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Topic: GrievanceGaming TwitchTV Show Asked my ideas on instancing and it's Impact on PF (Read 1301 times) previous topic - next topic

GrievanceGaming TwitchTV Show Asked my ideas on instancing and it's Impact on PF

The guys at's SC TwitchTV show asked for a consolidated write up how I thought instancing would impact us during PF. I opined on it a lot, but it was spread over the entire thread. So today I wrote it all down in one large WOT and sent it to them.

Per SOP #1 I wanted to makes sure you guys saw it


Message start:

Below is the promised write up about instancing or at least my thoughts on it. It is a wall of text, but I needed to provide context for the ideas expressed.

I won't post on RSI until after your broadcast, but I will need to post in on the OPF website and the ACES private site. Mainly due to a promise of no "mushroom management" (i.e. kept in the dark and fed excrement) to the team there and forkers at large. 

Thoughts on instancing and its impact on Operation Pitchfork

First and foremost this is pure theory-crafting based on my impressions of what CIG and CR have said in interviews, forums and spectrum dispatches. I while I think this is a pretty good guess, it is still a guess and may not (probably not) survive contact with reality.

Ok that sea anchor set, some background, we all know that Star Citizen will use instancing to control the number of players in a given area to prevent latency issues. This due to technology limitations, primarily bandwidth of the internet, but also physics calculations on the server backend. If you are flying your ship manually, then you're in an instance no matter where you are.  Key point is we don't want to be waiting seconds, let alone minutes for a single frame update. Instancing lets us fly in real time.

CR has said that he thinks that the game can support up to 100 players per instance. Everything I have read and heard to date says this is probably optimistic, and the number is more likely 60 to 80. But for the sake of this discussion let's use 100. NPC's don't take up as much bandwidth or server resources, so more of them can be stacked into an instance than players. If the number of ships gets too high, then a second instance is dynamically generated. So you may have "stacks of instances in the same area of space when the ship count goes up.

Before anyone thinks "Hey we can just get 80 or 90 ships together and exploit the system and crush all opposition in our instance" CIG is also working on a matchmaking system. This system will be used in a couple of ways (Speculation from here on). First anytime you're in autopilot, going from one point of interest (POI) to another, the matchmaking system will randomly drop you out of autopilot for an "encounter". This could be a derelict space ship or enemies, player or NPC. Strength levels will be near equal. So anytime we enter autopilot there is a risk. The matchmaking system may also be used to prevent large groups of players from loading an instance. There is no way CIG is going to leave this easy of an exploit open.

The Friend Mechanic allows players in combat to call for help from friends. The system will allow backup to fly directly into the same instance the player you're trying to help is in. CR has said there will always reserve slots in an instance for friends flying in.

So what does all this mean to Pitchfork? First it means we need to limit strike groups to somewhere between 30 and 50 ships, anymore and we risk being split into separate instances once a POI is reached or we get pulled into a random encounter.

Second, the Friend Mechanic will allow us to reinforce a strike team that is in combat. It is important that those in reserve have connections with the lead elements. As an example, a fighter heavy strike team of 50 engages a Vanduul Carrier. They are outnumbered and call for help, 10 super hornets fly in and with their help suppress the Carrie's fighter complement. There is more room in that instance so they call for bombers in groups of 10 to engage the carrier. This can only work if there are associations already in place, which is why we are asking Guilds and organizations to function as a unit.

Third, there is a possibility we can exploit the matchmaking system. Pitchfork's membership includes players of all alignments, pirates to bounty hunters, to traders. Potentially we could send groups of pirates and bounty hunters to the same POI and end up with 100 "pitchfork aligned" ships. This would be especially useful in boarding actions against stations, Vanduul factory ships in Tiber or planet side attacks.

We are also planning to scout Vanduul space extensively and conduct raids in force to test tactics and see if Vanduul capital ships can be prized.  There is a lot we don't know and we are planning to find out, any lessons learned will be made publicly available to the community, helping everyone deal with the Vanduul threat. This includes those who are joining us, and those who are not. We see this is the last "backer event" before the game goes live, so everything we are doing is out in the open and open for discussion.

Final note, these are my guesses so take any of the above with a grain of salt. Please let me know if you have any questions

  • Last Edit: December 08, 2013, 06:32:05 PM by sailor67
Pitchfork Belongs to all of us

  • Ratu
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  • Enrolled
Re: GrievanceGaming TwitchTV Show Asked my ideas on instancing and it's Impact on PF
Reply #1
Makes for a good read. Great stuff Sailor!

  • Benjamin the Rogue
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  • Staff
Re: GrievanceGaming TwitchTV Show Asked my ideas on instancing and it's Impact on PF
Reply #2
Just read it. Very good, sailor67! The only thing I was thinking to remind anyone of was that the instancing is dynamic, and we can reinforce them or fly between them as the need arises, but you quite clearly covered that! I look forward to seeing it on GrievanceGaming.

Re: GrievanceGaming TwitchTV Show Asked my ideas on instancing and it's Impact on PF
Reply #3
thanks guys
Pitchfork Belongs to all of us