Interstate '76 Lag Aiming
This article is for those players in the I76 Community who regard dumbfire weapons as inaccurate or impossible to aim in a lag environment. If you and the people you play with have a relatively stable connection and gaming environment, there is no need to dismiss dumbfires! With a little practice and a basic understanding of how lag effects these weapons, I am sure that you will become a better player.
Lag and its effects on the game:
Regardless of connection speed, all I76 players encounter lag every time they play. Some think that if they had a cable modem (high speed modem) they wouldn't have any lag, but being a cable modem user myself I can tell you that I developed my lag aiming skills using a 28.8 connection and I still use lag aiming now. Some of you have noticed that under certain conditions one can "ram" another player to death without taking any chassis damage. This is caused by the length of time it takes for two computers to update each others position on the map. This lag time creates two cars for each player: a visible car which the opponent sees and feels but cannot damage, and the actual car which the opponent can't see or feel but CAN damage. Now this may seem confusing but look at the following diagram of a typical "lag ram".
From car B's perspective he passes close to car A but misses, but from car A's view he collides with the visible and seemingly indestructable car that lags behind car B. This usually results in car A's violent death while car B is untouched. This "two car theory" applies to moving cars only and is also the basis of "lag aiming".
Most players out there know the basics of aiming at a moving target, it is commonly referred to as "leading the target". For those that don't know, leading the target is when you aim ahead of your opponent so your projectiles and his car intersect at the same place. This sounds easy enough but it becomes a little more complex in a lag environment. Below is a diagram of the typical player leading the target.
Car A aims ahead of car B and hits him, it looks like a hit and sounds like a hit but it doesn't register as damage for his opponent because he is aiming at the visible and indestructible car that lags behind car B's actual car. From car B's perspective the shot passes behind him and misses. I believe this typical combat situation results in many "hack" accusations and lots of frustrated players.
A simple correction in aiming can improve your chances of hitting with dumbfires. I have illustrated this in diagram 2.
Here car A adjusts his aim way ahead of car B's visible car so that his projectiles hit B's actual car. Now you must remember that to the shooter (car A) his shots appear to be passing in front of car B. This may seem odd at first, but remember that when I use dumbfires at least 70-80% of my killing shots seem to pass harmlessly in front of my opponent.
You may think I'm crazy for suggesting that you aim to miss your opponent, but if you consistently hit your target and damage does not register you must try this technique. Although the information in this article comes from my own observations and experiences only, I know of several players who use lag aiming successfully.
If this helps to improve your game or if you have additional information on this subject I would appreciate your feedback.
Good luck, and have fun!