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Games Hardware

How EVE Online Dealt With a 3,000-Player Battle 398

Posted by Soulskill
from the cry-havoc-and-let-slip-the-load-balancers-of-war dept.
Space MMORPG EVE Online is best known for its amazing stories, and on Sunday it added a new epic tale. The leader of a huge coalition, preparing for a moderately sized assault, mis-clicked and accidentally warped himself into enemy territory without his support fleet, endangering his massive ship worth an estimated $3,500. Realizing the danger, he called upon every ally he could, and the enemy fleet rallied in turn, leading to an incredible 3,000-player battle. What's also impressive is that the EVE servers stayed up for the whole fight, when most MMOs struggle with even a few hundred players at the same time. The Penny Arcade report spoke with CCP Games for some information on how they managed that: "It’s hard to wrap your head around, but they sometimes move the in-game space itself. 'We move other solar systems on the node away from the fight. This disconnects anyone in those systems temporarily, but spares them from the ongoing symptoms of being on an overloaded server,' Veritas explained. 'It helps the fight system a little bit as well, especially if a reinforcement fleet is traveling through those other systems. This was done for the fight over the weekend, but is rare.' ... They do have a built-in mechanism for dealing with massive battles, however: They slow down time itself. ... Once server load reaches a certain point, the game automatically slows down time by certain increments to deal with the strain. Time was running at 10% speed during this 3,000-person battle, which is the maximum amount of time dilation possible."
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How EVE Online Dealt With a 3,000-Player Battle

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  • by michael021689 (791941) on Tuesday January 29, 2013 @07:06PM (#42732467)
    No, you're reading comprehension is just poor. Each solar system shares a node with several others. When the solar system in question overloaded the node due to the battle, the other solar systems on that node were disconnected, likely for less a minute, so that that node could be dedicated to the battle. The other systems in question were placed on other nodes. Being disconnected for a number of seconds so that the system that you are in runs at full speed is much better than staying continuously connected and running at 10% speed. On the topic of reduced speed, there is a significant difference between intentionally running a game at slow speed and it breaking into a slow speed. By intentionally slowing the speed, they are employing a controlled and tested process. That is much more sensible than trying to run at 100% and just letting what happens happen.
  • by meddle99 (1946010) on Tuesday January 29, 2013 @07:26PM (#42732703)

    so who won and what did they get?

    EVE Online won. They got $25k.

  • by Chris Mattern (191822) on Tuesday January 29, 2013 @07:27PM (#42732715)

    Please repeat after me:

    Slow does not mean turn-based.

    Turn-based does not mean slow (ever seen a game of blitz chess played?)

  • by Deekin_Scalesinger (755062) on Wednesday January 30, 2013 @12:15AM (#42734669)
    Man I had such a flashback....New Year's Eve, 2002. My dating partner at the time was out of town, so I hunkered down to do some UO - a game I had put about four years into by that time.

    My little excursion out for the evening as a Tamer turned into an epic battle for both my and my irreplaceable pets - a Nightmare (fire breathing horse) and my Dragon. This was before pet summoning etc....you could spend hours finding the perfect beastie to tame, then spend hours more honing their skills. By hours, I mean weeks, months, etc. Once they died, they died.

    And mine did. After about a two hour struggle (went down a bad tunnel into a spawn of Balrons then got flanked by another set) both pets went down. I ported out...confused, sad, befuddled as to what happened, distraught...those little pixels were under my watchful eye for two frigging years, and now they were gone. Gone!

    A way to say even though I have never logged into Eve, I know what that feeling is like. Emotional? Yep. Boring, nope.

Programmers do it bit by bit.

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