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[Feedback Request] Alpha Two Server Meshing Technology Preview Shown in June Livestream

RoshenRoshen Moderator, Member, Staff
Hello glorious community,

We’d like your feedback on the Server Meshing Technology Preview shown during the June 2024 Development Update Livestream.

To help guide this conversation, here are a few thought starters you can choose from:
  • How do you feel about the Server Meshing Technology Preview?
  • What did you think about the presentation during this development update, and hearing more about what goes on behind the scenes of server networking?
  • Is there anything in particular you’re excited or concerned about regarding what was shown with the Server Meshing Technology Preview?
  • Are there similar systems you’ve seen in other games that you like or dislike? If so, please explain!
Please don’t feel limited by the thought starters above. Feel free to share anything you’d like about Ashes of Creation’s Server Meshing Technology Preview shown during the June Development Update

We’ll be compiling a report for the design team on Friday, July 19, 2024, so please try to get your feedback into this thread by then!

Everyone here at Intrepid Studios looks forward to reading all the feedback you have to share!
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Comments

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    MrKawashimaMrKawashima Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    Any information, big or small, is awsome! Thanks for letting us in on the journey :smiley:
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    Gaul_Gaul_ Member
    edited July 3
    I enjoyed the presentation. Despite it being tech heavy, it was very digestible. It was clear with the game's open world and persistent server design that this type of tech would be needed (or some design compromises would need to happen), and it was nice to see this approach confirmed by the studio and detailed out.
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    SnowElfSnowElf Member
    edited July 3
    It's very impressive and it's great to know that intrepid is leading the forefront on this type of server mesh technology. The preview was great and I enjoyed learning about it, even though it's still a bit outside of my wheelhouse of fully understanding it. I don't think I've ever been a part of a server mesh in MMOs before, but I have definitely been on layered servers before in FFXIV.
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    AnkhAnkh Member, Founder, Kickstarter
    Thank you for all the transparency, all the time! Viewership may be lower on these tech-y streams, but some of us love it when you talk nerdy ;)

    I'd like to start a petition to grant the entire networking team a raise!

    Intrepid Studios is set to actually "change the industry" because so many team members are allowed to not only voice their ideas, but try them until something works, and this stream has been a perfect showcase. How you can do all of that without feature creep or turning into vaporware is absolutely incredible.

    We are so freaking ready to get hands on this project. Keep up the awesome work!
    “Most persons are so absorbed in the contemplation of the outside world that they are wholly oblivious to what is passing on within themselves.” ― Nikola Tesla
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    OtrOtr Member
    I feel the engineers who worked on these solutions have more fun than we are going to have playing the game.
    Hopefully the increased complexity to optimize will not bring bugs hard to find. Good you invested to make your debug and monitoring tools.
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    AidanNautAidanNaut Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    You folks did an excellent job with the presentation.
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    CrgwalCrgwal Member
    I enjoyed that live stream. Gained a different level of respect. Keep up the good work!
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    SigtyrSigtyr Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    edited July 3
    I just want to congratulate Intrepid on their achievements with this tech. I don't want to turn this thread into a discussion about SC, but I've been watching them struggle to implement it for a long time now and you guys just slam dunked it.
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    NerrorNerror Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    Great presentation! I was happy you took the time to explain the more techy terms, and I found it easy to follow along. I was really excited that you managed to make it multi-threaded. That bodes well for the future scaling and optimization. B)
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    MandalsMandals Member
    Amazing stream. As a Sr. Software engineer and amateur game designer I love seeing this behind the scenes stuff. Awesome to see how much performance you were able to gain by multithreading the replicator!
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    VinsmokeSJVinsmokeSJ Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    First off the presentation was a big win in my eyes, I’d love to see more of this kind of thing technology related or something else! The server meshing looks ingenious, as a big time player of elder scrolls online this would have made the pvp experience 10x better from what I’ve seen so far. Can’t wait to see it in practice!
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    Keeper262Keeper262 Member
    The preview looked amazing and was explained very well. I understood it and I am not in the tech world. Seeing the amount of preparation you have done for these large scale fights is amazing. I look forward to doing big battles.

    My only concern would be for bugs and duplication exploits that we have seen in other games. But I would imagine that Alpha two will really help eliminate anything the pops up. I am happy you are not doing layering, I prefer the feel of one world.

    Thanks for all your hard work!
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    New tech is always excited! Great presentation.
    m6jque7ofxxf.gif
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    NerrorNerror Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    Keeper262 wrote: »
    My only concern would be for bugs and duplication exploits that we have seen in other games. But I would imagine that Alpha two will really help eliminate anything the pops up. I am happy you are not doing layering, I prefer the feel of one world.

    Thanks for all your hard work!

    Perhaps a competition where the first players to find and properly report duping exploits win a Proxy Kevin doll.
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    patrick68794patrick68794 Member
    edited July 3
    Sigtyr wrote: »
    I just want to congratulate Intrepid on their achievements with this tech. I don't want this thread into a discussion about SC, but I've been watching them struggle to implement it for a long time now and you guys just slam dunked it.

    The only reason it seems that way is because CIG has been far more transparent and public about their server meshing tech. SC is also a far more ambitious game in general with a lot more going on at any given moment. Not to mention that the implementation here seems to be a lot simpler than what CIG is working on and is basically just the second "tier" of server meshing tech that is being developed for Star Citizen.
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    VoxtriumVoxtrium Member
    Beautiful presentation and I loved it. Thanks! We heard that 1,000 players was the original server max before all of the optimizations, I would have liked to known what it currently is after the optimizations.
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    SerficSerfic Member
    Great presentation, this stream was absolutely huge. Even the format was appealing.
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    TawniTawni Member, Leader of Men, Kickstarter, Alpha One
    Great presentation. I've dabbled in UE in the past and your explanations were very good.

    One of the slides mentioned seamless patch deployment. Does that mean Ashes won't have regular downtime to roll out patches like a lot of other MMO's?
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    SonicXplosionSonicXplosion Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    edited July 3
    How do you feel about the Server Meshing Technology Preview?
    Im a software developer, and while I dont have a networking background, I really enjoyed the showcase.

    What did you think about the presentation during this development update, and hearing more about what goes on behind the scenes of server networking?
    I think the team did a very good job with the presentation slides. The graphs and debugging tools were great in making the information digestible. I also appreciated showing metrics before and after the changes.

    Is there anything in particular you’re excited or concerned about regarding what was shown with the Server Meshing Technology Preview?
    It would be a bit naive of me to think I could point out flaws in the tech. I saw some people worried about the possibilities of duping, and other concerns of the large amount of cross server connections (200 x 200) compared to just having servers connect to a replication layer. I think they addressed the connection issue by only making connections to adjacent servers rather than each server having a connection to every other server.

    Are there similar systems you’ve seen in other games that you like or dislike? If so, please explain!
    Well you said that some of this stuff hasnt been done before so you know that there arent lol. Im excited to see these in-house systems develop.
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    patrick68794patrick68794 Member
    edited July 3
    How do you feel about the Server Meshing Technology Preview?
    Im a software developer, and while I dont have a networking background, I really enjoyed the showcase.

    What did you think about the presentation during this development update, and hearing more about what goes on behind the scenes of server networking?
    I think the team did a very good job with the presentation slides. The graphs and debugging tools were great in making the information digestible.

    Is there anything in particular you’re excited or concerned about regarding what was shown with the Server Meshing Technology Preview?
    It would be a bit naive of me to think I could point out flaws in the tech. I saw some people worried about the possibilities of duping, and other concerns of the large amount of cross server connections (200 x 200) compared to just having servers connect to a replication layer. I think they addressed the connection issue by only making connections to adjacent servers rather than each server having a connection to every other server.

    Are there similar systems you’ve seen in other games that you like or dislike? If so, please explain!
    Well you said that some of this stuff hasnt been done before so you know that there arent lol. Im excited to see these in-house systems develop.

    Dual Universe did most of this stuff and Star Citizen is doing all of it (their public tests have been basically identical to what Intrepid is implementing) and even taking it a couple steps further.

    Edit: Atlas also did most of the things talked about in this video (at least so far, I'm currently 40 minutes in).
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    SolmyrSolmyr Member
    edited July 3
    How do you feel about the Server Meshing Technology Preview?
    I was already familiar with this concept, but it was reassuring to see the team actively pushing to put the 'Massive' back into MMOs.

    What did you think about the presentation during this development update, and hearing more about what goes on behind the scenes of server networking?
    Definitely a more niche topic, especially coming off the heels of that legendary node war stream. That said, I'm happy the devs got to talk about their work. I can tell it meant a lot to them. That alone makes it worth it.

    Is there anything in particular you’re excited or concerned about regarding what was shown with the Server Meshing Technology Preview?
    Star Citizen has been trying to implement this as well, and I do worry that Ashes development might follow a similar trajectory if it proves unexpectedly difficult. I don't think it would be good for Alpha 2 to drag on for years while waiting on dynamic gridding.

    Are there similar systems you’ve seen in other games that you like or dislike? If so, please explain!
    Planetside 2 was my entire childhood. It was the only MMO I ever stuck with, specifically because it allowed for huge cinematic battles. If Ashes can pull off something similar with this tech, it'll be my main game for decades.
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    AnkhAnkh Member, Founder, Kickstarter

    Dual Universe did most of this stuff and Star Citizen is doing all of it (their public tests have been basically identical to what Intrepid is implementing) and even taking it a couple steps further.

    Edit: Atlas also did most of the things talked about in this video (at least so far, I'm currently 40 minutes in).

    Hopefully at least one major difference is that Ashes implementation actually works as intended. I know several people who have invested in SC and they consistently report that "free weekends" are the time to take a break because the increased load breaks everything. Only A2 will tell!

    I'm ready to break things until we can pvp across 4 servers with no noticeable lag... how 'bout you?
    “Most persons are so absorbed in the contemplation of the outside world that they are wholly oblivious to what is passing on within themselves.” ― Nikola Tesla
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    Ankh wrote: »

    Dual Universe did most of this stuff and Star Citizen is doing all of it (their public tests have been basically identical to what Intrepid is implementing) and even taking it a couple steps further.

    Edit: Atlas also did most of the things talked about in this video (at least so far, I'm currently 40 minutes in).

    Hopefully at least one major difference is that Ashes implementation actually works as intended. I know several people who have invested in SC and they consistently report that "free weekends" are the time to take a break because the increased load breaks everything. Only A2 will tell!

    I'm ready to break things until we can pvp across 4 servers with no noticeable lag... how 'bout you?

    Star Citizen's live build isn't using server meshing so nobody only playing during those free weekends has ever experienced it. They've been doing short tests over the last couple of months but not during free trial periods. The tests have been pretty stable and performance has been better in general than their live servers.

    That said, I'm really excited to test this out in AoC. I hope they can both deliver the experiences they're hoping to deliver.
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    arkileoarkileo Member, Founder, Kickstarter
    Really liked the stream, it defied expectations for me once again. I enjoyed the format, despite being tech heavy it seemed digestible.
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    MilosAoCMilosAoC Member
    It sounds like every single game could benefit from a multithreaded replication process, if what intrepid has made is a solid and robust multithreading implementation, i wonder if Epic would be interested in buying it from them. I cant really think of any reasons why they wouldnt.

    Would certainly help the funding of the game haha
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    Incredible stream, amazing presentation, and if you can truly pull off all that stuff - Ashes will be the massivest mmo out there while also not lagging like a game from 2004.
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    RazelthethirdRazelthethird Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    How do you feel about the Server Meshing Technology Preview?
    What did you think about the presentation during this development update, and hearing more about what goes on behind the scenes of server networking?
    Is there anything in particular you’re excited or concerned about regarding what was shown with the Server Meshing Technology Preview?
    Are there similar systems you’ve seen in other games that you like or dislike? If so, please explain!


    ffs that was one hell of a livestream, excellent work team!
    mXtIUqI.png
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    ClonageClonage Member
    Q: How do you feel about the Server Meshing Technology Preview?
    A: Amazing live stream. I'm impressed this has been cooking for years. I love tech streams. More Tech streams please :)

    Q: What did you think about the presentation during this development update, and hearing more about what goes on behind the scenes of server networking?
    A: The presentation was well structured, and was nice to hear different developers express their insights developing the tech.

    Q: Is there anything in particular you’re excited or concerned about regarding what was shown with the Server Meshing Technology Preview?
    A: Excited to test it in game. Concerned about the cost of running such tech and if it will affect the initial planned monetization for the game.
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    ImnotkioImnotkio Member
    I just wanted to comment on one of steven's answers on the QnA about party and raid leaders tools.

    I want to raise my concern over some of these tools. For example, a bind for the players to switch their targets to a leader's ping or his target would remove an aspect of coordination and organization. Having the leader ping a person and then everyone press "alt" and then nuke that person is a super oversimplification of the necessary group communication and coordination and removes an important advantage of smaller more cohesive groups over big disorganized Zergs.

    This is one example of giving tools to groups that would be overall negative for the game. So I would plead intrepid to take a hard look over these intended tools to make sure they won't remove a teamplay/coordination/organization/skill aspect of the gameplay for the sake of convenience and simplification of gameplay.
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    AzheraeAzherae Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    Looking forward to help debug as before.

    As for feedback, my group consists of multiple engineers, some specifically network.

    To us this was a Wizard of Oz style stream, therefore I'll spare the detailed feedback since we know what the Wizard relies on.

    Good luck to all, we'll probably still be there to test your shard boundary edge cases as you need it.
    Sorry, my native language is Erlang.
    
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