Respawn has finally declared it is prepared to tackle long-running problems with Titanfall on PC.
In a tweet, the developer said "help is coming ASAP" in response to ongoing DDOS attacks that affect those trying to play the first-person shooter online.
We're aware of ongoing DDOS attacks affecting @Titanfallgame.— Respawn (@Respawn) April 5, 2021
To the Titanfall community: Help is coming ASAP.
Titanfall has had multiplayer issues on PC for years now, and they are blamed on a somewhat mythical figure known in the community as "Jeanue".
This Jeanue - Titanfall's Keyser Söze - is accused of being responsible for crashing Titanfall servers, but no-one is sure if it's just one person or multiple people, or even where in the world they are based.
I spoke with RedShield, founder of the TF Remnant Fleet community - one of the last and largest Titanfall 1 communities left with over 800 members - to find out what's gone on with Titanfall - and it's not pretty.
As far back as 2019, Jeanue would reportedly announce to a lobby that they would crash all the legit players, then have their script bots join with usernames so long they would collectively overwhelm the server and force everyone to disconnect. Many of these usernames are racist.
Jeanue plagued Titanfall for years, with some calling the PC version "unplayable" because of their actions. EA's surprise release of Titanfall on Steam in November shone a light on the situation - and sparked an immediate "Mostly Negative" reception.
More recently, Titanfall 2 lobbies began to suffer crashes, too - seemingly due to a player or players overwhelming a server by sending commands en masse to it. The affected server will start to lag, and players won't be able to move. Then, if a threshold is hit, players will be disconnected. Is this the work of Jeanue? No-one knows for sure. "Whether it's actually Jeanue, someone who's imitating Jeanue, or perhaps superstition is up to debate," RedShield said.
According to RedShield, this new series of Titanfall 2 crashes was targeted specifically at streamers, and is thought to have pushed Respawn into action.
Just a heads up that this DDoSer is now attacking charity streams for mental health.— Iniquity/Derek (@Iniqu1ty) April 2, 2021
It's really wild that we're this small community in this tiny corner of the internet and still dealing with stuff like this. No one deserves this.@EA @EAHelp @Respawn @Titanfallgame
Just a heads up, I may no longer be able to stream Titanfall 2 on PC for a while. My matches today were attacked by DDoS. Apparently it's the same person that's keeping the Titanfall 1 servers down. I may need to go back to console if this can't be fixed.— Iniquity/Derek (@Iniqu1ty) March 31, 2021
I can?t tell what?s worse right now:— Andrew (@LegitSmurfson) April 5, 2021
The fact that Titanfall 2 is getting attacked/DDOS?d/exploited to crash streamers? lobbies, or the fact that no one has responded or seems to care at Respawn...
Stay safe out there Pilots.#Titanfall2 #Titanfall #ApexLegends
Is it too little, too late for Titanfall 1 and 2? "This is an issue that has been present for years, with crashes as far back as 2019, and the cheaters rampaging around lobbies (changing names to make it appear as if it's an infestation, which drove away many players from the game) going back even further," RedShield said. There is a hope Respawn finally sorts things out - in lieu of a Titanfall 3, Titanfall 1 and 2 are still home to a loyal fanbase - but because of the wording of Respawn's tweet, fans aren't sure if the developer is referring to Titanfall 1 or 2, or both games.
RedShield also called on Respawn to provide community-run servers to help get Titanfall back in business.
"We have many extremely passionate members in this community who are very talented programmers and coders," RedShield said.
"They have in-depth knowledge and experience with the Source engine and the way Titanfall's files work. We have people who would, in a heartbeat, spend money - I ask that Respawn solves the issue permanently by giving us access and control over the Titanfall 1 servers, with permission to moderate, to ban users, and, if I can be so bold, to even mod the game. (Perhaps, just one server...?) Respawn has expressed interest in the idea in the past, and of all the solutions to the exploits problem and the player-retention problems we've come up with, community-run servers is the strongest."