Fleet Fight Notification Tool

by CCP Convict3:00pm on Friday 10th July 2020

Hello quarrelsome capsuleers,

We thought it might be timely to issue a reminder about the Fleet Fight Notification tool. This tool is a means for players to give CCP advance notice of upcoming large-scale fights which could attract so many players to a single system or systems as to create a strain on the server and cause performance issues like time dilation which would adversely affect the gameplay experience of all those involved.

The Tranquility server which runs EVE Online is split into a series of nodes. Each node can play host to one or more in-game solar systems and those systems are distributed across the nodes every day during downtime.

A very busy system like Jita pretty much has an entire node to itself since it constantly has a large volume of players in local and a very busy market. On the other hand, a quiet system in the far outer reaches of Omist or a dead-end lowsec system somewhere in Solitude might be placed on a different node which it shares with many other similarly quiet systems that see very little traffic on a typical day. This method is generally how we balance the performance of systems across the cluster so that your experience in high-traffic areas remains consistent with those in low-traffic areas.

Where we sometimes run into problems (and you encounter things like time dilation) is when there is a large volume of unexpected player activity in a system which is on a node that is sharing its resources with several other systems. Some of you may have experienced the result of this in the form of unusual time dilation in an otherwise quiet system due to there being a sudden flurry of activity in an entirely different system several jumps away that your current location happened to share a node with.

Fortunately, we keep a few nodes in reserve for occasions when large player engagements occur so that we can allocate more resources to those battleground systems, and this is where the Fleet Fight Notification tool comes in.

Using the tool, players can let CCP know when a big fight is coming up, such as over a structure timer that one side or the other plans to contest in force, or if one group intends to invade another’s space en masse and attack their sovereignty. But it can also mean occasions where players are organising a public event like Stay Frosty’s Frigate Free-for-All, the annual Luminaire Snowball Fight or World War Chappy which saw 2,000 players show up for a brawl in Tunudan.

With enough notice we can take steps to reinforce the system(s) where the conflict will be taking place by distributing them to these reserve nodes at downtime in such a way that when the fighting does break out time dilation can either be avoided or at least mitigated somewhat. Our resources are limited however, so in order to make sure they’re applied to where they’re most needed please keep in mind the following when using the form:

  • Only a corporation CEO or director can submit a fleet fight notification. If you are working in collaboration with other corporations or alliances please coordinate with your allies so that only one submission is made from your side to prevent unnecessary duplication of requests.
  • Provide as much notice as possible when submitting your fleet fight notification. Systems are allocated to nodes at downtime so after downtime on the day of the fight it may not be possible to move systems to other nodes.
  • Only submit notifications for systems where you are reasonably confident conflict will be unfolding. Speculative requests may result in resources being misallocated to the detriment of other, more contested systems. If a player submits too many vexatious requests (eg. neither side shows up, not even the requesting party) that player's future requests may be given a lower priority in the event we are running short on nodes.
  • Refrain from requesting reinforcement of systems of “convenience”. Eg. a capital ship staging system which you only might want to use in the event that your opponent escalates the fight. Unreinforced, these systems may experience a temporary period of time dilation when there are mass logins after pings go out and when the capital fleet leaves the system, but for the rest of the time these systems tend to be very quiet and take up resources that could be allocated elsewhere. Main staging systems (eg. where the bulk of your subcaps form up regularly) may be an exception for this. Be sure to let us know the purpose of your request when you’re filling out the form in the comments field.
  • Please be as conservative and accurate as possible when entering the coverage time into the form. If you're expecting a big fight over a timer but it doesn't come out until 02:00 UTC you don't need to request reinforcement for the entire day. We also can’t take “reservations” on a node to reinforce a given system for an extended period of time.
  • The Fleet Fight Notification form has an internal timeout of 600 seconds (10 minutes) so make sure you complete the form before that time is up. If your submission is successful you will get a confirmation after you click the “Submit Notification” button at the bottom. If you submit the form and do not get this confirmation, and instead the page refreshes with all the fields empty, your request was NOT received and you should do it again.

In addition we would like to note the following:

  • Although the node allocation process has been automated for some time, during this period of heightened activity, CCP’s Player Experience department will be manually reviewing incoming fleet fight notifications daily to ensure that the distribution of systems to nodes is as optimised as possible for the best overall end-user experience.
  • Please understand there is no way for us to guarantee flawless performance during large fleet fights, even when the node has been reinforced. Although we are continually improving our infrastructure, our bloodthirsty players continue to bring larger and larger forces and there is a limit to what our technology can sustain. We will work our hardest to provide the best experience possible for our players however in the event that large numbers players show up for a fight, high levels of time dilation will be unavoidable.
  • Fleet Fight Notifications are only seen by a small number of Customer Support staff at CCP who treat this as privileged information and it is not public facing in any form. There are no risks to operational security by submitting a fleet fight notification.

EVE Online thrives on conflict and we celebrate the battles and ambitions of our players. It’s something not found anywhere else in gaming. CCP is committed to providing the best experience possible while you’re engaging in digital pugilism so please help us out by letting us know in advance of where and when you intend to fight.