Demigod: Battle plan for the week

By on April 27, 2009 12:19:58 PM from JoeUser Forums JoeUser Forums

Frogboy

Join Date 03/2001
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Last week we saw some more reviews of Demigod. G4’s Xplay gave us 4 out of 5. Gamervision gave us a 9.5 out of 10, GameZone gave us an 8.7 ouf of 10 and a number of other positive reviews that I don’t have handy also came out.

Despite that, the custom game experience of Demigod has remained an exercise in frustration.  The skirmish games seem to be working better but largely because it’s picking 2 on 2 games with only occasionally 3 on 3 games.

So why is this so hard to nail down? And what is being done to solve it?

Some people are blaming Peer to Peer as the source of the pain. But most RTS’s use some form of P2P. What makes Demigod different?

The biggest difference is the form in which Demigod takes its P2P. In a game like Warcraft 3, the players route their traffic through the host. Hence, some people can join Warcraft games but can’t host them. Now you know why.

Supreme Commander is the same P2P model as Demigod and it works pretty well. The difference, however, is that most SupCom games are duels (1 vs. 1) and when they’re teams they’re 2 on 2. This tends to hide the complexity of the system.  By contrast, in Demigod, people expect to do 4 on 4 games or 5 on 5 games and it’s a significant challenge to connect them all reliably.

From Friday

On Friday, the team implemented a new system to try to make setting up the connections more orderly. After 3 days of working on it internally with great results, it was released and promptly blew up requiring us to replace it with an alternative update we had “just in case”.

I read a lot of the comments on the forums and I can say we share the frustration others have.  Developer Gas Powered Games is working hard on their end and we are working hard on our end to resolve the issues. 

This week

Monday:

Start the next pantheon tournament and continue to tweak how it works to satisfy the largest % of players.

Tuesday:

Found and fixed the cause of negative favor points. Favor points should now work though we need another client update to store purchased favor items.

Wednesday:

We got a new build of Demigod from Gas Powered Games that aims to address: 

·         Eradicates once and for all the problem where one person disconnecting or lagging would cause the peer-to-peer networking to unravel, collapse, and spawn multiple games. This is cross-functional for all matchmaking setups (LAN, Skirmish, Pantheon, Custom). 

·         Introduces a cumulative tolerance timer of 30 seconds for each player, which gives shaky connections better opportunities to stay connected, and eventually culls serious problem connections. 

·         Reintroduces an informational UI for players that lets them know who is having a connection problem, and what their cumulative timer is up to. It is important to note that this UI is NOT Interactive, merely informative. It is also a bit ugly, but compared to not giving players information, this is the much lesser evil. If need be we can revisit later for UI improvements as that is much lower priority than the information it presents. 

Meanwhile, Stardock worked with the developer of the network library it uses (Raknet) to find a way to make connecting players not be flakey.  The bad news is that it increasingly looks like problems are resulting from timing issues in the complex system of handing off sockets between Raknet to Impulse/Demigod. 

UDP Proxy server code implemented internally with testing expected to begin on Thursday.

 

In the forums

We are also going to start some pinned topics on things we to expand the game with (for free) as the connectivity mess gets sorted out. 

Topics will be:

  • New Demigod #1
  • New Demigod #2
  • How do you want Clans to work
  • Group Joins
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April 27, 2009 12:26:02 PM from Demigod Forums Demigod Forums

Dun dun dunnn. Are the proxy servers still scheduled to go online this week sometime as well? Or is it tied to the upcoming patch?

Looking forward to the pinned threads as well, we've already had some spirited discussions on group joins..

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April 27, 2009 12:28:41 PM from Demigod Forums Demigod Forums

Thanks for the info. Greatly apreciated

Just 1 thing to note, As a supcom player , One of the mostly played map is Seton Clutch (4vs4). Supcom is not really only a 1vs1 or 2vs2... its mostly like that just in ranked game but in custom games, its more 3vs3 and +

Ill say supcom connection work better because it only need you to open port 6112 and with that you can join and host game with almost no problem. (there are still some incompatible router due to the P2P nature of supcom).

Anyway Im sure stardock will get all this netcode / in-game bug fixed.

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April 27, 2009 12:36:08 PM from Demigod Forums Demigod Forums

Looking forward to the public beta version, and I'll gladly help test it.  Currently I still have yet to get into a game via the built in options, so hopefully it will solve my problems.

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April 27, 2009 12:38:21 PM from Demigod Forums Demigod Forums

While most of my connectivity issues are gone, i still get the ocasional and random "NAT facilitator" disconnects/timeouts. because i have a feeling many share the same issue, is this something that is also being looked into?

Other than that, can't wait to start reading about new ideas!

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April 27, 2009 12:40:17 PM from Demigod Forums Demigod Forums

Wagnard is correct- it is infact the vast MINORITY of SupCom games which are 2v2-1v1. Massively most of them are larger. It used to be mostly the other way around, but now 6-8 player games rule.

Why Demigod has problems, I don't know. It must be your NAT facilitator.

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April 27, 2009 12:46:48 PM from Demigod Forums Demigod Forums

Thanks for the update!  Always good to see these and know what's around the corner from you guys.

While I am really excited about these netcode fixes, and the addition of additional content, I'm just wondering if you guys have any information regarding some of the in-game bugs.  The two main ones being the borked favor point system, and the "stuck bug".  I realize those two things are probably both on the GPG side of this, but any sort of update, or even a "we're aware of this issue and it's being looked into" would be nice.

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April 27, 2009 12:58:16 PM from Demigod Forums Demigod Forums

I will for sure be trying the beta deal out, anything to fix the "unhandled exeption" after every failed attempt to connect to someone. Supcom games of 4v4 are probably the most played because of setons clutch, and the connectivity is not the problem on that game its getting the players. ( stand alone expansion was a horrible idea, split the community )

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April 27, 2009 12:59:00 PM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

I haven't even tried to play online yet, but the thing I would most like to see addressed before the addition of content, is the ability to actually start the game. Right now, the only way I can start it is to click the shortcut several times as fast as possible in the hope that eventually it'll start, of course, then I have to close all the error pop ups too -- it's mildly annoying.

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April 27, 2009 1:07:58 PM from Demigod Forums Demigod Forums

Quoting DeadMG,
Wagnard is correct- it is infact the vast MINORITY of SupCom games which are 2v2-1v1. Massively most of them are larger. It used to be mostly the other way around, but now 6-8 player games rule.

Why Demigod has problems, I don't know. It must be your NAT facilitator.

It's a little more complicated than that as GPGNet would route traffic through itself.  Players are getting connected via the NAT, then for whatever reason, they get stuck.

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April 27, 2009 1:08:31 PM from Demigod Forums Demigod Forums

Quoting bansama,
I haven't even tried to play online yet, but the thing I would most like to see addressed before the addition of content, is the ability to actually start the game. Right now, the only way I can start it is to click the shortcut several times as fast as possible in the hope that eventually it'll start, of course, then I have to close all the error pop ups too -- it's mildly annoying.

Do you have Google Desktop?

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April 27, 2009 1:12:51 PM from Demigod Forums Demigod Forums

Is the thing that blew up on Friday going to be coming back, or is that part of Wednesday's beta?

 

Also, will new maps be on tap once this is sorted out along with new Demigods?

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April 27, 2009 1:13:57 PM from Demigod Forums Demigod Forums

need .. proxy ...

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April 27, 2009 1:18:05 PM from Demigod Forums Demigod Forums

@ Frogboy (Why won't the quote button work? )

Really? I've never heard of GPGNet routing traffic. In that case, I take back my comments.

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April 27, 2009 1:21:58 PM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

Quoting Frogboy,

Do you have Google Desktop?

No I do not. I have the Gmail Notifier and the toolbar for IE, but that's about it for Google products on my PC.

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April 27, 2009 1:25:17 PM from Demigod Forums Demigod Forums

Can you update on the status of specific issues and when you expect they will be addressed?

For example, the favor points/items disspapearing?

Proxy servers?

Reinstallation of the new NAT?

anything else?

 

Thanks,

 

Javaslinger

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April 27, 2009 1:26:59 PM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

I never, ever have problems getting a game up and running.  This is because I play single player...

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April 27, 2009 1:42:28 PM from Demigod Forums Demigod Forums

I hope next Pantheon is 2v2

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April 27, 2009 1:50:49 PM from Demigod Forums Demigod Forums

it would be great to hear something about the favor-related problems. it's a bit of a game breaking issue - when the other team has favor items and yours doesn't it really tips the balance in their direction. it's easy enough to get around it by creating custom games with no favor items allowed but it very much affects skirmish and pantheon.

maybe a temp fix would be to start everyone with 1000 points on multiplayer login until a working patch is released?

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April 27, 2009 1:52:08 PM from Demigod Forums Demigod Forums

Are we going to see other bug fixes/ UI tweaks/ balance fixes before we start working on new content? 

Being able to select/interact with minions and allied DGs via UI icons is WAY more important to me than new Demigods.


Also, a stop command, and fixing attack-move.

 

(anybody feeling the same way?)

 

 

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April 27, 2009 1:53:26 PM from Demigod Forums Demigod Forums

double post

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April 27, 2009 1:55:28 PM from Demigod Forums Demigod Forums

I hope next Pantheon is 2v2

 

god, I hope it's not.

 

Being able to select/interact with minions and allied DGs via UI icons is WAY more important to me than new Demigods.

+1 . As is surrender, replay or map creation.

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April 27, 2009 2:07:12 PM from Demigod Forums Demigod Forums

Quoting mehoo462,
Are we going to see other bug fixes/ UI tweaks/ balance fixes before we start working on new content? 

Being able to select/interact with minions and allied DGs via UI icons is WAY more important to me than new Demigods.


Also, a stop command, and fixing attack-move.

 

(anybody feeling the same way?)

 

 


On the attack move, good lord yes.  I'm tired of my melee DG deciding to attack a nearby reinforcement instead of continuing the attack order on the DG that is now fleeing.  If I tell him to attack, I want him to continue to do so until I say otherwise.  There's also the related issue of DGs getting 'stuck' and not using abilities until a move order has been given to reset them.  Both are nearly game breakers, especially when timing is crucial.

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April 27, 2009 2:08:37 PM from Demigod Forums Demigod Forums

Have to be honest....Ive been one of the ones mostly defending SD on Demigod but its getting harder to stand up striaght. I have a couple friends Ive talked into the game and its been 2 weeks of hit or miss. I do hope things get resolved quickly.

Also I would recommend getting a few new maps out if your looking at anything beyond the obvious game fixes adn connectivity items. Maps would be the easiest thing for you guys to get out the quickest I would think over DG's. The game really should have shipped with about 12 maps and not 8.

 

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April 27, 2009 2:16:56 PM from Demigod Forums Demigod Forums

After having played well over 20+ games, here's where my priorities would be to fix, were it my say...

 

- Multiplayer games. Keep making it better and better. So far, a week or so from when I bought it, this has definitely been steadily improving. I do miss the bigger games Skirmish used to get us though.

- Favor. For anyone that plays multiplayer, favor is a killer. I'm at a huge disadvantage to the guys that get to buy AND keep their favor items. I have 1k+ favor with Oak alone and not only can't I buy anything, I can't even keep what gets bought.

- Friends system and people playing together. It's absolutely horrible that if I'm playing on line I have such a hard time playing with my friends. I'm running two other services (Game Ranger and XFire) so I can try to get more games with friends. Group Joining as mentioned above would be sweet.

- Disconnect and AI. What happens if you join a game and something goes bad after it starts and the rest of the team drops? Unless I notice the quick flicker up on my screen, I don't know it. I'm playing against AI thinking all is well, until they keep doing the same things the AI does over and over (run in, fight, when you can't fight anymore, try to teleport out, when that fails (Peniteance), die). To boot, if you're playing against all AI and you quit, you get a disconnect and loss. OUCH.

 

I'd rate them pretty much in the order they appear there, along with any pressing must-fix tech issues.

 

 

As for group joining, I'd absolutely love to be able to have the following options:

1. Option to automatically try to join games with friends if both are Skirmishing at the same time. Or at the very least, let us know what our friends are doing, automatically join games they are in (that haven't started yet) and keep us/them informed. We want people playing togehter, right?

2. If the above is too hard (UI/code structure/time wise), then give us simple options to invite friends in custom games and allow us to search in a skirmish as a team. The exact same type of features you can already find in say DoWII.

3. Voice?

 

From a player standpoint, I want it to be as simple as possible to join games with friends. If I could click a button that was something along the lines of "Start a game and invite all online friends" and it would automatically create a custom game setup and invite all of your friends available, that would be sweet. If it can't be that simple, just keep us informed of what our friends are doing and allow us to communicate easier (while in game, pop ups from friend chat need to show up, even if we haven't hit Shift+Tab)

 

Absolutely loving this game, just thought I'd offer some thoughts.

 

Thanks for all of the hard work you guys are putting in.

M

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April 27, 2009 2:30:21 PM from Demigod Forums Demigod Forums

I think it would be great if you could make a Sticky topic for an issue that is not addressed in this week's battle plan in the OP, and that is way more important than 'new Demigods'.  That Sticky topic should be called something like:  "What we are doing to fix the horrendously broken Favor points system, and our ETA for when it will be fixed."

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