Varying NUMBATTLES of RoborumbleAtHome?
I can't think of anything that would cause that from the server side.
I think it is more a question of load. When the queue is full the clients stop running priority battles (since they don't get sent any) and as a result they run random battles, which on average are smaller, older and faster to run. This causes an increased load from the clients, since they are not only sending more battles to the server, but they are also random battles, so it is less likely for bots to be in cache. In addition it is slower to generate priority battles on random uploads. Thus we have the double effect of random battles causing the clients to speed up at the same time as the server slowing down.
Maybe it would help to generate double or triple the necessary number of priority battles while handling queued entries, and then pass those back to the clients even if the uploads are dropped. I know it is a bandaid, but the rumble only has a limited processing speed in the current design.
that sounds true — I've been noticing that some pairing is taking significant amount of time to process, e.g. 200ms to 500ms. that significant delay may decrease the processing power significantly.
And the setting of BATTLESPERBOT may be another reason to cause massive random battles. I've been setting that to ~5000, but I'm not sure whether all of my clients are updated.
Btw, it seems that RoboRumbleAtHome is very lazy in downloading new bots, I often have to restart them myself, or they will continue run pointless random battles (which slows the server down significantly) or battling old versions for hours.