Hell freezes over!

The major issue is that Havok is too tightly-bound with Second Life. And from Havok 1.0 to 2.0 — something that came out in late 2003, not long after LL officially launched SL as being “out of Beta” — the codebase utterly changed. It changed so much, in fact, as to render all porting efforts to the newer version almost impossible — it simply was too hard to do, without blowing up everything (which it invariably did). By then, Havok 3.0 had already been released (Havok 4.0 was in Beta) and Andrew said that the differences between Havok 2.0 and 3.0 were not huge (more a difference in performance than in the code), so they might jump to a more advanced version.

Well, residents were very sceptic, of course. This has been “promised” for eternities — in fact, since the early Beta days, people already publicly claimed an upgrade to Havok 2.0!

Why is a more recent version of Havok so important, nay, crucial to Second Life? Well, the current sims waste way too much CPU cycles with the physical engine. It’s an early, first-generation product, and although server-side solutions are not unheard of, it’s usually deployed at both the server and the client. Second Life, however, due to its dynamic nature, requires a server-only solution. And, well, Havok 1.0 was simply not good (or fast!) enough to deal with the whole requirements of its complex physical environment.

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