Tag Archives: downtime

The Day of No Downtime

Today is a strange day in New Eden as something that usually happens every single day did not happen.  There was no downtime at 11:00 UTC.  The game was not offline for the usual time, but persisted on through its regular break to keep running.

Celebrating no downtime

This lack of a downtime was cause to write up a whole Dev Blog about downtime, why they do it every day, and even how they picked the time.  It is another one of those posts that are worth the read just for the insight into the considerations.

Downtime generally isn’t an issue for me as, being on the Pacific coast, it is a very rare day when I am up and online when it happens.  But I am sure there are people for whom it is just the most annoying thing about EVE Online, this daily break in the action.  Then again, some people are probably relieved.  Some battles, like B-R5RB, didn’t end until downtime logged everybody off. (I went to bed and left my Dominix just drifting in game.  It made it to downtime.)

Of course, somebody always has the difficult questions:

No resetting of high sec asteroid belts?

Nosy Gamer, Twitter

So, as has been noted, it is a bit of a non-event.  It is literally something not happening.  But downtime is such a feature of the game that it seems worth noting.  And, of course, downtime will be back tomorrow.  But for one day there was no downtime, allowing almost 48 hours of continuous play… or idleness.  EVE Online is also one of those games without an inactivity timer so, among other things, downtime kicks all those people who just left the game client running and walked off.  There is also the possibility that maybe a downtime every single day will at some point no longer be a necessity.

Others on this:

Return of the Ring – LOTRO Up Again

Hello! Thank you for your patience during our extended downtime. All indications are that things are on schedule. Thank you for being here!

LOTRO Twitter, March 6, 8:35am

Famous last words?

Standing Stone Games had been reminding everybody via various sources, including Twitter, that both Lord of the Rings Online and Dungeons & Dragons Online would be down pretty much all of Wednesday, March 6th, for what was described as “data center work.”  Time to muck with the servers I guess.  And, as the quote above indicates, hours into the work things looked good.

And then things began to unravel and the time to complete started to creep forward.  Midnight of the first day moved to 5am of the next.  That became 11am, and then 5pm, and soon the time had moved into Friday and began to threaten weekend play time.

These things happen.  If you have a server farm and bring all the machines down… machines that have been up and running sometimes for years at a stretch… some small percentage are going to fail when you go to bring them back up.  And that leaves out any changes you might intend to make to them or the infrastructure while things are down.

A computer looks almost like an appliance, nicely packed away in a box.  But it is not.  It isn’t even close.  An appliance is a serious of parts… and even software… designed specifically to work together and do a very specific set of tasks.

Your computer is disguised chaos, a thousand points of failure flying in tight formation, hacked together from a bunch of components that mostly work together.  I’ve worked on the hardware end of things and I’ve had various suppliers show up to tell us that the part we use is being discontinued, but they have a replacement that is pin compatible and functionally the same… and then had that part stop production because it turned out that the old part was actually out of spec or our design only worked due to some unintended behavior of the part of some such and now we have to hire somebody to sit at the end of the line and hand solder a surface mount resistor on one of the pins on every single unit with the new part while we work on a redesign.  True story.

So I feel for those members of the team trying to get things back up and running.

And come Saturday morning there seemed to be light at the end of the tunnel.  At about 5am Eastern or 2am Pacific time, the announcement went out that the servers were up again.

The game worlds have reopened. Thank you for your patience as we worked through these various data center issues in recent days.

LOTRO Twitter, March 9, 2:06am

But we were not done yet.

UPDATE: We are bringing back down the game worlds while we troubleshoot an issue with characters not receiving their proper account unlocks.

LOTRO Twitter, March 9, 2:36am

That persisted for a while, but about four hours later the servers were opened up again.

The game worlds have reopened. We appreciate your patience during this downtime, and thank you for being here.

LOTRO Twitter, March 9, 6:56am

That last one seemed to do it… but I held onto this post for another day because I wouldn’t be surprised if they found yet another glitch they needed to take things down to fix.

And, having gone more than two days past their planned outage, SSG has some offers for people to make them feel better about having been kept offline.  It is in the form of a FAQ.

Sales will be extended, everybody will get a bonus pack of various boosters, and VIP accounts that have logged in over the last 30 days will get 250 LOTRO Points.

DDO players will get something similar and have their own FAQ.

And so it goes.  They fared better that SOE did back in May 2011 when they were down almost 13 days, though that was due to a hacking incident.  And, of course, there is Alganon, which has been down since November 2017.

Now hopefully things will settle down a bit and SSG will get around to telling us when Moria is going to unlock on the LOTRO Legendary server.

Trinity is Coming: Set Your Training Now!

In a few hours the Tranquility server will be coming down and the elves… gnomes… dwarves… I forget who does the work behind the scenes in Norse mythology… but anyway, they will be spreading all sorts of Trinity goodness.

The transition from today to Trinity is supposed to take 24 hours, with the down time starting at 2:00 GMT December 5th and ending at 2:00 GMT December 6th.

Of course, veteran observers of CCP downtime will comment that for every hour of planned downtime, there seems to be an additional hour of downtime required before things are stable and running.  Complex systems and unintended consequences have a way of ganging up on you at upgrade time.  I know that pain well and do not point an critical finger at CCP because of it, I just try to accept it.

And, with these things, there is nothing worse than having your skill training end while the server is down.

Okay, there are an almost infinite number of things worse than that, but that doesn’t mean I like my character sitting there without a skill being trained.

Optimists will check their skill training plan and be happy if their current skill finishes up at some point after 2:00 GMT on December 6th.

Realists will make sure that they any currently training skill will end at least 24 hours after that time.

Me?  I am going the pessimistic route, believing that the code name “Trinity” is a sign that downtime will be tripled.  I put both my characters on 9 day skills this morning.

We shall see if I am merely being paranoid or not.