Major Lag & AI improvements possibility

Would you consider running a seperate server just to handle AI and to improve performance ?

  • Total voters


OpenDayZ Guru!
Staff member

I have spent the last couple of days looking into how to optimize server performance with big numbers of AI.

There is a functionality available for a couple of months now, called a "Headless Client".

In short, what i can do (and did) with it, is to move all the processing power needed for AI calculations (movement, spotting, shooting, reactions etc) to a seperate server instance, the mentioned "headless client".

What this requires is another box, or another instance on your serverfarm, that will be dedicated to AI handling only. This "headless client" will need an additional Arma 2 OA license key, as it connects to the dedicated server as a normal client would do.

Some of the big ArmA communities use this setup (e.g. MSO) very successfully.

This poll is to get a feeling on IF there are enough server owners out there that would consider such a step - or if the majority of you is happy with a standard out-of-the-box "insertprovidernamehere" server.

If some of the big sites are interested in that, i will adjust SARGE AI to be fully able to run either on a dedicated server with all the other Dayz stuff (as it is now) OR run all the SARGE AI logic on a headless client.

Thx for your feedback,

cheers, Sarge
dude, you've programmed a BEAST of an addon. you wanna take it to another level to help our FPS. i'm right there with you. as soon as i get the server running again, i'll test anything you want me to. keep in mind we're running on .st until the 11th.


OpenDayZ Guru!
Staff member
I already have one running on my server. I am using basic AI with it (60 static spawning), but I would gladly use yours and test if for you if you made it compatible. I was planning to use yours, but all over the place in your scripts and upsmon there is:
if (!isServer) exitWith {};

if (isServer) then {
    UPSMON shoots here
Which kicks HC out of the script.
sounds good to me. I paid major attention to ensure that all my AI handling is happening serverside only, already having in mind to move that to a HC.

Adjusting will need some time and testing, i will gladly come back to you for testing runs and performance checks.

The numbers i saw from MSO were impressive - 100 players onlin, AI on the server = 4 FPS. same number of players, AI on HC, 45 fps ...

cheers, Sarge
Although I selected no for this poll, it does sound like a very good thing to do. For me; at the moment anyway; running another server just for AI is not feasible. I'm hosted with HFB and not on a dedicated at this time.


OpenDayZ Guru!
Staff member
Another thing to keep in mind before starting this project:

This issue still exists. When the AI are far away from where the headless client is placed (1km+) then there will be a delay between where the HC AI see you and where you actually are. They will actually shoot at where you were 15-30s ago and kill you. For very large distances like 6km+ it is a huge discrepancy and is completely unusable. This wouldn't really be useful for your random dynamic spawning AI at all since they are placed all across the map.

I guess someone could run multiple HC spread out evenly across the map, but that would require multiple arma2 licenses and a lot of setup.
Are you sure about this ? I am aware of the ticket, but the last entry from dys is :

Closing this, we've seen no issues since the last bugfix.
I will gladly buy a new arma license if it means i can offload AI - especially if this will mean I can turn the AI dial up a little too with more checks and increased sensing distance?

I'll be on a fibre connection pretty soon (14th may) so this may mean less of a lag effect as mentioned above.


Well-Known Member
Sarge - I think this is a great idea, however I wouldn't be able to afford it :(

Would it be an OPTION, or the ONLY way to run Sarge's AI?

Also, would it be possible to run it on a Linux box, or would it be Windows only> :p


OpenDayZ Guru!
Staff member
It's an option. you can still run the AI on the dedicated server.

Given that the HC is using a real client, Linux is out of scope here.
Sounds really good to me ! Especially knowing i am getting serious lags when adding static AI to my server, to the point that i had to delete them because removing my hatchet from the toolbelt took around 1 minute :p (Yes i know my server is crap, that's normal, my server is my own PC for the moment >< )...

But there is one thing obviously not so cool to me, i'm total noob in this so don't laugh at me but isn't there a way to do it without having to buy another game license ? Obviously by doing such and improvement you are aiming for BIG servers that have the means to buy new licenses and all that's needed, but for small people like me who wouldn't be able to afford putting money in it, do we still have a chance to benefit from that improvement ?

Cheers, SparxOne


OpenDayZ Rockstar!
As usual on the cutting edge sarge. Sounds like a great idea, am researching HC now. . Can think of a few applications for this, is It purely a client or does it run like a server ? Am wondering if multiple clients could be used to connect to more than one other server using the same installation. .
hey sarge....i used ur AI framework on our Cherno Epoch server and it is amazing! people are having a lot of fun with random AI spawning in and trying to kill them...thanks a lot...
Only thing is server lags close to cities even when there is just 10 people on server so i thought it would be a good idea to give headless client a im looking forward to this,,,thanks :)
btw...after installing ur AI framework i also installed the animated bombing script..we got no bombs that i know off from my players but server just randomly crashed after 3 hours...i removed bomber script and it still crashed one more time but it hasnt crashed since....hence i think it might be taking too much load on my server and crashing it? i dunno... rpt log shows this when it crashed
14:50:09 Client: Remote object 7:0 not found
14:50:09 Client: Remote object 7:6 not found
waiting to try headless... :)
This would ideal for me.

You may laugh (and so you should), but my server only has a P4 3.2ghz CPU and less than 2GB of RAM.
But then it`s only em and 3 or 4 friends playing on it at any given time. It was an old unit i had in the attic, so thought i`d test a theory of getting a server running. I`m now looking at second hand Duo/Quad or better to run as a server.

Normal use has the CPU running at around 70% while online, but with the AI in the picture, it's completely maxed at 100%.
Eventually it has enough and screws up respawns, loot etc and won't let people back on the server if they leave.

Having a seperate PC, maybe my gaming machine, doing the AI work would help alot, so i voted yes :)
This sounds good and would work well for big server but what if u have more then one server can it connect to more then one server and run off the one key ? Is can be done then I can see it doing some great stuff for game servers ;) I can't wait to test this ;)


OpenDayZ Guru!
Staff member
A headless client can only connect to 1 server.It wouldnt make sense anyhow if it would be different, the hc calculates all AI functionality for 1 game/server, so how should it serve different servers.