On the importance of low latency / ping


#1

I live in a somewhat secluded area (the Western slope of Colorado, which is literally separated by mountains from the nearest major population center) and when attempting to use quickplay, I’ve consistently had an unplayable amount of lag in my games. I didn’t go into a game that was released so recently expecting 2 minute queue times, and it would be unreasonable to expect as much. GGPO is great, but it can’t fix latency over a certain threshold. There are several solutions to this that I see, but there could be another solution I’m not seeing:

1 - Set a hard cap for the maximum allowable ping between players in matchmaking; if the ping between two players is above, for instance, 300, then they just won’t be connected. Keep count of how often potential matches are declined and how long queues are, and let the player know if their high latency is causing very long matchmaking; on top of this, let them know that there’s nothing to be done about it, since any matches that they would have been put into would have been unplayably laggy.

2 - Allow players to set a hard cap for the maximum allowable ping between them and other players in matchmaking. If their choice causes long matchmaking, let them know that increasing the maximum allowable ping will likely decrease matchmaking time but increase lag. Give them a few guidelines when setting this number and set its minimum to like 30, and maybe even make it a value you can modify in the options which has a high default value and behaves along the lines of the last paragraph.

Each of these seems like relatively simple, effective, and easy-to-implement solutions, but maybe there’s some technical barrier I don’t know about. I’d really like to see this put in the game; I’d rather have half-hour queues than have absurd lag, and I can’t imagine I’m the only one. If things stay the way they are, then you will end up losing all the players in my situation who want to play online. If this is implemented, then some portion of the people in my situation will be willing to put up with long queues.

Edit: additionally, if I don’t press “rematch” then I probably don’t want to play against the same person the next game, but as it stands there’s no protection in the matchmaking algorithm that prevents you from playing against the same person over and over again.