Everyone's aware of the problems that plagued those that hoped to indulge in a harmless match of SSBB with their 12-digit friends: the lag, the dropped connections, the complete inability to have a smooth game unless you waited till about 4am and bribed someone at the power plant to cut electricity to 1/4 of the country. But given that similar problems occurred in Japan, and that the game had been out in North America for 15 days, you'd hope to assume that Nintendo wasn't caught off guard and was doing something to remedy the problem. You'd hope...
This past Monday, the 24th of March, myself and 3 of my friends were attempting to set up a free-for-all match. We'd pretty much all played against each other individually, but with Smash , the saying "the more the merrier" rings quite true. Initially I'd been conversing with the other three parties using both Steam and AIM, but at 4:16 we all made our way into an AIM chat room to simplify things. After swapping friend codes and random chitchat, we all logged online to make this happen. Luckily AIM logs chats so I can present you with the oh so wondrous obstacles we were facing in our attempt to Smash.
Joey(4:27:29 PM): It says I am awaiting registration.
Joey(4:28:14 PM): Join my game. I am hosting.
Kevin (4:28:21 PM): Let's just wait for them
Kevin (4:28:52 PM): It says you're awaiting registration
OD (4:29:34 PM): Wait
Kevin (4:29:40 PM): Andale
OD (4:29:43 PM): Joey, lemme get you my friend's cODe, that way four of us can play
OD (4:30:01 PM): Either that, or join my game, since he's in it
Joey(4:30:15 PM): K.
Kevin (4:30:20 PM): Just join OD's it's faster
OD (4:30:21 PM): Wait, shit
OD (4:30:22 PM): It's his game
Joey(4:30:27 PM): LoL
Kevin (4:30:27 PM): Fgt
Joey(4:30:32 PM): You host, and I will join.
OD (4:30:41 PM): K, I'm makin one
Kevin (4:30:47 PM): OD you host
Kevin (4:30:49 PM): Word
Kevin (4:30:53 PM): I'll be out there
OD (4:30:56 PM): Joey, says you're still awaiting registation
Kevin (4:31:04 PM): What does that mean
Joey(4:31:06 PM): It says the same about you guys...
Kevin (4:31:16 PM): It says it for Joey on mine too
OD (4:38:08 PM): Once Joey tells me he's online, I'll start it
Joey(4:38:13 PM): I am connecting to WFC.
Joey(4:38:39 PM): Online...
Joey(4:38:57 PM): Tell me when the game is made.
OD (4:39:10 PM): Do you see me as online?
OD (4:39:13 PM): I'm about to make it
Joey(4:39:21 PM): Yeah. I see all three of you as online.
Kevin (4:39:27 PM): WORD
OD (4:39:30 PM): Room made, everyone join
OD (4:40:13 PM): Join in yalls
Joey(4:40:19 PM): It wouldn't let me.
Kevin (4:40:22 PM): wtfhax
OD (4:40:23 PM): Damnit
Kevin (4:40:24 PM): y?
Joey(4:40:28 PM): I got booted. <_<
Joey(4:40:33 PM): Nintendo really needs to fix this shit.
Kevin (4:40:37 PM): Racism
Kevin (4:40:55 PM): Finally
Kevin (4:40:57 PM): I'm in
OD (4:41:02 PM): It just said you left
Joey(4:41:05 PM): It isn't letting me in. It is taking ages to load.
OD (4:41:11 PM): Wait, there you are
OD (4:41:17 PM): What the effin crap
OD (4:41:24 PM): Jeff, havin any luck?
OD (4:43:53 PM): Success!
OD (4:43:58 PM): Everyone's online, everyone join joey
Jeff (4:44:02 PM): k
Joey(4:44:03 PM): You joined my game.
Kevin (4:44:20 PM): joining
OD (4:44:26 PM): Shit
OD (4:44:32 PM): Ok, now Lemmy's got one, and Joey's is gone
OD (4:44:36 PM): Everyone to Lemmy!
Joey(4:44:36 PM): The timer ran out... -_-
OD (4:44:43 PM): Ah
Kevin (4:44:51 PM): It says unable to join the game
OD (4:45:00 PM): Lemmy's or Joey's?
Jeff (4:45:24 PM): wow
Jeff (4:45:24 PM): wowowowowowowowowowowowowowow
Jeff (4:45:26 PM): Everyone turn off all their downloading stuff
Kevin (4:45:33 PM): fucking bulllshit
Kevin (4:45:33 PM): Some error cODe kicked me off wifi
Joey(4:45:58 PM): Who are we gonna join.
Joey(4:45:58 PM): Everyone go to the lobby.
Joey(4:45:58 PM): I am joining Lemmy's.
Joey(4:45:58 PM): I can't join Jon's...
OD (4:46:03 PM): Ok
OD (4:46:08 PM): First, wait for everyone to get on
Joey(4:46:10 PM): Alright. Everyone to the lobby.
OD (4:46:14 PM): Then we're just gonna pick one person to make the game
OD (4:46:19 PM): And we all rush it asap
Joey(4:46:26 PM): Kev is Brawling. Lemmy and Jon are online.
OD (4:46:34 PM): Yea, quit brawling mang
Joey(4:47:28 PM): It isn't gonna let me join, I bet...
Joey(4:47:34 PM): This is ridiculous... x_x
OD (4:47:39 PM): It doesn't even say he's hosting one
Kevin (4:47:44 PM): I had to restart because I couldn't connect to wifi
OD (4:47:55 PM): Are you connected now?
Kevin (4:47:57 PM): No
Kevin (4:48:01 PM): It's connecting
OD (4:48:03 PM): K
OD (4:48:07 PM): Soon as it does, join Lemmy
Joey(4:48:10 PM): Everyone is offline now. <_<;
Jeff (4:48:13 PM): Wow
OD (4:48:15 PM): o_o
Jeff (4:48:16 PM): I am in shock
OD (4:48:18 PM): SWEET MONKEYBUTT
Joey(4:48:19 PM): How do you extend the countdown timer?
Jeff (4:48:19 PM): Of how bad this is
OD (4:48:27 PM): You can't, you just gotta be quick
Jeff (4:48:28 PM): Ok
Jeff (4:48:31 PM): I am starting over
Kevin (4:49:27 PM): I can't get it to work
Joey(4:49:36 PM): Be ready to join next time.
OD (4:49:39 PM): You have 30 seconds
Joey(4:49:41 PM): Random FTW.
OD (4:49:49 PM): If not, then join the next go round
Joey(4:52:49 PM): Get ready to join Kevin.
Joey(4:53:06 PM): Join Kevin Join!
Kevin (4:53:45 PM): It said I was taken off the person's friend's list or he was disconneceted from wifi
Joey(4:53:51 PM): o_o;;;
Kevin (4:53:53 PM): Then it took me to the main menu
OD (4:53:54 PM): o_o
Kevin (4:54:02 PM): And I get the error cODe again
Joey(4:54:08 PM): Restart again or something...
Joey(4:54:14 PM): We are doing a 3 man survival.
Joey(4:57:54 PM): Get ready Kevin.
OD (4:58:17 PM): GoOD match
OD (4:58:32 PM): Dagnabbit
Joey(4:58:35 PM): Indeed.
OD (4:58:39 PM): Kevgonow
OD (4:58:41 PM): Damnit woman
Jeff (4:59:13 PM): MR WIN AND OWN
Kevin (5:05:22 PM): Everytime I join the game it says there is no one in the game and it just says seeking for everyone and then comes up with some error saying the host left
Kevin (5:05:32 PM): Or I get some error trying to get on wifi
Joey(5:18:18 PM): Whoever is the first to die, Tell Kev to go and wait.
OD (5:18:21 PM): k
Kevin (5:18:22 PM): joining again
Kevin (5:19:08 PM): It says my friend status has been changed
Kevin (5:19:12 PM): And I can't join
Kevin (5:19:18 PM): I think I'm in it right now
Kevin (5:19:22 PM): But it doesn't say anyone's name
Kevin (5:20:23 PM): I'll try making one
Kevin (5:20:29 PM): Because I can't join them
At this point, we all agreed to just abandon ship, because this wasn't going anywhere. So taking into account that I'd started planning this on Steam a good 10-15 minutes before we went into this chat room, we spent well over one hour trying to get a simple 4 person matchup going, and we were unable to do so for a vast multitude of reasons. Either someone was online but being seen as offline, we were getting random connection errors, or the window for joining a friend's game was too short given the fact that it takes a good 10 or so seconds for each person to jump in. As I said before, we'd all had matches before this, with me having fought against the other three within the past hour with essentially no lag or problems, so this isn't something that can be attributed to one person's connection being flawed.
The entire system that Nintendo has set up is riddled with problems, and it goes beyond whatever server issues they have. Blaming it on friend codes is insanely stupid, because once you add a person, they're on your list and it's no longer an issue. It's the fact that you see people as offline when they're online, the fact that there are all sorts of connection errors that seem to strike only when trying to join a game(and of course, with the short timer, once you get disconnected, there is no chance you'll make it back online to join said game). I mean, the few times that I have been able to play error-free(or mostly error-free) games, it's been great. The game's been balanced and it's incredibly fun to be able to play with people across the country(and the world). It's just a shame that the technical issues will leave a sour taste in the mouths of most and keep them from truly appreciating this game. read