Over at Twitter and on our Discord server, val brought this to our attention: HeatXD‘s fork of DuckStation with GGPO, which in turn enables netplay with rollback.
For those unaware, GGPO is middleware/code that is designed to mitigate differences in ping and latency by simulating the next frames of action in games based on previous inputs from the player. If an input arrives that is different from what is being simulated, the game “rolls back” to the frame of the last correct state, and then executes the player’s inputs as intended. What this amounts to is a sometimes jerky, but near-lagless online experience, which is preferred over a delayed on-screen reaction. GGPO was created by Tony Cannon (of the Cannon Bros/SRK/Evo Championship Series fame), and as such has a rich history with fighting games. In fact, a lot of modern fighting games have implemented GGPO code.
HeatXD‘s implementation has been hotly received, and at the time of writing, there are already numerous examples of games benefiting from the addition over on his Twitter – from Tekken 3, to Bloody Roar 2, to Rival Schools, and even Gundam Battle Assault 2. There’s also a written guide to help you set it up, so no excuses.
So, what does this mean for first-gen AC PVP? In val‘s own words:
It's SO much better than Parsec it's insane. There's no host advantage, input lag, or stutter of any kind. It's so so so nice. Desyncing is a small issue ATM but I expect it to get better, and even if it doesn't it's still really good how it is right now.
— val (@rocket_summer) March 18, 2023
Seems like a strong case to me.