Author Topic: Ping Times & Lagg Issues  (Read 2091 times)

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Offline Joners

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Ping Times & Lagg Issues
« on: June 12, 2008, 10:49:04 pm »
Ping Times and Lagg Issues
Definition Ping: The time it takes for a packet of data to be sent from your computer to another location, get processed and than be sent all the way back across the internet to you again. Ping is usually measured in milliseconds, where 1000 ping would be a 1 full second delay between your data being sent out and back. eg. a 500 ping would be a half a second delay between your actions being sent out and an acknowledgement response sent in return to you.

While the basic concept of ping is relatively universal, how often a ping is measured and the method used to display it can vary wildly from one game to the next. Some use colour meters, some use numbers, etc. Some give you a timed measurement only every 1-2 minutes, some take many readings and give you the average, etc

Before we go further, let me clear up a War Rock MYTH: that you cannot read your own ping. This is simply not true; you can in fact read your own pings.

So why is this not true in war rock? Simple, War Rock is not a traditional peer-to-server style network game!

War Rock is a peer-to-peer style network game. What does this mean? In short: rather than your data being sent to a server directly all the time, most of your data is shared directly among your other players in the peer network, creating a sort of virtual server; and while yes the war rock server exists as one peer node in the network, it is not the primary nor most important piece during gameplay.

For more information on the peer-to-peer style network used in war rock, please read Korgoth's post here: <!-- m --><!-- m -->

Now that you know War Rock is a different style of network connection than you are used to for FPS games; how does this affect your ping display?

You have a ping time to each individual player in your room. That's right: every single player acting as a piece of the server will have a unique ping time for you.

Lets repeat that: All of those ping numbers are your ping.

Don't argue, don't think about, just go with me on this: Your not sending all your data to one server and measuring the time it takes for a response. Your sending data to each player in the peer network and timing how long it takes for a response to each of them. This is why you cannot take what you know about reading pings in other games and apply it to War Rock. You need to understand how War Rock works and the ping readings here are simply different than what you may be accustomed to.

Please read over Korgoth's post linked above if you still do not understand peer to peer style connections.

Now, how are you to understand all those numbers?

Lets get a few things out of the way.

1. War rock will only measure a ping number approx every 20 seconds. In those 20 seconds you may have sent between 40 and 100 data transmits. Only 1 of them is going to be timed. That means those numbers are only a vague representation of about how long its taking you to communicate to each player on each data transmit. There is no way to know exactly how many data transmits your making or if all of them are at the same speed. Consider this: every player near you needs to be told about every bullet you fire, every movement you make, etc.

2. The number next to your own name: is a 100% pointless reading. Its a timed measurement of how long it takes for you to have your own data. Since you have your own data instantly, theres not even a 1 millisecond delay; it will read 0 or 999 (0 to yourself is instant, 999 is an error explained later)

3. If its 0 to me doesn't that mean I cant read my own ping? ..... no no no no no.... ping is a measure of how long it takes for you to get back data from another location; war rock measures your data out and back to every player and puts the amount of time that takes next to everyone elses name on your list. Remember, war rock isnt bothering to measure your ping time to the server, its measuring the amount of time your taking to ping each player seperately. If you have 32 people in the room, you have 31 ping times, all of them displayed for you on the tab list. All 31 numbers next to everyone elses name are your ping times

4. No one can read ping time to the server. No one else can tell you your ping time to the server, you cannot see your ping time to the server. Ping time to the server simply does not exist in the game anywhere for anyone. Note: that in the past your ping to the chat server would be displayed in the lobby, but it has not EVER been visible during gameplay to anyone for anyone. You can debate the logic or reasoning of why this is all day, but the bottom line remains: no one including you can see your ping to the server it simply no longer exists anywhere. The only thing you have are ping readings from you out to each of the players in your peer network and back again.

5. 999 is an error in the display of the ping. This is not always a bad thing; it simply means that when the 20 seconds passed and the game was ready to take a timed reading between you and that location, something happened and that particular data transmit wasnt timed. Does that mean all data was blocked? No. Does this mean it really is taking 1 second delay to get the data? No. It only means that particular 1 piece of data out of potentially dozens simply wasnt timed properly. Why does this occur? The single most common cause of the 999 ping display: No timed readings are usually taken when someone is recently dead or sitting at the character selection screen.

How do you resolve 999s? Most of the time they will resolve themselves. Another 20 seconds and the system should try to take another timed reading. Some may never resolve. Timed packets may not be on the highest priority data, and the game often focuses on the UDP data required for actual movement and activity. If your system is busy resolving alot of UDP data at a higher priority, the packets used for things like text may not get processed until there has been a slight delay and the resulting 999 measurement may not be an accurate timed reading of what is going on

6. 0 ping? Remember, 0 to yourself is meaningless. You have your own data. 0 to someone else? now you have a problem: you didnt share (send or recieve) any data between you and that player on the last timed packet. Where as a 999 you at least "fired and forgot" and simply didnt get a timed response, the 0 is no attempt at all. A 0 to another player is the worst reading you can have, if after 20-40 seconds the 0 has not resolved and the other player appears invisible to you, you may need to leave the room and come back to attempt to reset your peer connection to that player

Ignore the number next to your own name: it will be either a 0 (instant) or 999 (error), either way: if the game is running you have your own data

When you look at the overall list: what you want is as many people under 200 ping as possible. If most of your list shows 200 or less (or better yet, 100 or less) you have a reasonable 1/10 to 1/5 of a second delay between you and each player in the room with those numbers

If you have many players in the room 200-400 ping, your connection to those players may feel a bit sluggish as your getting your data responses back between 1/5 to 2/5 of a second after you send them

If you have many players in the room with 400+ ping, you have a bad connection to the room. This may be either due to a poor net connection, or simply the bad luck of entering a room with many players far away from you in the peer network. Those players may have perfectly reasonable ping times to each other, and for them you may be the odd man out in the room. Whether you choose to stay in a room like that or not is up to you (or them if they kick you). But don't blame everyone else for your poor connection. Many high pings in the room: its you with the bad connect to all of them

If the bulk of the room is mostly 200 ping or less and only 1 or 2 people have a noticably high 400+ ping. Those individual people are a bad connection for you. Regardless of who's fault it is they probably see you with a high ping as well. For example you could be on the west coast, they could be on the east coast and if the rest of the players in your room are somewhere between you: you both might have a nice connection to everyone else in the room

How do you respond to that? Well, you either live with it, or you find out if others in the room also have a high ping between them and that player. If many people have a high ping to the same person (but good to each other), than that one person is going to cause lag to everyone in the room

Remember: 0 on someone else is bad. If this does not resolve itself into at least a 999 error or a real ping in 20-40 seconds, and your not able to see that person, it is not likely to recover and allow you to see that person until one or both of you reconnect to the room. Just realize that they may be able to see you due to various factors in the peer network, they may get your position properly updated through someone elses leg of the peer network while your machine was not given a direct feed related to that player for this game. Invisible players are not hackers, its simply a network bug that can happen from time to time in peer to peer networks. There is simply nothing you can do but leave and reconnect to the room.

Remember: 999 is not a real reading. Data was sent, and the timer check was missed. Do you still see that person moving around and doing things? Well if you saw them move more than once per second, you dont have 1 second delay to them and you ignore the 999 and hope you get a better timed reading later in the game.
« Last Edit: September 30, 2011, 01:31:24 pm by Robba »



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