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 Where all these newbies came from...
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CavemanJoe
 Friday, April 03 2009 @ 05:49 PM UTC (Read 2134 times)  
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...hey, you lot. Just letting you know...

At about 4pm BST yesterday, the StumbleUpon entry for Improbable Island hit critical mass, and the traffic began suddenly accelerating. As of right now, at 6:45pm BST on Friday the 4th of April, we've served over fifty gigabytes so far today. In three days, we've had twice as many visitors as we usually get in a month. The stats run from midnight to midnight, and we served 60.49gb of traffic yesterday. The usual load is about 5gb per day. You've probably noticed that our player base has effectively doubled overnight. Mr. Green

I'm really, honestly not sure what to make of all this, right now. Obviously more players is great, and the more the merrier - but I wasn't expecting such a massive influx, in so short a time.

The plan right now is to see how the server's overall performance holds up over the next 24-48 hours, and see whether we need to upgrade or not. If you lot could keep me informed of any timeout errors, slow performance, or what-have-you, that'd be great.

Thanks!


 
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SicPuess
 Friday, April 03 2009 @ 06:22 PM UTC  
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I figured that something had happened... Smile

While I notice this once in a while as well, even if there are not that much players online, the performance has decreased a bit (usually, PageGen is about 0.5 at best, mostly between 0.7 and 1 second. Today, however, I get constantly values above 1.2, as far as I can tell.)

YESSS NEW PLAYERS. It's worth it until now.


 
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Count Sessine
 Friday, April 03 2009 @ 09:23 PM UTC  
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No timeouts not attributable to my own static-plagued internet connection, but definitely slow performance. Not the time to try for speed records in a DK.

Who cares? Yayyy, new players! Let's go welcome them and... Twisted Evil get them hooked!


 
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Bernard
 Friday, April 03 2009 @ 10:17 PM UTC  
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Aye, bit of lag... I've just waited about four minutes for a scrapyard page to load.


 
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SicPuess
 Saturday, April 04 2009 @ 07:53 PM UTC  
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Would it be an option to provisoryly include a provisory link to the Newbie Advisory in the New Player Primer, the FAQ and/or Atrus Orwhatshisname's Hut? There are quite a lot of new players on (by the way, "Newbie". Ever thought of another title? Well I haven't, but still.), and I suspect that'll change in the near future.

New Home is at least 80% Newbie Advisory at the moment anyway.


 
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Hermein
 Sunday, April 05 2009 @ 04:52 PM UTC  
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Hmm, and how much does that server upgrade cost? Can you do it on a short term, in case the load settles down again and it would make sense to drop back to the old configuration?

I'll kick in, and help pass the hat. . .


 
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Bernard
 Sunday, April 05 2009 @ 05:26 PM UTC  
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I've been loading a comment in my shack in NewHome for about five minutes. It's okay by me, I do have dinner to prepare but I'm sure it'd be on the cusp of being frustrating if you were on a one-day-drive-kill. Or hunting for scrap... Saying that, it took so long, I've been timed out and now it's loading my login again... Oh, now it's loaded that, and I have to re-type my comment. Apologies to Xorb if you thought I was ignoring you.

I would have imagined server upgrades aren't cheap... Do we need to do a whip round?


 
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K.K. Victoria
 Sunday, April 05 2009 @ 05:33 PM UTC  
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Yeah, it's a rare bother. I'm really annoyed by it myself, and one of my friends has just stopped logging in for right now until it speeds back up. It's troublesome since I've got to wait about three minutes per page loaded. I've had a lot of trouble not giving up on scavenging and even dealing with talking to people on the boards since I usually have to retype it several times over to get it on.


"You saved Pineapple!"
 
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CavemanJoe
 Sunday, April 05 2009 @ 05:53 PM UTC  
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Hmm. Aye, we are definitely seeing a bit of lag, here.

Based on past experience, if the newbies are gonna kick in some cash, then they're gonna do it probably about a week or two after they've joined up. I'm still playing this by ear, really.

Here's the range of server setups available to us. Right now I'm on the $174/month one, so there's plenty of room to expand.

S2 is getting pretty well-optimised. It'll likely use a little more RAM, but far fewer database hits. I don't know whether the extra optimisation work I've put in will actually offset the extra hooks I needed for the new features, but we'll see.

We're on a one-month rolling contract, so we can jump around between servers as we see fit - however, every time we do that, it's gonna be a right pain in the arse transferring everything over.

Right now the plan is "Keep calm and carry on." I'm just gonna keep a close eye on it the next few days and see how bad it gets.


 
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CavemanJoe
 Sunday, April 05 2009 @ 05:55 PM UTC  
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Oh, yikes - three minutes? I've not been getting anything near that bad.

I'll stop processing the server logs for the time being, we'll see if that makes a difference. Might need to set up a cron job to run them at about 6am Brit time, when nobody's on.


 
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CavemanJoe
 Sunday, April 05 2009 @ 06:15 PM UTC  
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While we're on the subject of performance, some info that may be interesting:

The two biggest culprits right now are the Vending Machines and the in-game tutor that outputs bright blue text from The Watcher. Both are going away for S2, being replaced with other ideas. The weapons and race icons take a few hits too - not nearly as much as the live chat did, since the results are cached (this is why you sometimes see people who have a green bar despite being logged off, and why sometimes people's weapons don't update straight away) but it still could be optimized a bit more.

Biggest database table is accounts_output at 72.3 megs. This is effectively a cache of all the HTML output to each user, for the last page they visited. It's part of the nav system. Since we moved to CSS-based templates and dropped the ads, this has been far less than usual (it used to be about a hundred megs at five or six hundred players!). Commentary takes up three megs right now, mail takes up three megs, game news takes up seven megs, untranslated entries takes up 17 megs (I can trunc that with no ill-effects, and in fact I'll do that now) and module userprefs takes up an impressive 63.7 megs that we can't really do much about. I'll check the settings for how long commentary and game news gets stored - I think it's 30 days, and with how much activity we get through I think we can drop it down to two weeks without many complaints. Other little tables here and there. Total size of the database is 189.6 megs at present.

That might not sound a lot to you kids with your YouTubes and your BitTorrents and your new-fangled electronic post, but try to imagine what 189.6 megabytes of plain, unformatted text would look like if you printed it all out and put it in a (very big) room. You could build a pretty impressive fort out of that much paper. Go on, write a little story in NotePad, save as a plain-text file and see how much room it takes up. I dare ya.

Improbable Island and other pbbg's aren't like normal websites - every time a user performs an action and loads a page, various tables must be updated, entries changed, and lots and lots of php pages must be parsed.

Page loads are about a second faster since we dropped the ads.

Any suggestions are welcome.


 
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Hermein
 Wednesday, April 08 2009 @ 01:31 AM UTC  
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256 seconds to load the first page after login, just now. I'd gone to sleep in a cottage, which may have contributed to the slow load; the first visit to a residence seems to be very slow lately. Only six seconds to load the "Dwellings" page, but then I tried to go into a shack, and I'm still waiting. . .


 
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Bernard
 Wednesday, April 08 2009 @ 05:57 AM UTC  
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From Rogerof, in CDAG clan hall. Excuse the slurring.

"> (4h14m) Major Badass rogerof gurns inanely, "Goodnnnessss! !!! IY haavve to go awwayyy for a while. The server won't retoorn my clicks for 15 to 20 seconds at a time. AAAAAUUURRRRGGGHHHHH..."
> (4h13m) Major Badass rogerof gurns inanely, "Boot I will dump my rreq firssst... Goodb*hic*ye all...."

I am currently only scavenging and that is taking similar amounts of time, well, scavenging and peering through monitors... I feel like a peeping tom.


 
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Count Sessine
 Wednesday, April 08 2009 @ 08:06 AM UTC  
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I probably don't need to add a voice to the chorus... but I've been getting inquiries from quite a few people who assume (mistakenly) that I must know more than has been posted here in this thread. Hey, I'm just the barkeep around here. I don't do architecture.

On my own account, though, I'd like to note for the record that there's quite a bit of variability in response times. It'll fluctuate from reasonably fast, almost like pre-Stumble performance, to molasses-in-January, and then it'll creep back to being merely sluggish.

Now I know that there are many ways this could arise -- but if I were trying to diagnose it, I'd first cast a deeply suspicious eye on the memory usage, because it feels a lot like thrashing behavior.


 
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K.K. Victoria
 Wednesday, April 08 2009 @ 12:34 PM UTC  
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The times. Usually in the morning, things seem at their best.
--Morning for me is about four-six Eastern. Of course, all but six people are online at that point.

Obviously there's massive slowdown when the largest amount of people are online.

It's becoming to the point where I haven't even been Jungle fighting really. I barely have time to run full scavenging runs.

-Mine's especially slow, but that may be accounted from the recent changing of Hotspots (Relocating about and such...)


"You saved Pineapple!"
 
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hajen
 Wednesday, April 08 2009 @ 03:47 PM UTC  
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last night i spent 75 minutes being reborn as a joker in AH, walking to CC, scavenge, splatapult to IC, gauntlet, walk to NH, and pound out my kit at the workshop. of course, i was checking the fields and houses at each town so i could do the voodoo i do so well, but i didn't even try to do any jungle fighting. the rest of my night was spent distracting and chatting in town centers and clan hall. my jungle fighting has been quite light this week, the lag has caused me to go into "hunker down and wait it out" mode. i have to echo Sessine's comments, sometimes the lag seems to be nonexistent, but at one point, while waiting for the local dwellings to load, i was able to clean out the kitty litter and still get back to my seat before it changed. Cry


"tis better to be thought a fool, than to speak and remove all doubt"
 
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CavemanJoe
 Wednesday, April 08 2009 @ 05:42 PM UTC  
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Okay, time for a server upgrade. Chatting with HostGator now.

@Sessine: it ain't thrashing. Memory usage isn't ideal, but it's not near full. CPU load averages over the past 15 minutes, with 40 players online - 14.65. Could do with a more powerful CPU.

Expect a "donations drive" MOTD soon. :-/


 
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CavemanJoe
 Wednesday, April 08 2009 @ 05:47 PM UTC  
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Actually, let's reboot the server first...


 
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Kuroiten
 Wednesday, April 08 2009 @ 10:43 PM UTC  
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Firstly, huzzah newbies! The next wave has hit the shores, and we get to make them grow up into upstanding citizens of the Island. Or whatever the heck we are.

Secondly, there's always been lag for me when the game is loading right after log-in...only recently has it become mind-crushingly infuriating. Not as bad as the log-times that some of you are showing, but enough that I start wondering if the server's given out.


Judging by the chaos, I've been here already.
 
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Tor NaGoth
 Thursday, April 09 2009 @ 05:10 PM UTC  
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Yeah, I'm getting at least 20 seconds per page load, More, most of the time. A lot More for peak hours. I've barely been into the jungle myself. (and this is ME we're talking about.) The sooner we upgrade for speed, the better, as far as I'm concerned.


 
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