Myst Online, Uru Live - Usability Survey
|Help us to collect data on how usable you find Uru Live|
Why? Well, it has been apparent for some time that Uru Live works a lot better for some people than it does for others, even though they all meet the stated requirements for the game. Obviously, PC hardware
and Internet performance have a large bearing on this, and many of the topics on the forums touch on this.|
Unfortunately, neither Cyan nor Gametap have any direct visibility of these performance issues other than by comments made in the forums or through support tickets: The forum information is scattered widely, partly anecdotal and generally incomplete as far as technical data is concerened, while support tickets concentrate on only the negative aspects, ie things that don't work, not those that do.
How? This survey attempts to collect users experiences, both positive and negative, in a consistent manner. Hopefully this will allow a reasoned recommendation on minimum system requirements to be established, as well as providing valuable information to assist Cyan in deciding where improvements might be made.
Please read over the notes given below - they are laid out in the same manner as the survey itself. The form asks about the configuration of your PC, and requires you take measurements using tools on other websites, so it may be wise to print a copy of the survey form itself to fill in manually while referring to these notes, then return here to complete the online questionnaire.
If you use more than one PC, you may make separate submissions for each of them, particularly if you find that performance varies between them.
Note: This survey is run by Uru Live users, and is not directly connected with either Cyan Worlds or Gametap.
You are not asked for any personal details which would identify you, beyond your Forum Name on the Uru Live Forums. Information supplied will only be used for the purposes stated above, but may be forwarded to Cyan Worlds and/or Gametap for the purpose of evaluating possible service improvements.
|Please fill in all fields marked with a *|
|Forum Name (as used on the Uru Live Forums)||Feel free to omit this, but if we need any clarification of your entry then we may use a Forum PM to contact you.|
|Location (Country)||Optional, but it may help us to understand distance or location related issues if you can tell us where you live.|
|About your PC...|
|Operating System||* Select from one of the options: 'XP Home, SP1', 'XP Home, SP2', 'XP Professional, SP1', 'XP Professional, SP2' or 'Other'|
|Processor Brand||Select either 'Intel' or 'AMD' as appropriate. If you are unsure, then you can skip this question.|
|Processor Model or Name||If you know the identification of your processor, such as 'Core 2 Duo', 'Athlon XP3000+','Celeron 350M', etc., then enter it here (Hint: You should be able to find this by right clicking on 'My Computer' then selecting 'Properties')|
|Clock Speed (in MHz, eg for 1.6GHz, enter 1600)||* This should be entered in MHz, so if your processor speed is stated in GHz, you'll need to convert it by multipying by 1000. Just enter the number not the units. (Again, you'll find this by right clicking on 'My Computer' then selecting 'Properties')|
|Physical RAM (in MB, eg for 1GB enter 1024)||* This should be entered in MB, so if your RAM is stated in GB, you'll need to convert it by multipying by 1024. Just enter the number not the units. (Again, you'll find this by right clicking on 'My Computer' then selecting 'Properties')|
|Page File Size (aka Virtual Memory, in MB)||* This should be entered in MB. Just enter the number not the units. (This is a little more difficult to find: Right click on 'My Computer', select 'Properties', click on the 'Advanced' tab, click 'Settings' in the Performance field, then select the 'Advanced' tab)|
|Video Card Type (don't worry about brand, just nVidia 6200, Radeon 9800, etc., will do)||* Enter the display adapter type used in your PC. The actual manufacturer doesn't matter here, we're more interested in the chipset used. (Hint: find this by right clicking on a blank area of the desktop, select 'Properties', then select the 'Settings' tab. Click on the 'Advanced' button and select the 'Adapter' tab)|
|Display Memory (in MB)||* This should be entered in MB. Just enter the number not the units. You'll find this value the same way as the video card type.|
|Display Memory Type (is it dedicated to graphics, or is it shared "system" memory?)||Options are: 'Dedicated', 'Shared' or 'Unknown'. Generally, if you have a plug-in video card (eg AGP or PCI Express) the it most likely has dedicated display RAM. However many laptops and some desktop PCs with display adapters integrated into the motherboard used RAM shared from the system's physical memory. If you're uncertain, select 'Unknown'|
|About your Internet connection...|
|The name of my ISP is...||Enter the name of your Internet Service Provider. If you do not know or if you connect via a campus network or similar then just leave this blank.|
|Internet Connection Type||* You may select from 'Cable', 'DSL (ADSL, SDSL, etc)', 'Satellite', 'Cellular (eg 3G)' or 'Other': Choose the option that best describes how you connect to the Internet. Note that this is slightly different from the next question.|
|The connection between my PC and the Modem is...||* Select how your PC is connected to your Internet Modem or Router. Choose from 'Internal (eg PCI)', 'USB', 'Ethernet', 'Wireless' or 'Other'.|
|Advertised Downstream Speed (ie what your ISP says your download speed should be, in kbits/s)||
* Enter this in kbits/s - just the number, not the units. If you don't know this, it can usually be found on your ISPs web site, by looking up the sales material for the "product" that you subscribe to. Be aware of the following conventions:
Connection speeds are usually given in bits/s, but some download programs may show you Bytes/s
|Advertised Upstream Speed (ie what your ISP says your upload speed should be, in kbits/s)||* Enter this in kbits/s - just the number, not the units, as above. With most broadband schemes, the upstream speed will be slower than the downstream speed, and may be 1/4 or less of the figure you entered for the previous question|
|For the next section, use www.speedtest.net and select a "local" server...|
|Local Download (in kbits/s)||
* Open a web browser window to www.speedtest.net. The yellow pyramid on the main map shows your recommended "local" test server. Click on it to run a test (this may take several seconds).
At the end of this, the 'control panel' will show your your test results, like:|
Enter the value from the 'Download' box - just the number.
You may want to repeat these Speedtest checks a couple of times and enter a rough average, as the results can vary. However, it's best to do the checks at the time of day you would mainly expect to be playing Uru Live.
|Local Upload (in kbits/s)||* Using the results collected above, enter the value from the 'Upload' box - just the number.|
|Local Latency (in ms)||* Using the results collected above, enter the value from the 'Your Ping' box - just the number.|
|Now repeat the test using the Atlanta GA (USA) server.|
Don't worry if that's also your "local" server - just duplicate the results...
|Atlanta Download (in kbits/s)||
* If necessary, use the 'Select a Region' map to select the USA servers, then click on the Atlanta, GA server (this is the one closest to where Gametap servers are located):|
Again, enter just the number from the download box.
Why Atlanta? - Based on published information, we believe this is where Gametap's servers are located. Actually, the server doesn't matter that much - this is really a check on the effect of long distance routing for non-US players.
|Atlanta Upload (in kbits/s)||* Enter just the number from the 'Upload' box.|
|Atlanta Latency (in ms)||* Enter just the number from the 'Your Ping' box.|
|From a DOS prompt, type ping file.urulive.com ...|
|Average Ping time to Uru Live file server(in ms)||
* Get a DOS prompt by clicking 'start', then clicking 'Run...' and typing in 'cmd'. At the DOS prompt, enter the command as shown - You're looking for the Average Round Trip time,
which has been highlighted in the example below - Again, it's just the number we need:|
|About your Uru Live experience...|
Some questions require you to make your best estimate - Don't worry too much about precision.
|Typical time from logging in until the Avatar selection screen appears (in seconds)||
* The time from your last login mouseclick or ketstroke until you see the Avatar selection screen. Discount the time for any intro or logo videos.|
Most people will see some variation in this time, so enter a value that seems typical for the time of day you would normally expect to play Uru Live. If you can log in OK, but never reach the Avatar screen, then enter '0' and skip the remaining questions, but enter a note in the 'Comments' field at the bottom, such as "Stuck on Updating screen"
|Typically, how long did downloading a new Age for first time take?||It may have been a while since you last had to download a new Age, so just make your best estimate, and choose the option from the list that best describes your experience.|
|Typically, how long does Linking to a "private" age take?||Again, use your best judgement of Linking time to select the appropriate choice from the list of options.|
|Overall how would you rate Uru Live's performance for Single Player gaming? (1 is Great!, 5 is Awful)||Give a ranking from 1 to 5 - No hard and fast rules here, just your opinion!|
|More typical Linking time estimates...|
|... to an empty public place (Hood or city)||Again, use your best judgement of Linking time to select the appropriate choice from the list of options, but base this on the time you see at your normal playing time.|
|... to a public place with up to 10 other players||As above.|
|... to a public place with up to 20 other players||As above.|
|... to a public place with more than 20 other players||As above.|
|Do you avoid heavily populated areas because of linking problems and/or "lag" issues?||A simple Yes/No answer here.|
|In populated areas, do you experience your Avatar "freezing" or becoming unresponsive?||Some of the visible effects of what is often called 'lag' that you may see are actually other player's problems. Difficulty in moving your Avatar around is probably the most direct effect. Choose the otion from the list that best describes your experience when playing at your preferred time of day.|
|Is your enjoyment of Uru Live "spoiled" by lag and/or long link times?||This generally summarises your feelings from the preceding questions: Are the delays and lags enough to put you off playing the Uru Live as much as you'd like?|
|Overall, how would you rate Uru Live's performance for Multiplayer gaming? (1 is Great!, 5 is awful)||Just for the earlier question, give a ranking from 1 to 5.|
|Any other comments you'd like to make? (These don't get written into the log, but go to the administrator)||Add any comments, that you think help explain your answers, eg if there was something you weren't sure of, if you experience wide variations in performance or if there's some special feature of your setup that you think may be relevant. We may use this to amend your entry or get back to you for more information.|