As promised, Bandai Namco’s Blue Protocol development team delivered more information about the recently delayed Blue Protocol Network Test. In a brief livestream and via a post on the official site, the team said that the test is expected to be held in late March 2023. It was originally scheduled to happen on January 14, 2023.
According to the post, the team is still investigating the issues that caused them to decide to postpone the test in the first place. Though they didn’t get into extensive detail about the problems, they know what causes them and how to fix them. What remains to implement and check the solution. That takes time, which explains the length of the Blue Protocol network test delay. The team apologized for not being able to detail a more specific schedule for the test, but promised an update in late February 2023.
During the broadcast itself, the team did explain one of the more persistent issues affecting the network test schedule. In summary, previous tests and internal checks revealed issues that have to do with the way the game manages player load across the different servers that make up the game world.
Blue Protocol uses an “auto-scaling” system to manage network resources. It allocates these resources dynamically across the various servers. Different groups of servers serve different areas of the game, but can be assigned resources as needed. For example, areas with many players present in real time will be allocated additional resources to reduce instances of network lag, and so on. The problems that emerged are related to the “scaling logic”, the automated process that determines how these resources are allocated and re-allocated. The issues were affecting play within parties, causing players to disappear or drop out when trying to load into missions or other areas together. It also affected issues like chat messages being delayed or failing to send properly. As such, the Blue Protocol network test is being delayed to adjust the auto-scaling system and its scaling logic to ensure players have a smoother experience.
Blue Protocol is in development for PC, PS5, and Xbox Series X. It is targeted for release on PC in Spring 2023 in Japan, with other regions and platforms to follow through 2023. The network test will occur in late March 2023, with more information on the exact schedule expected in late February 2023.