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EverQuest Next

EverQuest Next 

General Discussion  » EQ:L - what's it gonna be?

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99 posts found
  Grahor

Apprentice Member

Joined: 5/08/11
Posts: 854

 
OP  9/26/13 1:45:56 AM#41
Originally posted by dandurin

But we are speculating about one loosely translated sentence, when we could be talking about this https://www.everquestnext.com/round-table?poll=public-private-building, which kind of blows the "Massively Single Player" theory out of the water.

If there's a option of not letting you keep your building private, you clearly don't live on a "client-only" shard, it's a true MMO.

*le siiiigh* people, you read into developers' words the damndest thing. It does nothing of the sort.

Let's check the options. You build in an instance. Do you want your build to be on a "portal map", for others to upload and see it only when you have finished the build? Half-way, using one of intermediate saves of my build? Keep it private and control who can access, load and see it even after I've finalized the build and uploaded final version to servers? Or, the last option, "others - anyone - can download my instance in any step of the build, in read-only format, and I only control by access rights who have the right to add/edit it."

 

Absolutely nothing here says anything whatsoever against instanced build. On the contrary, it supports instanced builds/intermediary saves/object downloads/access control completely. 

 

  tom_gore

Apprentice Member

Joined: 2/27/09
Posts: 1809

9/26/13 2:33:37 AM#42
Originally posted by Grahor

>>Open world is always better than instanced.<<

 

Yeah, sure. Camping that boss for 6 hours straight with 10 more groups camping him too. Yay open world!

Ok maybe I should rephrase it to "Well designed open world..."

Guild Wars 2 does it right, for example.

 

  AIMonster

Hard Core Member

Joined: 12/31/08
Posts: 2027

9/26/13 7:31:52 AM#43
Originally posted by Grahor
Originally posted by AIMonster

You are completely misinformed. 

And I have an opinion about you too. 

I'm unsure how you can claim to be a programmer who works on AI and graphics engine (and have the gall to say that AI hasn't changed in 20 years, it has significantly). 

Specifically? 

Going into specifics on everything would take some time, but let's just take pathfinding as an example.  Pathfinding 20 years ago was extremely simple, less than optimally plotted, couldn't exist well in a 3D space, and so forth.  Since then A* and later improvements to it such as HPA* have been developed to make pathfinding faster, more realistic, and create more optimal paths.  While AI (specifically in gaming) certainly hasn't seen advancement at the rate of say something like graphics, to say it hasn't had any improvements in 20 years is just baloney.

You should understand methods of compression, if I have many voxels with similar properties I don't have to store each individual voxel in memory.

We have talked about compressing metadata here extensively.

Then you should understand that memory footprint caused by creating landscapes and objects with voxels isn't going to be much different than with polygons.  With polygons you have to store all those vertices, have a texture on each polygon's surface, and so forth, but in reality you can compress effectively for example I don't need to load an individual texture for each surface of a polygon when I can just create one texture that would effectively blanket itself over all of the polygon's surfaces and other poly surfaces.  This same concept can be applied to voxels.

  Not to mention you are 37 years old according to your profile so that would mean you were working in the "field" since you were 17 which I find highly unlikely.  I'm also pretty sure degrees in AI for game design didn't exist 20 years ago (but I'm not that old so I could be wrong).

My degree was in Computer Sciences. The theme of my diploma was "Programming AI in Games". You know the difference between a degree and the theme of diploma, right? 

 I still have trouble believing they offered this as a "theme" 20 years ago when AI was so simplistic back then.  You didn't even really have 3D space to work with.  There wasn't much to work with much less make a degree out of.

I was working as a programmer since second year in the university. May be it was 18 years ago, not 20. That, of course, completely invalidates everything I've ever said.

Just shows you may have gotten caught in a lie.

Anyway the notion that voxels won't work on games with a lot of server side code is false.  Go play the Planet Explorers alpha, which has multiplayer and lets you design your own buildings and vehicles and uses similar technology that Everquest Next will use.  In actual use the memory footprint of an object using voxels and an object using polygons of similar quality is close to equal.  That's like saying games using hundreds of different particles couldn't exist years ago because the memory footprint is too high, simply not true.

*le sigh* PE uses pre-defined blocks for building in their multiplayer part; custom builds, the one we are talking about in EQ:L happen in its building tool, which is wholely instanced, "single-player" (it's not even a game, it's an editing tool) and is on your computer, and then is imported into the game.

That's false.  Look at how you can customize vehicles and weapons in the game.  That's hardly "pre-defined" blocks.   You are also making assumptions about how the tool will work without actually getting your hands on it.   Building a landscape with voxels isn't going to cause much of a difference than building a landscape with polygons, if you want anything more beyond a smooth surface everywhere you still need to store vertices of all the different polygons as well as any textures you may use.  The memory footprint is almost exactly the same.  This goes for objects, character models, meshes, etc.

The difference between polygons and meshes is more about what you want to do specifically and there isn't much of a difference in memory footprint.  Voxels are better for sandboxes, destructable worlds, creating complex landscapes, since you can create objects with "building blocks" (as you put it) as opposed to the triangular shape of polygons which can complicate things.  On the other hand I'd say polygons are better for animation as it's easier to mimic skeletal structure by having polygons move in accordance with other polygons.  It's also generally simpler to use polygons than voxels mostly because more programmers and artists are accustomed to using them because it's been the industry standard for 3D for 2 decades now.

As for PE multiplayer, I've yet to see any videos with more than one person in the screen. But of course everyone can watch PE for themselves and decide if it's what they hope for.

You should probably go inform them their game won't work either because you have some silly notion that using voxels is going to cause some massive memory footprint.

 

 

Raptr link because it's the cool new trend:

  Grahor

Apprentice Member

Joined: 5/08/11
Posts: 854

 
OP  9/26/13 8:35:27 AM#44

>>I still have trouble believing they offered this as a "theme" 20 years ago when AI was so simplistic back then.  You didn't even really have 3D space to work with.  There wasn't much to work with much less make a degree out of.<<

 

Okay, that shows the level of discussion you are offering. Off to block you go.

  tom_gore

Apprentice Member

Joined: 2/27/09
Posts: 1809

9/26/13 8:37:08 AM#45
Originally posted by Grahor

>>I still have trouble believing they offered this as a "theme" 20 years ago when AI was so simplistic back then.  You didn't even really have 3D space to work with.  There wasn't much to work with much less make a degree out of.<<

 

Okay, that shows the level of discussion you are offering. Off to block you go.

Like your own arrogant and condencending level of discussion is so much better... :P

  Grahor

Apprentice Member

Joined: 5/08/11
Posts: 854

 
OP  9/26/13 8:37:54 AM#46
Originally posted by tom_gore
Originally posted by Grahor

>>Open world is always better than instanced.<<

 

Yeah, sure. Camping that boss for 6 hours straight with 10 more groups camping him too. Yay open world!

Ok maybe I should rephrase it to "Well designed open world..."

Guild Wars 2 does it right, for example.

 

Well, I certainly agree that GW2 does it right - but a lot of people will be horrified if that type of, as they call it, "zerg spam" will make it into EQ:N.

  Grahor

Apprentice Member

Joined: 5/08/11
Posts: 854

 
OP  9/26/13 8:41:51 AM#47
Originally posted by tom_gore
Originally posted by Grahor

>>I still have trouble believing they offered this as a "theme" 20 years ago when AI was so simplistic back then.  You didn't even really have 3D space to work with.  There wasn't much to work with much less make a degree out of.<<

 

Okay, that shows the level of discussion you are offering. Off to block you go.

Like your own arrogant and condencending level of discussion is so much better... :P

My arrogance and condescension is deserved and backed up by at least some knowledge. His self-evidently isn't. Makes a world of difference.

 

But I'm perfectly okay with people blocking me. If they think that my posts will not add anything worthwhile for discussion, they actually should block me rather than to waste their lives on reading worthless posts. That's why I apply block feature liberally - threads become a LOT shorter and easier to read.

  sanshi44

Novice Member

Joined: 6/12/09
Posts: 1058

9/26/13 8:48:35 AM#48
Originally posted by tom_gore
Originally posted by Grahor

>>Open world is always better than instanced.<<

 

Yeah, sure. Camping that boss for 6 hours straight with 10 more groups camping him too. Yay open world!

Ok maybe I should rephrase it to "Well designed open world..."

Guild Wars 2 does it right, for example.

 

Yay conflict, beleive it or not conflit is a good thing, makes thing intresting and less static.

  tom_gore

Apprentice Member

Joined: 2/27/09
Posts: 1809

9/26/13 8:52:54 AM#49
Originally posted by Grahor
Originally posted by tom_gore
Originally posted by Grahor

>>I still have trouble believing they offered this as a "theme" 20 years ago when AI was so simplistic back then.  You didn't even really have 3D space to work with.  There wasn't much to work with much less make a degree out of.<<

 

Okay, that shows the level of discussion you are offering. Off to block you go.

Like your own arrogant and condencending level of discussion is so much better... :P

My arrogance and condescension is deserved and backed up by at least some knowledge. His self-evidently isn't. Makes a world of difference.

 

But I'm perfectly okay with people blocking me. If they think that my posts will not add anything worthwhile for discussion, they actually should block me rather than to waste their lives on reading worthless posts. That's why I apply block feature liberally - threads become a LOT shorter and easier to read.

Nah I like to read the posts of a complete douche. Reminds me of how fucked up some people are - in the Internet at least.

  tom_gore

Apprentice Member

Joined: 2/27/09
Posts: 1809

9/26/13 8:54:16 AM#50
Originally posted by sanshi44
Originally posted by tom_gore
Originally posted by Grahor

>>Open world is always better than instanced.<<

 

Yeah, sure. Camping that boss for 6 hours straight with 10 more groups camping him too. Yay open world!

Ok maybe I should rephrase it to "Well designed open world..."

Guild Wars 2 does it right, for example.

 

Yay conflict, beleive it or not conflit is a good thing, makes thing intresting and less static.

It depends. If there is conflict, the game should be FFA PvP. In the above example your group could fight those 10 other groups over the right to kill the boss. Conflict in a game where you can't actually attack the other players however... not so cool.

 

  Grahor

Apprentice Member

Joined: 5/08/11
Posts: 854

 
OP  9/26/13 9:15:51 AM#51
Originally posted by tom_gore

But I'm perfectly okay with people blocking me. If they think that my posts will not add anything worthwhile for discussion, they actually should block me rather than to waste their lives on reading worthless posts. That's why I apply block feature liberally - threads become a LOT shorter and easier to read.

Nah I like to read the posts of a complete douche.

I live to serve.

Reminds me of how fucked up some people are - in the Internet at least.

Indeed. Of course, everyone has his own definition of "f-ed up". Me, I'm sometimes overwhelmed by the incoherent mewling mess of pathetic humanity, overflowing this forum in particular, Internet in general and the world at large.

 

Still, we have to look at the bright side. In the end, it'll all disappear without a trace or memory. Dust in the wind.

  dandurin

Advanced Member

Joined: 5/19/04
Posts: 478

9/26/13 3:12:17 PM#52

 

Originally posted by Grahor
Originally posted by dandurin

But we are speculating about one loosely translated sentence, when we could be talking about this https://www.everquestnext.com/round-table?poll=public-private-building, which kind of blows the "Massively Single Player" theory out of the water.

If there's a option of not letting you keep your building private, you clearly don't live on a "client-only" shard, it's a true MMO.

*le siiiigh* people, you read into developers' words the damndest thing. It does nothing of the sort.

Let's check the options. You build in an instance. Do you want your build to be on a "portal map", for others to upload and see it only when you have finished the build? Half-way, using one of intermediate saves of my build? Keep it private and control who can access, load and see it even after I've finalized the build and uploaded final version to servers? Or, the last option, "others - anyone - can download my instance in any step of the build, in read-only format, and I only control by access rights who have the right to add/edit it."

 

Absolutely nothing here says anything whatsoever against instanced build. On the contrary, it supports instanced builds/intermediary saves/object downloads/access control completely. 

 

 

There are 30 forums pages on this poll on the EQ:N site.  

 

Zero posters share this belief that there is one build site per instance and you have to subscribe in advance to visit one.

 

Exchanges with the SOE Comminity Relations person are like the following:

 

Petabyte32 said:

“My only thing with building in public is when some comes by while your building and wants to talk about what your doing. I have built in alot of persistent worlds. And I just feel rude if I dont reply to them. But when I am in "build mode" I want to build, not talk.”

Someone else mentioned this earlier in the thread as well (and I cannot find the quote! Sorry! :(). Do you think some sort of flag (like how other games have or would help with this?

 

 

This is an important distinction, and it is why we made sure to include "in Landmark" in the question. They may be handled the same, and they may be handled differently, so I appreciate your comment (and others similar to it) that have compared/contrasted how they want to see building in Landmark vs. Next.

 

If you parse this with an open mind, it is clear that SOE has the capability for "open world building" and that you can run across a person while they are building, and that therefore any instancing will purely be a convenience feature for those who don't want their products being poached or who feel uncomfortable revealing half-done work.

 

Of course, I'm sure it remains possible to find a loophole and accuse me of fanboism.

 

 

  AIMonster

Hard Core Member

Joined: 12/31/08
Posts: 2027

9/26/13 4:00:22 PM#53
Originally posted by Grahor
Originally posted by tom_gore
Originally posted by Grahor

>>I still have trouble believing they offered this as a "theme" 20 years ago when AI was so simplistic back then.  You didn't even really have 3D space to work with.  There wasn't much to work with much less make a degree out of.<<

 

Okay, that shows the level of discussion you are offering. Off to block you go.

Like your own arrogant and condencending level of discussion is so much better... :P

My arrogance and condescension is deserved and backed up by at least some knowledge. His self-evidently isn't. Makes a world of difference.

 

But I'm perfectly okay with people blocking me. If they think that my posts will not add anything worthwhile for discussion, they actually should block me rather than to waste their lives on reading worthless posts. That's why I apply block feature liberally - threads become a LOT shorter and easier to read.

You've provided no evidence and your only claims are that you are a programmer for 20 years and you worked on AI and graphics engines a long time ago.  If you want we can test each other and I can show you who is more knowledgable about modern graphic's programming.  I highly doubt the validity of your claims, especially since every bit you claim seems a little suspect.

I on the other hand explained why you are wrong and even provided a concrete example of why you are wrong.  Not to mention you are going against the entire SoE development team or at the very least flat out calling them liars.  If you want I'd happily take the time out to prove that you are the one who is ignorant and not I with various articles on the differences voxels vs. polygons have on hardware, so more games using voxel technology, etc.

Raptr link because it's the cool new trend:

  dandurin

Advanced Member

Joined: 5/19/04
Posts: 478

9/26/13 4:41:58 PM#54
Originally posted by Grahor

*sigh* cave can't be procedurally generated if it has arbitrary, not designer-object form. It have to be sent to you in voxel-shape, which IS the information about every damn voxel. Compressing that information - separating the arbitrary shape into geometrical primitives etc - is rather complex and can't be done on massive scale in real time.

 

*shrug* but if you still believe all you'll get is metadata, there is nothing I say that can prove it otherwise to you. We'll just have to see.

 

Mind you, I'll be delighted to be mistaken. It's such a freakin rare thing, for me to be mistaken...

 

An arbitrarily shaped cave can still be compressed using run-length encoding.   You can transmit a 2D-grid of horizontal runs of empty space with slanted caps on the end.   Voila, roughly 100 to 1 compression on an arbitrary cave that's roughly 10 meters wide, assuming voxel dimensions of 0.1 meters like Voxel Farm.

 

I wouldn't call runs "metadata", but it's just semantics.

 

At the end of the day, it's almost irrelevant, since the client doesn't need to store any voxels at all, only polygons, and SOE's EQ2 streaming zone downloader can easily outpace the fastest builder.

 

You could read about this stuff on the VoxelFarm blog, or you could continue to shout in the dark.

 

 

  AIMonster

Hard Core Member

Joined: 12/31/08
Posts: 2027

9/26/13 4:47:18 PM#55

Also, I think it's unfair of me to just leave the thread like that and actually refute your claim once again, this time with an analogy and a little bit more explanation:

Let's take a set of Legos for example.  You could probably build nearly anything you want given enough Legos, but obviously the amount of resources needed to purchase and buy the legos you need to build anything you want is going to be a bit absurd.  Obviously, Legos isn't going to create individual molds and special Legos to cater to building every specific object possible.  Instead, they create very specific flexible legos.  This is similar to the first general method of compression.  You don't have to create an individual separate voxel for each little tiny piece of an object you create, you can just build one from a set of voxels you have in memory.

Before you go in claiming this is "pre-defined blocks" it absolutely is, and the method for rendering with polygons is EXACTLY THE SAME THING.  This is how we create meshes or models, we create parts then put the parts together and animate them based off that. 

Now, let's take it a step further.  We still need to store a lot of data on each individual voxel, right?  How can we reduce that?  There are a few ways.  Let's take for example a set of 20 numbers all of which range from 1-4, sorted:

1, 1, 1, 1,  2, 2, 2, 2, 2, 3, 3, 3, 3, 3, 3, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4

Rather than represent each individual number in memory, why not just reduce it to a simpler pattern:

1X4, 2X5, 3X6, 4X5

Now, instead of having to store 20 integers we can just store 8 instead.  You can apply this method to voxel data such as color and density as you see fit.

We can use these compression methods and others with voxels exactly how we use polygon meshes and models, a set of pixels to form image, etc. 

Raptr link because it's the cool new trend:

  Apraxis

Novice Member

Joined: 9/28/05
Posts: 1509

9/26/13 5:26:31 PM#56
Originally posted by Grahor

I've worked on a couple of games (which never saw the light of day, by the way, due to mismanagement) as AI designer and engine coder. *shrug* I still was paid for my work, so I don't mind. That doesn't make me "special" in any way - lots of people have experience with that type of work - don't see many of them posting here, though. Currently I'm mostly working with databases and client-server applications - again, nothing special, but I have a bit of understanding for what can be done with databases and what can't.

I am surprised that a experienced programmer, even with experience in client-server applications don't have the imagination to solve this very problem rather simple.. at least from a network traffic standpoint.

You don't have to transfer every voxel or voxel-object, rather transfer every operation from the player... it is basicly the same as you transfer movement or combat commandos, with the difference that you terraform/build the world with those commands. The terraforming/building can then be done both on the specific client and the server.

The problem is much more to make those changes permanent, therefore you have to optimize every object (at the server) and only transfer that to the specific clients visiting the new terraformed area. This is one reason why in EQN most will heal back and you can only build preset structures(and with that already optimized). In Landmark they have to do it on the fly and could be somewhat of a problem.

Basicly you have to transfer the noise funtion(basic terrain) + all modified and optimized structures on top of that. To transfer all data during walking through a zone could be troublesome, so it is most probably better to transfer a lot of that every time you start the client and during idle times.. so that just a rather small part have to be transfered during walk through.

With other words it is not that impossible(or fatal) as you may think.. I don't work on that specific project, nor do i have any specific informations, but a lot of those problems are sovleable with some think around solutions. Although the complete landmark world seamless without any loading and thousands of players building all around the world is at least rather hard to accomplish.. with other words i think they will utilize some zoning and maybe some instances. But to really say anything more specific you need a lot more in detail information and i would need to work on that project.

  Grahor

Apprentice Member

Joined: 5/08/11
Posts: 854

 
OP  9/27/13 4:20:12 AM#57

>>If you parse this with an open mind<<

 

If you open your mind too wide, your brain will fall out. You've offered an argumentum ad populum and a couple of quotes that don't actually say a thing at all! That can be read any way you want. Hard to take that seriously.

 

As for reading Voxelfarm blog, I've read it very carefully. Exciting and wondrous thing, but I don't think it says what you think it says. Could you please link to specific posts that support, in any way, your assertion that run-though compressing is easy to do in a massive multiplayer real time environment? Because as far as I remember Voxelfarm run-through compression is used to store things in single-player environment, and not actually in realtime.

  Grahor

Apprentice Member

Joined: 5/08/11
Posts: 854

 
OP  9/27/13 4:36:16 AM#58

>>You don't have to transfer every voxel or voxel-object, rather transfer every operation from the player... it is basicly the same as you transfer movement or combat commandos, with the difference that you terraform/build the world with those commands. The terraforming/building can then be done both on the specific client and the server.<<

 

That's how they'll probably do it in EQ:N, even though it's not exactly as easy as you say. First of all, no mmorpg transfers movement or combat commands to client; server processes them and transfers to players the results of it; moreso, it's autocorrecting - you can lose a packet of 10 in transition, and the next packet will autocorrect the losses - that's called "lag" or "desinc", it can be small, but it's never zero.

 

However, if you build the terrain on a client this way, you can't afford to lose even a single one terrain-changing command, because then you'll have all the consequent commands to generate incorrect terrain and desinc the client with the server. And you can't exactly place autocorrect information into following packets - it's not as if it's a single object like player that simply changes its position and stats in time - it's a throng of independent objects. Imagine a hunded players generating them, say, once every 5 seconds, and you'll see an unholy amount of data you need to transfer in real time without errors.

 

Nevertheless, it's possible, and that's why I think they'll do it in EQ:N, with some limitations; but here we are talking about EQ:L, and the situation in EQ:L is different - you can't do in this way in EQ:L.

 

>>I am surprised that a experienced programmer, even with experience in client-server applications don't have the imagination to solve this very problem rather simple.. at least from a network traffic standpoint.<<

 

I always marveled on how easy and simple it is for people to solve all the problems in their heads... and how hard it is to actually implement. Remember SimCity debacle? SWTOR engine problems? GW2 Auction house? EvE Jita and FleetBattle lags? If all those things are so easy, it must've been reeeeel poopyheads working in those companies!

 

If anything my experience taught me, it's that there are no "simple solutions" in networking.

  tom_gore

Apprentice Member

Joined: 2/27/09
Posts: 1809

9/27/13 4:54:26 AM#59
Originally posted by Grahor

If anything my experience taught me, it's that there are no "simple solutions" in networking.

And you're absolutely right about that, because in the end the laws of physics limit what we can do with networking.

But where the magic comes in is the workarounds, which are the stuff that needs true thinking out of the box.

You also keep bringing up networking examples that didn't really work as planned (at launch) to back up your argument that building in a voxel space cannot be done on the large scale, real time and open world. All the while ignoring networking examples that work, such as SOE's own Forgelight engine capable of handling 100 vs 100 battles in PS2, with bullet ballistics and all that. Sure, it doesn't have deformable terrain, so we don't know how well they can adapt the netcode to a voxel engine. That remains to be seen.

I guess my point is that even if some things are downright impossible (such as transferring X amount of data over Y amount of time, if the bandwidth is Z), there can be workarounds that accomplish (almost) the same thing.

Scientist all around the world agree that nothing can exceed the speed of light, yet it doesn't stop them from researching ways of travelling from point A to point B faster than light, by various workarounds.

 

  Grahor

Apprentice Member

Joined: 5/08/11
Posts: 854

 
OP  9/27/13 8:11:48 AM#60
Originally posted by tom_gore

But where the magic comes in is the workarounds, which are the stuff that needs true thinking out of the box.

You also keep bringing up networking examples that didn't really work as planned (at launch) to back up your argument that building in a voxel space cannot be done on the large scale, real time and open world. All the while ignoring networking examples that work, such as SOE's own Forgelight engine capable of handling 100 vs 100 battles in PS2, with bullet ballistics and all that. 

The problem is, "the magic" quite often creates other problems solving this one. Let's take your example. I haven't actually played PS2 and didn't do any real research on that, but as far as I can judge, PS2 engine have unloaded all the calculations of moving, ballistics and so on on clients' machines. Servers don't, actually, calculate any of that. As a direct consequence, PS2 is wide open for hacks of any sort whatsoever: wall-walking, speed hacks, intant headshots, etc. Simply because servers don't calculate any of that: client machine says to server: "I'm walking through that wall, because there is no wall here for me, honest!" and the server can't help but accept it - because it doesn't know if it's true or not, it doesn't do any of the calculations or checks.

 

That's the tradeoff. If the same engine will be used in EQ:N, with the same calculation unload to clients - you'll have all the same hacks in EQ:N, there is no way around it - that's the tradeoff. Tradeoffs of similar magnitude will have to be made for any "workarounds". Kind of black magic, eh. You often pay more than you get. :)

 

Scientist all around the world agree that nothing can exceed the speed of light, yet it doesn't stop them from researching ways of travelling from point A to point B faster than light, by various workarounds.

Dafuq?!!

 

Current theory says that nothing can't exceed the speed of light, because it's impossible - information transferring faster than light means travel in time. No workarounds can, even theoretically, help here, period.

 

What the scientists do (without any success, I have to add) is trying to find data to disprove current theory. That's not "researching ways to travel faster than light, using workarounds", it's "finding a way to run an experiment that demonstrates, that current theory is wrong". No "workarounds" involved.

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