Epic and the Fortnite developers have provided a new update for the indefinitely delayed Playground limited time mode. Ongoing scale-testing has unveiled three specific things the team still needs to address:
- Exhausting server capacity
- Matchmaking queue back-pressure specific to the LTM
- Recovering when new capacity is added
The team has continued to operate with a high degree of transparency and one of the developers shared this message, which detailed just why Playground has been difficult for the team to implement:
Wanted to follow up a bit on the explanation of why Playgrounds is proving so tough. For those that want a rough idea of the technical challenge and why it came down, you can see that here.
The long and short of it is that we were successful in spinning off Playgrounds to its own Matchmaking cluster, so we've isolated any potential impacts from the primary game modes. That being said, it's just not fast enough yet to provide a reasonable throughput to get players in-match. To reiterate the challenge, we're trying to get Matchmaker to function up to 100 times faster than it needs to for the base modes. All of our teams have been working incredibly hard for the last few days and made some amazing breakthroughs, but we're still running into significant back-pressure problems well before the point that we can flush any reasonable number of people into the mode, and then the gates get shut. Matchmaker tries its best, but eventually ends up like Lucy at the candy factory.
We want the Playground to be open for everyone to run around, build amazing structures, and practice their skills. The team will keep chugging around the clock and into the weekend, and we will make this thing work as soon as we can.
We know we let you down, and we see now that our pre-launch tests just weren't sufficient to properly represent the power of human behavior and natural networking conditions. We've cranked the tests to "hard mode" to make sure we get it right, and at the end of this we're going to have a big bad Matchmaking machine. We're already starting preparations on a detailed public postmortem to let everyone peer behind the curtain and into the challenges, mistakes, and breakthroughs we're experiencing as we tackle this issue.
These things were shared on an official Reddit post from the team and another update is due later today if all goes well. The free-roam playground was initially announced for update 4.5, but server issues forced the devs to pull it down. Once the current test phase is complete, the team should provide a more detailed status update. Hopefully, that will include a release window for the new mode. Stay tuned to Shacknews for more information.