EVE: CCP on Burn Jita

Overall fantastic write-up about Burn Jita from CCP. For all you budding MMO bloggers out there (sarcasm = traffic), read up before you write something silly like 100+ players fighting it out without lag is ‘technically impossible’.

More about EVE itself later today, but this deserves its own post.

About SynCaine

Former hardcore raider turned casual gamer.
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41 Responses to EVE: CCP on Burn Jita

  1. spacepilot says:

    Nothing against EVE, but it is ‘technically impossible’ unless your background is low-load space textures that are basically black with an occasional nebula or star dot.

    EVE’s ships look great, I daresay the game is one of the benchmarks for MMO graphics now, but let’s compare apples to apples. Space environments don’t merit the same resources as terrestrial environments.

    • SynCaine says:

      Yea… graphics have nothing to do with lag.

      • thade says:

        Actually, yes they do. While a few of us have massive systems that are not the bottleneck, Average Joe and his budget Dell “gaming system” very often results in local lag (and complaints about the “server” which are unfounded).

        Not to dismiss CCP’s time dilation or their general approach to massive scale battles, it’s a very cool (and effective) idea. But there are two kinds of lag there. There’s latency – which is well addressed by “time dilation” and reducing the amount of data sent from client(s) to server to client(s) – and there’s local bottle-necking, where an individuals system can’t handle what the server is feeding it. “Lag” is a catchall phrase and while it initially meant latency, it no longer does exclusively. Sometimes it simply means “barely makes the minimum system requirements and displaces blame elsewhere.”

        Blame whatever player-base you want for that bit of terminology butchering. Personally I blame the Quake crowd from the late 90s.

        • Rammstein says:

          A. TiDi is just the cherry on top of the sundae that is Eve’s vast server/programming superiority for large scale zone user concurrency.

          B. Why did you take hundreds of words to say “It would have been more clear to the uninformed one to say “server lag”, not just “lag”. ” ? Ironically, it’s as if your reply was itself laggy.

        • Dex says:

          Also, Learn Sarcasm, Mr. Fellow man. Ofcourse Graphics cause lagginess, that’s what the original comment kind of ignored (Derp, EVE has some of the best MMO Graphics, but doesn’t have the lag problem other MMOs have because of the lack of Graphics. lulzwut?)

        • adam says:

          I’m not sure I agree about local bottlenecking. Obviously, graphics are entirely client side. I’m far from an expert, but from what I understand, the server sends positioning and activity info to the client which the client then renders into human readable form (graphics) and the client sends back its own activity info to the server which correlates/authenticates that info with/against everyone else’s. Depending on the network code, the server may be required to block until it receives certain info from the client, but this isn’t necessarily just a question of what the client system is capable of (producing outgoing information in a timely matter) but also a question of how good its connection to the server is (latency, obviously) in sending that information.

          My point is that I’m just not convinced that EVE would allow one client to drag down all others–we’re not talking about a shooter with 16 players here. I’d imagine EVE just drops player requests that are lagging behind–hence the implementation of TiDi.

          WoW’s graphical requirements are no higher than EVE’s are these days and I’d bet there’s no way a WoW server could handle more than about 1500 people in one zone before it started choking and sputtering.

        • thade says:

          It’s not just positioning data, though, right? It’s also appearance (what ship are you in, probably a single number identifier), orientation; numeric data like damage/healz, relative velocity, angular velocity, rotational velocity, range; corp, ship, and player name; etc. etc.

          So, consider an EVE battle with like 1000+ ships in it; your UI not only needs to draw all of those ships but needs to draw shots (and “heally beams”) from one to others, as well as display numeric data (damage, range, velocity, relative velocity, angular velocity, corp, ship, player name…this is EVE we’re talking about) and that stuff adds up. It’s not just getting the data to you that’s a concern; the client needs to render all of it themselves. Given the info, that’s all on their systems to do.

    • Rammstein says:

      I get the feeling that even if CCP undertook to stage a 2000 person spaceship battle set against a calming background of low-quality cartooney red clay buildings and naked dancing elves, solely to prove to you that your incoherent and irrelevant objections were meaningless, you’d still be unconvinced.

      Let me guess, Wow’s small bank limits, which they had to get around with the odd void storage, as compared to Eve’s inventory system where you can have literally millions of items in your various hangars, is because comparing goblin bankers to hangars in stations is apples to oranges, too? or comparing Eve’s nearly bulletproof server uptime, where you almost never see instance or mail servers go down, as compared to various fantasy MMO’s which have a broad spectrum of server reliability, that’s another apples to oranges comparison, where the more magical the fantasy setting, the more often the magic gets loose and takes the server down in a thaumaturgic overload, right?

      I hope you’re trolling, sir.

      • thade says:

        Funny story. You used more words than I did.

        • Rammstein says:

          Yes, but we were neither talking to the same person, nor saying the same thing. Perhaps you failed to notice this.

      • spacepilot says:

        What you failed to notice in your pseudo-intellectual masturbatory exercise masquerading as an informative reply is that I’m a fan of EVE. Call me uninformed if you like, but get back to me when CCP stages 2000 player battles with something other than spaceships.

        Maybe World of Darkness avatars?

        I’ll wait.

        • thade says:

          Did you read CCP’s blog post? Or any of the three linked that explain their rationale behind TiDi (as Syncaine is calling it here)?

          It does not appear that you did; hence I got a lil’ didactic on you. I’m guessing you get that a lot, hence your trololol responses.

          TL;DR: Go read the posts you be slammin’ on.

        • Rammstein says:

          Hey look, the troll knows how to use an ad hominem fallacy.

        • spacepilot says:

          You do?

        • adam says:

          Please explain what the fact that they are spaceships and not elves and dwarves has to do with anything.

  2. thade says:

    The original comment I wanted to leave here: I really liked that article. I general I like CCP’s approach to PR, where they will freely display metrics and no-punches-pulled explanations of events and the state of things. It lacks sensationalism (see: Mythic’s vlog spin campaign for WAR) and is packed full of data and graphs. I honestly wish more companies would adopt such a stance.

  3. Sparklight says:

    Call it “lag” or “Time Dilation”, but in the end, the result is the same: when lots of people get together, everything moves verrry slowly.

    • SynCaine says:

      So given the option, you would rather lag in GW2 than have TiDI kick in for 2k player battles?

      Assuming, of course, the player cap was raised from 300 per instance to 2k.

      • Sparklight says:

        Given the option, I would rather have a truly lag-free game, where 100% of the population can gather in the same zone to have a free-for-all fight and the performance will still be the same as during 1-on-1 combat.

        Failing that, I’d rather have realistic expectations than exaggerated hype. “EVE’s TiDi ensures that the game remains stable and playable during large-scale combat even despite the slowdown” is a praiseworthy achievement. “EVE is the only MMORPG completely without lag” veers into unhealthy Jesus-MMO propaganda territory.

  4. thade says:

    “Lag” is becoming a non-word…and your usage there is perpetuating that. :P

    Time dilation is enforced lag, but it’s not latency and it helps ease local bottlenecks on Average Joe’s Inadequate Dell Inspiron. Imposing slow down is very different than suffering latency…the latter results in shots being missed that you shouldn’t miss, effects not lasting as long as they should or not having an effect at all, etc. CCP had a very solid post explaining time dilation…in fact it and several others are linked in the CCP post that Syncaine links here.

    Appreciate it or not, it’s a remarkable system; it’s one of the few right now that allows truly massive scale multi-player battles, and possibly the only one that does it in an effective way.

  5. Teer says:

    I’m unclear….so lag with all of the other MMO’s on the market when you have hundreds on screen is because the other MMO coders suck and the developers of Eve don’t? Or is it because the servers that are used to run Eve are good and the other servers are not? Or the other games should use time dilation?

    Sigh…….

    • SynCaine says:

      Yes
      Yup
      Correct.

      Hope that clears things up for you.

      • Rammstein says:

        I’d go with “Largely true, Obviously 100% true, and Depends”, but I can see you don’t want to confuse the poor chap.

    • There is lag and there is lag.

      There is lag on your own system as it struggles to display things. This is an issue that is a bigger problem for WoW than EVE. A couple hundred articulated 3D humanoids wearing different armor, swinging swords and casting spells is arguably harder to render on your system than a couple thousand spaceships, most of which are out of visual range, and which have fairly static models. A Drake is a Drake, and I cannot put bunny ears on mine no matter how much I want to.

      Then there is lag on the server, which has to keep track of everything. In that realm, a couple hundred humanoids swinging swords and casting spells are much easier to keep up with than a couple thousand spaceships shooting projectiles, for which the server must calculate trajectories and impacts. Every shot must be tracked and score. There was an excellent CCP article on how much lag missiles, which seem like the most simple weapons in the fleet, were causing.

      EVE wins because their problems are at the end they control. Yes, frame rates go down in big battles when drawing literally thousands of missiles in flight, but it is tracking the missiles that is their problem. They can solve that with more processing power, more efficient code, and tricks like TiDi.

      WoW loses because they have to depend on your system for rendering the battle. Even if they were more efficient than CCP in back end code (something I am not asserting), they still get killed with bad frame rates because they have to work with the lowest common denominator when it comes to player CPUs.

      • Teer says:

        Thanks and of course. There is only so much that one can do to improve rendering in a remote environment. There is no magical “coding bullet” nor are there faster servers beyond some point. To assert that CCP has invented some super amazing code or that they are running some uber servers is silly. The characteristics of the game determine what you can render downstream. If you have to render/process/display you have limits to how fast you can do it. The more you have to render/process/display the slower it goes. Code can help, servers can help, etc.

        • Rammstein says:

          “There is no magical “coding bullet” nor are there faster servers beyond some point. To assert that CCP has invented some super amazing code or that they are running some uber servers is silly. ”

          You can call it silly if you wish. I will continue to assert it, however, because the articles I have read detailing CCP’s use of pioneering network design and military-spec servers , which other MMO companies do not use, are much more convincing than your apparently baseless accusations.

        • Teer says:

          Yep, yep. Rumor suggests that they run clustered blade servers and ssd’s and python…..state of the art stuff on military grade hardware, indeed.

          Again, the characteristics of what you exchange limits how fast you can render. We render full motion video in real time. Its very, very hardware and network dependent. There are not a lot of “coding tricks” that haven’t been identified and in used in the remote environment and servers and network technology are very well understood and hammered out at this point.

          I’d gently suggest that Eve’s fairly small client base and the information they transfer enable them to have pitched battles among thousands of players.

          I’ll also suggest that their financial state probably does not allow them to run the really high end stuff that the video rendering studios run..but that’s a different business with a very different price point.

          You win!! Thanks for the discussion.

        • Rammstein says:

          What does rumor suggest CCP’s competitors use? What alternative explanation do you offer for the observed fact that other MMO’s run less well with even moderate concurrency? Your comparisons to full motion video rendering studios are academically interesting, but who besides you is comparing the performance of EVE to full motion video renderers? You seem to be admitting yourself that your entire line of argument is irrelevant — “I’ll also suggest that their financial state probably does not allow them to run the really high end stuff that the video rendering studios run..but that’s a different business with a very different price point. ”

          “You win!! Thanks for the discussion.”

          We never had a discussion, because you never said anything resembling either a coherent theory as to why EVE runs better than other MMO’s with a similar number of users, nor a denial that this set of affairs was in fact true. Absent either, your collection of facts about video rendering studios and rumors about CCP’s hardware does not constitute a side of a discussion.

          “I’d gently suggest that Eve’s fairly small client base and the information they transfer enable them to have pitched battles among thousands of players. ”

          They have larger battles, because they are poor and have less users. Ok, got it, thanks for your theory.

      • Rammstein says:

        Your description makes some other MMO’s look much less stupid than they actually are. In a raid in WoW, for example, even with only 24 other players the clients are sending each other tons of data, and every player has 30 different private mods all sending each other tons of data, overloading their net connections and computers with tons of useless shit. Other fantasy MMO’s with more reasonable client-client data rates but better graphics perform better in ping and fps, in my experience.

        • Teer says:

          I’ll boil it down for you….They use the same general servers as their competitors and run the same networks, but transfer less information per “transaction”.

          Thats my “theory” and almost certainly the practice. If you want to believe magical coding is done and run on “military grade hardware” networked in some new method, wonderful.

          The full motion rendering people have done this for years….honest.

        • wloire says:

          One issue with your assessment is assuming CCP runs the “same general servers” as their competitors.

        • Rammstein says:

          You are arguing by assertion,Teer. Your conclusion = your assumptions, therefore you haven’t actually said anything.

          “If you want to believe magical coding is done and run on “military grade hardware” networked in some new method, wonderful.”

          It’s not a matter of ‘magical coding’ and ‘new methods’. Have you ever been in the real world? Like, say, have you ever gone out to eat in a restaurant? Some restaurants are better than others. Is this because some restaurants have ‘magical recipes’ and ‘new secret cooking techniques’? Or do some restaurants just have competent motivated cooks who don’t screw basic shit up, and the same restaurants don’t cut corners on ingredients? Ding ding ding, we have a winner, it’s not your insane theory about magic and secret methods. Going on and on about your full motion rendering is really quite irrelevant to me and everyone else here, the only thing you need to understand the situation here is a tiny slice of common sense. Sadly, that’s not going to happen. Peace, dude.

        • Teer says:

          Rammstein, it’s not a restaurant….it’s moving data across the Internet from servers to clients. You are saying Eve runs on “military grade servers” with “pioneering network design”. I’ve pointed out that they use python running on blade servers with some ssds. That’s pretty generic stuff. I’ve suggested that the reason they are able to handle lots of clients is because they move less data per transaction than lots of other games. I point out that full motion video houses have worked this out over the years because they move orders of magnitude more data. I’ve implied that this type of data movement is well established and the technology is understood by almost everyone who moves data.

          Maybe CCP has done something unique and amazing. My suspicion is that they have not. Do I know that? Nope, but it’s a lot more likely than than something magical developed in isolation by one small MMO developer.

  6. mmhuth@gmail.com says:

    Indeed, it does.
    Thanks.

    Could you perhaps be a bit more clear for me…and tell me what it is that the coders do and which servers they run?

    We run huge video servers and I’m always looking for ways to improve performance!!

    Thanks in advance!!

  7. Teer says:

    Thanks, I’ll use our “beefiest” hardware and install TiDi right soon now….I’ll also email our friends at Blizzard to do the same. Clueless noobs, those fellas at blizzard….

    Blog away, my friend.

    • Rammstein says:

      Blatant and unapologetic straw man troll. No one’s calling Blizzard clueless noobs. Although they are slowly moving their sights down towards the lowest common denominator, even if they reach the bottom they still won’t be clueless noobs, although they also won’t be what they once were.

  8. Serpentine Logic says:

    This thread /o\

  9. Bristal says:

    Ask some random 10 year-olds to draw a few pictures of 5 spaceships fighting in space. Then ask them to draw a few pictures of 5 human shaped creatures fighting with swords and magic among trees and a ruined castle.

    Which is more likely to be recognizable? One is clearly less complex than the other. There is a reason boys like to draw spaceships and military vehicles, but it takes an artist to draw life in motion.

    If CCP truly had some magic bullet that they were keeping secret just for their little MMO and not leveraging it to make bank and transform the industry, wouldn’t that that be inane?

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