Thursday, 30 April 2009

And so, the winds of chaos have blown away.

So Mythic have apparently scrapped the Winds of Chaos 'fix' for laggy zones. If you haven't bothered to read up about it then don't worry. It basically came to... Too many people in zone = Random people get teleported to another zone.

Basically it was an utterly pants concept (learn from Ultima Online... They implemented the same when Trammel opened up and it wasn't popular then either, only it was called Telestorming) which deserved all the rage threads due to it being an absolutely pathetic idea to punish the players for the piss poor server performance. But hands up to Mythic and they all but admitted that yes.. It was a bad idea... And pulled it from the server that it was being tested on. Gz Mythic on listening. Negative Gz for actually thinking we'd be happy to see this implemented because of your fault.

So what could Mythic have done to prevent the lag and crash pits (we had a keep siege last week on Norn that crashed the server two or three times) that we have been suffering from. Well my immediate thought to the lag in the capital cities is "Well, aren't we really supposed to have a choice of which city we siege when the fortresses goes down?" But of course, we're still missing 2/3rds of the endgame with no sign that Mythic will implement it any time this year. Spreading the player base onto more zone servers would make sense as you could have a bunch of warbands attacking Altdorf and the others attacking the Elf city (forgotten name :( ), all these players would be on two different servers and not interfering with each other, instead we are cramming them onto one server which clearly can't take the load.

For fortresses you could have possibly split it into a couple of instances balanced over a couple of servers, but instead of it being a duplicate fort - which lets be honest, is just a glorified keep take - we could have two instances, one for building siege weapons and breaking down the walls into the keep and the other could be based on disrupting the enemy garrison/reinforcements (I'll leave the details to your imagination). In affect making them into large scenarios where the side that has the most points after an hour from the two will win the keep and the attackers can then assault the inner keep with minimal enemy defence or the defenders drive back the attackers resetting the campaign as it currently stands.

While having mass RvR is what the game is about is very clear that the game cannot handle this number of players in one zone. If you make new servers you risk spreading people about too thinly making it PvE. It's a tough balance. Worrying also when you realise just how many people will be packed into the tomb kings zone. If a fort or mass keep siege can get laggy, imagine what will be happening the first few days (weeks?) of Tomb Kings.

And here's a though to end it with.. Surely all these addons that use chat channels to communicate data must be causing a portion of it. 200 players all sending the status of a keep every 15 seconds or so must be contributing to server load, add in players DPS/HPS and anything else that gets communicated and I wonder how much of the lag is actually self inflicted...