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Andy's Workshop


Game chat and stories along with some articles probably for the more geeky among us,
all written by me, Andy.

Click here for my Frontierville Addiction Therapy Guide

Sunday, 9 January 2011

Server Issues, Why, God, WHY?!

If there's one thing you'll see again and again in the issues section is the phrase "server problems" and may wonder why this happens, and often why you might have it but someone else doesn't, even someone close by.

For starters, why does it happen at all... Well, the simple answer is the game is incredibly popular all around the world which means the servers are in something like gridlock 24/7. This is already putting strain on the servers that run the game and sometimes, at times of extreme use it'll slow it down, stop the game entirely or cause rollbacks etc.

Part of the problem can come from how people play the game, it's that simple. Take chicken farming for example.

When the Frontierville Devs created chickens and coops they couldn't have seen the exploit that many people have taken to using. Multiple coops and hundreds, sometimes thousands of chickens helps you level up quickly.

Never mind that level has minimal impact on the game, some people feel these higher numbers need to be reached and have found this quite dull, in my opinion, way of doing it.

Now for the problem... each chicken is an asset that the game needs to load. It needs to register its position on the homestead, its growth level, when it was last fed, all the info needed to make the chicken appear in the right place and be ready to be fed. If you have 300 chickens the game now needs to do this 300 times, slowing down your own loading procedure and putting extreme strain on the server as it tries to throw all this information around.

So that's what we mean by server issues, but what about the question "I have problems but *insert close relative, spouse, child or pet name* doesn't but they use the same computer, why?!"

It's simple, servers are randomly designated, the game doesn't see an ip address or location and fit you into the nearest server or one containing all your neighbours, it just pops you on whichever is running the best at that time.

This means even if your computer has accounts for you, your other half, all three of your children and both guinea pigs and they all signed onto Frontierville inside 5 minutes it's likely there will be a range of servers you've ended up on. Some will be good, some will be bad and often they'll swap around depending on time and load.

Unfortunately the only real answer is more and more servers, and as most of us don't buy Horseshoes this is something it's unlikely to happen on a grand enough scale any time soon.

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