The point of this: The servers struggled. Exceeding 500 concurrent visitors (simultaneous users) at any given second, we were having trouble delivering pages within a reasonable 1-3 second load time window. As such, they were upgraded prior to The Witcher 3 to use 8GB of ECC memory, a higher CPU priority on the rack, and will now offer gigabit datarates for faster distribution of pages. That's number one.
The second big update has been in effect for a few videos already, but is getting fine-tuned shortly. We bought some lights – big ones, studio lights – and have been learning how to properly position and utilize them. There's still a lot of learning going on, but with the help of GN's now-video editor and videographer (Keegan Gallick), it's been made much easier. Giving Keegan near-full control over the editing and video setup has allowed me to focus more heavily on the content and what's being said in the video, which has led to tremendous growth of the YouTube channel. We're at about 16k subscribers now, with a growth rate of +1500 net per month on average.
We're hoping to build a set in the semi-near future to make for even higher quality videos. The addition of a set has more than just visual enhancements – that blackout curtain is a bit unsightly – in that it will help in reducing our setup time. We currently setup and tear-down before and after each shoot, but a permanent set will allow for the equipment to remain positioned. That means faster production without sacrificing quality.
YouTube branding has been upped a bit as well. The latest CPU cooler video shows a release candidate version of our intro and outro videos, with emphasis placed on brevity of the intro clip (<4 seconds). Andrew Coleman created these graphics and has graciously rendered out a super high-poly version of them, to be found in our video that's uploading right now.
In terms of content, I'm currently working with the GTX 980 Ti Hybrid from EVGA and a few AMD cards, including the now-announced 390 and 380. Reviews will be live when the embargo lifts. We recently invested – somewhat reluctantly, given the age – in an R9 280 out-of-pocket for regression testing, direct comparison to the new series, and ongoing game performance benchmarks. This is something that's been demanded for a while by our readers.
I've definitely left things out, but figured I'd give everyone an update on what's going on – we've always tried to be directly communicative with our readers! Many of you have been vocally extremely supportive of the YouTube and written video content, and some have even expressed this through donations to our Patreon campaign. We're grateful to readers, fans, and industry contacts for continued dedication to the site's objectives.