Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Scaling Up Fleet Combat in EVE

EVE Insider Dev Blog:

That Saturday, out of the blue we saw one of the nodes supporting 0.0 go to Critical status and shortly afterwards it shut down. This happened a few more times in quick succession, and it became apparent that there was a new issue where extremely loaded nodes were simply not able to keep up with their heartbeat. This issue in itself is fixable and we are working hard to get it resolved.

At this point, it was apparent that with 700+ players trying to "pew pew", the AMD node they were on was not going to do anything other than keep crashing. We re-mapped the system in question to one of our dedicated Intel blades, just to see what it was capable of. Jita had performed so well the night before, that we thought these nodes would handle a fleet fight quite nicely. The system held, and the rest, as they say, is history.

On Sunday night, the M-OEE8 System was the hotspot and it had been placed on an Intel 64 bit dedicated SOL blade in anticipation. It held fine with a peak of around 450 players.

On Monday night, over 1000 players tried to start a fight in this system. As with Sunday, we had anticipated there would be fighting there, so it had been placed on a dedicated node. Unfortunately, what had caused node crashes at 700 players on our AMD blades caused our Intel blade to miss its heartbeat after going a bit over 1200 players. Interestingly enough, despite missing its heart beat, many players have reported that the performance of this blade with 1000 players was very good in the 10 - 15 minutes prior to its shutdown.

I would like to stress that we at CCP are very excited by this, and we are very hopeful that once the issue causing these node deaths is solved that we will start to see this impressive performance much more often. A lot of people have put in a lot of hard work towards new technologies and it is starting to pay off for you, the players.

Of course, once you can handle 1000 ship battles, everyone will try to pile in for a 2000 ship scrum...

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