Friday, August 24, 2007
Some odd things can happen when you cross a region boundary! When you walk from one region into another, your avatar often appears to sink beneath the surface and keep on moving. What is happening is the simulator programme for the region you just left is trying to hand you over to the simulator for the region you are trying to enter. For some reason, the client software running on your own computer keeps chugging along with the old data until the handover takes place and data from the new region becomes available. When that finally happens, your avatar will return to a position in the new region just across the boundary.
But when the surface you are walking on is above ground level, your av may end up in the space below the surface when the handover is completed. So you might find yourself in a tunnel, or stuck beneath a bridge or elevated railway. It can be very difficult sometimes to get back to the original surface.
To minimise this problem, you can start flying just before you cross a region boundary. The attached pic shows what a boundary looks like when you've got Property Lines turned on under the View menu.
Another way to get warning of an approaching boundary is to keep an eye on the numbers at the top centre of your screen. There are three of these, right after the region name, and they're affectionately known as X, Y, and Z. X is your distance from the western boundary of the region, and Y is your distance from the southern boundary. These numbers range between 0 and 255. (Z is your altitude, and has no maximum value, at least in practice.) So when you see either X or Y approaching either 0 or 255, a boundary crossing is imminent.
Sometimes the handover can take 20 seconds or more to complete, and occasionally it fails altogether. When it fails, you may get a warning message and find yourself back in the old region; or you may be logged out instead. But of course the intrepid explorer takes it all in stride!