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WvW Performance and Map Cap Testing

Cal Cohen.2358Cal Cohen.2358 ArenaNet ArenaNet 

Hi Everyone,

We know skill lag is an issue in WvW. We’re actively investigating performance improvements and optimizations, but this is not a quick process and is going to take some time. While these investigations are ongoing, we want to see if there are other opportunities for some short-term improvements.

We’re planning to run some tests to see what performance gains we can get by reducing the total number of players on the map. The current target for the initial test is with EU reset on this Friday, July 10, where we’ll be temporarily reducing the map caps in WvW for both NA and EU by 21 (7 per team) and monitoring the impact on performance over the next week. The key feedback that we’ll need from all of you is to get a sense of how the maps feel with fewer players. We still want WvW to feel like WvW, and we realize that any reduction to player counts will have a negative impact on the overall gameplay experience. We will be weighing that negative impact against the positives of any performance improvements to determine if it makes sense to move forward with lower map caps beyond this initial test. If we do move forward with lower map caps, we will also be keeping a close eye on queue times and will increase the number of tiers as needed.

This is not a long-term solution. Even if we find that reducing map caps leads to big performance improvements and the impact on gameplay is minimal, we will be continuing our investigations into performance with the plan of incrementally restoring map caps as improvements are made.

aka cmc
Game Designer on PvP/WvW

Tagged:
<1345

Comments

  • Blocki.4931Blocki.4931 Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited July 10, 2020

    I really hope this works out well! The lag makes it so hard to enjoy the game at times. Thank you for acknowledging the issue exists and looking into potentially fixing it.

    I rather choose death.

  • Mini Crinny.6190Mini Crinny.6190 Member ✭✭✭✭

    Personally, good to see something being done.. but I don't think it will solve the issue, mainly on Eb

  • Simo.6819Simo.6819 Member ✭✭

    EOTM and OS are a thing for fights bvb etc , reality is that noone wants to go there cuz theres no reward , those bvb in OS actually had better server performance than the ones on border...

    Kebab [Kill] - WSR

  • It's really nice seeing you guys doing improvements and optimizations and everything, BUT the thing I criticise alot is: Why now and not already a while ago?
    I know you cant do everything at once and there are other prioritys but too many people have performance issues for a very long time (especially in big events like Worldbosses) and that not only in WvW.
    I really hope you guys at ArenaNet can give us overall performance improvements and not only in WvW .

    Cheers

  • @Cal Cohen.2358 said:
    Hi Everyone,

    We know skill lag is an issue in WvW. We’re actively investigating performance improvements and optimizations, but this is not a quick process and is going to take some time. While these investigations are ongoing, we want to see if there are other opportunities for some short-term improvements.

    We’re planning to run some tests to see what performance gains we can get by reducing the total number of players on the map. The current target for the initial test is with EU reset on this Friday, July 10, where we’ll be temporarily reducing the map caps in WvW for both NA and EU by 21 (7 per team) and monitoring the impact on performance over the next week. The key feedback that we’ll need from all of you is to get a sense of how the maps feel with fewer players. We still want WvW to feel like WvW, and we realize that any reduction to player counts will have a negative impact on the overall gameplay experience. We will be weighing that negative impact against the positives of any performance improvements to determine if it makes sense to move forward with lower map caps beyond this initial test. If we do move forward with lower map caps, we will also be keeping a close eye on queue times and will increase the number of tiers as needed.

    This is not a long-term solution. Even if we find that reducing map caps leads to big performance improvements and the impact on gameplay is minimal, we will be continuing our investigations into performance with the plan of incrementally restoring map caps as improvements are made.

    I do not think that 7 players will be much an issue for the q. But as my experience is not "how many people are on the map" but actually "how many servers are fighting toghter". For example there is no skill lag with full map but the fights are kept just between 2 servers(even 60vs60), while even only 60 players in the map, but a 20vs20vs20 with 3 servers produce huge skill lags.
    Everyone knows that, and guilds exploit this behavior to win fights/points/castles or play fair, and go away from an already 20vs20 fight, waiting their turn.

  • Eventine.8024Eventine.8024 Member ✭✭
    edited July 10, 2020

    And for everyone that is posting: please write only if you understand the difference between skill lag and fps-based lag, and if you tested the game with a basic ping <40

  • Vova.2640Vova.2640 Member ✭✭✭

    thank you cmc.

    If these tests prove successful please consider adding a 2nd EBG-like map to the mode to compensate the cap decrease on other maps.
    or even open a 2nd instance of ebg for prime hours (eg 8pm to midnight EST, 2 skirmishes).

    ps. boons and condis dont cause skill lag. u can have 3x75+ blobs standing in close proximity doing absolutely nothing and the game will be unplayable.

  • Dawdler.8521Dawdler.8521 Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited July 10, 2020

    @Tomas.6092 said:
    What is the current total number of players per map?

    They wont say, they've never said no matter how much we ask lol.

    I think thats its somewhere around 85-ish.

    Anyway I highly doubt it will improve anything to reduce the cap - we know its been happening for years and its either some code change thats the cause or its AWS. PvE has been lagging as well and the cap there is much higher (150-ish I think) so a "reduction" to WvW cap dont help.

    Dont look a gift Asura in the mouth.
    No seriously, dont. Shark teeth.

  • @Helicity.3416 said:

    @Ralesk.3215 said:

    @Helicity.3416 said:
    I would rather they actually look at what causes it (it's boons and condis) than attempt the lowest effort possible "fix" (really, it's boons and condis) to attempt to make things work better (it's the boons and condis, look at the boons and condis) yes.

    I wonder, did you even read that OP wrote that this isn't a fix but how it's to see how it compares and what changes in the server's behaviour?

    The thing there is, they should not have to test this in production, they should easily be able to determine exactly what this will do by looking at their server logs.

    It's desperation.

    First of all, how do you know they aren't trying to rework how the boons n condis apply? They might do it right now, but this temporary solution might help WvW a little.

    They have to test it in production, they need to overburden the server somehow, and doubt they can do it with their team.

  • MAKE EoTM VIABLE AGAIN, Treat EoTM as if it were a 5th BL that people can fight over,
    OR get rid of EoTM so you can impalement 'OverFlow' maps to EBG and all the BLs

    it's alos weird that you would sstress test lowering the cap by7, why not go lower 10 or 20 players, then add to the cap to see where it throttles

  • its great that you are atlast taking skill lag seriously - its only taken 7 years of players compalining that this is their #1 issue.

  • gloflop.3510gloflop.3510 Member ✭✭

    Although I would prefer having a full map without lags, I appreciate that you at least take efforts in tackling the problem. In my eyes, you should test if you can also do less animations or less skills possible. In the end, I would rather like to have a working wvw than a beautiful but laggy one.

  • I think most or all of us lack the knowledge of the back end infrastructure, how many physical processors/cpus/servers serve each "map" and if separate instances are on separate servers/cpus etc to try and backseat design the GW2 environment. I'm glad they are taking some steps to measure metrics with some relatively minor changes to see if it's a direction they can work in or they need to work in another direction. Likewise, opening more instances may or may not help, depending on the back end structure. This is what Anet's engineers are there to do. We do our part by sharing our experiences, they do their part by asking, listening, and measuring more objective metrics. Thanks Anet for giving a shot and seeing what might be causing the issue.

  • Thank you for communicating with us and "trying" to solve the issues.
    But its been 10 month since this post from "DrStephenCW (Studio Tech Director) about WvW lag and Server/CPU requirements
    -> [reddit post]

    ...but this is not a quick process and is going to take some time.

    Aslong as it doesnt take aslong as alliances :)

  • Leima.2640Leima.2640 Member ✭✭
    edited July 10, 2020

    @DutchRiders.2871 said:
    Can we name the elephant in the room? Its the low end amazon servers, which are still relatively expensive compared to other server providers. Also if anything we should test how the servers run without mounts.

    The lag was around before the mounts so it wouldn't change anything removing them. Anet put a lot of effort into mounts as well so they won't remove them, us WvW players wanted them above everything else (sarcasm)

  • Better late than never i guess, but in my experience reducing population by 21 wont stop the lag situation. We get lag when theres about 120 players on the map. Whats the map limits default size before these adjustments?

  • reddie.5861reddie.5861 Member ✭✭✭✭

    @Mini Crinny.6190 said:

    @Helicity.3416 said:
    Nice.

    Even longer queues for what will almost certainly not give a measurable performance increase.

    so you would rather them do nothing and people to continue to complain about it?

    long long time ago these lags that happen very often now only happended when there was 3 zone blobs clashing into each other..

    this long long time ago (core gw2 obviously) was before the map cap was actually reduced (yes we have lower map cap now then back then)
    this lag has everything to do with the expansions and other kitten flying around nowadays..

    theres to much useless stuff in WvW..

  • ProverbsofHell.2307ProverbsofHell.2307 Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited July 10, 2020

    I think you should reduce it by 63 (21 per team). Sure the queues will go up, but more people queuing will push people onto other maps to do things there. On reset it might even resurrect EotM (especially if pips were added back). Meanwhile? Buttery smooth gameplay for all, a total of 63 removed would genuinely eliminate the lag issue.

    Just my 2¢.

    Edit: Props for this CmC, I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw this thread.

  • Excursion.9752Excursion.9752 Member ✭✭✭

    I don't believe it has to deal with the actual player count. I believe it has to deal with the number of skills that are clicked at one time. Reducing the player count will take a few skills out of the que but it will not stop the problem from happening when there is a 3 way in SMC and everyone is trying to bomb one another...

                                                              There is a 50% chance you will not agree with me and a 50% chance I will not agree with you
    
  • hunkamania.7561hunkamania.7561 Member ✭✭✭✭

    @Excursion.9752 said:
    I don't believe it has to deal with the actual player count. I believe it has to deal with the number of skills that are clicked at one time. Reducing the player count will take a few skills out of the que but it will not stop the problem from happening when there is a 3 way in SMC and everyone is trying to bomb one another...

    When there's more people pressing buttons there's more lag. reducing map cap is a lazy way to go about it and has been done before.

    Aurora Glade Server Leader

  • Syryn.7591Syryn.7591 Member ✭✭

    I mean a few things to probably think about here:
    1. The overstacking of visual auras which does no one any favors performance wise (especially if several people in a zerg are doing this ) - why not look into only allowing 3 cosmetic auras to be stacked at any given time (this isn't including legendaries, I'm talking about chak, ghostly, etc) Cry about this all you want but y'all know you can crash people doing this trailer trash kitten. Or maybe just let other players have a check box that removes all cosmetic auras?
    2. Look at the condi cap on player characters, probably revert it back to 25 (of course keep it higher for lords/guards etc) a lot of the lag originated from that threshold change. Or at least this is how I'm remembering it, could be wrong idk, but pretty sure a long time ago you couldn't get more than 25 stacks of anything.
    3. Get better servers.
    Idk, we'll see. At this point I expect little to nothing :c

  • WvW lag has been on your known issues list for years now and you are only just starting to look into it ? like its only just started to happen ? you have reduced the player cap in WVW many times before and it did nothing, - The issue is down to 50+ players all trying to cast fancy AOE spells at once, Adding the mount did not help performance especially now they are all fancy and have effects on, Adding new super cool looking spell animations with POF did also not help.

    It is clear the servers need a well needed upgrade! yet you refuse to do this ? and your go to solution for the 3rd / 4th ? time is to just reduce player cap even more, at the start of GW2 the servers could handle blob vs blob vs blob no problems, now the servers can only just about manage blob vs blob as soon as the other group gets close it becomes impossible to play.

    The fastest solutions would be to disable a lot of the spell animations and effects in game, for example you get a lag spike when Necros do their initial engage with Shades as suddenly having 20+ shades appear makes the game lag out like crazy

    you need to understand GW2 lost a LOT of guilds and players to other games due to the lag issues over the years, the game mode is already going through a slow and painful decline. it needs saving now before it is too late - also lying to the community about Alliances how many years ago ? did not help at all. please just admit that the project has been shelved!

  • Blocki.4931Blocki.4931 Member ✭✭✭✭

    @ProverbsofHell.2307 said:
    I think you should reduce it by 63 (21 per team). Sure the queues will go up, but more people queuing will push people onto other maps to do things there. On reset it might even resurrect EotM (especially if pips were added back). Meanwhile? Buttery smooth gameplay for all, a total of 63 removed would genuinely eliminate the lag issue.

    Just my 2¢.

    Edit: Props for this CmC, I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw this thread.

    I wouldn't disagree, but that should go along with at least doubling the amount of servers available and limiting transfers/hardcapping how many people can be on there.

    I rather choose death.

  • Sovereign.1093Sovereign.1093 Member ✭✭✭✭

    Nice :) this this is an awesome thing

    Not Even Coverage is the Only broken thing in WVW.

  • xan.8549xan.8549 Member
    edited July 10, 2020

    grgrgrewgreg

  • I don’t know what you did there, but I still didn’t have such strong lags as today after the restart.
    There were lagging skills, but normal FPS. Now there was a very low FPS and working skills.
    But FPS fell to 8 frames per second when approaching a crowd of enemies. This was not before

  • DemonSeed.3528DemonSeed.3528 Member ✭✭✭✭

    It's still too early to tell as we have to monitor all week long, but the nasty lags from earlier are not as apparent atm. Will keep monitoring. I still have yet to check my other matchups on alts.

  • Dawdler.8521Dawdler.8521 Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited July 10, 2020

    @Odnako.7456 said:
    I don’t know what you did there, but I still didn’t have such strong lags as today after the restart.
    There were lagging skills, but normal FPS. Now there was a very low FPS and working skills.
    But FPS fell to 8 frames per second when approaching a crowd of enemies. This was not before

    This sounds perfectly normal. Fps always drop like a rock when there's many players nearby.

    Also keep in mind that the lag has never been consistent outside of 3 borderzergs engaging each other in the same place. Sometimes it will just randomly start to lag with no apparent reason, but many times it will run smoothly in what appear to be the same situation as that random lag.

    I just left our DBL. We had a full zerg, one enemy had a full zerg but the third side... just a few peeps. Didnt experience any noticable lag or warping, as expected. It doesnt really prove anything with the cap reduction. Need many more days and full borders to see any kind of difference - which I still highly doubt.

    Dont look a gift Asura in the mouth.
    No seriously, dont. Shark teeth.

  • @Dawdler.8521 said:

    This sounds perfectly normal. Fps always drop like a rock when there's many players nearby.

    it could "sound normal" if I had it and always before.
    But, if they were attentive, they would see what I wrote, before I did not drop the FPS.

  • Simzani.4318Simzani.4318 Member ✭✭✭

    @Cal Cohen.2358 said:
    Hi Everyone,

    We’re actively investigating performance improvements and optimizations

    No you don't.

    @Cal Cohen.2358 said:
    we will be continuing our investigations into performance with the plan of incrementally restoring map caps as improvements are made.

    No you won't.

  • Buy new, bigger servers lol

  • Reducing the number of players on a map isn't the answer. This only adds to the frustration. One problem (and a solution) is EOTM. When ANET added the reward system to WvW. they purposefully left it out of EOTM. EOTM as originally designed, was to act as an overflow map for the WvW maps and for testing new ideas and concepts. Since the introduction of WvW rewards, EOTM has been a ghost town as you removed all incentive to play there. My suggestion is possibly add the reward system to EOTM, even if it is at half (1/2) the normal rate. This at least gives players a reason to go there while waiting in hour(s) long queues. Like it is currently, it does not add anything to the regular matchups (other then supply), but it would be a huge step to making use of that map.
    B- The other option is, using the current EOTM map, make the sky areas Water and add in a tunnel system using the teleports and the central below ground area. This would have the affect of having a large underwater area to fight in, a tunnel system to fight in and bypass enemy groups, and quickly alleviating the Lag issue.
    C- Make 3 of the biggest links back into host servers as this is realistically and truly where the cause of the lag is, squeezing multiple servers into the host maps.

  • misterman.1530misterman.1530 Member ✭✭✭
    edited July 11, 2020

    I'm sorry. This has to be a typo. Max number of players on a map - overall - will be 21? Max of 7 per Server/Team? Will this test cover every map? That means at any given time, the maximum number of players that can be in WvW is 84 (21 on each of the 4 maps). 28 per Server. That'll be interesting. Since it means the servers that stack heavy in NA off-hours will be a disadvantage - am all for that actually. :)

    EDIT: Oh. Wait. I totally misread it. Reducing it by 7 per team, not capping it by 7 per team. That makes more sense. I blame a hot day and deck building for my confusion. Nevermind.

  • @Eventine.8024 said:

    @Cal Cohen.2358 said:
    Hi Everyone,

    We know skill lag is an issue in WvW. We’re actively investigating performance improvements and optimizations, but this is not a quick process and is going to take some time. While these investigations are ongoing, we want to see if there are other opportunities for some short-term improvements.

    We’re planning to run some tests to see what performance gains we can get by reducing the total number of players on the map. The current target for the initial test is with EU reset on this Friday, July 10, where we’ll be temporarily reducing the map caps in WvW for both NA and EU by 21 (7 per team) and monitoring the impact on performance over the next week. The key feedback that we’ll need from all of you is to get a sense of how the maps feel with fewer players. We still want WvW to feel like WvW, and we realize that any reduction to player counts will have a negative impact on the overall gameplay experience. We will be weighing that negative impact against the positives of any performance improvements to determine if it makes sense to move forward with lower map caps beyond this initial test. If we do move forward with lower map caps, we will also be keeping a close eye on queue times and will increase the number of tiers as needed.

    This is not a long-term solution. Even if we find that reducing map caps leads to big performance improvements and the impact on gameplay is minimal, we will be continuing our investigations into performance with the plan of incrementally restoring map caps as improvements are made.

    I do not think that 7 players will be much an issue for the q. But as my experience is not "how many people are on the map" but actually "how many servers are fighting toghter". For example there is no skill lag with full map but the fights are kept just between 2 servers(even 60vs60), while even only 60 players in the map, but a 20vs20vs20 with 3 servers produce huge skill lags.
    Everyone knows that, and guilds exploit this behavior to win fights/points/castles or play fair, and go away from an already 20vs20 fight, waiting their turn.

    Queues at least on my server are now 30-90 minutes as a normal course, with bad nights meaning just never getting in. They can be that long time wise even when there are only 10-14 in queue because with every map queued and some queues up to 30-40, no one wants to leave and never get back in, no one wants to change maps because it takes forever to get there. Stacking another 7 on that WILL impact queues in a significant way. Kill the server links and let servers stand on their own again. That will both drop server population and queues at the same time.

  • primatos.5413primatos.5413 Member ✭✭✭

    Much appreciated <3 but pleease don't forget about it!! Btt... lower cap until queues increase ..maybe this could help spreading players to reduce stacking..just a thought.. ;)

  • Threather.9354Threather.9354 Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited July 10, 2020

    This is a great change. Exactly what I suggested but 7 less instead of 15. 40v40 is much more fun, skilllag aside, than 50v50. Slowly getting prepared to introduce that 5th WvW map, eh?

    Players are so smart now regarding where to be on map that the maps were too small for the old amount of players.

    Riformed - On break from commanding
    Diamond Legend
    ~Waiting for them to fix WvW~

  • zealex.9410zealex.9410 Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited July 10, 2020

    Its sad pvp and wvw cant have a more substantial split from pve balance so you guys could change the function of skills and even have a pvp/wvw trait page.

    Maybe if cmc tries to talk to the balance team to reduce the boon and condie bloat :/