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Suddenly gaming has become inconsistent

Graham123
Newbie
Posts: 8
Registered: 29-12-2012

Suddenly gaming has become inconsistent

Hi guys,
Over the past 7 days or so when trying to play games online it looks like I'm getting throttled quite substantially. After spending a few hours troubleshooting my end (including turning off firewalls / restarting routers) I noticed that depending on what gateway I was connected to would have a fair bit of impact.
When I was connected to pcl-ag08, games were unplayable with lag spikes reaching 3 seconds. When connected to pcl-ag04 it was slightly better with lag only going to about 750ms.
When I run pathpings / tracerts / speedtests it doesn't look like there is a problem with the connection. It just seems like it is being throttled somewhere based upon the traffic.
I ran a wireshark trace and confirmed the traffic was being marked correctly (a0 - Titanium). Did something happen just before Christmas which could have triggered this.
I'm on the Plusnet Extra package.
Many thanks,
Graham
16 REPLIES
Community Veteran
Posts: 3,181
Thanks: 19
Fixes: 2
Registered: 31-07-2007

Re: Suddenly gaming has become inconsistent

That is the joy of Christmas holidays, everyone is online so a lot of congestion.  Gaming suffers first usually, so it is part of the time of year and has been for the last 5 or 6 years since everyone is online now.
Then there is Lag Compensation which was added to FPS's which doesn't help if you have a good connection, it makes it worse for you on a low ping and not for someone with a 100+ ping.  Reason why I stopped buying/playing them.
Unvalued customer since 2001 funding cheap internet for others / DSL/Fibre house move 24 month regrade from 8th May 2017
Community Gaffer
Community Gaffer
Posts: 4,884
Thanks: 164
Fixes: 3
Registered: 04-04-2007

Re: Suddenly gaming has become inconsistent

What game you playing?
Graham123
Newbie
Posts: 8
Registered: 29-12-2012

Re: Suddenly gaming has become inconsistent

This is Diablo 3, but I also tried CS:GO and that was also unplayable. I also tried Starcraft 2, and it disconnected me. I thought it could be xmas traffic, so I was up until about 2am last night to check it out but the connection issues were still apparent.
Thanks for the quick responses.
Graham
flaminmoses
Grafter
Posts: 270
Registered: 09-02-2012

Re: Suddenly gaming has become inconsistent

maybe it is high level of gaming traffic into servers.
not so sure myself.
fifa is flakey at variable times.
with variable amounts of people on the server.
something isnt right.
and its been since the 76mbs 20mbs service was introduced
matt_2k34
Grafter
Posts: 1,300
Registered: 09-07-2007

Re: Suddenly gaming has become inconsistent

Can you give us exact servers? also Xbox / PS3 / PC ?
I've been gaming *a lot* over xmas, all over PC on fibre - and had not a single hiccup as yet (other than SOME official servers bending under the strain of users)
Have to remember that some companies 'split' their dedi boxes into several servers, so even if the server you're connected to is not full - the same hardware could be running multiple others which are all full.. (which is a very rare case Smiley )
Regards
Matt
(Although its worth noting im on the 80/20 product x2 - and both lines are hunky dory)
Quote from: flaminmoses
fifa is flakey at variable times.

FIFA servers are always ... terrible, at best.  Shocked
Graham123
Newbie
Posts: 8
Registered: 29-12-2012

Re: Suddenly gaming has become inconsistent

Yep, it's all on PC with multiple games. So I don't think it's servers.
eu.actual.battle.net is the Diablo 3 server that is automatically connected to. I've gone through the European D3 Troubleshooting + Support forum and I can't see anyone else with similar problems to mine. Usually when something like this happens and it's Blizzards fault the entire world kicks off!
This is an ADSL2+ connection and previously it's been solid as a rock. No lag with games, not even at peak times. Now it's really struggling.
The Default Gateway for my connection failed earlier, this has happened twice now. I've now turned logging on my router to see if it is having any issues itself.
matt_2k34
Grafter
Posts: 1,300
Registered: 09-07-2007

Re: Suddenly gaming has become inconsistent

I dont know if its my brain or what...but i remembe reading something about Blizzard having poor service over xmas - and its NOT their fault - but people peering to get to their servers are having issues...?
Its late... I should sleep  Wink
Are they all blizzard games mate?
Matt
Graham123
Newbie
Posts: 8
Registered: 29-12-2012

Re: Suddenly gaming has become inconsistent

Diablo3 and Starcraft are the Blizzard games I've tried but I've also been running CS:GO. I'll give some more games a test tonight and see whether it's isolated to certain areas of the globe.
I did notice that the Blizz servers are located in Switzerland, and when running speed tests to that location the ping times are a bit inconsistent.
I also saw that notice on the Blizzard forums, however they don't specify where the problems are arising apart from to report it to your ISP! Not sure if it's related...
Many thanks,
Graham
Community Gaffer
Community Gaffer
Posts: 4,884
Thanks: 164
Fixes: 3
Registered: 04-04-2007

Re: Suddenly gaming has become inconsistent

Do a traceroute to those servers?  Where is the latency appearing?
Graham123
Newbie
Posts: 8
Registered: 29-12-2012

Re: Suddenly gaming has become inconsistent


Traceroute doesn't show any abnormal added latency:
C:\Users\Graham>tracert -h 15 eu.actual.battle.net
Tracing route to eu.actual.battle.net [80.239.208.193]
over a maximum of 15 hops:
  1    22 ms    4 ms    3 ms  192.168.1.1
  2    20 ms    12 ms    14 ms  lo0-central10.ptw-ag04.plus.net [195.166.128.194]
  3    25 ms    20 ms    15 ms  link5-central10.ptw-gw01.plus.net [84.93.248.104]
  4    19 ms    13 ms    12 ms  xe-10-0-0.ptw-cr01.plus.net [212.159.1.40]
  5    14 ms    14 ms    13 ms  217.163.45.181
  6    14 ms    11 ms    11 ms  ae-1-51.edge5.London1.Level3.net [4.69.139.75]
  7    18 ms    14 ms    14 ms  ldn-b5-link.telia.net [213.248.91.57]
  8    28 ms    19 ms    17 ms  ldn-bb1-link.telia.net [80.91.247.91]
  9    40 ms    40 ms    33 ms  adm-bb4-link.telia.net [80.91.245.223]
10    21 ms    34 ms    31 ms  adm-b5-link.telia.net [213.155.132.159]
11    *        *        *    Request timed out.
12    *        *        *    Request timed out.
13    *        *        *    Request timed out.
14    *        *        *    Request timed out.
15    *        *        *    Request timed out.

What's strange is that when I don't generate much traffic to the server the problems die down a bit, when I start to run around and see new parts of the map (Once again extra traffic to the server) it slows down to a crawl and the latency just jumps up and up.
Here is a traceroute when I'm logged into the game doing nothing:
C:\Users\Graham>tracert eu.actual.battle.net
Tracing route to eu.actual.battle.net [80.239.208.193]
over a maximum of 30 hops:
  1    9 ms    5 ms    3 ms  192.168.1.1
  2  3031 ms    *    2065 ms  lo0-central10.ptw-ag04.plus.net [195.166.128.194]
  3  427 ms  1281 ms  258 ms  link5-central10.ptw-gw01.plus.net [84.93.248.104]
  4  190 ms  2338 ms  2810 ms  xe-10-0-0.ptw-cr01.plus.net [212.159.1.40]
  5  356 ms  925 ms  210 ms  217.163.45.181
  6    56 ms    71 ms    16 ms  ae-1-51.edge5.London1.Level3.net [4.69.139.75]
  7    31 ms    50 ms    19 ms  ldn-b5-link.telia.net [213.248.91.57]
  8    24 ms    48 ms    23 ms  ldn-bb1-link.telia.net [80.91.247.91]
  9    37 ms  109 ms    83 ms  adm-bb4-link.telia.net [80.91.245.223]
10  880 ms  1282 ms  305 ms  adm-b5-link.telia.net [213.155.132.159]
11    *        *        *    Request timed out.
12    *        *        *    Request timed out.
13    *        *        *    Request timed out.
14    *        *        *    Request timed out.
15    *        *        *    Request timed out.
16    *        *        *    Request timed out.
17    *        *        *    Request timed out.
18    *        *        *    Request timed out.
19    *    ^C

I wiresharked it and there were numerous retransmissions requests when it got really bad. This is usually due to traffic being dropped when it's throttled / bottlenecked correct? I've attached a wireshark capture filtered on the correct traffic (saved as .png - just rename as .pcap)
Many thanks,
Graham
Community Gaffer
Community Gaffer
Posts: 4,884
Thanks: 164
Fixes: 3
Registered: 04-04-2007

Re: Suddenly gaming has become inconsistent

Your wireshark shows lots of retransmits going on.  That suggests packets being lost somewhere, but the latency spike is on our first device, suggesting a problem between you and us.
Shall we try putting interleaving on the line to see if it helps?  That may help fix the errors.
Graham123
Newbie
Posts: 8
Registered: 29-12-2012

Re: Suddenly gaming has become inconsistent

I worry about it being left on!  Smiley
If you feel it would be a good idea then I'm up for it. I've attached another wireshark capture where I'm watching BBC iplayer and also a stream in america.
It's strange, the BBC iplayer seems to be working fine but the American stream (even though it was very low quality) seems to keep getting out of order packets and retransmissions.
Could it be something between ISPs?
Are any other customers noticing similar issues?
I've got friends connecting to the same EU servers on Diablo 3 and they aren't having any issues with lag / connectivity.
After the upgrade to Unlimited before xmas, has my service theoretically altered at all?
Many thanks,
Graham
matt_2k34
Grafter
Posts: 1,300
Registered: 09-07-2007

Re: Suddenly gaming has become inconsistent

Quote from: Graham123

Could it be something between ISPs?

Yep! definitely.
The links could be over subscribed (it does happen, particularly companies who are abit slow at provisioning bandwidth (im looking at you, Telia))
However the pings are poor to the first point on Plusnets network - something is a miss somewhere...
Being left on? as in interleaving? its a flick of a switch on ADSL, not so simple for FTTC  Grin
I personally haven't seen anything whilst gaming but I've been mainly on EU servers.
Unlimited should actually have LESS shaping on it, than your older product unless it had pro? (which makes no sense, I know  Tongue
you can however compare your products Here
Regards
Graham123
Newbie
Posts: 8
Registered: 29-12-2012

Re: Suddenly gaming has become inconsistent

Cheers for the follow up Matt. I am currently on Extra (thanks for that link specifying the shaping setup, that's really useful). I meant whether my product was affected due to the release of Unlimited before Christmas.
I'm borrowing another router this weekend to confirm that the problems aren't attributed to that. It's been solid for a while now, and there doesn't seem to be anything in the logs untoward, but I want to rule it out.