Yikes… WoW’s Khadgar server accidentally sent characters back to Mists of Pandaria levels

    
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Yikes… WoW’s Khadgar server accidentally sent characters back to Mists of Pandaria levels

Time travel isn’t unknown in World of Warcraft, but usually when players experience it there, it’s a thrilling adventure to other eras. However, some players on the game’s Khadgar server experienced a much less fun version of time travel this week as they logged in to find that their characters were de-leveled back to 80 or 90 — or deleted outright.

That’s… kind of a problem.

Blizzard confirmed that this was happening, saying, “As many of you are aware there appears to be an issue, specific to the realm of Khadgar it seems, where several characters have ‘deleveled.’ It is something that our teams are aware of and it is under investigation. The original higher level characters do not appear to be gone, so our teams are looking into what caused the issue, how to prevent it going forward, and how to return access to the higher level characters.”

Affected players are encouraged to submit tickets and then warn the gaming public about the future of Warlords of Draenor.

Source: Blizzard via Icy Veins

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Ernost
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Ernost

WTF? Data in a database does not magically change on its own. Somebody did this, either intentionally or accidentally.

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angrakhan

This. This was not a bug. Bugs don’t occur once and then never again. If it hit several servers I’d call it a bug. My guess? Some dev was trying to test something out but forgot his tools were pointed at live data. Fortunately backups are a thing. I doubt we’ll see an official explanation.

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agemyth 😩

Bugs don’t really occur in any reliable or predictable way. You cannot definitively say they should behave one way or another other than “unpredictable”.

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angrakhan

lolwut? Dude, I’m a professional software developer. Team lead, almost 25 years of experience. I program business software, not games, but I can tell you bugs are highly reproducible making them highly predictable. You ever beta test a game? You ever submit a bug report? You recall seeing something like “steps to reproduce”? You know why they ask that? It’s because the bug is reproducible. It’s code.

If you have a section of code like so:

if(value less than 10){ DoSomething();}

That bug is going to reproduce itself EVERY TIME the value is less than 10.

Bugs get hard to reproduce when when the set of conditions to reproduce them get so large as to make them rare. This is especially true when the condition to reproduce them includes specific timings in a multi-threaded environment like “user x does something specific exactly .2 seconds after user y does something specific”. However, if you can identify those steps to reproduce, the bug will occur every single time.

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agemyth 😩

I’ll let this be by just saying my post was misunderstood. Maybe I worded it wrong, but also maybe don’t assume that I am just the dumbest person in the world and explain to me how basic logic works.

Bereman
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Bereman

Until we hear an official explanation (if we ever do), I’m just gonna chalk this up to WoW showing it’s age. A game as old as WoW is bound to have accrued a certain amount of janky elements that have either stuck around hidden or were never priorities to really fix.

As a player I’d be worried if this happened to me, especially the part where Blizzard has to figure out the “how” of returning players to their previous status…that uncertainty wouldn’t feel comforting right now.

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angrakhan

Not too hard. You just restore the database from the last good backup before the issue. After that you run the transaction log up to just before the issue occurred. Depending on how often they backup the transaction log it could be within a few minutes of the event.

Bereman
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Bereman

I didn’t pass judgment on how difficult it may or may not be, I simply pointed out that the uncertainty coming from Blizzard would not be comforting to a player that had this happen to them. Whether it’s easy or hard to do, that their initial response is essentially “We don’t immediately know how to restore your character and need to figure that out” is not a statement that builds confidence in this situation.

Maybe the professional software developer should work on reading the post they respond to more carefully next time.

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angrakhan

My comment was not saying you were wrong, but rather Blizzard’s statement was rather weak because the “how” is pretty straight forward. In light of that ( Blizzard’s statement) I said that it’s “Not too hard”, but I was not clear in my response who I was directing that too, so apologies.

Their verbiage on “under investigation” and “how to prevent it going forward” leads me to think they know exactly how, but are trying to track down WHO.

Could be someone got access to the admin tools and did it maliciously. Perhaps a disgruntled mod tearing up data on their way out the door. Makes more logical sense than code that worked fine for years suddenly and randomly picked a single server to de-level characters on

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Utakata

It’s time for a rollback… o.O

Carlo Lacsina
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Carlo Lacsina

Considering what I know about Khadgar the character, this is a very Khadgar kind of thing to happen.

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Greaterdivinity

Man, this ranks up there in the list of “Weird bugs that make no sense.”

I hope Blizzard posts about what happened, because I’m genuinely fascinated and wonder how this is even possible >.>

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Eamil

The speculation I’ve heard that makes the most sense is that an old backup somehow got merged into existing character data. Someone I know race and name changed a character a few months ago and now that character is still there at level 120 AND the previous version of the character magically also exists.

Why some characters are gone COMPLETELY I have no idea, unless it just randomly deleted characters if you ran out of character slots after the merge. (That person’s main is gone, too.)

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mysecretid

2020 — The Year Of WTF? :-)

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Bruno Brito

It happened to MadSeason, and the video following it was hilarious.

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Sorenthaz

“Champion! I have some good news, and I have some bad news. The good news is I have figured out a way to make our entire universe travel back in time without the assistance of the Bronze Dragonflight. The bad news is that this is our first time meeting because you don’t remember anything that happened… and some champions might not exist at this point in the timeline…

No worry though! I can fix this. Go gather 4967.5 boar livers for me. What? They contain magical properties. Yes, that’s the exact amount. Don’t question me. I did the magical math.”

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cursedseishi

” I did the magical math.”

He must be a real mathemagician in that case.

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17DucksInATrenchcoat

Each liver has 10% drop rate. Good luck!

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EugeniuKnows

I’m wondering whether Blizzard by any chance is using same outsourced server provider as LOTRO…

Aldristavan
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Aldristavan

I just found this gem. LOL.

Hurbster
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Hurbster

And because it’s Madseason Asmongold reacted to it.

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mysecretid

Hoo boy! That’s all I’ve got.

Whatever’s going on in the Sauron’s Tower that is Blizzard HQ, I don’t even pretend to know. :-)