Goodbye XP progress, and hopefully lag.

UpdatesJuly 11, 2016

We’re all intimately familiar with the XP update by now. It’s been the big-ticket item that most people have been waiting for and has been getting a tonne of pre-play on the pre-release branch. Now that the XP system has been rolled out to main and is live on all servers however we’ve come across some real issues that have made the last few days a real shit heap of a ride.

When the patch was first introduced there were all sorts of lag issues, which resulted in a supplementary patch being issued within a matter of a few hours. The initial lag at that point was incredible. There was both severe client side lag and server side lag. What most people don’t realise is that while they have a measure of Frames per Second on the client side we also have one on the server side. The server uses each of these frames to perform calculations for NPC movement, collision checks, cheat checks, etc. When these frames get too low shit goes south real quick and players start experiencing client side lag, slow box openings, weird gun and melee fights, etc.

Supplementary patch aside we moved onto the next big issue, which has plagued us all weekend. The server was absorbing RAM like a hungry hippo and chewing out the arse of the CPU to the point where we were going from a typical 200+ FPS server side to around 10 FPS. This was causing all sorts of crazy server issues including huge amounts of lag on the client side.

Riding this out for the weekend Facepunch finally provided us with a patch for it this morning and it seems to have fixed the server side FPS issue. However, we’ve now had an XP wipe due to the previous server patch corrupting the XP database. The server uses a number if SQLite database files to record user history, XP history, current XP levels, image data for signs, etc. Something in the last patch resulted in shitty data being stored in the current XP levels database which meant when our server restarted after the patch it would not start at all unless we reset that file, thus resetting XP progress for all users.

It was a blessing in disguise to some degree while also being a massive pain in the arse. The XP system was screwed out of the box and was rewarding way too much XP to people with at least 10+ of our players having levels in excess of 3000. The latest patches fix this crazy imbalance.

It’s a shitty situation but one that couldn’t be avoided by our team at all. Unfortunately as is the nature of early access products we will have huge issues from time to time like this. The last big issue was around 6 months ago with map corruption forcing us to wipe 36 hours in, which was super fun.

It’s a mega bitter pill to swallow but we need to and we need to move on. On the whole the XP system has been pretty good and is a positive new mechanic of Rust. Hopefully we don’t have any further screw ups that cause us to pull our hair out completely.