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Weird unexplainable lag playing online even at 20fps but offline performance is fine.

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  • Weird unexplainable lag playing online even at 20fps but offline performance is fine.

    Hello EpicGames,

    I've been playing UT since the days of the 99 version and halfway through the life of UT2K4 I started to experience performance drop issues when playing online that are also present in the PreAlpha.

    Despite average Pings as low as 20ms.

    - I'll start (or join) a game with all my settings at their lowest for the tests below:
    - I'll play offline with no bots; everything's fine.
    - I'll play offline with several bots; everything's fine.
    - I'll play ONLINE alone; I get a small, expected drop in performance but all is fine.
    - I'll play ONLINE with bots; performance drops a bit further, all is "usually" still fine.
    - I'll play ONLINE with no bots and just one player will join; the performance now drops to the point where, half the time, it becomes unplayable.
    - I'll play ONLINE with no bots and 2 or more players will join; the game has now become absolutely, horribly, unbearably unplayable.

    - The first thing I will notice are respawn delays.
    - I'll get a firing delay.
    - I'll get an audio delay (the start/finish countdown may even skip a number).
    - I'll get a pickup delay. If i pickup a shield and turn around real quick, it may briefly still appear not picked up.
    - Aiming becomes pointless, even predictive aiming will still fall behind the player's real VS perceived location.
    - It becomes pointless to use precision weapons such as the enforcer, rifle, the Shock rifle, etc.
    - Dodging becomes pointless, you practically always get hit and you can't come up with an explanation.
    - Fired rockets have extremely long, interminable contrails.
    - Double tap dodge often inexplicably fails.
    - Any mastered tricks and moves will also fail most of the time.
    - Projectiles coming at you seem to do so in perhaps only 3 to 5 perceptible frames.

    - The above pattern will occur consistently, predictably, more than 95% of the time. I'll expand on the remaining 5% towards the end of this post.

    - In all the above ONLINE scenarios my ping will stay constant, usually averaging between 20-30ms.
    - When playing online and verifying packet loss, it is constantly 0.
    - I've always played UT while connected directly to a router via Ethernet cable.
    - The issue happened back in the days of UT2K4 and also now in the PreAlpha.
    - I lived in 2 separate cities with this problem still occurring; even with 2 different ISPs.
    - It won't matter which Server/Hub you join.
    - It won't matter what map you play.
    - It won't matter whether you play a custom map or predefined one.
    - It will still underperform whether you play DeathMatch, Team DeathMatch or CTF; I have not tried any other game types.
    - Strangely, this performance may improve slightly at times if I join a German Server/Hub where I have 100-120ms Ping; even though I'm on the Canadian East Coast.
    - It won't matter whether I close all my programs, kill all unneeded processes, restart the game, restart the computer or restart my router.
    - It won't matter if I play Windowed, or full screen.
    - It won't matter what fancy System settings I try to change in UT.
    - It won't matter what fancy settings I change in my Video Card.
    - I never overclock my GPU nor CPU, but if I try as a test; it still won't matter.
    - If I wipe my system and reinstall Windows; it won't matter. And I end up doing that about 3 times a year anyways for other reasons.
    - I doesn't matter which version of Windows I use. From XP to 10 Creators Update.
    - If I get desperate and want to fork out $$$ to say, upgrade my video card (or RAM, or just CPU, etc) at any given point; this will not change the issue either.
    - This has happened now across 15 years worth of different custom built computers with completely different parts and even several different routers.
    - Not only will you lose a game, but you will be at the bottom of the scoreboard.
    - When the issue is present, the score pattern of other players tends to be consistent with first place at 41, second place at 20, etc up to you at last place with 5 and 30 deaths, for example.
    - You ask other players during the game whether they're getting this an they all say no.
    - However, once a year or so someone will say that they experience the same issue and as you ask them for specifics, it tends to match the items in the pattern section above to almost perfection.
    - I tend to play 1 to 2hrs a night, almost every night.
    - However, I sometimes play during the day on weekends; same issue.
    - I don't play other games as I don't have the time nor desire to do so.
    - In case you already forgot about my description of the pattern, all of this weirdness disappears if I play offline, or online with bots.

    - Once a month or so I will not get the issue at all.
    - When this happens not only will I win almost every game, but I will be in first place with almost double the score of players in second place.
    - I win effortlessly.
    - I dodge everything.
    - I hit everything.
    - Players who you'd say are probably as good as you or better will get completely crushed and will voice their objections to the point where you think it is they who are now affected by your issue.
    - I have a strange feeling that everyone else is lagging; but I can't know for sure.
    - The number of players will not matter, from 3 to 12, for example.
    - When this happens I'll sometimes ask my partner to come have a look at my screen and they'll confirm that the issue has flipped upside down.
    - When this happens, if I feel adventurous, I may up my System Settings in UT slightly and I will get almost NO performance drop.

    - Windows 10 Pro 64bit Version 1703, Build 15063.483.
    - 16GB of RAM.
    - Intel Core i7-2600k CPU
    - Nvidia GTX 450 GPU.
    - Qnix 27 inch 4K monitor.
    - No wireless peripherals used, especially not the mouse; all is wired.
    - High Speed Internet.

    EpicGames, my take on this is that there is an algorithm in the game code that causes this. As to why it would seem to only happen to me; I have no idea, but it probably happens to other people but they rather endure or gave up investigating.

    I have heard or read about your use of "Netcode" however I'm not sure what it does nor how it works.

    Regardless this needs to be thoroughly investigated and fixed even if you have to dedicate additional resources into the matter.

    I'm willing to further invest reasonable amounts of time and money with you in order to get to the bottom of this. Setting up special test beds if need be, providing logs or whatever else needed within reason.

    I love this game and I usually play just to chill and have fun; but this almost never happens.

    I'm ok with losing when it is because I wasn't playing well but it doesn't feel like a real win either when the issue reverses itself on the head as described above.

    I'm not sure what is more frustrating anymore: The issue or the fact that it defies explanation.

    I'd just like to be able to have a normal, average, run of the mill game play experience, most of the time.

    Any feedback at all from your company or any one else in the forums will be greatly appreciated.

    Thank you,

    - Flood

    Last edited by Flood; 07-14-2017, 11:51 PM. Reason: For conciseness and removal of typos.

  • #2
    Sounds very familiar, in practically every detail!


    • #3
      Hi JSKR, thanks for your response! The more people who are affected speak up, the more likely this will get looked into. Cheers ! ​​​​​​​


      • #4
        Yes, I get exactly this as well. Its as if the game gets desynced and lags behind or is out of sync with what is happening on the server. Therefore everything you do on your screen is slightly off.


        • #5
          Thanks for your comment lg- ! Wish I could run some "new" tests that would narrow it down to even a few possible causes... If you think of something, please let me/us know!


          • #6
            I don't get a performance drop anymore since the 2nd last update, but the de-sync is horrible.

            Can't kill anyone, but when I do its a fluke missed shot that somehow kills them or I kill a completely different player that's somewhere else nearby but otherwise could not possibly be killed from the distances this happens at.

            Its like the hit boxes are way out of sync, not a little bit but a few to several body widths out.


            • #7
              Hello Sk. Vlad, thanks for the info. Yes it does feel out of sync. The desync option is something I will explore. If that changes anything I will post it Cheers!


              • #8
                I started my own match in a empty hub with bots, it seems fine at that point.

                What I actually want to try is hosting a server entirely from my PC so that all lag is only for those connected to me and and I can experience what the game does playing as the server if that makes sense, so that all network latency is taken out of the equation.


                • #9
                  Sk. Vlad,I thought you were talking about a desync option but I see you meant that your gameplay was out of sync. That being said my knowledge of any video settings in general = zero. Hosting your own Server/Host could give us a helpful view of latency from a different angle. If you set one up please let me know and I'll join. At the moment I'm on a hub by myself and although I'm not detecting any particular latency, I do get the rockets with the long contrails and this is weird. Also, the rockets seem to come out from behind my right shoulder when I fire them, which also is an indication that I'm about to get that weird lag... I'll post anything else useful from my tests when I have more time. Cheers!


                  • #10
                    I am looking at your current system specs. and have a coupe questions. You have a very old and very low end GPU, but you have a 4K monitor. What resolution are you playing at? I would imagine with such a poor GPU that all your video settings are at lowest quality and your playing at low resolution, say 800x600?

                    I used to play with a intel 2600k @ 4.2 Ghz and a GTX580 SC. I had to keep all settings at lowest quality, but could still play at 1080i, but just barely.

                    You say high speed internet, which can mean almost anything. Typically, it means fast downloads, buy does not mean steady ping. If your ping varies, you have lag that varies. Who is your provider? is it cable, fiber, or phone?
                    Last edited by Bobba_Novis; 07-19-2017, 12:17 PM.
                    My Rig- ASUS Z68, core I7 2600K @4.6Ghz and GTX980 Ti WindForce G1 as seen on my VG248 @144Hz
                    Weekly Warfare Matches every Fri-Sat Midnite-3:30am (US East Coast Time) GMT -5


                    • #11
                      Hello Bobba_Novis, thanks for your interest and input.

                      OK now we're talking!

                      - I'd say my GPU is mid-to-low range, but let's say it's very low end and work through a process of elimination.
                      - Right now I'm playing with UT Windowed at 1887x1061, but I've brought this down incrementally and never saw a difference; remember that I mention that if I play offline with say 6 bots everything's fine and I even can increase my UT Video settings a bit with hardly any performance hit.
                      - My monitor itself is at its native res of 2560x1440, 60hz through DUAL-DVI and both my monitor and graphics card are HDCP capable.
                      - High Speed Internet is at 15mbps download speed and 10mbps upload speed. However, remember that when I play online with a few bots i'm relatively fine, it's very playable, but if I play with even just 2 players and no bots, the problem is in full bloom and playing to win becomes pointless.
                      - Like I mentioned in my post, my ping is steady at between 20 to 30ms; but like I also mentioned if I join a German Server this weird issue is rarely present, although you do experience what I would call "real lag". My average pings on those Servers are between 120 to 130ms.

                      Anyways, based on your idea I brought my UT resolution down to 800x600, switched to fullscreen and played 4 games online with 6 real players; same weird lag issue.

                      And I call it weird lag because it's not real lag. To me real lag is network latency and I can tell when that's what's going on.

                      Nevertheless, here's more on what happened tonite:
                      - Panning and such seemed maybe a bit better but what goes on in the game was the same.
                      - I'd fire a rocket and it looks like it's coming out from behind my right shoulder.
                      - People would shoot at me using the shotgun; one shot one kill.
                      - In one game I tried using the shotgun myself; I must have fired a total of about 70 times at different distances and I did not hit anyone not even once.
                      - I'd sometimes see a bubble of a shock combo coming at me from a long distance I would look and see the bubble that big, then that big, then i'm dead; I didn't even get a chance to start dodging I was already dead.
                      - Double tapping was thoroughly pointless throughout the 4 games where it would fail more than half the time; I mean even a simple jump over something that I would ace nearly 100% of the time offline, I would fail 3, 4 times in a row online until I was able to make the jump.
                      - On... and on... and on... and on.....

                      About video cards. Like I said in my post this started to happen about halfway through the life of UT2K4 and at least twice - years apart - I got tired and decided to upgrade my video card and all this does is give me better graphics or maybe slightly more panning fluidity; but the in-game weirdness described above never changes.

                      LIke I wrote in my post if I play offline even with 6 bots absolutely everything is fine.

                      In a year I'll probably have upgraded my system.

                      Maybe I should setup my phone to record my screen and post the video in here.... can we do that?

                      Thank you!

                      - Flood


                      • #12
                        A GTS 450 was near the bottom of the list when it came out, 128 bit, it was the GTS, no GTX450. Same performance as other cards from 10 years ago. Your CPU and mobo are fine, the i7 2600K is still a great performer when overclocked. You need a new video card. The GTX980 cards are going for $200-$300 on ebay. The GTX780 under $200. You need a GTX780 or better to play this game.

                        The GTS 450 is pretty far down the list;,4388.html
                        My Rig- ASUS Z68, core I7 2600K @4.6Ghz and GTX980 Ti WindForce G1 as seen on my VG248 @144Hz
                        Weekly Warfare Matches every Fri-Sat Midnite-3:30am (US East Coast Time) GMT -5


                        • #13
                          Hello Bobba_Novis, thanks for taking the time to give your input.

                          GTS or GTX, top, middle or bottom of the list; with all that I've posted, in what way do you figure in this case that a better video card fix the gameplay issue - to call it that - when my offline play with 6 bots and slighly increased graphics or playing online with bots in all low settings does not exhibit the issue at all?

                          As I've also mentioned, I've been down that path before, probably at least twice if not thrice, and like I wrote, although I get better graphics, the gameplay issue remains.

                          I see that you really do seem to think the vid card is the issue. Any additional details you could provide or think of any tests I could run with my current video card to substantiate your claim that this is the cause of the issue?

                          Also, do you happen to know whether we can post short/small clips on here?

                          It's greatly appreciated !
                          Last edited by Flood; 07-30-2017, 04:31 PM. Reason: Typos


                          • #14
                            The issue you are describing in this thread is really weird. Let me tell you, I played UT99 online from mid-2005 to late 2010, and I have never ever experienced this in that game. I'm only occasionally play this PreAlpha, but I have not seen anything that could not have been explained by normal lag.

                            And if it hits you 95% of the time since back in the 2k4 days... Wow, man, I admire your persistence.

                            I can't really give you any useful advice, since it baffles me how this issue carried over multiple configs, cities, ISPs...

                            I only have one question - what is happening if you try other multiplayer games online? For example TF2 (which is free to play, so it doesn't cost money to test it) or Rocket League, etc. Do you still have this "weird lag" or do those games function normally? Also, it would be great if you could install Open Broadcaster or Fraps, record some of your gameplay and upload it to YouTube or somewhere where we could see how this "weird lag" looks like.
                            UT99 Forever - Sniper Arena CTF - Proud member of the Hungarian Sniper Clan between 2006 and 2009.


                            • #15
                              If the lag is only playing online, it has something to do with your internet connection. It could be it's your service, your connection type, or your hardware. It could also be you have some sort of software running on your pc that is the cause.

                              I just noticed the mismatch between your GPU and monitor.

                              My Rig- ASUS Z68, core I7 2600K @4.6Ghz and GTX980 Ti WindForce G1 as seen on my VG248 @144Hz
                              Weekly Warfare Matches every Fri-Sat Midnite-3:30am (US East Coast Time) GMT -5