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Goombay

Suffocating The Growth of Atlas

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Posted (edited)

If you were to poll everyone to ever play Atlas and ask them what they think the most development time should be spent on, I'm very confident server and client performance would be #1 by a large margin. 

Let me preface this with saying I have absolutely 0 knowledge about coding or game engines or networking. I'm nothing more than someone testing your game providing the best feedback I can. I've spent *thousands* of dollars trying to build a system able to play the game smoothly, largely to no avail. I'm currently running an i7 8700k @ 4.8, 2080TI Founders Edition, and 16 gigs of ram @ 3200mhz.

To be fair, I get 150fps out on the sea, especially in lawless servers. But the moment I approach a harbor or populated island, it drops to 20-30. Lower than I'd like, but I can live with that.

It's the server latency that kills. our alliance organized a raid on B11 last night, with the server population reaching 59 in the initial attack. My latency immediately jumped to over 200, but I don't think that fully reflects the quality of life reduction in-game. Changing inventory slots took 5-6 seconds. The delay after reloading a carbine approached 15 seconds. Players and tames warped and rubberbanded everywhere. Grenades took 20-30 seconds to detonate. Playing the game felt like I jumped in a hole full of a wet concrete mixture and tried to wade through it.

That was at 59 players in the grid, so I'm sure you can imagine what it was like when more than 70 were there. Eventually, the server completely crashed, which is not uncommon. The frustration of playing under these conditions would force any casual player to immediately quit.

This game has INCREDIBLE potential with large-scale PVP. The mix of ground and sea combat happening concurrently, extremely customizable defenses forcing attackers to create multi-faceted strategies to overcome them. It's something I've only experienced in Planetside, and I absolutely love the concept.

Most people I talk to simply say, this is how Ark was, and it was never fixed. I didn't play Ark. I refuse to believe this can't be fixed, or at least vastly improved. I appreciate all of the recent patch notes including optimizations and memory reductions, but they haven't made a dent. The lag from early days six months ago is very close to what we experienced last night.

Would it help to cap the number of structures allowed on each island? Are there plans to improve server hardware? I think the team needs to address this problem, and I don't mean to patronize with my suggestion below:

Developers, join a grid during wartime tonight. Attempt to play your game the same way we do, and think about your experience. Maybe you already do this, I don't know. I would happily pay $15/month in subscription fees if it allowed you to upgrade hardware or hire folks to take a look at it. 

Thanks for reading, and let's work together to make this happen.

 

 

Edited by Goombay
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Posted (edited)

Server/client performance is a HUGE knock on this game at the moment.  I am more forgiving having been around IT professionally for 20+ years and a gamer for even longer having tested games as far back as the late 1990's.  I also realize that many people are not like me and less forgiving of these issues.  I know enterprise class servers and networking fairly well having worked for a couple of the largest hosting companies in the world and it makes me wonder what they run hardware wise and how its configured.  Why do these servers seem so starved for CPU horsepower, IO and network bandwidth?  Is the software that poorly optimized?  Is the hardware ancient by modern IT standards?  Is the topology poorly implemented thus creating latency where little should exist?  Lot of questions and unfortunately we are presented with no answers in this regard. 

Edited by DocHolliday
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I have an assumption that its the UR4 engine. I have seen it do a lot of amazing things. Hosting more than 100 people in a successful way is not one of them.

A far, far, more talented dev team has been working on an mmorpg and suffering similar setbacks. I believe they had to stop thier progress and completly redo the net code to try a different tactic.

If I had to bet money, I would bet they will not be able to ever handle 100 people in a grid seamlessly. I do root for them to figure it out though.

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3 minutes ago, Chucksteak said:

I have an assumption that its the UR4 engine. I have seen it do a lot of amazing things. Hosting more than 100 people in a successful way is not one of them.

A far, far, more talented dev team has been working on an mmorpg and suffering similar setbacks. I believe they had to stop thier progress and completly redo the net code to try a different tactic.

If I had to bet money, I would bet they will not be able to ever handle 100 people in a grid seamlessly. I do root for them to figure it out though.

I hear a lot about it being due to the engine. All of this is speculation, and without any experience in that domain, I have no idea. Perhaps more frustrating than the in-game lag is the lack of communication in terms of future plans. If game engine issues mean it's not going to be fixed, I think the team is wasting a lot of time and resources putting band-aids on a gaping wound while a bunch of hopeful game testers wait around for improvements. That wouldn't be good for anyone.

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Posted (edited)

It's funny, but I remember back to allot of the original online games where lag was terrible when it came to large battles or even medium size ones.  Whats really sad is 20 years later allot of these newer games don't handle it much better.  Back in the day I always thought it was the limitations of a dial-up connection, but really whats the excuse these days where everything is a million times faster?  And to take it a bit further, if you know the limitations of a engine or net-code....why make a game that could never perform as advertised?

Edited by sgzeroone
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6 minutes ago, Goombay said:

I hear a lot about it being due to the engine. All of this is speculation, and without any experience in that domain, I have no idea. Perhaps more frustrating than the in-game lag is the lack of communication in terms of future plans. If game engine issues mean it's not going to be fixed, I think the team is wasting a lot of time and resources putting band-aids on a gaping wound while a bunch of hopeful game testers wait around for improvements. That wouldn't be good for anyone.

No, it wouldn't. I try to keep in mind that the only thing I know of that some of the devs worked on was Ark. I do not consider that a AAA title. It has never ran as well as it should have been able too, and that's with a 70 person max limit. 

You also have PUBG, witch ran like shit for many months in EA before they ironed it out. However the max players is 100, but we at least see a potential for 100 to work properly.

Fortnight, same thing.

Sea of thieves, super big server map, however I think only 20-50 people per server.

The irony being that GS wants this to be a Mega company only game, yet are 100% unable to deliver on this. 

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Posted (edited)
9 minutes ago, Chucksteak said:

No, it wouldn't. I try to keep in mind that the only thing I know of that some of the devs worked on was Ark. I do not consider that a AAA title. It has never ran as well as it should have been able too, and that's with a 70 person max limit. 

You also have PUBG, witch ran like shit for many months in EA before they ironed it out. However the max players is 100, but we at least see a potential for 100 to work properly.

Fortnight, same thing.

Sea of thieves, super big server map, however I think only 20-50 people per server.

The irony being that GS wants this to be a Mega company only game, yet are 100% unable to deliver on this. 

Those are good examples. I wouldn't say they want this to be a Mega-only game, as they have made many fundamental design changes to restrict mega companies and encourage smaller groups.

Whether folks want to admit it or not, the idea of massive battles in an MMO context is a huge draw for people. They promised 40k+ players on launch, and that brought a ton of people in. After participating in massive sea and land battles, it's why I play the game. With technology as advanced as it is and the way the game was marketed, I simply refuse to believe this game can't handle 30-50 people in a grid without it becoming unplayable. There's obviously something *very* wrong, and it's not improving. 

The question is: What's being done?

Edited by Goombay

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It's something we'll always be working to improve, and there will be a steady drop of changes coming throughout the Early Access period as you can never say 'enough' when it comes to both client and server performance. We made some networking changes last night, which were more tweaks to replication values that should result in increased server performance, especially in cases of large ship battles. It'll also open more ways in which we can save perf -- which is currently being investigated -- so hopefully, we can take it further in the coming weeks.

As for switching engine, there aren't any plans to do anything like that 🙂

 

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3 hours ago, sgzeroone said:

It's funny, but I remember back to allot 

Ms Wells would give you an F on this post for saying allot.

Then she would remind you it's two words in a voice dripping with sarcasm that implied every 3rd grader knew this without thinking about it.

Ms Wells was amazing but also scary as hell.

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31 minutes ago, Jatheish said:

It's something we'll always be working to improve, and there will be a steady drop of changes coming throughout the Early Access period as you can never say 'enough' when it comes to both client and server performance. We made some networking changes last night, which were more tweaks to replication values that should result in increased server performance, especially in cases of large ship battles. It'll also open more ways in which we can save perf -- which is currently being investigated -- so hopefully, we can take it further in the coming weeks.

As for switching engine, there aren't any plans to do anything like that 🙂

 

Thanks for the info Jat as this is something people always want to know about. 

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Posted (edited)

dualcore servers and no bandwidth 4 lyfe!

Edited by photek

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yea specially ships in a full harbor and a lot of tames in barns create really bad lag... almost on each raid no matter if you defend or attack some players think somebody ddos the server and others just quit cuz they see that the servers are shitty and they did not join pvp just to pve...

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12 hours ago, Jatheish said:

It's something we'll always be working to improve, and there will be a steady drop of changes coming throughout the Early Access period as you can never say 'enough' when it comes to both client and server performance. We made some networking changes last night, which were more tweaks to replication values that should result in increased server performance, especially in cases of large ship battles. It'll also open more ways in which we can save perf -- which is currently being investigated -- so hopefully, we can take it further in the coming weeks.

As for switching engine, there aren't any plans to do anything like that 🙂

 

The networking range changes seemed to make a big difference when loading in our harbor, great job and thanks for the reply!

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You guys have never taken part in an 'epic' battle in EvE online?

Oh you can click on a turret, and perhaps take the mrs for a meal out, pop in to the local supermarket on the way back, drop in to starbucks for a coffee...  Perhaps get home, mow both front and back lawns, wash the car, do some housework, and finally crack open a beer or 5, watch the trilogy of Lord of the Rings, slope back to your PC, and the turret is only 50% recharged after the first shot.  It's like the whole game is being directed by John Woo.  They call it time dilation, I call it a croque of shit.

I think it's a hurdle all MMO's suffer from, and the more complex, detailed the game is, the more it shows.  Atlas has so much customization when it comes to boats, everything has to be rendered.  I'm glad they're not going the 'croque of shit' route. lol  😄 

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Posted (edited)
18 hours ago, boomervoncannon said:

Thanks for the info Jat as this is something people always want to know about. 

I agree this is much appreciated it.  Sure its not at the level of detail I would love to see, but I understand that they probably will not disclose that kind of info.  Ever.  Most companies don't. 

 

Love me some Jat info.

 

EDIT: @Vorxius haha thats funny shit.  Eve does have a much larger playerbase to deal with so its understandable.  I don't think any game has ever done what they do in terms of size of battles and I don't know if anyone will replicate that in the next decade.  I'd love to tour their server farm. 

Largest battle I was ever in was around 1500 people.  Yeah it was slow, laggy and fun for awhile.  Thankfully our crew smashed the other side relatively quickly so the numbers dwindled and sped things up. 

Edited by DocHolliday

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6 hours ago, Vorxius said:

You guys have never taken part in an 'epic' battle in EvE online?

Oh you can click on a turret, and perhaps take the mrs for a meal out, pop in to the local supermarket on the way back, drop in to starbucks for a coffee...  Perhaps get home, mow both front and back lawns, wash the car, do some housework, and finally crack open a beer or 5, watch the trilogy of Lord of the Rings, slope back to your PC, and the turret is only 50% recharged after the first shot.  It's like the whole game is being directed by John Woo.  They call it time dilation, I call it a croque of shit.

I think it's a hurdle all MMO's suffer from, and the more complex, detailed the game is, the more it shows.  Atlas has so much customization when it comes to boats, everything has to be rendered.  I'm glad they're not going the 'croque of shit' route. lol  😄 

I don't think using a 16 year old game is a good example.   Eve online came out in the era of dial-up internet and their work around for large battle was time dilation.   It works, but Its a age old idea for a game that old as dirt and never really made large space battle any fun at all.

The problem with Atlas is its sitting of the shit coding and engine from Ark survival and probably wont get any better than it already is without a major overhaul or engine change...which lets be honest ...won't happen.

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really ideally would be best to look into removing alot of every tick and use more Parent to child BP less overhead and enforce rules on buildings would go for a long away.   like the biggest issue with server performance is mainly due to Pawn density and Buildings... Recently Conan exiles did a thing where they scrap the idea of trying to make every building pieces to be its own BP now they are all instanced based on a single BP.  madness i know.  but it was what they had to do 

you could also look into a possible upgrade to the latest engine 4.20 or 4.22 as you guys might have more bugs due to internal engine then you like... but that my guess and .02 cent suggestion.   

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