Titanfall multiplayer is going to suck in SA

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Titanfall’s multiplayer battles won’t be a good an experience in South Africa compared to other regions of the world, due to the use of Microsoft Windows Azure to host dedicated servers for the game.

Titanfall has just announced its open beta period, which will run from this Friday (14 February) for PC and Xbox One. There’s no word on the number of spots available, so head on over to the site to register: titanfall.com/beta

Upcoming man-to-mech FPS, Titanfall, developed by Respawn Entertainment and published by EA, will be a 6v6 multiplayer-only affair that makes use of Microsoft’s Azure cloud-computing network to host dedicated server instances for the game.

Azure is the foundation for Microsoft’s Xbox Live marketing pitch that accompanied the reveal of the Xbox One – the boasted claim is 300,000 Xbox Live servers around the globe, although it is likely these are virtual server numbers and not a physical hardware count.

On paper, Titanfall using Azure is a good idea because the server provision is scalable based on demand, and it takes the hosting load off the end-user, removing annoyances such as host migration mid-match, host latency advantage, and unstable host connections.

However, if you are nowhere near an Azure server node all of these advantages are moot. Microsoft South Africa has confirmed that there are no physical server deployments for the Azure network in South Africa. A spokesperson told MyGaming:

Microsoft is currently providing Azure services for South African customers through a vast worldwide network of Microsoft Datacentres. This allows us to provide world class service levels and deliver on financially backed Service Level Agreements. This worldwide network of Datacentres currently does not include a South African deployment due to the high Service Levels currently being experienced by our South African customers.

We reached out to EA South Africa and Respawn Entertainment to find out if there are any plans to get local servers hosted in some way, but received no response by the time of publication. We were going to hold on for their answer, but with the announcement of the open beta, it seemed pertinent to get this info out to our readers.

With the open beta opportunity, some South African gamers may get in, and we’d like to hear feedback on their gameplay experience.

Titanfall is scheduled to deploy on Xbox One, Xbox 360, and PC in March 2014.

Set in the near future on a distant frontier torn apart by war, Titanfall drops players in the middle of a conflict between the Interstellar Manufacturing Corporation (IMC) and the Militia. The action is rapid and varied – featuring parkour-style wall running, massive double jumps and the ability to hijack titans. The freedom to shift back and forth between pilot and titan allows players to change tactics on the fly, attacking or escaping depending on the situation and extending the action vertically to new heights.

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  • CrzWaco

    The little me just died a bit more.

  • Graeme Selvan

    Actually Multiplayer for 360 owners will be fine. It’s not using Azure and to be honest even if you were using an X1 or PC here now your gaming experience would still be the same. It’s still pinging the same locations as before.

  • Isn’t poor performance in online games just a fact of life that we have to learn to live with…

    T^T

  • DemonGamer

    And still kick ass

  • Hi Graeme, where did you get that info? The developers themselves stated: “Titanfall uses the Xbox Live Cloud to run dedicated servers for PC, Xbox One, and Xbox 360.” There has been no mention of peer hosting.

    http://www.respawn.com/news/lets-talk-about-the-xbox-live-cloud/

  • Graeme Selvan

    Well considering Xbox One is not here we have it on 360. 360 does not use the power of the cloud, where have you heard it runs on the cloud on 360? Maybe I am wrong but I have heard otherwise…. Regardless we still connect to servers in Dublin now and we will still connect to Dublin when TF releases. If your online gaming works now there is no reason for TF to perform any differently to what you are used to.

  • Uberutang

    The game is not P2P, like most Xbox 360 games are. It is server hosted. (like BF3/4).
    Those servers (for Titanfall)is hosted in the Azure data centers. Closest one to us is somewhere in the EU = Terrible ping = lag.

    It might not use cloud compute for AI etc, but the game code will still travel more than 200ms between you and the next player.

    This also uses the source engine, and have you tried it with bad lag? Not pleasant at all.

  • Hi Graeme, I linked to the announcement above from Respawn themselves who discussed in detail how the servers will be handled for Titanfall.

    There are numerous reasons why multiplayer game sessions will perform differently, and it all depends on how the multiplayer was handled by the developer.

    CoD Ghosts for example, used a hybrid of dedicated servers and listen servers (client side server), deferring to the listen server when no dedicated server was available. That means local Ghosts gamers would likely be connecting to another local player who acted as the session host.

    This is clearly a whole different networking kettle of fish to connecting to a dedicated server instance in a data-centre somewhere in Europe. It’s not really a matter of opinion either – local dedicated server > international dedicated server.

    As for the Xbox 360 not using “the power of the cloud”, well, that’s a misdirection because it clearly already does – Xbox Live being a case in point. Also, it’s technically got nothing to do with the Xbox 360, because it’s EA and Respawn who are paying Microsoft to use their Azure infrastructure. All the 360 does is run the game and handle the connection to the server, whatever the implementation.

  • PaPa

    I’ll waste my money on something better then!

  • B4d R0b0t

    I get that it would use Azure for many parts of the game. Azure is a great place to store stats and characters but with a user count as low as 16 players why do the servers need to be hosted in the Azure cloud? Source as proven it’self as a great platform for LAN and WAN server setups. And really the win/win for the community & sales would be if we could setup LAN servers with limited connection to the web for authentication only. Doubt that will be a feature but you can only dream. So many eSports teams are waiting with baited breath to see the potential of this game. Server management and distribution is crucial to success.

  • Alex Rowley

    South African gamers really do need like medal or something because the amount of crap and hurdles we have to go through to play these games is getting more and more ridiculous. It just shows though how dedicated we all to the hobby πŸ™‚

  • AfricanJedi

    Since he console hasn’t launched here its safe to assume there are no local servers.

  • AfricanJedi

    mmm If I’m not mistaken the Xbone hasn’t launched yet in South Africa so…… why would we think they would have local servers?

  • Viper-Smiddie

    If and when I get my Beta invite, I will surely give feedback on my experience. I have ad 1 thing. Any player that’s Pro or Experienced gamer will still be able to be competitive even when playing with ping higher than 250. 350 onwards start getting insane but most European Server (Crysis 3) I’ve played on I was able to get ping in the 200’s. American servers 300’s. This is to big a Title to miss due to a little lag issue.

  • Viper-Smiddie

    In my experience if I play with high ping and have lag, I don’t get kicked by rage kicking noobs all the time! Us locals need a handicap coz we’re just that good. Makes it fair to the rest of the world.

  • You don’t realize the difference until you’ve actually played with low ping. I’m not saying that it’s unplayable, it’s totally possible to be good with reasonably high ping, but you’ll never be living up to your actual potential. I thought that the 200ms to the Dota 2 servers in Europe wasn’t too bad, but when we got local servers I saw what the game really felt like to play!

  • Viper-Smiddie

    Same on Crysis 3. On our iGame servers we dominate. I can own a match 47 – 7 with ease. On other servers I can still get 40 kils or more but my deaths are more to the 20’s. I don’t really care about K/D stats so it doesn’t bother me that much. But that’s just me. This is to big a game to let lag stand in my way.

  • Alex

    A little lag???
    I have to disagree with that
    A ping of 250 – 300 will put you at a huge disadvantage against an average player, never mind an experienced veteran!

  • Viper-Smiddie

    Experienced Veteran with high ping against Average player. No Sweat. Experienced Veteran against another Ex Vet, hell of a challenge! High ping only means 1 thing. Sharpen up that aim. Singapore has datacenter and ping is around 160ms on those servers. So lets just see what happens with Beta.

  • Stan Smith

    There is a typo in the line directly below the first embedded video.

  • Bad @ss

    Lets just hope they do not put in rules that will discard players with a ping say higher than 150, 200, 250 ms. I know some servers abroad does that

  • Laby

    I was afraid of this.

  • Robert Hart

    Fortunately aim will mean nothing in this game. Just hover the xhair over the baddiie and hold down that trigger button.

  • Wyzak

    Isn’t Titanfall multi-player only? Why make the distinction to say “Titanfall multiplayer is going to suck?” Rather say “Titanfall is going to suck”

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