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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.

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Philippa Warr

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