7 Days to Die A13

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pinchhazard
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7 Days to Die A13

Post by pinchhazard » Mon Dec 14, 2015 3:28 pm

7 Days to Die released a major update, version A13, last weekend. While this new version has a lot of great features and new content, the quality of the dedicated server application has unfortunately taken a dive since the relatively stable A12 branch. NFO does a great job, and I've been very happy with NFO's service and support of my managed 7dtd server so far, but I do think NFO should review the issues faced by those of us who run 7dtd servers, and hopefully take some action to work around the problems until we get a patch.

7 Days to Die managed server issues
  • NFO advertises 10 and 50 player managed 7dtd servers. Unfortunately, it's well-known within the 7dtd community that running a server that regularly sees over about 20 players at a time is unrealistic. Even on powerful hardware, the game server simply does not run that well with too many players. I ordered the 50 player managed server, but I don't expect or even want 50 player capacity. I limited my server to 15 players in the dedicated server configuration. So I'm fine not getting the full 50 player capacity, but would recommend that NFO not offer 50 player servers for this game. This issue isn't specific to A13, but it bears mentioning, as the current build of A13 is the least efficient server release yet.
  • 7dtd A13 consumes a lot of CPU time and tends to cause servers to run pretty hot. My managed server was being auto-restarted every 10 minutes due to high CPU usage, even with only a couple of players on the server, until I spoke with Support and they removed the auto-restart. Recommendation: Remove auto-restarts for CPU usage from all 7dtd servers until a more efficient dedicated server application is released.
  • Here's the thing that is still affecting me: 7dtd A13 has known memory leaks in both the Windows and Linux dedicated server software. My server was just auto-restarted by NFO for exceeding 8 GB memory usage after being up for less than a day with between 2 and 6 players on for most of that time. Unfortunately, this auto-restart impacted players by causing rollback of some in-game stuff. While I'm hopeful a patch will be released soon, until then it seems inevitable that this is going to continually affect servers with even a small number of players. Recommendation: If it's realistic for NFO's bottom line, relax the 8 GB auto-restart restriction on 7dtd servers until the leaks are patched. As a compromise, I would happily accept a forced restart during a low-traffic time (middle of the night) in exchange for not having my server auto-restarted during a busy time.
tl;dr: New version of the game A13 has some problems, and although you can rent a server with 50 player slots, nobody is going to be able to run a server with 50 players on a time. From what I'm seeing, even 10 players might be pushing it. Until the game receives much-needed patches to its dedicated server, is it possible for NFO to relax some of the restrictions that are in place on the managed server?

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Re: 7 Days to Die A13

Post by Edge100x » Mon Dec 14, 2015 4:01 pm

We're in the process of re-examining 7dtd in light of its problems, especially following the latest patch.

Prices will need to be raised and we will have to add a clear memory limit on the order page, as we do for Rust. This will make it more transparent that servers can't use unlimited amounts of memory.

The 50-slot option was meant as just a general "basically as many as you want to try to do" one. It was our hope that eventually it would be possible to handle that many, as other games like Rust, Minecraft, and Ark can do. It doesn't sound like that is improving and we expect to have to remove that option and come out with other trim levels.

Removing the backstop 8 GB limit will not be possible on our standalone hosting, as at that level, the server will be impacting other customers and potentially causing serious problems for the machine. On dedicated servers, we may be able to change it; we will have to look into the possibility further. Realistically, though, if their server has such bad memory leaks that it jumped up to 8 GB in less than a day, then a higher number would not make much of a difference.

In terms of CPU, we may have to disable that check entirely for everyone, yes. We really don't like this because it means that we won't be able to detect when a server is truly broken and just busy-looping to kill a CPU.

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Re: 7 Days to Die A13

Post by pinchhazard » Mon Dec 14, 2015 6:45 pm

Thanks for the reply. It's unfortunate that prices might be raised but I understand why.

Some good news, though. The developers just released a patch, A13.2. While this version doesn't have any server fixes listed in the changelog, they did say that they are aware of the high CPU and memory usage and are working on some fixes:
Note: we are working on the mysterious bad framerate and high ram usage being reported on servers only and have some un-tested fixes in the works stay tuned.
So it's not happening right now, but they've released a patch every day since the big update to A13, so I'm confident they will have something for us soon.

I'm keeping a close eye on my server, and I'll continue to update the thread if I notice improvements or other changes in performance.

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Re: 7 Days to Die A13

Post by pinchhazard » Wed Dec 16, 2015 12:30 pm

Good news everyone! The 7dtd dev team has announced that the release of the next patch is imminent. They report that we should see significant efficiency improvements in the dedicated server.

The patch hasn't been released yet, but it's expected to come out today. I'm monitoring the situation closely and I'll report back after my server updates.

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Re: 7 Days to Die A13

Post by DoctorFink » Wed Dec 16, 2015 10:59 pm

A13.3 was just released. Word on the street is that things have improved greatly on the server-side.
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Re: 7 Days to Die A13

Post by pinchhazard » Wed Dec 16, 2015 11:32 pm

We'll have a better picture tomorrow, but so far tonight things are looking vastly improved. Memory usage is down to a more reasonable level. CPU usage is about the same.

The red arrow here shows when the upgrade to A13.3 took place on my server:

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Re: 7 Days to Die A13

Post by DoctorFink » Thu Dec 17, 2015 12:13 am

pinchhazard wrote:We'll have a better picture tomorrow, but so far tonight things are looking vastly improved. Memory usage is down to a more reasonable level. CPU usage is about the same.

The red arrow here shows when the upgrade to A13.3 took place on my server:

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Not too shabby. A buddy of mine that's been hosting his own server since A7ish concurs it's gotten much better but he expects to see even more optimization in A13.4-13.5.

Debating whether to sign up for one now or wait a bit longer.
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Re: 7 Days to Die A13

Post by pinchhazard » Thu Dec 17, 2015 3:55 pm

Well, don't let server performance be the thing that holds you back. A13.3 seems to have fixed the worst of the dedicated server resource issues.

My server hasn't gone much over 4 GB memory usage since A13.3. CPU usage is also down a bit, and it now seems to better correlate to the number of players on the server.

There are still a lot of new gameplay and client performance bugs in the A13 line as compared to A12. But thankfully they seem to have fixed the worst of the resource problems on the server side. My server went from being auto-restarted every few hours due to high memory usage, to not having had a single auto-restart since the update to A13.3.

If we continue to hold steady through tonight's peak-traffic time, I'll be ready to declare the worst of the server issues resolved.

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Re: 7 Days to Die A13

Post by .=QUACK=.Major.Pain » Sat Dec 19, 2015 6:43 pm

I would expect prices to nearly double with this last patch.
Our server used to run at about 700,000-1,100,00 memory with 5-6 players

We now hit nearly 3,000,000 with just 1 player.

Extremely crappy update.
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Re: 7 Days to Die A13

Post by DoctorFink » Mon Dec 28, 2015 10:41 am

.=QUACK=.Major.Pain wrote:I would expect prices to nearly double with this last patch.
Our server used to run at about 700,000-1,100,00 memory with 5-6 players

We now hit nearly 3,000,000 with just 1 player.

Extremely crappy update.
Word on the street is A13.5 was the best for performance. Some are saying A13.6 is decent, but not quite as good as A13.5.

What kind of performance are you seeing on this latest patch? Do you do a full wipe and reinstall every patch? Curious.
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Re: 7 Days to Die A13

Post by DoctorFink » Mon Dec 28, 2015 10:44 am

One other note, mostly to NFo...

I spoke with Madmole (one of the main developers of 7DTD) and he said the game was never designed as a massive multiplayer. He said around eight players is the sweet spot - anything more than that and it's more than likely going to have issues.

Might look at offering just an 8-slot server, perhaps even a 4-slot option or something. I think people standing up 50-slot servers is just asking for massive issues.

Just a suggestion and thought pinch and Major might find it interesting.
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Re: 7 Days to Die A13

Post by .=QUACK=.Major.Pain » Mon Dec 28, 2015 10:58 am

We had an issue where if you died by a bear, it caused a memory leak and the server eventually crashed from overload.
Restarting and joining the server, you joined in just before death and died from bleeding from bear attack, and overloaded again and again.

We had to wipe the entire world just to start over and be able to play.

I posted on their forum about the issue, but they don't care.
The updates are all about cosmetics and ignore the broken mechanics of the game.
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