ArenaNet describes circumstances of extended GW2 outage last year
Guild Wars 2 is a game that rarely experiences downtime, even when major updates are released. That’s why it came as a shock – to gamers and ArenaNet employees alike – when the EU’s servers for the game went down in May 2020. They went up and down several times during one day, and at the time, we only had a brief statement from ArenaNet to explain the issues.
Today, ArenaNet Platform Team Leader Robert Neckorcuk gave much more detail on the circumstances surrounding this event in a post on the Guild Wars 2 site. It’s a long read, but here are the highlights:
GW2 uses two servers, a primary and a secondary, so that one can take over if something bad happens to the other. They frequently copy information between themselves, to ensure that all data is taken into account. Just before the weekend, ArenaNet upgraded its servers for the EU region, noting that data was writing slowly between them. They thought everything would be fine and left for the weekend.
It was not good. On the morning of May 11, that speed of communication was eclipsed by the speed of writing new data and it all went to hell.
The culprit was the drivers for the new server operating system. When ArenaNet upgraded them, the write speed increased dramatically and the pending message queue disappeared “almost instantly”. Problem solved! (Also, update your drivers, kiddos.)
Neckorcuk explained that several other measures have been put in place to monitor similar situations in the future. In more than a year since the incident, Guild Wars 2 has experienced 99.98% uptime, with only five minor interruptions. All’s well that ends well, but not without trauma, as Neckorcuk began his article by saying, “I can assure you I didn’t have to search for this date – it’s still a pretty vivid memory for me. . ” It’s okay, Robert, the bad date can’t hurt you anymore.