Need for MOAR Speed

Pilots of New Eden,

We have a series of blogs coming out to give a better insight into the technical side of CCP and progress in our long battle on lag. We know this issue is important to you, and there's plenty of room for further explanation, so we hope you tune in here in the coming weeks and months to follow our efforts.

We call this the long battle on lag because there's not a single issue that creates lag or removes it. It's a constant, slow battle that has many possible warriors standing against us on the opposing side.  You may also remember some of our more focused initatives, like Need For Speed which we started 2006. It has been a priority within CCP since then as we've taken a holistic approach to EVE's growing population and the emergent behavior of its pilots. In EVE's long history, we've made continual progress towards the promised land of minimal lag, sometimes in incremental steps and sometimes punctuated by large leaps such as StacklessIO and EVE64.

Shortly after Dominion, as we've all noticed, things began reverting.  This has been a problem, as we know how powerful and unique an experience a 1000+ player fleet fight can truly be. While this is all relative, as we're dealing with an exceptional gaming situation where the universe is large and un-sharded and allows for freedom of movement in the gamespace that is rarely seen elsewhere, CCP's goal is to return you to those epic space battles and then well beyond.

In the past we've tried to give the right mix of information for the general EVE audience, which has led us a bit away from uber-technical blogs. However, the more technical blogs we have put out have been well-received and since we're talking lag, the blogs following this will follow suit.

In the coming series...

Topic: Singularity Mass Testing Report, CCP Tanis

This is a report from some of the findings of the lass mass testing on Singularity and includes some of the work and investigations being done as a result. These kinds of scenarios can seldom be created on Tranquility with the amount of logging, probing and debugging in place, so this should show why each test is of great importance to us and why the brave, patient players joining us on Sisi are integral to help us tackle lag.

Topic: The Long Lag and MMO Scaling, CCP Warlock

This blog is about distributed applications (of which EVE is one of the more complex) designing them and how CCP scales them to give you not only the best possible performance across the cluster as a whole, but also for specific activities like fleet fights.  This comes from Warlock's presentation at Para 2010, which was presented to the CSM 5 during a break in deliberations and requested in this EVE-O post. This should give another angle of understanding of the behind-the-scenes efforts we've been taking.

Topic: "Thin Clients" and Automated Testing from CCP Atropos

This is an explanation of an effort to rework the guts of the EVE client to slim it down as much as possible so we can undertake controlled, large scale tests in a more automated way. This new testing tool will benefit both quality and scalability moving forwards and can help us simulate fleet-fights "on demand".  We aren't to the point where we can imitate player behavior though, so this goes alongside mass-testing as one of our investigative tools.

Topic: Carbon, CCP's Core Technology , CCP Unifex

CCP has a Core Technology Group which creates and maintains all of the core functionality of what runs EVE and will run our future games. These are groups of superspecialists which helped to produce things like StacklessIO and the Trinity2 graphics engine. This blog will help clarify the overall approach we take to making games and more parts of CCP's organizational structure which contribute directly to the development of EVE Online than just the dedicated EVE Dev Team.

In conclusion, we've been a bit too heads-down on this anti-lag effort and realize the importance of our progress within the EVE player base. You can expect us to update you more frequently on our anti-lag efforts as well as the work of teams developing our core technology. We thank you for your patience, which has been quite long lasting, and hope you realize we will be throwing every last thing we've got at the terrible, multi-ship fleet known as lag.