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Day 29 – It’s tricky to rock a rhyme that’s right on time so here’s a patch to address that

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Yeah, rhymes aren’t my strong suit. But does beatboxing count? Doesn’t matter, can’t do that either. I think the people that walk past my office right now and are looking at me strange might be because I’m listening to Usher sing Climax while I write this blog. That, I have headphones and I’m singing it with him.

On a far more serious note, we’ve made great progress in the last days. We deploy server code updates twice daily now, most aggressively to exterminate the game server crashes but also we’ve started deploying more and more gameplay fixes. We’ve addressed a large part of the server crashes in the last 3 days, now it’s one big cause left and quite a few one-off crashes.

We’ve been chasing that big crash for more than a week now. It’s a memory corruption which we’ve had an exceptionally difficult time chasing down but we have engineers on it, now armed with even more tools from the internets and dubstep. We heard that works great with game videos so we apply it to game engineers. Success must ensue. Or hilarity.

Why do we call it the big crash? It’s pretty much responsible for the rest of the game server crashes. So that’s why our current list of issues look like this:

  • Game Server Crashes – This has improved quite a lot and is now mostly visible around instances and PVP, where the “big crash” likes to show itself regularly. We’re working on exterminating them all.
  • Disappearing items – This one is still happening and we’ve chased down some situations where this happens but there are more. As always, detailed information on what exactly you were doing when you lost items are appreciated, when and where, whether that be on the forums or in a customer support request.
  • High priority gameplay issues – we’ve started working more off this list, ranging from Shadow War changes to balancing changes. There are quite a few of these in our upcoming client patch. Yes, client patch! Yay!

Client patches are difficult beasts to handle. Small with isolated fixes can be deployed somewhat rapidly but if they are serious client patches, like srsly serious, it’s a huge effort. One of those is scheduled to hit Monday or Tuesday for PC and XBOX 360 and as soon as possible for PlayStation 3 following that (it’s logistics, I can’t change it). We’ve been doing our best to get it into your hands as soon as possible, therefore the discrepancy.

I’m going tease a little bit and give you the draft patch notes. They are incomplete, we haven’t put our nice explanatory voice into them or highlighted the big wins, they are buried in there for you to discover but we’re all gamers, right? We’re pretty sure you’ll appreciate this small heads-up and apply your gamer eye to them instead of take these as the Final Truth to Fight Over™. I’m going to regret publishing these, aren’t I?

Many questions will come up, such as, “why isn’t my problem fixed?”, “X is more important than Y”, “the most important thing is this, why not fix this first?” and “am I right to be afraid of pressure cookers?”. Some of these I can answer straight away. There are issues which are not on this list which require much larger changes to address than could fit into this patch, would have been too dangerous to change (server explode kind of way), didn’t have a clear resolution or simply, or the right fix might not have made it in time for the cut-off date.

That’s why you get the opportunity to comment right now. It won’t change this patch, it’s almost impossible. It’s on rails. But you can chime in on future patches. So don’t hesitate pointing out the issue you feel we should be addressing, we love constructive criticism. In most cases we know about it and it’s in the pipeline but as they say in Iceland, sometimes “it lies in the eyes upstairs”, sometimes it doesn’t. I’m sure you understand.

Ball so hard moth … uhm, sorry got carried away singing. I meant of course, Ave Arkhunter.

Oveur

Nathan Richardsson

Executive Producer Defiance