If you aren’t familiar with the Login Lockout problem that has been a thorn in the side of RuneScape for over a month, here’s your chance to get all caught up. The initial restoration of accounts in RuneScape is coming to a close, but there is more work to do. With this issue finally heading to a close, the developers look back briefly on where the problem began, and what Jagex plans to do to prevent it in the future.
Back in March, Jagex ran into widespread problems that prevented players from logging into RuneScape. The issues themselves were quickly addressed, but led the way to another problem that brought the development team to where they are today – a long, arduous restoration process to return accounts to their proper working order. Upon looking into the issue, Jagex was able to track down the initial complications to bugs that began as far back as February 8th. According to Executive Producer Ryan Ward (ModWarden), these issues eventually compounded, resulting in a “perfect storm” of unfortunate events that soon locked a small number of accounts from entering the game.
Jagex, throughout the entire process, attempted to calm fears from players who believed that their accounts would be lost forever:
“To be extra clear: this is a temporary issue - no accounts have been lost or will remain permanently stuck."
- The RuneScape Team
However, the complex nature of the situation required extensive restorations to player’s accounts. For the greater part of March, Jagex was fixated on resolving the account lockout problem, and on March 23rd, nearly 3 weeks after the problem began, RuneScape players would start the journey of restoring accounts through an invite-only process to test restoration efforts. During this time, Jagex delayed updates to RuneScape, and the plan to return to “business as usual” didn’t happen exactly on schedule, but the lengthy process of returning accounts to a working, close-to-prelockout order was their primary goal.
At the end of March, RuneScape began to see a shred of normalcy, with the return of the Spring Festival. The seasonal content update signaled that Jagex believed they had the Login Lockout problem well in hand, and the week of April 5th was the beginning of the end for RuneScape players that couldn’t get into the game for over a month. On April 7th, Jagex, including ModWarden addressed their community, detailing the status of restoration, and how the team plans to prevent future Login Lockout problems from occurring.
“Today we’ve had our largest back to date. This is actually taking us up to the 70 percent mark of players back in game. We’ll have another goo batch tomorrow, and the remaining batch will be Friday. That’s the plan. Sometimes it doesn’t always go back to plan, but by week’s end, we should have just about everybody back in the game. Likely there will be a couple stragglers here and there, but let’s call it 99%, and then, now it’s about aftercare, and making sure players have a good path into our support."
– Ryan Ward, Executive Producer, RuneScape
On April 9th, Jagex confirmed that the 7th and final wave of accounts previously unable to login would be released, and they requested that all players still unable to login, should try their accounts:
The 7th and final wave of returning accounts impacted by the Login Lockout is now being released. Check your inbox or try to log in?? Almost all affected accounts have now been returned to the game. https://t.co/hwOXGUbKx6— RuneScape (@RuneScape) April 9, 2021
When asked what the team has in place to prevent issues of this magnitude from happening again, ModWarden expressed that some new monitoring and features the team didn’t have before have been put in place over the last month. No real plan of action was detailed, other than a plan to “invest” in “more” ways to minimize the risk of these issues in the future. When the Login Lockout issue is finally put to rest, ModWarden stated that their plan for prevention in the future, and the list of features to address future problems of this degree will be detailed.
As we await a post-mortem of the problems RuneScape has dealt with, the future prevention details, and further compensation, including the “Wishes” Jagex intends to grant for players from some predetermined selections, questions still remain on exactly what happened. While a series of bugs leading to a “perfect storm” may be a high-level overview of what happened, few specifics over the course of the Login Lockout case has been provided. In the interim as we await a further, detailed post-mortem, we would like to welcome the players that have had their accounts restored, back to RuneScape.