(BSD)FireStorm's Rant & Rave

Hello peeps. My name is FireStorm. I am writing this becuz I'm tired of lagging out on servers. You may think my rig sux...and that's part of it I bet. :-) But you, the Quaker with a Voodoo2 and a LPB connection,..and your 400mhz processor..you too can help with lag.

All you have to do is shutup, sit down, and read this article. It's that easy. This little diddy probably won't CURE lag, but it will certainly help the cause.

First, let me tell you what my rig is. I am running a AMD K6 300mhz processor, with a Voodoo1 3d card (Monster 3d - 20 frames per second BEEYOTCH!) and I have a cable connection. I bet your saying: "Voodoo1?!?!? BWAHAHAHAHA!!" To you I say fuck off. :-) Not everybody can afford to buy the latest and greatest hardware as soon as it comes out. Some of us actually have car payments and insurance and rent and mortgage to pay for, so you can just suck it. You may also be wondering why I'm bitching about lag, when I have a cable connection. Well, for the record, I happen to think I'm the most HPB considerate LPB playing Q2 LMCTF.

In a nutshell, I'm a LPB with a crappy 3d card. That puts me just above a 56k modem player with a Voodoo2 card on the Q2 ladder of society.

Ok....so you may think lag is caused by geographical differences, bad routers, etc, etc. Those are the most troublesome reasons. But they aren't the only causes. There are a few little things you can do that will make multiplayer gameplay a little less laggy.

If you've ever used 3 Fingers Tweak guide, or been to Redwoods, you may have seen this little item:

set rate "25000"

If you have seen it, and it's in your config for Q2, I sure as hell hope you've changed the number. 25000 is the default number, and it's intended for the single player mode. If you're still using this number in internet play, I outta slap your candy ass. If you don't even have this line in your cfg, then you too should get a beatdown. Here are the specs that 3 Fingers/Redwood's News give for rate settings:

33.6- 3200
Single ISDN- 5000
Dual ISDN/Cable- 10000
Lan/T1- 25000

I totally disagree with the ISDN/Cable and Lan/T1 setings. Just becuz you are lucky enough to have that kind of connection, doesn't mean your god's gift to internet play. Just to show you how much I REMEMBER BEING AN HPB, I have my rate set at 3500...and that's with my cable connection. Don't you feel like an arse? You should. My understanding (after reading alot about this piece of code) is that it has to do with bandwidth...and paired with the next area I will cover, it helps net lag a great deal.

OK..so you have a Voodoo2 card (maybe even a Voodoo3, you rat bastard), and you're living it up. You can see how bad someone is lagging...and you kill 'em off, thinking to yourself "that was a mercy kill". Yeah? Kiss my ass! It's probably becuz of you that I'm lagging! Your fps isn't capped!

You say your lagged? awwwwww! Poor baby. Cap your FPS! Here's what 3 Fingers guide says:

set cl_maxfps (very important setting to help reduce lag in multiplayer)

Default: 90 (default of 90 is fine for single player mode)

The included autoexec.cfg has cl_maxfps set to "31".

This should be set to a lower value only if you are experiencing latency in multi-player games (U_Remove errors, phone jack icons, high ping and freezing gameplay). This will cap the frames per second at whatever you set the variable to. Your FPS will vary greatly during gameplay. It could rise to 50FPS or more when you are in a very small room. Voodoo II users could see peaks of 100FPS. If you don't have the available bandwidth when the FPS jump up like this, you could see packet loss, high pings and freezing game play. If you are having problems, a good value to try would be the 23-32 range. Lower FPS send less information between the server and the player. Higher FPS require more bandwidth and send more information between the server and player. A good way to test this is to connect to a server and go into a small dark room and face a wall. This will peak your FPS. Then try different cl_maxfps settings by typing them at the console while viewing the NETGRAPH (type: netgraph 1). Always raise the console after entering the new settings for the new setting to take effect. Wait about 10-15 seconds after entering a new cl_maxfps setting to see if it will overload your available bandwidth. Then run around the map to confirm your success. After you find a setting you are comfortable with you can add it to your autoexec.cfg: set cl_maxfps xx

*The timedemo 1 mode overrides the cl_maxfps setting when doing a timedemo test.

*If you experience high ping, packet loss and freezing gameplay only in the 3dfx opengl mode and the software mode runs fine on a server. This is a positive indicator that your FPS are too high in the 3dfx opengl mode. The 3dfx opengl mode will increase your FPS about 50% or more over the software mode FPS. Just for your information, by default all versions of Quake World had the FPS capped at 30FPS.<br>

Now, becuz I max out at 21 frames per second (bite me), I have my FPS capped at 18.

Basically, these tweaks have helped me get a little bit smoother gameplay, but without the majority of players using these settings, it doesn't help those who ARE using them much. If you don't have these settings in your cfg, or you do, and left them at the default, I say you suck ass. You are sucking on all the bandwidth a server can possibly give you, and it's YOUR FAULT that a server is lagged. Maybe not entirely, but you should know that you are ADDING TO THE PROBLEM.

One perfect example of smooth play with lagged out pings is the new Q3 that's coming out. I've been looking..and there was a review (can't remember where I saw it) where every player on the server was pinging at 500+, and there was absolutely ZERO bitching about being lagged out. The "gameplay was incredibly smooth, even with my 760 ping". That's becuz id Software is taking into consideration the HPB. I am willing to bet that the above settings I've listed are settings that id Software has capped off.

The only reason I can see that someone would NOT make an effort to use these settings, is that they don't want some HPB beating the crap out of them. Just think..a 300 ping player railing at will a 35 pinger. That'd be funny. If you don't make an attempt to right your LPB sins, and use these settings, fine. Just remember, when Q3 comes out, the imbalance that you PREFER will be almost totally gone...or at least it should be, considering the latest Q3 test reports. Enjoy your cheap kills now...cuz you won't get them forever.

E|<+e|o/\/'s Sidenote: I set my rate to 6000, experienced no slowdowns and it actually improved my connection to some servers. At the rest it stayed the same. I would recommend this to any LPB out there to help out our less fortunate modem players. =) The 3-Fingers guide he mentioned can be found here.