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Sharding?! Oh crap

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  • DeserttFoxxDeserttFoxx North York, ONPosts: 2,360Member Uncommon

    Its only done in the noob zones, and it has to be done, do you understand how rdiclous it would be to have 5000 people in one zone all fighting for the same spawns as they fight their way to the real game?

     

    Sharding is a tool to stave off player frustration, it has to be done. after launch i highly doubt you will see any sharding on any of the starter planets after people have had time to spread out.

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  • pmaurapmaura Orlando, COPosts: 515Member

    would like to state that sharding is not the norm, they are trying to optimize servers to prevent it.

  • IPolygonIPolygon ViennaPosts: 707Member Uncommon

    Sharding is needed to keep the game mostly lag free. I don't want to start another GW2 vs SWTOR discussion, but GW2 will have sharding too. Tbh, I don't see the problem with this feature. It's the most elegant solution to overcrowded places and it won't degrade your gaming experience.

  • FratmanFratman Bumpkinville, WYPosts: 344Member

    The starter planet I played on in beta was sharded/instanced. There were people in my area who grouped with me, but we couldn't see each other because they were in a different version of the planet.

    You have to realize that Bioware doesn't have a problem with all this instancing. In their minds the single player story with all the expensive cut scenes and voiceovers takes precedence over the mmo parts of the game. The story is their bread and butter and whatever it takes to shove that down your throat is what they're gonna do. That's why every 5 minutes you will be entering a "story area" instance or running into a cave out in the wilderness with a red wall covering the entrance because you're not allowed in.

    Bioware needs to be more honest with people and explain just how heavily instanced the game is going to be.

  • zephar123zephar123 sonora, CAPosts: 70Member

    Originally posted by SuperXero89

    Originally posted by ArcheAge


    Originally posted by AzurePrower

     




    Originally posted by ArcheAge

    This wide open go-anywhere world that BioWare have been claiming for years is slowing being exposed as bit of a fib. I said it years ago that BioWare make some of the most linear RPG you can get and SWTOR looks to follow that trend no matter what the die hard want to believe.





     

    How does grasping at straws feel?

    Slippery.

    You don't know what you're talking about.

    Having played SW:TOR, it feels no less instanced than any other MMORPG on the market.  At least the phasing in SW:TOR is clearly marked.

    Unless you like fighting 500 people over spawns on launch day, there's nothing wrong with multiple zone instances.  Most likely the instancing option won't even be used that much once the population thins out.



    agreed

  • FratmanFratman Bumpkinville, WYPosts: 344Member

    Originally posted by IPolygon

    Sharding is needed to keep the game mostly lag free. I don't want to start another GW2 vs SWTOR discussion, but GW2 will have sharding too. Tbh, I don't see the problem with this feature. It's the most elegant solution to overcrowded places and it won't degrade your gaming experience.

    Uh, some people thinking splitting up the server and having people scattered throughout different shards is a pretty big degradation of their game experience. Sharding isn't an elegant solution, it's a cop out.

  • Biggus99Biggus99 Mesa, AZPosts: 916Member

    Originally posted by Fratman

    Originally posted by IPolygon

    Sharding is needed to keep the game mostly lag free. I don't want to start another GW2 vs SWTOR discussion, but GW2 will have sharding too. Tbh, I don't see the problem with this feature. It's the most elegant solution to overcrowded places and it won't degrade your gaming experience.

    Uh, some people thinking splitting up the server and having people scattered throughout different shards is a pretty big degradation of their game experience. Sharding isn't an elegant solution, it's a cop out.

    Uhhhhh, some people are also smart enough to understand that sharding exists as a temporary solution and is basically only used in starter zones and cities directly after a launch and an expansion.  Other than those times, nobody is split up.  Furthermore, some people are intelligent enough to realize that it is a far better solution to opening up a ton more servers at launch that you'll have to close down eventually, which is more of a degradation of server community experience than sharding would ever be.

    And then, you have the types of people who just spend every waking moment bitching about the game for no reason whatsoever....on two different websites.  

  • DianicDianic Las Vegas, NVPosts: 69Member

    Sharding is what made me hate EQ2 when it came out.  I would be in ZoneA1 (for example) and my friend would be in the same zone, but his zone was called ZoneA2.

     

    At the time, this was not what I was used to.  Expecting the same style as EQ1, it was not well received by me.

     

    However, we are in a new day and age 7 years later with better server stability and a larger player base.

     

    IF -- Bioware can eliminate sharding once the initial population boom dies down, I will be a happy man.  Otherwise... I will not be a happy camper.  Someone made a good point about this regarding RIFT.  Rift made too many servers and required quick consolidation post-launch... that's bad.  Initial Sharding with a guaranteed directive to eliminate the issue... ok... I can live with that... a temporary solution.

     

    Can you imagine 7 instances of Storm/Org because too many people are staying there?  That's exactly how EQ2 was, and it sucked...badly.

  • dubyahitedubyahite Lincoln, NEPosts: 2,483Member

    I haven't read this whole thread and I apologize if someone already made this point but I have to throw this in here:

     

    I understand the complaints about sharding but think about this for a second. The reason I think this is a good solution is because it makes the servers scalable. What this means to me is that at launch they can cram a lot of people onto one server and when the population spreads out or declines on that server they won't necessarily need to start closing down or merging servers. Merging servers is even worse for a community than sharding one temporarily at launch in the starter zones.

     

    Say a server can hold 5,000 people in one zone (totally random made up number) but at launch there will be 15000 people starting on the same zone. So they split it into 3 shards to accomodate all those players.  Over time the population will spread out and some people will probalby stop playing. 

     

    The alternative is this: We know that 15,000 people are going to be there at launch so we design the world for 15,000 people. A few months later when the population is spread out or if it drops then we have this game that was designed for way more people than are playing it and have to start merging servers or have dead empty servers.

     

    This may not be the perfect solution, but I find it more than adequate. 

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  • ariestearieste toronto, ONPosts: 3,308Member Common

    Originally posted by Fratman

     some people thinking splitting up the server and having people scattered throughout different shards is a pretty big degradation of their game experience. 

    Those are the people too stupid to realize that the alternative  - having the entire million-person population of the game in one place - would be a far greater degradation of their game experience. 

     

    it's between:

    "oh god, me and darth johnson are both on coruscant and in the same place, but we can't see each other unless one of us takes 1 second to click this button"

     

    and

     

    "oh god, me, darth johnson and everyone else are on coruscant and in the same place, and not only can we not see each other, but we can't even see the floor, because of the 1 million other player chraracters all trying to talk to the same NPC"

     

    seriously, think about wtf you're actually asking for.  this was viable 10 years ago when games had 10,000 total players and they were spread out.  today when games have hundreds of thousands (if not millions) of players and the games are designed to funnel them through the same area, it's impossible without splitting them up in various ways.  

     

     

     

     

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  • FratmanFratman Bumpkinville, WYPosts: 344Member

    Originally posted by arieste

    seriously, think about wtf you're actually asking for.  this was viable 10 years ago when games had 10,000 total players and they were spread out.  today when games have hundreds of thousands (if not millions) of players and the games are designed to funnel them through the same area, it's impossible without splitting them up in various ways.  

     

     

     

     

    The biggest (and best. u madbro??) mmo around right now isn't using sharding. I don't remember ever being in Orgrimmar 1 while my group member was in Orgrimmar  2 or 3.  Kinda sucks that TOR can't even do it as well as an mmo that was released 7 years ago.

  • DianicDianic Las Vegas, NVPosts: 69Member

    Originally posted by Fratman

    Originally posted by arieste

    seriously, think about wtf you're actually asking for.  this was viable 10 years ago when games had 10,000 total players and they were spread out.  today when games have hundreds of thousands (if not millions) of players and the games are designed to funnel them through the same area, it's impossible without splitting them up in various ways.  

     

     

     

     

    The biggest (and best. u madbro??) mmo around right now isn't using sharding. I don't remember ever being in Orgrimmar 1 while my group member was in Orgrimmar  2 or 3.  Kinda sucks that TOR can't even do it as well as an mmo that was released 7 years ago.

    Has a point... BUT -- I think SWTOR launch day numbers will crush our expectations and sharding will likely be necessary.  I really don't want a 1288 person queue when I log in.... LOL

  • GMan3GMan3 Ewa Beach, HIPosts: 2,127Member

    Originally posted by Fratman

    Originally posted by arieste

    seriously, think about wtf you're actually asking for.  this was viable 10 years ago when games had 10,000 total players and they were spread out.  today when games have hundreds of thousands (if not millions) of players and the games are designed to funnel them through the same area, it's impossible without splitting them up in various ways.  

    The biggest (and best. u madbro??) mmo around right now isn't using sharding. I don't remember ever being in Orgrimmar 1 while my group member was in Orgrimmar  2 or 3.  Kinda sucks that TOR can't even do it as well as an mmo that was released 7 years ago.

        I could be wrong, it was two years ago, but I distinctly remember there being sharding in WoW.  They just don't let you see it like other games do.  Even if you are right though, WoWs art, animations, and overall grahics are so low that computers barely have to work to run them.  The game simply has not progressed in that department since it was originally made while other gaming companies have been creating games that do utilize more of the capabilities of the servers and user computers.

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  • DianicDianic Las Vegas, NVPosts: 69Member

    Originally posted by GMan3

    Originally posted by Fratman


    Originally posted by arieste

    seriously, think about wtf you're actually asking for.  this was viable 10 years ago when games had 10,000 total players and they were spread out.  today when games have hundreds of thousands (if not millions) of players and the games are designed to funnel them through the same area, it's impossible without splitting them up in various ways.  

    The biggest (and best. u madbro??) mmo around right now isn't using sharding. I don't remember ever being in Orgrimmar 1 while my group member was in Orgrimmar  2 or 3.  Kinda sucks that TOR can't even do it as well as an mmo that was released 7 years ago.

        I could be wrong, it was two years ago, but I distinctly remember there being sharding in WoW.  They just don't let you see it like other games do.  Even if you are right though, WoWs art, animations, and overall grahics are so low that computers barely have to work to run them.  The game simply has not progressed in that department since it was originally made while other gaming companies have been creating games that do utilize more of the capabilities of the servers and user computers.

    I get your argument, but the masses don't want to hear excuses.  Maybe the masses will like sharding; maybe they won't.

     

    What I do know is they are very used to WoW's single-instance setup, and change is not always received w/ thunderous applause.  I'm hoping many people understand the need for it at launch.  I do hope it is eventually eliminated, though. 

  • LatronusLatronus Lexington Park, MDPosts: 692Member

    Originally posted by DeadlyByDez

    Thats exactly what I mean (multiple copies of the one open zone)

    Been in EQ2 for a long time.  I see this as a plus because it decreases lag in populated areas.  Unless you like lag.

    image
  • donxxdonxx west palm, FLPosts: 2Member

    stop being so dramatic it takes all of 2 seconds to switch and the only reason to switch shards is for groups.

  • ClywdClywd HeidenheimPosts: 258Member Uncommon

    Originally posted by Fratman

    The starter planet I played on in beta was sharded/instanced. There were people in my area who grouped with me, but we couldn't see each other because they were in a different version of the planet.

    You have to realize that Bioware doesn't have a problem with all this instancing. In their minds the single player story with all the expensive cut scenes and voiceovers takes precedence over the mmo parts of the game. The story is their bread and butter and whatever it takes to shove that down your throat is what they're gonna do. That's why every 5 minutes you will be entering a "story area" instance or running into a cave out in the wilderness with a red wall covering the entrance because you're not allowed in.

    Bioware needs to be more honest with people and explain just how heavily instanced the game is going to be.

    I agree.

    This is the reason why I think about cancelling my prorder. While I like the setting, the classes, the combat, I really hate the way Bioware presents us this soloplayer game as a MMO. Basically it is impossible to group for levelling beside doing flashpoints and one (ONE!!) quest per planet together.

    There is one instancing issue with the shards, that could be solved better by creating bigger, non-linear areas. But that would require dynamic content, something that swtor does not have at all, or a crap load of static content, that is obviously still too expensive to create.

    The other instancing issue are these walls that you run into permanently that will cut the world in little pieces. Even if you start up a dialog in the open world a little wall is created around you, to protect you from interaction with other players. Now, how stupid is that in a MMO??

    So you have to follow a designed path of cutscenes - alone, while fighting with your pet against stupid meatbags (hey, but your pet talks to you!). Therefore imho this is the most expensive and as well most boring star wars movie ever, but it has a chat box!!

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  • IcewhiteIcewhite Elmhurst, ILPosts: 6,403Member

    Originally posted by baphamet

    i will take "shard jumping" over server instability or overpopulation and having to wait in line to complete an objective any day of the week and twice on Sunday.

    this is going to be beneficial to the launch of this game and just like in EQ2 once the zones are not so over populated, you will never see the "sharding" again.

    Confirm.  Sharding rarely lasts long.

     

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  • TardcoreTardcore MinskPosts: 2,325Member

    It sounds to me like the way City of Heroes or LOTRO does things. Never had an issue with it in those games, seriously doubt I'll have any in SWTOR.

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  • skeaserskeaser Wichita Falls, TXPosts: 3,847Member Uncommon

    Played last weekend and can confirm they instance off new layers when the pop is high. Not a big deal, keeps the mobs from being overcamped. Switching is as easy as clicking a dropdown menu on your map which even shows you which party members, if any, are in which layer.

  • kaliniskalinis Dexter, MEPosts: 1,428Member

    its part of the testing. They are trying to see how many people there system can handle without having to phase a bit. Im betting they test the levels they allow pre phasing on a reg basis at this tiem. 

    its all about getting ready for launch. They have stated that phasing will be used only at very high levels of population  when it goes live other then the story ones and that they only intend to use it around launch when everyone is stuck in same area.

  • zencommandozencommando Salt Lake City, UTPosts: 33Member

    Hey, Chicken Little. That's just an acorn.

  • Asinine21Asinine21 DeSoto, TXPosts: 17Member

    This is really not a big deal. Even during the huge populations of beta weekend where the servers had a queue to get in I never saw more than 3 shards, and usually at most 2 and at most times only 1. And as has been said switching around is simple and which one you groupmates are in is clearly indicated and easily understood. The threshold of players to flip an extra shard appears to be quite large and having more people than is designated for a shard on that planet would be detrimental to your gameplay because you'd end up just running into people EVERYWHERE instead of just having people around like you would expect/want.

    The chat doesn't make a distinction between shards, and is broadcast across them. So finding people in the zone for groups/quests is not impaired. And if someone can't figure out how to switch shards, you don't want to group with them anyway. You hit M and use the pulldown menu and select the proper one (and there are only 2-3 so it's not like "OMG which one do I pick?!?") . It's simple and intuitive.

    If a feature that serves as a pressure release valve is your make or break point, you were just looking for excuses to not play anyway, or you're just trolling.

  • monothmonoth Palm Springs, CAPosts: 551Member

    As people leave a zone and the population goes down it will transfer people from say Instance 3 into 1 if they come across a load screen... I noticed when the population started to drop it won't let someone in say Instance 1 jump into instance 3, you get the message that instance is being unloaded or something like that.... but someone from instance 3 can jump into instance 1 np... this is to keep instancing at a min....  Odds are your only going to see this come launch time and then once people get spread out you won't see it anymore..

  • monothmonoth Palm Springs, CAPosts: 551Member

    Originally posted by Clywd

    Originally posted by Fratman

    The starter planet I played on in beta was sharded/instanced. There were people in my area who grouped with me, but we couldn't see each other because they were in a different version of the planet.

    You have to realize that Bioware doesn't have a problem with all this instancing. In their minds the single player story with all the expensive cut scenes and voiceovers takes precedence over the mmo parts of the game. The story is their bread and butter and whatever it takes to shove that down your throat is what they're gonna do. That's why every 5 minutes you will be entering a "story area" instance or running into a cave out in the wilderness with a red wall covering the entrance because you're not allowed in.

    Bioware needs to be more honest with people and explain just how heavily instanced the game is going to be.

    I agree.

    This is the reason why I think about cancelling my prorder. While I like the setting, the classes, the combat, I really hate the way Bioware presents us this soloplayer game as a MMO. Basically it is impossible to group for levelling beside doing flashpoints and one (ONE!!) quest per planet together.

    There is one instancing issue with the shards, that could be solved better by creating bigger, non-linear areas. But that would require dynamic content, something that swtor does not have at all, or a crap load of static content, that is obviously still too expensive to create.

    The other instancing issue are these walls that you run into permanently that will cut the world in little pieces. Even if you start up a dialog in the open world a little wall is created around you, to protect you from interaction with other players. Now, how stupid is that in a MMO??

    So you have to follow a designed path of cutscenes - alone, while fighting with your pet against stupid meatbags (hey, but your pet talks to you!). Therefore imho this is the most expensive and as well most boring star wars movie ever, but it has a chat box!!

     

    It's to help with the immersion of your class story, this allows you to go into a warehouse and kill everyone and not have to worry about respawns, this keeps you from seeing 100 other knights talking to your Master, as you know a Master can only have one padawan.   It's about pulling you into the story...  And it works really good...

    People who don't appreciate story will probably hate this game, they probably should go look elsewhere instead of trying to convince other people that there view of MMO is the only right one...   If you want a grind fest MMO with little to no story you have lots of options... Rift, WoW, Aion, AOC (after lvl 20), etc..etc..

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