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Drakin

Instancing and big orgs

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I'm wondering if much thought has yet been giving to the impact of "instancing" on big organizations.

As a quick example of the sort of thing I'm talking about, let's assume there's a 50 person limit "per instance" at the time SC goes live. And in this example, TA decides to attack an enemy that has 40 people in various ships at a base. We gather up 100 people in various ships and give the go ahead to attack, but only the first 10 people/ships make it into the instance where the 40 enemy are. The other 90 TA attackers get placed into two other instances by themselves, and can't even help with the battle.

This is a hugely oversimplified example, and I don't think it will actually work quite this way (maybe the instancing will auto-balance and split the defenders into separate instances... but that has its own huge issues), but I'm just trying to give an idea of the sort of thing I'm concerned about.

Anyone given this much thought yet? I know instancing has been discussed a lot on the RSI forums, but I can't say I have anything close to a full understanding of how it is expected to work. But let's say someone can give a reasonably authoritative summation of how instancing will work, then my question is: how will it impact TA and our potential plans?

Edited by Drakin

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I'm still watching the video you linked to, so maybe there will be something in it that gives more insight, but in all the posts I've read about instancing I've never read anything authoritative that suggests everyone from a large org will be able to get in on an instance.

Instead, I've read that everyone will be on the main server that tracks where everyone is and what items they have, but when people/ships get close enough for interaction (battle), they are then placed in a "battle" instance which is limited to a certain number of people. The number of people that will be in such an instance has not yet been determined, and will depend on bandwidth and CPU resources and such, but each instance will have a relatively limited number of slots (with some reserved so that friends and persons of interest can join).

I really think this is going to impact the way large battles are fought in a really big way, and I do not think that some of the ideas that various people have described for how large battles will work will be possible. Most likely, and this is almost being optimistic, I think large battles are going to be split into mini-skirmishes, and it will be important to make sure that the ships that are critical to  your specific squad or battle group are friended/tagged so that they get placed in the same instance with you. Otherwise you could end up being placed in an instance where you're fighting alongside people you've never actually trained with before, even if they are in the org.

And if this is the case, I think it impacts how fleets are organized and train together.

(going to finish watching that video now)

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Ah, I see what you were getting at. At minute 28 in the video he mentions that they've potentially had a breakthrough in the multiplayer interaction, and whereas they were previously thinking about limited battle instances they now think there may be able to be a thousand or so people interacting near each other now.

Honestly that is freaking amazing if they can pull it off. This game is already breaking new ground in so many ways, but this would be a whole new thing.

Very cool! Now I need to do more research on this!

Here's a geeat thread on this:

https://www.reddit.com/r/starcitizen/comments/4wc1vd/new_info_to_me_most_excited_cr_states_new_network

So far no definitive answer, but lots of educated speculation.

Edited by Drakin

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What you have to remember is huge ship battles are going to take place over 100 of miles at least. Some ships are vast, the javelin is over 300 meters long. some ships like the Vanduul king ship and dreadnought could be a mile long. Then you are talking how fast some of them ships are moving and it be a very large area. I don't think you could see all of the fight (sides of the fight) even if you are in the middle of it. So it not like we are all going to be side by side. So you could be handed off from one server to the other as you move around the battle and want know it doing it. I am hopeful CIG can work it out.     

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There was also some talk a long while back about how Capital ships could fire from one instance into another instance with a missile traveling between instances. Maybe Chris is talking about an expansion on this...???

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I'm really excited to hear more about the new instancing developments. Looks like we'll just have to wait and see what it means for now.

When I started this thread I thought it was basically an established fact that only 50-100 people would be able to play within proximity of each other, so I thought a discussion about the implications of that with regard to large orgs being able maintain C&C and fighting effectiveness in small potentially dynamically determined groups was important. But since it turns out the mechanics of instancing are now once again a big unknown, I guess it is really too early to waste time dealing with what may not be a real issue.

So let's consider it tabled for now until further details come out about this fascinating (to me at least) technical subject.

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I'm really excited to hear more about the new instancing developments. Looks like we'll just have to wait and see what it means for now.

When I started this thread I thought it was basically an established fact that only 50-100 people would be able to play within proximity of each other, so I thought a discussion about the implications of that with regard to large orgs being able maintain C&C and fighting effectiveness in small potentially dynamically determined groups was important. But since it turns out the mechanics of instancing are now once again a big unknown, I guess it is really too early to waste time dealing with what may not be a real issue.

So let's consider it tabled for now until further details come out about this fascinating (to me at least) technical subject.

Unfortunatly instancing is one of those "hold hands and have faith" topics, very little is known. What you saw from Chris above is the first real piece of new info we've had on the subject for a while, a bit like NPC's until ATV yesterday. :)

 

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The only game I have seen do a 100 v 100 battle which was actually playable if you had a decent PC and bandwidth was PlanetSide2. This separated the playerbase into different continents (server clusters) but still ended up having to limit the number that can join a continent at once.

Given that Server side you can now do alot more funky things due to advancement of visualisation and better ways of linking clusters of servers together to have near 0 latency you could just create extra clusters of virtual servers when large numbers of players group together in the verse no matter where they are. So instances would be created dynamically as more and more players gather in a particular area. Though Not sure how they will stop players entering once a limit is reached.

This would still cause client side issues if you don't have the bandwidth or PC capable of displaying X number of players though.

 

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Planetside 2 you can have what 2000/3000 people on a server. That a hell of a lot of people. I don't think you could fit that many people in a room. So hope it want be that bad. As long as you don't go to any outdoor concerts in the game.

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Haven't played PS2 myself but there were a lot of comments about it in the reddit discussion I linked to above. People were basically saying that while it is *possible* to have a huge number of people on at once (and it even broke some world record for max players) the game isn't actually playable with that many people. I actually ended up questioning the validity of the world record after reading about that. If the game isn't really playable should it count just because the server didn't crash? In my opinion, no. But I digress...

Hopefully we'll get more insight by the end of the year when 2.7 comes out with the new network code.

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I play Planetside 2 have for a couple years. The servers they are using are s**t. If you get 400 people in a area the size of area 18 then you have some problems. But most weekends you can find fights with 200 people (with tanks and planes) in that small area and I can still get 120 fps. Some times it will go down to 90 if it a lot of EMP's and people using lashers. but still playable. If you get enough people with lashers and PPA, yes you can brake the game. You can get the flames down to 20, 10 even. The game have a lot of problems but it a old game and was made on the cheap side of things. But you can still have huge fights.

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