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I've installed ZK on the new PC

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RUrankivand
8 months ago
Hi!

While I'm in the business trip with my office laptop, I'd like to share my experience dealing with fresh ZK installation. Imagine for a moment I'm a new user and want to see some random replay (which I genuinely want to do)

1) I went to http://zero-k.info/Wiki/Download in order to download a lobby client. While client DL itself is fast, it took me about 50(!!!) minutes to download chobby(zk:menu) & zk:stable. I almost got old waiting for DL to complete and and it's only 500(!!!) MB of size. Very-very slow.

2) After Chobby was finally downloaded I choose Replays --> Download replays and got here: http://zero-k.info/Battles in my Firefox. In the replays I selected this replay: http://zero-k.info/Battles/Detail/451580 and pressed "Watch Replay Now". Once. Then I pressed it again, and again, and again. And surprise nothing happened. No replay started, no error message was shown, just bare silence... Fortunately I'm quite knowledgeable of what to do, so I went back to Chobby and selected "replays" tab and it did show the replay I was looking for.

3) After I selected the replay I was looking for and pressed start, I got the spring's error message "Archive living land v2.03 not found" and afterwards spring terminated abnormally.

If I was a new player and not 6+ years spring/ZK veteran with quite some knowledge of how things work, I'd immediately tag ZK as slow and buggy piece of .... software, which never works and would hardly ever tried it again.

My suggestions:
1) Figure something out with Rapid. It's not rapid at all.
2) Web --> Chobby interaction doesn't work. At least on my PC (Win 10/Firefox)
3) Replay is started without making sure, that required resources (map in this case) are available. Just a big oversight.

Generally I think it's worthwhile that Chobby dev team (whom I truly respect) tested what kind of experience new lobby delivers to new players.

Thank you!
+9 / -0


CZrankAdminLicho
8 months ago
Thanks for your report!
It's always useful to test and re-test new player experience.

I was aware of all these issues and it's reported somewhere, sadly there is too much to do and too little time. So thanks for reminding, these basic things should indeed work.

Regarding download, we hope, that its going to be solved by steam. So that is something we probably wont be looking into atm.


+1 / -0

RUrankivand
8 months ago
BTW, after my spring has crashed, I was unable to find "ZK lobby" program in the start menu. I searched for Zero-K (only found a folder where whole content resides) and Chobby ([why would I know the name?] and it only yields a few random files, which are related to the game itself, but not related to chobby.exe).

Perhaps after the installation has been successful, Chobby should add itself as an "application" to Windows, so in case of crash/restart it's discoverable (so one won't go to http://zero-k.info/Wiki/Download again)
+3 / -0


CZrankAdminLicho
8 months ago
It should make an icon on desktop, was it not there?
+0 / -0

IMrankCovertMagic
8 months ago
So why is the latest lobby program called Chobby.exe? (I get "obby" from lobby, but "Ch"?)

The original was called Zero-K.exe iirc, which made a lot more sense.

+2 / -0


USrankFealthas
8 months ago
I have to agree that it makes no sense to anyone but the devs that the lobby is named Chobby. I can also affirm the points that A: No desktop icon is created and B: No start menu thing is added.

There is very little indication that the install was successful. You have to go digging through your files to find the game.
+1 / -0


JPrankgajop
8 months ago
Not to be escaping responsibility, but all these particular issues sound like infra issues. Except maybe the missing map issue, can't tell for sure, but it suggests lobby didn't do a particular check that it can/and should be able to.

PS: Yes, Chobby's exe should be called Zero-K.exe, so users know what to click. Internally in development, it should be called chobby or zkchobby since then we know what we're talking about.
PS2: For those curious, chobby's name stems from "Chili" + "lobby", as it's the ingame lobby. It runs on uber and supports other games so no reason it should be called ZK Lobby as far as the technical aspects go.


PS3: The most important takeaway from this is that ZK shouldn't be released to Steam until after a long time of dedicated testing. I'd allocate at least one month (but preferably something closer to three) to that alone: meaning complete feature freeze and bug fixing.
+5 / -0


CZrankAdminLicho
8 months ago
Nah JPrankgajop, site does send command to start replay to lobby, it does not really make any difference between zkl (where it works) and chobby, lobby just hasn't implemented it or not properly.. same for starting without map, wrapper offers service to do it and even to download map + start custom spring in one call..
And the installer does make a desktop icon..

So to break it down:

  • slow download (not much way around it, it's not that 60minutes slow here though)
  • icon not in start menu (it's on desktop, can do copy there too)
  • lobby not responding to "start replay" command
  • lobby not checking map presence/sending map name to download to wrapper when starting replay



+0 / -0


JPrankgajop
8 months ago
This "lobby not checking map presence/sending map name to download to wrapper when starting replay" is possible, as I said - I haven't implemented that so I dunno. Wrapper doesn't need to be used as map downloads is something Chobby can do normally.

I don't believe "lobby not responding to "start replay" command" without proof (infolog), because it works for me. Are you sure the command is properly sent? Maybe the user wasn't logged in to the site because the session token wasn't transmitted correctly?
+0 / -0



CArankTheMooseIsLoose
8 months ago
quote:
slow download (not much way around it, it's not that 60minutes slow here though)


People on reddit complained of this same issue, but they got around it using VPNs.
+0 / -0


CZrankAdminLicho
8 months ago
Can you show me a link? It's interesting..
Also for the download on rapid, non ZK servers are used, maybe they have some issues with some regions?

I guess we could prepare zip to download all at once from the main server.
+0 / -0



CArankTheMooseIsLoose
8 months ago
https://www.reddit.com/r/RealTimeStrategy/comments/607tm1/zerok_open_source_rts_successor_to_total/
+0 / -0



RUrankFirepluk
8 months ago
(edited 8 months ago)

stop being lobsters and use bittorrent protocol for downloads
- spring, zk itself and all maps can be easily torrented
- embed torrent support into chobby
- spin up 1-2-3-5 servers(depending on $$$ and desired reliability - use existing one if we're very poor) with ALL needed files, they will be used as initial seeders
- as users start to download new updates they will take significant part of the load off from seeding server(s)
=> faster, more stable and cheaper updates for everyone

and threw this piece of shit called rapid into trash bin pls :|
quote:
Also for the download on rapid, non ZK servers are used, maybe they have some issues with some regions?

no issues if torrenting is used, user base is always geographically diverse

and pls don't tell me about law issues with torrenting, they can go and f*k themselves - there is nothing illegal in using torrenting for a just cause(sharing files that are under OSS license).
+3 / -0


DErankAdminmojjj
8 months ago
till some map has coprighted content.
+0 / -0



RUrankFirepluk
8 months ago
(edited 8 months ago)

don't register such maps on torrent tracker =) let users bear all associated pains
as far as I'm concerned 99.99% zk content is under GPL
+0 / -0


AUrankSortale
8 months ago
this is implemented by wargaming on World of tank and Wold of Warship games
+1 / -0


JPrankgajop
8 months ago
Torrents can be problematic practically, even if you're doing it for the technically legal and even valid reason (just this week I ran into some issues at the uni when I was downloading some dicom image torrents for research).

They're also unnecessary if Steam will be how most of ZK content gets distributed.

Lastly I don't believe your claim that they're universally faster for updates. Rapid provides very small update diffs and I don't see how torrent would beat that (unless you re-impelment your delta update system in torrent - and good luck finding the time to do that).
+1 / -0



RUrankFirepluk
8 months ago
(edited 8 months ago)

quote:
Rapid provides very small update diffs

sure, now go host geographically distributed servers with ur diff files to provide consistent and smooth user experience and don't forget to cover hosting costs those are gonna grow like a snow ball when u increase server count - torrent gives all those for free

Internet is mostly > 10mbit/sec for download nowdays
provided there is enough bandwidth available on the server(s). delta does not matter much unless we are talking terrabytes of regular updates with just a few megabytes changing(which is not the case)

with mine 100 mbit/s I'd get torrent update for a matter of seconds(I get ~ 9 mb/sec from good torrents)
There is some time for discovery required, but I guess this can be mitigated by torrent tracker providing large list of seeds/peers
+0 / -0


JPrankgajop
8 months ago
I don't think you understand the difference between full downloads and diff updates (which is in the 100x).

Geographical location shouldn't matter, should it? Unless you're living under a VPN/blocked IP.
+0 / -0



RUrankFirepluk
8 months ago
(edited 8 months ago)

for me it does not matter if I download half gigabyte of data from capable source
or tenths of megabytes from shitty source
considering nowdays internet speeds this may be true for the large share of user base

quote:
Geographical location shouldn't matter, should it? Unless you're living under a VPN/blocked IP.

oh it does - routing, packet loss, etc...
u can often observe max 200-300 kb/sec download speeds when downloading from another part of the world(which gets even worse if server is overloaded)

sometimes route goes such a way that u almost don't have a connection at all, if u have several sources like in case of torrent problem disappears
+1 / -0
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