Before the Battle For Middle Earth 2 was released, there were public complaints about the network code in BFME 1. Especially in the player made maps, the out-of-sync error happens quite often.
There was rumour in the BFME1 forums before the release of BFME2:
The BFME2 network code will be much better than in BFME1
I’m not sure who started the rumour, but I believe it must have been heard by the EA/BFME’s producers.
Now, just about a month after the full game is out, we hear the following story:
In an effort to resolve the desync issues in BFME 2 patch 1.02, EA is asking for help regarding the circumstances that are creating desyncs.
It’s a shame that they still experience network problems. I realize sometimes you just have to ‘cut the corners’ to get the game out as possible, but it’s shame that it causes problems to player. I think that BFME is a great game, and can bear the network code – but there are people who won’t. Same applies for BFME2, I believe.
There’s quite important lesson to be learned from this: If you have an online multiplayer playing option in your game, make sure people can play online. In online multiplayer games it’s more important to get to play the game rather than making sure everybody is at 100% sync all the time. It’s acceptable to have some lag and wrong positions, but it’s not acceptable to end most of games by saying that ‘game has gone out-of-sync’.
It’s wonderful to hear stories from indies who can delay their game launch for couple of weeks just to go the extra mile and fix the problems. Delaying the launch is something that big game houses cannot do due deadlines and huge marketing process. They aren’t agile enough – at least not always. Small indie companies are simply more flexible, and that’s our competitive advantage. It’s something that big game houses would need to learn from us.