I was playing BF4 on PS3, on a US server. Suddenly, a guy in my squad started to talk to me really rudely, saying me I had to get off because I was on a server that is at a very high distance from my home (Colombia). I didn't understand the point, my connection was good, so I kept on playing. After some minutes of insulting me, he started to kill me (friendly fire), that became really annoying so I wrote him: "What's wrong with you?" He shouted through the mic the same thing he was shouting me before plus something like "all of you are the same", he was waiting me to respawn (to kill me, of course) and, since I didn't do that, he got tired and disconnected, after some minutes he sent me this: "You have no bussiness in that server, you're insulting everyone there so I'm reporting you".

My question is: Is that true? Am I a problem to everyone? I guess I'm not the only latin-american out there playing in US (and even European) servers, so is this a common though or just another xenophobic guy?

Thanks a lot for your answers.

  • Try running a ping test on some servers in the US in the region where the game server was located (East, West, etc.). How do you score? If you score low you may have been causing connection problems. But he may have also just (falsely) assumed that you were causing the problem since you are a long distance from the US. – Null Jan 8 '15 at 4:08
  • Latin American playing on US server. You are a problem. That's how we treat US players on EU servers. Anyone with a ping over 100 is very hard to kill and becomes a nuisance to everyone else. Play on your own continent or where your ping is under 100 (75 would be best). [BF4,PC] – CodeAngry Jan 13 '16 at 20:17

There are some gray areas in this affirmation, the only thing 100% accurate is that he is a rude person and misunderstand the multiplayer architecture of the game. But you somewhat spoil the other players with you as reference as you spoil your game.

The distance between you and the server affects the latency, in other words the time between an stimulus and a response from one point to another. Usually it is represented as milliseconds (ms), you can check it pressing “tab” on PC, I don’t know about PS3, but is where you see the players and their scores, there is a column with their latency(ping, lag, latency) in some games theres a number, in others some bars with color, green mean good latency, red you can have some bad time playing.

[as soon as I can I put a print screen of the tab here]

In FPS and racing games latency can be a major player, actually it affects all the games but huge latency can be more tolerated in other genres. But to understand the effects you have to start observing some behavior of the latency. I started to see its effects when playing online match of the first Counter Strike versions a while ago, I watched my ping and the other players, if the sum of it was less than 50 I could shoot where I suppose to after this I should add one head for each 50ms (depending on the distance), but this is something specific for this kind of game architecture.

While the game looks fluid while you are playing, the host only send information about the “reality” of the game each fraction of a second based on the last information it receives from the players, and to have this flow aspect your machine foresee where the players are and correct the game each new batch received.

There are several architectures of multiplayer games, P2P (as CoD:AW is right now, and I think is the worst option when people have different internet connection), where the information are beamed between players and one of the act as host, if everyone has good internet and low latency everything is fine, but the host has clear advantage in all scenarios because he is the “center” of the system and the reality of the game is in his machine, and the point he have to shoot its exactly where his enemy is, and if his internet is bad he will be called hacker at the end of the match.

In Battlefield 4, you have a server approach, where it is the host, and all the players change the information with it. While people with low latency are more close to the reality of the game, the game is more balanced than the P2P approach, and the battlefield netcode try to enforce it. I have found that the sweetspot to enjoy a game is between 30~50ms (empirically), having a bad time when playing with more or less latency. With low latency I found that I die even when I shoot first. And with high latency I die a lot when behind covers, but can shove my shotgun in their mouths(sometimes LGM, or knife at their back) before they can react.

If you want to test the battlefield netcode, try to record a gameplay while playing with a friend, ask him to do the same, be in front of each other and take notes of the latency. Try to use some time marks to synchronize it latter. You will see the difference on when you shoot, jump, move, the damage taken.

In a few words, you are only having hard time trying to play so far from home, and for the people who try to kill you. But is not as you compromise the whole serve just by your existence, you can play without major problems as long as you can handle the huge latency. Try to use the filter to find a game near you so you can have a good experience, and play better.

Worst than the latency is the packet loss and other conections issues, keep watch at the white squares at the right of the screen, if it became frequent on a server, try to change, if it is commom it can be a problem with your ISP. http://i.stack.imgur.com/DkxKf.jpg

Here is a video with the Battlefield 4 net code explained.

More details on why lag affect gameplay online. http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/digitalfoundry-the-lag-effect-psn-xbox-live-analysis

-While distance plays a major role in the latency, the paths the signal travel until reach the destiny can affect it. Fiber is better than copper, the servers in its way and the ISP for example. There is a backbone between my city and other here in my country where they hosts some game servers, there was a raining season some time ago and they lost a couple of servers in this path, and my route was redirected to a neighbor country, raising my ping from 15ms to 300ms.

  • Thanks a lot!! Your answer succesfully fills the doubts I had. My question is: How did this guy know I'm not from US? from what I could understand, he didn't know I'm latin-american, he just knew I'm not from US (I think I heard him saying something like "take your european garbage to your home)... – Daniel Jan 10 '15 at 0:21
  • Wow, that guy surely deserves a report. Maybe he was just having a bad time, but it is no justification to act that way. – Nils Jan 13 '15 at 17:28

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