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Serious improvements, serious business

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This blog is a serious blog. I will be covering how we incorporate player feedback in an upcoming blog and our roadmap in another in the next days, but let’s get the serious business out of the way first.

Quite a few things to mention, as our team is working diligently, allowing us to achieve a lot every day. Our challenge is releasing all that to you in a safe manner, so here is an overview of what we have addressed and what is about to go out.

General game server crashes. This was being caused by a memory corruption issue which we‘ve spent weeks trying to isolate – and we did it. Earlier this week, our crash profile vastly changed to 10% of what it was. You can now play Shadow Wars, PVP, Co-op instances without crashing.

PC Server issues. First Europe, then in US which in both cases were issues our databases. Hasn‘t happened again and further measures deployed to prevent similar things from happening again. We‘re incredibly sorry for this but we couldn‘t have prevented them either. With the amount real-time transactions we have, edge cases can disrupt a large amount of players.

XBOX Server issues. Massively improved. Not done, don‘t worry, but much improved. We also have lingering issues which are more traced to client performance in large engagements and they can often appear like server issues.

Playstation 3 and the big patch. It‘s enroute and in final internal testing today and over the weekend. It should come live Monday if all goes well. It will have all the server side changes PC and XBOX have recieved as well.

PC cheats and hacks. Yes we take them seriously. Very seriously. We have a team from many departments constantly working on this. From engineering, to customer support, security, networking, business intelligence and game design. I‘m happy to report that we‘re now banning far more people, whether they successfully do it or just attempt to.

Our tools, detections, reporting and pre-ventive mechanisms have iproved considerably in the last two weeks after incrased focus on them. Some have been deployed, more is being deployed today, more coming. I know that some players linger in there for a while before we ban them but sometimes we just allow them so we can watch them. We like to watch.

Disappearing items. Tough nut to crack because they are for us as they are for you, disappearing and we aren‘t able to reproduce it outside the scale of our live servers. But now we‘ve made progress in addressing it by refactoring the item system itself based on our investigations, and that‘s been deployed yesterday. It needs tuning and we‘re not finished but keep us posted on how and where they happen moving forward.

Loadout issue, Emergencies, Freight Yard, balancing and so on. Fkn Frgt Yrd. With crashes and other large issues out of the way, we can start looking more at gameplay issues that require server engineers to investigate as well quality of life. Freight Yard being one. Unfortunately for Freight Yard, I don‘t like it anymore and have other maps coming up. Unless it starts working, then I might reconsider. Same applies to emergencies, balancing, items, economy, things which require a big patch to release to you. They have been progressing and investigated and we‘ll deploy them as we deem it safe to do so.

That‘s not all. There are so many things we want to fix, change or improve based on player feedback, how people are playing Defiance after launch. This would be a really long blog if I went into everything we want to do and are doing. So I split it up. I can be pretty clever sometimes.

I‘ll be covering that, how we incorporate player feedback, an important part of our development process and following, a look at our roadmap and how we do our DLCs, which include free and paid components. In case you were wondering, I did move our DLCs back to focus on addressing Live issues and that‘s still the case. That doesn‘t mean we stop planning and revisiting our goals. Nor that we shouldn‘t give you insight into them.

Because that‘s the question that plagues us all. What happens now and what happens next. Now is serious. Next is sexy. I can‘t believe I wrote that.

Ave Arkhunter,

Oveur

Nathan Richardsson

Executive Producer Defiance