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Old 03-05-2009, 01:05 AM
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Bi-Weekly Update for 03/04/09 - Changing the Way We Work



Bi-Weekly Special, March 3 2009: Changing the Way We Work

This update is special as it outlines a series of changes that we will be making to the SWGEmu Project, and how it works. Part 1 will deal with these changes and plans. Part 2 will return you to your normal Bi-Weekly programming. Read on!

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Part 1- Changing how we Work
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


SWGEmu is changing the way it works to be more organized and more efficient. We are employing new software to help us sort, file and fix. At the same time we are employing new methods and practices to ultimately help you play the play game we know you want to play as soon as possible. Both will be outlined further below. Our ultimate goal is to be as efficient as possible. We want to tap the people we have in our staff programs, tap the people we have in our strong community, and tap the best software and standards available to ensure our end product is the highest quality Open Source Project ever.

Over the next month the plans we lay here will be rolled out and settled, beginning today. We will be opening new Staff positions, employing a new bug reporting system, improving the way we provide support to users, and setting out a solid set of plans (in the form of Phase Testing and Development). These will allow us to prioritize what needs to be fixed and what needs to be added to make Core3 Beta-Test.

Here are the major changes being made:

Phase Testing

What is Phase Testing?

Phased testing is a way for every member of the community to easily test on our Test Center with objectives, tasks and with purpose. Each milestone or "phase" (hence the name) coincides with the current tasks being worked on by the development team. Each week, a new set of tasks will be posted across our Network. These are the things that need to be tested and worked on a given week.

Why is Phase Testing being started?

For a long time we have used the line "jump in game, do what you want, and let us know if you find anything wrong." However, we realize that a lot of people feel lost without a set purpose to their testing, and repeating the same thing over and over becomes boring. We want testing to be fun, and to tie in with what is currently being concentrated on. Most people join TC, and either socialize or instantly "blue-frog up" to a high profession and loot/pvp/duel. What is wrong is that we aren't really interested in some of the more obscure bugs at the moment, which are easily picked up in this manner. We are instead most interesting in the base "newbie" game, which is not tested at the moment.

How does it work?

Phase Testing works based on a weekly set of tasks.
These tasks will be updated on the Monday of each week, and posted across our network. After the week is over, the new tasks are posted and begun on. Some tasks may carry over depending on their status.
You may check tasks in a number of ways:
  • Listed in the Current Tasks thread in the Announcements Forum
  • Listed on the Launchpad Enhanced News feed
  • Quickly Accessible via http://www.swgemu.com/tasks
  • Available on Test Center via @tasks which opens a current task list inside SWG. Also viewable in the Message of the Day (when you first launch SWGEmu)

What can I do?

Test! Help us by testing based on the current task list. Submit bugs (now http://www.swgemu.com/bugs ) stating which tasks you are working on, and your report for the bug encountered.
The Quality Assurance and Profession Representatives will be taking a greater stance in organizing testing with the community. Contact them and ask if you can help with a current task.
Of course, check the tasks regularly!

Phase Development

What is it?

Phase Development is like Phase Testing, except for our Developers. There are longer term "Phases" which are goals for what needs to be achieved over a period of time, and under it there are the weekly set of tasks.
Phase Development is a way for us to organize ourselves better when coding and planning. With Ramsey taking up a position as Head of Development, he will be able to create goals, milestones and tasks for the developers. Milestones are planned long term using the Milestones tool in Assembla, and the relevant tasks for each milestone are created beneath it. A task list is then compiled on a weekly basis and the Staff, and community, may contribute to the current tasks in that week.

How does it affect you?

Besides the fact that it allow you to see what we are currently working on, it also allows the community to gauge where the emulator project is. Phase Development also allows us to set rough time frames for certain features. Take time frames as estimates, normally equal to around one week of the stated date.

Will it make things happen faster?


Yes and no. While it will make everything more efficient, there may not be as many incomplete or new features come into the game as we've seen. However, everything that is developed will be more complete and better coded.

Current Milestone Plans

Our long terms goal is the launch of Sun Crusher as a playable test center, and eventually a 1.0 release of SWGEmu. However, in the shorter term, we would like to share with you our current plans.
Here is what we wish to accomplish over the next month or so:

  • The phasing out of Blue Frogs from TC
  • The completion of all starter professions
  • The implementation of basic missions
  • The completion of lairs
  • The completion of Death, Travel, and other necessary systems
  • The ability for players to run an economy (trade, bazaars, banks, tips all finished)
  • The implementation of crafting at a basic level
  • Overall: The ability for players to zone into the game and begin playing immediately without any assistance from blue frogs, special trainers or the developers.

We feel that this will allow us to have a playable code base which is of a standard which is close to ready for a Sun Crusher Test launch.
For these changes to take place, there will be many changes, additions and subtractions. Also on the table is a definite Database Wipe in the next 3/4 weeks. Watch for news in future bi-weekly and daily updates.

NOTE: There have been rumors of us setting an official SunCrusher launch by April 30th. This is FALSE. The current milestone we aim to complete by April 30th, however this does not constitute an SC Launch, simply a completion of the necessary systems. Any solid ETAs about SC, or 1.0, launches are still null!
As Ramsey put it:
Quote:
THE DATE MEANS NOTHING

We need to set a milestone AFTER the SC target and Assembla requires a date before posting. Repeat: That milestone is a container for tasks AFTER the SC launch. v1.0 could be before or after the date - it has not been decided.

That is why the milestone is titled: "VERY preliminary and tentative Date for 1.0 (Mostly for task planning)"

THE DATE MEANS NOTHING
Bug Report and Support Changes

We have made several changes to the way support and bug reporting is conducted here at SWGEmu. Please take note and use the following changes:

  • Bug reports are no longer made on the SWGEmu Support Website (www.swgemu.com/support) They are now made at our new Bug Tracker (www.swgemu.com/bugs). Please register there and begin reporting as soon as possible
  • The SWGEmu Support Site is being removed. The Knowledge Base is currently in the process of being transfered to the Forum FAQ system. This will be opened this weekend.
  • In Game, Player, Abuse, Account and other official support is being provided through a special Forum system on our main forum page. Only you and the staff will be able to view and respond to your threads. Please feel free to create a thread any time in the correct category (there are only three to choose from now!).

Using this new software, we will be able to see and respond to support and bug reports much faster than we were previously.

Thanks for reading this (especially long) summary! We know it is a lot to take in, and may not seem exciting to some, but back stage we're really pumped. All these changes will make everything so much more efficient and organized. Enjoy the new SWGEmu setup!

Now, back to your original programing...
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Last edited by Max; 03-05-2009 at 01:15 AM.
  #2  
Old 03-05-2009, 01:06 AM
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------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Part 2 - Main Bi-Weekly Update
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

1) Update Overview:
  • A look at the new SWGEmu.com
  • Quality Assurance Now Hiring
  • CSR Applications Status
  • Structure Permissions
  • Harvester Fixes
2) Body:

New SWGEmu.com

Hey everyone,

Thought we’d start this update off with a peek and some information about the new SWGEmu.com!



&

http://www.swgemu.com/images/siteprev.png

The goal for this new website is to build an inviting and informative centerpiece website that ties all of the SWGEmu communities together. Not in terms of forums, but in terms of information, guides, server status, links, getting started guides and individual descriptions of each community and their goals. This way it will be easy for new players to setup their client, find communities that fit their desires for game-play and let them get to it!

We would like to have full bestiaries for all planets, guides to most quests, a general non-server specific FAQ, user created editable content (E.G. guides, creature descriptions, quest descriptions, item lists, etc..)

We’re very excited about this new webpage which is currently in a closed sort of beta launch right now to help iron out some bugs, expect to see it very soon!
-------------------------------------------------------------------------

Quality Assurance Now Hiring!

Seaseme has been working with the Quality Assurance team to restructure and get the ball rolling in that department. We’re currently open to applications to join the Quality Assurance team, so if anyone is interested in helping this is your chance!
You can fill out the application here:
http://www.swgemu.com/jobs

Candidates must be:
  • Well versed in Pre-CU gameplay.
  • Well spoken and able to communicate effectively
  • Have a strong desire to help us crush those evil bugs

That’s pretty much it, if you feel you’re a good candidate head on over there and fill out a form to join! We’ll be reviewing them and contacting people ASAP!
We need you more than ever before as we finalize our current features for a SunCrusher TC launch. Help us out, apply today.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------

CSR Applications Status

Congratulations and thank you to all that offered their time to apply for a CSR/EC position with SWGEmu! We've had a field of nearly 300 applicants! The support for this program has been outstanding, and we appreciate interest.

We have recently moved to Round 2. This round narrowed the field to ~30 applicants. Again, this process is never easy, our community has an amazing multitude of talented, willing and able participants. Were you not selected, please, stick around. There are many ways to help and contribute. We need you.

We look forward to expanding our team and gaining a stronger foothold in supporting the players on Nova. We appreciate those of you that help us day to day (you know who you are) and we want you to know.. we couldn't do it without you. Thanks

-------------------------------------------------------------------------

Structure Permissions

The major code addition this week was cRush's Structure Permissions system. This restricts users from dropping items in buildings which they do now own or which they are not on the admin list of. This means no more messy public buildings! Well done cRush!
He will proceed to work on finishing and fixing the Travel system once and for all, and possibly then touch on Creature Handler. Definite pluses to come!
-------------------------------------------------------------------------

Harvester Fixes

Thoop has effectively fixed all harvester bugs in his upcoming Harvester Fix patch! Watch for this next week. While he completes final testing to ensure the patch has no issues with stability, he has also been touching on Weaponsmith Crafting and various other nicks and nacks across the game. We are looking forward to having harvesters back at full functionality soon.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------

3) Developer Perspective ("Round Table"):

Quote:
Originally Posted by MrTopas
In the last weeks i added grenades and updated cm's mind heal. I did some changes to the loot system and fixed some buges related to upgrade kits, armor and ham regeneration. I tried to find the 1/1 ham bug, but i was not able to replicate the bug. This makes fixing the bug very hard.

In the next weeks i will add the fix for the bug, that prevents you from gaining faction points and harvest rights if you one hit kill an creature/npc, update the grenade stats and add heavy weapons to commando.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Valkyra
Hey all,

Not sure if anyone has seen this or not. But if you would kindly take a look at the SWGEmu TRAC timeline, you will see that I have submitted roughly 5-6 tickets, all additions with code.

Basically what I have done is pretty much all of the 'jedi profession' related skills. Force Defender's skill, Avoid Incap, works. Pretty much all of the Force Healing skills are in, as well as Force Enhancer. Force Armor is working pre-cu accurate for the most part, as in you can activate it, it shows the system message/buff icon correctly, when you get hit with it it shows the hit effect on you, deducts force based on the damage mitigated, and your FRS mods. I am only explaining Force Armor at the moment as I'm pretty sure you all are familiar with what most of the jedi skills do. If not, please open Kodan's profession calculator (which if you have LPE should be integrated with that), and take a look at the jedi profession boxes, and read about the jedi skill mods/skills. The only skill that doesn't really work as it should is the MEnhancer skill Regain Consciousness, and that's because I haven't decided how to implement the 1 minute grogginess timer. But rest assured, as we get more pre-cu accurate information, the formulas will be tweaked. But for now, they should be good to go.

Next on my agenda is more skills, but this time for 3 different professions. Teras Kasi - Force of Will, Rifleman - Cover, and Smuggler - Feign Death. I can't give you guys an ETA on these skills unfortunately, as I know a bit more about how jedi works in general so I was able to do the jedi skills in a record amount of time. But don't worry, it will get done eventually.

As a side note, just because all of the jedi skills are done for the most part, does not mean that Jedi will be enabled on TC:Nova any time soon. That's up to the administrators to do that, and while I wouldn't mind seeing a massive test of what I've coded, I'm sure the admins have more important matters to attend to with it.

For Chandrila - Sytner is still working very diligently on his world Editor, which looks VERY promising. Stay tuned for more info!

-Valk
Quote:
Originally Posted by cRush
I have been working hard to clean up some parts of the code, making it more expandable as well as improving documentation. Most recently, I cleaned up the radial system which we use in our code to deploy radials to the client. This will tremendously in future radial creation; furthermore, I have added many stubs for upcoming implementations including player cities and creature handler. Expanding on some of the updates I have added recently, buildings are set to get a decent restructuring which will help improve player housing to a point where we hope it will be ready for testing. There are many exciting changes coming soon, time permitting of course. Thank you all for your support and keep up the great testing!
Quote:
Originally Posted by Panchjr
I have been trying to make states and state defenses. A lot of the available data for them is contradictory (even that written during pre-cu) so I am trying to make them consistent and as close to most descriptions as possible.

I am also looking at low level changes to how the system decides whether an object is attackable, hostile or friendly. This requires quite a few changes, especially in the combat code, but should make it easier to implement things like bounty hunting.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ramsey
Some of our packet research from our reversing years never made the jump to the online documentation. I did a massive update on our packet docs recently (see trac) and I'm still not done. The server->client UI packets in core3 will receiving a touch up because of these docs and will open the door to easily customizable ingame interfaces sent from the server (think ingame Admin UI ).

Another change coming from the updated packet docs is the functionality of the command "/bug" as well as the ingame knowledge base. A community service announcement will be made once these features are rolled out.

Missions will be feature complete by Milestone One set on assembla and some test missions will be popping in and out of TC.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tow'lin
I've recently been doing large PvE events on TC Nova and plan to continue such events with the help of the new ECs (which will be announced at a later date). However, I can't do it entirely alone. If you have any ideas for an event (PvP, PvE, social or otherwise) send me an email at towlin@swgemu.com. If I get enough response, I will put my picks up for the community to vote on. Send in those ideas, I'd love to hear from you!

Regards,
Tow'lin Tow
Quote:
Originally Posted by Grija
Hey everyone. Recently I took over the SWGEmu Facebook group, and have been updating it as we release our updates. However, I've added something else for those of you who cannot get enough....

TWITTER!

http://www.twitter.com/SWGEmu

SWGEmu now has a twitter feed, which will be updated on a more frequent basis than just the standard updates, including things like snippets of info from the Assembla postings and such. Hopefully, this will allow our fans to more actively keep track of what is going on with SWGEmu on a day-to-day basis!

-Grija
4) Closing:

I'm not going to make your eyes bleed with any more text. This update was pretty long.

Enjoy the rest of your week, and please excuse the delay with getting this up.

P.S. Our prayers lie with the People of Pakistan today, as their current civil and terrorist troubles come to light. We wish the best of luck to the people of Pakistan and their leaders, and hope for a fast resolution of the issues which are currently seated there.

--Team SWGEmu
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SWGEmu is a non-profit, open source community project.
  #3  
Old 03-05-2009, 01:10 AM
Ohmek Ohmek is offline
 
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This is great!! I love you all!
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  #4  
Old 03-05-2009, 01:14 AM
Xan than Xan than is offline
 
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Finally! Phase Testing!
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  #5  
Old 03-05-2009, 01:15 AM
MrBlonde MrBlonde is offline
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Big ups to everyone that helped out with this Bi-Weekly. Lots of work went into it.

Good read btw.
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Old 03-05-2009, 01:22 AM
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Great post team! Keep up the awesome work!
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  #7  
Old 03-05-2009, 01:25 AM
Jer Jer is offline
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Jawesome. Looks like a lot of great improvements goin on. Great work guys. E>
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  #8  
Old 03-05-2009, 01:29 AM
lunatec lunatec is offline
 
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Awesome post....


I need a sig
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  #9  
Old 03-05-2009, 01:30 AM
inyri inyri is offline
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Great update, Max et al. Thanks for keeping us all in the loop despite the busy schedule!
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  #10  
Old 03-05-2009, 01:34 AM
Geral Geral is offline
 
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First page? The new webpage looks sexy. I love seeing progress guys, we appreciate your hard work.
  #11  
Old 03-05-2009, 01:37 AM
BankyEdwards BankyEdwards is offline
 
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tried to register on the new Mantis but I do not get the email. asked for new password and didn't get that one either.

I had this exact same problem with Mantis last year somewhere else. low and behold I got all those emails exactly 1 year late. somehow the email being sent in 2008 was dated 2009 and wouldn't deliver to hotmail til then.

just wondering if that is the problem again this time around.
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Old 03-05-2009, 01:41 AM
Lord Christoph Lord Christoph is offline
 
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yay!! a grande and epic update.

bloody brilliant ideas too. I wonder what's in store for CH from cRush
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  #13  
Old 03-05-2009, 01:43 AM
Valkyra Valkyra is offline
 
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It always looks better when it's posted in the Announcements section, heh.

Great job everyone!
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  #14  
Old 03-05-2009, 01:44 AM
BankyEdwards BankyEdwards is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lord Christoph View Post
yay!! a grande and epic update.

bloody brilliant ideas too. I wonder what's in store for CH from cRush
not sure but be nice to see pets again. hope that includes getting faction pets working too

now only if we had houses built by architects /hint /hint
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Old 03-05-2009, 01:46 AM
Shoryuu Shoryuu is offline
 
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Thanks for the update, we're closer.
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