video game

Ping Abuse In Online Games

Before I launch into an explanation of how and why your opponent’s ping does not matter at all when it comes to peeker’s advantage, let me first very briefly recommend you a rich casinio review go over Casinoslots South Africa to make sure we’re all on the same page. Ping, that number we see shown to us in online games: that’s the time it takes for a message from your PC or console to travel to the server and back. Latency is the time is takes for a message to travel on one leg of that journey, so from your device to the server or from the server to you. So latency is basically half the ping.

Times are usually shown in milliseconds. Now, how does this affect gameplay? Well, when you provide any input to the game on your device (e.g. moving your character, using your weapon or a gadget or anything else really) that input is registered on the local game client on your machine and your character performs the required action. At the same time, a message is sent to the server informing it of what you have chosen to do in your game and it will take half the time of your ping plus the processing time of up to one tick for the server to receive and understand that message.

I’m going to keep things simple in the examples going forward and leave out the processing time on the server and client and we will simply assume that they are equal for all players although of course a player running the game at a very low frame rate will have be disadvantaged compared to others but that it a whole other topic. So the message has now reached the server, is processed and then of course it needs to get sent out to all of the other players and the time it takes for the message of your original action to reach the other players is dependent on their individual latencies.

What all of this will cause is what we can think of as a ghosting effect. When you move on your device, your character as represented on the server will lag behind by half of your ping and then you will need to add half of the other players’ pings on top of that to get the time lag when compared to what they see on their PCs or consoles. Makes sense so far? Good!

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Let’s face it, playing with high ping is never a great experience. For one, silly things like this can happen: As you can see in this clip where both players have high ping, I landed a total of 5 headshots on Rook here before losing the gunfight. 100% ridiculous and what’s even worse is that in the death cam replay you can still see me supposedly shooting 5 bullets before Rook reacts! What really happened in this clip is that Rook actually fired a split second before me and since his shots were registered on the server first, all of my follow up hits were rejected and I lost the fight.

It looks really sketchy both in the live play and in the replay but actually, it worked perfectly as intended. The player that shot first (where both players have a pretty bad ping) won the fight. But how does high ping affect peeking?

Here is what it looks like to get peeked on a server where both players have a pretty high ping… I think it’s fair to say that that was pretty much an instant death; I really didn’t have any chance to react. Now let’s look at that situation in a local match where the ping of both players is 1ms… Ok, that also was pretty much instant… In fact, if we put the two clips side by side, you can see that they are virtually identical and any variance is most likely due to the human factor of me not replicating the peek perfectly across both tests…

But isn’t high ping supposed to cause a major difference in the victim’s experience due to peeker’s advantage? Well, here is where the most common misconception of peeker’s advantage comes in. The higher the ping of the peeking player, the more profound the ghosting effect on the server will be BUT this will not provide them with any advantage at all. Because we have server side hit validation, it will take just as long for the player’s shots to be registered on the server and this basically cancels out any advantage that would come from the higher ping of the peeker.

Let that sink in for a second: The ping of the peeker doesn’t matter, because any advantage in terms of the time they get to see the opponent before the server registers the peek is eaten up by the time it then takes for the shots to register. Peeker’s advantage is still a real thing but it is in fact the ping of the victim that is important here. Many seasons ago, the Rainbow Six dev team shared a visual example in a blog post and why don’t I walk you through this step by step to explain what I mean. In this example, we have player 1 (with a high ping of 200ms) peeking player 2 (who has a lower ping of 100ms). Player 1 peeks and it takes 100ms (half the ping) for the peek to be registered on the server. Then it takes 50ms (half of player 2’s ping) for the info of that movement to be sent player 2’s PC or console.

So at the time that player 2 gets to see the peek, player 1 has already been fully exposed for a full 150ms. 150ms after this, player 1 fires (we are assuming a 300ms reaction time) and it then takes 100ms for that info to reach the server. As long as player 2 manages to shoot early enough for their shots to reach the server first, they still win the gunfight and their own latency of 50ms again plays a role here. What this results in, is a window of opportunity during which player 2 can win the gunfight and that is player 1’s reaction time minus player 2’s ping. In a perfect world, we would have no delay at all and it would just be a case of whoever shoots first wins, so as long as you can aim and shoot quicker than your opponent, you’ve got this.

But since it’s all about who’s shots register on the server first, the disadvantage for player 2 comes from the 50ms it takes to see the opponent after the server has already registered the peek and then the additional 50ms it takes for player 2’s shots to register on the server. Player two is disadvantaged twice by their latency, which adds up to their ping and therefore explains the peeker’s advantage window of opportunity formula I mentioned earlier: Player two must react faster than player 1’s reaction time minus player 2’s ping.

I hope this little example helped clarify what I’m trying to get at because it was a complete revelation to me when I found out that it’s my own ping providing the opponents’ peeker’s advantage and not theirs. And consequently, there is actually no such thing as “ping abuse”… If an opponent has a very high ping, they get no advantage when peeking you but they do get a serious disadvantage when you peek them.

Any kind of peeker’s advantage you perceive against yourself is down to your ping and the processing time on the server/your machine. No more, no less. And beyond that, the disadvantage of a high ping goes even further because if you are ever in a gunfight situation where both players fire at each other at the same time on their clients, the player with the higher ping will lose, because their shots will reach the server later and if they are already marked as dead on the server, their hits will be rejected, resulting in an all-out win for the low ping player. BUT: Why is it then that we have these experiences all the time where we die without the opponent ever appearing on our screens?!

And why is it almost always against players who have a bad ping?! Maybe the answer is that those deaths are more down to perspective, than lag… Maybe we notice suspicious deaths more when the opponent has a high ping because that fits in more with the usual understanding of peeker’s advantage. I’m just guessing here of course but the fact is that in games with server side hit validation; there is no plausible reason why the peeker’s ping should provide them with any kind of benefit. And that’s it; I do hope that my little excursion into this frustrating topic has provided a little more clarity on the issue.