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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
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    Space Coast, Florida
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    Load skirmish data ONLY when it is actually used by the player

    To the best of my knowledge, there are only 3 times when skirmish data is actually used by a character:
    - when they open the skirmish panel to look at the data
    - when they visit the trainer/captain to modify the data
    - when they load their skirmish soldier in order to use it in landscape mode or in a skirmish

    I know that over 90% of the time I play for weeks at a time and never even look at that data or use a skirmish soldier on any of my toons.

    So why bother to load data that will never be used during most play session by most players?


    If and when I first need the data during a given play session is the time to actually load it. This cuts down on the login time because less data is loaded and it prevents the waste of bandwidth for those players that have to worry about limits and may not skirmish much.
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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    448
    Quote Originally Posted by Jadowyn View Post
    To the best of my knowledge, there are only 3 times when skirmish data is actually used by a character:
    - when they open the skirmish panel to look at the data
    - when they visit the trainer/captain to modify the data
    - when they load their skirmish soldier in order to use it in landscape mode or in a skirmish
    I'm assuming you're talking about the recent patch notes mention of skirmish statistics calculations done during login. The suggestion to delay this is a good one, but I need to point out that you're barking up the wrong tree. The patch is not changing anything with regard to data about your equipped skirmish traits or skills, so your 3 points here are entirely irrelevant to the issue.


    Here's the relevant section of the patch notes:


    We've discovered that a very significant chunk of time is spent during logon to read and calculate your skirmish stats. Instead of doing these calculations during logon, we will now do them after. Your Skirmish stats will then update in the background, as you play. This should allow some characters who have been unable to login due to a timeout to get into the game. Please note, your Skirmish stats will not display correctly until all of the processing is completed after logging in.

    -- from U11.5 Release Notes
    The only place the player sees these statistics (to my knowledge) is the Skirmish Panel, Stats tab. That is the only display that will be affected by the change. Stats are collected on all instances, but presumably there's no need to do the calculations before running more instances that will add to the data. (I could be wrong about that presumption, however.)

    As I've mentioned elsewhere, I don't see any reason these calculations could not be delayed until the user opens the Skirmish Panel directly, or an option given to toggle off the statistics calculations entirely.
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
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    Quote Originally Posted by banjolier View Post
    As I've mentioned elsewhere, I don't see any reason these calculations could not be delayed until the user opens the Skirmish Panel directly, or an option given to toggle off the statistics calculations entirely.
    I think doing them in the background after loading up your character is just about the right time to do it (at least if done correctly). If they manage to properly thread the calculation process then game performance should not suffer in any noticeable way. If, on the other hand, the calculation is postponed to when the dialog is actually opened you might need to wait for a very long time before you can actually use the dialog. Let's assume you have a five minute load time now and 1 minute after the patch, then I would assume you'd need about 4 minutes to do the calculations... That's four minutes looking at an unresponsive UI and if there's one thing that freaks me out it's having to look at an unresponsive UI. (Yes, I hate the game-freeze you get when toggling between completed/active quests).

    Doing it during log-in is obviously too early.
    Doing it when opening the dialog is too late.
    Doing it somewhere in between in a manner that do not reduce game performance is when it should be done.
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    [/I]
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  4. #4
    Well, this method apparently causes crashes if you log out of the character before it calculates the data.

    Which makes more sense? Use a method that might crash your client if you log out of a character quickly (something that probably happens a lot if you have alts), or a slight pause/freeze when pulling up a panel to look at the thing being calculated?

    Especially when you have that already in the game. Hit O for the social panel and it takes a few seconds to load, because it's presumably figuring out who is online at that instant.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Posts
    12,677
    Quote Originally Posted by trancejeremy View Post
    Well, this method apparently causes crashes if you log out of the character before it calculates the data
    If so, that should be relatively simple to reproduce and fix. As long as the background thread used to calculate the stats doesn't cause any noticeable performance issues (and it shouldn't), that seems a perfectly fine way to deal with these stats.

    Lazy evaluation is a good choice for many of these types of issues, but if it's going to cause the UI to "hang" for a minute or two while it calculates stats, that's too long. Even 30 seconds is borderline too long. Running a worker thread to handle the calculations would be a good option in that case - it can be run at low priority.

    Khafar

  6. #6
    Turbine does load data when you tried to access it. Crafting used to be that way. The issue as a customer was the 10+ second client lock up when you opened the crafting panel. I would stare at my PC wondering if the game software had crashed.

    The one aspect about the game that I remember being lock up is wanting to see your list of completed quests. That used to take forever with your client completely frozen. It only took 5-10 seconds today.
    Unless stated otherwise, all content in this post is My Personal Opinion.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
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    Sweden
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    Quote Originally Posted by trancejeremy View Post
    Well, this method apparently causes crashes if you log out of the character before it calculates the data.
    Given that it's a known issue even in the patch notes mean they're well aware of the issue and are probably already working on a fix. This patch will allow players to log characters that were previously unable to load and as such I would consider it a fairly important hot-fix even with the known issues.

    Quote Originally Posted by trancejeremy View Post
    Which makes more sense? Use a method that might crash your client if you log out of a character quickly (something that probably happens a lot if you have alts), or a slight pause/freeze when pulling up a panel to look at the thing being calculated?
    Load times were up to several minutes for some players so we're not talking about a "slight pause/freeze".

    Yes, those used to being able to do a quick log-in-check-mail-log-out rotation will now have to wait for a bit before moving on to the next character. That *is* an inconvenience which is why it was flagged as a known issue in the patch notes.
    [I]A small cog in a big machine.
    [/I]
    Life has no "Undo" button, only "I'm sorry". Thinking before doing is a good thing.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Orem
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    971
    Quote Originally Posted by Jadowyn View Post
    To the best of my knowledge, there are only 3 times when skirmish data is actually used by a character:
    - when they open the skirmish panel to look at the data
    - when they visit the trainer/captain to modify the data
    - when they load their skirmish soldier in order to use it in landscape mode or in a skirmish

    I know that over 90% of the time I play for weeks at a time and never even look at that data or use a skirmish soldier on any of my toons.

    So why bother to load data that will never be used during most play session by most players?


    If and when I first need the data during a given play session is the time to actually load it. This cuts down on the login time because less data is loaded and it prevents the waste of bandwidth for those players that have to worry about limits and may not skirmish much.
    good idea they probably will do this sense a lot of players are having log in issues.

 

 

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