11/18/2015 - Feedback Request Loading Times (Test Server)
The Test Server is up with a new build to specifically test improvements in loading times.
Several players have alerted me to slow loading and zone crossing due to the large amount of construction in game these days. I've spent the past several days working non stop on optimizations and testing changes with the help of our Guide Team.
Our test so far are showing much faster loading times. I'd like to get some more public feedback on this build before patching it out.
What I'd like to know is:
1) Does initial loading and settling into a stable ping seem faster now?
2) Do zone crossings feel faster now?
3) Do you notice any problems or does everything function correctly? (In particular, collision and architecture placement functions have been modified to support optimized entity data structures).
Note: The Test Server is in Germany, so EU players should have faster overall ping while US players will have slower ping than to the Main Servers.
In my experience, zone lag is more to tree rendering and revenants (specially revenants) than to architecture. Specially since the cross zone building patch.
My initial loading times for test were 46.88 seconds vs 50.91 seconds for War. So an improvement considering the cross ocean time.
Ping spikes from crossing zone boundaries recover faster but are still much worse than they were before the cross zone building patch.
I had a hard Windows lockup on my first login just as two revs approached near a zone boundary. After rebooting, I was still alive, but got the string of combat messages after about 30 seconds and died. Window for Infirmaries/home disappeared, so respawned after the timer ran out. Traveled back to the spot and tried to attack the rev with my stuff. After chasing around for a while with no sign of success in my attacks (was getting collision), I heard the dreaded multiple "you were hit for..." sounds so I ran off. Coming back I discovered I had actually killed the rev. Traveled to a near by rev near a particularly laggy spot. Got the usual results of several back and forth hits then a string of hits on me, but managed to run off.
Moved on and crashed with: "Error Creating Mesh Vertex Buffer: CreateRectVBOffset." After reloging, successfully killed several revs that were not near a zone boundary.
One thing is not clear to me. What patch are you calling the 'cross zone building patch'? Would you be able to skim the Patch Notes and tell me what patch you're referring to so that we're on the same page?
Also, are the issues you have with revenants and combat the same (more or less) on the Main Servers? (This current test has my upcoming creature and combat changes switched off, so creatures shouldn't be any different).
The July 27 patch was when my lag spikes crossing zones went from 80-140 to 250-600.
Rev combat is pretty much the same as on the main servers. Near zone boundaries, I often get 4-8 times by a rev without a return swing even while backing up. Previously, I only had this sort of problem near groups of 15+ revs.
I get that with most rev groups, had to learn to find someplace safe very close to them to let the ping settle before killing them.
Everything looks to be loading faster, haven't found any "blank" zones yet, and even the VR is loaded before I get inside the tribe land.
I am getting the odd small ping spike crossing zone borders but nothing drastic, and it drops to normal pretty quickly.
Did have a total lockup just as I was about to get out of the water at the SW corner of Founders, gave it a few minutes to see if it would clear on it's own, but had to use task manager to kill the game.
I'm ready for more load time testing on the Test Server.
The current build takes a different approach and separates the various loading elements (entities, trees, land) into individual threads. On my machines, loading and zone crossing is about as good as can be with this build.
With this current build I would like every action (basically regular game play) tested as much as possible. If anything seems different than on the Main Servers, please post the details here.
Also, of course, please post your feedback on current loading and zone crossing times.