Greetings, glorious adventurers! If you're joining in our Alpha One spot testing, please follow the steps here to see all the latest test info on our forums and Discord!

RNG causing server lag?

Wandering MistWandering Mist Moderator, Member, Founder, Kickstarter, Alpha One
edited March 2020 in General Discussion
I've just watched the following video about WoW potentially fixing the massive server and input lag seen in some of its gameplay:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BCJWYUuKAZo

You can watch the full video if you like but the TL:DR of it is that because WoW has so many passive procs and RNG elements that change how much damage you do, all these calculations that the game has to do are what causes lag.

My question is, could this actually happen, or is the lag more likely due to something else like bad netcode or a problem with the game engine?
volunteer_moderator.gif

Comments

  • NoaaniNoaani Member, Intrepid Pack
    My question is, could this actually happen
    If you have a game with a server that is capable of supporting 10,000 simultaneous players per shard (as per Ashes), and yet that server gets bottlenecked on basic arithmetic, you probably shouldn't be trying to run a game.

    As with most issues in life that don't have immediate and obvious fixes, there is most likely a great number of different things all contributing to latency issues in WoW.

    Since the capabilities of the hardware you are running your game on are a known aspect of game development (at least to the developers), not taking it in to consideration when adding new content and systems would be even below the level I place WoW developers at.

    The only way this could be even possible (let alone probable) is if the developers have multiple teams adding content with modifiers, and those modifiers all effect other modifiers (rule number one of any complex system, modifiers should never modify modifiers).

    On top of all of that, those separate teams adding content to the game would need to have no framework or guidelines to work from, AND there would need to be no oversight from an itemization perspective, AND there would need to be no one checking it from a server load perspective.

    As I said, even I think this is below Blizzard.
  • Wandering MistWandering Mist Moderator, Member, Founder, Kickstarter, Alpha One
    noaani wrote: »
    My question is, could this actually happen
    If you have a game with a server that is capable of supporting 10,000 simultaneous players per shard (as per Ashes), and yet that server gets bottlenecked on basic arithmetic, you probably shouldn't be trying to run a game.

    As with most issues in life that don't have immediate and obvious fixes, there is most likely a great number of different things all contributing to latency issues in WoW.

    Since the capabilities of the hardware you are running your game on are a known aspect of game development (at least to the developers), not taking it in to consideration when adding new content and systems would be even below the level I place WoW developers at.

    The only way this could be even possible (let alone probable) is if the developers have multiple teams adding content with modifiers, and those modifiers all effect other modifiers (rule number one of any complex system, modifiers should never modify modifiers).

    On top of all of that, those separate teams adding content to the game would need to have no framework or guidelines to work from, AND there would need to be no oversight from an itemization perspective, AND there would need to be no one checking it from a server load perspective.

    As I said, even I think this is below Blizzard.

    That's kind of what I was thinking too. Yes, so many calculations might have an effect on latency, but it cannot be the only reason.
    volunteer_moderator.gif
  • MeowsedMeowsed Member, Braver of Worlds, Kickstarter, Alpha One
    edited March 2020
    Also, basic logic and arithmetic checks are super cheap. Server load normally comes from checking collision against tons of objects/AoEs in a small space, or just keeping track of the movement and actions of too many players/NPCs. But I can't imagine adding a few RNG proc checks increases the complexity that much. Unless as Noanni suggested, they made a critical mistake in allowing procs to proc other procs in a vicious cycle.

    Or they have a truly ridiculous number of passive effects applying to every attack/heal; well past the point of players being able to comprehend or appreciate each effect, and thus well past the point of good game design. Like if they had the same level of end-game insanity that Path of Exile has, but for 40+ people at a time. My skin crawls at the thought of such chaos.

    ...

    Okay, just watched the video. if what he says is accurate, then it's the latter problem. They just ruined their game design with extra passives on every gear piece plus several other artificial sources. I was under the impression that most passives came from talents, a few raid buffs, 2 trinkets, and maybe a legendary or two, but it sounds like that's not even half of it. (And removing snapshotting seems like a pretty pointless decision that contributed to the problem. But I'm sure there's a deeper debate around snapshotting that I don't understand or care about.)

    Edit: Could also be exacerbated if every single one of those effects, DoT ticks, and procs are communicated to every player in the area. I know Blizzard likes to be transparent with it's game info (and let addons sort it all out), but if you're dumping the entire server state to 40+ players every second, then yeah, you're gonna get some lag. I'm just speculating at this point, I don't know how their client-server communication actually compares to any other MMO.
    Mega troll frmr1cq9w89im2.jpg
  • NoaaniNoaani Member, Intrepid Pack
    edited March 2020
    leonerdo wrote: »
    if what he says is accurate, then it's the latter problem.
    The thing is, WoW isn't even close to having the most variables of all MMORPG's.

    If what he said were the main cause of latency, it would mean latency in all games would have to be proportional to the number of variables present, but this isn't the case.

    The only way a game with fewer variables can have those variables cause more latency is if that games systems that handle those variables was significantly more poorly designed than a game with more variables and less latency.

    If this were the case, the issue is not with the variables, it is with the game system.

    I still believe the variables present in WoW are simply one of many contributing factors - and not even one of the primary ones.

    I would speculate that pathing causes more server latency than anything else.
  • Wandering MistWandering Mist Moderator, Member, Founder, Kickstarter, Alpha One
    noaani wrote: »
    leonerdo wrote: »
    if what he says is accurate, then it's the latter problem.
    The thing is, WoW isn't even close to having the most variables of all MMORPG's.

    If what he said were the main cause of latency, it would mean latency in all games would have to be proportional to the number of variables present, but this isn't the case.

    The only way a game with fewer variables can have those variables cause more latency is if that games systems that handle those variables was significantly more poorly designed than a game with more variables and less latency.

    If this were the case, the issue is not with the variables, it is with the game system.

    I still believe the variables present in WoW are simply one of many contributing factors - and not even one of the primary ones.

    I would speculate that pathing causes more server latency than anything else.

    What do you mean by "pathing" here?
    volunteer_moderator.gif
  • NoaaniNoaani Member, Intrepid Pack
    noaani wrote: »
    leonerdo wrote: »
    if what he says is accurate, then it's the latter problem.
    The thing is, WoW isn't even close to having the most variables of all MMORPG's.

    If what he said were the main cause of latency, it would mean latency in all games would have to be proportional to the number of variables present, but this isn't the case.

    The only way a game with fewer variables can have those variables cause more latency is if that games systems that handle those variables was significantly more poorly designed than a game with more variables and less latency.

    If this were the case, the issue is not with the variables, it is with the game system.

    I still believe the variables present in WoW are simply one of many contributing factors - and not even one of the primary ones.

    I would speculate that pathing causes more server latency than anything else.

    What do you mean by "pathing" here?

    Any computer controlled entity that has to move needs to have a path to move on.

    Whether that is player pets, mobs, anything.

    Even in games with what players would consider "dumb" pathing, it is one of the most resource intensive aspects of gaming.

    It is what made EQN impossible to develop.
  • mcstackersonmcstackerson Member, Phoenix Initiative, Royalty, Kickstarter, Alpha One
    edited March 2020
    I don't know how blizzard has things set up but the only way i could see procs contributing to lag is when the server has to update other players that a proc has happened, not because of damage calculation. If they had to call a database every time they calculate damage to get each procs "formula" then that could cause issues but they shouldn't be doing that.

    As wow has gone on, i have noticed it become more laggy and always felt it was because they kept on adding more AoE (non-tab) skills and making them a bigger part of class rotations (so people are using them more). My suspicion (no facts behind this) is they never had aoe skills really optimized as they never need it in the past and keep using that old code for newer skills. It's also possible that because the game has past between so many hands that it's become a mess.

    EDIT: it also could just be because people have more actions now. After the revamp in legion, they made a lot of classes play really fast, constantly spamming out abilities, this increase in ability usage could also be part of the issue.
  • NoaaniNoaani Member, Intrepid Pack
    After the revamp in legion, they made a lot of classes play really fast, constantly spamming out abilities, this increase in ability usage could also be part of the issue.
    That is a very valid possibility.

    As someone that doesn't play WoW if I can avoid it though, I do have to ask, was there any point when there was a notable increase in the number of enemies? an example may be that raid encounters used to spawn 10 - 12 adds, but after X expansion, encounters spawning 20+ became normal.

    If this is the case, in conjunction with more non-tab AoE skills and player characters casting faster, you would then have a situation where the same hardware is having to calculate more spells being cast, dealing damage with more variables, to more mobs, all of which are pathing to various targets.

    All of that would increase server lag to a noticeable level, if it was done without any improvements or optimizations to the server.
Sign In or Register to comment.