Update on Server Issues and Compensation

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  • I am really pleased to see a game such as Albion find the success that EVE has seen. There is plenty of room in this genre of full loot sandbox MMO that surely there should be more than one competitor to EVE.

    On another point, with that success I think it is pretty obvious that the game world is far too small. The zerg is exponentially more powerful due to this limited size of world. Albion without a doubt needs to increase the amount of Black Zones, and even Red Zones. I am a historian, and not a game designer so I by no means claim to know how to do your job. However, I did play EVE for 10-years and I feel like I can shed some light on this subject. Here are three major problems that I see right now with the map design of Albion with our current population.

    1. Issue: Entry into the Black Zone is too linear.

    As it stands, there are only a few ways into each continent in the Black Zone. This has to change, it only takes a small percentage of these massive alliances/guilds to camp a portal and keep it on lock down. I even spoke to someone from one of these alliances doing such a thing and he said they have it locked down 24/7. You can't even get through during the EUTZ reliably. I have only managed to get in and out the BZ (mind you I am in a 5 person tiny guild) by going during off hours (we're talking 11pm-1am PST) or right after the server comes up. This has to change.

    1. Solution: Create additional ways into the Black Zones.

    You guys have borrow some of the good idea's out EVE and I think it would be perfectly acceptable, and quite frankly smart to continue to do so. Add randomized portals that go into randomized area's of the black zones. Don't broadcast these on the map, instead, require people to go explore in the world and find these portals. These portals would be the equivalent of wormholes in EVE-Online. I'd even suggest that these portals should spawn in the Red Zone exclusively that way there is more incentive to go into the Red Zone aside from (mostly) hordes of people farming in absolute safety.

    Another idea is to go back to the beta idea of having land entry into the BZ. If we have ways to the BZ that are by land, portal, and randomized portal (or any two-part combination of those three) then this linear issue would be resolved.

    2. Issue: The game world is too small. EVE has 8,000 systems for a population similar to that of Albion. Albion has under 100 zones for a population similar to EVE's.

    This game is way too crowded. Fortunately that is a good problem to have, and given the way the maps seem to be designed in Albion presents a fix that may require more strategic thinking than time devoted to creating new art, zone design, etc. I already see tiles recycled by having them flipped around, do the same temporarily and add how many ever zones your metrics would indicate that would disperse the population more. When I finally do managed to get out into the Black Zone, I still see plenty of people in my corner of the world, despite traveling many tiles over from the portal and keeping off the road.

    2. Solution: Recycle/rotate pre-existing tiles and add more of every type of zone. There should be far more every type of zone. Create more tile diversity as time permits, but in the mean time we need a bigger sandbox, the sand is overflowing.

    I want to see people, but I don't want to see groups of 5+ while I am solo just trying to mind my own business. I am perfectly fine fighting, but in EVE I would find 1v1's far more common than I do in this game. When I do finally get 1v1's in this game, if they last too long friends of my enemy come quickly because of how close everything is. Spread the population out, we need dispersion. And even in a small guild where we can go out with 5, then the zerg scouts us and is able to have 10+ waiting for us. While I understand the owners of the BZ we're in will have advantages, given the small size of the world map, it's too easy for large groups to amass and control their territory with little risk to themselves.

    3. Issue: Trading routes no longer matter, the dispersion of Blue>Yellow>Red>Black is too linear

    In Albion you start mostly on the coastline and work your way inland towards the starter cities, these are all bluezones as you progress. Caerleon sits in the middle of Red Zones, but despite this being considered risky territory, I almost entirely feel safe in Red Zones. With hordes of people gathering, gankers are at a major disadvantage. AO Dev's, you may recall the YouTube video on the Home Page of your website titled, "Everybody Matters." The part of this video that inspired me to play was at this moment. I wanted to be those bandits disrupting trade routes and causing general havoc for other players. I don't see that a possibility with the game in its current state.

    3. Solution: We need more city hubs that are surrounded by a layer of blue>yellow>red zones. The Black Zones should also be expanded around the entire outer portion of the map, fully encompassing the center.

    Take a look at this map from EVE-Online, MAP

    The zones in red are nullsec (nullsec = black zones). Notice how it completely surrounds the core area of the game (high/low aka blue/yellow/red)? This is better map design. Make it so that in order to travel from one major city to another that you'd have to travel through multiple red zones. This will give people more incentive to actually dedicate to living in the red. On top of this, it will create amazing trade opportunities for players as they move items through area's that have higher risk, but a higher reward. Make traveling meaningful in Albion again.

    In addition to this, I really feel the Black Zones should be accessible by land and not through a portal. Create additional routes into the Black that are by land, by portal, and by randomized portal. With so many ways in, it becomes inefficient to camp the way in and would help foster a meta where alliances rely on scouts/intel rather than sheer domination of portals by force.

    Dieser Beitrag wurde bereits 3 mal editiert, zuletzt von Bizmarhk ()

  • We sold thousands of copies but didn't expect people that paid all that money to play the game...

    I would like to know why they went with this naive choice of portals to black zones and did not do it like EVE and make the central map safer and it gets less secure as you go outward. Why on earth any developers would make it so the whole population feels inclined to live in one place is beyond me.

    It's not really an MMO is it lets face it? Every town you go in to is overcrowded and you can't even see other players in the town let alone your friends.

    REALLY hope the devs can turn this around!

  • Thanks for giving some info for a change (after 10 days? or more), but start analyzing the problems and develop long term solutions. Heavy instancing in a PVP game might bring trouble, but for moment if it works, go for it. Using a buggy apache db backend, its not really the way to go and you had several stress tests so you cant use that excuse beside that the numbers are x10 more , but hopefully you will get somewhere... Do you remember what happens in EVE in Jita, then why haven't you avoided the same thing, Caerleon was very bad idea, reducing the territories and splitting the by ocean, again bad idea, and so on. Hopefully this time you will see it by yourself and you wont have to rely on our feedback which you mostly ignore (unless we are whales, bling! bling!), because the problems are quite obvious and i am not talking only about the servers.

    Thanks and hopefully you will get your act together in the next 2-3 months, or it will be a short lived game like Darkfall NU and many other cashgrabs. You made lots of money (most of them not really deserved, but we don't live in a perfect world), so props to you for that. Proves us wrong and invest some back :))) Even steam has a refund policy these days, you know?

    Good luck!
  • 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.


    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.
    This, i've not played the betas and only started at launch, but even i can tell the idea of Cearleon is a bad one, the world is flat out not large enough for the population. the Eu ping was bad enough but having to also play though massive choke points is just bad game design from a game that seemed to want a large open world with varying levels of pvp taking place, full loot pvp and trade routes among other things. a serious map redesign needs to be looked at, and soon.
  • Also i forgot an important thing to "remind" you. Communicating with your whales, i mean players, its important. Have one of window html boxes from the launcher communicate with the players. Instead of the edgy hipster trailer, now we could have a "A letter from the CEO" linking to your forum post, and everybody would know it, not having to search some forums or wondering if SI is completely incompetent and insane. Just a thought.

    Too much? Ok. I'll grab some coffee then.
  • Vortech schrieb:

    I'm not going to speculate here, but it seems something is fundamentally wrong. Be it due to a lack or foresight or a self-inflicted limitation, it's 2017. Everything should be made to scale, especially an MMO.
    You're speculating pretty hard. And acting as if you didn't read what the OP was about.
    The choice of Cassandra shows they've not exactly been oblivious in scaling problems foresights.
    I don't see any "self-inflicted" limitation.
  • As expected, since SI has always been great at this, nice communication and decisions about the lag/server/population issue.

    But personnally I'd like an even more pragmatic approach and reduce the number of informations, requests that goes through servers.

    For exemple, why do I need to change two time of zone to get to the market from my island? (and get blocked because carleon main zone is overcrowed). Or why does my caracter needs to be online, when the only thing I'm doing is using chat and mail?
  • Its still baffling me how they keep claiming they were taken totally unaware by the numbers of people playing. They knew they had sold 250K+ of founders packs before even taking the starter packs into consideration. It was blatantly obvious to everyone in beta that the game world size and the way the game was performing then was showing clearly that the game could not cope with anywhere near the numbers of founders packs that they had sold - and this was stated on many threads numerous times.

    The sad fact is that all we are getting off SBI is excuses - we don't want or need excuses, what we need is action taking - This game is now moving in to its third week and the problems are no better than they were on day three - the only reason they are easing slightly is because there are less people logging on not because of any 'magical' solutions by SBI

    This game in its current format simply cannot be what the developers claim it to be - a single world sandbox MMO. The world size and technical limitations prevent this.

    Sorry if this post comes across as harsh but people need to stop chasing unicorns and rainbows and realise that the reality of this game, enjoyable as it is when actually playable, cannot and will not ever deliver on what it had promised and we've just got to make do with what will be left in the aftermath
  • Best thing I've read on this forums, hands down. Finally (Hopefully?), I can stop reading all these flame-filled threads full of terrible low quality posts about how garbage SBI, this game, and everything else in the world is. Now, let's all have fun together and bitch less when we are forced to get out of our chair and use the restroom, or grab a water for 20 minutes. :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup:

    Edit: Never mind, read some more responses on the thread and now want to gauge my eyes out. I guess you can just never please some people...
  • This will probably be lost in the sea of replies and comments, but I just wanted to say it's really refreshing to see how transparent you guys are about the current issues. From my experience, most companies stay relatively quiet when facing these difficulties (just to name an example, Square Enix took a long time before issuing an statement about the rocky launch with their recent expansion). Seeing the Albion team communicate with their players is incredibly reassuring, and I hope you guys can sort it out without too much trouble.

    This is coming from someone who is just joining the game, and I didn't know much about the project or the team beforehand. Let me just say I'm pleasantly surprised, server issues aside. Keep up the good work :)
  • BeenJamminMon schrieb:

    Vortech schrieb:

    I'm not going to speculate here, but it seems something is fundamentally wrong. Be it due to a lack or foresight or a self-inflicted limitation, it's 2017. Everything should be made to scale, especially an MMO. As far as the compensation goes, I don't feel it's enough. Now, I've participated in worse launches and I appreciate what the devs have done and continue to do.. But many players have lost economical advantages, fallen off the fame curve, etc, due to these interruptions in service during prime time. @Bercilak this is your opportunity to do something big for the community, something we'll remember.. maybe something we can compare other MMOs to in the future and say.. "remember what SBI did for us after launch?". 7 days of premium? sorry, that doesn't even register.

    As I mentioned, I have participated in worse launches.. I appreciate the clear effort the developers and administrators have been putting in to provide us the world of Albion.
    I don't feel I personally need compensation at all however, I do feel like 7 days is NOT enough for most players who are extremely frustrated and are contemplating leaving the game due to the technical issues.. To be honest here, I fully believe that it would keep those players around if premium compensation was granted based on how long these issues have been happening/how long it will take for the issues to be resolved. As in - We've had these issues now for 2 weeks (those who have legendary that is) so compensate 14 days as of today. If the issues continue for 8 more days, give them 22 days of premium.

    Now I fully understand that this may be unrealistic from a business perspective of things as you guys need people purchasing premium for income to pay your development needs and all that.. However, due to the insane amount of people who have purchased the game and are playing, in which you stated by far exceeded your expectations and estimates, I am fairly certain you guys can afford to give players a lot more than just 7 days of premium. @Bercilak

    Like @Vortech stated above "This is your opportunity to do something big for the community.".
    You're both clearly morons. Tell me that the server has been down for MORE THAN 168 hours (7 days * 24 hours) EXCLUDING their 1 hour daily maintenance AND any third-party issues, which they seem to think it's not their problem for a majority of these down times. That being said, mathematically speaking their servers haven't even been down 10 HOURS if you exclude those 2 things that you signed in the Terms of Service. Take your 7 days and leave, that's about all I have left to say on the subject. You are ridiculous for crying for more. Not to mention, he even stated OP that there will be MORE compensation if shit continues to go wrong. How about you just ask him to give you max gear and unlimited Gold so you can cry when you die and lose it.

    They promised in the ToS that you will get at least 90% uptime.

    14 (days online, or offline as you'll cry) * 24 - 14 (daily maintenance) = 322 hours
    322 hours * 0.90 uptime = 289.8 hours of promised uptime

    Don't think the server has been offline for 32 hours bud.

    Each hour lost is $0.018, I can do the math for that too if you want. I'd say you lost no more than 10 hours play time here. That being said, I bet you can write on cardboard with a black marker "Poor millennial needs 1 quarter to make up for lost time on Albion."

    Good fight

    Dieser Beitrag wurde bereits 3 mal editiert, zuletzt von Speakmore () aus folgendem Grund: Had to add more equations for the children