I have played or currently play World of Warcraft (WoW), Lord of the Rings Online (LotRO), Dungeons & Dragons Online (DDO), City of Heroes (COH), EverQuest (EQ), and some games that could be played online with smaller groups, like Diablo II, NeverWinter Nights (NWN), et al.
I cannot remember ever having the lag issues in any of those games like I experience each and every time I connect to the Champions Online servers.
I build my own machines; have since 1987 when my dad and I built my first PC. I know the quality of the products and the capabilities of the hardware within my box. It is built to be a gaming machine. I am currently playing LotRO, DDO, and COH without any noticeable lag, rubberbanding, disconnection, or load issues. I play most of those game on the highest allowed settings for video with barely a decline in my Frames Per Second (FPS)-- and certainly nothing to worry about or even that I notice. We have the next-to-fastest available DSL connection provided by our ISP. I have a gigabit network card in my machine.
When I connect to Champions Online, however, it is a different story. I get frequent disconnects (although this particular aspect of the game issues seems to have been mostly rectified; the last few days have seen no disconnects). Rubberbanding is so bad that my character frequently runs completely past a combat before my video can refresh and show it to me. I suffer many defeats because I don't know how low my health is getting due to the refresh issues.
The developers introduced proxy servers for the US and EU that you could use which, they claimed, should help with the server issues. I tried them both today. While both improved the lag slightly, the issues remained and the game is still almost unplayable due to these issues.
What is the most frustrating is that if you contact Cryptic, they turn it around and tell you it is your ISP, network card, router/modem, or video card/drivers. If you post on the game boards, you get a bunch of people telling you how it is not Cryptic's fault regardless of the overwhelming evidence of posts that says it is an issue. I was on the boards today trying to find if anyone had some suggestions for things to do to relieve lag issues in the game; I found 10 lag-related posts, each with many multiple of pages of responses. In each, a quick count indicated about a 2 to 1 ratio of those having lag issues to those who are not... but in every case, the conclusion was that those who were not were somehow "right" and those of us with issues were "wrong." And in all cases, the 'fanbois' tried to explain how it was our ISP's fault or our machine's fault.
It was particularly amusing to read the detailed post of on fanboi who put where he was located, his machine specs, his ISP and network specs, and told everyone how he hasn't had issues from Closed Beta through to today. Another poster wrote a response that indicated he is in the same area, uses the same ISP, and has a better machine and network, and he has had nothing but issues-- yet somehow the first poster's response to that was that the second guy must be an idiot, must not have set something up right, and/or must have viruses or spyware on his machine if he has issues.*
*Note: I, too, have a better machine and set up than that poster, and I had minor issues in closed beta and slightly more issues in open beta, and now find the game unplayable in Live.It is sort of the same mentality you see in conspiracy theorists, who must ignore copious quantities of facts in order to maintain their theories. These fanbois will continue to claim it is somehow our fault, our ISP's fault, or some other issue is at stake even after we do each and every one of the tests or suggestions they claim will solve the issue. I've pinged the servers and received faster ping return times than fanbois-- but still it can't be the server, they say. I've done throughput testing and had faster throughputs than the fanbois-- but still it can't be the server, they say. I've done all the video tweaking the fanbois insist will solve the problem to no effect-- but still it can't be the servers, they say. They ignore all this data that, taken individually and as a whole indicates that for a large number of people all over America, Canada, and the world, server lag and connection is an issue.
I worked for a company once that had one really bad manager. Every department he lead had the highest employee turnover rate in the company. I know people who went to HR to complain. I know people who went to that manager's superiors to complain. I know people who talked about it with the then owner and CEO of the company. I know a number of people who, during their exit interview, specifically said they were leaving due to that manager's poor decisions, bad leadership, and improper conduct. And the company's response each and every time was "It's an isolated incidence." It seems to be the same with the fanbois who refuse to admit there may be something wrong with Champions Online servers; at what point do the overwhelming number of "isolated incidences" finally point to the real problem?
The problem is that I like Champions Online. I don't like it as much as City of Heroes, but it has some differences that make it fun, I enjoy the more "cartoony" graphics, and some aspects of the combat system are an improvement over COH's. I really want to like and play this game. However, the consistently horrible lag issues that I experience make me avoid it and I will simply go back to the other games I can play virtually lag-free.
Maybe I'll check in on Champions Online on their next free play period and see if any improvements have been made. 'Cause I'd really like to give them my money and have fun with the game.