DayZ Server Owner Newsletter #4

Merlin

3 weeks ago

Experimental 1.01 Server Files, Persistence Backups & More

After a longer silence since releasing the first, second and third newsletter, the DayZ devteam shared the fourth update with DayZ server owners. We love this initiative and appreciate the value this increase in communication adds to the community. We’re particularily thankful to see all of our questions we sent them answered in the Q&A section. These should be useful for other server owners and some of their strategic decisions.

As usual, we are sharing the full newsletter with everyone, server owner or not:

“Dear Server Owners!

It’s been a while since we’ve been in touch, partly because of the quite hectic end of the year, but we’re back today and we want to update you regarding changes coming towards you, starting with today’s 1.01 Experimental Update!

Experimental Branch is now available to Server Owners

As your servers and the mods you are running require more and more individualisation, we wanted to give you a bit more time to adapt to changes happening with Stable platform updates. This is why, starting with the released today, we will enable the Experimental branch for the server files as well. You can change branches in the “properties” section of the server files.

For the 1.01 update specifics worth mentioning here, we’ve done some changes to the VoN Codec, so when moving your current Server Config to the new patch, be sure to change your _vonCodecQuality _value to 20. Other values are not recommended.

Admin logs update

We listen to your feedback, and with this new update, we introduce some changes to our server admin logs. They will primarily help you get a better impression on where your players died and killed each
other. There’s still room for improvements, of course, so keep your feedback coming, we’ll do our best to try and accommodate new requests when and if possible.

Persistence Recovery Backups & Scheduled Backups

Since the beginning of the new year, Raist, our programmer responsible for the Central Economy (one of his many specialities in the team!), has been busy introducing a new persistence backup solution.

As you know, the game can corrupt the persistence files by crashes/other forms of ungraceful process termination. Unfortunately, we can’t fully avoid that at this point, so we’ve introduced the following measures in the Experimental 1.01 update:

  • all persistence files in the storage folder can now be set to create up to 8 Recovery Backups of persistence (3 set by default)
  • each Recovery Backup is approximately 30 seconds newer than the previous one
  • the game determines if the files are saved correctly and always picks the latest files created that are also not corrupted at the same
    time
  • each Recovery Backup is still segmented into 12 sectors of the map (recommended number for Chernarus, can be adjusted for other terrains)
  • there is an option to support automatic recovery with additional Scheduled Backups of persistence (with the ability to set how many backups to keep/how often to make them)
  • these Scheduled Backups can be used for manual persistence recovery / rollback

While these measures do not prevent the creation of corrupted persistence files, they should serve well enough to mitigate the common issues of losing persistence. We went for this specific solution in order to not put additional load on the server (and thus take up more of the available performance that can be better spent elsewhere).

As this is an Experimental update, we are now in the evaluation phase with this solution, so please let us know if it helped to solve your persistence problems. While we’re aiming to maintain backwards compatibility from now on, there might be an issue with the use of
storage files created before the 1.01 update. You can use this Experimental phase to test your current storage file from the Stable branch (keep copies!).

We’d like to provide more detailed documentation on the solution over the coming days, please stay tuned.

A camp of the DayzUnderground group CFD.

Since persitence corruptions became a problem, we’ve developed our own working persistence backup tools for DayzUnderground. We’re happy to see an official solution coming and hope this will bring more stability to DayZ servers. Image by DrDeSync.

Further server performance optimisations

The server FPS is a cause of many followup issues in the game (vehicles behaving weirdly for example) and for that reason, it is a constant focus of our programmers. In the experimental update, we’ve already introduced some quick optimisations, and while they helped, more was needed. Read more about optimisation directly from our Lead Programmer Mirek Maněna: https://forums.dayz.com/topic/243166-experimental-update-101/?tab=comments#comment-2422527

Please remember that in our optimisations, we’re always aiming to ensure the stability of the Vanilla DayZ experience first, and every additional server load created by your own modifications will always need to be taken into account on your end. Monitoring the performance on your server is advised, and we’re also thinking of ways t communicate to players that the server is experiencing a performance hiccup (so that they know why the game is behaving weirdly). For general recommendation, supporting over 60 players is not advised from our end (as that’s expensive in terms of performance). Also, if your server FPS dip below 20 under a load of your server settings, you can expect the server experience to degrade significantly.

Q&A

In each Server Owners Newsletter, we’d like to include answers to some of your common questions. Do submit yours via mailto:[email protected] and we’ll see what we can do for you! Please note that these questions should only concern general topics relevant to all server owners – we are not able to provide individual tech support for issues specific to your own server.  That’s all from us for now, let’s do some testing with the new
Experimental!

How do you advise Server Owners to communicate in-game which mods are needed in order to connect to their specific community server?

We understand that the game currently does not provide an easy way to communicate a specific modset required to join a server. The easiest way to help the discoverability of your modset is to have a Steam mod collection and mention this collection directly in the server name so that it displays in the in-game Server Browser.

Can you share any status updates on the DayZ launcher and some of the current issues you are facing with it?

We’ve hopefully just fixed the problem that caused the launcher to crash when a certain limit of subscribed mods was reached. Otherwise, the current functionality should work sufficiently well – please report any issues over the Feedback Tracker.

When can we expect a server browser with automated installation, updating and loading of the client-side mods specified by the server (similar to the features found in the Arma 3 launcher)?

We currently do not plan to have the ability to automatically subscribe to (and download) a specific server-required modset directly in the game server browser. This is not achievable with how the game treats mods and will always have to be done using the official launcher as a game restart is necessary to load mods. We would like to have the functionality available in the DayZ launcher, but we do not have a set time frame for when this will be available.

Is there any update on the availability of Linux server files?

We will let you know in advance, but as of now we don’t even use them in production environment and they are still considered experimental. We are trying to resolve Steam Linux library issues and BattlEye implementation right now. Once that is done, you might see them being
used in Vanilla DayZ environment. As soon as the functionality is on par with latest Windows release of server files, we will make them available to the public.

Why did core.bin get removed from the persistence, how can we tie all other files together now?

Sadly there is no way right now, but we will be more careful in the future with these changes in general. We have implemented a process to enable backwards compatibility going forward.

Are there any recent advancements in modding documentation?

The modding documentation is still an ongoing topic; While preparing the documentation internally, we found out that some aspects of the game need to be reworked or adjusted to be fully moddable (e.g., the animation graph). We will update you once we have more, please stay
patient!

If you have suggestions or general questions that you’d like to see answered in our next Q&A, please get in touch over e-mail. Just note that we’re not able to provide tech support for your specific server issues or settings!”