by Tina Benoit in [ Announcements ] on, Apr 25, 2018 11:50 PM UTC 92  comments

A Hot-Fix is scheduled to occur on Thursday, April 26th at 2:00PM PST (21:00 UTC), to address the following fixes:

Front End Loading Time Optimization
Over the years MWO has grown significantly.  Where you once existed in one localized area of the front end, we have since added Faction Play, Comp Play and Solaris making it possible to be in some areas and not others.  For example, you may be in the Quick Play area all the time and never go into Faction Play, Comp Play or Solaris areas.  The way the system operated was to load the entire front end experience whether you visited those other areas or not and under this scenario, you'd be loading Quick Play, Faction Play, Comp Play, Solaris, MechLab and the Store.

We have found a way to optimize what gets loaded when you enter the game and navigate through your play areas.  The system will no longer load the entirety of the front end and will only load what is necessary for what you are wanting to view.  The initial load will be to the Quick Play Home Screen as usual and as you are used to after all these years.  It will not however, load Faction Play, Comp Play, Solaris or the Store.  This is a major reduction in load time for the initial load into MWO.  If you choose to check out Faction Play, it will trigger a short load to load the Faction Play part of the front end.  This one time load will now allow you to switch between Quick Play and Faction Play seamlessly.  If you enter Comp Play, this will trigger a short load of the Comp Play part of the front end.  You can now switch between Quick Play, Faction Play and Comp Play seamlessly.  Essentially each load will load that area into memory and will stay persistent until unloaded/dumped by dropping into a match or leaving the front end in general.

That being said, this happens only while you are in the front end.  Places where you exit the front end will restart this process over again.  These places include dropping into a match, logging out of the client, entering the tutorial and/or Training Grounds.  Upon returning, the front end needs to reload but again will only load what is needed for the screen you return to.  If you love playing Solaris matches, you will first load into Quick Play upon first logging into MWO.  Clicking the Solaris tab will cause a short load to load the Solaris area of the game.  Launching into a match dumps the front end and loads the game/map/’Mechs/etc to let you play.  After the match is completed, the system loads the Solaris Home area of the front end which is magnitudes faster than previously as it will NOT be loading Quick Play, Faction Play, Comp Play etc.  This is major improvement in getting back to the front end and queuing up for the next match.

Database/Store Loading Optimization
The other main area is database store improvements.  Several areas of store access has been significantly optimized, and in particular, subsequent loads.  The initial login to the MWO Client will have a shorter database retrieval time.  Subsequent loads like coming back from a match will have a very short database retrieval time as well.  This combined with the above sectional loading process should show a dramatic improvement in load times.

Test Account with 751 owned ‘Mechs:
Before hotfix
Initial load: 67 seconds
Subsequent loads: 50 seconds
After hotfix:
Initial load: 32 seconds
Subsequent load: 14 seconds
Initial load: 35 seconds faster (52% faster)
Subsequent load: 36 seconds faster (72% faster)

Test Account with 10 owned ‘Mechs:
Before hotfix
Initial load: 50 seconds
Subsequent loads: 40 seconds
After hotfix
Initial load: 25 seconds
Subsequent load: 14 seconds
Initial load: 25 seconds faster (50% faster)
Subsequent load: 26 seconds faster (65% faster)

Player Card/Leaderboard
It was discovered that players are able to view the loadout of a player selected from the leaderboards by clicking the MechLab tab in Solaris.  This was never intentional as the player card was meant to display minimal build information of the selected player’s basic weapon loadout on their most recently used ‘Mech. To that end we will be diverting the player to their own MechBay when MechLab has been clicked.

Due to the exposure this bug has brought, we will be investigating the potential of adding it as an actual feature along with being able to view a player’s skill tree for the associated ‘Mech.  However, in the spirit of competitive play, a layer of privacy in relation to a player’s complete build profile and Skill Tree may prevent this from happening in the future.  We’d actually like to get your thoughts on whether or not players should have full detailed information about your build or not.

Solaris C-Bills/XP Rewards
We have been reviewing the concerns about the discrepancy between Solaris and Quick Play/Faction Play in terms of C-Bill gains per minute of gameplay.  We found a display error in which the base payout from Solaris Patrons was not being added to the total shown on the End of Round screen.  This was a display error only and players were receiving the full payout.  This lead to a major perceived notion that Solaris was not paying as much as Quick Play and Faction Play.  This has been fixed in this hotfix.

After looking into the above situation, we found that currently it’s possible to play, on average, just over 3 Solaris matches in the time it takes to play 1 Quick Play match.  Using these metrics and looking at the average CB payout in each mode, it was showing that Solaris was paying near identical levels of CB as Quick Play.  With the decrease in load time fix in this patch, it is now possible to play more closer to 4 Solaris matches in the time it takes to play 1 Quick Play match. This means that Solaris will be outpacing quick play on average but in addition we have decided to incentivize Solaris a little further by increasing base Patron payouts by a further 5,000CB.  Winning a Solaris match will result in a base Patron payout of 25,000CB (up from 20,000) and 20,000CB(up from 15,000CB) for a loss.  

We’ll also take this opportunity to increase Patron XP payouts as well.  (XP Payouts had the same slight discrepancy between Solaris and Quick Play.)  XP payouts will be increased from 200XP for a win and 150XP for a loss, to 250XP for a win and 200XP for a loss.

We will continue to monitor the situation to make sure the two game modes are similar to each other in terms of rewards and will make the necessary changes to fix any discrepancies.

Other Fixes:
- The Urbanmech UM-SC left arm energy hard points have been corrected to 3 instead of 4.
- Fixed a bug where sometimes the Supply Cache were not being rewarded in Faction Play when filling the Supply Cache bar.
- Fixed a bug where some Supply Cache items were not being added into the player's account.
- Watch List requirement has been lowered to 1850 Elo requirement which will now be showing matches you might be interested in spectating.
- Fixed an error which occurred upon entering the Skills tab after viewing one's Player Card.
- The Map banning timer phase has been reduced to 5 seconds instead of 10 for Solaris matches.
- Toggle Bolt-on keybind has been added to Configure Controls Settings with "L" as the default.


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