That was a fun night...
Hand of the Arkati farms Reim every Wednesday night. "Farming" Reim means that unlike a normal Reim progression, we're just hanging out in the plaza for 2 hours from 8:30 to 10:30 PM. Being in the first area allows people the ability to invest in simucoin Reim entries, and re-orb their progress. If you burn a simucoin entry while in the midst of a run, it will reset your scrip progress. On a typical farming night, most individuals can reorb up to 10 times, for 10k scrip. Since many of us are going for Ethereal armor, Adding ethereal armor on armor and fully unlocking it requires 2,280,000 scrip. Doing this once a week boosts weekly gains from 7k scrip up to 18k scrip. Meaning we can complete in 2.4 years instead of 6.2 years.
There are proportionate spawns to the participants in Reim. Having more people means more per wave, means more script per wave, means faster scrip gain per person, means more silvers (but more splits... kind of nets out). We are not spam-attacking. With >25 people, each person can usually only attack once per wave for the tag, credit, etc. We really just want scrip as fast as possible. The timetables are intense, and we want our shiney armor! People come and go, burn their Long Term boosts, their instant absorbers, refill favor, gather their necro energy, etc. It's our little service night... except... in Reim, killing creatures.
It's worth pointing out that our recent Wednesday farming nights are far from the maximum quantity of people we've had in Reim with us. We've reached up to 32 people running Reim, without falter, without lag. I have detailed information about how many people have run any event with HoA since our first run on 7/19/2016, and over 280 events since then. We have been running Wednesday farm nights officially on the calendar since 5/20/2017. It's a great display that combat, and the systems that use to support Gemstone are becoming more complex as times go on. While it's obvious when we see lag with >700 people when we used to see lag with only >2500 people, it's because every attack is now not just evaluating a weapon for enchant, weighting, flares, but also now confirming your enhanced stat, looking for a variety of script flares, evaluating ensorcelling potential, potentially checking both weightings, etc, etc. Everything across Gemstone has gotten infinitely more complex since yesteryears. Complex for the better. But realistically, outside of early Dreavenings, there really wasn't an organization such as this to really stress the servers. So, every <.1% processing speed loss over the last 20 years may have added up! All that said, I admit this is mostly speculation on anecdotal observation.
We are doing our best to attempt the various built-in mechanisms for lag reduction. Wyrom stated in Discord that the lag was predominantly generated by third-party messaging. That doesn't mean Lich, that's more about Whirlin casts 518, and then the other 27 people get a bunch of scroll with his 99999 AS attacks against 52 different critters. That transmission to the 27 other people was more strain than the calculation/execution of the attack. To help remediate this, we tested out the combatbrief flag yesterday, and observed a decrease in the quantity of XML that was being transmitted to our clients. That being said, the xml packets still contained critical flavor text, which while was not prompted on the UI, was incredibly prevalent in the logs being sent by the simu Servers. Unfortunately, combatbrief alone (for at least a dozen of the 28 people) was insufficient to curb the lag. We discussed Lost Ranger's ;briefcombat script, but it's really a post-transmission filtering process, and would not reduce the Simu Server load.
Changing the date does not address any of these underlying concerns. There is a structural concern with how groups of this size are managed. We are looking to further expand the HoA roster, and Wyrom has stated that end-game content is on the horizon, probably even before Savants (yes, that was a joke). Changing the date isn't kicking the can down the road, it's moving a mattress from the middle lane of the highway to a different lane of the highway rather than having it removed. It's still going to cause an issue until the mattress is removed. While also impacting every single one of our members and guests that have scheduled Wednesday nights with us to gather their Favor, their Necro-Energy, burn their Long Term boosts, their Instant-clearers, their Reim Orbs. We have a roster of 78 with probably about 2 dozen rotating guests to consider. We are willing to work with the GMs on stop gaps, and sit down with further discussions about things we'd like to see from capped hunting, etc... but swapping the dates does not address anything that caused it to be a problem in the first place.
Don't misunderstand, we want this lag gone too. I know of at least 3 people that would join our ranks if our events were more feasible to execute. But with the lag introduced, they were having more difficulty hitting the rares, and progressing through Reim, and they didn't feel welcome because of their 286 computer with their 14.4 modem not being able to keep up.
Wyrom stepped in last night on Discord and said that he will be making it a priority to speak with Rester and some on-site people regarding options. We welcome anything short term such as capping out spawns in Reim based on X people, but would request script per kill increased proportionately as to not directly/exclusively nerf us. This is likely easier/faster to do than an overhaul of the combatbrief command. And once that overhaul does go live, I will work with our members to ensure that they are running the commands to reduce system utilization and streamline the game for all players. We just need time to get there.