Just a word to the devs

  • Hi there, I wasn’t sure whether i should post this here or on the suggestions forum, but let me start by saying this. Yesterday, i bought this game on steam after a couple of days of deliberation. I thought to myself, $25 is pretty much the top end indie games on steam, so this game better be good. The thing that swayed me was after watching a few videos on youtube, and after reading 1 or 2 articles, i decided to go ahead and by this, after all, who could possibly say that a first person multiplayer midevil warfare game running on the unreal engine could be bad?

    There was however one major concern i had. That was that this game is pretty much exclusively multiplayer - i am aware you can play with bots, but come on, i want to pvp :P - and I live in South Africa. South Africa, as I’m sure some other areas in africa and indeed the rest of the world usually draws the short straw when it comes to gaming. The reason for this is that most of the multiplayer servers are hosted in north/south america, EU, Russia, Asia and Australia. Currently, the absolute lowest response time that i will get in ANY game to a server which is located in London is around 175ms, and I am running a 10mb line, which to my knowledge is the fastest residential line available in South Africa at the moment. to be completely frank, the lowest latency servers i have found up until now was around 230ms, and that is, quite simply put, not at all fun. I shoot arrows at people for them to miss by a few seconds, i definately feel i hit someone, only to see that they have circled around me in a split second lag spike.

    Now, I am not hear to throw out insults and slander, however, I buy primarily indie games for 2 reasons, the first is that I am firmly of the belief that indie developers should be supported in order to weed out the mainstream annual titles that don’t really improve by much, just add a few items, which are then sold at $60 with 4 dlc costing $20 each. Whereas i find indie games to have a lot more creativity while less polished. The second reason is that i have the hopes that there will be some kind of direct communication channel with the developers so that I can voice my opinions, and they will not simply be processed into the corporate machine to never be answered and never be given more than a “we appreciate your feedback”.

    all that being said, I am not happy with my purchase. I feel like this game is great, and $25, while a relatively expensive price for an indie title is by no means exorbitant. However, living in South Africa, this game is simply not fun. 240ms is not playable for an enjoyable experience in my opinion. What I would like to suggest is that you contact one of the major providers in South Africa (Examples of game server hosts would be Afrihost, Web Africa, Mweb, Internet Solutions) and host at least 1 or 2 servers that will give us somewhat playable latency. I understand that there are very few if any players in South Africa, but i would venture that they, like me were apprehensive about spending $25 on a multiplayer only game. I really believe that while you won’t get thousands of player emerging from South Africa, there exists a really nice dedicated gamer fanbase here that will reach out to you if you reach out to them.

    I really hope that this message reaches the devs because i have been extremely excited and extremely disappointed almost instantly from this title and it is really a shame. Feel free to respond to me via Email or on this board, I just had no idea where i should voice my frustrations

    Thanks for your time.

  • I don’t claim to know ANYTHING about server hosting but there are a few servers out there that really seem unnecessary and could probably be removed to save on money so that they could do that.

  • I Apologize for the bump here, but i would just like to stress, i don’t guarantee that there will definitely be a fanbase for this in South Africa, but what I can guarantee is that the relatively low cost of hosting even just one or two local servers in South Africa will go a long way in giving your studio a good name, unless indie games give the ability to host your own servers, they usually dont last long in south africa if they are primarily multiplayer. As an example, indie or not, i can assure you that Tribes:Ascend would have had a decent following had they provisioned for a south african region server allowance. I also wanted to buy Ravaged which just came out, but after my experience here, i don’t think i will be spending the money on a chance of having local servers.

    For a game that requires as much technical precision and timing - Which are arguably the Most attractive features of this incredible game - 200-300+ ms is really not something which will provide an enjoyable experience.

  • I’m sorry to hear about your predicament. Being an indie dev, TBS were very lucky to get the deal they got with MultiPlay, the official server provider for the game, who as I understand it provided numerous servers across many regions for a great bargain.

    As far as I can tell, MultiPlay only provides very limited server hosting in your region - I’m not sure if Chivalry would be supported. This means that, presumably, in order for TBS to have official servers in your region, they’d have to pay another hosting company to do it, who would charge a lot more than their current provider, which over time could end up being a loss for them if sales of the game in South Africa aren’t adequate.

    However, Chivalry does give you the ability to host your own servers - and so my suggestion would be to try and find more players from your area and start up a community server. If you can find enough people willing to chip in, you could have your own server for just a few dollars a month from each of you.

    Of course, there’s always a chance that the game has sold well enough in South Africa that TBS will decide official servers in your area are worth the cost. I obviously don’t have any sales numbers, so I’m just speculating here - take everything I say with a grain of salt :)

  • Thanks for the response, I understand the problem of hosting costs vs profit, however in this case, there are plenty of ISPs that im sure would be happy to host a server or two with permission from the devs.

    Out of curiosity how would I go about hosting my own server?

  • hmm, will definitely try this out after work, do you think a 10mb line will handle hosting a server on 1 machine and playing on another?

  • I have no idea, I’m far from an expert on anything server related.

  • I would love to hear from the Devs on this, is it common for them to respond or am I kinda wasting my time?

  • 10mb line is that down and up?
    If that’s down, then I’m going to assume your up is much slower at which point you’ll really be pushing it. If you look in the server operator forum I believe people have seen 300KB/s-400KB/s upload rates being used.

    Multiplay doesn’t seem to host any servers in South Africa so we won’t be hosting any official servers there. But we’ve been in talks with a server operator who does have servers in South Africa … no ETA on that though. I will see if I am able to reach out to some of the server operators you recommended.

  • Thank you so much for your response, great to see some feedback ^_^ I will do what I can on my side to push for servers here, will try to speak to Afrihost which is my service provider, you will probably have the best luck with MWEB, Internet solutions or Webafrica, they host servers for pretty much whatever is popularly demanded, wherever the game developers permit it.

    I think you are right about me hosting, my upstream is between 80-100kb/s so probably too slow. Let me know if there is absolutely anything i can do to speed this process up :)

    EDIT just wanted to ask, would there be any chance that you could provide with even just rough figures for sales in South Africa - I’m not optimistic, just thought i should ask in case.

  • I don’t think we have that specific sales data. Even if we did, I do not believe we are willing to share sales data at this point. Sorry!

    And I will look into those server providers, thanks!

  • hehe i figured, sorry for putting you in an awkward spot there ;) thanks very much for the response, as i said earlier, this is one of the main reasons i love supporting indie developers.

    You guys are doing an awesome job, keep it coming ^_^

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