Rocket League Deploys Ban System, Hi Wasteland!

With the second season of competitive play in full swing, Rocket League [official site] developers Psyonix have just released a new patch which aims to detect and punish players who cheat by altering their game files.

The exact wording in the patch is as follows: “Implemented automatic timed matchmaking ban system associated with players who delete content from their game files to avoid competitive matchmaking in certain arenas.”

I’m not a Rocket League-er (or whatever the Rocket League fan community calls itself) but it looks like the crux of the issue is that some players have been deleting files related to maps – specifically a map called Wasteland – so that they don’t have to play it in ranked mode.

Wasteland is a bit different to the other maps in the game as is was the first “non-regulation” stadium to be added to the game. It’s wider, has different boost placement and the terrain is sloped around the perimeter. If you played Supersonic Acrobatic Rocket Powered Battle Cars you might remember the map of the same name upon which Wasteland is based. When the arena was announced Psyonix called it “the first of many “unusual” arena designs that we plan to introduce in the future, and they’re only going to get more interesting from here”.

From an exploration of various forum threads it feels like the problem with Wasteland is that currently it’s the only non-regulation arena in the ranked playlist so its presence feels bizarre and demands a very different approach. Opinion seems to be split between “if you want to be good at ranked you need to be able to play anything Psyonix puts in the ranked queue” and “this one single arena sticks out like a sore thumb and is weird and out of place”. There’s also a smattering of “I don’t like it/am bad at it/it messes with my frame rate/couldn’t give two hoots about the entire farrago”.

Here is a helpful demonstration of the situation:

As an outsider, but one who plays other competitive games, I’m reading this stuff and thinking that the players who take the time to get to grips with new maps and how the physics works on shaped terrain are the more versatile players with the deeper understanding of the game’s systems. I do see that having this one strange map in the rotation is jarring, though. But to me that seems like it could be a case for having Psyonix add more non-regulation maps to the rotation in order to ease the disparity rather than just taking it out and reducing the variety. (If you’re experiencing performance-related issues that’s another kettle off fish entirely.)

Full patch notes can be found here – in addition to the timed ban system there are also a handful of bug fixes.


  1. Cyroch says:

    I have to say I am in two minds about this map as well. I kind of enjoy it but it seems really out of place at the same time. If the devs plan on releasing more non-standard arenas in the future and mix them into the ranked playlist, I would appreciate a veto system as used in SCII for example.

  2. h_ashman says:

    Having played on it, my biggest issues are lower frame rates than other maps (but still 60+ when not playing split screen), the slope makes the bounce a bit harder to read and it seems to me that it’s a bit easier to get the ball to “latch” onto the wall and creep in (a bit like the ice hockey mode). It’s certainly not my favourite or my best in terms of stats, but it’s not “rip it out the game” bad.

    That said, you get used to it, and it’s the same for everyone. So just ignore the people who moan because they’ve got one strategy and refuse to deviate.

  3. RCoon says:

    Add a veto system like every other competitive multiplayer out there. Problem solved.

  4. theirongiant says:

    I think it’s a great map, it naturally funnel everything towards goal and the banked sides makes aerials easier. I’d recommend having a dedicated defender / goalkeeper, while rotations work on ‘regulation’ maps the way Wasteland plays out means you can and will be punished by breaks if the whole team gets caught going forward.

    On the RL to-do list way, way before removing Wasteland should be doing something about the more toxic elements of the playerbase, easily a third to half of my ranked games are getting spoiled by players downing tools, scoring OG’s or quitting.

    • SimianJim says:

      Amen to that! I love Rocket League and I used to love ranked play, but recently it feels like there’s been a sharp increase in the number of players who just give up or quit as soon as you go 1-0 down. It’s a real shame because it’s spoiling the enjoyment of a game that previously had a really great community

    • DelrueOfDetroit says:

      I noticed back in the fall that there seemed to be a gradual toxic element creeping into the game. The usual gamer trash-talk where someone spams slurs to show how super edgy they are.

      The game needs a report feature and the ability to mute user’s text badly.

      • theirongiant says:

        Erm, mute text has been in from the start (i think) and a report feature was added in the last update, appears to be for chat only and no-one can tell how effective it’ll be yet.

        • DelrueOfDetroit says:

          Hmm, I thought mute only worked for the voice chat. It has been a while since I’ve played so it appears the report feature has been added since then, or I didn’t notice.

      • spamenigma says:

        The game has the report feature and mute feature!

  5. Viral Frog says:

    People will always find reasons to complain. I think that removing the map from the ranked playlist would make ranked more dull. If anything, they should add more non-standard maps to the rotation to make Wasteland feel less out of place.

    I agree with the above comment from theirongiant, I think something Psionix should focus on is toxicity. I don’t have nearly as big a problem with it as some people do, apparently but, every now and then, getting a string of losses due to whiney, toxic players happens and is obnoxious.

  6. Topperfalkon says:

    I quite like Wasteland, I just wish it’d hit the rotation more often.

  7. caff says:

    The Wasteland map confuses me.

    The camber/slope of the map suggests the ball should rebound inwards – but the ball movement feels no different to me. It makes me feel a bit sick if I’m being honest, because my brain is so accustomed to the pancake surfaces of the other maps.

  8. Xzi says:

    I don’t mind the shape of the map, but having bigger goals is problematic, especially in 1v1. Even if you can divert the ball’s course, if your opponent gets behind you its pretty much a guaranteed score. So yeah, it plays very differently from every other ranked map. I’m not sure why they thought it should be included in ranked play.

  9. Premium User Badge

    keithzg says:

    I tried to get into Heroes of Newerth when the original public beta dropped, and got yelled at in every match I played that I was a n00b and should just quit out. I wasn’t that bad at Counterstrike but the fact that all the wannabe-pro players would always vote to skip any map with an interesting layout like Office and instead just go back to the boringness of Dust. What I’m saying here is that people that care about being “pro” and their rank and stuff are basically my natural enemies when it comes to online multiplayer games, so frankly anything that makes them unhappy I can’t pretend to be anything but happy about myself in turn.

  10. Alan Alda says:

    As theirongiant said, the map requires a static goalkeeper because of the greater width and funnel-like walls. Thing is, static goalkeeping is the OPPOSITE of the direction RL should be going. That way lies long, boring, scoreless games, just like real soccer.