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f13.net  |  f13.net General Forums  |  The Gaming Graveyard  |  MechWarrior Online  |  Topic: Technical Update from Matthew Craig - August 6th 2013 0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.
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Author Topic: Technical Update from Matthew Craig - August 6th 2013  (Read 706 times)
Falconeer
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on: August 07, 2013, 06:39:13 PM

From Matthew Craig, the "Technical Director". Arguably the guy responsible for unkillable Spiders and bad hit registration.

Anyway, it's pretty much a wall of useless fluff.

Quote
It's been a while since we last updated the community on what is happening behind the scenes at least from a Technical Perspective.

Well as usual we've been busy hammering out improvements in many areas so let's cover a bit of what's been going on. Engineering understandably has been quite focused on some of our core pillars in the run up to launch namely Stability/Customer Support/Performance/Mech Movement-Firing/DX11/UI 2.0/Gameplay so let’s cover each of these.


Stability

As most of you have seen by now we recently completed the set-up of additional Public Test Servers.

This is helping us to accomplish a number of goals:

* Allow major new features to incorporate feedback from the community earlier
* Give us better ability to find major issues with new features before they move to Production
* Give us an environment where we can try out more experimental features with the community

The 12 vs. 12 tests went very well and helped us to confirm that everything looked in good shape for launch on Production. Thanks to everyone who has been participating and helping us to get these new features in shape for production. If you want to help participate in future tests please grab the installer and check out the test schedule for any upcoming tests.

Work on the automated testing tools was delayed due to us doing work adding additional tools for Customer Support to help police the community that I'll outline below. Finalizing the testing tools is now back in focus and should be finished shortly further increasing our ability to catch bugs early in the development cycle.

This should all help the game be more stable than ever in the run up to launch and as always we do actively monitor support tickets that are submitted so if you are seeing an issue you think should be addressed for launch please continue to provide us feedback.


Customer Support

We recently streamlined our internal process for monitoring support tickets as they come in (as just mentioned they do get heavily looked at). The development team gets active weekly reports detailing the current major issues and we're smoothing out our process for quickly addressing these issues and turning around those fixes to the community.

We have seen a steady decline in the number of issues being reported throughout Open Beta despite a growing player base which is a good sign we're on the right track and we'll work hard to ensure that remains the case.

As mentioned above some work on the automated testing tools was held up due to making changes for our Customer Support Team so that they can view in game chat logs easily to help deal with player abuse cases. We also added Spectate functionality for our Customer Support Team again as part of building up their ability to police the community.

This means they can now actively follow members who have been reported for abuse or hacking and monitor how they are playing. So expect to see the turnaround drop significantly for finding and suspending problem players. We are also actively investigating adding an in-game method for reporting problem players.

We continue to focus on what enhancements we can provide the Customer Support team to allow them to better police the community as we are very committed to ensuring we don't let a few bad players spoil everyone's enjoyment.


Performance

Part of our goal with 12 vs. 12 has been to ensure that performance doesn't decline with the introduction of 8 new Mechs in every game. We've been working hard on a variety of optimizations to various game systems to ensure that the performance drain is negated and will continue to work to pull performance up to the best levels possible.

We're also tightening up our internal work-flows for new assets and maps to ensure that all new assets meet well defined performance and memory criteria so that the community can rest assured that all new content coming down the pipe will run smoothly on your system.

NB: We’ve been monitoring the frame rate telemetry since 12 vs. 12 went live (Aug 6th) and we are seeing some noticeable differences from the public test servers, we are currently investigating (primarily min spec) to see if there is a performance change from public test or if the change is solely related to different player compositions from public test to live.


Matchmaking

We’ve been monitoring the telemetry data for the match maker for a while now and feel we have enough data to begin tuning the system to help reduce outlier games that either have poor weight matching or poor Elo matching. We know that in general these represent a relatively small percentage of games but that they are frustrating when they occur as they often represent a game where the odds are noticeably in favor of one side.

We’ve also been waiting for the introduction of 12 vs. 12 to ensure we are balancing the system for the correct number of players. After 12 vs. 12 is introduced you can expect to see these changes made, the only noticeable differences to the community would be the average time to find a match, amount of failed to find a match and obviously the match quality itself. As we adjust these values we will monitor feedback from the community to ensure we are getting a good balance between these factors.


Mech Movement

As has been known for some time we've been very carefully laying the foundations for Mech movement and the recent changes introduced for Mech movement on slopes helps to bring the basic Mech movement to a more complete state. Some refinements remain where maps are being cleaned up for areas that users can get stuck on and jump jets are being looked at to see if we can prevent users from getting stuck in situations where you can only jet up and down.


Mech Firing

Recently we finished the work implementing Host State Rewind for all weapon types. Sadly we acknowledge that there are currently a few issues with hit registration on Production. We’ve been actively investigating the cause and have found some bugs that are currently being resolved. Also currently the algorithm used has some sensitivity to variable latency conditions we have plans to address this so further improvement in weapon firing can be expected in the run up to launch.

We’ve been doing a lot of work in the background adding telemetry for various systems and now have better information on hit registration to help catch any future issues earlier.


DX11

We've been working behind the scenes to address the major issues we experienced when we first tested DX11 with QA. These issues have been largely addressed and we are looking at putting DX11 up on the Public Test Servers shortly to confirm everything can move to Production.

Please note that DX11 is not intended to be a major visual update to the game, the goal is to provide a stable DX11 path that performs the same or better than the DX9 path. This helps ensure we have solid support for Windows 8 and does open the door for us to add better visual support for the game down the road.

As you can gather there is a lot of ground work still being laid, but we do expect to get back to doing more for the visuals in the near future and having DX11 in place will mean we have a much stronger foundation when we do.


UI 2.0

As has been partially revealed on the main website there is an overhaul of the UI in progress that the team remains hard at work on.


Gameplay

It goes without saying we continue to work hard on gameplay in the run up to launch, as always you can monitor designs posts to find out the latest and greatest of what is coming down the pipe and also come and participate in the Public Tests which provide a great way to get sneak peeks at upcoming gameplay changes and new content.


We recognize some issues such as the recent issue some users have experienced with Avast, and the hit registration issue have slipped through. As you can see we continue to work to improve our process to ensure that isn't the case and these issues remain high priority to address along with the current investigation into 12 vs. 12 performance on live.

We are having a great time building a solid foundation for MechWarrior Online to take us well into the future and we hope you're all having a great time with us in Open Beta as we make our way towards our official launch date.

Please provide your feedback here: http://mwomercs.com/...ck-07-aug-2013/
« Last Edit: August 07, 2013, 06:44:08 PM by Falconeer »

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