It’s possible that those of you who attempted to play some Diablo II: Resurrected ran into some problems. The game’s servers have been experiencing problems, which have prevented players from, among other things, creating or joining games in the game. For me, Act II was the most difficult, and my friend and I both noticed a lot of rubberbanding as we walked through it with our eyes closed. Blizzard is fully aware of the situation and has narrowed down the root causes to a small number of possibilities. To be sure, there are a variety of factors that contribute to the sluggishness and chugging. Blizzard is putting in place a number of safeguards, such as rate limiting and the creation of player queues, in order to combat the ongoing server issues in Diablo II: Resurrection.
A representative from the Diablo community, Adam Fletcher, was on hand to provide an explanation for what had taken place over the course of the past weekend. The servers experienced a significant increase in the number of players on Saturday and Sunday, far outstripping their initial influx of players. According to Fletcher, the problem was exacerbated by an update that had been rolled out the day before and was intended to improve performance around game creation. The problem occurred on Saturday, according to Fletcher’s account. Upon rolling back the Friday update, Blizzard immediately went to work attempting to figure out what the hell was going on. Eventually, they were successful.
The fact that the remaster was built on a foundation of mostly old code, to be completely honest, is one the most significant flaws in its design and implementation. Author Fletcher asserts that a specific service is to blame for some of the server issues that have been reported. In accordance with the website, the service in question is responsible for a number of critical game functions such as game creation and joining, updating, reading, and filtering game lists, verifying game server health, and reading characters from the database to ensure your character can participate in whatever it is you’re filtering for. It was more than two decades ago that this service was established to monitor player behavior, but the world has changed since then. Fletcher asserts that modern players interact with the game in a different way than previous generations. He provides examples.
There wasn’t nearly as much content on the internet in 2001 about how to ‘correctly’ play Diablo II (Baal runs for XP, Pindleskin/Ancient Sewers/etc for magic find, and so on), according to Fletcher. New players can now look up any number of amazing content creators who can teach them how to play the game in a variety of ways, many of which involve a significant amount of database load in the form or creating, loading, and destroying games in rapid succession (which is not uncommon). The fact that players were creating new characters on new servers and working hard to obtain their magic-finding buy D2R items was something we anticipated, but we grossly underestimated the amount of information gleaned from beta testing.
In addition, according to Fletcher, the problems were exacerbated by the high frequency with which the game was saving data to the global database. To put it another way, it was a case of going overboard. Diablo developer Fletcher believes that your character should be saved to the regional database on a regular basis, and that this should happen automatically. When it comes to the global database, however, it should only occur when the game needs to unlock you, which should be relatively infrequently. At the moment, the team is focusing on improving the efficiency with which savings are achieved.
The numbers one, two, and three are the most important.
A three-pronged approach has been devised by the Diablo team in order to reduce server issues. To begin, rate limiting will be implemented, which means that the number of times you can create and join games will be limited by the game. A standard error message will be displayed in the event that this occurs. Second, Diablo II will be the first game in the series to include server queues, making it the first in the series to include this feature. You’ll be able to see it as soon as it goes live, so keep checking back.
At the moment, this work is partially completed for tasks that can be completed in less than a day (some of which have already been completed this week), and it is also planned for larger projects, such as new microservices (for example, a GameList service that is solely responsible for providing the game list to players), according to Fletcher. When critical functionality has been compromised, we can consider scaling up our game management services, which will reduce the amount of load placed on the system in order to restore normal operation.
I have to admit that everything about it has been a bit of a letdown. Overall, I anticipate some frustration as a result of the random error messages that will appear when joining games, even after having to sit on your bum for a long period of time to be able to join. Hopefully, things will become more stable in the coming months, because we have demons to contend with at this point..