Update on Server Issues and Compensation

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  • Bercilak schrieb:

    Hi all,

    in this post we will give you a breakdown of the current server issues and how we are going to address them.

    In general, the underlying reason for the server issues is that the number of players we are seeing since launch has far far exceeded all of our forecasts. To give you an idea, our number of online users since launch has often exceeded those of EVE Online. This came as a total surprise to us, in particular taking into account that in Eve a part of the online users are afk and another part is on free 2 play accounts.

    Due to being a single shard game, meaning that everybody is part of the same game world, we face some unique challenges to adjust to the new situation. Having said that, we are very confident that all of the issues we currently have can be fixed, and it won't be long before we see significant improvements.

    1) Specific zones being overcrowded

    Problem: There is a hard technical limit to how many players can be in a single zone, and this limit does not depend on the type of hardware used. It has to do with the fact that the information the server has to processes grows exponentially with player numbers. Many of you will know the wheat and chessboard problem, it's similar to that. This can not be overcome by better hardware (we already use the best available) or more servers, as the amount of information stays the same. (to use a poor analogy: if you traveled back in time 20 years with a copy of Overwatch, you could not run it, even if you used the combined power of 1.000 PCs from back then)

    Solution: The short term solution is splitting overcrowded areas into multiple smaller ones, similar to how we have put the market and bank in Caerleon into their own mini-zones. The mid term solution is to have an instancing system for the market place of towns (i.e. only the center, and only for NPC buildings there) while leaving all the player made buildings in cities strictly non-instanced. In essence, the end result would be a much cleaner, better looking and more scalable overcrowded mode.

    2) Lag in large scale fights

    Problem: There is a hard technical limit to how many players can take part in a single fight without lag happening, in particular given that Albion's combat system is quite action based, with lots of things happening and spells being cast at the same time. No game in the world can exceed this limit, and how high it is largely depends on how fast paced and varied your combat is.

    Solution: Our combat performance in itself has not yet hit the hard technical limit. Through optimizations, we expect to push up the number of players who can take part in a fight without serious lag. Having said that, such a limit will always exist, again, having to do with the fact that information to be processed grows exponentially with player numbers. The solution to this problem is a strategy that we are already using successfully: we need to make sure that there are enough valid PvP targets at any point of time such that it is not economically worth it to send all your players to 1 spot (as they'd have to split the reward between them). In particular, this means that PvP objectives such as castles, chests, world bosses, etc will happen more often, and the times at which they happen will be more synchronized across the different Outland and royal regions.


    3) Server reboots

    Problem: Our main database is based on Apache Cassandra, designed to handle tons and tons of data in real time. It generally runs smoothly, and even at peak hours, only uses around 20% of its capacity. However, in irregular intervals, we are seeing spikes that last for a few minutes, and that then cause the current blackscreen and de-sync issues between individual zones and the main database, forcing us to reboot the servers.

    Solution: We have now established a direct contact with Apache Cassandra developers in order to identify and fix the current database issue. In principle, the database is more than able to cope, we just have to find out what's causing the current problems on a technical level.


    4) Compensation

    Many of you are rightfully upset and angry about the server issues post-launch. We would like to apologize for this and can assure you that everybody in our team is fully dedicated to fix them as soon as possible - our consumption of coffee certainly has increased by a factor of 10, and we have already signed up our lead programmers for the cast of the next season of The Walking Dead as they'd be able to play the zombie roles without needing any make-up. Joking aside: Everybody who has played since release will be compensated with an additional 7 days of premium time. In the unlikely case that we do not improve the server situation over the next 2 weeks, additional compensation will be awarded.

    Thanks for your patience and ongoing support!


    Truly a blessing to have such a good group working on ultima online 2017 aka Albion Online... UO is dead, long live AO!

  • vortech. Give me a break. Be happy they offered anything.

    20 something entitled millenial hipster.

    They were unable to forsee this issue. More people logging in now then any of the betas.

    How can guys be so rough and act lime these guys are failing when theyhave acknowledged the problem, and are attempting to fix it.

    Nothing shows your lack of mmo / networking knowledge more then screaming......its been 7 days.

    These fixes take time to fi d the root cause, and work on it. Any o e over 40 knows whats up.... under 40.....i see a lot of stomping feet and hands out.
    Blame the smart phone for typo's.

    Dieser Beitrag wurde bereits 1 mal editiert, zuletzt von Kaosfury ()

  • Make an instanced bank and auction house in all cities, just like you did in Caerleon. Decrease the amount of time you can be afk before the server kicks you out. Let players be able to teleport from their personal island, straight to the bank or auction house. Right now, you have to go to Caerleon, then your island, then back to Caerleon, then into the bank or auction house.
  • Just make sure we don't loose anymore of our gold or get put in pvp areas when this game comes back on line!


    Actually would rather have a start over from beginning then 7days of extra premium, at least than those that lost gold due to this nonsense will get it all back! We probably should have stayed in Beta a little longer.

    Dieser Beitrag wurde bereits 2 mal editiert, zuletzt von Wit ()

  • Thanks for the information and transparency Bercilak. Knowing whats going on, the underlying problems, and what the devs are doing to fix the issues keeps players returning. It shows you care about our concerns and what is happening with your game. The compensation won't make everyone happy, but it is nice to have and makes up somewhat for the situation the game is in.

    Love the game :) Keep up the good work and good luck on fixing the issues.
  • @Bercilak 7 days premium compensation really is that enough.. I would suggest creating a mountreward for players who have stuck thru this intense lagfest blackscreens and where are your limits nonsense. We all know there are donkeys ingame but what about a mount that represent how us player and YOU ofc the devs feel right now. This comes to my mind.


  • Kest schrieb:

    Bercilak schrieb:

    1) Specific zones being overcrowded

    Problem: There is a hard technical limit to how many players can be in a single zone, and this limit does not depend on the type of hardware used. It has to do with the fact that the information the server has to processes grows exponentially with player numbers. Many of you will know the wheat and chessboard problem, it's similar to that. This can not be overcome by better hardware (we already use the best available) or more servers, as the amount of information stays the same. (to use a poor analogy: if you traveled back in time 20 years with a copy of Overwatch, you could not run it, even if you used the combined power of 1.000 PCs from back then)

    Solution: The short term solution is splitting overcrowded areas into multiple smaller ones, similar to how we have put the market and bank in Caerleon into their own mini-zones. The mid term solution is to have an instancing system for the market place of towns (i.e. only the center, and only for NPC buildings there) while leaving all the player made buildings in cities strictly non-instanced. In essence, the end result would be a much cleaner, better looking and more scalable overcrowded mode.

    Berc,


    On a non-technical level, is there any concern that this is too simple of an approach? EVE's game world is far larger than Albion. You're ultimately trying to fit a population larger than EVE into an extremely small environment, which forces players to form giant alliances. There's no upside to abandoning a zerg.

    I have concerns that increasing spawn times, creating new spawns, increasing resource spawns...these are all knee-jerk reactions that could have unintended consequences. The problem - it seems - is that you need the player-base to spread out, generally speaking. But, the game-world does not provide the resources (generally speaking) to accomplish that. So the options are:

    A. Create a second server (preferably in Europe to help the poor fellows with the latency).
    B. Double the size of the game world. Create new cities with markets, more BZ territory, etc. Give us more options so that we can disperse the load on your servers.


    So I guess my question is: Are you honest enough to give us a hard truth? Is the long-term A or B or neither? How long will it take to implement A or B if you decide to go that route.

    On a positive note, I would like to congratulate you on your success. Though this temporary set-back may be around longer than we would like, fundamentally this game is sound and I have not enjoyed myself this much since my days in Ultima Online, SWG, DAoC, etc.
    I agree with this as well. I think most of us would like maybe some long term discussion like growing the world to fit its population. I mean, even if you lose people which is pretty normal in an MMO anytime you ever have new content patches or even expansions people will come back to see the new stuff and the world is still going to be too small for the people who want to enjoy the game. A bigger world would allow for more people and also let the gatherers find a cozy spot in the world without feeling like there are people everywhere.
  • Honestly i was hoping you wouldn't give us compensation, I just look forward to seeing the server online and stable all launches have a rocky start of some sort. Have yous considered the fact people trying to duplicate items could be the issue in regards to the server issues and black screens ? I say this because this situation looks very familiar to another game i have played which had a lot of dupers what caused the servers to do very similar things.
    You can find me on Youtube & Twitch.tv :thumbsup:
  • The sort of lag that's happening during big fights is not simply a scaling issue, the sort of teleportation that's happening is indicative of really bad programming logic. You trust the client, you should never trust the client.
    There have been reports of people exploiting and teleporting to nodes to gather, now we know they are credible because you actually trust the client.

    Furthermore, while it is true that there are exponentials to deal with when scaling for players, usually they are very weak exponentials that scale alright to 100-200 players - your servers do not, and if hardware is not a problem as you say, you should look at your hires.
  • I played many MMOs during their launch period and I think that Albion's team is trying to be as transparent and informing as possible - I think I have never seen better and more detailed information on issues in other games.

    I am confident you will be able to fix the issues within the next weeks - still I agree with those players who obviously lost quite a lot of money / silver / progress due to server de-sync issues that it should have priority to make sure that no one loses game progress due to these issues.

    As long as everyone has to take another 40 minute break I can deal with it.
  • Just like any good company, change things on the fly and create a NEW shard for new people and those that want to start over on a less crowded world. It will solve all problems other than buying new equipment... Game is a success... Adapt! get a new shard going.

    And connect those sharts together eventually from some gateway, so it will be still full world.
  • Bercilak schrieb:

    1) Specific zones being overcrowded

    Problem: There is a hard technical limit to how many players can be in a single zone, and this limit does not depend on the type of hardware used. It has to do with the fact that the information the server has to processes grows exponentially with player numbers. Many of you will know the wheat and chessboard problem, it's similar to that. This can not be overcome by better hardware (we already use the best available) or more servers, as the amount of information stays the same. (to use a poor analogy: if you traveled back in time 20 years with a copy of Overwatch, you could not run it, even if you used the combined power of 1.000 PCs from back then)

    Solution: The short term solution is splitting overcrowded areas into multiple smaller ones, similar to how we have put the market and bank in Caerleon into their own mini-zones. The mid term solution is to have an instancing system for the market place of towns (i.e. only the center, and only for NPC buildings there) while leaving all the player made buildings in cities strictly non-instanced. In essence, the end result would be a much cleaner, better looking and more scalable overcrowded mode.
    You mention a short term and mid term solution. Does this mean a long term solution is being considered?