Always Online: Twice tried, twice failed

,

I’m making this post at the 9-month mark from the launch of Forza Horizon 5, more than a year from that moment when Mike Brown said confidently in his presentation video that FH5 would once again feature the persistently online open world that FH4 had debuted, and I audibly groaned, begging for it to not be true.

Not only had FH4’s online never once worked as advertised, but it had come at some real costs. Both the single player and multiplayer experiences had to be compromised for this awkward merge. Custom Championships were removed, presumably to push the metrics of online engagement. Multiplayer players had to deal with people who did not want to interact with them, hoping they found an online lobby with willing participants and having no real outlet to matchmake with other willing participants and form convoys. Speaking of, convoys themselves languished for most of the lifespan of 4 in an entirely broken and ignored state.

FH5 has some different issues, but they mostly run along the same theme. Convoys work once formed, but the in-client tools to form them do not work. The overworld is empty and nowhere near what was promised in pre-release advertising. Has anyone ever once noticed an increase in player traffic in the city? That was one of the many promises that the always online environment completely failed to deliver on, and I have 0 faith that it will ever work as promised. The online is even more nebulous, with people disappearing around corners as opposed to static lobbies. As a gameplay idea, it’s an unmitigated disaster.

It also means that I cannot choose what season I’m in for free roam, ever. So a good portion of the game that I paid for is locked off to me, at all times. It’s less of an issue in 5 than it is in 4, but here is the thing: I actually like winter driving. What I don’t like is having it forced on me, and then having it locked away from me later. If the game had been built from the ground up with single player and multiplayer in mind as separate entities, this would have NEVER been an issue. Instead the devs made this asinine design choice to passively force online on everyone, and the core game and gameplay suffers immensely.

The most frustrating thing about all of this is that, from the aspect that I find most important, which is physics, the Forza Horizon series has made very impressive improvements from 3 to 5. But then these asinine design decisions for gameplay structure come rolling in to actively dampen and ruin the experience, turning both the single player and multiplayer experiences from focused, enjoyable fun into nebulous compromise where the feeling of being connected is prioritized over actual gameplay or genuinely connecting with other players.

I know it’s too late for 5. The die has been cast. The most that can be done is to add back in some of those single and multiplayer specific tools (like car meets and custom championships) and hope it works out. But please PGG, when starting your planning process for FH6, ditch the always online mentality. It is actively harming your game.

4 Likes

You know @ManteoMax , if you had actually bothered to read the post, you’d realize this isn’t a troubleshooting issue and it’s in fact a fundamental design philosophy issue.

Anyways…

Infinie Convoy Loops/Server Disconnects… things to try

  1. Double Check Your Privacy Settings
    -Go to Xbox.com
    -Click your profile icon
    -Click the three dots then go to privacy and Online Safety Settings
    -Make sure everything is on Allow

  2. Join a convoy enter the festival and go back out

  3. Try having the Convoy Leader be someone else… have them load up an event and join it… once the session loads up after the race it should automatically load you both in the same session. From there they could promote you to leader if need be

  4. This is a very helpful link
    https://support.forzamotorsport.net/hc/en-us/articles/360001992147-Multiplayer-Connection-Troubleshooting

  5. Contact Forza Support (off on the weekends
    https://support.forzamotorsport.net/hc/en-us/requests/new

  6. Double Check that you are not running a VPN, Your games up to date, and you have at least the minimum required specs to run it.

7)Server Connectivity Blocked

  • xbox app
    -settings
    -network tab
    -run the connection test
    -make sure Nat type is open and server connectivity is open
    if you have the server connectivity as blocked… click more information and troubleshoot from there
  1. Try Connecting to someone elses internet to see if it still happens

  2. Check the Forza Support Twitter for outages in the area

Got any workarounds for bringing back custom championships or making the game less alienating of a multiplayer experience?

Look, I appreciate the thought and the effort to try and solve some of my issues, but the technical problems are honestly secondary concerns to the fundamental design philosophy behind gameplay systems and the way it harms both the single player and multiplayer experience.

Again, this isn’t a troubleshooting issue. I’ve figured out a workaround for grouping up in a convoy for example, even though I shouldn’t have to considering in-client matchmaking isn’t an issue in any other game I play.

Worked for all the others… and I am not experiencing any game breaking bugs… sorry that your struggling with all of this

So you post in the troubleshooting section, but don’t want anyone to try to help with any troubleshooting. Ok then.

Edit: I just realize what the second post meant. My apologies.