Diablo 3 Patch Exteeeeeeeeended Maintanence Explanation

The patch ETA has been pushed back another hour to 4pm (servers went live at 3:56pm), and the Blues shared some information about the technical issues behind it.

hey now.. you’re all-of-a-sudden kick us off servers after maintenance was ” concluded” Got my hardcore barb killed. ( I think, at least it is saying it in my profile ) What’s you’re take on this young community manager?
Lylirra: When we first brought up the game servers this morning, we received immediate reports from players of critical issues affecting gameplay that did not manifest in our internal testing environment (there’s many why this can happen, but they’re moot at this point so I’ll just move on to your actual question). We received reports of a recurring game crash, for example, and of the constant character chat/follower chat following any XP gain — something, while minor, would still greatly impact the player experience if it we didn’t fix it right away. There was also a new bug that only affected certain characters, but allowed them to gain significant amounts of XP in very small period of times; this wasn’t an exploit, but an actual bug, and it was pretty meaty.

As a result, we made the decision to bring the game servers down ASAP rather than risk these issues to continue to affect gameplay and the game environment as a whole. It wasn’t an ideal situation, because we know that bringing down game servers without warning isn’t a good experience for our players, and certainly one not made lightly (it’s not something we like to do and actively try to avoid it whenever possible). We felt it was best course of action at the time, however, and genuinely apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused you or other players.

I sincerely hope your hero has survived to fight another day, though. If not, as a fellow HC player, I will raise my coffee mug in your character’s honor and hum a small dirge of remembrance. May his spirit live on through the deeds of those who rise in his wake.

Though painful for some, the bugs didn’t impact many players and there will not be a rollback. Click through for some more Blue detail on that.

Lylirra, can we take this post as confirmation that there will NOT be a rollback?
Lylirra: No. We will not be performing a rollback. The number of characters online at the time was actually very minimal, so ideally the number of Hardcore deaths should be incredibly, incredibly small.

Now, that does not minimize the frustration of those affected by the shutdown (nor do I feel it should); however, it does provide context and scope. Game-wide rollbacks are a pretty significant endeavor and would affect all players, not just those who may have lost a hero; as a result, its something we typically reserve for game-breaking issues.

Yes, and it looks like taunting customers is how Blizzard rolls. “If we killed your character and wasted hours/days of your time, and therefore your money, oops. Sucks to be you.”
Lylirra: Not at all. I know it’s easy to vilify Blizzard employees and see us as heartless individuals who don’t care about or have the ability to relate to our players in any significant way, but that’s pretty darn far from the truth. I’m an avid Hardcore player, and I know the pang of loss that’s felt when one of my characters dies, be it at my own hand or to a situation that was out of my control. Those characters can often become an extension of who we are as players, particularly if it’s a character that’s lived through many challenging battles.

The salute I gave is one I give to each of my Hardcore friends when their heroes pass. I know it’s a little RP and probably more than a little nerdy, but I still like to commemorate HC deaths whenever one is brought to my attention. I feel it’s the very least I can do as a fellow defender of Sanctuary.

I like that last guy who pops in just to prove that there’s always someone somewhere (on Battle.net) who can (and will) bitch about anything. Don’t anyone point him to Blizzard North’s Diablo 2 era response to Hardcore death, or he’ll need to change his panties.

Note: Blizzard Entertainment is in no way responsible for your Hardcore character. If you choose to create and play a Hardcore character, you do so at your own risk. Blizzard is not responsible for the death and loss of your hardcore characters for any reason including Internet lag, bugs, Acts of God, your little sister, or any other reason whatsoever. Consult the End User License Agreement for more details. Blizzard will not, and does not have the capability to restore any deceased Hardcore characters. Don’t even ask. La-la-la-la-la, we can’t hear you…
Tagged As: | Categories: Blizzard People, Blue Posts, Diablo III Bugs, Hardcore


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  1. The hardcore aspect of Diablo 3 is more of a play mode, it’s an experience. It feels more tangible and is easy to get attached to your characters. Dying sucks, but is a necessary evil.
    I can only think of a few games that provide that “experience”. Diablo, Dark Souls, Legacy of Kain.

  2. How hard would it have been to put a system message starting at 5 minutes though? Would 5 minutes have made all the difference?

    • Made a difference to who? Blizzard tech guys or to players?

      If there’s a big exploit live on the realms and it’s causing crashes while some people are using it to cheat, I’d rather they pull the plug ASAP and get to the fix, albeit with some minimal warning. “Shutting down in 1 minute for emergency maintenance” would be enough to let anyone HC run to some area of safety.

    • I was going to say the same. A short warning would let people get out of any immediate HC danger without really amplifying any bugs (likewise, rolling back 5 minutes or so isn’t a big deal assuming that happened as soon as the servers came back on).

      • You don’t get to say ‘rollback X minutes’, you rollback to the last save which may be 5 minutes or it might be 5 days.

        It would be smart to have a save during maintenance but if they’re rushing maintenance to try to get the servers up faster then it might not have occurred.

        I agree a 1 minute warning might have been fine, but when they say ‘xp gaining bug’ + ‘no rollback’, the faster they turn off the servers and stop it the less the problem is overall.

        • I was going to say this but Throtok beat me to it. Bliz backs up all the server data more than every 5 days, but it’s not an hourly thing, much less a minute-by-minute thing. Us finds that out when copying accounts over to the PTR and seeing how they are usually 2 or 3 days behind the current state.

          • Fulx is right.

            I still think at least a 1 minute warning would probably be a better route to take next time, though. Especially with repeated warnings at 45, 30, 15, and the countdown from 10. That gives HC players enough time to ‘what the heck’ and run away and TP.

            Hm. Now I’m imagining giving lots of fake 1-minute warnings all day on April Fools day. I’m sadistic.

  3. EU in maintenance and can’t log in. Battle.net app is doing the optimization thing again though…? I’ve already done this…

  4. Switched back to Battle.net app a shortish while later, and it was downloading the patch… 50MB to go, etc. Got to about 47MB to go and was then done and ready to play. Who knows, but it seems all done.

  5. 5 days old backup? That would be completely unacceptable for a company like Blizzard. There should be daily backups at least, if not even more often than that.

  6. First up, anyone playing HC just after a new patch has gone live has only themselves to blame when weird stuff happens because of unexpected changes in the patch and hence loses their character. I don’t see this as Blizzard’s fault at all.

    But I also fail to see how Blizzard shutting down their servers should cause a character death. I don’t know if this is the way it’s implemented, but I would expect that when a server shut down command is exected, the first thing that happens is that the servers take a snapshot of all the characters currently playing and saves that information before shutting down. If Blizzard doesn’t do this and instead just cuts the connection while letting the servers run for a few more seconds, then shame on them for this.

    • I’ve wondered about this myself. You’d think they disconnect the monsters before they disconnect you. If they disconnect you but don’t disconnect the monsters, they get all kinds of free attacks on your character.

      If they disconnect the monsters but don’t disconnect you, the monsters all stand still and stop attacking and you can’t damage them and then you disconnect and anything you DID accomplish is rolled back to when the servers cut off.

      Why it doesn’t happen that way every time, I don’t know. =/

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