Lag reporting thread

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Isles487
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Lag reporting thread

Postby Isles487 » Mon Mar 23, 2020 1:02 am

Report your experience here. Let us know if you are experiencing issues with higher than average lag, if your experience has been relatively normal or better, or anything that might be helpful in that regard. I just want to take a survey of how things are going.

In your report, please let me know how many players are in the game, if you know if the players are from different countries, what type of connection you and the other players are using (if you know), and whether you can verify if everyone is using good hardware or otherwise. Videos are appreciated.

This is really just to collect information, since I can't verify we'll be able to improve the lag experience for anyone.
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Re: Lag reporting thread

Postby Herbivore » Wed Mar 25, 2020 5:19 pm

The Bugs in UB, especially at the Vent Tower, it's been practically unplayable since yesterday.

Examples:

Bug spray both kills them but they get to hit my character twice.
Got put from FINE to danger twice at the top, in like seconds. My character was FLYING around multiple times with nothing hitting it.
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Re: Lag reporting thread

Postby leotreves » Wed Mar 25, 2020 5:27 pm

I recorded this in the sole purpose of registering the lag. The video is dark because I accidentally left "allow transparency" enabled. Anyway, crank up your brightness before you watch it.

https://youtu.be/EisdWYszouQ?t=100


Edit: DiYova recorded a brighter version of the video above: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-eEdc1-N4-Y
Last edited by leotreves on Thu Mar 26, 2020 1:08 am, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Lag reporting thread

Postby Neoplasmic » Wed Mar 25, 2020 5:57 pm

I recorded this in the sole purpose of registering the lag. The video is dark because I accidentally left "allow transparency" enabled. Anyway, crank up your brightness before you watch it.

https://youtu.be/EisdWYszouQ?t=100
Damn, that is dark stuff.

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Re: Lag reporting thread

Postby leotreves » Wed Mar 25, 2020 6:10 pm

Damn, that is dark stuff.
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HN: Shepard

Useful stuff:

Get faster load speeds with the emulated HDD
Get a memcard with everything unlocked+network setup

PCSX2 using OPL/HDD
PC: Ryzen 2700X/16GB/GTX 1080
PS2: SCPH 30000 120GB
PS3: CECHE01 2TB HDD

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Re: Lag reporting thread

Postby RiZzO_420X » Wed Mar 25, 2020 6:31 pm

Sometimes I'll get really bad lag when playing with ppl from Indonesia, but that's alright I just deal with it lol. It's like nothing I've ever seen before back at the NA server. :o
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Re: Lag reporting thread

Postby Herbivore » Wed Mar 25, 2020 6:31 pm

oops posted wrong thing
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Re: Lag reporting thread

Postby Coji » Wed Mar 25, 2020 11:03 pm

It hasn't changed overall. Some RMs are plain bad (internet quality, emulators), some RMs are "great" despite OB's not-so-good netcode.

Example of good, despite being the DT siege, the naturally laggiest situation in Outbreak: https://www.twitch.tv/videos/574941857?t=0h24m00s - If you've played DT online, you know how bad it is by default. RM was wictorious. Also, ignore the freeze at the end, DT does that often.

I'll try to keep this thread in mind, as there are a dozen or more players I could name with borderline unplayable RM lag NOT caused by distance.

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Re: Lag reporting thread

Postby Isles487 » Thu Mar 26, 2020 2:19 am

It hasn't changed overall. Some RMs are plain bad (internet quality, emulators), some RMs are "great" despite OB's not-so-good netcode.

Example of good, despite being the DT siege, the naturally laggiest situation in Outbreak: https://www.twitch.tv/videos/574941857?t=0h24m00s - If you've played DT online, you know how bad it is by default. RM was wictorious. Also, ignore the freeze at the end, DT does that often.

I'll try to keep this thread in mind, as there are a dozen or more players I could name with borderline unplayable RM lag NOT caused by distance.
What makes any complaints so hard to diagnose is that there are many factors that can result in tremendous lag or even a pause in activity like the videos linked here. Most of your experience on non-RM is going to come down to the RM. Right at the source, you're depending on them having a decent setup to emulate, and even then, you're hoping that there isn't something eating up their cpu in the background. From there, you're dependent on their connection - if they're using unreliable wifi, you could very well end up with a situation where there's a break in transmission, even for a short time, which can result in a ton of retransmitted packets arriving all at once, and you get the situation where you receive a rush of enemy position, other player position, and attack data all in a few seconds. Something important to note is that Outbreak uses TCP, which means that every single packet that's sent needs to be received on the other end. Any packets that aren't received need to be retransmitted, which can compound the problem. Another point is that each and every packet needs to go to the server before it goes to the players. There is no direct communication between any player, so if you've got two people that are each far from the server, you're actually doubling the ping time or more. It's not how far you are from your co-op friends - it's how far they are from the server, and *add* how far you are from the server to that equation.

Even if your room master has a stellar connection and good hardware, if you're playing with someone that's relatively far away from either you or the server, there are tons of nodes between their location and the server, and any of those nodes could be a failure or lag point, which will also end up in delays and retransmissions. This is largely out of control of the user and not even in the control of their ISP. It's just a fact of internet infrastructure. These issues can even be sporadic, so you can have a situation where 90% of their packets timely arrive at the server, but problems in between the RM and server can manifest and then disappear quickly and seemingly at random. If some of their packets arrive in 13 ms, but others arrive at 120ms, and then 200ms, and then back down to 50ms, that's called "jitter" and it's a problem that's not going to be obvious in many other internet usage applications like browsing.

Assuming the room master's packets have reached the server with no inordinate delay, the server might be short on CPU or having internet issues of its own. We've recently removed the old shoutbox and there should not be any cpu usage issues here. I've also pinged the server from my address and let the command run for a while - I saw very consistent round trip ping times, without jitter, and with rare instances of packet drops with 82 users logged into the lobby or in-game.

So let's say that your RM has good hardware, a good connection, and gets their info to the server on time. Well, all the issues that could've arisen between the RM and the server can occur at any point in the internet infrastructure between the server and you. And your client (the game) needs to send acknowledgement packets back to the server. And your wifi could have intermittent jitter. Or dropouts. Or the connection between your house and your default gateway (the first node at the IP), could be inconsistent for reasons that are outside of your control.

So when we get reports that there are times that lag gets terrible, it's really difficult to diagnose. Especially since the game server is so minimal. It has one job: take packets from each player, and simply send them out to the other players. It doesn't track any variable that goes on in the game, it doesn't even do game setup. It is, from a design perspective, "dumb."

Maybe as a start, if you're having consistent lag issues, try pulling up a cmd window if you're in windows, and use the command "ping -t obsrv.org" and open another one with "ping -t google.com". Let these commands run while you play. If you run into a situation where suddenly players stop updating, or something similar, take a look at the obsrv window first, noting the time. If the time in ms is suddenly very high, or you're seeing "request timed out," there's something going on between you and the server. We don't know what, and we don't know whose end the "fault" is closer to, but it's at least a start. At the same time, if you see the google ping window doing something similar, it means that most likely your or your ISP is having issues. It's a good idea to look at the ping times generally, and if they're consistently on the lower side, and you don't see much variance, then there's nothing more you can do. If things are acting up in game and you see that the ping time has remained consistent and there are not dropped packets, it means the problem is elsewhere, and it's almost certainly another players' emulator, or their connection. This is all good info to have.
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Re: Lag reporting thread

Postby Coji » Thu Mar 26, 2020 3:16 am

There is a general consistency when people have stable setups, I rarely notice anything that would be blamed server side, although I imagine it would be the case for some people.

Definitely unlike retail, where connections were majorly a factor because everyone played on similar hardware up until slimline PS2s became the "norm."

Distance is blatantly obvious when their RM/hardware setup and connection are good. Say you .45 potshot a zombie in your face with an RM from east Asia, and you're in NA. That zombie will likely get an attack off. If it swipes, you'll likely be hit before the shot registers. If it grabs, you'll likely be stopped in place/"grabbed" but it'll cancel and the zombie will go flying. Sadly I don't think this can be helped.

But, here's an example of a "bad" RM. This has nothing to do with the server unfortunately, but horrible emulator settings/playing on a Toaster: https://www.twitch.tv/cojirofox/clip/To ... kPermaSmug You can even see Yoko (RM) pacing extremely slowly.


To refer to the original post, the server has had inconsistent loading times in the lobby menus, which is to be expected due to the influx of players (85-100+). In game, it has been more or less the same as it always was, even with the recent increased player count. If you have any specific type of scenario you want me to keep an eye out for, let me know.

edit: next time I play I'll run some pings.

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Isles487
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Re: Lag reporting thread

Postby Isles487 » Thu Mar 26, 2020 3:37 am

There is a general consistency when people have stable setups, I rarely notice anything that would be blamed server side, although I imagine it would be the case for some people.

Definitely unlike retail, where connections were majorly a factor because everyone played on similar hardware up until slimline PS2s became the "norm."

Distance is blatantly obvious when their RM/hardware setup and connection are good. Say you .45 potshot a zombie in your face with an RM from east Asia, and you're in NA. That zombie will likely get an attack off. If it swipes, you'll likely be hit before the shot registers. If it grabs, you'll likely be stopped in place/"grabbed" but it'll cancel and the zombie will go flying. Sadly I don't think this can be helped.

But, here's an example of a "bad" RM. This has nothing to do with the server unfortunately, but horrible emulator settings/playing on a Toaster: https://www.twitch.tv/cojirofox/clip/To ... kPermaSmug You can even see Yoko (RM) pacing extremely slowly.


To refer to the original post, the server has had inconsistent loading times in the lobby menus, which is to be expected due to the influx of players (85-100+). In game, it has been more or less the same as it always was, even with the recent increased player count. If you have any specific type of scenario you want me to keep an eye out for, let me know.

edit: next time I play I'll run some pings.
If it's remained consistent, than that is fine to hear, too! Basically made this thread because a few users had asked whether anything is going on lately that has worsened the lag compared to their experiences in the past.
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Re: Lag reporting thread

Postby nunes » Thu Mar 26, 2020 6:06 am

Speaking as a complete layperson on the technicalities of how the Playstation 2 - or Outbreak - network code works, I want to give my two cents on the matter of lag. Take it for what it's worth.

The gist of my following argument is; emulator setup of the RM is pretty much the only variable one must seriously consider when faced with overwhelming lag. Of course, server can always shit the bed and all, but should not be blamed first and foremost.

I used to play right around when the Japanese community was online (mornings in Brazil, where I live). Most of them played on console, and so did I. The off-host lag was there, of course, but was "normal" PS2 lag, one that you could predict. Lag that you could aim and shoot at thin air, predicting the path of the enemies so it would register as a hit at the RM screen, where it counts. Totally manageable. It doesn't matter if the player is from Japan, Brazil, USA, Canada. PS2 lag is very similar, not to say identical, as long as a MINIMAL 2004-level internet was present.

Server only played a role in a few episodes, but I really don't think it had anything to do with the shoutbox or number of players active at the same time.

Listen, I love that emulators exist, and that we can enjoy some solid Outbreak with it. But it is not without its problems, and lag is by far the biggest of them. Anyone can tell me that their setup is perfect, their emulator RM is just as good as the PS2 and so on. It is not the case, though. You might have an emulator setup that doesn't make it unplayable for everyone else, but emulator lag is still much worse and unpredictable than PS2 lag, doesn't matter your configurations, doesn't matter your steady frame rate. It's not about ping, not about your amazing ultra PC with 4K setup. Not all emulator lag is as bad as the next, but it's still laggy as hell, and it will never get close to be as good as PS2 lag.

I see some amazing screenshots here of people with the most gorgeous graphics, amazing to look at and savor. And god bless the latest dev9 plugin to allow so many people to play the game and be a part of the Outbreak community. But you can't have your cake and eat it too. Emulator lag is what we get. The server is blameless for the absolute majority (not to say all) of cases. That's how I feel. Again, layperson here.

One more thing, I hope is not too off-topic. I used to test some emulator setups with my buddies to test the perception of lag. We figured that using Software Mode on the graphics plugin decreases lag to an almost bearable level. I don't know why, or how. Using Software Mode does fixes some glitches on the lobbies and stuff, so my theory is that it does a better job of emulating the game, albeit you can't upscale it to make it look sharper and prettier. If someone wants to experiment with it further, I'd be very interested to know your findings. Not that I think many people would sacrifice their brilliant resolution setup just to be a better RM for everyone else. That would certainly be expecting too much.
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