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Optimising broadband for gaming (left 4 dead)

Davidw
Newbie
Posts: 9
Registered: 06-12-2007

Optimising broadband for gaming (left 4 dead)

Hi,
I've been mostly happy with my force9 Broadband Plus service for general use for quite some time now.  However, I've recently been dragged back into the murky world of on-line gaming by the fantastic Left 4 Dead.  Unfortunately this has left me a bit frustrated with poor pings and laggy response.  What can I do to improve the situation?  I've been reading about gaming traffic having higher priority.  Do I see the benefit of this on my package or do I need to upgrade? If so, what's the difference between the different service offerings?
Also, I notice left 4 dead is not included in the list of identified games.  Is this traffic already covered under other games?
Thanks in advance
David
16 REPLIES
Euge
Grafter
Posts: 502
Registered: 11-10-2007

Re: Optimising broadband for gaming (left 4 dead)

This should explain the benefits of the different products.
Although as far as I was aware left for dead was in the priorities list since a few of the users are playing it.
Plus see this thread from earlier, lower down the page. Thats all the other chaps playing left 4 dead.
Davidw
Newbie
Posts: 9
Registered: 06-12-2007

Re: Optimising broadband for gaming (left 4 dead)

Thanks for that link. So, assuming that Force9 Broadband Plus=Plusnet Value (is that the case?) and Left 4 Dead is prioritised I would gain by stepping up to Pro or Unlimited as my traffic would then be classed as Titanium?
scootie
Grafter
Posts: 4,799
Registered: 03-11-2007

Re: Optimising broadband for gaming (left 4 dead)

when the network was under alot of load having your gaming in titanium would make a diffrence but why the network is under normal load it wouldnt make a huge diffrence.
it would be better to have your gaming in titanium but iam not sure what deal is with the force 9 packages.
the best thing to do with out moving packages would be to turn interleaving off if its on so your pings are lower.
paste the results of doing this.
open command prompt up. and type ........    tracert bbc.co.uk ...... or ........ ping bbc.co.uk .......
edit: added my non interleaved pings to compare against. done over wireless
Tracing route to bbc.co.uk [212.58.224.138]
over a maximum of 30 hops:
  1     2 ms     1 ms     2 ms  10.0.0.1
  2    17 ms    19 ms    17 ms  lo0-plusnet.pte-ag1.plus.net [195.166.128.64]
  3    18 ms    17 ms    18 ms  ge0-0-0-403.pte-gw2.plus.net [84.92.4.2]
  4    17 ms    17 ms    17 ms  vl23.thn-gw2.plus.net [212.159.4.20]
  5    22 ms    19 ms    21 ms  rt0.thdo.bbc.co.uk [212.58.239.25]
  6    18 ms    35 ms    17 ms  212.58.238.133
  7    17 ms    22 ms    17 ms  virtual-vip.thdo.bbc.co.uk [212.58.224.138]
James
Grafter
Posts: 21,036
Registered: 04-04-2007

Re: Optimising broadband for gaming (left 4 dead)

Yes you would.
Gaming is prioritised as Gold traffic on Value, whereas on Unlimited and Pro it is handled as Titanium (ie: above Gold).
So basically, when our network is busy and minimal gold traffic is being dropped, your ping times would probably suffer as a result.  Moving to Pro or Unlimited should stop that happening assuming we've prioritised L4D traffic accordingly and I haven't heard anything to suggest that that isn't the case.
scootie
Grafter
Posts: 4,799
Registered: 03-11-2007

Re: Optimising broadband for gaming (left 4 dead)

jameseh there a force 9 customer what's the class of gaming on the package there on now?
James
Grafter
Posts: 21,036
Registered: 04-04-2007

Re: Optimising broadband for gaming (left 4 dead)

Sorry - Misread the last post.
Broadband Plus should have all gaming traffic in the Titanium queue, so I'm not entirely sure why you would be seeing poorer latency afterall.
If you try running a wireshark capture whilst you're trying to play the game then it should indicate if the traffic isn't being picked up accirdingly.
http://www.plus.net/support/broadband/troubleshooting/wireshark_video.shtml
Davidw
Newbie
Posts: 9
Registered: 06-12-2007

Re: Optimising broadband for gaming (left 4 dead)

Thanks for the feeback.  Its good to know my current package is at Titanium for games traffic.  I'll have a go at running wireshark (and that ping test) and get back to you.
Re interleaving.  When not being used for slaughtering zombies my broadband does get used for VPN connections into work.  Is switching off interleaving likely to have an adverse effect on that sort of service?  I'm sorry to say its probably more important that VPN works well.
Cheers

David
James
Grafter
Posts: 21,036
Registered: 04-04-2007

Re: Optimising broadband for gaming (left 4 dead)

That sort of thing is going to depend entirely on how good a quality telephone line you have.
A number of lines will work perfectly well without interleaving and thus the latency on those lines are better by generally 20-50ms.  However, interleaving shouldn't cause pings to be 200+ higher than what you would normally expect them to be.
I'd suggest that turning off interleaving on its own isn't going to fix this.
scootie
Grafter
Posts: 4,799
Registered: 03-11-2007

Re: Optimising broadband for gaming (left 4 dead)

it only takes 24 hours for intrerleaving to be turned off/on. so if you did get any problems its soon sorted. normal switched on/off in early hours of the morning
iam on a 51db atten line running at 3mb and have no problems not having intrealeaving on.
sry james have i missed somthing where the fig of 200+ ms come from
Euge
Grafter
Posts: 502
Registered: 11-10-2007

Re: Optimising broadband for gaming (left 4 dead)

I think it has been plucked from the air as an example. I.e if you are having severe latency problems then going onto fast path/removing interleaving wont solve the issue.
My connection went from 40-50ms interleved down to 20-25 fast path.
Davidw
Newbie
Posts: 9
Registered: 06-12-2007

Re: Optimising broadband for gaming (left 4 dead)

tracert results to the bbc site suggested earlier below.  How does this look?

C:\>tracert bbc.co.uk
Tracing route to bbc.co.uk [212.58.224.138]
over a maximum of 30 hops:
  1    1 ms    1 ms    1 ms  192.168.0.1
  2    44 ms    45 ms    44 ms  lo0-plusnet.pte-ag1.plus.net [195.166.128.64]
  3    44 ms    44 ms    44 ms  ge0-0-0-403.pte-gw2.plus.net [84.92.4.2]
  4    44 ms    44 ms    44 ms  vl23.thn-gw2.plus.net [212.159.4.20]
  5  151 ms  217 ms    46 ms  rt0.thdo.bbc.co.uk [212.58.239.25]
  6    44 ms    43 ms    44 ms  212.58.238.133
  7    44 ms    44 ms    46 ms  virtual-vip.thdo.bbc.co.uk [212.58.224.138]
Trace complete.
scootie
Grafter
Posts: 4,799
Registered: 03-11-2007

Re: Optimising broadband for gaming (left 4 dead)

looks like standard pings for an interleved line.
have you had chance to do the wireshark? as all thoe an interleved line line isnt the best for gaming it shouldnt cause major lag issues
your looking for 0xa0 on incoming packets on the wireshark when playing left for dead online
i take it you playing on your pc? and this is where i am limited in being able to help you.
but you need to make sure your graphics card ect are all capable of running left for dead and resonable frame rate ect as this will cause lag issues.
make sure your using a cable connection to your router and not wireless.
iam sure one of the guys that thinks the best gaming machine in the world is not a xbox or ps3 will be along soon to help with pc setup for online gaming
Euge
Grafter
Posts: 502
Registered: 11-10-2007

Re: Optimising broadband for gaming (left 4 dead)

WIth similar pings to mine I'd say going on fast path would be a must because it was hardly noticeable but on call of duty sometimes you would die behind a corner. Seeing the replay showed that you were shot just before the corner argh LAG.
edit: bad spelling  Crazy
scootie
Grafter
Posts: 4,799
Registered: 03-11-2007

Re: Optimising broadband for gaming (left 4 dead)

o and to get interleaving turned off i would surrgest raising the ticket manuly and not using the tab on your member centre(if you have that option as not all do) as the member centre tab way of raising a ticket dosent 100% work all the time