Overloaded Matchmaking Service Forces Fortnite Devs To Do Emergency Upgrades
Limited-time modes are Epic Games’ way of testing out new concepts and mechanics in Fortnite. While the past LTM’s have come and go without a hitch, the recently released Playground mode had some unforeseen and potentially game-breaking effects on the servers forcing the devs to temporarily disable the mode, fix it, and turn it back on. Epic explains what happened in their Playground LTM Postmortem update.
“Since Playground mode makes matches for every 1-4 people instead of 100, it requires between 25 and 100 times as many matches as normal depending on party size. While we could pack virtual servers a bit tighter per physical CPU for Playground mode, we still had to use 15 times as many servers as we had been running for the other modes. We were able to secure the total server capacity, but it meant the list that each node had to manage was suddenly 15 times as long as well.”
Basically, the matchmaking system couldn’t handle the significantly higher workload which caused problems with both Playground mode and the default game modes. The upside is that the Fortnite developers have now made changes that should prevent problems of the same nature from happening again. “The process of getting Playground stable and in the hands of our players was tougher than we would have liked, but was a solid reminder that complex distributed systems fail in unpredictable ways,” said Epic. “We were forced to make significant emergency upgrades to our Matchmaking Service, but these changes will serve the game well as we continue to grow and expand our player base into the future.”