Alter the default process for fetching player avatar appearances

The Problem

On August 28th, 2022, there was a 2-4 hour period where player avatars often failed to load their appearances.

Simultaneously, player character spawning + respawning could take as long as three minutes.

I assume these two things are connected - that this delay was due to trying to fetch an avatar’s appearance. If not, then this thread probably is irrelevant, but that’s my guess.

I received 100+ bug reports about this relatively gamebreaking issue that I could not solve. This affected my game’s metrics negatively (concurrent count, likes/dislikes, retention, etc.). The bug reports subsided once Roblox put up the website banner.

The Ask

  • Instead of retrying to get a player’s appearance for a reaaaaaaaaaally long period of time, default to the blank default avatar faster (and then perhaps try to load their appearance later)
  • Notify the user why their avatar didn’t load
  • Automate a system to put up the website banner faster (unsure if this one is actually realistic)

Why not cache the previously loaded characters and then load that in if its taking so long to fetch new character appearance info


Another outage with the exact same symptoms on 09/03/22. Some form of failsafe would be really nice.


The outage on August 28th nearly resulted in me having to cancel a community event I was hosting due to a critical system which relied on avatars being broken, as well continuing to give me major problems throughout.

While I understand that is the result of very poor timing, I would prefer if this didn’t happen in the first place, at least to the degree that it did before.

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