Eve Online's mad time dilation tech beats lag

Eve Online - space explodes good

The time dilation feature added to Eve Online last month is a good example of CCP's weird genius. It's an elegant solution to a problem that's plagued Eve's epic conflicts for years: server lag. Time dilation stops pauses, juddering and drop outs by spreading the server load of a big scrap across multiple star systems, turning game-breaking time skips into a gentle slow motion effect. According to a recent post on the Eve Online blog , the system seems to be working.

"I want to share my favorite two graphs of the past few weeks with you folks," says CCP Veritas. To have a fortnightly favourite graph, you must look at a lot of graphs, but this one is pretty good. It shows how the time dilation kicks in as soon as server load is detected, reducing the game speed for players affected players and, most importantly, restoring the game to its natural speed afterwards.

This snapshot was taken during a massive fight on one of Eve's nodes, server components which support many of Eve's star systems at a time. CCP posted an account from Lovelocke on Eve Swarm , one of the players involved in the fight. "The lag was barely noticeable," he said. "1400+ in local, super capitals with fighter bombers swarming, doomsdays, Drake missiles, etc, yet with TiDi in full force there were no crashes, no unresponsive modules, no MWD's that wouldn't turn off."

"Astonishing. I still don't fully understand what TiDi is, its explanation far too technical for my fragile little mind, but whatever it is CCP have certainly struck gold," he adds. You're not alone, Lovelocke. You're not alone. In conclusion, it looks like Time Dilation is working. Now all that's left is for CCP to apply slow-mo time dilation principles to real war. Oh wait, I forgot. Platoon got there first.


This one shows how players across the cluster were affected during the battle. CCP Veritas calculates that "12.87 hours of simulation time in total have been dilated out of existence" during the 12 days measured. "The spike down at the end there is our new TiDi-enabled shutdown routine, which pauses the universe while shutting down," Veritas adds. "It's kinda neat like that."

Tom Senior

Part of the UK team, Tom was with PC Gamer at the very beginning of the website's launch—first as a news writer, and then as online editor until his departure in 2020. His specialties are strategy games, action RPGs, hack ‘n slash games, digital card games… basically anything that he can fit on a hard drive. His final boss form is Deckard Cain.