"Monolith would like to thank the community for it's very warm reception of AVP2! So far, we're hearing positive responses on multiplayer. However, we have heard one complaint that we'd like to address. The ping values in AVP2 are higher than the values in other multiplayer games on the market today.

Why is this and what is ping anyway? For a lot of games, ping is the measure of how long it takes for a message to travel from the user's machine to the server, somewhere out on the Internet, and then back, call this the "classic ping." If you see a small ping number, you know that your messages will reach the server faster and vice versa. If you see a large ping number, than you know that the messages will be out-of-date by the time that they reach their destination.

Does a fast ping in these games guarantee a good game experience? Not necessarily. In the "classic ping" test, the server responds immediately to a new ping message. In a real game though, the server places each message into a queue and then works through the queue from the oldest message to the newest message. If the server clears each message slowly or if the server is receiving lots of messages so that the message queue is long, then a new message may sit in the queue for a long time before the server processes the message. Even if your travel time ("classic ping") is short, if the server processing time is slow, you'll receive a lot of out-of-date messages.

Since we want users to find the best server possible, we try to incorporate both the travel time and the server processing time in our ping rates, call this the "server load ping." The server handles the "server load ping" message as it would any other message, placing the message into the server queue and responding to the message once the rest of the queue has been processed. However while travel times (the "classic ping") show little variation, server load fluctuates a lot depending on the number of players, projectiles, and other objects active in the game. As a result the "server load ping" jumps around a lot in comparison to the "classic ping." Also, since the "classic ping" ignores server load, the "classic ping" is a lot smaller than the "server load ping." So while "classic ping" returns lower numbers than "server load ping," "server load ping" should hopefully give you a better performance measure when picking the optimal game server.

We hope that explaining our system will help you enjoy AVP2 more.

Again, we appreciate your support for AVP2, and we look forward to bringing the community our new game updates!

--The AVP2 Team"