Ranking System and Disconnectors (Developer's Rant)

#1Fallen_RikuPosted 12/9/2012 3:52:10 PM
*Warning: There is a lot of text to read*
Also, I'm a software developer, so this may skew my view just a bit, but I make these points as a player of the game itself. But there are some things I can't help but notice, especially with the ranking system and the online component.

This is not a new issue with online gaming, so it is amazing how much little effort the developers went into curbing the issue of those players that rage-quit or disconnect from online matches when they start to lose. This is naturally even more annoying in ranked matched, because it can cause 'you' to lose ranking points and cost you time and effort. I am currently purple belt, but just getting there was ridiculous, because of the amount of disconnectors. It makes the online component more frustrating than fun.

I feel that the developers “cheaped out” with Playstation All-Stars. Not just because of the UI being bare minimum, the lack of a coherent story, the still image story telling, etc. But because it is obvious the main selling point for players to keep playing the game, will be for the online matches and cross compatibility with the Vita, yet this was released with Peer to Peer hosting?

For those that don't know (but I'm sure that the audience that reads this board is mostly technically inclined) online gaming can either have a dedicated host/server, or a random player among those currently playing together, will become the host and everyone connects to that player. The latter is known Peer to Peer hosting. It is an all around terrible idea for many reasons, that I will explain.

Peer to Peer hosting presents these problems. You are at the mercy of the host's latency and internet connection speeds. It doesn't matter if you have a fiber optic T3 connection if the player you are connecting to is hosting on an AT&T DSL light connection. As the host (in this case of this game) not only has to update his game to the rest of the players, but all other player's positions as well, as well as transmit any voice from four sources (including his), this naturally is burdensome on a single residential connection, but is compounded when you consider syncing issues, downloading data from all players (as it is the host) and then sending the updated data to all players along with voice.

Also, notice that wifi symbol that appears above your player's head? And how you start teleporting around the room, but it appears that other players are playing naturally, or without lag? While this can be due to many reasons (such as you, yourself having a sucky connection), most often this is because of the latency to the host (for both parties), and that other players could be in closer proximity to the host. So basically when the host sends out the update to the other three players, it takes a longer interval of time to reach you, and people's (X,Y) position has changed by then. Also it is worth mentioning that the host themselves, will NOT have any lag. They are the host machine, everyone on their end, is 'true'. Meaning the host will have a natural advantage against all players as far as delay goes.

The worst part about Peer to Peer connections, is that if the host drops, the game ends/errors out. That connection error you get during online matches, is because the one that rage-quit was actually the host, so it drops all players. This last one is perhaps why dedicated servers matter so much. As it would ensure that if any of the players drop, that the other players could continue playing and the dedicated server can remember the player that dropped out and upload a penalty for them at the end of the match.
---
3DS FC : 0130-1972-9236 ,3DS Username: MakubeX
PS Vita Username: Fallen_Kakarot
#2Fallen_Riku(Topic Creator)Posted 12/9/2012 3:52:35 PM
To touch on the other advantages. Dedicated servers usually have better connections, so you know if there is a problem with playing online matches... it is probably you. You don't have to carry that worry in your gut that someone is going to disconnect towards the end of a match that you are about to win. Also, everyones consoles only have to worry about sending their data and retrieving the servers data, so no extra computation or bandwidth is needed as nobody is the host console. And everyone is on level ground, as there is no 'host advantage', because the host is merely a server.

Why does this matter currently?

When you start an online match, you search for players, and then start “connecting”. At this point in the 'handshake process' a host is being randomly decided on. Do you notice how sometimes when it says “connecting” that you can already hear players talking to each other and how the dialogue box only appeared for a second as opposed to a few seconds? That is because you are not the host, you were just a joining player and perhaps the last joining player they needed to start the match.

Now that the match has started, lets say, someone with a red belt starts to lose in the last 40 seconds of the game, so they disconnect. There is a 1/4 chance that he was the host and the game just ends, and the results are not recorded to the server. However, even if he isn't the host, he isn't penalized in the same manner as those who stay to play the game. Like perhaps the red belt player noticed that he would lose 15 points if he stayed in the match, so he disconnects (opting to lose 0-5 points). However the player that gets third place (and stayed in the game) loses 10 points, more points than the player that was actually worse than him.

This is the big thing. While a dedicated server, could upload results of matches about various players. Currently, a P2P host cannot update the stats of other players (security reasons). Meaning that player's consoles update the leader boards with their own data. Which means that there is no way to update that someone disconnected during an online match. Because from the game's point of view, during the middle of playing. It can't understand that a game or system was shut down on purpose, or that someone 'peeled away' the game on a Vita system. So when the rage-quitter rejoins the online community, he only uploads a network error penalty, or no penalty, since there may have been no information saved to know the outcome of a match.

This is a serious problem in a ranked game where it has been decided that we can 'lose' rank from losing. If the developers were going to go the P2P route, then they should of made it so that you can't lose rank, but instead gain 0 rank, to discourage rage-quitting and frustrating legitimate players. Also the fact the ranking formula is gamed by disconnectors takes away from what little legitimacy the leader boards are supposed to have. Who cares if the board has black belt players, if every single one of them just disconnected (depriving others of victory) to have near-zero losses to become the top?

Now, I have no problem with the system as it is now, if there were dedicated servers. I know that dedicated servers cost money for a company to run, but many games do offer dedicated servers for retail games without a subscription fee. Also, with the “$10 online pass”, one could assume that it would cover dedicated servers. Currently, it is hard to justify an overhead for online play, when it is the players themselves hosting games with their own consoles and internet connections.
---
3DS FC : 0130-1972-9236 ,3DS Username: MakubeX
PS Vita Username: Fallen_Kakarot
#3Fallen_Riku(Topic Creator)Posted 12/9/2012 3:54:11 PM
I know that it was a lot to read, but I hope this gets noticed and perhaps even taught people something about how things work on the back-end. I know there will be those who say, “If you don't like it, then don't play.” However, I don't subscribe to that kind of thinking. I do want to enjoy the game, and have high hopes for it, which is why I purchased this game. In this day and age, we have games that are able to be “patched”, which means that problems and implementations can be changed/fixed for the better. I went through the effort of writing all of this, because I believe the game can be more fair and enjoyable, and I believe other players agree with this.
---
3DS FC : 0130-1972-9236 ,3DS Username: MakubeX
PS Vita Username: Fallen_Kakarot
#4Garfield64Posted 12/9/2012 4:04:46 PM
TL;DR Version: I hate that they give you negative points towards your rank when it host through p2p which causes lag for everyone but host. Should of been dedicated servers or no penaltys because disconnectors exploiting and rage quiting are ruining scores.
---
WARNING: http://www.gamefaqs.com/boards/user.php?=2426382
Is a very well known Troll, please do not fall for their shenanigans!
#5CrabhammarPosted 12/9/2012 4:15:21 PM
1,000% times agreed. When I play stock Unranked, I have to pray that the person who just lost all their lives wasn't the host. It's embarassing; what did we pay $10 for again? To watch people flee games and preserve their precious belt?
---
PSN: Bluechacho http://s7.zetaboards.com/ICUclan/index/
"So how are you doing? Because I am a potato."
#6SelitePosted 12/9/2012 4:32:17 PM(edited)
I'm not sure how it males a difference to your post or it being P2P.

But I read a while back the online system is like UDP (rather than TCP) and the bulk of the fighting is processed clientside for each client from their point of view leading to smoother online.

In the interview it seemed to be that the theory that other players lag wouldn't bring you down.
---
Check it.
http://www.youtube.com/user/selite
#7FurioPosted 12/9/2012 6:15:28 PM
I agree. If they want the game to be competitive everyone needs to be on equal ground. And quitters/disconnects should be dealt with better.
#8Dragongreen547Posted 12/9/2012 6:19:07 PM
I need you to sum this rant up a bit for me because I have to give to the shelter in about 5 minutes. And please can you add colorful pictures with the rant? Thanks babe.
---
She got it, you got it, I got it, we got it.
#9Keyblade4242Posted 12/9/2012 6:21:20 PM
Damn near every game uses P2P, no point in *****ing about it.
#10co1onelPosted 12/9/2012 6:22:07 PM
It should bring your rank down, just not 15 levels for every loss in 2v2.
---
PSN: Co1onel-225
https://www.youtube.com/user/TheCoIonel