Lag Comp is one of the reason why delay exists, not just the servers. (Exact same issue as fifa 20)

134567
TDOF
9002 posts League Winner
edited October 2020
Editing the main post and posting a more in depth analysis *not my own* (my original one wasn't that in depth which was missing out some key points):

Hello again fellow fut addicts. Excuse my english again as it is not my first language. I now have a clearer picture about the delay issue from contacts mainly in Ea bucharest but from other studios too.

While we all blame the devs and the community managers and everyone who dare to post online from the company. these people are sick of getting harrased online for something out of their hands. The whole issue started when Ea as a publisher made multiple public tests about the general quality of potential customers internet connections. these surveys returned that the majority of the audience Ea target are having connections issues. The main issue is teenagers using shared internet (one internet subscription serving multiple devices/persons in the same house hold) another issue is internet providers having routing issues to ea servers location especially in Usa (some isp called cox ) France (Isp called Orange)... Yet another issue is players on unstable wifi signal/congested channels/3g or 4g internet.

This made Ea as a publisher instruct all devs to focus on network smoothing (this is what they internally call lag compensation at EA). This is affecting Apex legends and Battlefield too. they are using low tick rate servers on purpose and as a choice not because they can't afford 60hz servers. This choice was not made by the community manager or anyother EA employee you are flaming on the internet. This was made by the higher ups that only understand money. For them higher potential customers = higher player base = higher income. I will focus on Fifa 20 issues because folks on other games have already done alot of work in investigating the netcode and they already know about the issues.

I think we all noticed how severe the delay this fifa is. It's because Ea have taking network smoothing too far this year. In fifa 20 the netcode is using gvsp protocol instead of traditional Udp packets. This protocol is mainly used by security cameras that stream live over the internet. Why are they using it? because with this protocol it easier to re-sequence packets in case of latency variance or and packet loss. This protocol is also very linient on packet resend. So here I blame Ea employees who lie to us about how they are working and investigating input delay when the publisher is telling them to focus on the exact opposite of this:

The focus is to make the game appear lag free. Key word is appear so the average joe will think nothing is wrong. how? most people will only think there is lag when they actually see it. If nothing seen then everything is ok and he can still play online. This is why Gsvp was chosen. This protocol make it easier for EA to make the Game visually smooth at the cost of delaying input. Visually smooth means as less as possible speed up lag and visual jittery. Packet resequence helps this case but it is also the main cause of the bizarre mauvements you see your players pull up in game. how you pressed B for an interception a second ago but your player skyrocketed the ball after the interception. Why you take extra steps before any command (pass/shoot/cross). That's because your packets are delayed and resequenced so the movement command register before the shooting command.

All in all the game is a complete mess online this year for a huge chunk of us. This post is to educate people about the root cause not because I think EA will do anything. This is for the people who take this game seriously and even think it's competitive. I don't know how you call such a mess competitive where delay is the major factor in deciding whos winning or losing the match.

A simple solution would be to give us the choice of playing with or without network smoothing. This won't hurt the player base or their income and also will let the people with capable internet connection to play with minimal lag. Match people who opt to play with network smoothing together and the people who opt out together! Peace.

I joined reddit to post this, I worked in game development before and my field is networking. Im a fut addict like most of you. English is not my first language and this is gonna be a long read.

I started playing Fut 3 years ago and ever since I did all I could to find a solution on my end for the input delay. But nothing worked, some games are smooth, some are slightly delayed and most are unplayable.

I started digging last year but on this post I'm gonna focus on this years Ea servers and netcode. This season they added new servers in my region (europe) they are located in france and hosted by amazon. there is also amazon servers they are usin in germany and I3d servers in holland. Few servers in Ireland run by bioware.

In my tests the amazon servers in France have very bad routing for all connections going through Italy, once they reach amazon backbone in palermo, the packets go all around europe up till Ireland then back to france. which adds multiple unnessecary hops and ping. very bizarrre routing from amazon.

In my country The netherland servers hosted by I3d are the best, extremly short route (8 hops) and consistent ping. Actually all the servers have no jitter in all the testings I did in different times and days.

Making sure I only play on I3d servers I still have variance in gameplay smoothness while my ping is always the same. So this led to me asking, wtf?

There is two issues with the current system EA using. The first one is the matchmaking parameters: they never take in to account both players pings to the server. They use geo filter to match people together and even that filter is soft and ignored 99% of the time. this brings one huge issue: one player with sub 20ms ping to the server can play with another with 200 ms ping. And this leads to another greater issue. The person with lowest ping will have an artificial ping added to him of 180ms to make the match in sync with his opponent. this leads to huge input delay for player 1 and smooth game for player 2. The lag comoensation imaximum buffer is too high for a smooth 1vs1 game online.

Another finding is that the game not only compensate for latency but also for bad connectivity, the maximum buffer time allowed in the game to resend data is case of an error is too high in an effort to make people with unstable internet don't suffer alot of speed up lag.

I have read the pitch notes From Ea about this issue from july in fifa 19, they actually lowered the maximum buffer time allowed to resend data in case of an error last summer for 4 days, but they were hammered by pwople complaining about speed up lag and finally reverted the changes. In this case they saw the problem from potential profits point of view. Less people able to play online is less profits from them. More people able to play eveb if with delayed gameplay is much better economically for them.


Why Im posting this? from the contacts of my friends who still work in game dev industry. Ea has stopped looking at this issue, they want more players to be able to play this game and they dont care about the responsivness. The networking departement already found the solution last year but higher ups ruled against it. their job is done, nothing more will be done about it. and the policy they are following is to be completly silent about he issue and never answer or react to anything about it. Never!


There is 2 possible solutions for this issue and I have no idea why Ea is not looking at implementing one of the both.

Obvious solution one is to revert the maximum buffer time allowed to resend data in case of error to the same amount to match the smoothness of an offline game and punish people with unfit connection to play online. Implement an in game logo to display in case the player connection is having packet drop issues and high jitter. Like the system they use in battlefield games.

Solution 2 is to group players with bad internet together. let them play together, let the people playing on long distance wifi, unstable 3g/4g hotspots and overcrowded routers play against each other, so when there is lag compensation applied, they both suffer from the same effects instead of punishig people playing on proper connections. Pes have done this this year, allowing players to search for optimal connection and smooth gameplay, gave players the option to opt out of playing against wifi and 4g players... the technology is there and not really hard to implement, I have no idea why ea not looking in to this.

The community needs to stand together and demand a solution, the servers are fine, they even cut contracts with many old providers that had bad setups and connectiviry issues. the real problem is lag compensation, its need to abondonned (toned down) or give people the option to wait longer while searhing for games to play a smooth game! Lag compensation make the entire team a bunch of amateures with zero reaction and awarness, make the game engine stutters like hell in replays and post game cutscenes. It needs to stop!

Edit: thank you all for the support and awards.My account is brand new so my replies are not showing for some reason. I'm gonna dig deeper in the system Ea is currently using and posts ips of their servers for people to approve my findings on their own.

As soon as you start fifa and see Connecting to Ea servers on screen, you ping multiple servers around the world to determine your matchmaking region. The regions are as follow:

- Europe (Germany): 18.197.48.114 Hosted by Amazon
- Europe (Ireland): 52.18.194.209 Hosted by Amazon
- Europe (France) : 52.47.70.141 Hosted by Amazon
- Asia (Singapore): 52.220.199.97 Hosted by Amazon
- Asia (Hong-Kong): 43.239.136.227 Hosted by Amazon
- Asia (India-Mumbai): 13.233.50.52 Hosted by Amazon
- Asia (Japan) : 13.230.248.238 Hosted by Amazon
- Asia (Dubai): 185.179.203.80 Hosted by I3d
- Australia: 13.211.232.151 Hosted by Amazon
- USA (oregon) : 54.189.201.217 Hosted by Amazon
- USA (virginia) : 18.206.67.50 Hosted by Amazon
- South Africa : 185.179.200.226 Hosted by I3d
- Mexico: 169.57.76.171 Hosted by SoftLayer Technologies
- South America (Brazil): 52.67.114.134 Hosted by Amazon

You think they cover the entire world but there is alot of dead zones forcing people to play on servers located 1000+km away. Like half of Russia, Turkey and countries in this region shown in picture. https://ibb.co/jJ8nCy0
Not to mention africa while most south africans think they play On european servers when they are not. they have delay because they play people in africa that are connecting from 2000+ kms...

In a 1vs1 game the choice of dedicated servers is really bizarre from Ea. They spent a fortune because they are afraid of p2p cheaters. lag switchers and ddosing opponent ip. I believe the choice of dedis was mainly to cover opponent ip and to make people not able to ddos all opponents on WL and finish 30/30 with cheats. But a server between two players creates a huge issue when only one player have a high ping. If player one ping 25ms to the server and player 2 pings 175ms. there will be effectevily 200ms ping for a packet to reach from player 1 to the server then to player 2 and vice vers ca. If both players have a cumilative ping of 300ms then you can imagine how bad the delay is. Even when both have 75ms (4 bars) 150ms is not ideal. So they need to enable p2p for the people playing from places with pings higher than 100ms to the closest server, or at least group them together and let the majority of the players have lag free games. When I say the majority it's because most sales fifa make are in france, germany, UK, netherlands, spain... aka Europe.

The matchmaking at least in rivals as I can't deal with Wl delay anymore is totally random. it doesnt take into account the quality of your opponent internet neither his ping. it doesnt matter if you see 5 bars (sub 50ms ping) or 4 bars (sub 75ms ping). If your opponent have high ping or packet loss/ping jitter you will play a delayed match. Poeple here wonder why late at night or early morning the game feel extremly smooth. it's because at these times there is less chance you or your opponent family members using your internet to stream videos or download/upload anything. If you don't set Qos in your router to give your console/pc the priority in sending/recieving data and you don't let other connected deviced leeches your entire internet bandwidth you will have packet loss and speed up lag/delay problems. Also outside of peak times all isps networks are not overloaded so ping is always less than at 7-12pm.

It's sad how the game instantly match me with someone else in rivals! it's 2019, give us the option to search for optimal connectivity. Don't match me with someone far away or with packet loss then apply lag compensation on my input. I play a delayed game then ping the server I was playing on and see that I have 0% packet loss and stable low ping, this drives me nuts. The system Ea use compensate alot for packet loss. How do I know? they said it themselves. Here is the link to their pitch note from july 2019: https://fifaforums.easports.com/en/discussion/489256/gameplay-responsiveness-efforts-july-2019

They clearly confess using a maximum buffer time higher than what is needed to match the smoothness of an offline match. they say slightly higher but I call bs. The matches online can be delayed by a full second. You can see how much delay is added as soon as the referee call full time, discusting stutter. Why punish us because of my opponent packet loss? Why match me with someone with 150ms ping? Why revert the changes that made us play for 4 days delay free matches?

Here is a list of Ea servers that host rivals matches for everyone to test,You can use pingplotter. they are stable, they are amazon AWS, some of the best in the industry:
- 35.181.31.5 France
- 15.188.58.59 France
- 34.248.118.84 Ireland
- 18.185.22.123 Germany
- 3.120.87.86 Germany.

End of edit
Post edited by TDOF on

Comments

  • TDOF
    9002 posts League Winner
    Seriously, if you experience slow gameplay, delay, message your opponent and ask him if he's on 4g or WiFi.... more than likely he will say yes....
  • BiigDee
    4972 posts Big Money Move
    But I get lag playing on WiFi, does that mean they’re on even worse? I have good service and last year it was unplayable so had to give up, tried for a refund etc but was refused. The trial started fine this year but as of Friday it’s back. Does my head in when people claim your crazy but it really can be that bad and being only half decent I can’t adapt but then again I shouldn’t have to as I shouldn’t be punished for a good connection
  • Khangaskhan17
    4463 posts National Call-Up
    This is very interesting. I never thought of it like that. If this is truly the explanation, it explains so much about how I can have awesome internet and get randomly laggy games. Thanks for sharing.
  • BiigDee
    4972 posts Big Money Move
    Didn’t they say last year is doesn’t exist?
  • I just find it very telling that EA have never publicly denied lag compensation even when people slam them on Twitter.

    Clearest signal that lag compensation is within the game and they optimize for somewhere around 50ms.

    My hunch for 50ms is based on these pitch notes

    https://www.ea.com/games/fifa/fifa-20/news/pitch-notes-fifa20-game-data-center-deep-dive
  • fussydutchman
    2206 posts Fans' Favourite
    Do we know if the ping numbers on the matchup screen are anywhere near accurate?

    I ask because I had zero lag all weekend and I have yet to have a significantly laggy game in FIFA 21.

    I have been trying to only play games where my ping is 3-4 ms. I don't know for sure, but I assume it's unusual for a wifi connection to have a ping as low as 3-4 ms, so maybe that's why I've had consistent gameplay?
  • oneskyworld
    2238 posts Fans' Favourite
    I have 200 down and 20 up. I can confirm that I always are on the laggy side.
  • tommyboyo
    4221 posts National Call-Up
    Of course...

    Also, cater to the highest common denominator, not the lowest.

    4g should not be an option at all. Get rid.
  • Your download speed has nothing to do with how fast your data from your console gets to the servers since the game uses very little. There is no difference in speed between 350mb and 10mb download if both have at least 1mb upload since both connections will have more than enough bandwidth to deal with the game data.

    If someone is on WiFi and they have others in the house streaming that could make a difference or if your opponents isp route to the server has more hops that yours that will make a difference.

    Mainly people on WiFi will have others in their household using the same WiFi causing congestion or they will be so far from the router that the signal is spotty.

    While this is true, the fact that lag compensation plays a big role in input delay does not change if you just change download speed to ping in TDOF post
  • TDOF
    9002 posts League Winner
    Your download speed has nothing to do with how fast your data from your console gets to the servers since the game uses very little. There is no difference in speed between 350mb and 10mb download if both have at least 1mb upload since both connections will have more than enough bandwidth to deal with the game data.

    If someone is on WiFi and they have others in the house streaming that could make a difference or if your opponents isp route to the server has more hops that yours that will make a difference.

    Mainly people on WiFi will have others in their household using the same WiFi causing congestion or they will be so far from the router that the signal is spotty.

    That's also true, there are routers which let you decide which ports get the most speed by proritizing that port.
  • Dragon0102
    828 posts Semi-Pro
    edited October 2020
    BiigDee wrote: »
    Didn’t they say last year is doesn’t exist?

    Actually they hinted very clearly that they have it in this FAQ/ pitch notes

    “... The game and game data center look to collect inputs at a set interval of time, then the game data center sends this information back to everyone else in a match. This happens at the same time for all players...”

    While this is better than crazy ping P2P matches, if your ping is lower than set interval, you will suffer lag compensation or delay.

    https://www.ea.com/games/fifa/fifa-20/news/pitch-notes-fifa20-game-data-center
  • TDOF
    9002 posts League Winner
    edited October 2020
    Do we know if the ping numbers on the matchup screen are anywhere near accurate?

    I ask because I had zero lag all weekend and I have yet to have a significantly laggy game in FIFA 21.

    I have been trying to only play games where my ping is 3-4 ms. I don't know for sure, but I assume it's unusual for a wifi connection to have a ping as low as 3-4 ms, so maybe that's why I've had consistent gameplay?

    The laggier games i did notice did have a slightly higher ping, as @Springveldt said it's not 100% bandwidth so the display on the ping wont show much difference. But i normally have around 9ms-11ms when a game feels good and for me anything higher than 14ms it starts to get a little more iffy...

    But again, there is so much to this that this isn't THE ONLY issue. The servers which EA have (which are amazon servers/data centers) are 30 tick servers.

    They're not game servers built to with stand millions of people at once (smoothly)....

    30 ticks is nothing compared to what most servers use nowadays which is 60, or even greater 120 ticks
  • TDOF
    9002 posts League Winner
    BiigDee wrote: »
    But I get lag playing on WiFi, does that mean they’re on even worse? I have good service and last year it was unplayable so had to give up, tried for a refund etc but was refused. The trial started fine this year but as of Friday it’s back. Does my head in when people claim your crazy but it really can be that bad and being only half decent I can’t adapt but then again I shouldn’t have to as I shouldn’t be punished for a good connection

    There are also people who play on 4G and also when on WiFi you have to take into account the amount of people on using the wifi simultaneously
  • DANNY_M
    486 posts An Exciting Prospect
    TDOF wrote: »
    Alright so i noticed after the WL that there were a few games at the start of it (the first 10 games in which you can match up against any opponents) that just felt absolutely awful, they were just so slow everything was just delayed...

    What's in common between all the opponents with the slow gameplay?

    They were all on WiFi.

    So how does this cause lag compensation?

    Let's say im on ethernet, i'm getting 350mbps to my ps4. Now i match up against someone who's playing on WiFi and he's probably playing on 10-25mbps max....

    So the difference in connection is ~300

    We both have to connect to the same server since we're both playing each other and our connections have to regulate, So what the servers do is they compensate and cause virtual delay, since his speed is only ~20mbps and he can't go any higher I AM THE ONLY ONE BEING PUNISHED, why? Because my speed to the server and opponent will match his.

    Therefore it feeling awful and slow for me since i just dropped from ~350mbps all the way down to ~20mbps (virtually) but he's still playing on his own speed so it feels perfectly normal for him...

    How should EA fix this?

    MATCH PEOPLE ONLY AGAINST PEOPLE PLAYING ON THE SAME SETUP so;

    users on Ethernet can only play against users on Ethernet
    users on WiFi can only play against users on WiFi
    users on 4G can only play against users on 4G

    This is possible, the technology exists.....

    Totally makes sense and theres so many people who say ahh you’re just a bad player the delay will effect both of you. It clearly doesn't!
  • Plzrage
    182 posts Has Potential To Be Special
    Can someone explain to me why I seem to be on the wrong end of this every single game. I've tried wifi, 4g .......
    I always play wired when not experimenting but just get frustrated. I have 9-11ms ping supposedly, fibre, tried port forwarding, dmz but nothing helps. Surely not lag compensation every single match ????
  • TDOF
    9002 posts League Winner
    Plzrage wrote: »
    Can someone explain to me why I seem to be on the wrong end of this every single game. I've tried wifi, 4g .......
    I always play wired when not experimenting but just get frustrated. I have 9-11ms ping supposedly, fibre, tried port forwarding, dmz but nothing helps. Surely not lag compensation every single match ????

    It's not every match, as i said it's very noticeable when it is, rarely happens to me in rivals cause at the skill rating im at most people use ethernet, I noticed it A LOT in weekend league.
  • IraqBruin
    2242 posts Fans' Favourite
    TDOF wrote: »
    Seriously, if you experience slow gameplay, delay, message your opponent and ask him if he's on 4g or WiFi.... more than likely he will say yes....

    While I tend to agree on the Lag Compensation issue, I will not absolve the server setup, I feel the delay while playing SB more often than not.

    The matchmaking is also broken, I got matched up against the same person 3 times over the weekend, that honestly should not have happened.
  • Plzrage
    182 posts Has Potential To Be Special
    TDOF wrote: »
    Plzrage wrote: »
    Can someone explain to me why I seem to be on the wrong end of this every single game. I've tried wifi, 4g .......
    I always play wired when not experimenting but just get frustrated. I have 9-11ms ping supposedly, fibre, tried port forwarding, dmz but nothing helps. Surely not lag compensation every single match ????

    It's not every match, as i said it's very noticeable when it is, rarely happens to me in rivals cause at the skill rating im at most people use ethernet, I noticed it A LOT in weekend league.

    I understand, but for me IT IS every single match. But someone 2 miles from my house has flawless gameplay every match with same setup??
  • TDOF
    9002 posts League Winner
    IraqBruin wrote: »
    TDOF wrote: »
    Seriously, if you experience slow gameplay, delay, message your opponent and ask him if he's on 4g or WiFi.... more than likely he will say yes....

    While I tend to agree on the Lag Compensation issue, I will not absolve the server setup, I feel the delay while playing SB more often than not.

    The matchmaking is also broken, I got matched up against the same person 3 times over the weekend, that honestly should not have happened.

    I didn't say the servers aren't also in the equation.

    The amount of players playing at once is also a collateral damage, that's why squad battles is delayed since its on the server and it's not played locally.
  • Sorry to say this. But that's just idiotic.

    Fifa barely takes any data. There is nothing you would need to download that takes up your bandwidth. There is nothing in fifa requiring a download speed like you have got.

    What you probably mean is the difference in ping. But a good wireless connection can achieve the same ping. For example my ping still shows up as 6ms even on WiFi.
  • FatZed
    1004 posts Professional
    Do we know if the ping numbers on the matchup screen are anywhere near accurate?

    I ask because I had zero lag all weekend and I have yet to have a significantly laggy game in FIFA 21.

    I have been trying to only play games where my ping is 3-4 ms. I don't know for sure, but I assume it's unusual for a wifi connection to have a ping as low as 3-4 ms, so maybe that's why I've had consistent gameplay?

    I think they are accurate, and at least more so than last year. I was monitoring on my nighthawk router and this year the ping displayed matches that, which i do trust. On another note however i still do get super one sided/ delayed games in both champs and rivals, friendlies i cant say i have noticed yet though. I think the server locations and how your data is getting there is a bigger issue and why some have big advantages as although i am supposedly playing on 6ms ping in game my opponent may be closer or just in a location to which i am being hindered with the sending and receiving so maybe my end is being delayed/ compensated for the other end therefore adding delay and lack of response
  • The ping displayed this year is just a one way number.

    It shows exactly half of what it would have shown last year.
  • Arsenalman
    3888 posts National Call-Up
    What about the fact that night time is smooth for me and 99% of the time I’m in mud during the day?
  • Staxdoobie
    2426 posts Fans' Favourite
    Orison wrote: »
    The ping displayed this year is just a one way number.

    It shows exactly half of what it would have shown last year.

    Oh, so that’s what that is. I thought my internet had miraculously improved or something. I get 18ms now, where previously it was always 35-40. Games still feel crap though.

    Er, so what does that change represent?
  • Miigue
    1289 posts Professional
    Hey EA, any input on this? We need clear answers. Please note that OP is a very respectable member in the forums, so this is not coming out of nowhere. I would also like to know why some games start off with smooth gameplay, and then all of the sudden, the players feel like they’re walking on mud. You really need to sort this out, as it is completely unacceptable that I had a better online gaming experience playing football games in 2008 compared to 2020.
  • ucan
    635 posts Semi-Pro
    I made several threads about this subject since fifa 15
    EA wont change anything forget it!!!
    the only way is to boycott this game maybe after that they will improve the servers
  • RadioShaq
    20260 posts Moderator
    Lag compensation doesn’t cause one player to lag that’s not how it works. The better connection still registers first.
  • whatthehizzo
    368 posts Sunday League Hero
    Im on Gigabit Fiber 900 up and down over eero Wifi and makes no difference, still massive button lag.
  • mokifly
    282 posts Sunday League Hero
    edited October 2020
    RadioShaq wrote: »
    Lag compensation doesn’t cause one player to lag that’s not how it works. The better connection still registers first.

    You are wrong. If one player has say 2ms with a rock solid wired fiber connection and the opponent uses poor WiFi with ms that fluctuates from 30-120ms then the game is coded so that the person with low ping will get added delay to “compensate” to make it “even”.

    Me myself got the best internet you can get in my country and I get so much delay in 90% of my matches that passes, dribbles and player switching doesn’t register, sometimes I got to press the button 5x just to pause the game. When this happens and I message my opponent he 99% uses WiFi aka wireless and often lives far away. Opponent with WiFi get silky smooth gameplay themselves though
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