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CCP Fallout

Posted - 2010.08.18 16:00:00 - [1]
 

Our next dev blog in the "Fixing Lag" series features Atropos famous thin client. Read all about it here.

Odium Devotus
Posted - 2010.08.18 16:07:00 - [2]
 

So if the player base does nothing to help out, that will force you to come up with creative solutions that wind up having other benefits as well?


Sounds like a win/win situation to me.

Nye Jaran
Posted - 2010.08.18 16:13:00 - [3]
 

Edited by: Nye Jaran on 18/08/2010 16:18:54
Um yeah, about that ASCII logo... it's not exactly what I would call SFW.

I mean, I know what it is, but if a coworker walked by and caught a glance of it, well, there'd be some 'splaining to do. I mean, even I did a double take before it fully registered.

Also...
Quote:
The client is a developer tool only and whilst many people may want a less resource intensive client this isn't the one you're looking for.


DAMN YOU! For that split second I thought (insanely), "Cool, Eve a la MUD. Kick Ass!"

NupetietVer
Ice Fire Warriors
Posted - 2010.08.18 16:15:00 - [4]
 

Can I haz thin client to fit on my 4gb flashdrive so I can do market trading in class again?

Zendoren
Aktaeon Industries
The Black Armada
Posted - 2010.08.18 16:23:00 - [5]
 

meh.....

it needs a follow up so that we can see the fruits for your labor!

Regat Kozovv
Caldari
Alcothology
Posted - 2010.08.18 16:27:00 - [6]
 

Originally by: CCP Atropos
There's also turning a herd (flock? what do you call a group of these things? an army?)


I believe the scientifically-correct term would be a "blob". Wink

Keep up the great work. Cool

Krispy Dingo
Minmatar
The Night Crew
Posted - 2010.08.18 16:27:00 - [7]
 

Edited by: Krispy Dingo on 18/08/2010 16:31:30
Originally by: CCP Atropos
There's also turning a herd (flock? what do you call a group of these things? an army?)


i believe the appropriate term is a murder. like crows.

fully understand the need for using real live people instead of just your thin clients. no matter how much you try to emulate the stupidity a human being can come up with, you never will.

now if only mass testing didn't happen when i was at work, or could at least be moved to my lunch time.

Axemaster
Posted - 2010.08.18 16:27:00 - [8]
 

This, tbh, is probably going to become one of CCP's most important development tools, if they get it right.

Some questions:

1. Are you making a "control program" where the actions of the bot are statistically based on the actions of players? Not just the random chance of pushing a button at some time, but also the chance of undertaking some actions in a certain order? And also, do they emulate the way players tend to start mashing buttons when lag starts to kick in? (in my opinion, that might be part of why lag tends to kick in suddenly, rather than gradually)

2. You should really consider setting up something similar to BOINC (or even use BOINC itself). Players could download and run a program, and the thin clients would be able to use a certain specifiable amount of cpu, RAM, and network speed. That way you could take network latency and internet routing issues into account as well, in the most realistic way possible.

3. You should reconsider allowing the thin client into the wild - if you do the BOINC thing, you could make it have a "mass-test mode" where each player could have one primary ship, which would run the normal graphics client, and control some other ships as well, like in a squad. That way you could make more realistic testing and also have as many ships as you need.

4. Is there any chance you could put a vid up on youtube so we can see the thin client in action? (in station, in battle etc.) I really want to see your ASCII graphics!

Larkonis Trassler
Doctrine.
Posted - 2010.08.18 16:27:00 - [9]
 

Quite interesting. A pity you're not putting it out to the masses. I was rubbing my hands with glee, as I'm sure were many of our Oriental brothers, at the thought of a 'lite' client for certain tasks but it's probably for the best.

CCP Atropos

Posted - 2010.08.18 16:32:00 - [10]
 

Originally by: Zendoren
meh.....

it needs a follow up so that we can see the fruits for your labor!

There are other developers doing exactly that Very Happy

electrostatus
Center for Advanced Studies
Posted - 2010.08.18 16:35:00 - [11]
 

The next stop for the thin client, eve on MS-DOS! Even fits on a 5.25" disk!

CCP Atropos

Posted - 2010.08.18 16:37:00 - [12]
 

Originally by: Axemaster
This, tbh, is probably going to become one of CCP's most important development tools, if they get it right.

Some questions:

1. Are you making a "control program" where the actions of the bot are statistically based on the actions of players? Not just the random chance of pushing a button at some time, but also the chance of undertaking some actions in a certain order? And also, do they emulate the way players tend to start mashing buttons when lag starts to kick in? (in my opinion, that might be part of why lag tends to kick in suddenly, rather than gradually)

2. You should really consider setting up something similar to BOINC (or even use BOINC itself). Players could download and run a program, and the thin clients would be able to use a certain specifiable amount of cpu, RAM, and network speed. That way you could take network latency and internet routing issues into account as well, in the most realistic way possible.

3. You should reconsider allowing the thin client into the wild - if you do the BOINC thing, you could make it have a "mass-test mode" where each player could have one primary ship, which would run the normal graphics client, and control some other ships as well, like in a squad. That way you could make more realistic testing and also have as many ships as you need.

4. Is there any chance you could put a vid up on youtube so we can see the thin client in action? (in station, in battle etc.) I really want to see your ASCII graphics!

The thin client doesn't have a UI beyond what I showed, and that was simply a console print out, and not interactive. I'll poke CCP Veritas about a video, since he's got a blog inbound that should cover the actual use of the thin clients in tracking down some of the lag causes.

I don't think this will ever reach the hands of players, simply because we purchased two server blades with 50GB of RAM each for large scale local testing, and if that's not enough we've got hundreds of other desktop machines within the company that we can enslave for our needs.

CCP Oveur

Posted - 2010.08.18 16:41:00 - [13]
 

Originally by: Odium Devotus
So if the player base does nothing to help out, that will force you to come up with creative solutions that wind up having other benefits as well?


Sounds like a win/win situation to me.


Are you saying that your fellow players can be imitated with mindless automatons?

On a more serious note, the mass tests and the thin client are both required still, just as debugging directly on tranquility is. There is overlap between what the mass testing and thin clients can provide but it isn't that much.

Like, a mass test can't repeat the exact same scenario again and again, while the thin client can't imitate 500 players playing out a fleet fight.

However, we fully intend to allow the thin clients to take over the earth if it deems it necessary to do so to save it.

CCP Atropos

Posted - 2010.08.18 16:43:00 - [14]
 

Originally by: Krispy Dingo
Edited by: Krispy Dingo on 18/08/2010 16:31:30
Originally by: CCP Atropos
There's also turning a herd (flock? what do you call a group of these things? an army?)


i believe the appropriate term is a murder. like crows.

fully understand the need for using real live people instead of just your thin clients. no matter how much you try to emulate the stupidity a human being can come up with, you never will.

now if only mass testing didn't happen when i was at work, or could at least be moved to my lunch time.

Real Humans™ are infinitely more adaptable at breaking our fixes and showing us the where the flaws are. It's akin to one mind solving a problem and trying to think like 200 others, as opposed to 200 different minds trying to break the problem; you simply can't compete. As a result of that, we will always need the mass tests, to ensure we've actually fixed what we set out to fix.

CCP Oveur

Posted - 2010.08.18 16:46:00 - [15]
 

Originally by: CCP Atropos
Originally by: Krispy Dingo
Edited by: Krispy Dingo on 18/08/2010 16:31:30
Originally by: CCP Atropos
There's also turning a herd (flock? what do you call a group of these things? an army?)


i believe the appropriate term is a murder. like crows.

fully understand the need for using real live people instead of just your thin clients. no matter how much you try to emulate the stupidity a human being can come up with, you never will.

now if only mass testing didn't happen when i was at work, or could at least be moved to my lunch time.

Real Humans™ are infinitely more adaptable at breaking our fixes and showing us the where the flaws are. It's akin to one mind solving a problem and trying to think like 200 others, as opposed to 200 different minds trying to break the problem; you simply can't compete. As a result of that, we will always need the mass tests, to ensure we've actually fixed what we set out to fix.

I like your explanation better. We should change the name of the thin client to Fake Human™

Cryodeus
Posted - 2010.08.18 16:49:00 - [16]
 

Quote:
I don't think this will ever reach the hands of players, simply because we purchased two server blades with 50GB of RAM each for large scale local testing, and if that's not enough we've got hundreds of other desktop machines within the company that we can enslave for our needs.


Do you think that in an upcoming blog you could post some non invasive photographs of where my capsuleer sleeps when i'm not playing eve?

whenever i hear you guys talk about upgrading the server the mental image i have is one or two little desktop pc towers acting as the server. i certainly know that this isn't the case.

you might not be able to post anything like that because ooo i don't want anyone to copy us or ooo i'm too scared people will steal out secret inventions of world domination.

whatever the reason, all i'm saying is is that i think it would be cool to see where our universe is contained. we see in the inside of it all the time, i kinda want a glimpse of the outside.

Stick Cult
Posted - 2010.08.18 16:56:00 - [17]
 

Edited by: Stick Cult on 18/08/2010 16:55:58
Originally by: Cryodeus
Quote:
I don't think this will ever reach the hands of players, simply because we purchased two server blades with 50GB of RAM each for large scale local testing, and if that's not enough we've got hundreds of other desktop machines within the company that we can enslave for our needs.


Do you think that in an upcoming blog you could post some non invasive photographs of where my capsuleer sleeps when i'm not playing eve?

whenever i hear you guys talk about upgrading the server the mental image i have is one or two little desktop pc towers acting as the server. i certainly know that this isn't the case.

you might not be able to post anything like that because ooo i don't want anyone to copy us or ooo i'm too scared people will steal out secret inventions of world domination.

whatever the reason, all i'm saying is is that i think it would be cool to see where our universe is contained. we see in the inside of it all the time, i kinda want a glimpse of the outside.

I'd like to see a blog about TQ, complete with pictures... I'm sure there's one coming up. In the mean time, [url=http://www.blogcdn.com/www.massively.com/media/2010/06/cold.jpg]here's one[/url]. I can't remember if this is the old place or the new one, but it is A picture... Also not that exciting, just a bunch of cabinets with servers in em... Neutral

Chard Kalan
Posted - 2010.08.18 17:00:00 - [18]
 

Originally by: Cryodeus
Quote:
I don't think this will ever reach the hands of players, simply because we purchased two server blades with 50GB of RAM each for large scale local testing, and if that's not enough we've got hundreds of other desktop machines within the company that we can enslave for our needs.


Do you think that in an upcoming blog you could post some non invasive photographs of where my capsuleer sleeps when i'm not playing eve?

whenever i hear you guys talk about upgrading the server the mental image i have is one or two little desktop pc towers acting as the server. i certainly know that this isn't the case.

you might not be able to post anything like that because ooo i don't want anyone to copy us or ooo i'm too scared people will steal out secret inventions of world domination.

whatever the reason, all i'm saying is is that i think it would be cool to see where our universe is contained. we see in the inside of it all the time, i kinda want a glimpse of the outside.


It's a data center. Raised floor with tiny little holes in parts, large AC unit, and 6' metal 'shelves' full of servers. Really nothing special to see.

Liang Nuren
Posted - 2010.08.18 17:01:00 - [19]
 

Quote:
Mocking, Mock Objects, Subclassing...In a lot of these cases, we're reviewing and touching on older code and so we are getting ancillary benefits from reviewing these files from a more up-to-date viewpoint.


Very cool. This approach has the advantage that it allows you to seamlessly stay up to date with upgrades to the client too. I like the approach. :)

Quote:
Unfortunately when you run a few hundred of these at the same time, even minor CPU fluctuations, occurring across every client at the same time, can cause problems, so it's something we're keen to keep to a minimum.


Yeah, I can totally see this being super problematic. A system process which stole the CPU for a few seconds could cut server load in half because all of your clients are running on only a couple of machines! It also seems like you're limiting yourself to testing the server when everyone has similar ping times and fully functioning internet connections. Have you considered a flag on the thin client to introduce "fake lag" and possibly packet loss?

I can totally believe that mass tests are still going to be required - for example how else are you going to find problems like the decloaking Proteus which made everyone crash to desktop? IIRC you guys fixed this when you fixed the T3 shader/texture memory leak.

-Liang

Gil Danastre
Amarr
JAF-CO Exploration
Posted - 2010.08.18 17:01:00 - [20]
 

So if currently the thin client has a footprint of 200ish MB of memory, what are you intending to run it on? Custom building a RAM monster box or somesuch? Also, I assume these clients still can connect to the server, would we see them in space if that was the case?

Aldariandra
Gallente
MunsterMunch
The 0rphanage
Posted - 2010.08.18 17:01:00 - [21]
 

Edited by: Aldariandra on 18/08/2010 17:02:02
Originally by: Stick Cult
Edited by: Stick Cult on 18/08/2010 16:55:58
Originally by: Cryodeus
Quote:
I don't think this will ever reach the hands of players, simply because we purchased two server blades with 50GB of RAM each for large scale local testing, and if that's not enough we've got hundreds of other desktop machines within the company that we can enslave for our needs.


Do you think that in an upcoming blog you could post some non invasive photographs of where my capsuleer sleeps when i'm not playing eve?

whenever i hear you guys talk about upgrading the server the mental image i have is one or two little desktop pc towers acting as the server. i certainly know that this isn't the case.

you might not be able to post anything like that because ooo i don't want anyone to copy us or ooo i'm too scared people will steal out secret inventions of world domination.

whatever the reason, all i'm saying is is that i think it would be cool to see where our universe is contained. we see in the inside of it all the time, i kinda want a glimpse of the outside.

I'd like to see a blog about TQ, complete with pictures... I'm sure there's one coming up. In the mean time, [url=http://www.blogcdn.com/www.massively.com/media/2010/06/cold.jpg]here's one[/url]. I can't remember if this is the old place or the new one, but it is A picture... Also not that exciting, just a bunch of cabinets with servers in em... Neutral


There is a picture of the new place on the following two articles, both worth reading if you are into that kinda stuff:
http://www.datacenterknowledge.com/archives/2010/06/16/closer-look-eve-onlines-new-server-cluster/
http://www.eveonline.com/devblog.asp?a=blog&bid=769





Luke S
Zeta Corp.
Posted - 2010.08.18 17:05:00 - [22]
 

I'm not sure If I fully understand. When you mean by testing the code. do you mean testing the code on the server side or client side?

Just out of curiosity. But has someone in CCP said the doomed words yet? "why not start from scratch and rebuild a new eve?"

ElfeGER
Deep Core Mining Inc.
Posted - 2010.08.18 17:08:00 - [23]
 

about time this thing went from an idea to a real tool
btw. something like this is also a nice idea

Catari Taga
Centre Of Attention
Middle of Nowhere
Posted - 2010.08.18 17:14:00 - [24]
 

Originally by: NupetietVer
Can I haz thin client to fit on my 4gb flashdrive so I can do market trading in class again?


+1, don't need 3D graphics or audio (obligatory: eve has sound?) for most of my gameplay anyway, would love to have a less fat client available!

Stick Cult
Posted - 2010.08.18 17:15:00 - [25]
 

Nice blog. I just love the idea of having 100s of mindless titans doing my bidding... Twisted Evil

Casiella Truza
Ecliptic Rift
Posted - 2010.08.18 17:24:00 - [26]
 

Despite the pre-emptive denial, I really wouldn't mind a command-line client for chat, trade, and science/industry.

Can't blame a pilot for asking!

Aldariandra
Gallente
MunsterMunch
The 0rphanage
Posted - 2010.08.18 17:26:00 - [27]
 

Originally by: Larkonis Trassler
Quite interesting. A pity you're not putting it out to the masses. I was rubbing my hands with glee, as I'm sure were many of our Oriental brothers, at the thought of a 'lite' client for certain tasks but it's probably for the best.


By the sounds of it, you need other software to control its actions. It probably doesn't even have command-line instructions to make things happen in the game but instead an API that outside control software talks to to make it do things. All I would ever expect to see on the console screen was "Running.." and maybe some commands to run it in different modes or connect to a different cluster.

Releasing something like this to the public would cause all kinds of problems. First and foremost, because its made to be programatically controlled, it could be exploited and used as farming bots very easily, far more easily that is possible with the current GUI client. Due to its small size, it could be mass-deployed and used in combination with trail accounts create massive insta-fleets, and the like. It really isn't a tool you want out there.

Odium Devotus
Posted - 2010.08.18 17:32:00 - [28]
 

Originally by: CCP Oveur

Are you saying that your fellow players can be imitated with mindless automatons?


No no, not implying that at all. Just seems like this tool should have been developed long before the players couldn't be bothered to help fix the game they love, as 'lag' has always been a problem.

There seems to be some great tools and solutions that have been cropping up, or are around the corner. The thin client, AND making sisi more accessible to the less tech savvy folks is a great step in the right direction.

Everyone has been doing a great job listening to what the community has had to say. I appreciate the efforts, and look forward to what the future has in store

Manfred Rickenbocker
Pan Galactic Gargle Blasters
Important Internet Spaceship League
Posted - 2010.08.18 17:34:00 - [29]
 

Awwww maaaaaaan! I wanna play EVE Text Adventure too!ugh

Ban Doga
Posted - 2010.08.18 17:49:00 - [30]
 

Edited by: Ban Doga on 18/08/2010 17:49:18
Once the feature page for Tyrannis contained a hint about an automated stress testing framework using "Thin clients", as preserved in a user postings here or here.

I assume the thin clients mentioned in this blog are exactly those.
Is there a reason you removed them from the feature page and re-advertise them now?


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