What went wrong with Elite Dangerous on 1 Jan? Frontier explain further.

As many of you will know, Elite Dangerous started to suffer from weird anomalies on 1 Jan which caused problems for players. Frontier has now released a full statement which explains what went wrong. The good news is that all affected players are being refunded and Commanders who found themselves a little wealthier than expected will not have any action taken against them.

The problem is being looked at on a case by case basis and frustratingly players who did gain an unfair advantage will now no longer be eligible for the “Race to Elite” competition.

The post reads:


I had previously posted a message similar to the following in the forums already (https://forums.frontier.co.uk/showth…=1#post1425751), but felt the players (you guys!) deserved a little more explanation and a plan of things to come!

Firstly, I’d like to apologise to all commanders affected by the recent server issue we suffered over New Year. On January 1st 2015 around 11:00pm we had a network issue with one of our databases. Our online engineering team spotted the issue and reacted to it immediately. During this period, a relatively small number of commanders were affected in various ways. Some having cargo stuck in their ship, others with missions that couldn’t be completed/aborted and vanishing ships. Our customer services team have been working through tickets to resolve these issues on an individual basis since the event. We have also updated and improved the architecture and solidified our server side technology to avoid this happening again.

After shoring up the database, in the early hours of the 2nd of January, we automatically refunded all the affected players for their lost transactions and also granted them a 20% bonus for their troubles. However, during this refund process, a very few (lucky) commanders received more credits than perhaps they were entitled to (5 billion credits in some cases)!

To be clear – these players will not be banned. Over the next 24 hours we will be investigating every affected player and performing individual commander rollbacks where we feel it’s fair to – which may include credits, assets and rank where appropriate. We may reach out to individual commanders where this situation may not be straight forward. None of these players will be eligible for the “Race to Elite” competition if we feel they have gained an unfair advantage over the competition.

On the morning of the 3rd of January, after reports that some players were still having issues, we ran a second pass over the database to remove any excess cargo commanders may have still been carrying, which should have unblocked the commodities markets for those remaining affected players. In the next 24 hours we shall also be issuing a server side fix to automatically issue a credit or asset refund on login after cases similar to these. Of course, if you are still having problems, please submit a support ticket at https://support.elitedangerous.com – our customer services team can help.

We are also aware of an exploit (I wont detail it here) which occurred due to this database error, where players have been abusing the broken state of their ship to “create credits”. These players know they are exploiting the system and will also be investigated. Actions may be taken against players who are known to be exploiting the system and do stand out from the commanders who were simply given the credits during our credit refund process. These players will also not be eligible for the “Race to Elite” competition if we feel they have gained an unfair advantage over the competition.

Again, I (and the whole of the online team) apologise for the disruption you may have suffered over the last few days. As you can see, we reacted promptly to the situation but simply failed to communicate this in good time with the players.

To avoid this happening in the future, in the next week, we shall be publishing a “Server Status” dashboard which you can use to see the state of the online galaxy. From here we shall let you know immediately of any problems we are currently facing, any known issues and any scheduled down-time for maintenance. This should give us a single place for us to be able to communicate directly with you guys about any problems the servers are currently facing – or hopefully – simply that all is well in the galaxy.

Finally – if you are still affected by this issue in anyway, please do submit a support ticket: https://support.elitedangerous.com. Our apologies for the disruption and we shall endeavour to communicate with commanders more promptly and directly going forward.

As always, fly safe commanders!

Andrew Barlow

Good to see some action being taken and hopefully in the future the system will be more robust to prevent it happening again.

Paul Younger
Founder and Editor of PC Invasion. Founder of the world's first gaming cafe and Veteran PC gamer of over 22 years.

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