Lag Explained

  • Written by: GMObspho


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    Have you ever been playing Aura Kingdom and noticed that your framerate is extremely choppy? Maybe it's taking several seconds for an NPC or a skill to respond, or maybe your game is contantly freezing. All of this can be summed up by one word: LAG.


    We are constantly seeing players asking us to "fix the lag", or "make the game faster". While we are always looking into different possibilities to help with this issue, there are several different possible causes of lag, many of which cannot be resolved on our end. Following are some of the more common types of lag, as well as their causes and possible solutions.


    Problem #1

    Experiencing screen freezes or frame rate reduction when you are in a crowded area.


    Why:

    1. Your computer needs to render a lot more models on the map (characters, monsters, etc.) and your computer needs to render more textures on these models.

    2. Your computer needs time to load and process more information about other characters such as weapons, costumes, mounts, skills being used, location, direction, etc.


    What can be done?

    1. Upgrade your graphics card, processor, or RAM.

    2. Lower the display settings.

    3. Click on the Hide Other Players button on your mini-map.


    Other thoughts:

    This is not a server-side problem, as the server only sends out character information that the servers are able to handle. Once they send out the data, the rest of the job is all on the networking (both on your side and on IDC side) and your computer's rendering speed.



    Problem #2

    Monster fighting lag / Chat lag.

    Example: You use a skill and it reacts 2 seconds later, or you experience lag on chatting.


    Why:

    1. There is bad networking latency happening between your computer and the server.

    Example: You send out a command to the server, but the server gets this information maybe one second later, then returns to your computer that this command is accepted another second later. Your computer will then render this action 2 secs later.

    2. The server load is too high- the server channel receives your information and queues it in the memory, and delays when sending back the accept confirmation.

    3. If you use a megaphone, it might also lag because the assigned server (most likely the database server) is too busy.


    What can be done?

    1. Upgrade your Internet speed.

    2. Upgrade the game servers.

    3. Move to a channel that has fewer players.


    Other thoughts:

    Avoid just automatically clicking channel 1, instead try to play in less frequently used channels.


    Problem #3

    Lag on accepting or returning a mission, or on chatting with an NPC.


    Why:

    1. The database hard drive is overloaded with read and write requests, causing a delay in responses.


    What can be done?

    Players cannot do anything about this, as this is due to server lag.



    Problem #4

    Lag on changing zone, or lag on login/logout.


    Why:

    1. Unstable networking. There are some disconnect and reconnect actions happening when you are changing zones, or logging in/out. If there are some networking problems between you and Aeria's datacenter, there is a chance that you will be disconnected.

    2. The database is too busy with writing or reloading your information from and to the hard disks. This generally should get smoothed out after a few tries because your character information should get cached in the database memory.


    What can be done?

    1. Check the networking.

    2. Update the database.




    Additional information


    DDoS Attacks

    DDoS attacks are another possible cause of lag, and have become a more prevalent issue for many online companies lately. Generally, they are caused by someone flooding a server or website with so much information that it may either lag or stop responding altogether. While this is not a "hack" or an "exploit", it is illegal in many countries, and we have worked closely with law enforcement to address people we have found doing this before.


    However, do not assume that any time you experience lag there is a DDoS attack going on- there are several other possibilities and it is generally better not to jump to conclusions.


    Aura Kingdom Lag vs Other Games

    Some players may wonder why they seem to experience high lag in Aura Kingdom but are able to play a different, much more graphically intensive game with no issues. While some of this is already addressed above, bear in mind that your computer's hardware is not the sole determining factor of lag.


    As Aura Kingdom is an online game, it is necessary for the game to continually sync, verify, and render data from an online database when you are playing, and your internet connection and distance from the servers may have an effect upon this.


    A lot of people started lagging at the same time! What's going on?

    While this can be caused by a server issue, it can also be due to the area people log in from or their ISP. Before jumping to the conclusion that the server is lagging, check with other people. See if most of you seem to be logging in from a common location. Possibly there is a bad node somewhere between you and Aeria's database, which is causing this lag for several people in one location.


    Also, bear in mind that Aura Kingdom's servers are located in Montreal, Quebec, Canada- if you are logging in from a location fairly far away from that, there is an increased likelihood that you may experience higher latency. There are several online resources and programs that can help decrease latency, which you may want to check into if you are continually experiencing high latency.


    How to do a tracert

    A tracert will help you see if there may be a bad node between you and Aeria's database. Look for high latency between you and the target IP. If you're seeing any, the lag is most likely being caused by that particular node. For further explanation on what a tracert is and how to do one, please see this post


    What is Aeria doing about this?

    We are constantly working with our developers and server hosting contacts to help address this on our end. Steps we have taken include:

    • Optimizing server database
    • Upgrading server hardware
    • Clearing old, unnecessary data.
    • Miscellaneous adjustments to increase efficiency.


    There are additional steps planned for the future, which should also help with this issue. Hopefully this post goes some way towards clarifying this issue for our playerbase.