OOC: Once More, With Thanks…

[It’s Another NET2 SUMMARY POST! This time with good news!]

Shorah B’shemtee! As of the time of writing this, and even at the time of posting this, we’ve not had a net2 that was triggered by the usual suspect issues since the update earlier this week. The one Net2 the game has seen since the update was, ironically enough, due to a press of a wrong button on the server side. *shrugs* It happens. LOL

Anyways, This last fix attempt was, I believe, somewhere around the 10th such issue we’ve addressed during the hunt for the Net2s. As you can imagine, that’s a LOT of potential security issues I’m not at liberty to discuss, because needless to say, we don’t want folks who mean harm to have easy ways of taking down the game server.

Most of these fixes were server side, but this latest one was client side, and due to it being tied to an action that players took regularly, innocently, this action became more and more likely to cause a Net2 during peak hours of increased player activity such as large group gathering events.

So… what was the issue this fix addressed?

I’ll leave it to Marten to summarize:

Failure to initialize memory before using it.

Imagine you’re a bartender and you grab a glass off the counter and pour something into it… without checking that the glass should be EMPTY FIRST.

And then hand the (sometimes mixed fluids, sometimes correct) drink to the customer, who drinks it without checking that you gave them the right thing.

And when the customer spews, everyone evacuates the bar.

Essentially, the otherwise innocent action was querying the server with a memory request that was not always clean. Occasionally, it would grab memory that already had data within it… and this shouldn’t have been an issue. Except for one problem…

To again quote Marten:

The server has some fault in this as well.

Back to “tech explanation”, the MOULa server shouldn’t crash when we send it garbage. It should know “This type of message should never be more than 16 bytes, THIS IS SUS.” But it does not do that.

The MOSS and H’uru servers are better than MOULa’s in this regard – they check what you hand to them and don’t trust it implicitly.

Imagine you’re someone who’s never had alcohol before, asked for grape juice, and received by pure accident a mixture of grape juice, absinthe, rum, vodka, and rubbing alcohol.

You’d probably net 2 yourself, given that kind of mixture!

In the end, the issue is going to be closely monitored going forwards in case of further data corruption. Other potential causes, such as the over-crowded hood issue, will be addressed in the near future as well. However, it is our hope that now that we’ve caught one of the primary event triggers, we should see no further net 2s for the foreseeable future.

IN CONCLUSION…

Personal thanks from me go to Adam Hoikas, of the Guild of Writers, and Chogon, of Cyan, for their efforts working on the super duper secret back end part of this equation. I don’t think we could have gotten this resolved without their efforts! Additional thanks go to everyone else who contributed to the code front who I may not be aware of your personal involvement, but thanks to you regardless!

Further thanks from me go to all the testers who helped us in running down potential leads and all the other various causes. Your help was invaluable, and your ideas to test were well worth putting to rest. Additionally, thank you to all the explorers who gave me data on what they were doing before the various Net2s we had over the last few months.

To the Community at large: Thank you for being patient with us as we searched for a resolution to this issue. The CavCon fund did take a hit this last month due to all the work that Chogon was doing on his end working to find the issue on the Server Side. If you feel you have the cash to spare, please feel free to Donate to the CavCon fund to keep MOULa’s servers funded.

If you feel you have what it takes to help us in the development side of things, hunting down bugs, testing content, or creating game content, please feel free to join us at the Open Uru Discord Server. Come say hi! We’re all volunteers working on this, and we’d love to have more folks join us in development and testing. 🙂

And now… it’s time for us to be concerned with other things… brighter things…

See you around the Cavern, all. 🙂

Shorah!

–Calum Traveler

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