Battling the Lag Monster... and winning!

Artix Krieger | Tuesday, July 14, 2020

"Dude, where's my lag?"

Have you noticed those big boss monsters no longer have latency issues? With your help, and some not-so-cleverly-disguised live events, we found the lag monster... and slayed it!  We are going to hit it a few more times this week for good measure. Ready for some details?

But first... the "Lag Buffet"

There's more types of Lag than M&Ms...

As a serious gamer, you likely already know all the techy details of lag. But just in case, here is an extremely technical guide that will make you a game dev expert on "lag".

Become a Lag-xpert 101

  • Server Lag - When the server hamsters get tired and things start slowing down.
  • Network Lag - When someone brings their kids to the lab and they run around stepping on the hose our internet streams through.
  • Graphics Lag - When your video card's mouth is full and the game keeps trying to shove in more marshmallows.
  • Denial of Service attack (DDOS) - When someone tries to throw the entire internet at our our server... makes the hamsters tired fast, causing server lag.
  • Your computer/phone/tablet sucks lag - A special type of lag that only other people have and is always 100% our fault.

Save the Server Hamsters!

We added a lot of new boss fight mechanics to AdventureQuest 3D. You have seen them in awesome boss battles, including the Dai-Tengu and surprise ending of the Nature Guardian Tower. In the survey we released the other week, a ton of players commented on getting disconnected from these fights, the live events, and the concert. It was server lag. We made it a top priority to figure out why. We ran a few live events.... that were not really live events. They were really server stress tests.  Zhoom, our lead coder, oversaw these tests... monitoring and analyzing traffic data. He discovered the source of the problem.

The Live Event / Concert Fix

I know what you are thinking. "It was a simple bug in the new fight mechanics, right!?"  No :-( It was actually a big scary problem. All of the new features we added were fine on their own. They were even fine when mixed together. It was not even possible to detect the problem "most of the time." Only when a lot of players were online at the same time doing a live event, a concert, or fighting the newest boss monster-- BAM, the problem happened. The little tiny micro-second long "wait, we are doing this complicated attack" started backing up. So instead of our server hamsters all running at the same time, the got jammed up like a line waiting for a Roller Coaster at Disney. The line of hamsters would back up further and further until..... the hamsters gave up and left the line.... DISCONNECT! Could have used a better metaphor here... but Zhoom re-wrote the game server so that every player now has their own line! (Gosh I wish theme parks worked like this in real life) This solved the major source of server lag in live events, concerts, and some boss fights.

The Boss Monster Fix

We also discovered a hard to spot glitch that happened with one of the "optional" fields in our database. Spoiler: It was not optional. This nasty little glitch was responsible for a lot of boss monsters issues and possibly some "fall through the floor" issues. Kudos to Dagger for doing the work to find and fix this bug. The fix will be rolling out in the next game update.

Apple Login Support

Hey, wait! This is not a bug.... why is this in here? I dunno. Seemed as good as place as any. In the next AdventureQuest 3D game release, we will be adding Apple Login as a new way to login. The Apple Login is not cross-platform... so it can only be used on Apple iPhones, iPads, etc. You will probably notice all Apple apps that update regularly are suddenly getting these logins this week. It is a new requirement for all apps on the apple app store moving forward. You will, of course, be able to login using any method you prefer. As a general rule, make sure your email is up to date with us and that you "confirmed your email".  If you did this, then we can help you recover your account no matter what devices you use.


We hope your adventuring is smoother than ever. I would LOVE to put the fixes to the test with an all-game-server live event. What do you say? XD

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