Author Topic: How's multiplayer lately?  (Read 3759 times)

Offline keith.lamothe

  • Arcen Games Staff
  • Administrator
  • Zenith Council Member Mark III
  • *****
  • Posts: 19,208
How's multiplayer lately?
« on: January 17, 2011, 01:43:50 PM »
So we're closing in on the official version. Fast.

But quite recently we got a few reports of desyncs in multiplayer.

If you're seeing any desyncs please let us know!  They're as bad as crash bugs, particularly in terms of "shipping" an official version with them happening.

BUT, we'd also really like to know if you're _successfully_ playing multiplayer, with no desyncs or other problems, etc.  It helps to know the difference between "everything is fine" and "no one is reporting anything" ;D

Thanks!
Have ideas or bug reports for one of our games? Mantis for Suggestions and Bug Reports. Thanks for helping to make our games better!

Offline x4000

  • Chris Park, Arcen Games Founder and Lead Designer
  • Administrator
  • Zenith Council Member Mark III
  • *****
  • Posts: 30,619
Re: How's multiplayer lately?
« Reply #1 on: January 17, 2011, 01:45:56 PM »
Very much so -- this is our last major outstanding thing that we know of, so we'd really like to nail this one to the wall if possible. :)
Have ideas or bug reports for one of our games?  Mantis for Suggestions and Bug Reports. Thanks for helping to make our games better!

Offline Burnstreet

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 126
Re: How's multiplayer lately?
« Reply #2 on: January 17, 2011, 03:37:36 PM »
I cannot tell because I can't get a multiplayer game running - this is probably caused by my UMTS stck/connection, but when I try to connect or my friend tries to connect to me, if a connection is established, it takes ages to count to 100%, often staying at some value for minutes.

It could also be related to bufferbloat: http://gettys.wordpress.com/2010/12/03/introducing-the-criminal-mastermind-bufferbloat/ the symptoms seem to match the problem.

Offline Mánagarmr

  • Core Member Mark V
  • *****
  • Posts: 4,251
  • if (isInRange(target)) { kill(target); }
Re: How's multiplayer lately?
« Reply #3 on: January 17, 2011, 04:23:34 PM »
Me and King are regurlarly playing MP and while I do remember an occasional desync (right after launching a game no less), we've been playing successfully ever since the 4.0 release. Desyncs are very rare for us.
Click here to get started with Mantis for Suggestions and Bug Reports.

Thank you for contributing to making the game better!

Offline x4000

  • Chris Park, Arcen Games Founder and Lead Designer
  • Administrator
  • Zenith Council Member Mark III
  • *****
  • Posts: 30,619
Re: How's multiplayer lately?
« Reply #4 on: January 17, 2011, 04:26:23 PM »
Burnstreet, not to take this too far off topic, but in that case the host should try reducing your network sync size, and that will probably solve it.  The host might also need to reduce the MTU setting in the game settings screen, too, but hopefully that wouldn't be needed unless the routers are REALLY unusual between the host and client.
Have ideas or bug reports for one of our games?  Mantis for Suggestions and Bug Reports. Thanks for helping to make our games better!

Offline Sunshine!

  • Sr. Member Mark III
  • ****
  • Posts: 475
Re: How's multiplayer lately?
« Reply #5 on: January 17, 2011, 04:34:15 PM »
I don't know about the most recent set of patches (I think 4.065 might be the last one, or it could've been back at 4.063, can't remember exactly), but have never had a problem with desyncs.

Offline lanstro

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 100
Re: How's multiplayer lately?
« Reply #6 on: January 17, 2011, 05:41:51 PM »
4 of us played a 4 hour game over the weekend on 4.067ish.  Was a generally good experience, but we did get desyncs.

Game 1: made a stubborn tactical mistake early, an hour later decided to give up the game
Game 2: about 15 minutes in, it'd desync one particular player.  Repeated disconnect/reconnects from him didn't fix it.  We then started the game afresh with the same map seed and spawn positions, and it still didn't fix it.
Game 3: we restarted our computers and started the game with a different map seed.  It worked fine thereafter.

As for general gameplay comments, keep in mind that this is our first proper game for months:

1. We like the new AI Eye mechanism where each guard post can be destroyed to kill the AI eye.  However, we dislike it when a Spr-Shield guard post is spawned on the same planet as the AI Eye.  The guard post has about the same hps as the eye (400mil) and so to get rid of the eye you either have to kill the 400mil hp guard post (which regens something like 30k/second) or the 400mil hp eye.  Removes the strategic element of taking out each guard post, and makes it unncessarily difficult when a key early planet has these features.
2. We like the spirecraft, and need to experiment more with them.  We suspect that the balance between them is a bit out of whack.
3. We like the extra-scary waves triggered by golems (hard) and spirecraft (hard).
4. We suggest that an AI command station which is shielded by guard posts should display in its tooltip which guard posts exactly are shielding it.  It was pretty confusing to us for quite a while because we didn't know that counterattack guard posts also shielded them.
5. Thanks for re-implementing gifting resources!
6. The automatic builder foldouts with allied command stations is awesome.
7. The auto-build power stations 1-3 controls are a great idea.  However, what'd be better is if that control also autobuilt the power stations on allied planets for you (and due to point #6, that is always possible).
8. We like the idea of AI Beachheads, but found it a bit odd that they seemed to pop up defensively only and not offensively.  And on that note, it's a bit perplexing for Beachheads to pop up right as you're about to leave a planet with a raiding fleet - it felt like a mechanism where the AI had a unilateral power to do something that the humans had no chance to anticipate or prevent - ie an arbitrary 'your fleet dies now' kind of mechanism.  Unless we were missing something.
9.  It seemed that the auto-gather knowledge command was a bit broken.  Science ships seemed to hop once or twice and then give up, and return to 'sitting around doing nothing' mode.
10.  It seemed pretty odd to us that AI command stations are immune to bomber starships.  Would've thought sniping command stations was one of the few things something called a 'bomber starship' was good for.
11.  We don't like the new way that a trader determines its movements through the galaxy.  We thought it was fine as a half-AI benefitting half-human benefitting faction.  We don't mind that the AI now gets more goodies from it.  However, for the humans, now it's too difficult to use.  A. it's pretty hard to figure out exactly its path early enough to take a planet inbetween to make use of it.  B.  Even if you do, that planet that the trader passes through will be by definition on the frontline.  Since half the stuff the trader sells causes wave sizes to increase, or causes a substantial AI progress hit when destroyed, it's hardly ideal to build those structures on the frontline.  C. with the massive power increase on superfortresses, that's another building from the trader that is less desirable than before.  D. This leaves only a few buildings viable (counterspy, black hole machine, etc).  Those are generally not good enough to bother going through step A to get.
12.  We like the new way scouting works in general.
13.  We like the concept of defensive hybrids turning offensive every so often to support strong waves.
14.  'AI Eyes' is still hellish to pronounce.

Good job guys, it's definitely more fun than it was a few months ago, and almost ready for release as 5.0!
« Last Edit: January 17, 2011, 05:43:51 PM by lanstro »

Offline Mánagarmr

  • Core Member Mark V
  • *****
  • Posts: 4,251
  • if (isInRange(target)) { kill(target); }
Re: How's multiplayer lately?
« Reply #7 on: January 17, 2011, 05:44:09 PM »
Looks like I spoke to quickly. Since upgrading to 4.069 we have desyncs all over the place within 15 minutes of starting a new game. Bah :(
Click here to get started with Mantis for Suggestions and Bug Reports.

Thank you for contributing to making the game better!

Offline keith.lamothe

  • Arcen Games Staff
  • Administrator
  • Zenith Council Member Mark III
  • *****
  • Posts: 19,208
Re: How's multiplayer lately?
« Reply #8 on: January 17, 2011, 05:51:43 PM »
It does sound like the desync is a recent phenomenon then, with folks getting it who played regularly before and got none.  A recent one is much easier to find :)  Hopefully, at least.

Quote
3. We like the extra-scary waves triggered by golems (hard) and spirecraft (hard).
Glad you like them.  They're basically a toned-down version of the event-attacks in the Fallen-Spire game, so you know where to get more ;)
Quote
5. Thanks for re-implementing gifting resources!
You're welcome ;)
Quote
7. The auto-build power stations 1-3 controls are a great idea.  However, what'd be better is if that control also autobuilt the power stations on allied planets for you (and due to point #6, that is always possible).
Yea for now I went with the per-planet controls working on the command-station-foldouts but not the galaxy-wide settings.  Post-5.0 I hope to add a toggle for making the galaxy-wide ones apply too, so you can have it one way or another.  I wasn't sure if everyone wanted those reactors on _all_ allied planets or not.
Quote
9.  It seemed that the auto-gather knowledge command was a bit broken.  Science ships seemed to hop once or twice and then give up, and return to 'sitting around doing nothing' mode.
Yea, it was broke, but I fixed it very recently :)
Quote
10.  It seemed pretty odd to us that AI command stations are immune to bomber starships.  Would've thought sniping command stations was one of the few things something called a 'bomber starship' was good for.
Immune to bomber starships?  Or Siege starships?  I thought bomber starships could still hit all that stuff, not having been switched to antimatter-bomb ammo.
Quote
13.  We like the concept of defensive hybrids turning offensive every so often to support strong waves.
Yea, they try to piggy-back on event-attacks or big CPAs and that sort of thing, rather than any kind of independent timer.  I was hoping it would make them feel a little more determined to take you down ;)
Have ideas or bug reports for one of our games? Mantis for Suggestions and Bug Reports. Thanks for helping to make our games better!

Offline TechSY730

  • Core Member Mark V
  • *****
  • Posts: 4,550
Re: How's multiplayer lately?
« Reply #9 on: January 17, 2011, 06:07:41 PM »
1. We like the new AI Eye mechanism where each guard post can be destroyed to kill the AI eye.  However, we dislike it when a Spr-Shield guard post is spawned on the same planet as the AI Eye.  The guard post has about the same hps as the eye (400mil) and so to get rid of the eye you either have to kill the 400mil hp guard post (which regens something like 30k/second) or the 400mil hp eye.  Removes the strategic element of taking out each guard post, and makes it unncessarily difficult when a key early planet has these features.

You know you can take out the home, and if there are no units that the spire shield post is guarding, then the AI will scrap it? In fact, it does that with AI ff generators now too. (And if the spire shield posts were the last guard posts, then the AI eye too will be destroyed)

Of course the tricky part is taking out anything it is protecting.

Offline chemical_art

  • Core Member Mark IV
  • *****
  • Posts: 3,865
  • Fabulous
Re: How's multiplayer lately?
« Reply #10 on: January 17, 2011, 09:29:27 PM »
I haven't tried to dabble in multiplayer yet. I yearn to successfully finish a 7.7/8.0 game first if/when that ever happens.

To add to what lanstro said, I no longer include Zenith traders in my games due to recent changes. It seems the items I use (Z-power generater, super fort. Ion cannons I simply don't understand the price for) are nerfed either directly or indirectly, while the AI gets more bonuses (improved odds of buying things, many more opportunities to roll for buying things relatively). Now with the current setup, it is rare, if ever, that a Z-trader even comes to a location that can use their wares because I am too worried about spending a golem's worth of resources on the frontlines for something that is often:frail/increases AIP if destroyed/takes a long time to build (while being frail/expensive). The cost of simply repairing these structures often makes me scrap them (Ion cannons) upon capturing an AI planet.


Simply put: With the current prices/benefits, there is absolutely nothing that I would want to use on a front line planet. The fact that the AI now gets a sizable benefit from the Z-trader takes it from "novelty" to "detrimental" for my games. It would be nice for either the buildings to be more useful compared to their cost or perhaps for the AI to get things from the traders as rarely as the player does.
Life is short. Have fun.

Offline TechSY730

  • Core Member Mark V
  • *****
  • Posts: 4,550
Re: How's multiplayer lately?
« Reply #11 on: January 17, 2011, 09:52:26 PM »
I agree with the traders thing. The costs were increased because of how easy it was to both get lots of resources and how easy it was to get the traders in your system. However, with it being much, MUCH harder to get the trader into the systems where you want stuff now, maybe a cost nerf to the goods are in order.

Offline lanstro

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 100
Re: How's multiplayer lately?
« Reply #12 on: January 17, 2011, 10:01:26 PM »
The costs were increased because of how easy it was to both get lots of resources and how easy it was to get the traders in your system. However, with it being much, MUCH harder to get the trader into the systems where you want stuff now, maybe a cost nerf to the goods are in order.

Well if the concern was that the trader's goodies were too easy to get, then I'd much prefer that they just bumped the costs up a lot and kept the old pathing, so that at least we saw the golem once in a while.

Offline x4000

  • Chris Park, Arcen Games Founder and Lead Designer
  • Administrator
  • Zenith Council Member Mark III
  • *****
  • Posts: 30,619
Re: How's multiplayer lately?
« Reply #13 on: January 17, 2011, 10:11:26 PM »
Let's stay on topic, but in terms of the traders thing they were waaay too valuable before.
Have ideas or bug reports for one of our games?  Mantis for Suggestions and Bug Reports. Thanks for helping to make our games better!

Offline Echo35

  • Master Member Mark II
  • *****
  • Posts: 1,703
  • More turrets! MORE TURRETS!
Re: How's multiplayer lately?
« Reply #14 on: January 18, 2011, 12:23:27 AM »
Let's stay on topic, but in terms of the traders thing they were waaay too valuable before.

They were. You could farm up a whole stock of things you really shouldn't have anyway

As far as Multiplayer goes, I've been more or less away from gaming for the last two weeks (Vacation and whatnot) so I can't speak for recent versions, but when I played before, other than a finicky network connection that required tweaking of the transmission sizes and latency, it worked perfectly.