If you've been plagued by 'Beaver' errors gnawing at your connection in Destiny 2, good news: the bug behind the recent Beaver plague has been fixed. Turns out, something was wonky with Valve's network setup, which they've now fixed. Beaver disconnections should now be a lot rarer, especially in the central and eastern USA. I casually say "something was wonky with Valve's network setup" but if you want a full technical explanation, oh boy, you will enjoy one Valve engineer's full story of the Beaver hunt.
'Beaver' is the code for a type of disconnection error in Destiny, but since March some players have suffered so many more Beaver disconnections than seemed sensible. Evidently something wasn't right. This problem started after Destiny on PC switched to using a new Steam peer-to-peer networking setup that was supposed to help players by hiding our IPs from cyberwrong'uns so they couldn't bump us offline with DDoS attacks or hit us with Back Orifice or whatever it is they're into these days. Bungie said they were investigating but many players have been left frustrated for months. That should be over now.
"This past week Valve identified hardware configuration issues with 4 relays in their Chicago, Virginia, Stockholm, and Dubai data centres," Bungie explained last night. "In each case, the affected relay was unable to send traffic to one other relay in the same data centre. If a connection to a peer went through both of those relays, then it would drop. Valve has fixed the configuration issues, and we have confirmed that the rate of disconnections in the affected areas has been reduced significantly."
Beaver errors will still happen for certain network problems, just hopefully not this one. If you wish to know more about what caused this, Valve have you covered.
"Do you enjoy reading tales of engineers' quests to track down bugs with obscure causes?" began a Twitter thread from Valve engineer Fletcher Dunn last night. "Here's my recent adventure." And off he goes, talking about packet headers, relays, kernels, APIs, an experimental XDP path, raw Ethernet frames, BSD socket code, driver bugs, and false hope.
"Why did it take so long to find/fix?" he asks. "Because we were myopic, looking for a software bug. Each time we found something, we thought 'this is it!' We *were* finding real problems, they just were very rare in practice."
If you enjoy stories about tracing bugs, get your teeth into that Twitter thread.
Last night's Xbox Games Showcase brought a new Beyond Light trailer, showing off some of the icy Stasis powers we'll get to play with in the upcoming expansion. They look really fun, obviously able to freeze enemies but also bringing handy new tricks like throwing ice blocks as platforms to climb up. I also like that everyone is dressed sensibly to visit Europa, carrying bulging backpacks and sleeping bags.