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Companions and server load?

reazea
reazea
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During these double XP events it seems as though only half of the players are actual players, and the rest are companions. Companions nearly double the actual player population. So what does this do to server load and performance? Are the PvP players sacrificing higher population caps and performance because so many companions are running around?

Sure, companions aren't going to require as many calculations as an actual player, but when half of everyone running around isn't even an actual player how does that effect/affect server performance? Did ZOS literally choose to sacrifice PvP population so PvE could have companions? The timing of reducing the pop cap in PvP yet again did coincide with the introduction of companions. Coincidence?
  • reazea
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    Companions are not allowed in any form of PvP so can’t be causing lag in Cyrodiil. As for general server load, I highly doubt it and that’s probably one of the reasons why companions have rudimentary armor — no proc sets or extra calculations. Companions also get far fewer actions than players.

    Or, ZOS took some of the server resources that was dedicated to PvP and put it to other zones to support companions. This is what it seems like happened. Of course, ZOS could always add more server capacity at any time for any zone if they chose to.
  • AlterBlika
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    Companions are just mobs that follow you tbh, and we have plenty of mobs in this game
  • Elsonso
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    AlterBlika wrote: »
    Companions are just mobs that follow you tbh, and we have plenty of mobs in this game

    Yeah. Most of the time they are just following us around and seem like nothing more than another mob in the game.

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  • GooGa592
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    Tandor wrote: »
    Is anyone really suggesting that PvP performance issues only arose in June 2021 when companions came into the game? Really?

    There was a noticeable decrease in PvP performance that has increased steadily since housing was introduced. And then again the pop cap in cyrodiil was lowered yet again when companions were introduced. So yes, it's a real issue. Really.

    Edited by GooGa592 on December 29, 2023 4:12PM
  • Caligamy_ESO
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    Tandor wrote: »
    Is anyone really suggesting that PvP performance issues only arose in June 2021 when companions came into the game? Really?

    Personally I always thought it was the mount appearances (and their animations), motif styles, skins, body markings, hats, dyes, and weapon skins..

    If they had to go through Cyrodiil at one time eliminating all of the deer to reduce the server load.. then what has 10 years of steadily increasing the appearance choices of characters and the associated files needed to load all of those actors, their equipped armor and weapons, and skin/animation appearances for every client in the area done to the performance there?
    love is love
  • TybaltKaine
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    Sets are the biggest culprit in terms of overload on PVP servers, that's it, full stop.

    Companions are no different than non-combat pets, sorc summons, necro summons or overland mobs.
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  • Finedaible
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    Quest-specific companions have existed for long before actual companions did so it's unlikely.

    A better or perhaps more relevant question is how much did they sacrifice for Housing, catering to console hardware, and Stadia?
  • zaria
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    Companions are not allowed in any form of PvP so can’t be causing lag in Cyrodiil. As for general server load, I highly doubt it and that’s probably one of the reasons why companions have rudimentary armor — no proc sets or extra calculations. Companions also get far fewer actions than players.
    Agree, companions are more like more advanced npc like an boss.
    Trivial on the server side, client side you get more issue if you get low frame rate if lots of players are around this will get worse.
    Grinding just make you go in circles.
    Asking ZoS for nerfs is as stupid as asking for close air support from the death star.
  • zaria
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    Tandor wrote: »
    Is anyone really suggesting that PvP performance issues only arose in June 2021 when companions came into the game? Really?

    Personally I always thought it was the mount appearances (and their animations), motif styles, skins, body markings, hats, dyes, and weapon skins..

    If they had to go through Cyrodiil at one time eliminating all of the deer to reduce the server load.. then what has 10 years of steadily increasing the appearance choices of characters and the associated files needed to load all of those actors, their equipped armor and weapons, and skin/animation appearances for every client in the area done to the performance there?
    Agree, but again this does not affect server performance, outfit style is just, ID for item and the three color channels for each slot sent to client, server does not care.
    It affect client performance. If you getting low fps in an area with lots of players its an client issue.
    Overland crowding start getting an issue long before performance. Now it has been some bad code in ESO like wanting to run instances like trials or arenas on the same server the zone are located for some reason creating issues during events.
    Grinding just make you go in circles.
    Asking ZoS for nerfs is as stupid as asking for close air support from the death star.
  • ADarklore
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    Treeshka wrote: »
    I do not think they contribute to server load a lot as they are dead most of the time.

    If this is your experience with companions, then you aren't investing enough in them which shows by this result. I am fully invested in companions and have never had an experience where they are 'dead most of the time'... in fact... they rarely EVER die.
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  • reazea
    reazea
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    reazea wrote: »
    Or, ZOS took some of the server resources that was dedicated to PvP and put it to other zones to support companions. This is what it seems like happened. Of course, ZOS could always add more server capacity at any time for any zone if they chose to.

    The PVP people always seem to invent new theories why they are the victim of PVE players.

    The have been doing dolmens for levelling with like 70 people there with companions, traders, pets etc with zero lag.

    Actually it's nearly always the PvE players claiming they are victims to changes made to accommodate PvP players. Check the forum record.

    PvP players are not victims of PvE players, they are victims of ZOS management. ZOS has been steadily lowering the population caps in cyrodiil for the last 6 years or so. The original pop cap was 600/faction. Now it's right about 80/faction, but ZOS won't even comment on what the actual pop cap is now because it would be admitting how much they've scaled back the zone by scaling back dev and server resources to support the zone. There has to be a reason ZOS has scaled back Cyodiil so heavily.
  • reazea
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    Sets are the biggest culprit in terms of overload on PVP servers, that's it, full stop.

    Companions are no different than non-combat pets, sorc summons, necro summons or overland mobs.

    Companions are no different than non combat pets except in the sense that they are utilizing 5 different skills, all of which require calculations server side, have customized outfits and customized mounts and dedicated quests to acquire them. All of which requires server resources to make happen.

    When ZOS did their PvP performance tests a couple years ago ZOS stated that proc sets had very little impact on server performance. We all endured playing no proc for a week to test this for them.
  • Vynera
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    reazea wrote: »
    Companions are no different than non combat pets except in the sense that they are utilizing 5 different skills, all of which require calculations server side, have customized outfits and customized mounts and dedicated quests to acquire them. All of which requires server resources to make happen.

    Thats not how things work.
    Quests have 0 impact on server performance, all quests are in there at build time of the patch. Outfits / mounts have also 0 impact on the server. Outfits are simply an ID attached to a player | companion object and sent to the client. The client then loads the specific skin / texture / model that is assinged to that ID and displays it. The Server has nothing else to do than sending a simple ID.
    Casting 5 skills in a pre set order with a delay does also not affect performance at all, not more than any mob in the overworld.

    And since each zone has (multiple) independant instances on the "megaserver/cluster" it is unlikely that any companion or pve player in a pve zone affects your performance in cyro.
  • tincanman
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    ADarklore wrote: »
    Treeshka wrote: »
    I do not think they contribute to server load a lot as they are dead most of the time.

    If this is your experience with companions, then you aren't investing enough in them which shows by this result. I am fully invested in companions and have never had an experience where they are 'dead most of the time'... in fact... they rarely EVER die.

    Your 'strictly a solo pve quester' sig suggests why, for you, they're not dead most of the time.

    Any content with a consistent red zone (very often dungeons, even normal) is a companion dead zone. Vet dungeons or normal dlc dungeons are places where companions would be pretty much 'dead most of the time'. Sure with gear and positioning you might be able to mitigate that somewhat in base game dungeons but 'dead most of time time' would still be an apt descriptor.

    Even the proverbial bow light-attack spammer can get out of red eventually. Mostly.

    That aside, I doubt companions have much impact server-side.
  • reazea
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    Vynera wrote: »
    reazea wrote: »
    Companions are no different than non combat pets except in the sense that they are utilizing 5 different skills, all of which require calculations server side, have customized outfits and customized mounts and dedicated quests to acquire them. All of which requires server resources to make happen.

    Thats not how things work.
    Quests have 0 impact on server performance, all quests are in there at build time of the patch. Outfits / mounts have also 0 impact on the server. Outfits are simply an ID attached to a player | companion object and sent to the client. The client then loads the specific skin / texture / model that is assinged to that ID and displays it. The Server has nothing else to do than sending a simple ID.
    Casting 5 skills in a pre set order with a delay does also not affect performance at all, not more than any mob in the overworld.

    And since each zone has (multiple) independant instances on the "megaserver/cluster" it is unlikely that any companion or pve player in a pve zone affects your performance in cyro.

    New zones and quest lines have zero impact on server load? Companions adding more calculations to the combat instance has no impact on server calculations in real time?

    Sure, it's not as significant load on the servers as say a high APM end game player, but these things undeniably do add to server load. Now times that load by nearly as many players as are logged on at any given time and it adds up to a significant factor.

    Edited by reazea on December 30, 2023 5:01PM
  • tincanman
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    I do think that the server setup/infrastructure has remained the same for pretty much the lifetime of eso; the 'upgrades' were just that: the planned obsolescence and replacement of old with new(er) hardware but without expanding or extending the capacity.

    It's clear from account cold-storage, cp2, awa etc that there's been a clear attempt to continue with that limited served infrastructure without expansion to accomodate the 'millions' of new accounts or the new features such as housing that have been introduced. They've just been 'tweaking' the extant setup which is why huge chunks of the game, like character specific achievement, have been dumped.

    pvp is a shadow of its former self and looks like to me like its been ghosted for the last 3+ years.

    Every now and then the marketing hype swings into half-hearted gear and we maybe see a pvp 'test' (but with little to show for it or even if the tests are for eso or some other project) or the +20% ap bg weekends.

    I think it'd be a fair assessment that resources are being diverted away from pvp except that lag/latency/performance issues are now experienced game-wide - but such issues, though, are really only immediately and persistently noticeable in high APM activities like pvp and end-game pve(trials etc - 'swifty' the housing and fashion enthusiast might have a high apm in finding that perfect look but isn't killing the server in doing so...or I hope not).

    It seems to me that eso has definitely degraded across all areas in terms of performance - and yes, I have indeed 'switched my computer off/on' again. ;) Many times.
    Edited by tincanman on December 30, 2023 5:28PM
  • Tandor
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    reazea wrote: »
    <snip> As I pointed out in another post, ZOS could always invest in more servers, but they sure don't seem to. <snip>

    They have upgraded the servers very recently, across all platforms, but they've always been clear that the game's performance issues are software-related, not hardware-related. So far as I recall, they're still working on the server code architecture. They've also been very clear that they're not going to address new PvP content until they have the performance sorted out.
  • Warhawke_80
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    AlterBlika wrote: »
    Companions are just mobs that follow you tbh, and we have plenty of mobs in this game

    Currently yes...but there is some type of revamp going on to make companions more dynamic or so we were told a few months back in a mmorpg.com article. I do know there were some openings for AI people a couple years back, so apparently there are plans in the works....probably Moreso with the new MMO in devolvement that ESO will eventually benefit from.
    ““Elric knew. The sword told him, without words of any sort. Stormbringer needed to fight, for that was its reason for existence...”― Michael Moorcock, Elric of Melniboné
  • licenturion
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    tincanman wrote: »
    It seems to me that eso has definitely degraded across all areas in terms of performance - and yes, I have indeed 'switched my computer off/on' again. ;) Many times.

    This is an issue with many live service games.

    I also play Sea Of Thieves from time to time and they had to bring down ships and players per server too because of lag and hit reg problems that have persisted for years.

    One of the causes is that they build layer upon layer on top, under and on every side of the game. All those many tiny aspects take up performance on the infrastructure that at some point it becomes noticeable to players.

    Also throwing more hardware to a problem doesn’t always solve the problem. Sometimes you need to rewrite the foundations if you want to fix or modernise things. And it usually isn’t financially feasible to do that and is usually only done with lessons learned for future projects and sequels.

    Edited by licenturion on December 30, 2023 6:45PM
  • tincanman
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    Tandor wrote: »
    reazea wrote: »
    <snip> As I pointed out in another post, ZOS could always invest in more servers, but they sure don't seem to. <snip>

    They have upgraded the servers very recently, across all platforms, but they've always been clear that the game's performance issues are software-related, not hardware-related. So far as I recall, they're still working on the server code architecture. They've also been very clear that they're not going to address new PvP content until they have the performance sorted out.

    Not sure about that. I'm pretty sure I saw/read an interview/comment with Rich lambert[?] where he said something along those lines but the implication was more a cost-benefit issue - they could, for [my] example double the expenditure on server infrastructure but would not get a bean-counter approved return on that investment (we as customer, of course, don't care about any of that ;) ).

    Regarding the software limits and the server architecture I thought they were done with that - didn't one of Matt Firor's posts say they didn't get the boost they were hoping for and implying, therefore, that avenue was a dead-end? Yep, it's here - this scans as "it didn't work so we're back to the drawing board and thinking about thinking about doing something". Interestingly, the hardware 'upgrade' seemed to have resulted in a subjectively better customer experience, despite it being such a short-term effect and performance degrading within a matter of months, particularly in pvp where it's noticed the most.

    I'm still of the view that they could expand the hardware but aren't prepared to eat the costs. Sucks for us since it means that any new additions to the game will come at the cost of some other aspect of the game being re-designed (recall tot/awa, for example) - since u33 I think this has pretty much been the game development paradigm or, maybe, when it became obvious to us. The last addition, endless infinite archive, was just a reuse of extant assets - nothing substantially 'new'. And 1 less dlc per year...and still nada for pvp.

    Interesting times.
  • Freilauftomate
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    Also throwing more hardware to a problem doesn’t always solve the problem.

    The server hardware refresh solved the problem. At least for a while.
  • katanagirl1
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    reazea wrote: »
    Sets are the biggest culprit in terms of overload on PVP servers, that's it, full stop.

    Companions are no different than non-combat pets, sorc summons, necro summons or overland mobs.

    Companions are no different than non combat pets except in the sense that they are utilizing 5 different skills, all of which require calculations server side, have customized outfits and customized mounts and dedicated quests to acquire them. All of which requires server resources to make happen.

    When ZOS did their PvP performance tests a couple years ago ZOS stated that proc sets had very little impact on server performance. We all endured playing no proc for a week to test this for them.

    I remember this being the stated result of the Cyrodiil tests, and it is hard to believe. I think they stated that the 5th piece bonus of proc sets “would not fire”, but I wonder if somehow the calculations were still being made and it just did not animate.

    Old sets had bonus lines like “adds X stamina” or “adds Y magicka”, but now just about everything generates stacks based on conditions which then further proc on other conditions. I cannot think of anything that has more operations per unit time that would affect game performance.
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  • SaffronCitrusflower
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    Also throwing more hardware to a problem doesn’t always solve the problem.

    The server hardware refresh solved the problem. At least for a while.

    They still didn't raise the pop caps after the new server hardware though, so clearly they had something else in mind for utilizing the bigger, badder new servers other than restoring PvP in any capacity.
  • Elsonso
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    .
    Also throwing more hardware to a problem doesn’t always solve the problem.

    The server hardware refresh solved the problem. At least for a while.

    Software has this nasty habit of eating up any gains from hardware. :smile:
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