View Full Version : Explaining lag ramming and why YOU ALWAYS lose!

31st August 2010, 07:50 PM
There seems to be some misunderstanding as to how the online code actually works. Alot of people here probably understands what I'm about to explain very well, but for those who don't, I could try to help.

When you are racing online, you can see all the contenders as if they were actually racing beside you. However, it's not really that easy. What you see is where they WERE half-a-second ago, more or less depending on how much ping they have. This usually get's worse the farther away you live from the host, resulting in getting rammed harder.

What this means is, that when you collide into someone, you are not actually hitting them, but you are hitting a solid ghost of them, which is at this point, an immovable object. The person you hit won't neccesaily notice at all that you got rammed of the map by him/her.

Contrary, when other people see you ship, they also see where you were just a second ago. And if they hit you, you most likely won't feel it, because it's all happening BEHIND you now.

So, racing online isn't as easy to understand as you might initially think.

This is what my experience from playing online games a few years tell me. If anyone has anything to add, please do. And if it was hard to understand, I could probably make some illustrations.

31st August 2010, 10:23 PM
The lag in HD is what makes me want an option to have permanent ghosting instead of the game guessing where everyone is. With rubbish internet such as mine you always seem to be at the mercy of your bandwidth.

Even if the other ships weren't like solid walls on the track it would be better. I don't like it when you get side swiped by, as you say, someone who is minding their own business and on their screen it doesn't appear as though you're there.

31st August 2010, 10:36 PM
I have been thinking about the same thing. Permanent ghosting would be nice, or at least have the option to have it as you say.

It would be a bit like trackmania, even though WipEout is soo much cooler!

31st August 2010, 11:34 PM
In his self-introduction thread, Haiku also explained very well the lag issues with WipEout HD, and then with pretty much any other online games as well.

We'll probably never see an update in WipEout HD to permit permanent racing ghosts, which is the best solution IMHO too, since SCEE don't give a f*** about maintaining an efficient team of developers such as Studio Liverpool. So until we see another WipEout game being born, we're stuck with this unfair crap that laggy collisions are.

Hell, yesterday i raced with BloodyHarry_89 and at some point, he was actually surfing on my ship, without losing speed while i was getting slowed down to stalemate. Wonderful.:bomb

1st September 2010, 12:43 AM
I agree with all comments here for sure. Although I still want the weapons to hit the ghost ship. Still want the time trial head to head though.

1st September 2010, 08:15 AM
Good thread Onlock ! I agree Jabberjaw, TT online would rules ! :+

1st September 2010, 08:37 AM
Good explanation ONlock. What`s strange is that playing Pure online unnoficially through Kai the lag ramming problem is not as bad as through HD`s official channels. In HD every race is almost constant ramming but with Pure on Kai it`s only an occasional problem, so although I don`t know why the two games are different I don`t think HD has to be as bad as it is. No chance of any improvements to HD now though, I suppose.

1st September 2010, 09:21 AM
Thanks for that explanation ONlock. I first heard of LagRamming a couple of months ago, but being relatively new to online gaming, never really knew what it was.. You've cleared that up for me, cheers :)

1st September 2010, 11:05 AM
I understand, but with the weapons is the same? No, when your 'solid ghost' take a bomb, you take a bomb!
How the code works with weapons????

1st September 2010, 11:46 AM
this explains why i think im neck a neck with someone going over the finish line but then i find out i came second by about a second. :blarg

i also am confused by how weapons work with this. seeing as if my 'solid ghost' ship is hit by a plasma but thats not really where i am on track (because if i read that right it means that to the person whos looking at my ship, im actually several milliseconds in the future!!! :lol )

the above probably make no sense to me or you :lol

1st September 2010, 04:14 PM
I understand what you are saying perfectly Nutcase:259. That is exactly how it is. He's not really hitting YOU, but rather your ghost from the past (lol). :P And what then happens is, the server sends a message to your client that you just got hit, then you feel the effects.

And yes Moriarty79. If your ghost is hit by a missile, or by rockets, you will take the punishment.. But with bombs it's different. They are stationary and will only detonate when you yourself actually hit them, not your ghost.

1st September 2010, 04:25 PM
if my past ship meets up with my present ship will that create a time paradox ending time and space as we know it? :lol
major respect to the devs who seem to understand these cosmic forces.

(on topic) i suppose it makes sense, is this the same for all games?

1st September 2010, 04:38 PM
Ha ha, good one Nutcase:259. :D

But this is how most games work online, where you have to interact with other players actively.

I have played some FPS games over the years, and you get the same problems there. For example, if you are very low on health and you have to escape the people shooting at you. Then you see a corner and you try to get around it. But when you actually get around the corner and your enemy is out of sight you still get killed, even if you couldn't see the enemy anymore.
Then you have to understand that they still can see you before you went past the corner, and they can still shoot you. That's why you want as low ping as possible when playing online. Makes the game more preditctable and fair.

1st September 2010, 04:48 PM
i hate lag and i hate ship collision.it is total rubbish.it puts me off phantom as you can touch a ship and lose most your energy.its a bug imo
they should fix this and put in ghost option or just turn off ship to ship damage.
nothing to do with lag but i would like an option where a weapon off race you can also turn off ship energy so you can purely race and go br crazy..

1st September 2010, 05:02 PM
yes! that the single most annoying thing. that every ones heading into the same thing the speed/weapon pad and u get smashed to pieces or knocked off track!!!!!!!! and to find out ghosts are doing it is even more annoying

2nd September 2010, 01:18 PM
One thing I don't understand is why the lag has to affect your ship handling. It seems that your ship could control exactly the same as offline tt, and that you getting information from the other person should not affect that. I would rather get the opponents information later, if it meant i could actually drive correctly.

2nd September 2010, 02:00 PM
Does this mean when a rival rams you and turns into the wall, pushing you into it to slow you down as well, is all the work of a ghost?

2nd September 2010, 06:39 PM
I'm sure it's not always that way, but am also sure it very often is just a ghost. I've seen it by comparing videos with people. Just the other day I boosted at the end of Sebenco and rammed into yeldar's ship. I exploded on impact, but his video showed no contact between us whatsoever. It's insane.

It makes me wonder what happens when another ship sticks to our own though. That must be when you're actually in more or less the same place and the game is trying to make you both occupy the same place, or something.

2nd September 2010, 07:30 PM
What you see is where they WERE half-a-second ago, more or less depending on how much ping they have.
Very close, but not quite.
It's not 'where they were a moment ago', it's 'where they were last time I knew' modified by 'their velocity (speed and direction) last time I knew'. These two factors are used to predict the location of all other players on the track. Two things make this innacurrate: Player inputs and time delays. If the player did something just after the last data set was sent, then the prediction is going to be off by whatever their action was.
The size of the time delays between data packages is the lag factor, the longer you have to wait for better data, the worse the prediction gets.

But yes, that's how it works.

There's a good implementation here: http://www.asyncracing.com/game.asp

2nd September 2010, 08:15 PM
This is all high tech sorcery. lag? Ping? Data Packages? Ghosts!?!? :lol

What i want to know is what exactly ping means? as i dont have a degree in astro physics or practice witchcraft :P

to me. PING is just that word that some stupid pro golfers have written on there caps

2nd September 2010, 08:55 PM
Ping is a measurement of the time it takes to for you to communicate with the server. It's often measured in milliseconds. Common pings are in the 100's but the lowest ping is always the better one.

Here's an official definition:
"In multiplayer online video games, ping refers to the network latency between a player's computer (client), and either the game server or another client (i.e. peer). This could be reported quantitatively as an average time in milliseconds, or qualitatively as low ping or high ping. The latter usage is common among players of first-person shooter and real-time strategy games. Having a low ping is always desirable because lower latency provides smoother gameplay by allowing faster updates of game data.

Ping is often conflated with lag. One may "lag out" due to unacceptably high ping. Servers will often disconnect a client if the ping is too high and it poses a detriment to others' gameplay. Similarly, client software will often mandate disconnection if the ping is too high. A high ping does not cause lag; rather, a high ping value is the result of lag."

I remember playing a game on my PC quite awhile ago and I got ping measurements from 14-486ms. Obviously you would go for the 14 as that would be the lag-free fastest connection.

2nd September 2010, 09:57 PM
Very close, but not quite.
It's not 'where they were a moment ago', it's 'where they were last time I knew' modified by 'their velocity (speed and direction) last time I knew'. These two factors are used to predict the location of all other players on the track. Two things make this innacurrate: Player inputs and time delays. If the player did something just after the last data set was sent, then the prediction is going to be off by whatever their action was.

I was actually aware of that, but i didn't want to go into to much detail. As I tried to explain it in a kind of "lag issues for dummies". Anyway, you explain it much better, and I find it hard to formulate some sentences in English as well. So thanks.

Anyways, back on topic.

But yes, online games seems to be based on predicting where players is, and then refreshing that as often as possible. Not a steady stream of information.

If a players connection is particularly laggy, their racing lines won't be as smooth. If the person with the laggy connection sends the last information just before a sharp turn, the game will predict that he or she will continue on in a straight line. If the connection is poor enough, the ship will actually disappear through the wall before their position/speed/trajectory is again refreshed and they appear back on the track. This is of course only visible to the other players.

This is more of a problem in the higher speed classes, as things are happening really fast, and the prediction gets harder.

2nd September 2010, 10:26 PM
This is exactly why I think ships like AG-systems, Harimau and FEISAR always seem to be worse ships to come up against compared to the heavier ships. People have mentioned numerous times that they seem to lose out and take more damage against these light, fast turning ships, even in ships with high shield. It is presumably because they can change direction faster, so it's harder to keep track of their position and therefore there's a lot more ramming.

I'm sure the following has been discussed all over this forum plenty, as has this whole topic, but now that we have a pretty good, definitive thread title and some good discussion, one question I still don't think has been answered is this:
Even with the lag, if I appear to be knocked a bit once or twice in a lap due to lag related ramming, how is it that I can lose over 60% shield? This happened to me the other day. A few light knocks against AI would reduce my shield a bit, but on the first lap of a race I did a barrel roll or two, only to find I was down to critical shield, even though I didn't think I'd been too badly battered, and hadn't been hit with weapons. Any ideas?

3rd September 2010, 11:05 AM
None, but I would dearly like to know. It happened to me as well last Sunday. Lap 2 on Chengou fwd, in the tight left hander. I was at 50-60% energy going in - the last thing I saw was JJPAPs Icaras flying through my burning wreck. I'm pretty sure that he, from his POW, never even touched me, let alone speared me to the wall ;)

Also, it seems to me to have gotten a lot worse the last month or so. Are the servers slowly packing up or is it my PS that's getting old?

3rd September 2010, 01:21 PM

As Haiku explained to me, WOHD is running peer-2-peer in Multiplayer. This means every PS3 involved in a race is dealing with your ship and the remaining ones. We only go to SCEE servers for leaderboard updates, for instance, and only for anything not related to actual racing.

3rd September 2010, 01:26 PM
Mic, if I didnīt hit you it was clearly my mistake. Be sure, I wouldnīt miss such an opportunity :D

Donīt know if it has anything to do w/ the topic, but Iīve had all sorts of micro-freezes lately. Nothing too serious, but like it was about a year ago, when a lot of zoners were complaining about this specific annoyance.
What worries me even more is that these freezes happen off-line as well.
Maybe the black beauty soon needs a younger and slimmer sibling :?

Also: Watching Tarquins vids from our cup-race, I canīt help noticing, that it seems like my ship is moving rather un-predictable. (Sort of like when watching an online race, waiting in the lobby). Must have been (maybe) disturbing for Tarquin - Some kind of: "Now you see me - Now you donīt!" ... Donīt know if it could cause ghost-ramming.

3rd September 2010, 10:13 PM
Even with the lag, if I appear to be knocked a bit once or twice in a lap due to lag related ramming, how is it that I can lose over 60% shield?
Yeah, I've got a pretty good idea as to why that would be.
When you take a hit (as in a wallbang or a ram, non-weapon solid objects only), that hit is detected as an overlap in polygonal regions. Your craft can be considered to be a single polygon larger than it actually appears (the thing you see when the shields glow). If you've got two craft racing near each other, these two large polygons will intersect quite easily. The amount of collision going on can be determined by how much overlap is going on between these two polygons. Very little, and there's no collision at all, you're just racing side-by-side. A whole lot and you've got a serious "we're trying to share the same space" collision going on. The amount of damage each ship takes can be completely related to the seriousness of the collision.
So now we've got some online racing going on, and you and your opponent are neck-and-neck into the corner. Unfortunately, you're on the outside. When you start making your hard turn, the game thinks that you're ramming your opponent in a full-on T-bone because it's working on old data about the location and velocity of your opponent. It gives you a serious collision effect. Your opponent was never actually there, took the corner fast and tight, and gets to continue on their merry way.
The reason you're taking so much damage from what looks like a minor incident of paint-trading is because the game thinks you're having a serious collision with a solid ghost.

Very related to everything else being discussed here.

3rd September 2010, 10:29 PM
I see what you're saying Jay, but something still seems off to me. I'm talking about when major shield loss occurs with what appears to be a minor impact. Surely the location of the ship on my screen and the strength of the impact will all be based on the same delayed positional data from my opponent? So shouldn't the shield loss of a strong collision also always show up in the visuals as a strong collision?

3rd September 2010, 11:30 PM
Not if the game is made so that ships can't intersect.


Both collision models are intersecting quite heavily, yours and the opponent's due to lag.
However because ships cannot intersect, the opponent's ship will show near your ship, but will not correspond to the collision model's position.
So you get a serious collision effect without it actually showing.

Also, this can be why sometimes ship seem to jump on top of you when a lot of collision is going on. The ship model tries to remain as close as possible to it's collision model, which is basically somewhere inside yours.