Camelot Unchained - 500 Player Battles - Possible?

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  • GdemamiGdemami Member EpicPosts: 10,938
    Torval said:
    If the claim is true that no one else has done it before
    Such claim is false.
  • cameltosiscameltosis ipswichMember EpicPosts: 1,761
    Just jumping in here for a quick post because it's getting late and it was a looong day. So I'll keept it fairly short (for me at least) and sweet.

    1) Is 500 player battles possible - Of course it is. As noted above, Planetside 1 & 2 had larger battles than that. Yes, they pushed a lot of stuff to the client to achieve that (we don't) so it's not totally on point but it is a useful data point.

    2) As of our last internal video we had 1500 Bots running around without any major lag and my FPS was well over 30 at the time (3 year old normal PC, 1 GTX970). Now, because it was just Bots and not Bots + VFX + abilities that too is a data point but not proof of 1K battles yet. I was running around in the video through the moshpit of 1500 Bots and performance was great. Perfect? Nope, but my FPS always stayed high enough to play normally and the UI was responsive.

    3) There have been some good explanations (not all were totally correct) about the issues with large-scale battles in games. It really boils down to 3 major points: how hard your PC has to work, how hard your video card has to work, and how hard our servers have to work per frame (FPS). We need to be able to pass a ton of data through the network to your PC and back again and then both ends of the equation have to process that data and make magic happen on your screens so the game looks/feels/plays right. Really simplistic explanation I know (it's late, I'm tired) but it is accurate albeit missing tech talk/buzzwords/etc.  highlights one advantage that we have over most other game engines and that is that our engine is fully multithreaded on both the client/server side. Multithreading allows us to take advantage of all the power of the client PC/servers that run the game. This gets us more power to play with than the average game. As many of us know, multithreaded engines are a pain in the ass to create, a major PITA. This is one of the things that slowed us down a bit more than we hoped it would. OTOH, now with both AMD and Intel embracing the "moar cores plz!" philosophy, our engine is well-positioned for the continuing growth of the average PC but also for this game.

    4) Bots, while not players, once they begin firing off abilities again, will then be closer to an actual player during an actual battle in terms of the network bandwidth they eat (they currently eat more than a player who is just moving around), and in terms of the VFX that are fired off that eat up the processing power of the card/PC. This will be the next major test of our engine and we're getting close (maybe this week) to having Bots back to their old selves again. In older tests we did have more than 1K Bots firing off abilities under the old ability system and the old animation system.

    5) FYI, we aren't cheating in any way to get our numbers. Nobody here said it or hinted at it, I just wanted to make that clear. We are still using our server-side physics and non-friendly collision systems. 

    6) There are ways to further optimize performance on the client side that we haven't begin to work with yet. We expect to some additional savings there once we do.

    7) We couldn't have done this without building our own engine according to the key senior engineers at CSE and Andrew (who knows a wee bit about engines).  

    So, that's a quick summary. Do I think we'll get to 500 people in a battle and have 30 FPS on less than a 10xx series card? Yes. Will we have it when you are sieging a castle and the castle is collapsing around you and lots of siege engines are firing? Yes. Can we get to 1K or more with lots of crazy VFX going off while multiple parts of the castle are collapsing? I think so but I can't attest to that yet because we're still implementing the next stage of our VFX system. Once we are in Beta we will move to the second stage of implementation for that system that will get us other speed increases. Plus, I know we can get a lot of savings with the VFX system once we start playing with optimizations. But, as you folks know, I'm not big on hype in terms of CU (I made that promise with this game and I've stuck to it) so until I actually see the new animation + ability + VFX/SFX systems working in complete harmony, I'll stick to the facts, and nothing but the facts. :)

    Now, can things still go wrong? Absolutely. OTOH, our Bots do a really good job of beating on the important network/server based systems. And one of the things I'm budgeting for Beta 1 is setting up a local server cluster that runs the maximum number of Bots 24x7 with the latest builds of the game. That will shake out a lot of issues. We didn't have that tech nor cloud services for Dark Age nor WAR, though I wanted our own version of Bots for the later. If we had that capability then, things would have been different. I'm fortunate that we can do so for Camelot Unchained and that my co-founder Andrew, and the rest of the team, were totally behind it. Our Bot system will be pretty useful and unique when we are done with it,

    Great question and some really great posts/analysis here, well-done all!

    -Mark

    P.S. Night all!


    Thanks for stopping in Mark, much appreciated!

    The big things I pulled out of your post:

    1) You're trying to keep most of the computation server side. Definitely a good thing in terms of preventing hacking. Sounds like your bot system is close to simulating the amount of processing needed so sounds like you're nearly there. 

    2) You've solved the bandwidth issue. From what you were saying, you can already simulate the amount of data transfer needed for 1500+ player battles, so that is one of the potential issues already solved. 

    3) You personally use a GTX970... same card as me! Makes me feel more confident that the game will run well on "average" machines. 

    4) Visual effects sounds like the last big thing to test and solve, but also sounds like you've got a lot more room for client-side optimisation which is where the burden of processing VFX is going to lie. 



    Definitely feeling good about the future of this game :smile:

    JamesGoblinDiegoMarquez
  • SEANMCADSEANMCAD Houston, TXMember EpicPosts: 16,435
    here is a little game created by a few people..no biggy kinda studio


    Excession

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  • TorvalTorval Member LegendaryPosts: 15,054
    The GTX970 is not an average system card. It's a high end system card. If it doesn't run well on a 970 then that should be worrisome.

    It does looks good on paper and those are some good answers. It still leaves a lot unanswered and only gives up part of the picture.
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  • erevuserevus Member UncommonPosts: 71
    Just jumping in here for a quick post because it's getting late and it was a looong day. So I'll keept it fairly short (for me at least) and sweet.

    1) Is 500 player battles possible - Of course it is. As noted above, Planetside 1 & 2 had larger battles than that. Yes, they pushed a lot of stuff to the client to achieve that (we don't) so it's not totally on point but it is a useful data point.

    2) As of our last internal video we had 1500 Bots running around without any major lag and my FPS was well over 30 at the time (3 year old normal PC, 1 GTX970). Now, because it was just Bots and not Bots + VFX + abilities that too is a data point but not proof of 1K battles yet. I was running around in the video through the moshpit of 1500 Bots and performance was great. Perfect? Nope, but my FPS always stayed high enough to play normally and the UI was responsive.

    3) There have been some good explanations (not all were totally correct) about the issues with large-scale battles in games. It really boils down to 3 major points: how hard your PC has to work, how hard your video card has to work, and how hard our servers have to work per frame (FPS). We need to be able to pass a ton of data through the network to your PC and back again and then both ends of the equation have to process that data and make magic happen on your screens so the game looks/feels/plays right. Really simplistic explanation I know (it's late, I'm tired) but it is accurate albeit missing tech talk/buzzwords/etc.  highlights one advantage that we have over most other game engines and that is that our engine is fully multithreaded on both the client/server side. Multithreading allows us to take advantage of all the power of the client PC/servers that run the game. This gets us more power to play with than the average game. As many of us know, multithreaded engines are a pain in the ass to create, a major PITA. This is one of the things that slowed us down a bit more than we hoped it would. OTOH, now with both AMD and Intel embracing the "moar cores plz!" philosophy, our engine is well-positioned for the continuing growth of the average PC but also for this game.

    4) Bots, while not players, once they begin firing off abilities again, will then be closer to an actual player during an actual battle in terms of the network bandwidth they eat (they currently eat more than a player who is just moving around), and in terms of the VFX that are fired off that eat up the processing power of the card/PC. This will be the next major test of our engine and we're getting close (maybe this week) to having Bots back to their old selves again. In older tests we did have more than 1K Bots firing off abilities under the old ability system and the old animation system.

    5) FYI, we aren't cheating in any way to get our numbers. Nobody here said it or hinted at it, I just wanted to make that clear. We are still using our server-side physics and non-friendly collision systems. 

    6) There are ways to further optimize performance on the client side that we haven't begin to work with yet. We expect to some additional savings there once we do.

    7) We couldn't have done this without building our own engine according to the key senior engineers at CSE and Andrew (who knows a wee bit about engines).  

    So, that's a quick summary. Do I think we'll get to 500 people in a battle and have 30 FPS on less than a 10xx series card? Yes. Will we have it when you are sieging a castle and the castle is collapsing around you and lots of siege engines are firing? Yes. Can we get to 1K or more with lots of crazy VFX going off while multiple parts of the castle are collapsing? I think so but I can't attest to that yet because we're still implementing the next stage of our VFX system. Once we are in Beta we will move to the second stage of implementation for that system that will get us other speed increases. Plus, I know we can get a lot of savings with the VFX system once we start playing with optimizations. But, as you folks know, I'm not big on hype in terms of CU (I made that promise with this game and I've stuck to it) so until I actually see the new animation + ability + VFX/SFX systems working in complete harmony, I'll stick to the facts, and nothing but the facts. :)

    Now, can things still go wrong? Absolutely. OTOH, our Bots do a really good job of beating on the important network/server based systems. And one of the things I'm budgeting for Beta 1 is setting up a local server cluster that runs the maximum number of Bots 24x7 with the latest builds of the game. That will shake out a lot of issues. We didn't have that tech nor cloud services for Dark Age nor WAR, though I wanted our own version of Bots for the later. If we had that capability then, things would have been different. I'm fortunate that we can do so for Camelot Unchained and that my co-founder Andrew, and the rest of the team, were totally behind it. Our Bot system will be pretty useful and unique when we are done with it,

    Great question and some really great posts/analysis here, well-done all!

    -Mark

    P.S. Night all!



    Thx For stepping in Mark and share some info.

    Bring back RvR.
    JamesGoblin
  • GavyneGavyne Hollywood, CAMember UncommonPosts: 91
    I still have my doubts about smooth 500 players gameplay, especially when we factor in the things CU wants to do with combat & spell abilities.  CU's combat isn't aiming to have normal melee sword swings or single fireball casts that travel unhinged to its destination.  But like my sig says, CU is the game I'm waiting for, the only game I have funded on kickstarter.  

    I would totally settle for enjoyable 150 player battles.  Because right now, most if not all of the popular MMO titles on the market can not handle more than 100 players without server-side lag, player warping, spell/combat cast delays, etc..  There are some fun games out there, but I don't play them as much these days because things become not fun when you get above 80-100 players.
    JamesGoblin

    Played: EQ1-AC1-DAOC-FFXI-L2-EQ2-WoW-LOTR-VG-WAR-GW2-ESO-BDO
    Waiting For: CU

  • GdemamiGdemami Member EpicPosts: 10,938
    edited June 29
    Gavyne said:
    I still have my doubts about smooth 500 players gameplay
    Why?

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

    Like I said before, it is a question whether it is worthy because it comes with a price - graphics, animations, combat system etc.

    Regardless, this is mostly a design problem.
    Post edited by Gdemami on
    TorvalJamesGoblin
  • GavyneGavyne Hollywood, CAMember UncommonPosts: 91
    Gdemami said:
    Gavyne said:
    I still have my doubts about smooth 500 players gameplay
    Why?

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

    Like I said before, it is a question whether it is worthy because it comes with a price - graphics, animations, combat system etc.

    Regardless, this is mostly a design problem.
    I was in those pre-alpha tests, I know how things run ingame.  I also know most of the spells & combat abilities systems MJ promised were not in place yet, neither are new animations and VFX.  They are the real taxing part of client & server-side computations.  

    Anyways, may seem like I don't like CU but it's the opposite.  I've funded CU, I'm a founder, and it's the one game I'm most looking forward to.  But as MJ just confirmed, their ambition for bigger and larger has slowed them down in development.  They promised 500+ players smooth combat, so now they have to deliver.  For me personally I would love for the game to come down to Earth and deliver smooth and amazing combat with 150-200 players.  It would've speed up the development process, allow them to polish the game even more, and do more with combat & abilities, but I know that's not going to happen.

    When it comes to zerg vs zerg, there does come to a point where you feel it's too much.  I use GW2 as an example often because not many games followed DAOC's concept of tri-realm setup, but GW2 does with its WvWvW.  Seeing 80 vs 80 vs 80 happens ingame, and it used to be 100+ vs 100 vs 100 but they scaled the limit down since the last expansion due to server-side lag.  But there are times in GW2 where you just feel it's too much, the zergs are too big, things are too laggy, and it actually stops being fun.  That's what I'm afraid of for CU once people get over the honeymoon phase.
    JamesGoblinmeddyck

    Played: EQ1-AC1-DAOC-FFXI-L2-EQ2-WoW-LOTR-VG-WAR-GW2-ESO-BDO
    Waiting For: CU

  • SEANMCADSEANMCAD Houston, TXMember EpicPosts: 16,435
    GUYS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


    GODDAMNIT

    Excession

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  • GavyneGavyne Hollywood, CAMember UncommonPosts: 91
    SEANMCAD said:
    GUYS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


    GODDAMNIT

    Cool, a bunch of people swinging swords.  Thank god CU isn't building a gameplay like this.  Apples to Oranges, that game isn't comparable not even slightly to what CU is going to be.  Please stop posting it.
    JamesGoblin

    Played: EQ1-AC1-DAOC-FFXI-L2-EQ2-WoW-LOTR-VG-WAR-GW2-ESO-BDO
    Waiting For: CU

  • SEANMCADSEANMCAD Houston, TXMember EpicPosts: 16,435
    Gavyne said:
    SEANMCAD said:
    GUYS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


    GODDAMNIT

    Cool, a bunch of people swinging swords.  Thank god CU isn't building a gameplay like this.  Apples to Oranges, that game isn't comparable not even slightly to what CU is going to be.  Please stop posting it.
    the game has full blown combat as you would expect a battle like that to be including horses and catapults.


    guys at least make an effort to be somewhat informed on this and stop going out of your way to stay ignorant.

    500 person battle is not being unrealstic.

    Please do not respond to me, even if I ask you a question, its rhetorical.

    Please do not respond to me

  • GdemamiGdemami Member EpicPosts: 10,938
    Gavyne said:
    They are the real taxing part of client & server-side computations.
    Those have nothing to do with server or networking, it's processed purely client side. For the rest of your post...ugh...
    Torval
  • GavyneGavyne Hollywood, CAMember UncommonPosts: 91
    SEANMCAD said:
    the game has full blown combat as you would expect a battle like that to be including horses and catapults.


    guys at least make an effort to be somewhat informed on this and stop going out of your way to stay ignorant.

    500 person battle is not being unrealstic.


    Please add spells and CU-style counter & reactionary spells, let's see how the game runs with 200, let alone 500.
    JamesGoblin

    Played: EQ1-AC1-DAOC-FFXI-L2-EQ2-WoW-LOTR-VG-WAR-GW2-ESO-BDO
    Waiting For: CU

  • SEANMCADSEANMCAD Houston, TXMember EpicPosts: 16,435
    edited June 29
    Gavyne said:
    SEANMCAD said:
    the game has full blown combat as you would expect a battle like that to be including horses and catapults.


    guys at least make an effort to be somewhat informed on this and stop going out of your way to stay ignorant.

    500 person battle is not being unrealstic.


    Please add spells and CU-style counter & reactionary spells, let's see how the game runs with 200, let alone 500.
    yes not a problem and that was done almost 10 years ago




    Post edited by SEANMCAD on
    GdemamiExcession

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  • TamanousTamanous Edmonton, ABMember RarePosts: 2,593
    edited June 29
    Head to https://www.twitch.tv/citystategames/videos/all and find some the engineer vids that explain the engine very well.

    CU has tested 1000 man battles so 500 is considered an easy target for them. One of the core features is having a full server side physics engine. Having it run entirely from a server is what most or all other mmos have not done before. It's actually this that adds a level of security that all other games could not have. If you client hack you will only see the hack result on your own client while others in game will see your character limited like anyone else and likely pwn you because you will think you are elsewhere when you actually aren't.

    Along with 500-1000 man battles the game also has a nearly unlimited view range. You can literally see other characters miles away. This is also nearly unheard of in other mmos. Real physics means that if you shoot projectiles (magic, arrows, ballista ammo, etc, which are real objects in game that can interact with each other ... with interesting results) from a tower, it will go much farther.

    Why such large battles? Because siege warfare is the main part of the game. Players themselves build their cities, keeps and castles. These buildings are restricted by real physics and materials used. An army of players can arrive with materials, construct their siege weapons and destroy structures the same way they were built ... brick by brick.

    Of course there are other elements to the game that creates the now overused term "emergent game play" but the engine is meant to support a massive, fully seamless world with 100% non-instanced and siege'able player built city/housing using real physics that allows objects to interact with other objects. In fact the engine is fully capable of being a FPS game (although it will be a hybrid target game due to it's design concept), have ships and flight but the game scope will determine what is done vs what can be done.

    How this can all be done is best researched but (if I remember correctly) things like the physics engine, VFX systems and each large landmass run on entirely separate servers than player elements. The net code offers a ridiculous amount of pipelines independent from each other and each component of the game is built with performance in mind from the very beginning.

    End result is a game built entirely to support such large battles in a new and unique way. That is what's impressive about it ... not how pretty it may end up being.

    (lol. I read Mark's reply not knowing it was actually Mark)
    Post edited by Tamanous on
    JamesGoblinlaserit

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  • TimEisenTimEisen Columnist Member RarePosts: 2,979
    CU Engine does these things. 
    JamesGoblin
    I used to role-play a Warrior Priest now I role-play a writer.
    "Basically if a Ninja Turtle used it, or close to it, I like it."
  • ShadanwolfShadanwolf Member UncommonPosts: 2,336
    From what I have read and seen  discussed ,the game has already demonstrated an ability to handle far more than 500.
  • illeriller Aspen''s 4th hole, COMember UncommonPosts: 504
    I'm pretty tech-ignorant, so I'm looking for some expert opinions.  The Kickstarter for Camelot Unchained states that their goal is to "Maintain an absolute minimum of 30 FPS in battles of up to 500 people."  That's why they're building a custom engine:  no one else, apparently, has built an available engine that can do this.  My question is, is this even feasible with modern technology?
    It sure is, but all of your Cores will eventually MELT if you don't have an amazing Cooling setup.  ...the reason for this, is that no other MMORPG's are built from the ground up to 100% max out all 8-16 cores but CityState's Q&A vloggers assure us that real multithreading is one of their top priorities.

    It will probably still suffer Hitching issues related to SSD limitations and some projectile/collision lag between players in different Sectors (server-clusters) but it should no longer be the case that we're just sitting there watching an absolute slideshow while half of our CPU cores sit at 20% capacity
  • GavyneGavyne Hollywood, CAMember UncommonPosts: 91
    Nevermind, I'll just wait until they show me they can do it.  I'm a founder so I'll get to see it first, no point in arguing over it.  If we're sticking to the facts, which is what MJ likes to do, then no they have not successfully tested CU with 500 players running the latest spells/combat abilities, VFX, new animations, and player character armors/weapons.  

    CU as promised by MJ is supposed to do much more than what we've seen in the alpha so far.  And a lot of the things still missing are things that would put stress on the servers and the client computers.

    Will they be able to do it?  We'll see.

    Played: EQ1-AC1-DAOC-FFXI-L2-EQ2-WoW-LOTR-VG-WAR-GW2-ESO-BDO
    Waiting For: CU

  • ScorchienScorchien Hatboro, PAMember EpicPosts: 4,086
    Ill believe it when i see it , live in game , Noone has managed this yet without problems .. Very skeptical that they can
  • SEANMCADSEANMCAD Houston, TXMember EpicPosts: 16,435
    Gavyne said:
    Nevermind, I'll just wait until they show me they can do it.  I'm a founder so I'll get to see it first, no point in arguing over it.  If we're sticking to the facts, which is what MJ likes to do, then no they have not successfully tested CU with 500 players running the latest spells/combat abilities, VFX, new animations, and player character armors/weapons.  

    CU as promised by MJ is supposed to do much more than what we've seen in the alpha so far.  And a lot of the things still missing are things that would put stress on the servers and the client computers.

    Will they be able to do it?  We'll see.
    its kind of like saying 
    'we are sticking to the facts and they have not tested that multiple people can be on the server at one time'
    we know very well that server technology exists and works, just like we know massive battles with lots of things going on works as well.

    graphic quality might be a concern on that but generally speaking it should be zero problem, the only question is how many polygons to do you want on your models.

    Please do not respond to me, even if I ask you a question, its rhetorical.

    Please do not respond to me

  • illeriller Aspen''s 4th hole, COMember UncommonPosts: 504
    SEANMCAD said:

    graphic quality might be a concern on that but generally speaking it should be zero problem, the only question is how many polygons to do you want on your models.
    Polycount isn't main cause of the bottlenecking, it's just the leading contributor to all the other Bells and Whistles which make up "Eye Candy CREEP" in modern games.  ...Variables like:   Deformation, Particles, dynamic physics, attachments, particles attached to the attachments that attach to your model; and the reason for this is that all of the variable for various ways that Light can interact and be emitted and/or refracted off these Eye Candy effects has to be communicated through the CPU's lower level cache.   This is because MMORPG designers are LAZY about things they don't understand and among all the things they deal with on a daily basis, this is one the the things they understand the least.  ..they don't go about designing world aethertics & grouping encounters or anything else in a way that tackles these issues at their foundational levels.  They just throw demands to make "pieces of flare" at the Art departments and cross their fingers that everything will run at 30 frames when they get 20-30 ppl on the same screen together.   SCALING has never been one of their strong points and it never will until MMORPG'ers become a bit more discerning about choosing performance over flashy traillers and fancy looking horse armors
    GdemamiJamesGoblin
  • GdemamiGdemami Member EpicPosts: 10,938
    Tamanous said:
    CU has tested 1000 man battles so 500 is considered an easy target for them. 
    No, it is not an easy target. All the tests so far were backend focused, with barebone graphics and limited network testing capabilities.

    They still have very long way to go....
    DistopiaTorvalKyleran
  • DistopiaDistopia Baltimore, MDMember EpicPosts: 21,173
    Gdemami said:
    Tamanous said:
    CU has tested 1000 man battles so 500 is considered an easy target for them. 
    No, it is not an easy target. All the tests so far were backend focused, with barebone graphics and limited network testing capabilities.

    They still have very long way to go....
    I'm sure even they (Mj and CO) would agree there. 

    For every minute you are angry , you lose 60 seconds of happiness."-Emerson


  • TamanousTamanous Edmonton, ABMember RarePosts: 2,593
    edited July 3
    Gdemami said:
    Tamanous said:
    CU has tested 1000 man battles so 500 is considered an easy target for them. 
    No, it is not an easy target. All the tests so far were backend focused, with barebone graphics and limited network testing capabilities.

    They still have very long way to go....
    You clearly haven't followed the game's development closely. They are already testing near release triangle and particle counts. You likely confuse textures with graphics that impact server side ... they do not. They impact the client pc.

    On top of the current updates to the VFX that runs more efficiently than when they even ran those bot tests, the land mass the 500 player battle is on runs on it's own server, the physics system runs on it's own server and the vfx system is separate as well hence why the pet classes use it instead of standard models like mobs and characters. They don't impact the game's performance on the same network layers. So many of the things you likely believe impacts the 500+ player counts in fact do not. This is the point of the custom engine.

    The net code is what is being tested already. It is why they took 2 years to make the engine. It is why they test with up to 1500 bots that run like clients logged into the game to emulate real player connections along with real players. This is not "backend". 

    Mark and the main engineers have no troubles believing they can run 500 player battles. Not one worry at all.
    Post edited by Tamanous on
    meddyckGdemami

    You stay sassy!

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