TECH
11/06/2014 09:40 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

'Call Of Duty' Players Say Lag Is Ruining Online Gameplay

Activision

Gamers are already complaining about "Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare," which launched earlier this week, saying the title has lag issues that significantly impact the online multiplayer experience.

Several videos have popped up on YouTube detailing (sometimes colorfully) gamers' frustration with the new title. Essentially, the problem has to do with network issues when the game is played online. While circumstances can vary, the major concern has to do with a player thinking they've shot and killed an opponent, only to have the action in the game jerk wildly in the next couple of seconds and produce an entirely different -- and sometimes opposite -- outcome.

Think of it like playing a game of dodgeball, getting a kid out on the other side of the court, and having them unexpectedly bean you in the face with a ball when you turn your attention elsewhere. Then coach says you lost.

For a better idea of what's happening, check out the gif below, taken from a video posted online by BlueGamer, also known as Adam Blue:

It's a little hard to tell exactly what's happening, so Blue explained it to The Huffington Post.

"The player sees themselves shooting an enemy, but may notice hitmarkers acting incorrectly (the white marks around the crosshair signifying a hit), or the enemy not dying. A second later, the player will die," Blue said.

"The [instant replay function] will then show a completely different scenario," he continued. "In my case, the enemy player never got shot by me -- it didn't even look like I noticed him. Yet, from what I saw and played, I was shooting the enemy player."

Gaming site Kotaku on Wednesday reported that players on the PC version of the game were experiencing "pings" of up to 800. This number refers to how quickly computers are able to communicate on a network and is measured in milliseconds. A higher number is worse: 800 in this case means there's a delay of almost an entire second between player input and the game's ability to show that information to other players. Ideally, ping numbers would be 100 at most.

Kotaku also reports that the problem could be alleviated if "Call of Duty" was to use dedicated servers rather than relying on "peer to peer" connections -- a setup that involves one user hosting the game and other players piggybacking directly on that connection.

Activision would not provide an official response to the alleged problem. However, it is not uncommon for major video games to face lag issues for a few days after launch. For example "Diablo 3" -- which is published by Blizzard, a subsidiary of the same holding company that owns Activision -- experienced such problems in May 2012 that a community manager for the official had to provide an update after the game's servers were overloaded.

"We’ve been humbled by your enthusiasm -- and we sincerely regret that your crusade to bring down the Lord of Terror was thwarted not by mobs of demons, but by mortal infrastructure," the manager said.

Since then, "Diablo 3" become much more stable.

Despite complaints, "Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare" received generally positive scores on review aggregator Metacritic.

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