Troubleshooting gaming-related issues (Neverwinter)

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Troubleshooting gaming-related issues (Neverwinter)

Postposted on Wed Dec 11, 2013 7:43 am

Howdy,

I've tried everything within my IT knowledge I could think of, including extensive googling to try and solve an issue that is driving me nuts. My rig specs are in my signature. My machine is super well maintained, immaculate even. I keep it in tip top shape. It is overclocked currently at 4.4ghz, but otherwise no other overclocking is done. It's passed 24 hours+ of Prime95 with temperatures that are very good, and no errors. I've also used Memtest on all of the RAM without issue. I have no issues in any other games like this, however, my friends' lesser spec'd machines perform without the problems I have.

The game is Neverwinter (MMORPG). The issue is that the FPS drop seemingly random every 5-10 seconds. Not a massive drop, usually, but if the game is running around 55 FPS average, it will drop to say 45 or so, and I get a noticeable hitching or stutter on screen. I also have a problem no one else nor any forum member from what I can tell has anyone experiencing; When I first log in to the game (after character select) there is a welcome message that appears after about 2 seconds or so. It basically shows you what's new in game and what not. The game immediately spikes my ping to ridiculous numbers, and my FPS drop to a fraction of 1. The game will do this for about 1-3 minutes on average, at which point the game returns to normal. My FPS will rise to ~50 in an instance that isn't heavily populated. In a major hub that is densely populated, the game will hover around 30FPS.

I will admit that there is a TON of google'd evidence that the game is poorly coded. That said, my friends who have lesser rigs (albeit playing on lesser settings) have none of the issues I do and state plainly that their experiences is 99% smooth. Here is what I have tried so far to alleviate my problems:

Code: Select all
I have no application (software) firewall, but I opened the ports explicitly on my FioS Router/Modem that that the game uses both TCP and UDP. 7000-7500.

I port forwarded and gave priority (QoS) for their IP range given by their tech support forums.

I've verified with a friend who has the exact same video card what driver version he has, and actually done a clean install to a version from early November.

I've tried reducing in-game setting in both visual settings and the game also provides a resolution "scaling" feature does nothing to help. In most cases, lowering the settings made things worse, believe it or not. The friends with lesser specs are playing at 8x MSAA and 16X AF with all post-processing effects turned on still over 30FPS and 0 complaints of the stuttering I have at 55FPS.

I've run a nettest program directly at the request of their forums and my results all fall into a good range comparing to the other tests I've seen.

I've run a tracert against their servers and received back the hops, 1 or 2 of them are elevated in terms of latency at ~60ms but the rest of the hops are < 25ms or so. I didn't really sneeze at the 60ms hops either.


That's pretty much the gamut I've run. If you gerbils in your infinite collective wisdom could recommend anything else I could try I'm all ears. I really am enjoying this free game, it's fun and a change of pace from League of Legends but it's hard to enjoy the way it's performing currently. My last option is to drop $100 give or take on a non-verizon router as none of my friends have FioS and I'm wondering if that could be a problem.

I'm already pissed at Verizon for their censoring of youtube and twitch.tv due to disputes over peering agreements and CDNs. Disgusting, don't even get me started. I left them last week as my cell provider and my only other option for ISPs is Comcast which gave me problems with other games I played. FioS is rock solid connection wise, never drops. Comcast had issues often (weekly I would estimate) which caused me headaches therein. If I were to get a new FioS router/modem combo, what would you recommend?

Thanks again for taking the time to hear my plight.
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Re: Troubleshooting gaming-related issues (Neverwinter)

Postposted on Wed Dec 11, 2013 8:17 am

steelcity_ballin wrote:The game immediately spikes my ping to ridiculous numbers


Is that actual ICMP ping or just some in-game metric?

I'd figure out where you are actually connecting and then run regular ping in the background while you play the game. If it's only the game that says your ping is bad, that means your connection probably isn't the problem, but the responsiveness of their server software to your client software (or vice versa), which is on a much higher level.
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Re: Troubleshooting gaming-related issues (Neverwinter)

Postposted on Wed Dec 11, 2013 10:13 am

Their in-game ping is run from inside their game via a command [/netgraph 1] and it shows my ping generally in the 90-100ms range, occasionally it will go as high as 130. My friend in California is playing with 150-200 ping and has no issues. No lag or stutter. Being an MMO and not a FPS for example, that's understandable.

Their nettest.exe results I'm not really sure how to interpret or quantify outside of what they've told me. It spits out some numbers from the command line into columns and they basically said if the values in column 1 or 3 are above X value, you have a problem. They aren't so whatever that test is designed to prove, I pass that muster there. Thanks for the reply.
Corsair 600T | ASUS P8P67 PRO | Intel 2500k @ 4.4Ghz | EVGA 560 TI | G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 8GB | Corsair HX650 650W
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Re: Troubleshooting gaming-related issues (Neverwinter)

Postposted on Wed Dec 11, 2013 11:05 am

Do you have many USB devices? I was experiencing a similar issue and the wireless adapter I had was running into issues on a USB 2 port. Swapping the device to a USB 3 port cleared it up.
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Re: Troubleshooting gaming-related issues (Neverwinter)

Postposted on Wed Dec 11, 2013 11:53 am

I know, I know you are having no issues whatever otherwise, but have you tried a clean OS install - have a spare hardware, install just Video, OS and Neverwinter?

Have you tried going back to normal clocking? What's your RAM speed that you are running at?

Is this wireless or cable back to the router?

Have you repaired Neverwinter or totally reinstalled it? I play Neverwinter as well and I had to do this once to fix effectively the same issue.

Can you provide your exact Neverwinter Video settings?

As an anecdotal side comment - if I lower my settings in NW, I also actually get worse performance. :D
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Re: Troubleshooting gaming-related issues (Neverwinter)

Postposted on Wed Dec 11, 2013 12:09 pm

LaChupacabra wrote:Do you have many USB devices? I was experiencing a similar issue and the wireless adapter I had was running into issues on a USB 2 port. Swapping the device to a USB 3 port cleared it up.


Just my mouse and keyboard. I have other ports available, I can certainly give anything a try.
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Re: Troubleshooting gaming-related issues (Neverwinter)

Postposted on Wed Dec 11, 2013 12:15 pm

keltor wrote:I know, I know you are having no issues whatever otherwise, but have you tried a clean OS install - have a spare hardware, install just Video, OS and Neverwinter?

Have you tried going back to normal clocking? What's your RAM speed that you are running at?

Is this wireless or cable back to the router?

Have you repaired Neverwinter or totally reinstalled it? I play Neverwinter as well and I had to do this once to fix effectively the same issue.

Can you provide your exact Neverwinter Video settings?

As an anecdotal side comment - if I lower my settings in NW, I also actually get worse performance. :D


I only have my current system which is a hybrid workstation and gaming rig currently. I can't risk/afford a re-install at this time. The RAM is stock speeds, DDR3 1600. Wired connection. I have repaired it using Force Verify option from the client, is there another way? I have not tried a reinstall yet - It's a brand new install though. It wasn't as if it was fine at one point and start behaving this way. I just started playing a few days ago.

I can provide my exact settings when I get home (around 5pm EST) - One strange thing about my video settings is that in the character select screen, it will read correctly whatever I had my AA and AF as. however once in the game it typically will read "UNTRANSLATED:". Initially I had TERRIBLE FPS, like under 20FPS in most cases with their default selection. It was set to AUTO under videocard. I manually chose "DX11 #2 Nvidia 560ti " and restarted, I got much, MUCH better FPS. Still lags/stutters but at least I can play. I tried experimenting with the other selections like DX 9 and choosing 1 or 2. Nothing gained or lost really.

Thanks.
Corsair 600T | ASUS P8P67 PRO | Intel 2500k @ 4.4Ghz | EVGA 560 TI | G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 8GB | Corsair HX650 650W
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Re: Troubleshooting gaming-related issues (Neverwinter)

Postposted on Wed Dec 11, 2013 3:22 pm

Stock RAM speeds for your processor are DDR3-1066/1333 - try them. Probably the very first thing to try.

Apparently from talking to some people I found out that some users are experiencing issues with their settings related to the whole UNTRANSLATED message in the settings. I suspect you are suffering from this problem.

I believe the file to delete is <NW install dir>\Live\Localedata\Gameprefs.Pref - this should reset the settings and "possibly" fix things. A Major patch was release right about when you started and you might have caught part of a bug in this.
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Re: Troubleshooting gaming-related issues (Neverwinter)

Postposted on Wed Dec 11, 2013 4:00 pm

I deleted the file, not sure what it SHOULD have done but all my settings remained despite.
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Re: Troubleshooting gaming-related issues (Neverwinter)

Postposted on Sat Dec 14, 2013 9:21 pm

I've tried about every combination of display settings known to the game and myself. I've updated my chipset drivers for the onboard NIC (Asus P8P67 Pro) to no avail. I've installed absolutely every optional Win7 update, run driver cleaners, the works. No dice. Here's a screen of the ping and traceroute I ran. In game my ping without spikes claims it's 80-120ms on average, spikes high here and there, and that is always the moment the FPS drop low and then rebound. However the windows perfromance utility in the screenshot below never moves, stays at a steady Happens about every 3-10 seconds, especially in high traffic areas. I'm not super knowledgable of the data provided below, just that I can get it for other's to look at. I'd like to be educated on what the different columns are suggesting.

http://i.imgur.com/UtBwPoI.png

My next step is to take the game off the older 7200RPM drive it's currently running on (as all my games are, no issues elsewhere) and onto my SSD to see if somehow that would make a difference. I doubt it will. After this, I will attempt to reset my system settings for the CPU back to default and see if that somehow has made a difference. Lastly, I am going to try and set a firewall rule to drop any connection from the addresses where the hop timed out temporarily to see if a different route may be taken.

I was told the servers were in Boston but after a little digging, they are actually in LA. Still, that shouldn't matter much. Any other suggestions/advice are always welcome. I am determined to enjoy this game and I have an entire work week off so I can tinker to my heart's content. Thanks.
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Re: Troubleshooting gaming-related issues (Neverwinter)

Postposted on Sat Dec 14, 2013 10:36 pm

The servers are in LA for sure. :)

I now have several people in my guild all that have the issue, so it's apparently happening to others, I expect the next patch to resolve it.
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Re: Troubleshooting gaming-related issues (Neverwinter)

Postposted on Sun Dec 15, 2013 1:25 am

I've never played this game, but if you're dropping to 1 FPS for a couple MINUTES, it doesn't sound like a connection-related issue. That is, unless the game uses some sort of server-side rendering. The most likely scenario is that the game is poorly coded and/or doesn't like something about your system. My first suggestion would be to lose the overclock. Unless you're running low resolutions, it's doubtful that you're seeing much benefit from it anyhow.
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