Quad tree searching of terrain is sooooo much faster.
Divx 5.1, MP3 audio, 1.1 MB, 15 seconds.
Here's the stats for this video:
400 Actors. 4000 face ground mesh. 1 calculated turn every 12 frames. Each calculation turn: 12 seconds. That time descends as Actors die and no longer evaluate. Final frame calc times were down to 6 seconds a piece. Rendering (not like it's anything great) with blue hemilight and orange sunlight with ray shadows (which I freaking love).
I know this doesn't look much different to you guys, but it represents a massive (ha!) speed increase. Bugs fixed are that actors no longer get stuck for no reason (maximum turn radius for some Actors was less than 0) and actors don't start randoming spinning nearly as often. They still do, but not as much as they were.
One thing left to do before I stick in the GUI (and I've had much help, so thanks to inciner8 and locash for the superfast help - you guys just saved me a weeks worth of work, at least). That one thing is that right now, when actors are trying to head up too much of a slope, they slow to a stop. I need to update things so that they alter their trajectory to run more parallel to the sloping area. Should be pretty simple.
Once I have the GUI put in, I'll make a package with my IPOCurve Blender build, a test .blend, and instructions for mysql and the mySQLdb Python hooks, so you all can play with it.