Too many times can one encounter players of GTA Online complain about poor connection, about lagging, about being disconnected. They more often than not blame the game since their internet connection is both fast and reliable.
Thing is, the game isn't to blame. Over the past few weeks, the topic of GTA Online's server type has come up pretty often. Rockstar, during the development of the latest installment of the Grand Theft Auto franchise, did not expect the multiplayer component to become particularly popular. They were mostly focused on the single player aspect.
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This was a time when Shark Cards were called something else and were under-marketed. This was a time without weekly events even being planned. This was a time when Online was delayed beyond the release of GTA V proper and Rockstar was comfortable releasing it without heists because it assumed the multiplayer component would not be too influential anyway.
And then the player-base of GTA Online grew. It kept growing. Then the rate of growth increased. It was among the most played games of its time and has stayed so ever since. Microtransactions, which have since been renamed Shark Cards, have become the main source of steady income for the company.
Rockstar didn't anticipate this and decided not to pull up their own server-park. What do you do when you assume your multiplayer feature won't be used much and want to save cash on the server-side hardware? You make the game P2P.
While peer-to-peer connections are most well known in the mainstream from torrent downloading, where you download the files from another user's computer instead of a central server, the method has many other - significantly more legitimate - uses.
In GTA Online, when you're playing the game, you're not connected to a central server sitting in Rockstar's HQ - you're connected to the other players in your session, forming a network-web where each of your clients are constantly downloading data from one another.
Ergo, if someone in your session has shit internet, you connection will also be, occasionally, shit. It doesn't matter at all how fast your download speeds are if the machine your client needs data from has an upload speed slower than a retarded snail.
By the laws of the internet, the more popular and praised something is, the more hated it is at the same time. The issue with GTA Online's community being as large as it is, is that you get a pretty high number of people in that crowd who either don't bother looking things up or are too dense to make any sense of it.
Internet hate is not something anyone can do anything against - however there are people out there who aren't slavering mouthed haters simply looking to troll. There are players in the GTA Online community who aren't too involved - they get home after a hard day at work, sit down for some well deserved relaxation and find that they're constantly booted from their sessions.
The first impulse of these players isn't to research what kind of a server architecture GTA Online is running on. They either post an angry rant on Reddit if they're particularly dedicated, or tweet about their dissatisfaction.
However, in the end, Rockstar isn't to blame that you can't stay connected to lobbies. It's the fault of that kid with the decade-old router playing from halfway around the world. Things on Rockstar's side rarely go wrong in terms of server-stability. They just occasionally go down for maintenance is all. Such maintenance periods are rare, but when they do happen, Rockstar takes their time with it.
How often do you experience connection issues with GTA Online?