Save state of loaded EQ to save it through crashes/reboots

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Save state of loaded EQ to save it through crashes/reboots

Postby Teron » Wed Jun 14, 2017 12:05 pm

Greetings.

Problem:
We spend hours of time and effort to cycle certain mobs and pop items, ranging from specs to biggest mobs in the areas only to lose loaded items on crashes/reboots. This is greatly disappointing and means that we waste hours of our life for nothing - even if playing a text game is a fruitful pursuit.

It means that to pop the item again, the players not only need to kill an empty mob - right now most mobs appear w/o eq - but spend the same time/effort to pop the item(s) again.

Solution 1:
Save the state of items in use on mobs larger, than 5mil, every repop (ideally, all mobs > 1mil)
When a crash occurs, load that state of eq.
If there were no items, allow the few of the items - mostly books/keys/etc- load on crash/reboot as they do now.

The only exception is choppers we pop: we typically drop them on the ground, since we need tons to lead large groups, especially, if taking into account breaking specs.

Solution 2:
Load items on kill.

It'd help if choppers on the ground remained on the ground as well.

Keeping spellbooks in the libraries might be helpful as well.

To demonstrate the problem, I am and will be posting items with:
- which items were lost and how many of them
- effort required to pop them
- when it happened.

I'll start with:
1. Before June 12th: I spent about 8-12 hours across 3 days to pop 30-40 specs total before they are poofed on crash. I pop another batch, and it crashes again. It crashed 3 times on me, and I kept popping specs, and then it crashed again. I popped them again. I wonder, if this is a sign of a mad addict, than a healthy person.

2. June 12th:
Neptune pre-loaded eq on 150-200mil mobs.
A group of 6-7 spent at least 3-4 hours killing 1 200mil mob per run, which later popped.
There were 5-7 items I knew - about 3 were actually popped, not Neptune-loaded - that were lost in a scheduled reboot 24hr after the quest.

3. June 14th.
Ezekiel and I have spent at least 4-5 hours popping specs, solo, 2man and in a chop group.
About 20+ specs were lost in a scheduled reboot.

A found shaping peri.

4. Every time a crash/reboot happens, the fargate we enable manually is reset and not renewed.
It takes at least 5-9 min for 2+ 9x40 players to regen for the kill, and after the kill.

5. Countless times, when I have killed a big mob, went to bed, only to find that the MUD has crashed/rebooted, while I slept, leaving it a mystery, whether it loaded.

Sometimes I wonder, if I should bother with popping specs or enabling fargate.

Now I wonder, if I should bother cycling eq.

I invite players to share their stories of lost items: please tell us, when the items were lost, the effort required to pop them and how many of the items were lost.

I'd appreciate, if immortals fix this black hole of eq - and I'll be providing feedback as long as this bug lives.

Thank you.

P.S. If someone wants to tell me that popping eq isn't what we play for: play how you want, but do not tell me how to play the game

P.P.S. I'd like to note that some imms do:
- save choppers, if they are on
- re-enable fargate, if they are present - but not always
- enable random extra bonuses.

However, this isn't an imm rule, more a whim, and random extra global bonuses - except gempop - don't compensate for lost pops, only for the loss of aged exp on mobs.
Last edited by Teron on Thu Jun 15, 2017 5:59 am, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Save state of loaded EQ to save it through crashes/reboo

Postby Tuck » Wed Jun 14, 2017 4:47 pm

easy solution:
just make a room, e.g. south from lyme inn, where all specs/choppers saved upon reboot/crash. or reboot atleast ;)

thanks in advance
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Re: Save state of loaded EQ to save it through crashes/reboo

Postby Gorka » Wed Jun 14, 2017 7:31 pm

I sent this is Teker, Jan 4th...

Teker,

I write to you to suggest the idea of storing a partially saved state of the mud for reloading on crashes or reboots. Probably not a new idea to you... but I thought I'd suggest anyway. The reason I write today was because I had just spent ages killing Iblis when the game crashed... I was literally carving his corpse when it crashed... it's very frustrating.

My idea is two fold...

* Store when a mob is dead (Mob Killed Event).
* Store items loaded by a mob (Mob Spawn Event).

This way when the mud crashes... if the mob was saved as being dead, it could respawn the mob under the normal eq popping rules... and if the game crashed when the mob had loaded something, that item could be reloaded.

Now I know databases could slow the performance of the mud... but in this case I suspect it won't... because the saving of this data only occurs on zone resets or on mob deaths. As we would only be storing the mobs that are currently dead... this would be a smaller list than "all mobs in the game at the time." Likewise storing the loaded items... it's also a smaller list, than mobs without items.

Needless to say how popular this idea would be with players... simply for the reason it's fair to players... well currently nearly every single crash or reboot is a major disadvantage for players...

In my case today I lost the xp from Iblis, his coins (500k), 30 tokens on the floor of my vault for my newbie, a chance for Iblis to load, and 1mill worth of potions.

Regards,
Gorka


There was some talk that doing this might decrease the performance of the mud, but frankly areas only reset every 30mins, and storing that a mob has been killed to a file shouldn't be much more load than the game already does to unload it from memory. There was talk that if the mud crashed these saved state files might be corrupted, but how is that not the same problem with player files... and does/has that even happened?
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Re: Save state of loaded EQ to save it through crashes/reboo

Postby Teron » Thu Jun 15, 2017 5:56 am

Yeah, I don't see how saving state on repops (the mob will be dead just before, alive and empty or alive with item) would strain the database, it's just another point of data that doesn't have to be continuously monitored.

In MMORPGs items pop on death, so you don't have to kill the empty mob twice to get it and don't have to worry about losing pops on crash, because you can kill the mob right away after the crash.

While eqpop-on-death solves the item loss problem, we'll probably miss seeing that green text in the mob's desc, when it repops loaded. Then again, the uncertainty of pop, the randomness of chance to pop the item on its death might give us more motivation to kill mobs, rather than knowing 100% that the mob we are killing is empty.

It'd make killing an eq mob once during exp groups a more viable possibility, which we already do, but then an exp group wouldn't have to kill an unaged mob, if it pops.

Of course, personal items would have to be dropped on the ground outside the corpse, and people will have to eliminate "get all" triggers - I don't even have one, anyway.
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Re: Save state of loaded EQ to save it through crashes/reboo

Postby Gorka » Thu Jun 15, 2017 6:42 am

There is another side to that idea Taron, you won't be able to rally a group together based on the premise that something loaded, and players generally help each other out in those situations. That's not really a bad thing, it's just different.

I certainly hate how the 1st kill is nearly always empty... that's kind of stupid.
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Re: Save state of loaded EQ to save it through crashes/reboo

Postby *Splork* » Thu Jun 15, 2017 8:46 am

At one time, we were saving the states of all creatures which were either A) loaded or B) dead. If the game crashed or rebooted A) the item was either placed back on the creature(if it was over a certain value) or B) the creature had a chance to load that item.

I can't remember what caused that code to stop working or why it stopped working. However, we have discussed this issue and it will be addressed.
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Re: Save state of loaded EQ to save it through crashes/reboo

Postby Teron » Thu Jun 15, 2017 10:55 am

Gorka, you see, mobs don't pop good eq on crashes/reboots, so what you are talking about is:
- a group kills a large mob
- the tank or a few people leave
- someone notices a big mob loaded
- they start calling for help
1) if they succeed, they get the pop. Hurray!
2) if they fail or go to sleep, hoping it wouldn't crash, they don't get the item - this happened to me at least twice, because I was dead tired in the early morning.

However, I don't remember anyone calling for help right after crash with, "Help, a mob loaded cool eq on crash, let's get it!" The closest I can think of is Luci, but Luci loads during a house, not with the game.

What you are really talking about is a problem of killing the mob for the 2nd time to get the pop.

This problem - whether waiting for repops, waiting for people or leaving and losing a pop - is completely eliminated by popping eq on death.

Strictly speaking, the game theory dictates that we need a random chance to pop the item, not a certainty, as far as I know.

Splork, I appreciate your chiming in.

It's a good thing that there was once a solution.

As far as I remember, this was manually changed in late S2 or S3, because people were crashing the mud intentionally every 5-20 min to get a pop. One time, there were 3-5 crashes in an hour. This was in the era, when uptime of 5 days was great. and 3-4 days was good.

I guess you need to look at whether players know crashable bugs, and go from there.

Then again, even if there are player-induced bugs, it'd be interesting to trust them and see, whether the players abuse it. I hope that they wouldn't, since Teker tracks down crashes, anyway.
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Re: Save state of loaded EQ to save it through crashes/reboo

Postby *Splork* » Thu Jun 15, 2017 11:02 am

At one time, we had the game coded so that any mob on reboot could load equipment. That is when we had an issue with players purposely crashing the game.

We then manually removed that code and Rita eventually coded the solution that I posted above. With the above mentioned solution, there is no reason to purposely crash the game.

Also, our logs are a million times better now. Anyone caught purposely crashing the game would be wiped immediately .
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Re: Save state of loaded EQ to save it through crashes/reboo

Postby Teron » Thu Jun 15, 2017 12:51 pm

Ah good.

Then it'd be great to get it implemented.

I'd appreciate, if you keep us informed.

Also, what do you think about popping eq on death?

Thanks.
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Re: Save state of loaded EQ to save it through crashes/reboo

Postby Teron » Sun Jun 25, 2017 7:36 am

Manual reboot, June 24th.

Lost a pop from the mob that's behind the door, which is unlocked by the song of the luck gods, in the temple of Mnemosyne.

Yeah, I forgot it was loaded to warn Neptune of it, but then I doubt there was enough ppl for that mob.
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Re: Save state of loaded EQ to save it through crashes/reboo

Postby *teker* » Tue Jun 27, 2017 6:01 pm

I've written the code to save the list of mobile carried/equipped items at shutdown. It will go in with the next reboot. I have not added code to use that list at boot.

Question: What criteria should I use to repop an item? I'm not going to repop 100% of what is in the file.
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Re: Save state of loaded EQ to save it through crashes/reboo

Postby Gorka » Tue Jun 27, 2017 6:15 pm

*teker* wrote:Question: What criteria should I use to repop an item? I'm not going to repop 100% of what is in the file.


I don't follow what you mean here, why not load what was already loaded if the game is going down for reboot?
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Re: Save state of loaded EQ to save it through crashes/reboo

Postby Teron » Wed Jun 28, 2017 10:16 am

I'd load:
- held/worn equipment
- on mobs, larger than 1mil
- on valk, on mobs, larger than 50k

What is the restriction of the load list in your opinion, Teker?

Is there a way to add choppers to the list?

Teker, what do you think of loading eq/items/books on death?
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Re: Save state of loaded EQ to save it through crashes/reboo

Postby *Breeze* » Wed Jun 28, 2017 3:12 pm

if he reloads everything, then eventually there would be a bunch of junk loaded on monsters that no one will kill and it will make sloth use up more and more memory.

@teker - make a way to disable that feature? possibly a config that is set before a shutdown so it wont save ..
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Re: Save state of loaded EQ to save it through crashes/reboo

Postby Gorka » Wed Jun 28, 2017 4:49 pm

I see what your saying, but find it hard to believe that over time the mud would incrementally load with significantly more items because no one killed since the last reboot, to the point of putting a strain on memory. Is unpopped items on unrun areas really that much of a bigger problem? I mean half the mud hardly gets run, it's not for nothing I am 9x40 and my exploration is on 50%. If it's not being run, it's likely going to be empty anyway. The information in the file will be a good indication of what not to bother loading the first few times, until some filters could be implemented. Why not wait, and see how it pans out so the filters can be properly set.

The other suggestion is, perhaps there is a way to log a timestamp when the item loaded... you could clear out the crap by the timestamp if it's a certain age.
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