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Harp Freeze is back! [POSSIBLE SOLUTION IN HERE]

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  • ryanklewis
    54 posts
    edited February 2013
    zachvsyou wrote:
    You're crazy to think EA is spending any real time fixing this issue. They are too busy swimming around in a giant room full of our cash like Scrooge McDuck from Duck Tales.

    While I do think you are probably right, I think they have to realize the following:
    Those who can't get into the game can no longer give them any cash.
    Those who have gotten back into the game are walking away with Boatloads of Donuts for FREE.

    They might want to spend some real time on fixing this before the boss gets back tomorrow. Just a thought.
  • rustcookie27
    4 posts
    edited February 2013
    Same problem here el chemistri just finished building and was collecting money from shops when I crashed and now just the harp of doom :-(
  • zachvsyou
    2 posts
    edited February 2013
    I have had this problem twice in the last 2 days and was finally successful at getting the game to load. The first time I did what most people are saying, let the screen with the frozen donut sit for 10-15 minutes until it goes black. The second time I got the harp of death I tried the same tactic, but that didn't work. I tried everything, from re-installing the app to logging in and out of my origin account. Finally, after letting my iphone sit on the frozen donut screen for roughly 20-30 minutes I got a prompt saying I had been disconnected from the server. I clicked re-connect and FINALLY my town loaded. My best advice is to go into your device settings and turn auto lock off. Then just let the harp of death play for at least half an hour. Both times I encountered this bug just letting the harp play for extended periods of time worked. If you must, set a timer so you know how long you've been waiting. Good luck all!
  • BerwynEd
    153 posts Member
    edited February 2013
    So frustrating. Tried all the suggested fixes. Even tried logging off, installing the game on another iPad, logging in and still getting the harp. About all I got left to try is logging in trough another IP but I suspect whatever is glitching is with my game which means it is out of my control. I can't roll back the clock.

    For others, I think the root cause was leveling up from level 26 to an imaginary level 27 but I can not be sure.

    This is so frustrating, especially when reading that others have been able to break out to the preverbial glitch with reboots, reinstalles and just keep trying to log in.
  • Struwwl
    20 posts
    edited February 2013
    Wow, guys, I would have never guessed that my thread would explode like this. I am really surprised right now. I hope I was able to help some people. (I'm not going to read every post now)

    And I hope everyone else gets a fix soon!
  • KRCJabba
    83 posts Member
    edited February 2013
    I'm back in!!! I play this game on 2 devices: iPad and iPhone. On my iPad I let the harp problem continue until the screen goes black and I'm back on my app-screen. But on my iPhone it lasted about 15 min., then I came into a level bonus screen twice (both crash) and the third time was a charm. Got back into the game tapped all my characters and buildings, gave Ralph the Crayon mission. Now I can log in with my iPad too. Hope u guys and girls solve this too!!! :D
  • BerwynEd
    153 posts Member
    edited February 2013
    maybe I need to hint up someone with an iPhone. like others on the iPad after bunch of minutes the screen goes blank and flips you back to the app screen. I am finding that the harp rhythm has some enchanting powers like a Tibetin chant.
  • imfkool
    1111 posts
    edited February 2013
    So I heard some of you got in and recived some doughnuts. Did you xp bar go all crazy?
  • exvaxman960
    203 posts Member
    edited February 2013
    It worked this morning, now nothing but the spinning doughnut.
    I hope we aren't going through another round of heck due to lack of EA testing/QA.
  • jferentz
    44 posts Member
    edited February 2013
    imfkool wrote:
    So I heard some of you got in and recived some doughnuts. Did you xp bar go all crazy?

    Experience stayed the same.
  • chrislsu739
    9 posts
    edited February 2013
    Hit by it this morning. Built El Chem last night, played on and off for another 2-3 hours, put the iPad up for the night, and the Harps started playing first thing this morning. Haven't been able to get in on either my iPad or iPhone. Tried the letting-it-sit thing a few times with no luck. If I had to venture a guess, it's some kind of corruption issue on the EA side.

    My suggestion to everybody affected would be to open a case. No, they won't help at all, but it'll sure their attention when their Open Ticket metrics go thru the roof. Open a ticket at the end of every single day you're unable to play. If it goes on for a ridiculous length of time (about a week for me; your definition of ridiculous may be longer or shorter) start dropping 1-star reviews in the App Store warning of EA's abysmal customer support.
  • krakenit
    154 posts
    edited February 2013
    BerwynEd wrote:
    maybe I need to hint up someone with an iPhone. like others on the iPad after bunch of minutes the screen goes blank and flips you back to the app screen. I am finding that the harp rhythm has some enchanting powers like a Tibetin chant.

    It's not device related or driven, its all account related. All 9 of my ipads and all 4 of my iphones all die at the 14 minute mark and I never get to the black screen like others. All devices are of various generations and iOS levels as they are used for development. I think it just depends what server your account happens to be on at ea's server farms. They are hemorrhaging a ton of money as a previous poster pointed out and we are simply at their mercy as to when they will get it fixed.

    This has been proven by many members doing thorough testing as well. There was a husband and wife team where she was working but he wasn't so he tried to login on her device and it still didn't work.

    The amazing Elsie_d has multiple accounts and some work and one doesn't on the same device.

    I am very excited for everyone that's getting back in by leaving in on for 15 minutes (some report plugging into charger helps while other report tapping/rubbing the screen also help, or simply doing it over and over), unfortunately this does not work for everyone. So for those it isn't working for, your town is not gone and we are the mercy of ea to fix their issue.
  • KristinMJ78
    292 posts
    edited February 2013
    rustcookie27: Same problem here el chemistri just finished building and was collecting money from shops when I crashed and now just the harp of doom :-(

    ^^^ Ditto to This right here! This is my problem right now and really hope that EA is working on it.


    Level 26
    Latest Building: El Chemistri
    Wish List:
    Cheaper Land!
  • bsampieri
    9 posts
    edited February 2013
    I'm not convinced it's server related. Posted this on another thread, but thought I'd copy it over here (yes, x-post, evil, blah, blah). Just a guess, but...

    Got the 2/15 update, started building Wiggum House on Saturday (knowing that people had the glitch, but I haven't really had any of these major issues except occasional crashing since I started playing in September). Wiggum House completed fine yesterday, but I noticed that I was only 2/3rds the way to the next XP bonus level before "accepting" the house, and then I got the next bonus level immediately (only got 1 donut from it, d'oh). I don't think building this house was worth that much XP.

    So after reading some other stuff, I'm guessing that there is more an issue around XP handling for the bonus levels than anything else, probably an incorrect amount due to multiplier issues and some bad coding. Then I think there is some sort of race condition or something stuck in a loop. My guess is that if you are below a certain threshold of XP when it happens, you get bumped up to the next XP bonus level and are okay. If you are above that threshold, you get shot past the XP bonus level and then you have the harp issue. That is probably happening because there is a loop in the code, and the loop counter is not being checked properly to know when to stop, so it keeps going forever. Now there's only so many bytes used for the number values, and they will go up until the number rolls over to 0 or a negative number (if it's signed or unsigned values). So that is probably where people get back in after 15 minutes or so, cuz that's how long it's taking to loop around. Again, this might have something to do with the amount the loop counter counts each time, because you could get into the same zone where you get back out of bounds and loop thru again. Or you don't, and you get in okay, and in some cases, get a lot of donuts, cuz it's effectively looped you around thru hundreds of levels.
  • yeahty
    4 posts Member
    edited February 2013
    I have tried every solution mentioned in the forum but nothing works. Tried leaving it open, closing it, deleting it, etc. but the stupid harp noise keeps coming on. This has been going on since the start of the weekend. Why isn't anyone at EA listening to complaints?
  • krakenit
    154 posts
    edited February 2013
    bsampieri wrote:
    I'm not convinced it's server related. Posted this on another thread, but thought I'd copy it over here (yes, x-post, evil, blah, blah). Just a guess, but...

    Got the 2/15 update, started building Wiggum House on Saturday (knowing that people had the glitch, but I haven't really had any of these major issues except occasional crashing since I started playing in September). Wiggum House completed fine yesterday, but I noticed that I was only 2/3rds the way to the next XP bonus level before "accepting" the house, and then I got the next bonus level immediately (only got 1 donut from it, d'oh). I don't think building this house was worth that much XP.

    So after reading some other stuff, I'm guessing that there is more an issue around XP handling for the bonus levels than anything else, probably an incorrect amount due to multiplier issues and some bad coding. Then I think there is some sort of race condition or something stuck in a loop. My guess is that if you are below a certain threshold of XP when it happens, you get bumped up to the next XP bonus level and are okay. If you are above that threshold, you get shot past the XP bonus level and then you have the harp issue. That is probably happening because there is a loop in the code, and the loop counter is not being checked properly to know when to stop, so it keeps going forever. Now there's only so many bytes used for the number values, and they will go up until the number rolls over to 0 or a negative number (if it's signed or unsigned values). So that is probably where people get back in after 15 minutes or so, cuz that's how long it's taking to loop around. Again, this might have something to do with the amount the loop counter counts each time, because you could get into the same zone where you get back out of bounds and loop thru again. Or you don't, and you get in okay, and in some cases, get a lot of donuts, cuz it's effectively looped you around thru hundreds of levels.

    I understand your statement about a race condition and for those that don't its a buffer overflow caused by bad coding and the wrong data getting written into memory meaning you are saying its A client side issue. However if it were bad coding the issue would have hit a majority of the users rather than the small amount it has. I completely agree with you on the issue being the xp bug (as I posted two posts before this one) however that happens on the server associated with your account. This is why you have to have Internet to play as your data (your town) lives on the server and not on the device. While you connect to the server you are sending instructions to the server and the server applies those instructions to your town.

    Ea has servers spread out in data centers all over and our accounts are spread out. Obviously not all servers are effected as most people continue to work without issue.

    Apple does not push out different version of the program randomly. They have one single version at a time that they push out. Thus if were coding on the client side everyone would have this issue. I have gone through everything including doing a secure erase on an iPad and fresh install but still had the issue once I communicated with the server. If I signed out and played as anon without contacting the server I had no issue at all. Many others have proven it not to be client side as well which I also summarized in my post two posts ago.

    Not to sound like a broken harp :lol: but this is server side issue with ea and If the 15 minute wait doesn't work we others have to wait for ea to fix it. Nothing that can be changed on the client side to force it to work again :cry:
  • krakenit
    154 posts
    edited February 2013
    yeahty wrote:
    I have tried every solution mentioned in the forum but nothing works. Tried leaving it open, closing it, deleting it, etc. but the stupid harp noise keeps coming on. This has been going on since the start of the weekend. Why isn't anyone at EA listening to complaints?

    Because ea does not monitor this board. For ea to hear you (and all of us) we have to post our complaints and frustrations in the link below. They don't respond but they do see these.

    http://answers.ea.com/t5/The-Simpsons-Tapped-Out/bd-p/The-Simpsons-Tapped-Out
  • bsampieri
    9 posts
    edited February 2013
    krakenit wrote:
    I understand your statement about a race condition and for those that don't its a buffer overflow caused by bad coding and the wrong data getting written into memory meaning you are saying its A client side issue. However if it were bad coding the issue would have hit a majority of the users rather than the small amount it has. I completely agree with you on the issue being the xp bug (as I posted two posts before this one) however that happens on the server associated with your account. This is why you have to have Internet to play as your data (your town) lives on the server and not on the device. While you connect to the server you are sending instructions to the server and the server applies those instructions to your town.

    Ea has servers spread out in data centers all over and our accounts are spread out. Obviously not all servers are effected as most people continue to work without issue.
    snip...

    I'm not saying you're wrong, although just like how most people are going to have the latest/same code on their devices, likewise those distributed servers are likely to have the same code on them. When they update servers, it's not unreasonable to think they would update all their servers at the same time. Granted, they could be upgrading servers over a number of days/weeks. Or they could have misconfigured some servers. It happens.

    The reason I don't think server side, though, is the symptoms of the repeating sound seems more of a client side type of issue. As others described, the sound seems to be from the bonus XP shell game popping up. That seems to me like it's trying to open it lots of times in a tight loop. Clearly not enough to build up too much memory, or the OS would probably kill it faster than 15 minutes. If it does involve the server, that implies the server is pumping out instructions to do something repeatedly. I wonder if anyone has tried forcing their device off-network while it's harping, and what happens if they do.

    The game is on Android now, isn't it? Haven't seen many people say anything about which they use, and if it's only iOS or what. I think the client code would be different for iOS vs Android, at least.

    I don't think it really matters if it's an issue on the server or the client side. Bad code + bad inputs to that code == problem. Assuming all servers and all client verions are same, then I think the key for a lot of people not having the issue isn't that they're using a different codebase (client and/or server), it's that they (myself included, knock on wood) having gotten their game state into that magic zone that triggers the problem. Not that it's exactly scientific, but the poll (http://forum.ea.com/eaforum/posts/list/9306626.page) someone started has about a 50/50 split of people affected and not, some who were able to get past it. If that's even close to statistically accurate (not saying it is), that's not exactly small amount.

    As you say, until they fix it...
  • krakenit
    154 posts
    edited February 2013
    You make some great points about android users but most folks state their iPad or iPhone or both are having the issue. Also I don't the android version has been out long enough for many of those folks to make their way to this forum. Could be a good poll to start. From reviewing the posts where the android users are posting they have a mess of issues themselves including there is no origin app for them to play their towns from. They are playing local.

    Also you cannot play your town if you are off network since your town is not on your device. As many have posted including my self, if I sign out of origin and play the game as anonymous yes it works just fine.

    The reason I also say its a small amount is many people that come to the forum is when they have an issue so those folks will have a greater representation at present and feel most compelled to answer the poll. Its another venting ground ( as a matter of fact I'm gonna go vote now :lol: ). Also this forum is a very small representation of all the active players out there.

    And you hit the nail on the head when you said the server is pumping out bad instructions. That's exactly what is happening. However there a many server out there and obviously not all servers are pumping this bad instruction. I'm not sure if you have ever managed clusters of server farms spread over multiple data centers before but sometimes a server or two can have issues and cause these kinds of widespread. Even though they all are supposed to be same versions, and sync and work the same on every level, each individual server is a fail point. Not to mention if you get down to the operating code with multiple databases per server.

    At the end of the day I think you and I are in full agreement on what the issues are just a tiny bit off on which end they are coming from. As these boards contain folks from many walks of life and varying technical skills, I try my best to make people understand its server side issue and to just wait it out. Too many people start wiping their devices and with out the proper experience some may accidentally erase personal data like pictures or videos or accidentally wipe out data for apps that are local. I know apple has put a lot in to cloud and syncing, etc but you should go read all the people complaining that doesn't work and all the data they have lost haha. :lol:

    As you say the magic zone... And that's the exact fact.

    Good chatting and your perspectives are spot on sir (or ma'am). :shock:

    Have a good one
  • mwdalton
    11545 posts Member
    edited February 2013
    Rats, I got Harp Frozen this morning. I thought I'd get lucky and escape it, obviously not.

    My plan (at least until they fix the issue) is to start a new game and revisit the early levels. Nostalgia!

    If anyone doing the same wants to add me, my second Springfield username is: mattwdalton
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