A cry to devs

RevyRevy Members Join Date: 2008-03-22 Member: 63928Posts: 35
I want to try and keep this short and to the point,

Now I run Onos Bar - 34 Man Server and also just about to bring up the second server to its crazy how popular the larger games are. But sadly there's a few things keeping the larger games from being more frequent which I think seriously needs to be addressed on UWE's part. I do know the situation of NS2 and I know UWE is trying to make this game pure "competitive gaming" but in order to do that you need players do you not!? and since release this game has done nothing but decline due to its learning curve and balance set only for 16 player servers the average amount of players on NS2 daily is between 350 in the quiet time and 870-920 on the weekends its pretty pathetic for a game which offers immense amount of fun but is just being (and sorry for saying this but I find a lot of people saying this these days) neglected by its own dev team.

Now I have played NS2 ever since the first alpha release well... suppose pre-alpha really when it was just a room and a marine running around, and have watched the game grow and rapidly improve but then slowly degrade to fun things removed that did not need to be removed things being limited and literly made to be identical to the enemy teams ability or item to keep it "balanced" for competitive mode..when sadly in the end it just feels so mirrored theres no uniqueness to a team anymore its sad I'd give examples but that would be swaying from what I really want to say so anyway!.

Things I think really need to be prioritized and worked on.

A. Dedicated server hosting to be run on Multi-Threading
B. Server optimization (Even on 24 man rounds the game still gets bad towards the end with Tick drops) **Number one Priority**

C. Do some more game balance but to be honest like myself and a few other people out there we have made our own balance changes and it works much better than the standard balance that is in the game by default.

D. Increase the server player limit (So we don't have to hex-edit but do this after B.)

E. (this is mainly for the people that are still having trouble) but also a few more client side optimization tweaks wouldn't go a miss.

These really should be the top priority for UWE to try and bring this game back from its steady decline,
I see the steam forums riddled with complaints (which i know all games get so don't moan at me for saying that)
and just bad press of this game everywhere its really sad for such an amazingly revolutionary game it tops all the other simple run and gun games out there, but sadly it does not top there player base, player limit or even server stability which is a HUGE problem!!.

I really hope future updates will include these fixes on a much more regular bases rather than adding.... Bots.. (I like the idea for training new commanders BUT I think this should be done once you have wiped out much more important issues) and also the vote system is something out of a 1980's TV show graphic...some of the modder's out there have created lovely GUI vote systems which work like an actual vote system i.e someone can start a vote instantly it has to be voted to start then have a good ratio to win rather than 1 person saying no and 20 people saying yes and it still saying "vote failed" Thank god we can turn the vote system off in the config.

Anyway After what ended up being a long post I just wanted to end it with.
Great job UWE on making a truly amazing game it really is one of a kind which breathes new life into this stale era of game, but please....do not forget your player base. the game needs larger servers like NS1 had playing 32 man servers and later on after modded servers started coming in, 64 man ns1 servers really did make such fun chaotic games! that lasted long 40minute - 1 hour rounds of fun!.

I hope you will listen to this rather than push it aside.


Revy.

billetsix0niRobotix

Comments

  • ritualsacrificeritualsacrifice Members, Reinforced - Shadow Join Date: 2012-11-14 Member: 171148Posts: 709 Advanced user
    Not gonna get a lot of love posting about how bad the performance is on a 34 man server when the game is meant to be run with 12-18 people.. you have nearly double the recommended max amount.
    AurOn2joshhhSolidSpider
  • RevyRevy Members Join Date: 2008-03-22 Member: 63928Posts: 35
    But thats exactly my point look how popular the game is on larger games on NS1 and NS2 and yet its being ignored ?
  • billetbillet Members Join Date: 2012-10-02 Member: 161318Posts: 54
    Out of all the servers around the world, you can almost ALWAYS count on the 34 player onos bar server to be full. Lets be honest here, even on 18 player servers the tick rate drops late game.
  • ritualsacrificeritualsacrifice Members, Reinforced - Shadow Join Date: 2012-11-14 Member: 171148Posts: 709 Advanced user
    Revy wrote: »
    But thats exactly my point look how popular the game is on larger games on NS1 and NS2 and yet its being ignored ?

    It's popular, but there are limits to what can be accomplished with NS2 and it's not likely that performance is going to be able to be improved to the point where 34 player servers run well. Maybe in a couple years computers will be powerful enough to run something like that without performance issues. You might also try running the NSL versions of the maps, not as pretty but definitely improves FPS for the players.
  • ZEROibisZEROibis Members, Constellation Join Date: 2009-10-30 Member: 69176Posts: 1,017 Advanced user
    Given that the devs knew in advance how 30 player servers were the popular choice in ns1 I do not see how they thought they could make this game for any less. Honestly I think they intended to build the game around more players like what we saw in ns1 pubs but then realized that they did not have the programing to do so in order to release the game in a reasonable time. The real problem now is that the choice to go with LUA vs languages that support multi threading has left this games performance out in the cold. So now for larger performance boots we wait for the people who make LUA to create multi threading instead. When that will be well lets pray soon b/c yes I do agree that one the most overlooked issues in this game is the lack of optimization to the server side.

    I mean shit we do not even get file appending on the server side, what year is this 1989!?
    image
    Server IP: NS2.IBISGaming.com
    Server IP: NS2CO.IBISGaming.com
  • simbasimba Members Join Date: 2012-05-06 Member: 151628Posts: 191 Fully active user
    Last I asked Hugh, he said this game is ideal for 7v7 and 8v8.
  • ObraxisObraxis Subnautica Animator & Generalist, NS2 PersonSuper Administrators, Forum Admins, NS1 Playtester, Forum Moderators, NS2 Developer, Constellation, NS2 Playtester, Squad Five Silver, WC 2013 - Supporter, Subnautica Developer, Pistachionauts Join Date: 2004-07-24 Member: 30071Posts: 3,019 admin
    Running NS2 the way it is right now, a 32 man server is not recommended due to performance, map sizes and balance.

    If NS2 fails, follow my Nuke From Orbit Guide.

    NS2 Discord: https://discord.gg/0TKQwZWu7JEPeAgW

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    IronHorseEucomolhamasSolidSpider
  • RevyRevy Members Join Date: 2008-03-22 Member: 63928Posts: 35
    Balance we mod it to hell maps well we are currently making as for performance and optimization I would like to think UWE was doing this all the time rather than making "bots" and a quickly made vote system
  • IronHorseIronHorse Developer, QA Manager, Technical Support & contributorMembers, Super Administrators, Forum Admins, Forum Moderators, NS2 Developer, NS2 Playtester, Squad Five Blue, Subnautica Playtester, Subnautica PT Lead, Pistachionauts Join Date: 2010-05-08 Member: 71669Posts: 8,194 admin
    edited May 2013
    They are working on it all the time @revy , but again at this time such player counts are not officially supported, and i don't think its as high as priority as other things. (such as bots which lend to teaching new players how to command, to performance which benefits all, to new content, which brings in new players)

    In order to increase playercounts by 25% officially, you would need a huge optimization to the server, which is not necessarily out of reach - but if you had to trade interp/tickrate/client update rate improvements which make for a more snappy and responsive NS2 ... versus having 8 more players on a server.... i would venture a guess everyone would want the former, given the large amount of feedback on the matter in the past 7 months. You can't have both.

    People who are capable enough to hex edit a dedicated server to run a larger playercount are more than likely prepared with the required beast of a system / hardware that could run such a thing.... whereas if it was made official right now just by changing the number, servers all over the place would be increasing the playercount but without the hardware to back it, and thus lead to crappy, low tickrate games that turns people away. Uninformed server operators were a major issue at the launch of this game, and i'm sure did some damage to first impressions.

    So i cant really see which of those items you listed you cannot already achieve?

    A) It already is, afaik, up to 2.1 cores.
    B) They're on it
    C) Balance Test mod! (portions of it will probably be brought into vanilla soon, so test it out!)
    D) Advanced users already can do it, and until server performance is there, this keeps the uninformed and unprepared server ops from creating bad experiences.
    E) This will come at the same time with B)

    Hope that answers some things in more detail for you?
    :)
    QUOTE (Techercizer @ Feb 3 2012, 10:47 AM) »
    Every time you ask for troubleshooting without providing system info, ATI adds a rendering bug for an upcoming game.

    When you feel you need to be rude or angry about a game, just read these links and remember what role you are playing:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Online_disinhibition_effect
    http://www.eldergame.com/2008/06/taming-the-forum-tiger/
  • ZEROibisZEROibis Members, Constellation Join Date: 2009-10-30 Member: 69176Posts: 1,017 Advanced user
    One would think that the clients having better rates and or improvements in netcode should aid in server performance as it will not need to do as much work with prediction for the clients and thus the number of clients would have a smaller impact on the server.

    What has confused me is that I have seen servers have tick drops but do not exceed 85% cpu on the core they are running on and when the tick drops so does the cpu usage. During these times I can only assume that the lag is engine side (ie a faster cpu will not help as the game engine is overwhelmed (this occurs in other games like cs:s if your running a lot of mods or custom maps that push the source engine too much)) or it could be due to the engine waiting for disk writes due to lack of file appending.
    image
    Server IP: NS2.IBISGaming.com
    Server IP: NS2CO.IBISGaming.com
  • IronHorseIronHorse Developer, QA Manager, Technical Support & contributorMembers, Super Administrators, Forum Admins, Forum Moderators, NS2 Developer, NS2 Playtester, Squad Five Blue, Subnautica Playtester, Subnautica PT Lead, Pistachionauts Join Date: 2010-05-08 Member: 71669Posts: 8,194 admin
    Higher client update rates means more bandwidth which means more server processing, which means slower server performance.
    Server doesnt process clientside prediction afaik.. thats all on the client, hence why more predictions = less fps.
    QUOTE (Techercizer @ Feb 3 2012, 10:47 AM) »
    Every time you ask for troubleshooting without providing system info, ATI adds a rendering bug for an upcoming game.

    When you feel you need to be rude or angry about a game, just read these links and remember what role you are playing:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Online_disinhibition_effect
    http://www.eldergame.com/2008/06/taming-the-forum-tiger/
  • ZEROibisZEROibis Members, Constellation Join Date: 2009-10-30 Member: 69176Posts: 1,017 Advanced user
    But does not the server also do prediction in order to determine hit reg? Most of how I think is based off the source engine so I understand how it could be different here but my understanding was that normally the server keeps track of world state to determine hit reg and thus the more data clients can send to the server the more often server will have data to work with and not need to preform prediction or wait for clients.

    For example the servers in this game run 30tick but if all the clients are not able to send 30 updates per second the server needs to either perform more perdition or wait for client data. If the clients were sending more than 30 updates per second the server can use whatever the last received packet was for its current tick. Sending more packets should make it where as the server just has a more recent snapshot and as it should only be looking at latest received the amount sent should not negatively effect server cpu usage in any real way. I can see if effecting bandwidth but when your in a 1gb pipe that is not really going to matter. Bandwidth is much much much cheaper than cpu.

    If there was a way to have this game use twice the bandwidth and 25% less cpu it would be worth it lol.
    image
    Server IP: NS2.IBISGaming.com
    Server IP: NS2CO.IBISGaming.com
  • ezekelezekel Members, NS2 Map Tester Join Date: 2012-11-29 Member: 173589Posts: 1,385 Advanced user
    edited May 2013
    ZEROibis wrote: »
    One would think that the clients having better rates and or improvements in netcode should aid in server performance as it will not need to do as much work with prediction for the clients and thus the number of clients would have a smaller impact on the server.

    What has confused me is that I have seen servers have tick drops but do not exceed 85% cpu on the core they are running on and when the tick drops so does the cpu usage. During these times I can only assume that the lag is engine side (ie a faster cpu will not help as the game engine is overwhelmed (this occurs in other games like cs:s if your running a lot of mods or custom maps that push the source engine too much)) or it could be due to the engine waiting for disk writes due to lack of file appending.

    Your server drops ticrate because your single core speed is too slow for your player count, your server works for 16 people; once it gets to 20 everyone starts warping backwards and the hitreg goes to the dirt

    more on topic with the playercount, I hate high playercounts and think it ruins the game. Once you add more players a few things happen

    1) Dying doesn't matter as much, because even though someone died there's that many extra players on the field that the next person will already be back up and no ground will be lost

    2) Lack of aim - With more players, your shot counts less, because there's more of you shooting/biting. You missed? Don't worry your next 4 team mates will be sure to get that guy

    While I'm sure some people enjoy these servers, they plague my game experience and make me not even want to play. It's why a game as bad as call of duty will appeal to me, because I can start it up and immediately get into a 6v6 with zero issues.. Probably a good reason why games like that are so popular, minus the fact that they're extremely easy for people to pick up

    Compare to dota 2, that game honestly takes a bit for the player to learn before they can even be decent; coming from fps I was a bit lost having never played a moba, but even then I found myself wanting to play because the game offered me competition right there, 5v5 everytime. Leads me to believe competition that I desire is something also highly desired by players around the world

    CD121
  • Fudo_StyleFudo_Style Members Join Date: 2002-12-31 Member: 11659Posts: 77
    edited May 2013
    I don't think it makes sense that the game was balanced for 6v6 when the vast amount of player time spent is on games like 12v12. Large servers are constantly full. I'd love to see stats on the man-hours played in large games vs tiny 6x6 games. I'm guessing it'll vary by orders of magnitude.

    Frankly, I don't feel that the 12v12 balance is off too much. I've played many fantastic large games. The biggest problem is team stacking. A single "pro" player can really, really offset the balance.
  • YMICrazyYMICrazy Members Join Date: 2012-11-02 Member: 165986Posts: 688 Fully active user
    edited May 2013
    ^Agreed. If you played many 12v12 games you would know that the balance was not that bad. In larger player servers every player's impact is lessened. Some people find this a better environment in to relax and just play for fun.

    Besides look at what matso said a while ago:

    "24 player servers was surprisingly balanced up until 239/240 when skulks became a lot easier to kill due to hitbox fixes, lower skulk acceleration and generally increased performance."

    http://forums.unknownworlds.com/discussion/comment/2105621/#Comment_2105621

    If you play a lot on those 24 player servers you would know that pre skulk nerf the skulk's maneuverability allowed it to have decent odds of surviving an engagement with marines and a better chance to escape marines if they had no other option. Now that you got the current skulk that was nerfed for "balance" they became easier to kill especially when marines can just hop away and even more so in high player servers where you got a lot of marines. Playing current skulk feels odd as well for an alien that is suppose to be quadrupedal. Of course the blame goes on balance and redoing the skulk even though things were fine save for the egg system which could have been fixed using a simple tweak scaling it for higher player servers.
  • AurOn2AurOn2 COOKIES! FREEDOM, AND BISCUITS! AustraliaMembers, Forum Moderators, NS2 Playtester, Forum staff Join Date: 2012-01-13 Member: 140224Posts: 2,130 mod
    billet wrote: »
    Out of all the servers around the world, you can almost ALWAYS count on the 34 player onos bar server to be full. Lets be honest here, even on 18 player servers the tick rate drops late game.
    Ever played on the monash servers? keeps steady tickrate with 48 players. :)

    Send me a private message if you need me to kill someone "help" with anything.

    The very existence of flamethrowers proves that sometime, somewhere, someone said to themselves, “You know, I want to set those people over there on fire, but I’m just not close enough to get the job done.” - George Carlin.

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    Ghosthree3
  • ezekelezekel Members, NS2 Map Tester Join Date: 2012-11-29 Member: 173589Posts: 1,385 Advanced user
    edited May 2013
    Fudo_Style wrote: »
    I don't think it makes sense that the game was balanced for 6v6 when the vast amount of player time spent is on games like 12v12. Large servers are constantly full. I'd love to see stats on the man-hours played in large games vs tiny 6x6 games. I'm guessing it'll vary by orders of magnitude.

    Frankly, I don't feel that the 12v12 balance is off too much. I've played many fantastic large games. The biggest problem is team stacking. A single "pro" player can really, really offset the balance.

    Because there aren't 6v6 servers everywhere? The ones of us who enjoy 6v6 either don't play, or just play in a pug/match/scrim, I personally just go onto balance test now but other than that I have zero desire to play because I can't get a competent match

    Also unfortunately a lot of the competitive ns players refuse to play this game, which I hope later towards this year they change their minds
    RedSword
  • billetbillet Members Join Date: 2012-10-02 Member: 161318Posts: 54
    AURONS2, I basically live on the monash servers, only problem is, they are always full (and so they should be too!) so this is when I venture out to different pastures and play the Onos Bar.
  • dePARAdePARA Members, Squad Five Blue Join Date: 2011-04-29 Member: 96321Posts: 1,351 Advanced user
    billet wrote: »
    Out of all the servers around the world, you can almost ALWAYS count on the 34 player onos bar server to be full. Lets be honest here, even on 18 player servers the tick rate drops late game.

    Many server NEVER drop below 30 ticks.
    And the only reason the 34 slot server is always full is: it never reach the point a server is dying: 6-8 players. Do you really think people play there cause they like the lagfest and the non existent tactic element?

    Inceasing the playercount of NS2 above 24 slots officially? Hell NO!!!
    image
    RedSwordCD121
  • LocklearLocklear [nexzil]kerrigan Members, NS2 Playtester, NS2 Map Tester, WC 2013 - Shadow Join Date: 2012-05-01 Member: 151403Posts: 1,337 Advanced user
    edited May 2013
    24p is already a lagfest as it is, let's not make it worse.

    Besides the lag or possibility of lag.. there's not a lot of tactics/skill or strategy involved at those player counts. The game simply isn't designed for it.

    6-7 bile bomb gorges with another 6-7 additional players is one example of a pretty broken unit composition. You can gg a power node faster than the Marines can kill you.
    "If great visuals brings players in, great gameplay gets them to stay." - Valve
    Ghosthree3KwisatzHaderach
  • RevyRevy Members Join Date: 2008-03-22 Member: 63928Posts: 35
    Dead game is dead meh
  • Ghosthree3Ghosthree3 Members, Reinforced - Supporter Join Date: 2010-02-13 Member: 70557Posts: 3,432 Advanced user
    You grave dug just to post that?
    76561197996992409.png
    IronHorse
  • RevyRevy Members Join Date: 2008-03-22 Member: 63928Posts: 35
    Pretty much was sitting at the server browser waiting to get into my server while looking at all the other dead ones oO pretty amazing the drop on this game
  • TurbineTurbine Members Join Date: 2012-09-13 Member: 159160Posts: 172 Fully active user
    edited June 2013
    I think what's causing the possible decline in the playerbase and player dissatisfaction is the performance, it requires a super computer to play. They really neglect this aspect, plenty of video settings, but not cpu? It's like assuming the have a 2 yr old cpu and a 6+ yr old video card!?

    Btw with my new beastly i7 3820 I get no lag on your 32 player server. 80fps constant. ;D
  • 0ni0ni Members Join Date: 2012-08-30 Member: 156991Posts: 231 Fully active user
    I agree that it's silly to ignore the out and out fact that high player count servers are the most popular part of pub play.

    For those who are saying that 24+ is broken and unbalanced and therefor should be ignored please be mindful that the original post is regarding the lack of focus on balancing across all player counts.

    I also agree that there is far too much focus on competitive play. I'm assuming the devs want their game to be regarded as a respectable comp game, which I agree would be great. However the survivability of this game depends greatly on the pub play. No one wants to watch comp play for a game they care nothing for. Double edged sword I suppose. They're a small team with limited resources so they can't focus on everything at once. If it were me I'd focus on getting the game playable for as many people as possible, get the server side more up to snuff and then do another free weekend with some new content ie. Linux/mac clients, new maps etc. anything that advertises well. With the game being actually playable they'll hold onto a player base longer.

    A big part of that though will be the big pub servers, so I think maybe talking to Sewlek directly about making a custom 34+ man version of his balance mod might be appropriate. It's probably not as vital to have it as finely tuned as the vanilla version because as others have pointed out individual skill is less critical in those servers and so "balance" is less sensitive overall. Of course Ideally balance should be scalable across all count servers but we all already know that's easier said then done. Only so much can be asked from a company this small, it's really up to all of us to come up with solutions. Obviously there's little we can do about the server software, but there's a lot we as a community can do about larger server balance if we work together.

    These are just my opinions. Perhaps I'm wrong, but I like both kinds of play and I'd like to see both flourish as this is by far my favorite game.
    Robotix
  • ScardyBobScardyBob ScardyBob Forum Admins, Forum Moderators, NS2 Playtester, Squad Five Blue, Reinforced - Shadow, WC 2013 - Shadow Join Date: 2009-11-25 Member: 69528Posts: 4,983 mod
    My biggest pet peeve regarding large player servers is that many of them are hosted on hardware that can't perform smoothly. I suspect a large portion of the 'performance' issues people complain about on these forums are due to playing on servers with tickrate, choke, or other performance problems.

    As for gameplay, I find many 24+player matches to fall into the same issue I saw in Empiresmod (which could host up to 64 players, though 32-48 was more common). Specifically, the players devolve into two categories:
    1. The competent ones who will win you the game
    2. The cannon fodder who mostly act as a meat shield

    Effectively, in Empiresmod you would micro your competent players to do the tasks needed to win the game (build refineries, drive your APCs, build ninja barracks, arty stuff, etc) while letting your cannon fodder provide a barrier defense of your captured territory. The trouble with NS2 is that it doesn't have the primary feature needed to manage the cannon fodder; e.g. the ability to choose your spawn location and having the comm define the default spawn. As such, you frequently have to micro your competent players to defend your territory while letting your cannon fodder either be useless or try to solo stuff in the hopes they occasionally get lucky.
  • ultranewbultranewb Pro Bug Hunter Members Join Date: 2004-07-21 Member: 30026Posts: 276 Fully active user
    Locklear wrote: »
    there's not a lot of tactics/skill or strategy involved

    You've a very narrow view of the game and it's no surprise.

    Larger servers are fun. Servers that don't die easy are more enjoyable. Faster reflexes are not skill, but they trump smarter play. Repeating the same tactics on a map is not strategy. Pub games are played to enjoy the experience, the "fun" of competitive gaming is winning above everything else (hence 'GG' when hope is lost).

    If the most popular servers were 18 players or less, it would make sense to cater to them. If your audience gravitates towards larger numbers, it also would make sense to give them a higher priority. Removing "fun" to adjust for very small team sizes -- silly. That being said, the harder the game is to play at lower numbers, the more likely a pub server will die. The desire of comp-play is at odds with keeping servers alive.
    0niRobotix
  • IronHorseIronHorse Developer, QA Manager, Technical Support & contributorMembers, Super Administrators, Forum Admins, Forum Moderators, NS2 Developer, NS2 Playtester, Squad Five Blue, Subnautica Playtester, Subnautica PT Lead, Pistachionauts Join Date: 2010-05-08 Member: 71669Posts: 8,194 admin
    Tech support is for trouble shooting issues, please take discussions to another section, like general discussion.
    QUOTE (Techercizer @ Feb 3 2012, 10:47 AM) »
    Every time you ask for troubleshooting without providing system info, ATI adds a rendering bug for an upcoming game.

    When you feel you need to be rude or angry about a game, just read these links and remember what role you are playing:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Online_disinhibition_effect
    http://www.eldergame.com/2008/06/taming-the-forum-tiger/
This discussion has been closed.