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Please multi-thread the enhanced client

Discussion in 'UHall' started by Llewen, Feb 7, 2017.

  1. Llewen

    Llewen Grand Inquisitor
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    100% usage of one core. Bottleneck. Ridiculous for a client coded in the past ten years.

    That is all.
     
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  2. Llewen

    Llewen Grand Inquisitor
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    One thread to handle audio. One thread to handle networking. One thread to handle the loading of dynamic objects. One thread for window management. How special would that be?
     
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  3. elster

    elster Journeyman

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  4. Llewen

    Llewen Grand Inquisitor
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    That's not what Pinco says, and he's a software engineer.
     
  5. Thrakkar

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    That's not how it works.
    You need to sync threads, which basically means one thread is waiting for another.
    When a server packet with an update arrives (network), you want to have the graphics updated in sync and the sound should also play in sync.

    Depending on the achitecture of the client, this could very well mean to completely refactor the whole client. Basically starting from scratch in the worst case.
     
  6. Llewen

    Llewen Grand Inquisitor
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    Ya, that's one reason why they need a software engineer.
     
  7. elster

    elster Journeyman

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    They have software engineers....
     
  8. Llewen

    Llewen Grand Inquisitor
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    Not according to their website...
     
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  9. Llewen

    Llewen Grand Inquisitor
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    There's a difference between a coder, even a very experienced and talented coder, and a software engineer. A software engineer is a coder, but the inverse is not necessarily true.
     
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  10. Nexus

    Nexus Site Support
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    But is he talking about the client supporting software multi-threading or allowing hardware multi-threading? They are two different things.
     
  11. Llewen

    Llewen Grand Inquisitor
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    And the mess that both clients and the server software are in indicate that they could use some specialist help...
     
  12. Llewen

    Llewen Grand Inquisitor
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    Beats me. All I know is the enhanced client makes extremely poor use of multiple cores and the central processing, not graphics processing, is the bottleneck with it.
     
  13. Llewen

    Llewen Grand Inquisitor
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    Maybe Bleak or someone can sort out my extremely blurry understanding of the topic...
     
  14. Nexus

    Nexus Site Support
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    That sounds like you mean it doesn't support multiple cores, which isn't exactly multi-threading. Hardware Multi-threading deals more with how a core or cores in a CPU hand data. CPU's have up and down cycles, hardware multi-threading means the software instructs the CPU to process another stream of data on the down cycle. Now if they Client is only making use of a single core that might be more of a design choice where they were trying to keep system requirements as minimal as possible. While I know almost everyone is most likely on a multi-core CPU at this point, I'm wondering if they were building the EC with people on Windows ME in mind or not :p
     
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  15. elster

    elster Journeyman

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    I work full time as a SE. There is no one thing that turns a "coder" into a "software engineer". Job titles are mostly meaningless in this field. Someone who has title of developer will likely be doing the same sort of work another person labeled a software eng is doing for another organization. They have software engineers regardless of their exact job title. This super talented computer genius that you want to come in and fix everything is a myth.
     
  16. Llewen

    Llewen Grand Inquisitor
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    Thanks for bursting my bubble... ;)
     
  17. Llewen

    Llewen Grand Inquisitor
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    But I did think that the requirements to get a degree in "software engineering" were more rigorous than say getting certified in C++ or in a community college as a software developer. It's one thing to code mobile apps, it's quite another to work in machine language coding the software for the robotics in a factory, like someone I once knew did. They are both coders, but the latter is more than a coder, he's a software engineer.
     
  18. elster

    elster Journeyman

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    Well... yea. Formal education doesn't paint the entire picture, though. Someone can still be a software engineer without a degree. I have a degree from a 4 year university in CS with a specialty in SE and still say this. I'd imagine most of the devs have a CS or SE degree. It's not like the team needs some dude with a software engineering degree to come in and because he has this degree he can magically fix it. What your basically saying is "some people know more than others". Title still has nothing to do with this. Machine language/assembly and robotics is a specialty in a field, they will not be good at game dev just cause they do robotics, and I'd bet anything that the current dev team is way more qualified to work on the game than someone who is a specialist in machine language / robotics. There isn't exactly much overlap there.
     
    #18 elster, Feb 9, 2017
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2017
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  19. Lorddog

    Lorddog Crazed Zealot
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    AND ONE THREAD TO RULE THEM ALLLLLLLLLL
     
  20. Llewen

    Llewen Grand Inquisitor
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    I wanted to say that a few posts back...
     
  21. Thrakkar

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    Coder, software engineer, programmer, just different terms for the same thing.

    But usually there is a differentiation between junior SE, SE and senior SE.
    Junior SE is usually a coding monkey. ;) Needs a lots of guidance and help from more experienced and expertised colleagues. Usually they get rather detailed stories already broken down already into individual tasks. Probably some implementation hints as well. Technical and architectural decisions are made by someone else.
    An ordinary SE is well experienced and expertised: He's capable of implementing any story with just a rough concept outline, doing a task breakdown on his own. He should be able to do technical and architectural decisions mostly on his own, but might need help from a senior for certain problems.
    And a senior SE basically has an answer for everything ;) He's usually responsible for architecture, infrastructure and design decisions. Creating concepts, prototypes or proof of concepts, etc.
     
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  22. The Craftsman

    The Craftsman Slightly Crazed
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    Most boring thread in UHall ever .:next:
     
  23. Llewen

    Llewen Grand Inquisitor
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    Thanks Thrakkar, that makes sense and clarifies things.
     
  24. BeaIank

    BeaIank Babbling Loonie
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    Also, I am pretty sure Gamebryo is a single thread engine.
    It could be multithreaded if heavily modified, but it seems that they put most, if not all, game logic on LUA scripts... which are also not multithreaded.
     
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  25. Llewen

    Llewen Grand Inquisitor
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    Can't imagine that the most recent version of Gamebryo aren't multithreaded. I think it's still under active development. And that's interesting about LUA. Makes you wonder why LUA is so popular, or maybe it isn't anymore.
     
  26. BeaIank

    BeaIank Babbling Loonie
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    The latest version is Gamebryo 4.0 which was released in 2012...
     
  27. Llewen

    Llewen Grand Inquisitor
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    That was a long time ago...
     
  28. grimiz

    grimiz Seasoned Veteran

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    What is the point of this thread? What do you think multi-core support in the EC client is going to fix?

    Let me take a wild guess here... Pinco's UI runs like ****, and when you complain about it, he refuses to acknowledge the issue could be with his lua code and places the blame on the EC client. AM I RITE?!? What do I win?
     
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  29. Llewen

    Llewen Grand Inquisitor
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    Multicore support would make the EC, with or without PInco's, run much more smoothly.
     
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  30. grimiz

    grimiz Seasoned Veteran

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    My game runs pretty well honestly. Now I don't do many events or pvp with entire shard populations (24 players) on my screen, so maybe that is where you are running into issues? But for day to day stuff I really don't have any issues.
     
  31. Llewen

    Llewen Grand Inquisitor
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    Well, without Pinco's, I get around 30 - 80 fps, depending on the location, with Pinco's, I get 10 - 30 fps. I understand the criticism of Pinco, but by the same token, there is one bug with the default UI that pretty much makes it unplayable for me, that Pinco has fixed in his version of the UI. So I have to pick my poison, lower fps, or a bug that ruins the game for me. And yes, I've reported the bug. But having said that, multithreading would make a huge difference. With my system, I should be running into the cap that Freesync puts on my fps (144).

    Part of the issue is that I've started recording game videos, and it would be nice to see some smooth recording. My videos aren't bad as far as that goes, but they aren't what I would call smooth...
     
  32. Thrakkar

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    Umm, who told you that? It wouldn't make any difference...
    The UI has to run on the main thread. So LUA has to run on the main thread. That means that Pinco's (and every single other custom UI) has to run on the main thread. So Pinco's would still slow down the client, regardless if the client is multithreading.
    Besides LUA is just a scripting language. It doesn't, nor will it ever have support for multithreading/parallelism. Neither can you spawn a new thread nor do you have any control about marshalling and syncing between multiple threads.
    But let's just assume for a split second, that LUA fulfills any such requirement, even then Pinco would have to completely rewrite his UI to make it utilize multithreading.
     
  33. Llewen

    Llewen Grand Inquisitor
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    *lets that synch in*

    I realize I'm talking about stuff I don't know much about, but it does seem to me you could still take load off the main thread by putting stuff like hid input, dynamic object loading, and networking functions on their own threads. What you seem to be saying is that multithreading doesn't work at all, so why bother with it? That is clearly not the case. The vast majority of games coded in the past decade are multithreaded, and many of them include LUA , and other languages, scripting functionality that runs on the main thread. And one would think that all those games derive some benefit from being multithreaded, or no one would bother going to the trouble.

    So you can beat me over the head with your apparent expertise, but you clearly aren't presenting the entire picture.
     
    #33 Llewen, Feb 11, 2017
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2017
  34. petemage

    petemage Sage

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    Spot on! The EC is patchwork consisting of half a dozen code bases or even more. Least of them being thread-safe, couple of them not even maintained anymore (*wink* LuaPlus *wink*). It's not like there is only one codebase maintained by Broadsword that they can change at will.

    Also, like noticed before, the EC is threaded. But then again like Lua can only be home in one thread. And when you overload that thread like there is no tomorrow, you get what you deserve.

    Let's take the case of the UI freezing when opening public EM corpses. The core EC sends about 200 item updates to the Lua UI code in a split second. Each update invokes some Lua code, which in the sheer amount of updates/sec totally overloads that thread. And then because Lua has to run in the UI thread, it also overloads the screen updating, only getting an screen update out every couple of seconds (freeze!). That's bad design where multi-threading can only do so much. The better way would just to buffer those 200 events down to 1 every 100ms or the like. But then, there is ten more issues down the road we all didn't think of. So I restrain from callinig it easy ;)

    Anyway, I'm pretty sure most of the annoyances we see don't stem from a lack of multi-threading, but just some bad design choices when engineering the EC. Let alone Pinco's :D
     
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  35. petemage

    petemage Sage

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    You are right in a general sense, but the discussion is pointless on that broad scope. Please give us one example what is too slow in your opinion. Then we can reason if that's because of threading or other bad design choices.

    In software engineering there is the term of "premature optimization" (the root of all evil!). It's the case here. We don't know if multi-threading is the real bottleneck, yet we want to spent heavy development time on it, while it's highly uncertain that it will gain anything at all.

    I say the EC does not need more multi-threading but some person who knows how to run a profiler.
     
  36. MalagAste

    MalagAste Belaern d'Zhaunil
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    Well here is my "irritation" with it... Before BS got the "brilliant" idea of updating the EC base ..... Opening corpses was JUST FINE... Infact it was superb... FAST easy and never lagged out I could loot so fast wasn't even funny and mind you Pinco had all the properties and everything in there like it is now... as well as the sorting and colors... However... once they decided to patch the new Base onto some ancient version of the EC or whatever they did... Looting became an effort in sheer frustration. And I'll be totally honest... being unable to loot public corpses with more than 10 items in them anymore has pretty much destroyed the desire to even do much in the game. What fun is playing and doing things when you are denied the ability to loot?

    I've tried turning off Pinco's to loot and dealing with that stupid list mode and all but truth is without using Pinco's and having all the help that it gives me showing me all the data regarding what the normal ranges for items are ... it's just like looking at a bunch of non-sense... there is FAR too much stuff on items to determine if something is "good" or not... I don't even want to try to begin to figure out what the imbuing weights are and such. I don't use that fancy symbol stuff Pinco put in there just have it give me the list basics... with the colors for intensity .... I don't even need it to be sorted... I don't really even need it to color the squares (though I will say that is nice)... but looking at loot without the colors and the cap/range data on there... just too much for someone who suffers with dyslexia and other issues ... With hundreds of properties and all that it's just meaningless dribble when I look at it in CC or the EC without Pinco's...


    The other MASSIVE issue with the EC is dying... supposedly that was fixed but it's not... dying can take over 1 min to go to gray and bring up the ghost... meanwhile the game is locked up solid as a rock... It shouldn't take that long to die.
     
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  37. Llewen

    Llewen Grand Inquisitor
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    Well first off, "game logic", really the clients are, for the most part, just UI's. Most of the actual "game logic" is server side, and what isn't, should be. The clients, both of them, have to facilitate and process input, interpret output from the server, and in the process render the game world and the UI. It is true that the Classic Client does all that without being designed with multiple processors in mind, but then, for the most part, the Enhanced Client does actually run better.

    Perhaps the title of this thread was chosen unwisely. Whether the client is already multi-threaded or not, is beside the issue, the issue is that the Enhanced Client, unlike the Classic Client, was coded in the era of multiple cores, and it makes extremely poor use of the benefits that multiple cores offer. As to whether this would be "easy" or not, I never said it would be easy, but yes, I'd like to see some effort put into getting the Enhanced Client to make better use of multiple cores.
     
  38. Herp!

    Herp! Journeyman

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    Too lazy to read through all of this. But, I'm pretty certain that no one has mentioned the fact that you have to 100% recode the entire client to get multi threading from a single thread coded game. Now, I don't know about you, but I've encountered this before. For a very simple reference point, Kerbal Space Program (a Squad Entertainment game), was running on old 32 bit Unity & was single core coded for YEARS throughout alpha & even from 1.0-1.1. When Unity 5 released allowing 64 bit coding, they had to go through and essentially remake the entire game to get things to sync properly with multi threading & a new 64 bit platform. It took almost 2 years for them to complete this project & they made and still make more money than UO ever has from that 1 time purchase game.

    So, Software Engineer or not, they simply cannot feasibly do this. It's just not in the cards for Broadsword due to the size of the team, the amount of work it would take, and the fact that they would have to essentially postpone ALL publishes to the game for 1.5-2 years + just to get you a multi thread client for a game that may not last 5 more years. I will be here til the day the servers get shut down just like a lot of folks, but we all know it is coming, you cannot expect them to blow a million or more in perfectly good cash just to update a client that affects maybe 10% of the user base. I've never had issues with bottlenecks outside of using Pinco's UI. My friend and I used Pinco's for a VERY long time and we donated a fair chunk of cash to him(including saving the UI from shutdown a few months back). But recently, Pinco's is garbage and causes more bottlenecking and lag than anything & simply shouldn't be used. EC as a standalone client with no modifications, is perfectly fine, I still have all the agents and everything active from Pinco's, the only thing missing is the loot coloring.. & that doesn't bother me at all considering I just use the search function to loot anyway. So why bog down the client with unnecessary crap and then complain? If your client is using 100% of 1 core as a base EC install, you need a new CPU that isn't also 10 years old.

    EDIT:

    Oh right, not every game is multi threaded now. Go to the Paradox forums, see the piles of complaints about single core explosions. Open Civ 6, see how it only uses 1 core. Open just about ANY game, it will use only 1 core. It takes WAY more knowledge than most software engineers in the gaming industry actually have to make a game work properly with multi-threading. Multi-threading is typically limited to applications for accounting, business management, dispatch, etc.
     
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  39. Thrakkar

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    That's not what I'm saying, that's just how you interpret it.
    Multithreading isn't the ultimate solution for everything. There's always a trade-off. MT might solve a lots of issues, but it also confronts you with other new issues. Therefore some applications are suited better for multithreading than others, and some less then others. Games usually fall into the latter category. But that doesn't mean that games can just be single-threaded.

    Actually I did, but it didn't really seem to leave an impression:
     
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  40. Herp!

    Herp! Journeyman

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    Sorry, I didn't read through everything completely like I said. My general assumption for the population of the internet, is that they don't understand how coding & software engineering work. Unless it's Bealank, because I am pretty certain she's a Software Dev of some variety from conversation in gen chat on Legends. Always happy to see that people actually know how it works, but if you know how it works, you probably also understand my assumption that the general population just doesn't get it.
     
  41. BeaIank

    BeaIank Babbling Loonie
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    Software development has been my job for 17 years now, yeah...
     
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  42. Thrakkar

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    Nevermind...
    I was twelve, when I wrote my first "game" on the C64. From then on software development was my hobby. Today I get paid for my hobby ;) Nowadays it's mostly servers/services I'm writing. Clients as well every now and then. Everything heaviliy parallelized and asynchronous.

    But yeah, in software delevelopment everything is so easy. You just have to flip a switch and it works automagically. Or at least that is what the majority thinks :p
     
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  43. Llewen

    Llewen Grand Inquisitor
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    Well, this thread has been an education. Thanks to everyone who contributed.
     
  44. Kirthag

    Kirthag Former Stratics Publisher
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    @Llewen - I also record and sometimes stream my gameplay with my multi-processor Alienware box using XSplit to HitBox.

    I have basically "told" my vid/streaming software to use one processor, while UO/EC uses the primary. I forgot how I did it and because of that I have to be careful with Windows updates. It is also because of this that I do not like the EC too much, and play it minimally. Last time I seriously played the EC was.... uh.... dang, when I was still volunteering here at Stratics (couple years now I think).

    To note, when I am live-streaming Diablo the system purrs like a loud kitten, but it does not overheat or have any game/system degradation. When I stream UO/CC, I rarely hear the fan. When I stream UO/EC, my system wants to scream so it is a very short lived session.
     
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  45. Herp!

    Herp! Journeyman

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    Get a bigger case with more fans! :D I have 18 case fans, never had issues with heat or screaming PC and I regularly sit down for like 6-8 hours on a Sunday to play some UO in EC.. I run 2x GTX1080, an i7 5960x, and have 0 liquid cooling, system never goes above 60 C, even in the 120 F summers in Texas where I have to keep my AC at 90 F or the bill is ridiculous.

    I also wouldn't use Diablo as a basis for your system's strength/cooling power... it uses extremely low CPU and GPU % to run at max settings in 4k spread across 4 screens. Go stream any Paradox or Firaxis game (horribly unoptimized games that cap out core 0) and see if it gets like it does with EC, I can almost guarantee it will be far worse because I've done it in 1080 with 1 monitor, 1080 with 4 monitors, and 4k with 1 and 4 monitors. It's simply not cost effective to write a game in multithread format right now.

    Also just a side note from a person who is friends with a few big youtubers/Twitch streamers, OBS is free and is far superior in it's optimization to that of XSplit which costs money and uses excessive amounts of CPU and GPU/Capture card power.

    Edit because I forgot:
    OBS does have a higher learning curve than XSplit to use it properly.
     
  46. hungry4knowhow

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    What on earth would you need 18 case fans for? I also run duel GTX 1080s, and a 6950x. I have 5 fans. No problems. My work computer runs duel Titan X, with 6950x...i think it has 4 fans, but does have an AIO cooling for the processor.

    18 is overkill, unless you like LEDs...which I get, I love them too lol

    Please post a pic of these 18 case fans. I cant even think of a full tower case that could support that, let alone a motherboard. But im not super computer builder saavy.

    /EDIT: Editing because I realize it might come across I'm accusing you of being a liar. I am not. I just want to see this setup :)
     
    #46 hungry4knowhow, Feb 17, 2017
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2017
  47. Kirthag

    Kirthag Former Stratics Publisher
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    Am "poor student" living on part time wages while I chase after the MBA full time to get a "real job". heh... Otherwise I would have something quite similar to you, along with my dream Linux development box and a few servers for private hobbies (i love to write code & tinker in java).
    Right now, I'm just happy I can still play UO and stream from time to time. :)

    And yes, OBS is free. I paid for XSplit years ago and just got stuck on it. Kinda got my mind tied up in other things (see previous paragraph) so exercising it to learn something new is not opportune. Perhaps in the future....

    @hungry4knowhow - I've seen some slick customs that are comparable to Herps... and then some. Machines that do a lot of rendering and compiling need to be like that. When Square was in Honolulu, I had the privilege of touring their server-room and production hall while they were coding for Final Fantasy (the movie). I drooled so much, they handed me a roll of paper towels! :D
     
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  48. hungry4knowhow

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    But we aren't talking about server-rooms/racks, nor processing machines....we are talking about personal computers lol. Which I am fully willing to admit mine are WAYY overboard for, which is why I like looking at others. I have over $9000 in my home computer, and somewhere between $7 and $8000 in my office computer. I spent $1500 on the 6950x processors just because I thought they were sooo cool. 10 Cores! 20 Processors! I had to have it. I just like looking at that stuff. If he comes back in and says he has these 18 fans in a server rack setup I will be much less in awe...because well....its the correct application. I like looking at, "YOU DID WHAT?! WHY IN GODS NAME?! Oh well yes that is pretty cool"
     
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  49. Kirthag

    Kirthag Former Stratics Publisher
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    Oh... not just servers...
    my old dev machine (workstation, not server) was water cooled... i did a lot of java compiling for work to test the code of my staff before implementing into the test server. kinda like a test before test.
    and while the computer was crunching, i'd be doing other stuff (no, wasn't playing UO at work, really ;)
     
  50. superfrog

    superfrog Adventurer
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    upload_2017-2-17_6-58-27.png

    'splains it all
     
    #50 superfrog, Feb 17, 2017
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2017