TL;DR: Change the “reconnect” screen that appears upon a connection interruption to just have the app restart from scratch.
I’m not sure if my experience with this is similar to other people’s, but I thought I’d just share it and my suggestion for a temporary fix.
So, I primarily play JWA on my (Android) phone cause that’s the easiest device to carry around/the main device I’d have on hand when outdoors. However, over a few months of playing, I’ve noticed that JWA’s dropped connection handling is utterly terrible. When I get called, or when my mobile network switches from one mode to another (e.g. 3G to 4G), or when my phone gets within range of a known Wi-Fi network, or if I close my phone screen temporarily, the connection drops and I’ll get some form of the “You have been disconnected” message.
Now here’s where the issues start.
Firstly, the “Reconnect” button is highly unreliable and provides no progress feedback. Sometimes, when I press it, the device will reconnect properly and the game will load normally. Other times, the purple radar icon will just keep rotating endlessly until I get fed up and restart the game. Unlike the starting loading screen (which has the number/26), there’s absolutely nothing indicating to me the progress of the reconnect operation, so I have no idea whether or not the reconnect operation is stalled. As you can probably guess, this is incredibly frustrating as I try and figure out whether or not I should restart the app.
Secondly, about a third of the time, the reconnect operation just sends me to a “No Internet” page, even when I have an internet connection (as tested on other apps, web browser etc). This is already irritating enough on its own, but the worst part is that, so far, of all the times I’ve tried it, the “Connect” button on the No Internet page is about as useful as trying to douse a fire with crude oil. It has NEVER worked, ever, and now I just restart the app when I get that screen. (And, somehow, when I restart the app, the connection always works just fine. So it’s definitely not my connection that’s the issue)
Thirdly, I’ve noticed that it’s often faster to simply close the app and start it again rather than waiting for the reconnection operation to succeed. In other words, even when the re-connection screen properly serves its purpose, it’s often slower than simply restarting the app.
Obviously, JWA needs a pretty significant improvement in their connection software as a whole. But in the meantime, I think a temporary fix is in order.
Just switch the “reconnect on connection dropped” screen to a complete restart of the app.
After all, it’s what most people do anyways, once they see the “reconnect” screen, except it would be way less frustrating than “get a call/have your mobile network switch without your knowledge/have your phone secretly connect to Wi-Fi without your knowledge etc, open the device, wait for it to try connecting, fail connecting, see the reconnect screen, press the app list button, clear the app out of memory, go to the home screen and open JWA again”. And based on my experience, it seems to be fairly common amongst other online game apps that they will restart if the phone is closed/connection is dropped.
Not to mention, the app loading screen has a progress indicator (the number/26), and its own device offline screen (which I haven’t had as many issues with, it only seems to appear when my device is actually offline). So if the loading stalls out at 17/26 (which is a whole nother issue on its own), at least the player can figure out that it’s stalled and restart the game, instead of trying to guess whether the connection is slow.
What do you guys think?
Should the reconnect screen be changed to have the app reload when a connection is dropped?