Entire Base Disappeared When Leaving Render Distance 😭 But I still love this game

Game mode: [Singleplayer]
Problem: [Crash/Bug/Misc - Will explain]
Region: [NA - East Coast (Louisiana)]

(Apologies for the length of this post-- just wanted to provide as much detail as possible)

After some unfortunate circumstances in official PvP I decided to take a week off and play around in single player to design and create my dream PvP base. Over the past week I probably put in 40+ hours on it & know for a fact I placed well over 10k building pieces (spawned in 500 at a time of each piece and kept track until I passed 5k). Having seen much larger builds on official servers, I figured the size wouldn’t be too bad on performance, other than maybe a little lag. Especially because I hadn’t even placed thralls, lighting, or any placables with animations yet. I was so excited by this build and the idea of having my clanmates and friends tour it in Co op so I could show them all the meticulous and creative design details I included. I built it while in co-op mode so I could show clanmates if they happened to get on while I was building.

The Bug:
After finally getting to a good stopping point, I decided to fly backwards to take some screenshots. I wanted to document the whole thing so I could start to recreate it or aspects of it on official servers. I managed to get the three screenshots attached (front, side, birds eye) before trying to go even further back for a wide angle shot.

As I did so, I might have been right on the border of render distance. I attempted to take another screenshot and my game froze-- no in game buttons including options were working. But my PS button still worked so after giving it a little time when it looked like it wasn’t going to unfreeze I closed out of the app and restarted it.

When I logged back in I logged in offline single player mode thinking that it might help the performance issues.

After logging in, I thought that I was just outside of render distance because this is what I saw.

Thinking it was the well known visual bug where you can see into a base on the perimeter of render distance, I flew away from the base to completely leave render and flew back. Still the same issue. So I admin teleported to a random place on the opposite side of the map and back. I started to see loot bags drop as my vaults despawned. I check logs and every placable has lost stability (Can get screenshots if helpful, just had to close the game out of frustration when this happened). I know for a fact the building is structurally stable as the majority is connected directly to the natural terrain, and I build with my repair hammer out to optimize stability.

All that to say, now, unfortunately, my dream base has disappeared into thin air. She’s just a sweet memory to me now :broken_heart:.

My Guess at What Happened:
It’s my understanding that the way the code works in Conan is like the old adage of “if a tree falls in the woods with nobody around to hear it does it make a noise?” Where the answer is no, it doesn’t make the noise because the server only loads chunks at a time. Nothing except crafting timers seems to exist/be loaded outside of your render distance (and even timers can get buggy e.g. leaving eggs in a compost box and leaving render distance).

So if there’s not someone loaded in at your base, in the code, it doesn’t exist until someone comes up to it. In single player/custom, because you don’t have your own dedicated server, this issue is made way worse (that’s why visitors playing on someone’s coop cant leave the area that the host is in).

What must have happened is that I placed a lot of blocks, specifically foundations. And while it normally can handle that fine, I was zooming out to get a screenshot by flying away. And I must have left render distance or been right on the border. But then it froze so I exited app to try to refresh. And my hunch is that in the split second between me being in render distance and my game crashing as I left render distance, the game registered all those building pieces I placed as not existing because they weren’t loaded in. All of them were connected because I build on a grid (easy elevator connections over long distances, everything is aligned and symmetrical, etc.). So those ~10k+ building pieces I suppose might have registered as one single piece in the decay system.

Comparisons to Other Systems:
When I was younger I remember helping my little brother create a movie on iMovie for a school project. He worked his butt off on it but we never closed the iMovie app. And there is unfortunately no “save” button in iMovie to save your edits. It just auto saves the project in progress but it has to load it in each time you close and reopen app.

A similar situation happened where our computer crashed while exporting the file. Because it hadn’t auto saved the file since the last round of major edits, and it crashed while the file was not technically fully loaded, when I opened the app up again the entire movie had been pretty much lost (I secretly had to pull an all nighter to recreate it for him and told him I just restored the file).

If my limited understanding of how the code works is correct, I’m facing a similar issue with my base disappearing. Mid export (screenshot) of a large file (graphics of 10k+ building pieces) my console crashed due to the size of the file and being on the border of render distance with some parts loaded and others not. As a result, the building pieces in the base were not loaded in and registered as not existing. So when I relogged the latest save file simply didn’t have those building pieces registered.

Another comparison is professional Minecrafters setting up lag heavy industrial farms. Minecrafters like Mumbo-jumbo try to build large scale farms in different chunks away from their main base to reduce server lag because those chunks are not loaded unless they are in render distance.

I think Conan functions in a similar way, however, I’ve never heard of Minecraft crashing and a base disappearing on the border of render distance. Granted it’s a lot easier to manage on Minecraft with lower graphics. But I’m wondering if their code does anything different.

Some Potential Solutions for Brainstorming:

  1. A revert to previous auto save state option in single player on console. Or even a manual save option to control when you’re saving your creations in that server.

  2. Change the building system so that connected pieces do not always register as one unit. Building on a grid is near essential for both defense in PvP and aesthetics for PvE. But once you start to build even moderately large buildings, particularly when you leave/re-enter render distance for those builds, it causes problems (e.g. the well known visual bug where you can see into bases bc the server loaded placables before building pieces).

This would also fix another issue (which I might just create an entirely new post about) where building pieces register as one unit if they were built as connected even after you sever the connection (e.g. building on a grid with sandstone and then removing the sandstone connection). This is evidenced by the fact that you can create a single pillar with full decay timer by building out from a structure with full decay timer and then breaking the connecting pieces (which can be used for good or evil, but more to come in a different post).

  1. perhaps in conjunction with #2, you could limit how many building pieces can be connected in terms of X/Y space to ensure that they can load in properly as you leave/reenter render distance. I know that isn’t ideal but I would rather build around that constraint and break up my build into different segments that can each load individually and cause less performance issues than not have any constraints and be unfortunately surprised when this happens.

  2. Better capacity on the servers responsible for single player game modes to reflect that of official (even if that requires shutting down completely inactive official servers to make space).

  3. If #3 can’t be done, you could just have an in game option to buy your own private single player server with performance better than in game but not as expensive as 30-60 person private servers. I haven’t purchased my own server due to financial constraints but would definitely consider it if it was in my price range or if it was a one time purchase instead of a subscription. I have logged over 1000 hours in this game and just wanted a place I could build solo without fear of getting raided or insided and with admin spawned building mats. I would have paid for that opportunity.

  4. a simple F in chat for the loss of my beloved base (features list below). Especially because I was in the middle of taking screenshots to document when this happened so I don’t even have any records beyond the screenshot here :sob::sob::sob:

Real talk I absolutely love this game despite some of the major bugs and quirks because it provides such a unique platform for creators like me to go wild and build PvP optimized but still aesthetically gorgeous builds! I won’t be going anywhere soon. Thank you devs and community support for all your hard work! I hope this was helpful.

And thank you for coming to my Ted talk.

Steps on how to reproduce issue:

  1. Place ~10k+ building pieces, all connected, in single player on console. Try to keep them within a 100x100 area so that it’s a dense building to load comparable to mine.
  2. Take a screenshot while flying away from the building pieces
  3. Repeat until console freezes. Could add in more high lag things like additional building pieces, thralls, lighting, etc. If need be. Whatever it takes to get the app to freeze.
  4. Exit application while frozen
  5. Reload and I imagine those building pieces might not be there.

Can someone please shoot me and remember trespassing will be shot survivors will be shot again and due to cost of ammo there will be no warning shots. So obviously you know a bit about the load so no need for a 53rd full explanation. The online server and your console share the load the game has on your performance making it easier to build a lot but when on single player you console has to load everything from placeables thralls building pieces etc meaning something that large will not fully load also when the load does not bring it all in everything that does not have enough stability it will destroy its self after some time but try to understand that difference on the load hope that helps

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