Preliminary checks

This was originally a part of the post that will follow this one, a post on how to improve your framerate and stuttering issues in large fights. But since this part talks about basic things which most players should already know about, I’ve decided to put them in a separate post. This is a good check-list if you are having problems and aren’t sure why, but if you are looking for advice on game-settings, addons and the like, then you should refer to the post above.

Keep in mind that I am not an engineer or a programmer so my knowledge is limited. However, I am an experienced gamer and an advanced PC user, things described in this post are problems I have observed and techniques I have learned through the years of gaming.

Lag? Frame rate drop? What are these beasts you speak of?

1. Connection problems or clientside lag.

Description: As I’m sure you are aware, the game client on your computer communicates with the server through your internet connection. The time it takes for the information to travel from your client to the server and back is called latency, or lag, which is basically a delay between you initiating an action and the server acknowledging it and giving your client the permission to do so. In MMOs acceptable travel times are from 250-300 milliseconds (ms), which is about 0.3 of a second. Although travel time (or latency) of 500 ms may sound ridiculously small in theory, it does affect gameplay in practice. You want to make sure your connection with the server is as quick and obstacle free as possible.

Indicators: Delayed response of in-game actions in an otherwise smooth gameplay, warping of characters in the game world, frequent disconnects, wonky collision detection… This will not only occur when you actively play, but also when you idle in areas with no players around.

Causes and solutions:

1. Closed ports on the router/firewall.

Consult your router/firewall manual on how to open the ports, or check this website. Also check the windows firewall and your antivirus program settings. WAR uses the following TCP ports:

  • 1380 (outbound)
  • 80 (outbound)
  • 8046 (outbound)

2. Bad connection.

Take this connection test. If you experience any packet loss or abnormal jitter, there is a problem with your connection.
Check your cables and connection settings and make sure they are set as your ISP (internet service provider) wants them. If you are using a router/firewall see above. If you are using wireless there might be interference or the signal may be weak. Cable connection is your safest bet. If everything seem to be in order on your end, take it up with you ISP.

3. Latency increases when downloading files and playing the game.

This means that your connection isn’t fast enough and that your download is taking up all the bandwidth. Stop downloading while playing, you nitwit.

Tip: If you want to gain 20-50 ms or more in your MMOs try using Leatrix Latency Fix. It edits a registry setting so you don’t have to do it by hand and basically streamlines the communication between the server and the client a bit. I’ve been using it for a couple of years now, and while it only lowered my latency by a small amount, I haven’t had any problems with it. And in case you do, an uninstall script is provided that returns the settings to the default ones. More info in the link.

2. Server side lag

Description: This is similar to the lag caused by a faulty connection with the server, only that here the one to blame for the delays is the server itself. It isn’t returning information in a timely manner or at all (drops packets). We don’t know exactly what technology and equipment Mythic is using, but it’s obviously not enough to handle huge 200 vs 200 keep funnels with full collision enabled. I’m sure you’ve seen for yourself what happens in those instances. The game is simply unplayable as the pairing will usually have up to 30 sec lag (30000 ms) or more. If this goes too far the pairing server (or server cluster or whatever they are using) seems to simply cave in and restart.

Indicators: Basically the same as with connection problems, only that this will only occur when the server is under heavy stress. You’ll see players warping around, taking no damage and getting insta-shot a min or so later, crowd control, buffs/debuff and dots lasting up to ten times the duration and career mechanics being completely unresponsive. Basically it looks like a complete lockdown with maybe one ability firing off in the space of a minute, no matter how much you mash the button.

Causes and solutions:

The main culprit for server slowdown are battles on a massive scale, where the server has to deal with enormous amounts of collision calculations in addition to everything else. This will mainly happen when there’s a beacon for ORvR activity like a keep siege or a battlefield objective defense, and both sides rush to take part in huge numbers.

There is nothing you can do about this. If you don’t want to play in such conditions you should avoid the pairing the battle is raging in and play scenarios or run PvE instances, as they seem to be only mildly affected.

3. Frame rate drop, FPS lag, stuttering, client freezing

Description: The problems in the title above happen when the game client running on your computer goes bonkers. This will usually coincide with the server shitting kittens in large battles, but is very rarely in direct correlation with the server performance itself. A drop in frame rate should in no way happen because the server stopped sending regular packets and responding to the client. In such a case you would see all signs of heavy lag, but the frame rate should be relatively stable. However, I’m sure most of you have experienced frame rate dropping below 10 FPS (frames per second) in big battles even on monster machines. It seems apparent that WAR is badly optimised and you’ll see that in the next post, where the guidelines for optimising the client are.

To the players that claim to have stable FPS during heavy battles (even those that cause the server to shit kittens), you are obviously doing something right. Let us know what it is.

Causes and solutions: Refer to the post following this one.

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