I’m new to the Xbox platform, so I’m certain the following rant has already been heard in the weblog-o-sphere, but I do need to know whether the rant is relevant or not. See, I’m currently in a two month free subscription for Xbox Live and given my current experience, there is no way in hell I’ll be extending my subscription… AND I LIKE THE SERVICE.
Here’s my experience… night after night. I flip the switch, login in as ctrlAltDeath, and proceed to wait anywhere from 5 to 20 minutes to actually get into a game. Halo 2’s matchmaking system does a fine job of simplify the process of finding a game, but it’s record is crap. I’ve got a post-it next to my XBox and I’m keeping track of the number of times I say “Find me a game” and Halo 2 responds with “Sorry, couldn’t find you a match… try again later”. You braced for this? 60% percent of the time.
A majority of the time — Halo 2’s matchmaking does not find me a game. 30% of the time, I get ungraciously booted out of a game that I’m participating in. NETWORK TROUBLESHOOTER.
This is bad enough that I originally thought it was a screw-up on my side. Poor network configuration… packet loss, so I did my network sleuthing… nope… we’re in a good shape. Check. Check. Check. More head scratching.
The other shoe fell when I started playing XBConnect with friends and I had zero problem connecting to games and only a single instance of a game actually giving me the boot over the course of several nights This tells me three things: really, my network set-up is solid and, most troubling, a free service is kicking the snot out of the paid service. Wow.
I have a comment and a reminder:
Comment: The XBConnect model reminds me of the multiplayer experience I’m used to from my Quake days. HERE’S 10,000 SERVERS — YOU FIGURE IT OUT. While I have to engage my brain to find a low ping server, it seems that brain at work is doing a better job that Halo 2’s matchmaking in terms of actually finding an appropriate game. I get what the matchmaking is going for… I like the concept… I really like the community building aspects… but the world’s best feature is crap if it does not work.
Reminder: This is a rant… or a cry for help. Is anyone else experiencing this high degree of frustration with this fine game? I’m still hoping there is a some change I can make on my side to improve game acquisition inside of XBox Live. Thoughts? Fixes? Stick with XBConnect?
[12/28/04 Update]: Was playing with Arpanet tonight and he suggested to plug straight into my DSL modem rather than going through MODEM–>AIRPORT–>HUB. Once I made that switch, I had zero problems connecting to games quickly… and not dropping out of games 50% of the time. No clue what the hardware issue is w/ the basestation… or hub.