I've been collecting a growing amount of evidence that points to CPU heavily affecting the MP experience. It's often a Dual Core, or an i3 or i5 emulating a Quad Core from a Dual Core, that will cause:
The bugs from the lower end machine will affect the higher end machine - the higher end machine will HAVE TO RESET THE CLIENT to get their performance back.
Players believe they have the gear for the multiplayer experience, but I'm a few subjects short of a scientific research paper. It's the CPU, not the Latency.
Follow these rules.
Dual Core - 5k or below.
Quad Core - 10k or below.
I've seen no evidence of anything over 10k functioning properly. I see no evidence on a high bandwidth or low bandwidth connection that makes any real difference to the game experience. The game will resync or you will disconnect; not crash to desktop.
This is a wide berth look at the situation, the less your CPU has to handle, the better. So MAYBE you can do a high price with a Dual Core, but the match will have to have less strings attached.
I've collected screenshots, and when possible, CPU numbers. I believe a "Multiplayer System Requirements" and "Singleplayer System Requirements" should be put into place. This way I can just point players to a page rather than explaining it to them.
This is interesting data, but rather confusing. Hmm.
Airships only uses one thread, except for the ship preloading code in the file list. So I guess it's possible that if you have a lot of ships - as you do - the overall performance of the game gets affected.
There's two possible causes of stuttering: the CPU is under heavy load, or network packets are failing to arrive in a timely fashion. In the latter case, the game should display a message saying it's waiting for network packets...
I will experiment.
I agree that the stuttering problem is (primarily) due to the way the program interacts with certain CPU or videocards, rather than network communication overload.
Psyringe is correct, there is some leakage occuring somewhere. After a few games performance degrades, this problem is solved by restarting the game.
Possibly this problem is not noticed on high end computers.
And the leakage seems to be related to the number of entities in the game (num ships, num weapons, num weapons with multiple projectilkes (we hates gatlings), num crew, num boarders).
I'll totally speculate that the architecture of some systems is better handling the exponential growth of checking these factors in bigger games (maybe its even just a question of RAM).
I use a 2010 AMD quad core 8G RAM (low end by gaming standards, but you would be surprised how many opponents I find are using laptops), it can only manage 10k per side before performance issues begin.
I have met people who say they can play 50-100k easily (well, one or two ships max) via internet.
I suggest the best way to investigate this problem is find out what systems they are using. Then I will buy one :-)
When I play good computers; I have 0 issues.
The moment I play the i3 or lower; BOOM stutter.
And it's fine, still polite and invite them to the community in the end.
It's game-wide, in some cases, and it shines in multiplayer. I look forward to seeing you online more often to experience these issues yourself.
One ship matches at 10k+ likely function. But every time I see a match in the Lobby; only one player returns. This means the other player crashed - no desync, no menu boot - a crash to desktop.
Hey I just played a dozen games 5k - 10k and the stuttering wasn't there.
That thing that you did seems to have worked! (or at least helped).
Ramming is still totally useless though.
Thanks for confirming that. After the last patch I scrubbed and reported no stutter directly to Zark - but now that you have commented it confirms.
I think he nailed it. +1
Ramming could be CPU related, but PERMA STUTTER is likely gone.
Haha, the patheticness of ramming is a game design problem, not a CPU one - but more about that in another post...
I'd be interested to hear about the root cause of the stutter problem, in a hundred words or less...