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    Mailbag - Netcode Rebuttal Page Two

    Here's page Two of our viewer comments on the Netcode Rebuttal article.

    Your opinions do count, and we certainly recieve a lot of them. Here's a special section of comments and views from our viewers to us, about articles and features up on this site. You have a opinion? You can use the feedback page, or directly by email to webmaster@gamesurge.com. Please make sure Mailbag is in the subject line, as we get flooded with emails on a daily basis.

    If you wish to add your comments for all our visitors to read, just send a email. Some comments were not included due to shortness or was just repeating a previous submission, but we at GameSurge wish to thank everyone for taking the time to send their comments to us.

    We read every single email, and there are some fine points made. Please note that we strip the email address and any personal information from the submissions, due to "spam" engines.

    [MTL]Bookaroo
    Tuesday, July 04, 2000 3:00 PM

    I write this message for the mailbag concerning the new netcode: Just a little word if you put:

    cl_lc 0
    cl_lb 0
    cl_lw 0
    sv_unlag 0

    in your autoexec.cfg of your cstrike directory you will experience much less of the bad side of the new netcode. And if all the CS servers would turn off lag compensation (as some do) you would have a part of the old CS back. For the aiming in CS just wait until the next beta gooseman will have time to fixed it, he was rushed by the 1.1.0.0 patch as every mod out there. Hang in there, there is hope. [MTL]Bookaroo (mtl.altajeux.com)

    From: "Agent Orange"
    To: "Falcon"
    Subject: Re: Editor's Note on the HL Netcode Rebuttal
    Date: Thu, 6 Jul 2000 18:33:10 -0400
    I always play terrorist, so I can't speak for the AUG, but when test firing the sig, even at considerable distance, shot #1 always falls within the center circle of the crosshair (that is, an imaginary circle that would touch the 4 center points of the crosshair), as long as you are crouching and not moving. Standing degrades accuracy, as does moving, of course, but still not to a great degree. I'm VERY impressed with the changes made to the P90, since it now more accurately reflects the real weapon. (Or at least my gun aficianado friends' descriptions of it). A three round burst to the head at moderate distance is far easier now, due to the increased accuracy. As far as skilled players dropping the game, any time there's the slightest change, you always get people who drop out because it's not what they are used to. Look at all the people whining because Q3 isn't QW. They have to change their playstyle slightly, so instead they bitch. I see 6.5 as a vast improvement. Then there's the netcode. I don't understand people's complaints. I really have suffered no ill effects. If anything, the game runs smoother. The only thing I can think of is that something's buggered on either the server they're playing on, or on their client. I'll admit, things ran a whole hell of a lot better when I did a fresh install of HL, ran the update that jumps the CD ver directly up to 1.1.whatever, and then did a clean install of 6.5. Without doing it that way, HL decided it didn't like openGL. Yeah, 6.5/6.6 isn't perfect, but it's a big step up. Now if only they'd balance the escape maps a little better. -A/O
    From: ?
    I like not having to lead my shots at all. And the fact that all those HPBs have a better chance. There has been no loss in gameplay, so there is nothing not to like. If i get killed after i duck behind a wall i dont mind, because i know that my ass was grass anyways, wether i was registered before or not. And i remember what it was like to be a HPB, about 4 months ago. I dont expect everyone to be able too, or to feel the need to pay 45 dollars a month to enjoy a game that should be close to free, like CS. And im 100 percent sure, if HL had this netcode, then went to previous netcode, there would be 1000 percent more whiners then there are now. And too all my fellow LPB out there who are arrogent and who say HPB are a bunch of POOR, dumbass, AOLers, may they die and rot in hell. Im almost ashamed to be a LPB. They, the ones who have almost every adavantage, should be the last to complain. But no. The HPB take it and they do there best with what they have, and they rarely complain. All the power to em.

    Madmail
    Thursday, July 06, 2000 4:28 AM

    Ok I'm not going to argue the rights and wrongs of who should have the best game at what connection. Nor am I going to stand behind the initial netcode article fully as I agree that there are certain inaccuracies, but wish to debate certain areas raised in the rebuttal with experience as far as possible. The first point is that as mentioned with the red dot feedback, the old game we had to do our own prediction, and although the HPB's margin of error was smaller, the lpb and the hpb both predicted their own lead at their end themselves, packet loss permitting. Now the game is taking charge of the prediction for all to a point, and something is obviously terribly wrong to create such a global backlash across different HL mods, of which TFC is my specialism.

    Myself I am dedicated to my clan and its betterment within the game. Having something I can deal with in my head, (whatever I connect with) traded for essentially something out of my control is taking away part of what made up a tight playable game of people, and replacing it with a slightly inaccurate server lottery (packet loss being something no one can control with netcode, just allow for) is quite hard to accept. Make it fairer fine, but not by introducing inaccuracies in an already established product and then shipping with no readmes that its in fact a cvar collection of choice, but enabled by default, and installed around the world on release day before anyone realises.

    "This used to mean that by the time your packet got to the server a moving target would no longer be where you were aiming, thus you registered a miss"

    This seems to be at odds with his prior statement of allowing for the dot lag, sure its true if this was your first day playing the game with no faq's however as he said, we all used to lead to allow for the lag, based on the feedback received to our terminal and is how the game was accepted to that point, with faster connections giving a few tenths of a second better response if you were that serious about gaming. He goes on to make a non technical statement of 'latency tracking' ( the method of this is actually what's in question) and further sets an explanation in the next para. that we must hit real positions and no distinction being made. Well we can only hit positions that we are received as data, if that's wrong data because the netcode has made up something as the persons isp has dropped a few packets or simply a server error, then we react, sometimes only briefly, but react to something that is false - instead of before, having no- event since their model isn't updated till the data gets back thru to us. Not perfect but when its clear - a kill is really a kill - both parties receiving true data to lead, or no data at all.
    Packet loss is unavoidable, but if it happened, its wasn't the cue for all these strange server calculated effects of distance infections and bendy bullets, both of which I've experienced time and time again post 1100. No netcode can cure packet loss, just make a guess, and it seems some guesses just aren't good enough. I prefer to guess the lead myself. There then is a lengthy debate about how the server might do it, and what some scenarios are.

    I will add as experience what happened in clan practice where one of our known mid to hpb was playing sniper and I was playing soldier, me having just got cable access 2 days before the 1100 patch. We came face to face on level ground, mid to melee distance. He was shouldered and took his shot, it seemed to miss me. As soldier I know it takes 2 RPG shots to kill a sniper, and rpg shots bounce people, so wait a sec to hit the ground before firing shot 2. I fired, he bounced a little, I fired again, he died. Now I will forever argue whether it was 2 or 3 seconds that I was walking away after turning from the body but it was NO LESS than 2 seconds. Arrrggggg.. Dead. Maybe it was someone else - nope the death message was him alright - and he's a clan bud, we play together a lot. He confirmed the strange scene - he did die too yet was awarded a kill as I was. I don't care who the! netcode favours, lpb or hpb, that isn't right. In addition, tests 1 on 1 feedback testing with another clanmate has shown inconsistencies in short range rpg hits vs. hwg - I think I hit his feet on shot 1 3 and 4 since I see him bleed, bounce, ouch etc and he says e.g. oh no, you missed 3 and 4, with 1 and 2 doing X and X damage. We repeated this over 15 times.

    There is no consistent pattern, except it being wrong somewhere time and time again. This clouds the debate on who's better off as its introduced different problems for both. While I agree there is glaring inconsistencies in the initial article - some corrected in the rebuttal, I tend to agree with the original statement "Now nobody gets a completely realistic experience, High and Low Pingers alike" However incorrect his assessments of the mechanics were I cannot disagree with this line if taken to mean realism as in what really happens on server to the signals, as opposed to any comparison to real world. Also the client tweaks that are available are barely effective as far as netcode goes, mainly needed to stabilise the other bugs that appeared - the most important thing is the fact that the netcode is a whole bundle of cvars dumped on server operators with no choice, or knowledge of them and they are the ones that could have eased its introduction by selectively enabling it rather than have it forced on them/us on day 1 of 1100 with all the other changes.

    People like change, and complain if they don't get it, but not a lot all at once. So that's my view from the bridge ... while the original article was inaccurate in areas, I didn't think the rebuttal was that well based in experience while pointing this out. Only Valve is in the position to know what's really happening under the covers, all we can do is observe and make a judgement. Mad Ad
    To The Netcode Interview MailbagTo the Mailbag HomepageTo page one of the mailbag rebuttal


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