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Dear diary, it’s the fourth day, it’s been amazing but why do we still have lag?

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I’ve asked myself this question 3,289 times today. Don’t get me wrong. Most territories and platforms are mostly doing great by now. I know very well some of you still have outstanding issues, bugs or customer support tickets waiting. I didn’t say everything was perfect. Then we’d be playing all day ourselves.

But little time for that. There are problems to be solved, this is what we signed up for, gaming is what we love doing and we’re incredibly sorry that you have to go through these issues now with us. That’s why we don’t have problems sitting here now on a Friday night hammering through this still. We want to live up to your expectations and in some cases, we obviously aren’t. And I’m sorry for that.

But the world is conquered by eating an elephant in small bites accompanied by martinis. And here are todays bites, some of which are stuck in our throat:

  • US XBOX – Our battle with this server cluster continues. I’d put swearwords here but I think you can hear me in your head right now. You will have noticed some great server moments in the last 24 hours, some not so great. We continue to re-configure, deploy fixes, roll some back, try something different, measure, analyze. There’s just so many of you shooting so much. If you could just be nice and all get along. Hellbugs have feelings too you know. This is by far our top issue. We’ve thrown a ton of more hardware at it (we had reinforcements ready), changed client-server protocol to remove load balancing setups to have less moving parts and a host server code changes.
  • Game Server Crashes – These are the service not available and service timeouts you see. Today’s server code update alone had 9 different game server crash fixes. Some happened rarely, others were quite frequent. It all adds up. You should see less of service not available and the timeouts now although just tonight we’ve spotted a few other ones
  • Connectivity and patching – This one is still on the list. There are so many new players joining us and we even have a few of you which are still patching. We’ve deployed patches, reconfigured contend distribution networks and continue to do so based your reports of where you are in the world having problems.
  • Chat & VOIP – Back on the list again, we have some fixes for this, both that we can do server side but also client side. Unfortunately client patches of this nature can’t be deployed till the 15th as mentioned yesterday.

I’m not listing here individual gameplay items, such as general balance, mission changes, enabling or disabling missions or side-missions (such as due to exploits). That doesn’t mean they aren’t important, it’s because this is always important and constantly going on with a dedicated team. I did list Arkfalls, simply because that affected so many of us. Now to the happy part. We all enjoy happy endings. Like in the Fifth Element. Always makes me cry.

  • What’s our DLC plan? – I’ve seen a lot of you mention this and this is material for an entire blog post because there is so much I want to talk about. However, let’s be short. There are at least 5 DLCs this year. They all have a free and paid component. We do not want to segregate our playerbase so we always want everybody be able to participate and play with friends. The free part is features and content, the paid part is essentially, say, access to a new playable species with a bundle of stuff with it. The upcoming TV tie-ins aren’t DLCs that cost either. It’s all yours.
  • More updates enroute – Today fixes some disappearing item cases, more Arkfall loot love, mission and side-mission updates in addition to all the optimizations and bugfixes we deployed to improve the server crashes. Our patch around the 15th is in testing and on its way into certification. We anticipate to update our servers with code updates daily. XBOX of course more frequently till we fix it. Which we will.
  • Another big patch? It’s Friday night and it’s tricky to rock a rhyme that’s right on time. We have a patch around the 15th but we’ve already started work on the massive patch that’s coming roughly 2 weeks later. There are so many things we can’t fix, add or improve right away and have to be part of a larger client patch. That’s why we have two planned. After that you should see a nice shiny DLC.

The summary is, we have the cavalry out, we’re not giving up till we make this an awesome experience for you and as I mentioned yesterday, figuring out a way to make it up to you. When I find a way to make it all work, I’ll let you know here first. Promise. Besides of course just fixing the damn thing.

I hope I’m not still in your head swearing. That wouldn’t be very nice of me. Especially on a Friday. If it was Thursday, it would probably be fine.

Again, our apologies. After 5 years of creating this, it saddens us and frustrates us that you aren’t getting the great experience we strived to create. The upside is that it makes us quite determined to get you there.

Ave Arkhunter,

Oveur

Nathan Richardsson

Executive Producer Defiance