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The Goldtokens Blog

How new farm timers work

AmyNevilly Resident Posted by in Announcements - November 23, 2013, 11:22 am


Today I'm going to explain the technical reasons for the recent farm changes as they might cause some confusion for players.

How timers in Second Life work (or don't)

The Second Life timers on your farm is actually very innacurate indeed.

They work by the sim adding +1 to a count every sim cycle which is supposed to occur every second.

However, if you experience a sim lag spike (which lets face it is not that uncommon in Second Life) the timer will not track time correctly. In addition, if a sim restarts or has other problems the timer can freeze or do weird things. Stare at an inworld timer for long enough and you'll see it jumping about like this. A bit like a drunken sailor.

Why timers are so important

Keeping time is essential because in order to ensure fairness for all farmers there has to be an equal playing field. Otherwise some farmers could charge less for their worms than others due to faster production and oversupply.

How we solve the problem

Instead of trusting Second Life timers we've implemented something on our servers called unix time. This is the gold standard for timers since it uses the system clock to measure precisely the amout of seconds that have passed since January 1st 1970.

This gives us a fixed reference point from our server, so that we can objectively ensure all farms take the exact amount of time specified, regardless of what the Second Life timer decides to do. We measure the unix time when you start your farm, and when you try to claim your worms to ensure the alloted time has passed correctly.

If you're farm triggers too soon then our server will reply back to you to say that you will have to wait a certain amount of time before you've actually completed the farming cycle correctly. 

It's important to realise this is not additional time, it is simply more accurate time.

This solution ensures fairness for everyone using farms. Everyone is treated equally and players can be sure there are no others using sim exploits to produce worms at an unfair rate. As always we develop system improvements that ensure fairness for all players when we see potential exploits taking place.

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AmyNevilly Resident

About AmyNevilly

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AmyNevilly is the Graphics Designer of SecondAds and is responsible for much of the web development, graphics design and marketing that goes into SecondAds.

Community Comments

d2max Resident
November 23, 2013, 7:01 pm -

While I understand your explanation about unix time, from a worm farmer's end, it now takes longer time to harvest worm. When the farm shows me that it is at 100%, I still have to wait 1-2 hours to collect the worms.

On top of this, there is the 10 seconds wait time for each materials to be added to farms for every farm cycle. I know there was the explanation about bug that needed to be fixed and farmers with few worm farms probably do not mind waiting that extra time in their planting process, but I can't imagine those with more than 10 farms, the time they now have to wait to plant each material.

It seems that yes you have fixed the bugs and things are ok now from your end. From a worm farmer's end however, these extra time does not really "fix the bug". My personal opinion, when a bug is fixed, it means when I use the product, the process time is the same as before, if not shorter, and without recurring the bug. Certainly not longer process time. You probably can understand the frustration that some have voiced out in-world.

A suggestion, if I may, if these extra time is unavoidable, increase the total worms per farm per harvest to 150 worms as a part of the farm fixes. If not, maybe you can think of something better that works for both secondads and its players.

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AmyNevilly Resident
November 23, 2013, 8:41 pm -

You are correct that farmers end up with an unexpected outcome. However, when the farm countdown started with X hours I am sure they expected to wait X hours for it to complete, not less time. We are all working within the constraints impossed by the Second Life platform here.

Regarding the 10 seconds wait time for materials I will be writing a seperate article soon on why that has been added. There was an active exploit in use that had to be prevented to ensure fairness for those farmers who were not aware of it. I'd like to thank those that reported it.

I understand there can be some frustration but the specification of time for worms to breed needs to be consistent. It cannot be wildly different wait times between one farmer and another.

I understand the suggestion for more worms. But economically speaking, in the end this benefits noone as more worms flood onto the market, lowering prices farmers can get for their worms. Inflation principles can apply to worms as well.

Finally I'd like to add that these security patches are new and we always tend to tweak them over time to minimise the impact on our players and to iron out any glitches that can occur.

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d2max Resident
November 24, 2013, 11:52 pm -

Thanks for your reply.

In a light-hearted moment, I told my wife that the farms are going through daylight saving too, but instead of advancing the clock forward, they moved it backwards. Hopefully in 6 months time, secondads will be able to tweak them.

Or perhaps the programmers/coders will be able to shorten the planting process by making it 1 mouse clicks to add the materials to the farms instead of 3 mouse clicks. smiley

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AmyNevilly Resident
November 24, 2013, 11:54 pm -

You never know d2, I've seen stranger things happen!! cool

Tatiana Lapis
November 29, 2013, 9:52 am -

After latest update with timer had a problem with harvesting worms. Farm jumped %0 from %100 percent and giving a msg.. in progress i never had any worms ended up re rezzing farm :P

After first harves attempt giving this msgs.

[2013/11/28 14:33]  Small Worm Farm B3.1 (mesh): Your worms batch will be ready in .
[2013/11/28 14:33]  Small Worm Farm B3.1 (mesh): Your worms batch will be ready in .
[2013/11/28 14:34]  Small Worm Farm B3.1 (mesh): Your worms batch will be ready in .
[2013/11/28 14:34]  Small Worm Farm B3.1 (mesh): Your worms batch will be ready in .
[2013/11/28 14:34]  Small Worm Farm B3.1 (mesh): Your worms batch will be ready in .
[2013/11/28 14:34]  Small Worm Farm B3.1 (mesh): Your worms batch will be ready in .
[2013/11/28 14:34]  Small Worm Farm B3.1 (mesh): Your worms batch will be ready in .

Not sure maybe just my luck. I didnt fiiled a ticket but i wanted inform about stuation.. 


Hope it helps somehow.. :)

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October 6, 2014, 2:59 pm -

With new security that sets the worm harvest time to be picked up exactly at the set date when they can be picked up when it starts the next 100% from 0 % after it was already displaying 100%, the next 100% are really fast and come from 0 to 100% in about 1 hour.

Do not pick up farms and re-rez them as that resets the farms and produce is lost. So this was a mistake to do...


However I'll be able to help you retrieve your produce.
IM me inworld for on field support when I am online.
Wili Clip

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