The PlanetSide server paradox

The only interesting servers are the populated ones (which, at the moment, means Emerald.)

The worst servers to play on, are the populated ones (which, at the moment, means Emerald.)

So as the servers become more populated and more desirable, they also become more overloaded. PlanetSide has horrible lag issues as it is even on smaller servers. The downtime or lag frustration leaves me thinking this is a no-win game.

Thanks for the authoritative analysis. I guess my experience that johari has been fun AND relatively lag free is an illusion.

Try playing on Emerald. There’s actual action there, not just skirmishes. My Johari experience has been… oh… organize a squad, move in on a target, clear out an empty or nearly empty base, capture it, next nearly empty or empty base. Occasionally, you might get a real fight.

Ok, I’ll give emerald a try tonight. I haven’t been on it since beta. I’m curious to see if the experience is that different.

Sorry I was sarcastic above.

edit: for spelling

I guess we’ve been luckier on Johari than you have, Jakub. ;)

Yeah, my Johari experience has been way different. The first few days it was underpopulated, but now I think it’s fine. I get a nice mix of small actions and large wars, assuming I log in and go to a hotspot. Maybe you just don’t pick good places to fight? I’ve definitely been in squads that do that, and it’s dull. You might try joining a good outfit. I know you decided not to join the QT3 outfit because you thought it would be lame, but I’ve had a blast with it so far.

Also, I haven’t had that much problem with lag, and I don’t think it’s just because Emerald has more people. For example, the last two times I played, I was on continents that were full (i.e., just as populous as anywhere on Emerald). Lag was generally fine, although there were rare spikes and rarer crashes (one last night, and I think two the time before, in probably six hours of play).

The devs patched the servers this morning, saying they squashed the crash bug. Here’s hoping they’re right.

Maybe your connection is just bad, Jakub?

I’ve played extensively on both Johari and Emerald. Emerald has never been much laggier than Johari for me, and both are generally playable even on full continents. Extremely crowded indoor battles get choppy sometimes, but that’s about it. The people I play with in the Qt3 outfit seems to have similar experiences (at least as far as Johari is concerned). Deciphering comparative lag issues between players is sort of a black art, anyway–there are so many factors that can affect net performance. What I do know is that the game performs far, far better than any other massively multiplayer game I’ve tried on my home connection. I get perfectly playable framerates with local player populations that would turn DAoC or AC2 into slide shows.

I have also not had any trouble finding action on Johari. There isn’t action everywhere, all the time, but there is more than enough to find big battles of 100-200 people if you want to, and smaller fights if you don’t. Which makes sense, since Johari isn’t usually more than 2 dots or so behind Emerald in player population.

I haven’t had any luck finding big fights on Johari. The biggest action I saw was when two opposing squads ran into each other between a recently captured base and a tower.

Emerald has been good for the fighting but bad for lag. With 30 people on screen, me hovering in mid-air… it’s really not uncommon to suddenly freeze and find that I’m not hovering so much as shot down or flying into a wall/tree/mountain. On the ground it’s somewhat more tolerable.

To sum up:

Planetside servers: YMMV

Speaking of patches… that patch this morning was the absolute worst timing I’ve seen, as it disrupted (at 3am) the best fight I have ever been in. Everyone else had logged by this point, and NC had been trading bases with TR back and forth for a couple of hours - we were on Ishundar (great choice, Balut) and three or four of the central bases had always been in some form of attack from one side or the other, each rapidly changing hands back and forth. You could tell there were LARGE forces at work for each side, but usually the main attacking force would hit a smaller defending force, while their main force hit another nearby base.

But finally, the planets aligned and the main force from both groups ended up at Enkido, which promptly went neutral. Both sides had very well-placed AMS units, and it was just a constrant stream of bodies to the front-lines… shrapnel and random shots everywhere, engineers going nuts on both sides placing mines and turrets, entrenched heavy combat guys getting repaired while shooting, and MAX units from both sides making suicide runs to try to take out the other encampment. Just insane, and the only bad part was that it finally ended only when everyone was disconnected for the patch. I was too heartbroken to log back in after that, and finally went to bed :)

Damn, now I want to leave work early to play tonight! :-)

I do agree that the game is, uh, less than it’s best when you can’t find a large scale engagement. And that they badly need more tools for finding those engagements. Hopefully identifying when the squad is not in a hotspot will be something we get better at, since hotspots are vastly better XP.

OK, after an hour of frustration, I lagged off of Emerald.

I stand by my original point.

Gamespot does have a brief snippet from yesterday about improvements to the server code that will go in to affect in the next day or two. Supposedly, it will help lag and memory leak problems. How long did they test this thing?

Like all MMO games, not long enough. But that particular issue isn’t that big a problem in practice. I’ve only seen them cycle Johari once while I was playing. The problem they had with the last big patch–the one that introduced the system lockup bug–was a much bigger problem. They fixed that pretty quickly, though.

As MMO launches go, PlanetSide’s was quite smooth.

They just brought Johari down to apply the lag-fix bug you mention. The system broadcast message was something like “the lag fix patch on emerald was a success, and we are now bringing johari down to apply the patch here as well.”

Yeah, I totally agree. The thing with the bad patch was a big screwup, but it only lasted a few days. Overall, this launch has been the smoothest I’ve ever seen for an MMO game, although I didn’t play AC2 (heard that was silky smooth as well).

Damn, the problems are already fixed? Jakub has not come back to whine :wink: so I would imagine he cannot tear himself away.

I do not play MMO games much any more due to kids and wives, but can easily follow the releases because the level of frustrated chatter spikes each time around the net. With Planetside, it almost seems as if it has been going for months as it has been so quiet. Crap. I wish I had 3 extra hours in the day.

I went to emerald tonight and cruised around in a reaver. No lag, none.

Good game tonight, guys. Some awesome action on Solsar and Searhus. And I’m not just talking about Xemu’s flying… ;)

The fix last night got the lag issue.