An upcoming Mortal Kombat 11 Pro Kompetition is still happening despite an issue with a recent patch. Some players are feeling the frustration of lag in online fights when they did not before, causing the connection issue symbol to appear on screen, though it appears not to be their fault, nor their ISP.
The problem is not only the lag, but also that before a match is accepted the connection quality is shown as “green," indicating that the match should be as smooth and accurate as possible. Wesley Yin-Poole at Eurogamer writes that even this morning the issue was still ongoing.
Developer NetherRealm has taken note of the situation but affirms in a statement that nothing is wrong. Instead, they describe the connection issue symbol as showing up in error, meaning that there is nothing wrong with the connection:
“Hello all, We understand that there have been reports and concern regarding lag spikes after the recent patch, but, after a thorough check of our online functionality we have found that everything is running normally. However, during our check we did find that the disconnect icon appears far more than it actually should. This includes instances where it appears even in stable games, and we will work on resolving that soon. Due to our findings the Pro Kompetition’s Online NA East is still scheduled for this weekend June 8th.”
Despite the reassurance, players are discussing the matter online and finding that there is lag despite their internet connection being perfectly fine otherwise. Hopefully NetherRealm is correct in this matter, because losing games due to faulty connections is one way to frustrate an entire player base. Perhaps the issue is in the minds of the players, who see the connection issue and then attribute misplays to technical problems.
In other games, the issue of server lag can ruin entire games. Games like Diablo 3 or the upcoming Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night both feature an exceptionally challenging mode known as Hardcore or PermaDeath, where death is permanent. There are no revives, and progress, gear, and anything else on a character is forever lost.
Diablo 3 for example has had instances in the past of server lag known as “rubber banding”. From the player’s perspective, they are controlling their character on screen, but on the server side of thing there is a brief hiccup, forcing that character to remain stuck and vulnerable. Without warning, a character is snapped back to where the server placed your character, as though you were “rubber banded” back. Often, the time spent doing “nothing” according to the server would result in an untimely death.
We should consider this in light of the video game industry’s ongoing push for systems and games that require an always-online connection to be played. When there are connection issues, it is the players who lose. This becomes most frustrating when an always-on connection is required for games that are largely single player.