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Old 04-19-2012, 05:42 PM   #10966
l.a.r.t
 
 
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Silicon Vampire View Post
Until they know what is happing, how can they tell you? Once they do know, what would be best? Getting it fixed or spend time posting?

My vote goes to toward "fixing". They can post about it later, once they know it is in fact working correctly.
My vote goes towards telling someone what is going on and have them post it while still fixing the problem thus providing constant updates.

And then, after fixing the problem, tell their customers
- what the problem was (ok, we got an obscure one liner)
- why this problem happened
- what has been done to prevent this problem in the future

In addition it would be interesting if this single point of failure, that prevents the offline mode from working will be looked at and made more customer friendly instead of enforcing it's draconic DRM.
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Old 04-19-2012, 05:44 PM   Click here to go to the next staff post in this thread.   #10967
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Originally Posted by Delusion83 View Post
How about an explanation on what actually really happened and what is done to prevent it from happening again, also in relation to the offline mode!?
Offline mode is orthogonal to this issue. We haven't changed much about Offline mode lately, and this issue hasn't changed anything about Offline mode -- though it did stress its functionality because users wanted it to work to get around problems with their connection. Thing is, offline mode might not have worked to help this issue because of the nature of the problem.

Offline mode is meant to work when the client is offline. In this case, the client wasn't exactly offline because it actually had connected to Steam. When a connection happens, the Steam servers give the client a set of configuration data. That data describes to the client what titles are available, what titles are no longer available, and so on. Some of that information is region-specific; games may or may not be available in certain regions.

That information is also cached on the client.

The misconfiguration was that a game was marked as available in the default Steam subscription -- the one with the Steam client itself and all of the free titles -- but was also marked as not being available in DE. Then the client saw this, it decided the configuration information was invalid and logged off the servers. That validation and logoff procedure took a variable amount of time, giving the illusion that the problem was really (or at least possibly) a network-related issue. We might have been predisposed to thinking there was a network-related problem because there has been a history of routing problems between some areas in Europe and Valve; in fact, we were actually tracking such an issue with an ISP at the time this issue surfaced. After investigation, we found that the bogus configuration tripped a safety mechanism designed to defend the client against that incorrect information.

The configuration data that Steam ships around is pretty large and surprisingly complicated. We've got checks to make sure we don't publish bad configuration info for most common cases, but some obscure cases -- like this one -- can get past our checks and end up in the wild.

Since many users had the cached information, they weren't affected immediately. When they received the new copy of the information with the incorrect configuration, they went through the automatic logout path and noticed problems. This symptom was a bit masking in that only certain users were affected in certain regions; until we could reproduce the problem ourselves and observe the effect of the misconfiguration, we were unable to find the cause of the problem and take action.

It's impossible to fix an issue which isn't understood; we have to take the time to diagnose it. We try to communicate as well as we can during that phase, and it could improve -- but the limitation is that we don't know many details, either. If we make a post based on information that isn't completely solid, it looks terrible. We might think we'll have it fixed in five minutes. Saying so, only to find the issue is much more complicated and will take substantially longer to fix, ends up being much worse for everyone in the long run. As a result, we try to be quick to acknowledge problems, and we did that here. We can't provide details until we, ourselves, have them.

I hope that provides the insight into the issue that you've asked for.
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Old 04-19-2012, 05:58 PM   #10968
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@MikeBlaszczak: If I understand this correctly, this means that if our internet-connection dies (whatever reason) while we're logged in with the Steam-Client, we would have the same problems with the offline-mode not working as we had now? As we are obviously not able to foresee if and when a problem with our internet connections arises, or if and when Steam-Servers die, how is offline-mode helping us in any way except when we know in advance that we won't have a connection?

Last edited by Puthcan: 04-19-2012 at 06:02 PM.
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Old 04-19-2012, 06:01 PM   #10969
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I would not expect an answer to that question in this thread, it is about downtime of the network not offline mode.

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Old 04-19-2012, 06:03 PM   #10970
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Originally Posted by Silicon Vampire View Post
I would not expect an answer to that question in this thread, it is about downtime of the network not offline mode.
Which is VERY closely related to each other as offline mode seems to be unusable if the Steam-Client doesn't shut down properly due to problems with the Steam-Servers.

Do you think I should rather open a new thread regarding the offline mode?

Last edited by Puthcan: 04-19-2012 at 06:06 PM.
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Old 04-19-2012, 06:40 PM   #10971
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Am I the only Irish player with connection issues?
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Old 04-19-2012, 08:18 PM   #10972
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeBlaszczak View Post
[...]

The misconfiguration was that a game was marked as available in the default Steam subscription -- the one with the Steam client itself and all of the free titles -- but was also marked as not being available in DE.

[...]
...and again German censorship ruins the day...

Which politician can we make responsible for this?
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Old 04-19-2012, 08:42 PM   #10973
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^^i bet you guys will find some....^^

i hope everybody can sleep now after this great explanation what has happened.
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Old 04-19-2012, 08:42 PM   #10974
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeBlaszczak View Post
..The misconfiguration was that a game was marked as available in the default Steam subscription -- the one with the Steam client itself and all of the free titles -- but was also marked as not being available in DE..
Interesting. Thanks for the info!

@Headhunter
Germans are sensible.. could be censorship, could have something to do with rights and ownership and so on. (a song taken care off by GEMA maybe)

Thanks Valve for making an Extrawurst for us Germans.
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Old 04-19-2012, 09:07 PM   #10975
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Originally Posted by Timothyo View Post
[...]

could have something to do with rights and ownership and so on. (a song taken care off by GEMA maybe)

[...]
...then I would have expected the obligatory "Das tut uns leid." phrase also seen on almost half of the videos on YouTube (DE).
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Old 04-19-2012, 09:16 PM   #10976
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So, is it working again for everyone?
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Old 04-19-2012, 09:33 PM   #10977
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Originally Posted by MegaSandvich View Post
So, is it working again for everyone?
Should be quite obvious that it's working again, considering the amount of whine, hate and raging dropped significantly by now.
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Old 04-19-2012, 09:36 PM   #10978
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Smile

Quote:
Originally Posted by cl4ym4n View Post
Should be quite obvious that it's working again, considering the amount of whine, hate and raging dropped significantly by now.
Just wanted to make sure
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Old 04-19-2012, 09:41 PM   #10979
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I'm in NYC and cannot connect after the most recent update!
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Old 04-20-2012, 01:42 AM   #10980
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http://img151.imageshack.us/img151/3581/image3032.png

Steam connection is working now, though
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