What is ping and why it's mentioned here?
It's mentioned because it plays an important role in comptetitive pony play.
You have a low ping - be happy!
You have a high ping - you are almost out of the game!
- Ping is a diagnostic tool to check if a certain host can be reached in a IP network.
- Nowadays most implementations of the tool also show the period of time it takes between the transmission of a data packet to a specific host and the receipten of an immediately sent response (Round Trip Time or RTT).
- Often people says PING is an abbreviation of "Packet Internet Grouper", but it's not. The author of PING says: "from my point of view PING is not an acronym for 'Packet Internet Grouper', it's an analogy to Sonar" (annotation: sonar causes a high frequency knocking sound).
So when we discuss about ping we mean the time it needs to send a packet to the LL server and to receive the related response. This is measured in milliseconds. Of couse if a packet needs to be transmitted over a distance of 500 miles it needs less time than if it has to be transmitted over a distance of 9000 miles, further slowed down while passing many router.
While in SL with every key you press on your keyboard - e.g. you press the forward key or the jump key - data packet will be sent to the Linden Lab server which operates the sim you are in. At the server these data packet will be processed, than in regards to the processing data packet will be sent back to your PC.
Of course the lower this time is, the faster your keystroke will be processed.
So whats a normal ping for Americans and Europeans:
Americans have a ping in the range of 40-70 ms.
Europeans have a ping in the range of 180-270 ms.
In practise - let's say at a steeple competition - this technical fact provides a benefit to the low ping ponys of up to 5 seconds.
That means a likewise skilled European pony has almost no chance against such a low ping pony - and believe me - this is very frustrating (for the high ping pony of course).
To the ones who just refuse to believe this - even it's a technical fact. There is a 'proof of concept' conducted of a member of the pony play community. A European pony vacationed in the USA in summer 2016. She also visited Phoenix in Arizona (where the Linden Lab servers are located) and of course different regions of the USA. She reported to have had usually pings between 40 and 70. Of course from there she logged in to Second Life and did some runs at a steeple located at EPG. Her times was 3-4 seconds faster as her best times she ever reached at her home in Europe.
The benefit due to the lower ping depends on the length of the course, the number of obstacles, the number of jumps and steps a pony will do. The longer the course, the higher the benefit.
The low ping benefit becomes most noticeable at steeple and cart courses. But also at barrel and slalom courses a low ping provides an advantage.
So unfortunately we Europeans or other people from different parts in the world - far, far away from the USA - can just do nothing against this - as it's a technical fact and a basic condition.
Or are we able to do something?
Hip, Hip Hooray! Hip, Hip Hooray!
Europeans, let's move to the USA!