Thing is is that, no matter how good your connection may be, or how powerful your computer is, there will ALWAYS be latency between when the data is sent, and when the data is received at its destination. It WILL still take time for that information to reach its destination. How developers wish to deal with it is up to them, and it could affect the gameplay experience in a variety of ways that would be unfavorable for the players, ESPECIALLY for games that play in real-time.
Take Super Smash Bros. Brawl for example. It's a cross between a 2D platforming game and a fighting game, where players could control one of a bunch of Nintendo characters, as well as 3rd-party characters Solid Snake (from the Metal Gear (Solid) series) and Sonic the Hedgehog, as they beat the crap out of eachother. Now, when playing online, players noticed that there seemed to be this delay between pushing buttons to tell their character to perform certain actions, and said characters executing said actions. This input lag was caused by latency between systems trying to send data packets to other consoles in an attempt to remain in synch with eachother. In extreme cases, the game itself would lag as it waits for a response from the other systems. This input lag made players' characters feel more sluggish than they should've been otherwise, forcing players to input commands ahead of time to compensate. For some players (myself included), this was a killjoy in Brawl's online experience.
Now take Mario Kart Wii for example. It's a kart-racing game where the goal is to reach the finish line before other players can, though players are given items to help them mess up opposing players in various ways. However, unlike in Super Smash Bros. Brawl, players NEVER suffer from any input lag, even when there were latency issues with another system (which is a must for something requiring as much concentration as a racing game). While players might notice that some other players seem to "jitter" (even so, the game does do a good job at anticipating where players would go though, so jitter isn't usually noticeable), or that other players' weapons might appear to spawn from unusual places (when they should've spawned just behind their vehicles), or that other players might not seem to be affected by a weapon or obstacle that should've knocked them out on contact (sometimes only being affected a short time after they made contact with said weapon or obstacle), they'll also notice that whatever weapon or obstacle hits THEM will knock them out on contact. As such, even with connectivity issues with other players, players are still able to avoid other players' weapons (though they might have some trouble aiming some of their own weapons at laggy players, though this is a more minor issue compared to in Modnation Racers). Even today, this game serves as a nice role model for me to follow when deciding how to handle latency.
Now take Modnation Racers, another kart-racing game, for example. Like Mario Kart Wii, players suffer from no input lag. However, unlike Mario Kart Wii, whenever a weapon (including a sideswipe) fired by a player seems to hit another player, that other player would get knocked out, even if, for the other player, they didn't seem to get hit with anything. This would leave players dumbfounded, and frustrated, as to how they could've been hit when there wasn't anything dangerous around.
Finally, take Pokémon or Civilization for example. Both are turn-based games, so the only effect that poor latency could have on them is merely that it takes longer for the game to progress to the next turn.
In case anyone's wondering why I'm posting this, from the looks of things, it seemed as if the issue being debated in this thread is more of a problem with handling latency, which is why I'm proposing some possible ways to at least minimize its impact on the gameplay experience.
effigy wrote:I'm getting the impression you haven't played 3.1 online.
Sorry. I haven't, though I have played other games online, so I can at least speak from my experience with those games in order for us to compare and contrast with Warzone 2100's online experience.