We wanted to discuss some of the recent issues, keep you updated on what their status is, and give a little insight about what’s been going on for those who are interested.
As many of you may remember, we use the MongoDB database to run Gems of War. Like all technical solutions it has pros and cons, but overall has served the game well. After 7 years, we have many many millions of accounts in MongoDB, and while databases can handle this volume of accounts, it does mean there are some technical issues that we need to solve before they become a larger problem. Some of the tricky technical problems that we’ve faced in the last 2 months have stemmed from optimizations we’re making to MongoDB. Some of our veteran players will remember our MongoDB issues in the past (that lead to the creation of the Troop Mongo & his spell Random Crash at the time). We’ve got it under control, but it’s providing a bit of a bumpy road while we make sure the game is healthy for many years to come.
So with that in mind, I wanted to address some of the recent game issues (some MongoDB related, some not), to give you the latest information on them.
1. Kingdom Pass Battlecrashers - 20 per day instead of 10
This one was a simple bug in the server code. The daily reset for Battlecrashers was happening in 2 separate places. That is now fixed.
2. Guild Wars Defense Team Bonus Score
Our investigation is ongoing here, however this issue is not related to the Daily Reset like what was occurring with the Kingdom Pass Battlecrasher reset above. We think this is probably related to the MongoDB optimizations.
We have been working on a fix for this, however we will be delaying the next Guild Wars until next year. This allows us some time to double check the fix, and look for other issues that may be related to these MongoDB optimizations. Players will notice the schedule change in-game in the next day or so.
3. Missing Campaign Task
With the release of Nexus, we intended to run multiple Nexus weeks to expand it’s story in the campaign, as well as release more content for the new Kingdom. Our early tests found no issues, but we noticed that Campaigns had a limitation that they couldn’t contain the same kingdom twice. We noticed this AFTER the campaign had started though. Turns out it was very tricky to fix with a live campaign, so we’ve sent out missing stars to everyone.
In the short term, we will continue to keep an eye on Campaign Tasks each week for the rest of the current Campaign. If any more missing tasks should appear, we will be able to send out any Stars that would have been earned from them.
Longer term, we’ll ensure this does not happen again in future Campaigns where we may have more than 1 week in a Kingdom.
4. Born of Fire/Nature/etc Traits having problems at the start of turn
With the Born of Fire/Nature/etc traits, we missed this issue. There are some things that our tests don’t always find… and timing-sensitive issues like this are one (basically you have to cast a spell quickly at the start of your turn where a born-of-x trait creates a match). QA often tends to actively look for problems (listed in a test plan) - actually looking for stuff can cause you to miss things that require you to act very quickly. This was such a case. We have a number of different interactions happening within the puzzle game - more now that we have heroic gems, so we’ll be improving our test plans to try and catch more of them.
With this issue we provided a workaround to the players who had contacted Support. (Wait for any Born of X traits to resolve, including Gem matches before casting a spell that targets the board).
While we could have modified the trait to remove the issue, we elected to leave it in for now, as there was a workaround, it was quite a fun unique trait for Nexus, and we had a fix for it coming in the 6.1 Update - releasing soon ™.