llCastRay is a Linden Scripting Language (LSL) function. You may or may not know that SL guns rez and fling prim bullets. Rezzing prims produces lag. Rezzing prims with scripts causes even more lag. llCastRay is a replacement for that process. One may be able to develop weapons with less lag using llCastRay.
Details on the function are in the SL Wiki: llCastRay()
This function is now live in Sandbox Newcombe on the ADITI grid. I think it is active on any Mesh Enabled Region. Falcon Linden is offering a L$10,000 (AGNI L$) reward to the first person who can crash the Newcombe region using llCastRay. Whether llCastRay is the cause will be determined by the region’s simulator log. Before you get all excited about the reward, know the people attending the Beta Server meeting have a big head start on you.
This change will likely cause a ripple of changes in SL, especially with weapons makers and combat meter makers. So, if you are in the market for weapons, you may want to avoid purchasing expensive weapons.
Some swords also use prims in bullet like ways for their combat systems. So, you may want to carefully consider any sword purchases too.
It will be interesting to see if weapons makers adopt llCastRay. Enjoying combat games I am not at all sure any system limited to a single region is going to work. llCastRay does not reach across region boundaries, if I understand the wiki article.
Current sniper rifles can shoot across several regions. Moving battles sometime flow back and forth across region boundaries with combatants on both sides of a boundary. Fleeing victims often run across region boundaries in an attempt to escape. Using the current style of weapon that fires prim bullets that reach across the region boundary are effective. There are some boundary effects, but you can still reach out touch someone. WHAP!!! Right between the eyes!
So, I’m unsure how popular this function is going to be with weapons makers. Time will tell.
I am sure that the quality of weapons using the llCastRay function will depend on the programming skill of the weapon maker. The current weapons have been optimized over time as competitive weapons makers strive to build the best. Few secrets in weapons manufacture remain hidden. A new iteration will start and the best programmers will make the most efficient weapons and keep their tricks secret. Over time the efficient ways of making weapons will take over and the secrets will begin to leak out.