Anarchy Online Update

As we've stated before, Anarchy Online launched to the accompanyment of some really nasty problems. Long lag time and frequent server disconnects. The good news is that FunCom, makers of the game, have been constantly working on the problems and updating on their progress on their website. Here's what they have to say today:

Dear AO-players,

Time for an update again.

First of all - from our side it looks like it's getting easier for you to play the game. We are getting more and more people online every day. We have improved stability a LOT the past week and you should not get as many "server lost" messages as you did a week ago.

Of course when we have more and more players online other issues arise - i.e. performance problems, both server-side (what you experience as "lag") and client-side when you are in a city with 700 other players in your "close" vicinity. We have pin-pointed some server performance bottle-necks (the symptoms are 2-3 seconds lag at times, rising sometimes to bigger lag bursts of up to 30+ seconds.) We don't have the fixes ready yet - but they are in the works. I just wanted to let you know that we are very aware of the problem and are working on it.

We are working on setting up another dimension - meaning that we will be able to "house" twice as many players as the current number. In the future it will be possible to travel between the dimensions (when we start the story-line - it's quite essential for the story-line) - the transfer will be somehow restricted by Omni-Tek, but more about this later. The extra dimension should take some of the load off the current one - and with that in mind, some of you will probably want to create new characters on the new dimension and new players will want to start there.

On the client side; we know what's attacking the framerate, and we know what to do about it. Unfortunately, the fixes take some time to implement. Meanwhile, use in-game options to reduce view distance and texture quality (use texture compression as well!) while in cities.

Oh, and apparently we have a slight memory leak on the client as well :-) We'll look into it.

Normally I don't have a lot of time to browse the message board (and I have to keep up my motivation as well ;-) but I usually get links to the most interesting threads. I really liked the "bug thread" - it was nice constructive feedback - some of the bugs are more important than others and we'll prioritize them accordingly. It is easier, though, (and more efficient for us) if you submit the bugs through the in-game tool; (CTRL-ALT-SHIFT-F9) where the bugs go through our QA department and into our bug-database.

Another thing about the board: We don't delete posts on the board unless they contain profanity, advertisements or spam - it's not our style and the guys who have been with us for a while know that. We have had some database problems when trimming the board (it was getting dead-slow) but as far as I know they are solved now.

Then the TCP/UDP discussion! I will not go into detail now - it will take too much time, and be too technical - but I can assure you that very few of the problems you are experiencing are due to us using TCP instead of UDP. We could (and will probably in the future) use UDP for less critical packets - but I think of it as an optimization, and it's not prioritized as highly as the more crucial game-play bugs.

Like e.g. the monsters shooting through the wall inside mission areas - our AI guys fixed the NPCs to use proper line-of-sight and it's ready for testing by our QA guys.

There is another thing about monsters - there are generally a lot less of them than we wanted. The reason is a small bug that snuck in just before launch (you guys in the beta remember how there were a lot more monsters in e.g. Newland.) We'll patch up our servers with that as quickly as possible. I know how boring it can be to run around in such a big world searching for something to hunt :-)

That's all from me today, thank you.

Martin Amor
AO Lead Programmer

As always we'll keep you posted on new details as they arise.

07.09.01 - 7:04 PM
Sensei Phoenix