Crowfall sounds like a mash-up of Age of Empires and Game of Thrones that was physically fused and stuffed into a typical, third-person fantasy MMORPG, allowing players all over the world cackle in delight as they draw up evil plots against their enemies in real time- screens alight and swords sharpened.
As you can imagine, such turmoil can cause sorrow, destruction and most importantly a lot of lag with all the communication between the servers and clients.
The devs have been stonewalled for awhile, trying to conceive a middle ground for speediness and safety. Client-side responsiveness is great, however, values on the client side can easily be hacked by those who aren’t very fun, to be honest.
There were a lot of factors that the team had to take into consideration, and they had to come up with a way around the unavoidable lag. The most important part was syncing the client with the server to make sure actions taken in-game would cause an effect and the animation would work in perfect timing.
A lot of things weren’t working together with that solution, so they decided to mask it instead.
They implemented latency masking, creating a warm-up time variable, which gets adjusted depending on the latency. That variable is what they use to speed up or slow down in order to, more or less, get the timing down.
It’s taking a lot of time and effort, and the Crowfall team is doing great keeping the community updated.
Read about their efforts in more technical detail here.