Have you ever heard of a game being less playable online following a rollback netcode patch? That’s what the Brazilian playerbase of Blazblue Cross Tag Battle feels lately. Community TO Zate announced on Twitter that after 88 editions of the Brazilian BBTAG biweekly the series would be retired because the Steam version’s rollback netcode has made online play more unstable than the previous delay based netcode.
Zate explains in a tweet that “Due to the bad port of the Steam version, players are constantly experiencing one-sided rollbacks during matches, which has discouraged them from participating in tournaments and playing the game in general.”
This problem has been such a headache for the players and organizers alike that Zate calls it “more stressful than the delay-based era [of BBTAG netcode]” and feels the playerbase that was left participating did it more out of community obligation than personal enjoyment. Original tweet and text in Portuguese below:
Atualização sobre o quinzas de BBTAG, resumo da situação no mucho texto abaixo.
Ao longo da semana vou postar direitinho explicando o que vou fazer com o espaço vago que ele deixou 😔🤙 pic.twitter.com/B8hjgctEy3
— AdK I Zate – Joguem Twinkle! (@Zatefgc) July 10, 2022
The PC version of Blazblue Cross Tag Battle is a notoriously problematic port. Not only is it a very demanding PC game despite simplistic 3D backgrounds and emphasis on 2D sprites, the Steam version has several annoyances that are not present in the PlayStation version such as constantly flickering input icons, incorrect sprite scaling and resolution limitations. It’s probably the only fighting game I know of that required a “simple HUD” mode to alleviate the performance strain the health bars placed on lower-end PCs. It was unlikely that the addition of rollback netcode to the PC version was ever going to really tackle the myriad of issues here.
Of course the beta testing period for BBTAG’s rollback netcode has long ended, and despite one-sided rollback issues being raised to Arc System Works there isn’t any sign of future updates coming. The Brazilian BBTAG community has previously given feedback that it would be better if players could select the amount of input delay used for online play as this would add more buffer for less noticeable rollbacks and reduce processing load on PCs. This is currently not possible in either BBCF or BBTAG online play, but it’s available in the gold-standard PC version of Guilty Gear XX Accent Core +R.
On the flip side BBTAG’s PlayStation port is generally cited as the preferred way to play. Not only are the issues I listed above not present but the netcode quality is generally considered to be more stable. Of course, in countries like Brazil the affordability of gaming consoles and regional digital game pricing may limit the potential player pool for local online competition. Let’s hope ArcSys can have a second look at this.