Forum Moderation and Infinity Ward Developer “G IH A IN ID II” has taken the time over on the official Call of Duty forums to answer users burning questions regarding Modern Warfare 3, from Lag Compensation to more personal things, check out the Q&A below:
Question 1: Do you average pings to determine lag compensation?
Answer 1: Lag varies on an individual basis between each player in the game. The sync disparity differs and is handled on a case by case basis. There is no one size fits all approach applied per lobby if that is what you are asking.
Question 2: You say Matchmaking plays a big role in the lag comp issue, then why does your DLC release structure fragment pool selection. Certainly you’ve realized that separating players into several small groups makes your current matchmaking configuration inefficient thus matching players from all over the planet into one lobby. After lag comp has its say, these players suffer from a horrible experience. Meanwhile your company logo flashes up on every loading screen, reminding us of the responsible party.
Answer 2: Yes we are aware that DLC releases segment the player population as evidenced by the provision of a switch in MW3 which allows players to play the original maps or original maps+DLC.
Question 3: Do you guys play your own game?
Answer 3: Yes we do play our own game.
Question 4: If so, do you ever feel like you’re in god mode or several seconds behind the other players? What side of lag comp do you typically fall on in your games? What is your network’s quality, speed, etc…? Do you play matches against players from thousands of miles away in other countries? How’s that gaming experience?
Answer 4: We play it on a variety of connections that people have at home. These range from FIOS 35/35, through my ADSL 5/1 (more like 4.3/0.6) and lower.
IW members have experienced issues naturally. However, no one at the Studio has experienced these to anywhere near the degree this thread portrays. Speaking for myself personally I have had the odd game when playing in a large party where I have felt the other team, or certain members of the other team have had the jump on me. For myself and extended friend list the game has been performing as well as MW2 and MW1 before that. I’m a 1.5-1.75 KDR player by the time I finish so perhaps I’m not noticing the issues that those with more skill than I possess are. I play on Xbox frequently and PS3 on occasion. I live in LA and tend to play solo so I have rarely been match made with those from thousands of miles away.
Question 5: Are you a gamer or COD fan yourself? Do you have something against gaming or people who like to game in general?
Answer 5: IW is staffed with people passionate about games. Speaking for myself I am a huge CoD fan and gamer. I’m a game developer so I kind of guess that comes with the territory. Regarding CoD I’ve put in around 80 plus days in the retail environment, Prestiged MW 1 and 2 to max level and Prestiged 7 times in other titles. This is in addition to I’d guess 5-10X that time in days spent playing MP, Zombies, Spec-Ops and SP Call of Duty since I’ve been involved in development of the games in various capacities since around 2003.
Question 6: What do the executives at Activision or IW think about sluggish DLC sales and player counts compared to other releases? Are they aware there is an issue with the game? And that is the reason we’re not buying DLC and playing less?
Answer 6: I cannot speak for what the executives at Activision think.
Question 7: Is it reasonable to believe, in your opinion, that this is an issue that is not going to get fixed?
Answer 7: I believe we can improve the situation for players with issues and that is what the team is working on both for MW3 and for the future.
Question 8: I will not beta test your new offering, Bops2 or any future DLC. Nor will I be the host for your customers on my fast internet while you place me seconds behind everyone else. Nor will I reconfigure my internet; lower my speed and quality just to play your games.
Answer 8: I respect your decision to not reconfigure your Internet as do I your right to chose not to purchase any future game in the series. I’ll be genuinely sorry to lose someone from the community.
From my knowledge of the network code and compensation system window any host that is truly ‘seconds’ behind a competitor will IMO have an advantage unless the competitor is throttling their upstream packet delivery, while maintaining a steady downstream rate to artificially create seconds of latency.
Question 9: Since our man GHANDI has now openly admitted that it is currently better to play on a bad connection, I was wondering exactly how bad my connection needs to be to get the games assistance? I have been fighting against it for 6 months and I would like to have a better experience from here on out. Since it has now been admitted that the game itself is at fault, how can I correct or the games flaws? I have my 25/25 Fios slowed down to 3.5/1.5 to just my PS3 but it isn’t helping like it did about a month ago.
Answer 9: I want to be clear in what I said. I said our roll back investigations have showed us two things to date. One there is an inaccuracy with auto aim in replays. Fixing this is not a high priority since it does not affect the in game experience. Two the smoothing of lagging players onscreen under certain circumstances is under investigation. I also expressed that tweaks to the latter code portion could result in complaints from a different segment of the playing population. I also said I believe people when they report issues with game performance on high quality ISPs. I also believe people who report issues with lower end ISPs.
The nature of lag discrepancy means that there are occasions when this discrepancy will favor the player who is in front in game time and occasions when the discrepancy will favor the player who is behind. It depends on the nature of the encounter in question. We have narrowed the window of discrepancy under which any compensation is applied. This window is far, far smaller than the 1 second delta oft quoted by contributors to this forum. Lastly I have repeatedly said we have to take care to balance any change so that it makes a net improvement across the player base. Not solely for any one specific group at the expense of another.
The match making change that is arriving imminently we hope will be a fix that meets this criteria. We hope it improves connectivity for parties and solo players alike regardless of ISP quality.
Hopefully the questions you have been wondering have been answered!