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I always preferred regular NetQuake to QuakeWorld and I played a lot of both for many years. The weird jello-jiggly behavior of client-side prediction with 400-600ms difference between players was always horrible.

With NetQuake you could learn to predict everything in your head over time, which is the primary skill competitive players use. No one has a super fast reaction time (even competitive gamers are ~200ms), the best players simply know what's going to happen next better than other players.

I did play thousands of hours of QuakeWorld (Team Fortress mostly) but it was never as fun or competitive feeling as NetQuake.

And once I got an ISDN connection it was even worse to use QuakeWorld because with a perfectly reliable (low jitter) ~50ms ping on NetQuake everything was incredibly smooth. Watching players with 150ms+ ping ("HPBs") warp around the map while you tried to shoot them was no fun.

Today far too many games rely on bad client side prediction. The last game I played seriously was PUBG and they put all of their servers in Ohio. Being on the west coast with 80ms+ ping it was just a terrible experience all the time, but they apparently (and stupidly) assumed it would work well enough due to client side prediction. PUBG could have been so much more fun with ~20ms California servers and a < 60ms ping restriction, which is how most Quake Live servers operated when I used to play that game.

The way to make online competitive games as good as possible is to embrace low latency connections now that most people have them and focus on placing servers in as many cities as possible. The speed of light can't be overcome no matter what we do, so the solution is for people to play with other people that are within ~500 miles.

I hold out hope that eventually netcode authors will realize this fact and finally re-create the incredible long-lost solidity of NetQuake. All they really have to do is stop being so damn clever!

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