Please, Harmonix, PLEASE fix the offline mode.

Epsilon82Epsilon82 Opening Act
edited September 2012 in Rock Band Blitz
I am absolutely addicted to Rock Band Blitz; I believe it is an utterly amazing game, and the way it works with existing DLC is pure brilliance. As a longtime Rock Band player with over 1300 songs in my library, I feel like this game is a virtually endless goldmine that combines the musical interactivity of conventional Rock Band games with the addictive qualities of a brainy puzzler like Tetris.

I am, however, extremely disappointed that Harmonix has effectively rendered the ability to play the game completely dependent on your Internet connection, the XBL/PSN service, and the Rock Central servers, none of which will ever be particularly reliable for many people.

There is nothing more frustrating than being in the middle of a great run on a song, only to see that the PSN has randomly booted me for no reason and knowing that the entire run is completely for naught because there is absolutely no local score saving. The only thing you can do when the Internet is down, or one of the online services kicks you, or if the Rock Central servers hit a snag, is essentially play Practice Mode WITHOUT powerups.

Especially for a solo game, this is extremely disappointing and frustrating. There is absolutely no reason why you shouldn't be able to play the game exactly as you would if you were connected with the exception of posting scores to the leaderboards. I've suffered from the PS3 Rock Band 3 crash, but at least with that game I can still play the game and track my own high scores. Rock Band Blitz is utterly useless if any one of the three mentioned variables hit a snag, and it really sucks to constantly play the game with the fear that at any moment the bottom could fall out and I not only lose my performance on the song I'm playing, but I'm also left with a skeleton of a game until something outside my direct control is resolved.

I understand there are some benefits on the developer side (i.e. tweaking the coin economy without patches, as we've seen) but it's a nightmare on the consumer side and I really don't see how difficult it would be to store local copies of the relevant variables and then sync them back up to the server when a connection is restored. The only unavoidable drawback to losing a connection should be instant leaderboard placement.

Comments

  • www1221www1221 StackOverflowError
    edited September 2012
    this is not something that they can fix with a patch.(I dont think)
  • Epsilon82Epsilon82 Opening Act
    edited September 2012
    They could certainly fix this with a patch. All a patch does is modify the executable. Like I said, this whole thing could be averted if they simply stored local copies of the coin/cred counters and score tables. All it needs to do is behave like Rock Band 3 does when there's no connection. You can still play the game as usual, but you just can't post to the leaderboards or gain progress in Facebook goals. (In theory, they could sync that stuff up after the fact as well, but I'd be more than satisfied with just being able to at least play the game with powerups and chase my own scores if I have to be offline.)

    Right now, it appears that they store absolutely nothing locally. All they'd have to do is create a local save file that keeps the cred and coin count as well as your scores/stars. Then, if the game can't connect for whatever reason, you could play normally (just like RB3) with the exception of leaderboard posting. Then when the game connects again later, it simply checks the local cred and count and update the server values if they differ and proceed as normal. On a very basic level (meaning, not counting tracking Facebook goals offline or pushing your older local scores up to the leaderboards after the fact) this should be trivial to implement.
  • Epsilon82Epsilon82 Opening Act
    edited September 2012
    As an example of how frustrating this is, just this afternoon I played some Blitz on my lunch break. I played through about six or seven songs with no issues, but then I had a pretty nice run on Smells Like Teen Spirit. I had no indication of anything going wrong...I didn't lose my connection to PSN or anything, but when it got to the end of the song it just informed me "Sorry, you get nothing for this" and then kicks me back to the menu. I was able to immediately reconnect to Rock Central, so it was probably just a minor timeout on their end, but I lose everything because of that? It can't even try to reconnect before kicking you out?

    So what if someone is grinding out a song like TTFAF and finally nails their perfect run? They better hold their breath and pray that the 10 minutes and however long before that wasn't a complete waste because of an issue on the Rock Central end or the entire run never happened? You can see how frustrating this could be just because of bad luck or timing, and it's completely avoidable.
  • www1221www1221 StackOverflowError
    edited September 2012
    If they were to fix this in a patch they would have to pretty much make the game all over again. Everything is saved in the cloud. Coins, Cred, scores,score wars and what ever else you can think of. If they were going to make it on an always on game it would be a huge project and would cost a bunch of money. They made it always on on purpose. It wasnt an accident they know what they are doing.
  • atalkingfishatalkingfish Opening Act
    edited September 2012
    If I understand the process enough, it would leave me to believe that a "patch" for a downloadable game would probably include just redownloading a newer version, like an app update. Even so, I doubt this is something they can't fix, but I wouldn't be surprised if they just don't want to (or can't afford to? What do I know?)
  • Epsilon82Epsilon82 Opening Act
    edited September 2012
    www1221;4870945 said:
    If they were to fix this in a patch they would have to pretty much make the game all over again. Everything is saved in the cloud. Coins, Cred, scores,score wars and what ever else you can think of. If they were going to make it on an always on game it would be a huge project and would cost a bunch of money. They made it always on on purpose. It wasnt an accident they know what they are doing.
    Yeah, buddy, I know everything is saved in the cloud. That's the whole point. That doesn't mean it has to be exclusively saved in the cloud. It's pretty simple to make local copies of variables and store them in a file and sync them up with the cloud, like pretty much every other cloud-enabled program does. The notion that they would have to make the game all over again is completely ludicrous; anyone with the slightest amount of programming experience knows how trivial cloud syncing is. To say nothing of the fact that Harmonix has already made several products that combine cloud and local implementation.

    I'm not saying it was an accident. I'm saying it's unacceptably poor implementation for an otherwise fantastic product.
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