Wednesday, 24th November 2010
Status Updates are weekly posts made in the community forum where the team share insights into the development of theHunter.
Time for a Status Update!
First of all, thanks for your patience and support during the period of downtime that occurred last week after a very unfortunate hardware failure.
We are very fortunate with such a great community around the theHunter. While most other online games have players wreaking havoc all over the place when there are server failures, we only got supportive and encouraging responses. Thanks!
We've been aware of the substandard and issues with the current system and for quite some time worked on replacing the core functinality of the server infrastructure, let's call it the Game Server.
There are three major reasons we set out to do this - Stability, Scalability and Extensibility. To put it gently, the current system lacks in all these areas, and we need to do something about it.
The new Game Server is architected from the ground up to address these areas. Not only will performance be significantly better, we will also be able to finally add a lot of interesting features.
Granted, what happened was very unfortunate and "should not happen" (two disks fail in the same RAID5 array) but yet again, there are so much that may go wrong so sooner or later it will again. Add to that the load issues we are experincing while data grows and we get more and more active players.
The new Game Server is not done yet. And with the recent events in mind we need to take a step back and make sure we're comfortable with our current infrastructure. Although this means we will push the new Game Server a little bit longer into the future we for now need to focus on securing the current system and make sure we better cope with a similar failure as well as the increased load.
During all the other buzz and fuzz we also released a game update last Friday. Some of the features are worth looking closer at...- theHunter now support TrackIR
TrackIR is a hardware device that let you control the game camera using your head. With other words, you may play the game as usual but by slightly turning, tilting or shifting your head you alter the view. A great experience and also very handy to look out from behind a tree or other obstacles. Read more about TrackIR here.
A TrackIR 5 kit is available for $149.95 at NaturalPoint's website. Do also check out our competition... read on!- Added free-look
While not everyone is using TrackIR we wanted to add similar functionality without any hardware requirement. Toggling free-look mode (default 'X') will let you control the camera with your mouse independently of the direction you are walking in. Obviously not as seemless as with TrackIR, but quite useful.- Scent Eliminator spray
Doc's just added Scent Eliminator spray to his store! 50 uses for 120 em$ will reduce your human scent for an hour (game time, you'll get a notification when it expires) and thus lower the risk of spooking an animal catching your scent in the wind.- Coyotes
Several tweaks have been made to the coyotes, they now have slightly worse vision and sense of smell. Overall, they should be somewhat easier to get closer to.- Reduced nervous time
Once spooked animals are no longer in their "nervous" state as long as before. While being nervous an animal does not respond to calls and overall are much more cautious.- No optimal sequence for callers
The mysterious optimal calling sequence when using callers has been removed. Simply use it in a way to mimic the sound of the animal. It is still possible to loose effect or even spook animals if abused (i.e. sounding the caller every other second or keeping it sounding for a minute).
To read more about all the other changes in this patch, please see the release history on the wiki.
We're not done tweaking yet, among other things are the trotting behavior and having the HunterMate register barks of coyotes.
We've also rolled out a server update to mainly address performance issues. Most notable is the improvement of the competition pages which now load significantly faster than before (about 100-200 times faster). Some more info about the server update in this forum topic which also mentions disconnect/reconnect issues and wrong score in some score sheets.
This is your chance to win a TrackIR kit, donated graciously by NaturalPoint, along with a special trophy.
We're running a competition starting November 25th where you may win a kit of your own! Yes, you heard it!Check out the competition details thread for more information (also coming up on the main website as soon as sign up has started).
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