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Respawn Lead Engineer Addresses Apex Legends Game Server Issues




Apex Legends

Samy "@ricklesauceur" Duc, Lead Engineer at Respawn Entertainment, posted a long explanation regarding the inner-workings of Apex Legends.
Samy “@ricklesauceur” Duc, Lead Engineer at Respawn Entertainment, posted a long explanation regarding the inner-workings of Apex Legends. | Respawn Entertainment

Samy “@ricklesauceur” Duc, Lead Engineer at Respawn Entertainment, posted a long explanation regarding the inner-workings of Apex Legends and how Respawn tracks issues.

In a blog post published via the Apex Legends news tab on Thursday, April 29, Duc went over how the company is improving performance, explained the mechanisms behind common problems, and answered some frequently asked questions. Duc even goes into “comprehensive notes on our server tickrate”—making this a long and rather complicated post.

So, we broke it down for fans who want the information without the headache.

Duc begins by explaining the implementation of the “performance display” as part of the player’s UI in Season 6. Giving players this information is immensely helpful as it allows the technicians to have precise information about the problem being experienced.

Additionally, the team can pull the entire match’s log and look at all the data together to determine the direct source of the problem and whether or not it was a player issue or server issue.

According to Duc, this has already paid off, writing, “We found out that one piece of network equipment in our datacenter was faulty, causing every game hosted on a handful of servers to have horrible network performances. The server themselves were fine, but the hardware that connected players to the servers in question was causing massive packet loss.”

This isn’t enough for Respawn, however. In the future, the server engineering team will be receiving real-time alerts to problems occurring at that moment so they can identify and solve the problem much quicker. Additionally, they will be adding a “unique server ID”—denoted as “SID”—to the player performance display so they can immediately find the problem child in the mix.

The most common problems reported by players have a lot to do with lag or latency. Players finding themselves “rolled back” to a previous spot” or seeing the images running in “slow motion” mean the server is having trouble keeping up. Issues like “I have a lot of packet loss / packet choke” and “My latency is going up and down” have more to do with the way the connection is handling the data rather than how the server is rendering it.

Finally, Duc lifts the veil of server tickrate, explaining, “The tickrate of a server is the number of simulations that the server runs per second.” This number is fixed, and essentially all it’s simply the number of renders and distributions to individual players it can achieve per second. The “ticks” include anything and everything about the entire map, every player, weapons, loot, and more.

This is the reason why players can’t compare Apex Legends’ servers to those of other games. Other games don’t render all that information in every tick and Respawn’s engineers have no plans to change that.

“We want the world state to be as accurate as possible, which is why our servers save the full world state on each tick. If we didn’t do this, it would probably save some of the CPU costs on our servers, but we would lose accuracy in our simulations, and that isn’t worth the risk.” Duc wrote.

While upgrading to a 60Hz server instead of their 20Hz would increase the amount of ticks, it would also increase the amount of bandwidth needed to flawlessly perform each tick. This directly translates to the possibility of dropping data and skipping renders—which nobody wants.

Based on the company’s findings, making the jump to a 60Hz server would only cut down on a potential frame delay by two at the cost of triple the bandwidth and CPU.

Duc closed the post by acknowledging player frustration over server performance issues, writing, “When you have to deal with lag, or no-regs, or slow-mo servers, itsucks. It takes you out of the game, and can feel very demotivating for you.”

The engineering team only wants to make the game better for its current player base and future users. They’re working with several entities on a “server-level” and “[Internet Service Provider]-level” to provide the best online experience players can get.

“Our hope is that if we start to communicate more with you about the issues that concern us, we’ll begin to share more of a common language to talk about the root causes of the issues we’re dealing with.” Duc wrote, “We hope it’s the start of more conversations to come.”

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Sprout eliminate FaZe from Flashpoint 3




Sprout beat FaZe 2-1 in the Flashpoint 3 lower bracket after losing in the opening round to Heroic, and have now survived the first round of elimination matches. Josef “⁠faveN⁠” Baumann and company fell behind after the initial map in the series, Mirage (10-16), but were able to win their own pick of Dust2 in-extremis (16-14) before closing the series out on Train (16-10).

FaZe’s ills continue with this loss as they are eliminated from the first Regional Major Ranking (RMR) tournament of the year in last place. The international squad have been struggling to perform since bringing on in-game leader Finn “⁠karrigan⁠” Andersen and star player Russel “⁠Twistzz⁠” Van Dulken to revamp the roster and have since gone out in 9-12th place at IEM Katowice, 17-20th at ESL Pro League Season 13 and 13-16th at DreamHack Masters Spring.

Sprout remain alive in Flashpoint 3 after their victory against FaZe

FaZe got off to a good start in the series taking a 3-0 lead on the attacking side of Mirage, but Sprout were quick to retaliate and claimed the lead early on after putting up several strong defenses. karrigan and company made inroads to try and regain the lead, making it 7-7, but the Germans were able to win the final round of the half to remain ahead. Despite winning the pistol round, Sprout struggled with the task of attacking, and finally faltered as FaZe took their map pick 16-10.

Sprout took the lead on the offense in Dust2, but weren’t able to dominate early on as FaZe won a couple of close rounds to start to gain momentum and build an economy on the CT side. Helvijs “⁠broky⁠” Saukants and Marcelo “⁠coldzera⁠” David did much of the heavy lifting with dual AWPs on the way to a 10-5 lead. The German squad put forth a strong start on the defense and made a strong push to take the map. faveN made two big plays in crucial rounds which tipped the balance in Sprout’s favor as they managed to take it in the last round, 16-14.

FaZe didn’t manage to close the series out on Dust2 and lost in the decider

FaZe won the first pistol round on the attacking side of Train, but three Desert Eagle kills on the forcebuy by Denis “⁠denis⁠” Howell gave his team the second round, after which faveN and company went on to dominate on the defense, giving up just four rounds to set up a possible upset. FaZe started to scale the comeback mountain on the CT side, but were cut short as Sprout cruised to a 16-10 victory to eliminate the international squad and stay alive in the Flashpoint 3 lower bracket.

Up next for the German squad will be the second round of lower bracket play, where they will play the loser of BIG vs. mousesports in another all-or-nothing match for survival in the tournament. “I don’t care who we play, but I think we’d have better chances against BIG,” faveN said in the post-match interview, “because it’s a domestic match-up and it’ll be about mental games, so I think BIG would be better for us.”


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Results for 2021 Call of Duty League Stage 3 Major




The third Major of the 2021 Call of Duty League season has started—and it could be the last online tournament of the year with a return to LAN scheduled for the Stage Four Major.

The Stage Three Major will feature all 12 Call of Duty League franchises fighting for money, bragging rights, and those all-important CDL Points. This double-elimination tournament has a $500,000 prize pool and the winner will earn $200,000 as well as 75 CDL Points to help them move up in the standings.

Schedule for the Stage Three Major. | Image via Call of Duty League

Over the past three weeks, the CDL teams were competing in Stage Three group play matches to determine their seeding for this Major. The Toronto Ultra, the Stage Two Major champions, came out on top of Group A with a 5-0 record. The Florida Mutineers and Dallas Empire finished in second and third place, respectively, to take the group’s two other winners bracket spots.

Related: How to watch the Call of Duty League 2021

In Group B, New York’s revamped lineup with the French phenom HyDra came in first place at 4-1, while the Atlanta FaZe and Los Angeles Thieves ended up behind them. The other six CDL teams, including OpTic Chicago and the Minnesota RØKKR, will immediately start the Stage Three Major in the losers bracket, meaning they’re only one series loss away from being eliminated.

Bracket for the Stage Three Major. | Image via Call of Duty League

Here are the results from the 2021 Call of Duty League Stage Three Major, updated with the most recent games on top.

Sunday, May 16

Toronto Ultra vs. OpTic Chicago (Losers bracket semifinals)

OpTic lead 1-0

  • Garrison Hardpoint: 250-180 OpTic

Saturday, May 15

Atlanta FaZe vs. New York Subliners (Winners bracket finals)

New York win 3-2

  • Apocalypse Hardpoint: 250-181 New York
  • Checkmate Search and Destroy: 6-4 New York
  • Raid Control: 3-0 Atlanta
  • Raid Hardpoint: 250-165 Atlanta
  • Express Search and Destroy: 6-5 New York

Florida Mutineers vs. OpTic Chicago (Losers bracket round four)

OpTic win 3-0

  • Moscow Hardpoint: 250-139 OpTic
  • Raid Search and Destroy: 6-5 OpTic
  • Checkmate Control: 3-1 OpTic

Toronto Ultra vs. Los Angeles Thieves (Losers bracket round four)

Toronto win 3-1

  • Raid Hardpoint: 250-14 Toronto
  • Miami Search and Destroy: 6-1 Los Angeles
  • Garrison Control: 3-0 Toronto
  • Checkmate Hardpoint: 250-81 Toronto

Dallas Empire vs. OpTic Chicago (Losers bracket round three)

OpTic win 3-0

  • Garrison Hardpoint: 250-151 OpTic
  • Checkmate Search and Destroy: 6-5 OpTic
  • Raid Control: 3-1 OpTic

Los Angeles Thieves vs. London Royal Ravens (Losers bracket round three)

Los Angeles win 3-0

  • Garrison Hardpoint: 250-123 Los Angeles
  • Express Search and Destroy: 6-5 Los Angeles
  • Checkmate Control: 3-2 Los Angeles

Friday, May 14

New York Subliners vs. Florida Mutineers (Winners bracket semifinals)

New York win 3-0

  • Garrison Hardpoint: 250-149 New York
  • Express Search and Destroy: 6-0 New York
  • Garrison Control: 3-0 New York

Toronto Ultra vs. Atlanta Faze (Winners bracket semifinals)

Atlanta win 3-2

  • Garrison Hardpoint: 250-210 Atlanta
  • Checkmate Search and Destroy: 6-2 Atlanta
  • Garrison Control: 3-2 Toronto
  • Raid Hardpoint: 250-174 Toronto
  • Raid Search and Destroy: 6-3 Atlanta

OpTic Chicago vs. Los Angeles Guerrillas (Losers bracket round two)

OpTic win 3-1

  • Garrison Hardpoint: 250-148 Los Angeles
  • Moscow Search and Destroy: 6-5 OpTic
  • Raid Control: 3-2 OpTic
  • Moscow Hardpoint: 250-210 OpTic

Minnesota RØKKR vs. London Royal Ravens (Losers bracket round two)

London win 3-0

  • Garrison Hardpoint: 250-232 London
  • Raid Search and Destroy: 6-3 London
  • Garrison Control: 3-0 London

Thursday, May 13

Florida Mutineers vs. Los Angeles Thieves (Winners bracket round one)

Florida win 3-1

  • Checkmate Hardpoint: 250-233 Florida
  • Express Search and Destroy: 6-5 Florida
  • Checkmate Control: 3-2 Los Angeles
  • Moscow Hardpoint: 250-216 Florida

Atlanta FaZe vs. Dallas Empire (Winners bracket round one)

Atlanta win 3-0

  • Apocalypse Hardpoint: 250-209 Atlanta
  • Checkmate Search and Destroy: 6-1 Atlanta
  • Garrison Control: 3-2 Atlanta

Los Angeles Guerrillas vs. Seattle Surge (Losers bracket round one)

Los Angeles win 3-1

  • Garrison Hardpoint: 250-183 Los Angeles
  • Express Search and Destroy: 6-5 Seattle
  • Garrison Control: 3-1 Los Angeles
  • Apocalypse Hardpoint: 250-155 Los Angeles

London Royal Ravens vs. Paris Legion (Losers bracket round one)

London win 3-1

  • Moscow Hardpoint: 250-106 London
  • Moscow Search and Destroy: 6-4 Paris
  • Checkmate Control: 3-2 London
  • Checkmate Hardpoint: 250-150 London

This article will be updated until the Stage Three Major ends on Sunday, May 16.

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The best Structure decks in Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Links




Structure decks in Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Links allow players to use ready-to-play decks with various tribes to learn the game easier while still being competitive.

If you want a good start to the game without being overwhelmed by all the cards, Structure decks are your starting point. With these decks, you’ll have a good foundation and a general idea of your win condition, which you can later upgrade as you learn the ropes of the game.

Here are the best Structure decks in YGO! Duel Links.

White Dragon of Legend

Screengrab via Konami

One of the most popular archetypes in the game is Blue-Eyes with various Dragons, spells, and traps to complement it. One of the most important cards in the deck is Cosmo Brain, which allows you to special summon the Blue-Eyes White Dragon, who can unleash devastation upon your opponents. This Structure deck is good at learning the ropes of playing and summoning the Blue-Eyes White Dragon and can serve as a good base for upgraded versions of the deck.

Masters of Chaos

Screengrab via Konami

Masters of Chaos decks use various Magicians to create the strongest Magician your opponents have seen. The archetype was targeted by multiple bans due to how strong it is and is a great starting point for this archetype. While the Structure deck might not have the best cards for the Dark Magician archetype, it does have various powerful cards you can use to build the ultimate Magician deck. A couple of cards that can be used are Dark Cavalry, Chaos Ritual Monster, and the Advanced Ritual.

Hero Generation

Screengrab via Konami

Fusion decks are the staple of any YGO! Duel Links player since most players grew up watching the animated show where the main protagonist would fuse monsters to create the ultimate beast. While initially you might want to build a Fusion deck, you’ll likely lack proper Fusion cards. The Hero Generation Structure deck gives you access to most Fusion cards, which you can easily use in your other decks as well. On top of that, the deck is quite simple to play and allows you to learn the ropes of Fusion.

Ancient Gear Awakening

Screengrab via Konami

The Ancient Gear Awakening Structure deck is strong by default and can help you play against other meta decks and even beat them. The deck made appearances in various tournaments and can serve as a good base for other Ancient Gear decks.

King’s Resonance

Screengrab via Konami

While you’ll be leveling in the YGO! Duel Links world, you may notice some decks will be running Synchro and Tuner monsters. The King’s Resonance Structure deck has a lot of core cards to build a powerful deck with these types of monsters. While the deck by itself might not be that strong since it requires a lot of cards to combo together, with a small investment, you can upgrade it to a more powerful version, where you can easily summon special creatures with powerful abilities without having to play multiple cards in a single turn.

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Hall of Ablution Resident Evil Village: How to Solve the Puzzle




Top Games

The Hall of Ablution puzzle in Resident Evil Village is proving to be a bit tricky for some players.
The Hall of Ablution puzzle in Resident Evil Village is proving to be a bit tricky for some players. | CAPCOM

The Hall of Ablution puzzle in Resident Evil Village is proving to be a bit tricky for some players.

This is the one obstacle standing directly between Ethan Winters and Lady Dimitrescu’s Key. Players find the Hall of Ablution just before gaining access to Lady Dimitrescu’s chambers. They’ll be prompted to follow her up a flight of stairs from the courtyard. Unfortunately, the door to her room is locked, leaving only the Hall as a point of access for Ethan.

The Hall of Ablution is less of a traditional hall and more of a small circular room made specifically for Lady Dimitrescu, herself. In the center is a pool of blood which we can assume she bathes in as “ablution” quite literally means ritual bathing. After all, it’s no secret that her mutation causes her to consume human flesh and blood as a means of maintaining her form. Who’s to say she didn’t take a page out of Countess Elizabeth Báthory’s book while she was at it?

The key to the puzzle is the inscription in the back of the room. It reads: “Women are blind to male advances, but the poor shall take their chances to give their Lord their bounty sown, so that soon the wine may flow.”

The two women, “blind to male advances,” should be facing each other and away from the men. The cluster of poor men presenting a box should be turned to face the mounted Lord to “give their Lord their bounty sown.” Finally, the Lord mounted on horseback should be turned to face toward the woman holding the bottle of wine “so that soon the wine may flow.”

Following this, the pool will empty itself, and the puzzle will be complete.

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