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Spawn delay is one of the most discussed features in our player discussion forums, KFS1 takes a stab at answering questions like this one: "I SD supposed to be bouncing like its doing in game. I mean I don't mind waiting almost 45 secs to spawn but for it to disappear in under a few mins time frame going from 45 secs to 0 then back up to 15 then to 35secs then back to 0 is nutz. I just got off the map and the axis had double double on 3 towns and allied side had 1 in spa yet we where at a 40 sec delay. I mean its possible we could have alot of air or ppl blowing FBs But something does not seem right with it"

The spawn delay system is one of those things that sits on the proverbial "how the game works" diagram as a fluffy white cloud. People love to speculate how the cloud is formed, whether it's a goat or a sheep, and if its going to rain on their parade.


To understand the system, you must first understand its goal: To even out the number of boots on the ground. It monitors the number of active players on each side every so many seconds, but it tracks the trend of change at all times. I'm not going to define "active players" except that it does NOT include people sitting at the lobby.

That detail is crucial to the system. By delaying players at the lobby, you remove them briefly from the boots-on-ground equation. Once it deems a delay necessary, the delay "feedback" system kicks in. First it sets a small delay, and then it watches for a while before making adjustments. Increased imbalance begets increased delay. If the delay has started to go down, but not much, it cautiously begins to expand the delay, watching for effect. If the delay has started to drop significantly, it stays where it is at. Only when the imbalance gets back under the trigger level will it start bringing it back down.

So what causes it to sometimes build up massively and then flip entirely?

It's all down to how people are spawning and whether folks are taking the "switch sides" candy.

But typically where people see this kind of rapido-swing occur is exactly the kind of situation that the SD is supposed to most impact, the camped pin-down of a town with out-balanced numbers. No, we're not trying to kill camps or zergs here - but they are the most important place for the SD to do its thing.

So, sometimes the SD system determines that the best thing to do now is to kick the delay in the nuts and get back to letting people play. And that's why you see the "spikey" behavior.