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    Servers - A Breakdown - Follow-up

    Col Penny

    Attention All Hands,


    Following up with last cycle's post regarding server issues I would like to get everyone into the loop to what's going on now.


    Task Force Alpha, essentially, accidentally ran next week's test. The ping kicker was accidentally left off prior to the first catastrophic server crash (although the kicker for desync was left on). Task Force Bravo also had both of these disabled. Prior to combat I tried to keep an eye on ping/desync for Task Force Bravo, and everyone was below 250 ping and no desync, which is good. Once combat hit though, and given the other issues, I was unable to continue to look at this. Task Force Alpha's server was rebooted after the initial crash, re-enabling the ping and desync kicker. From this moment on they had no issues.


    We also encountered issues within the mission itself not related to players. We noted heavy desync increases when utilizing Zeus Artillery, especially heavy or concentrated fire. We also noted major jumps in playability when removing groups in buildings with ACE Garrison. This was also slightly marked with enemy air assets.


    We could also be experiencing issues with JSRS. It's still unknown exactly what caused the issues for Task Force Bravo to be unable to hear gunfire. What we did conclude was that gunfire was unable to be heard from downrange, though we could still initially hear it during testing by being right next to the OPFOR. Initially we believed this to be an issue with only GHM and BRG units, but it was also claimed to be heard with ChDKZ units (however many of these claims came during a period of time when there were zero enemy units on the map at all, so the complaint is suspect). Task Force Alpha had none of these issues.


    All of this could, also, be related to Tanoa, or at the very least the specific area of Tanoa Task Force Bravo was operating in. We also determined that, given the marked improvement for even Task Force Bravo with no 'safety net' that the datacenter hosting the Unit's server box is subpar. This server will likely be scrapped and we will move forward with the new procurement.


    We also noted some things we can do better on the S-Shop end of things to improve performance and cooperation. This includes the server load-in method. We are not seeing any marked improvement for performance using the all-in load-in method, and Zeus is instead suffering in focus and effectiveness. Thus we will be returning to the piecemeal method to allow Zeus time to set up and concentrate without rush.


    To summarize all of the above:


    • Task Force Alpha's year-long issues can be linked to a particular set of personnel. TFA crashed initially due to a few reasons, but one of which was the ping kicker was not enabled (desync kicker was, that's why you saw some personnel kicked). TFB did not have these enabled either, and did not have as many issues (ie. server crashing).
    • Ping/desync kicker is going to need to be enabled for the first time in Unit history (thanks ArmA). Changes to the coding have now made higher ping level unforgiving.
    • JSRS is likely an issue, again. It should probably be removed from client side approved again. It's only partially confirmed it caused the inability to hear gunfire. This will continue to be evaluated, though it is recommended you cease running it.
    • •The Unit Server Box datacenter is subpar (though the hardware was in a class of its own) and also likely contributed to TFA's issues this year. It should be canceled and scrapped.
    • Zeus needs to lighten up on the artillery shells. It will not go away entirely, but it will be markedly less.
    • ACE Garrison is wonky. TFB server FPS went from 19 (AI and players skating around the map) to 24 (passable) by removing garrisoned AI. This should be avoided.
    • We are not gaining any marked server performance with 'all in one' join, and Zeus' performance is suffering because they are being rushed. We will return to piecemeal load (except for server crashes/reboots) and allow Zeus their set-up time again.
    • S-4 Mission Team needs to be included on S-2's 'plan' so they can pre-place AI and objectives better on the mission file. This will not only enhance the experience, but server performance from pre-spawned AI and Zeus from rushing all the time.
    • Enemy Air Assets need to be limited in their runs, much like ours. A Ka-52 was left free over TFB and not only did it wreak havoc on a TF that had no protection, it impacted the server quite a bit. These should be available for time intervals and then removed if they are not pursued or destroyed by ACE in that time.
    • Potential for Tanoa to be fucking us over, but there's little we can do about that. Some of TFB's issues may have been related to the specific area we were in.


    The ping/desync kicker will be implemented effective immediately. For OP 04-18 it will be set at 450 ping and 1700 desync. Immediately following OP 04-18 these will be lowered to 300 ping and 1500 desync, and remain in effect until the ArmA code changes to be more forgiving again.


    Tests are, for the most part, concluded, and we should begin to see marked server improvement beginning this week with these new implementations. Further issues are likely to be related specifically to ArmA updates/mod issues (because of, or independent of, ArmA or other mod updates), the map, or (currently) JSRS specifically.


    -Col Penny

    MEU CO

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