Depending on your ISP, it could be that all your traffic is going through a gateway in London, so ping times to someone who lives in the next street to you in Norn Iron are worked out on a distance of about 2X350miles whereas distance to coastal France, Belgium, Holland (and thus ping times) are actually less than this?
Here is my concern, the proposed solution may not even address the problem at all. Whether it is ping or throttling, something significantly impacts two major aspects of the online experience, sync and hit detection. The solution addresses ping but only in a "perfect world" situation which assumes that the problem is being caused by a disparity between the highest ping and the lowest ping. Without knowing our own ping and the ping of the other players in the lobby it's nearly impossible to assume that ping is the issue at all and the over abundance of video's out there that show the effects of throttling certainly allude to the idea that a match of 10 players with <50ms pings could still have very different experiences if a player is throttling their connection. Yes the lag compensation probably takes ping into account but I don't see any video's out there of people routing their connection to the xbox server in a way that would intentionally increase ping and a person on the east coast playing with people on the west coast generally has an awful experience and not a fantastic one. My games from Washington state are beyond awful if I play with my friends from Texas and my games are generally always awful to begin with (in terms of being out of sync and not getting hit markers).
If lag compensation significantly improved low ping connections then the east coast player in my example (or me playing with my friends in Texas) would be having a hell of a good time and these types of connections would be preferable. I think ping isn't the problem at all. A player with high ping can have a lot of bandwidth and still feel out of sync with other players but throttling seems to ignore ping and restrict bandwidth, the results of which are astonnishing and most people who experience the out of sync game play see these throttled (intentionally or not) connections as the reason for their misery. I know this because I have played matches with my friends in the UK. All of them had four bar connections and I had a three bar connection but I still experienced an out of sync poor hit detection game with easily the lowest ping in the match being 5000 miles away. I have also tested wired and wireless configurations and found that when using wireless my sync and hit detection issues were exascerbated and my connections often showed as two and three bars though my signal strength tested as a full four bars. I can only conclude that by using my wireless I enduced more ping to my connection but didn't lower my bandwidth to the point that I recieved the benificial effects of lag compensation. I basically couldn't stream video anymore and everything I downloaded took significantly longer but a 250kbps cap on data transmission would have reduced my bandwidth even further I believe.
So if ping isn't the issue or isn't the majority of the issue the proposed change will have little to no effect. More importantly, if bandwidth is the issue I am afraid that the systems in place are probably incapable of addressing the issue. I have seen video's of lag switches and the people that sell them report that they could remain undetected if used for less than 15 seconds at a time. That's outrageous and unacceptable but the vast majority of players simply won't do that so it's a minor issue. It does however allude to the idea the developer is a long ways away from a solution for the problem. If they are allowing a connection to be interrupted for that long then a throttled connection would be ignored in its entirity so long as it met a minimum amount. This probably explains why there isn't an arms race to throttle connections even more than 250kbps. Maybe the developer has a method for reducing compensation rewards depending upon specific factors but if they don't and the system was programmed to only concern itself with ping as a variable while data transmission rates recieved a fixed reward then salvation may be further away than expected (which is saying a hell of a lot considering how long the game has already been out and how long they denied there was even a problem in the first place).
Red - I agree with you that the proposed solution is not addressing the issue at all. I've posted several points on this and received very little feedback. IMO if this patch was to address the out of sync issues then this is a waste of developer resources that could have been put towards finding the root cause of the sync issues.
I think there are a couple of things going on. First, this doesn't seem to me like a "major change". It's grouping a bunch of people in a room. People leave and join, and as we've said before, ping is very variable.
As for solo, if this is an overall rule change in matchmaking, does this apply to ONLY parties? If not, this should have a positive effect on solo play because you are still matchmaking.
Macc, you say there will be " less "lag comp" applied to players". This strikes me as a little inaccurate. The same amount of lag compensation is going to be applied as there is no change to the mechanics of lag comp (code).
The point is, and correct me if I'm wrong, there isn't a rule that excludes people under, under, or between a certain ping that determines if a "compensation" is applied. The fact is it seems that EVERYONE get hit with lag comp - just with different effects on their game - and it isn't an equal/fair implementation. Thus, the advantage from throttling your connection must pick up on a flaw in the code pertaining to the measuring of your connection/ping/if you need more or less lag comp.
So, I see that if you don't have as many people with a high ping, then you don't have people being as so greatly adjusted, and this may, by lessening the traffic with ping and lag comp, smooth out gameplay.
Just one more thing. I say 'may' because I don't even know that the code is written in such a way that the people who are out of sync because of lag comp, will not STILL be under the threshold and adversely affected by the lag comp.
In other words, we are also assuming that by having matchmaking put most people at a better ping, we will be lessening the problems. I would guess that the code will still rate the people with good connections (or the people who are negatively effected and out of sync - however you want to quantify it) relative to the other players, and apply the same faulty mechanism of lag comp.
The issue with solo play is there is not a group average just the ping value of that player. Current solo play should be unaffected by the new patch because they are already put into low ping lobbies. The out of sync issue happens in group play and solo play, so once again this patch is addressing a symptom not the cause.
It's also important for us to realize that it's great that the devs have admitted the problem and are actively seeking a fix for it.
If this matchmaking does not solve it, don't let them suck us into matchmaking change after matchmaking change. If the problem remains, there needs to be a bona fide attempt to fix it. Reverting back to useless tweak after useless tweak is would not be at all responsible.
Okay. So I seem to have misunderstood from the start. I was under the impression that the attempt to find a better host had to do with the rules of the lobby- not just the party (if one even exists in the lobby). This greatly reduces my faith in the fix. As you have said, sync issues happen when there are no parties.
I still don’t see how this is going to help. Regardless of where your geographical location is – the game calculates the lag comp’s power based on your particular ping to the host. Once you’re in a pre-game lobby - everyone’s ping to the game’s host is measured and lag comp for this player is based off his data. I would assume it happens prior to each match in MW3.
The only thing the new setup will do is give the XBL party host better quality matches by finding lobbies with better matched pings for him. And also give your party the opportunity to choose whose ping you’re going to use by having that person host the XBL party.
While this is a step in the right direction and I appreciate you two on your efforts, there is still some serious issues under the hood that the developers need to address.
1. The Lag Comp equation itself. Why are bigger, faster connections delayed so significantly? The ill proportions are too obvious and force players to devise all kinds of workarounds that will affect future titles let alone this one. The problem that arises with that cannot be combated with today’s technology and the networking protocol being used (UDP). The quality of all COD titles from here on out will deteriorate quickly, leaving the developers with no way of gauging, measuring or addressing the problem. Not good…
2. Why does the newly calculated lag comp in MW3 affect the game’s time and speed? It’s one thing to be milliseconds behind because you have a fast connection and someone else has a slow one but when you compound that with slowing down / speeding up the game’s speed as well- it makes for a very frustrating and unfair experience. You can especially recognize this when capturing a flag in domination. My entire team (on the bad side of lag comp) can be on a flag and it takes several seconds to capture while one player from the other team can cap a flag in half a millisecond by himself.
I can tell when I’m being severely penalized with lag comp within the first minute of a game. My movement is slow and the guy on the other team is already 12 -0 moving with a quickness, carrying a LMG I might add.
Again, I applaud you for your effort but I have little faith the change will make that big of an impact unless it is accompanied by updates to the lag comps equation and how it affects the games time and speed.