Let’s talk about server disconnections and loading errors in Warriors of Waterdeep.
We’ve heard your comments and complaints about how these issues are interrupting your enjoyment of the game at different times - especially in PVP - and we’ve been working hard to track down the source of the problem.
We haven’t found it yet, which has been frustrating for everyone.
Here’s our next step - We are investing in new tracking tools to help us identify problem areas with the connections and help point us in the right direction for a solution. Our goal is always to get this problem resolved consistently for as many people as possible.
We will be rolling out the first block of these tools shortly after Update 15, which is just around the corner. Update 15 includes some changes to our matchmaking system and a new event type that we’re excited to share with you.
The adventure continues! Thank you for your understanding and support!
If it is any help at all I have noticed the loading issues happens when your turn starts and the menu shows up to chose your action. It may or may not have to do with the script that loads the animations because when you go back into the game any movement animation is broken. Action animation happens but no movement while characters are idle waiting for an action choice and no movement animation.
Thank you for continuing to work on it. It seems like half of your players are devs, so we understand how frustrating it is not find the cause of a problem, particularly when it is in a live application and causing players to leave/ask for compensation etc.
I acknowledge that you’re open to minimising the impact of this problem while looking for the source - as evidenced by how bots do not appear to be exploiting the battle when you’ve disconnected. I’m guessing because the game at least knows that the other party has timed out more than once.
With this in mind, I’d like to suggest some other solutions to minimise the impact of this problem while investigating it:
If you face an opponent who has timed out, and the game detects an opponent has timed out for 2 actions in a row on heroes who not both disarmed+immobile, pause the game and ask the player “Your opponent appears to have disconnected - would you like to wait 30 seconds to give them an opportunity to rejoin, or would you like to face a bot?”. If they select the latter, a bot takes over the timed out player’s heroes. Any loss here doesn’t effect the losing player’s trophy count/battle status for the first 3x this occurs in any 24 hr period (if someone triggers this scenario that many times, they are probably trying to exploit this to avoid losses?)
If you are the disconnected party, instead of displaying a tiny loading watermark in the bottom right corner, display a big fat watermark across the entire screen saying “You appear to have timed out - please restart the app as soon as possible to have the best chance of winning the battle”
Something about the app loading/boot process needs to identify the player and whether there is an active battle going on as soon as possible - I don’t need to know how many other things need to be checked in order to do this, but I do know it usually takes 25-35 secs to rejoin a disconnected battle, and that is far too long.
Any of these corrections going to address the ridiculous that we know as dominant. Losing fights ONLY because a player gets initiative and dominates a character and I’m not provided by computer selection a counter, is such … !!!
@Fradam, i see where you are coming from. The connection issues have really interrupted the enjoyment for many players. However, some of the band-aids you proposed will negatively impact some players. As a player who does not experience in-battle connection issues, I would prefer not to be pestered by additional delays, pop-ups, or buttons presses as you have suggested in your first point. Furthermore, I suspect some players would abuse your proposed 3 free opportunities when facing seemingly unwinnable matches.
Instead, I find myself in the rare position where I agree with the developer. I prefer they follow through with their plan to cure this disease, rather than apply more short-term band-aid solutions.
On another note, it is nice to see the developer addressing this issue. It has been a long time coming but I am pleased to be aware efforts are being made to correct it.
@Fradam, although this is not the point I was intending, you are correct. Players in the top few hundred trophies (and possibly VIP players where possible) inexplicably do not encounter these in-battle crashes. As such, my battles complete without issue. I do not know why thus is, but in other threads I hypothesized the possibility that the developer is ensuring stable connectivity for some at the expense of others. Logic dictates it would be wise for a developer to ensure players who spend are not experiencing unnecessary connectivity concerns.
Hopefully, the forthcoming update will be able to uncover any unknown connection issue, identify any players abusing the network, and provide the tools needed to resolve these concerns. This combined with a sensible correction to the Event matchmaking algorithm should make the game more enjoyable for all.
I am both VIP and consistently in the top 5 of trophy count for the last five plus seasons and I have loading issues every day. I don’t doubt your sincerity but do think you are a little overly cynical about Ludia’s intentions and capabilities when it comes to the issues we experience as players.
So you’ve know about the PVP loading error for at least a month. But you run/advertise pvp events and charge gems/money to complete the event. That’s like hosting a race but 1/3 of the way through the race you brake the racers knee. Then charge to heal him/ her. You set us up for failure.
Yesterday I went to PvP, got disconnected BEFORE being matched, re-logged in and found I had already lost a battle even though I was reconnected very quickly. Since I don’t care about trophy count particularly, I’m not upset, but it’s still a bug to report.
The bigger issue is when a crash happens during an event where you have only 3 chances without paying for more. I rarely complete these events, as I don’t think the reward justifies the gem cost for extra lives. The unfair matchmaking system compounds the problem-I have had fights against 4 level 20 bots, wasting my chances. The option to purchase spell books reducing the entry costs would be nice for these on a regular basis, as the spell books are not really worth it for the regular challenges.
The way to fix the matchmaking system is to do it by party level. If I have 62 levels of XP in my battle party (which is average for me), I should be matched against a human or bot with about 62 levels of XP too. It also balances it to let me get a new character I acquire into a fairer fight. If/when I acquire Jarlaxle and Joppa, it would be a long time before I could take them into the top level arena I am ranked in by trophy count. I rarely put Nayeli into my PvP party, as she is 1-2 levels lower than everyone else, and it tends to handicap me; a few levels makes a big difference!
I agree with a number of components within your assessment.
Players experiencing the crash while in battle mode likely do not care too much. Alternatively, troubles truly arise when Event Mode players loose expended resources due to the ongoing connectivity issues.
I also agree there are issues with matchmaking, and I am also glad to hear the developer is planning to re-adjust or replace the algorithm. However, I find the matchmaking for most Battle Mode v. Battle Mode or Event Mode v. Event Mode matches are reasonable. In these cases Trophy count has served as a moderately successful matchmaking system. However, the gerrymandered algorithm matching Battle Mode players with significantly higher trophy counts against Event Players with far fewer trophies has been the crux of most PvP complaints.
However, I disagree hero levels is a favorable measurement of player strength. It is well documented that It is equipment which truly defines hero strength in WoW.
The photo below shows how one player has manipulated his/her own hero levels. Notice all of this player’s heroes are ready to level-up, some by multiple levels. Although the heroes are all currently level 16, the wizard has enough experience to be advanced to level 19 or 20. Furthermore, this account has been active since early Beta and the heroes are well equipped with items leveled to max ability.
A even better example would be a player who discontinued improving heroes at level 10, with the heroes likewise having maxed equipment. Under your proposed algorithm, his or her party with 4-level 10 heroes would be matched against another party with an average of 4 level 10 heroes. Such a match-up would almost certainly be horrendously unbalanced, with the opponent unlikely to withstand the first or second round.
As trophy count is a direct measure of PvP success, I believe trophy count could be maintained as a reasonable method of matching players. However, doing so would require the developer to discontinue the ongoing program of matching weaker Event Players against stronger Battle Mode players. Although removing these egregious mismatches from the algorithm could negatively impact developer profits, doing so would pacify most players and drastically reduce the number of needless losses experienced by Event Players.
Regardless of the tinkering done, I am hopeful the upcoming algorithm revisions will resolve the most blatant matchmaking concerns.
Fair enough Orloch. Since I am the only person I know who plays, I can only comment on what I see as I play. The thought of level manipulation never occurred to me. But given that you need to be of certain levels to unlock more powerful items, perhaps the incentive to manipulate this way begins at level 10. And perhaps the concept of autoleveling (so long as the coins are there) could be implemented. But other than getting more favorable level-based battles, what would be the point?
On the average though, in the absence of manipulation equal level parties have the possibility for comparable equipment. Obviously, pay-to-play affects this. As does randomness. (I want that legendary fighter item that gives me counterattack without it being visible to opponents. I’ve fought people with it, but the game has not randomly given it to me. Conversely, I’m sure I’ve won loot others covet.) But our percentage chances for good loot drops are basically the same.
The matchmaking system needs to be fixed, even if my idea wasn’t the solution.
As you reference logic, may I posit that in order to challenge your statement of “Players in the top few hundred trophies (…) inexplicably do not encounter these in-battle crashes”, I only need to find one such example of a player in the top few hundred trophies who does encounter them?
You have StandingWarrior responding to your post indicating that a top player gets it every day. That’s one example. However, there are numerous other top players experiencing this - I’ve been top 20 for the past few months and experience it daily. I speak with other top players too, who also experience it in battle - and I know they do, because I fight them and they sometimes get the bug, and sometimes I do. We are talking about it because it’ll happen to either side, and both parties are disappointed as it ruined what could have been a good match.
Needless to say, there are more than enough examples to demonstrate that the hypothesis of this being by design to ensure stable connectivity for some at the expense of others, where ‘some’ are top players, is not supported by the evidence.
That aside, I obviously cannot refute your own firsthand experience, and am more than a little jealous of your good fortune that your experience of the game has not been marred by this loading bug (which I find frustrating everyday!). I will say I find it interesting that neither you, nor anyone you’ve faced in battle, has experienced it. It makes me think about your following comment:
If neither you/anyone you’ve faced, has appeared to timeout, then you would not be pestered by additional delays, pop-ups, or button presses. My suggested solution only comes into effect when that scenario triggers.
Let us suppose that you didn’t experience the problem, but it did happen to your opponents once/twice a day - if you knew that one additional button press that you needed to do once/twice a day, added to the quality of the gaming experience for many other players, but not yourself, would you not consider that worthwhile? i.e. shouldn’t the game be improved for the majority of players/scenarios? I know if it was me in your shoes, I’d say yes - particularly because 1) it means I already am getting a good deal by not experiencing the bug myself and 2) this game is more fun when more people are having more fun - and I want to aid that.
I agree with your sentiment that any effort Ludia puts to this is a good thing, and is also what I’m looking forward to.
Agreed @Krom, I do not see a way to differentiate a genuine timeout vs someone ragequitting and throwing their phone at the couch vs someone strategically exiting the app to avoid a losing battle. However, some ideas/points to consider:
The concept of there being no loss due to a timeout already exists in PvE - you can leave challenges/rallies/raids mid way, even after a hero has died, and when the app restarts, you’re at the start of that room again, with your heroes alive. No penalty/loss whatsoever. This idea actually persists that concept into PvP.
The concept of there being no loss already exists in PvP too - when you lose any number of battles in the first round of an event. If the opponent is in battle mode and not event mode, that opponent still gets trophies too - which is the same dynamic as what my suggestion is.
So one could say that my proposed suggestions are in the same ballpark as existing game mechanics. It can still be exploited, for sure - just the same as point 2 above creates a scenario which some players exploit in order inflate the number of trophies. Perhaps to discourage exploitation (which a fixed 3x/daily might encourage), maybe we make the cap dynamic, e.g. for every 10-15 battles you’re in, there’s 1 of these, still to a max of 3?