If there’s one thing that gamers hate more than bad games, it’s broken games. The big-budget titles with multiplayer modes are particularly problematic when not working as intended as the heavy pressure and increased weight on the game’s servers as large amounts of players swarm online, firing virtual deadly pellets at each other, needs to be handled well, save the development team come under fire for making a shoddy product. Unfortunately for DICE, the development team behind Battlefield 4, after continually coming under fire from gamers and critics about initial problems with their game, rubber banding issues in the first person shooter’s online mode seem to be thwarting their credibility once again.
The problem in question is known as ‘rubber banding’, in which a player may move across the map and find their boots planted firmly back where they started despite having moved well away form their starting position. Brought on by lag (poor communication between the player’s own console and the game’s servers), it’s a problem that isn’t so easily fixed with a patch as it’s partially an issue with the connection — the very infrastructure of a title — and not the game’s code itself. Although DICE isn’t happy with their server performance and are promising hardware upgrades “as soon as possible.” The issue is specific to large matches, the 64-player battles the franchise is known for, so PS3 and Xbox 360 players are mostly unaffected.
For a triple-A title like Battlefield 4, which has already been lambasted by players, EA shareholders (see: lawsuits), this is particularly troubling, especially given that previous iterations of the game have been praised for their stellar multiplayer gameplay. DICE even went as far as to delay all Battlefield 4 DLC until the game was fixed. They may have jumped the gun with the release of the Battlefield 4: Naval Strike DLC then, as DICE has now taken to the game’s official blog to address the latest problem in the spotlight:
“Looking into this further, we’re unhappy with our server performance, so we’ll be upgrading the hardware as soon as possible, investing more to deliver a better experience.”
It’s unclear how long this will take, or if the server performance is the only culprit for Battlefield 4’s rubber banding:
“As soon as we know the exact timetable, we’ll let you know the ETA. Reducing lag for these players is absolutely a top priority [bolded by DICE] for us to solve and we expect to have the solution very soon.”
DICE has clearly tried to appease fans of the game with open communication and the fan-appreciation month rewards in February. Lots of users however, are leaving comments section on the rubber banding blog entry complaining that this is a longstanding issue, with one user reporting that they had been experiencing it since December of 2013. A fix can’t come soon enough for the popular shooter. Nonetheless, we’ll know more about a Battlefield 4 update soon, so stay tuned to the blog for more info.
Does this pose problems for DICE and the perception of the developer and publisher for future DICE-developed releases, from the new Mirror’s Edge and Star Wars: Battlefront? Is it a bad idea of EA to announce the oft-rumored Battlefield spinoff this year?
Source: Battlefield Blog