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Steps To Improve Latency?

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Guys

Are there any basic steps / settings that can be made to a PC to reduce latency?

I've got LOTRO applications set to trusted in my AV and have reduced ultra graphics settings to very high.

I completely d/c'd in a 24 man raid a couple of days ago for the first time ever :(

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Latency is usually caused by the connection, not the PC. Nothing you can do really. The only potential cause of some additional latency (about 2% of the total) is your home network. Old routers/modems can have a lower data throughput, leading to a few ms increase. But since about 100ms of the total latency is to the trans-atlantic connection, you're not going to lower it by much (if any at all).

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what would interest me is ... is there a chance to lower the loss in any way? or is this also related in general to the connection?

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Latency & packet loss is all about the connection. The only way your PC can affect things is by reducing the amount of data being received / sent e.g. by turning your graphics down to increase your frame rate. Once the data is in the telephone line, there's nothing that I know of that you do about the rest of it.

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Ping and loss may rise if the FPS sink too much, though. Being the warden in the barrow-down survival, I had to learn it the hard way... Dying and learning of this from others over TS half a minute before I saw it on my screen sucks ;)

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As others said above; there are a couple things you should keep separate:

-Connection with the server --> Latency and Loss

Latency is expressed in milliseconds and shows the delay of you pushing a button and the server receiving it. Meaning if you have a latency of 200, your actions will be recorded 200 milliseconds (0,2seconds) after you activated the skill. As peoples perception is between 0,4-0,6 seconds this isn't a real big of a deal for MMO's. In shooter-games (FPS) this is a big difference as aiming is a big part of those games, meaning the difference between a hit or a miss.

Loss is the amount of packages that are lost. Roughly a loss of 0,1-0,2% is pretty normal. More loss means that either your area is a dense traffic and through that packages are lost, or any other reason. Apparently newer models of routers/modems can increase it. But i'm no expert in that

-Lagg, the freeze of your screen

This can have two reasons; one is that your own computer can't handle the amount of data that needs to be created, for example a lot of flashy skills, people/monsters moving across the screen and such. This is due to your own hardware can't handling the amount. As a result the computer is behind with what actually is happening resulting in 'lagg'. As the OP has ultra settings this will not be quite the problem.

Other reason is that information is stocking/stacking as packages of information are building up. Usually the loss increases as the latency is not stable. When it varies between (for exameple) 100-400ms the sudden spike can result in the screen 'waiting' for new information about the movement of the people around you, resulting in a freeze of movement.

my 2 cents :)

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Guys

Are there any basic steps / settings that can be made to a PC to reduce latency?

I've got LOTRO applications set to trusted in my AV and have reduced ultra graphics settings to very high.

I completely d/c'd in a 24 man raid a couple of days ago for the first time ever :(

The main thing you can do to reduce latency, especially if you intend to join another 24-man Raid is to lower your Graphics even more

I have, what I consider the best PC I could afford, and even with a 6-core, and loads of ram I still drop my settings from Ultra-High to Medium in the Big Raids

6-man and 12-man are ok, but a 24 man raid there is way too much activity on screen at higher res's

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The main problem with LOTRO is that it uses UDP 'User defined packets' rather than TCP "Transmission Control Protocol' to get the data to you.

If you think of the data sent to you as letters through the post.

When LOTRO was conceived alot of people still had dial-up and the internet was slow and cranky

The upside of UDP

UDP is great for low speed connections as it could be crafted to carry far more data than a standard TCP so you get more data per letter. Also the way Windows XP & Vista handles TCP is it assumes you have a crap connection so it double checks and rechecks the data before it hands it to the programme. This can add 20ms to 50ms depending on stack size.

The downside of UDP

It was more prone to data lose as Windows did not check anything it just passed it to the programme. So it is LOTRO that has to 'run' the connection and check for lost packets and damaged data. not a problem with a stable connection, slows the game with a bad connection.

The effect of time.

Move on a few years most people have fast connections. Windows Vista SP1 & Windows 7 assumes fast reliable TCP connections. While XP SP3 dumped a few of the checks plus workarounds can turn off the TCP Stacks, it is ultimately hindered by its core design for network handling.

The early Bigfoot Network cards gave huge speed increases and better stability for XP & pre SP1 Vista users by turning off the TCP service off and running TCP itself.

So for LOTRO this means that as long as they stick to UDP they cannot take advantage of the advances in Vista & Windows 7 or the XP workarounds. That is let Windows handle the connection and allow LOTRO just to play the game.

Worse as UDP is mainly the preserve of older games and data tracking for torrents. ISPs are targeting UDP to get at the torrent users so UDP is being delayed at ISP borders while it is interrogated over what it is, what it is for, and where it is going.

What this boils down to is for LOTRO lag is controlled by your ISP view of torrent users & traffic shaping, the number of switches and distance your data has to travel.

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TCP/UDP stuff...

Hmm... I disagree with your views, as you make it sound like UDP is something old-fashioned, intended for slow networks, which by now could as well be exchanged for TCP. There is a reason that different protocols exist. Using UDP is not "a main problem of LOTRO", or other MMOs for that matterr. It's very functional.

UDP ommits guaranty of delivey *by design*. Not just for sake of speed, but also for required behavior. The philosophy is that if you loose a packet, then forget about it and go on with the show. Should you use TCP instead, you client would hang for a while while retransmitting the data, which already may be outdated. In the worst case you could end up with a TCP connection timeout, resulting in a lag-spike of typically over 10 seconds. No matter how fast your network is.

Networks do get faster/better, but UDP is still the better candidate for realtime applications. Not having to exchange ACKnowledge has a better (shorter) response effect. And in some cases of packet loss, such as realtime games, it is better to just forget about it instead of putting all succesive actions into a 'lag queue'.

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