Server Efficiency

16th June 2013 12:05pm

The top 3 problems with Ironfell are:

Ironfell is not profitable (www.ironfell.com/profit).  The way things are the server cost per user is greater than the income per user.  If we had 100 times as many people playing, I’ld have to buy more servers and would just be losing more money.

Too many server restarts and disconnects.

Iron and Oil are too hard to get at the moment.

And here are a list of solutions:

Remove Risky Tunnels and instead create Risky Realms automatically at a rate that can be adjusted.  They’ll always contain Iron mines, and you will be able to use Conquest Tunnels to reach them.  This makes Iron easier/cheaper to get to (Conquest Tunnel costs won’t change).  And it means the number of Risky Realms created is limited.

Trailblazer Realms will make a come back, and work the same way as the new Risky Realms.  They will be safe with tree’s just like they used too.  Trailblazer Tunnels connect to these realms.

Realm Purge.  Risky and Trailblazer valley realms that have nothing in them will be removed.  There are over 60,000 of these realms, and they are slowing down the servers too much.  I’ld like to remove 50,000 of them.  I’m not sure which ones will be removed yet, but it’ll be based on the number and type of units that are inside those realms.  And yes, this will affect your wood production.

Users who have never played will have their accounts deleted, and their home valleys removed.

All types of gateway (tunnels, keeps, castles, etc) will have the spacing rule applied to them, the same as the current stone circles.

There are over 120,000 Woodcutters on auto-gather, this slows the servers down and is the main cause of the restarts and disconnects.  So after a few weeks (exact number to be decided) … Woodcutters will turn into Werewolves.  This means they will not auto-gather forever.  Werewolves will be a fighting unit.

Auto-attack is the other thing slowing down the servers.  So Dinosaurs auto-attack will be changed so that is is only triggered if their target is within their attack range, 1 hexagon away instead of 8 hexagons.  This also means Velociraptors will get auto-attack enabled again.

More nines. Resource cap will be increased from 999,999,99 to be 999,999,999,999.

And lastly… Farms, Paddocks, Colleges and Universities will expire after a long amount of time. Probably a few months.

There are still lots of details to figure out, and I need to think through all the consequences of these pretty significant changes.  But anyway, there is the rough plan.

 

Posted by on in Ironfell

Comments

  • Spacenut says:

    Ooh, I like the bit about the werewolves. Let them go too long and you have someone on the inside take you out. All these changes would be interesting, in my opinion. The only one I really don’t like is the blanket spacing of the gateways. I’d like to see how doing these changes the tactics used in-game.

  • The Dark Knight says:

    Woodcutters -> Werewolves = Brilliant

    I think it would be cool if you added a system for risky and safe realms to naturally destroy themselves over time. For example: a volcano that will eventually erupt, creating lava hexes until it consumes the whole realm and offer some rare resource while this destruction is happening.

    As of right now, units can sit dormant forever with little threat of destruction, creating natural systems such as random orc raids in which neutral units appeared to capture a realm, and then vanished after a couple if left alone, would periodically clean the servers for you at a rate which you could adjust (change the frequency and strength of the raids in my example)

    However, terrain factors would most likely be easier to program and take up less server space and processing power altogether…

    My two cents for the day, it’s really a great game, and I’m sure we’ll all be happy with whatever you decide as long as Ironfell doesn’t go away. Thank you for the awesome game David.

  • falazar says:

    And can you fix oiltanks. They are used for blocking just like windmills:
    Butlers 78279

  • falazar says:

    The top 3 problems:

    A. Profit: Losing money.
    So there are many ways to help with that, mainly just getting and keeping tons more users, and trimming server loads, but also there are many social networking and such that you can implement.
    1. You can ‘sell’ of nobility titles.
    This worked pretty well in another game I played, was kinda fun, did not change game play, but people for a small amount could buy and sell titles for themselves, such as “King DaButler” and such.
    You could possibly even have a whole limited list of them, sell them for 6 month periods, and if anyone paid More than the previous owner, they would take the title away.
    2. Sell more dino colors, add in a couple purple rexes and such, some people have requested this.
    3. Sell realm names. Have people able to purchase a realm name, (maybe only if they own the most % of units in that realm) Vanity names are always a good draw I think. Butler can rename his sea, as Sam had his renamed as a gift by you.
    Got more ideas, but will list later.

    B. Too many server restarts and disconnects.
    — So what is actually causing these events first? I am not sure where they are coming from, but getting a number of different errors, and it is frustrating especially for new users.
    One I dont like is the client shutting down if I login at a new location and giving me a warning. There should only be a shutdown and warning if you are On the Client, and somewhere else opens up a new client.

    C. Iron and Oil are too hard to get at the moment.
    … Agreed, though I finally have enough so it will not help me any, but for more new people.

    List of solutions:

    1. Remove Risky Tunnels and instead create Risky Realms automatically at a rate that can be adjusted. They’ll always contain Iron mines, and you will be able to use Conquest Tunnels to reach them. This makes Iron easier/cheaper to get to (Conquest Tunnel costs won’t change). And it means the number of Risky Realms created is limited.
    – This lets you control the rate, but is the rate actually the issue here? I’m not sure what that would fix, unless you want to drastically reduce number of Risky realms.

    2. Trailblazer Realms will make a come back, and work the same way as the new Risky Realms. They will be safe with tree’s just like they used too. Trailblazer Tunnels connect to these realms.
    – Again, not sure what you are fixing this for here.

    3. Realm Purge. Risky and Trailblazer valley realms that have nothing in them will be removed. There are over 60,000 of these realms, and they are slowing down the servers too much. I’d like to remove 50,000 of them. I’m not sure which ones will be removed yet, but it’ll be based on the number and type of units that are inside those realms. And yes, this will affect your wood production.
    – This is needed for sure, alot of the old stuff just is unused and unneeded, I was finding many places that you cant even access anymore, ever.

    4. Users who have never played will have their accounts deleted, and their home valleys removed.
    – Great.

    5. All types of gateway (tunnels, keeps, castles, etc) will have the spacing rule applied to them, the same as the current stone circles.
    – Hmm so this would wipe out any risky and conquest hubs? They would have to be all spaced out… not sure I like that.

    6. There are over 120,000 Woodcutters on auto-gather, this slows the servers down and is the main cause of the restarts and disconnects. So after a few weeks (exact number to be decided) … Woodcutters will turn into Werewolves. This means they will not auto-gather forever. Werewolves will be a fighting unit.
    – Yes, I know this is a major problem. How are you handling the woodcutters in each realm though?
    Can we better optmize this? Are they actually moving and calcualting everything every time a tree pops up?
    Or are those old old realms only rechecking themselves every 12 hours?
    It seems like you could do some estimating in many of them, figure how much wood would be gathered, and not do any actual movement if there was nothing dangerous or happening there… Shortcut it a bit.

    7. Auto-attack is the other thing slowing down the servers. So Dinosaurs auto-attack will be changed so that is is only triggered if their target is within their attack range, 1 hexagon away instead of 8 hexagons. This also means Velociraptors will get auto-attack enabled again.
    – Hmmm not sure the effect this would have on Rexes though… You would be able to walk right by a whole army of Rex? Dumbs them down quite a bit.
    How is the auto attack on them slowing down the servers? Can that be optimized any further as well?
    Does the attack attack check on thing only trigger when a server is “activated” IE when a unit enters that realm?
    Seems like that would be less server load?
    Also, how much work does the client do, telling the server what it needs to look at?

    8. More nines. Resource cap will be increased from 999,999,99 to be 999,999,999,999.
    – See below.

    9. And lastly… Farms, Paddocks, Colleges and Universities will expire after a long amount of time. Probably a few months.
    – Yeah, this is needed, people having infinite food, and knowledge, is kinda crazy.
    – But with this change you should not need an increase of resources past the 1 billion marker.
    – Anyone who saves over a billion, is really just not playing the game right, and is not using the resources he is giving to attack and play.

    Some other things I would like to see.

    A new unit, or ability to remove SC’s
    But make it hard, time wise. A stone mason say, would need to be place on both sides of the SC and start tearing it down, and it takes a full 2 days (or some amount) of time. If they are interrupted, they would have to start over again. This would be difficult, but possible, so people could defend them….. Right now, it is just too cheap to spread them all over the universe, and then you have access forever.

    Reputation or rankings…. Ironfell could use some incentive for fighting, and this would help clear out some old units and odd places. We should get some kind of score or points for sacking off enemy units…. Or at least keep track of it. Havnt thought out the best way to do that yet.

    Update the stats page. I can help work on anything like this if you like, and would not need server access, but people should be able to look and see some significant things about current events in the game, right now it just shows so many inactives who arent even playing.
    Stuff like largest battle of the say, how many players they sacked.
    Who is most powerful, by unit count and power instead of just count, ie no ponies count, rexes count more, and such.
    Land owned.

    On the loading page and the webpage both, you should have a whole list of your social media pages, this will let people know they are there, Facebook, reddit, twitter and such.

    Auto post to Facebook account the biggest battle of the day, if it it larger than some threshold.

    A few games have a popup at the start of every day, that if clicked will give them X amount of gold, and open another window up to a Game Voting page or some media site, where they can post something they like about the game. That would generate some buzz, while always reminding people to go out and tell others about it.

    A referral bonus for recruiting (while watching for scamming)

    A bonus of Iron every week for anyone who mentions Ironfell, and adds a link to their Facebook and twitter accounts, that should be pretty easy. I can do that kind of coding.

    Are you able to put the whole thing inside a Facebook page as well? I have put a few in there, but not one of this size.

    Also a whole bunch of small updates to help out the newbies, small interface changes.

    I would like to have / help with the bookmarks section as well, as people need that really to navigate.

  • King Holland says:

    “1. Remove Risky Tunnels […]”
    Good.

    “2. Trailblazer Realms […]”
    Don’t forget we still have Safe Tunnels which already lead to Trailblazer Realms. All safe tunnels built in the Home Realm lead to the Lobby unfortunately. But Safe Tunnels lead to Trailblazer realms if placed elsewhere. Maybe rename all current Safe Tunnels into Trailblazer Tunnels (except those leading to the Lobby) and add a new Lobby Tunnel which always leads to the Lobby (could name it Safe Tunnel). People being able to build buildings and ponies in the Lobby is also a problem by the way. Too susceptible to griefing.

    “3. Realm Purge […]”
    Good.

    “4.Users who have never played […]”
    I wouldn’t delete their account, only their home realm. Create a new home realm if they log in again. You don’t want to prevent people from coming back, even if they basically haven’t played.

    “5. All types of gateway (tunnels, keeps, castles, etc) will have the spacing rule applied to them […]”
    No, please no. The restriction on the SC is already bad and I want it removed. Don’t add it for everything else as well. If you have to do it, make it 1 space instead of 2. I could live with that.

    “6. There are over 120,000 Woodcutters […]”
    Make sure Werewolves aren’t useful at all, or they should attack their previous owner. Otherwise people will create hoards of Woodcutters and wait for them to turn into Werewolves. You’ll end up with a whole lot more than 120,000 Woodcutters on auto-gather. Take the cheap cost of woodcutters into account.

    “7. Auto-attack […]”
    Good, but under 1 condition. If a unit gets attacked he should go into rampage mode until he can’t find any new targets. Which acts the same as the current auto-attack mode, except it has a condition for turning on and for turning off. This could be default AI behaviour for all units, not just for those with auto-attack.

    “8. More nines.”
    Good, I guess.

    “9. Farms, Paddocks, Colleges and Universities will expire”
    Very good. Make it work like windmills. But 1 very important thing to add as well: Allow us to decomission expired buildings. You can currently only do it for oil pumps I think. You can’t even decomission an expired mine at the moment.

  • Tekisei says:

    In addition to what falazar said about tearing down existing stone circles, an even bigger problem imo is the inability to destroy unconnected stone circles. Right now people can just invest in one side of an SC and get access at will in the future, essentially claiming the land without doing anything with it. Making a mistake with the keyword is also impossible to fix currently.

  • falazar says:

    pssst, latest post wasnt in the Ironfell category, so wont show up to most users…..