ManiaPlanet 4.1 and server issues

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riolu
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ManiaPlanet 4.1 and server issues

Post by riolu » 09 Mar 2019, 01:27

Hello, I am here to (unfortunately) shed some light onto a very prominent problem in this game that seemingly has been put under a rug ever since it first occured.

Brief explanation onto what happened recently:
Yesterday was the scheduled start of season 2 of riolu's XD Race. Everything looked to work out just fine and after a few initial struggles with uploading one map to the server, the race was good to go.
The nightmare, which unfortunately already hit other tournament organizers, has occured to me as well with the server completely collapsing roughly 1.5 minutes into the track. Players lagged out and ended up receiving invalid times, some players even complained about their car steering on its own. The game was absolutely unplayable at that point and this brought a swift end to the evening.

The server was locked to 100 slots, player downloads were enabled and there were a bunch of players in spectator mode as well, hoping for a player slot to open. We played on a Valley map on the official XD Race server, which is using the TMAll titlepack. The server is rented with Toffe's service, who I believe runs Linux on each of the servers that he is hosting.

The XD Race uses a modified version of the Nadeo rounds mode script.

The problems began with players experiencing lag and delay during the warmups. I have set three warmups of 15 seconds each, knowing that other tournaments - such as the TTC - suffer from lag problems, too.


However, after the warmups, the race started smoothly and all 100 racers got off the start line without a slight trace of lag - which is good.


Roughly a minute into the race, first lag spikes appeared and later transitioned into a wave of red times for almost every player on the server. Game over. The server got completely stuck, server controller had a minute of delay and nothing really worked anymore until I killed the server manually.

Season 1 (played in MP4.0) ran perfectly fine with the same settings and under the exact same circumstances without any lag issues with a player average of 70-80. This time around, we hit 100 players and everything collapsed. In this situation, my hands as organizer and caster were tied, since there was nothing I could do to prevent this issue from happening.

I have two reasons why I am writing this up. One reason is to report this problem. The other reason is to try to understand why this gamebreaking problem has not been adressed ever since it came up the first time.
Spam, who has deliberately tried to host his endurance race tournament a good while ago, reported a similar issue in August 2017: viewtopic.php?f=8&t=42400&p=290364#p290364
Related are also these threads: viewtopic.php?f=601&t=42355, viewtopic.php?f=9&t=44480&p=300884#p300884 and this viewtopic.php?f=561&t=41337&start=30.
Players and organizers, who are trying to bring joy and fun to the people by putting energy (and even money) into hosting competitions in your game, are unable to do so since these server problems are making the game straight-up unplayable. There are players that bought all four TrackMania² titles, just to participate in my XD Race - just to find out that the competition can't be hosted in the current state of the game.
Other competitions are being hit by the exact same issue. The list of issues even goes on:


Since MP4.1, the engine sounds (in every environment) randomly cut off at the beginning of each round in a multiplayer session. This issue disappears with decreasing amount of players, but this is also something that ruins the game perception and the fun in competing in big events. Tire skidmarks disappear too, by the way.

I think these issues really need to be adressed as soon as possible. I am saddened to see that this issue has been around for so long without a sign of possibly fixing it.
I am aware that there are priorities to set and that there are other things to work on, but substantial parts of the game just need to work flawlessly and should be maintained immediately to ensure that your customers are enjoying the product.

Thank you for reading,
riolu

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jonthekiller
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Re: ManiaPlanet 4.1 and server issues

Post by jonthekiller » 09 Mar 2019, 15:22

Have you checked if the CPU/RAM were fine on the server?

One setting I put by default on all my servers inside the dedicated_cfg file can help with a lot of players:

Code: Select all

<connection_uploadrate>1000000</connection_uploadrate>
<connection_downloadrate>1000000</connection_downloadrate>
The default value is too small for 100 players.
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xbx
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Re: ManiaPlanet 4.1 and server issues

Post by xbx » 22 Mar 2019, 16:34

Code: Select all

<connection_uploadrate>1000000</connection_uploadrate>
<connection_downloadrate>1000000</connection_downloadrate>
Just to be precise: these values should be set to the actual link rate you have on the server.
If it's too high, it will also cause problems with many players. (if not many players are connected, the limit will not be reached, so it will make no difference)

And yes it has a great influence on the problem at hand. (for which we still don't have a robust solution, it needs a large refactoring of the code).

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riolu
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Re: ManiaPlanet 4.1 and server issues

Post by riolu » 23 Mar 2019, 15:17

Thanks for the replies.
Yesterday I have hosted another server test evening with 80-90 players in the hope of being able to find some more hints onto what's going wrong.
We have indeed been able to pinpoint the culprit of one of the aforementioned problems. The CPLive app developed for PyPlanet caused a memory leak if put under too much pressure, making PyPlanet crash/restart. The issue has been reported to Toffe and further forwarded to the devs of the CPLive app.
This is most likely eliminating the biggest problem, which is the server completely collapsing. Other issues, like the flood of invalid times and disappearing engine sounds, are most likely a client issue. I hope this can be looked into.

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