Where to start? The last months have been rocky, laggy and in the past weeks it has gotten worse especially for some bigger gameworlds. On top of this difficult situation, in the last few days we started dealing with the most severe DDoS attacks in the history of Travian, which are causing lags and intermittent outages difficult to mitigate. As you may have already noticed, all this has resulted in a rather unpleasant gaming experience.
As a Gaming Company, operating Travian now for almost 18 years, we feel responsible for providing you with a flawless experience. It is the base of our business and everything we publish and advertise suffers in value if you have trouble playing it.
Therefore, I am offering the following explanation not as an excuse, but as an attempt to provide more transparency and a little more context on the scope of the issues we are currently facing.
A three-headed dragon
A while ago, we moved our gameworlds to a new technology that gives us the flexibility to scale and adjust gamewolds to your needs. In other words, if a certain gameworld becomes very popular with a lot of player interaction, this technology is supposed to give us an option to quickly scale up the container within that gameworld and thus offer you a larger space for your game actions. By taking this step, we are keeping our game and its operational environment up to date.
However this transition is challenging to execute.
The first provider we were working with dates back to spring 2021, right after the first gameworlds V4.6 were released. As they were not able to provide us with a stable performance, in the summer of 2021 we moved back to our old, more stable, yet less flexible setup.
In the meantime we were also working on code optimization to make the game more compatible with new technology.
After optimizing the code, a new attempt started earlier this year with a different provider. We only had a couple of gameworlds running and gradually expanded their number. It looked very promising at first. Unfortunately, problems soon started to rise again.
The challenge with such a situation is that it is hard to detect the lags in hindsight and even harder to determine the reason for them. Despite really close collaboration, this new provider was also unable to fix those lag issues. So, in April 2022 we again stopped adding regular gameworlds running on that technology and once again went back to the old setup.
As if all above was not enough, we also noticed recently that the integration of our cookie consent provider heavily slows down single accounts.
So, to sum it all up, our dev team is currently facing a three-headed dragon – three aspects that are unrelated to each other, but they all add up to the gameworld performance issues: a new technical environment for our servers that causes lags, cookie consent issues and most recently, the heaviest DDoS attacks — that we have seen so far —against some of our gameworlds.
You may be wondering what our next steps are and how we are planning to fight this dragon. These are the solutions we have prepared for each of these heads.
Provider lag issues
Right now we are addressing this in two ways: we are trying to improve the situation within the current partnership and yes, we are preparing an alternative. Changing a provider is quite a step and we would like to have at least some guarantees that if we change it, the game will run smoothly. And for that we need your help! Very soon we will announce the start of a special PTR-stress-gameworld to test the new environment. We encourage and ask you all to register there. The more actions will be performed there simultaneously, the better! Please, help us test it!
We are about to develop a fix and after testing it, release it in the upcoming two weeks.
As I write this, our current provider is doing everything possible to stop and minimize the impact from DDoS attacks.
I know this has been a complicated year. I would like to personally thank you all for your patience and involvement on this. We are looking forward to providing you with a quality flawless game experience in the shortest possible time.
Next time we talk, I hope to be back with some good news 🙂