Ya Done Good. Now Do Better.
So the battle of 6V had another subplot. Would the system hold up? The answer is an absolute and completely unqualified “sorta” and I really mean that. First I want to talk a bit about pre-Tidi EvE. Before TiDi battles were crazy. Things worked well up to a point, then as they got worse things cascaded, and generally if your alliance got two full fleets into a system first the battle was over. Period. The other side wouldn’t even be able to load grid. There were some hardware changes that basically modified the numbers needed to swamp a system, but not what actually happened to the system once it got swapped.
TiDi changed things. By slowing the whole process for everyone by a roughly equal amount the misery gets spread. People jumping in get a chance to load grid as the server doesn’t overload as badly. In theory at least. This creates a very elastic band-aid for the problem. The basic causes are still there, eventually the system can’t handle the load, now it stretches time out to give itself time to deal with the inputs. As long as the load isn’t exceeded the battle progresses. Slowly.
6V exceeded the load. TiDi hit 10% in a system that was as fully reinforced as CCP could make it. Then things got weird. Old Skool weird. Modules not activating. Targets not locking despite showing as locked. Not being able to swap ammo types/scripts. Basically all of a sudden it was like TiDi didn’t exist. All we’d done was move a decimal point to where things broke down. There were reports of people having issues entering the system. Even at a crawl the game wasn’t working right.
So this is it. At 6V the line was reached on what we can expect as far as battle size. The old problems showed back up and over the next year I expect we will meet them more and more often.
So first I want to make the problem worse. Let’s double the number of squads in a wing, and wings in a fleet. That will increase fleets to over 1000 members. This will make forming fleets easier. It will even make it easier for alliances that can’t get 1000 members as they don’t need to find a guy with FC five to get past 200. Now nearly any schlub can do it. This will get big coalition battles happening more often, which is frankly good for EvE.
Second, CCP needs to seriously look at tearing down their infrastructure and starting over. CCP needs to spend resources to acquire servers and develop the software to run on them to allow themselves to sit 10,000 men in a system and not rely on TiDi to paper over the holes. Yes I know that’s a tall order. It might even require developing completely new hardware. I also know that if CCP wants EvE to be more than a 500k-750k person game it needs to happen.