Lecture #18: Life Online: Technical Difficulties 2 of 4


PlayDip is the largest Diplomacy site in the world with (IMHO) the best interface and by far the best forum, but we have limited resources. This is a hobby site. Nearly all of the effort to run the site is from volunteers. Things can go wrong. Here is what you need to know to deal with it.

First, be prepared. The best thing you can do to protect yourself is to enter your orders at the beginning of the phase and revise them as you go. That way, in the event the site is down when a deadline comes (or far more likely, YOU lose internet access) you will at least have something in for orders which will usually be better than an NMR even if it isn’t exactly what you wanted.

Second, be patient. When an individual game has a problem, an Admin will usually take a look at it in the evening (North America time) the same day if you post a problem in the forum. Entire site outages are rare but even the worst usually only take a few days to sort out.

Third, recognize the signs. Periodically, the web site will slow down and pages will take a while to refresh. This will pass in a few minutes, so again, just be patient and don’t worry about it.

When the deadline expires, there can be a few minutes of lag before the adjudicator starts processing. During this time, the game clock stays at zero. This is normal. If the game is “stuck” it will never advance. Wait for a while (say 30 minutes) and see if it resolves itself.

Once the game begins to adjudicate, it will disappear from your active games for a bit and when it returns the turn will have advanced. Rarely the game clock will reset instead. The PlayDip server can recognize certain types of errors and has a “self-healing” mechanism where the game timer will reset if it recognizes a problem. That just means you have extra time for a step and will avoid a stoppage to your game. Just keep playing.

If something does go wrong and a game disappears or is stuck for an extended period, take a look at the Announcements forum (also on the home page). The team is good at keeping everyone up to date and giving instructions if there is a site-wide issue. If there is nothing going on site-wide and just your game has a problem, post it in the bugs forum here:


If you do feel a rank game is spoiled by a game error and all of the players agree, one thing you can do is contact a Global Moderator (“Mod”) by PM and ask them to unrank the game for you. You can find the current list of Mods here:


Don’t let this lecture scare you. Few games have any of these problems, but if you do run into issues, it is nice to have an idea what to do.

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