The single most important thing i can say to you as a new tester.



  • Hello everyone,

    My name is Andrew, most of you know me by Motz. I have been playing Breakaway for over half a year, and the single most important piece of advise to anyone seeing the game for the first time at this moment is remember we are here to be ALPHA testers. What this means is we are seeing a very unfinished product, we are seeing the worst that this game has to offer, but that means much to come from the future, we can only expect the experience to get better from here. Everything we see from character design to game balance will be changing in the future and be impacted by the feedback we leave for the Dev team, so please leave all the feedback possible. The reason i explain this to you is because my first experience with Breakaway was a much cleaner and overall more enjoyable experience, showing me the true potentials of this game. Little to no lag, Many of the bugs that exist now, were not there at the time. Much of this has to do with all the hard work the devs are doing, making progress is gonna do this from time to time so just give them time to fix it. In its current state it does not run nearly half as well as it did for me 6 months ago, which when playing that well polished version gave me this ever lasting feeling of always wanting to return. I know many of you are dealing with bugs and technical issues, which while not experiencing it personally i know it can be very frustrating, but trust me when i tell u this game, when optimized better, is the greatest game u will ever have the chance to play. I have had so many fun and exciting match's with new and old friends. If the game is unenjoyable for you currently then i advise you to please leave feedback for the devs to fix what you see wrong and then give them a brief period of time to address said issues. We have a long road ahead but the wait will be well worth it. Anyone who wants in-game help, information, or has any questions feel free to leave below and i can try to assist you. Thank you for taking the time to read this, have a wonderful rest of the day, and again remember what it means to be alpha testing Breakaway, experiences bad are good, is helping further the development process.

    DUNK ON!



  • Give this man a medal! Couldn't have said it any better myself. I will be honest. I started playing only a week ago when competing in the 'battle on the high seas' tournament. We got to play on a LAN connection (so no lag) and a more polished version as well. And believe me... it was amazing.

    And like Motz said.. This is the Alpha. Many things will change, and only for the better. If things don't feel right to you in some way; just write a post about it. The devs are very dedicated and awesome people!
    But we have to remember... it will... take... TIME... You can't build a great game in one week. And we are here to support the team on their way to finish this amazing game!

    Cheers to all of you! See you in the arena!


  • Amazon Game Studios

    @krokedkroked said in The single most important thing i can say to you as a new tester.:

    @rnln_kinetic said in

    @krokedkroked HWhat I was just trying to say is that as soon as they get a more stable connection (the way it should be), the game is a lot better.

    Perhaps I wasn't clear. What I am saying is that the connection will never get better. In fact it will get worse. The problem with lag is not caused by the game, the client computer, or the server, or even the server's network. It is caused by the thing in between all that, the "inter" part of the "net".
    It will get worse because as more players connect to the same host, or even just hosts in the same datacenter, the internet (the part that is between the client and the servers) will get clogged up and lag will happen. There is no way to prevent this.
    Only robust mechanics can address this problem.

    I can assure you that we're working on it. We're working on improving the experience of the game, we're still developing both the clients and the servers, we're still optimizing our networking flow and the performance of both of them. We're also using the opportunity of the alpha to test the game mechanics and tweak them and adjust them based on the feedback we're getting in the real world from our players. We'll share more details in a blog post soon.



  • @krokedkroked I think you are reading to much into it, you seem very educated in things ill be honest, i have no clue about. Everything you say sounds as if it could be a very sad reality in some situations but this is not the case. I played Breakaway from my home pc, same setup, same location, with what i assume was one west coast server at the time , from mid west, with little to no lag and not one of the bugs we have now where there. I see these issues as growing pains, the game just went through a big cosmetic change, im no dev but whos to say how said changes effect the game. I have little to no knowledge of how the inter workings go , but i do not believe this is the end of breakaway. I have faith they will fix the issues with time.



  • @krokedkroked I'm happy to see your passion, but your suggestions and comments seem a bit misguided.

    You mention that "networking flow" is mainly irrelevant, that designing a game to be robust to networking issues is the only way to deal with them, and that the issues with lag and stutter are independent of the server or client code. These statements are just not true.

    "Networking flow" is entirely relevant, because that is one of the biggest culprits for lag and the relatively easiest to fix. Reducing the number and size of packets being transferred to and from a server will have a drastic effect on performance, and is something that can be done through iteration. Look at PUBG, they just released a patch that reduced the amount of data being transferred, saying that before the patch they were basically DDOS'ing their own servers with the amount of data being passed.

    Nobody designs combat mechanics around lag. You design the combat mechanics to be fun, then come up with ways to alleviate lag by writing up new systems such as movement prediction, reducing data transfer and syncing, and more spread out data centers.

    You mention World of Warcraft's use of tab targeting as a lag robust design, and that real time target tracking over the internet is practically impossible. First, tab targeting has almost nothing to do with deliberate lag robust design - having to hit your target with spells in World of Warcraft by aiming does not fit their combat design. Is it lighter on the amount of data being transferred? Maybe. But that's a Bob Ross happy little accident if it is, not a core design decision. You're also not technically wrong about it being "practically" impossible to do real time target tracking, but it's one of those statements that's so obviously true it is irrelevant (like saying having a real time conversation over cell phones is practically impossible). If it were an insurmountable issue, the online FPS genre would be dead. SMITE would be unplayable. It's not, because they have found ways (engineering ways, not combat design ways) of reducing the perception and existence of the issues.

    Sorry for the long winded post. The iterations this game is going through have given me confidence the developers know what they're doing. It may seem slow, but game dev is slow and we are seeing the game on a weekly basis.

    Cheers.


  • Amazon Game Studios

    @krokedkroked said in The single most important thing i can say to you as a new tester.:

    @yasserr23 said in The single most important thing i can say to you as a new tester.:

    @krokedkroked said in The single most important thing i can say to you as a new tester.:

    @rnln_kinetic said in

    @krokedkroked HWhat I was just trying to say is that as soon as they get a more stable connection (the way it should be), the game is a lot better.

    Perhaps I wasn't clear. What I am saying is that the connection will never get better. In fact it will get worse. The problem with lag is not caused by the game, the client computer, or the server, or even the server's network. It is caused by the thing in between all that, the "inter" part of the "net".
    It will get worse because as more players connect to the same host, or even just hosts in the same datacenter, the internet (the part that is between the client and the servers) will get clogged up and lag will happen. There is no way to prevent this.
    Only robust mechanics can address this problem.

    I can assure you that we're working on it. We're working on improving the experience of the game, we're still developing both the clients and the servers, we're still optimizing our networking flow and the performance of both of them. We're also using the opportunity of the alpha to test the game mechanics and tweak them and adjust them based on the feedback we're getting in the real world from our players. We'll share more details in a blog post soon.

    @yasserr23 I am encouraged that you have taken the time to reply to this post. This means that someone is paying attention! This is not always the case in alphas.

    There are a couple of details in your post that make me uncertain if the team is truly coming to grips with the problem of latency and lag.

    When you say "we're still optimizing our networking flow", it occurs to me that maybe you didnt really understand my post. "Networking flow " is mainly irrelevant.

    You also say " alpha to test the game mechanics and tweak them and adjust them based on the feedback we're getting in the real world from our players." This alpha is not giving 'real world' performance. and it is unlikely that mere tweaks can get the game to where it needs to be.

    May I make a suggestion? Put the alpha servers in Singapore. Nobody gets to play with a fast smooth ping. Ask the developers what they would have to do to make that playable. I think this is a minimum empirical smoke-test to ensure your game play well in the real world during prime-time.

    When I mentioned the word "network flow" I actually meant all the networking experience, which includes how the packets flow to the actual code that processes player inputs on both the client and the server. We're also looking at gameplay tweaks that go along with that. We are working on a blog post that talks in details about all the steps we're taking to improve the gameplay experience for players on the internet.

    I also wanted to address one of the main concerns you had in an earlier posting to do with concurrency and number of players. We are running with a dedicated server model using Amazon's Gamelift (https://aws.amazon.com/gamelift/) , which means we're scaling our servers based on the number of users we have incoming, that means that individual experiences will not degrade when more players flow in as each game will still have the same bandwidth and cpu as they have right now.



  • @rnln_kinetic said We got to play on a LAN connection (so no lag) and a more polished version as well. And believe me... it was amazing.

    Unfortunately, this exact type of blinkered thinking has been the ruin of many an online game launch.

    Is Breakaway a LAN game or is it an internet e-sport? If it was just a LAN game, then all would be well. However, since its really a twitch internet e-sport, the future is ..uncertain.

    A game that is designed to run well on a LAN will not work effectively over internet with real world load. Time and again game companies design for LAN and then port to internet as an afterthought, foolishly thinking that just a little bit more network code tweaking will fix it up. But this is magical thinking: the issues with internet latency, lag spikes, and stutter are independent of the server or client code, and stems from connection issues between the server and client that the game company has no control over.
    Thus, the game must be designed from the ground up to be robust to latency, lag spikes, and stutter, rather than attempt to avoid them. Robustness has nothing to do with improving the net code, but instead carefully designing the combat mechanics to mask the realities of lag and stutter. Attempting to map backwards from LAN play mechanics to internet play mechanics is generally a lost cause.

    This problem is the real reason MMO game mechanics work like they do. Automatic target locking is an example of a lag robust design: this is why World of Warcraft has its tab-target mechanic. Real-time target tracking over internet is practically impossible.
    I am not at all certain that Breakaway copes with this issue correctly.



  • @krokedkroked Hey man. I think you took my comment a little bit out of the context. What I was just trying to say is that as soon as they get a more stable connection (the way it should be), the game is a lot better. I just don't want people to get discouraged by the fact that it is still a bit laggy at times. Let's be honest, they only have 3 servers now and only about 30 people online at max, which leads too higher ping since EUW are forced to play with NA (for instance).
    Just give it some time, I'm sure the server issues will be fixed in the (hopefully near) future. Cheers



  • @rnln_kinetic said in

    @krokedkroked HWhat I was just trying to say is that as soon as they get a more stable connection (the way it should be), the game is a lot better.

    Perhaps I wasn't clear. What I am saying is that the connection will never get better. In fact it will get worse. The problem with lag is not caused by the game, the client computer, or the server, or even the server's network. It is caused by the thing in between all that, the "inter" part of the "net".
    It will get worse because as more players connect to the same host, or even just hosts in the same datacenter, the internet (the part that is between the client and the servers) will get clogged up and lag will happen. There is no way to prevent this.
    Only robust mechanics can address this problem.



  • @yasserr23 said in The single most important thing i can say to you as a new tester.:

    @krokedkroked said in The single most important thing i can say to you as a new tester.:

    @rnln_kinetic said in

    @krokedkroked HWhat I was just trying to say is that as soon as they get a more stable connection (the way it should be), the game is a lot better.

    Perhaps I wasn't clear. What I am saying is that the connection will never get better. In fact it will get worse. The problem with lag is not caused by the game, the client computer, or the server, or even the server's network. It is caused by the thing in between all that, the "inter" part of the "net".
    It will get worse because as more players connect to the same host, or even just hosts in the same datacenter, the internet (the part that is between the client and the servers) will get clogged up and lag will happen. There is no way to prevent this.
    Only robust mechanics can address this problem.

    I can assure you that we're working on it. We're working on improving the experience of the game, we're still developing both the clients and the servers, we're still optimizing our networking flow and the performance of both of them. We're also using the opportunity of the alpha to test the game mechanics and tweak them and adjust them based on the feedback we're getting in the real world from our players. We'll share more details in a blog post soon.

    @yasserr23 I am encouraged that you have taken the time to reply to this post. This means that someone is paying attention! This is not always the case in alphas.

    There are a couple of details in your post that make me uncertain if the team is truly coming to grips with the problem of latency and lag.

    When you say "we're still optimizing our networking flow", it occurs to me that maybe you didnt really understand my post. "Networking flow " is mainly irrelevant.

    You also say " alpha to test the game mechanics and tweak them and adjust them based on the feedback we're getting in the real world from our players." This alpha is not giving 'real world' performance. and it is unlikely that mere tweaks can get the game to where it needs to be.

    May I make a suggestion? Put the alpha servers in Singapore. Nobody gets to play with a fast smooth ping. Ask the developers what they would have to do to make that playable. I think this is a minimum empirical smoke-test to ensure your game play well in the real world during prime-time.



  • @buttabuttajam said in The single most important thing i can say to you as a new tester.:

    @krokedkroked I'm happy to see your passion, but your suggestions and comments seem a bit misguided.

    You mention that "networking flow" is mainly irrelevant, that designing a game to be robust to networking issues is the only way to deal with them, and that the issues with lag and stutter are independent of the server or client code. These statements are just not true.

    "Networking flow" is entirely relevant, because that is one of the biggest culprits for lag and the relatively easiest to fix. Reducing the number and size of packets being transferred to and from a server will have a drastic effect on performance, and is something that can be done through iteration. Look at PUBG, they just released a patch that reduced the amount of data being transferred, saying that before the patch they were basically DDOS'ing their own servers with the amount of data being passed.

    Nobody designs combat mechanics around lag. You design the combat mechanics to be fun, then come up with ways to alleviate lag by writing up new systems such as movement prediction, reducing data transfer and syncing, and more spread out data centers.

    You mention World of Warcraft's use of tab targeting as a lag robust design, and that real time target tracking over the internet is practically impossible. First, tab targeting has almost nothing to do with deliberate lag robust design - having to hit your target with spells in World of Warcraft by aiming does not fit their combat design. Is it lighter on the amount of data being transferred? Maybe. But that's a Bob Ross happy little accident if it is, not a core design decision. You're also not technically wrong about it being "practically" impossible to do real time target tracking, but it's one of those statements that's so obviously true it is irrelevant (like saying having a real time conversation over cell phones is practically impossible). If it were an insurmountable issue, the online FPS genre would be dead. SMITE would be unplayable. It's not, because they have found ways (engineering ways, not combat design ways) of reducing the perception and existence of the issues.

    Sorry for the long winded post. The iterations this game is going through have given me confidence the developers know what they're doing. It may seem slow, but game dev is slow and we are seeing the game on a weekly basis.

    Cheers.

    I'm just going to have to disagree with your assertions.

    Ill just add one note: you mention "amount of data being transferred" as a factor. This is completely irrelevant to game performance (except as a bug as in your example). What matters is latency (average packet transit time), lag (worst case packet transit time), and stutter (variance in packet to packet transit time). The size of the packets doesn't really matter in this context, as they are usually smaller than a frame.


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