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APAC Server Merge and 'Myths' about Ping

STAR WARS: The Old Republic > English > General Discussion
APAC Server Merge and 'Myths' about Ping

DuckimusPrime's Avatar


DuckimusPrime
03.29.2013 , 09:09 PM | #11
Quote: Originally Posted by Andryah View Post
You had a fine thread, worthy of thoughtful consderation, until you decided to slap this bumper sticker on it.

There were thousands of customers in this case, and from long reading of the long running APAC concerns thread... there was also no Unanimity amongst APAC players as a group. Some of you wanted servers left as is, some wanted servers merged within APAC (though there was little agreement as to how), and some wanted to be merged with US or EU servers (because populations were more important then latency to some of the APAC players).
No what we saw was a couple of people didn't see an issue, a couple of people wanted to transfer their APAC toons off to consolidate with ones rerolled on other servers, and the vast majority wanted an APAC superserver. Stop trying to misrepresent what people were asking for in the thread. Its as bad as the rubbish that Eric posted in reponse.

Infernixx's Avatar


Infernixx
03.29.2013 , 09:12 PM | #12
Quote: Originally Posted by grallmate View Post
Much of the following argument is based on information taken from this post on 22.04.2012:
http://www.swtor.com/community/showthread.php?p=4095498

The important information is contained in the first spoiler tag (copied below) which compares packet numbers and bandwidth usage between World of Warcraft and SWTOR. When standing still in a populated area SWTOR sends 110 packets every 10 seconds while WoW sends 36 in the same time. While jumping WoW sends 5, SWTOR sends 12. While standing alone, either in a private instance or with no one else on screen the 2 are very comparable.



For anyone that has actually played the game you know this is about right. Get lots of people on screen or in a heavily populated area and your performance takes a nose dive, and that just with them standing still. Compare the difference between an 8 man and a 16 man Ops fight and you will see a large performance difference. Simply put, the engine is not well optimized for a large number of players on screen which we all already know.

Now I assume everyone who reads this already knows what ping means but I'll reiterate just in case. Ping is the amount of time a single packet takes to reach the destination server and return.

So what does this have to do with the APAC players being merged onto US West Coast servers? Well 1 argument I see frequently thrown around is: "You play WoW (or any arbitrary other MMO) on US servers and don't complain". Let me break it down:

SWTOR uses an excessive number of packets which isn't a huge problem in and of itself but when combined with a high ping the problems amplify. SWTOR in a populated area sends and average (from the above numbers) of 1 packet every 90 ms while WoW sends one every 270ms. Using SOLELY those numbers and assuming sequential packet exchange you can see that going from 40 ms - 200 ms ping has no effect on the WoW engine while it has a noticeable effect on the SWTOR engine. Using the above assumption, as long as the ping time is within the update window there should be negligible performance difference between high and low ping. However, if the ping time exceeds the update window the performance difference becomes a lot more noticeable. 200 ms ping on SWTOR exceeds that update window, on WoW it doesn't.

All that assumes that one packet must be received before the next can be sent, which isn't the case. SWTOR can send the packet with my next ability activation before it receives the previous packet but that can provide other issues. Abilities that have a precondition are especially vulnerable to issues with this, examples include Followthrough and Railshot. Riposte is also affect but is off the GCD so the effect is less important. I've seen the effect lag can have on those abilities when playing through a proxy which gave me 180 ms ping compared to my normal 26 ms ping.

Finally, to all those saying the increase is "only 120 ms": Yes the absolute change is quite small, however the relative change is huge. That is a 400-700% increase in ping depending on your location. To put that in perspective, someone with 30 ms ping can potentially receive 6(!) updates from the server in the time a player with 180 ms ping receives ONE. Imagine watching a movie at 8 frames a second compared to 48 frames a second, they're both watchable, they're both enjoyable but I know which one I'd prefer and I know which one almost everyone who has told the APAC to "shut up and accept it" would choose.

Finally I leave you all with a thought:
If you walk into Ye Olde Ice Cream Shoppe and they ask you: "What flavor you would like?" to which you and all your friends say "I'd like Chocolate please." Then they come back and hand you all vanilla while saying: "You can have vanilla because I think it tastes better (and its more financially viable)".

Now go back and replace:
- "Ye Olde Ice Cream Shoppe" with "Bioware"
- "Flavor" with "Population solution"
- "Chocolate" with "APAC Super Server"
- "Vanilla" with "US Server merges"
- "Tastes" with "Plays"
Your analogy would work best if the Ice Cream guy comes back with Vanilla and goes "This is all I have, as the chocolate is gone and it's too expensive for me to keep ordering for six people out of a couple of thousand. Want some vanilla?"

"No, I really want some chocolate."

"You can try those other shops over there."

"They don't have chocolate either. You were the only one selling chocolate."

"Well, a bunch of your friends demanded chocolate and then only got a few scoops and then quit buying it. That's why I ordered it in the first place. But, if enough people aren't buying it, then it's just too damned expensive for me to keep ordering."

"But, I really want some chocolate."

"How about I mix some dirt in with the vanilla, instead?"
Quote: Originally Posted by EricMusco View Post
Infernixx nailed it. This is correct.
Quote: Originally Posted by CosmicKat View Post
There is no excuse for any single use item to ever cost more than a month's subscription. Anyone who pays $10 or $20 for a single use item is hastening the death of TOR and feeding the rise of TOR:The Cash Shop Menace.

grallmate's Avatar


grallmate
03.29.2013 , 09:24 PM | #13
Quote: Originally Posted by Infernixx View Post
Your analogy would work best if the Ice Cream guy comes back with Vanilla and goes "This is all I have, as the chocolate is gone and it's too expensive for me to keep ordering for six people out of a couple of thousand. Want some vanilla?"

"No, I really want some chocolate."

"You can try those other shops over there."

"They don't have chocolate either. You were the only one selling chocolate."

"Well, a bunch of your friends demanded chocolate and then only got a few scoops and then quit buying it. That's why I ordered it in the first place. But, if enough people aren't buying it, then it's just too damned expensive for me to keep ordering."

"But, I really want some chocolate."

"How about I mix some dirt in with the vanilla, instead?"
Actually BW have yet to officially state its got anything to do with their balance sheet. They are still claiming its about delivering the best experience for the players. I just chucked in the "financially viable" line as a little snide remark. As such, if BW were to come out and say that an APAC server isn't financially viable I'd accept it. Hell, I'd be happy with a "APAC" server located in the US since it would allow most of us to keep our names and our identity.

Yes my entire OP argues against that option thanks to ping but if I have to compromise I'd take that option, similarly we (the entire server) would be on a fairly even footing when it comes to ping.
The Kae-Sare Legacy - The Harbinger
<Vindication> <Retribution>

Gralleh Grall'eh Khyar
Gralleh's Guide to Guardian Tanking [UPDATED for 2.0]

oakamp's Avatar


oakamp
03.29.2013 , 09:29 PM | #14
Quote: Originally Posted by SabaTheHobo View Post
They got a raw deal, I can't say I blame them. I play West from East at ~100-120ms, and phantom GCDs and the like aren't much fun -- but I made that choice voluntarily for my guild, it wasn't thrust upon me.

That said, the numbers used here are questionable. Year old 10 second samples (!) purported to be indicative of current general usage only serve to muddle a relatively simple concept -- it's going to get laggier.
so what ? leave or quit,
i got 200ms ping in US server,
but got 400 up ping in APAC,
accept merge to US or quit, deal with it.
English is not my first language, still working on it.

Andryah's Avatar


Andryah
03.29.2013 , 09:31 PM | #15
Quote: Originally Posted by grallmate View Post
Regardless, I fail to see how this affects you in the slightest unless you play on one of the new Destination servers, and if you do, it stands to affect you in a negative way thanks to naming clashes while providing a negligible benefit by increasing the Destination servers already high populations.
As a forum member, I has as much right to discuss any open topic as you do. And since I do play on Harbinger, I am looking forward to seeing more Aussies come to the server. And I do not see anything negative about that whatsoever to the server. If anything.. the time differences will better balance total loading of the server over time and give people in both regions that play outside of local primetime hours more people to play with.
sayonara SWTOR. I will miss the game, I will miss many players, I will NOT miss being lied to and deceived. I will not miss rookie level mistakes of epic proportions.

maracole's Avatar


maracole
03.29.2013 , 09:41 PM | #16
Thanks for the info OP, great post, has helped me to make a decision once ESO is launched

Oh and I do get sick of the rude people who feel we shouldn't say anything about the merge......

Oh your so right, we should just suck it up hey

grallmate's Avatar


grallmate
03.29.2013 , 09:52 PM | #17
Quote: Originally Posted by Andryah View Post
As a forum member, I has as much right to discuss any open topic as you do. And since I do play on Harbinger, I am looking forward to seeing more Aussies come to the server. And I do not see anything negative about that whatsoever to the server. If anything.. the time differences will better balance total loading of the server over time and give people in both regions that play outside of local primetime hours more people to play with.
Then as a forum member, and someone who has so much respect for BW, perhaps you could remain on topic and discuss the key points raised in my OP rather than tangentially discussing Population vs Ping or blatantly ignoring much of a post due to one line at the end.

Again, the main points were:
- SWTOR is much worse than WoW packet wise so comparisons to WoW aren't valid when arguing about ping.
- SWTORs packet volume amplifies the problem of increased ping, especially when the ping exceeds the 'update window'
- Relative increase in ping is just as important as absolute increase.

My primary goal with this post was to refute that population is greater than ping with respect to WoW's US based Oceanic servers by comparing the packet use from both games using readily available data. Hopefully the analysis shows that ping has a greater value in SWTOR than in WoW while the population value remains similar between the two.
The Kae-Sare Legacy - The Harbinger
<Vindication> <Retribution>

Gralleh Grall'eh Khyar
Gralleh's Guide to Guardian Tanking [UPDATED for 2.0]

PseudoScience's Avatar


PseudoScience
03.29.2013 , 10:15 PM | #18
Excellent post!

Thanks for the hard work mate.
APAC

Andryah's Avatar


Andryah
03.29.2013 , 10:15 PM | #19
Quote: Originally Posted by grallmate View Post
Again, the main points were:
- SWTOR is much worse than WoW packet wise so comparisons to WoW aren't valid when arguing about ping.
- SWTORs packet volume amplifies the problem of increased ping, especially when the ping exceeds the 'update window'
- Relative increase in ping is just as important as absolute increase.

My primary goal with this post was to refute that population is greater than ping with respect to WoW's US based Oceanic servers by comparing the packet use from both games using readily available data. Hopefully the analysis shows that ping has a greater value in SWTOR than in WoW while the population value remains similar between the two.
And, this affects the decision by Bioware how exactly?

Fact: People from Australia play on US West servers in SWTOR. They seem to be able to cope with it. I personally have played the reverse route and after an hour or two of adjustment... was able to cope with it without much problem.

As for WoW, it's irrelevant to the discussion.. other then to note that they never provided you low latency servers. SWTOR is one of the few MMOs that actually tired... and failed.... and they are getting beaten over the head about it from the playerbase that cannot support localized servers with sufficient population to make it commercially worth the continued effort.

If you want to argue that it ruins competitive PvP..... I would agree with you. The hardcore PvP competitors will complain if latency goes above 30 and will do all manner of tweaking to trim 10ms off of latency. Not everone plays SWTOR for competitive PvP however. Actually for competitive PvP it's generally a subpar MMO IMO.
sayonara SWTOR. I will miss the game, I will miss many players, I will NOT miss being lied to and deceived. I will not miss rookie level mistakes of epic proportions.

Andryah's Avatar


Andryah
03.29.2013 , 10:16 PM | #20
Quote: Originally Posted by grallmate View Post
Then as a forum member, and someone who has so much respect for BW, perhaps you could remain on topic and discuss the key points raised in my OP rather than tangentially discussing Population vs Ping or blatantly ignoring much of a post due to one line at the end.
Hey pal.. you are the one that just could not resist putting that one line "dog nip at Bioware" into your thread topic.

I simply responded to it.
sayonara SWTOR. I will miss the game, I will miss many players, I will NOT miss being lied to and deceived. I will not miss rookie level mistakes of epic proportions.