BioShock 2 Multiplayer and Matchmaking Q&A

I've compiled the most common questions about the BioShock 2 Multiplayer Experience and Multiplayer Matchmaking into a Q&A and interviewed 2K Marin for answers. Below are the fruits of our labor. Enjoy!

 

How does multiplayer work on the consoles, and is it different for the PS3 and 360?
They work similarly for both platforms, with some differences in how they are integrated with its respective party systems.

How does multiplayer, in general, differ on the PC from the consoles?
Like above, the core gameplay experience of the PC, Xbox and PS3 are similar, with some differences in how they are integrated with its party systems and required functionality for its respective platform. How do ranked matches work? The multiplayer does not have ranked/unranked distinctions, but a hybrid system where there is an in-game party system where you can invite up to four of your friends into your party to take into online matchmaking. You can also join in-progress games on any of your friends if there is space available. All of these games have stats recorded to a worldwide leaderboard. You can also create private matches where you can invite up to 9 other people into a match to play the games on your own time. Private match results dont get posted on the leaderboards and is a safe place for you and your friends to practice before going online.

Can you play ranked matches with your friends?
Yes, once you are in the lobby, you can invite your friends to form a party to play online. The matchmaking system will keep you and your friends together on the same team as long as you all want to play together and will attempt to find you players of similar skill for your party to play against.

How does your matchmaking system work and how do you make sure there isnt lag or bad match ups?
The matchmaking system takes a couple of things into account. We try to get you into a game as quickly as possible (since we know how much waiting really stinks), but match you up to people who are as close to your rank and skill as possible, with a certain amount of weighting to each factor, as well as requiring a low ping for those matched players.

How do you deal with people who grief or cheat or are otherwise not making a good ranked experience? Can you kick them?
Even though we are doing everything we can to try to find exploits in our own game, there will always be people who will find a way to grief a game. There is no kick option as we felt like it often leads to more unfair kicking than fair kicking. We hope that because there are a variety of player goals and a multitude of options for ranking up and killing, the player will always feel like he or she is gaining something in a match with mean people and griefers. If you do get matched up with one of those people, please report it, leave that game, and well try to smooth out the online experience as best as we can.

Whats the difference between ranked and unranked matches and why did you choose to have these two options?
We dont have these two options. We felt like having just one giant place to meet players would be easier for getting better matches, and it is very important to us that we never split your parties. We want you to make friends, play with your friends, and compete with your friends. If you want to get practice in before going online, you can make a private match where you can play with people on direct invitation.

Do you support LAN play on consoles or PC? Do you support dedicated servers?
Short answer, no and no. There is always a finite amount of time for the development of a game. Bringing Multiplayer to BioShock was a daunting task between the tech (there was no multiplayer support in the codebase from the first game) and the expectations of the community. Either you try to do everything and so nothing feels finished or you focus your efforts to do a smaller number of things really well like an accessible online experience. We chose to spend the time we had creating a solid game foundation and unfortunately that did not include LAN play or dedicated servers.

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