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NWN, bandwidth & lag.

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NWN, bandwidth & lag.

PostAuthor: Anomandari » Tue Aug 18, 2009 12:20 pm

Having moved to another flat I changed ISPs.
It's a wireless connection now (strong signal, the router is only two rooms away), and a pretty speedy one - fast enough to simultaneously run youtube/radio streams and multiple downloads with no choking whatsoever. I share it with the handful of other residents here.
The only thing I use that won't function like it's supposed to is NWN multiplayer mode. While I've got terrible issues with getting the gamespy server listing alone (which takes at least 3 - 4 hits of the "retry" button), logging on any of the Avlis servers takes way more than 10 attempts due to timeout. Even if/when I make it in, lag rarely decreases to less than 10 - 30 seconds. Needless to say, such conditions make me look for my gaming experience somewhere at the very rock bottom.

Hence, the Question:
Why the lag if connection is good?

Is it possible that the router is choking on NWN-specific ports only? Does NWN share its ports with any p2p applications (the only thing morbidly obese enough when it comes to simultaneous connections I can think of)? I'm more or less a guest here, so I don't want to knock from door to door asking people to shut down whatever they might be doing 'cause I want to PLAY.
:evil:

Any reasons / solutions / pieces of advice?

Thanks in advance,
M.
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Re: NWN, bandwidth & lag.

PostAuthor: Hamlet » Tue Aug 18, 2009 1:00 pm

Does NWN share its ports with any p2p applications (the only thing morbidly obese enough when it comes to simultaneous connections I can think of)?

Not according to IANA. But then again unlicensed ports can be used by whomever. Atari, in this case. Local network management/support team doesn't like you/anyone else but them playing games, my next bet. X:|
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Re: NWN, bandwidth & lag.

PostAuthor: loki70 » Tue Aug 18, 2009 1:54 pm

firewall blockage. There should be a set port for applications to run through. If you don't have a set port, then the system will just pick the next available one, and shift it every so often. that's where I've had issues in the past. If the router is carrying a firewall, this could cause problems for you, especially if your system is carrying a firewell and sending the game through a port that the router doesn't recognize as dedicated. Ask your admin about firewall and if you can get an exception made for that port.
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Re: NWN, bandwidth & lag.

PostAuthor: Nighthawk4 » Tue Aug 18, 2009 2:09 pm

I seem to recall that at one time it was necessary to open certain ports on the Firewall for NWN to work in its online mode. Not sure which ones they were - perhaps 5121, 5122, 5123, etc. i.e. the ones used by the various servers. Can anyone please confirm if this is correct and if so, which ports are required? :?
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Re: NWN, bandwidth & lag.

PostAuthor: Grunt » Tue Aug 18, 2009 2:15 pm

http://nwn.bioware.com/support/techfaq.html#03

1.03: How can I play through a Firewall? (Back to Top)

If you are trying to play through a firewall of some sort, here is some information for you to help you get connected. Neverwinter Nights uses UDP, not TCP for its connections. If you think that your firewall is preventing you from connecting to the game servers, please make sure that the following ports are open:

* Ports 5120 through 5300
* Port 6500
* Port 6667
* Port 27900
* Port 28900

In addition to opening the ports listed above, you may need to allow incoming connections on the port you are running your server on (5121 by default) and forward those connections to the computer running the server.
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Re: NWN, bandwidth & lag.

PostAuthor: Anomandari » Tue Aug 18, 2009 2:17 pm

Those are open...
...I'll re-check everything as soon as the admin recovers from THC poisoning, but firewall and routing are the 1st thing I checked.
Last edited by Anomandari on Tue Aug 18, 2009 2:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: NWN, bandwidth & lag.

PostAuthor: Moredo » Tue Aug 18, 2009 2:18 pm

Buy one of these:
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Re: NWN, bandwidth & lag.

PostAuthor: Nighthawk4 » Tue Aug 18, 2009 2:22 pm

Thanks Grunt - that was what I meant :up:

Moredo, not sure you are really helping :lol:
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Re: NWN, bandwidth & lag.

PostAuthor: Moredo » Tue Aug 18, 2009 2:40 pm

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Re: NWN, bandwidth & lag.

PostAuthor: Aur » Tue Aug 18, 2009 2:51 pm

Nighthawk4 wrote:Thanks Grunt - that was what I meant :up:

Moredo, not sure you are really helping :lol:

I think you'd be surprised at how much better a cable would handle UDP traffic than a wireless connection.

Just sayin'
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Re: NWN, bandwidth & lag.

PostAuthor: Nighthawk4 » Tue Aug 18, 2009 3:27 pm

Aur wrote:
Nighthawk4 wrote:Thanks Grunt - that was what I meant :up:

Moredo, not sure you are really helping :lol:

I think you'd be surprised at how much better a cable would handle UDP traffic than a wireless connection.

Just sayin'



This is true :wink:
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Re: NWN, bandwidth & lag.

PostAuthor: Anomandari » Tue Aug 18, 2009 5:21 pm

I'd love to have the permission to drill through the wall, thread the wire and plug myself in, but that's not going to happen :|
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Re: NWN, bandwidth & lag.

PostAuthor: loki70 » Tue Aug 18, 2009 5:28 pm

Permission? What do they teach lawyers over there...
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Re: NWN, bandwidth & lag.

PostAuthor: freestyler » Wed Aug 19, 2009 12:32 pm

I would also point at the wireless element, even with a strong signal it is never as good as a cable.

But are you saying that other things are on the bandwith when your trying to play like P2P that other people are using ?
As that would be the main issue. I have been told that games download in small packets and need "immediate" bandwith otherwise lag will cripple it , where as a download require less "immediate" access.

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Re: NWN, bandwidth & lag.

PostAuthor: tid242 » Thu Aug 20, 2009 12:57 am

you can also set the FW to accept all incoming packets initiated by a machine behind the firewall.

Also, bandwidth and latency are different things, you have decent ping times to other things outside the LAN?

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Re: NWN, bandwidth & lag.

PostAuthor: Anomandari » Thu Aug 20, 2009 8:41 am

Ping times are decent... well, most of the time; they vary a lot within short periods, ranging from 20 - 30 ms to series of > 100 ms. I'm waiting for my chance to get to the router config again, but until then I'm doomed to hotspots & wardriving (warwalking, rather - actually, I'd rather barwalk ;)). There's always that nice hotspot place just down the stairs, gin & tonic + mint leaves for 1,5 Euro / glass, but they close at midnight.
:glaskugel:
Well, at least I learned a couple of things about wireless and UDP. Thanks for your help :)
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Re: NWN, bandwidth & lag.

PostAuthor: tid242 » Fri Aug 21, 2009 1:08 am

Anomandari wrote:Ping times are decent... well, most of the time; they vary a lot within short periods, ranging from 20 - 30 ms to series of > 100 ms.


I've, actually, never played NWN on a high-ping connection, I think my connection has consistent <50ms times (just guessing here), but certainly nothing above 80ms. But a lot of the overseas guys have really high ping times (I think MadK@ once told me that hers was like 700 (although I could totally just be mis-remembering this)) and they seem to still be able to play fine (or maybe what you define as 'laggy' they define as 'fine'?). So I dunno. If the FW is dropping/blocking NWN packets that will do it for sure though. You could try pinging diff sized packets to the ports NWN uses and see if this is the case. The FW might be set up to deprioritize packets that it isn't set up to recognize as important (for example: surfing the internet = ok, downloading porn via torrent, or playing quake = less ok).

Not sure if ping-time inconsistency causes lag or not, but it could potentially be an issue if the game can't figure out what latency to "expect" (because every packet has a diff latency). There is a lot of info out there about reducing lag for games like quake, but I dunno if NWN ever got quite the techie following that quake did, so I've not read much on how NWN handles connections, etc. (and I'm not a computer guy, so prob wouldn't understand it anyway).

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Re: NWN, bandwidth & lag.

PostAuthor: tizmo » Thu Sep 03, 2009 12:10 am

My thoughts:

1. Have you asked your neighbors if they play any online games? What is their experience with network responsiveness?

2. Download and install wireshark. Set it to capture all traffic on the wireless network interface. Then start NWN and spend 5-10 minutes trying to get into the game and play for a few minutes if you can get in. Then log out and close NWN. Then stop the capture. Now you can look through the captured packets to see what ports your system is trying to use, whether you are having dropped packets, if there is other traffic on your connection that is causing a problem, etc...

3. Try to rule out small parts of the puzzle. Can you connect to the wireless router with a network cable and then attempt to get IG? This will help to rule out wireless as the problem. Can you borrow a different wireless router to use in place of the current one to which you are connecting? This will help eliminate the router as the problem. Can you try to tracert http://www.avlis.org and see if there is a noticeable spike along the path.

There are some wireless routers that just suck for gaming because they have crappy components that cannot keep up with the rate of data transfer required for an online game. Downloading porn, listening to streaming music, and watching u-tube has a different traffic pattern than playing online games. Online games are more of a constant stream, while the others are more bursty and can handle short lag spikes.

Good luck.
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Re: NWN, bandwidth & lag.

PostAuthor: Anomandari » Sat Sep 05, 2009 12:15 pm

tizmo wrote:1. Have you asked your neighbors if they play any online games? What is their experience with network responsiveness?
They don't. Browsing, downloading files from Rapidshare, watching streaming movies is what they do. No big responsiveness issues they can tell me about.


2. Download and install wireshark.
Oh, that's a nice app.
Set it to capture all traffic on the wireless network interface. Then start NWN and spend 5-10 minutes trying to get into the game and play for a few minutes if you can get in. Then log out and close NWN. Then stop the capture. Now you can look through the captured packets to see what ports your system is trying to use, whether you are having dropped packets, if there is other traffic on your connection that is causing a problem, etc...
Alright. Here comes the story. I installed the little piece and the libs it uses, started capturing, launched NWN... and logged in with no noticeable lag at all. Imagine the smile. I spent maybe 30 minutes, maybe an hour playing blissfully :) And suddenly there it appeared.
I've got two wireshark logs saved - the one including [the normal play, the moment where it got laggy and shortly thereafter], the other including [my attempts to log in under lag conditions]. Both logs are here: [ x ].

    1. The point where lag appears is more or less the same where some other device (HonHaiPR_17, IP x.x.x.103 - my ID is Intel_dd, IP x.x.x.106) appears on the network for the 1st time.

    A sample:
    Image

    2. I get lag-kicked from the server, try to log in again, succeed once, but get kicked after a minute. x.x.x.101 and x.x.x.103 keep repeating similar phrases. Lot of stuff I won't understand without a manual seems to be happening.

I'll get to figuring out what does that stuff mean once I find a spare night to grief through.


3. Try to rule out small parts of the puzzle. Can you connect to the wireless router with a network cable and then attempt to get IG? This will help to rule out wireless as the problem. Can you borrow a different wireless router to use in place of the current one to which you are connecting? This will help eliminate the router as the problem.
That's the problem. I'd gladly have done so long ago, but: I'm unable to rj45 myself (the router's owner does not want any wire running through his place), it's not my flat, not my router - and I'd rather avoid the guy :(


Can you try to tracert http://www.avlis.org and see if there is a noticeable spike along the path.
Takes more than 30 hops, but tracert to avlis.org, whitehouse.gov and cia.gov don't differ much. Mmh, which route to take now ;)

Code: Select all
tracert avlis.org

[74.208.72.81]
Hops > 30

  1   363 ms   378 ms   384 ms  10.35.0.1
  2   395 ms   438 ms   412 ms  10.35.0.1
  3   405 ms   467 ms   355 ms  89.228.6.17
  4   252 ms   268 ms   258 ms  89.228.2.29
  5   135 ms    77 ms   145 ms  193.159.226.229
  6    50 ms    41 ms    50 ms  b-ea6-i.B.DE.NET.DTAG.DE [62.154.46.150]
  7    40 ms    50 ms    39 ms  194.25.210.46
  8   492 ms    53 ms    39 ms  ae-32-52.ebr2.Berlin1.Level3.net [4.68.108.62]
  9    50 ms    50 ms    71 ms  ae-3-3.ebr2.Dusseldorf1.Level3.net [4.69.133.146]
 10   699 ms   104 ms    50 ms  ae-1-100.ebr1.Dusseldorf1.Level3.net [4.69.141.149]
 11    54 ms   132 ms    62 ms  ae-2-2.ebr2.Frankfurt1.Level3.net [4.69.132.138]
 12   231 ms   145 ms   145 ms  ae-42-42.ebr2.Washington1.Level3.net [4.69.137.54]
 13   589 ms   216 ms   148 ms  ae-72-72.csw2.Washington1.Level3.net [4.69.134.150]
 14   460 ms   740 ms   162 ms  ae-71-71.ebr1.Washington1.Level3.net [4.69.134.133]
 15   582 ms   160 ms   170 ms  ae-2.ebr3.Atlanta2.Level3.net [4.69.132.85]
 16   543 ms   179 ms   181 ms  ae-7.ebr3.Dallas1.Level3.net [4.69.134.21]
 17   359 ms   188 ms   187 ms  ae-92-98.ebr2.Dallas1.Level3.net [4.69.146.91]
 18   301 ms   902 ms   439 ms  ae-5-5.car1.KansasCity1.Level3.net [4.69.135.229]
 19   364 ms   190 ms   208 ms  11-INTERNET.car1.KansasCity1.Level3.net [4.53.32.10]
 20   187 ms   800 ms   466 ms  te-2-1.bb-b.slr.lxa.us.oneandone.net [74.208.1.77]
 21   186 ms   185 ms   186 ms  te-1-1.gw-distp-b.slr.lxa.oneandone.net [74.208.1.118]
 22   186 ms   189 ms   193 ms  ae-1.gw-prtr-r5-b.slr.lxa.oneandone.net [74.208.1.168]
 23     *        *        *     Timeout.
 24   309 ms   304 ms   327 ms  s15348433.onlinehome-server.com [74.208.72.81]



ping -t 74.208.72.81

Response from 74.208.72.81: bytes=32 time=701ms TTL=40
Response from 74.208.72.81: bytes=32 time=2811ms TTL=40
Response from 74.208.72.81: bytes=32 time=530ms TTL=40
Response from 74.208.72.81: bytes=32 time=2611ms TTL=40
Response from 74.208.72.81: bytes=32 time=521ms TTL=40
Response from 74.208.72.81: bytes=32 time=723ms TTL=40
Response from 74.208.72.81: bytes=32 time=408ms TTL=40
Response from 74.208.72.81: bytes=32 time=184ms TTL=40
Response from 74.208.72.81: bytes=32 time=487ms TTL=40
Response from 74.208.72.81: bytes=32 time=572ms TTL=40
Response from 74.208.72.81: bytes=32 time=469ms TTL=40
Response from 74.208.72.81: bytes=32 time=917ms TTL=40
Response from 74.208.72.81: bytes=32 time=708ms TTL=40
Response from 74.208.72.81: bytes=32 time=2122ms TTL=40
Response from 74.208.72.81: bytes=32 time=1374ms TTL=40
Response from 74.208.72.81: bytes=32 time=1050ms TTL=40
Response from 74.208.72.81: bytes=32 time=537ms TTL=40
Response from 74.208.72.81: bytes=32 time=262ms TTL=40
Response from 74.208.72.81: bytes=32 time=185ms TTL=40
Response from 74.208.72.81: bytes=32 time=190ms TTL=40
Response from 74.208.72.81: bytes=32 time=186ms TTL=40
Response from 74.208.72.81: bytes=32 time=189ms TTL=40
Response from 74.208.72.81: bytes=32 time=187ms TTL=40
Response from 74.208.72.81: bytes=32 time=845ms TTL=40
Response from 74.208.72.81: bytes=32 time=185ms TTL=40
Response from 74.208.72.81: bytes=32 time=777ms TTL=40
Response from 74.208.72.81: bytes=32 time=185ms TTL=40
Response from 74.208.72.81: bytes=32 time=763ms TTL=40
Response from 74.208.72.81: bytes=32 time=401ms TTL=40
Response from 74.208.72.81: bytes=32 time=184ms TTL=40
Response from 74.208.72.81: bytes=32 time=1136ms TTL=40
Response from 74.208.72.81: bytes=32 time=260ms TTL=40
Response from 74.208.72.81: bytes=32 time=1035ms TTL=40
Response from 74.208.72.81: bytes=32 time=857ms TTL=40
Response from 74.208.72.81: bytes=32 time=795ms TTL=40
Response from 74.208.72.81: bytes=32 time=1001ms TTL=40
Response from 74.208.72.81: bytes=32 time=208ms TTL=40
Response from 74.208.72.81: bytes=32 time=194ms TTL=40
Response from 74.208.72.81: bytes=32 time=880ms TTL=40
Response from 74.208.72.81: bytes=32 time=1073ms TTL=40



There are some wireless routers that just suck for gaming because they have crappy components that cannot keep up with the rate of data transfer required for an online game. Downloading porn, listening to streaming music, and watching u-tube has a different traffic pattern than playing online games. Online games are more of a constant stream, while the others are more bursty and can handle short lag spikes.
If that's the case, I'm screwed. The good thing is, I might be moving again in a month...

Good luck.
Tizmo
Thanks for your time & help :)
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Re: NWN, bandwidth & lag.

PostAuthor: Beary666 » Sat Sep 05, 2009 2:20 pm

I can attest to this with my wireless at home, if anyone, is using torrents, pings shoot up for everyone. If I was torrenting, my brother's pings used to shoot up in to the 600s. Doesn't matter if ports are shared, whether is was NWN or counterstrike or anything.
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Re: NWN, bandwidth & lag.

PostAuthor: GrayKing » Sat Sep 05, 2009 2:51 pm

Depending on your wireless technology if you have multiple users you very well could have channels stepping over each other competing for band. Just make sure your channel selection by your wireless is auto. One other thing... Depending on if you have an N or G spectrum or if the router is running not yet standardized (Experimental) protocols, sometimes other networks around you will be overlapping your channels...

The best you can do in that situation is to manually find the weakest networks channels and plug that range into your card. Forcing it to compete against weakest oposing network channels (go by strength of signal). Also try and keep any external antenna away from electrical things such as certain kinds of florescent light that can cause intermittent signals that will show up on Wireshark Diag. That stuff resides down on the Em spectrum and not always easily recognizable. Some of the older large Tube monitors can give off inordinate amounts of interference , also if you have and external wired antenna sometimes just moving it above head hight can mitigate most device interference giving you a better signal strength to the router.

Lastly you may try finding a high rated wireless card that is native protocol to the type of wireless router that is being used. You would be surprised how a well engineered wireless card can make issues like this just vanish because the manufacturer uses cheap grade C commercial chips that are just off the spec of the original design. In many ways with out the hight end tools some wireless problems just very hard to trouble shoot.

I know this was probably too long , but just thought Id try and throw a few ideas at ya. Working on some wireless can seem like voodoo magic. ;)

Best Regards, James
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Re: NWN, bandwidth & lag.

PostAuthor: Anomandari » Sat Sep 05, 2009 3:12 pm

Seems that there's even more of trial & error for me ahead :) Thanks for all your feedback, with your help I hope to get that baby rolling soon.

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Re: NWN, bandwidth & lag.

PostAuthor: tizmo » Sun Sep 06, 2009 4:37 am

Based off of what you've said and what I can see from the wireshark capture, I think the x.x.x.103 computer is the cause of your problems.

Here is the info about that computer, perhaps you know this person:
Computer Name is "Marek-PC"
OS is either WinXp or Win2000
Windows Workgroup "HP7700". This implies it is an HP 7700 desktop.
Mac address: 00:23:4d:17:a3:fd - It is a network card maufactured by Hon Hai Precision Industry Co. Ltd. Which also tells me this is an HP computer.

Ask that person to disable the UPnP/SSDP Service on their computer.


Here are 2 references discussing what is it, why it is a problem, and how to disable it:
https://kb.berkeley.edu/jivekb/entry.jspa?entryID=2455
http://www.blackviper.com/WinXP/Service ... ervice.htm

Note: UPnP is not PnP. UPnP is for connectivity on networks via TCP/IP to devices, such as scanners or printers. Your sound card is PnP. Do not disable the Plug and Play service.


The second recommendation is to ask the admin of the wireless router to Disable "UPNP" on the wireless router.


If you can do both of those things, that has a good chance of solving your problem.

Good luck!
Tizmo

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Re: NWN, bandwidth & lag.

PostAuthor: Buddha » Sun Sep 06, 2009 9:02 am

tizmo wrote:Here is the info about that computer, perhaps you know this person:
Computer Name is "Marek-PC"
OS is either WinXp or Win2000
Windows Workgroup "HP7700". This implies it is an HP 7700 desktop.
Mac address: 00:23:4d:17:a3:fd - It is a network card maufactured by Hon Hai Precision Industry Co. Ltd. Which also tells me this is an HP computer.


:shock:


*puts on his tin foil-lined helmet before tizmo looks his way*
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Re: NWN, bandwidth & lag.

PostAuthor: Anomandari » Sat Oct 03, 2009 5:10 pm

Ladies, Gentlemen,

my connection problems should be gone now - I moved to another place, ordered my own connection and set up my own network using a Motorola modem (signal source) connected to an ancient Linksys BEFSR11 router (gateway) connected to a TP-Link TL-WA501G wireless AP. It's not state of the art and gets laggy at times (the Linksys router is kind of broken), but I'm back online! :twisted:

Thanks for all the help and pieces of good advice I got from you in this thread.

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