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Thread: When was the last time servers went down for maintenance?

  1. #11
    Member TaiSharQuake is on a distinguished road
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    Well the reason I ask is that any other online service routinely take their servers down for "maintenance" whatever that entails. What is so special about QL servers that this is not required? I'm sure all the other companies hosting game servers would love to learn the secret to why QL doesn't have to do this.
    It's a subtle change in the way the game behaves, most Quake players are used to fast movement and aiming at the last second, and probably notice it, I certainly do.
    I mean if that wasn't the case, then playing on LAN wouldn't give you any advantage to someone getting say 10-15 ping, but it does make a difference. My pings haven't changed according to my lag-o-meter, I get 0 jitter, the only time it shows lag is when someone joins the game, which is a different issue.

  2. #12
    Senior Member Lorfa is a jewel in the rough Lorfa is a jewel in the rough Lorfa is a jewel in the rough Lorfa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TaiSharQuake View Post
    Well the reason I ask is that any other online service routinely take their servers down for "maintenance" whatever that entails. What is so special about QL servers that this is not required? I'm sure all the other companies hosting game servers would love to learn the secret to why QL doesn't have to do this.
    It's a subtle change in the way the game behaves, most Quake players are used to fast movement and aiming at the last second, and probably notice it, I certainly do.
    If a server has been running the same map for a long time, you might notice that the framerate changes on rockets, jump pad animations, and on some ground decal animations such as those that items are usually placed on.

    Reloading the map fixes this, but it has to actually reload it. It happens on a lot of sampler servers since they run the same map, and when the game is over the map is not reloaded, it simply restarts player positions.

    As to what other effects this phenomenon has I'm not sure.

    I mean if that wasn't the case, then playing on LAN wouldn't give you any advantage to someone getting say 10-15 ping, but it does make a difference. My pings haven't changed according to my lag-o-meter, I get 0 jitter, the only time it shows lag is when someone joins the game, which is a different issue.
    LAN is more like 6 ms actually.

    Over the net there are ping fluctuations that are too fast for common methods to pick up. These fluctuations are likely much less over LAN due to there being only 1 or 2 hops max and the switches having to consider less traffic relative to their capacity (most of the time anyways).

    Really though, all this is rather unscientific. If you could wire a lan such that the pings were identical to an online setup, and had people run a "taste" test, I wouldn't be surprised if they could not tell the difference.

    The other problem making this unscientific is eliminating all of the possible variables. You might "feel" like the server is lagging on a particular, when actually you're just tired and your CNS is depressed relative to another gaming session. Perhaps your LCD display decides to have another 2 ms of input latency for some reason (I haven't heard of this but I wouldn't put it past them).

    Maybe your system is lagging for whatever reason and adding a few ms of latency. Maybe your seating position has been off, chair out of position, socks on the wrong foot. All these little things can have an effect and with something so sensitive it becomes important to rule them out.

    Also, I'd hate to be cliche, but it bears mentioning that when players underperform they tend to look for external reasons to explain their subpar performance to make them feel better about it, as in "It's not my fault, the server is laggy". For a while this may be totally conscious, but at some point it can become unconscious and bias a person's analysis of events.

    Not saying that there isn't something odd with the servers, there certainly could be, it's just difficult to be sure unless we can test for it in some reliable way, and player testimony stating that it "feels" laggier than the ping time indicates can be unreliable.

  3. #13
    Member EVeares is on a distinguished road
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    So for each game that one plays, there is a physical server/machine?

    Additionally, why don't the servers restart and reload the maps periodically to solve the above problem?

    (Also, are there any published details about the servers; like how much RAM they have, what OS they run, etc...)

  4. #14
    Senior Member Lorfa is a jewel in the rough Lorfa is a jewel in the rough Lorfa is a jewel in the rough Lorfa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EVeares View Post
    So for each game that one plays, there is a physical server/machine?
    For each location. I'm pretty sure the matches for a particular location all run on the same machine, or perhaps, a few machines.

    Additionally, why don't the servers restart and reload the maps periodically to solve the above problem?
    They don't see it as important enough of a problem to do that is my best guess. A lot of players don't even notice.

    (Also, are there any published details about the servers; like how much RAM they have, what OS they run, etc...)
    They all run linux as far as I know (serverinfo says this). No information on the distribution is given.

    As for other machine specifications I don't know, and it would appear that this information is purposely unavailable.

  5. #15
    Senior Member FlashSoul will become famous soon enough FlashSoul will become famous soon enough FlashSoul's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EVeares View Post
    So for each game that one plays, there is a physical server/machine?
    No. One physical server (machine) hosts N QL servers (each on a different port). One location may have more than one physical servers (I think Sydney and Frankfurt are like that?).

  6. #16
    Senior Member GoBotz is on a distinguished road GoBotz's Avatar
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    there's definitely a weird lag. I only get a little packet loss on the chicago servers. It doesn't happen often but when it does its easy to tell its happening. It feels skippy kind of like loss of frame rate. All other servers I have a steady green band on my net graph. Even on the chi. servers i have a steady green band, just here and there, there is a tinge of yellow but no overwhelming dips in the band.

    The "lag" I experience is different. It feels like i have 80 ping when i actually am pinging 30. Like there's some weird gravity/underwater effect. It directly effects my mouse. It effects my strafing and even seems top effect key presses. They are either delayed or do not register. This lag makes it extremely hard to aim let alone even try to track someone. The best way i could describe it is that it feels like the game can't keep up with input from my machine.

    The only thing comparable to this that i've experienced was in q3 when my friend ran servers on his home pc. If to many people joined the server couldn't handle the bandwidth and everything would get this lagged feeling until everyone lowered their rate to 3000.

  7. #17
    Senior Member Balarick is on a distinguished road
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    i agree. even a reboot would help greatly.

  8. #18
    Senior Member jigglyboobs is on a distinguished road
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    Quote Originally Posted by GoBotz View Post
    there's definitely a weird lag. I only get a little packet loss on the chicago servers. It doesn't happen often but when it does its easy to tell its happening. It feels skippy kind of like loss of frame rate. All other servers I have a steady green band on my net graph. Even on the chi. servers i have a steady green band, just here and there, there is a tinge of yellow but no overwhelming dips in the band.

    The "lag" I experience is different. It feels like i have 80 ping when i actually am pinging 30. Like there's some weird gravity/underwater effect. It directly effects my mouse. It effects my strafing and even seems top effect key presses. They are either delayed or do not register. This lag makes it extremely hard to aim let alone even try to track someone. The best way i could describe it is that it feels like the game can't keep up with input from my machine.

    The only thing comparable to this that i've experienced was in q3 when my friend ran servers on his home pc. If to many people joined the server couldn't handle the bandwidth and everything would get this lagged feeling until everyone lowered their rate to 3000.
    Yep, that's the exact feeling. Awful if you mouse aim a lot and makes active dodging pretty darn difficult.

    I've been suspecting that they are overloading the machines with too many instances of the server, eg, if they are running too many threads for the number of cores they have, or the NIC setup isn't up to the task.

  9. #19
    Member TaiSharQuake is on a distinguished road
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    I just noticed something, I played a 10 player match on Eviscerated, and got the rockets shooting out with 60-80 ms worth of lag, while I had 30. I played that same map yesterday I believe, but with 4 players total and didn't notice the lag, just my bad aim lol.
    Even when all those players were in the same room, my FPS was showing solid 125 with no drops, so it doesn't appear to be a FPS lag.

    Also on a 100Mbit fiber connection, what would you suggest I set my sv_ settings to? Like Rate and all that? Set them to max?

  10. #20
    Member TaiSharQuake is on a distinguished road
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lorfa View Post
    Also, I'd hate to be cliche, but it bears mentioning that when players underperform they tend to look for external reasons to explain their subpar performance to make them feel better about it, as in "It's not my fault, the server is laggy". For a while this may be totally conscious, but at some point it can become unconscious and bias a person's analysis of events.
    Absolutely, and when this happens I usually rage quit or stop playing for the night and do something else. When you aren't performing at normal levels, it's almost not worth playing.

    Not saying that there isn't something odd with the servers, there certainly could be, it's just difficult to be sure unless we can test for it in some reliable way, and player testimony stating that it "feels" laggier than the ping time indicates can be unreliable.
    That is the problem isn't it; there doesn't seem to be a way to reliably test it aside from the seat of the pants feeling of it.

    I've been playing Q3 since 1999, every day for several hours a day. I transitioned to QL years ago (2009 during Beta I believe, but didn't like it so didn't play it much). So please believe me when I say that I notice subtle changes to how things play in game. I may not notice it right away, but when you are in "the Zone" (corny I know), you notice those slight changes when a flick rocket shot should have hit, hits a wall that you were aiming at 1/2 second ago instead, even if your lag-o-meter shows no jitter and 15-20 ms ping.
    You immediately notice things like that because they stand out so much. You make that same shot 1000 times, then the 1001th time it does that lag thing, you're going to notice.

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