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Heartbreaking afternoon

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Re: Heartbreaking afternoon

Post  Martin on Wed Sep 12, 2012 9:55 pm

Uncle Billy wrote:Upload speeds and latency, (ping time), are probably the limiting factors for larger games. Although my upload speed is probably half of Martin's, I can reliably host 8-9 players, although the game does lag a bit. I remember things didn't go well when I tried hosting a 12 player game. As I said, it's the variability of the speed during the game that causes problems. Mediocrity is fine so long as it's reliable.

Computer specs only become important when large armies are fielded. I can deploy 120K men in a battle without any problems. Steve should also be able to do so. But nearly all our games have less than 40,000 troops on the field, so top of the line is unnecessary. Quad core rather than dual core probably is important for hosting. Although the game only runs on one cpu, all the ancillary services that are required from the OS run on the other cores.

The best way to come up with a list is for anyone who thinks he may be able to host, is to enable their port forwarding and give it a try.
That's just the sort of info I was looking for, Billy. Thanks.

I think I can claim to be reliably mediocre without fear of contradiction.

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Re: Heartbreaking afternoon

Post  Uncle Billy on Wed Sep 12, 2012 10:21 pm

Father General wrote:I should be able to host Confederate victories all day, including the larger ones. I'll get online this afternoon and if someone can walk me through the finer points of configuration, we can give it a test.
I hope you are prepared for very, very short days. Since you can already host, the game port is already open. There is nothing else to do except steel yourself for inevitable defeat. Very Happy

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Re: Heartbreaking afternoon

Post  Father General on Thu Sep 13, 2012 1:52 am

I am now configured to host games. Thank you to Kevin for the badly needed assistance.

I am hoping this weekend we can put my connection to the test. On preliminary testing, we found a number of issues, which we systematically resolved. I still say a master sticky thread with all the settings and updated links to mods would sure be useful.

Anyway, all's well that ends well.

Thanks everyone, now let's have some solid games!

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Re: Heartbreaking afternoon

Post  Martin on Thu Sep 13, 2012 8:22 am

Father General wrote:...........I still say a master sticky thread with all the settings and updated links to mods would sure be useful.
Yes, I think it's in the works Neal.

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Re: Heartbreaking afternoon

Post  Martin on Thu Sep 13, 2012 8:40 am

Can anyone help me with another question? I’d like to understand better why the various flags mods might pose a problem for MP.

Given that each player needs the relevant mod, and not just the host, I’m assuming that the graphics themselves are not being passed between host and players during a game. In the OOBs each flag is denoted by a 15-20 character string, so I’m guessing that this is the information being transmitted. On the face of it, that does not seem too onerous, but have I misunderstood?

If there is a problem with the flags (and I’m not sure that’s been established yet), could it be that it's because the sprites are an extra load on slower PCs, which then slows the game down for everyone. Still an issue of course, if true.

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Re: Heartbreaking afternoon

Post  Mr. Digby on Thu Sep 13, 2012 9:22 am

Displaying the flags on your own PC takes up a bit of load. Sending the flag information over the internet is a minor bit of load but it is more load. The game sometimes to me seems to be teetering on the brink of stability with couriers in use, so adding any more straws to the camels back is to be avoided I think.

I would say that the early flag mod is okay to use for up to about 6 or 7 players but over this number I'd recommend we don't use it.

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Re: Heartbreaking afternoon

Post  Martin on Thu Sep 13, 2012 2:27 pm

Agree re the load on your PC.

Not sure why the additional flags puts any more load on the connection though. Even with the stock flags you need to send flag character strings, just different ones. Same length though, so I would have thought same load. Of course I may be totally wrong Very Happy

That said, your general comment re 'teetering on the brink of stability' certainly struck a chord with me. But I don't think the case is proven re flags in particular. We played Stefan's last scenario ok with the 'Reduced Flag' mod, and the first outing for the Father General's scenario with the 'Combined Flag' mod ran fine.

Am reluctant to give up on them as they add so much atmosphere, by jiminy!

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Re: Heartbreaking afternoon

Post  Mr. Digby on Thu Sep 13, 2012 2:40 pm

Martin wrote:Not sure why the additional flags puts any more load on the connection though. Even with the stock flags you need to send flag character strings, just different ones. Same length though, so I would have thought same load. Of course I may be totally wrong Very Happy
More flag variants means more different strings. I'm guessing if 20 regiments have the same flag, only 1 string of data is sent saying "apply to these 20 instances". If those 20 regts all have different flags and they are moving then 20x the data strings are being sent, every few seconds, even fractions of a second.

And 20 different flags are being drawn on screens x number of players as well.

Its quite a different load if you think about it.

Then multiply this X times with buildings, trees, uniforms, crops, and clutter features (like we are seeing in some of the newer maps like Trevallion and Seccessionville). If a house is present but its used 30 times on the map, the data is only sent once with 30 sets of co-ordinates to draw it, but if you use 30 different houses (or trees, or uniforms, or grass) models, you can begin to appreciate why the internet gets clogged up with data.

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"Any hussar who has not got himself killed by the age of 30 is a jackass." - Antoine Charles Louis Lasalle, commander of Napoleon's light cavalry, killed in battle at Wagram 6 July 1809, aged 34.

"I had forgotten there was an objective." - Generallieutenant Mikhail Borozdin I
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Re: Heartbreaking afternoon

Post  kg_sspoom on Thu Sep 13, 2012 3:34 pm

To the best of my understanding this game plays to the lowest common denominator.
Meaning (I believe)the slowest computer/Internet connection is the one that sets the pace of the game.
If there is a rig or 2 that may be struggling with stock courier games the flags may push theem over the edge.
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Re: Heartbreaking afternoon

Post  Uncle Billy on Thu Sep 13, 2012 4:05 pm

Steve is quite right, the slowest computer/internet connection sets the pace of the game. The host can monitor this if he has the debug feature turned on in his ini file. At the bottom of the debug info on the screen is a variable called waitframes. It tells the host how much info is being held by his computer while it waits for some other player's computer to catch up. It could also mean that the host has a very slow upload speed. Usually this number will be 0-2. However, I have seen it at times go up to 8-10. That is very bad. It usually forecasts that someone is on the verge of being booted from the game. Most of the time it will be the person with the problem that is dropped, but not always. At times it is an innocent bystander that gets run over. Although Norb has put many checks into the game to try to prevent it from losing synchronization with the other players, it does occasionally happen. When it does, the host usually crashes.

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Re: Heartbreaking afternoon

Post  Cleburne on Thu Sep 13, 2012 4:24 pm

After talking to Kevin and Neal last night some about connections i looked into my own and was quite surprised.
It appears i might not have the issues i had as long as the time is Post midnight my end.(convenient eh) Razz
Up until then my speed tends to fluctuate between 4 up to 8 MB.
After midnight it appears to go up to a frame between 8-16 MB.
This must be due to the increased load on the bandwidth when more folks in my area are online.
I had no idea i was reaching such download speeds and thought 8 was nirvana for me.
This coupled with the fact i have a Quad core 3.8 overclocked CPU liquid cooled with 16 gig of ram and a 1.5 Gb GC surely means i am that innocent bystander at times that Kevin speaks of..... Shocked
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Re: Heartbreaking afternoon

Post  Martin on Thu Sep 13, 2012 5:03 pm

Mr. Digby wrote:More flag variants means more different strings. I'm guessing if 20 regiments have the same flag, only 1 string of data is sent saying "apply to these 20 instances". If those 20 regts all have different flags and they are moving then 20x the data strings are being sent, every few seconds, even fractions of a second.

And 20 different flags are being drawn on screens x number of players as well.
You may be right about the way it works, Diggers. I just don't know.

But if you are, perhaps we can all get what we want by understanding the way things fit togethether and being cute about scenario design. The implication of your theory is that the load depends on the OOB we're using - ie the number of different strings?

There are actually a rather large number of flags in the stock game (c140). It's all those bespoke Union division & brigade flags, together with the state flags of course. There are actually very few Confederate ones.

In a typical sandbox game where we take a division or two in a corps vs corps action, the total number of flags strings will be 25-30, depending on the Union corps selected. Surely if we keep within that, there should be no problem with using a flag mod?

My Trans Mississippi mod has a total of only around 20, so if anything should be easier all round. One big saving is those bespoke Union command flags, which were specific to the Army of the Potomac anyway. And it's a d*mned sight more colorful. Huzzah!

Err..........hopefully

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Re: Heartbreaking afternoon

Post  Blaugrana on Thu Sep 13, 2012 5:11 pm

While we're on the subject of techy things, and how to get the optimum SoWG performance, can I ask advice on interleaving - on or off?

I'd never heard of this and then got an e-mail from my ISP telling me they're switching interleaving off, at my request. Do you expert gentlemen have a view on whether this is a good thing?

FWIW, I never asked them to change it, having never heard of it previously, but I'd like to know whether you think I should tell them to leave it on, or let them switch it off.

MTIA,

Jeff
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Re: Heartbreaking afternoon

Post  Mr. Digby on Thu Sep 13, 2012 6:27 pm

kg_sspoom wrote:You guys are both faster than me.
http://www.speedtest.net/result/2175566882.png

15.90 2.15 30ms

i-7-2600k cpu @3.4 GHz
16 gb of ram
Nvidia Geforce GTX 560 ti
1gb onboard ram

For me:

11Mb Down, 1Mb up, 30ms ping

Athlon II x4 645 (quad core) @3.1Ghz
4 Gb RAM
Nvidia GeForce GTX 460 SE
2 Gb video RAM

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"Any hussar who has not got himself killed by the age of 30 is a jackass." - Antoine Charles Louis Lasalle, commander of Napoleon's light cavalry, killed in battle at Wagram 6 July 1809, aged 34.

"I had forgotten there was an objective." - Generallieutenant Mikhail Borozdin I
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Re: Heartbreaking afternoon

Post  Uncle Billy on Thu Sep 13, 2012 6:35 pm

Talk about being on the horns of a dilemma. The answer is who knows. To answer your question, you'd have to know whether SOW is more time sensitive than data sensitive or the other way around. Removing interleaving will decrease your latency, (ping time), but at the expense of more data errors. That can be a problem if you download large program or data files where everything needs to be 100% accurate. If I had to guess, I'd say the game is data sensitive, since we can play the game with fairly significant lag without losing anyone. The game asks many times for missing packets. But I don't know what it does with erroneous data. I guess the answer is to flip a coin. Very Happy

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Re: Heartbreaking afternoon

Post  Blaugrana on Thu Sep 13, 2012 8:58 pm

Uncle Billy wrote:Talk about being on the horns of a dilemma. The answer is who knows. To answer your question, you'd have to know whether SOW is more time sensitive than data sensitive or the other way around. Removing interleaving will decrease your latency, (ping time), but at the expense of more data errors. That can be a problem if you download large program or data files where everything needs to be 100% accurate. If I had to guess, I'd say the game is data sensitive, since we can play the game with fairly significant lag without losing anyone. The game asks many times for missing packets. But I don't know what it does with erroneous data. I guess the answer is to flip a coin. Very Happy
Thanks, Kevin, for this explanation of all this stuff. I'll let you know how the coin lands!
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Re: Heartbreaking afternoon

Post  Leffe7 on Fri Sep 14, 2012 4:53 pm

Mr. Digby wrote:
kg_sspoom wrote:You guys are both faster than me.
http://www.speedtest.net/result/2175566882.png

15.90 2.15 30ms

i-7-2600k cpu @3.4 GHz
16 gb of ram
Nvidia Geforce GTX 560 ti
1gb onboard ram

For me:

11Mb Down, 1Mb up, 30ms ping

Athlon II x4 645 (quad core) @3.1Ghz
4 Gb RAM
Nvidia GeForce GTX 460 SE
2 Gb video RAM


and for me it is:
7.9 down, 1.2 up, 31ms ping
Intel i7-2600@3.4Ghz 64bit
8 GB RAM
GeForce GTS 450 4 GB video RAM
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Re: Heartbreaking afternoon

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