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Star Citizen Server Failures

Welcome to some more Star Citizen, I wanted to talk about issues that the 3.9 branch had with it’s deployment, backend services and accessibility that caused a huge amount of problems with players throughout this patch cycle and especially during Fleet Week and the FreeFly Event AND things that CI are doing to help prevent issues like this happening in the future.

What Happened?

Star Citizen has had various bugs and problems anyway as part of it’s Playable Alpha Nature BUT the deployment of 3.9 and especially 3.9.1 saw major accessibility issues & service outages.

With 3.9.0s initial deployment there were various issues with Degraded Services for at least the first half of May.

  • Players were Crashing at Character Creation screen
  • There were account data issues which gave players a 16007 error.
  • Players could be Invisible, Character’s were missing their mobiGlas

There were some hotfixes to address this which did help with a lot of players issues… but not everyones.

The 3.9 patch was supposed to save the persistence of aUEC, Items & Ships BUT A bug wiped credits for players in some case everything they had acquired from in game was wiped and there wasn’t really a way of getting those items back… tho it was reported that some players had limited success with resetting their accounts apparently.

A lot of these issues were due to some database issues and back-end services going down.

Another database related issue is that players could be left with No Spawnable Ships… even tho they are on their account. 

The main issues with these issues is that they prevent you from playing the game OR lose your progression… both not something you want in an MMO.

Also commonly players suffer from 30k errors which are an umbrella term for any type of disconnection from the server… this can be a server crash… a client disconnecting or timing out… and anything similar. 

30k errors are horribly annoying as they interrupt your gameplay HOWEVER it’s especially damaging to Cargo Haulers. Sometimes after a disconnect, if it was a client disconnect you can reconnect to the server where you left off… commonly however and certainly if it was a server crash you spawn back at the last major Landing Zone and your ship you were in will be lost… and you’ll have to reclaim it which means you lose all of that cargo and in some players cases ALL OF THEIR invested money which could be millions if they are hauling in a full caterpillar.

There was a Dev Response explaining that 30k errors can never be fully fixed due to their nature… if you pull out your cable from your modem then you’ll get a 30k error…

This led to them explaining that a microwave could cause interference and you to get a time out… in an attempt to illustrate that some problems will ALWAYS be out of CI’s hands… however some people on spectrum twisted that to be that dev blaming connectivity problems on the players and not CIs fault… which he was clearly not doing. I felt really sorry for them as they took the time to talk about 30k issues and I thought that was a good explanation.

Broken Access With FleetWeek

3.9.1 was deployed along side a FreeFlight and in Game Event… this is where I had major issues along with a lot of other players… Servers were down and then intermittently up and down, players in Europe seemed more affected by not being able to even log in with the launcher giving an error. 

Many players couldn’t create a character or get past the Character Creation Screen. Which had you having to fiddle with putting the screen in windowed mode.

The original issues that were in 3.9.0 came back… There were 15007/16007 Account Sync Errors & More 30k Disconnections. A lot of players couldn’t get into the game, ones that did would frequently get disconnected.

Even when in game problems with the mobiGlas, character loadouts & inventories. 

This is a pretty huge problem for CI when they are having a freefly event and there are entirely new players checking out their game.

The problem here is that it wasn’t directly a patch content issue with either the 3.9.0 or 3.9.1 set of features… these issues could have happened with any deployment & servers being hammered by a lot of new & old players trying to log in at once. It was largely with Databases, login & Backend Services going down or being overburdened… tho I am not demishinging the part that general server instability played… it was just heavily compounded by these other issues.

This has however led to some important updates that you should notice now and for 3.10.0’s Deployment with more robust services and importantly Redundancies.

At time of recording there is a bit of a  Backend Service Update going on.

“The RSI Platform is currently undergoing critical backend infrastructure maintenance.

While this work is taking place the Galactapedia, Ship Upgrade Tool, Ship Customizer, In-Game Groups, In-Game Chat, and Long Term Persistence may become inaccessible.”

We know from the monthly report:

“May saw Backend Services address issues with lifetime persistence and the player wallet. Work on the iCache and General Instance Manager micro-services continued, as did development towards a meshed loadout, the new refining mechanic, and LTP services.

They’re now also able to run several instances of services at the same time to provide players with a better experience during events with peaking load.”

These updates are critical for players to be able to enjoy Star Citizen stablying and reliably.

It’s an Alpha and it’s buggy BUT when you can’t login or you constantly get disconnected then you can’t really play the game.

The plan is to have a more stable deployment with 3.10.0 and future patches.

We should see CI trying to have aUEC & Ships transfer from 3.9 to 3.10.0 more reliably for more players (but please remember that they always reserve the right to do a full LTP reset if they need to AND sometimes they might need to).

Databases of players ships, items & aUEC should be a bit more robust… so issues with no ships in your hangar and similar issues shouldn’t happen as commonly.

Servers & Backend Services should have redundancy and be more stable… if a service goes down, it doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll get disconnected OR not be able to log on.

All of this is especially important as CI are adding a Player Trading App to the game.

This has the ability to send aUEC or Merits to any player be they on or offline in 3.10.0…

This is a major change to the game BUT gives aUEC much more of a value as it can be transferred, Mining & Cargo Orgs can more readily share profits… you can organize transfer of payment for something that game doesn’t support with Service Beacons… make up your own Bounties or less tangible trades BUT you’ll be able to get credits from a friend or your org to buy a ship in game and for that to persist between major patches where there isn’t a LTP reset.