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  #1  
Old 11-11-2010, 07:30 AM
DanTe DanTe is offline
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Identified the Lag Problem - Live Stats Streaming

I spent all day yesterday trying to identify the problem here, and it finally came down to Black Ops Live Stat Streaming.

How I Identified it:

My friend was having big lag issues, even though he has a monster of a PC (i7), far better than mine, but was barely pulling 40 fps. I told him my puny Phenom II X2 was getting an average of 80-100 fps. He was as perplexed as I was, until I suggested he bring his PC round to my house and use my connection (50 down, 30 up). Once he was setup on my connection, his PC did much better, with an average of 90+ fps. So, we concluded that it was the connection - he had a meagre 1 meg up at his home, but with the 30 up I have at mine, it managed much better. Why?

Well, from the moment you log into Black Ops it starts live streaming your stats. This is why even the menus lag - it is getting data to display about game events, such as bombs destroyed, wager contracts made and fulfilled, etc, etc. This data is sent every 2 game frames, both up and down. It is constant.

How I Solved the Problem:

I set to work building a program that runs Black Ops in a shell, and wanted to block the port used for the Live stats streaming. However, doing that kills the game dead, as it "thinks" the stats server is offline, and it wont let you play, displaying a "our stats are offline at the moment please try later" type message. So, I "spoofed" it into thinking it was sending and receiving (with a null byte data packet) and that cured the lag. However, it meant no levelling up etc.

What I did next was cache the game data to the side in a holding sub program, and held it for 4 seconds (had to play around with the timing to find the sweet spot), then transmitted it. Bingo! We have a winner. Started pulling better than 125 fps.

All this informed me that this was the reason some people are getting lag, while others aren't getting it nearly as bad, and it all had to do with their up speeds - if you have a good up speed, the lag isn't nearly so bad.

What I did with these Findings:

I sent all this info over to Treyarch, and was pleased to hear they had been working on something similar. I was concerned I may have incurred a VAC ban because of the game shell, so they said they would speak to Valve for me.

Let's hope they rolled this fix out for everyone (console and PC alike) asap.
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  #2  
Old 11-11-2010, 07:40 AM
DanTe DanTe is offline
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I forgot to say (and can't edit my post) if you want to try a quick tempoary performance boost, you can do this:

1. Start game up, wait a second or 2 while the game syncs with the stats server

2. Minimize to desktop and start up Task Manager

3. Go to processes, and right click on the Black Ops .exe and click priority, set it to "High".

You will find this improves your performance without all that config file tweaking.
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  #3  
Old 11-11-2010, 08:06 AM
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I had a feeling this was part of it. Unranked servers seem to run better than rank. Clientside stats ftw.

I found the same thing with BF2 on release. The demo rank smooth as silk but the ranked servers had more network lag etc.
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Old 11-11-2010, 08:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MaydaX View Post
I had a feeling this was part of it. Unranked servers seem to run better than rank. Clientside stats ftw.

I found the same thing with BF2 on release. The demo rank smooth as silk but the ranked servers had more network lag etc.
This is like playing with a download going on. It's not a large data packet, but it is so frequent it's like a big one as after all big downloads are disabembled into smaller packets and assembled again once it they hit your computer. So, the affect is the same.

This explains the high cpu usage - the computer struggles to cope with the game events plus the constant stat streaming.
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Old 11-11-2010, 08:36 AM
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Congrates DanTe and many thanks for your efforts!

Ah, the community comes through again.
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Old 11-11-2010, 08:43 AM
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Question is are stats being sent when you alt-tab out then resume. I get massive menu shuddering for 10 seconds when returning to the game after I alt-tab out.
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Old 11-11-2010, 09:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MaydaX View Post
Question is are stats being sent when you alt-tab out then resume. I get massive menu shuddering for 10 seconds when returning to the game after I alt-tab out.
It pauses while minimized. The shudder is it renegotiating a link.
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Old 11-11-2010, 09:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by richman61 View Post
Congrates DanTe and many thanks for your efforts!

Ah, the community comes through again.
+1

I had a feeling there was a constant stat connection going on. I saw the stats accumulating on that rotating banner... I figured it was something updated at the end of the map though, not constant. I was happy to see a ping "number" as well... never mind one that updated a couple times a second. Too much network traffic from one client IMO.
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Old 11-11-2010, 10:25 AM
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Indeed from day one we already knew it was the Steam cloud sync that was causing the issue, so thats a confirmation
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  #10  
Old 11-11-2010, 12:37 PM
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I don't think its necessarily steam cloud, there were no issues with MW2, and I don't think it is actively syncing while in game but only after you shut down.

There are a ton of stats being collected server side as well, you can see them scrolling in the main menu. Then you also have the demo features that have to download, and several other things.
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Old 11-11-2010, 01:47 PM
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When I try to set priority it says access denied.. Any further insrtuctions?
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  #12  
Old 11-11-2010, 01:59 PM
DanTe DanTe is offline
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Originally Posted by FireDawg911 View Post
When I try to set priority it says access denied.. Any further insrtuctions?
What OS is it? And are you the Administrator?
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Old 11-11-2010, 04:54 PM
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I get the same, Windows 7 64bit for me and yes I'm running as admin.
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  #14  
Old 11-11-2010, 05:01 PM
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I get the same, Windows 7 64bit for me and yes I'm running as admin.
Hmm I dont have that issue and I have the same OS :s
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Old 11-11-2010, 08:40 PM
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good work dante!
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