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Internet and online gaming in the future.

post #1 of 7
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Will advances in internet technology make it so that you can play someone on the other side of the globe with the latency being less than 100ms? Or will the laws of physics restrain that from ever happening?
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post #2 of 7
If you ruled out any equipment delays and simply factored in the speed of light (299,792,458 m/s)around the circumference of the earth (40,075 km) you'd end up with

0.133676015370657 seconds, ie ~134 ms

Therefore, improbable.
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post #3 of 7
Thread Starter 
Don't you mean, impossible?
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post #4 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by beers View Post

If you ruled out any equipment delays and simply factored in the speed of light (299,792,458 m/s)around the circumference of the earth (40,075 km) you'd end up with
0.133676015370657 seconds, ie ~134 ms
Therefore, improbable.

There's some problems with your calculations, first of all you only need -at the very most- half the circumference of the Earth as you're not going be sending a signal to a server sat next to you right around the entire circumference of the earth. Thus the furthest distance your signal need ever travel is half the circumference (assuming direct line of sight).

There's another problem with your approximation of distances here: you're assuming that the distance a signal needs to travel would be from one client to another, where as the game server could be sat square in the middle of both clients thus halving the distance the signal would have to travel for both players. So arguably, you could be looking at just quarter of the circumference of the Earth (again, assuming direct line of sight - which obviously wouldn't be the case but would be impossible to estimate)

And finally you're not taking into account the fact that the speed of light is only a constant in a vacuum - photons and electrons will travel slower through fibre optics and copper. Fibre being the faster medium of the two.

Thankfully UDP comes to our rescue here and so we can take the latency to be 1-way traffic rather than a round trip (as with pings or TCP traffic). Which saves us from having to double whatever figure we have at this point.

So all in all, I wouldn't even like to guess what the minimum realistic latency would be, but it's at least theoretically possible to have a latency below 100ms if both parties use a server sat halfway between them and there's decent fibre links.
post #5 of 7
The fairly one-dimensional idea was half a world of traffic toward the destination, and half a world of traffic for a reply from a destination as a worst case distance scenario (although an unobtainable best case medium scenario), assuming the reply would be instantaneous.

1 way traffic latency figures are somewhat of an incomplete package when you require a constant stream of updates for something such as an interactive game.

Setting a server halfway between two theoretical hosts would indeed halve the latency within the medium for those particular hosts, but does not take into account any clients geographically outside of that particular half.
Edited by beers - 8/24/12 at 3:35am
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post #6 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by beers View Post

The fairly one-dimensional idea was half a world of traffic toward the destination, and half a world of traffic for a reply from a destination as a worst case scenario, assuming the reply would be instantaneous.
1 way traffic latency figures are somewhat of an incomplete package when you require a constant stream of updates for something such as an interactive game.
You don't need updates from the server aside updating yourself with new player positions of competitors. For everything else, it's just one way traffic.

The server doesn't confirm when you've moved, you move on the client and the client updates the server which then pushes that data out to the client.

I guess arguably you could say the latency from client to client would be doubled (ie player movements), but in reality that doesn't matter so much as it's the server that processes scoring (eg frags). So you're not waiting for the server to report back before either movement is actioned nor scores are accumulated. Thus all you really need to depend upon is the route from client to server.
[edit]
To explain this better (as I made a hash of it above), if you fire a weapon at someone, you're not waiting for the client to register the hit nor is the server waiting for the client to respond whether the player has moved out of the way. The server already knows where the players are and thus works out if impact has been made. It then notifies all the players with a revised score table.

So each client is individually synced against the server and thus you're not dependant on client to server to other client latency.
[/edit]
Quote:
Originally Posted by beers View Post

Setting a server halfway between two theoretical hosts would indeed halve the latency within the medium for those particular hosts, but does not take into account any clients geographically outside of that particular half.
Indeed, but then you'd pick a server between those clients instead.

I agree that in practice, if you have a cluster of clients across the globe, then it's impossible to have a server between all of them (short of building a very deep mine laugher.gif ) but in terms of this theoretical exercise, the question was asked about playing against a singular person.

If we're to take this argument to a more practical conclusion, then if you followed all the cabling then you'd probably find that the distances have doubled anyway (much like how road networks can add miles onto a journey when compared to the actual geographic distances).
Edited by Plan9 - 8/24/12 at 3:51am
post #7 of 7
Thread Starter 
This confused me.



When I play on american servers, best case scenario I get atleast a ping over 200ms-250ms. That's on the best cases, it's usually much worse.

This also confused me.



It's half the distance closer but the latency is basically the same? Why is that?

I'm guessing something's wrong with speedtest.net

I tested it on a server in my own country...



Something's suspicious here. It got 1ms higher each time I tested it over much closer distances.


Edit: Yeah, I'm pretty sure of it now. It got me the same results everywhere I tested it.
Edited by Nebster - 8/24/12 at 12:21pm
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