Dev Update Note 03/27 (Ability Lag, Souls, PvP)

Hi folks,

While there are events, content, and soul-work going on in development for both Live and Prime right now, we wanted to address a handful of priorities after this past weekend’s play experiences. (Yes, we all play, usually anonymously – we may have been in your group!)

Here’s a quick update on what we’ve got cooking this week.
We are doing a long restart tomorrow morning (Wednesday 03/28) and pushing the weekly patch update to Thursday (03/29) instead, in order to get more adjustments in as fast as possible. Details will be in the patch notes!

Let’s talk ability lag, which usually happens when there’s a large zone event going on. This affects both Live and Prime:This may come as a surprise: Some of the zone events on Prime are bigger than even the biggest, record setting events RIFT had during its beta and original launch.
Since then, souls and abilities have gotten more numerous, more complicated, and more resource intensive, primarily in their use of server CPU.
Even with the newer hardware that the Prime cluster is running on (it’s a beast – the newest in the company), we’ve all experienced that at times it is not always able to keep up with the mass of data.
The reason this may affect you even when you’re personally not in a big zone event is because large numbers of people sharing your “player service” are.
Last week: We made some adjustments and undertook diagnostics of the causes. While we haven’t seen a huge benefit yet, we certainly gained more info to work from as we move forward.
This week: We’re dedicating more server cores to player ability processing in this week’s update.
After that: we’ll see if we also need to bring even more hardware into the cluster to help.
As the more significant, longer term fix, we’ll dive into the specific souls abilities that are the biggest CPU eaters, and the way they’re built internally. This isn’t about rebalancing, it’s about making sure that they perform and respond well.
Both Live and Prime will benefit from the work being done here.* More details here as we have them.

Regarding a couple of abilities that need some extra balance for Prime…Yes, we agree there are many thoughts on abilities that we should take a pass at on Live as well…
However, nothing on Live compares to the crazy things that a couple of abilities were doing on Prime. (We’re looking at YOU, Elemental Barrage and Wrathful Exuberance!)
Prime has a very differently tuned challenge curve for both PCs and NPCs.
We do NOT want to impact Live with Prime tweaks. We had to add some new tuning capacity to the ability system to make sure we could do that, and we’ll be rolling out Prime-only changes to these abilities this week.
We are definitely sorry we had to leave an ability disabled for longer than a week – but we didn’t want to correct a Prime issue and have it negatively impact Live.
Expect Prime-only adjustments to those this week and for the abilities to return shortly following, should all the fixes prove out.

Regarding high end PvP on Prime specifically:Following this weekend’s play, we came to the same conclusion that a number of you did, now that the higher end PvP ranks are beginning to fill out more.
Low end PvP was a blast, mid range is plenty fun.
At the high end though, wow, healing is way too much of a thing.
We’d have liked to have had a more complete answer for this week’s update, but anything we did on this that quickly would have negative side effects.
For now, please know that we’re moving on the best solution for this next.

There’s a lot more going on in the team right now, in content, in gameplay, and in tech, that will benefit all of RIFT, and we wanted to address some of these high points for you, early.

Thanks very much for playing!
– The RIFT Team

Source:: Rift

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