*Summary* I realize my topic is very long so i will try to summarize (key word... try):
In Black ops 2 there are a few things that can make you feel like the lag is worse in your game.
BRT- Bullet Registration Time. Description: The Time it takes for you to get a hit marker from the time you fired your gun while being on target. Lag influence: can cause a feeling of Vanishing bullets along with desync problems among others. Frequency of Influence: Very High
Zombie marker. Description: Any hit marker that is still on screen when the next hit marker is supposed to show up. Lag Influence: Can reinforce the feeling of desync/missing bullets. Frequency of influence: High
Insta-death. Description: dieing incedibly fast compared to normal. Lag influence: Can give the extreme feeling that you are "behind" the other player. Frequency of influence: Very High
Health: Description: It takes upto 6 seconds to fully heal from near death during which time fewer bullets are needed to finish you off. Lag Influence: This one can add to the feeling of insta death if the palyer doesnt realize they are injured before fighting another player. Frequency of influence: Moderate
Accuracy Drops. Description: there are a number of things that can cause your accuracy when firing your gun to be dropped. Lag Influence: Adds to and reinforces the feeling of vanishng bullets/desync issues. Frequency of Influence: High
Theater System and Kill cams. Description: A replay system meant purely to entertain. Lag Influence: If a player takes the kill cam/theater too literal they will likely see lag or other issues, and this reinforces the previous ideas that there are problems. Frequency of Influence: Very High
ScoreBoard connection drops. Description: When dead often times the scoreboards will show your connection being lower then it really is until you are alive again. Lag Influence: when many players die they check the scoreboards while they wait to respawn and see that their connection has dropped, leading them to the conclusion that it was lag that caused them to die.
Leaving/Joining: Description/Lag Influence: Players joining and leaving can cause lag spikes which are very noticable and can affect just one person all the way upto everyone in the lobby. Frequency of Influence: HIGH
*Summary end* (if you want details sorry your gonna have to read)
**DISCLAIMER!**... of sorts... why? cause its needed. NO the point of this topic is NOT that I think all lag is an illusion. NO the point of the topic is NOT who has more skill. NO I am not trying to say that lag does not exist. No I am not trying to say that You dont lag. I am not trying to say that I do not lag. and NO I am not trying to say its all completely in your head... if anything im kinda proving it isnt... and NO Im sorry I can not explain ALL instances of WTFness, I cant explain why the death star was in the kill cam.
With that being said, If you still want to read on then please do. I think it is worth the time to read it but then again im the one typing it at 2 am... XD. If you do decide to read on I ask that you read all of it as The point of this topic isnt to talk about any one of these individually. What they each do alone is tiny when you compare to what it looks like when you see more then one of these things at work at once, which is generally every time.
If you want to disagree then fine. But keep it civil. There is no reason for this to break down into name calling or insults, acting in that manner does nothing to help you see this issue resolved. I have no issues with admiting I was wrong on parts I was wrong on.
What I believe is that we are all seeing the same thing for the most part. The difference is in how we explain the events we see. The reason many of us are not seeing the lag isnt because we are living the good life. Its because there are things that happen in every game you play local, custom, MM, League... it doesnt matter, these are things that happen anyways. whats more these are things that almost everyone is aware of on some level or another. These things individually are so small as to almost not be there at all. But I think most players Know something is going on but they cant quite put their finger on it or maby you just cant describe it.
By Illusion of lag you mean to say that there is no lag and that tis all in our heads right?
No not at all. Lag most certinally does exist. There is not a single Online game that is beyond its touch.
Then what are you talking about?
Alright so, there are a number of different things that occur just about any time you play. These things have the look of lag. The Illusion of lag is about how these things have been causing a large portion of the community to see lag. again its not all their fault. In the end it really does look and feel like lag problems. Its not any of the individual things alone that cause the effect but when they are seen together, thats when you truly feel like there is bad lag.
This topic goes over each one and talks about how they can influence the feeling of lag ingame and in the end will go over all the different things that to this day are continually claimed about the "lag problem". So on to our first one BRT.
Bullet Resgistration Time
What is Bullet registration time?
Bullet registration time is a term that I am using. I do not know if the term is 100% correct, its just what feels the best based off of what I know. that being said what is it? Its that delay from the point where your gun bucks back and spits out a bullet to when a bullet impact is registered on enemy players, in other words when the hit marker appears.
So I was right the game is delayed!
I say delay but its not really a delay in the sense that most gamers use it. There are a few different registration times, they range from 33 MS all the way upto 200 MS. this happens to all players at all times. host or no host. 4 bars or 2 bars. it even happens against bots. Against bots the average delay is about 67 MS (atleast from my limited test of 1 game). By far the most common and NORMAL delay to be seen is 100-133 MS but it is not such an unsual thing for it to take an extra 67 ms for a total of 200 MiliSeconds.
200 Miliseconds? is that bad or good lag?
Again its NOT lag, not all of it anyways. Just keep reading. When you hit the 167-200 MS range this is where players die AFTER your kill shot has been fired. this effect is most noticable with snipers but also manifests in giving you the ability to run around the corner before you die.
is this why I always die around corners or in cover?
Yes. well... not ALL of them, just most. unfortunatly some things will still be lag.
how does this explain how I died there?
Well imagin it this way. You were getting shot at and realised you were in a bad situation. So like a wise player you decide to make for cover. as you are nearing cover your enemy takes aim and shoots fire before you round the corner. 33 MS passes you creep forward. another 33 still moving... and another 33, your upto 100 MS and still no hit marker and no damage dealt another 100 miliseconds passes. Your now completely behind the wall. the bullet registers, final damage is dealt, player dies.
Your death was legit because he honestly landed a shot on you. the BRT allowed you to continue behind the corner before you died. again I dont believe this is all lag. otherwise it wouldnt be seen offline. but I also do not think its a problem.
What do you mean by damage dealt?
I mean that the moment you get a hit marker is the same moment their screen flashes red indicating that they have been shot.
How can this affect my perception of lag condtions?
Well it can make you feel like you have some lag. A BRT in the higer ranges might affect you in a few ways.
Because your BRT is. High it might cause you to have a delayed hit marker. This delay might be enough to be noticed in the form of it appearing around the same time as the 2nd or 3rd bullets are fired. this has the mark of lag on it because it can make it feel like you missed your first bullets because of lag. It can also cause a hit marker to appear after the shot technically hit. And sometimes it causes you to get it when no longer aiming at the enemy. Either way you can get a feeling of lag or desync issues.
anything else to know about BRT?
yes, If I am right BRT is also the reason that your bullets in your very final moments dont count. ever fired a rocket and seen it vanish?
You have now seen a rocket vanish. this is NOT something that only happens in CoD, if you believe that you should play more of the other games. im not talking about just rockets. im talking about things not happening after you die, that grenade never went off, or your last 2 bullets went poof with a little ninja smoke bomb. its been happening for a LONG time and is nothing to be upset over. but to quote jd_2020 from black ops 1 during the time where they actually tried a more direct approach to help the community:
For what it's worth, I can find you "Laggiest game on the Earth" threads on every major Multiplayer video game forum, ever. Halo, Call of Duty, Battlefield, Medal of Honor - they all got 'em. I'm not saying that to dismiss what you are saying; I'm telling you that each game's net code is different. Every other game might play perfectly for you, personally, but COD games don't. If that's the case, then it could be as simple as port forwarding or a router that handles NAT better. These are things our Customer Support team can help you identify.
Another thing to add is the odd thing that when an enemy who does not use a silencer he and he doesn't miss he won't show up on your radar. pics below (when I upload them)
What is a zombie marker?
A zombie marker is what happens when a hit marker out lives its usefulness and begins to interfere. Hit markers have a lifespan of aproximately 1 second. From the time your bullet hits till the moment its gone. It is not even noticeable that a new hit marker is showing up for about 700 miliseconds.
700 ms doesnt sound very long just how many bullets can be fired or even happen in that amount of time?
I think most players seriously underestimate just how much can go on in that amount of time. in 700ms I have time to kill you legitimately atmost 4-5 times over if im accurate. but ill get more into that in the next section. Insta-deaths. in this case however, the key result is pretty much near emptying your magazine
This is how and why it gets confusing and in the end contributes to the overall feeling of lag. Because we can not accuratly guage how many hits we have truly landed combined with the high rate of fire of the weapons, players often make the misjudgement that they laned more bullets then they actually did.
You said contributes to the overall feeling feeling of lag, how so?
Because they believe that their bullets are not connecting or that they are and are not working, they start to feel that something is wrong. Pause again take that basic logic and aply here. Answer: either you were getting hit markers while off target in which case your lagging. Or the hit boxes are desynced Or the game is glitching out causing you to get more hit markers. Anyway it feels like a broken game.
This one has been a major factor in many peoples views of how bad the lag is. I have seen this many times in the various youtube videos claiming lag. Some I didn't need to look at frame by frame it was so obvious, ( I still did Tho for the sake of thuroughness) and others I had to check several times to see it.
Do you have an example?
In a more recent example. A player claimed they landed 18 shots on target and that host disadvantage was the reason the enemy took many shots and didn't die.
I took a close look at his live gameplay proof. I went through it frame by frame repeatedly. I posted my current view of the events. Each time with a slightly better understanding. I found the frames where he fired, I checked where he was aimed when the gun fired. I tracked the rate of fire of the gun (the pattern in the guns recoil, basically you can see clear as day the gun kick back when its fired in live recordings.) I Took a picture of every frame that the gun was fired and went through them dozens of times.
the conclusion was that 5 of his shots had been on target and had indeed been given a hit marker. the rest were mostly clear misses with the exception of a few. in one or two cases there is a ghost image because of the recording device that looks like the player until you blow it up. then you realise its not where he is. its where he was. its the quality of the recording.
I point this out not to shame him. notice I did not name him nor shall I. its an example nothing more. its an example of how what we see happening in our heads and at first glance and what really happens are not always the same thing. that at its core is the point of this topic. He isnt someone who just wants an excuse or so I am trying to believe. He like everyone else sees a geniune problem. they are seeing what I am seeing. you just dont know it yet. ... or well... you do now... kind of... not done yet. its no mere randomness that so many people complain of lag. But I dont think so many would still be playing if even half the complaints were true (will discuss that bit at the end)
Next UP INSTA DEATHS AND Health Regeneration
What is insta-death?
Well thats a good question really. What is "Insta-death". the answer to that depends on you really. Some players consider anything under 1 second insta death, some consider anything below 500 MS. Me personally I consider anything below 200 MS insta-death. In call of duty the kill range is from 167 MS up in a lag free game. VERY FAST. and thats legit. Alot happens in 500 MS as you have seen in the video above. In reality, as I have been working on this video, most death happen in 167-467 MS on average. thats if the enemy player has good aim. but that should be common sense. If they cant land their shots ofcourse its going to take longer to kill you right? Most gun battles where players are missing last only a few seconds total. 4-5 seconds MAX and thats a LONG gunfight. time to reload and almost enough to start healing.
Wait 167 miliseconds? Just how fast is that?
The average human reaction time is around 215 Miliseconds. Thats reaction time from perception to finger movement (atleast according to answer wiki XD if its not right correct me). Its very fast. At 167 MS you will get the briefest flash of read before you crumple to the ground. This is possible by landing headshots. At 300 MS you get to see me return fire and strafe or move for a few bullets before I die. At 467 MS you see me miss a few bullets while trying to adjust my aim or my bullets are all landing in your legs (or something like that).(again this is from the time where the first enemy bullet hits you and the game lets you know your being shot with a red screen)
alright so this is another one that pops up and gets people killed all the time but leaves the taste of lag behind. In black ops 2 it takes about a full 6 seconds after the last damage recieved to fully heal. during those 6 seconds you can be killed easier as you are already at low HP. and 6 seconds turns out to be a decent amount of time. more then enough time to run into another enemy.
This one bugs the crap out of me. I cant count the number of deaths I have owed to the Heal time being as long as it is. Kill one or two enemies and die to the 3rd. why? because he got the drop on you? no. Cause you missed? No. Because he only needed to land one bullet to your 4 due to unhealed injuries? yes.
How can this affect the feeling of lag?
This one helps add to the feeling of insta-death in game. You are already injured, and 4 seconds later you gut killed by 1 bullet. I have seen many players complain of lag when it was really this going on. Alright next up Accuracy
Alright so this one has been a been one of the most common reasons as to why people feel cheated. I'm not trying to say that they are bad or anything. What I talk about here are common ways for your to accuracy Drop.
What do you mean accuracy drop?
What I mean is anything that causes a reduced accuracy. Examples include moving in any way, recoil, .... flinch and I think that's it. I'm not sure if target speed
Any examples of an accuracy drop?
When your aiming from the hip, your bullets will land anywhere within the cross hairs. The cross hairs basically represent your zone of fire. The bigger your croshairs are the more misses you will have. puting it another way, the less you move the smaller your cross hairs and thus the steadier your aim.
You were saying about accuracy Dropd due to movement
Any time you move in game whether it be forward, left, right, crouching, going prone, standing, or even as simply turning left can have drastic effects on your accuracy. You have visual ques that this is going on ingame. Any time The cross hairs grow in size Its showing ann acuuracy drop. Any time they shrink its because overall accuracy drops. The cross hairs also reflect gunfire recoil. When you go to aim down the sight the crosshairs shrink.
That's wondertul and all but how does it explain that one death?
I was getting to that. As I said the cross hairs shrink when you ads. Its best for the moment if you imagine them still being there. When you go to turn this also causes an accuracy drop, even while ads. The basic effect you get is your bullets spread out more depending on how fast you are turning. The faster the turn the greater affect it has on your accuracy. Also the faster the turn the more bullets lag behind.
how does this affect my feeling of how the lag is?
well thanks to bullet registration time, zombie markers, and accuracy drops, and add in the weapons rate of fire and kill times into the mix and you get players who feel that they legitamately landed more shots they they really did. as such they feel robbed when their enemy mows them down a milisecond later (exageration).
Theater and kill cams
There is a reason I will only accept live gameplay. There are to many differences between what you see on your screen and what you see in theater. The differences are subtle.
There are dozens of small... no tiny differences between live and the other. You could honestly try for hours to find an exactly matching frame and not find it. There will always be something off. And most times its enough to look like lag.
But if they are so broken why don't they remove it?
Its not broken.The reason for this happening is simple. From the very begining it was never meant to be accurate enough to tell you exactly how you died or exactly what happens. Its only goal was to entertain.
So what about the theater/killcam clip that I have?
Useless sorry to say. It proves nothing as far as anyone having a problem.
How can this affect my feeling of how the lag is?
This one above all.... this song is awesome. Is the most damaging one in the whole lot when it comes to lag. Its just that most belive the kill cams to be actual representations or "true" versions. While it does use the hosts information to recreate the games for theater, its still not a perfect copy. And those differences can feel like lag. I feel it whenever I watch a theater version of myself. Everything seems... off and slugish.
At first I thought it was lag. Upon further investigation I figured that theater was either broken or naturally off. I'm going to quote some of the things the devs said to us back in black ops 1.
First and foremost, I can assure you there is nothing wrong or unusual with the hit detection in Black Ops. The reason it is being brought into question with greater frequency than in previous COD titles is because we have new features that encourage and enable further scrutiny than ever before (namely, Theater).
I saw a YouTube video where a player loaded a Wager Match in Theater Mode slowed down time, and showed his bullet traveling straight through his opponent's chest in One in the Chamber. Yet his opponent did not die, and winds up getting the kill instead. As you know, One in the Chamber is a One-Shot-Kill game mode, so the natural conclusion is that there is a bug with hit detection. In reality, it's the visual replay that is misleading you.
The explanation lies within networking, and physics. The fact is, your Ping (latency between you and the Host) will affect what you think you see happening, and what actually happens in a match. Because Theater films are based on the Host's recordings of events, the visual disparity between what you see happening in the game from your perspective may differ from another player's (or more importantly, the Host's). This can result in occasions, like my example above, where misleading visual replays occur. Now, thanks to Theater, so many more people can go back, scrutinize, and upload their cases to YouTube and flood social media with questions. Whereas in past games, the debate stopped at shouting "GAH, stupid lag!" over the mic.
Killcam works a little differently, but the same principles apply. Some people notice that a guy was *way* outside of Knife range, but still got the knife kill. This leads to another perception that there is problem with Knife hit detection. This can be especially visible in Game Winning Killcams that end with a knife, often times it looks like the knife comes nowhere near the guy, but it still gets the kill. Because especially when a player is already on the outer-boundaries of knife range, that extra half-step of disparity can really stick out like a sore thumb.
The Bottom Line: You shouldn't use Killcam or Theater mode as justification for your kills / deaths. They are designed to be fun replay features for the game, not forensic science lab tools to make your case on YouTube and social media.
Lag is something that frustrates all gamers sometimes. Network delays are a reality that all games and gamers must face. In Black Ops, we have Locale Matchmaking to help mitigate this, and are constantly refining our Host Selection and weeding out poor hosts over time. Ironically enough, the more you play, the better it gets!
Hope that helps.
In-game score boards
alright so this is actually a fairly small one that does make the impression of lag much worse when it does pop up. I have noticed it for a while in MW3. just about every time I am dead My connection on the score board (3-4 Bars) changes. But it only stays changed while I am dead, when I respawn it goes back to 3-4 bars.
basically what happens is when you hit the back button and check the score board, you might see it showing your connection at a red bar (one bar). So when the player dies and checks the score board they see that they are 1 bar until they respawn. the conclusion they draw from this is, there must have been a lag spike.
RAGE QUITING/ Leaving/joining games
Alright so any time a player joins or leaves the lobby it can cause a lag spike. In several videos where a person was claiming lag this has been the cause. So to those of you who rage quit, your adding to the lag problems as you likely cause 2 lag spikes. 1 when you leave and one when someone else joins in to take your place. and with the rate of people quiting/joining games in black ops 2, lag should be expected when you see a player connecting. (will upload video later)
The lag argument
Since this topic is the Illusion of lag, I figured why not drag the entire argument out into the light. Below I will list as many things as I can recall being continually said about CoD and lag "comp" problems.
It gives you host advantage
it gives you host disadvantage
it puts you 500MS behind everyone else, but only if your host
it puts you 1000MS behind everyone else, But only if your host
It puts you 2000MS behind everyone else, but only if your host
it puts you 500ms behind everyone else but only if you have 4 bars/kick ass interwebs
it puts you 1000ms behind everyone else but only if you have 4 bars/kick ass interne
It puts you 500MS behind everyone else if you have a 3 bar
it puts you 1000 MS behind everyone else if you have a 3 ba
it puts you 500MS behind the other player, but only if they are 3 bars or less and you are host
it puts you 1000MS behind the other player but only if they are 3 bars or less and you are host
it puts you 500MS behind if you are 3 bars and they are host
it puts you 1000MS behind if you are 3 bars and they are host
it makes your bullets vanish but only if you have a 3 bar or less
it makes your bullets vanish but only if you have a 4 bar
it makes your bullets vanish but only if your are host
it makes enemies take more bullets to kill but only if your on 3 bars or less
it makes enemies take more bullets to kill but only if you are on 4 bars
it makes enemies take more bullets to kill but only if your on host.
it makes players teleport
it causes aim resist
it causes deaths around corners
its everywhere all deaths all the time
its only 3-4 deaths per game
this problem is something new that BO 2 has the past games were fine.
MW3 was a lag fest but got better
MW3 was a lag fest but never got better
this has been an issue since MW3
This has been an issue since BO 1
this has been an issue since MW2
this has been an issue since WaW
this has been an issue since CoD
CoD games are the only ones that have to deal with it
sure other games have lag problems but the lag issues in this game are worse
The lag issues are not worse they are the same either way.
the problem has always existed and has not gotten any worse.
the problem has always existed and has always gotten worse.
It causes ruberbanding
It causes framerate drop
Oh dear god! Save the children! No billy! dont look into the eyes! it will lag your heart 500 ms behind your actual body! youll just drop dead!
I mean I could go on for daaaaays. you name it. its been said. and Im not making any of that up either thats the truly sad part. all that crap gets said. alot of the time it gets said throughout the same topic and NO ONE stops to correct them on any of it. its simply accepted because their problem is lag. your problem is lag. therefore you both have the same problem end result everyone thinks theres a problem.
There is a reason that this hasnt been proven beyond a shadow of a doubt yet, there is a reason sufficient proof has not surfaced to force the devs to admit a problem or even if they are unwilling to admit it there isnt even enough for one of the gaming news groups chatting about it? posting articles? I have seen many places talk about the problems in MANY games, including BF3 got a comment from gameinformer about the bad lag after launch in one of their the good, the bad, the ugly, section.
I mean think about it, when they released the DLC and it was bugged, they didnt ignore that problem. they admitted to its existence immediately and that they were working on a patch. in that time the forums became flooded with new threads complaining about this. you dont see that about this topic. yes in part due to the developers closing them down. but thats not all. Think about it, how many people do you actually see posting about lag? and out of those people how many of them are the same people simply posting in different threads agreeing with whatever someone happens to be calling lag?
where are the hundred to thousands of people being affected by this monster all the time? you think with the sheer volume of people claiming a problem it would be cake to gather legit proof. but what do you see? one or two deaths in a theater recording clip from that one game. or a commentary that shows not lag problems, but their good gameplay in the background, simply complainng about lag problems. you see full length live gameplay commentaries where they claim lag comp is at work only to have it shown that its not lag at all. You have a couple dozen inconclusive videos that are popular.
The complains can be broken down something like this:
50% of people who claim lag problems never even attempt to show it in any form.
10% have a video up with the title lag/lag comp, but they dont show any lag problems what so ever, infact they jsut got an orbital
20% try to prove it using single clips of deaths from here and there using kill cam and theater (and as I have said this one wont help you)
9% try to prove it with full length gameplay from theater (same as above)
another 10% try to prove it with Live gameplay commentary that they believe shows la
and lastly 1% actually try to go indepth with their video
and when you sift through them looking for the true cases you find that there are none. not on the scale of what most people claim to be going on. what surprises me is that anyone is surprised that nothing has been done.
anywho I think thats about all I have. If you found this helpful please let others know. I honestly believe that if more people were aware that the things they were calling lag was mostly this going on, then more people would be having fun, thus less rage quiting and so on.
EDIT: Example of lag:
EDIT: this is a topic I made a while back that I feel holds some relevance to this topic. not completely mind you.