Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Star Trek fans cause systems overload

It may have been a shock to the game developers, but plenty of beta players knew.

Cryptic's Star Trek Online was swamped with beta players studdering and glitching where no gamer has gone before. Claiming a 'massive surprise' at how popular the beta is, saying, "The actual numbers crushed our predictions."

Having been one of those busting out of starfleet and thrown into command in the beta stage of the new massively multiplayer online version of the legendary science fiction powerhouse I can atest to the online test that tried the patience more than the play loads.

"The first week of Open Beta has been amazing," said the dev in an update. "We have seen more signups and players than we ever imagined we could.

"So very many people have shown interest in Star Trek Online and logged in to play that we've actually had to scramble to support everyone. Our core engineers are this very second working like crazed technology wielding madmen to improve performance and stability across the board. We're also adding a lot more hardware to accommodate our players."

Cryptic continued, "We looked at numbers from Closed Beta, numbers from games we've worked on in the past, and some numbers that float around the games industry.

"Based on those numbers, we predicted that about 65% of the keys we generated would eventually turn into active players (some keys never get delivered, others are lost in spam boxes, some are never redeemed, etc.). And, we predicted about 1/6 of those redeemed keys would turn into players that game at the same time. It's what we call our concurrent users or CCU, for short.

"The actual numbers crushed our predictions."

"So, we tore apart our logs and began doing a lot of extra optimization work even while we stumbled upon some truly bizarre crashes that can only appear with this sort of load. The result? The shard has been steadily improving over the first few days of Open Beta. Given the hardware we're adding and a couple more fixes we have in the pipe, shard performance and stability should continue to improve over the coming week."

The game is getting mixed reviews on various gaming forums not helped by some confusion over retaining ship names and handling quirks.

No comments: