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Star Citizen 3.9 – Can We Get a Patch Without Crashes?

Welcome to some more Star Citizen, there was a new tiny PTU patch that went out and is in testing BUT also today I want to look at a Dev Response to Can CIG make a patch without crashes or 30ks and talk about game instability.

There was a Star Citizen Alpha 3.9.0s Patch that came out on the PTU that could be for a Hotfix or Ground Work for 3.9.1 OR both. The test period is showing as finishing May 13th 2020 so it looks like it a patch they want to iterate on quickly or get deployed.

It appears to be Bug Fixes:

  • The character should no longer become invisible and unusable.
  • Players should no longer spawn without their mobiGlas attached.
  • Duplicate ships should no longer occasionally generate.
  • aUEC should remain consistent after a character reset.
  • aUEC should remain consistent from session to session.
  • Improved LTP to be more optimized and to make issues easier to investigate.

The Testing Focus of the Patch is Character resets, LTP, aUEC stability & Character state stability.

And there are some Known Issues

  • Ships can end up in an unknown and irretrievable/claimable state.
  • Players cannot access the private lobby in Star Marine or Arena Commander.
  • Players are unable to change ship selection in Arena Commander modes.
  • The multiTool from the prison commissary does not come equipped with an OreBit mining attachment.
  • If the player exits to menu/disconnects/crashes during the loading  screen into or out of prison their loadout will not be changed.

In Regard to Bleeding Out CI have said:

“on the next release there will be an audio indicator for the bleeding status.”

So that’s either 3.9.1 or 3.10.

Now onto the more major topic of this video:

There was a thread on spectrum CAN CIG PLEASE MAKE A PATCH WITHOUT CRASHES OR 30KS by user Emperor of Man.

The post states that 3.9.0 is very unstable and that there has been a lack of clear “this is how we are going to fix it from CI” and then goes on to talk about instances of instability & crashes. 

Breaded CIG reponsed:

“To put things simply with regards to the title of your thread, here are some examples of things that cause both crashes and disconnections that are outside of our control ( this is not an exhaustive list):

Crashes and disconnections can be caused by things outside of our control. Crashes,: faulty hardware, resource conflicts between multiple programs on a computer, not enough resources ( for example not enough ram or having too many browser tabs open while playing the game), outdated drivers, corrupted game files

Disconnections: bad network connectivity, outdated drivers, corrupted game files, running a computer using a wireless connection while near a microwave that is using the same frequency as the wireless signal, or my personal favorite being that having an internet connection near copper pipes

Given the examples above, the answer is no. Because there will always be things that can crash the game that are outside of our control and not all 30k issues are server crashes. However, before we release a patch, we do keep track of how frequently players are encountering disconnections and aim to get them below a certain level of frequency before releasing a patch to our players. Encountering a 30k every five minutes it much higher than the typically rate that we see players encounter this error so there is a chance that something that one of your friends is doing might be causing the issue. If you ever happen to find reproduction steps for an issue like this, please feel free to send them to us.

Now, I can tell that you’re frustrated by the amount of issues that you and your friends are encountering. There are issues with the statistical model that we currently use when trying to measure if something is within acceptable limits for releasing to our players. There’s a common phrase that’s used in both statistics and science and that is “all models are wrong, but some are useful”. The model we use is useful but it could be better. One of the big issues with using statistical averages is that there will be people on either extreme where some people won’t encounter server crashes much at all, and others may encounter them more often. In addition to that, player behavior changes over time as they get familiar with new mechanics. As a build is available for longer periods of time, it’s totally possible for the frequency of these issues to change along with player behavior. There are of course, ways to refine the model we’re using so that it’s more accurate and helps to alleviate these problems and there is work being done for that but like anything with video games, solutions to problems are rarely simple or quick.

Now, I can’t comment on everything that you listed because my job tends to be more on the server / statistics side of things. But a number of the issues that you list are things that we’re already aware of and investigating. However! One thing I do like to point out is that often times there can be multiple bugs that all have the same overall effect, or there can be multiple issues that seem to be different problems that might all be caused by one underlying issue. The reason why I want to point that out is because sometimes if it feels like a particular issue is getting worse, it can be cause there are actually multiple bugs causing what might appear to be the same thing. , After we fix some of them, it’s useful for us to know which ones are still happening so we can investigate things further. Particularly with things like missing components. Those bugs are complex and various.”

Some Posters did then poke Bearded saying that he was blaming microwaves and faulty hardware for instability and avoiding the focus of the question, he went onto say:

“Sorry if it came across like this. There appear to be a few responses that feel this was my intention when that wasn’t what I was aiming for. I tried to include the fact that legitimate bugs are a possibility in the responses that I made but perhaps I should have expanded on that more.

I’m not blaming faulty hardware. At least that’s not my intent. I was trying to aim my answer at the original title of the thread asking us to release a version of the game that is free of crashes and disconnections by trying to point out that this request is an impossible endeavor.

In short, there are a lot of things that can cause disconnections and the list I gave were examples rather than an exhaustive list. Because there are so many things that can cause disconnections, it can be really difficult to identify what’s causing them. But for a moment, we can use the examples that you picked. People don’t use microwaves all the time. If anything, they only use them in concentrated short bursts which fits the scenario that you describe perfectly. Also, depending on the wattage of the microwave and the location of the wireless signal and the microwave, they don’t even need to be in the same house to affect each other. Using a wireless connection just adds too many possible things that can go wrong which is why most tech support responses for video game companies will say “don’t use wireless connections to play multiplayer games”.

Weather or other natural phenomenon can affect connectivity as well. This is something that would also fit into the scenario that you described. We saved a graph of this one day where a huge thunderstorm swept over most of the western united states because we could see sections of our concurrency get disconnected based on where in the country is was located throughout the date. Similarly, when the massive earthquake hit Japan, the Australia players in World of Warcraft suddenly had huge lag on the game servers they were playing on because the country to the north of them moved enough that the internet traffic had to go a different route to get to the servers.

And of course, finally, there’s always a chance that someone encounters more disconnection errors because they found a reproducible bug and may in fact, be causing it themselves.

Well, at the very least, if people don’t believe the copper pipes part, there’s an actual conversation in my reddit history where I give that example and it happens to be the exact problem the person was having. I was pretty floored that example was actually relevant more than once in my life.”

I wanted to weigh in a bit that PTU patch is attempting to address some of the 30k and instability issues for sure BUT 30ks are a blanket term for a load of different problems relating to disconnecting unexpectedly the server can crash, the connection can drop, time out, issues with the client etc… the 3.9.0 release was very erratic with seemingly some players getting constant errors and disconnects, others having multiple sessions without any issue.