When Lag Ruins a Tournament

Lag is annoyance that is embedded in any online game. Oftentimes, it happens sparsely and you can totally brush it off. But there are times that lag compromises a game so much that playing it becomes a painstaking task, defeating the purpose of having fun and leisure. And when it happens in a tournament-oriented game, you get an outcry from players and frustrated officials.

We had a taste of just that yesterday, when lag and disconnection issues became too overwhelming in the Dragon Nest Mineski Pro-Gaming League. At first, we speculated that the problem was in the ISP of Mineski. This speculation was quickly erased since I reckon having multiple disconnection issues when playing at home, which the players have seconded. These issues have been crippling Dragon Nest for a long time now. There are times that I can’t play for a week or two because I get booted out of the game when I enter a city or a dungeon, when I finish a quest, or when I’m playing in the Colosseum. But since the release of the 700.MARK, lag and disconnection became more frequent than normal.

Nonetheless, we pushed through the event, desperately hoping that some miracle will intervene in an otherwise stressful event. We all know it’s a long shot, and players are already expressing their dismay. Only 40 teams participated in eight branches so that makes at least five teams in each branch. And in an internet cafe that has an average of 200 PC’s, hosting the tournament should have been a breeze.

The lag became so horrible that we had to stop the tournament at 12 midnight. Pushing through was pointless since players are already tired and frustrated and some of them backed out already. We decided to resume the tournament at a later date but there are conflicts in the participants’ schedule. In the end, we seemingly wasted a whole day trying to facilitate a tournament because of lag — something that we can’t control.

My tone would be so different if the delay was on our end. If the computers aren’t working, then that’s our fault; if there are no units to play in, then that’s our fault yet again. Some say that the lag was exclusive to Mineski’s network, which I find absurd when other games run normally. I am playing Dragon Nest at home too as I mentioned a while ago and my home’s not linked to Mineski’s network.

I guess the failure on our part is that we haven’t coordinated with Cherry Credits to forecast the condition of the server prior to the tournament (as mentioned by our head marshal). But the DN GMPGL 5-7 was already scheduled before the year started and altering the schedule will affect the other events. This is what we’re facing now because I believe that the Dota 2 GMPGL 5-7 will be next Saturday, which is tenfolds bigger than Dragon Nest.

I do wish that the Cherry Credits team will do something about these lag issues in tomorrow’s weekly maintenance. Dragon Nest has the makings of a top tier MMORPG and is catering to hundreds of thousands of players from all over the world. But when lag pummels the game hard, I don’t know how long it will survive especially in the eSports scene.

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