The Persistent 'Age 0' Bug in Conan Exiles Servers: An Intentional Omission?

With the exception of those who host on shared hosting plans with companies like G-Portal and others, anyone who has set up their own server has likely experienced the issue where their server does not age past day 0. This issue is even present in single-player game.db files. This is a major problem for those wanting to use decay timers, as they rely on this value to determine whether thralls or objects placed by the player should be destroyed or not. This happens because a simple row labeled serverruntime is omitted from the dw_settings table. I can’t shake the feeling that Funcom has done this intentionally.

The reason for my suspicion is that it would be incredibly easy to fix. There’s nothing complex about creating the row – it’s just a short line of code, something like:

INSERT INTO dw_settings (name, value)
VALUES ('serverruntime', '0');

It seems unfathomable to me that its absence is a mistake, especially considering that this error has persisted for a very long time without being addressed by Funcom, despite the significant impact it has on gameplay, particularly if you want decay enabled.

I’m totally open to the idea that my hunch may be wrong, and that’s why I’m asking for feedback. Although I hold no illusions that Funcom would ever actually comment on this, still, discussing it with the community may prove fruitful. However, it still seems unlikely to me that Funcom, despite all their faults, could not be bothered to implement such a simple fix. This leads me to wonder if the omission is intentional, and if so, why.

Perhaps they intentionally removed it because the floating-point number associated with server runtime can introduce precision and accuracy problems. Considering the number can reach very high values, it might reach a point where precision is not sufficient to accurately represent time, leading to rounding errors. This could cause all sorts of problems. Or maybe, since serverruntime is a continuously incrementing value, the cumulative errors from using a floating-point number could become significant over long periods. This would result in discrepancies in time-related calculations, potentially causing major issues. Or, they might have silently removed it because handling floating-point arithmetic is generally more computationally intensive. Over time, as the value of serverruntime grows, it could potentially impact the database’s performance, especially when the value is frequently accessed as it’s associated with every single object placed in the game. Maybe they removed it as a way to address poor server performance without publicizing their inability to improve server performance by other means. All of this is speculation, but each scenario seems as plausible to me as the hypothesis that it doesn’t load due to a bug that they never prioritized fixing.

In a discussion with someone else on the official Discord, their main argument for this being a bug is that it affects some people and not others. However, in my experience, it seems to affect everyone 100% of the time when making a new game.db themselves, even in single-player mode. The only time it doesn’t affect someone making a new server is if they use one of the hosting services out there like Gportal, etc. These services either supply their own default game.db file, where they’ve already fixed the issue, or they have a script that fixes it automatically.

Sorry for the long post. I’m just really scratching my head over this one and hoping someone can disprove my theory so I can decide whether to fix it this time around or not. Since I’ve decided to leave the decay timer off and manually remove inactive players’ bases, I’m leaning towards not fixing it as a precaution, especially since it won’t affect me anyway.

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