Playing to a script

Yes, that could be seen as a lame title, but it has a reason. I have been in pony form now since March and I am not about to change. For one thing, I have an arrangement with my Dominant that I will remain in this form until at least August of next year. For another I do not want to change.

One thing I have noticed lately is that scripts are playing an even greater part in our SecondLives than ever. Recent changes to Server-side function (not only though mainly Server-side Avatar Appearance) have left most SL sim-hosts with less spare capacity than ever. Running scripts is just one of the balls that a sim-host must juggle. If a sim is run sensibly with a moderate number of scripts the server, if reasonably new, can handle the load without a problem. The issue that is now becoming more prevalent in SL is that some servers are not coping well, and show distinct signs of queueing script calls for extended periods under certain conditions.

Fairly new machines are coping with this extra load quite well and the extra load is barely noticeable. Some older series machines simply are not up to the job and it shows in faltering script-run and sometimes in physics FPS dropouts. There are also sims which have been stuffed with scripts for some years and up until recently have not shown too many issues, other than poor TD (lag) and related problems. Now that servers are nearing or reaching their capacity, this is no longer so and heavily laden sims run badly, have severe script-run percentages (<25%) and can suffer bad physics FPS stability.

I rent a fairly lightly scripted Homestead sim, but even this has had issues in recent weeks, most likely due to a heavily laden sim occupying another core of that host. A restart to another host solved that issue. It is going to take quite a while before some sim-owners realise that what was once possible in terms of script-load simply is not reasonable any more. I have noticed it more since I use physics a great deal more than I used to during steeple-jumping and other related Ponyplay activities. Whether sim-owners will recognise the issue or simply lay the blame on users' poor net connections or computers remains to be seen, it certainly looks as though many are not going to see the error of their ways. All this will do is degrade the experience of SL for others. It seems unlikely that LL will invest heavily in newer, more capable systems to cope with this extra load, and it is debatable as to whether software efficiency will improve matters.

So the "bottom line" is that unless sim owners take a long, hard look at the resources they use, some of us will just have to make do with an SL experience that resembles 2009 more than 2013 and that is a shame.

~ by Ayesha Askham-Ezvalt on October 26, 2013.

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