The “Lag”acy of Star Wars The Old Republic

This is a difficult one to ever solve.  If you have not known I visit the forums a bit help people with issues where I can help.  Provide information to people who perhaps are lacking.  But Lag, I can provide some information and I have here in previous posts.

I hear stories about other online games, etc… but MMOs are a different beast and the internet is a terrible one at that.  In the previous post I have mentioned ping powering services like BattlePing (which I use) but if your ping is already good then these can’t help lower it, but they do, I find, is stabilise the connection and prevent those massive lag spikes.

Even players in the US could benefit from using these services but this is not what this post is about.  This one is how to get information to help the Developers and Engineers at BioWare to find the issue.  You can use an application called Ping Plotter, but even tracert works to a point.

 

image

There are options to save the text to save the image.  Which is handy for a snap shot.  In the above you can see that there is a server that has 100% packet loss.  Interesting though it is still able to get to the server at the other end.   

But a snapshot though good can not tell the true extent of the problem.  So I will tell you how to capture a log of it.  Then when you play your game, start up ping plotter point it at one of the servers, which I will provide information on, and wait for your connection to fail.  Then post it into the forums or create a ticket with the information.


NOTE
Something to know is.  The support officers on the forums and in the game have a lot of people to tend to, respond to.  There are reasons for canned responses and providing no feedback once submitted.  This is often standard affair.  Don’t rant or get upset that you posted information about it and no one got back to you OR all you got was a canned response.

Understanding will help everyone get along better and also make sure they are less likely to ignore you.  Also posting information saying I get lag spikes, fix it.  I have had massive lag spikes then disconnection since this patch fix it.  Post information members of the community might help and you never know the outcome.


Now I have had my piece.  Logging.  Install Ping Plotter.

Once installed launch it.  Once you launch it, you will be presented with the following screen.

image

Click Edit | Options, this opens the Options dialog.  Then Click the Auto-Save item.

image

Check Auto-save.  Keep the standard options unless you want to record the data.  Click OK.  In the sampling area under the IP lists (servers) there is the # of times to trace and the interval.  Set these to 1 second of the interval and unlimited as the number. 

Enter one of the IP address below;

  • If you play on an East Coast server: 159.153.92.28
  • If you play on a West Coast server: 159.153.68.252
  • If you play on a European server: 159.153.72.252

Then Click Trace.  You will see the graph update the server names etc… are populated.  Then start Star Wars The Old Republic.  This will impact the network side of it and you might see some additional lag, but the packets it is sending a minor in comparison to that the game sends.  Since the purpose of it is to see when it disconnects and where.

It creates a file with the IP address for my test it is the west coast server, the date (YYYY-MM-DD) format and the hour  it started (1100) for me.  It is a PP2 file which will show anyone who loads it, including yourself the pings over the course. 

You could upload this to you favourite file hosting site, link it to the forum post.  That is a good way since there is a lot of data that is contained in the PP2 file and if you open it in Notepad you will find you can’t read it.

Or you can click File | Export to Text File

image

Click All Samples and 1 Column per hop.  Click Export.  Create the file and the data is saved as a text file.  Which can then be pasted into the forums, using the Spoiler tag to hide it.  Since if you were recording it for the 30 minutes and recording it for 1 second intervals that is 1800 lines of the test file that is the data. 

I recommend refining the data in the forum to be that of the samples where the issue happened.  Then saving the PP2 file to SkyDrive or drop box and link that in.  Then people can see where the issue is.

Once people are equipped with this data, we can determine if it is something you can do (contact your ISP and yell abuse).  At the Data Centre enter (BioWare can hurl abuse at them) or somewhere in the middle that no one can really do anything about.

The one thing you can certainly drawn from this is, the number of places it routes through on the internet.   Most of which are out of our control and for the most part work fine.  But there is any number of reasons why things get all messed up. 

“28/11/2013 11:27:49 AM”,0,0,1,4,101,84,185,200,195,341,327,*,285,285,271,323,306
“28/11/2013 11:27:50 AM”,0,0,0,124,117,120,113,125,91,169,161,*,163,164,164,209,203
“28/11/2013 11:27:51 AM”,0,0,0,4,6,23,23,23,26,164,161,*,193,178,168,221,203
“28/11/2013 11:27:52 AM”,0,0,0,3,6,28,65,86,94,291,304,*,332,320,406,427,207

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Posted on November 28, 2013, in Star Wars, Tips and Tricks and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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