One thing practically all major game titles do in an update is they shutdown servers and put it into “maintenance” state where only admins and developers can access and freely test for issues as if it were live.
Whenever we make updates on Roblox to large active front page games, it is a huge gamble to shutdown all servers and hope nothing breaks on the live servers that didn’t show up on studio.
Yet, our only way to take populated games out from public is to make it “inactive”, which completely impractical as it kills VIP server subscriptions and locks developers out from being able to play it live as well. This clearly has no benefits to us for the purpose of a temporary maintenance.
There were many times game developers could have avoided multiple successive shutdowns after major updates on active games because we don’t have a reliable way to isolate our game servers for a short period of time to test in a live environment state.
Here I propose that Roblox should add website options that allows you to set maintenance times, which will be announced across all your servers beforehand similar to shutdown messages and automatically handle shutting down for you at the specified times.
On the game page while in maintenance, it would inform players when maintenance ends and automatically reopen the servers once that happens. This assumed we have long finished with our testing and are free to wait for the maintenance end time to take effect.
Of course during maintenance, developers should have the freedom to extend the time if necessary with reasonable limits to how long it can go on.
The two main ideas this attempts to solve:
First is preventing the cancellation of VIP servers for making games inactive.
Second is allowing developers to play an active front page game in a true live state in an isolated time frame and environment for debugging and quality checking before pushing a major update.