I’m just finishing up the last two issues on my pre-2.2beta todo list, and then it will be released to the beta testers. Those of you who have emailed me will be receiving information within the next week about how to access thebuilds, report bugs, provide feedback, etc.
I decided a while back that 2.2 would focus primarily on user experience improvements. This means improving some aspects of the UI, the Installer (and the various standard user / vista issues that sometimes appeared), improved memory handling and world size capabilities, and improved speed. Feature improvements are slated for later, and will build upon the improved base provided by all of the 2.2 improvements. 2.2 will be a free update, whereas feature-focused updates will likely have an upgrade fee. There are a number of improvements already in place for 2.2 that achieve all of those goals.
To provide a little more detail about what I’m working on at the moment:
As of the 2.2 Beta1 release, most of the time-eating devices will be internally multithreaded. This includes Erosion, Snow, Layout Generator, Advanced Perlin, Lightmap, and a couple others that may add to the list. Internal threading is very helpful when building worlds that are not very parallelizable. The other major device that is now receiving internal threading is the Macro device. This is important because in the existing release, moving chunks of your world into a macro will negatively effect performance as the devices inside macros cannot be processed in parallel. 2.2 fixes this by having the macro device build its internals with the threaded builder as well.