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How EVE Online Dealt With a 3,000-Player Battle

Soulskill posted about 2 years ago | from the cry-havoc-and-let-slip-the-load-balancers-of-war dept.

Games 398

Space MMORPG EVE Online is best known for its amazing stories, and on Sunday it added a new epic tale. The leader of a huge coalition, preparing for a moderately sized assault, mis-clicked and accidentally warped himself into enemy territory without his support fleet, endangering his massive ship worth an estimated $3,500. Realizing the danger, he called upon every ally he could, and the enemy fleet rallied in turn, leading to an incredible 3,000-player battle. What's also impressive is that the EVE servers stayed up for the whole fight, when most MMOs struggle with even a few hundred players at the same time. The Penny Arcade report spoke with CCP Games for some information on how they managed that: "It’s hard to wrap your head around, but they sometimes move the in-game space itself. 'We move other solar systems on the node away from the fight. This disconnects anyone in those systems temporarily, but spares them from the ongoing symptoms of being on an overloaded server,' Veritas explained. 'It helps the fight system a little bit as well, especially if a reinforcement fleet is traveling through those other systems. This was done for the fight over the weekend, but is rare.' ... They do have a built-in mechanism for dealing with massive battles, however: They slow down time itself. ... Once server load reaches a certain point, the game automatically slows down time by certain increments to deal with the strain. Time was running at 10% speed during this 3,000-person battle, which is the maximum amount of time dilation possible."

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Since when? (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42732215)

Space MMORPG EVE Online is best known for its amazing stories [...]

Since when? I thought EVE Online was best known for its elitist asshole userbase, constantly insisting that it's the mostest hardcorest economic sim EVAR, meaning all other forms of electronic entertainment are inferior, and anyone who enjoys any other form of electronic entertainment should feel inferior, especially in the shadow of people willing to dedicate disturbing amounts of their free time paying a real-world company to manage a fake company with as much complexity and sheer spreadsheet-grinding eye-scarring boredom (if not more) as a real one.

Re:Since when? (4, Funny)

broggyr (924379) | about 2 years ago | (#42732267)

So, how many ships did YOU lose?

Re:Since when? (1)

Chris Mattern (191822) | about 2 years ago | (#42732411)

I figure he ragequit when he lost his cruiser. Unlikely that he lasted long enough to work up to a BC.

Re:Since when? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42732693)

Nerd trolls

Re:Since when? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42732391)

I misread EVAR as EWAR the first two times I read this.

Re:Since when? (1)

Jeng (926980) | about 2 years ago | (#42732401)

It should probably read "Journalists know Eve Online from the amazing scamming stories."

I have never heard of their userbase as elitists, assholes yes, but elitists?

Re:Since when? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42732543)

I have never heard of their userbase as elitists, assholes yes, but elitists?

Go back to WoW.

Also, yeah, EVE's userbase is ridiculously elitist. Possibly rightfully so, given the complexity of the game, the game's economy, and the fact that major losses actually happen.

Re:Since when? (4, Informative)

Keen Anthony (762006) | about 2 years ago | (#42732825)

The elitists definitely earn it. They have real money in the game, if they didn't buy their characters, their skill levels came with longevity, and they survived the jump from carebearing around in high sec with destroyers and cruisers modded for salvage and mining to doing PVP in null sec with total assholes. I would have loved to be amongst them except I just found the game frustrating for the constant "Join my clan!" invites. I like soloing, and it's not easy advancing fast without help and protection. I remember slipping into near low-sec territory because I wanted to sell some merchandise at a higher price. I decided to make a quick raid on an NPC pirate hideaway and do some good mining when a player jumped in, destroyed me, then held my pod for ransom. He pod-killed me when I refused to pay. Have to say I respect the guy's style. That you can play EVE that way or you can play EVE my way and try to earn a modest living selling components speaks much about this game.

Re:Since when? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42732691)

I have never heard of their userbase as elitists, assholes yes, but elitists?

elitist
[ih-lee-tist ey-lee] adjective
1. (of a person or class of persons) considered superior by others or by themselves, as in intellect, talent, power, wealth, or position in society: elitist country clubbers who have theirs and don't care about anybody else.

So yes, this very much describes most Eve players.

Re:Since when? (3, Informative)

Cinder6 (894572) | about 2 years ago | (#42732427)

I read that as "stories about EVE" (things that happen because of player actions), not "stories in EVE" (things that happen within the scope of the game's narrative). Whether you like the game or not (I couldn't get into it), there certainly have been a lot of interesting/cool stories about things that have gone on inside the game. This event is one of them.

Re:Since when? (3, Informative)

tonywong (96839) | about 2 years ago | (#42732849)

Not an EVE player but I thought the coverage and screen cap was impressive here:
http://themittani.com/news/breaking-massive-super-fight-asakai-lowsec

3000 players you say? (2, Funny)

alen (225700) | about 2 years ago | (#42732229)

How many were divorced the next day?

Re:3000 players you say? (4, Funny)

icebike (68054) | about 2 years ago | (#42732299)

Yeah, that was my thought too.

How many came out of the computer room sweating on their run to the fridge, uncommunicative, distracted, and wild eyed. Then crawled into bed late to a cold shoulder and a turned back.

Then having to go to work/school the next day and not be able to explain it to anyone because, nobody would understand, and all the raised eyebrows, and looking askance, and rolling of eyes between workmates.

Private little daydreams must be problematic when shared with 3000 other basement dwellers.

Re:3000 players you say? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42732441)

EVE IS REAL!

Re:3000 players you say? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42732567)

Then crawled into bed late to a cold shoulder and a turned back.

They wish.

Re:3000 players you say? (0)

Sperbels (1008585) | about 2 years ago | (#42732723)

Actually, I'm betting that was a horribly boring fight. The lag must have been horrendous.

+5 Funny (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42732729)

I wish I had mod points....

Re:3000 players you say? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42732773)

I just linked this story to a coworker who had never played Eve and he found it fascinating.

Re:3000 players you say? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42732365)

yeah right. like any of them were married

Re:3000 players you say? (1)

Synerg1y (2169962) | about 2 years ago | (#42732417)

None, you'd have to land a wife... to begin with. In the case of EVE players, they should shoot for a female that talks to them that isn't their mom for starters.

Re:3000 players you say? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42732447)

Divorce is a length process. In some states, the minimum time from start to finish is 1 year.

Re:3000 players you say? (1)

Virtucon (127420) | about 2 years ago | (#42732577)

In Texas it's 90 days unless adultery is involved, then there has to be a trial.

Re:3000 players you say? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42732485)

These players marry the kind of girls who don't mind having a gamer boyfriend. They'd rather have that than some chucklefuck Slashdot troll like how you're posting right now.

AKA they have a healthy relationship. They share some hobbies but also don't mind if the other partner has their own.

Maybe you'll understand this in between two mouthful of cheetos and cola, but I doubt it seeing as two complete retards already answered in the way you did too so it's probably some sort of population defect or something.

Online I(ncome (-1, Offtopic)

yfrdtyid (2827823) | about 2 years ago | (#42732231)

just as Patricia explained I'm impressed that anyone able to get paid $9833 in a few weeks on the internet. have you seen this web page http://www.cloud65.com/ [cloud65.com]

Xirtam (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42732243)

Hahaha this is nothing new VOTF Xirtam did this a Few times and even a Red Alliance Leader did this.
Although we did not have 3000 players on back in those days.

Re:Xirtam (1)

Cinder6 (894572) | about 2 years ago | (#42732451)

Hahaha this is nothing new VOTF Xirtam did this a Few times and even a Red Alliance Leader did this.
Although we did not have 3000 players on back in those days.

So you're saying that they didn't do this? The point of this story is that there were 3000 people fighting in the same area.

Re:Xirtam (1)

radiumsoup (741987) | about 2 years ago | (#42732665)

yeah, I'm pretty sure the 3,000 players compared to what you had "back in those days" is not actually anything "new".

/I don't play EVE, never have

Relativity (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42732297)

Time was running at 10% speed during this 3,000-person battle, which is the maximum amount of time dilation possible.

So relativity is just the universe's way of saying the local server is currently way too crowded with rest mass?

Re:Relativity (0)

EvanED (569694) | about 2 years ago | (#42732395)

Mod up!

$3600 ship (5, Informative)

Chris Mattern (191822) | about 2 years ago | (#42732311)

According to the Eve message boards, it was a Leviathan-class Titan. $3600 may be a bit on the high side, but it was worth thousands, definitely.

Incidentlally, estimated losses for the entire battle (which included *three* titans lost before it was all over, all on the side the guy who misjumped) is over 700 billion ISK. That's about *$25,000*, kiddies.

Re:$3600 ship (5, Funny)

Darby (84953) | about 2 years ago | (#42732413)

which included *three* titans lost before it was all over, all on the side the guy who misjumped

Let me guess, he jumped into the battle screaming "LEEROY JENKINS!!!"

Re:$3600 ship (1)

Chris Mattern (191822) | about 2 years ago | (#42732513)

From the accounts I read, his battlecry was more likely "OhGodWhatDidIJustDo? HEEEEELP!"

Accidentally appearing in the middle of enemy controlled territory means he most likely was immediately pinned by several well-equipped tackles--helped by the fact that a Titan is one of the least agile ships in the game. They would have had plenty of time to get him properly wrapped up. By the time he realized he wasn't going where he thought he was going, it was too late.

Re:$3600 ship (5, Informative)

cockroach2 (117475) | about 2 years ago | (#42732807)

Technically he didn't jump to enemy controlled territory but to an area that isn't strictly controlled by players. From what I read the idea was to drop some big guns on top of a handful of enemies in a "neutral" system, a couple of enemies that were pleasantly surprised when instead of a sizable fleet they got a juicy target.

Then everybody called in reinforcements plus the locals also wanted to join the party.

Re:$3600 ship (1)

OakDragon (885217) | about 2 years ago | (#42732521)

which included *three* titans lost before it was all over, all on the side the guy who misjumped

Let me guess, he jumped into the battle screaming "LEEROY JENKINS!!!"

At least he had chicken

Re:$3600 ship (2)

Russ1642 (1087959) | about 2 years ago | (#42732457)

I'm a bit new to this kind of thing so humor me please. You're saying a guy had $25,000 locked up in virtual stuff and lost it in this battle?

Re:$3600 ship (1)

amicusNYCL (1538833) | about 2 years ago | (#42732487)

You're saying a guy had $25,000 locked up in virtual stuff and lost it in this battle?

Not one guy, that number is the total for everyone.

Re:$3600 ship (4, Informative)

jxander (2605655) | about 2 years ago | (#42732605)

Sounds like total losses across the board, not just for one guy.

One of the big selling points for EVE Online is that they fully allow real currency (yes, actual dollars) to purchase in-game goods and services. The general thought process being : in normal video games (specifically MMOs like WoW) people without jobs are at a distinct advantage because they can spend all day killing boars, leveling up, mining ore, etc. EVE balances that by letting employed individuals use the fruits of their daily activities in game. You spent all day farming in-game, I spent all day farming in the real world.

That being said, I'm not intimately familiar with the economy of EVE... but from the article, a single ship is worth upwards of $3,500. A lot of the smaller ships are worth a few hundred bucks at least. Multiply that across 3,000 people involved and, well ... that's a lot of real money blown on virtual space ships.

Re:$3600 ship (1)

Synerg1y (2169962) | about 2 years ago | (#42732713)

So... just to clarify, did this guy actually spend $3500 on his ship?

And.. I dunno man, if you have a job & a family, should you really care if you're level 20, or level 50? WOW / other MMOs let those types of people buy characters, I'd imagine it's ships in EVE, but for every character bought they had to built up to that level, is that the same? I just have a difficult time seeing somebody spending 3.5k on a ship, short of being stinking rich and bat shit crazy.

Re:$3600 ship (2)

Chris Mattern (191822) | about 2 years ago | (#42732763)

So... just to clarify, did this guy actually spend $3500 on his ship?

Almost certainly not. But he probably could've sold it for enough ISK to buy enough PLEX to enable him to play the game for the next dozen years for free.

Re:$3600 ship (1)

cockroach2 (117475) | about 2 years ago | (#42732841)

Very unlikely. The way this is calculated is to take the monthly fee (about 15$) and the amount of in-game currency that you would have to pay to play the game for free (last time I checked that was around 600 million but it's a player-driven market) and then apply basic math.

Re:$3600 ship (1)

dpidcoe (2606549) | about 2 years ago | (#42732785)

To clarify this a bit, those numbers don't mean that people actually spent $3600 on their ships.

The real money-->isk conversion works by players buying gametime in 30 day blocks (plex). They then sell the plex on the market for ingame currency (isk). The conversion usually floats between ~300m - ~600m isk per plex. There's no way to directly exchange real money for isk (it must go through the player driven market as plex), and there's no legal way to exchange isk for real money (unless you want to pay the next 10 years of your eve subscription). It's a somewhat subtle, but vital, difference between the more common microtransaction/RMT schemes out there

If you're a player with a few billion in isk (pretty normal amount to have if you're the type who plays conservatively and saves), it's not hard to leverage it to make 500m in a month (or at least wasn't as of last year, I quit over the whole incarna debacle).

Re:$3600 ship (1)

cockroach2 (117475) | about 2 years ago | (#42732831)

Well yes and no. Money allows you to buy game time which in turn you can sell to other people for in-game currency. While in reality the difference is not too relevant, you can't directly buy in-game currency, you can however pay for someone else's monthly subscription in exchange for in-game money.

Re:$3600 ship (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42732533)

In addition to amicusNYCL's clarification, I would point out that the $25,000 valuation means that the virtual stuff would be worth X amount of in-game money that, if converted to real-world money, would equal roughly $25k - not that people actually spent $25k buying it.

Re:$3600 ship (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42732565)

I'm a bit new to this kind of thing so humor me please. You're saying a guy had $25,000 locked up in virtual stuff and lost it in this battle?

Not entirely. There is a real world money to Eve ISK exchange rate because of how Eve's subscriptions work. You use your real money to buy a month's subscription, and an item called a Pilot's License Extension is deposited in your inventory. You can either use it to extend your own sub by a month, or you can trade it on the in-game market for ISK or any other goods. This means that theoretically, the value of everything tradeable in Eve (read: practically everything) can be measured against the value of a PLEX to give it an approximate $ value. These aren't people who've bought a super-ship with thouands of dollars, they're people who've prospered in-game and ended up with both in-game resources and positions of leadership to get their hands on a Titan.

Re:$3600 ship (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42732599)

I'm a bit new to this kind of thing so humor me please. You're saying a guy had $25,000 locked up in virtual stuff and lost it in this battle?

Let me clear up a few misconceptions here:

1) It wasn't any single player who lost that much in the battle; those are the losses attributed to the losing group of players, which in this case is huge, so those assets were originally generated by the collective work of probably thousands of players.

2) Even those thousands of players did not collectively pay $25,000 in real money to acquire those assets, they just played the game like anybody else.

3) The conversion of 700 billion ISK (the virtual in-game currency) into $25,000 is based on the ability to buy 30-day play-time cards for $15 and then sell them in-game for (as of writing) ~600 million ISK each.

4) If you do the math on the above, it's clearly wrong; 700 billion ISK would only buy ~1167 play-time cards, which would have cost only $17,500.

5) To top it all off, that real-dollars-to-game-ISK conversion only actually goes one-way; you can use game money to buy the play-time cards, but you cannot (legally) exchange those cards for real money. So the 700 billion ISK isn't *really* worth $17,500 since it's impossible to (legally) exchange the ISK for the dollars;, the conversion ratio is an academic metric.

Re:$3600 ship (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42732645)

Apologies, my numbers were off: one PLEX (the 30-day play-time card) actually costs $19.95, or a pack of 28 costs $489.86. So the 700 billion ISK would convert to somewhere between $23,275 and $20,410.83.

Re:$3600 ship (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42732725)

Let me, in turn, clear up a misconception from #5 above:

...but you cannot (legally) exchange those cards for real money. So the 700 billion ISK isn't *really* worth $17,500 since it's impossible to (legally) exchange the ISK for the dollars...

The only sense in which it's not "legal" to trade ISK for dollars is that it's against the rules of the game and CCP can ban you from the game if they catch you doing it. There's no actual real-world law against it. This applies to all online games, not just EVE.

Re:$3600 ship (2)

Spikeles (972972) | about 2 years ago | (#42732673)

Real Money($) can be converted into in game money (ISK) through the use of PLEX so it's pretty simple to calculate the amount of ISK lost and convert the value back into dollars to get an approximate real money value. The current lowest sell of a 30 day PLEX is about 530,000,000.00 ISK and it looks like 30 Days PLEX costs $20. So some division (*depending on if billion means thousand or million million) and some multiplication gives you a rough Real Money cost. [eve-central.com]

Re:$3600 ship (1)

Janek Kozicki (722688) | about 2 years ago | (#42732471)

Why he simply didn't jump back to escape from this territory?
If he couldn't jump back, why he simply didn't use his escape pod to escape, sacrificing only one titan, instead of three?

Re:$3600 ship (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42732569)

I've never played, but I'm guessing there's a cooldown period for warping, maybe with extra restrictions when in enemy space. He probaby didn't escape because people are bad at objectively judging losing some now versus maybe losing a lot more later.

Re:$3600 ship (4, Informative)

Chris Mattern (191822) | about 2 years ago | (#42732609)

Why he simply didn't jump back to escape from this territory?

Because the first thing any opponent does in this situation is have tacklers web and warp scramble you. And they'll start bumping you to push you away from directions they don't want you go. And you materialize from an incoming jump a few kilometers away from the gate/cyno field. You ain't goin' nowhere.

If he couldn't jump back, why he simply didn't use his escape pod to escape, sacrificing only one titan, instead of three?

*That* is an excellent question. It's probably what he should have done. But he didn't want to eat the loss, so he upped the stakes, hoping he could win.

Re:$3600 ship (1)

Tacticus.v1 (1102137) | about 2 years ago | (#42732629)

I believe one of the pirates started "locking up" the initial leviathan in an attempt to prevent it from escaping.

and in the initial stages i would imagine that they did not anticipate meeting as many as they did so throwing in the extra ships for an extraction made sense with imperfect intelligence

Re:$3600 ship (1)

Marful (861873) | about 2 years ago | (#42732511)

The fact that you can lose that much money in a GAME is why EVE sucks.

It's not a game, it's a job.

Re:$3600 ship (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42732705)

note "worth an estimated" not "that cost him" ... EVE has an authorized real-money trade system where game time can be sold for in-game currency, which has a fairly stable market value, so dollar values can be estimated off this .. you could in theory (but probably not actually) buy the ship for that, but any player at this level almost certainly is not paying that, but probably making money selling game time instead

Re:$3600 ship (2)

Sperbels (1008585) | about 2 years ago | (#42732769)

The fact that you don't really understand why your statement is stupid is why you can't get-by in Eve.

Re:$3600 ship (1)

sarysa (1089739) | about 2 years ago | (#42732701)

So I've googled that there's no permanent death, so how was $3600 at risk? Would it have just been that one ship that the player lost? (I don't play EVE but this stuff interests me)

Re:$3600 ship (2)

SillyHamster (538384) | about 2 years ago | (#42732753)

The value is tied to the ship, which can be destroyed. The character survives, but its value is not involved in the calculations.

Re:$3600 ship (1)

Chris Mattern (191822) | about 2 years ago | (#42732823)

The $3600 was,yes, the equivalent cost of just the one ship. *You* don't permanently die, but your ships and equipment and items can, and do. Also, while death is not permanent, you *can* be killed; when your ship is destroyed, you eject in a pod, which can easily be single-shotted by even small ships. This kills you. That results in the destruction of any implants you may have had installed (which in the case of high-level pilots can run into the billions of ISK) and means you must re-upgrade your medical clone (because you just used the one you had) at a price--generally not all that high, in fact, but it's still another cost.

Re:$3600 ship (1)

Gamer_2k4 (1030634) | about 2 years ago | (#42732735)

Incidentally, estimated losses for the entire battle (which included *three* titans lost before it was all over, all on the side the guy who misjumped) is over 700 billion ISK. That's about *$25,000*, kiddies.

$25,000 for 3,000 players?

So each participant lost, on average, 8-9 bucks. Not exactly a mindblowing number there.

Re:$3600 ship (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42732767)

$25k lost with 3k people involved means everyone spent $8...big spenders.

I fucken LOVE IT... (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42732335)

...when my favored game makes the news, AND THEN MAKES IT MORE AWESOME.

All other MMO's are shit before almighty EVE Online.

Re:I fucken LOVE IT... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42732389)

Yep, not even WoW wastes your time quite like EVE can. *eyeroll*

The best part of MMOs (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42732349)

You'll find that the best memories people have from playing MMOs is precisely this sort of encounter. The fact that EVE is designed to handle this type of event is a testament to the developer's understanding of what makes a good gaming experience.

"...hey remember that time when three of the top server guilds from [X] went to [Y] and it resulted in [C]...." The formula is not unique, but they happen rarely enough that each experience is.

My Takeaway (5, Funny)

Guppy06 (410832) | about 2 years ago | (#42732377)

The leader of a huge coalition, preparing for a moderately sized assault, mis-clicked and accidentally warped himself into enemy territory without his support fleet,

UI issue leads to massive server load.

Fascinating article. (0)

Obfuscant (592200) | about 2 years ago | (#42732385)

So. A make-believe spacecraft in an online game is worth $3500. And people wonder how **IA come up with such high values on pirated stuff.

They disconnected people who were in nearby universes, which they say is better than then suffering from overloaded servers. Isn't being disconnected from the game you're paying for because of a large battle going on somewhere else -- suffering from overloaded servers?

And time running at 10% of normal. That would seem like a pretty serious slowdown of their servers as a means of keeping people from suffering from a slowdown of the servers.

Maybe this MMORPG really is a different universe. It seems to have a different version of English than the rest of us have.

Re:Fascinating article. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42732465)

The in-game currency "ISK" has a real dollar value which is decided by the player's in-game market, that's why that ship has a real dollar value. You are not reading the disconnect part correctly, they transfer the solar system that they are in to a different server on the fly so that other parts of the game are not getting lagged by the fighting going on the system over. The time dilation is there so the CPU can keep up with the player's activity, and in this fight even at 10% speed there was people lagging out.

Re:Fascinating article. (4, Insightful)

michael021689 (791941) | about 2 years ago | (#42732467)

No, you're reading comprehension is just poor. Each solar system shares a node with several others. When the solar system in question overloaded the node due to the battle, the other solar systems on that node were disconnected, likely for less a minute, so that that node could be dedicated to the battle. The other systems in question were placed on other nodes. Being disconnected for a number of seconds so that the system that you are in runs at full speed is much better than staying continuously connected and running at 10% speed. On the topic of reduced speed, there is a significant difference between intentionally running a game at slow speed and it breaking into a slow speed. By intentionally slowing the speed, they are employing a controlled and tested process. That is much more sensible than trying to run at 100% and just letting what happens happen.

Re:Fascinating article. (1, Funny)

Kittenman (971447) | about 2 years ago | (#42732627)

No, you're reading comprehension is just poor.

I think you mean ".. your reading comprehension is just poor". Oh, the irony.

Re:Fascinating article. (1)

gl4ss (559668) | about 2 years ago | (#42732515)

eve isn't a direct action game so the slowdown doesn't matter as much.

this type of gameplay is though also why I usually view it as just glorified tradewars..

Re:Fascinating article. (1)

mdenham (747985) | about 2 years ago | (#42732535)

Okay, let's run through your "points" one by one here (note: I don't play EVE, mostly because I've heard the learning curve is an absolute bitch).

* Unlike most other MMOs, it's relatively easy to put a real-world value on stuff in EVE (thanks to, if I'm not entirely mistaken, being able to spend in-game currency on your subscription fee rather than actual cash). The value of the "make-believe spacecraft" is enough currency to pay for X months, which is also how long $3500 would pay for.

* Nearby systems get moved to other servers in their server farm. The options in MMOs in general tend to be "block people every time they try to get into an area on the same server", or this - a temporary disconnection, followed by being on a server that isn't dealing with as heavy of a load. EVE's method, while it's a disruption, is less disruptive to the players than "Sorry, you can't enter this area" over and over and over again.

* The slowed-down time effect is not "a means to keep people from suffering from a slowdown of the servers". It's a means to give people a better chance to evaluate large-scale battles in as much depth as they'd be able to evaluate smaller battles. Or, at least, close to the same depth of analysis.

I mean, I understand that you think the hobbies of these people are inscrutable and not worthy of your time, but... well, what are your hobbies? I'm pretty sure there are people here who think the same thing about yours.

Re:Fascinating article. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42732551)

They didn't disconnect people in nearby universes. They just migrated them to different servers to reduce the processing burden on the machines involved in the battle. Same thing I do every week when I vMotion a virtual SQL server that's under heavy load to a different physical host that has more resources to spare. The users on those servers don't even know their sessions have been migrated to a different host machine. It's a pretty seamless process that reduces or eliminates downtime. This isn't unusual in most datacenters, and certainly not "rocket science."

Re:Fascinating article. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42732553)

Do you really have to be such a cynical fuckhead?

Time slowing down is better than the server crashing and being completely unreliable. It allows these battles to happen rather than -never- possibly happen, so yes, it is at the benefit of the players

Second, disconnection is, again, better than the server crashing and not getting to play at all. They do this because the other alternative is WORSE, and no other MMORPGs can match them at the moment.

So yes, it is a different universe. A much better one with developers who know what they are doing.

Re:Fascinating article. (1)

Githaron (2462596) | about 2 years ago | (#42732625)

If I am understanding it right, they are doing a controlled disconnection. A given node handles multiple solar systems. When battle started, the network moved the non-battle solar systems to other nodes. This required the users be disconnected from the node and connected to the new node. In other words, the only people being disconnected were the people not part of the battle. Not sure if they were automatically connected to the new node or if they actually had to log in again.

As far as the time slowdown goes, it is more acceptable than 3,000 players all getting knocked off in the middle of an active battlefield. The last thing you want is to have to log back into the center of a battle blind. This is especially true when there are several thousand US dollars worth of in-game equipment involved. If you read the article, the combined losses by the end of the battle were $24,000 based on the conversion of in-game money to US dollars.

All in all, an impressive feat.

Re:Fascinating article. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42732737)

>So. A make-believe spacecraft in an online game is worth $3500. And people wonder
>how **IA come up with such high values on pirated stuff.

That number is derived from the value of game time purchased with real money and sold for game money. A little math and you find out how much game time you have to purchase and sell to just buy the titan. Its a way for player with more real money than time to play can maximize their game time by purchasing in-game money to trade for in-game goods while players with less money can still play by purchasing game time with game money earned various ways in game.

>They disconnected people who were in nearby universes, which they say is better
>than then suffering from overloaded servers.

Playing in 10% time dialation sucks. In this case, they disconnected solar systems on the same server and moved them to a less loaded server. The disconnection was short (as in seconds). This meant players that would have been playing at 10% tidi but were not part of the main battle were back on in seconds at 100%. Seems like a reasonable solution to me, but I can't wait for seamless migration to be implemented.

>And time running at 10% of normal. That would seem like a pretty serious slowdown of their
>servers as a means of keeping people from suffering from a slowdown of the servers.

This is the only way to currently allow battles of this size. Before the implemented the tidi mechanics, large fleet battles were almost imposible. This way (in theory and mostly in practice) all command are processed in the order received and all clients stay in sync in terms of the current game state. Before tidi, large battles resulted in commands that were a hit and miss affairs and desync that was a constant problem. The new tidi system is very impressive. I've been several large battles (hundreds to thousands) and all commands have gone through. 10% tidi sucks, but I understand why it must be, and its better than the alternative.

Help an old guy understand this (0)

Cajun Hell (725246) | about 2 years ago | (#42732419)

So there's a MUD which has PK. Someone accidentally separated from the party he was leading, and found himself in a room with a different party, which consisted of enemies. Instead of running away, he decided to fight, and he shouted for help. The whole MUD heard the shout. Then instead of just his party coming, nearly every player on the MUD ran to that one room, picked a side, and attacked someone. Does that about sum it up?

What a story!

Re:Help an old guy understand this (1)

amicusNYCL (1538833) | about 2 years ago | (#42732507)

I don't think he was able to run away, it wasn't an option. It probably takes the ship a while to get ready for a jump.

Re:Help an old guy understand this (1)

egr (932620) | about 2 years ago | (#42732581)

Probably not so easy to run away with hundred of guys warp disrupting and webbing you. These are debuffs used to hold people in place. The only countermeasures are effective only if you have as many of them as there are debuffs.

Re:Help an old guy understand this (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42732649)

Based on the ship he was flying, running away was not possible as the ship cannot use standard travel and has a cooldown before it's engines can be used again.

Re:Help an old guy understand this (2)

yurtinus (1590157) | about 2 years ago | (#42732707)

And then the whole battle got eaten by a grue!

Sort of... (1)

Fallen Kell (165468) | about 2 years ago | (#42732775)

Pretty good analogy, but the difference is that the guy who went to the "wrong room" was then "trapped there" by the people in the room. Forcing him to fight. So he called in backup so that he could get out.

There were many of us who came in and didn't pick any side but simply started using AOE attacks against everyone else for the lols :D

so who won and what did they get? (2)

gl4ss (559668) | about 2 years ago | (#42732425)

so who won and what did they get?

Re:so who won and what did they get? (3, Insightful)

meddle99 (1946010) | about 2 years ago | (#42732703)

so who won and what did they get?

EVE Online won. They got $25k.

Re:so who won and what did they get? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42732847)

That's not quite how it works.

Computers, Soldiers, Men (1)

Lorens (597774) | about 2 years ago | (#42732431)

Computer-wise they need some virtualization-clustering fu. Not having coded so a logical node can run on several physical servers I can understand, but having some crazy-powerful server/nodes but no way to seamlessly move users to them seems a pity.

Military-wise, those who made the first mistake decided not to cut their losses, tried to recoup by throwing the good after the bad, throwing in reserves to save suddenly severely exposed friendlies, and they got severely burned for that. I'm sure there are second-years studying military strategy who are shaking their heads at newbie errors.

Human-wise, as alen said, how many divorces...

Re:Computers, Soldiers, Men (2)

timeOday (582209) | about 2 years ago | (#42732547)

I'm sure there are second-years studying military strategy who are shaking their heads at newbie errors.

Well, it is a game. I won't claim blowing stuff up is the whole point, but it's certainly a big part of the attraction. They were in the Great Battle of 2013. (I'm betting they have a more colorful commemorative name for it already.)

Tons of lag. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42732433)

"Handled" is an interesting way to put it. While the node didn't crash, there were many in that fight that were having connection and desync issues. While I understand that CCP has a system in place to dynamically allocate resources depending on node loading, being in that fight with that much ti-di was unbearable. It literally took 30 minutes to get my dread out (A process that normally takes about 60 seconds.)

Eh (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42732449)

It sounds impressive but when you actually play eve, what you see is:

- little pluses and squares, because you have to zoom way, way out to prevent your computer from melting
- said pluses and squares moving at 1 frame every 5 minutes

Again it's a cool concept but when you factor in zooming way out and the tidi (time dilation, aka throttling, which is how the servers handle this load), it's really not that fun; when you hit F1 to fire and can walk away for literally 20 minutes before the hit lands, the excitement goes away.

It is as if nothing really happened (0)

G3ckoG33k (647276) | about 2 years ago | (#42732469)

Given the so-called epicness for a pay-as-you-pay-ass-game: "cost in damages are still being calculated, but early totals reach beyond 700 billion for both sides combined" I think the article is bloody sparse in details.

It is as if nothing really happened.

No videos to document the event. Nothing re-created.

Until that is publicly available, I'm not willing to believe in it but defer it as minor blip from a sinking company's black box shot to near death in the intergalactic struggle for omnipresence in the ominously luguber gaming world.

Re:It is as if nothing really happened (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42732545)

It is as if nothing really happened.

we were talking about an epic battle in EVE Online, the best MMO out there... ...we were NOT talking about your life

Re:It is as if nothing really happened (3, Informative)

Dragon_Eater (829389) | about 2 years ago | (#42732633)

http://themittani.com/media/pretty-lights-video-battle-asakai [themittani.com]

Tada!

Also..
eve-kill.net/?a=kill_related&adjacent&kll_id=16069454
and...
http://dog-net.org/brdoc/?brid=16053 [dog-net.org]

There, it did happen!

Re:It is as if nothing really happened (1)

G3ckoG33k (647276) | about 2 years ago | (#42732731)

Thanks. Excellent!

Strange the article didn't include any of that.

Amazing! The Server stayed up the entire fight! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42732489)

We move other solar systems on the node away from the fight. This disconnects anyone in those systems temporarily, but spares them from the ongoing symptoms of being on an overloaded server,

Hmm, not so impressive now. It stayed up the entire fight for those involved. Others were disconnected. So I guess for them the server didn't stay up the entire fight.

"Leader" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42732497)

Bit of a correction here, the pilot in question is not the leader of the coalition.

Your mother's so fat... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42732503)

EVE always dilates time around her.

The game is SLOOOOOOOWWWW! (2)

VortexCortex (1117377) | about 2 years ago | (#42732509)

So, the answer to how the game stayed up is that it's not a twitch game, and is actually pretty fucking slow with regard to "real time" actions of other games. In other words: It's basically a turn based game where latency isn't an issue so big fucking deal folks.

Re:The game is SLOOOOOOOWWWW! (3, Insightful)

Chris Mattern (191822) | about 2 years ago | (#42732715)

Please repeat after me:

Slow does not mean turn-based.

Turn-based does not mean slow (ever seen a game of blitz chess played?)

Re:The game is SLOOOOOOOWWWW! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42732839)

you sound bitter. did you lose an expensive ship and rage quit?

What the ??? (1)

Virtucon (127420) | about 2 years ago | (#42732603)

Okay, in this day in age of scalability and Cloud Services, why the hell can't they host this in an EC2 Availability Zone on Amazon? Use Rightscale or Scalar and like that massive Scale on-demand.. Slow down time. Pfft.. this is like thinking in the 90s.

Now, when my Civilization 5 battle comes into Eve you guys are toast!

Re:What the ??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42732761)

Okay, in this day in age of scalability and Cloud Services, why the hell can't they host this in an EC2 Availability Zone on Amazon?

Because that's a completely asinine idea, not even warranting a technical response?

I'd urge random smarmy Slashdotters to dig through the EVE dev blog and get a glimpse of the boundaries they've been pushing. Their infrastructure team knows their fucking business.

e4! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42732653)

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