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The grand, terrible and the Gumpster

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First Epic for me. Here are my thoughts.

 

Good

- LAN!

- Friendly people and a good atmosphere all round

- Helpful staff

- THOSE FUCKING BREAKFASTS WERE GODLY

- Showers. Always a welcome 

- Shop. Was well-stocked and a decent variety of snacky noms to keep the sugar crash at bay for 10 more minutes.

 

Bad

- Toilets, if you don't piss on the seat at home, try not to do it at a LAN, yeah?
- Some people's hygiene. Facilities are available, use them more often?

 

Ugly

- Internal/External network. This is going to be a very specific ranty one, but has lots of knock-on issues. The internet connection and internal network infra is the worst I've ever experienced at any LAN.

     - Seemed to be that every client was limited to approx 2Mbps , or, at best 200Kbps actual download speed from the internet. Now I'm sure catering for a LAN of this size is pretty demanding on an internet connection, but with the prominence of Steam and some games being essentially online-only, doing ANYTHING was painful to the point of insanity. 

     - I was looking forward to maybe streaming a bit. "NOPE, lol, you can't even load a gif, why do you think you could stream?"

     - Listening to some music of my own choosing on Spotify essentially made me connection worthless. Want to play some Diablo while listening to QOTSA? NOPE! Enjoy constant timeouts and lag.

     - We use a mumble server, and had to create a local server because us all connected to the hosted one we use every day was too laggy.

     - Why in God's earth is 10/100 still being used in 2016? 

     - Steamcache is painful with above 10/100 connection. Pulling from a(what I expect is a well-powered) box at a max of 10Mb/s, combined with the size of most games nowadays meant that it was easier and much quicker for us to create a steam backup from someone who does have a game installed, copy it to a USB3 drive and pass it around.

     - We ended up playing more Minecraft and locally-hosted The Ship because playing anything else was too patchy (except, oddly, Overwatch).

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33 minutes ago, BlackDwarf said:

- Internal/External network. This is going to be a very specific ranty one, but has lots of knock-on issues. The internet connection and internal network infra is the worst I've ever experienced at any LAN.

     - Seemed to be that every client was limited to approx 2Mbps , or, at best 200Kbps actual download speed from the internet. Now I'm sure catering for a LAN of this size is pretty demanding on an internet connection, but with the prominence of Steam and some games being essentially online-only, doing ANYTHING was painful to the point of insanity. 

     - I was looking forward to maybe streaming a bit. "NOPE, lol, you can't even load a gif, why do you think you could stream?"

     - Listening to some music of my own choosing on Spotify essentially made me connection worthless. Want to play some Diablo while listening to QOTSA? NOPE! Enjoy constant timeouts and lag.

     - We use a mumble server, and had to create a local server because us all connected to the hosted one we use every day was too laggy.

     - Why in God's earth is 10/100 still being used in 2016? 

     - Steamcache is painful with above 10/100 connection. Pulling from a(what I expect is a well-powered) box at a max of 10Mb/s, combined with the size of most games nowadays meant that it was easier and much quicker for us to create a steam backup from someone who does have a game installed, copy it to a USB3 drive and pass it around.

     - We ended up playing more Minecraft and locally-hosted The Ship because playing anything else was too patchy (except, oddly, Overwatch).

 

Hi, I thought I'd respond quickly to this one with regards to the tech issues:

 

You're correct that we do apply a per-user bandwidth limit of 3mbps down and 1mbps up. On top of this, there is then traffic shaping to try and ensure that gaming traffic works. It's possible that some of the games you were trying were not being classified as gaming correctly and not getting the correct priority. Because of this limit; yes, it does mean that if you try to do multiple things, there will be some impact, likewise, we just don't have the bandwidth available for streaming. We are working with the venue to improve the connectivity for next event; and with adding Overwatch we will be making changes to improve things further. When I have more details on this, I will post here and let people know. I want to remove the per-user limit, but at the moment it's a neccessity.

 

As an example of the amount of load the connections were under, we did a total of 2.18TB of download and 426GB of upload throughout the entire 3 days. 225GB of that upload was just gaming traffic (UDP and some TCP traffic). If enough people are interested, I'll post some stats for everyone.

 

As for internal network speed and being a 10/100 network. We have 24+ customer access switches and we require these to be managed switches to give us the functionality needed to keep the network secure and stable (preventing network loops and such). Because of this, at the moment buying gigabit switches to replace these is expensive (the cheapest option I'd consider right now is a Cisco 3560G-48). In addition, we'd only be capable of running 2gbps back to the aggregation switches at the moment and I wouldn't be happy with that level of contention. Other large LAN parties use 10/100 access switches as well with DreamHack using the exact same switch make and model as we do. We closely monitor the network to ensure that all uplinks are not over-contended. If gigabit network to the desk becomes possible at our scale, we will do it, but at the moment, we just can't afford it.

 

The steam cache is running on a pretty hefty server and sent over 2.6TB to the LAN throughout the course of the weekend (and downloaded over 680GB from the Internet). I understand the frustration that even at 100mbps some of the largest games do still take a while (100mbps is 45GB in one hour), USB3 is still going to be quicker for a new install of a large game. But if it's an update or a patch for a game; or a smaller game, then the cache works really well. We were also caching Windows Update, Blizzard Downloader and a few others as well.

 

Feel free to send me a forum PM if you want more information on any of this or have any more questions.

 

I now return you to your previously scheduled feedback thread.

 

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On 10/17/2016 at 22:25, SGx said:

- I couldn't find any drinking water fountains or dispensers around the venue. This wasn't a huge problem when the canteen or bar was open, but if they weren't, or if there was a big queue of people buying food/booze, it was really hard to get water.

 

Just a quick pick up of this. In the toilets there was a labeled tap for drinking water which you can use. There was also water for sale on the shop for £1 a bottle.

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GOOD

  • Meeting almost everyone from BD again
  • epicLAN staff
  • Paninis and breakfast excellent
  • Oz getting into bed with me at 6am on Sunday after I was rudely awoken

BAD

  • Someone drove into a bush on the A14 which lead to major delays on the way home.  Still advocating for the direct M1 - Kettering conference centre connection which also avoids the speedbumps
  • The lift refusing to go up unless someone runs to the floor above and calls it there.  
  • Internet outages.  Not the end of the world

UGLY

  • See attached from Thursday night
  • Gumpster

 

jack 3.jpg

jack1.jpg

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2 hours ago, gunmens said:

 

Just a quick pick up of this. In the toilets there was a labeled tap for drinking water which you can use. There was also water for sale on the shop for £1 a bottle.

 

In the downstairs toilets? I didn't see one! If you mean the upstairs ones, women didn't have access to those, so I wouldn't know, and staff I asked didn't seem to know either. Water for sale doesn't count as provision of water; tap water should always be available (and ideally, crew should be able to tell you where to get it!).

 

Thanks! 

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i'm gonna have to split this down the middle...

 

good.

  • epic staff and facilities, were pretty on point. KCC have really learnt from experience over the years and it's good to see that future events will continue to get better as a result
  • i heard of no problems all weekend to do with people. seems the behaviour standard of everyone has got better. 
  • taking control of the iron islands in game of thrones risk. then doing my damnedest to get them back . only to lose horribly to midj. 
  • my introduction to Battlestar Galactica.
  • d20 - best of luck to you all, i wish you some great success with this idea. i'd love a place local to me to offer similar services. 

 

 

 

bad.

  • the Overwatch tournament not running to schedule, if people can't play on time, then default win for the other team unless they were delayed by a previous match taking place in the same tournament. 
  • My computer - more detail to come soon. 
  • campsite muddiness- cardboard did help a great deal though.
  • wrecking DJ's mouse and mousemat with a pint trying to fix my pc. 

ugly.

 

  • meh

 

 

 

 

long story short, my fucking PC crocked it at the start of Lan. despite numerous attempts to get her going during the event. it completely shat itself. apparently the back seat of a mini wrapped in bubble wrap and between  2 tents and a sleeping bag, wasn't comfortable enough for it. and the motherboard became defective.

 

i tried all the local shops, Maplins, PC World, Kettering Laptops, yet couldn't find a single thing, and didn't feel like ordering through amazon prime to the conference centre.

 

so there i sat for the remainder of the weekend, taking part when i could but essentially just waiting to go home, other members of 404 use my tent and i'd also lent out my spare laptop but didn't want to take it back and ruin some one else's event.

 

i'd kind of relied on this event to get my video game fix as its been tough at work recently due to my team being sacked at work for breaking company policy.

 

honestly for me a huge downer for my whole weekend. 

 

i hope winbar follows through with the idea of having rental pc's at epic. they are wanted, and would have certainly helped me this weekend. by the end of it i was looking for anything that could just connect to the internet that wasn't completely overpriced. 

 

i'd also like to see the return of some small venders to the epic scene. maybe invite local companies rather than trying to appeal to one of the larger nationwide businesses. i've always thought that epic.lan was about benefiting everyone. why not let some local business profit from this event. it will also encourage these business to take an interest in what they are stocking. and hopefully bring new products to the event. everyone here knows peoples wallets are just a little bit looser at Lan. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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18 hours ago, soup said:

GOOD

  • Oz getting into bed with me at 6am on Sunday after I was rudely awoken

 

you tease, also, rip Jaloobers

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GOOD

KCC nice food varity

EPIC staff

D20 hope you make coming a regular thing(the board games area was busy hope your sales were to :-D)

seeing new faces at werewolves(of any experience)

 

BAD

timetable(apart from werewolves added by astolox)the only thing it listed was big games/fun tounes as big games would have been good to have the dj sets/pub quiz/boat race,

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Bit late, but better late than never!
 

Good:

  • Great first experience for d20 having a stall, we learnt a lot and had a great time!
  • Staff were great, made us feel super welcome and made sure we were ok (and took our icky parma violets!)
  • Tuck shop and catering, always reasonable prices
  • People were really friendly and (hopefully!) enjoyed playing games with us! I particularly enjoyed Choking Hazard and Codenames: Pictures!
  • Codename: Pictures: I gave 2 clues worth 4 words each, made for a very quick game :D

Bad:

  • I'm terrible at remembering names and need to be better!
  • We missed Werewolves cos we were tending to our shop :'(
  • I was really looking forward to the lasagne (I had seconds last time it was there!) but it just wasn't as good this time.  It had olives in it which is random!
  • Chatting in the sleep room. Whhyyyy

Ugly:

  • Some of the toilets were... unusable.
  • We brought a big tub of sweets for the punters but I think I ate most of them :(

 

All in all it was great, d20 will definitely be back!

Edited by chigger
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