As most of you must have noticed, about 7 days ago Force went down for a whole week, initially we had expected the downtime to be just for a couple of days but things got tougher and tougher and I'll explain a bit everything that's been going on for the past week and the reason we had so many delays.
As a clarification, in the next explanation when I speak of "server" I don't mean Dark-RO's server where you play, but the actual computer/machine running everything.
On the 3rd we started receiving a DDoS attack (I'll explain as easy as possible what it is, but if you wanna know more, feel free to google about it), basically a DDoS attack is caused by a person/group who sends to the server an uncommon amount of data, causing the server to lag a lot or eventually go offline. Your average DDoS attack ranges (or used to) within ~3Gbps, however the attack we received on the September 4th went up to ~10Gbps. With our former hosting, we had a hardware based DDoS protection that was able to mitigate attacks up to 5Gbps (Which worked fine for the past ~5 years), but this protection wasn't enough to uphold this attack, so our hosting decided to take us offline to stop the attack (This is mainly done because the attack doesn't affect just us, but other servers connected to the same router, so it was affecting other costumers they had).
I spent the first day discussing with the current hosting possible solutions that would make the downtime be as low as possible, however we couldn't find a solution for which I was forced to seek a solution outside our current hosting, I spent most of day 2 looking for a 3rd party service that'd mitigate the attack at a reasonable price (But most of them were in the range of US$5,000 and we couldn't afford it), so by the third day I had to start looking for other alternatives, which meant a new hosting company, something I really didn't want to do since our former hosting company had been providing an excellent service (Shall there have been any issues with the server, they'd quickly react to get it solved, if I ever needed a hand they'd help out without a question and their servers/network have an extremely good connection and are well maintained, I just love them <3)
So, on day 3 I found a company which was suggested by one of the Hercules Developers (Which funnily, turns out to be the same company where Maurice <3 moved to recently), this company offers a great DDoS protection as it is their main value, however, purchasing from them (and their custom service) was a nightmare (Guess we can't have it all, right?), Email replies would take hours so coming up with a clear decision (Had to make sure they met our needs) wasn't easy. On day 4 I ordered the server and found out I had to validate myself as... myself (lol) and this process took 2 more days, since they basically replied once a day (we're now on day 6), and this was completely out of my hands.
Finally, yesterday we received the server and I was able to login, I was eager to get things running so I started configuring, installing, moving files and everything that needed to be done, when I was almost ready to start checking DarkRO stuff I found out they had messed the hardware setup and we had no SSD RAID, so I mailed them and they had it fixed a bit later, which pretty much rendered all the work I had done pointless. (I guess I am partially at fault over this for not triple checking previously, I did a small check run but I was too eager so I missed this), with this I finished as much as I could last night and started transferring the data yet again, however, sadly, since I had already moved the domains, when I started transferring dark-ro.net, I was, actually, just moving the data from within the server itself (Facepalm), when I woke up today in the morning I realized the data wasn't right and had to -yet again- transfer from the old server to the new one.
This whole process took us a week, it was a really rough week, we've been working up and down trying to set things up as soon as possible, but things just didn't work out as I expected. I apologize for the inconveniences and the huge amount of delays we faced, which didnt allow us to upkeep the times we kept giving you guys.
The reasons why I didn't post things is mainly because there was not much to report (There was no point on reporting how slow the new hosting works or that I had messed the transfer/raid setup), but we're here after all this. Once again I am sorry.
As for the DDoS attack, I recently noticed I have received a PM from two guys who are server owners, which attempted to give a hand to us through this and I highly appreciated (Sorry if I didn't reply before but I just saw the PMs yesterday), and as Kevin found out, there have been about 7 servers who've been getting DDoS'd from -apparently- the same guy lately, someone who is either asking for money to stop or who wants to see us down, but we shall not go down so easily, right guys?! You can kick us, but we stand up again!
So, that's everything that's been going on through this week, it was rough but we managed to find a new home, I'll certainly miss the guys from our former hosting and if they ever offer a better DDoS oriented protection, we shall return to them, just because they're so cool <3
As for the update,
Dazzu posted the Changelog here if you wanna check it out, we've been working a lot the past couple of months on this and certainly hope you like it! We have Class balancing, LHZ4 Cards and a lot of bug fixes (tripos, saber parry being the most important ones).
Of course, as always, we do expect a few issues to arise, this was indeed a huge update (we also updated to the latest Hercules revision and this is always a pain you know where).
Since we have more people active in the dev team this time, we're working out some update standardization process which should reduce the amount of issues in the future (We'll keep the server a lot more close to Hercules updates, we've set some hardcoded conversion rates for RE-only mobs's atk, def and mdef, we will be working on a parser to work out item descriptions, which shall make keeping the file updated a lot easier)
As for a few issues, such as Donations rotation, Riding permits issue, I'll be handling this sometime during the next few days, I'll ask you to give me a bit to chill out, I've had a pretty stressing week working on the server non-stop for the past few days :P
We also do expect a few bugs to appear around with this update, some item description issues or what not, please, remember to report all bugs on our Bug report section and feel free to start a discussion/suggest changes to the Class/Item balancing we're having by discussing at our Ideas & Feedback section, as we need your help to work this out the best way we possibly can!
Now, lets go and enjoy DarkRO! <3
(Remember to tell your friends we're back online :P)
P.S.: We have a few compensation ideas as mentioned previously, but we will be putting them up in a few days, once more players come back and are aware that the server is back up.