"Totally Unacceptable" — Rocket League Dev Responds To Server Issues

Rocket League is immensely popular, but it is not without its problems. The game has faced server issues recently, resulting in long matchmaking times. Now, developer the CEO of developer Psyonix has pledged to improve the online component of the game.

"Totally Unacceptable" -- Rocket League Dev Responds To Server Issues

“In regards to both backend (PsyNet) issues, and game server performance, we agree that the server outages and recent lengthy matchmaking times are totally unacceptable,” Dave Hagewood said in a blog post today. “We sincerely apologize to all of our players for the quality of online play, and we are focusing all of our available resources on addressing PsyNet’s capabilities and performance, and the quality of our game servers.”

Hagewood said part of the issue is due to Rocket League’s continued popularity. The number of monthly “active” players has risen by 40 percent compared to 2016 for the first few months of 2017, he said. “We need to do a better job at scaling up our systems and internal processes to handle this kind of growth,” Hagewood explained.

Hagewood went on to say that Psyonix is “racing” to fill jobs on the developer’s Online Services team, which handles the developer’s backend systems.

“We are effectively becoming an Online Service company, as Rocket League is primarily an online game, and we continue to grow in size and scope,” Hagewood said. “Growing this team is one of our top priorities as we approach Rocket League’s two-year anniversary in July.”

Hagewood added that the problems with Rocket League’s online elements rose to the surface about the same time of the free weekend on Xbox One in February. “We have seen more and more of you playing Rocket League online, and this has led to new issues that hadn’t appeared as we scaled our capacity up to this point,” he said.

There have also been performance problems inside of the Google Cloud network, which is used to power PsyNet. Here is a breakdown of what Psyonix is doing right now to address the issues, as written by Psyonix:

  • Since the February outages, we assigned additional dedicated staff from our Online Services team to database stability and reliability. They are hard at work on changes like separating high-traffic features like Player Trading and “Scraper API” access used by third party sites from our core services. This will reduce load on the PsyNet database and reduce exposure to outages during peak hours. We definitely don’t want to keep you off the pitch on weekends or holidays.
  • We are working closely with Google engineers to investigate the disturbances to our database performance from outside our cloud instance.

As for Rocket League’s matchmaking delays, these have “become apparent” in the days after the Dropshot mode’s release last week. One of the problems here is that there are empty servers but PsyNet, the backend infrastructure, is not getting players into servers as fast as it should.

“This causes the extreme search times being reported on social media,” Hagewood said. “As this is a new problem, we are still investigating the root cause. We have made changes in the interim to reduce the likelihood of it recurring, but more substantial improvements will be made throughout 2017.”

Finally, Hagewood said Rocket League is suffering through problems related to dedicated servers, which appear to the player as “lag spikes” or other “hiccups” that don’t have anything to do with a player’s ping.

“This problem is particularly difficult to identify because so many issues factor into a user’s experience with a dedicated server,” Hagewood said. “Local connection problems can cause packet loss or an unstable connection despite a steady ping sample. Individual ISPs can have routing issues to one of our server hosts that causes unusually high ping that we have no control over.”

You can read the full blog post here for a very deep dive into the specifics.

“Growing pains are just that–painful–and we cannot thank our players enough for sticking with us as we continue to grow,” Hagewood said.

According to the latest available data from Psyonix, Rocket League had reached 29 million registered players and passed 10.5 million copies sold. You shouldn’t expect Rocket League 2 anytime soon, as Psyonix is instead going to focus on growing and evolving the current game with new updates.

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    Supergirl: “Distant Sun” Review

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    The whole galaxy is after Supergirl.

    Warning: Full spoilers for the episode below.

    Tonight’s Supergirl is one of those weird episodes that’s solid on its own merits, but somewhat disappointing in the context of the season as a whole. Of the four Arrow-verse shows, Supergirl is the one with the least tangible sense of direction right now. It hasn’t been entirely clear what the endgame of Season 2 is meant to be, and with the series set to take a month-long break before the final push, it’s still annoyingly unclear where things are headed.

    First, the good elements. “Distant Sun” featured two noteworthy returns, as Kevin Smith came back to direct his second episode of the season and Lynda Carter finally reprised her role as President Marsdin. As before, Smith’s presence wasn’t really noticeable (aside from the obligatory Star Wars reference and an amusing nod to his film Yoga Hosers). Visually and tonally, this was “just” another episode of Supergirl. As it should be.

    Carter’s presence was definitely welcome, even if her two scenes revolved almost entirely around teleconference sessions with J’onn. Coming into Season 2, Carter’s casting was one of the more exciting announcements (apart from Tyler Hoechlin’s Superman ,of course). Unfortunately, like Superman, President Marsdin has completely dropped off the map since her initial appearance. Disappointing, but at least there was progress on the conspiracy front. We now know Marsdin is secretly an alien in disguise (a White Martian, I’m assuming?). My guess would be that she’s colluding with Lillian Luthor and Cadmus to stoke the fires of anti-alien hysteria.

    Last week’s episode failed to make great use of Teri Hatcher and Kevin Sorbo as Mon-El’s estranged parents. Fortunately, this episode made up for lost time as Queen Rhea and King Lar Gand stepped up their efforts to reclaim their son. While it’s a shame that an episode involving an intergalactic bounty didn’t involve Lobo, it still made for a solid premise. It was fun watching Kara reluctantly duke it out with a brainwashed Mon-El, and plenty of family drama to go around when Kara confronted the coldly ruthless Rhea in the Fortress of Solitude.

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    Supergirl: "Distant Sun"  Review
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    Supergirl: "Distant Sun"  Review
    Supergirl: "Distant Sun"  Review
    Supergirl: "Distant Sun"  Review
    Supergirl: "Distant Sun"  Review
    Supergirl: "Distant Sun"  Review
    Supergirl: "Distant Sun"  Review
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    I’ve mentioned before my concerns about Rhea and Lar Gand coming across as a rehash of Alura and Non from Season 1, but once again that concern proved to be unfounded. While Rhea took on a more overtly villainous role this week, at the end of the day she was motivated by nothing more or less than a desire to make her family whole again. That alone makes her more relatable than most of the foes Kara has grappled with over the past two years. Plus, there’s something immensely satisfying about the former Lois Lane playing a back-stabbing, alien supervillain. This is more Desperate Housewives Teri Hatcher than Lois & Clark Teri Hatcher.

    Generally, it seems like the writers on The Flash and Supergirl make an effort to tailor Smith’s episodes to those elements the director loves most. And if Smith made anything clear when I talked to him a couple months ago, it’s that he loves the romantic drama between Kara and Mon-El and Maggie and Alex. There was plenty of romantic drama to go around this week. Kara and Mon-El were their usual cute, charming selves, but there was a sense of urgency stemming from Mon-El’s sacrifice. As amusing as Mon-El’s tragic misunderstanding of Romeo & Juliet was, you have to wonder if the writers are foreshadowing some dark developments to come at the end of the season. One way or another, it seems hard to imagine the two heading into season three still a happy couple.

    As is sometimes the case, the Maggie/Alex subplot had almost no connection to the rest of the episode. Yes, it’s a little strange how the two seem to be living in their own, separate little world at times, but the bond between Maggie and Alex is engaging enough that I’m happy to watch them work through their issues regardless of the larger context of the episode. There’s a very genuine, heartfelt quality to their scenes together that really works in the show’s favor.

    For the most part, the battle between Kara and Mon-El’s parents wrapped up well enough. J’onn got the rare chance to be a badass, and Mon-El made his ultimate choice between his new family and his old one. But again, there’s a certain nagging sense of disappointment as the show goes off the air for the next month. We’re coming down to the final stretch, and it’s tough to know what the ultimate conflict even is at this point. Is it the Cadmus storyline? Is Lillian Luthor the ultimate villain of Season 2, or is it her daughter? How does President Marsdin fit in? And for that matter, what exactly are we meant to take away from Rhea’s decision to murder her husband and declare war on Supergirl? Is she an immediate threat, or something the writers are stashing away for a rainy day? There’s too much ambiguity and uncertainty given how close to the end we are.

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    The Verdict

    This week’s Supergirl had a lot to offer. For one thing, it made better use of Teri Hatcher and Kevin Sorbo than its predecessor. It also delivered a steady stream of memorable romantic drama involving both Kara/Mon-El and Alex/Maggie. However, there was still a sense of frustration as “Distant Sun” wrapped and the show began a month-long hiatus. Even this close to the finale, there’s no clear sense of what Season 2 is truly building towards.

    Outlast 2 Developer Clears Up Australian Ratings Confusion

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    Footage mistakenly taken from Alpha version of the game.

    Outlast 2 developer Red Barrels has clarified that Outlast 2’s recent classification snag in Australia was caused by a misleading video file provided with the submission.

    “The original submission of Outlast 2 sent to the Australian Classification Branch contained the final game code and a video file for reference taken from an Alpha version of the game,” the studio explained in a statement provided to IGN. “This video file should not have been sent along with the game code, as its content was not representative of the final game.”

    “In the second submission, the same game code was submitted with a video file reflecting the final game content. The game was then approved for release with an R18+ rating.”

    It was also reiterated that all territories will get the same version of Outlast 2, Australia included.

    “There will be only one version of Outlast 2 available worldwide,” stressed the studio.

    Outlast 2 was originally refused classification in Australia two weeks ago over a depiction of implied sexual violence that couldn’t be accommodated within the country’s idiosyncratic ratings guidelines concerning sexual violence. The decision was overturned last week and the game was rated R18+.

    Luke is Games Editor at IGN’s Sydney office. You can find him on Twitter @MrLukeReilly.

    Senior Ex-Apple Employee Hired as Head of Oculus VR Hardware

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    From iMac to Rift and Touch controllers.

    Michael Hillman is the new head of hardware for Oculus VR.

    Bloomberg reports that Facebook — which owns Oculus VR — has hired Hillman, who’s spent his past 15 years at Apple. He previously worked on the iMac desktop computer at the Cupertino company and held senior positions in engineering and design.

    Hillman’s new role will see him pushing for Oculus Rift to hit the mainstream.

    The adoption rate could pick up for Oculus Rift with the recent price cut. The headset and controllers are now bundled together for $598, which is $200 less than before.

    For more, be sure to check out IGN’s reviews of the Oculus Rift and Touch controllers.

    Evan Campbell is a freelance writer who scripts the Daily Fix, streams games on his Twitch channel, and chats about movies and TV series on Twitter.

    World Of Warcraft 7.2 Patch Notes Reveal Major Additions

    World of Warcraft‘s huge 7.2 update launches tomorrow, March 28, and we now have the full patch notes for it.

    The update, known as The Tomb of Sargeras, features some major additions, including a new dungeon, PvP Brawls, the pet battle dungeon, and class-specific campaigns, which lead to quests that unlock new epic class mounts.

    Those mounts will be all the more useful thanks to 7.2 adding the ability to fly in the Broken Isles. This won’t immediately be available to everyone, as you’ll first need to earn the Broken Isle Pathfinder, Part 2 Achievement to earn the right to take to the skies.

    7.2 introduces new ways to enhance your Artifact with new empowered traits, higher ranks for existing traits, and a new final trait that is unlocked through a questline.

    There are also a huge number of changes to classes, items, professions, and so on. There are also quality-of-life changes (like a new screen to track item sets and transmogrification options), improvements to targeting with the Tab key (no more targeting an enemy you can’t see!), and more.

    The video above provides a rundown of the major points, while the full patch notes can be seen here. Blizzard has also published more in-depth previews of the various components of the update, which you can see here.

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