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  • Eliot 1:30 pm on February 2, 2012 Permalink |
    Tags: COD, , ,   

    My Take on Lag Compensation in MW3 

    I decided to take some time and formally response to this issue.  In the end hopefully my views and thoughts can shed some light on this topic.

    Is this Legit or Fake?

    From what I gather so far, yes this is a feature.  It was introduced to the call of duty franchise with Black Ops.  This feature made its return to Modern Warfare 3.  There have been numerous references to a smoking gun tweet.  I have yet to find it.  However, searching for lag compensation on Twitter yields a lot of people providing their input about it.

    The basic premise that you can level the playing field by adding delay to players with faster ping time to make everything even.  That sounds extremely plausible.  I am a developer.  Not a game developer, but a developer.  That would seem like a problem I would try to tackle if I was making a multiplayer game.  Everyone is paying the same amount for my game and everyone should have a fair shake at competition.  People with the best internet shouldn’t have a major advantage.  Personally, I have cable and would love to have FiOS but I can’t get it in my area.  This leads me to believe this is a real feature in MW3.  So the COD franchise’s heart is in the right place but…

    lag compensation

    What I have noticed personally

    When I am in a game and everyone has four bars (or close to it), I don’t notice any lag.  Which makes sense, the game is pretty even.  No need to lag anyone.  I am now contentiously monitoring this.  I very rarely feel sluggish play or that someone saw me way before I saw them.  These games I play consistently well with a KD ratio over 2 for most game types I play.  Lag or no lag I will always suck at Search and Destroy.

    For the times I have a two or three bars and the other team is four baring it, I tend to focus on how others would skate around the board.  I would still do okay.  I do find myself easing up and being less aggressive.  So I don’t really do a lot of heads up battling in this situation.  I am actively trying to do this now.  I am planing on writing a follow up about this topic.  I can think back and remember some close combat battle I won and thought, man… that guy should have had me.  He probably should have but no one complains when they are winning or getting the best of a situation.  I have cable and get pretty low pings so I don’t see this situation that much.

    When I see two or three bars on the other team and I am a four bar, this is where the pain is.  I try not to be as aggressive and rush.  I feel like I have to have super fast reflexes for one on one gun battles.  Also, I have to get lucky.  In close combat I will face machine pistols, shotguns, and SMGs.  All of these guns kill way too fast.  If an opponent is given a quarter of a second lead on you, pack it up.  You are going to lose that battle the majority of the time.

    Somethings to try

    I have seen a lot of YouTube videos about turning off Theater mode to reduce lag.  I find it hard to see how that can affect game performance.  In Theater mode you download the videos from Modern Warfare’s site (at least for Xbox 360).  You are telling the server not to record video for you.  I am having a hard time understand how not recording video for you will magically make you lag less.  I personally turned it off and notice the same amount of lag.  Give it a try you may see different results.

    The greatest tool you have is the leader board.  A simple click of a button and you can see everyone’s ping.  This can allow you to change strategy.  For example, that two bar just killed me with a shotgun.  I am probably not going to win that battle no need to run back and try to kill that guy.

    How to play better

    In poker there is a term called tilt.  It can lead to financial ruin very quickly.  A couple of bad beats and next thing you know, all your money is gone because you loss your control and focus.  When you feel like you should have won an encounter and you don’t, you get frustrated.  Getting frustrated affects your game play.  Remember, first its only a game.  Second, in the end it should all even out.  You will have the advantage in some case and a disadvantage in others.  Own this and keep your emotions in check.  Yelling at the top if your lungs about crappy lag affects you and anyone that happens to be listening… like teammates for example.  Happy hunting guys.

    Another person’s perspective

    What do you think?

    I think I have ranted enough about this.  Do you think lag compensation is BS or not?  I would love to hear your thoughts.

    • Furyhunter 5:29 am on February 3, 2012 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      I’m beginning to think “lag compensation” is a misnomer for this particular problem in the game. The concept of lag compensation, I believe, came around the time of Half-Life. The server keeps a temporary storage of game states from previous server ticks (up to about half a second in the Delagged Quake 3 mod, iirc) and, when calculating hits from guns, it “rewinds” the game state to a point where it compensates for the time it took for the player’s shot to reach the server, using that cache. As a result, the server is calculating the player’s hit close to where it would have appeared on the player’s screen as opposed to when the server heard of the player’s shot.

      This kind of compensation was implemented in Call of Duty in as early as the first game, however I can’t be sure which game — all I know is that it exists in CoD2 and beyond. If it wasn’t in the game, it’d be hard as hell to play the game in high latency environments on the console (as is common in matchmaking).

      The “lag compensation” put in with Black Ops and MW3 is actually a sort of handicap that the server imposes, and instead of sending the most recent game state deltas, it sends one from a previous point, to create artificial “latency” on the client. The client still has a low “true” latency, but it’s getting data that is older then what is being sent to the other clients. As a result, the client is sending player state data to the server in its “future” where it only sees the past — and other players see the “future” that the lagged player is sending as the present, allowing them to see you before you see them.

      This article explains a bit about Quake 3 networking (what CoD is built on), to make it easier to understand just how the deltas might be generated to create the “compensation”. http://trac.bookofhook.com/bookofhook/trac.cgi/wiki/Quake3Networking

      • Eliot 1:01 pm on February 6, 2012 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        Thanks for clearing that up. I was focusing on the handicap added to Black Ops and MW3. It was slightly noticeable on Black Ops but I feel its really apparent on MW3. I really appreciate the old school tie into Quake. I will definitely have a read.

  • Eliot 1:54 pm on September 5, 2011 Permalink |
    Tags: Berlin Wall, , COD,   

    COD Black Ops Berlin Wall TDM 15 – 7 

    This is a mashup Black Ops and music. It has the Famas, Garbage and Jay-Z. Who could ask for more? I can’t embedded the video because I used Copyrighted material.


  • Eliot 12:19 pm on March 21, 2011 Permalink |
    Tags: , COD, , Hanoi, , ,   

    Call of Duty: Black Ops – TDM in Hanoi 24-7 

    I focused on sharing care packages this match. Solid game play here and tips.

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