Decentralization of highway systems
As I'm sure you have noticed, the health of Tranquility, our dear live system, hasn't been up to specs the last weeks. The reason is a common phenomenon in MMOG games called "Hotspots". In our world you have commonly heard referred to them as "Yulai", "Luminaire" and "Pator" to name a few.
For short, it's when you have centralized points where you have a large percentage of the population in the same place. Our mistake was to have to few "Highway" systems, which wasn't really apparent when they were first introduced, since the number of simultaneous players were not even close to 10.000.
The reason this affects us now is that the core of these hotspots are now utilizing a full node (a full cpu) when its peaking. This affects transaction time with the SQL and it also affects it's sibling nodes if it gets too much out of timesynch. We can't solve this with "throwing more hardware at it" since we would need a nice shiny 6GHz Intel XEON CPU for each of the hotspots. But as a pleasant sidenote, we have already planned hardware upgrades to the cluster. Never hurts to have more hardware, does it :)
The solution we are implementing is decentralization of the highway systems, where we have a ring of systems at each hub instead of a single system like today (Yulai as an example). We are implementing it sooner than we’d like but the sundays are pushing the limits on the hotspots so it’s going to be put into the upcoming patch. The biggest effect will be 0.8 and 0.9 systems adjacent to current highway systems getting more traffic and travel increasing by a couple of jumps. Here is a picture explaining it:
The new highway gates are now on Chaos.