Monday, November 16, 2015

Your Grid is So Fat....

When the Citadels and Capital changes were announced one thing that people were asking was what is going to happen with 'the grid'. What is the grid? Well its a mysterious bit of CCP "space-magic" that is needed to stop the server-hamsters, and your PC, imploding.

For those who don't know, the client breaks down each solar system into chunks. That is why when you are 1000km off the stargate at your tactical bookmark you cannot see the stargate or anyone near it. Roughly speaking the grid is a 600km square of space. You can stretch the grid by flying off in a direction. For example, one old trick if you got pointed in a faction war plex would be to 'stretch the grid'. If you got tackled, couldn't hit them back but they couldn't break your tank, one option would be to burn out fast and then turn ninety degrees. Whilst the grid would stretch, you cannot see through 'non-gridded' areas of space. Not being able to warp inside a plex to your buddy means it was almost impossible for back-up to find you. If you flew in a straight line the grid would be stretched and even 1000km from the warp in they'd be able to see you. But if you turned the stretched grid into an 'L' shape they couldn't like so:-

Citadels are big, really, really big. They also have a really long targetting range at 250km. A 150km long citadel will therefore have a 650km wide area to target. Bigger than the current TQ grid. A fleet one side of that won't be able to see a fleet on the other side of it even through the Citadel could shoot at both. This is a problem for the proposed carrier squadrons that are supposed to be able to work over that and attacking/defending over separate current sized grids.

CCP said they were making the grids bigger. MUCH bigger. These changes are on SiSi now so I thought I'd have a go even with the warning that all the things are subject to change. I jumped in a Claw and burnt away from station.

So I could still see ships outside the station at over 3000km. I dropped a book mark, warped back to station, refit completely for speed, added high-grade Snakes and went back out in my 7.5km/sec Claw. Warped to bookmark and continued burning. I then went AFK.

I came back half an hour later. I was 25,000km from the station and the ship I'd left on the undock was no longer on my overview. I turned around and headed back. The test ship popped up somewhere around 21,000km. I burnt away, it vanished. I burnt back, it appeared. In the end I found that the grid that time was about 21,500km.

I was experiencing some pretty bad graphical problems. The PC was running like a 80286 and stuttering badly. However that might have not been connected. I am to test it again whilst I'm at the keyboard this time and submit a bug report if I get the same.

There are some bugs still. Reports of missions and faction war plex where you can see the deadspace 'room' (CCP have said they don't want this) and certain stations where nearby POS and all their modules are on grid too. So it needs a bit of work still but super big grids are soon to be a thing. Just think about that....
  • Tactical bookmarks, nearby insta-undocks, pounces and the like could be visible allowing players to burn at the spot.
  • There will be a lot more warping around.
  • Jita!

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