Bug of Bugs

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Bug of Bugs

Post by Snaek » Mon Dec 02, 2019 2:26 am

Easily the most damaging bug we have is one where the character becomes detached from their account and becomes corrupted, causing the character to be unable to log in. There's no error msg or warning and for years I've been chasing this thing trying to find its root cause. If it's caught quickly (within 24 hours) I can import from the test server which runs 24 hours behind the main server. If it's after 24 hours I have to restore a saved backup of the database and then import from the test server. Not the end of the world, but not everything imports automatically so portions of the character have to be rebuilt manually, like hair and eye color. The entire process is aggravating to players and staff, and does nothing to move the game forward. I've felt paralyzed by this bug and thought there's no way we can ever launch and support a large population if this is a problem. So I continue to test and track the issue and eliminate possible causes.

Last night the issue happened to me (again). It's happened enough that I have a saved backup of Snaek ready to go at all times since his stats and items don't matter as much as they do to players. It happened in a very short window which gave me a few breadcrumbs to chase. After implementing some new tests and rebooting, I was actually able to catch the issue before it happened, preventing a character from being corrupted. The character still cannot be logged in, but this time they are perfectly saved in the database without any need to rebuild. An error msg is now displayed indicating that there was a character issue and to email [email protected] to get it resolved. Still a minor inconvenience, but now both staff and players are aware of what's going on and resolving it is as simple as re-adding your account name to your character.

I consider this a huge win for a rare but damaging bug. No information is lost and only a minimal amount of downtime for the character occurs. A real win-win for the game. There's still work to be done in finding the root of the issue that is doing the disconnecting, but now we have a stop in place to prevent it from getting worse. If this happens to you, simply follow the instructions given and you'll be back in business in no time.

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