Today we would like to explain the recent issue we had with the messages which got lost and recovered, to let you know why and how it happened and also to give you some technical details on how we treated it.
With version 2.64 we have released a bugfix for messages that were not deleted after a specific amount of time. Since the beginning it was planned to delete messages that are older than 30 days if they have not been organized into folders. Unfortunately this never worked. So we fixed this and released it with the latest update.
Sadly this topic was not addressed or wrongly addressed in the official changelog and some of the players weren’t informed about this change. After following the discussions on the forums we found out that this behavior was never documented at all. Neither on the wiki pages nor in the descriptions of the advisor who grants the message folders. Thus we decided to remove this feature in total and give all players an unlimited lifetime for their messages no matter if they are organized into message folders or not. After that we started to recover the lost messages.
Restoring messages is not something we are used to do. To be totally honest it is the really first time we have to do it! To restore all lost messages we had to figure out which messages have been deleted and which still exist. During the night all messages that are older than 30 days are deleted. The age of a message is derived from the last update of a message thread.
We took the database backup from the update day were all messages are still in. Then we calculated which messages will be 30 days by today, because they have been for sure deleted. Nevertheless there are still some false positives since some of those messages could have been updated after the update before the nightly delete.
We created this export of messages for all running game worlds for all language versions and created a script to import those messages again. During the import we then had to filter out the false positives to not have message duplicates in the database after the processing. After some testings on the beta market and some fixes to prevent the script to fail, we started to recover the messages on Tuesday. However, recovering millions of messages on all markets is something which takes time and the process will only be completed on Wednesday.
We feel sorry for the confusion and the way how the bugfix got introduced to the game. In the future we will pay extra attention when fixing 5-years-old bugs!