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The Disconnection & Crash Problem

Welcome to some more Star Citizen, Star Citizen Alpha 3.4.3 has various crashing & disconnection issues at the moment, this being notable as it’s mostly client crashes and comes from Star Citizen actually being pretty stable, to more unstable now in the latest couple of minor patches. There was a Spectrum Thread titled : “Why aren’t you fixing the 30000 error server disconnects?” And some dev responses that were given.

Morgon64 on Spectrum started a thread
How come all this time, you aren’t doing anything about the error 30000 server disconnects. When that happens, ships disappear permanently, and they have to reclaim them. Why aren’t you doing anything about it? I like to know what’s going on. What is causing all those error 30000 server disconnects?

Bearded-CIG Responds

Error 30000 happens when something goes wrong with a game clients connection to a game server. Usually this is a server crash but it can also be caused by internet outages, problems with the local network, etc.

Over the course of the games development, we’ve fixed a rather huge amount of these bugs. Most of the server crash bugs to date have been written by me since I’m a DevOps engineer and have access to all the information and admin permissions needed to write the bugs (I’ve also written more bugs than anyone else in the company). In addition to that, I spend time for almost every PTU and Live release to calculate how badly server and client crashes are affecting players so that our producers can properly prioritize how much development time is to be spent fixing these stability issues vs other issues that might not be affecting players as much. The analytics that I use to gather information specifically for server crashes were implemented by Tom Sawyer ( Principal Server Engineer ) whom also helps me out by making improvements and bug fixes to these analytics. Our Player Relations team does their best to make sure that when these issues get fixed, that they call them out in our PTU and Live patch notes so any time they mention that a server crash was fixed, that often times reflects work done by multiple departments in the company. Since we’re in alpha, we have a specific level of stability that we aim for and once we’ve reached that, we focus on having programmers address egregious gameplay issues.

As for what’s causing them, that will change from one release to the next. Most commonly when we’re making changes to core game systems or making new features, it will cause new server crashes that then have to be investigated and fixed.

The issue with characters losing their ships when the server goes down is a gameplay issue that is going to require additional work on persistence and supporting gameplay systems to address and that’s kinda outside of my area of expertise since I’m not a designer. Thus, I can’t go into detail on that part.

In Regard to client crashes Bearded-CIG said

So the funny thing about this is that sometimes we do actually crash on purpose because the server or the game client crashing is preferable to the alternative.

Example being: Notice how there haven’t been error 30007 disconnections lately? I know at least some of them ( possibly all of them but Clive would have to confirm or deny that for me ) were made to crash the game client that was causing the error. We do this for two reasons, one is that rather than leave game servers in a state where no one could connect to them, the game client causing the disconnection error gets removed. At the same time, that crash dump can sometimes give us an idea as to what needs to be fixed. So in that situation it’s actually better to have it crash. We have similar situations for the game server as well where we will have put an intentional crash into the game code if a specific kind of circumstance happens so that we can get better debug info on how to fix what’s going wrong.

The Conversation Continued on Reddit

I wouldn’t say this is an explanation for the crashes in the latest patch because this is something that we’ve been doing for a while.

Obviously Star Citizen is very much still in Alpha, with new features causing lots of new crashes and issues, they clean these up largely but then new features get added again.

Once more of the core of the game is completed, this should mean that instability is much less common. Compared to last year Star Citizen is in an amazing state, with a titanic gameplay area, missions and features BUT until Star Citizen has got closer to a Beta Phase expect some patches to be more unstable than others.

We’ll have to see how The New Flight Model, Physicalized Components and Full Persistence are implemented later this year hopefully the major bugs & infuriating client crashes will be fixed in the Evocati & PTU phases.

It could be argued that 3.4.2 & 3.4.3 could of had a bit more of a thorough PTU testing phase before being deployed.

Something that Star Citizen does do pretty well is recovering you from crashes now, and you very often will be able to load straight back to where you were without loss of ship or progress!