Hi, Sylvain here, CTO at Bossa Studios, dropping in to give you quick summary of what we are tackling right now.
As some of you may have noticed if you read the forums, the Worlds Adrift team is currently undertaking some big technical upgrades to quite a few of the core systems. Whilst these upgrades will bring significant quality of improvements for players; they aren’t without their challenges. The issue with these systems is that they are usually touching a lot of the game code which was initially implemented years ago and more often than not for older versions of SpatialOS too. Code that is as fragile as it is essential. As a result, any changes made need to be scrutinised and implemented with a prudent mindset. We have planned to tackle these systems for a while, however, other features/fixes in Worlds Adrift’s release schedule took priority.. So, what we have at the moment is a few of the key systems of the game mostly working but not being as stable or as transparent as you, or we, would like.
One of those systems is the revivers and login/logout procedure. Until now, this system has been functioning most of the time, however, we have been made aware of edge-case reports that some players have lost their ship after logging back into the game. As I have stated before, in the early alpha and closed beta days of the game, losing your ship was an annoyance but due to the lower time investment, it wasn’t a complete game breaker for the majority of people.. Also, there were and still are multiple legitimate ways to lose you ship after logout; for example, someone might have stowed away on your ship and destroyed it after you logged out, one of your shipmates might have logged in while you were away, lost the ship somehow and not told anybody and that doesn’t even take into account environmental hazards due to the logout timer. This made it easier to underestimate the size of the issue while prioritizing the work.
Since then, the game has evolved and we cannot ignore the fact that losing your ship without explanation has always been but is now more than ever a huge disappointment for anybody playing Worlds Adrift. So what are we doing about it?
The link between a player, their ship and their reviver was previously implemented in a series of bidirectional links between the game entities. If at any point these links got out of sync and one of the systems failed to find the others, it sometimes would default to severing the link and respawning you at the nearest respawn chamber. A consequence of this could be anything from a minor inconvenience like having to travel back to your ship to something as serious as your ship not logging back in at all. To update and improve this system, we now use a centralized authority, which will be updated every time you link to a reviver, or a reviver is removed from a ship, etc. One of the many upsides to this is that we can now inform you via in-game messaging if any operation fails and will also keep a history as to why you lost your ship link. This should allow us to make things clearer but crucially, allow us to recover more easily when something does go wrong.
One of the major pain points we have been hearing with some regularity is that lack of assurance that your ship was safely and successfully logged out. We are reworking the logout sequence to guarantee that if you choose the slow logout, and you get out of the game, you ship will logout safely with you.
When these changes eventually go live, the logout timer will increase to match the ship logout timer. This functionality will be consistent on both PvE and PvP servers, however, the values of the timer may vary. Any enemy contact will still stop the log out as it currently does. The intention of this is to give players definitive knowledge that their ship is safe and they don’t need to worry about it. As always, feedback on these purposed changes is welcome! Please let us know on our usual channels or in the comments what you think.
These changes are a key part of our strategy to improve stability and ship persistence, hence the name of our next update; Smooth Sailing. Keep an eye out for these changes when they make their way to a PTS near you!
May your sailing be smooth!
(Thumbnail courtesy of FearlessJake on the official Discord)