Today’s Shadow news is brought to you by every Shadow’s CM : Luc (Community lead), Akimi (french CM), Malte (German CM) and Ryan (US CM). It will tackle the subject of Covid-19 and its implication with Shadow.

With the corona virus pandemic going on, lots of people at Shadow are under lock down ( including your favorite CM) and are doing their absolute best to bring you the best experience during these tough times.

On another note, the lock down, that is going on in many countries/cities, has impacted many Internet services (Discord, internet providers, twitch etc.) and not just Shadow. Not an excuse in itself, but it might give you a grander view of what is going on with every internet linked services.

I) Covid-19 direct impact

Due to Covid-19, the lock down in most place and lots of people staying, there have been a huge spike in usage in the last couple of days. Spikes that we have never seen before in the history of shadow.

As a result, Shadow total electric consumption (for the data center)is going through the roof, going above the agreed total that Shadow had with its data center provider for it. And it’s been impacting the overall experience of Shadow.

In order to actually mitigate this and reduce the impact on the service, Shadow decided to take two steps :

  • To slow down all Shadow boost’s activations as Shadow wants their current users to be able to use shadow to its full potential. If they were to activate more people on Shadow now, it would not be a great experience for them (joining shadow) but it would also degrade the experience for current Shadow users
  • To allow everyone to join his Shadow, making sure everyone who’s not using his Shadow is indeed disconnected, the hibernation timeout system has been, temporarily, lowered to 30 minutes. Meaning that, after 30 minutes of inactivity, the user is disconnected from his session. All of that to provide a better access to the highest number of people by reducing the impact the spikes in usage has on everyone.

II) Activations

1) Ultra and Infinite of march

Those activations have actually been ongoing as planned. However some of Shadow’s early active users who had the original Shadow received an email on Monday to warn them about the migration of their VM within 48 hours. These migrations were carried out today and not yesterday. So everything is still on track. Everyone’s been activated up until today as planned and Shadow will continue activations as they go

Regarding the lack of communication about this 24h delay :

Shadow encountered a web development issue yesterday (wednesday 18) and their teams really thought they could fix it in time to activate everyone in due time. In the end, the couldn’t and that is why they did not communicate about it. They give their most sincere apologies and will do their very best to make sure that this never happens again and to communicate more re-actively and faster next time.

Nota Bene

  • Most of the topic about activations discussed previously concerns Europe
  • If Shadow slowing down Boost Activations and not Ultra and infinite activations, it’s because they are on a different data center ( Paris for the Boost and Gravelines for the Ultra and Infinite)
  • Activations are only made between Monday and Thursday, to ensure stability and quality of service. So there can be someone in case something happens, or if they need to adjust any settings if needed

2) US community’s activations

Regarding the Ultra and Infinite offers, the situation remains the same.

Concerning the Boost offer, changes have been made on Shadow US discord and the web page to tell which one will be available when, But outside of that most of the data centers are just based on the pace that Shadow have for covid-19 :

  • If you order now and the data center that you would be assigned is California then you would be activated within March
  • Texas and New York data centers were promised April, and that’s when you should expect it, if you sign up today that is and those who already signed up are already in the queue.
  • For Chicago Shadow is projecting May at this point just based on the ongoing delay there
  • Current users should have their plan converted to the Boost pricing by the end of March, as planned. They are even hoping to get it ready even before that deadline.

III) Additional storage

1) EU specific news

a) Paris data center

Shadow is still on track to deliver additional storage by the end of March. They are going to prioritize users who already preordered additional storage. Once this is complete, they will give the opportunity to all users to add additional storage in their customer account.

b) Amsterdam data center

For users who added additional storage during their preorder, the information is the same as for Paris, it is still due for March

Though, users who didn’t add any during their preorder won’t be able to for now due to some limitations in Amsterdam data center and miscalculation on Shadow’s end.

2) USA specific news

It is still due for April and the closer we get to this deadline, the more Shadow will make announcement about it. But so far, everything is on track.

III) Shadow Ghosts

They have be manufactured. Though, due to covid-19, they are stuck in China because all of the factories are closed for now.

As a consequence, Shadow is unable to tell when they will be shipped, even though it will happen once the factories reopen. They will keep everyone updated about it as soon as they get new info ( when the shadow ghosts will be shipped, received etc.)

Q & A

Q : what is the exact release date for extra storage in the US ?
A : We don’t have that yet. That’ll come to you closer to April

Q : When will we be able to increase storage in the Netherlands ?
A : The option to add extra storage won’t be available for now because we don’t have the capacity for it but we are doing our best to bring it as fast as possible to you guys

Q : Is there any compensation plan for having to pay 30 euros instead of 15 for the boost offer?
A : If you’re talking about the users who have been paying 30 euros at the beginning of March even though we said you should only be paying boost price. Don’t worry about that. You will have a refund on your next bill according to the amount that you overspent.

Meaning that if you should have paid 12 euros and you paid 30 you will have 18 euros discounted from your next bill. So yeah you will basically get the money back.

Q : What about the declined error issue that you had with some of the new purchases in the US?
A : That is still in the process of being worked on and we’re expecting a full refund to come very soon. We know that people have been patiently waiting so we very much appreciate it. It’s just been a deeper web bug than we anticipated but we have you all tracked. If you have experienced this issue and haven’t been in contact with support please submit a ticket there. That way we can provide you a general update once we have the fix in place. We’re actively monitoring it and it’s one of the top priorities at the moment.

Q : Can we get more explanations about the slow down of Boost activation in Europe (like the number of daily activations for example) ?
A : are numbers that we can’t communicate about. However, just know that it’s a very small amount. Our goal right now is to provide our current users the best possible experience and we noticed that if we activate more people now there’s a chance that the experience will be degraded for both, the new people and existing users. So right now it’s really at a standstill this week until we figure out what we can do. Articles will be written on Shadow’s blog regarding the situation.

Q : what are the times that activations are worked on ?
A : They’re worked on normal business hours between, 9:00 to 5:00, and it’s Monday through Thursday.

Q : What if we don’t want a refund and just want a shadow subscription?
A : those people that were charged additional, you’ll receive a refund for that as well as ,at that point, you will be activated.So we will be activating you and then, if you were charged extra you will get that money back.

Q : How much is the power capacity for the data center
A : That’s strictly confidential we can’t communicate that information.

Q : Has VR been forgotten ?
A : I can definitely say it’s not. It’s kind of a mix of teams that are working there on that but we’re still moving forward with the program. And for those of you that haven’t seen the newsletter yesterday, we are launching the Shadow VR exploration program (in beta with limited access).

We have received quite a lot of submissions and we are definitely looking for more because we want to make sure we have all the right people in the program. And so we definitely urge you to apply if you’re interested.

Q : Will you, in the future, be able to improve the ping for the German users regarding Ultra/Infinite in Gravelines?
A : First I’d like to know if you already are on your Ultra/Infinite and are you not noticing high ping so that you can’t play, because that shouldn’t be normal.We have conducted many tests and normally the ping shouldn’t be noticeable. So if you do have that high of a ping , you should contact the support team.

Q : How long does the support normally takes to answer now, due to the situation ?
A : It should still be during the standard hours.We haven’t had any change in availability, that goes for both EU and US regions overall

Q : What about the iOS app ?
A : So ever since it got taken down we have been looking at the situation, we’ve been in some talks with Apple and trying to figure out how we can get it back into the app store. However we have no timeline available for when it will be back

Q : Why does my referral does not take into accounts people using my code ?
A : We updated the referral site on the account page itself. However it has not gone live yet. So even though your referral code has been used it might not show up as being used yet. So it will not show up now but you will still get the credit for it.

Q : What about the US shadow makers program ?
A : We don’t have too much information outside of what we showed yesterday, it’s our incubator program (originally started in France and in our European regions)

I would say it’s our program that we’re launching to identify a lot of the creators, the makers that we have in our community and help promote them through offering interesting educational opportunities to help improve themselves, promotion on our own channels etc. And then I think a couple of other sweet deals that are more particular to once you’re in the program but that’s the idea.

Even if you think you’re too small of a creator (streamer, video maker, podcaster, musician etc.) but you’re actually a shadow user and even using shadow, if possible, when you are creating your content, then you should apply. it really is the program that is made for you, where we can grow together and help you gain more visibility and also expand on what it means for you to to do these creative things on your shadow and and help you out as much as we can.