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CCP Introduces Quasar, the New Networking Foundation of EVE Online

Project Sanguine's successor is coming next week.

Christina Gonzalez Posted:
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CCP is always looking to fine tune the EVE Online experience. The game's loyal community has seen a number of changes and events over the past decade. Through even recent updates intended to make the game friendler to newer players as well as reduce the learning curve some, there has been another change in the background. Today, CCP decided to shine a light on Quasar, the successor to Project Sanguine and the next phase of the EVE Online networking tech process.

In a devblog, the entire process behind moving forward in this way is detailed. The last time, they note, that the networking layer was changes was a decade ago, in 2011. That year came CarbonIO, which worked with Python. Since then, everything, every optimization has to be worked through Python's Global Interpreter Lock (GIL). Well, in a world in which technology changes and morphs in so many ways rapidly, this foundation has lasted for a significantly long time. 

There were cracks showing, however. The system requires messages to be sent immediately when someone takes an action, and while the CCP team says that CarbonIO has handled things well for the most part, it's just time to work with a system that is more flexible. They note, "bottlenecks associated with the GIL were rediscovered, but with a clearer picture of their expensive manifestations: message routing, serialization, and transmission. If one ship fires one laser in the middle of 1000 ships, that’s 1000 messages which need to be sent immediately all over the globe. The simulation must address that message to 1000 destinations as a copy (message routing), convert that data to a wire format (serialization), and then send the data over the wire (transmission). " 

The new system Quasar, can be targeted to specific parts of the network and all of the messages can be routed outside the GIL. The recent release of Skill Plans was accomplished while never having to communicate through Tranquility or the database. Essentially, CCP is increasing its capacity and the ability to create a more stable journey. Specifics can be targeted. One of the tests that involved No Downtime for Tranquility was part of this overall progression. No Downtime was possible because of this new system, where there's more flexibility and no need to shut down the whole system for many changes or adjustments.

There's a whole lot more in the very detailed devblog, which you can find here. Overall, with Quasar set to take over  next Tuesday, September 14th, the look ahead to more shoring up and foundational changes.


Christina Gonzalez

Christina is MMORPG.COM’s News Editor and a contributor since 2011. Always a fan of great community and wondering if the same sort of magic that was her first guild exists anymore.