Tag Archives: Guinness World Records

EVE Aether Wars Round Two, This Time with Prizes

The EVE: Aether Wars testing is back for round 2.

Back in March CCP teamed up with Hadean to do a tech demo during the Game Developers Conference to show what might be possible in the future when it came to huge space battles with thousands of players involved.  They promised then that there would be more such events, and now the second round, slated to take place on Sunday August 18th, is just a week away.

Phase two, round two, whatever…

The first round back in March had some lofty goals, including an attempt to set a Guinness Book World Record by getting 10,000 players into the demo.

CCP had been previously recognized by Guinness for getting 6,142 players into one online battle back during the “Million Dollar Battle” in January of 2018.  CCP and Hadean wanted to shatter that record decisively.

However, they fell well short of that goal.  As the CCP Dev Blog about the demo spelled out, the total live player number topped out at 3,852, with a mere 2,379 being the peak concurrent number of players. Null sec can get more than that in a system just to shoot an undefended Keepstar.

Hadean helped push the stress aspect of the event by dumping more than 10K AI clients into the demo, but those don’t count.  Guinness wants to hear about live people

The event did have some things going against it when it came to that 10K player goal.  It got some press coverage, but not a lot.  CCP wasn’t big on asking people to help spread the word.  It wasn’t clear to some if you needed an EVE Online account in order to participate. (You don’t)  And, probably worst of all, the event was held at 11am Pacific time on a weekday, so people in the US were at work and people in Europe were just getting home from the office and people in Asia were probably still asleep.

I was lucky.  My boss let me work from home that day and take some time out for the event, but it wasn’t the sort of thing that people would take a vacation or sick day to attend.

Locked On!

For the second round the test will use more visual assets from EVE Online.  It looks like we’ll be tooling around in an Abyssal Deadspace environment in something like the Caldari Merlin hull.  The first test was clearly setup around EVE Valkyrie assets.

The image suggesting what the coming test will look like

In addition to a more EVE Online feel, CCP is throwing out incentives in order to get people to come participate in the test.

People who sign up for the test will get a special set of EVE Online ship SKINs and somebody will win a free trip for two to EVE Vegas.

So, adding it all up, we have a new test with more familiar art assets taking place on a Sunday instead of a work day with CCP throwing out some gifts to those who participate as well as a travel give away.

It sure sounds like a plan to get more people involved.

Whether or not it becomes a Guinness Book level event remains to be seen, but it seems like they are trying harder this time around.

The EVE Aether Wars Tech Demo

If I had been a good blogger I might have mentioned this before it happened, but as I have been pretty much injecting nostalgia straight into my veins with EverQuest, Diablo, and Lord of the Rings Online for most of the month, this sort of slipped by.

Earlier this month CCP put out a dev blog about EVE Aether Wars, a tech demo they were going to hold during the Game Developers Conference, which is also running this week.

Tech Demos get Splash Screens

The basic idea was that CCP would be working with a company called Hadean to use their Aether Engine for a huge space battle tech demo to help demonstrate the possible usefulness of the engine for supporting such mass battle content… and maybe pick up a Guinness Book record along the way.  The target was to get 10,000 players together to drive this tech demo.

CCP and EVE Online are, of course, no strangers to mass battles.  Huge player battles and people behaving badly are the two things that have traditionally gotten EVE Online their press coverage, though the latter has tapered off somewhat in recent years.  I think Judgement Day was the last big newsworthy bit of betrayal.

But big battles, those are more common and yet still manage to get coverage in the gaming press, coverage which often leaks out into the mainstream press.  And CCP has received recognition from Guinness for last year’s Million Dollar Battle which peaked at 6,142 players.

That number, however, was about all the game could handle… and I use the word “handle” in the most liberal fashion.  Being in that battle, like any such huge battle, means playing in molasses with time dilation slowing things down to 10% speed and controls becoming unresponsive and people being disconnected regularly.

So CCP is clearly an ideal customer for anything than would make this better.

On Hadean side, their Aether Engine is a cloud based system to rope together servers to support the processing power needed to keep a huge battle going.  The details are scant, as one might expect, but some of the information about their operating system is covered by, or linked to, in the FAQ about the event.

People could sign up for the test, which was set to go yesterday at 17:30 UTC.  I signed up, grabbed the 700MB download for the client, and awaited the promised login key.

There were plenty of warnings about this not being a full fledged game.  The controls were very simple, being pretty much “press W to accelerate” and “click the mouse button to shoot” with mouse input to steer your way.  But I still wasn’t sure what to expect.

After a bit of delay I was able to get into the demo at 18:00 UTC and found myself in space.

In with ~1,500 other players

The feel was very much that of EVE Valyrie.  You were dropped into a single player ship and used the mouse to point where you wanted to go.  There were shield and armor indicators to right and left that showed your ship’s health.  The backdrops in space were from EVE Online, but the action itself was nothing akin to that.

You had to find other players… that blob in the upper right was some sort of mini-map/proximity guide but wasn’t much help… get them in your targeting reticle until they were locked, at which point you could launch a missile at them.  Then rinse and repeat.

Locked On!

Not exactly exciting.  It was a mass of people shooting at each other.  To aim it was much better to slow down to get things in your sights, and if you started taking hits it was time to accelerate and turn to avoid the incoming.  I managed to get a few kills.  You had to pound somebody with quite a few missiles in order to kill them outright, so I am sure some of my targets had been softened up by others.  Likewise, I am sure I served up some ready kills to others as it seemed to be the usual routine of the killing blow getting the credit.

However, after about 15 minutes it became clear that we were not going to get 10,000 people in the demo.  The numbers stopped climbing past the 3,500 mark.  So Hadean dumped in some AI pilots to make up the balance.

At that point the sky was alive with missiles, oddly seeming to flow in the same direction like a school of fish.

So many missiles

I suspect the uniform missile behavior was related to the AI players.  They seemed to have guided missiles, judging by how they would all turn together mid-flight.  When the AIs decided you were a target it seemed likely you were going to die.

They moved as one

Not that being blown up was all that painful.  You just respawned back into the match in a fresh ship.

When the AI players became active, that was when the client actually began to get bogged down.  At least that was like an EVE Online fight.  The FPS meter, which had been into three digits for much of the time, fell way down, running between 15 and 45 FPS depending on where I was pointed.  The client also crashed a few times, though launching and getting back in the game was quick enough.

In the end it wasn’t much of a game… perhaps too simple for my jaded tastes in this day and age… but it wasn’t meant to be.  As a tech demo it was interesting.  The game itself seemed to be able to keep up with the mass of players without having to resort to slowing people down in order to keep up.  I have no idea how much hardware was required behind the scenes to make that possible, but I imagine that it was not trivial.

Hadean put up an op success post about the test.  They only ended up with a total of 3,852 live players in the demo. (It would have been more if there had been a Keepstar at risk.)

CCP also posted a follow up Dev Blog with some further details including:

  • 3,852 human pilots engage in glorious internet spaceship combat.
  • A total of 14,274 pilots engaged in combat including AI pilots.
  • A peak concurrent battlefield population of 10,412 pilots, including AI pilots.
  • A peak concurrent population of 2,379 human pilots on the field.
  • A total of 88,988 ships destroyed.
  • A colossal 14,710,908 torpedoes fired.

There is a promise of more play tests to come in order to help test out the technology.   We will see if maybe, some day, this tech will trickle down into EVE Online in order to make fleet fight there less of a slog.

Other views of the event:

Guinness Recognizes EVE Online for Million Dollar Battle

I few years back I mocked Daybreak for hyping up an event to their community simply to be recognized by Guinness.  It was a staged publicity stunt.

Not that that is so bad.  Lots of people do that.  What made my eyes roll was Daybreak claiming how “truly massive” their game was when they could get 1,158 people on the same server.

This happened at a time when EVE Online had already had 4,070 players in the same system and same battle at 6VDT-H.  A battle which CCP didn’t have to stage and hype to the community themselves.  The players just make that sort of thing happen now and again.  Having just 1,158 people in a battle wouldn’t get much attention now or back then, not unless a pile of titans were lost.

But CCP has never sought that sort of official recognition for the scale of their game.

At the EVE Fanfest Keynote CCP Falcon announced that instead Guinness had sought out CCP to find out about the size of the recent “million dollar battle” that had more than 6,000 players clashing in a single event.

And so today Guinness posted on their site about a new record set by that battle:

Fans of space-based video game EVE Online have helped set a new record after achieving the Guinness World Records title for the Most concurrent players simultaneously involved in a single multiplayer PvP videogame battle.

A total of 6,142 players took part in an enormous battle – the Siege of 9-4 – in January 2018 with the certificate being presented to the game’s creators at EVE’s Fanfest event in Iceland on Saturday (14 April).

They also put a note up on Twitter.

It is nice to see EVE Online getting some recognition for what it does well… bringing people together in space to blow each other up.

CCP Falcon and CCP Guard with the official certificate

Now CCP needs to work on their server tech so we can beat the 6,142 high water mark set by the battle.  Also, I am happy we finally have an official number.  CCP was being somewhat vague about the count up until this point.

Quote of the Day – I Got Your Massive Universe Right Here!

“This amazing achievement shows not only how truly massive the PlanetSide 2 universe is, but also how inclusive its online community is,” said Annie Nguyen, Video Games Records Manager at Guinness World Records. “This title truly embodies the international, record-breaking spirit of Guinness World Records.”

Statement at Guinness World Records site

PlanetSide2 got an achievement in that they set the world record for most players in a single FPS battle, managing a peak of 1,158 in their “truly massive universe,” allowing them to join other distinguished record holders at the Guinness World Records site.

That is NOT Blawrf McTaggart!

That is NOT Blawrf McTaggart!

Now maybe they can work their way up to 4,070 players, like the battle at 6VDT-H, or even 2,670 players, the peak number participating at one time at B-R5RB, because 1,158 is something like the population of Jita on a Saturday afternoon.

Okay, I know, this isn’t and apples to apples comparison.  Those EVE Online events weren’t hyped up attempts to set a record by getting people on a server.  They were just fights that happened because of player interaction.

Erm… that wasn’t what I meant.

I mean, having 1,158 players spread out over a whole world map is clearly more taxing than having at least double that number on the station grid in 6VDT-H… plus drones… hrmm…

Battles spread out over the map

Battles spread out over the map

Well, it is certainly easier to render spaceships than… wait, what are those?

Drop ships are not spaceships

Drop ships are not spaceships

Well, at least this record makes more sense than that time World of Tanks got awarded the record for the most concurrent players on a server for a game where you play 15 vs. 15 matches.

Anyway, congratulations to the PlanetSide 2 team!  They showed those other FPS games who was the boss.  Now back to MMOs.

World of Tanks Sets a Record, I Look for the Definition of “Server”

I received this press release from Wargaming.net, the makers of World of Tanks.

I get a press release of some sort from them about once a week and they vary in quality.  But today’s had me… asking questions.

Here is what they said:

World of Tanks Sets World Record

London (24th February, 2011) Wargaming.net is glad to announce that its free-to-play action-MMO game World of Tanks has set up a Guinness World Record™ in the category of Most Players Online Simultaneously on One MMO Server.

The record was registered on January 23rd, 2011 when the number of players on the game’s Russian server totaled 91,311.

“We are excited to see so many people playing World of Tanks and the new record is an important achievement for us,” said Victor Kislyi, CEO of Wargaming.net. “However, with the population of the game growing steadily another week or two would let us report a more impressive record as the current PCCU number surpasses 120,000 players”.

Wargaming.net wants to thank all World of Tanks fans that made this record possible.

Join the beta at: http://game.worldoftanks.com/registration/ (NA server)
Join the beta at:
http://game.worldoftanks.eu/registration/ (EU server)

For more information on World of Tanks, visit http://www.worldoftanks.com/.

This confuses me a bit, since I do not understand what they mean by “One MMO Server.”

Not to bash Wargaming.net or anything, but there isn’t a lot of shared space in the game.  At the most you are involved with 31 other players you can see and otherwise you are in your own private garage or in the queue to get into a battle.  So it isn’t exactly like 91,311 people shared an experience together.

Plus, is under 100,000 really the high point for what we define as a server, shard, or realm?

Surely some game like Guild Wars has already been there, done that.

Or a game that plays like World of Tanks… like, say, StarCraft II?  If you can call WoT an MMO at the moment then the door seems open for StarCraft II, doesn’t it?

So unless they can prove that all 91,311 people were logged into the same single server in their data center rack, I’m not sure this record is very well defined.

What do you think?  Record? No Record? Poor definitions?