I, and one of my brothers both enjoy playing both supreme commander, and forged alliance, online and occaisionally off, we have always appreciated the sheer awesomeness of this game. However, Both he and I are at our wit's end, since we will sometimes load into an online game, and his/my latency will start spiking, going up to over 1000 and then back down to 150 or so, sometimes this would occur, and sometimes not (so far as we can tell, it is completely random, and is not related to peak internet usage times).
Originally we assumed this must be because our internet connection simply could not handle the amount of data it was having to transmit, thinking that 1000 units was simply too much for our measly 1 meg broadband could handle, although we were puzzled by the seemingly quasi-random nature of whether we would suffer spikes or not, we were not unduly bothered, since we knew in the next few months, our internet was going to be doubled in speed, this, we felt, would make it possible for at least 1 of us to be able to play happily, however, it does in fact appear to have made absolutely no difference, with the lag being just as bad, and just as random as before.
This is the point we are at now, with minimal knowledge of how the game, our internet, or our wireless router (we have excellent signal incidentally) works, although I am certain it is nothing to do with computer hardware (happens on my brother's q6600 8800gts 512, 4 gigs ddr2 ram). Hence this post what it boils down to is; WHY THE HELL AM I SUFFERING RANDOM SPIKES JUST AS FREQUENTLY!?!?
Good post up until the all-caps bit at the end, enough information given, good grammar and spelling (from what I could see while skimming), so firstly props for that.
My best guess it is down to your ISP. If it has a poor contention ratio you could be sharing the line with 40 or more people at once, regardless of your connection speed. Increasing the amount of people on a single line decreases the total available bandwidth and such.
Try playing at different times of the day and night, see if there's a trend. If it's down to that, you'll probably find very little lag somewhere around 3-4 am.
You mention you use a wireless connection. Is that both you and your brother? If so I noticed that sometimes even during excellent signal strength my wlan latency is randomly (I could see no pattern) greatly increased (also happens when opening web pages from time to time but it is less noticable as larger web pages sometimes take a few seconds to load anyway). Basicly it's a random event in wireless connection activity. Signal strength has nothing to do with it. It also happens when router and notebook/PCI card are in direct line of sight accross a table (about 1 meter apart). I think it's the router's WLAN packet queue and processing capability that is the limit.
Can you try the same with a LAN cable to see if it goes away?
We only ever tried it with one person using a lan cable, and the other person using the wireless (I couldn't be bothered to move my computer all the way downstairs to test), but I suppose it is probably worth the effort
Isn't SupCom notorious for the random lag spikes? I have it but haven't played it online and I'm pretty sure I read somewhere that it happens just because of the sheer number of units. Try a 1 on 1 with your brother (for less units) and see what happens.