asot

High Server Latency for Blade and Soul servers. Is it time for Team Bloodlust to also fix the netcode with the upgrade to Unreal Engine 4?

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asot   

Hi Everyone,

 

Since we're moving towards the game's 3rd anniversary, I feel this needs to be brought again to the table. Many of you gave up on this based on the lack of real response from Team BL/NC, yet this still remains one of the biggest issues with the game. We've been promised considerable performance improvements with the game's move to Unreal 4 engine next year (if we're lucky).

 

But what about the server latency?

 

A high server latency will considerably affect your game-play. Ever pressed a key to dodge/do something just to see that nothing happened and boss still smacked you in the face? Who am I kidding - everyone who has played online games has experienced this at a couple of times at some point.

 

To quote a Redditor on the matter (2 years ago):

 

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

130-230 ms in Blade and soul.

40-50 ms in every other game where server is located in Germany.

I feel like im playing on NA. Good job NC.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

And it's the same for US players. The situation remains unchanged, even as we speak now. And it is not an ISP issue, it is not a player issue - this is a Blade and Soul server issue. It is a (net)code issue - something that developers need to address.

 

The most impacted players are those playing melee classes. The difficulty for players with melee characters increases exponentially. And guess what type of class is getting released next (Warrior)...

 

Even if you manage to "tank and spank" it later with glorious legendary gear, prepare to get helplessly trashed by evil hard mode bosses assisted by the server's high latency.

 

With this game being built around quick dodges and high reflexes, it is not acceptable to receive such a poor server performance.

 

 

So... maybe if we band together, and ask real nice, just maybe Team Bloodlust will consider working on this as well ? Because even if you can get 144 FPS the game's latency will make sure to slap you in the face and tell you that you're better playing single-player games where pressing buttons makes things actually happen when you do. Or at least, other MMOs.

 

Thanks for reading! 

 

 

 

 

 

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The ppl who build "netcode" are EpicGames creators of the engine.

B&S devs simply use that code and attach their database server to it.

 

They wouldn't have any idea what you're talking about btw, in Korea "high ping" is 14ms ~ 16ms mainly because it's a closed ecosystem and the country is tiny + fully covered by optic fiber cables.

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asot   

Regardless, we are not KR. I'm not interested in their infrastructure. They are releasing their service (game) in EU and NA and they need to adapt to OUR needs. Your comment is only giving them an excuse to do nothing about it.

 

A bit of googling around can show that:

 

- This issue has been raised multiple times before and nothing was done about it.

-  Custom code/engine updates can be made to improve server latency performance. Yes, Blade&Soul developers can actually do something about it.

 

Since Team Bloodlust is already preparing the transition to Unreal Engine 4, I believe this should be included in their work. I mean, if you think about it, it's pretty much the PERFECT time to do it with the move to a new engine. 

 

The high server latency (generally 100-200 or more, even with the best ISPs out there) renders the PVP part of this game obsolete. That's like more than half of the game, considering that at it's core Blade & Soul was designed as a  PVP game. The community has shifted towards PVE content, but even that can be affected by high ping/latency. So... good luck in those hard mode dungeons where every little mistake(delay) can wipe the party.

 

It is true that working on this has an associated cost, which NC is most likely not willing to make. But if you don't invest in your game, how can you expect it to survive? Selling costumes and lootboxes won't keep the game alive forever.

 

In the end all I wanted to do here is raise an awareness flag. If the community is not bothered by this aspect - that's fine. Just don't come back complaining later on, it will be already too late by then.

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SkyStorm   
On 7/19/2018 at 10:52 AM, asot said:

We've been promised considerable performance improvements with the game's move to Unreal 4 engine next year (if we're lucky).

Can you cite your source(s) please? I've heard about visual and rendering improvements, but nothing about performance. From what I've read about ue4, it's mostly about developer tools with some new rendering techniques thrown in; I've read nothing specific to bns or the engine itself that identifies performance as an expected outcome.

 

On 7/19/2018 at 10:52 AM, asot said:

It is a (net)code issue - something that developers need to address.

It may be a code issue, but there's no reason to believe that it's in the network layer. You can't tell where the bottleneck is without profiling. It could be poorly optimized unreal script, a crappy database design/implementation, inadequate hardware, or something completely different. I reiterate, you can't tell without profiling the application; all you can really do is make scientific wild-ass guesses. It could actually be the net code, but players are prevented from even peeking under the hood by that ixgncode crapola, so all we can do is make assumptions.

 

My ping recently has doubled; it used to be 35-40ms, but is now 65-70ms. I traced the problem to a Level5 NAT device at one point, but the landscape kept changing and now the delay appears to be with an NCSoft router. The point is, there are a ton on tier providers in and around Dallas and packets are hopping around from router to router to router in excess. I can ping some IPs in the Dallas area with a 35ms response (e.g. speednet server); others it's 65-70ms (e.g. CableOne). My change in latency is not NCSoft's fault and no amount of coding is going to fix the issue (which is why I connect through a vpn service now). I suppose that NCSoft could negotiate or bribe their way to preferential treatment of packets destined for their subnet; in any event, you can't dismiss the existing infrastructure as a factor and blame it all on poorly performing code.

 

I'm not a huge fan of NCSoft, but it is what it is.

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asot   
On 7/22/2018 at 12:37 AM, SkyStorm said:

Can you cite your source(s) please? I've heard about visual and rendering improvements, but nothing about performance. From what I've read about ue4, it's mostly about developer tools with some new rendering techniques thrown in; I've read nothing specific to bns or the engine itself that identifies performance as an expected outcome.

 

It may be a code issue, but there's no reason to believe that it's in the network layer. You can't tell where the bottleneck is without profiling. It could be poorly optimized unreal script, a crappy database design/implementation, inadequate hardware, or something completely different. I reiterate, you can't tell without profiling the application; all you can really do is make scientific wild-ass guesses. It could actually be the net code, but players are prevented from even peeking under the hood by that ixgncode crapola, so all we can do is make assumptions.

 

My ping recently has doubled; it used to be 35-40ms, but is now 65-70ms. I traced the problem to a Level5 NAT device at one point, but the landscape kept changing and now the delay appears to be with an NCSoft router. The point is, there are a ton on tier providers in and around Dallas and packets are hopping around from router to router to router in excess. I can ping some IPs in the Dallas area with a 35ms response (e.g. speednet server); others it's 65-70ms (e.g. CableOne). My change in latency is not NCSoft's fault and no amount of coding is going to fix the issue (which is why I connect through a vpn service now). I suppose that NCSoft could negotiate or bribe their way to preferential treatment of packets destined for their subnet; in any event, you can't dismiss the existing infrastructure as a factor and blame it all on poorly performing code.

 

I'm not a huge fan of NCSoft, but it is what it is.

Hey,

 

To answer your questions:

 

1. http://www.bladeandsoul.com/en/news/producers-letter-spring-2018/

 

Quote:

"Beyond 2018 you’ll see a move of the game’s engine from Unreal Engine 3 to Unreal Engine 4, which will improve your experience as the Earthen Realm’s visual detail and performance capability is greatly enhanced."

 

2. If you go to the game settings there's an an option to display latency. There's a difference between ping and server latency. The server latency will also include the time of the server to process your actions before sending the final response to you. Try enabling that option and see what numbers you get (it will not be displayed all the time, but it usually does show up when fighting bosses)

 

I have a top tier ISP in my EU area, close to Germany, and get <50ms pings in any game with servers in Eastern Europe. Yet in BNS, the server latency shown by that option usually stays between 100-130ms, rarely showing 80-90ms and sometimes showing values that can even reach 190ms (?!) in Koldrak's Lair. This also varies a lot while I'm playing, and that's now how your connection (server ping) would work. It should stay constant unless you're internet is broken with high pings and lots of time out requests.

 

That's pretty damn huge. It's almost as if I'm playing on a US server instead of a server in a neighboring country. 

 

The way I see it, routers and ISPs have nothing to do with this matter... it's pretty much how the servers interpret and process that information before sending it back to you. And that's game code. Which in my humble, non-expert opinion - could be improved with the next iteration. 

 

 

Edited by asot

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matthew   

With every dungeon in the last few years featuring party wipe mechanic that screws anyone with spikey high latency. You only need 1 month of extremely bad ISP routing to entirely destroy the fun, reputation of a good player in the game.

 

The thing is other game developers have solved/avoided the problem of high ping by either client side detection, a mix of client hosting and server (item+spawn rates only) communication or players running dedicated servers.

 

I really hope with UE4 upgrade players can run thier own dedicated servers or give client side detection feature largely. Surely developers are aware of a strong case of these as solutions to current problems.

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