1 2 3 Previous Next 169 Replies Latest reply: Aug 4, 2012 5:03 AM by Peeved RSS

Lag Compensation Explained.

Alright guys - This is my second post on the subject, but it seems that so many people didn't understand my post so I'll dumb things down for you guys.

 

Those situations where you shoot an entire clip into someone and the person kills you:

This is lag on your end. If you watch the killcam (which is the host's perspective), you will often see that you didn't shoot any bullets. This means that the player who killed you has a better connection to the host than you do. In the forums, I see this often mistaken for "lag compensation" and some believe that a slower connection is being somehow rewarded. This is not the case; it doesn't matter how good your download connection is - you will always be bottlenecked by the host's upload speed. If you see youself not shooting a single shot in the killcam, you're lagging worse than the person who killed you.

 

Those situations where you are being shot and die immediately after turning a corner:

This is lag compensation at work. Because of different internet speeds and latencies, different players will have differing views on where other players are on the screen. So while a lagging player may see a player as not having turned a corner, the player may have already turned the corner in his own screen. Without lag compensation, the lagging player would not be able to hit the turning player because on the host's screen he is not there. But with lag compensation, the lagging player can register hits even with lag.

 

Imagine if two players are rotating in a circle shooting at each other:

If one player is lagging badly and the other isn't, the lagging player will look like he is skipping on the other player's screen. (For convenience, let's call the laggy player 1 and the non-laggy 2.) For 1, 2 will look fairly smooth. When 2 shoots at 1, shots will register right away. When 1 shoots 2, he will actually be shooting behind 2 on the host's screen (read paragraph above) and shots will register when lag compensation kicks in. Because lag compensation takes time to register and compensation information needs to be transferred between server and user, if 1 and 2 were to begin shooting at each other at the same time, 2 would always win.

 

Conclusion:

Lag is the issue with this game, not lag compensation. Yes - this game has lag compensation, but without it, it would be unplayable (especially since the average upload speed in the US hovers around 0.7 mbps). There is the issue of lag compensation hurting better connected players when they are being pursued, but it's not that big of an issue in my opinion.

 

 

 

EDIT... for those who don't want to read the entire thread:

Yeah my post was for instances where two non-host players were facing off. I don't know for sure what affects the host's performace. My guess would be that it is because of a lack of processing power to run the game, xmb, theater, et. al at the same time.

 

One of the reasons for the first dedicated servers on PC's was lack of processing power in computers in the 90's. PC's didn't have the memory or processor speeds to both host a game as a server and play the game at the same time. Therefore servers were established for the sole purpose of hosting games.

 

Remember - This is just my prediction for why being a host hinders performance. The original post is based off of both my personal experiences as well as conversations that I have had with game developers for situations when two non-host players are facing off (I'm a math major and we get a lot of engineering and software design people, as well as game designers, who come to our department's job fairs).

  • 1. Re: Lag Compensation Explained.
    markocc

    If lag was the only problem and not the dreadfully broken lag compensation code in this game then it would run the same as MW2 did. MW2 on a 1 bar connection against people from the other side of the planet is ten times better than MW3 with a 4 bar connection against somebody who lives across the street from me.

  • 2. Re: Lag Compensation Explained.

    True but its the game not the connections most of the time. IW and Activision said they are working on it but I have not seen any improvement. I think they should do different servers maybe dedicated servers. We are already paying 60 dollars for a game why not include a online pass or something. I rather pay a few dollars if I use a used copy than have a horrible game tbh.

  • 3. Re: Lag Compensation Explained.

    markocc wrote:

     

    If lag was the only problem and not the dreadfully broken lag compensation code in this game then it would run the same as MW2 did. MW2 on a 1 bar connection against people from the other side of the planet is ten times better than MW3 with a 4 bar connection against somebody who lives across the street from me.

     

    What is it exactly that you think lag compensation does? Do you think it somehow disables the hit registration of a player with better internet speeds?

     

    What is it about lag compensation that is somehow "broken"? Don't get me wrong - I'm not defending IW; in fact I'm probably one of their biggest critics. But I hate when people are just so offbase with their assumptions and thoughts.

  • 4. Re: Lag Compensation Explained.

    I have played a lot of COD.  I know what a kill is and when I lost a gun fight.

    When there is lag compensation,

    you see more muzzel flash, and you flip in the air like you were hit with a chopper guner

    or a sensory gun.

    You can count the bullets, it takes two less to kill you.

    It also does give a advantage on corners.

    I will be ADS on a spot, as soon as a hair on his head enters my line of sight, I shoot the guy, and he comes back and kills me.

    I watch the kill cam, he rounds the corner, looks around like a deer in headlights then shoots me.

    This as host..I don't play any games more then 70 ping..ever.

    I don't play on 3 bars..why would I?

  • 5. Re: Lag Compensation Explained.

    Your getting hitmarkers but on there killcam your not damaging them at all which happens in everygame all the time 24/7 and when im not having these problem 90% of the time I do excellent. Nothing to do with lag on my end and this is a problem and they have been working on it. Stop being the guy who thinks everyone is wrong when even the creators see this problem.

     

     

    EDIT: Thanks for some of the info. Im not sure if its all correct or not

  • 6. Re: Lag Compensation Explained.

    Nice post OP. I have no idea if your facts are true, but you made a very clear arguement.

     

    But, I do remember 1 game that I rage quit from I was like 1 - 10... I couldn't be quick enough because everyone was a second or more ahead of me. And sure enough, when I quit... Host migration.

  • 7. Re: Lag Compensation Explained.
    vims1990

    Question: Why has the host been disadvantaged by a considerable delay this time?

     

    Before you say that I'm just a bad player, I and I'm sure many players who get host alot will say that their best games is when they aren't host.

     

    Here's a scenario:

     

    I join a random lobby and have a decent game going let's say 32-5. In the pre-game lobby, host migrates to me. Suddenly, I can't shoot players, it's like they insta-kill me without giving me a fighting chance. I die around corners as host. I leave the match and host migration screen pops up.

     

    Wait...wasn't host a good thing in previous COD games??

     

    Black Ops gave some host disadvantage but not to the certain extent of MW3.

     

    MW3 doesn't give host a chance due to the amount of delay on the host's connection.

    Why do you see so many host migrations?

    Why do you see an increase in dashboarders?

     

    Host was a privilege to keep the match intact. Without a host, there's no game.

    I rarely got host before Black Ops and I accepted that. My connection was crap and I was on a wireless connection back then. 

     

    I got my act together. Looked at a better ISP & saved up for better router.

    Now I get host & no one rarely complains about my host connection because it's decent to run a match.

     

    With the disadvantage placed on the host, I went to desperate measure not to get host (Moderate NAT) but the problem is that my lobbies, the game either:

     

    a) has so many host migrations

    b) The game ends with "no capable host found"

     

    I support an even playing field but it isn't. At times I feel I and I'm sure many get more b.s. as host. It's like I'm playing on a 2 bar in the game.

     

    All we're asking is to tweak "lag compensation" to MW2's standards.

    Connection was decent for ALL players so why change it?

     

    If it ain't broke, don't fix it

  • 8. Re: Lag Compensation Explained.

    DarthBryan wrote:

     

    Nice post OP. I have no idea if your facts are true, but you made a very clear arguement.

     

    But, I do remember 1 game that I rage quit from I was like 1 - 10... I couldn't be quick enough because everyone was a second or more ahead of me. And sure enough, when I quit... Host migration.

     

    Yeah my post was for instances where two non-host players were facing off. I don't know for sure what affects the host's performace. My guess would be that it is because of a lack of processing power to run the game, xmb, theater, et. al at the same time.

     

    One of the reasons for the first dedicated servers on PC's was lack of processing power in computers in the 90's. PC's didn't have the memory or processor speeds to both host a game as a server and play the game at the same time. Therefore servers were established for the sole purpose of hosting games.

     

    Remember - This is just my prediction for why being a host hinders performance. The original post is based off of both my personal experiences as well as conversations that I have had with game developers for situations when two non-host players are facing off (I'm a math major and we get a lot of engineering and software design people, as well as game designers, who come to our department's job fairs).

  • 9. Re: Lag Compensation Explained.
    nuttin2say

    I posted in another thread about a lengthy discussion I had with a game designer on Thanksgiving Day.

     

    What the OP is describing pretty much sums up what the designer explained to me.

     

    Before anyone rages about the difference between a designer and programmer, both professions have to know how the other works.

     

    That said, there are a hell of a lot of misconceptions out there regarding lag, lag compensation, and most of all, what will fix lag related issues.

     

    First off, there is NO WAY possible to eleminate lag 100% - given current technology.

     

    Yes, "dedicated" servers would be a help, but not just any server will work. The type that are needed exist but are too expensive, especially for high volume games with short "life" cycles. Call of Duty qualifies as a high volume game with a short life cycle. The high volume exists for a relatively short period of time; you have to leave the servers with the game (called legacy by the designer I spoke with) because you don't know what the volume of users will be on the legacy game. Thus, you HAVE to buy new servers every time a new title is released.

     

    The problem is that at some point the title will see a substantial reduction in sales volume. That's economics. Will it be this release? The next one? Ten releases from now? There is no way to know. That combines with the fact that you can't predict with enough precision how many millions will buy this release. 8 million? 10 million? There's a big difference in the number of "dedicated" servers you need for that 2 million difference.

     

    Economically, given current technology, dedicated servers are very unlikely to happen. (The designer's word was ... never).

     

    So the bottom line is that everyone needs to drop the idea of dedicated servers ... and there are other reasons why ... namely the phrase "current technology."

     

    Now, let's look a little closer at what the current problems really are.

     

    First and foremost ...

     

    PING ... IS ... KING.

     

    UL & DL speeds do not matter. Those are measurements of the volume of information being sent, not how fast it is being sent. It's like having a locomotive and a 747. The train can carry more ... but the 747 gets there a whole lot faster.

     

    10ms ping is about as good as the average consumer can hope to get ... but due to cost consumer constraints, games are designed based on a 25ms ping standard.

     

    If you'll notice, when the game is searching for a match, it doesn't start looking for games with less than 10ms ping. In fact, I've never seen it search for less than 50ms ping.

     

    The difference between 25ms ping and up to 50ms ping is not enough of a difference for a human being to notice on the screen. THIS is important.

     

    The difference between 50ms ping and 150ms ping is not enough for a human being to notice, either ... but it is enough to affect a game.

     

    Lag compensation affects games where the players have a relatively small difference in ping, like 25ms ping versus 38ms ping. As such, YOU WILL NOT realize lag compensation is working ... in any way, shape, fashion or form.

     

    You will THINK you notice lag compensation working when players have a huge difference in ping, like a 38ms ping against a person with 150ms ping. The reason is because lag compensation is actually not even working ... you are experiencing actual lag. Period. End of conversation. It may be yours, it may be someone else's - but actual lag is taking place.

     

    Now, before everyone rattles off about how great and fast their ping is ... the reality is that NO ONE has the ping they think they have.

     

    When you test your ping on Speedtest.net, you are testing the ping between your device and a local server that is 50 miles away or less. Odds are, you are not playing someone that is 50 miles away or less. (if you doubt this, Speedtest will let you try more remote servers. Try it and see how fast you get a higher ping number).

     

    More than likely you are in San Diego and you are playing someone in Boston. Between the two consoles or "devices," the information sent back and forth likely passes through eight or nine servers.

     

    But if your 25ms ping passes through just two, you no longer have 25ms ping ... you likely have 75ms of ping or higher.

     

    Now, it is not hard to calculate how this can affect a game in a way you see on the screen.

     

    Say you are in New York and have 25ms ping and there is someone in the lobby in Australia is playing. The Australian player has 250ms ping between Sidney and Los Angeles. After going through the server in LA, the Australian passes through four more  servers before getting to the New York player, each leg having only 25ms ping.

     

    That's a grand total of 375ms ping ... but wait, there's more.

     

    Now you have to factor in your device's latency. Assuming an Xbox console is working with 60ms of latency - the amount of time it takes to make the necessary calculation, two consoles ... now add in another 120ms of "ping."

     

    That's nearly half a second of delay.

     

    And THAT is most likely what players are experiencing.

     

    And how do you fix that?

     

    Real simple ... you localize lobbies.

     

    You can try to netcode matchmaking according to ping, but if the Australian player has to go through a local server before getting to the server that sends him overseas, then you have two players in the lobby with 25ms ping ... both thinking they have great connections - which they do - but the game is lagging horrendously.

     

    The solution is localization.

     

    There is a shytload more stuff that factors into all of this, but that's the low down and ain't none of it simple.

     

    And damn sure if you don't know the difference between their, they're, and there you won't grasp all that goes into building one of these games.

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