Design Notes

April 03, 2019

Server Crash vs Client Crash

Why did I crash?

Crashes!  We all hate them!  But what you may not realize is not all crashes are server or game crashes.  Today, we will talk about the difference between server/game and client crashing.

A server/game crash is exactly what it implies, the entire server or game is down and none of the players can reach it.  The causes of server and game crashes are varied, so we can’t actually say with any certainty at any point that “crash A was caused by reason X” until we are done investigating each crash.  Rest assured that we do not want the game down any more than you do.  When the server actually crashes we work as hard and as fast as possible to get things back up so you can return to your play time.

A client crash is when something happens that disconnects you from the server, but the game itself was not affected.  This is what happens most of the time when we see reports of “game crashed”.  There are quite a few known causes for why this happens.  Unfortunately, we cannot troubleshoot what you were doing at the time of your disconnection.  What we can do is to let you know what causes them so you can compare those to what you were doing right before it happened and know what not to do so you will stop disconnecting.

Common causes of client crashing (disconnections) are:

1. Picking up items.  There are 3 possible issues when picking up items.

  • The first is clicking the same type of item box twice.  When you click an item box, all items of the same type will be picked up.  Give the server the half a second it needs to do this for you. It is actually faster in the long run than spam clicking.
  • The next is spam clicking.  You need to allow the server the fraction of a second it needs to collect the items for you.  When you spam click to pick up ALLTHEBOXES, you are not allowing the server to finish collecting “Item A” before you also tell it to collect “Item B, C, D and E”.  Server gets cranky at being bullied like this.
  • Allowing the items to stack too high before picking them up.  When you allow hundreds of items to stack up before trying to collect them, the server gets cranky, much like in the spam clicking scenario.  Do pick ups a little more often when farming.

2. Spamming class skills. Again, the cure here is to slow down the clicking.  We have found this is more likely to happen to players who use the keyboard and classes with haste boosting skills.

  • If you have a haste buff expiring at the same time as you use a skill, you will sometimes disconnect. This may solve itself as you level up and gain more natural haste.
  • Another class-related method that causes crashes is by taking damage when your HP is reduced to 0 by an HP cost skill (Void Highlord) or by a reflect (Burning Ward, Temporal Insanity). Be careful of that, too. 

3.  Lag!  Lag is the very bane of every gamer and game everywhere.  It can’t be fully defeated, but there are many things you can do to argue it into a stalemate:

  • Show Pet - turn to No
  • Show Helm - Turn to No
  • Show My Cloak - Turn to No
  • Hide Other Pets - turn to Yes
  • Hide Other Cloaks - Turn to Yes
  • Animations - turn to Off

Changing to these settings, individually or all together, can reduce a significant amount of lag.
Another thing you can do to reduce lag is to have less tabs open, and this is especially true when you have streaming services like video or music sites open on other tabs.

4.  Spam clicking the quest turn in button.  The quest turn in box, just like any other part of the game, can be affected by lag.  If you click the button and the quest does not turn in normally, please do not spam click the button.  It will not force the quest to turn in.  It can force you off the game though.  Your best option at that time would actually be to use the back or abandon buttons, give it a few moments and try to turn the quest in again.

5. Your Internet.  You can have an amazingly high internet speed, and still have it drop for a fraction of a second and then come right back up.  In many cases you would never even notice these types of drops.  Sadly, this is enough to disconnect you from the server.

6.  Your browser.  With changes to how many browsers are handling Flash, you may experience load issues or connection drops with some of them.  Because different browsers work better or worse with different systems, there isn’t one that we can recommend.  Try multiple browsers and see which one works best for you.

And finally, my favourite thing to remind you of!  Always make sure you Clear Your Cache regularly.  I recommend no less than once a week, and up to 3 times a week if you play daily.

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