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Gaming Rant: Lag
As gamers, you cannot deny that you haven't experienced the following: you're playing a nice little multiplayer game, either alone or with your friends, and everything's going a-okay. Another day of gaming for you. But then the worst happens. Your ping goes up. And with the sudden rise of the numbers in your ping counter, the virtual world around you goes berserk. You either stop moving, or you keep going back to the spot you moved from then appearing forward. Enemies do the same thing, yet it's more horrible since you don't know if they moved from their placing or not. And worst of all, your playing goes from bad to worse, with you being killed and even reported to be booted away from the server. All because your bandwidth decides to give you the middle finger, slap you across the face, and walk away to the sunset, STILL flipping you off.
That's why for this piece, I want to let out all the rage I had for this worldwide issue that haunts gamers to this very day and torments your plans. Arguably gaming's worst nightmare and biggest nemesis, I introduce you to lag.
Now, if you've been living under a rock (or hostaged away by Bowser eight castles away from where Mario is right now), you would know and/or have experienced about this issue. It knows no limits, and it can target anyone, anywhere, anytime. It doesn't even choose its victims. It doesn't matter if you're male, female, whatever gender there is out there since it's 2017, white, black, yellow. In the eyes of the lag, we are all victims. And unfortunately for us, the only way we can overcome this boss fight is not to overthrow it with a final attack, but to hit hard reset on our modems and hope for the best. It has always been the bane of gaming ever since online multiplayer was introduced, and up to this day, the only way you can avoid lag most of the time is to afford for a better and faster Internet connection; even then, it STILL has a tendency to slow down, either for the lulz or to mess with your gameplay. Most of the time, the server happens to be far away from your area. Say, you're from the Southeast Asia region like I am, yet you decide to connect to a North American server despite the fact it has a low latency. You would have a better chance of hitting the broad side of a barn with a shotgun than be able to play and your ping showing single or lower double digit numbers. It can also be because of the game developers themselves having less-than-serviceable servers (looking at you, Ubisoft).
Violent reactions aside, of course lag has been giving me problems as well. It's why I'm writing this, ain't I? Anyway, here in the Philippines, where I live, this complication is far more likely to happen than in most regions of the world. After all, my country is notorious for having one of the slowest yet the most expensive in the whole Southeast Asia region, and that is obviously NOT a good statistic. You can even hold a survey in Manila alone about how much people are dealing with lag everyday, and not a single one person will answer with rarely or sometimes. Go ahead, I'll wait.
Lag is a huge reason why I prefer playing splitscreen co-op with my PlayStation 3 than go in online multiplayer with my PC (side note: no, I am not a PC or console Master Race advocate. I believe that multiplatform is the true master race). Aside from not having to use Internet to start up a splitscreen game, it also has your family or friends side by side with you while you two have a great time with your game. Now with today's boom in technology, you can also chat with your friends online through the many communication medias such as Facebook, Skype, and the gaming-oriented Discord. But, with your slow connection, not only will you suffer through a bad game, but also have to hear your friends cut off mid-sentence or listen to them become autotune artists. Recently, a friend of mine from the junior high school I once attended to decided to invite me to join him and his other friends for a harmless game of Left 4 Dead 2 campaigning with them. I thought, "Sure, why not? I have mastered that game anyway." (side note no. 2: Not to brag, but yes, I have mastered Left 4 Dead 2, from recognizing which crescendo events will happen to the cries and warnings of the Special Infected. More often than not, I found myself carrying the people I'm playing with, no offense intended to them.) Alas, due to the power combination of the slow Internet connection of my lovely country, the fact that I was using wi-fi instead of wired connection, AND my family members connecting to the Internet for their own purposes, I spent majority of the game with over 500 ping. That was the shot on the foot, but them wanting to play in the "The Parish" campaign was the lemon poured on the wound. Imagine my tranquil fury dealing with the unstoppable horde on the final level, The Bridge, on high levels of lag. Anyone wouldn't have thought twice of clicking on that Quit Game option.
In closing, as long as slow Internet connection and gaming coexist, so will lag, unfortunately. But, as someone I know had put it, with the right skills, you can swim the tide, turning an unpleasant circumstance into a situation in your favor. To continue on the Left 4 Dead 2 story from the previous section, even with the 500+ ping, through hell and high water, the team prevailed and we managed to escape New Orleans with the Army as we were treated with the sweet sight of that dastardly bridge exploding to pieces, and I was still carrying the team too, having the most kills and heals out of the four of us (although to my surprise, only I made it out alive)! And so, my fellow gamers, like mentioned before, lag will strike anyone at anytime, no matter the sitch. It is up to you to nut up or shut up, to let the lag get the better of your rage and quit the game, or adapt to it and change your play style while at the same time keeping your cool up and manage to make the game still enjoyable. Although, if it has reached the point where everyone on the screen is not moving anymore, well, you can always quit for now. A blue sky will be waiting tomorrow for you at least.