Will Zwift's success kill it?

(John Ellis (Mtl)) #1

I appologize if this subject has been discussed but I couldn’t find any record.

Yesterday I believe there was over 9000 riders on NYC. It was so packed that my usual 60 FPS sometimes dropped to 19 FPS. It was so busy that I felt it affect the riding experience. My point is that to be a successful company Zwift wants as many users as possible. I wonder how they will handle this influx of riders? I guess being able to choose different locations would help also maybe being able to filter who you ride with would also help. I.e. filter out those huge group rides, etc. What do others think?

(G) #2

I don’t see this as a serious problem (note I’m not a pro). Imho it can be solved via :

  1. open more worlds simultaneously … all in one

  2. add more worlds/routes

  3. and last but not least … you can “instance” all those worlds … it means … “parallel” worlds … some riders are sent to instance 1 - Watopia #1, other to instance 2 - Watopia #2 … etc … all worlds are the same and they exist in the same moment, but with separate “load of riders”. You can create as many instances as necessary to control and equalize network traffic … some online games use this approach already afaik …

3 Likes
(Kevin) #3

I did Stage 2 of the Tour de Zwift yesterday with over 3,500 people. Personally, I did not enjoy it because it was so crowded. I agree with them a large part of their success is due to the social aspect but too much of a good thing ceases being good. I believe they need to do something. I hope their world choice will help free rides but I think they still need to resolve events like the TDZ.

Despite what some people claim on the forums, I do believe Zwift looks at the feedback from users and tries to find the right balance of giving the bulk of users what they want while keeping Zwift successful. They will never please everyone but if this is an issue for a large part of their user base, they will come up with a solution. The investors that just put in $120M clearly believe Zwift can overcome any issues and in fact grow.

(Fez) #4

Word is that Zwift are looking at implementing a calendar system at some point in the future that may have two worlds available on any given date. It may have been on the Zwiftcast in an interview with Eric Min a few weeks ago. Someone please correct me if i am mistaken. Details weren’t chiseled in stone as I recall.

(Miles Orchard [Pack][SZR][ZF]) #5

Unless I was determined on riding a particular world i.e. for an event or group workout I wouldn’t mind logging in and randomly asigned a world and then riding whichever one the system logs me into!

(G) #6

Yes, NY is crowded as hell … I like NY, but it’s small world … and I really don’t understand why they schedule it for weekends …

Today I took a part in Tour dZ - stage 2 in NY …crowds all around … I saw some folks riding in circles (probably network problem) and some fellas (wearing TdZ’s jersey) turning in wrong direction - peloton went right, but dozen (guess) riders turned left … etc … it happened several times. Not sure if it’s caused by too many “players/riders” simultaneously …

(Kevin) #7

Here is the official Zwift information on ‘Map Choice’:

https://zwift.com/news/9309-mapchoice

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(Claus) #8

I definitely find that the last week has been horrible - way too many riders online at the same time, it feels like riding through a crowd of people all the time.

Another thing for me is that it destroys the social aspect of Zwift. You don’t chat with people around you or interact with them in any way when “people around you” is an ever changing group of hundreds and hundreds of people.

I recently used the world hack to ride Alpe du Zwift on a non-Watopia day. We were 20-30 random strangers on the mountain – chatting, interacting and encouraging each other. That doesn’t happen with crowds this large.

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(Colin O'Herlihy) #9

I’m new to Zwift. Does the program/software not run as smoothly when there are very large volumes of riders logged in? That’s been my experience on the two stages of the TdZ so far. Graphics were jumpy, delay in the feedback numbers, etc., although it did deem to improve as the stage went on (notwithstanding the fact that I was one of those riders whose avatar was sent off in a wrong direction after about 10K). It’s almost put me off attempting any more stages of the TdZ. PS My computer does meet the recommended requirements.

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(John Ellis (Mtl)) #10

More riders puts a heavier load on your computer because more graphics card power is needed to render more animated objects.

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(Colin O'Herlihy) #11

Okay, thanks John, that makes a lot of sense. Maybe time to power up the graphics card so?

(Alexander Perdon (CTWT)) #12

Instead of the replies above, I just very like the real big events. In fact when I choose a stage I prefer the ones with lots of other riders. Yes it can be crowded at the start and at the begin of the first climb yesterday in stage 2, but after 10-15 mins most riders are already wide spreaded over the course. Furthermore, it is a fantastic feeling to overtake 100-200 other riders in the first steep parts of the climb. Amazing. And since I am a lightweight with low raw wattages I gain a lot of advantage with these crowded events because there is more draft for me. If I can not hold it anymore in one group, another group is just seconds behind. With less crowded events I loose a lot of time while in between groups and most of the time I will be riding alone. More than 2000 riders is just perfect for me.

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(John Ellis (Mtl)) #13

In Zwift, a powerful graphics card always helps… even more than a powerful CPU. As a test you could try lowering your screen resolution. It may not look nice but it will help you determine if a new graphics card would help. Also it should be pointed out that there may have been more riders because of the Christmas vacation.

(Colin O'Herlihy) #14

Thanks again John for your help with this, much appreciated, I’m glad now that I posted. I’ll follow your advice and take it from there.