TiDi: The Case Against Crimewatch

Bill McDonough 2017-08-08

Most of the time, when I write these editorial pieces about some part of the game, or analyzing how CCP can improve things, they tend to run a little wordy. Sophia and I had a running bet about who could write the longer articles. I’m not going to say I won, but when someone’s got to cheat and write a frippin’ novella to beat you, well…

This time, though, I’m going to be fairly brief, and straightforward. I’m even gonna limit how much math is involved. So, on to the one-line tl;dr, and then I’ll get to the rest:

CCP Needs To Disable Crimewatch In Heavy Time Dilation

There you go. That’s it.

What Is This Thing, Again?

Crimewatch is a thing that affects lowsec and highsec. Empire. You know, the places where it’s actually possible to commit crimes. You take an action, it generates a criminal timer. There you go. Makes sense, right? Nice and simple, right? Well… no.

You take an action. Ok, we’re simple there. The game asks what the hell that action is, and looks to see if it’s on the list of ‘Criminal’ actions. Still simple. Except, no, not quite. The game asks what the action is… and who or what it’s being done to. THEN it can check the list of ‘Criminal’ actions. Even that’s a simplification, though.

For example: Simple is: ‘I push button, I get a timer’. Less simple is ‘I push button, game says ‘what does that button do? Oh, it activates a module. Is that module on the list of modules that do aggressive things? Yes. Ok. The person you’re doing it to… is that a corpmate? Yes? Is friendly fire allowed? Yes? Ok, it’s all good. If it’s not a corpmate, or friendly fire’s not allowed, is there a limited engagement timer up? (ie: are you duelling?) Is there a wardec?’

So Why Remove It?

Now, we all know computers can do these logical checks quickly. But they add up. Let’s say for the sake of argument that when you do something to someone else, there’s one check involved. Pretty obvious it’s more like three-five, but we’re going with one for the sheer simplicity of it.

So, Bob tackles Joe with a point. One check. It’s all good. Bob and 399 of his friends are in lowsec, all in Machariels. Each Mach’s got one (just one!) smartbomb.They have another 100 logistics cruisers and other support between their two fleets. They’re fighting, say, I dunno, another 400 guys in Typhoons, and those Typhoon fleets have another 100 logistics and support. The Typhoons and support drop a flight of drones each.

The Machariels smartbomb.

400 smartbombs go off. Each smartbomb is checked against every object on the grid that’s owned by a player (except the ship it’s on, but we’re gonna round up to make the math simpler than multiplying by 399). 400 (smartbombs) * (500 (Machariels + support) + 500 (Typhoons + support) + 2500 (Typhoon drones)) = 400 * 3500.

1,400,000 checks. In our obscenely oversimplified model. Before calculating damage. In addition to all of the movement and actions and everything else that’s causing time dilation.

Now add in fighters from a pair of capital/supercapital fleets.

That’s one smartbomb on each Mach. Start adding ECM bursts, MJFGs, and every other aoe effect that still works in lowsec…

CCPlease

I’m not saying get rid of Crimewatch. I’m not saying get rid of it in lowsec. But TiDi already tends to produce environments where modules stop working right, nobody can get anything done in a reasonable amount of time, etc etc. It’s not unreasonable to ask if Time Dilation can maybe turn off that ‘is this something that needs Crimewatch?’ check once it gets down around 20-30%. It’s not going to change the outcome of any fights. It’s just going to make those big battles CCP likes to hype and build their marketing around a little bit better. They’ll be less stressful, less frustrating, and less likely to make people contemplate quitting the game because “holy shit, this is what you sold me? This SUCKS!”

Crimewatch in TiDi. For the love of god, CCP, Just Say No.

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Comments

  • Dalael

    I wasnt even logged in for that fight but I swear my computer slowed down in solidarity for those who were.

    August 8, 2017 at 4:16 pm
    • My client crashed twice then refused to reconnect fairly early on.

      August 8, 2017 at 4:19 pm
    • Rhivre Dalael

      Same. I was sleeping, and I think my computer slowed down.

      August 8, 2017 at 4:41 pm
    • Arrendis Dalael

      I was logged in for it on my desktop, and my tablet crashed twice screaming ‘TiDIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII’

      August 8, 2017 at 4:49 pm
    • WMWMWMWMWMWMWMWMWMW Dalael

      i was in the fight

      it took me a good bit just to lock up a single machariel at a time

      August 9, 2017 at 5:50 am
  • Good article, reducing as many of the bottlenecks as possible can only be a good thing.

    Even after reducing the client to it’s bare minimum (no sound, no brackets, no effects graphical quality low etc etc) the module lag is a really negative experience in gaming.

    Of course the fleet fights are fun but it would be more so if people were able to see things happening in a timely manner.

    It’s almost as if large fleet battles in Eve has to be like a turn based game in the style of a Games Workshop title. Movement phase then combat phase, server resolves the outcomes updates everyone’s graphics and the whole cycle can start over.

    I’m certain there’s better methods for CCP to do and I hope they’re looking at all options to increase the quality of the gaming experience.

    August 8, 2017 at 4:19 pm
  • Sullen Decimus

    I think a simpler and more reasonable thing would be to make crime watch fleet based rather than individual. Could it have negative ramifications? sure, but it would make things easier when the computer just has to generalize and mass assign the same timers/aggression, rather than calculating every single individual timer/limited aggression etc. for every single person.

    August 8, 2017 at 4:37 pm
    • Arrendis Sullen Decimus

      That… actually might make it worse. Because it has to check to see ‘are you in a fleet? Each of the people I’m affecting, what fleet are they in?’

      I mean, I like the *idea*, but the problem with computers is they’re stupid.

      August 8, 2017 at 4:50 pm
      • Sullen Decimus Arrendis

        Trust me it’s far more simple than what currently exists because it would make the total aggression timers created limited to 2 between 2 fleets. Currently EVERY SINGLE TIME someone switched targets to another person in the other fleet, another aggression timer, another limited engagement timer, for every player that does so….

        August 8, 2017 at 6:00 pm
        • Arrendis Sullen Decimus

          Right, but it first has to identify which fleet the shooter’s in, then which fleet the target’s in, then go through the same ‘am I in Empire? Is there a wardec? a duel? Are they corpmates?’…

          August 8, 2017 at 7:22 pm
  • highonpop

    When we undocked and were all forming up, waiting for panfam to get there, I was enjoying 60fps @ ~30ms ping. Then shit hit the fan.
    700+ ping @ 1.5-1.7FPS x 10% tidi = 1 hour to cycle weapons aka f*ck me, right?
    That was the highest ping and lowest fps I’ve ever “noticed” during excessive tidi. Do we know if CCP was notified to reinforce the node? Do they even still do that?

    August 8, 2017 at 4:59 pm
    • Arrendis highonpop

      10% tidi would’ve been fine. Slow, but fine. The problem is 10% tidi isn’t where it stops. Once you hit 10%, time stops expanding to slow things down… but the server load doesn’t stop going up. So things get dropped, and the server lags. When it gets bad enough, the server will actually give you a ‘soul-crushing lag’ message. One or two people in Asher’s fleet reported that last night, which means we were hovering around the effective level of 0.5-1% time dilation in terms of actual command throughput.

      August 8, 2017 at 7:34 pm
      • highonpop Arrendis

        I didn’t know the soul crushing lag message was still a thing lol

        August 9, 2017 at 1:21 pm
        • Verdis deMosays highonpop

          Yep, got it when PL dicked us and engaged the Vehement B4R charity fleet on a lowsec gate. You know, instead of the reinforced node in null 3j away…

          Yeah, 1% TiDi is awful. Worst I’ve had, counting nullsec. And its not just crimewatch, gate guns add nice extra server load.

          August 11, 2017 at 6:21 am
  • Michael Kahler

    Just add the possibility to add the condition of “warzone” to a system if the crime checks hit a certain level. Then crime check is turned off. Or couple it to the number of players in a system with contrary red or status or standing. If warzone condition is declared everyone knows that he can be headshot even in highsec.

    August 8, 2017 at 5:35 pm
    • Rimp Malukker Michael Kahler

      I think this would be the better approach, Some of you are mentioning to apply the aggression timer to a whole fleet, my personal experience with running boosters in fleet would cause everyone to have a timer versus just the booster. That would drive me crazy. And some might say this would only happen during tidi but not knowing code means we can only assume one of two options, it would be applied all the time, or would require additional checks(those things were trying to reduce).

      This, this would reduce the load completely. TIDI turning up to compensate for battle; Hit the threshold? Shut it off and mark the system as “warzone”. Done. You could even keep it in canon with some similar verbiage as incursions use “Due to the overwhelming fighting in the area, CONCORD is unable to protect this system…” and so on.

      The only downside I see is this would announce where big fights are happening to anyone looking at a map. Is it to much info to give away, I don’t know? That’s only if you showed it on the map. Could just be a prompt, before anyone can jump through a gate or in system only.

      August 8, 2017 at 6:54 pm
      • Stephanie Daugherty Rimp Malukker

        You could even make two different behaviors – in lowsec,crimewatch turns off for “warzone” systems, and in highsec it just starts a countdown to destroy your ship, so that you agress and then X ticks later, you explode, no concord spawn necessary. No further need to check legality, if you get a weapons timer in a highsec “warzone” you are exploded.

        August 9, 2017 at 8:06 am
    • Arrendis Michael Kahler

      Whatever check they use to do it, they just need to get crimewatch the hell out of the way when the big fights start.

      August 8, 2017 at 7:24 pm
  • Bill Bones

    TiDi affects multiple systems, not just the one where the battle happens. So what you suggest is to get rid of Crimewatch in systems A, B and C because system D is triggering TiDi in that node. That’s silly even if you don’t consider TiDi in highsec…

    Second, I wonder whether Crimewatch is an actual bottleneck or don’t, according to CCP.

    Third, whatever CCP does to remove TiDi, players will just fucking bring more ships to trigger TiDi again. “Massive battles that collapse nodes” have moved from 400 to 4,000 ships in grid and all the solutions to increase the cap to 1,000…1,500… 2,000… 3,000… where just crushed by an even larger fleet.

    Of course there is a simple solution to TiDi: make big battles turn-based instead of fail at making them “real time”.

    Make a big battles system that could work with 100,000 ships on grid and there you go. “But, but, it’s impossible in real time!” Yeah. So, guess what? Get rid of real time.

    August 8, 2017 at 6:34 pm
    • its a bit of a fallacy to say that players always actively try and force a node into tidi to crash it (unless theyre loosing ofc) but yes when the servers could only handle 400 people people brought as many as they could and when people tried to bring more in they jumped in and black screened and disconnected and the local pop didnt increase. its only because the servers can accommodate more that people seem to bring more. they always have tried to bring more cause eve at that scale is more often then not a numbers game.

      i agree that people need to be aware that multiple systems can and regularly be on a single node, and that removing crimewatch from a node because of a big fleet fight can adversely affect others that arent involved.

      i thin the problem is continual reflagging of people and associated people in crimewatch. every time someone fires on someone else or actively assists they get a new flag timer.

      IMHO it should be a exponential timer, ur flagged once its the regular timer, ur flagged again before that timer expires its 3x the original, then x11 etc…
      that means the longer the fight the less crimewatch comes in and does its checks.

      August 8, 2017 at 7:24 pm
    • Arrendis Bill Bones

      TiDi, as CCP currently has it (and the nodes) structured, affects the system you’re in, and surrounding systems in the constellation/region. So the systems you’re looking at as A, B, and C, are already tidi’d to hell because they’re only a few jumps out. It’s not like this is going to hit people who have no idea what’s going on. The innocent jump freighters in those systems are either a)an involved party who should know better, or b)too stupid to live, anyway.

      And no, I think at this point, we’ve hit the point where TiDi is not the limiting factor in how many people we bring. TiDi didn’t get really bad, for example, until the shooting started last night. We could’ve probably crammed another 2000 people in, no problem. After all, we only had about 2100 people there last night, and we’ve done much larger than that.

      Of course, it doesn’t help that CCP’s apparently ignored requests for those nodes to be reinforced, either.

      As for turn-based combat… wow. With the number of absolutely unrepentant rules-weasels in this game, that would be very, very bad. How would you even handle the transition?

      August 8, 2017 at 7:31 pm
    • dragonshardz Bill Bones

      Yes, taking a real-time combat system and making it turn-based is easy. So easy, in fact, a caveman like you could do it.

      Chop chop.

      August 8, 2017 at 10:17 pm
      • Bill Bones dragonshardz

        I said “simple”, not “easy”. It’s called the “Keep It Simple, Stupid!” principle, not “keep it easy”.

        August 9, 2017 at 5:37 pm
        • Arrendis Bill Bones

          So, what is the simple way to make EVE’s combat system turn-based?

          August 9, 2017 at 7:06 pm
        • dragonshardz Bill Bones

          I’d love to know what the simple way to make EVE’s combat turn-based is.

          August 10, 2017 at 4:04 am
  • Glornak Ironspawn

    That could be abused by hackers. We’d have stuff like alpha clone gankers that don’t get attacked by concord, And when that account is banned they just make a new one and keep going. That’s why pretty much everything but the graphics is done server side.

    August 8, 2017 at 7:04 pm
  • Jump Clone

    You may or may not know about these places in Eve called Null Sec where pvpers outside of CONCORD authority.

    They also have this great advantage : it’s far easier to make money there.

    So, why do you feel any need to get back to Empire space ? Just stop asking for the cake and eat it too.

    August 9, 2017 at 5:11 am
    • obvious troll bait is obvious

      August 9, 2017 at 8:09 am
    • Rhivre Jump Clone

      So the solution from your perspective is for empire to only ever have small fights? Slightly problematic given that empire has keepstars don’t you think?

      August 9, 2017 at 9:38 am
  • Arrendis

    And another night of the wonders and majesty of Crimewatch in lowsec.

    August 10, 2017 at 3:10 am
  • Caleb Ayrania

    That was a crazy short “Arrendis piece” I feel cheated? 🙂

    August 10, 2017 at 12:06 pm
  • RedChief

    I’m sorry….i couldn’t stop laughing after you said “Maybe they have good devs at CCP”

    August 10, 2017 at 5:00 pm
  • highonpop

    If the alliances wardec each other, would that cut down on the amount of calculations? I understand it would still see if you had a legal right to agress, but if you do, wouldn’t each calculation stop there?

    August 11, 2017 at 11:42 pm