Demigod: Day 2 Status Report!

By on April 16, 2009 9:35:58 PM from JoeUser Forums JoeUser Forums

Frogboy

Join Date 03/2001
+1109

After a marathon coding session with lots of server moving we were able to release a Day 2 update which, from what we can tell from both the logs and from talking to people in chat has made a drastic improvement in the multiplayer experience.  In a nutshell, today’s update let us connect to a different multiplayer NAT facilitator than the original. This one isn’t touched by users who get the game at retail (or those who have a warez version of the retail).

Now, I do want to address something about the update that I’ve seen users talk about.  We aren’t blaming piracy for the fact that the day 0 multiplayer experience absolutely sucked.  The issue boiled down to us having put together a multiplayer infrastructure that was designed to handle around 50,000 or so connected users. If the game took off, we would simply add more servers as the load increased. 

But what happened was that we ended up with 140,000 connected users, of which about 12% were actually legitimate customers.  Now, the roughly 120,000 users that weren’t running legitimate copies of the game weren’t online playing multiplayer or anything.  The issue with those users was as benign as a handful of HTTP calls that did things like check for updates and general server keep alive. Pretty trivial on its own until you have 120,000 of them. Then you have what amounts to a DDOS attack on yourself.

So the day 2 update we released basically made sure legitimate customers were no longer being affected by those users. As a side note, no we can’t just eliminate the infrastructure being used up by warez users because they’re running the unprotected retail version and we can’t make a distinction between retail and pirated since there’s no copy protection. It’s not a huge deal in the long run (except to our metacritic score), it was just an unexpected challenge that made day 1 a very bad multiplayer experience.

What’s next…

So we still have lots of areas to improve the multiplayer experience such as dealing with European DSL stuff (one example) and we need to make the pantheon and skirmish stuff more robust and provide more feedback.  The team is probably exhausted so the next update may not happen until next week since the day 2 update seems to have made a pretty big difference for the majority that I think we can probably take the weekend off.

But next week I expect we’ll have an update that addresses a lot of the above plus starts to look at balance and regular in-game bug reports and such that we’ve been collecting.

Anyway, that’s all for now.  I’m going home to sleep. No really, I mean it this time!

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April 16, 2009 9:46:00 PM from Demigod Forums Demigod Forums

Get some rest, i've been playing quite a few matches online, and this game is so much fun, thanks Frogboy!

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April 16, 2009 9:47:41 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Frogboy..just a question!

 

you say "This one isn’t touched by users who get the game at retail (or those who have a warez version of the retail)"..you implying that buying it in retail is not as legitimate as online?

Cuz i'll be going to get it tomorrow morning (if I find it still available).

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April 16, 2009 9:48:38 PM from Demigod Forums Demigod Forums

Have a nice weekend, thanks for keeping us informed.

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April 16, 2009 9:52:38 PM from Demigod Forums Demigod Forums

You've been working hard for this, so get some rest and enjoy your week-end !

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April 16, 2009 9:52:44 PM from Demigod Forums Demigod Forums

Worked very hard, deserve a good week-end off. Thanks a lot for your hardwork.

Enjoy the week-end while it lasts! We will be back bitching on Monday.

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April 16, 2009 9:57:52 PM from Demigod Forums Demigod Forums

Thanks for the update - I tried a Pantheon game when I had some time this evening and the connection was quick and smooth, so from where I'm sitting the patch and server changes did a lot of good. The Games list in Impulse at least is pretty saturated, which is good to see!

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April 16, 2009 10:04:58 PM from Demigod Forums Demigod Forums

Quoting ShadowMastiff2468,
Frogboy..just a question!

 

you say "This one isn’t touched by users who get the game at retail (or those who have a warez version of the retail)"..you implying that buying it in retail is not as legitimate as online?

Cuz i'll be going to get it tomorrow morning (if I find it still available).

 

What he means is that retail version that hasn't been updated with the latest patch.   If you purchase online and download, you automaticly get the latest patch which connects to the good servers.   Unpatch legit retail version and warez version will connect to the old servers.

If you buy it tomorrow at the store, just update to the latest version and you are good to go.

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April 16, 2009 10:58:05 PM from Demigod Forums Demigod Forums

Quoting Blitz64,

Quoting ShadowMastiff2468, reply 2Frogboy..just a question!

 

you say "This one isn’t touched by users who get the game at retail (or those who have a warez version of the retail)"..you implying that buying it in retail is not as legitimate as online?

Cuz i'll be going to get it tomorrow morning (if I find it still available).
 

What he means is that retail version that hasn't been updated with the latest patch.   If you purchase online and download, you automaticly get the latest patch which connects to the good servers.   Unpatch legit retail version and warez version will connect to the old servers.

If you buy it tomorrow at the store, just update to the latest version and you are good to go.

I bought retail and it's registered with Impulse, so I get patches automatically as well.  However, this statement is fishy to me because since they updated the servers, I can't get into a Pantheon game.  I connect to the other players just fine (it's always 2v2 and takes <1min to get everyone connected), but soon after the loading screen pops up I hear "A player has disconnected" and all I see are bots.  Something's not right (and I've port-fwd, port checked, and everything).  I was able to get into Pantheon games against real people before the update.

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April 16, 2009 11:01:07 PM from Demigod Forums Demigod Forums

Thats great news to hear, Enjoy your weekend Stardock Staff, hopefully its less stressfull than last weekend .I know I can't wait for the weekend as I hope to get as many games of demigod in as possible.

Now if we can only get GameSpot to re-review it

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April 16, 2009 11:10:30 PM from Demigod Forums Demigod Forums

Ridingthepine, have you tried custom games or only pantheon? Once you've updated a retail copy via Impulse, it is identical to a downloaded copy; there's nothing sinister going on.

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April 16, 2009 11:13:53 PM from Demigod Forums Demigod Forums

Quoting kryo,
Ridingthepine, have you tried custom games or only pantheon? Once you've updated a retail copy via Impulse, it is identical to a downloaded copy; there's nothing sinister going on.

Just pantheon, I tried a custom but the host wasn't starting the game after 5+min (pings were all <120, 5 players total) so I dropped.  Sorry, didn't mean to imply something sinister, only trying to provide some feedback and the statement piqued my interest.  Just trying to help!

 

So custom is the way to go right now?

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April 16, 2009 11:18:45 PM from Demigod Forums Demigod Forums

Yes

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April 16, 2009 11:29:38 PM from Demigod Forums Demigod Forums

WEEKEND OFF?!?!??!?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Alright, you deserved it.

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April 17, 2009 1:09:59 AM from Demigod Forums Demigod Forums

The update does sound great, but what I guess I don't understand (I guess I don't really understand game network logic well) is how an update is going to help in the long run. The warez users are at this very moment trying to find a way to get the latest patch on their machines. Won't that just mean they'll be where we are again, hogging system resources we paid for? Second, is anything going be done about the warez users, or is that not practicable? We all know where the tracker that the game is coming from, sadly.

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April 17, 2009 1:22:41 AM from Demigod Forums Demigod Forums

YAY! GO Frogboy, I know what I'm doing allll weekend while you rest! Expect more ideas/suggestions next week.

 

Frogboy for president.

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April 17, 2009 1:57:26 AM from Demigod Forums Demigod Forums

Quoting Adsetor,
The update does sound great, but what I guess I don't understand (I guess I don't really understand game network logic well) is how an update is going to help in the long run. The warez users are at this very moment trying to find a way to get the latest patch on their machines. Won't that just mean they'll be where we are again, hogging system resources we paid for? Second, is anything going be done about the warez users, or is that not practicable? We all know where the tracker that the game is coming from, sadly.

 

They also removed the initial version check before the menu is showed. This the one that was causing a lot of traffic. So if the pireates get an updates version in their hands the single player will no longer check if there is a new version available.

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April 17, 2009 2:07:00 AM from Demigod Forums Demigod Forums

Warez users can't patch the game.  They can't just go download a patch from any website.  So they will always be playing the old version 1.00

The only way to patch this game is through impulse and only legitiment users can do that.  It's the same way with their other game Sins of a solar empire.

 

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April 17, 2009 2:13:42 AM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

I have great faith in you all.

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April 17, 2009 2:21:46 AM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Frogboy?  Don't tell me that you are Icefrog.  Wait...are you?  No you are not, right?

About the game...you do realize that Demigod is different from Sins right?  People are generally ok with finding no single player campaign in Sins not becausing they don't want one.  It's because the game is so massive, they don't need one.  The same thing can not be said about Demigod.  The scale of the game is tiny.  It needs meat, especially there are this game called Dota out there...in fact, I wouldn't be so surprised to know that there are millions dota players out there waiting all this time to criticize this game.

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April 17, 2009 2:27:23 AM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

So, you've all read it before: People on these forums (and others) boasting their pirates, and giving all the reasons they do so.  But once again, the've screwed all the honest people, and may have cost DG lots of sales due to some bad reviews (CAUSED by the pirates).  This sounds SO much like what happened to Titan quest; it was released early; pirates swarm it; getting on forums and complaining it did not work (Warz versions were set to dump to windows when you go into a certain cave, and the forums were PACKED of people comaplaining about that one bug); low reviews fo the game because of the pirates complaining on the forums (1 review published BEFORE the game was supposed to be released yet).  The lead desiner wrote of his shock seeing a low review for his game BEFORE is was even officaily released (based on pirate complaints).

I now hate pirates more than ever.  Have a good weekend SD guys, and lets hope the reviewers are understanding to what happened. . .

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April 17, 2009 3:16:19 AM from Demigod Forums Demigod Forums

Great service thank.

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April 17, 2009 4:19:49 AM from Demigod Forums Demigod Forums

Quoting ,

 But what happened was that we ended up with 140,000 connected users, of which about 12% were actually legitimate customers.  Now, the roughly 120,000 users that weren’t running legitimate copies of the game weren’t online playing multiplayer or anything.  The issue with those users was as benign as a handful of HTTP calls that did things like check for updates and general server keep alive. Pretty trivial on its own until you have 120,000 of them. Then you have what amounts to a DDOS attack on yourself.

Use UDP where possible and make sure you're using an event-based polling method (such as kqueue, eventports, or epoll) and async i/o.  Event-based polling is particularly important if you're talking about TCP-based services with high connection concurrency.  select() and poll() will just melt when the connection counts get high

http://www.monkey.org/~provos/libevent/libevent-benchmark2.jpg

I'm probably making a lot of assumptions, but rest assured I know how you guys are feeling, and I just happen to deal with this kind of performance stuff for a living.

Good luck

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April 17, 2009 4:53:59 AM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

Wait a second, blaming pirates for everything is not a thing that Stardock should do. The game has/have flaws even before being pirated and connection issue is not a things that come only from pirated copies. The problem is that SD e GPG overlooked something and release the game before it was completly tested (connection issue was there even in the beta, the others point that make the review score down were limited content and no story).

Also connection issue due to useless version check into the game it's a developer fault. 0 day patch it's a developer fault (stardock always says that their game should be full and complete at retail)

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April 17, 2009 5:33:02 AM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

@geniusj seriously, you want to teach a game developer how to suck eggs? lol

@Frogboy Is Pantheon unplayable at the moment?  I've been trying and getting nowhere.  I get all users connecting to each other and the game just sits there still on that connecting screen, the game never starts.  I tried to get some skirmish games going last night and had exactly the same problems, were servers iffy for a long time yesterday or something?  I had 1 Pantheon game about the day after official release and since then I think I've had 1 multiplayer game.

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April 17, 2009 5:36:00 AM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

Stardock wasn't outright blaming the issues on pirates, but it is fair for them to point out that piracy did have a part in exacerbating some of the issues because thats what happened.

I think alot of people are not cutting Stardock any slack, its very common for online games to have shaky starts because it is very difficult to test them fully before exposing them to the public.

Of all people, Stardock has an ongoing reputation of superior product support that outshines that of almost all other competitors (and easily matches that of Blizzard's). People just have to learn to be patient and give Stardock and GPG the time it needs to adjust the system. They've done a fantastic job over these past 2 days, so imagine what they can accomplish when given additional time.

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