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PCU concept.

Discussion in 'Suggestions and Feedback' started by Burstar, Jun 25, 2018.

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This last post in this thread was made more than 31 days old.
  1. Burstar Apprentice Engineer

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    The idea of PCU, in concert with an ability to set per block limits, is an excellent idea. :)

    Can I suggest that the PCU cost be part of the materials list shown when building? Also, it would be nice to see per user and server PCU limit numbers on the avatar/home screen. Perhaps like when you get close to block limit?

    Also, the limits during the last beta inception test [1.187.073] were kinda low, but I'm assuming these numbers can be changed by admins/users on a server/case basis?

    Thanks again guys!
     
  2. zachusaman Trainee Engineer

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    If you press G it shows you the PCU cost of each item, at least it did in the MP test. I agree with you on being able to see each users PCU usage but you can view your own in the menu, under the "info" tab I believe. Perhaps admins can view PCU usage per user, not sure since we didn't exactly get admin rights during the beta. The problem I have with the PCU limit is that in beta it was global so we had a user build a bunch of rocket launchers which cost about 825 PCU each and quickly clogged up the server, preventing building.
     
  3. Burstar Apprentice Engineer

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    Ah... I didn't see the numbers.

    There were some servers that had a per-user PCU policy. It was really low though imo.
     
  4. Sinbad Senior Engineer

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    im sorry, i seem to have missed a definition here...
    PCU?
     
  5. GrindyGears Senior Engineer

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    PCU is a way for keen to effectively limit "functonal" blocks by having a cost associated with them, for example let's say you're personal limit is 1000 and each rotor costs 5 pistons 10, and so on.

    I'm fully aware that some limits are required in MP servers to prevent single people crushing it with stuff, but I'm still not a fan of anything that limits creative freedom.

    Guess I'll have to find servers that have it toggled off
     
    • Informative Informative x 2
  6. Burstar Apprentice Engineer

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    PCU=Performance Cost Unit

    I really hope they come up with better name that doesn't trigger CPU in searches...
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  7. Stardriver907 Master Engineer

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    This sounds like a deal where one person gets to build an awesome ship, or a few people get to build mediocre ships, or a lot of people get to build crap ships. I also understand these limits can be faction-specific. Sounds good until someone uses it to their advantage.

    I'm with @GrindyGears .
     
  8. Burstar Apprentice Engineer

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    In the last test there were servers with a global pcu limt where players quickly hogged the PCU. There were other servers that had a per player PCU that was really low. This was more tolerable as you knew if you hit the limit it was something you could control.

    When the global limit was hit you were basically fighting other players to squeeze a block out first. When the personal limit was hit, you were... done give or take a tweak or two. Both cases sucked, but I'm thinking the default numbers are going to be increased as the math gets ironed out.
     
  9. Sinbad Senior Engineer

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    personal opinion/

    wait. so one of the solutions to fixing multiplayer is to slice up the server pie so that each player gets a fair share? why not aim to make the pie bigger?* or make the existing pie sweeter so folks don't need to eat as much before they are satisfied?** or make them bring their own ice-cream so the small piece of pie they get doesn't seem as small?*** or just cut it into fewer pieces?**** or any combination at once? this seems like politician levels of band-aiding infrastructure problems to me... rationing and blaming the consumer for excessive consumption rather than seeking solutions to meet demand.


    * allow servers to use more system resources to the point where the average player wont notice the limit.
    ** add other content or mechanics that don't require as much server resources to take up some of the players time (making them hit the limit less often), or make the existing content less resource demanding.
    *** distribute a virtual server across multiple machines with variable cell size load partitioning (each cell is responsible for a given volume of space, if the load gets too heavy, that space shrinks and the boarders are absorbed by neighboring cells. if that overloads a neighboring cell, it off loads to the next and so on. the volume of space in each cell is fluid, as is the central position of that cell so many cells can flow together in order to divide up the load in really heavy areas. one machine per cell, one virtual server managing the cells.)
    **** limit the number of players more?

    /personal opinion
     
    • Like Like x 1
  10. sioxernic Senior Engineer

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    @Sinbad What? How is this politician levels of band-aiding? It is a way to give server administrators more options to better manage their server?
    They can't just magically make their game take so little CPU that it is not noticeable on the server? Should they instead make it so server hosts can only host if they have X amount of CPU to make sure there is enough?

    This seems like you have little understanding of why this is necessary, and very little understanding of system resources and how programming works.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  11. GrindyGears Senior Engineer

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    I was having a chat with one of the devs and they mentioned something about trying to basically offload everything from the client onto the server, which from my understanding would mean that the server has to do absolutely everything...

    This is also from my understanding why people are feeling any input lag, as the player needs to send a message to the server saying "I want to move now" then the server sends it back saying "you can move now"

    I think limiting things ( particularly subgrids) with the PCU is a sorta masked attempt to lower desync issues, IE you can't desync grids if you have only one
     
  12. Sinbad Senior Engineer

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    that's exactly it.
    the point is that the vast majority of users expect large worlds, large builds, and lots of players in an open world sandbox. Keen has decided that the fastest way of stopping folks complaining about poor multiplayer is to tell each player that its their fault the server is slow and they should feel guilty for every block they place that isn't absolutely required.
    an alternative solution is to either impose much higher minimum hardware specifications on the server software, or alternatively have it spit out recommended maximum simultaneous player stats based on allocated resources with the goal that players don't notice build limits because they are maintained sufficiently high.
    if your hardware isn't up to the size of world you want to host, with the player count and quantity of builds that you want, then you shouldn't be hosting it.
    if Keen does want folks with less than commercial levels of server and bandwidth to host large, complex, high population servers then they need to find a way to manage the load their software places on the server hardware better. making their code as efficient as they can (this will only contribute so much), reducing network traffic (again you can only reduce it so far and still have it be a multiplayer game) are both ways of reducing the load and allowing more to be done with the same hardware (or the same to be done with worse hardware). to my knowledge at the moment they are basically having the server process everything in the entire world at all times, while telling every client about everything that happens in the whole world at all times. its a very 1970's terminal server way of having multiple users access and manipulate the same data. but it doesn't work well with the volumes of data and calculations that are in a game like SE.
    i just hope that they are making some much more fundamental changes to their approach than just rationing.
     
    • Disagree Disagree x 2
  13. Malware Master Engineer

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    There's no either or here. They're doing both. They're optimizing what they can too. However the very nature of the game prevents the possibility of increasing it too much. It's a multiplayer game, not a massively multiplayer game. The only way to increase player numbers is to increase the hardware power.

    * There's no system resource limitation on the servers. They use the resources they can get. They're threading everything they can thread, but not everything can be threaded. There's no limitation on memory use.

    ** The game's not done yet and this isn't the last major. But it doesn't really matter what they add, people will still want More:tm:. Always. This won't ever be any kind of solution to the performance problem.

    *** Sounds like a massive rewrite of the very core of the game. Might as well make a new game. Will be cheaper, I think.

    **** Don't really understand what you mean by this one, player count is configurable...

    I also think you're missing the point of the PCUs. They're optional, for one. Heck, unless I'm completely mistaken, they can even mod the individual PCU value of each block to their liking. This is a server owner feature. I'd be willing to bet they're very happy to get some love from the devs.
     
    • Agree Agree x 3
    • Like Like x 1
  14. Burstar Apprentice Engineer

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    @Sinbad I think you're overreaching here. This PCU is a common sense solution to controlling usage on servers that have to do much more work than a single player PC.

    KSH can optimize game performance, require super computers to play, eventually design a perfect game that could support tens of thousands of blocks per user and still allow 50 players on the server, but inevitably players like you will STILL hit the limits. In this hypothetical case:

    PCU shows who the problem player is
    PCU guides that person how to play smarter
    PCU allows the admin to restrict ignorant play so that all the other conscientious players can still have fun

    In the end, the only one who hurts is the one that should. It's perfect.
     
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2018
    • Agree Agree x 5
  15. sioxernic Senior Engineer

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    @Sinbad What @Burstar said. This is a very common sense solution, and this is not the only game with similar restrictions.
     
    • Friendly Friendly x 1
  16. zachusaman Trainee Engineer

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    This would be perfect if admins had the correct tools to monitor and delete player items as need be, which hopefully they can do.
     
  17. kittle Senior Engineer

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    After playing the mptest servers for a while -- some thoughts on PCU.

    Its a good idea, but it needs help. PCU limits what you can build to help server performance -- this is good for other players.
    But it kills the long term vitality of a server. Why? ... when I run out of pcu, or my faction runs out, you can no longer build anything (or repair damage). SE is a game about building stuff. if I cant build stuff ... why play? I will either go to another server and start all over, or I will go to a completely different game.

    The servers with a per player limit of 6250 was mostly a joke. The yellow respawn ship takes 1/3 of that. Most people i know (myself included) build things that are 10x the size of the respawn ship. And we build multiple things ... many ships, probably several bases, and so on.
    The servers with a 50k per faction limit was much nicer, it gave people "room" to build things.
     
  18. sioxernic Senior Engineer

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    @kittle How is this different than the block limit? The actual LEVELS of PCU will be different from server to server, so complaining about the PCU limit is not actually a decent complaint, since you have no reference towards the future. This is not something that should be complained about here, but rather something that should be discussed in General about what would be proper limits on different servers.

    Different servers will have different limits based on the choices and what the servers want to achieve.
     
  19. Stardriver907 Master Engineer

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    Now this makes much more sense to me. It's a server thing, and PCU limits depend on server horsepower. Servers are machines purpose-built to run programs for many simultaneous users. Your PC can do that, but not like a server can. It sounds to me here that if you have or rent/lease a real (as in not virtual) server with enough resources you can host a pretty nice multiplayer SE session. It's not necessarily a great thing for an i5 with 8 gigs of RAM.

    Man, I hope I'm at least half right about this, cause I own several servers.
     
  20. sioxernic Senior Engineer

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    YOU FRONTING MY LITTLE BABY? :O
     
  21. Stardriver907 Master Engineer

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    Naw, dude. I don't even have an i5 with anything now. Can't play on the servers I have because they don't have video cards.
     
  22. sioxernic Senior Engineer

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    @Stardriver907 I have just received a new Motherboard, and I got myself a new i7 3.7 Ghz hexacore, with Hyperthreading ^_^ and two new sticks of DDR4 8GB 3.4 Ghz <3, now just waiting for boyfriend to come about and assemble it :p
     
  23. Burstar Apprentice Engineer

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    I wish I could see the look on your face when SE crashes for the first time on your new computer, and gives you the "you ran out of memory, perhaps get some more you cheap bugger because this is all your fault" message.

    That was an exact quote. True story.
     
    • Funny Funny x 2
  24. TenshouYoku Apprentice Engineer

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    I am not really that pessimistic about the PCU thing (unless I am too optimistic) - The reason why the PCU count is so awfully limiting in Global PCU is due to they are trying to work out the system itself. They are attempting 100,000 PCU distributed among 16 players with shitty hardware and some readily accessible cheap servers to have constant 1.0 simspeed.

    Which means, for most of the dudes here (or most players that are serious about the game in general), the amount of PCU that could be safely allocated to dudes to build really big ships wouldn't be just a measly 100,000 blocks serverwide, unless somehow Keen comes up with the brilliant idea "hey this worked, now this should be the only option for all servers or no limit is set" instead of making it a configurable sliding scale for owners.

    Although I hope it would be made clear on how much PCU will be consumed real-time when you build stuff or else this is gonna be troublesome when you build ships.


    Regarding to faction problems, how about making a hybrid of both personal and faction, where you can take only a limited value of the faction's block count limit such that players can't build extremely massive ships to hog up all of the faction's PCU count, and give players a leeway such that they could exceed the limit by claiming a pre-existing ship but unable to build blocks when they are exceeding the limit?
     
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2018
  25. Burstar Apprentice Engineer

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    I don't think personal, faction, and server PCU limits are of the 'pick one' variety. The admin will be able to choose values for all 3 settings together.

    Suppose a player is given a 6250 PCU limit. 50k PCU factions would then start having problems after 8 players, and a server with 100k PCU max would have issues with more than 2 factions.
     
  26. kittle Senior Engineer

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    its not different than the existing block limits -- in concept. but the existing block limits were usually so high that it was a non issue. 10k block limit per player? .. my "main" ship that I like to build is around 5k blocks, so its no big deal.

    The main thing i was going for is what happens when you run into the limit? The game is about building and engineering, and if the limits stop me from doing that... well then im going to stop playing. I know things can be done trash removal and various cleanup settings.. but the limits are still in place. And when you run into those limits... your stuck.

    I hope the limits on the test servers were "low" on purpose, and the defaults we see after they release the update will be much higher.


    @sioxernic as for hardware? its upgrade time for me, so I have one of the 8086K CPUs (6cores @ 4ghz) coming with a fully decked out motherboard & 64gb of ram. im very curious to see how the new SE will run on that.
     
  27. sioxernic Senior Engineer

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    @kittle Still not a proper complaint, because all these limits are server to server based, and will be different based on each server, so complain to server owners, don't complain here that the system is bad because they have it set low on a test server.
     
  28. Calaban Junior Engineer

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    The only issue I foresee with personal/factional PCU limits is offline players.

    While it seems simple to simply divide the PCU fund by 16 players max a server has... there is the problem that much more than 16 individuals have things build in a 16 player max server. There are all the weekend warriors, and the occasional visitors, and all those other users registered on the server than couldnt login at that particular moment.

    All of them have grids, and PCU's... would the server have to have a whitelist of users to get more than "loaner" PCUs?, or would a server with 16 max players have to divide the fund among 30-60- who knows how many others.
     
  29. Burstar Apprentice Engineer

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    I think the server max setting will in practice be much higher than it is now for this reason. Each of the PCU limits has a purpose:

    Per player to keep the current online usage from killing the Sim
    Per faction to keep teams reasonably balanced and to a certain power level.
    Per Server to keep the total load to an amount that will not kill sim regardless of the number of users on or offline.

    PCU limits are a tool to help keep MP feasible, but it isn't the only one. For example: Torch unloads grids nowhere near players. It will almost certainly be modifiable by the admins as needed. What will also happen is admins will purge the 'weekend warriors' if the server gets too crowded (already standard practice for almost every server I've played on).
     
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