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Why do we get continental lag? Will it ever be solved?

JemcrystalJemcrystal Member UncommonPosts: 1,814
I understand many factors contribute to lag but I am only wanting to talk about the mysterious continental lag.  If I call someone on the phone while they are in France and I am in the United States I do not expect to get lag.  What causes international mmorpg lag?  Will there ever come a day when I in the USA can play with people in Britain, Australia, Philippines, and Japan without it making my character stagger like an insane drunk?

What's the hold up with this tech?



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Comments

  • MeleconMelecon Member UncommonPosts: 66
    edited March 11
    Simple answer probably not. It can be done... but it will be expensive and no-one really wants to pony up for it. The issue with lag in general is it takes time to get the packets to where ever you want them to get to. We have the same constraints in Continental packet travel as we do in intercontinental, the constraints are distance and bandwidth. When over land we can just build more fiber and increase bandwidth. For distance we can then invest in technologies like fiber, which at this point is the fast mode we have to transmit but still slower then the speed of light (but pretty close to it). With that who is going to start paying for new under sea cables (installation and maintenance) so that you can have a better experience in MMO game playing? Simply put as above no one will pay for it. The current cables are in place by corporations to lease out to other entities that need to communicate across continents (Telephone Companies to begin with, then morphed over time). Now this is not to say no one is willing to put cables under the sea, but not just going to do it to make gaming better.

    TL;DR

    No, probably not in your life time.
    Post edited by Melecon on
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  • Thomas2006Thomas2006 Member RarePosts: 1,094
    There is a fairly big difference between talking on a line and receiving data over said line. When talking you don't pay much attention if there is a second or so pause from when you stop talking and the other person starts responding. Cause its just still feels natural when talking. But when gaming 300ms you can start to notice that delay. Actions are just not as fast responding and such.

    You can see the delay when watching a lot of the news and they do remote video with another anchor out in the field. That weird delay from when the people in office are talking to when the remote anchor starts to talk.

    Some day the solution will be solved but its going to require a lot of work from a lot of different people.

    So much that goes into data travel over the internet. The greater the distance generally you have more machines your data goes through before it reaches its final destination. You also have situations when a hop might have more load or even be overloaded with data. So many what ifs and such to solve.
  • QuizzicalQuizzical Member LegendaryPosts: 19,278
    The laws of physics do not care about your desire for better ping times.

    Light travels at exactly 299792458 m/s in a vacuum.  That number can be known exactly because it's the definition of a meter.  But it does mean that for light to go around the world would take about 140 ms.

    Light travels slower than that in a fiber optic cable, however.  It's bouncing around a lot within the cable rather than going straight, resulting in a net speed of about 2/3 of that.  So you're looking at over 200 ms for light to go around the world in a fiber optic cable.

    And that's assuming that you've got a dedicated cable for the entire route that follows a geodesic along the earth's surface.  Real networks have various nodes along the way, which adds a bit of latency each time, as well as giving you a zig-zaggy path to some degree rather than going straight.

    Add that all up and for communications with an antipodal point, a round-trip ping time of 300 ms would be pretty good.  Now, you're not actually going to the opposite side of the earth, but to go between two random points on earth would on average be 1/4 of the way around each way, in which a ping time of 150 ms would be quite good.

    So why doesn't that seem horribly laggy for phone calls?  Because if you hear the other person talking 300 ms later than he hears himself talking relative to you, that doesn't feel that laggy.  For some games, a 300 ms ping time is terrible, however.

    If you're seeing 500 ms ping times and hoping to get that down to 200 ms, that could happen so long as you're not going to nearly the opposite side of the world, such as from Australia to the US.  If you're hoping for 50 ms ping times to anywhere in the world, it would take a massive revolution in physics to make faster than light data transfer possible.
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  • anemoanemo Member UncommonPosts: 1,427
    Your phone feels fine because it's practically a honey badger.   You're already trained to deal with the signal loss, audio having interference is still understandable, and humans have had practically forever to practice getting a sound out of some kind of machine. 

    Software on the other hand is pretty fragile.  It can't adapt to corruption very well, and at the same time requires incredible precision.   Not a good combination. 

    Practice doesn't make perfect, practice makes permanent.

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  • XodicXodic Member RarePosts: 869
    Quantum entanglement, 0 ping. We may see it in the next 50 years.

  • TheScavengerTheScavenger Member EpicPosts: 3,036
    Why spend money to fix lag in MMOs when you can instead spend the time making cash shop items?
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  • AnthurAnthur Member UncommonPosts: 925
    Xodic said:
    Quantum entanglement, 0 ping. We may see it in the next 50 years.

    You can't transport any information with quantum entanglement. And if you think about quantum teleportation, that one is still bound to the speed of light to transport information. So far the speed of ligth still seems to be the limit.
  • QuizzicalQuizzical Member LegendaryPosts: 19,278
    Why spend money to fix lag in MMOs when you can instead spend the time making cash shop items?
    Differences in lag between a customer on the other side of town from the servers and one on the other side of the world are dictated by the Internet at large.  That's not something that MMO companies can fix, at least apart from having separate servers in different physical locations that don't allow various customers to interact with each other.
  • Jean-Luc_PicardJean-Luc_Picard Member LegendaryPosts: 7,504
    You have:
    - The speed of light, of course, but also:
    - The switches and routers on the way between you and the server
    - The server itself
    - Internet traffic
    - Your crappy Internet connection

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  • iixviiiixiixviiiix Member UncommonPosts: 1,622
    This is why i have avoid playing Korea action game
  • QuizzicalQuizzical Member LegendaryPosts: 19,278
    iixviiiix said:
    This is why i have avoid playing Korea action game
    If you mean playing on Korean servers and you don't live anywhere remotely near Korea, then yes.  But it's not a valid reason to avoid playing a Korean-made game running on servers much closer to where you live.  (Disliking the game, on the other hand, is a very valid reason not to play it.)
  • waynejr2waynejr2 Member EpicPosts: 7,768
    Quizzical said:
    The laws of physics do not care about your desire for better ping times.

    Light travels at exactly 299792458 m/s in a vacuum.  That number can be known exactly because it's the definition of a meter.  But it does mean that for light to go around the world would take about 140 ms.

    Light travels slower than that in a fiber optic cable, however.  It's bouncing around a lot within the cable rather than going straight, resulting in a net speed of about 2/3 of that.  So you're looking at over 200 ms for light to go around the world in a fiber optic cable.

    And that's assuming that you've got a dedicated cable for the entire route that follows a geodesic along the earth's surface.  Real networks have various nodes along the way, which adds a bit of latency each time, as well as giving you a zig-zaggy path to some degree rather than going straight.

    Add that all up and for communications with an antipodal point, a round-trip ping time of 300 ms would be pretty good.  Now, you're not actually going to the opposite side of the earth, but to go between two random points on earth would on average be 1/4 of the way around each way, in which a ping time of 150 ms would be quite good.

    So why doesn't that seem horribly laggy for phone calls?  Because if you hear the other person talking 300 ms later than he hears himself talking relative to you, that doesn't feel that laggy.  For some games, a 300 ms ping time is terrible, however.

    If you're seeing 500 ms ping times and hoping to get that down to 200 ms, that could happen so long as you're not going to nearly the opposite side of the world, such as from Australia to the US.  If you're hoping for 50 ms ping times to anywhere in the world, it would take a massive revolution in physics to make faster than light data transfer possible.

    What if one day we get a quantum entanglement network?

    j/k
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  • KyleranKyleran Member LegendaryPosts: 30,063
    Tsk, don't any of you know anything? Clearly communicating by "ansible" is the way to go.

    "The Philotic Parallax Instantaneous Communicator, more commonly known as the Ansible, was a device used for instantaneous communication across any distance.[1]"q

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  • Jean-Luc_PicardJean-Luc_Picard Member LegendaryPosts: 7,504
    Kyleran said:
    Tsk, don't any of you know anything? Clearly communicating by "ansible" is the way to go.

    "The Philotic Parallax Instantaneous Communicator, more commonly known as the Ansible, was a device used for instantaneous communication across any distance.[1]"q
    Funny, I was about to mention that B)

    Perhaps we can even make friends with Jane... ;)
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  • KyleranKyleran Member LegendaryPosts: 30,063
    Kyleran said:
    Tsk, don't any of you know anything? Clearly communicating by "ansible" is the way to go.

    "The Philotic Parallax Instantaneous Communicator, more commonly known as the Ansible, was a device used for instantaneous communication across any distance.[1]"q
    Funny, I was about to mention that B)

    Perhaps we can even make friends with Jane... ;)
    Sounds good,  just so we don't run into Skynet.

    ;)
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  • ScotScot Member EpicPosts: 9,133
    Don't worry Jemcrystal, we won't let the speed of light stop us! When the Quantum Mechanics boffins start mass producing their quantum entanglement particles we will be able to communicate instantly across any distance in the universe.

    The fact QM has never produced anything that anyone can use on a technological level is a bit of a sticking point. But keep spending those billions on colliders and they are bound to one day. :)
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  • AmatheAmathe Member EpicPosts: 3,832
    Kyleran said:
    Sounds good,  just so we don't run into Skynet.

    We won't. But now Genisys is Skynet .....
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  • LimnicLimnic Member UncommonPosts: 269
    Scot said:
    Don't worry Jemcrystal, we won't let the speed of light stop us! When the Quantum Mechanics boffins start mass producing their quantum entanglement particles we will be able to communicate instantly across any distance in the universe.

    The fact QM has never produced anything that anyone can use on a technological level is a bit of a sticking point. But keep spending those billions on colliders and they are bound to one day. :)
    Even if QM did manage to produce functional faster than light communication, I would not want to know how much Comcast would charge me for it.
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  • VrikaVrika Member EpicPosts: 5,007
    they solved it a long time ago, the problem is, it would be less revenue and create infrastructure problems with security.  The reason the internet is how it is, is main security. THis is why proxy tends to be faster, it by passes the checks and balances of security.
    Proxies and better tech can reduce continental lag, but with our current level of tech it can never be solved completely. Light can only travel so fast, and more distance always equals more time for the message to travel.

    Some continental lag will exists until we get quantum entanglement communications, tachyon communications, or some other scifi-like invention.
     
  • ikcinikcin Member RarePosts: 1,735

    Because the speed of the connection is limited by the slowest hardware on the route of the data transfer. It does not matter if you have gigabit connection when the data passes trough old 56k modem somewhere in the world - you will get 56k speed. And in fact the internet in US is terrible as price/quality.

  • PsYcHoGBRPsYcHoGBR Member UncommonPosts: 431
    Dauntless is doing a system where people from around the world can play together. I play Monster Hunter World with people in Japan and i'm in the UK and it works great so it looks like it can be done. MMO's could be a bit more demanding because of the amount of data it has to send.

    https://playdauntless.com/news/march-stability-and-server-update
  • DMKanoDMKano Member LegendaryPosts: 18,877
    edited March 15
    they solved it a long time ago, the problem is, it would be less revenue and create infrastructure problems with security.  The reason the internet is how it is, is main security. THis is why proxy tends to be faster, it by passes the checks and balances of security.


    The issue is distance for trans-continental links

    So for example trans-atlantic fiber New York to London length is about 3800 miles

    if you do the calculation here:

    http://wintelguy.com/wanlat.html

    You will see that your latency will be around 71ms

    The actual real world latency from backbone router in New York to backbone router in London is about 75ms (I used Cogents backbone network as an example - you can look at Level 3 or other trans-atlantic fiber providers, it's going to be the same)





    So the problem is NOT solved - as the limit that we are only getting 124miles per ms through fiber links, so distance is a hard limit right now.


    Bottom line - the fastest internet links globally today are fiber links - and for every 124miles you get 1ms of latency.

    Right now this is the hard limit - if you are 1000s of miles away (continent to continent) - there is nothing you can do to speed up how fast light will go through fiber.


    Post edited by DMKano on
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  • WizardryWizardry Member EpicPosts: 14,458
    edited March 15
    I played FFXI on international  and many of us often had pings way up around 600 but was still very much playable,in many cases better than games with 40 ping.

    GPU lag can be every bit or more important than internet lag.GPU lag requires the developer puts in the work/effort and most instead of doing that will simply create low end graphics then tell everyone they were aiming for a certain ART style,to which i call BS.

    Now for an intense fps type game,no you need a very close ping difference if identical skilled players.Now i can beat for example 30 ping players in UT99 ,having myself a 200 ping but i would have to be a much better player,otherwise no chance.

    Will it ever happen?Well again using UT99,someone created code that simulated each person playing as if offline,they called it a "zero ping"addon.Personally i find it to be flawed,yes a decent answer but it all depends on the game.Using ut99 as an example,a zero ping ruins the online design where you would expect lag and not expect weapons to be extremely over powered.Point being is that if the developer designs the dps to fall in line with zero pings and that software actually works perfectly then yes we might one day see that perfect world,very soon even.,
    Post edited by Wizardry on

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  • VrikaVrika Member EpicPosts: 5,007
    edited March 15
    ikcin said:

    Because the speed of the connection is limited by the slowest hardware on the route of the data transfer. It does not matter if you have gigabit connection when the data passes trough old 56k modem somewhere in the world - you will get 56k speed. And in fact the internet in US is terrible as price/quality.

    No. Latency is the time it takes to transfer a single packet along the route. It's different from bandwidth.

    Also latency is normally not affected by how much bandwidth you're using. If you're using close to your maximum bandwidth or if it's exceptionally busy server or busy time, it can occasionally be affected. But most of the time online games use so little bandwidth that there's no shortage and you could send 10 times the data you're sending and get exactly the same latency.

    Also there are no 56K modems in commercial networks.
    Post edited by Vrika on
    Quizzical
     
  • DMKanoDMKano Member LegendaryPosts: 18,877
    Anthur said:
    Xodic said:
    Quantum entanglement, 0 ping. We may see it in the next 50 years.

    You can't transport any information with quantum entanglement. And if you think about quantum teleportation, that one is still bound to the speed of light to transport information. So far the speed of ligth still seems to be the limit.

    In case of global internet speeds - the speed of light through fiber links - is the current hard limit.


    cheyane
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