I do NOT understand 'lag' or compensation. (Please be gentle!)

Black Ops II PlayStation 3

PLEASE do not waste your time, or mine flaming me, ultimately no one will gain from it, just raise your eyebrows, and walk on to the next dumb arse thread from someone who doesn't know/understand lag/compensation etc...

I am an intelligent guy, but I do not understand these things, so I am going to do the intelligent thing, and do my best not to suggest I do, or tell anyone what I think is wrong with this game, I am here because I want to try and better understand. I have searched and read a number of posts on here, but to be honest there seems to be such a variable number of conflicting posts and information I am now more confused than ever. I plan to go and read up on google after this see if it becomes any clearer, but honestly, I just wanna play this game and enjoy myself, and I don't think I should need to be an expert on exactly how the game operates to be able to do so. Selfishly I am posting here first in the hope I can save myself some time and someone will confirm or constructively explain where I'm wrong, offer any form of help or advice, or share their experiences, I am not even sure I confidently know what to search for in google to answer my questions.

All I know is the following...

I have a VERY BAD internet connection, this is not my fault! I live in a small village in the UK, and I am lucky to have BT broadband, I can afford better and I would snap it up in heart beat if I could have it, I can't!

I am good at this game. 99% of the time I come top, often highest kills, lowest deaths, and my team wins.

In MW3 my KD was 3, I know some people do not consider this 'the' best representation of a good player, but it means something, I can't be crap with a 3 KD, can I?

I have played all CODS. All CODS prior to MW3 I found I would struggle, and would often suffer a very obvious disadvantage to other players, you could often tell who the host was and they would more often than not be the best player, but it would vary from game to game. I adapted my playing style, and would still perform well but honestly, I would not run head first in to face to face battles, I couldn't and would always lose, but would judge it from game to game, and if I felt a good connection I would happily rush/slay. I could see when I had one red bar or two yellow, never four green, but sometimes on a good day, three green, and I could judge it that way too, although not entirely accurate, it was often fairly relative.

In MW3 I understand people with good connection would host and suffer a disadvantage, I experienced this a handful of times so I appreciate its existence, it would usually migrate on me at the first opportunity, but honestly it was good for me! I would dominate all games, all players in that game, not just the host, because I was never the host, and would therefore experience a good connection. I don't think it's fair that the host should suffer, but at least the host was the minority.

OK, so BO2 (Gosh I have written so much, I am sorry, I am trying to keep it brief, if you've got this far, thanks!)

In B02 I have been killing it since day one with an average of 4+ KD the whole time, gaining multiple high kills streaks, and subsequently really enjoying myself. Despite the freezing, inability to get in to games and the rest of the nonsense, I wasn't experiencing bad game play. It felt nice, with no 'lag'

If I got killed, or had a bad game, I could tell I was playing good players, and/or I was making mistakes, I could judge/feel that very easily.

So then along comes the patch...

I'm now lucky if I finish a game with a positive KD (I'm sorry I keep talking about KD, but it is the way I can accurately measure my performance.) I can't even get a UAV, I am now incapable of getting a three (kill) scorestreak, how can that be right, when I was getting dogs and swarms, and all manner of midrange scorestreaks with ease before the patch?

I come face to face with a guy, I raise my gun before he even knows I'm there and I shoot at him, I get hit markers, but then out of nowhere I am dead? I often don’t even see him shooting at me.

I watch the kill cam, his screen does not flash red, he takes no hits, and I seem to be aiming to his left/right, sometimes he is almost to the side of me?!? I am aiming and shooting where he was on my screen, not where he is on his, and he has raised his gun and is shooting at me before I raise mine or even shoot a lot of the time.

Sometimes I know a guy is coming, I’ve seen his red dot on the radar or he’s flashed past a widow/door so I know he’s coming round a corner, he’ll see me, stop, raise his gun, aim, and shoot me down, even though I was already looking down my sights at the corner anticipating his coming, and he walked directly into the center of them, I even semi squeeze the trigger before he appears, AND I STILL DIE?! None of my bullets hitting, or not enough of them hitting.

So the main difference here for me, is that I have 4 green bars every game, I can see some do not, the ‘lag’ is so much more discreet, my screen doesn’t judder like it used to in previous COD’s before MW3, but I am convinced it’s there. It doesn’t ‘feel’ laggy like I used to experience before MW3 but it is, I am sure of it, there is a delay for me.

I am nearly third prestige, I have played way too much, but I can conclusively demonstrate by looking at my stats that something changed dramatically for me after the patch. I played a lot before the patch, I’ve played a lot since the patch and the difference is black and white.

I love this game, it is leagues better than MW3, but I am not enjoying it as much as MW3. Honestly, I would give up all the great new additions to BO2 just to be able to play fairly

Can I play MP without the patch, can I uninstall it and play as I was before?

Will/can they fix this?

Is it just me, or are others experiencing this AS I DESCRIBE? Am I/we the huge minority? Are most people (99%) playing fine no problems?

Is it always going to be one or the other? Better for some due to a good connection, or a disadvantage to some due to a good connection. Is there no middle ground?

Do other games have this problem?

If you have an average connection, not good enough to host, but good enough not to experience delay, are you the majority, do you enjoy the game just fine?

P.S. I am not a modest guy, I am not a big head either, I am just plain honest, if I’m good at something I’ll say, if I am crap at something I will say, I am sorry if anyone finds me arrogant.

Thanks for reading!!!

Likes: 29
Posts: 209
Registered: ‎12-11-2011

I'm experiencing the same difficulties after the patch with the only difference that I have a (very) good connection. The patch just screwed a lot of people in this matter.

Lag compensation is in place to eliminate the advantage the host and the people with good connections get. Only right now, it disadvantages them in a huge manner.

Likes: 19
Posts: 126
Registered: ‎03-11-2012

See that's what I find hard to understand! Honestly I always thought those complaining about lag compensation were finally having to compete on a level playing field and therefore felt like they were being penalised when infact they'd just had the advantage taken away.

How can you with a good connection and me with a bad connection suffer the same, that's very confusing! If I'm getting battered it must mean that someone else is gaining the advantage as a result of my handicap?

Thanks for your reply, I'm questioning what you say because I don't understand, not because I think you're wrong!

Likes: 29
Posts: 209
Registered: ‎12-11-2011

Lag compensation is the system and a part of the server that uses a players latency to rewind time when processing a users command, ir order to see what the player saw when the command was sent. In combination with prediction, lag comp should and does help to combat network latency to the point of almost eliminating if from the perspective of an attacker.

just to add on for, this might help.

lets say a player shoots at a target at client time 10.5. The firing information is packed into a user command and sent to the server. While the packet is on its way through the network, the server continues to simulate the world, and the target might have moved to a different position. The user command arrives at server time 10.6 and the server wouldn't detect the hit, even though the player has aimed exactly at the target. This error is corrected by the server-side lag compensation, atleast that's what it should do. So when you read about ping, these are the packets, low ping fast packets sent to the hosts server.

"We do not rise to the level of our expectations. We fall to the level
of our training"
EgOtRiP#7701616 Level 75
Likes: 9423
Posts: 16849
Registered: ‎14-11-2011

The above comment is correct.

Likes: 37
Posts: 247
Registered: ‎22-11-2011

I can see why you would need it! If it worked properly!

Likes: 29
Posts: 209
Registered: ‎12-11-2011


Just to add:

This is why people complain about lag comp(ensation) when in fact the problem is lag.

Let's say you duck for cover. That information must be uploaded to the host, then sent to all the players in the game.  If there is a huge amount of lag, a player may only receive the information that you ducked for cover AFTER he sees you.  Therefore the lagged player shoots at an image that is not under cover (or around the corner etc...)

This causes a paradox: The listening server rewinds the clock (e.g. COMPENSATES for the lag) and says: yep! At the time you saw the player (correcting for the lag) said player was NOT hidden (ducked for cover or ran around the corner) so a hit is detected (note: that is hit detection WORKING, and not the opposite).

This results in getting shot by "wanted/magic" bullets: You think you made it around the corner, but in the equalized world... you never did.  Your hitbox was not around the corner yet so you get shot.  That is why things look different in the killcam (where you did not make it around the corner).. you are seeing your hitbox, and not the updated players position that you think happened locally.


How can this be fixed? It can't. Lag compensation is working (as it should in principal).

How can this be minimized? reduce the lag by only allowing players that have decent connections (to each other, and not their connection based on speed tests) to be in the same lobby.

This presents a problem for people who live in BFN (b**t f**k* nowhere) as they would never fill a lobby.

People think they are being slowed down for having "good internet", when if fact this could not be further from the truth.  Proof?

If someone from the UK with prestine internet quality is put put into a match with someone from the US who also has Prestine internet: You will see mega lag... and it has nothing to do with the fact that each player has said prestine internet quality.

Although slight errors or oversimpifications may be pointed out in this response, this my friends, is lag and lag compensation explained.

I am done.

Likes: 2665
Posts: 8353
Registered: ‎08-09-2011

Although a great explanation, I do beg to differ on having good internet effecting your lag.  I have great internet, low ping (5ms) blah blah blah.  I had a 2.08 in MW3 and a 1.0 in BO2.  I cannot shoot anyone half the time.  I play a lot of hardcore where speed, hit detection and latency play a huge role in everything.  I will fall over dead, then see someone come from around a corner and shoot me.  Now some of this is because I am frequently host.  When i recognize this, I bail.  But mostly this is because I have a dummed down connection to match slower internets.  I can explain the details, only that I know this happens.  In the few cases where I do have 3 bars as opposed to 4?  I go into beast mode and end up like 35 and 10.  Again, I'm not a programmer and can't tell you exactly why, I just know that it DOES exist.  The better your internet is, the more likely you are to have sh**ty lag.

Likes: 35
Posts: 117
Registered: ‎14-11-2012

Let's try and analyze what could be gong on here... let's take the example where you say that you have a low bar connection.

if we assume this means you have a poor (well at least not optimal) connection to the host, this likely means you are the one who is lagged and seeing people after they have left their position. Therefore you are shooting people after they think they made it to cover or ran around the corner (e.g. you have a beastly game).

In the exmaple where you have an excellent (well at least good) conenction to the host, and there are people in the lobby who are not as well connected... those people are shooting you after you left or ducked for cover.

As you can see, this is not based on you having "good internet" but rather how you are connected to the host, and everyone else in your game/lobby.  I am not sure if I am making myself clear, but your examples support what I said , instead of contradicting it.

You have decided what you are seeing is based on your internet quality, and you have every right to have that opinion. I am not going to tell you that you are flat wrong... but think about it for a sec and think about the UK and US player in the same lobby example.  You are trying to relate what is really happening based on what you are seeing (which is understandable), but unfortunately you are only capable of explaining it by what you see (if you see what I am saying).

We are all in this together, but the continual propagation of false truths (e.g. people changing their service package to try and improve their gaming experience) is obviously not the answer, as this would have been solved by now... don't ya think?

Cheers mate.

Likes: 2665
Posts: 8353
Registered: ‎08-09-2011

I understand what you are saying.  Its my connection to the host that determines my play in the game.  My point is simple, I have good internet.  It 9 times out of 10 gives me a full 4 bar connection, if not makes me host.  In those games, I can't shoot anyone for reasons you mentioned.  In the other game, when I get 3 bars, I can shoot people.  I think this is a case of both being right... Although I will say this, Im not seeing what has already happened.  In most cases, I am dead BEFORE I see people.  Literally, I will die, and about a quarter of a second later someone will walk out from a corner and shoot me.  Again, I get what you are saying.  But it does seem that the worse your connection (normally effected by your internet), the more likely you are to have the lag advantage.  Does what I am saying make sense? 

Likes: 35
Posts: 117
Registered: ‎14-11-2012