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WildStar Wednesday Takes a Postmortem Look at First Stress Test

Posted Wed, Jun 05, 2013 by Martuk

The goal of any good stress test is to break things lots of things. Gauging by that, WildStar’s first stress test event affectionately dubbed “Stress Test Part One: The Stressening” by the devs was very successful. In this week’s edition of WildStar Wednesday, Carbine takes a postmortem look at the first stress test, what was learned, and how it will help the MMORPG’s development. A few things discovered during the first event as per the WildStar Wednesday update include the following:

  • For some reason, one instance of the Crimson Isle had as many as 400 players placed on it.  This is bad, because that instance is meant to cap at 20 players (We instance our starting zones for a better new player experience).  But it’s good, because we've already fixed that bug.
  • Sentinel, which is our server monitoring tool, was misrepresenting the names of some players, making it hard for us to see who you actually were while you were logged in. That’s bad, but it’s also good because we were able to diagnose that issue, and a fix is in the works.
  • And the big issue: We are capping out at 10 Mb a second out of our gateway machine. The Gateway machine is so named because it is the gateway between you, and all of our servers. With the information we gathered on Friday, we will be running forensic tests until we can identify if this is a hardware or software issue. Then, we fix it.

From the time Carbine flipped the switch to let players in to test and servers quickly hit critical mass, promptly breaking them in a way that was unexpected according to Live Producer Craig Turner (seen here slowly descending into madness).

“Within 2 minutes of flipping the switch to turn the stress test on, I was literally running through the hallways at the office, Turner said. There was not going to be a slow ramp up of users, oh no. We were at critical mass almost immediately. It was awesome.”

“What wasn’t awesome is that we broke in a way we weren’t prepared for. We had some contingency plans in place to make things playable should we have fallen over in the spots we thought were fragile, but as things tend to happen with new systems; we didn’t know what we didn’t know. The great thing is, is this is exactly what the Stress Test was intending to accomplish. We needed to see what was going to break in new and interesting ways so that we can prevent those problems in the future.”

Today Carbine is running the second stress test now dubbed "Stress Test Part II: The Stress Continues" for those of you chronicling this little adventure. For now, you can read more about the misadventures of the first stress test in this week’s WildStar Wednesday.

Source: WildStar Wednesday: Stress Test Postmortem

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