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VFS-22_SPaRX
01-04-2005, 07:14 PM
This is a little guide i put together with the information i have gathered over the last month of testing WarClouds at various player levels and server settings. Feedback from a large player base at these various player levels and server settings was gathered. These players have a pretty wide range of systems specs as well. S~ and I hope this will help some players to enjoy their online experience that much more.

Link to the guide on War-clouds.com
http://www.war-clouds.com/articles.php?lng=en&pg=236

I have been asked many times to put something like this together, so now that I have completed my months worth of testing, I thought I would organize all this information into a guide. Everything in this guide are my personal recommendations. All this data was collected by making config changes on Warclouds under various player loads and observing their effects on the server. I will not go into great details pretaining to the data that I collected, just give you my recommendations based on this information. I have 10 pages in a Legal size note pad of notes that I made during this test period and it would take me awhile to organize this and put it in a document. I will however make some additional comments about certain recommendations that I feel need more explaination. If you have any questions about my recommendations, feel free to contact me via email, forums, or on our Teamspeak server.

Server Recommended Config/Setup

I will break this section down into 3 diferent player loads. 15-30, 30-50 and 50-64 players. I have not done any testing past the 64 player mark. All this testing was done on the WarClouds server which has the following specs and I have figured in ~25% overhead:

CPU: 2.8 P4 HT
Memory: 1.5 gigs
Bandwidth: 10/10 mbit

15-25 Players
CPU: 1 ghz
Memory: 400 megs
Bandwidth: 1 mbit UP
Netspeed: 3000/28.8k

25-50 Players
CPU: 1.5 ghz
Memory: 400 megs
Bandwidth: 1.5 mbit UP
Netspeed: 5000/56k

50-64 Playesr
CPU: 2.0 ghz
Memory: 500 megs
Bandwidth: 2 mbit UP
Netspeed: 8000/ISDN

These recommendations are PER server instance on a server.

Additional comments:

Memory: This is highly influenced by the design and content of the maps running on a server. If there are too many objects placed on a map, these recommendations must be increase accordingly.

Bandwidth: These days, most admins have more then enough bandwidth at their disposal to run a server at any of these levels. The players connection to the server is the biggest hinderence to server performance. Players do not set their netspeeds to recommended levels or they have a poor connection to the server. Connections cannot be measured by pingrates. I have observered players on the server with 300ms pings that have minimal lag problems and players with 50ms pings that lag all day long. If you are dropping packets to the server, it will not matter what your ping is.

50-64 Players I do not recommend running a server with this many players. I know there will be some out there that say it can be done, but this is my personl opinion. The problem does not reside on the server side, but with the players that are on the servers. The Average players PC and connection to servers cannot handle this many players. Most players purchase the game based on 1C/Maddox's system requirements. In my opinion, this is not enough for a player to play on a server of this level.

Player config/setting Recommendations

These recommendations come from questioning players on the WarClouds servers durning the testing period to see how certain levels of players and settings were effecting their overall performance on the server.

CPU: I have not found an effective way to measure how different CPU effect the performance of the game on a PC. So for this I would recommend you use 1C/Maddox's recommended CPU. 2.4 Ghz.

Bandwidth: A netspeed of 8000/ISDN is recommend for all levels of players and all connections. Even 56k users. This setting will not saturate a standard 56k connection. Since server admins have the ability to restrict clients max connection rates to a server, I would suggest you set this and forget it. If you were to go into a server with a setting too low, your client will set the max data rate for your connection, which could be lower then what is needed for that particular server. The following changes need to be made to set your netspeed:

1. Run the il2setup.exe in the IL2 directory. Then goto the network tab and set it to ISDN. Click OK.

2. If you join server through Hyperlobby, then you need to change the default client rate in the [Forgotten Battles] section. Change clientrate to 8000. This can be found in the hlpro.ini file within the Hyperlobby installed dir.

Video Card: A DX9 compatible video card with 128meg or memory is recommended as per the 1C/Maddox recommendations. The video card processing power will dictate what level of ingame setting that are able to be run.

Memory:

15-30 players: 512megs of ram is the recommended minimum. I still feel that this is too low, so I would recommend to use 1 gig. I have observed players 512 megs of ram playing at this player level and experiencing minimal lag.

30-50 players: 1 gig is the recommended minimum. 1.5 gig is recommended. Players with 1 gig are still getting spawn lag when bombers spawn.

50-64 players: 1.5 is recommended minimum. 2 gigs is recommended. I have not tested these values, but am using the above findings to make these suggestions.

These recommendations are HIGHLY dependant on the maps that are running on the server. The number of planes flyable, number of preloaded static planes and number of objects placed on the map will greatly change how much ram is needed to play smoothly.


Some Notes on Spawn Lag:
With the release of Pacific Fighters (PF), there has been an increase in the amount of ram that IL2 is using. Before PF, map builders used the "static plane preload" trick to virtual eliminate spawn lag. This can still work, but it means that players need to have more ram avaible for IL2 to use to preload all the static planes. Since IL2 is using more ram, it seems to be putting some static into Virtual Memory (VM). Loading planes from a hard drive is what causes the spawn lag. Since VM resides on a hard drive, then planes loaded from VM will cause this spawn lag. What I have observed, even with 1 gig of ram, you will still get some spawn lag when a player selects a bomber. I have conluded that this is because there is not tnough ram to load the bombers into system ram, but there is enough to load the fighters.

Final Comments

As I stated at the beginning, these are my personal opinions on recommended configs and settings to play IL2 FB/AEP/PF online with in different servers and server configs/settings in regards to the number of players on the server. I made all these conclusions based on data and also observations of the effects of different settings/configs on the WarClouds server. The observations of these changes also influenced these recommendations. These observations were made by myself and many players that frequent the server. If you find any of these recommendations to be incorrect, please feel free to contact me do we can discuss what changes might need to be made to these recommendations.

I would like to take this moment to thank all the players that frequent the WarClouds servers. If it were not for you guys putting up with my constant questioning, badgering to change some setting on your PC and the amount of server changes I have been making, none of this would be possible. S~ to you all and Happy Flying

SPaRX

Athosd
01-04-2005, 07:33 PM
Thank you SPaRX

One question, I have a mid range system with standard cable internet - is it okay to leave the netspeed at 25000? (given the server will apply the upper limit) Or should I fix it at 8000?

Cheers

Athos

VFS-22_SPaRX
01-04-2005, 07:41 PM
Honestly I would adjust down to 8000. I am not saying this from a players standpoint, but more from a server admins standpoint. Here is why. Lets say your buddie decides to put up a server for you and some friends to play on and forgets to set his speed as needed and its at 25000. That means you are connecting to him with a data rate of ~25k/sec. If his server is set at that rate and all of you connect with that rate, the server would be unplayable at that setting assuming he is on a cable connection or the like. If 4 of you connect, then you all will be trying to pull ~100k/sec from his server. I do not know many cable connection that have that much upstream.

S~

SPaRx

MuerteColorado
01-04-2005, 08:54 PM
OY! didnt the admins all take the opposite viewpoint to these settings already? ........

BaldieJr
01-04-2005, 09:37 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by MuerteColorado:
OY! didnt the admins all take the opposite viewpoint to these settings already? ........ <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

8000 is safe for all but the absolute slowest connections.

This was rechecked many times over.

Schmouddle-WT
01-05-2005, 03:11 AM
S! to SPaRX!

My comment /observation.

I run WT_Dedicated, 24/7 scripted mission dedicated server out there on HL.

Server specs are: Athlon 1Ghz, 1 Gb RAM,10/10 Mbit connection

Together with guys from Asphalt Discs (Clay Pigeons or whatever is the correct translation) wich are running AH_Dedicated, a quite similar server to ours, we have done a series of tests with various settings and came to the conclusion that rate 8000 is quite fine for both sides.

Persuading all the klients and on our servers to set their rate to 8000 brought a huge improvement in terms of lag-fighting.
Together with ServerRate set to 8000, it is much better than before.

I wonder why do you suggest this:
15-30 Players
CPU: 1 ghz
Memory: 400 megs
Bandwidth: 1 mbit UP
so far OK, BUT
Netspeed: 3000/28.8k

In our experience, netspeed 3000/28,8k is NOT sufficient even for 20 clients with network set to 28.8 modem.

On WT_Dedicated we eventually raised the number of players allowed to 30 and with my setting the server handles that with arms crossed.

However youre the man who raised the question, and you deserve the honor for that.

Thank you, Sparx!

VFS-22_SPaRX
01-05-2005, 07:10 PM
Schmouddle,

I'll have to look over my notes again. But i am pretty sure i had the server running with 30 players all with a 3000 netspeed and it ran just fine. I know that 8000 is for sure overkill. Thanks for your input. The more input we have into this, the better for everyone.

S~

SPaRX

AFJ_Locust
01-05-2005, 07:27 PM
Im Thinking 5000 On 30

Bearcat99
01-05-2005, 09:15 PM
Well SparX you also now have the distiction of being the first W in the Sturmovik Essentials http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-wink.gif http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/25.gif

VFS-22_SPaRX
01-05-2005, 10:14 PM
Made the following changes to my recommendations.

15-25 Players
CPU: 1 ghz
Memory: 400 megs
Bandwidth: 1 mbit UP
Netspeed: 3000/28.8k

25-50 Players
CPU: 1.5 ghz
Memory: 400 megs
Bandwidth: 1.5 mbit UP
Netspeed: 5000/56k

After looking through my notes a little better, this seems to be a better setup. S~ Schmouddle for bring this to my attention. Will update the website as well.



Bearcat,

I am honored http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif. S~

x__CRASH__x
01-05-2005, 11:42 PM
Wow! Let the leg humping begin! lol


Sparx, your suggestions for my vid seem to have improved my performance. Kind of hard to tell since I kept eating dirt after soaking up bullets, but so far so good! Thanks!

Schmouddle-WT
01-06-2005, 12:40 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>
After looking through my notes a little better, this seems to be a better setup. S~ Schmouddle for bring this to my attention. Will update the website as well.
<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

As far as my observation goes, the optimal serverrate is quite dependant on number of ground objects in game.
Since we are dedicated mudmovers, there are always loads of static cr@p lying around. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

That is probably why we need more bandwidth than a pure DF server.

Thanks, SPaRX

veauger
01-06-2005, 03:44 AM
Excellent work Sparx!

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> 50-64 Players I do not recommend running a server with this many players. I know there will be some out there that say it can be done, but this is my personl opinion. The problem does not reside on the server side, but with the players that are on the servers. The Average players PC and connection to servers cannot handle this many players. Most players purchase the game based on 1C/Maddox's system requirements. In my opinion, this is not enough for a player to play on a server of this level. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Isn't that a bloody fact! For some maps on Warclouds, IL2 is running with over 900MB of RAM committed on my machine!

AFJ_Locust
01-06-2005, 12:13 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by x__CRASH__x:
Wow! Let the leg humping begin! lol


Sparx, your suggestions for my vid seem to have improved my performance. Kind of hard to tell since I kept eating dirt after soaking up bullets, but so far so good! Thanks! <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Stick your leg out http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/heart.gif