Statement from WG - Tick Issues and Possible Fix - Compensation is 5 Days of Premium Days

Statement from WG - Tick Issues and Possible Fix - Compensation is 5 Days of Premium Days

We’d like to share some important information about an issue which has recently been discussed in the community.

The issue in question causes ships to have a lower rate of fire than intended. Namely, it affects ships with fast main battery reload speeds when they use the sequential fire mode, or simply when they are constantly firing and re-firing their guns the instant they reload. The faster the reload speed on the ship, the more noticeable the issue is. If the guns are fired at irregular time intervals or if a ship has a slower reload time altogether the issue is hardly noticeable.

In other words, if you play a ship with a rapid-firing main battery and shoot continuously (either by holding down the left mouse button or constantly tapping it), you might notice that the rate of fire will begin to slow down.

The problem arises due to the way data is exchanged between the server and each player’s computer during a battle. In fact, it has nothing to do with commander skills, upgrades, or other modifiers, it is part of the basic firing mechanics of the game, and it works the same way for everyone.

Corrections are already underway:

We’re currently planning to fix the problem as it affects the sequential firing mode (continuously holding down of the left mouse button) specifically in Update 0.11.2. We already have a solution, but it needs to be tested first to make sure that it won’t harm the game’s performance.
However, the problem also applies to continuous firing (constant trigger tapping) and this can only be solved by reworking a significant part of the base game code. We will begin work on this task immediately, but we cannot yet say for certain how long it will take to complete. Rest assured; we'll be keeping you updated on our progress.
Even though this issue has existed as part of the core mechanics of the game since its release and did not directly affect aspects like Commander Skills, we do still acknowledge the effect it may have had on the experience of some players. Thus, the players who login into the game until the end of February (00:00 UTC, the 1st of March) will get 5 days of WoWS premium account.

We apologize for the inconvenience caused by this issue. If you are interested in the technical details behind the problem, please read on.


When did the problem occur?

The functionality that causes the problem has been in the game since the very beginning. Due to how inconspicuous it is, coupled with the fact that in the early years of World of Warships there just weren’t very many fast-firing ships in the game, it remained unnoticed for a long time.

Where does server-client communication come in?

There are hundreds of small events taking place at any given moment that all come together to form one big picture. Shells fly, torpedoes launch, ships and planes manoeuvre… Meanwhile, the server is busy “calculating” every one of these actions in order to simultaneously send all players an accurate depiction of what is happening before their eyes. To optimize performance, the frequency of these calculations on the server can be regulated by grouping them all together into packages of calculations that can be measured with what we call "ticks." Each tick represents the short time interval that occurs between two calculation packages being processed. Due to the relatively slow pace of World of Warships’ gameplay, the frequency was originally set to 7 ticks per second. This rate is enough for the vast majority of the game mechanics to work correctly. However, as it turns out, the continuous firing of rapidly reloading guns tests the limits of this hidden mechanic.

When a gun is reloaded in World of Warships, it can only actually fire on the closest server tick. If the reload finishes exactly between two ticks, there is a delay while the server “waits” for the next tick to occur. 1/7 of a second is a very short time, but with the constant firing of several guns with a fast reload, it can become noticeable.

Secondly, during sequential firing (continuously holding down of the left mouse button), the check for the possibility of firing occurs every two ticks, which, causes an additional delay.

How will the problem be solved?

With regards to sequential firing, we have the potential to fix the problem by tweaking the game settings. We will increase the server check frequency to every tick instead of every two, then check how it will affect the performance of the game. If the testing is successful, we will apply the change to the game as soon as possible (hopefully already in Update 0.11.2).

As for continuous firing through constant trigger tapping, here we need to "teach" the game and its server to take into account the rest of the reload and the end of the reload of a gun between ticks. This task is much more difficult, since it will require rewriting part of the base game code. We have already begun working on it, but it is difficult to say at this time how long it will take. We will try to find a solution and deliver it to the live version of the game as quickly as possible.

Why not just increase the tick frequency?

The vast majority of game mechanics work perfectly with the current frequency, and the server-side of the game is optimized for it. A variety of events take place simultaneously in World of Warships. The game is very complex and rich in terms of information that the server needs to process. However, since the pace of the game is relatively slow, calculations of 7 times per second allow you to maintain a high level of quality and responsiveness. The problem with rapid-firing guns is the only one we know of so far that has to do with the frequency of server calculations. In this case, it makes more sense to solve this problem locally, rather than making global changes to the interaction between the client and the server.

What about ship balance? Are any changes needed on this front?

As this issue has been in the game from the very beginning, all calculations on balance and combat effectiveness were carried out under the same conditions. Therefore, no changes are required at this time. However, we will closely monitor live statistics and make adjustments if necessary.

We hope this information has helped you better understand what this issue is and how it affects the game. We will do our best to fix it as soon as possible. Thank you for your understanding.

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