SPOnG expects a major overhaul of Mario Kart DS' online functionality in the coming months, with a survey sent out to registered users echoing internal unease at Nintendo.
Understandably naïve about online gaming given Mario Kart DS was Nintendo's first online venture, the scoring system underpinning MKDS' online play has been the source of some frustration for many users of the firm's incredible Wi-Fi service. Although the basics are rock solid – rapid matches, low lag rates etc. – gamer integrity has failed step up to this standard.
Players dropping out of games to avoid recording a loss is, without question, the lead issue. Given that your games are played against a minimum of one opponent, an average player should see a score ratio of 50:50. Factor in that games pften host four players, three of whom would record a loss if the game is completed, and at time of going to press a brief foray into Mario Kart DS online will show that the number of bogus scores far outnumbers the genuine ones.
SPOnG believes that Nintendo will initially punish those dropping from games with a loss, though a more complete overhaul is expected to be rolled out. The ability to leave some kind of feedback is likely to be implemented in a later phase of what SPOnG has learned will a be program aimed at gradually settling concerns of users. It is also thought that retrospective 'tagging' of opponents will occur, with users able to add other players after a race concludes.
On the back of this comes a survey released by Nintendo of America polling Mario Kart DS users, calling for proposals in changes to the system. From gamers using the Nintendo system at this time, we expect clan options to be a popular request, though the subject of 'snaking' – power-drifting from side to side on certain tracks – is likely to hear calls for a ban and acceptance in equal measure.
Stay tuned for news of scheduled Mario Kart online changes.