Players who are looking forward to multiplayer action in the new Call of Duty: Modern Warfare beta are in for surprise, as several problems appear to be present in the current build of the game. Popular YouTube content creator Battle(non)sense has observed and commented on the netcode of various popular games, and he has some warnings for those who might be looking forward to the larger multiplayer matches.
Netcode is a term used to describe the overall quality that players experience online with regards to server locations, tickrate, lag compensation, fire and movement delay, and more. In the past years the term has become popular when referring to the broad and complicated topic of everything that makes it possible for playing online games. Right now, it is most often used to describe one or all of the elements mentioned here, particularly when there is a problem and the experience suffers as a result.
Battle(non)sense describes how during beta testing of the game on dedicated servers, he found that the Modern Warfare beta was using a 62Hz tickrate for both client and serves, which is fairly standard. In modes with up to 20 players, this was consistent, however in Ground War with 64 players, things took a turn for the worse. Server send rate suffers a drastic drop to around 24Hz and the client send rage peaked at 70Hz.
Delay was then measured at 98.6ms for damage, 106.2ms for gunfire, and 109.8ms for movement. Once in Ground War with the maximum 64 players, measurements spiked to 136.4ms, 152ms, and 155.8 respectively.
These speeds must be addressed, and hopefully the beta will be the only time players experience this kind of delay. For the unfamiliar, these delays can be interpreted as nearly three times as slow as Black Ops 4, and more than other popular First-Person Shooter games. If these values persist when the game goes live, the 64-player game mode will be unplayable, as it will be impossible to accurately play against other players unless they stand still for an unnatural amount of time.
While the early report is troublesome, one must expect the developers to ensure this is fixed later, not only for casual play, but because leaving these values as the norm would cripple any chance of an emerging esports scene to develop for Modern Warfare. As esports continues its steady climb in popularity, and more importantly, the potential for large revenue streams, it would be counter-intuitive to expect the netcode to be anything but stable upon release of the game.
Then again, Activision is known for rushing projects, so the netcode may not be up to par when the game first launches. The best thing to do as a consumer is wait for reviews to come in to avoid being burned with sloppy multiplayer.