There is a good chance if you are reading this, and are not already a forum member & customer, that you got here because you want to know if this router will make a difference for you in real world game play?
That’s the big question isn’t it: Does it really work?
Well, here is your Wal*mart-InstaTwit-“Got-2-Know-Now” answer: Yes. If you are serious about playing online games like Call of Duty, I think you are doing yourself a giant disservice if you have ever purchased ANYTHING to help you play better and didn't include this router.
Now, some more information and things I have noticed while using my [Duma].
Gear: 62d/13u cable modem; Scuf controller, BENQ monitor. Astro A50 headset, and Net Duma R1 router (hardwired) – Version .4 at time of receipt
Games: Black Ops (XB360), Black Ops 2 (PS3 and XB360) and Advanced Warfare (XB1)
I play a lot of MP Call of Duty and while the next-gen platforms are nice, I haven’t seen a Next-Gen game yet that I personally enjoy playing. Ghosts was not a good game for MP, and while AW is new and everyone is still learning it, I can honestly say I played about 4 hours of it on release and haven’t really been back to it. That leaves my Treyarch productions. You know, the ones people are still playing….LOL
I was lucky enough to log on to Charlie Intel, see their story on it, and order before they sold out, so there were no reviews available outside of the CI write up at time of purchase. The router took 8 days from the UK to my delivery location here in Seattle. A signature was required, so make sure you are having yours delivered somewhere with a human or it will only add to your frustration. J
When I got my [Duma], my “measure of a successful purchase” was going to be how much of the bullshit, how many of the “lag-issues”, would this really change for me?
On the PS3: I was one or two games away from prestiging my Blops II account, and since I could wipe out all my previous records and start anew, from square one, that is what I did first. The game play was fantastic and I found that my K/D almost doubled over about the first 20 levels of play. My first full game was a 34-0 beating on Nuketown (I hate that map) with an 18 gunstreak, and the results drop off as I prestige and was busy texting my friends about the [Duma]. J Here’s some proof.
I laughed my ass off for about 30 minutes after doing that, but that’s just one game, right?
I can post screen shots of games with all sorts of crazy numbers, but that doesn’t really help you, now does it? I played about 20 levels of progression, from zero with no unlocks on the PS3, and saw a significant rise in successful games, higher score streak games and more wins. From the onset the NetDuma allowed me to fight on what I felt was more of an even playing field when it came to lag.
I live in the PNW, near Seattle, where there are a metric ton of coders and gamers. I should have NO PROBLEM finding a game on either platform. Yet, I quickly noticed that the matchmaking seemed to highlight what we would later find out, from Iain and the boys @NetDuma, are a couple of dedicated server locations, but on the east coast. One appears to be in the Miami/South Florida area and that one was pulling my connection to it CONSTANTLY. Again, I live near Seattle, but my first choice for a game on the PS3 seemed to be in Florida?!
Enter the Geo-Filter:
All the other bells and whistles aside, and there are some cool ones, the Geo-Filter was the reason for my purchase. I’m not a 15 year old with dreams of being the next Opdic Cumshot. I work a real job and just play after work or on weekends when my other “life” doesn’t get in the way. I don’t necessarily have to play against the best of the best every game, nor do I look forward to battling against guys from halfway across the world. There is a reason all big tournaments are held ON LAN!!
With the Geo-Filter engaged, all I had to do was reduce the available area on the easy to use interface and I was able to block those East coast servers. Once I did this I noticed that a TON of what I refer to as “Secondary Servers”, which are more of the P2P servers, became available in my area and sometimes within just a few miles. I was REGULARLY getting lobbies with pings in the >40ms range to the host.
In these games, you can make people look like they are playing with their feet! Have ever experienced that one-in-a-thousand-game where everything goes right for you? One where, you are hitting every shot, you reload at the right moment to get a 2 or 3 piece, or hit that big score streak that has evaded you? These are the types of games I am getting, on the regular. It’s fantastic.
Okay, okay, but you are playing on the PS3 where connection is free and the players might not be as good as those on the 360. You should expect some lag given those criteria.
On the XB360: There wasn’t much difference on the 360 from a match making stand-point. The 360 doesn’t appear to have (as of upgrading version .6 that I am testing now) to have dedicated servers in the Seattle area that are pointed at Black Ops or Black Ops 2. They have a big farm for AW, but more on that later.
I’ve played both games on the 360 (Blops 1 and 2) and nothing would change from my praise or my review of how the [Duma] works on the PS3. It’s awesome. Dedicated servers do exist on the East Coast, but there is also a large bank of them in the San Diego area on the 360. Secondary servers are EVERYWHERE, but you have to almost force the match making to stop trying to put you in these far off locations by default. Once I set my Geo-Filter (currently about 900Km from my house), I have very little trouble finding games unless I am trying to play a less popular game mode (like K/C) late at night or first thing on a Saturday morning.
What about Lag: That’s the problem, right? Well, this does NOT stop people with shitty internet from connecting to the lobby you are in with the [Duma]. What it does do, is make sure you don’t end up playing on any of those crappy hosts.
Here are some numbers, nothing scientific, but things I have noticed. On the PS3, in a lobby there would be about 5-6 guys that had a full 4-bar connection in an “average” lobby. On the 360, that number was a little higher, more like 6-7 out of 12. When connecting to local, secondary hosted lobbies near me with the [Duma], I found that 8-10 people in every lobby were showing 4 bar connections. Some lobbies are full 4-bar lobbies, and I check frequently out of habit now and can’t stop…LOL
A lot of the lag was reduced merely because of where the host was that I connected to for the game. Simple. No magic, no voodoo or special settings you need a degree to understand. Plug in, find a host with a good ping and play.
Being married and prone to experiencing your “average reaction” to a CoD induced BS death off a kill-streak, having a good gaming experience is worth its weight in gold, but don’t tell the @NetDuma guys. J My wife said she would have bought this for me years ago if she knew it would make me stop shouting at the TV like a Tourette’s patient all the time.
What can I expect? Outside of a much better gaming experience, a more enjoyable time, and less frustration? Okay, here are some specifics that I have personally noticed while playing the equivalent of one full prestige.
1. K/D or Kill/Death Ratio: Obviously my K/D went up with better connection. However it went up almost double on a reset account on PS3 and went up to just over 2.75 on the XB360. I am winning more gunfights, my shot seems really crisp, and I am making/winning tougher shots like challenging a head glitch or prone fighter.
2. More Assists: What? More assists, that doesn't make sense, I should be getting more kills with better connection, right? So, a funny thing happened when the [Duma] came into my life. I am winning more gunfights, but following that line a little further is that I am getting more bullets into MORE people. You know those irritating 2v1 and 3v1 situations? Yeah, those….. (next)
3. 2:1 and 3:1 Combat: We have all been there, right? Round the corner and there are two or three guys running at you off spawn or running around like Siamese twins all conjoined at the hip? You know those situations. Usually one guy goes to the right of your screen, the other fool jumps left and you are left shooting air because the aim “assist” can’t make up its mind as to which one to track? With a better connection to the host, I find that I am getting a lot more kills, with a TON less of that heavy, crosshair drag. The game doesn’t leave me in no-mans-land shooting air anywhere NEAR as much. Thus I am killing the first guy, repeatedly, and putting shots into the other guy(s), sometimes killing them as well. I also find myself challenging harder shots as my confidence grows, thus I am putting more rounds into more opponents, so my assists go up as well.
4. Scorestreaks: This is where CoD really has its stranglehold. If you are hitting your streaks, you are a happier player. I hit more of my score streaks, I find myself trying out more 3rd and 4th tier scorestreaks that I shied away from before out of frustration. I also find that the scorestreaks seem to be a bit more effective when the connection is good. It makes sense, I just rarely had an instance to know that “X” scorestreak usually gets me, say 3 or 4 kills, but now it’s getting me 6 or 8. The rounds fired are registering better on the opponents, so this should make them more effective.
5. Camo Challenges: Part of the grind, so have I noticed any difference? I get more headshots, so the camo’s seem to unlock faster. Of course, I am getting more engagements and more kills every game, so nothing scientific or ground breaking there, but I don’t have any problem racking up Bloodthirsty medals (5 straight gun kills)
6. Getting in a lobby: I never really had a problem getting into lobbies before the [Duma], again I live in a pretty heavily gamer infused area. I have seen videos of people waiting forever for a game, but that was never me. With the Geo-Filter, the only time I can’t find a good lobby, is when I have filtered myself down to such a small search radius around my house or it’s just the time of day when no one is playing that game mode. I don’t have any problems connecting to lobbies, and I don’t have any problem staying in them once I get there if I want to stay and play.
Here are the LAST (5) games I played over the New Year’s weekend.
Yeah, that’s great and all, but what about the downsides of imposing this new router into my home network?
Home Setup/Quality of Life: If you are anything like me, you have a gaming setup and then your Significant Other, or your roommate, has the TV/Streaming/Interwebz hog of an entertainment unit elsewhere in the house. I used to ask(beg like a child) for my wife not to stream Netflix or something from PPV while I was gaming. That could become an “issue” if it was the weekend and nothing was on, meanwhile the selfish child (me) wanted to play my game. After the easy setup, it took about 30 minutes to put all the wireless devices on the [Duma] and get them all running, that ceased to be an issue. Now she has been watching whatever the hell she wants (wirelessly on multiple units) while I am playing. I still see lag spikes from time to time, but the game is three years old and it’s never debilitating to the point of wanting to spike a controller on the ground. There has been zero downside to introducing the [Duma] to my home network.
Good players: You might never think of this, but there are some seriously talents players out there that do not play competitive CoD. There are some seriously gifted pub stompers out there and having a cool new router isn’t going to get rid of them. In fact, it can make them even more prevalent. Turns out, living in Seattle among all those gamers, that some of them do have thumbs and are some pretty good players. Now with the Geo-Filtering of the lobbies, I do see them more often, but the connection is still great and its more of a straight up, fair fight now, which I don’t mind.
Players with bad connection: Yes, they can still join these lobbies. Nothing is going to stop the match maker from throwing them and their hamster wheel connection into your lobby. But now your connection to the host is much more optimized, so you WILL WIN more engagements than you would have in another lobby where your connection was also lagging.
So, in summation, was it worth the money? I am glad I purchased this router and I am more than happy to use my gaming time now to help fine tune it for future games, and by proxy, future gamers. The @NetDuma staff has been extremely helpful and open about what they are working on and how they can help. Since this router arrived, about 24 days ago, I have had (3) software updates to better help me game that happen with the click of a button. The thing is practically turn-key once you get it set up, but the tools and the information that it can provide are beyond value to someone like me.
I would recommend anyone who is serious about playing an FPS like call of duty, and enjoying the experience instead of raging like a lunatic, to give this a router a try. You won’t be disappointed.
Wait – Didn’t he say something about AW? I only care about AW.
AW and the XB1: When I got AW, I played about 4 hours and stopped. Yes, the match making was a pain, but I just didn’t enjoy the game experience in relation to what I expect from Call of Duty. Well that, and the score streaks kind of suck unless you spend a ton of points upgrading them. But in the interest of testing, I did play some AW on the XB1.
I had no problem finding a good connection. Microsoft has what appears to be a server farm here in the PNW and that was the default server that I would hit, probably, 70% of the time. Now within that dedi I assume there are layers, depending on your score per minute and K/D, etc. and that is where I would get placed. I didn’t notice any real difference in playing AW, although my K/D was higher during the [Duma] games than when I played prior, but I am not an expert or even a frequent gamer on that offering, so I am not the person to ask. I did not encounter any problems connecting to a lobby or getting booted from a lobby in the times I played. I do know that people have had problems, especially in party mode, but I did not experience any of those issues.
Hope that helps with your decision making....