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Time Dilation

Discussion in 'EVE General Discussion' started by Vince, Apr 27, 2011.

  1. Vince

    Vince Journeyman
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    The developer blog on this topic covers some very important aspects, but I feel it deserves alot more attention than it has gotten.

    To iterate: Time Dilation is the process of slowing down the server clock, so that the servers can handle the strain its suffering from, in the intended order.

    If this is still too tech-nerdy for you, consider this scenario - perhaps you will recall being in the situation before ...

    You go into pvp, and eventually - the server strain comes to the point where your specials are trying to execute (ie. you are pressing the buttons) but nothing is happening. Then the server catches up, all your queued up specials are executed and you find yourself dead, or something else has happened - like the field of battle has moved to a different location, or some of your team mates are dead etc.

    So, how does this apply to you? or your MMO?

    Well ... most MMO RPG's that has a PVP aspect also work similar to most other RPG's in that your client tells the server to execute a special or ability, the server then either acknowledges or denies the request - and executes it if its a valid request.

    The most common server task during pvp is to perform combat calculations. With many players on a pvp field, it won't take long before the server becomes unstable and will start prioritizing. Some MMO's handle pvp better than others. Eventually this will spiral into taking more and more server resources and given enough pressure, the server will either continue executing commands and eventually make it impossible to execute commands (simply because the command queue is too long that you won't notice) or "crash".

    Mostly, Server Lag depends on how many Area Effects you have into play and how fast each combat roll needs to be executed. The fewer AOE's your MMO has and the slower the combat rolls are executed, the larger the numbers that can be supported for PVP is.

    The two games I have most experience with are both sci-fi MMO's - SWG and EVE.

    SWG can only support ~250 players while EVE can support ~10x as many before the servers "crash". But you will notice server lag allready at ~15-25% of that number respectively. The main difference is that while the SWG servers will have to handle direct attacks at a faster (1 sec down to 400ms) rate than EVE, SWG also has alot more AOE effects that it has to execute in comparison.

    You simply won't be able to assemble a ship in EVE that will be able to dish out pure AOE damage that is effective in prolonged combat every second untill it has been disabled.

    The point of all of this is of course, that it may be that your MMO could benefit from Time Dilation. The best way to find out is to simply ask your favorite developer.

    TL;DR: Bullet time could solve server lag in your favorite MMO.
     
  2. Rogal

    Rogal Slightly Crazed
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    That's an interesting read and it does provoke some thought. I'm going to google this topic some more.
     
  3. astonix

    astonix Guest

    With CCP opting for an all on one server system for EVE, they needed innovative techniques from the start to make sure the game runs as smoothly as possible. As I type this there's roughly 30,000 people on the server. From what I've experienced, CCP have done a good job of keeping it smooth. However, I haven't got the best possible graphics so always blame my PC rather than the server.
     
  4. Vince

    Vince Journeyman
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    The EVE Server is comprised of several hundred cores. Its more of a cluster of servers rather than just one.
     
  5. astonix

    astonix Guest

    Well of course. A server could have the best specs possible and never be able to handle 30,000+ traffic by itself. I meant it was a single server as they're interlinked, as opposed to, say, WoW with its multiple realms which are completely detached from one and another (minus battlegrounds).
     
  6. Vince

    Vince Journeyman
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    Yeah, its one universe as opposed to several as people are used to from WoW, SWG, EQ etc.

    Even WoT's that is the only thing that comes close in terms of "one-server-mmo" works similarly to WoW etc in that its instanced battles that only allows a certain amount of people to enter.

    With EVE, you could "theoretically" have a battle with the entire universe. Practically its a somewhat different experience though :lol:

    Thats why its a viable option to investigate for them. For others that suffer from "open world pvp lag", it could be interesting to consider too. Most instanced pvp battlefields are allready optimized for their specific team setups.