Guild Wars 2 looks for short-term WvW performance improvements

    
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When you’re in hot competition against other players in an MMO, the last thing you want to experience is hitting a skill button… and suffering a pause as the game makes up its mind whether or not it wants to do that thing. ArenaNet acknowledged that Guild Wars 2’s world vs. world scene is being dragged down by skill lag, which is why both long- and short-term solutions are being sought.

A recent post on the forums announced that the team ran some tests this past Friday to see if they can get any short-term performance gains by reducing the map population. Bigger fixes are in the works, but it sounds as if those are a way off.

“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,” ArenaNet said. “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.”

Source: Guild Wars 2

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velimirius
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velimirius

even pve maps are full of lag these days, at least on EU side…

Godnaz
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Godnaz

And this kids, is why you don’t go with a proprietary game engine you knew it wasn’t working already with your first franchise game. (Guildwars 1) Had they just licensed a proven online game engine, ANet would be a completely different position at the moment. Even with the spaghetti code they’ve established, it still has the best class mechanics, play-style variety and squad based PvP of any of the big four MMORPG’s. Yes, I’ve played them extensively.

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Emmanuel Carabott

Skill lag isnt related to the game engine, its something that generally speaking is an issue with the backend not the front end. Its more likely has to do with bandwidth or computing resources available to the backend.

Even if it were a question of game engine, the engine is only part of the equation. What the game tries to do, its scope and feastures also play a part in its performance. mu legend, marvel heroes both use unreal 3 and run/ran pretty great Bless online also used unreal 3 and had sever performance issues.

Asta, archeage and aion use cryengine and run pretty great, cabal 2 also used cry engine but had bad performance.

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Jo Watt

It comes down to math and computation. 5v5, 10v10, 20v20 tend to not be too bad simply because at the max it’s only computing 40 players and what actions they are taking each second and how 1 person effects the other 39 people.

Everyone has to remember that when each person uses an ability it has to go through the process of… how many people will it hit, how much dmg per mitigation of each person, does that person have reflective buffs and how much to return, does that person have personal buffs that absorb or heal a % of that dmg, the list can go on. And the higher the number of people the more exponential these calculations go.

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Emmanuel Carabott

adding to this, one has to also keep in mind that gw2 unlike other tab targeting games actually does collision detection, IE when you fire a projectile that projectile will not register damage unless it hits its target. so if you have 40 players and one of them fires an attack, in your regular tab target mmo the backend will just check if the selected target is in range of the attacker, if it is it will calculate damage and send to all 40 players that player a attacked player b and that player b was hit for x damage leaving to the client to render out the attack. in case of gw2 a lot more has to be calculated because of the collision detection aspect. when 1 of those players fires of an attack, assuming the attacker has a target the game gets speed of direction of the target and based on the speed of the projectile being fired calculates a firing solution and shoots the projectile at that point. It needs to send all clients in range the exact point the attacker fired too. “Each frame” it has to then check if the projectile collides with any of those 40 players. Since due to collision detection now lag becomes a major factor the game needs to update clients not just with the position of the players but also with the position of the projectile to avoid situations were players get hit out of no where or appear to be hit and the damage doesn’t register because a projectile position isnt in sync between backend and client. if all 40 players launch just one attack thats 2x as much data to send to players “every frame” and 40x as much calculations that need to be calculated in the background compared to other tab targeting games.

Of course this is based on my understanding, there may very well be optimizations that reduce those numbers such as what “every frame” really means but I feel confident to say due to how gw2 works both the backend and the front end need to do a lot more computations then your average MMO. I also think this is probably major reason why cpu is a major bottleneck for Gw2. I dont think its simply just because the engine is not well optimized (it might be a factor as well, obviously I dont know how optimize it is or it isnt ofcourse) it is also at least in part because the game is also more computational intensive than most other MMOs

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Bill Teddington

The irony that everyone that thinks they know everything about the game always blames “spaghetti code” like it’s the cause of everything wrong with the game…

You need to remember 8 years ago game engines like Unreal sucked for mmo’s, in fact I believe it still isn’t optimal, cryengine was horrid back then as well, havok was not very optimal for mmos

Look at it this way WoW and Final Fantasy 14 use there own proprietary engines, in order for WoW to be new WoW blizzard overhauled the engine and its why blizzard said it was unlikely legacy server would be made, it was only after the backlash and fans demand for one forced them to release it, but what I’m saying is MMOs and mainstream game engines normally don’t agree well with each other.

Name one successful mmo that used a engine from 8 years ago… Let alone an engine that is computing over >100 people on a map in an active action based combat like, with the amount of chaos in wvw it’s not surprising the with everything going on the server might struggle to compute 120 odd different things going on at once the computational power there servers have to compute the amount of skills popping, graphics popping and over position of each and everyone on map its probably dificult for a ton codes

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Eamil

This is true. Hell, SWTOR and ESO both run on HeroEngine, and suffer some serious problems to a greater or lesser degree because of it.

I think the bottom line is that whether your engine is licensed or proprietary, you have to make sure your tech foundation is solid if you want your MMO to continue to develop smoothly long-term. This is why I respect the effort Camelot Unchained has put towards that, even if it’s frustrating how long the game has taken to develop.