Announcing the Havok4 Early Adopter Program

Several months ago public beta testing of “the project you thought would never ever get finished” was announced – the project to update Second Life with the Havok4 physics engine. For more information about the Havok4 project, please see the Havok4 Beta Wiki.

Announcing the Havok4 Early Adopter Program
The Havok4 Early Adopter Program allows private island owners to “opt-in”, and choose to switch to Havok4-based Second Life regions.

Forty regions in Second Life are already using the beta Havok4-based Second Life simulator. So far, the results have been promising, and we have been resolving issues and updating the simulator programming on a regular basis.

One of our early testers said:
“… and THAT is why I love Havok 4… We get griefed, the sim doesn’t even *blink*, and it takes ten seconds to clean up.. I’ve seen commercials that last longer.”

A Few Things To Know
If you opt in to the Early Adopter Program, we will switch any regions you choose, of those that you own, to run the beta Havok4-based version of the Second Life simulator. Please note that you will likely find things that don’t work as expected – the point of this program is to find the remaining oddities before we roll the new version of Second Life out to the rest of Second Life!

In particular, there are issues currently being worked on with:
* vehicle actions (some vehicles work well, while others do “odd things” or do not behave as expected)
* physics tuning to adjust the behavior of scripted objects
* performance optimization
* other bugs that present different behaviors on Havok4 than the current Havok1 server

By opting in to the program, you are committing to work with us as we work through the final clean-up of this new version of Second Life simulator code, and to keep the new version on your region as we work through resolving any issues that you find.

How You Can Opt-In
1) The Early Adopter Program is limited to the first 300 region requests that we receive, and will be fullfilled in the order received. Opt-in early if you want to participate!
2) You must be a private island owner to opt-in to the Havok4 Early Adopter program.
3) Log in on the page
4) Click the “Submit a Ticket” link
5) Please use the following settings for your new ticket:
* Ticket Type: “Land and Region Issues”
Region Request: “Region Change”
Region Change: “Havok4 Early Adopter Program”

Concierge request to opt-in to the Havok4 Early Adopter Program

How to Report Bugs
If you find a Havok4 simulator problem, please create an item in the public issue tracker at You can tell if you are in a region running Havok4 by choosing Help > About Second Life in the viewer.

If the fourth text line reads “Havok4 Beta Server”, then you are in a region running Havok4. If the fourth text line reads “Second Life Server”, then you are in a region running our earlier Havok1 simulator.

To submit a Havok4 bug:
1) Log in to the page with your Second Life avatar name and password.
2) Click “Create New Issue”
3) Set PROJECT to “2 Second Life Service – SVC” and ISSUE TYPE to “Bug”
4) On the next page, type step-by-step instructions for how to create the problem, and if specific products are involved include the product vendor name and specific product name and version.
5) VERY IMPORTANT: Please set COMPONENTS = “Physics” and AFFECTS VERSIONS = “Havok4 Beta”. If you do not choose these settings, the Havok4 team may not see your bug report for a while!

For a demo of the jira public issue tracker, see Torley’s great video “how to report a bug“. Again, please be sure to set COMPONENTS = “Physics” and AFFECTS VERSIONS = “Havok4 Beta”!

Thanks in advance for helping to test the next generation Second Life simulator. We really appreciate your help in making Second Life better.

As we resolve issues and get closer to a version for release to the Second Life Grid, we will be deploying updated versions to our Early Adopter regions.

Best regards,

Sidewinder Linden
Program Manager

This entry was posted in Announcements & News, Bugs & Fixes, Preview Grid. Bookmark the permalink.

150 Responses to Announcing the Havok4 Early Adopter Program

  1. Bokrug says:

    FurNation has been testing Havok4 on a number sims for a few weeks now.

  2. Flurry says:

    But can you opt back out if it totally messes you up? How do you opt back out?

  3. Zi Ree says:

    Whee! I’m signing up right now! πŸ™‚

  4. Cliff Dieffenbach says:

    Hell yes!

    I’m all over this.

  5. Iexo Bethune says:

    I haven’t really had much chance to voice my opinion on Havok 4. I must say, I’m impressed that, though LL has been pressured to adopt a new physics engine, rather than adoption Havok 2 or 3, they went above and beyond the call of duty and jumped all the way to 4, grabbing the most advanced engine they could. If you’re gonna do it, do it right, and I’m glad to see that philosophy being put to use here.

    People may cry for more bug fixes, but I think this is going to deliver more than they realize. There are alot of hard-to-fix bugs in Havok 1, so rather than fixing them, LL is just replacing the physics engine. This will give us a whole new series of bugs, but it will fix the ones we want fixed, and give LL a more advanced engine, and a clean slate to work from, and should make future physics-related bug fixes alot easier.

    Even more impressive, however, is how fast this has been. When I heard H4 was in beta, I saw the ball rolling and expected the new physics engine within this year, but I never imagined that sims on the main grid would be converting in large numbers in January. Wow.

    In short, this move to Havok 4, I think, is VERY good all ’round, for features and for bug fixes, and ushers in a new era for vehicles, with new possibilities never before concieved, and is demonstrating an extremely fast pace of progress that is very impressive, to me at least. Nice job, Lindens, this was a GOOD move.

  6. Desmond Shang says:

    I am SOOO signed on for this πŸ™‚

    historic “Caledon” standard class 4
    “Caledon SteamSkyCity” standard class 5
    “Caledon Cymru” openspace class 5

    I invite everyone on the grid to have a go at it!

    This rocks, Sidewinder!!!

  7. Sidewinder Linden says:

    @2 Flurry: Yes if there are problems we can switch you back to Havok1. We do, however want you to be sure you want to participate for the long term, so that we do not have people up in “flipping” regions back and forth” on a regular basis. If there is a serious problem, and our projected fix timing creates a large issue for the region’s operation, I will absolutely be happy to switch a region owner back to Havok1 while we resolve it.

    Best regards,


  8. Sidewinder Linden says:

    @Desmond: Thanks for your interest! Please submit a request to Concierge, as outlined in the blog post. I will not be converting regions based on posts here, so that we can track the changes in a coordinated way. /Sidewinder

  9. Desmond Shang says:

    I have done, sir πŸ™‚

    *dances gleefully*

    *ducks and hides, before Ordinal Malaprop logs into a Havok4’d Caledon…*

  10. The City of Lost Angels has been working pretty closely with the H4 team for awhile now and the experience in general has been good, we’ve attempted to switch over to H4 live but identified a few issues and the H4 team very quickly switched us back over to H1 and had the issues identified and a new build run through QA, we hope to switch back to a more effective situation under H4 very soon.

    Regardless the H4 experience has been, more or less, what I feel all new development in SL should be, a partnership between the Linden Developers and high end content developers to produce more effective technology for the platform, and should these kinds of hand in hand dev projects continue, Second Life is going to become a very interesting place indeed.

    Thanks to Sidewinder and the H4 team for their work on this project.

  11. Vylixan Fallon says:

    Yeah .. more prims . More stability .. Rock on ! the sooner the better

  12. Nadir Taov says:

    I have 4 sims … if we opt one of the sim into the program, will users get that warning popup about entering a region running a different simulator version if they travel between borders or teleport in?

  13. What on earth? says:

    Just how does this solve the extreme lag conditions we are experiencing? Don’t you dare delete this question! Give me a specific and honest answer!

  14. BraadWorst Barth says:

    its awsome they upgrade to havok 4, to decrease the sim crashing, altho havok 4 is NOT the newest, havok 5 is there already.

    i hope the next upgrade will be the anoying lock ups, and better performance client side, coz thats really a big headache for lots of people.

    i really hope this will solve allot of lag tho, altho when at furnation, with havok 4, it kinda lagged badly…

    i hope it’ll be better soon

  15. Digital Digital says:

    Wooot I’m signing up!!!

  16. Gaius Goodliffe says:

    Suggestion: Someone should put a list of simulators running Havok4 up on the wiki. πŸ™‚

  17. Marianne McCann says:

    Is there any specific benefit for land owners singing up for this?

  18. Reiko Fimicoloud says:

    I think this is great. I can’t wait to see what happens with this.

  19. Damen Hax says:

    Now I wish I’d opted for a whole sim instead of parts all over the place.. bugger.
    I am curious about mainland use of havok 4 – example, if a (small) group of owners in a sim all agreed to have havok4 applied, would/could it be an option, or is it solely for private islands?
    I can see flying from one sim into a havok4 enabled sim would be.. hehe.. but if the mainland sim was private/group, only letting in group members, would/could it be an option to be a part of the havok4 testing?

  20. Darien Caldwell says:

    Will certainly sign a sim up for this. And I have just the one… πŸ™‚

  21. Hiro says:

    What can we do when the support page is clogged and it doesn’t load…

  22. Hiro says:

    Ticket > 404 error after 10 mins of finishing
    chat > Never openes up
    concierge phone support > Down

    I don’t call this a stable service.

  23. At0m0 Beerbaum says:

    The only drawback to havok 4 is, it breaks a LOT of things, but they can be mostlyfixed, something I bought recently only halfway works now, and I cant fix it, oh well, I’ll probably be bored with it by the time havok 4 is fully rolled out.

    Some vehicles I made will be drastically effected to.

    Another thing that’s been changed, numerical values that affect the speed of things are more sensitive than before. So if you have something rotating at the speed of 18, it’ll be more like 80, you you’d probably want to drop that number down a bit.

  24. Lao-Tzu says:

    Having downloaded the Havok4 Beta, I can honestly say that I did not notice a great difference. Yes, physical ball-prims do roll more naturally. But I was still able to cause tremendous lag in the sim. At 200 meters up, on a sandbox platform, I created a few hundred small,physical ,prim balls (created 10..shift/copied…checked the fps…shift copied more…etc..). Within a few minutes, I could barely walk due to the lag. I flew (very slowly) to various parts of the sim and the lag remained awful. It quickly subsided after I deleted the prims.
    Bottom line, lag is still going to occurr if land owners/renters remain oblivious to their land settings and/or do not routinely check on parcels they own.
    Dont get me wrong, I am all for Havok4 and I do understand there are many benefits. My point is that the improvements are not immediately noticeable as some residents may think.

  25. Theres not actually a noticeable difference in Havok 4 to the standard user. Its not really something thats going to be the cure all for lag and time dilation and that kind of thing.

    Lag is based in assets and agents, time dilation is based in server side hit detection, both of these things are planned, somewhere down the line, for upgrades, as far as I know.

    What is good about Havok 4, is your region cannot be crashed by any normal known means. Period. We ran a large participation public pile on on the Havok 4 beta grid with the CoLA community and had around 40+ people running around shooting each other while we had every griefer tool our community has possession of (which was rather surprisingly large) and the sim would not go down.

    Thats 40+ people firing guns using physical bullets, plus particle nukes, physics nukes, self replicating physical objects, mega prim self replicators and linked physical objects being drag copied….and the sim would not go down for any of it.

    So yeah the benefits aren’t immediately visible, unless of course you’re interested in nearly infallible server stability…which H4 provides pretty well.

    Yes the “lag” issues are still a problem, but the “lag” issues in Second Life are not physics related….and are another mountain to tackle down the line.

  26. Hiro says:

    I saw the blog, and wasted an hour trying to submit / open chat / make phone call for this.
    Nothing works… I can’t believe I am paying thousands of dollers into this thing every month… ;(

  27. Lee Ponzu says:

    Is there some way to find a list of the Havok4 sims in the live grid?

  28. buckybarkley says:

    >> the project you thought would never ever get finished

    I thought that was Mono?!

    You meant to say “one of the projects” πŸ™‚

  29. Dark Otsuzum says:

    It would be helpful if we could see in our Browser when we were in a Havok4 Sim…it would help make bug reporting more focussed too.

    is there a way we can tell?

  30. I have heard great things of the new Havok4. I hope to see it working and impressing customers all over my island. Thanks.

    -Organized Republic

  31. Cheshyr Pontchartrain says:

    One Time Lord signed up. Gallifrey will live again! πŸ™‚

  32. Blinders Off says:

    The way I see it, Havok 4 can’t be any more borked than the current Havok 1 since the rolling restart.

    Can you say “constant crashes”?

  33. U M says:

    This is wonderful news!

  34. Sammy Thielt says:

    If you are looking for any full-sim Mainland owners, let me know if I can sign up. Tipperary is at the nexus of several linden ocean sims. Might help in testing boats and air vehicles.

  35. Congratulations, Linden Lab, for releasing this for us to test on the Het Grid πŸ™‚

    I’m sadly no Estate Owner (just a lowly Estate Manager of a dozen islands or so), but will press the Owners to move swiftly over and get all the advantages of Havok 4 πŸ™‚

  36. elvisorbit says:

    I so on this I can`t wait!

  37. This is awesome news!

    Let’s hope the next “project you thought would never ever get finished” to actually get finished is Mono. XD

    Keep up the great work!

  38. Einsman says:

    Well.. alls I can say is.. about time.

  39. Xio Jester says:

    I REALLY wanna see a lit of some HavoK4 enabled Sims so I can go and test my most expensive bikes on ’em ASAP, since I know there’s gonna be a noticeable difference in handling and how fast they gain speed…at least there is on the BETA grid

    I bet bullet speed is affected too, but that’s GREAT about the huge increase in Sim stability!

    A lot of scripted objects wil be retired, but that’s bound to keep happening as the platform “ages” over time

  40. U M says:

    how long until it reach the main game?

  41. Xio Jester says:

    I think what the poster above means is, do we have any ETA?

  42. I found one simulator already on the main land with havok 4 – Pawleys Island. After I came back to my own sim, I got a region message telling me the server software was different. It turns out this is standard. However, I couldn’t follow the link to the knowledge base explaining this in more detail. I filed a bug about it (VWR-4277) for wind light. I’m not sure if it affects other clients.

  43. Ryu Darragh says:

    Sidewinder, is it posible to switch adjoining regions in clusters or do all regions in a cluster need to switch also ?

  44. Saijanai Kuhn says:

    So now the het-grid starts to pay off… Grats to all. However, as someone pointed out, there should be a list of early-adopter sims. This should actually be a *reward* for a being an early adopter. That way, people will tend to visit your sim more often and Linden Lab will get feedback faster about any potential problems due to the increased use of the sim. In other words, every time someone visits the wiki (or even every time they log in!), a URL is presented to see the first xxx sims which have opted to adopt a new technology before anyone else. If it’s just a listing on the wiki, you’ll see dozens of sims opting in. If it is a url that shows on login, you’ll see hundreds, even a thousand or more opting-in ASAP. They can’t BUY that kind of advertising.

  45. Sidewinder Linden says:

    @12 Nadir: Ahh “the popup”.. I have been working with the other teams, and we hope to have a fairly short term solution that will remove that pop-up and replace it with something less jarring. For now, yes you will get the pop-up about entering a region that is running a different simulator version. in the hopefully fairly near term that should go away. I do not want to commit for another team’s deliverables, so I cannot say for sure the delivery date, but can assure you that this change is in motion for near term action. /Sidewinder

  46. So what exactly does “performance optimisation” mean? Does that mean that with Windlight, half of us will be so lagged out we won’t be able to move, rendering physics somewhat pointless? As indeed will be staying in SL?

  47. Sidewinder Linden says:

    @13 What On Earth?: Lag is not a single-sourced problem. Some lag is simulator based, and only part of that is physics. Whether physics is a lag source depends on the build and what people are doing on the region. Performance in the world of Second Life is based on many, many factors, and people are not being evasive by avoiding saying that “this one thing is the source”. They are being truthful that it is a complex question and set of answers, and that only some of the sources of lag have to do with the Second Life Grid.

    Many lag sources are viewer-based, and are *very* sensitive to the graphics card in your machine. There are literally differences of 10-20x in performance of various graphics cards, and this interacts with the environment that your avatar is in in some non-obvious ways. In addition, if you use a wireless network connection, there are likely regular performance drops due to wireless interference from other devices in your area, such as wireless home phones (some of which use the same frequency range as 802.11 wireless networks).

    A common source of “lag” is actually created by changing your viewer settings. Because of the way that modern video systems work, much of the rendering (drawing) is not done on your computer’s CPU. That work is done on the GPU (graphics processing unit) on your video card. The problem is that if you select graphics settings that your video driver software or graphics card cannot handle well, your computer may run much more slowly due to the card being overloaded, or even run those tasks on the host CPU of your computer, which is *far* slower at these tasks than your graphics card. Experimentation with your graphics settings, using your graphics card, in the scenes that you frequent, might lead to significantly improved performance.

    With that all said, there are projects throughout the Linden Lab development community that are targeted to increasing performance, reducing lag and improving reliability.

    Our early Havok4 testers have noticed that even under high load, Havok4-based regions tend to feel “smoother” and have more consistent avatar movement than the older Havok1-based simulators. I have been focused on the Havok4 project and the server/simulator side of things, but perhaps I should start doing office hours separately from that and perhaps discussing these issues would be a good set of topics.

    Best regards,


  48. Sidewinder Linden says:

    @14 BraadWorst: I’ll reply to each part of your comments in parts…
    “altho havok 4 is NOT the newest, havok 5 is there already.”
    Yes, Havok5 is now released. When we started implementing Havok4, however it was far from released. At the moment Havok4 provides a wealth of possibilities, and frankly the real challenge for us was getting past Havok1. The architectural changes from Havok1 to Havok2 were much larger than those between Havok4 and Havok5, and we expect that port to be easier. At the same time, implementing a brand new major version of Havok5 may bring as many new “curiosities” (bugs) as it solves, so I believe that it is not inappropriate to stick with Havok4 for a while before deciding to take the next step.

    Annoying lock-ups and client side issues: These are being worked on, although that work is being done by several teams other than the Havok4 team. Already the viewer crash rates have been somewhat lowered, and are being pushed farther down by continuing work.

    At the same time, please realize that some of these issues are caused by Second Life code issues, but many of them are caused by things that have nothing to do with Second Life programming! On many occasions our development teams have had to work around problems with specific video drivers and video cards, and we have opened a stronger dialog with the hardware vendors in order to try to both avoid these issues in the first place, and to try to resolve the problems faster when we find issues with graphics cards and their support software.

    Solving lag: As mentioned in the previous post, lag comes from many place, not always the server. Havok4 is smoother under high load than Havok1, as mentioned before.

    Please remember is that we are still in an expanded beta testing phase, and right at this moment – literally over the next week or two, we are planning to do some more detailed performance analysis and optimizations. Up to this point we had not been focused on performance optimization, because we were working principally on core functional issues.

    The Havok4 simulator that you see today will have significant additional work done on it before it is released for use across the rest of the Second Life Grid.


  49. Sidewinder Linden says:

    @16 Gaius: I’ve thought about posting the Havok4 region list, but frankly am not sure that that is a good idea. People running Havok4 regions may not want to be over-run with visitors showing up to “play with Havok4”.

    The entire beta grid, except for some reference Havok1 regions, is deployed with the same Havok4 code that we are running on the main Second Life system, so I’m not sure I see the need to publish the “who’s who” list. Am I missing the point on this one?

    Thanks in advance,


  50. Sidewinder Linden says:

    @17 Marianne:
    “Is there any specific benefit for land owners singing up for this?”

    Hi Marianne,

    There are several benefits of signing up for the Early Adopter Program:
    1) You get to preview the newest Second Life version, and have input as to what are the important things that need to be fixed or modified before it gets rolled out to the rest of Second Life.

    2) Your region will likely have a lower crash rate, and may be easier to clean up from griefer attacks. While I cannot promise this to be the case universally, and certainly folks will find new crash vectors, our early users have found these two things to be true.

    3) If you are a builder, and in particular a builder who does scripting, you will have direct experience with your own region to see how you might want to adjust your scripts to take full advantage of our new Havok4 regions when they do spread across the rest of Second Life.

    At the same time, this is a beta build, so it will have some issues, and the benefit to us and to Second Life as a whole is that you will focus on finding the open problems, reporting them and working with us so that we know what needs to be fixed before we fold this work into the main Second Life simulator and deploy it in a much larger fashion.

    I hope this helps to put the program in better perspective, and if you have questions, please feel free to get in touch directly.


  51. Sidewinder Linden says:

    @19 Damen:

    “The Havok4 on the mainland question”: Funny you should bring this up, as I just raised this in our development team meeting this afternoon. We had been avoiding deploying Havok4 on the mainland, because we previously had some issues with vehicles doing strange things when transitioning between Havok4 and Havok1 regions. I believe that these issues are now resolved, or at least mostly resolved.

    So… this is still an open question, but one that we are talking about. For at least the early phase of this process we will not be converting mainland regions, but are discussing how that might work. If you have ideas on how we might handle the question of mainland region testing, please share them, as it’s still an open question. (One option is to hold off on mainland conversion until we are ready to “deploy the whole world” with this new simulator, and we’re not sure if that is a wise choice or not…)


  52. Sidewinder Linden says:

    @23 At0m0:
    “The only drawback to havok 4 is, it breaks a LOT of things,”

    Hmm. At0m0, about a month ago, I would have agreed with this statement, and that is why I did not start talking about an Early Adopter Program until recently. We put intense focus on removing content corruption problems. Are there still some vehicles that do odd things? Absolutely. Is that number *far* lower than even last week? Absolutely.

    At this point I do not agree with this statement. Some things behave strangely, but as far as I know we do not *break* any content in a way that keeps it from working on another version of the Second Life simulator. In addition, the number of things that behave strangely is being driven down, fairly dramatically, each week.

    I have personally engaged with a number of the top vehicle builders in a variety of categories (air, water, ground, and even skydivers) to be sure that we are working with the folks who can tell us whether the new Havok4-based simulator works correctly for their products or not.

    Now that we are focusing on vehicles (which is new as of last week!) the feedback has already been overwhelmingly positive.

    There will be some old items that just will not work with a completely new version of the system, and that is true of every major software update since the beginning of time, and something that may never change.

    At the same time, we are working to carefully maintain compatibility as much as possible, and has led to comments like this one – from testing on the build that we just deployed: “The difference is now so close that variances in measurement timing can explain it. It is possible this number is exactly equivalent to the main grid.”

    If you are a builder and want to be sure that your content works with the beta Havok4 simulator (and the eventual released versions), then please test your work on the Beta Preview, attend our office hours and get involved. As our current dedicated crew of early testers and users will attest – we do listen and do fix things if we know they’re broken.



  53. Sarge says:

    Will you all ever fix support for older surls?

  54. Sidewinder Linden says:

    @24 Lao:
    You are correct in saying that lag will still exist. We are still doing performance tuning that I believe will have some substantial benefits and drive lag down, in those cases where physics lag was the source.

    In addition, please note that there are many cases in which the Havok1 simulator would have crashed and been down, that the Havok4 simulator keeps on going – albeit it might be heavily loaded and run somewhat slowly, but the older version would have been down and never recovered.

    At the same time, on it’s own, this work will not “fix all problems from all sources”! We aim to update the physics engine, reduce region crashes, maintain compatibility for content as much as possible, and enable a set of future “way cool stuff” that a new physics engine makes possible πŸ™‚


  55. I’ve signed my sim up! (Curious Kitties) can’t wait to see this! =^.^=

  56. Aaron J. Freeman says:

    I’m afraid I’ve now four different projects that regard llSetStatus(12,FALSE); as utterly vital. HAVOC 4 isn’t working, with that.

    Kitto’s Train is working okay in Content To Hover, but my Swivel Chair is still toppling over, until the wrong way to turn it is called

    I understand Mono is what the Beta Grid is being cleared for. I’ve another Rail Rocket, that I’d like to try on a length of Track, or Guide, but without being able to freeze the Axese, I may just have to be using llRotLookAt().

    I had an interesting though, for future Het Grid Dev, is Sims that use an alternative to physics, for moving Avies, just llSetPos(), so that future Sim Owners can vary their Physics Investment. Granted, it won’t be very popular, but it would open the path to not falling through the ground, every time you walk across the borders.

  57. Sidewinder Linden says:

    @29 Dark:

    You can tell whether you are in a Havok4 region from the Second Life viewer.

    To tell which type of region you are in, select “About Second Life..” from the “Help” menu. Look at the fourth line of test in the “About Second Life” information panel:

    If you see “Second Life Server”, then the region you are standing on is the standard Havok1-based Second Life simulator that is running most of the Second Life Grid regions.

    If you see “Havok4 Beta Server”, then you are standing on an Early Adopter Program Havok4 simulator.

    PLEASE NOTE: These version numbers will change over time, as we update the programming of both the original and Havok4 simulators. However, the Havok4 simulator will continue to be tagged “Havok4 Beta Server” until it gets folded in to become our standard simulator.


  58. Sidewinder Linden says:

    @39 Xio:

    At the moment there is one category of scripted vehicles that we know are “not right yet”. Vehicles that are sophisticated and are “part vehicle and part attachment” are known to be generally not working right yet. We will be working on these over the next few weeks, and I suspect that we will have strong progress within that timeframe.

    If you would like to check the current Havok4 build, feel free to download the Beta viewer – all of the Beta Preview is Havok4, except for the few regions that are running Havok1 for comparison (and they have a pretty obvious “Havok1” ground texture on them and Havok1 in the region name).


  59. Sidewinder Linden says:

    @43 Ryu: Adjacent regions… This is another “if you’d asked me a week ago you would have gotten a different answer” question πŸ™‚

    We have resolved all the open bugs that we know about with region crossing between Havok4 and Havok1 regions, so at this point we think it is fine to bring up a Havok4 region next to a Havok1 region. You may find a new bug related to that region crossing, and we’ll take care of it asap if you do find one, but at this point that configuration is not a problem.


  60. Sidewinder Linden says:

    @44 Saijani: I’ll talk to folks on Monday about the idea of publishing the Early Adopter list. I had presumed that out of respect for privacy we wouldn’t, but perhaps I’m all wet on that one. I’m hearing the “we should do this” comments. To me, this depends on whether the estate owners feel as you suggest, and that they would prefer to be put in public view as early adopters. Thanks for your thoughts on this. /Sidewinder

  61. Sidewinder Linden says:

    @46 Montana: What performance optimization means is working to make sure that Havok4 regions perform as well or better than Havok1 regions in as many scenarios as possible. Having a faster simulator does not make viewers slower, so I’m not sure what this has to with Windlight or why improving simulator performance would hurt other performance… /Sidewinder

  62. Sidewinder Linden says:

    @56 Aaron; I’ll answer your post in parts.

    For starters, the beta preview is not “being cleared for mono”. I have no idea what you mean by this, nor where the information came from.

    We have, in fact, added some automation that makes it very easy to copy a snapshot of a Second Life Grid region to the Beta Preview complete and intact for testing. If you would like your region copied onto the Beta Preview for testing IM me in world and I’ll be happy to get that done for you.

    If you are finding that llSetStatus is not behaving, PLEASE file a jira on this, and mark it as critical. Please include a code sample to demonstrate the problem that you are reporting so that we can easily replicate the bad behavior. Any non-working LSL functions that worked in Havok1 are very high priority for us and will get attention quickly. In addition please consider attending office hours so that you can get any other questions or concerns addressed quickly.

    Aaron – please make sure to set your jira so that Component = PHYSICS and Affects Versions = HAVOK4 BETA, so that our dev team sees it right away. Issues not tagged in this way may not make it onto our radar for a while…

    Thanks in advance,


  63. Sidewinder Linden says:

    @25 Suzanna: Thanks! /Sidewinder

  64. concerned says:

    Sidewinder i’d like to say thanks for taking the time to answer peoples questions this is what we need,looking forward to havok 4 going grid wide and good luck with your progress.

  65. elvisorbit says:

    Any time frame when we know if when will get the update on our sims after our application? Thanks πŸ˜€

  66. At0m0 Beerbaum says:

    I was just in the beta grid recently and had some issues.

    What would be nice to see is more realistic vehicle physics, if anyone here has played half-life 2, which uses the havok 4 engine, you know that it’s very possible.

  67. Sidewinder Linden says:

    @65 elvisorbit: Region switchovers will be handled by the Concierge team in the order that they are received. I am not sure about the conversion timetable, but you could check with Concierge to see how they are doing in terms of turnaround. This is a new process for us, so I would expect some “figuring out time” on the first batches. See my post #57 for how you can tell whether the region you are standing on is Havok1 or Havok4. /Sidewinder

  68. Saijanai Kuhn says:

    SW, obviously, if someone doesn’t want to be listed as an”early adopter,” you should respect their wishes, but honestly, people pay a lot of money to get listed in Search. I can’t imagine many who wouldn’t want their sim’s name listed (complete with slurl, natch) in a list accessible from the main page of the wiki or even the login splash screen! A “go to this featured sim” provision in the login screen would be even MORE incentive to become an early adopter, though of course, early adopters could request NOT to be part of that listing.

  69. Malakh Giles says:

    The Avilion estates will be participating as well in the testing. Going to have two sims (Avilion Isle and Avilion Hinterlands) for testing.

    Hope everything works out so we can place get all of the sims on the Havoc 4!

    This is a great moment, and I’m thankful for the hard work and testing you all have been doing for this. Can’t wait to see the differences and improvements!

  70. Sidewinder Linden says:

    @66 At0m0: As mentioned above, we just started work on vehicle issues in the last week, so there will be more improvements. Havok4 will help us along that path.

    At the same time, there is a significant architectural difference between shooter games such as Half Life 2 and Second Life. In the “prototypical shooter” game, most of the content is static, and developed by the game manufacturer. That content is downloaded to your computer at installation time and can be pre-optimized for fast rendering.

    Second Life, on the other hand, is completely dynamically created by the residents of Second Life. At *any* point, some part of the scene may be modified by yourself or another user, and so many of the shooter game standard optimizations cannot be used to speed up and smooth out animation and rendering.

    We have looked at ways to improve responsiveness without removing the huge value that is created in having a world dynamically built by you. There are some possibilities that we have discussed. Suffice it to say that implementing Havok4 and replacing our old Havok1-based physics simulation is just one step along a path to a more advanced Second Life.

    /Sidewinder (who would like to some day have physics and “feel” that rival a commercial shooter game in Second Life, but doesn’t want to nuke the best parts of Second Life to get there πŸ™‚

  71. Saijanai Kuhn says:

    it doesn’t have to be either/or of course. Properly designed, I’m sure that sims + more advanced SL physics and comms protocols could rival current MMORPG games for responsiveness. Things would have to be tweaked on the content-creation side to get there of course, but it should be doable if the sim owner limits what is allowed into the sim.

  72. Masuyo Aabye says:

    brilliant! keep up the good work!
    LL listening to its users? whatever next? lol
    oh and the comment about Windlight. if it’s slow on your pc then you pc simply isn’t up to running it.
    and another note, clientside crashes for me atleast are now very, very rare. i only crash when i’m doing other things with my pc and it gets too stressed out.

  73. Daisy Beauchamp says:

    Sidewinder……you are a Saint spending so much time answering questions. LL is very lucky to have you.

    That said….anyone can feel free to IM me in world and you can come check out my sim.

  74. I’ve been setting a lot of my objects to be phantom in the hopes that this helps the underlying physics engine. Does this indeed have an effect? Also, does locking content help the client cache objects easier?

  75. Pingback: Massively

  76. Malachi Petunia says:

    “Several months ago public beta testing of β€œthe project you thought would never ever get finished” was announced”

    So in other words, it isn’t actually finished? Perhaps you should follow the Linden convention and mark it “[FINISHED]”.

  77. Sean Heying says:

    Congratulations Sidewinder on getting this far on a huge project (congrats for also holding the title of Linden who works hardest in blog cleaning crud and answering questions).

    I’ve asked my estate manager to sign one of my regions up, if it gets in in time it will be interesting to see, three adjoining regions will be Havok 1.

    I hope you don’t publish the list of regions converted, I don’t really want my scripting work swamped with people coming in and trying to crash my sim.

    If you do plan on publishing this list please make it opt in to preserve privacy, safety and anonymity.

  78. Digital Digital says:

    Thank you sidewinder for the blog entries! It’s great to see the responces! I love it! πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€
    Can’t wait to have havok 4 on my sim πŸ™‚

  79. Question: can single open space regions be switched or only the complete 4pack?

  80. Frans says:

    Thank you Sidewinder for taking the time to answer all the questions. Looks like we will be switching our sim to Havok 4 as well.

  81. Pingback: SLOG

  82. Dix says:

    Question: will the implementation of Havok4 also lead to being able to have more than 15k prims on a sim, ultimately?

  83. Vittorio Beerbaum says:

    @Sidewinder: i’ve looked at recent post to figure out if a different sim version (that would cover this case) will bring up the “annoying” popup screen even on teleport. I’m running a single simulator so a region crossing isn’t a problem of me, but TP’ing for my customers would be (alot) annoying. It the reply is: “Yes, they will receive the popup message”, please make it removed faster than light. πŸ˜€

    Second benefit: receive a beta preview, develop (building, scripting) looking at the future etc, but how to incentivate us with a concrete way? I’ve alread signed up to partecipate to the program, but i know that this would affect my business (it is beta, you never know…) but i’m damn curious and i love to experiement.. so why not giving us some more prims (30k? 25k?) on these sims? This would be a honest reward, imo: you do your tests, we help you to make it works, and we receive a honest payback for our efforts and “risks”. Thank you.

  84. Any hope we’ll get scripted avatar rotation control under Havok4?

  85. Tasrill Sieyes says:

    Let me just say sidewinder that your time spent responding to us is worth it’s weight in gold or even gold plated latvium if you are a geek. If I ever see you online you are so getting a hug and a freshly baked cookie. Keep up the good work.

    And to keep on topic I also and wondering if open space sims are individually switched to havok 4 or if it is done in a 4 pack.

  86. Tijn Erde says:

    I remember there being issues with huge prims in a previous Havok4 announcement. Are these issues fixed or…? What happenned to huge prims in Havok4?

  87. Don Duke says:

    I’ve opted πŸ™‚ if I’m not too late, that is. The scripters in 3DG have been raving about the possibilities so I can’t deny them this ^_^

    Thanks for the option to opt! πŸ™‚

  88. mimi says:

    I wonder about the huge prims too.. I read in an older post huge prims up till a certain height would be allowed.. will they continued to be so in havoc4?

    Ive heard so many good things about havoc! if only half of it is true it will be great!

  89. Sean Heying says:

    @mimi each blog Sidewinder gets asked about megaprims, the answer is that at this point in time prims under 256×256 (one region) will be allowed to be rezzed, while those above 256×256 will no longer be able to be rezzed (but will remain in world). I recall his saying there will be no tools to create prims larger than 10x10x10

  90. Chalice Yao says:


    Havoc 4 downsizes megaprims down to 256m in side length currently, and there are plans to correctly calculate the event a prim overlaps a parcel border (currently the sims only check for object center). Once that is in place, megaprims won’t be needed anymore as people will be able to freely scale their prims, as long as they stick to their parcel.

  91. Sidewinder Linden says:

    @79 danielregenbogen: Any single region (any single named tile on the map, if you’d like to think about it that way), whether part of a 4-pack or not, can be converted to Havok4. /Sidewinder

  92. Sidewinder Linden says:

    @82 Dix: We don’t have any plans for supporting more than 15k prims on a region with this project. /Sidewinder

  93. Sidewinder Linden says:

    @83 Vittorio: An alternative to the region crossing pop-up is being worked on by the team responsible for that area. I won’t forget to keep nudging that as quickly as possible. We will not be adding other “incentives” to this program, as we want to be testing the same simulator configuration and environment that people will encounter in widespread use, and testing some “specially altered version” does not help us towards that goal. Nice try though ;). /Sidewinder

  94. DR Dahlgren says:

    Sidewinder, this has been great. I have no comments to make on havoc 4 except keep up the good work.

    @ALL OTHER BLOGGING LINDENS – This is THE best example of blog communications I have seen since I have been in SL. Please take note of it. It has information, it has Q&A, it is in a word COMMUNICATION!!

    Rock On Sidewinder, you definately raised the bar on this one.


  95. o.h. says:

    me, i cannot wait to see this in action. my experience with physics in SL has taught me not to use it AT ALL, PERIOD. should i actually be able to do somethign without it causing major sim crashes i see endless possibilities…
    not to mention that the sim im on is haunted by mysterious crashes constantly anyway, so i cant wait to see wether this will improve that situation.

  96. DR Dahlgren says:

    Oh, any possibility of getting – copy / paste – in the rename function of inventory fixed? LOL Sure would be nice to have that available again.


  97. Ryu Darragh says:

    I have no problem with being listed in any “Early Adopters” list.

    Oh, and #96, although the menu copy/paste doesn’t always work, the Ctrl-C/Ctrl-V copy/paste does.

    One other curious thing “that works”.. why, when I close a “group” IM session, does it *stay* closed (I see no new chat) until all participants have left the group IM session and a new session is started whereas for others, every new comment re opens the group session IM on them ? Works that way for me on every version of the viewer I use.

  98. DR Dahlgren says:


    Thanks – Big Duh! for me. Too long away from command line….


  99. hatheadrickenbacker says:

    Any idea what the target for the mainland is? Or perhaps another way, how long the Early Adopter Program is supposed to last? Or is the length of the program based on meeting certain goals? My take is that is when it will ready for prime time.


  100. Groups Gone says:

    Sorry for being off topic…Groups are borked…None are shown in my settings. I can join again and still donΒ΄t be a member…

  101. HD1080i says:

    The reason i will likely buy an island/region or something large is windlight and havok 4.

    keep plugging away. for those of us with FIOS, HDTV screens, nVid8800 and quadcores, this is the cutting edge. we know that, cutting edge means bleed a little.

    go for it.

  102. Vittorio Beerbaum says:

    My SIM has been updated right now, so i guess the requests are processed pretty fast. If you care to visit (there’s nothing to experiment… so it would be pure curiosity reading the server name πŸ™‚ ) it is: Beerbaum.

  103. Ryu Darragh says:

    One curious difference I can relate. The exploding volcano that throws boulders on Gianfar (A Dragons of Pern RP cluster of regions) now bounce a bit more energetically than on Havoc1. I would suggest experimenting with vehicles and all things physical and see what has changed. Any new capabilities Havoc4 gives us (more prims, avatar physics and others) will have to wait. I am patient πŸ™‚

    Too bad we can’t actually force a condition I experiences last year, the region quake. Would go great with the volcano πŸ˜€

  104. Crucial Armitage says:

    You rock Sidewinder! We are truly blessed to have you working for Linden lab and getting the Havok 4 engine online and ready for prime time.
    hopefully its not to late but i also signed up for a havok 4 region

    Thank you Thank you Thank you.

  105. Selkit Diller says:

    I have been testing Havok 4’s vehicle capabilities thus-far, and I would strongly recommend any content-creating sim owner adopt Havok 4. While vehicle issues are currently flaky, it took Sidewinder and the devs only a few weeks (In some cases days!) to swat vehicle related bugs, and while a few script functions do not behave, the overall dynamics have improved.

    Rotational friction that works, spherical surfaces that roll appropriately, material types that actually mean something now other than a different collision sound… yeah, this is win. Sidewinder, I salute you and the Havok 4 dev team. Now if only certain Aristotle based programs had been implemented so skillfully. How about the “verified” seventeen year old I banned, only to find him verified the next day, eh? He won’t be hitting his 18th birthday until March, as he himself admitted. πŸ˜‰

  106. Mako Minogue says:

    Thanks for the cool work Sidewinder & Team, it’s much appreciated.

    Just to let folks know: I have an open Jira on H4-Beta(SVC-1092) and the H4 team took what I though was a “Normal” level bug and bumped it up in priority to Major, which is very cool.

    The guys are working hard, and the Jira documents that work rather nicely for all to see:

    I do request that the H4 team continues to carefully manage user expectations on what H4 will, and will not, do in future blog posts. Only a small percentage of folks reading the blog know a mallet from a malloc, and clear unambiguous communications like Sidewinder has been posting here are very helpful indeed.


  107. Winter Ventura says:

    Could we have a couple of maingrid sandboxes please?

  108. o.h. says:

    it seems like the sim im on has been downgraded again…. strange

  109. Logged in this morning and saw my Woodbridge sim was Havok 4. Got a message saying it was going down for maintenance in a few minutes. Came back and saw that the sim was downgraded to regular SL server. I’m guessing we’ll be seeing a lot of upgrade/downgrades over the next few weeks?

  110. I just logged into the Beta. Its been 3 months. Ther was no prompt to upgrade my viewer (its still 1.18.3). Same as 3 mths ago.
    The same vehicle problems I was having 3 months ago still exist.
    These are not minor problems.
    The vehicle spins out of control.
    Landing, it turns upside down.
    I got to the havok4 Wiki – I cannot find the latest version of viewer.
    I give up.
    I had posted the full script of my vehicle in the jira.
    Is anyone looking?

  111. Sidewinder Linden says:

    @al: Which jira# are you talking about. I’d be happy to be sure this gets looked at. Please note that we just started working on vehicle issues, as noted in this and earlier posts, so it is not surprising that they are not all fixed.

    “Is anyone looking?” The answer is “yes”.


  112. TigroSpottystripes Katsu says:

    can i still comment here?

    two things I want to mention

    first, will you guys fix the “forcing phantom on phys root with flexy childprims” ? (the root stays solid with havok1)

    and the toher thing, I woudl like to suggest you guys to start investigating the possibility to switch to Ageia’s hardware accelerated PhysX physics engine, I’ve seen tons of stuff about it that seems better than what I’ve seen out there about Havok

  113. Azurescens Herouin says:

    I opt-in for Sandbox – Weapons testing. thanks πŸ™‚

  114. Vittorio Beerbaum says:

    Uh i’ve been “downgraded” after 2 hours of Havok4… is this “normal”?

  115. Pingback: Havok4 Early Adopter Program Region Conversions Delayed « Official Linden Blog

  116. Sidewinder Linden says:

    @112 TigroSpottystripes: Is there a jira for this problem (if so, what is the jira number for this issue)? Could you create one with a step by step procedure to describe the problem if it is not already entered? Please make sure that it is tagged as Component PHYSICS and Affects Version HAVOK4 BETA, as otherwise we may not see it right away. Thanks, Sidewinder

  117. TigroSpottystripes Katsu says:

    need a captcha system for those spambots like #115 :/

  118. TigroSpottystripes Katsu says:

    linking a flexy to a phys root in havok4 causes the root stop colliding with anything but the ground

    (perhaps that isn’t the most appropriate name for that entry….dunnno)

  119. TigroSpottystripes Katsu says:

    lol, I’ve just realized that in spite of #115 post fitting the style of some blog spambots I see out there every now and then, it doesn’t have any link other than back to this entry, either it got borked, or I misinterpreted the nature of that post, anyway, lol Xp

  120. Sinuna Falta says:

    WOW… poor Sidewinder is breaking the Linden record for reading and responding to posts.

    I say we give him an A+ for communication and effort.

    Good job Sidewinder!

  121. Gaius Goodliffe says:

    @49: Perhaps a bit. πŸ™‚ I guess the point would be, and I both experience this myself and get this comment from a couple of the developers that hang out at Dogfight Atoll, the point would be that the beta grid is of limited functionality when (a) you can’t bring your main inventory over every time you’ve made something on the main grid you want to test, and (b) you can’t fix things on the beta grid and then bring the fixed version back to the main grid. Using main grid regions eliminates both of these problems. I agree that a complete list of all Havok4 regions is perhaps not a good idea, some sim owners may not want hordes descending there, but it would be a good idea to have a list of a few known sandbox sims available for people to test things on.

    OTOH, having a beta grid is nice when it allows you to bring a sim over to testing without disrupting your main grid region. I unfortunately have to agree with At0m0 at this point — I wasn’t expecting this, but after bringing Dogfight Atoll over on the beta grid, I see we can’t even consider joining early adopters right now. Havok4 *does* break A LOT of things. Switching to Havok4 right now would effectively shut us down, with content over 200m being pretty difficult to use given the way flight over 200m is handled right now, and with many of the vehicles we regularly use being very buggy right now. I’m very glad I had the opportunity to discover this *without* having to disrupt the main grid sim. So even with het-grid, we obviously still need a beta grid, but for a lot of testing, it would be helpful to have a testing area on the main grid as well.

  122. Gaius Goodliffe says:

    @111: His comment “Landing, it turns upside down” sounds suspiciously like the “airship lays down on its side” behavior I reported in SVC-1201. Also, I’ve seen his “vehicle spins out of control” effect before (rather dramatic when flying a normally slow, sedate airship), although I don’t have a good repro recipe on that, and I’m not convinced it’s a separate bug from SVC-1201 as it was also a post-bump-into-ground problem for me.

  123. Phantom Ninetails says:

    I’ve noticed that when right clicking on something or selecting something in edit, your avatar will try to turn. This is very annoying in a vehicle as that will usually cause the vehicle to try to turn, which usually makes me plow through people. Will this issue still happen in Havok4?

  124. Rex Cronon says:

    For those that plan to go from a sim that uses H1 to one that use H$, a word of warning.
    Strange things seem to happen to HUDs. I hope it happened only to me.

  125. Joeseph Albanese says:

    Question: With the delay, can sims that were ordered last week and still not fulfilled be added to the list? Id like all my sims to run the same version.

  126. Slartibartfast Magicthise says:

    Sidewinder, I think that some people just want to use the “Havok4 Early Adopter Sim Listing” simply for an edge in advertising and traffic at their yard sales with no concern for testing, and in doing the list, you’ll end up with a bunch of non-testers crying in blogs and forums about problems encountered as opposed to reporting bugs. It could get pretty sticky as many would not be able to properly describe the problem or not understand why problems exist and lots time wasted on your part flipping back sims to Havok1.

  127. Sidewinder Linden says:

    @121 Gaius: As I have mentioned in office hours, I can set your account on the Beta Preview to refresh inventory if you need that, although would prefer to not be doing that all the time.

    There IS a reason that the Beta Preview does not mirror your Second Life inventory. That is safety for YOU. If there is a problem with the Beta Preview code, the system cannot update or directly access your “real” inventory, and thus it keeps your real account safe from manipulation by errant behaviors and bugs on the Beta Preview.



  128. Sidewinder Linden says:

    @124 Rex: PLEASE post a jira with a detailed explanation of the bad HUD behavior that you are seeing with region crossings. We have no bug reports of that sort, and we would be happy to fix the issue if we have some information to go on! /Sidewinder

  129. Sidewinder Linden says:

    @125 Joeseph: We are still inviting anyone interested in the Havok4 Early Adopter Program to register an interest in having regions converted. If we go over the initial 300 region allocation, I will work with operations to see if we can accommodate the overage. (Not guaranteed, but I’ll see what I can do, and expect that with a little extra time we might be able to.) /Sidewinder

  130. Sidewinder Linden says:

    @126 Slartibartfast: Heh… I am attempting to avoid that… Agreed.. Using this blog post as a way to advertise for personal gain only is problematic, but I do not think that people are really primarily doing that. /Sidewinder

  131. Sidewinder Linden says:

    TO ALL:

    IF YOU FIND ODD BEHAVIOR ON HAVOK4 ***PLEASE*** file a jira bug report, as described in the initial post above, tagged with Component Physics and Affects Version Havok4 Beta. This is THE best way to make sure the issue gets fixed. Please do not assume that putting a “general description” in a comment here will cause a bug to get fixed.

    The bug reports that are easily fixed have the following characteristics:
    1) They’re posted on the public issue tracker at
    2) They have Component set to Physics and Affects Version set to Havok4 Beta
    3) The description includes:
    A step-by-step description of how to create the problem
    A specific vendor and model number of any product(s) involved in the bug report
    A region name where the bug can be made to occur
    A specific location if it is a bug report about an object in world that we can look at

    Thanks for your help and work – more bug reports means more things that can be fixed!


  132. wesley says:


  133. Pingback: Havok4 - beta (by Lasagna) « Funky shark nation’s Weblog

  134. Blinders Off says:

    @Sidewinder Linden:

    You answered user concerns, pro and con. Know what I bet? I bet there’s not a user here who wouldn’t like to pat you on the back right now.

    So let me: pat pat pat.

    NICE to get some feedback from LL Sidewinder. I know this can’t happen all the time (cos I know you spent quite a bit of time on your Saturday to answer these concerns). But you know, it was nice to see this time.

    Looking forward to seeing Havok4 implemented. Happy to grant LL a grace period getting it functioning.

    If I may please, regarding lag. I’ve been watching SL carefully for a long time. I’ve heard every lag argument there is, both sides. I also have one of the most powerful computers available for under $2000 (custom built and maxed). I have an 8800 GTS graphics card with 320megs RAM (a popular card these days).

    As a result, SL doesn’t “lag” as much as it did with a smaller graphics card. So I’d recommend to folks to get a decent $500 dual-core computer and spend another $300 on sheer graphics if they can afford it.

    But that said… SL still has some nasty server/client issue lag. Now, instead of SL running like syrup (which still happens from time to time), it will completely stall for 15, 30, 45 seconds… or a minute or more, after which it just takes off again.

    It crashes regularly. One of my favorite is the walk across the sim, turn around in one’s spot… FREEZE WHAM CRASH. And sometimes it crashes my entire computer, forcing a restart.

    No other program I use causes any slowdown or crashing of my computer, and I use some really heavy-duty programs. Bottom line, it’s SL. One can just look at the Windows Task Manager and see Second Life gobbling up RAM in some kind of memory leak. Trying to copy an item to my inventory and waiting 30 seconds to a minute for it to do so is 100% server side. Has nothing to do with my computer, my client software, or my internet feed (which BTW, is lightning fast).

    As I’m sure you’re aware, there are some MAJOR coding, database and bottleneck issues in the SL asset software and server software. Anyone who’s a professional programmer is aware of this. Now if SL was 1 or 2 years old, I’d say growing stages. But SL is what… 8 years old? That’s enough time to iron out ANY program. Some of the major problems we’ve been experiencing have been going on for months, even YEARS.

    So yes, while I will agree with you there are many kinds of lag, I can guarantee you that 99.9% of the lag I and my power-user friends experience are strictly server/client/asset software issues. Has nothing to do with the way our sim is set up, the number of textures we use, the number of scripts we have, our computer or our internet feed. It’s SL side.

    (Data note re sim: 9,500 prims, 10.5 TFT, heavily physics and script performance controlled. In short: it’s a ship-shape sim that is constantly monitored for lag abuse. It’s not the sim. It’s SL software).

  135. Sidewinder Linden says:

    @134 Blinders Off:

    Thanks for your considered thoughts. Please note – I did not say that all problems experienced are with communications or other issues. At the same time these issues DO exist, and in my role I run into a lot of folks who have those issues. There is work to do within the SL environment, and I never meant to imply otherwise. At the same time I know personally several folks who claimed “SL is awful, software crashes all the time, lag, etc etc”.

    They happened to be local, and I dropped by their houses to check out their setups. In each case, they had a miconfigured or poorly set up wireless system, often with interference from other local wireless access points on the same channel. A bit of time to straighten that out, and then afterwards they were having a quite different experience.

    One of my notebooks is a poster-child with the Windlight team for difficult drivers with which the vendor has not done anything to fix really problematic drivers. It has all sorts of dysfunctions that the vendor admits are in their graphics card drivers.

    Again this is NOT to say that the Second Life software has no problems. All I am trying to illustrate is that there are causes elsewhere, and in a very noticeable number of cases I have personally found that those causes are elsewhere.

    We are working on the issues that we do have any control over, both in terms of viewer stability and back end stability. Please do not take any of my commentary as a claim that we do not have work to do – however please temper the statements that “every problem is in the Second Life software environment” because that statement is quite demonstrably not true.

    Best regards,


  136. Sidewinder Linden says:

    @134 BlindersOff; By the way, what is the name of your region? I’d be curious to take a look at some of the stats for that region to see what the history looks like. Thanks, Sidewinder

  137. Scalar Tardis says:

    As one of the poor people who cannot afford a whole island to play with, and one of your biggest fans/annoyances in the physics department (see my Google videos in the Havok 4 wiki), I must ask why this program does not also include at least one new public island for havok 4 testing.

    Yes, I do not pay any land tier on SL. Yes, I do not even have a paid subscription, and the work that I am doing is on donated land of a friend also strongly interested in applying SL for education purposes.

    It appears the hobos and drifters like me are being punished and excluded from this program, in favor of those already shelling out big bucks to LL for their own islands.

    Of course LL exists as a for-profit entity, and will serve its upper-crust customers first, but you could at least open one new public sandbox exclusively for main-grid Havok 4 testing?

    As I said on the dev mailing list a few weeks ago, I don’t see the point of doing any more testing on the beta grid, because continued Havok-4 testing requires extensive prep and setup. I don’t want any more of my stuff lost because the beta grid has been “refreshed” and all my hard work has been wiped out.

  138. Blinders Off says:

    @Sidewinder: I totally agree with your summation that many users who experience excessive lag do so because their systems are borked. Since I went from a 7900 256meg (rocks) to an 8800 320 meg (really rocks) graphics card and noticed significant performance increase, it’s obvious that fine equipment is crucial. It’s also obvious that anyone with a sub-standard computer setup or internet feed is going to have problems. So no arguments there.

    That said, to clarify my prior statement and put it in a nutshell: when people who are tech-saavy, who have really smoking computers and internet feeds- mine is direct cable at 6.5mpbs, none of this wireless nonense. πŸ˜€ – when people have high-level graphics cards, trim their sims and do everything humanly possible to reduce lag– and still experience lengthy freezes, crashes, etc… that’s server issues. That’s what I meant by 99.9% of the time— lag that exists after everything client and sim side has been checked and double-checked, is likely caused by asset server and sim server and client software.

    So while there is a LOT of lag on SL caused by people just not knowing how their computer work, my take on it is that if LL fixed the software, even those people would have a lot less lag.

    Let me provide a prime, prime example: textures. How often have I visited a market, stood there for 30 to 60 minutes talking with friends, only to find that textures still have not loade? Am I to believe my computer just can’t download textures correctly? That my internet feed is still trying to keep up with textures after an HOUR?

    When I’m looking at a specific vendor and flip the page, and the textures are gray… gray… gray… fuzzy blotches…fuzzy blotches…less fuzzy blotches… almost visible… almost visible… AH, FINALLY REZZED…

    Nope, I’m sorry. Any decent website can load a hi-rez photo in a split second. So when I’m standing there in an area where all other textures have already loaded, and I’m trying to shop at a vendor, the textures on that vendor should load lickety fast. I wouldn’t even mind them taking a full second (hey, I know there is a lot that goes on in a sim). But I recommended to LL a long time ago that if someone clicks on an object, top priority should be given to the textures on that object loading NOW, because obviously that person is focused on that item.

    When I change my avatar, and it… oh so slugishly… loads one… body… part… at… a… time… then finally, has a blotched, ugly version of my clothing (unless of course, it first strips us completely naked… LOL)… then slowly… oh.. so…slowly… my clothing rezzes. Then finally it’s rezzed… but.. OOPS! There! It’s totally unrezzed again!! WHAT TH…?

    That’s what I’m talking about Sidewinder. So yes, again I agree with you. If a lot of people who experience serious lag would upgrade their systems, check their computer parameters, get a smoking graphics card, or simply make sure things on their end are working, their system would work lots better. BUT… they would still experience regular, significant lag and crashes… just like I and my tech friends do.

    Bottom line (and noted, Havok 4 is exactly what this is about… kudos for finally upgrading)… SL runs far, far slower than any graphics-oriented 3-D world has a right to run. It’s not streamlined and efficient. Likely, mega lines of code need to be totally re-written and optimized (and I know what a job that is, believe me).

    I think what a lot of users have been looking for is a simple recognition by LL that “Yes, we know things are majorly borked, and it is our top-priority committment this year to stop bringing out new gadgets and FIX THE FOUNDATION”… hey, you’d hear a cheer unlike any ever heard before.

    LL wanna impress us? Make sure we get every feed from our group chat and that it doesn’t crash the chat or time out in mid-conversation. (I was online last night, and a major group chat started… and I didn’t get a single notification of such. What’s with that? It’s chat for cryinoutloud).

    Wanna impress us? Make sure ALL members of a group actually get GROUP NOTICES. Those notices are important. When they only go out to 1/2 or fewer of group members… makes it kinda hard to run a group.

    LL want to impress us? Stop telling us we have too many textures, scripts, physical object, etc etc blah blah blah, when we DON’T.
    Agreed, if a sim owner does have a garbaged up sim, those suggestions are helpful. But don’t tell an experience sim owner it’s “client content” when he’s already streamlined his sim and flat knows better. “An empty sim is a fast sim” is supposed to be humorous, not SL policy. πŸ˜‰

    So yes, lag needs to be addressed from both LL side AND user side. We just want to know that when we’ve done everything we can as users, LL is doing everything they can as servers.

    –I’ll email you with sim names and information. No sense wasting customer space and time here on tech. : ) And thanks for asking Sidewinder. Again… pat pat pat. Well done dude.

  139. “I think what a lot of users have been looking for is a simple recognition by LL that β€œYes, we know things are majorly borked, and it is our top-priority committment this year to stop bringing out new gadgets and FIX THE FOUNDATION”… hey, you’d hear a cheer unlike any ever heard before.”

    Philip Linden has been saying this at practically every opportunity he gets. E.g., his last paragraph of his last blog post,

    “Looking ahead, I don’t have much to add beyond repeating my recent messages, which I think is a good thing. We will focus intensely in 2008 on continuing to make SL more stable.”

  140. Sidewinder Linden says:

    @138 BlindersOff: This is clearly a technical discussion that we should have offline. There are characteristics of Second Life that are shared by no other large scale online environment I have seen. Your comparisons hide some important details of the reality of the Second Life world.

    β€œI think what a lot of users have been looking for is a simple recognition by LL that β€œYes, we know things are majorly borked, and it is our top-priority committment this year to stop bringing out new gadgets and FIX THE FOUNDATION”… hey, you’d hear a cheer unlike any ever heard before.”

    BlindersOff – please refer to my many posts on the goals of the Havok4 project, as well as the many public presentations and blog posts by Philip Linden that reinforce this priority. This has been stated MANY times, and projects such as this one, in which we have avoided adding features to focus on stability and infrastructure, prove the point.

    Is it likely that we can improve performance over time? Absolutely.

    Is it fair to compare Second Life to shooter games that have mostly static content, or web sites with textures that are measured in a few hundred kB per scene to a Second Life scene that may involve megabytes of graphical content? Nope.

    Is it fair to compare a web site that contains only two dimensional content with a system that dynamically renders tens and hundreds of thousands of vertices to your machine on the fly? Nope.

    For those who haven’t seen this view, try Ctrl+Shift+R to see the underlying meshes that are under what you see in Second Life. You can press Ctrl+Shift+R again to go back to the normal view.)

    Please email me directly if you would like to continue the technical aspects of this discussion, so that it does not tie up discussion space that is meant for other topics.

    Best regards,


  141. Blinders Off says:

    Thanks for the response Sidewinder. Since you made a claim in response to a comment and asked 2 direct questions, I’ll avoid the “tech” and get down to core issues. Since all of these issues WILL affect the implementation of Havok 4, I believe this is quite valid to these issues.

    First, reading a Philip Linden post in a blog, and observgin actual follow-through are obviously two different things. SL is supposedly committed to platform rather than toys? Is Windlight a bug fix, then? Does that improve chat, group notices, etc? Was VOICE a foundation platform issue? (Do we remember that the vast majority of SL customers voted AGAINST voice when the concept was presented to them… and LL did it anyway?).

    Mind you, I have heard reports of the system running more smoothly with Windlight. I have also heard reports of Windlight crashing existing users to the dirt. Either way, when I speak of LL saying they’re going to focus on foundation issues, I speak also of following through on that committment. Since group chat has been borked for at least half a year now with no resolution (and pardon me, but shouldn’t group chat be a major priority? It worked at one time. Why doesn’t it work now?).

    We’re not seeing follow through to Philip’s PR statements. He can make all the public statements he wants. When I said we’d like to see these statements, I think it should be obvious we’d like to see FOLLOW-THROUGH on such statements. When we see Group Chat and Group Notices working again, we’ll consider that a beginning.

    Sidewinder: “Is it fair to compare Second Life to shooter games that have mostly static content… Is it fair to compare a web site that contains only two dimensional content with a system that dynamically renders tens and hundreds of thousands of vertices to your machine on the fly?”

    Of course it’s fair Sidewinder. These sites and games are your COMPETITION. Format aside, they’re the ones that draw user attention away from Second Life. So Linden Lab flat well BETTER be comparing themselves to the performance of such sites. If so many people play World of Warcraft that it pulls people away from SL (and it does, believe it), then LL better ask themselves what they can do to compete with that “mostly static content” game. Is LL in this just for the chuckles, or is it running a business?

    You’ve asked me to not get into tech aspects here, so I won’t go into graphic details. But I will say this: a database is a database. I’m getting so tired of hearing this “static content” argument from Linden Lab and it’s brownnosers that I’ve filed it right in there with the “client content” nonsense of 2-3 years ago (which claim LL is still using… even though far more people are now aware that SL coding is not up to snuff).

    You can claim “static content” all you like. I and others could tech-slam that claim to oblivion. It’s is just as possible to write fast dynamic content as it is static content. It just requires skill.

    As for comparing SL to “2 dimensional websites”… let’s do that. I have been a user of Google for mumblety mumble years. Not once have I ever personally seen the system even glitch, much less lag or crash. (Not that it never does, but what percentage compared to SL glitches, lag and crashes? .000001?).

    Now, how many terrabytes of data does Google transfer across the net every day, day after day, 24/7/365 with virtually no difficulties? Are you telling us that LL has to handle more internal data or feed more information than Google? Are we to believe with Google Earth that Google isn’t handling 3-D dynamic, changing content?

    Sorry, that argument is old, cliche, outdated, and bogus. No offense, but “static vs dynamic” actually causes programmers to chuckle. I’ll be the first to admit that SL is an amazing project– in CONCEPT. But as of now, it’s been using technology at least a decade old and nothing in SL is really all that new or unusual from a programming standpoint. It’s all been done before, on different levels. Linden Lab didn’t invent vectors, or local lighting, or vertex shading, or user-created content as either technology or concepts. SL is not “bleeding edge”… it’s just a visionary-but-logical implementation of existing technology… technology that has existed for years.

    “SL is unique” applies to the concept, not the technical methodology. Remove the glitz and bling… it’s all programming, databases and networking. It can be done wrong, or it can be done right.

    Even with so-called “static content” games (such as Quake and Unreal)… hey, non-tech users might buy that claim. But gimme a break. These games DO allow their users to create their own content. These games are played across the net, have in-world chat and in-world group chat, often have DOZENS of people (avatars) online at the same time in a heavy-duty firefight (lotsa lotsa “particles”), along with DOZENS of game-controlled NPC characters (something that SL really doesn’t have, doesn’t have to control, doesn’t have to worry about… oh wait… there’s campers… :D). Second Life does not deal in Non-Player Characters. Those games do, and do so well. And they handle all that with a fluidity that is amazing.

    These so-called “static content” 3D games are not static. That was a bogus claim from the start. Yes, they’re different from SL in design. But they do prove that it is quite possible to have a very fast-moving, mutli-player online VR environment with no lag, no glitches, no crashes. Why? Because their programmers are paid big bucks, their games have to sell on the open retail market, they don’t get the luxury of having people pay them ludicrous amounts of money for “beta level” products… so they do it right from the get-go.

    Can you imagine Quake trying to charge users $295 a month for the privilege of playing their game online? They’d be laughed out of the market. You folks are charging Porche prices and delivering Volkswagen performance. Quake and Unreal delivers the Porche. “Static content”. No. They are viable 3D VR worlds that do what they’re supposed to do and they’re SL’s direct competition.

    Havok 4 is good news. Finally brings the core-foundation SL engine up to date (or is there a Havok 5 out now? I can’t remember. LOL). Havok4 isn’t the miracle worker people are expecting, but it might help fix SOME platform lag and performance issues.

    Or… it might bring in new ones. We’ll see.

    With all respect Sidewinder. I patted ya on the back twice in this blog, and meant it. I understand what you’re saying but to be honest, I think it’s time LL stops saying that. It’s obvious that people do not like the way LL has be operating for 8 years now. Might be time to change some operational concepts, viewpoints and attitudes. I have noticed LL being more open with the customers now than it was 3 years ago. To be honest, your customers almost had to beat all y’all upside the head with a bat to get that far. So we’re just being open and honest and still letting you know what we really think. If we didn’t care… we’d go play something else instead of providing feedback. πŸ˜‰

  142. Sidewinder Linden says:

    @141 Blinders Off: I requested you to take this offline. Please be respectful of other readers of this blog.

    Regardless of your compliments, continued inflammatory and off-topic diatribes will result in these comments being systematically removed. Windight, database and all other issues unrelated to the Havok4 project are off-topic for this post, and I have been quite tolerant in not removing this whole stream. This project team is doing its part in achieving the very objectives you are claiming are not being pursued, as are others.


  143. Blinders Off says:

    Sure thing Sidewinder. Back pats removed. Feel free to remove this post.

    In fact, tell ya what. No more posts here from me on the LL blog. It’s obvious you folks can’t see beyond your own noses, don’t care about customer feedback, and still have the same old self-serving corporate attitude that’s brought LL to this mess already. You folks can’t fix things because you’re too busy copping an attitude.

    Lemme ask you a question dude. I’ve asked this of LL before and they’ve always refused to answer my question (oh, and others have asked this too):

    How many PAYING customers does LL have?
    Out of the claimed 10 million + residents, how many are unique, active, valid customers?

    You can call my posts “inflammatory” and off topic all you like. That’s pure BS. This has very much to do with Havok 4, the current situation of SL, LL and the system in general. Sorry you don’t see it that way. That’s been LL’s problem from the start… and that’s why SL is so borked.

    Have fun. No more feedback. LL is heading to a head-first crash and as far as I’m concerned, I’m going to be the first person to sign up with the competition.

    Bye bye.

  144. Phantom Ninetails says:

    Don’t pay too much mind to this troll, Sidewinder. We’re all looking forward to Havok4 with great interest and realize it will be very beneficial to stability and performance.

  145. Blinders Off says:

    Phantom, tell me: what is “trollish” about pointing out to Linden Lab that no, contrary to above claims, Havok 4 is not going to be the panacea that it’s touted to be? Tell me one thing that was posted that was false, designed just to cause problems, or to harass LL?

    You people are pathetic. You’ll swallow anything LL throws at you and pay through the nose for the privilege, and when someone points out very real and very serious problems with SL, problems that have existed for years and that LL has not fixed yet, you call him a troll.

    Can you say LEMMING?

  146. Tanner Castaignede says:

    I am jsut wondering If this will raise Tiers

  147. Sidewinder Linden says:

    @145 Blinders: I have repeated many times that Havok4 will not fix everything, and is not therefore a panace, and is only one of many projects that are addressing the issues. /Sidewinder

  148. Sidewinder Linden says:

    @146 Tanner: Choosing to use Havok4 does not affect your tier. /Sidewinder

  149. Silvari Soleil says:

    @145 Blinders… you very very angry man. Our only mehtod of approaching a more stable and faster sim is done by Sidewinder and you’re blaming him for Philip Lindens words? Are you that blind?

    Comparing SL to any other FPS shooter online game or an MMORPG is not only ignorant but outstandingly stupid. All custom contents are implemented into games offline/online through MOdifications where its all Client based on a small server. World of Warcraft? Dont make me laugh… Only statistics and extra statics get implemented. And that is without ANY user content.

    SL is ALL user content. And the grids pretty much up all the time until downtime. And I do not agree that SL players and every other Game player is the same. I personally get bored by WOW. And Online games are niche in their attraction. SecondLife does everything because its really US thats doing the content.

    People like you IMHO ask for much and give too little. And getting personal by being angry at US satisfied customers just weakens your position.Go play Ragnarok or Maple Leaf where its more Lemming like.

  150. U M says:

    any ETA on the return of this? Or is it another wait until next year? I hope the sooner the better

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