FIFA Rage Quitters
Without doubt the biggest problem plaguing FIFA 10’s online play is rage quitters, in a game that heavily relies on 1v1 matchmaking it can render playing online almost pointless as the match cannot continue if your opponent has left. In a racing game or shooter like Modern Warfare 2 if one person leaves during a match its not noticeable as there are plenty of other players to keep the game going but in FIFA or other similar sports games its over as soon as they quit. So infuriating is this that there is even a twitter set up to report quitters at twitter.com/FifaQuitters a recent personal favourite being this one.
There is definitely nothing more frustrating than scoring a goal or two in the opening minutes of a match and having your opponent quit and lost nothing and the match isn’t counted as a win for you. Just try earning that 100 online wins trophy in FIFA 10 where your opponent quitting doesn’t count for a win. I’ve been trying to decide what the best possible solution for tackling this issue could be and came up with a couple of suggestions.
Continue the match against AI
Have the match continue with the AI taking over the team, this would allow the match to continue seamlessly and you could still go on to earn then win whilst the quitter gets marked down for leaving. The AI difficulty is the only thing I can’t decide upon, whether it’s set to the easiest level to give the player the best chance of maintaining the win or let them pick. The match could be classified as a win automatically as they have quit leaving you free to play out the match with no worries of losing.
My personal favourite idea is to ban the player from playing another match within a certain time frame, say 30 minutes or an hour. I’m not sure how hard to implement it would be, but it should be enough of an incentive to stop people hopping from one game to another until they can find someone they can beat comfortably. Make them sit out and reflect on what they have done; maybe let them join in team games so they can still play in a match where their quitting does not end the match. When they are allowed to return to 1v1 matches they could even have a symbol next to their username so you could know before kicking off that your opponent has been known to quit too so you can decide as to whether or not you wish to play them.
In fact these two solutions could be combined so that the winner doesn’t lose his win whilst the quitter not only loses but also can’t immediately play again. At the end of the day (excuse football cliché) this shouldn’t be an issue, players should learn that a match is not over in the first 5 minutes. Did the Netherlands quit after going a conceding a goal to Brazil so early on? Or did Manchester United run off before the end when a goal down to Bayern Munich in 1999? Or even Portugal against Korea in 66 where the turned a 3-0 deposit into a 5-3 win? No. They carried on playing what proved to be memorable matches with great come backs. There is a lot to learn from playing online, it should help improve your play.
EA have been quoted as looking at potential solutions with Simon Humber speaking to Eurogamer in February;
“It’s a complex problem. We do have the five-minute rule: if you find your connection’s poor you can drop out within the first five minutes.
“After that there should be a penalty; just in the online world there are complexities that mean by the time the data comes back to our servers, something there means it doesn’t award the win to the right person. So we’re always looking to improve that.”
EA needs to work out an incentive not to quit rather than punishing players, say with Modern Warfare 2 you’d still earn the XP and complete challenges that were done during the match. Unfortunately when I was at EA last month they couldn’t answer any questions about tackling quitters so we still have to wait to find out what action EA will take.
Losing matches and learning where you went wrong helps you to be a better player and in the future. This is a call out to not only the makers of FIFA but also the players, football is a sport, which involves fair play so act sportingly and play on but if you are winning comfortably try not to do the robot after every time you score… So what about you? Are you sick to death of people quitting multiplayer games before they are over, is this affecting any other titles as bad as FIFA?