The State Of The Site | February 2021
Hey everyone! Quite a few things have been going on behind the scenes over the past few months, so it felt like it would make sense to take a moment to explain the current state of RL Garage. One of the things I’m seeing more and more on the Discord server is a want for more communication, so I thought I’d oblige.
Since Rocket League went free to play last year, it’s safe to say that the success of the app/website took the team by surprise (… again). A lot of the surprises have been good, the user base has risen significantly and the time users spend on the app/website is up significantly, but that’s led to a few technical and logistical “surprises” along the way. Below is a summary of the things we’ve got going on.
Thanks to the uptick in users of the app & website we’ve been able to make a few changes, including being able to support more people working on RL Garage. In terms of website and app development, there are now four developers working full time or close to full time, with a couple of others working part time on specific projects. There are ongoing discussions with some potential devops engineers too, who would be in charge of maintaining and upgrading our server architecture.
As for the community team, we’re not looking to make significant changes. Metazolid, Kiod, and Fight Me are still doing excellent work, and efforts are being made to allow them to focus as much time as possible on RL Garage. We are certainly looking to expand the moderation team further though, read on to find out more about that.
You can see who does what on our about page, which can be found here. Remember that all staff members on the website, app and on our Discord server have their accounts highlighted in different colours. Also note that we do not host any giveaways anywhere other than on rocket-league.com - make sure the URL is correct!
I’ll be one of the first to admit that the reliability of the servers has been, how can I put this, inadequate. The infrastructure we had pre-September was no longer suitable for the traffic RLG has been receiving and that meant transitioning to… something.
I won't bore you with the specific details, but we’ve been working on setting up newer, more scalable infrastructure, the first pieces of which have been live for a couple of weeks now. It’s taken us a while to get the configuration dialed in, but the signs are promising. We’ve survived a few spikes of more than double our usual traffic, something which would have hugged the website and app to death previously, and while there have still been a few incidents, we know the causes. We were able to react a lot more quickly to them too (and no, we haven’t just installed a bigger “restart” button… although that’s not a bad idea). Things feel like they’re moving in the right direction, but there’s plenty more work to be done.
We’re still looking at longer term plans. Some of those may require an amount of down time, but we’ll do what we can to schedule this during off-peak times, and we’ll make sure that we tell you when we’re doing it in advance, wherever possible.
Reports and Tickets
It’s safe to say we’re behind on reports and tickets. Despite the tireless work of our moderation team, we have around 18,000 outstanding reports and 18,000 outstanding tickets at the time of writing. A lot of these don't require much time, a large percentage of the tickets are people appealing bans when they know precisely what they've done, but we still need to consider every case. While our incredible team is processing around 50,000 reports and tickets per month, at the current rate we can only just about keep up.
The community admins are working hard to bring on more moderators and support staff as quickly as possible, but sadly this is a slow process. This situation may get worse before it gets better, but please rest assured that all reports and tickets will be reviewed.
We have a number of ongoing workstreams. I won’t go into too much detail, but we are focusing on the areas we’re aware we could be doing better in.
One of the workstreams I’m working on aims to reduce the need for people to raise reports and tickets in the first place, which we hope to start rolling out in the coming weeks. We’re also working on some improvements to the ways users can communicate on the app, fixing some of the annoying-but-not-critical bugs, and reducing the technical debt that’s accrued in the codebase over the past six years, amongst a few other things.
We’ve also got a few things in the pipeline that aren’t directly related to the website or app, but we hope you’ll find them useful all the same. The initial goal for RL Garage was for it to become a community hub for everything Rocket League, and we’re keeping that in mind while thinking about other things we could do to improve the RL Garage experience, and possibly the Rocket League community as a whole.
If you want to see what we’re working on next or have a say on what we should work on next, you can check out our roadmap here.
On behalf of everybody who works on the project, thank you so, so, much. The past 6 months have been crazy. Whether you're an old regular or you just signed up today, thank you for hanging out with us. I never thought that part of my career would involve working on this little website a few of us started as a hobby almost six years ago, but here we are!
Having this level of traffic is a nice problem to have, but it’s one that we’re still working our way through. Things should be a little more stable from this point onwards, but there’s still a lot of work to do.
We’re on it.
Please login to participate in this article discussion!