Tales from the Forum: The Foundry and Season 5 launch
Some members of the Foundry asked some hard questions to the Devs about the up-coming push to Holodeck. Many are worried that Season 4 blackout will happen again but Cryptic’s Rehpic provided some answers.
Rehpic: I wanted to let you all know about some steps that we are taking to help prevent a repeat of the long foundry downtime we saw with Season 4. We have some new tech that allows us to do a full republish test of all existing holodeck UGC projects before we push the build live, and this testing is happening now.
When Season 5 goes live, all existing UGC projects will be automatically withdrawn and republished. This is something we have to do after most major and some minor releases, because the format of our runtime data changes as we develop the code. The effect will be that when the game first comes up there will be little or no content in the foundry, but all projects should reappear over the next 8 or 10 hours as they each finish republishing.
We are planning to disable foundry editing for at least the first few hours when season 5 goes live. This is to ensure that no data corruption occurs on edited projects due to newly introduced bugs. Fixing this type of data corruption was the biggest reason that it took so long to get everything running again in season 4.
LordOfPit: That’s great to know Rehpic thanks. However, am I correct in assuming that gameplay changes may still affect re-published missions adversely? I mean, you guys can’t truly test each and every Foundry mission out there by playing it, so to your knowledge when we re-test our own missions, are there any particular gameplay bugs we should pay attention to?
Rehpic: Yes, this is exactly why we are keeping foundry editing turned off when the release initially goes live. We are not able to test every foundry mission, or even a majority of them, so we will be looking for feedback from players on the first day to see if anything serious is broken with the republished missions. The author of a mission is the one who is best able to tell if it is behaving the same after the patch as before, so please do play through your missions after Season 5 goes live and let us know if anything new is broken.
NemesisChiken: If the version of the project in the Foundry does not match the published version (ie. storyline enhancements partily completed) what will the automatic republished results be ?
Was consideration given to locking down the Foundry Editor prior (ie. 12-24 before patch applied) to reduce the unavailability post-release and provide extra lead time for any unexpected republishing issues ?
Rehpic: The automatic republish just republishes any currently published versions. It will have no effect on any un-published work in progress. The automated republish is not anything new or unusual. We have done it many times since the Foundry launched.
Closing foundry editing prior to the launch of Season 5 would not reduce the downtime post release. We need the new build active and player playing the republished missions.
Castmodean: IS it also possible to lock down the ability to place stars on any missions for the duration of the editing lockout?
Rehpic: Not currently, but I have bumped that feature up on the priority list for our UGC engineer, so we should have that capability not long after the launch of Season 5.
Cerritouru: I ask again, what could happend if I take my mission off today to be on the safe side?
Rehpic: You can certainly do that if you are concerned. If you withdraw the mission yourself it will not be automatically republished. It will just be unavailable until you publish it again yourself, which will have to wait until after we re-enable Foundry editing.
Rehpic: We just had our meeting to approve the Season 5 patch to go live tomorrow. We decided that we will leave Foundry editing off over the weekend to give people ample time to test their republished projects. So expect Foundry editing to be turned off tomorrow when the game comes back up with Season 5, and editing to be re-enabled some time early next week.
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