UDP vs. TCP distribution [was: Re: [e2e] Can feedback be generated...]

Eric A. Hall ehall at ehsco.com
Fri Mar 2 22:07:58 PST 2001

> For the days that I looked, the UDP traffic on this transoceanic
> link was dominated by DNS, actually.  But maybe transoceanic links
> have different traffic mixes than other ones.

People don't play action-oriented multi-player games over long-haul
networks. Shoot-em-up games are very sensitive to latency and packet loss.
Playing a shoot-em-up with >200ms RTT will get you killed fast by players
with <20ms (client-side events have to wait for server-side messages to
arrive so the "closer" player gets a distinct advantage in terms of
shorter inter-command gap). After a while, you learn to play on servers
that are close.

Anyway, trans-oceanic links are radically different in that regard. They
will always have lower gaming levels.

FWIW, network games are fascinating examples of interactive applications.
They are the new TELNET, except that they also have range issues that
TELNET didn't often encounter (similar to the annoying remote echo problem
but on a larger scale). Also, not all of these games use UDP. Many of them
are using TCP for a variety of familiar reasons.

Eric A. Hall                                        http://www.ehsco.com/
Internet Core Protocols          http://www.oreilly.com/catalog/coreprot/

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