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Activision lag compensation and gaming traffic

alexftw
Grafter
Posts: 48
Registered: 03-08-2011

Activision lag compensation and gaming traffic

Hi all,
Activision publish the largest FPS, Call of Duty. They implemented their own lag compensation algorithms back in Black Ops and connection has been an issue ever since. People have complained about the connections sucking badly on really fast broadband connections. Some pay premium rates for top level fibre or cable broadband only to find that the in game lag comp means that they get a worse off connection by having artificial ping added to their connection to supposedly level out the playing field. Now, I suffered through BO with a bad connection and even moved from O2 to Plusnet due to traffic shaping (mis-shaping) and hoped it would be better. Unfortunately it was not. I paid for the add-on for gaming which was £5 a month but I found I had to stream something like 4OD or iPlayer in order to trick Call of Duty's lag comp into thinking my connection was worse than it was. This meant my game ran smoothly and I didn't lose every gun fight I entered. Previously it was awful and out playing people became pointless because the game's online mechanics handicapped me. Badly.
Now, I've actually removed the £5 add on for prioritized gaming traffic which means that Plus net lose out, and it has helped my connection in Call of Duty to some extent. It isn't as bad as it was. I'm not sure how much of an impact the £5 bolt on had, but it gave me what I can only assume as a great gaming connection which Activision then handicapped when I was online. I'm not the only person in the same boat and others with expensive cable internet have even downgraded their connection to help them out, meaning that ISP's lose out. Gaming as you know is big business, and very popular.
Have the implications of this ever been considered by Plusnet? Its the biggest FPS franchise on the planet and they are playing with peoples online experience's by altering the ping they get in game. The effect is that people are artificially flooding their network (streaming TV online etc) which again eats into our monthly allowance if we have a capped download limit, and it means that add ons like prioritized gaming are pointless. FPS is my type of game and COD is the main thing I play online when I get the chance to.
Thoughts? I'd have thought that ISP's would be pretty upset by this seeing as ultimately they will lose out due to a publishers sloppy implementation of an unfair game mechanic. Are there any laws around this as they are basically taking a super low latency connection and changing it, which gives negative effects to the end user. Even host advantage back in MW2 and before was not as bad as this because one person had an advantage being host, whereas now you are pretty much handicapped the better your connection is.
/Rant. Just thought I'd see what Plusnet's opinion on it was seeing as I've had to remove the add on to try and make it better. Streaming TV online to make my prioritized gaming actually work seemed ludicrous as it was eating my allowance for breakfast.
Thanks
Alex
24 REPLIES
Community Gaffer
Community Gaffer
Posts: 4,882
Thanks: 164
Fixes: 3
Registered: 04-04-2007

Re: Activision lag compensation and gaming traffic

What a truly bizarre situation.  :/
Thanks for highlighting it.  I'll have a mull over it with the guys.
Plusnet Help Team
Plusnet Help Team
Posts: 17,624
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Registered: 05-04-2007

Re: Activision lag compensation and gaming traffic

Which platform(s) do you play this on?
From personal experience I've been playing on PC via a Plusnet connection since launch day. I've not noticed any ping issues, in fact when I connect to a UK server I'm usually the person with the lowest ping so I'm intrigued to see what's causing the issues for you.
If this post resolved your issue please click the 'This fixed my problem' button
 Chris Parr
 Plusnet Help Team
Community Veteran
Posts: 3,181
Thanks: 19
Fixes: 2
Registered: 31-07-2007

Re: Activision lag compensation and gaming traffic

Only way they will change from what they are doing is by you Not buying their games.  You can complain on their forums etc and they won't listen, but loss of sales makes them aware.
Game developers have lost sight that they are out to make money After giving us a Good game, not to fleece the masses of sheep that believe the hype and buy a sequel without thinking.
So tell them with your wallet
Unvalued customer since 2001 funding cheap internet for others / DSL/Fibre house move 24 month regrade from 8th May 2017
Community Gaffer
Community Gaffer
Posts: 4,882
Thanks: 164
Fixes: 3
Registered: 04-04-2007

Re: Activision lag compensation and gaming traffic

Lag Compensation?  Want to know what it is?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=reNPK8XD-k4#!
alexftw
Grafter
Posts: 48
Registered: 03-08-2011

Re: Activision lag compensation and gaming traffic

Thanks peeps,
@Chris - Xbox. My PC gaming are things from the past.
The problem with console gaming is that you have no way of altering / optimizing your NIC settings. I've seen PC players on youtube who say they don't have lag issues like console does. I've also played PC MW3 and its much smoother.
@Gus, well aware of that!  Wink Its a shame that its all about the money, but thats a fact of life. The point of my post was in case ISP's weren't aware of it. Some people in the states are looking for legal ways to make it change. I'm 30 years old, I'm not a hardcore gaming geek (been there done that) and my interest is around how popular gaming is, how much money is involved and how connection dependent online FPS are. The sloppier lag comp was introduced in Black Ops and they haven't changed it back despite a lot of call from the community. On that basis, people have been known to change ISP (I tried this as I mainly game on my connection), downgrade packages and also in my case I removed the add on because I found that I was having to stream TV whilst playing in order to trick their lag comp into thinking my connection was worse than it was, therefore any handicap applied to me was minimal. I mean its like night and day when I play with / without streaming TV whilst gaming. Its blatant. Anyway I digress. Consumers are finding ways around the in game mechanics to remove their handicaps, and its going to affect ISP's. I'm not the only one to take steps myself and I won't be the last LOL. Despite what the dev might say, they are effectively taking your connection and handicapping it in game, meaning there is no point in having a super connection if you play on a console because you will get a raw deal
@Kelly. Thanks. Yup seen them all. I guess I should have said that they 'changed' their implementation in Black Ops, to make it very sloppy. This is one of the best videos imo;


This guy adds artificial latency into his router giving the same effect I have streaming. If you watch his examples at the start of the video it is exactly (I mean exactly) what I see when I play first without streaming on the internet and then when I am streaming on the internet. Its a crazy difference. Again, the sloppy implementation means that peoples hands are forced if they want to get a better experience online.

Thanks for taking the time to read my rant anyway. I just think that surely it has larger implications. People have even referred to their connections being held ransom by Activision... its certainly a touchy subject

Alex
alexftw
Grafter
Posts: 48
Registered: 03-08-2011

Re: Activision lag compensation and gaming traffic

Quote from: Kelly
Lag Compensation?  Want to know what it is?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=reNPK8XD-k4#!

Apologies, I hadn't seen this. The start is very similar to another one I've seen. Its a good explanation.
TerryCTR
Grafter
Posts: 141
Registered: 09-02-2011

Re: Activision lag compensation and gaming traffic

Bump for this on Black Ops 2 - its absolutely horrendous for me at present.
Im thinking I will be better off with the cheapest line going from Plusnet as it will actually improve my gaming dramtically.
What is the worst ping I could see from a normal line with no line priority
Community Gaffer
Community Gaffer
Posts: 4,882
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Registered: 04-04-2007

Re: Activision lag compensation and gaming traffic

We could put interleaving on your line which could had 50ms or so to your speeds?
TerryCTR
Grafter
Posts: 141
Registered: 09-02-2011

Re: Activision lag compensation and gaming traffic

That would help for sure, im not sure it would be enough with my ping running at 30ms just now, I think I used to get about 71-75ms with it on - I need even higher it would seem.
Im also worried that they do finally patch it and I would then need to hassle you to turn it off again and wait for it all to go through.
How quickly can it be turned back on, is it still an overnight request to get it back on?
Would I not also be better down grading my package so I dont get the benefit ot priority traffic on the line, meaning during peak times my line will be strangled and I could then have a really high ping?
Thanks
Terry
dick:quote
Community Gaffer
Community Gaffer
Posts: 4,882
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Registered: 04-04-2007

Re: Activision lag compensation and gaming traffic

It's not too hard to flip.  Usually we get asked to turn it off, rather than on though! 
TerryCTR
Grafter
Posts: 141
Registered: 09-02-2011

Re: Activision lag compensation and gaming traffic

Grin Yes I am guilty of going mad asking for it to be turned off and automatic off so it doesnt go back on ever - so it seemed wrong to now be asking for the opposite!
adie:quote
flaminmoses
Grafter
Posts: 270
Registered: 09-02-2012

Re: Activision lag compensation and gaming traffic

i swear they have this on this fifa as well.
12 wasnt too bad but this one is very noticeable.
players like elmander skip past faster defenders.....and he is slow in real life and in the game.
TerryCTR
Grafter
Posts: 141
Registered: 09-02-2011

Re: Activision lag compensation and gaming traffic

I've heard FIFA players are suffering also.
I hope they can iron it out with a patch sometime soon else ill be forced to switch ISP to someone [Censored] like sky. My mate is having a field day just now on BO2 with his yellow bar connection
[Moderator's note by Dick(Strat) Avoidance of swear filter edited as per Forum rule.
Blim
Grafter
Posts: 462
Registered: 06-03-2012

Re: Activision lag compensation and gaming traffic

I too have this problem with new games online. Its a shame things are going this way. The only solution I can think of is to stop buying these games. I know people really like games such as bf or cod but they are ruining the online experience and with young people being the biggest target market, its hard to bring this point to light when this is all they know.
PN aren't to blame, Id hate to seem my connection reduced degraded in an attempt to counter this problem.  I like to play older games for this reason because they work and have a real time feel.