TLDR :When incoming ships may overload the grid, create multiple clones of the grid; each with a 'beacon' and a weakened objective. Original target dies when a sufficient majority of the objective clone grid targets are destroyed.
- There is a fight over some object with a re-inforcement timer.
- Very large fleet A arrives on grid early. TIDI happens.
- Very large hostile fleet B arives on grid later. Server starts to whine. TIDI breaks and issues start to happen.
- Reinforcement fleet (from whatever side is losing) arrives and tries to crash the server.
Each clone of the original grid would have a version of the original structure, with less HP. Each grid is hosted on a dedicated hardware server. Compromises are made such that anything not essential to the current fight is ignored. Local for example could be pilots on grid and disregard pilots elsewhere in the system.
The initial move to the grid will be a 'recall drones/fighters/probes'/emergency warp to the new grid. As part of this warp, ships are moved to the new server. Ships are pointed for an arbitrary time (say 15 seconds). Already on grid ships are moved to grid #1. The new fleet is moved to grid #2. A grid #3 without ships is created.
There are now 3 grids, each with 1/2 the original HP (shield/armor/hull). The attackers must destroy their target object on at least 2 grids. If the attacking force leaves a 'defeated' grid undefended, the defenders can run behind and repair.
A 'beacon' would mean it can be warped to by anyone in 'the system'; assuming there is capacity on the requested grid. Ships/squads/fleets can still request to warp to the beacon for another grid; but will only be accepted if there is room (some TIDI is fine; risk of soul crushing lag is not).
The POS question. Assuming it a POS is being attacked, any array inside the forcefield would be available to all instances of the POS. Any POS battery outside the forcefield (i.e. batteries) would be randomly allocated between grid clones. On/Off lining a module inside the array would affect all instances of the POS. On/Off lining a battery would affect the powergrid/cpu of all of the POS instances.
Reinforcements would be handled in a similar manner, with a new grid created (and further reduced structure HP) as pilots start to overwhelm grids.
In order to concentrate pilots into the same fighting zones, preferred access would be granted to pilots on a grid clone over pilots out in general space.
The goalVery large fights around a defend-able object that scale regardless of how many pilots are thrown at it. Dynamically increase the number of 'objectives' according to fleet sizes. Each objective is hosted on it's own 'reinforced server'.
Other notesWhat we know:
- Double the number of ships, and you more than double the server workload.
- Even with Moore's law there is a limit to the server increases we can get. Also Moore's law is looking shaky.
- Alliances will add more pilots to big fights until the server dies, for as long as that works.
- The losing side will claim it wasn't fun.
- The winning side will (usually) claim that CCP did the best they could on the day.
It requires Brain in a box as a pre-requisite.
The next battle of Akasi would be it's own problem. But even that would benefit from the ability to dynamically be shifted to a dedicated server solely looking after the fight.
This is a thought exercise. The numbers are unbalanced in some way. Build a bridge (and get over it). Adjust as necessary the number of grids; the % HP for objective structures on each grid; the % of grids required to be captured. The point is to cause the attacking force to have to move, and for a defending force to repair behind them as necessary.
I also like Vonkeigai's solution : "You mongrels, You overloaded the grid, and made some poor CCP schmuck work overtime. Said CCP schmuck is going to randomly break stuff until some of you just go away. More pilots MOAR DAMAGE. Die ungrateful capsuleers, DIE!!".
Put a gas cloud into each grid. The higher the TIDI, the more general damage done. Damage could even be proportional to signature.
Disclaimer.The only structure grinding I have done in game is POCO and the POS bashing (and most of those were online). My assumption is that most big fights are over some form of reinforcement timed structure; with massive HP.
I do work as a Business Systems Analyst, and have spent many years as Systems Analyst working with very large datasets and number crunching problems. If its too big to chew through in one sitting; cut it up first works.