Demigod: Battle plan for the week

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

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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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Nyxs
Crittias
April 27, 2009 2:48:18 PM from Demigod Forums Demigod Forums

Can we get an update on the /nosound issue here? There was a brief showing from a Stardock rep in one of the larger threads, and I believe (might've imagined this D: ) that I saw something in earlier patch notes along the lines of acknowledging its existence.

 

I just want to know if there's any noteworthy progress on this.

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April 27, 2009 2:53:10 PM from Demigod Forums Demigod Forums

1) Thanks for calling the spade a spade, er, public beta. I would love to crash and burn for the common good.

2) What happened to the proxies. Has that been implemented?

 

FWIW, I don't think the P2P is an issue, but your NAT Facilitator is.

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April 27, 2009 2:53:55 PM from Demigod Forums Demigod Forums

On a non-asskissing point, I juat wanted to say that I am very happy with how you guys are handling this game.  Most games refuse to even acknowledge problems and even restort to deleting them from their forums so they don't look like they released a bad game (Empire: Total War), not that I'm emplying that you released a buggy game.  On top of the forum posts, you release a video in which you walk around talking to the guys in charge of fixing the problem and ask them "what happened?"  Something I can honestly say I have never seen before, and applaud you for doing.

What MMO (as in Massively Multipayer Online.  I consider this to fall under that category, even though it doesn't have a world or anything to explore, because 90% of the gameplay is online) doesn't have a rocky start.  WoW took a month to iron out connection issues, and better yet, was notorious for seemingly ignoring the masses with their "no comment" threads.  It wasn't until Ghostcrawler got hired as a PR forum rep that we finally started hearing about things before they were in the patch notes.

Does this game have problems? Yes.  Are these probelms being fixed?  I want to say yes.  By simply being as interactive with their forums and straightforward as they are, they are either putting up a good front or they really do care.  I'm going to go with the latter on this one.

Thanks for being there at a time when most game makers crawl into their shell and ignore the masses for a few weeks, and then release a patch that fixes some crashes and not even address the fact that your AI just stands there and gets beat on most of the time (again, Empire: Total War).  E:TW was released on March 4th, and a forum post went out roughly 2 days ago announcing a patch that will finally fix some of the AI issues.

Anyway, keep doing what it is you guys do, I have a lot of fun with this game, even when my team mate drops and I get stuck with an AI.  Sometimes I wish I could make a team mate an AI mid-game.  Atleast the AI won't die as often as a stupid player, the AI has a threshold that it can't over ride and will eventually retreat and not chase you into your base EVERYTIME, ultimately funding your war effort.

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April 27, 2009 2:58:41 PM from Demigod Forums Demigod Forums

what about the favor points still resetting?

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April 27, 2009 3:07:32 PM from Demigod Forums Demigod Forums

Quoting Scyle,
what about the favor points still resetting?

 

wouldnt mind an ETA on that as well

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April 27, 2009 3:16:04 PM from Demigod Forums Demigod Forums

Quoting Scyle,
what about the favor points still resetting?

 

Nthing this.  Favor items are a big draw for me, and we haven't heard anything about this major bug.  Is it being worked on?

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April 27, 2009 3:27:25 PM from Demigod Forums Demigod Forums

Quoting ,

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

I hope not only the connectivity issues get attention, but all the other problems as well? You aren't forgetting those, hopefully? Expanding the game is great, but I still can't even get it to run properly?

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April 27, 2009 3:31:57 PM from Demigod Forums Demigod Forums

In my next update I'll map up exactly how the updating process goes. Suffice to say, lots of things get worked on at once.

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April 27, 2009 4:20:29 PM from Demigod Forums Demigod Forums
  • New Demigod #1
  • New Demigod #2
  • How do you want Clans to work
  • Group Joins

These are nice but in my oppinion, under the Demigod section we need a "Balance and Bugs" section. Right now they are being thrown all over the forums. It is better to have one place where all those go.

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April 27, 2009 4:21:26 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.

This is also what I'd like to see worked on first after networking issues are resolved.  It would be nice to have something similar to the pin menu in Sins, where I could basically add anything I wanted to a quickselect menu and keep an eye on it's health.  Unfortunately, that's probably a tall order.  As long as there's at least icons (with health/mana) for friendly Demigods and your personal minions, I'd be happy.

Also, it would be cool to have a display in fort games similar to the conquest ones.  Knowing that 4/5 of your forts are alive is misleading if 2 of them are at 1/3 health.

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April 27, 2009 4:27:18 PM from Demigod Forums Demigod Forums

Quoting ,


This week we’re going to try to release a public beta version on Wednesday for those people who want to help us see if the update resolves their problems while avoiding the scenario where the system impacts those who are playing the game fine right now.

Is anyone really playing the game fine right now?

I can play the game ok (skirmishes, 2v2s, 3v3s, 4v4s sometimes, 5v5s if jesus is around to help) during certain times of the day (earlier in the day vs nighttime / primetime)

There are times where my friends and I can get games going  but then at a certain point something happens and all the sudden people that were able to connect to one another can't connect to each other as if someone flipped a switch.. people start disconnecting and reconnecting to try to connect to each other and then by the time you realize it, you've wasted 30 minutes to an hour just trying to get a lobby setup with your own friends and that's not counting outside people joining in to get the game started

We all have our routers properly configured but there's just something that happens at certain times of the day where the game becomes wildly inconsistent to play.  If there is someone who is able to play this game problem free at all times of the day and night then I would love to know what they are doing different from the 10+ friends I have playing the game that are all having the same problems

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April 27, 2009 4:30:32 PM from Demigod Forums Demigod Forums

Quoting PhoenixBomb,
Can we get an update on the /nosound issue here? There was a brief showing from a Stardock rep in one of the larger threads, and I believe (might've imagined this D: ) that I saw something in earlier patch notes along the lines of acknowledging its existence.

 

I just want to know if there's any noteworthy progress on this.

For me after connectivity this is my biggest issue. Really could do with some form of update - /nosound makes the fps playable but arguably the game then becomes unplayable

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April 27, 2009 4:47:49 PM from Demigod Forums Demigod Forums

PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE solve the FAVOR bug asap, it hit the whole community!!!

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April 27, 2009 4:49:33 PM from Demigod Forums Demigod Forums

I'm not going to say too much other than favour is really important to sort out right now. Connectivity is loads better since release and no doubt will get even better.

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April 27, 2009 5:29:11 PM from Demigod Forums Demigod Forums

I'm wondering, when will we have the update that introduces the new muffin ordering interface?  Would take the game 2-3 levels higher imo, and get at least another 100K sold.

Otherwise I'm happy with the progress so far!

 

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April 27, 2009 6:08:14 PM from Demigod Forums Demigod Forums

Please work on the favor bug and the single player AI. Fix what you have before adding stuff.

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April 27, 2009 6:11:19 PM from Demigod Forums Demigod Forums

That's an update I wish I didn't read. Means there are no UI changes planned.

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April 27, 2009 6:20:36 PM from Demigod Forums Demigod Forums

Quoting bug,
That's an update I wish I didn't read. Means there are no UI changes planned.

 

UI Changes? A bunch of us can't even play yet man.

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April 27, 2009 7:41:42 PM from Demigod Forums Demigod Forums

When is the fix for Favor Points coming out?  I connect fine but would like FPs to work as well. 

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April 27, 2009 7:43:44 PM from Demigod Forums Demigod Forums

Two new Demigods...Assassins? Generals? One of each? If so, which side will get what?

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April 27, 2009 8:02:35 PM from Demigod Forums Demigod Forums

Quoting The Jooma,

Quoting bug, reply 17That's an update I wish I didn't read. Means there are no UI changes planned.
 

UI Changes? A bunch of us can't even play yet man.

 

True, but what if you can, only to find out you have no status on your team and you can't aim a spell no matter what?

I strongly believe some UI changes (which should be easy to do, it's basically reporting some stats) can go a long way in making the game much more enjoyable.

 

(Not saying fixing networking shouldn't take precedence, Stardock/GPG really dropped the ball on this one. I used to buy their games even if I didn't get to play some of them yet, just to offer my support, but after this... I'll just think twice.)

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April 27, 2009 8:24:01 PM from Demigod Forums Demigod Forums

/agree with everyone who wants favor fixed.  imo new demigod concepts shouldn't even be looked at until the game works.  Getting totally destroyed by someone who has a favor item at level 1, without having any ability to use them at all makes me want to return the game. 

 

If favor points are totally buggy, then take them out until you can figure it out.  

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April 27, 2009 8:41:41 PM from Demigod Forums Demigod Forums

Anyword on the proxy and DSL user fix?

Perhaps Demigod would end up using GPGnet's matchmaking system instead.

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April 27, 2009 8:45:31 PM from Demigod Forums Demigod Forums

One more shout out for fix the favor! Also, the /nosound thing. Playing only in stereo is kinda a bummer, but I guess it works. Also, I agree with the fix the bugs before adding more content. Focus on making the platform solid and then start adding stuff.

The pathfinding/attack switching/no skill use when you press the button I'll just stand here instead bugs are annoying as well.

That said, I am excited to hear about the plans for new content!

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April 27, 2009 9:35:55 PM from Demigod Forums Demigod Forums

For all those that say don't look at new demigods until you have the bugs fixed.  REmember there are multiple types of people working on this game.  They may want to start working on new Demigods so that the art team can get going.  It doesn't always help to throw all your people on problems especially if they are not familiar with the area being worked on.   So believe it or not, I am assuming that Stardock & GPG can multi-task.  

 

All of you will be whining about new content a month from now, and if they don't get started now then they won't have any progress to show.   So, let Brad get ideas for new features while others are working on bugs.   Rest assured they have the priorities straight (just look at all the posts that we've seen from them, they realize they need to improve the MP situation).

 

Just my .02

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