For some reason I can’t explain, most people I met in the video game industry in the last year or so seems to think lag does not exist or is not a problem. Take 20 seconds and watch this clip:
To put some context, this player, Shroud, is one of the most popular e-sports streamer. He has over 4 millions subscribers and he constantly gets over 100k viewers at any given time. This video was wtched 300k+ times, and that does not includes live and replay else where. If that’s not bad advertising I wonder what it is.
Now just go on google and search for the word “lag” along with your prefered game title and tell me what you get. CoD, Apex, Rainbox 6, Pubg, LoL, Fortnite, Overwatch, etc. They all suffer lag. As in this clip above, players stop playing! Studios are losing money! The extracts below go in lengty details about lag and its impact on gameplay. It also shows that Edge Computing servers will double the amount of players to get 45ms and below, therefor potentially reduce by half unhappy players due to lag! We also covers game download speed, which is also solved by Edge computing. Happy reading!
Sources for each metrics and report are provided in each section.
This document illustrates how network latency affects games and players’ performance by showcasing various extracts of studies, experiments, surveys, and articles regarding this aspect. These issues are present in all online video games and could be resolved or reduced with Arbitrium.
As the following survey results show, the video game aspect that seems to be the most important for gamers is the performance. When it comes to game performance many things can affect how a game performs, in this document we will see how the network affects the performance of video games.
Studies have shown that players’ tolerance for latency varies depending on the type of games. Fast paced games requiring reaction time, aiming, shooting, etc. generally require a low latency network. The tolerance to latency is obviously not the same for every individual, but past a certain amount of latency, games are just unplayable.
The horizontal gray area around 0.75 is a visual indicator of typical player tolerances for latency. Generally game performance above this threshold is acceptable while game performance below this threshold is unacceptable.
When a game network performance is not optimal it introduces an unfair advantage or disadvantage to players.
In general, as the average latency increases, the unfairness (standard deviation) of the server also increases. Moreover, this unfairness increases at a faster rate, with a 2x increase in latency resulting in a 2.5x increase in unfairness.
This unfairness can cause frustration amongst players as we can see in the video clip below where a famous Twitch streamer known as “Shroud” is a victim of unfairness caused by lag.
“We literally lost to these guys because of f***ing lag. I’m gonna break something!” “Holy s***, I hate when stuff isn’t in my control… I can’t play until it’s fixed. I can’t play in this lag.”
This other clip shows the result of lag, packet drop and jitter. Watch this call of duty black ops 3 player going back and forth like he’s dancing:
As Shroud said “he can’t play until it’s fixed” and he’s not the only person who stops playing a game because of latency. The extract below if an extract from a study that has shown that players with bad network conditions leave games prematurely.
Do game players leave a game prematurely due to unfavourable network conditions? Yes. Generally speaking, the worse the network quality, the earlier players will leave the game. For example, sessions with a low packet loss rate ( ≤ 1%) have an average duration of 160 minutes, while those with a high packet loss rate ( > 1%) have an average duration of 70 minutes. If we only observe whether players quit in the first 10 minutes of a game, only 3% of players who experience a low loss rate leave in that time, compared to 20% of players who experience a high loss rate.
On average, the degrees of players’ “intolerance” to delay, delay jitter, client packet loss, and server packet loss are in the proportion 1:2:4:3. That is, a player’s decision to leave a game prematurely due to unfavorable network conditions is based on the following levels of intolerance: average RTT (10%), RTT variations (20%), client packet loss (40%), and server packet loss (30%).
Another study demonstrated that the closer a player gets to the game server the bigger is the advantage he will have on the other players. On the other hand, if a player gets farther and farther to the game server the bigger the advantage that others will have on him.
We can take the case of League of Legends when they moved their North America servers from Portland, Oregon to Chicago, Illinois. The following section shows the ping (B) before and (A) after the relocation of the servers for most of the states. We can see really good results for states located in the eastern part of North America, but players located in the west weren’t happy because their ping increased.
Now we can imagine this kind of server relocation, but for every game instance based on the specific players in that game thanks to Arbitrium. That way we would see players with good pings all around.
The next extract is from a paper that explains how cloud gaming can increase the amount of players covered by using edge computing instead of only a few numbers of locations provided by a cloud service provider. This is true for cloud gaming, but it can also be applied to the standard game network infrastructures that have only a few locations for their servers. By using the edge traditional game servers could be deployed in various locations.
User coverage by utilizing edge computing:
The last two extracts don’t concern game performances, but concerns the process of downloading games and updating them. The following statistics show that the download process is annoying, mainly because of the time it takes. Once again by using the edge computing infrastructures it would be possible to expand the location of content delivery servers and offer to the users the closest server to download a game.