Reducing the Lag and SWTOR

Being in Australia has its advantages and disadvantages.  One, we are certainly the sunburnt country with one of our highest killers being skin cancer from, you possibly guessed it, too much sun.  We have a large number of deadly creatures one of which is lovable Platypus.

Think I am kidding about this, the venom is not deadly but will be excruciating, so much so, that even morphine has little effect on reducing the pain, like a lot of some of our creatures. So what advantages are there; the food, I have visited a lot of different places around the world and to me, personally due to the diversity of culture here the food, quality and variety is just amazing.  The life style, despite living in large cities the place still have a more laid back, “she’ll be right mate” attitude.  Often stemming from the culture of the beach which we also have a pretty good run on it.

But the main thing I want to get into is lag.  In Australia our geographical isolation is certainly against us.  When servers are hosted in Australia, our pings are pretty good.  5ms, maybe up to 20ms.  Anything technically up to 70ms is not noticeable.  But, when playing Star Wars The Old Republic I am unable to get anything better than 160ms.

Now some might say that 160ms is not a bad ping since it needs to travel, across the Pacific.  But one thing I have come across is these services that claim to lower your latency to game servers.  I investigated a little and found that it is very possible to do this.

Decrease Your Latency


  1. http://www.smoothping.com/
  2. http://www.lowerping.com/
  3. https://www.wtfast.com/
  4. http://battleping.com/

So how do they manage to do this.  To be honest I am not 100% sure.  From my understanding of this all is, they help by managing the number of hops to and from different servers to try and eliminate unneeded hops.  They are able to intercept the gaming packet, then route it via alternate routes. 

So, having tried Battleping, and all offer a free trial.  I tried WTFast as well.  Did I get improvement, occasionally, but not in the order we are talking about.  Why?

Well I believe that sometimes depending on which ISP you are with, it will depend on where the packets need to be shunted.  I have an ISP that provides me a great level of control over my profile, and they have the ability to remove interleaving from it, which decreases my lag.  But not by much.image

Originally these services were provided as a means for World of Warcraft players located on “Asia/Pacific” servers to get better pings.  These servers were not located and to my knowledge still not located in Australia or even in the Asia/Pacific region. 

This meant that often pings to these servers were horrendous, upwards of 500/600ms.  There is no possible way that someone who PvP or even does raiding in World of Warcraft can compete with each command taking 250-300ms to reach the server, then another of the same time to come back and render the action.  Especially if you are competing against someone who has 100ms, or lower, which is often the case in the US.

These services then routed directly to their servers in the US, then from there, directly to the World of Warcraft server of your choice, often picking the Realm and they would know which IP to point it at.  Yes, this did lower the ping times, and made the game far more competitive.

In Australia if you have a ping time of between 140ms to 200ms or lower you will NOT improve your ping.  The only thing that could possibly improve it more would be a single high speed dedicated pipe or a VPN directly to the game servers.  There might be other ways but since I am a programmer and not a network engineer I am speculating.

Anything from 200ms to 400ms is not too bad, could be worse, you might get some benefits from using these services.

Above 400ms go for it.

Since each of these services have a free trial, I would say there is no harm in testing the waters.  You need to often sign up, download their client, select the server and get going.

If your game requires elevated privileges it is best you start the game after you have connected yourself, since often they will not run at the highest level and could have issues with the way the game is run.

So I recommend one, my only recommendation is to try each, pick the one who can give you the best results and go for it.  But since they are also priced differently it might be best to look at what suits your hip pocket better.  Once you pay, you can play without being disconnected from their servers.  Will this disconnect you from the game, possibly not, but it depends on the game.  Once they disconnect you, the packets need to go back to their normal route of travel.

Wireless Broadband


If you game using Wireless Broadband, which I have previously these services can help massively.   It is really only because of the way the packets are routed with using the 3G or other types of networks.

I cannot say with 4G since we only have a few providers of 4G within Australia.

References


  1. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Platypus_venom
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Posted on November 2, 2012, in Games, Star Wars, Tips and Tricks and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. Excellent blog you have here.. It’s difficult to find high-quality writing like yours nowadays. I really appreciate people like you! Take care!!

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