logs. If you need to have your registration email resent then that link is in the navigation bar under Support.
The new Project Development section is basically the same as the old Development section. The Professions have been grouped for easier navigation from the main forum page.
The new Support section has been reworked to include three distinct areas: Site Services Issues, Test Center Issues and Community Support (Unofficial). The previous Support area for reporting bugs is now in the navigation bar.
The new Test Center section has been reworked from the old SWGEmu section. This is now for all SWGEmu and Public servers. Please post non-TC things in the appropriate General forum area and leave the new Test Center section for what is currently on the servers.
The new General section is basically the same with the inclusion of the SWGEmu Discussion from the old SWGEmu section and a brand new forum called The Sarlacc Pit. The General Discussion and The Sarlacc Pit have different, relaxed rules from the rest of the forums so please be aware before entering.
The navigation bar is the master link to all the SWGEmu services including links to Facebook, Twitter, IRC Web Client and Dev Tracker.
In the end, we hope that all of this effort gives each community member a better and more professional experience while on the SWGEmu network of services.
As some of you may remember, earlier this month, the SWGEmu website crashed and was unavailable for a few days due to an error with some of the site's plugins. Some of you may also have noticed that some of these plugins were removed and are no longer present. These plugins included the donation meter and tool. As a completely voluntary and community run project, it is imperative for us to to provide users with a method to donate.
The new forum's donation feature will hopefully keep working and not crash the site but if not then you can make donations manually on www.paypal.com. Once there, you'll need to log in to your account and select the "Send Money" tab at the top. Enter firstname.lastname@example.org in the "To" field and enter the amount and currency you desire. Leave the last section on the default settings and click "Continue". Once there, you may confirm your donation and click "Send Money".
As always, we thank you all for your support and donations allowing us to continue this great project!
SWGEmu is Recruiting!
As always, SWGEmu is an ever-changing and growing organization where new talent is always being sought out. Please check out the SWGEmu Recruiting page for open positions and details! We especially would like to mention the need for a larger support team, consequently Support is always something to keep watch of. The support helper program has proved highly successful in finding talented people to move in to full SWGEmu staff positions. The information thread about the Support Helper apprenticeship program can be found here.
The Moderator team is also looking to hire, so give Leodextrin a private message for details on how to apply.
The Quality Assurance team is also recruiting, please see this thread for more information.
Current Organizational Chart
Feel free to browse through the most current organizational chart which outlines the structure and positions of SWGEmu. The most recent chart can be found here.
As stated above, SWGEmu is always growing and changing in order to meet the needs of development. Because of this, we have people who have recently joined the team as well as moved on to different positions. We also have lost some along the way due to real-life time constraints and we thank them all for their service. The full list of changes is below.
The Communications Team has been moved from the Test Center Division to directly reporting to Kyle, the President.
Max has the title of Communications Director now.
TAfirehawk has moved from QA Manager to Communications Team Manager, who now reports to Max, Communications Director.
PhantomLeader has moved from Test Center Deputy Director to Services Manager.
Dame has moved to the Communications Team.
El'layn has retired from the Communications Team.
Renala has been promoted from Event Coordinator to Event Coordination Manager, who now reports to Odwill, Test Center Director.
Hakry has joined the Event Coordination Team after his time as a Support Helper.
Shotter has retired from the Event Coordination Team
Ilipah has been promoted to Support Supervisor in addition to staying as Tier 2 Support.
Ellyssia has been promoted to Game Master Supervisor in addition to staying as Tier 2 Support.
Leodextrin has been promoted to Forms/IRC Lead Moderator.
Bailey has joined the Moderator Team.
./A has joined the Moderator Team.
Audune and Mijom have retired from the Moderator Team.
Xavia has been promoted from Quality Assurance Deputy Manager to QA Manager.
Lorrianna has recently returned to the Quality Assurance team as Business Leader after some busy time in Singapore.
Chetok has been promoted to QA Wiki Team Leader.
Estelline has been promoted to QA Entertainer Leader.
Fivo has been promoted to QA Crafting Supervisor.
Jacoo has been promoted to QA Medoutainer Supervisor.
Winn has been promoted to QA Creatures Leader.
Quaker, Knaris, Vrykolaka, Fluffy, Tovo and Obeo have retired from the Quality Assurance team.
Developer Code Commits: 156
Average Web/Forum Daily Hits: 6,095
Total Page Views: 1,976,551
Total Web/Forum Hits: 170,651
Total Users who used the Website: 35,000
Average TC Daily Logins: 8,291
Total TC Logins: 232,138
Total Users who used the TC: 19,570
Total TC Character Count: 114,247
Originally Posted by Kyle, President
It has been a busy year. Aside from a number of bug fixes, I have been engrossed in that thing called "real life" over the last few months. in the coming month I will be focusing heavily on crafting and resource issues. We are looking forward to getting a lot of featured completed over the next year!
Originally Posted by Oru, Development Director
I have been working on a side project of the OR for a long time that consists a substantial change in the mechanism of the engine. It will eliminate all of the deadlocking problems at a reasonable cost on the efficiency of the code. This will help our coders to concentrate only the game logic without being afraid to mess something up in our complex locking system. It will also greatly affect the durability of the system so there will be a very small risk of loosing player data. I'am doing troubleshooting and stress testing for this system currently and i hope we can push it live in the following months.
Originally Posted by TheAnswer, Core3 Manager
For the last couple of weeks i have been working on reversing the client files for the mesh appearances to implement line of sight and cell boundaries for moving objects. Thanks to xunils treLib now we load all the needed files from the client tres and use them to do fast line of sight detection in buildings/world against almost any non-passable object that is loaded.
Also i am working on our .trn parser to remove the need of huge heightmaps and the ability to use new maps, this is almost finished and already in test on svn.
Happy Holidays everybody
Originally Posted by cRush, Developer
I've been working on finishing off Structures and Cities. Currently, I've been working to make sitting on objects work correctly as it did in Pre-CU. While the code is done for this, it needs to be cleaned up before being committed to the core. I also look forward to moving on to Factions and Vendors once Structures and Cities are finished off.
Jointly, I have also been working on the Global Registration system that is in development, which will tie all SWGEmu services together into a simplified registration. This should encourage more interaction from the community when using our services.
Originally Posted by Elvaron, Developer
I've been further working on artwork for the new website with a small art department, more information on that at a later point. When I return to my duties after the holidays I hope for our team to quickly finish our goals for the new website's graphics, so I can return to my coding duties.
Originally Posted by Xavia, Quality Assurance Manager
We have successfully launched our Community Tester Team program that has enabled us to develop fantastic Quality Assurance members. However, we're still looking for dedicated testers to join our team. Please see this thread if you're interested.
I'd like to thank the community and staff for helping the developers test the OR for the past several months. Some of the tasks we've been involved with include:
- Researching and collecting Pre-CU data for the developer wiki which will involve more than 1000 packets and 13000 schematics
- Manually converting the Prima Guide creature, npc, and droid tables into spreadsheets
- Assigning and resolving hundreds of Mantis reports
- Reviewing and completing thousands of schematics and scripts
- Creating new tester guides
- Testing and researching specific requests from developers
Since the OR was released we've maintained an up to date Project Status List; you can view our progress here.
Happy Holidays and have a wonderful New Year!
Originally Posted by TAfirehawk, Communications Manager
I've been busy setting up the "new" Mantis Bug Tracker install that better integrates with QA and Devs. cRush has done a great job getting ingame /bug to work and link to Mantis. /bug will be turned back on now that the new site and all its services are going public. I have also been lending a hand on the new forums with themes, mods, layout, usergroups and permissions. We hope this new layout and new CMS home page will make navigation easier for everybody as well as having the same login everywhere.
Working on staff for nearly three years now and wearing different hats while helping out anywhere that is needed has been extremely rewarding for me personally. I have worked on mod projects for Civ4 in the past but never anything of this scale. SWG is by far my favorite online game (yes Civ is my favorite single player game) so helping bring the "real" SWG back is pure enjoyment.
Originally Posted by Renala, Event Coordination Manager
I've been working on new additions to the EC team, which includes interviewing people for the EC position.
We also had our first event today headed by one of our new EC's, Hakry, who did a great job according to the feedback.
I plan to add more EC's in the upcoming months and expand the events team to create more fun events.
Originally Posted by Kaigeos, Website Development Manager
For the last several weeks I've been working with updated vbulletin software for our new forums with a lot of assistance from TAfirehawk. We've been working with the upgrade for vb suite 4.1 and some new themes for the our website, The current theme set we have now is nearly complete it's called "Darkside" it has 6 color orange, red, green, yellow which are for the most part completed. Color variations blue and purple still need some work on them. The theme set "Lightside" is currently in planning stages. I've submitted some screen shots so you can review the color schemes. At this time all the header backgrounds are the same, this will be changing so that each theme will have it's own unique header background.
Originally Posted by Kellina, Support Manager
This past year has been great! The SWGEmu support team has changed a lot, and we look forward to the upcoming year, as we will be adding to all the teams, adding new support options/portals.
For those that do not know, we have 3 Team leads in the support Dept:
Ellyssia - Game Master Lead
Leodextrin - Forms/IRC Moderator Lead
Ilipah - Support Helper Lead
These awesome chosen individuals have started turning things around, and will be growing their teams during the new year to help support the upcoming updates, changes to the server and community.
Originally Posted by Ilipah, Support Supervisor
This year saw the introduction of the Support Helper and Apprenticeship Program. During this time, we added many Community Members to the program and some have moved on to SWGEmu Staff positions. The program has proved highly successful. One of the plans we have slated for 2011 is the introduction of a Live Support Service, completely separate from, and replacing our SWGEmu IRC Support Services. More on this will be announced at a later time, when we are ready to launch the service.
We are always looking for new Community Members, who are interested in assisting the Support Staff, in the IRC Support Channels. For those that have already submitted applications, there is no need to resubmit an application, as you remain on file and will be considered. For those that wish to apply, please refer to the following link, for the procedures of applying to the Support Helper and Apprenticeship Program.
As a reminder, this program is designed to assist SWGEmu Management in determining new talent for future SWGEmu Staff positions, and will allow members of our fantastic community the opportunity to become official SWGEmu Support Staff members.
A new round of interviews for the Support Helper and Apprenticeship Program will commence after the first of the year. If interested, please submit your application.
You can read more about the Support Helper and Apprenticeship Program and how to apply here.
Originally Posted by Ellyssia, Game Master Supervisor
Happy New Year everyone. This past year has seen many changes in the GM staff on Nova, and 2011 will be bringing even more changes. We've had a number of GMs step down due to time concerns, and brought on a few new ones. In the coming months, we're going to be looking to hire some new GMs from the apprenticeship program, so keep your eyes open for more announcements.
Originally Posted by Leodextrin, Lead Moderator
We are working on adding to the forums and IRC moderation team in the upcoming year, and look forward to all those individuals that are interested in the challenge.
If you are interested in joining the moderation team, please contact leodextrin via the forums PM, and he will send you the info on how to apply.
And as a reminder to all, forums moderation is an on going process that never ends. So we would love it if you the community would please remember to report any spammers/spambots/etc that are not following the Offical SWGEmu Forums guidelines.
Originally Posted by Kreen, Event Coordinator
Hey guys! I've been working with Renala on the new EC positions as well as drafting up some pretty rockin' events for 2011. Be sure to stop by on IRC at the #events channel and give us your ideas and suggestions. Even though we may not be able to do a lot right now, we definitely keep a list of ideas going for the future!
In the RP scene, I've been working to get a new server-wide Federation system set up to unite all the roleplayers together! In addition to that, a new RP guild has popped up called RPG. They're both two very active and exciting communities, so if you're a roleplayer and have been wondering where they all are, check them out here and here.
Happy New Year everyone!
Originally Posted by Hakry, Event Coordinator
I am glad to have been accepted onto the team as an EC and have started off in my position by hosting some mini-events that led up to a event called the Dangers of Dantooine! Everything seemed to go well and I think all that came out enjoyed it thoroughly. I look forward to working with everyone more closely as we progress into the new year.
I also would like to invite everyone that is interested to join us in the #events channel, as Kreen has as well. Feel free to throw any ideas that you may have towards the Events team, so we can possibly turn it into something fun for the community! Hope everyone is having Happy Holidays and will have a Happy New Year.
Originally Posted by Bailey, Moderator
I'm the new guy around here so looking forward to getting to know you all. If you have any questions don't hesitate to ask. Hope you have all had a Merry Christmas and a happy new year.
Originally Posted by Fivo, Quality Assurance
I've been assisting devs with development research, testing, and exploring bugs I've found still in current systems. I've run staff player cities through the bulk of the structures and cities testing needed for that support. I've conducted spot testing in support of Mantis checks and reacted to development testing. For a time QA was ahead of the devs but I have personally fallen behind this last two months due to work schedules. I hope to improve that in the new year and would also like to generate a research primer to assist in validation processes.
At present, I am exploring the quirks in many component issues and hoping to follow that up with devs to stabilize crafting mechanisms correctly. Having said that, I understand the nature of this beast schedule and would like to do whatever is deemed most important to drive it forward.
Originally Posted by Winn, Quality Assurance
i haven't been working on any issues seriously in the last 2 month since the job keeps me busy but i'm trying to keep track on all the changes.
by the 2nd week of january i'll have more time to contribute again
Originally Posted by Lorrianna, Quality Assurance
Since returning to the EMU and Staff in late October from my global wanderings (and wonderings), I've been focused on reducing the backlog of untested Post-O.R. Mantis Bug Reports, primarily in the Crafting and World subject areas. After an almost daily commitment of time and know how by 30+ Community members and the QA team we've managed to research, test, close or assign to Developers 500+ bug reports since November 1st.
I've been doing development research & testing for cRush on Structures, Cities & Vehicles and with TheAnswer on issues ranging from Inventory and character creation to Medic and HAM attributes.
Once cRush has Structures finished off, we'll be able to look toward Vendor and Merchant Prof development. In preparation, I've completed an End-to-End functional testing checklist which includes the Bazaar. Thought not an LUA expert by any means, I have been working on 80-100 Crafter schematic changes. Some are on Nova but others will require some advanced work by Kyle. Most recently I've finished Round 2 of Chef Food & Drink Buff testing. We have some subcomponent issues that still need work before that can be completed and final changes made by Polonel.
I also enjoy helping Dannuic with creature testing...and giving our Combat types something to shoot at...by occasionally spawning a small horde of 100 beasties outside Cnet.
Originally Posted by Jacoo, Quality Assurance
During these last few months I have been involved in testing the OR code, with focus initially towards the existing entertainer professions: dancer and musician. After that, I moved on to general ad hoc testing of those bugs entered into Mantis, together with other QA members and some of you from the community.
My next focus is towards patch notes, and those changes brought into the game up to publish 14.1. It should be a more structured series of tests, with test plans and regression testing where needed. Work has already begun on the test plans. All in all, it will make sure that anything that was patched or updated, will be identified and if not in the code already, be noted for addition.
The last month saw me visibly in Coronet during creature testing. I want to thank all of you that helped with that first round of testing. It was a pleasure meeting some of you there, and I look forward to continuing that in 2011.
Originally Posted by Estelline, Quality Assurance
I'm Estelline the new QA Entertainer Lead. Since joining QA I've been working on: the wiki, verifying bug reports in mantis, and helping TA when he is working on entertainer professions. With the wiki I've been working to compile all the information the devs need to properly implement all 3 entertainer professions and getting it organized in a readable format for both the devs and the community to use.
Some of you have seen and worked with me on mantis reports, I often try and work with the bug reporter when possible on TC to make sure I understand the bug being reported and the steps taken to produce the bug. I have also found and reported several entertainer related bugs of my own.
Since TC was wiped and OR was put on I have worked closely with TA to test Dancer and musician as he has implemented features for them. At present they are both almost fully implemented with a few features and commands still undone.
Thank you all for your continued support, and thanks to everyone who has helped or will help me test in the future when I ask for it!
As we end one year and begin another, we hope that all of you have enjoyed your time in the community while the developers continue working to bring back the game we all love. Pre-CU SWG was and still is one of the best games ever made. We have come so far since the first keystrokes for creating SWGEmu were placed. Such a huge endeavor takes time and commitment but the rewards for such hard work are now within reach. Each year, this community and organization makes considerable steps to realizing that greatest of goals; a fully functioning SWGEmu. We are sure that the following year will be a fulfilling environment that will be enjoyed by all. We hope that the Holidays are finding each of you safe and warm as you ring in the New Year.
Happy New Years from all of us at SWGEmu!
--The SWGEmu Team