As many of you know, the last two weeks were rough week for War Dragons as a game-breaking bug forced us to turn off the Kingdom Wars event prior to completion. Many players are asking why we kept at it for so long. We wanted to give you a brief history of our efforts and shine a light on our thought process, not only in the name of transparency but also to give the community an idea of what goes on under the hood.
History: Kingdom Wars is one of our 4 rotational PvP events and was introduced back in 2018. As part of our Collect Wide Initiative, we launched a major update (Kingdom Wars: Dragon Defenders) to this event in Summer 2020 to promote the initiative. This update was meant to make collecting much more essential for success in the event, but it had the downside of significantly increasing server load as each castle was no longer just a castle but a castle plus defenders.
Early Releases: Since the revamp, Kingdom Wars: Dragon Defenders has run into consistent server load issues. Each time we encountered these load issues, we’ve been able to resolve them within an hour or two, but we realized this was very frustrating for you because your plans for the most critical part of the event were disrupted. As we worked to improve the overall player experience and applied patches to known issues, new ones popped up and we saw that community morale plummeted due to the instability.
Last week: The most recent Kingdom Wars went live on Wednesday. When PvP/the battle phase began on Thursday, we spun up several machines to handle the game load, but they were unexpectedly overwhelmed. We sent out some compensation, but many of you were still somewhat wary of the event’s stability. However, going into Thursday evening, we believed the situation was stabilized.
Initial reports began to trickle in late Thursday night and rapidly grew in volume on Friday that Castle HP was getting stuck at 1 HP after conquering. The root cause was two pieces of new functionality not playing nice with each other and castle health decay not being properly reset. Due to the slow nature of the decay, it was not apparent until significant time had passed. This destabilized the map balance and team scores, but more importantly, it caused the castles to be conquered and locked from future attacks after one single attack, which prevented players from being able to receive any individual progression points.
While a possible fix was determined late Friday afternoon, we realized that we had exhausted your patience – the damage was done and burnout and resentment were exceedingly high.
We believed that releasing a fix late Friday evening or spinning up a new event was too risky. After much thought, we made the difficult choice to end the event.
Path Forward for Kingdom Wars: Due to structural challenges and the recurring latency issues, and with player opinion of the event at its lowest point, we’ve decided to shelve Kingdom Wars for the indefinite future.
Path Forward for Events: Fortunately, our first new event in two years (Crystal Caves) is just around the corner. In the long term, Crystal Caves will replace Kingdom Wars in our PvP event rotation and bring new gameplay experiences to the world of events. With new things comes new risks, so we are taking stability very seriously with this new event and will be releasing it in a staged rollout to de-risk the potential impact on your experience. Initially, we will run it as a 1-2 day trial run on a Monday following a Fortification or Breeding event. This will give us real world load testing and a chance to identify any problems before it becomes the featured weekly event.
Thank you all for rallying as a community and keeping us on course.