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Frontier Developments have asked us to assist them in hunting down instancing problems, in hopes of improving their netcode to prevent these problems. As we are a fairly well-organized team with a very varying type of clientele, and the ones who most frequently put special effort into resolving such problems, we are a good source of information for them on this.

To assist in this, we have a dedicated JIRA project which FDev can access to review instancing logs.

Changes in .03

Significant network changes have been implemented in E:D 2.2.03/1.7.03. This should help improve instancing. Now that this is deployed to live, we need further data on any instancing problems, so they can hunt down any other bugs that are still lurking. Please ensure your client is set up for IPR reporting, and report ALL instancing problems.

XBox Instance Problem Reporting is now possible!

FDev have opened up for XBox IPR reports, and will be looking into server-side logs for reported instancing problems. Please see below for information on what you need to report when instancing fails on XBox.

 

Preparing your Elite: Dangerous client for IPR

To enable FDev to glean as much useful data as possible from your log files, you must alter your AppConfig.xml.

The section you are looking to replace is the Networking section. Replace it with the following:

<Network
upnpenabled="1"
LogFile="netLog"
DatestampLog="1"
ReportSentLetters="1"
ReportReceivedLetters="1"
VerboseLogging="1">
</Network>

 

This is the configuration you should normally use when testing IPR. Do not set up static port forwarding on your router unless you MUST, as the normal config is what FDev presently want to test.

If you need to use port forwarding to set up a working connection:

<Network
Port="5100"
upnpenabled="0"
LogFile="netLog"
RouterPort="5100"
DatestampLog="1"
ReportSentLetters="1"
ReportReceivedLetters="1"
VerboseLogging="1">
</Network>

Then, consult your router's manual on how to set up a port forward to your computer. You want to forward UDP traffic on port 5100 to the computer which runs Elite: Dangerous. Alternatively, you may place your computer in the router's DMZ, although this is considered less secure than forwarding just the port itself. 

 

Verbose netlogs are big, man!

Verbose netlogs grow VERY quickly in size. You may want to regularly prune your netlog folder to remove old logs you do not need.

 

Please note that whenever you update your client, you must make this change to AppConfig.xml again, as the update process overwrites the file.

AppConfig.xml file locations

On a standalone installation outside of C:\Program Files\, the directory where AppConfig.xml is located is Frontier\EDLaunch\Products\Elite-Dangerous-64\

Standalone installation on Windows 10: C:\Users\%yourusername%\AppData\Local\Frontier_Developments\Products\Elite-Dangerous-64\

Steam installation: C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\SteamApps\common\Elite Dangerous\Products\elite-dangerous-64 (default, if you have a steam library in a different path, it's <library>\SteamApps\common\Elite Dangerous\Products\elite-dangerous-64)


Standalone installation on macOS: /Users/username/Library/Application Support/Frontier_Developments/Products/FORG-FDEV-D-10XX/EliteDangerous

Steam installation on macOS: /Users/username/Library/Application Support/Steam/steamapps/common/Elite Dangerous/Products/FOR-FDEV-D-10XX/EliteDangerous

Right click the 'EliteDangerous' file and select 'Show package contents'

Application Data Directory

The AppData directory in Windows and the 'Library' directory in macOS is hidden by default.

To unhide the Windows AppData folder, select the 'View' tab in Explorer, click the 'Options' button in the toolbar, select the 'View' tab in the panel that appears, and check 'Show hidden files, folders, and drives'

To unhide the macOS 'Library' folder, right click in your home directory, select 'Show View Options' , and check 'Show Library Folder'

 

Procedure during rescue

If you are participating in the IPR program, and you fail to instance with a client, note the approximate time that you dropped to the client, but failed to instance with them. If you later succeed in instancing with the client, please note that time as well.

You should also note the client's CMDR name, the system the rescue happened in, and any other factors you notice (Failed to get text comms, wing iconography being wrong (Showing destroyed or similar), or instancing problems with other rats.

If possible, ask if the client has verbose logging turned on, and if they would be willing to submit their netlog file to help us help FDev research these problems. If the client is willing, ask them to mail you, or otherwise make available on the internet, the log file.

Please try to get the client's log

FDev's best hopes of getting to the bottom of instancing problems is having the netlog from both the rats and the clients' side, so do please try to get their netlog. Tell them that we are helping FDev with investigating instancing problems, and that their assistance would be appreciated.

 

Post-rescue paperwork

Once the rescue is complete, if you experienced instance problems, you need to open a JIRA issue in the IPR bucket by clicking here.

Please be prepared to provide the following information:

  • Your CMDR name
  • The client's CMDR name
  • The system the rescue happened in
  • The approximate time the instancing failed in GMT/UTC (The in-game clock is UTC, you may use that as reference)

You will also need to attach your NetLog file for the relevant time period. The Netlog files are stored in the Products\Elite-Dangerous-64\Logs directory on Windows and in the Elite Dangerous/Logs directory on macOS, and are split into parts while your client is running. It is therefore important that you locate the correct file to submit. It should be:

  • The correct date
  • If there are multiple files for that date, the last modified time stamp for the file should be AFTER the instancing problem happened, but you should pick the file with the CLOSEST TIME AFTER the instancing problem happened.
  • If the file is large, you can compress the file as a ZIP file. Most modern operating systems allow you to compress the file by right clicking it. Please only use .zip or .7zip formats if you are using a standalone compression tool.

If the client has also provided you with a logfile, download that, and attach it as well.

The description of the issue should include as much data as you can provide about the event surrounding the failed instance, such as:

  • Did you see the wing beacon only when you dropped to normal space? 
  • Were you able to send and receive text comms with the client? 
  • Did the wing iconography show the client as destroyed even if they weren't?
  • Did supercruise hop or a restart alleviate the problem?
  • Were you altogether unsuccessful with instancing with the client?
  • Did you have instancing problems with any of the other rats?
  • Did you see the client or other rats in Supercruise?
  • Did you collect the client's netlog?

Provide too much information rather than too little, but try to keep to relevant information to the instancing problem, not to the rescue itself.

Xbox IPR reporting

FDev have opened for XBox instance problem reporting, and will be checking server side logs for when we run into problems there. There are a few important points to remember when it comes to XB reporting.

  • You will not have a NetLog to submit, as XBox does not produce these. Ignore the request to upload them.
  • Please include your NAT type in the report

You must be ready to provide the following information:

  • Your CMDR name
  • The client's CMDR name
  • The system the rescue happened in
  • The approximate time the instancing failed in GMT/UTC (The in-game clock is UTC, you may use that as reference)
  • Did you see the wing beacon only when you dropped to normal space? 
  • Were you able to send and receive text comms with the client? 
  • Did the wing iconography show the client as destroyed even if they weren't?
  • Did supercruise hop or a restart alleviate the problem?
  • Were you altogether unsuccessful with instancing with the client?
  • Did you have instancing problems with any of the other rats?
  • Did you see the client or other rats in Supercruise?
  • Did you have a successful party chat with the client/other rats?

Ensure that you set the Platform correctly to Xbox.

Create an Instancing Problem Report

Not only the first limpet rat does this paperwork!

Even if you were not the rat who got first limpet on the client in the end, you should fill out this issue if you had instancing problems!

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1 Comment

  1.  

    This timeCmdr Aitken filling out this report.

     

    Three of us were called to rescue a Cmdr TPunisherxd in LHS 145.

    He was quite a distance from the entry point at approx 6000ly from De Balboa Orbital. Once we had done the prep work I and Zathen held at that distance while Nox-404 held back a few thousand further back toward the the entry point.

    TPunisherxd came on line, set up the wing and deployed his beacon. Zathen was closest and drop to empty space (I am guessing he saw the wing beacon/jump wake where TPunisherxd should have been) I dropped in a sec or two later to see Zathen and the wing beacon/wake. We both jumped up into SC once more and both dropped again to an empty instance. The client was instructed to lock out and he did. Everybody restarted there games from the launcher before we attempted again.

    This time Zathen stayed in normal space and Nox and I held in SC. Client logged in and invited us all to a wing but we never saw a beacon. Client destroyed replaced his plocation in game. All of this happened between 22:30 - 23:30 PST, 05:50 - 06:30 game time if I have converted correctly.