Monday, March 4, 2013

Even With Reckoning Pack Origin Mass Effect Server Still Needs A Haul

Surely many people say that Mass Effect 3's multiplayer mode is quite an interesting and at times addictive play, especially with many people including myself participating in the weekend challenge without fail in order to gain weapons and additional upgrades to one of the 5 N7 promotional weapons. Since each of those weapons have 10 levels, so expect to play throughout the entire year minus Christmas period before you can fill up that portion, but that does not stop you from earning more credits to buy higher-level packs to get newer weapons and characters.

Many of us are aware that the final multiplayer DLC, Reckoning was released one week ago and adds few more new characters and weapons that will help improve the chances of whacking enemies to kingdom come, especially those from the Reaper / Collector class. But the bane of every player's multiplayer experience, the frequent disconnection from the EA server near to the end of a match knows no ends to the anger of a person who have worked hard to farm credits and utilizing special ammo / gear for that match itself.

Once after I installed Reckoning, to participate in the weekend challenge, I got very very pissed off.

I thought it was my Internet connection that screwed me up for it reminded me of the sudden surge of ping latency when I was playing Diablo III sometime back. Ping latency is higher on a non-fixed line compared to a industrial-grade fixed line as noticed in top countries or in organizations.

Bioware was generous to throw in a gift pack for installing at the start, but I wasn't lucky like other players - I only got an extra character for Reckoning - a Cabal Vanguard to play. Seeing that the week's challenge was only to complete one match at any difficulty using any Reckoning kit, I decided to finish up my other character that I was playing, the Vorcha Engineer hoping that by playing three more matches, I can farm enough credits to get a Spectre Pack or a Reserve / Arsenal / Premium Spectre pack to get some new stuff or so.

After playing four matches with Vorcha, I am getting nothing out of it as by the 10th wave, I got disconnected almost every time. While looking at similar topics online about this problem, I stumbled upon a small forum post on reducing lag at the Origin server. I thought this might help since, the fifth match got disconnected three seconds before extraction (on Cabal Vanguard) - can you imagine the anguish of being so closed to the finish line only to be stopped?

Team Fortress 2 has the ability to distinguish whether the player quits midway or gets disconnected against his will. 

The posting apparently suggested that the UPnP Device Host service should be turned off in the services window. (I also turned off other background applications that requires connection to the net as well). Frustrated that I spent 2 hours with nothing to gain from playing the earlier matches, I just turned it off, and went off for a 3 hour nap, hopefully to have some extra time in case things go sour again.

Just open the Services window (services.msc), then look for that UPnP service and turn it off (stop). 

I got lucky somehow as I managed to complete that match. But I wasn't sure whether the method is a stop-gap measure for now. In any case, EA and Bioware has to do something serious about it, especially if this game is played by PS3 and XBox users as well. If I have time back home at night, I might try again on testing that solution on leveling up my Vorcha at level 20.

The other thing was that the iPhone app for the game has outlived its usefulness. Apart from helping to improve your military rating, the credits earned from the match couldn't be transferred over, which is a disadvantage as to helping to get more packs for matches.

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