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Macabre Votum
Morsus Mihi
Posted - 2008.04.29 13:52:00 - [1]

Edited by: FellRaven on 29/04/2008 14:36:54
Every since I started playing EVE Lag has been with me.

Those early missions where the accelerator gates fire you into the middle of a Hostile swarm on NPCs and you die from Lag before you ship responds to commmands.

Shopping trips to Jita.

0.0 Fleet battles where you jump through as Gate and wake up in a POD back in your home station never having seen the enemy.

This my friends if where CCP need to allocate their development resource. It's all well and good adding new content but it's a bit pointless if we can't use the content we already have.

Demos Colodan
101st Space Brigade - Wings of Destiny
Utterly Harmless
Posted - 2008.04.29 13:59:00 - [2]

Is I already mentioned here action on part of CCP is necessary!

Imperial Dreams
Curatores Veritatis Alliance
Posted - 2008.04.29 14:00:00 - [3]

I agree and to prove it here is my answer to the EVE Mag. (page 59)

9.In your opinion, what is the
most important issue facing Eve
Online?How do you propose to
fix or try to fix that issue?

Lag is quite clearly the most
important issue.
However I, as
a CSM representative, cannot
do very much about it
particularly as I believe CCP
already put most of their effort
into improving things. As a 'vet'
I can remember when we
organised an RP event in Amarr
in 2003 and 100 people showed
up. The system crashed, all the
surrounding systems crashed
and the game was simply
unplayable. Last week I was
involved in another event in
Amarr and there was 400
people in local and the game
was still functioning reasonably
well. Then on the same night
we had a fight in 49- in IAC
space. About 150 MC/KIA
jumped into the system with a
slightly larger number of
defenders in place on the gate.
It could have been a really epic
fight. Instead we spent about
90 mins playing EVE Slideshow
where a seemingly random
group of people on each side
could actually lock and shoot. A
very frustrating experience!
So while I recognise that CCP
have made major progress over
the past few years we as players
will continue to push the boundaries
and therefore CCP need to ensure
that they continue to focus their
efforts on this area and as a CSM
representative I will do my best to
ensure that they do not lose sight
of this.

Hope that answers your question! Smile

Jade Constantine
Jericho Fraction
The Star Fraction
Posted - 2008.04.29 14:12:00 - [4]

Regarding the "lag issue" -> it is an issue granted, but I personally don't think its something that is EVER going to get solved in isolation through implementation of new uber servers or endless need-for-speed refinements and efficiency-enhancing back end alterations.

Reality of the situation is that lag = a failure in game objectives and territorial conflict mechanics at the moment that have made it too attractive (and easy) to out-blob one's opponents utilizing Sovereignty tools and Starbase equipment. And this is only made worse by the current territorial conquest engine that allows the defenders to specify their period of highest numbers and activity when they want the critical fights to play out. Leads to dog-piling on an epic scale = lag.

Lots of people look back to the "golden age" of Eve when there was no lag(tm) and large fleet battles happened between adversaries and huge fun and entertainment was had by all.

Partially this is just nostalgia - partially its the fact that numbers were fewer then, partially its the fact that fights were not "alarm clock ops" and could be triggered at other times than at the defender's choosing and were by consequence far more likely to be uncertain and less numerically-charged affairs all round.

Solution to "lag" - is stop forcing the player base to fight single pitched battles at single points in space at predetermined times.

Spread out the objectives, make defenders "guess" more. Keep the battlefield fluid and distributed and actively balance the game to encourage all sides to split their huge "uber blobs" into smaller task forces pursuing multiple simultaneous objectives at remote locations.

Its a pretty damning indictment of the current 0.0 territorial status quo a lot of this could be achieved by simply rolling the clock back to 2004/05 grade capturable stations and attendant "ping pong" because at least there you had the ability to spread out an attack force and engage multiple points of enemy vulnerability and encourage the defender to split up their forces if they wanted to stop all the ongoing "flips" on that particular night.

Now I know. Yes yes, "all current territorials hate station ping-pong" because it means you need an actual 24/7 presence in space to stop the bad-guys taking the mickey out of your defenses - but really, was it so much against the vision and essence of eve when the defender did have "weak times" and "vulnerable periods" where particular timezones were a problem for them?

I mean, if I'm flying with Star Fraction's US/Pacific wing and we're peaking at a half dozen battleships because its our "weak tz" does that mean that when we get bounced by 20 enemy guys from Hawaii our ships should "go into reinforced mode" and the foes are going to have to come back in EURO primetime to finish the fight?

Funny example I grant you, but its pretty much the principle of current 0.0 territorial warfare and its the reason why the critical fights in POS domination always turn into immensely lag-filled nonsensical 15min module lag travesties rather than playing out as decent fleet battles.

Just when did we all accept the principle that the defender ALWAYS gets to fight in his or her strong TZ anyway?


So the point here regarding "lag" is that I just don't believe its meaningful to name "lag reduction" as a CSM campaign pledge without actually getting your teeth into the core issue of gameplay balance and focus that necessitates lag-inducing numbers-fests as the only method of territorial conquest resolution available to players.

Deal with the actual cause of "lag" by all means. Come up with proposals to reduce reliance and promotion of the uber-blob in starship combat. 50 vs 50 works fine in Eve pretty much. Lets have gameplay systems that split a horrible 250v250 grind slideshow fight into 5 different enjoyable mini-battles at remote points in the contested territory and then you're on the right track in my opinion.

LaVista Vista
Conservative Shenanigans Party
Posted - 2008.04.29 14:27:00 - [5]

Edited by: LaVista Vista on 29/04/2008 14:28:42
Right, i largely agree with Jade.

What we will see IS a large reduction of lag, once Infiniband hits. There's no question about it. But it wont happen without a lot of work from CCPs side, by impelementing load balancing systems, which works on the fly. It's all about delegating services, which are taking up a lot of CPU for one system, to different nodes. This will reduce the CPU bottleneck, by being able to offload AS MANY tasks to AS MANY different nodes, as possible. We still have to consider that it can be expensive to offload tasks, but sometimes the benefits will outweigh it a lot.

So while i agree Jade that if there is lag, it's a failure on the objective of the game. But i think Jade is missing that it's a product of scale AND the network effect.
You can't stop people from blobbing. It's perfectly sensible. Where there is people, people will go. Be it the market(More to buy, more potential sales) or pvp(More people to shoot).

So while fixing lag is a real thing, and should be done, it shouldn't be done alone. We should STILL encourage smaller groups of people to do something, rather then encourage blobbing.

Jade Constantine
Jericho Fraction
The Star Fraction
Posted - 2008.04.29 14:41:00 - [6]

Originally by: LaVista Vista

But i think Jade is missing that it's a product of scale AND the network effect.

Yeah but this is the point. CCP have continually made the code and network better and more efficient throughout the history of eve. Whats changed is not that they've suddenly dropped the ball and CCP DevX has accidentally coded "[[if fighters launch = make more lag]]" in the patch code.

As they've improved the lag situation player base has gotten bigger, single objectives have encouraged dog-piling and more and more ships cram into the same grid/system/node and make the situation seem worse.

Think of it like a family house. Perfectly fine when its a man and wife, they have loads of space and a beautiful living environment. They then have a couple of children, then a couple more. Slowly the house gets crowed. The father converts the antic, puts some more beds in the spare room and it all gets crowded. (he's trying hard to stay abreast of the situation.) Children grow up get boyfriends and girlfriends and want to move in! More house conversions, they turn the shed into another bedroom and partition the living room into another bedsit and all the time its getting more and more crowded! Eventually something's got to give and they have to tell their offspring to go and get a place to live of their own because ultimately thats the only proper resolution.

Eve terms -> few years ago a 50 vs 50 fleet battle was massive! It pushed the server. It was epic and impressive and made everyone's jaw dropped. But as the server has improved fights get bigger and bigger and the server cannot keep up with the maximum blobbing potential of the largest alliances. If infiniband and code optimizations allow 500v500 battles to work smoothly then the Alliances will bring 1000v1000 and complain about lag.

Ultimately you've just got to split up objectives and bite the bullet about disincentivizing mindless fleet dog-pile.

Macabre Votum
Morsus Mihi
Posted - 2008.04.29 14:47:00 - [7]

Edited by: FellRaven on 29/04/2008 14:47:30
Strange I honestly hadn't thought of Lag as a product of game mechanics in the same why as others seem to have.

Some observations of my own:

Why do POS' cause so much lag indeed all anchorable structures? just visit an Ice belt to see what I mean.
Why do CAPs cause more LAG than BS?
Why do Fighters cause more LAG than drones?
Would it be possible to have the options to remove objects from your view not just the Overview?

Mirkur Draug'Tyr
Posted - 2008.04.29 15:11:00 - [8]

Edited by: zoolkhan on 29/04/2008 15:11:50
we all suffer fear and hate lag. i am not going to repeat already spoken words of the co-candidates above me.

I would be very surprised though, if CCP has not yet figured out that we hate lag..

This is why i assume, there might be a technical limitation, some kind of bottleneck behind this lag which is just not shared with the player base. that would be bad press for ccp, obviously they cannot talk tech details too much with us w/o risking issues with their business partners running the data centers, the SQL servers or NAS.

It is my opinion that we need to know the issue better in order to address it.

Perhaps we should focus on workarounding what we cannot change for technical reasons,
setting a more attractive frame for smaller scale combat would be a start.
(i do not mean the usual vaga/nano gangs)

currently there is no way around large fleet battles if you want to conquer territory
people fear that, LAG has become an additional defense system.
(people jumping in are ususally those with pants down, as the others were already waiting with grid loaded)

reducing the need of blobfights would be avoiding the LAG, w/o fixing the issue at its technical roots, i would certainly ask CCP why they keep it his way and continue to even promote large fleet warfare each time a camera or press pass is waived at their faces:-)

i realize that my suggestion does not look convincing on the 2nd look - because even if the need is removed, people would still blob for the sake of a swift victory... tough topic

reality vs marketing - who shall be the victor? i direct this question to CCP.

Dromedaworks inc
Test Alliance Please Ignore
Posted - 2008.04.29 16:22:00 - [9]

I feel the inferband will help when it is put up.

CCP have said the lag in jita is due to the amount of transaction going on and not really the amount of players. I feel ccp could improve it by spliting the loads of this area in to three nodes. First node deals with the players their ships and cargo in the system. Second deals with the market and the third deals with hangers.

This spliting would have benfits to the player just flying though the system or buying items. It would also give three cpus of that area. However there are downsides first one node dies bye jita. Also programming this would mean changes to how the current nodes work. Would bring bugs CCP have a great programming team but they are human and they will make mistakes.

It however is a limited fix even with this in place it would slowing become a lag fest again. To stop this maybe a limit on how much you can have in a hanger at one time. I feel ten level 5 freighters of space at one time. The limit has to be linked to the amount you have on the market to stop out of date market orders creating overfill.

Jade Constantine
Jericho Fraction
The Star Fraction
Posted - 2008.04.29 16:29:00 - [10]

Alternatively fix jita lag the same way station office hoarding was fixed. Look at introducing a system whereby it becomes more expensive to post sell and buy orders in popular stations. The more sell and buy orders in a particular station the higher the penalty tariff on orders. Eventually the free market system will balance itself out and it'll become less profitable to trade from jita when other alternative hubs have lower penalty tariffs. Lazy buyers/sellers can pay a premium if they choose, enterprising traders and salesmen can establish other smaller hubs. Eventually Jita trade diminishes because if it doesn't the tariff on buying and selling keeps rising month by month. Just a rough idea, but it would eventually work - concept is that you "fix lag" by better distributing the player base.

Mirkur Draug'Tyr
Posted - 2008.04.29 16:35:00 - [11]

Edited by: zoolkhan on 29/04/2008 16:43:15
Edited by: zoolkhan on 29/04/2008 16:38:49
Originally by: annab
I feel the inferband will help when it is put up.

did you mean "infiniband"? really fast connection between servers.

That would help if that isthe bottleneck, if it is the CPU or Disk i/o then it helps nothing i am afraid.

If transactions are the problem, then this is database traffic - in which case i would assume the problem to be CPU and/or Disk i/o sided.

However, unfortunately i was not beeing offered a job as CCP-IT Service Engineer so i shut up here:)

I think though that LAG has many facettes, and i classify slow transactions in jita less critical than personal losses of subcapital and capital ships in fleet fights due to inabliitiy to act/react/respond.

We seem to see the "trade hub lag" which may be due to transactions

We also see Module Lag (introduced by the latest series of patches according to my own experience)

Where a commander would wait for minutes until a pressed button would start to have an effect

and then we see grid load delays

and delays due to having more than a few pilots jumping into a system or into a grid

The problem is everywhere, and JITA - is against popular belief, not the reason :P

All named lag types can be explained with the load of database tables
the more objects (hangar items, things in space etc) plus change of the object attributes
(transactions, position-changes, session changes)
the more the BACK END SIDE CPU / i/o is loaded.

... well.. i guess.

another topic is theclientside performance:
When i was on a fanfest 2 years ago, they announced the graphix expansion we just started to enjoy. They said due to the new techniques of texture mapping, use of shaders and whatnot - the load on the client cpu would rather drop than increase.

One thing as your rep would be to ask them why they lied.

LaVista Vista
Conservative Shenanigans Party
Posted - 2008.04.29 16:36:00 - [12]

No, the issue IS CPUSad

Posted - 2008.04.29 16:48:00 - [13]

Originally by: LaVista Vista
No, the issue IS CPUSad

That probably isn't the main bottleneck. Most of the lag in Eve iirc is created by the way that Eve sends data to the client. Which is to say it sends one big packet instead of lots of small packets.

This means that when you jump into a big gate camp you don't get incremental load you get it all at once. And that load is going to come in the form of a 5-10mb packet. Now if your machine can't handle that 5-10mb packet or it gets lost or damaged you crash, don't update and the server has to send the 5-10mb packet again.

There is a lot of gain that can be had by changing the network structure and I am sure CCP is working on fixing it.

Rebellion Against Big Irreversible Dinks
Posted - 2008.04.29 17:58:00 - [14]

Edited by: SencneS on 29/04/2008 18:00:57
I'll tell you a little story about another MMO, I was in the early beta of this MMO and no it wasn't WOW, it is older then WOW and EVE for that matter.

There was an issue, massive combat on a Continent. Every continent was it's own server. What was interesting is at 350 people the lag started, then at 375 it started to desync, at 400 people lag made it unplayable and you'd randomly disconnect.

What is interesting about this is these exact same numbers of people on a Nod in EVE it starts the same thing. Now this other game's hardware would have been 7-8 years old today. And we all know how much hardware advancement have been made in 7-8 years. However I still believe there is an underlaying hardware limit. A limit that seems to start getting hit at 350 people.

No matter how many network controllers or type of network was available this appears to be the magical limit.

Now Jita itself can handle 500-600 people I've been in there with 600 people, however a lone system in 0.0 space can't handle above 300, it starts to lag out etc.

Although I'm not a Candidate I believe the only change to make Jita and lag disappear in general is to change mechanics that force people to use the game differently. Can be as simple as setting limits on orders at stations, we all know Jita has lots of people because everything is there. If the market was changed in a way that people would only buy/sell in Jita for a cost you'd start to see radical changes.

Imagine buy and sell orders with Broker and Taxes directly related to the amount of traffic a system has. Very much like how much Office Rental is calculated.

You'd instantly see a massive change to how Jita works, systems surrounding Jita would get more buy and sell order. 0.01 ISK price changes would no longer cost you 100 ISK but could cost you 50,000 ISK etc.

A small change like that would do radically change the idea of Market Hubs you'd think it was a new game.

Edit:- I should point out this would only effect changes to Market Hubs like Jita and not effect 0.0 PvP or Fleet ops.


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