We’ve been listening to all your feedback. In our latest patch, we were able to address some of the top issues we’ve been hearing from you – the community. Some of the issues we are still hard at work on fixing/improving, others work this way by design and we want to explain why we’ve made these design choices.
One of the major pieces of feedback we receive is around why games loop to a previous faceoff. This is an intentional design choice, as NHL® 18 has a Faceoff Recovery mechanic built in to prevent games from disconnecting.
The short explanation is that a faceoff loop (faceoff recovery) prevents your game from disconnecting.
For a more detailed explanation, read below to find out more about desyncs and the Faceoff Recovery mechanism in NHL® 18.
What is a desync?
A desync occurs when the information being transferred to all consoles is inconsistent with one or more consoles. Because the information has to be processed on each console, if one console returns different values to the game server, we don’t know which are accurate and inaccurate, thus we can’t continue the game going forward with these inaccuracies.
What causes a desync to happen?
NHL, like other sports titles, has the game processed locally on the console. This includes your online games, which means all consoles involved in a game process their own game results that get communicated and shared out to the other consoles. If the information transferred between consoles is inconsistent with one or more consoles, a desync occurs.
In most video games, a desync would result in the game disconnecting and the outcomes of the match would get thrown out. However, NHL® 18 has a Faceoff Recovery mechanism that tries to restore all consoles back to a point in time where all consoles are processing the correct values.
What is a Faceoff Recovery? Why do they happen?
The Faceoff Recovery mechanic is a game recovery mechanic that occurs when the game attempts to recover a previous save state to avoid the game from being disconnected.
If you’ve noticed your game has gone back in time to a previous faceoff in the game suddenly, the game has avoided a disconnect because of the Faceoff Recovery mechanic. Most players refer to this as a “Faceoff Loop”.
The goal of the of the Faceoff Recovery mechanic is to allow you to complete your game instead of instantly being disconnected and results being thrown out. We attempt faceoff recoveries several times before we abort the game entirely.
Sometimes the recovery happens and the issue is corrected resulting in no other desyncs that game. Other times, unfortunately, the desyncs cannot be recovered from no matter how many times we loop back to a previous faceoff which results in a game disconnect.
How do Faceoff Recoveries work?
Whenever there is a stoppage in play (a faceoff), the game makes a milestone save state that it can revert to. Should a desync occur, the game will attempt to recover the previous milestone save state to allow you to finish your game instead of disconnecting.
In some instances, this has resulted in a goal disappearing. We are looking into this issue to try to prevent this from happening.
What have you done to reduce desyncs/disconnects?
So far, we have been able to solve for a variety of desync/disconnects that could occur. Here are some of the major desyncs we’ve managed to solve for:
Thank you for your continued feedback. We will continue to monitor and continue to work towards improving the game based upon your feedback. See you on the ice!
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