League of Legends is a game I tend to play when I am not interested in any current MMOs. I appreciate the self-contained nature of each round, versus the ridiculous accumulation over time. I usually quit for several months after the toxicity of the playerbase gets to me, but I find that less of an issue in ARAM. Instead, I find myself quitting because the servers are lousy. I must have had three games in a row where it was a 5v5 game, but I cannot recall that off-hand. I just had two 4v5s in a row, one of which was a 4v4 for the start of the game until a 9th player connected. I know I have several “leaver” marks on my record because the game crashes, I was disconnected, or whatever error causes the game to think that you installed a new firewall between games because that is a reasonable assumption rather than the game’s having connection issues yet again.

I used to make jokes about how many people blamed deaths on lag, but I’ve certainly had those times when I lost half my health while the server decided what I was doing. I used to get annoyed at players who quit or never showed up and wasted everyone’s time, but given the number of times I have been unable to connect to a game, I cannot honestly blame the player. I cannot blame their computer or connection either, because mine will work perfectly for two games then be unable to connect to a third.

This is no easy network engineering problem. You want servers that are reasonably reliable and close enough to your players to reduce latency, while also needed to be close to players who may be anywhere on the globe, a problem only worsened when you form a team with your friend from another continent. A good algorithm for which server to use for a game must be about as hard as for matching up players. But still, it is one of those problems your players reasonably expect you to have addressed when your business is online gaming. And having a 95% solution is not good enough because losing 1 of 10 players every other game is the whole problem.

: Zubon

2 thoughts on “Servers”

  1. I wonder if it’s possible to swap in a relatively high AI bot for those intermittent periods of disconnection?

    I seem to recall some games doing this, but can’t for the life of me remember which ones now.

  2. They already break up the playerbase by region (no more Mord es #1 on NA!), but they really need to add an East Coast server. 100ish ping isn’t cool.

    That said connection issues for me are very rare, and almost never to where I can’t reconnect and finish a game (outside of when Riot announces overall server issues and games are loss-forgiven). Same deal for my wife, who plays more often than I do of late.

    While it sucks that some still have issues, especially for ranked play, those accounts should be noted and put aside. Regardless of the reason, someone queuing up that can’t consistently finish a game shouldn’t be playing with those who can IMO. It’s less of a problem in higher ranked play, but whenever I queue up for an ARAM, the odds of playing a full 5v5 aren’t great, and while some of that is undoubted on Riot, some (most?) don’t have issues.

    (I actually wonder if they already do that, splitting reliable accounts into one group and flagged leavers into another, and then matching them up that way. I have a few clan mates who play and say they get a leaver almost every ranked game, while I don’t think I get one more than once in 20 or so. They are lower ranked (gold vs plat), but it does make me wonder)

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