[06.05] Update on Server Performance: Issue Identified and Temporary Solution Deployed

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    • [06.05] Update on Server Performance: Issue Identified and Temporary Solution Deployed

      Hi everyone,

      I promised to keep you informed regarding server performance in preparation for the next reset day. We’ve been hard at work and finally I have some really good news to report:

      We’ve been able to find the cause for the abominable combat performance in large fights and have already rolled out a temporary workaround last friday which massively improved the situation over the weekend!

      While we’re not happy with this workaround as a long term solution (see below), we’re confident that fights are already be significantly better and you should be able to fight more smoothly than ever before. Happy zerging!


      Robin “Eltharyon” Henkys
      Game Director


      The long story

      For everyone who wants to know a bit more, here are the details:

      Last week we invested a lot of time to set up our very own “large-battle-testlab” in our office. To recreate the conditions the servers experienced under stress, we simulated hundreds of players fighting each other with all kinds of different spells, mounts and equipment at the same time in the same cluster. To our confusion, we simply could not reproduce the issues we’d been having on the live systems. Fights with 300 simulated players were running flawlessly, while fights with far fewer players were having trouble on the live systems.

      To double check our results, we tested the same simulation on a computer in the datacenter and behold: the lag problems were occuring just as they were in the live game.

      With that began a tedious process of elimination, in which we went through the differences of our setup one by one to identify which component could be the cause of the slowdown.

      Eventually we found it: a bug in our networking technology caused by the fact that we’d outfitted the live servers with multi-CPU systems (not to be confused with multi-core systems!) in preparation for the Free 2 Play launch of Albion. These multi-cpu systems were performing far worse under pressure than a single cpu system, so our short term solution was simply to deactivate the additional cpus on these machines.

      Even with a single CPU active performance is far better than it was before, but for obvious reasons this is not a satisfactory long-term solution, as it means that a significant portion of our server investment is now sitting idle. We’re now in the process of debugging and fixing the network code with our technology partners and are looking forward to put these issues behind us and re-focus on future features and other performance improvements!
    • round 2. fix AH lag.
      round 3. fix city lag.

      @Eltharyon, i believe the fps lag originates from the tags, especially the hp bars.

      just do this experiment:
      go to caerleon realm gate with at least 200 people in it.
      move your direwolf (it has to be direwolf or another fast mount) around with all tags disabled. result: average ~30 fps with acceptable stutters.
      now this time move your wolf around with only character names enabled or only with hp bars enabled or all enabled. all results: 1 to 30 fps with unacceptable number of stutters (orange\red milliseconds of /fps command.)

      The post was edited 1 time, last by solventh ().

    • solventh wrote:

      round 2. fix AH lag.
      Already on it. New scale of things revealed some performance bottlenecks, but our coders already have some ideas on what to improve.


      solventh wrote:

      round 3. fix city lag.
      Also working on it, we know that nametags have a pretty high overhead, unfortunately they're quite important. Client performance will get more focus once we're through with server.
    • Eltharyon wrote:

      solventh wrote:

      round 2. fix AH lag.
      Already on it. New scale of things revealed some performance bottlenecks, but our coders already have some ideas on what to improve.

      solventh wrote:

      round 3. fix city lag.
      Also working on it, we know that nametags have a pretty high overhead, unfortunately they're quite important. Client performance will get more focus once we're through with server.
      i still dont understand why you dont add quickly selectable "settings profiles" for cities (by keyboard) for temporary fix. it has always been a problem since the release. i m like sure most of the players would prefer the overpopulated city zones with no performance drop. or you can just add a settings option (named as "disable all tags within city zones") so these people would get rid of the problem temporarily "by their choice."

      they dont need to see all the people around with tags and all the stutters, at least temporarily.

      now, some may advice to just go click settings button and disable all the tags etc. "that is not practical."
    • RoyalAhole wrote:

      Next step, fix the lag and connection issues in general. The game is almost unplayable for EU ppl...it just keeps stuttering and players are porting around.
      Before the f2p launch I had 80-120 ping tops...now it rarely goes bellow 240, that's way too much for this type of game.
      Dude, don't speak for everyone in EU please. Everything is fine for me and my friends for example. Better check you connection and hardware.
    • Albanian wrote:

      RoyalAhole wrote:

      Next step, fix the lag and connection issues in general. The game is almost unplayable for EU ppl...it just keeps stuttering and players are porting around.
      Before the f2p launch I had 80-120 ping tops...now it rarely goes bellow 240, that's way too much for this type of game.
      Dude, don't speak for everyone in EU please. Everything is fine for me and my friends for example. Better check you connection and hardware.
      Agreed. East EU here and it works ok. The cities are a bit laggy though thats to be expected(i got 10MB bandwidth or something, and running the game in 2k res), but the game overall runs smooth, i had no issues.