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Update: High-latency Players From Other Regions

Theo Sanders, Creative Director of GRO, addresses issues with players connecting from regions outside the US & Canada.
Hello all,

I want to discuss a topic that’s been a key issue for many of you: the “Red Pingers” we’re seeing in fairly large numbers. There have been frequent complaints that this is causing a poor game experience from a lag (and language) perspective.

But first, I’d like to explain why those players are there. A small number of them (myself included) are from the Singapore development team. The single best way for us to understand what’s working and what’s not in GRO is for us to play in the live service with all of you.

However, the majority of Red Pingers are from South America (Brazil especially), with some others from Europe and Asia. We had an IP blocking solution in place that was meant to limit access to this server to North American players only. The plan was to add a dedicated service for South America at a later time. Unfortunately, this technology was not working correctly when the VIP window ended.

To be frank, we were caught off guard (but also honored!) by the amount of interest GRO has generated in countries like Brazil, despite having no localization or marketing in the region. I’ve personally had some awesome games playing with you guys.

We’ve been considering what to do for the past few days. I believe we now have a solution that will work for everyone. This will be rolled out in the very near future.

We will re-configure matchmaking to only match North American players against each other, with South American players (and the Singapore team) match-making together in another bucket. The Lobby, including chat and leader boards, will still be shared. European players on the service will be offered a transition plan to the European servers, for which we’ll announce details in the coming week.

It was a difficult decision – we’d love to welcome everyone – but the reality of a shooter game is that latency has a significant impact on the quality of the experience. So, for players outside of North, Central, and South America – we will be blocking access entirely while we find ways to officially launch a service in Asia, the Middle East, and Africa.

For South American players: our team is currently investigating getting some servers set up in that region. But expect that this will take us some time. We hope that having a dedicated matchmaking bucket where most players speak Spanish or Brazilian Portuguese will improve the experience in the interim.

In the future, we are also looking at incrementally rolling out more improvements like creating language-dedicated chat channels in the Lobby.

There is one downside to all of this: we may all see slightly longer matchmaking search times, as we’ve essentially created two mutually exclusive groups of players trying to match. I hope that as interest in GRO continues to grow (ugg…) over the coming months, that will be alleviated.

Pro Tip: for those of you who really want to play with friends in the opposite hemisphere of the Americas, you can still do so by creating a fire team. The matching pool will be based on the FT leader’s location.

-- Theo / temasek

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