Improved game responsiveness - November 9 update

Improved game responsiveness - November 9 update

Valve improved the algorithm behind the Dota 2 network settings. The game will be more responsive while remaining playable on connections with packet loss.

Today’s update reduces input latency from various components in the Dota command processing system. We’ve reworked how the dedicated servers handle incoming messages and how the engine processes user commands, resulting in more responsiveness and less delay on your actions.
— Valve
  • The Network Quality option (Settings > Options > Advanced) has been updated. | If you have a network connection with packet loss, setting this to 'LOW' will increase latency but improve overall smoothness

Jeff Hill, software developer at Valve Corporation, explained in detail what the option does:

We’ve changed what the option does with this update. It now controls the tradeoff between interpolation (smoothness) and latency (response time), to keep Dota playable on connections with packet loss, while being more responsive on connections without significant packet loss.
  • cl_network_quality command changed to cl_network_quality2 | Works with the changes mentioned above

Because of how the algorithm works there’s really only two reasonable values; 1 or 2. The high quality setting uses 1 (less interpolation, more responsive), the low quality setting uses 2 (more interpolation, less responsive).

0 makes the game skip like crazy even with 0 loss/ 0 ping (the value is clipped to 1 in the engine), and values greater than 2 become excessively laggy feeling.

He also affirmed that even if a player had already set cl_interp 0 cl_interp ratio 1, he will still see enhancements thanks to today’s update.

You will still see additional benefit from the server-side changes we deployed today, of about 33ms response time (this will not change your measured ping number, just the delay before a hero responds).

We are now setting those convars for most players, so you won’t notice that portion of the change, but there should still be a substantial latency improvement in this update for you.

In the video below, you can observe an example on how the change affected the reaction time of the game.


Header Image: Valve

Vincenzo is an esports writer with five years of experience. Former head editor for Natus Vincere, he has produced content for DreamHack, FACEIT, DOTAFire, 2P, and more. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook.