How to make a good tech support post

ConfusedConfused Wait. What? Join Date: 2003-01-28 Member: 12904Posts: 2,087Members, Constellation, NS2 Playtester, Squad Five Blue, Subnautica Playtester Auto Verified
edited November 2014 in Technical Support
Since the time we spend replying to threads here is limited, here is a list of things you can do to help those of us who are trying to help you out.

Just so people don't miss it, you can find the Linux Guide Here - @AurOn2

Before you post
  • Use the search function, or at least eyeball the first page of results and this page. You are very likely to not be the only person with a problem. Check those other threads out, let us know if you are having the problem and if the fix works. Replying in the thread is a handy way for us to be sure that something is working or not and also lets us know if the problem is really widespread.
  • Have you tried this with all your mods disabled? Especially, right after a patch mods can and do tend to break stuff. If it works with your mods off, there isn’t a whole lot we or UWE can do to help you because it is a problem with a mod someone else wrote. You can always try to get in touch with the mod’s author and report the bug to them. Try it on a different server and see if you can reproduce it from there. You can get rid of your mods 3 ways:
    • Unsubscribe from using the button in the workshop, through steam.
    • You can deactivate things in the mods menu by clicking on things so that the active column reads NO
    • If all else fails, you can go to %appdata%/Natural Selection 2/ and delete the workshop folder. The easiest way to get there is to press the windows button and the letter r, as in pirates, type in in %appdata%/Natural Selection 2 and press enter
      Spoiler:
  • Try resetting your options file. Delete this folder: /Steam/userdata/<steamid>/4920 (resets options by generating a new options.xml the next time you start NS2)
  • Be sure you downloaded all the files. Sometimes Steam for whatever reason, misses some files when downloading games. You can verify you have everything by right clicking Natural Selection 2 in your steam library > Properties > Local Files tab > Verify Intregrity of Game Cache. This should download anything you are missing. (or if you've deleted something)
  • Run Techsupport.exe (located in your NS2 install directory) and attach the zip file it makes to your post. This gives us a log NS2 makes, possibly containing errors, as well as provide us with your system’s hardware and driver information so we can spot issues.
Okay, so, you have all the debug data you could ever want, you checked out the forum, you have a new, exciting, non mod related issue. What next? Clearly it is time to MAEK PAOST!

Making a post:
  • Title it something informative. Posts titled things like AARRRFHGGHGH!!! or ITS BROEKD HALPS! are hard to eyeball, and don't show up in search particularly well. Naming your post something like: “Shooting onos with rifle causes you to catch fire” or “ARCs deployed in gorge tunnels can siege anywhere” make it easier for people with the same problem to talk about the problem, post logs, or offer solutions.
  • Write a quick summary with reproduction steps. How did you cause the issue? For example: I was doing X when out of nowhere Y happened and now I can’t do Z anymore.
    If you got an error message please include the full text of the error. “I got an error” is sort of like yelling fix it. It makes everyone trying to help you have to track down the error spend time trying to figure out the error you are having and not spend time trying to help you out.
  • provide a link to your Techsupport.exe zip. Since attachments went away. Dropbox works pretty well. This gives us all the error messages the game had, and a pretty good idea what your system looked like at the time this happened.
  • Demo Recording. Need to provide an in game demo of your problem? See this guide to record your demo.
At this point you are golden. Like woah golden. Just in case you are still reading. I am going to include a sweet sample post because, heck, why not.

Sample Post(s):
note: I am pretty sure that this is not a real problem.
When I parasite kill the Command station The game does not end

Yesterday, I finally achieved my ns2 dream and parasite killed the last command station. After such amazing success, I was confused to discover that the game was not over. Everything continued as normal until all the ips were killed and all the marines as well. It was really weird. Should killing the CC trigger the end of the game? Seems like a Bug to me.

I attached my Tech support zip.


From there it is just a matter of playing like supermodels. All the time.
Edit: removed note about attachments since it seems to have gone away.
Post edited by AurOn2 on
PsiWarpGhoulofGSG9ArgoshIronHorseKouji_SanCrispyObraxisAurOn2GoE_Ni

Comments

  • GhoulofGSG9GhoulofGSG9 Join Date: 2013-03-31 Member: 184566Posts: 2,259Members, Forum Moderators, NS2 Playtester, Squad Five Blue, Squad Five Silver, Reinforced - Supporter, WC 2013 - Supporter, Community Dev Team, Pistachionauts mod
    Maybe add Verifying Game Cache Files
    and deleting /Steam/userdata/<steamid>/4920 (resets options)
    signature1.gif

    NS2 Modder, Server Admin of Survival of the Fattest - Ingame Nick: Ghoul
    MacheteKillz
  • IronHorseIronHorse CDT Technical Support & QA Join Date: 2010-05-08 Member: 71669Posts: 7,094Members, Super Administrators, Forum Admins, Forum Moderators, NS2 Playtester, Squad Five Blue, Subnautica Playtester, Subnautica PT Lead, Community Dev Team, Pistachionauts admin
    @ghoulofgsg9 added and cleaned up the post for easier reading.
    QUOTE (Techercizer @ Feb 3 2012, 10:47 AM) »
    Every time you ask for troubleshooting without providing system info, ATI adds a rendering bug for an upcoming game.

    When you feel you need to be rude or angry about a game, just read these links and remember what role you are playing:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Online_disinhibition_effect
    http://www.eldergame.com/2008/06/taming-the-forum-tiger/
    GhoulofGSG9AurOn2
  • Kouji_SanKouji_San Sr. Hινε Uρкεερεг - EUPT Deputy The Netherlands, Hoogezand Join Date: 2003-05-13 Member: 16271Posts: 11,768Forum Admins, Playtest Lead, Forum Moderators, NS2 Playtester, Squad Five Blue mod
    Good stuff Confused, kudos!

    Forum Admin "guardian of the magic cookiejar" Admin/Moderator I mostly use a flamethrower tank for disputes... Mostly

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  • CrispyCrispy Jaded GD Join Date: 2004-08-22 Member: 30793Posts: 3,225Members, Constellation
  • IronHorseIronHorse CDT Technical Support & QA Join Date: 2010-05-08 Member: 71669Posts: 7,094Members, Super Administrators, Forum Admins, Forum Moderators, NS2 Playtester, Squad Five Blue, Subnautica Playtester, Subnautica PT Lead, Community Dev Team, Pistachionauts admin
    Bumped to keep this the top, obvious sticky
    QUOTE (Techercizer @ Feb 3 2012, 10:47 AM) »
    Every time you ask for troubleshooting without providing system info, ATI adds a rendering bug for an upcoming game.

    When you feel you need to be rude or angry about a game, just read these links and remember what role you are playing:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Online_disinhibition_effect
    http://www.eldergame.com/2008/06/taming-the-forum-tiger/
    GhoulofGSG9
  • IronHorseIronHorse CDT Technical Support & QA Join Date: 2010-05-08 Member: 71669Posts: 7,094Members, Super Administrators, Forum Admins, Forum Moderators, NS2 Playtester, Squad Five Blue, Subnautica Playtester, Subnautica PT Lead, Community Dev Team, Pistachionauts admin
    another bump to stay on top.
    QUOTE (Techercizer @ Feb 3 2012, 10:47 AM) »
    Every time you ask for troubleshooting without providing system info, ATI adds a rendering bug for an upcoming game.

    When you feel you need to be rude or angry about a game, just read these links and remember what role you are playing:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Online_disinhibition_effect
    http://www.eldergame.com/2008/06/taming-the-forum-tiger/
  • GhoulofGSG9GhoulofGSG9 Join Date: 2013-03-31 Member: 184566Posts: 2,259Members, Forum Moderators, NS2 Playtester, Squad Five Blue, Squad Five Silver, Reinforced - Supporter, WC 2013 - Supporter, Community Dev Team, Pistachionauts mod
    Bump for post-257 issues
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    NS2 Modder, Server Admin of Survival of the Fattest - Ingame Nick: Ghoul
  • aaronbarrettaaronbarrett PK Join Date: 2013-11-27 Member: 189588Posts: 1Members
    That's good i appreciate your information.
  • PierceBrosnanPierceBrosnan Join Date: 2013-11-27 Member: 189592Posts: 1Members
    Thanks for your suggestion. I really appreciate that you took all this time to try and help us. Keep up the good work. Keep on taking action.
  • AurOn2AurOn2 COOKIES&#33; FREEDOM, AND BISCUITS&#33; Australia Join Date: 2012-01-13 Member: 140224Posts: 2,093Members, Forum Moderators, NS2 Playtester mod
    Techsupport.exe doesnt come with the linux distro (or any other util app that comes with the game for that matter)
    Forum mod/NAPT Slave
    Send me a private message if you need me to kill someone help with anything.

    The very existence of flamethrowers proves that sometime, somewhere, someone said to themselves, “You know, I want to set those people over there on fire, but I’m just not close enough to get the job done.” - George Carlin.

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  • ConfusedConfused Wait. What? Join Date: 2003-01-28 Member: 12904Posts: 2,087Members, Constellation, NS2 Playtester, Squad Five Blue, Subnautica Playtester Auto Verified
    edited December 2013
    @AuroN2

    I will try to update the linux guide at some point to include a list of all the stuff in a tech support zip. Or someone could help me out and just do it since its on the wiki.

    For now the big ones are as follows (using default directories):

    ~/.local/Natural Selection 2/
    log.txt - the games last run log
    system_options.xml - engine Config

    ~/.local/share/Steam/userdata/<steamId>/4920/remote
    options.xml - your bindings/options settings.

    Tools to run(assuming your distro supports them):
    sysinfo - similar to dxdaig, give hardware overviews
    glxinfo|grep OpenGL - should return what your opengl version is.


    edit formatting
    Post edited by Confused on
    AurOn2
  • waflzwaflz Join Date: 2012-09-07 Member: 158459Posts: 101Members
    I have tried everything I can with this error message, im not sure whats wrong.


    Exact error message.

    Authentication failed. If other multiplayer games do not work ethier, then steam could be down or your firewall is blocking it.
  • ConfusedConfused Wait. What? Join Date: 2003-01-28 Member: 12904Posts: 2,087Members, Constellation, NS2 Playtester, Squad Five Blue, Subnautica Playtester Auto Verified
    This happens if your game cannot connect to steam to verify the fact you own the game. Basically its a step in teh connection process. If you get that error message it means that you cannot connect to steam. If it happens for more than an hour or so try changing you steam download region.
  • alizacarvoralizacarvor Hurst Join Date: 2014-02-13 Member: 193969Posts: 1Members
    Actually it will be help my friend i share with online and he is now happy.
    Thank You
    Fix My Computer Dude
  • tuxatortuxator Join Date: 2010-01-07 Member: 69958Posts: 131Members, Reinforced - Gold
    @Confused I'd say use inxi instead of sysinfo.

    inxi -G (details about the graphic part)
    inxi -S (system info. Kernel version and so on)
  • MinimarshmanMinimarshman Northern Ireland Join Date: 2014-05-18 Member: 196110Posts: 2Members
    https://www.dropbox.com/s/odpy0u1upz8qv9u/tech_support.zip
    here is a dropbox link to the tech support launcher left for me. this is what i have done
    it crashes with a debug report right after starting up the game with a black screen i can see and move around the cursor though. i have looked up some posts on how to fix and none have worked(source) http://forums.unknownworlds.com/discussion/122577/x&st=0#entry2002080. i have reinstalled ns2 completely (deleted the files and then reinstall through steam)
  • ConfusedConfused Wait. What? Join Date: 2003-01-28 Member: 12904Posts: 2,087Members, Constellation, NS2 Playtester, Squad Five Blue, Subnautica Playtester Auto Verified
    Traditionally, it is considered good juju to make one's own thread. But, it looks like your issue occurs during the mounting of mods. I would disable them and try again. If oyu need instructions on ow to do that from out of game check the tech support link in my signature.

  • soccerguy243soccerguy243 Join Date: 2012-12-22 Member: 175920Posts: 463Members, WC 2013 - Supporter Auto Verified
    Crash to desktop. Submit but report just sits on sending.
  • LeeuwLeeuw Join Date: 2013-09-06 Member: 187898Posts: 13Members
    edited February 8
    Ok.. the bug count on Linux seem to increase iso decrease. :(
    And I hear you developers seem to be unware.. so I will try to give some info on this site.

    First I want to be a good bug reporter follow protocol so I am reading this "how to make a good tech support post"
    and I read nothing about the handling the Linux version.
    The file locations differ.. I cant run windows Techsupport.exe

    So please describe here for the Linux users what to do.

    Also I am a software programmer myself and expected a good logfile wrapper script
    around the NS2 executable.. I found the file "~/.config/Natural\ Selection\ 2/log.txt"
    but it only contains a minimum of the info the executable is sending to its stdout.

    As an example of the differences.. the following happens when the game is started.
    The stdout of the executable:
    ERROR: ld.so: object '/home/stephan/.steam/ubuntu12_32/gameoverlayrenderer.so' from LD_PRELOAD cannot be preloaded: ignored.
    ERROR: ld.so: object '/home/stephan/.steam/ubuntu12_64/gameoverlayrenderer.so' from LD_PRELOAD cannot be preloaded: ignored.
    Fontconfig error: "/etc/fonts/conf.d/10-scale-bitmap-fonts.conf", line 70: non-double matrix element
    Fontconfig error: "/etc/fonts/conf.d/10-scale-bitmap-fonts.conf", line 70: non-double matrix element
    Fontconfig warning: "/etc/fonts/conf.d/10-scale-bitmap-fonts.conf", line 78: saw unknown, expected number
    Gtk-Message: Failed to load module "overlay-scrollbar"
    Gtk-Message: Failed to load module "unity-gtk-module"
    ERROR: ld.so: object '/home/stephan/.steam/ubuntu12_64/gameoverlayrenderer.so' from LD_PRELOAD cannot be preloaded: ignored.
    Setting breakpad minidump AppID = 4920
    Steam_SetMinidumpSteamID:  Caching Steam ID:  xxx [API loaded no]
    Fontconfig error: "/etc/fonts/conf.d/10-scale-bitmap-fonts.conf", line 70: non-double matrix element
    Fontconfig error: "/etc/fonts/conf.d/10-scale-bitmap-fonts.conf", line 70: non-double matrix element
    Fontconfig warning: "/etc/fonts/conf.d/10-scale-bitmap-fonts.conf", line 78: saw unknown, expected number
    ERROR: ld.so: object '/home/stephan/.steam/ubuntu12_32/gameoverlayrenderer.so' from LD_PRELOAD cannot be preloaded: ignored.
    warning: The VAD has been replaced by a hack pending a complete rewrite
    warning: The VAD has been replaced by a hack pending a complete rewrite
    


    The logfile however shows only:
    Date: 01/30/2015
    Time: 11:47:20 PM:
    --------------------------------------------------------------
    Build 274
    Ubuntu x86_64
    Steam initialized
    Num displays: 1
    [  0.994] MainThread : Error: Couldn't get glXCreateContextAttribsARB function
    [  0.994] MainThread : Error: glXCreateContextAttribsARB failed
    [  0.995] MainThread : Error: Couldn't get glXCreateContextAttribsARB function
    [  0.995] MainThread : Error: Couldn't get glXCreateContextAttribsARB function
    [  0.996] MainThread : Error: Couldn't get glXCreateContextAttribsARB function
    [  0.996] MainThread : Error: Couldn't get glXCreateContextAttribsARB function
    [  0.997] MainThread : Error: Couldn't get glXCreateContextAttribsARB function
    [  0.997] MainThread : Error: Couldn't get glXCreateContextAttribsARB function
    [  0.997] MainThread : Error: Couldn't get glXCreateContextAttribsARB function
    [  0.998] MainThread : Error: Couldn't get glXCreateContextAttribsARB function
    [  0.998] MainThread : Error: Couldn't get glXCreateContextAttribsARB function
    OpenGL 4.4.0 NVIDIA 337.12 initialized (NVIDIA Corporation GeForce GTX 780M/PCIe/SSE2)
    GLSL version 4.40 NVIDIA via Cg compiler
    ARB_texture_storage extension present
    ARB_get_program_binary extension present
    Sound Device: default stereo
    Record Device: default
    Loading config://ConsoleBindings.json
    Loading config://FavoriteServers.json
    Loading config://HistoryServers.json
    Resampling uncompressed animations at 1/2 frame rate to conserve memory
    Main Menu Initialized at Version: 274
    Steam Id: xxx
    

    So maybe the developers can make a wrapper script to catch this extra info and write
    that to the logfile also.


    Post edited by Leeuw on
  • ConfusedConfused Wait. What? Join Date: 2003-01-28 Member: 12904Posts: 2,087Members, Constellation, NS2 Playtester, Squad Five Blue, Subnautica Playtester Auto Verified
    it turns out that most of the first log looks like it is related to the steam overlay and not to ns2 directly.

    The linux stuff is here: http://wiki.unknownworlds.com/ns2/Linux_Guide

    However, I have not had the time to update it for a while, so it may be out of date depending on what other stuff has gone on in the last 10 builds
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