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Lag, Packet Loss, Ghost Shells, ... demystified using PingPlotter. What is it, How to, FAQ, Q&A ...

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acrisis #1 Posted 29 April 2020 - 05:45 PM

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Please note that this topic is still a bit of a work in progress, and extra information will get added to the initial post.  I know I still need to tie into cellular service and satellite service. 

 

------

04/28 draft

04/29 initial post, adding more info

04/30 added KB/s bandwidth testing data to Q&A, added VPN testing info to Q&A

06/03 pingplotter has changed its download versions, it looks like they're consolidating into one download for all towards the pro version, which has a 14 day trial and then scales down to free

07/31 users should now ping: login0.wotblitz.com or login1.wotblitz.com
          ^^^ tip of the hat to LordDumptruck  

------

 

It often seems like not a week goes by or somebody deals with lag and voices their issue on discord and/or this forum.

Usually politely, sometimes rather coarsely ... 

 

A Ranter Who Shall Not Be Named said: 

WG!! FIX UR (bleeping) SERVERS!! Everything works, except ur (bleeping) game, I have gazillion internets and u are to blame for all this (bleeping) lag etc etc etc ... game is unplayable ... Ima quit! 

 

Then some helpful people, perhaps me, may try to explain how it actually practically all ties together, what could be causes, how to analyze where the problem is and maybe fix it. 

Which may prompt a reply like: 

 

A Ranter Who Shall Not Be Named said: 

 Dude! You don't listen! It is not MY internet! You (bleep)! EVERYBODY in the battles was complaining about lag. So it is 100% not my internet and totally Wargaming's fault!!! 

 

Ah yes, another person with poor understanding of how the internet works, ignoring reality and jumping to conclusions.   

 

I was recently asked by Absolute_Sniper, one of the WOTB forum veterans, if I could perhaps explain pingplotter better.  We have an older topic pinned, but it wasn't really a guide, and there's been many a reply to various near identical threads over the months and years ... so, I figured, I could try to create a new more encompassing " lag " topic, try to tie various bits of information together, common complaints, issues, solutions, explain the use of pingplotter as a diagnostic tool, etc. ...  


I will cut this up in sections, feel free to skim as needed.
Most images are in spoiler tags to aid with loading time and make it quicker during a revisit as to not have to scroll ten miles down.
It may be inconvenient the first time reading it ... can't win on all fronts. 

 

Outline:

A. General Terms

B. Lag

C. Pingplotter introduction

D. Pingplotter deep dive

E. Who is going to fix it

F. Common network and broadband issues

G. Q&A 



 

So, here we go:

 

A:  Technical terms & important basic info.

 

Local network.

The network equipment within your apartment or house.

Most typically it is an all in one modem + router from the internet provider - or - two devices, the modem from your internet provider and your own router.

 

WiFi.

Radio waves that allow devices on the network to talk to each other on the network, and allow to communication with the outside world via the internet.

Comes in different flavors and speeds. Can be prone to inference and there can be obstacles causing signal issues. More on that later. 

 

The internet. 
A series of tubes ( sorry, I could not resist ) fiber optic and copper cables, connected together via switches and all kinds of circuitry, that allow the exchange of computer information (data) between computer devices in different locations around the globe. The data that we all send and receive is chopped up into digital Packets of information. 

 

Internet Service Provider.
In order to use the internet you have to have broadband internet service (these days), or alternatively have a data plan via a mobile or cellular service provider, that allows your mobile device to connect to the internet. For a lot of people this is Spectrum, Comcast, Cox, Charter, ...  

 

IP Address.

Internet Protocol Address. The unique internet identifying address that everybody has.  When you look something up, send something, ... it has your location and the destination embedded in it; so that all the equipment knows where to look and forward the information to next. Equipment along the way also has an IP address. 

 

Route.

Another word for the path between you and the destination. Automatically chosen to be as short and fast as possible. If all goes well. 

 

HOPS.

Not the beer making kind. The line between you and other people and servers online is not a direct one. It is a series of cables between connective network equipment in different localities and towns. Every such connection point can be PINGED and is called a HOP. 

 

BackBone.

Backbones are like the interstates of the internet. These are high speed lines between major metropolitan areas and owned by companies most people have not heard of.  All the lines are owned by somebody. You own the line(s) in your house. Your internet service provider owns the line from your house, up the street, through town, the county and maybe the state even or a couple states, depending how big of an ISP they are. Anyhow. You leave your home network and then start out on the lines from your ISP for as long as possible, and after that they hand you over to a backbone provider send the information further along. This is where you will hear of names like Telia Equinix and Cogentco. 

 

PING. 

Ping is measured in milliseconds and the time it takes for a tracer packet to travel from one device to another device via the internet. The ping number is primarily based on distance. The shorter the distance, the faster the response time. 

For WOTB (or any other game), PING is how long it takes for your game device (client) to reach the game server. 

PINGing is using a software tool to check on the transit time to reach other systems. 


Ping Spike. 

Is when you are playing along, all is well, you play at your typical ping number - whether that is 40-60-100-120 or whatever - and suddenly it jumps up to 300 400 1000 ... and then a short while later it reverts back to normal. 

 

Packet Loss.

All the digital communication is sent in chunks called packets. Typically and ideally, 100% of the ongoing stream of packets - back & forth - between you and the game server arrive 100% of the time. When that doesn't happen due to technical issues ... packets get lost ... and you guessed it, that's why it is called packet loss. 

 

Server lag.

It is possible for the server to be misconfigured due to an update, suffer memory leak issues, be saturated with traffic, ... or there to be maintenance in progress. 

 

Client lag.

The game requires a certain amount of computational power to execute the game properly. More recent devices with better specifications handle complexity better and execute things faster than older and lesser capable devices. It is possible for the device to be slow due to insufficient available free memory, slow drive, ...  One typically sees this when the battle already has started when you just get in, when your device becomes sluggish on more detailed maps, ...
 

Ghost Shells.

The condition where you see a target on your screen, you aim and press fire, then nothing appears to happen ... and you vocally express " now where did that round go?! " or " WTF WG this is BS ... he should have been dead, but now I am, aargggg " 
Where did the shell go? What happened?

A few things come to mind. Client lag. Packet loss. De-sync. Server lag.  

 

De-SYNC.

The thorn in the side of many an online gamer and cause of many lost engagements.

I do not think this is an inherent major issue with WOTB, but it is worth noting in the larger arena of online gaming, ping, packets, etc. and the above ghost shells or perhaps other conditions. 

Consider just two players (not 14 for simplicity). Joe and Tom. Joe plays with a ping of 40ms. Tom plays with a ping of 150ms. ( slightly high number akin to long distance play for clarity purposes (when I play from NA on EU server, my ping is 120-150) ) Joe starts moving. His device sends packets to the server, the server hears 40ms later that Joe moves and relays that to Tom, who's device receives a packet another 150ms later. Tom reacts and starts aiming. His device sends the aim move packets, the server hears 150ms later that Tom is now aiming and relays that to Joe's device ... etc. Magnify this to 14 players (or 100 in other games) and there's a lot of info about movement, spotting, aiming, firing etc to keep up with for servers and client devices.  

But back to de-sync. The server executes things in real time, server time. Whatever info it receives first is what it decides on. So, if Joe and Tom spot each other simultaneously, Joe's device hears it first by 110ms lead time (40 vs 150). If both people fire a kill shot simultaneously ... in actual real world time ... Joe's shot packets reach the server first and Tom is dead before he fired according to the server.  Or you aimed where your device said Joe or Tom was, but he wasn't quite there any more.

So, long story short, there are intricacies with location, ping, server side processing, client side processing, ... that may be cause for edge scenarios. 

 

 

B:  Bro, I got lag!  Who do I blame?

 

Well, it honestly depends. 

 

If you play over wifi and have a potato with two nails in it acting as your wifi router, chances are that is the cause! 

 

But seriously. Here is where your homework begins! 


Let us wrap a few things together in this section as home work / troubleshooting, before we move further; because it is a long way between your brain and the WG server processes hosted at the data center in Chicago. 

 

It could be your game device.

> When is the last time you rebooted it?

I currently reboot my iPad 2018 with the latest iOS once or twice a week. I have been dealing with some app sluggishness at times and some game crashes (wotb, wowsb, pubgm, codm, it doesn't matter ). So, I force close all the apps. Force shut down my tablet. Power it up. Then play. And I'm good to go for days. 


It could be your network. 
> When is the last time you rebooted your network hardware?
All in one modem & router combos from internet service providers are not know to be high quality devices, with stable firmware, have limited internal ram, may be prone to overheating, ... 

Many moons ago, I had my ISP modem and router on a manual timer switch, so that they rebooted daily around 3 am. While those days are long gone, giving them the boot treatment once a month doesn't hurt. Or at least do it when you are having internet trouble. 

 

It could be your ISP.

" But I told you my ISP is fine, the whole internet works, it is WG ... I have THIS BIG (*) level of service "

Hold your horses. Let's just double check really quick. Run a speedtest from your device. 


Your ISP may have their own, but here are a few popular online ones. 

https://www.speedtest.net/
https://testmy.net/

https://speedof.me/

^ Some of these may not always work within a browser due to whatever code they use.
You may need to download their app from your app store. 

 

(*) Speed matters? 
Note that your service speed does not inherently matter to play WOTB. If you are on the bronze or silver broadband internet plan, you are probably fine. You don't need gold, platinum or unobtanium level service to play WOTB. The game only uses mere KB/s (kilobytes per second) to relay essential information: tank position coordinates, movement speed and direction, aim direction, shots fired etc.  the server calculates spotting ... 
As a matter of fact when I had 3 / 0.768 Mbps ADSL service over the phone my average ping for WOTB was around 40. Whereas with my much faster 100 / 10 Mbps Cable internet my ping is 50-60 for WOTB. 
It is all about the length of the path and routing efficiency from the provider.  

 

Where a bigger and higher capacity service level comes in, is when you have multiple users doing data intensive tasks, like streaming HD video, big game downloads, live broadcasting, video chatting, getting major operating system updates, etc. Various things happening within a modern family. When you only have a few megabits of service, it is easy to hog the pipe with data intensive tasks and then little old you with some wotb packets can't squeeze through whatever bandwidth is left.

 

So, you have rebooted your stuff, you tested the internet, you are flying at maximum warp over through the broadband pipe ... now what?

 

We will jump from the LAN and ISP deeper into to the WWW.  Time to get technical!  And you need to download something. 

 

( note to self: cellular players & satellite dish players ) 

 

C: Diagnostic tool: PingPlotter (free) introduction 

 

In any trade, people use tools to fix things, open things up, look things over, and when it comes to analyzing network lag and internet lag, a prominent and FREE tool is PingPlotter. I discovered it a while back, had it as part of my digital toolbag, then at one time mentioned it in the clan as an option to check on the route to WOTB ... My good clan mate ReluctantTheist started this thread back in the day and for years now WG requests ping plots as part of the troubleshooting process. 

 

How to get PingPlotter? 
If you are on mobile, search for it in the app store for your type of device, iOS / Android.

 

 

 

If you are on desktop or laptop, windows or mac, go to pingplotter online: main site   



Then go to software. The pingplotter download page should automatically recommend the right download for your system.   

 

[Update 06/03] It looks like pingplotter is changing the downloads they have available. The free version is no longer listed separately. So everybody is getting the pro version, which downgrades to the free version limitations after two week trial. 

 

Block Quote

Download PingPlotter.

New downloads include a free 14-day trial of PingPlotter Professional.
After the trial expires, you can keep using PingPlotter Free as long as you like.

Get ready to do someping awesome.

New downloads include a free 14-day trial of PingPlotter Professional. During the trial, you can switch between Free and Standard editions in case you’re interested in those. After the trial expires, you can buy Standard or Professional (or keep using PingPlotter Free as long as you like).

 

 

First use.

 

Regardless of the specific version, there will be a " target box " where you can type in an address and then a triangle pointing to the right, like a play button an a VCR, cassette player, DVD player, ... 

 

In the address box, type:    login.wotblitz.com    then hit PLAY (the triangle thing)

 

In the address box, type:    login0.wotblitz.com     or    login1.wotblitz.com    then hit PLAY (the triangle thing)

 

 

 

On mobile it will look something like this:

 

Spoiler
 

On desktop it will look something like this:

 

Spoiler

 

Now what can we glean from the above? ( noting that the blurred lines are just a few obscured details to protect the innocent )

 

Data is organized in a table with horizontal lines showing internet address, name, average minimum and current ping to that location; PL% = packet loss
Graphic on the right shows a red line to visualize the speed and any bumps in the road.

There are three colored bands. Green 0-100 ms, Yellow 101-200 ms, Red 201 + ms . Green is good. Yellow becomes iffy. Red is bad.  

A straight-ish red line is good that stays in the green is good. Peaks into yellow and red are bad. 

The horizontal bars show the fluctuation for that location. Short bars are good. Long bars means the connection fluctuates there and gives you ping spikes. 

 

Going down the line, on the left hand side we list: 12 hops. 

Starts with connecting to (1) home router, (2) the ISP modem,

(3) ISP across town [ we observe an average ping of 52, long horizontal bar and a peak in the red line. Ping fluctuates here from 19 - 350. Say hello to ping spikes! ] 

(4) ISP further in the state, (5) ISP out of state,

(6) ISP backbone, (7) ISP backbone arriving in Chicago 

(8) & (9) 3rd party line in Chicago

(10) & (11) I call them ghost hops, we have to ignore, I never heard back from PingPlotter as to what/why/... is up with them, note they say 100% PL but they have zero effect on the plot or the  
I suspect this may be equipment that has ping disabled, thus any PING packets going there cannot be delivered and are not responded to. 
(12) the WG game server cluster within the data center 

 

The other graphic shows a histogram / heartbeat kind of line for your connection, checking it every couple seconds and showing overall ping.
A steady line is good. Little jumps are normal as long as it is in the green zone.  

 

You can let Pingplotter run for a while. Observe the changes for a minute or however long you wish. Then you can hit PAUSE, to stop tracing. 

 

D: PingPlotter Deep Dive


In the above intro, we saw a connection that spans about 1000 miles as the crow flies, from Northern New England to Chicago; where WG leases space on the G-Core Labs data center. 

 

If you live nearer or farther away from Chicago, IL; you will have less or more hops, and a lower or higher ping ... simply due to the distance the signal has to travel. 

 

And, in the graphic we could visually see line #3. Where my ping fluctuates from 19 - 350 just on the other side of town. Fortunately these are very brief spikes in time that don't affect WOTB much. But they can happen every minute or so. 

 

The biggest note to take away so far is that there is a long road between the game device and the game server, where many things can go wrong. 

 

Your game packets start on your equipment, travel on your ISPs equipment, get onto a backbone, get onto local providers in Chicago, and then they arrive at the server.

 

Let's have a look at some other examples ... 

 

4A. It is your network, or where you are in your house


Keeping the distance between your device and the wifi point short and minimizing the number obstructions (walls, cabinets, ...) to a minimum is best.

Clear Line Of Sight is ideal. 
 

Here's a few examples of when things are not ideal.

 

Unstable wifi connection, distance and interference related, observe the long horizontal line and 12-103 ping within my home network.

 

Spoiler

 

 

Who's cooking?

Below I am heating up my cup of coffee in the kitchen. Microwaves severely interfere with 2.4Ghz network communication.

It can look like the next image, or the image further down. 

Note that it does not simply show up as an issue within 1 & 2. The microwave interferes with the digital communication in general, and thus to all points that pingplotter it is trying to ping.

There is also a red bar in the lower graph that indicates the temporary total loss of signal.

 

Spoiler

 

Below is when I moved 400 feet away from the house ... nothing can be reached any more.

One dot of wifi. All hell breaks loose. 

 

Spoiler

 

Notes to take away from above.

 

Local issues can and will show variability further down the line, because you are pinging the entire route from within your network.

It is only when your network shows no issues, with minimal latency and no variability that you can rule out your network as a contributing factor. 
 

4B. It is somebody else

 

Below is an older example from 2016 or 2017 when WOTB was still hosted in Ashburn, VA. 
The ping is great, but the game is unplayable, tank is hard to control, tanks sink & fly, shots do weird things ... 

Because packets are lost along the way, your devices is working with incomplete information and the game server is not receiving what you are doing. 

 

Spoiler

 

Line 3. We see my local trouble spot around town, the ping looks steady.

We have red bars showing 4-33% packet loss in New York on TELIA equipment in the middle of the route. 

 

Some time in 2017, iirc, WG moved the game hosting from the data center in Ashburn, VA to Chicago, IL in order to better serve people on both coasts. Being more centrally located geographically shortens the connections for everybody on the North American continent. 

 

Last summer there were lots of ongoing issues with lag for everybody.

 

Coming from New England, on Spectrum (formerly Time Warner Cable RoadRunner), once again in the middle of the route, upon arrival in Chicago, where the ISP hands over to third parties. Plus variability in many places. 

 

Spoiler

 

Coming from Dallas, TX, running on Cogent Co, heaps of trouble right outside of the data center.

 

Spoiler

 

The next one shows lots of variability at every point along the way and TELIA sends us from Chicago, to Kansas, Dallas, LA, ... back to Chicago and lots of unpingable equipment? 
Ping is steady in the orange band ( > 100 ) and peaking into the red. With a good amount of packet loss in Chicago. 

 

Spoiler

 

In the majority of cases when you get bad ping, things go wonky in game, you and your platoon mate both experience issues, other people in battle experience issues ... the above scenarios with issues in Chicago have been document hundreds, if not thousands of times.  And the trouble is, both us end users and Wargaming are both suffering from these bottlenecks, outages, misconfigurations, etc on critical third party communication equipment. 

 

As an individual end user, we have no clout with our ISP to get to a level where a) we get to somebody who understands what we are talking about and b) for that to get escalated through for a third party contact and review. They just bounce you to Wargaming. 


Wargaming on their end can contact the data center, ... but again are at the mercy of other parties reviewing, escalating, ...

 

After weeks of ongoing issues last summer, I'd like to think that behind the scenes I may have finally broken through to the brick wall with two backbone providers ... pointing fingers in a series of emails with a slew of screenshots.

 

Anyway. If it is in the middle of the route, we all are at the mercy of those providers fixing their stuff.   

 

4C. It is WG / the datacenter

 

After all of the above. We finally get to the destination. 


The screenshots are clipped, but when all of the above is clean, and we only have an issue on the final hop; then we can conclude there is an issue at the data center. 

 

This was observed one day in May 2019 

 



This was observed one day in March 2020

 

 

4D. Personal observations

 

I have used PingPlotter a lot. Likely more than anybody else playing WOTB, because I run it every time I feel like I have an issue in game (outside of my local town issue), every time I am on the road before I even get into the game ( because I want to know if it is worth getting in game, I will do both a speedtest and pingplot), and every time I hear somebody express an issue on the forum or on discord. 

 

Based on personal observations, I have to stress that for me, 99% of the time, the networking issues and internet lag are not at the data center.

 

If I have to put numbers on in it:

  • < 1% it is an anomaly on my network
  • 95% of my issues are upon arrival in Chicago, where we see the backbone providers like Telia Equinix Cogentco and exchanges are saturated, misconfigured, ...
  • maybe 3% just outside of the data center
  • and < 1% at the data center.  

 

E: Who is going to fix this? 

 

You have control over your connection within your home. 

 

Your Internet Service Provider for the line between their (or your) router and wherever their lines go (note, I have had zero luck trying to get them to fix things on the other side of town) 

Or your cellular provider if you are on mobile. Once in a while - like last week - people run into " can't connect to WG " issues, which points to a miscofiguration on the cellular provider's equipment. 

 

Nobody directly, if it is Telia Equinix Cogentco and company. 

 

WG and GCORE if it is at the data center. 

 

E1 How to contact WG

 

So, IF and WHEN it isolated to the final hop in the route, or just outside of the data center, meaning whatever connection the datacenter has to the outside world, we should let WG know.   

 

Discord

 

Personally, I find it the quickest and easiest to take a screenshot, obscure my IP address or crop the image down where I chop the top off that has my local information, and post that cropped image on the Official WG Discord Server > Technical Issues > NA Server.

 

Service ticket

 

Alternatively one can create a customer service ticket. 

 

Log into www.wotblitz.com, go to player support, technical issues, how to submit a ticket 

Note that you will need to be armed with some screenshots and a pingplotter log file. 

 

Yes, WG loves pingplotter too! There is now a Knowledge Base article on it. It came for another WG title, so let's just quote and edit it here:

 

Note that these instructions are not for Mobile versions, but for desktop versions (win/mac)

 

To send a pingplotter file, please follow the steps below:

  1. 1. Close all open applications including Software update, Games, Discord , ICQ, Web Browsers, eMail clients, etc. as these can interfere with the connection test results.
  2. 2. Install pingplotter on your computer. You can download it from the following link: http://www.pingplotter.com/dl_pingplotter.html
  3. 3. Launch pingplotter 
  4. 4. In the "Target Name" field, please type in: login.wotblitz.com
    Then press PLAY > 
    5. Allow pingplotter to run for at least 15 minutes. 
  5. 6. Finally, we would like you to please click "file" (in the upper left hand of your screen), then "save sample set".
  6.  
  7. Please select file, then "Save sample set" (which is be a .pp2 file) and attach it to your ticket.

 

F: Common issues & recommendations 

 

Broadband. 

Do a speedtest once in a while to see if you are getting the service that you pay for, and reboot your equipment maybe once a month or every six months if things are very stable. 

 

Playing on an older device.

Close out other applications or apps.

Turn down your graphics settings and turn some things off, so that you lessen the visual load on your device. 

 

Wifi 2.4 Ghz - 5 Ghz - 6 Ghz

The traditional 2.4 Ghz is fine, is supports less data per second or minute throughput, but carries the signal the farthest. 

5 Ghz supports more data per second or minute, but probably only carries half as far as 2.4 Ghz.

6 Ghz is brand new and barely anything uses it yet. Total overkill and spendy.

 

Recommendations:

Between 2.4 Ghz and 5 Ghz if you have a dual band router or access point; and ethernet ports, you can balance your traffic to minimize saturation. 

In my house, anything that has an ethernet jack, runs on ethernet. Which means less radio traffic on wifi. 

Split the 2.4 & 5 Ghz bands over two wifi networks, example wifi24 and wifi5, or just add the numbers to your existing name.

That way you can be assured what network you are on. 

Anything that is in or near the kitchen is put on 5 Ghz ... because of? The microwave. 

High data use wifi devices in proximity of the router or access point, get put on 5 Ghz.

The rest shares 2.4 and can roam further.

 

QOS

If you have your own router or a modern router from your ISP, it may be possible to prioritize certain kinds of traffic and / or devices. 

I personally have not had much luck with that in the past, but it can be worth looking into to optimize your home network environment and certainly may be worthwile to assign your gaming device a static IP address within your home and listing it as a priority device. I know, it is selfish, but we have to get our game fix, right? 

More info: https://www.howtogeek.com/75660/the-beginners-guide-to-qos-on-your-router/ 

 

G: Q&A

 

Should I get faster internet service or a better internet package? 

No. Speed really does not matter for WOTB.

WOTB only requires a minimal amount of data, as it is not sending video, only tank coordinates, movement, direction, aim direction, firing etc are relayed to the server and we receive said information for the other players. It only uses KB/s and a couple of megabytes per game. You could play it on dialup.

 

What the game likes and what players enjoy is a low ping that is steady. For WOTB, 40 60 or 80 ping is not inherently better or worse, as long as it stays put, doesn't spike up, you don't lose packets, etc.  If you have let's say 15/3 service and you stay with the same ISP, but go to 25/5 or 50/10 ... you are still using the same service, you are still using the same wires, ... so your ping will not get lower. If there is network instability in town, it will still be there. If there is a bottleneck in Chicago, it will still be there.   

 

In brief testing I have seen WOTB use about 6 KB/s maybe 10 KB/s. One data meter indicating 4-6-8 KB down and 1KB up, the other 4-6-8-10-12 KB/s download & 1-2 KB/s upload while in battle. They're not up to the same second and rounding may get involved. But note KiloBytes, not MegaBytes. So we are really talking minimal amounts of data. 

 

The only small yet limited bursts of information are at opening the game where it synced accounts ( ~ 1 MB observed ) and then at the start and the end of the battle. At the start where the game sends you the info about the map, tanks and players plus then at the end, the battle conclusion data.  For the battle the one meter peaked at 18 KB/s down & 10 KB/s up right at the start. All in all, between two measuring tools, we are certainly talking < 20 KB / s combined on average.  Any equipment and internet package should handle that. 

 

Opening the game the data indicated about 1MB of data.

At the conclusion of a tier 3 battle that lasted about 3.5 minutes; there had been an extra 2MB of traffic that came in.  

 

So the only time a service upgrade would be worthwhile, is if you and your family are struggling with downloading updates, have trouble streaming netflix, etc and have more concurrent things going on, that can't be avoided. 

 

Do I need a new modem?

No. If it is a separate unit from the router. Running the box from the ISP is fine. Their unit is typically matched for the service that you are running. Only a select number of devices are approved. There is very little to gain from upgrading the unit. You will only get the headache of more complicated service calls, because the ISP will point fingers at your equipment.  
Make sure to reboot it once in a while. Especially if you are trying to troubleshoot an issue. 

 

Should I get a new router?

Not really if you are not technically savvy.
If it is an all in one modem & router from the ISP, included in your internet package; running the box from the ISP is fine. Their unit is typically matched for the service that you are running. It does not have a lot of bells and whistles, wifi wise, but you may find a few things in the manual. Make sure to reboot it once in a while.

The only time running your own router becomes worthwhile is if you really need more wifi range and want more advanced features. Or maybe you have an elongated house and no easy option to move the unit, because the service entrance is in one corner of the house. As is the case at my place. 

 

If you can handle the cost and can deal with setting it up, a more capable router may give you as faster connection deeper into the home. But please don't fall for all the 2x 5x 10x faster and more range than anything else on the box marketing speak. Typically that requires their proprietary equipment on the client (device) side and their router ... and is something they have tested in an ideal open air space or controlled environment without even comparing what they're comparing to. They may claim whole house coverage ... but Your Mileage Will Vary!  I know conditions where there signal drops 95% outside of the room that a wifi router or access point it is in! So, just because something is advertised for great coverage and shouts louder, doesn't mean it works for everybody's house and situation.

 

Good coverage. As always for good home coverage, try to place the router in the center of the home.

If it has moveable antennas. You may be able to point one horizontal and one vertical to send signals out horizontally and vertically through floors. 

Don't bury it behind cabinets or put it on the back side of the kitchen wall next to the fridge or microwave. 

 

Should I try a VPN? 

Not unless you want to spend extra money and need to hide or secure some traffic for other purposes.

 

It really doesn't pay off in my opinion for WOTB to try it. I have done it once in a while when we had bottlenecks in New York or Chicago, or when I am out and about and there's something else going on; but typically it complicates matters a bit and tends to run a bit slower, because you are taking a longer path. It is very easy to trade some instability at one place on the shortest pass, for another issue on the longer route via the VPN. 

 

In testing on 04/30 - under good conditions, no issues observed in Chicago - I observed the following, from Northern New England, then picking two cities along the route, to keep the path short.

 

Direct ISP connection: ~ 48 ms average, 45 minimum

VPN to New York: ~54 ms average, 52 minimum

VPN to Chicago: ~49 ms average, 47 minimum

The number of hops indicated remained at 12 with several unpingable systems.  


Your mileage may vary, especially on longer routes, and one may be able to create a manual detour around a bottleneck, let's say (theoretically) you connect from Florida and there's an issue in Boston, maybe with a VPN you detour via Dallas ... and the connection is more stable. But that is a big IF and WHEN. 

In ordinary use, it seems to only add more overhead. 
 

Should I get a new game device?

We all like shiny, newer and more capable devices; but when you have networking lag over the few KB/s that WOTB needs, a newer device isn't really going to help. Old devices pre-dating the release of WOTB are capable enough to transmit many more times the data than WOTB needs. 

 

 

 

Well, you reached the end of this very long post.  Thank you so much for reading. Please like and subscribe if you found this helpful ;) 

 

Hopefully we can refer other people to this thread when they need help understanding lag issues and how things tie together. 

 

 


Edited by acrisis, 31 July 2020 - 06:03 PM.

 

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_Cletus #2 Posted 29 April 2020 - 05:52 PM

    Voodoo Wizard

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TLDR:  When is WG going to fix their junk!?

 

Just kidding, that is a great, informative post that we should all bookmark.  Then, whenever somebody starts another thread about it, we can all give the same reply with the same link dozens of times.

 

Thank you acrisis!  You are awesome, and I consider this thread a community service.  Thank you!


 

If a person feels powerless or insignificant in their life, the easiest way to achieve power is to make other people angry; every internet troll has known this since 1993 and every toddler has known it since the dawn of time.

Modern_Neanderthal #3 Posted 29 April 2020 - 05:59 PM

    Sedentary Nomad

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Outstanding!

wrecker1968 #4 Posted 29 April 2020 - 06:43 PM

    Head of Security

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Wow, Thank you for the information.

 Great job.



Roberto577_One #5 Posted 29 April 2020 - 06:49 PM

    Chungus Supreme

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Very thorough. So thorough I'll probably never read it all lol. 

 

But for real, thanks for breaking it down for those who want to know.


Edited by Roberto577_One, 29 April 2020 - 06:50 PM.

Excuse me while I club your double T-49 platoon with my SP I C.

 

Proud owner of the Leeroy Jenkins-Mobile.

 

I don't always club, but when I do, it's in stock Tier 9 Mediums.


minitel_NA #6 Posted 29 April 2020 - 07:16 PM

    First Sergeant

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Brilliant, but I thought we had one good thread already :

http://forum.wotblitz.com/index.php?/topic/81897-got-lag-its-equinixgcores-fault/

 

so I’m wondering how to host both or how to merge them for the sake of usability of the forums ?


Minitelrose visiting from EU, occasional player/forumer in the NA

 


acrisis #7 Posted 29 April 2020 - 07:33 PM

    Captain

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We actually have a couple. I am very familiar with that thread and the other one like it, as I have contributed many pingplotter screenshots, whether as complaint or a an example. 

 

The older threads have a short initial post, followed by a lot of replies, which not everybody wants to sit through and analyze. 

 

This thread is intended to be more complete, stacking all the information in the initial post so that it can be more of a guide ...

 

That way people do not need to follow 100 replies back and forth, reading other people's complaints, perhaps struggle with misinformation, or lack of a description, etc  to see what is what. 

 

I will go through the old threads and merge some of their information and examples into this one, if / where needed. 


 

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RonaldusMaximus_ #8 Posted 29 April 2020 - 08:12 PM

    Self-Righteous Prick

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View Postminitel_NA, on 29 April 2020 - 02:16 PM, said:

Brilliant, but I thought we had one good thread already :

http://forum.wotblitz.com/index.php?/topic/81897-got-lag-its-equinixgcores-fault/

 

so I’m wondering how to host both or how to merge them for the sake of usability of the forums ?

 

Please do not!

In fact please pin and lock this thread... The "Got Lag..." thread has so many posts, I feel like people do not read the first one because they see a very long conversation.


 


_The_Tactition_ #9 Posted 29 April 2020 - 08:37 PM

    The Best Tactician

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More useful then my Chemistry and Trig classes put together

Member of the Training Room Police Department

My YouTube:https://m.youtube.com/channel/UChFwqqu30_epeLO0q-BKEFw 

 

Give us the IRON CROSS


ShootinSabot #10 Posted 29 April 2020 - 08:46 PM

    Excelling at Mediocrity

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Good stuff Acrisis, thanks. 

 

Now where did I put my plunger so I can clean out my home internet pipes.


                                     

Part time potato 

              Striving to be an Ambassador to help grow the game. 


acrisis #11 Posted 29 April 2020 - 09:03 PM

    Captain

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Cleaning the at home interweb pipes is pretty easy. 
 

Shut it all down. 

Unplug.

Wait 60 secs.
Replug. 
 

With more than one device, you may have to do a sequence of restarting the modem first, then the router, then access points if any, followed by devices and computers. 

 


 

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CommanderSean_2014 #12 Posted 30 April 2020 - 05:23 AM

    Lance-corporal

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Bravo!
" />
gs/1011921428[/img][/url]

ironconch25 #13 Posted 01 May 2020 - 06:52 AM

    Water Closet Warrior

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Thanks Acrisis! 
 

I wanted to confirm that it is the ISP that determines the routing to WG server? I’ve noticed that the path is almost never the same looking at ping plotter. Always have packet loss when routed thru Telia. That is the part that is most frustrating. 



acrisis #14 Posted 01 May 2020 - 11:05 PM

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My routes tend to look very similar, and shortest distance, moving forward along similar paths. 

 

Routers have routing tables based on ip address groups and certain priority metrics, so I do believe - based on observations - that they are programmed to stay on their own network and equipment as long as possible, before being handed over. 

 

So in practice, as end user we have no control over the path. From our equipment it hoes to our isp and then onwards from there, based on how their equipment is configured. 

 

We can only influence that via a vpn, to cloak our traffic, and pop up in a different metropolitan area. The trade off is that we incur a ping penalty for tunneling to that area ... and we may still end up in the same bottleneck.

 

All roads lead to Rome! 

 

If there is a huge jam in Chicago ( as unfortunately happens with a certain frequency ) ... it doesn’t matter if you connect from Maine, Connecticut, New Jersey, Delaware etc or perhaps wherever ... as you still come from the east coast, trying to get to Chicago. May very well extend to the rest of the country, depending on how things map out locally.

 

Everybody is taking a high spreed train to Chicago and then we are waiting for the bus to gcore, kind of a thing. 

 

 

 

 


 

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BattChiefJoe241 #15 Posted 10 May 2020 - 11:24 PM

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View Postacrisis, on 29 April 2020 - 12:45 PM, said:

Please note that this topic is still a bit of a work in progress, and extra information will get added to the initial post.  I know I still need to tie into cellular service and satellite service. 

 

------

04/28 draft

04/29 initial post, adding more info

04/30 added KB/s bandwidth testing data to Q&A, added VPN testing info to Q&A

------

 

It often seems like not a week goes by or somebody deals with lag and voices their issue on discord and/or this forum.

Usually politely, sometimes rather coarsely ... 

 

 

Then some helpful people, perhaps me, may try to explain how it actually practically all ties together, what could be causes, how to analyze where the problem is and maybe fix it. 

Which may prompt a reply like: 

 

 

Ah yes, another person with poor understanding of how the internet works, ignoring reality and jumping to conclusions.   

 

I was recently asked by Absolute_Sniper, one of the WOTB forum veterans, if I could perhaps explain pingplotter better.  We have an older topic pinned, but it wasn't really a guide, and there's been many a reply to various near identical threads over the months and years ... so, I figured, I could try to create a new more encompassing " lag " topic, try to tie various bits of information together, common complaints, issues, solutions, explain the use of pingplotter as a diagnostic tool, etc. ...  


I will cut this up in sections, feel free to skim as needed.
Most images are in spoiler tags to aid with loading time and make it quicker during a revisit as to not have to scroll ten miles down.
It may be inconvenient the first time reading it ... can't win on all fronts. 

 

Outline:

A. General Terms

B. Lag

C. Pingplotter introduction

D. Pingplotter deep dive

E. Who is going to fix it

F. Common network and broadband issues

G. Q&A 



 

So, here we go:

 

A:  Technical terms & important basic info.

 

Local network.

The network equipment within your apartment or house.

Most typically it is an all in one modem + router from the internet provider - or - two devices, the modem from your internet provider and your own router.

 

WiFi.

Radio waves that allow devices on the network to talk to each other on the network, and allow to communication with the outside world via the internet.

Comes in different flavors and speeds. Can be prone to inference and there can be obstacles causing signal issues. More on that later. 

 

The internet. 
A series of tubes ( sorry, I could not resist ) fiber optic and copper cables, connected together via switches and all kinds of circuitry, that allow the exchange of computer information (data) between computer devices in different locations around the globe. The data that we all send and receive is chopped up into digital Packets of information. 

 

Internet Service Provider.
In order to use the internet you have to have broadband internet service (these days), or alternatively have a data plan via a mobile or cellular service provider, that allows your mobile device to connect to the internet. For a lot of people this is Spectrum, Comcast, Cox, Charter, ...  

 

IP Address.

Internet Protocol Address. The unique internet identifying address that everybody has.  When you look something up, send something, ... it has your location and the destination embedded in it; so that all the equipment knows where to look and forward the information to next. Equipment along the way also has an IP address. 

 

Route.

Another word for the path between you and the destination. Automatically chosen to be as short and fast as possible. If all goes well. 

 

HOPS.

Not the beer making kind. The line between you and other people and servers online is not a direct one. It is a series of cables between connective network equipment in different localities and towns. Every such connection point can be PINGED and is called a HOP. 

 

BackBone.

Backbones are like the interstates of the internet. These are high speed lines between major metropolitan areas and owned by companies most people have not heard of.  All the lines are owned by somebody. You own the line(s) in your house. Your internet service provider owns the line from your house, up the street, through town, the county and maybe the state even or a couple states, depending how big of an ISP they are. Anyhow. You leave your home network and then start out on the lines from your ISP for as long as possible, and after that they hand you over to a backbone provider send the information further along. This is where you will hear of names like Telia Equinix and Cogentco. 

 

PING. 

Ping is measured in milliseconds and the time it takes for a tracer packet to travel from one device to another device via the internet. The ping number is primarily based on distance. The shorter the distance, the faster the response time. 

For WOTB (or any other game), PING is how long it takes for your game device (client) to reach the game server. 

PINGing is using a software tool to check on the transit time to reach other systems. 


Ping Spike. 

Is when you are playing along, all is well, you play at your typical ping number - whether that is 40-60-100-120 or whatever - and suddenly it jumps up to 300 400 1000 ... and then a short while later it reverts back to normal. 

 

Packet Loss.

All the digital communication is sent in chunks called packets. Typically and ideally, 100% of the ongoing stream of packets - back & forth - between you and the game server arrive 100% of the time. When that doesn't happen due to technical issues ... packets get lost ... and you guessed it, that's why it is called packet loss. 

 

Server lag.

It is possible for the server to be misconfigured due to an update, suffer memory leak issues, be saturated with traffic, ... or there to be maintenance in progress. 

 

Client lag.

The game requires a certain amount of computational power to execute the game properly. More recent devices with better specifications handle complexity better and execute things faster than older and lesser capable devices. It is possible for the device to be slow due to insufficient available free memory, slow drive, ...  One typically sees this when the battle already has started when you just get in, when your device becomes sluggish on more detailed maps, ...
 

Ghost Shells.

The condition where you see a target on your screen, you aim and press fire, then nothing appears to happen ... and you vocally express " now where did that round go?! " or " wthWG this is [edited]... he should have been dead, but now I am, aargggg " 
Where did the shell go? What happened?

A few things come to mind. Client lag. Packet loss. De-sync. Server lag.  

 

De-SYNC.

The thorn in the side of many an online gamer and cause of many lost engagements.

I do not think this is an inherent major issue with WOTB, but it is worth noting in the larger arena of online gaming, ping, packets, etc. and the above ghost shells or perhaps other conditions. 

Consider just two players (not 14 for simplicity). Joe and Tom. Joe plays with a ping of 40ms. Tom plays with a ping of 150ms. ( slightly high number akin to long distance play for clarity purposes (when I play from NA on EU server, my ping is 120-150) ) Joe starts moving. His device sends packets to the server, the server hears 40ms later that Joe moves and relays that to Tom, who's device receives a packet another 150ms later. Tom reacts and starts aiming. His device sends the aim move packets, the server hears 150ms later that Tom is now aiming and relays that to Joe's device ... etc. Magnify this to 14 players (or 100 in other games) and there's a lot of info about movement, spotting, aiming, firing etc to keep up with for servers and client devices.  

But back to de-sync. The server executes things in real time, server time. Whatever info it receives first is what it decides on. So, if Joe and Tom spot each other simultaneously, Joe's device hears it first by 110ms lead time (40 vs 150). If both people fire a kill shot simultaneously ... in actual real world time ... Joe's shot packets reach the server first and Tom is dead before he fired according to the server.  Or you aimed where your device said Joe or Tom was, but he wasn't quite there any more.

So, long story short, there are intricacies with location, ping, server side processing, client side processing, ... that may be cause for edge scenarios. 

 

 

B:  Bro, I got lag!  Who do I blame?

 

Well, it honestly depends. 

 

If you play over wifi and have a potato with two nails in it acting as your wifi router, chances are that is the cause! 

 

But seriously. Here is where your homework begins! 


Let us wrap a few things together in this section as home work / troubleshooting, before we move further; because it is a long way between your brain and the WG server processes hosted at the data center in Chicago. 

 

It could be your game device.

> When is the last time you rebooted it?

I currently reboot my iPad 2018 with the latest iOS once or twice a week. I have been dealing with some app sluggishness at times and some game crashes (wotb, wowsb, pubgm, codm, it doesn't matter ). So, I force close all the apps. Force shut down my tablet. Power it up. Then play. And I'm good to go for days. 


It could be your network. 
> When is the last time you rebooted your network hardware?
All in one modem & router combos from internet service providers are not know to be high quality devices, with stable firmware, have limited internal ram, may be prone to overheating, ... 

Many moons ago, I had my ISP modem and router on a manual timer switch, so that they rebooted daily around 3 am. While those days are long gone, giving them the boot treatment once a month doesn't hurt. Or at least do it when you are having internet trouble. 

 

It could be your ISP.

" But I told you my ISP is fine, the whole internet works, it is WG ... I have THIS BIG (*) level of service "

Hold your horses. Let's just double check really quick. Run a speedtest from your device. 


Your ISP may have their own, but here are a few popular online ones. 

https://www.speedtest.net/
https://testmy.net/

https://speedof.me/

^ Some of these may not always work within a browser due to whatever code they use.
You may need to download their app from your app store. 

 

(*) Speed matters? 
Note that your service speed does not inherently matter to play WOTB. If you are on the bronze or silver broadband internet plan, you are probably fine. You don't need gold, platinum or unobtanium level service to play WOTB. The game only uses mere KB/s (kilobytes per second) to relay essential information: tank position coordinates, movement speed and direction, aim direction, shots fired etc.  the server calculates spotting ... 
As a matter of fact when I had 3 / 0.768 Mbps ADSL service over the phone my average ping for WOTB was around 40. Whereas with my much faster 100 / 10 Mbps Cable internet my ping is 50-60 for WOTB. 
It is all about the length of the path and routing efficiency from the provider.  

 

Where a bigger and higher capacity service level comes in, is when you have multiple users doing data intensive tasks, like streaming HD video, big game downloads, live broadcasting, video chatting, getting major operating system updates, etc. Various things happening within a modern family. When you only have a few megabits of service, it is easy to hog the pipe with data intensive tasks and then little old you with some wotb packets can't squeeze through whatever bandwidth is left.

 

So, you have rebooted your stuff, you tested the internet, you are flying at maximum warp over through the broadband pipe ... now what?

 

We will jump from the LAN and ISP deeper into to the WWW.  Time to get technical!  And you need to download something. 

 

( note to self: cellular players & satellite dish players ) 

 

C: Diagnostic tool: PingPlotter (free) introduction 

 

In any trade, people use tools to fix things, open things up, look things over, and when it comes to analyzing network lag and internet lag, a prominent and FREE tool is PingPlotter. I discovered it a while back, had it as part of my digital toolbag, then at one time mentioned it in the clan as an option to check on the route to WOTB ... My good clan mate ReluctantTheist started this thread back in the day and for years now WG requests ping plots as part of the troubleshooting process. 

 

How to get PingPlotter? 
If you are on mobile, search for it in the app store for your type of device, iOS / Android.

 

 

 

If you are on desktop or laptop, windows or mac, go to pingplotter online: main site   



Then go to software. The pingplotter download page should automatically recommend the right download for your system.   

 

 

First use.

 

Regardless of the specific version, there will be a " target box " where you can type in an address and then a triangle pointing to the right, like a play button an a VCR, cassette player, DVD player, ... 

 

In the address box, type:    login.wotblitz.com    then hit PLAY (the triangle thing)

 

On mobile it will look something like this:

 

Spoiler
 

On desktop it will look something like this:

 

Spoiler

 

Now what can we glean from the above? ( noting that the blurred lines are just a few obscured details to protect the innocent )

 

Data is organized in a table with horizontal lines showing internet address, name, average minimum and current ping to that location; PL% = packet loss
Graphic on the right shows a red line to visualize the speed and any bumps in the road.

There are three colored bands. Green 0-100 ms, Yellow 101-200 ms, Red 201 + ms . Green is good. Yellow becomes iffy. Red is bad.  

A straight-ish red line is good that stays in the green is good. Peaks into yellow and red are bad. 

The horizontal bars show the fluctuation for that location. Short bars are good. Long bars means the connection fluctuates there and gives you ping spikes. 

 

Going down the line, on the left hand side we list: 12 hops. 

Starts with connecting to (1) home router, (2) the ISP modem,

(3) ISP across town [ we observe an average ping of 52, long horizontal bar and a peak in the red line. Ping fluctuates here from 19 - 350. Say hello to ping spikes! ] 

(4) ISP further in the state, (5) ISP out of state,

(6) ISP backbone, (7) ISP backbone arriving in Chicago 

(8) & (9) 3rd party line in Chicago

(10) & (11) I call them ghost hops, we have to ignore, I never heard back from PingPlotter as to what/why/... is up with them, note they say 100% PL but they have zero effect on the plot or the  
I suspect this may be equipment that has ping disabled, thus any PING packets going there cannot be delivered and are not responded to. 
(12) the WG game server cluster within the data center 

 

The other graphic shows a histogram / heartbeat kind of line for your connection, checking it every couple seconds and showing overall ping.
A steady line is good. Little jumps are normal as long as it is in the green zone.  

 

You can let Pingplotter run for a while. Observe the changes for a minute or however long you wish. Then you can hit PAUSE, to stop tracing. 

 

D: PingPlotter Deep Dive


In the above intro, we saw a connection that spans about 1000 miles as the crow flies, from Northern New England to Chicago; where WG leases space on the G-Core Labs data center. 

 

If you live nearer or farther away from Chicago, IL; you will have less or more hops, and a lower or higher ping ... simply due to the distance the signal has to travel. 

 

And, in the graphic we could visually see line #3. Where my ping fluctuates from 19 - 350 just on the other side of town. Fortunately these are very brief spikes in time that don't affect WOTB much. But they can happen every minute or so. 

 

The biggest note to take away so far is that there is a long road between the game device and the game server, where many things can go wrong. 

 

Your game packets start on your equipment, travel on your ISPs equipment, get onto a backbone, get onto local providers in Chicago, and then they arrive at the server.

 

Let's have a look at some other examples ... 

 

4A. It is your network, or where you are in your house


Keeping the distance between your device and the wifi point short and minimizing the number obstructions (walls, cabinets, ...) to a minimum is best.

Clear Line Of Sight is ideal. 
 

Here's a few examples of when things are not ideal.

 

Unstable wifi connection, distance and interference related, observe the long horizontal line and 12-103 ping within my home network.

 

Spoiler

 

 

Who's cooking?

Below I am heating up my cup of coffee in the kitchen. Microwaves severely interfere with 2.4Ghz network communication.

It can look like the next image, or the image further down. 

Note that it does not simply show up as an issue within 1 & 2. The microwave interferes with the digital communication in general, and thus to all points that pingplotter it is trying to ping.

There is also a red bar in the lower graph that indicates the temporary total loss of signal.

 

Spoiler

 

Below is when I moved 400 feet away from the house ... nothing can be reached any more.

One dot of wifi. All hell breaks loose. 

 

Spoiler

 

Notes to take away from above.

 

Local issues can and will show variability further down the line, because you are pinging the entire route from within your network.

It is only when your network shows no issues, with minimal latency and no variability that you can rule out your network as a contributing factor. 
 

4B. It is somebody else

 

Below is an older example from 2016 or 2017 when WOTB was still hosted in Ashburn, VA. 
The ping is great, but the game is unplayable, tank is hard to control, tanks sink & fly, shots do weird things ... 

Because packets are lost along the way, your devices is working with incomplete information and the game server is not receiving what you are doing. 

 

Spoiler

 

Line 3. We see my local trouble spot around town, the ping looks steady.

We have red bars showing 4-33% packet loss in New York on TELIA equipment in the middle of the route. 

 

Some time in 2017, iirc, WG moved the game hosting from the data center in Ashburn, VA to Chicago, IL in order to better serve people on both coasts. Being more centrally located geographically shortens the connections for everybody on the North American continent. 

 

Last summer there were lots of ongoing issues with lag for everybody.

 

Coming from New England, on Spectrum (formerly Time Warner Cable RoadRunner), once again in the middle of the route, upon arrival in Chicago, where the ISP hands over to third parties. Plus variability in many places. 

 

Spoiler

 

Coming from Dallas, TX, running on Cogent Co, heaps of trouble right outside of the data center.

 

Spoiler

 

The next one shows lots of variability at every point along the way and TELIA sends us from Chicago, to Kansas, Dallas, LA, ... back to Chicago and lots of unpingable equipment? 
Ping is steady in the orange band ( > 100 ) and peaking into the red. With a good amount of packet loss in Chicago. 

 

Spoiler

 

In the majority of cases when you get bad ping, things go wonky in game, you and your platoon mate both experience issues, other people in battle experience issues ... the above scenarios with issues in Chicago have been document hundreds, if not thousands of times.  And the trouble is, both us end users and Wargaming are both suffering from these bottlenecks, outages, misconfigurations, etc on critical third party communication equipment. 

 

As an individual end user, we have no clout with our ISP to get to a level where a) we get to somebody who understands what we are talking about and b) for that to get escalated through for a third party contact and review. They just bounce you to Wargaming. 


Wargaming on their end can contact the data center, ... but again are at the mercy of other parties reviewing, escalating, ...

 

After weeks of ongoing issues last summer, I'd like to think that behind the scenes I may have finally broken through to the brick wall with two backbone providers ... pointing fingers in a series of emails with a slew of screenshots.

 

Anyway. If it is in the middle of the route, we all are at the mercy of those providers fixing their stuff.   

 

4C. It is WG / the datacenter

 

After all of the above. We finally get to the destination. 


The screenshots are clipped, but when all of the above is clean, and we only have an issue on the final hop; then we can conclude there is an issue at the data center. 

 

This was observed one day in May 2019 

 



This was observed one day in March 2020

 

 

4D. Personal observations

 

I have used PingPlotter a lot. Likely more than anybody else playing WOTB, because I run it every time I feel like I have an issue in game (outside of my local town issue), every time I am on the road before I even get into the game ( because I want to know if it is worth getting in game, I will do both a speedtest and pingplot), and every time I hear somebody express an issue on the forum or on discord. 

 

Based on personal observations, I have to stress that for me, 99% of the time, the networking issues and internet lag are not at the data center.

 

If I have to put numbers on in it:

  • < 1% it is an anomaly on my network
  • 95% of my issues are upon arrival in Chicago, where we see the backbone providers like Telia Equinix Cogentco and exchanges are saturated, misconfigured, ...
  • maybe 3% just outside of the data center
  • and < 1% at the data center.  

 

E: Who is going to fix this? 

 

You have control over your connection within your home. 

 

Your Internet Service Provider for the line between their (or your) router and wherever their lines go (note, I have had zero luck trying to get them to fix things on the other side of town) 

Or your cellular provider if you are on mobile. Once in a while - like last week - people run into " can't connect to WG " issues, which points to a miscofiguration on the cellular provider's equipment. 

 

Nobody directly, if it is Telia Equinix Cogentco and company. 

 

WG and GCORE if it is at the data center. 

 

E1 How to contact WG

 

So, IF and WHEN it isolated to the final hop in the route, or just outside of the data center, meaning whatever connection the datacenter has to the outside world, we should let WG know.   

 

Discord

 

Personally, I find it the quickest and easiest to take a screenshot, obscure my IP address or crop the image down where I chop the top off that has my local information, and post that cropped image on the Official WG Discord Server > Technical Issues > NA Server.

 

Service ticket

 

Alternatively one can create a customer service ticket. 

 

Log into www.wotblitz.com, go to player support, technical issues, how to submit a ticket 

Note that you will need to be armed with some screenshots and a pingplotter log file. 

 

Yes, WG loves pingplotter too! There is now a Knowledge Base article on it. It came for another WG title, so let's just quote and edit it here:

 

Note that these instructions are not for Mobile versions, but for desktop versions (win/mac)

 

To send a pingplotter file, please follow the steps below:

  1. 1. Close all open applications including Software update, Games, Discord , ICQ, Web Browsers, eMail clients, etc. as these can interfere with the connection test results.
  2. 2. Install pingplotter on your computer. You can download it from the following link: http://www.pingplotter.com/dl_pingplotter.html
  3. 3. Launch pingplotter 
  4. 4. In the "Target Name" field, please type in: login.wotblitz.com
    Then press PLAY > 
    5. Allow pingplotter to run for at least 15 minutes. 
  5. 6. Finally, we would like you to please click "file" (in the upper left hand of your screen), then "save sample set".
  6.  
  7. Please select file, then "Save sample set" (which is be a .pp2 file) and attach it to your ticket.

 

F: Common issues & recommendations 

 

Broadband. 

Do a speedtest once in a while to see if you are getting the service that you pay for, and reboot your equipment maybe once a month or every six months if things are very stable. 

 

Playing on an older device.

Close out other applications or apps.

Turn down your graphics settings and turn some things off, so that you lessen the visual load on your device. 

 

Wifi 2.4 Ghz - 5 Ghz - 6 Ghz

The traditional 2.4 Ghz is fine, is supports less data per second or minute throughput, but carries the signal the farthest. 

5 Ghz supports more data per second or minute, but probably only carries half as far as 2.4 Ghz.

6 Ghz is brand new and barely anything uses it yet. Total overkill and spendy.

 

Recommendations:

Between 2.4 Ghz and 5 Ghz if you have a dual band router or access point; and ethernet ports, you can balance your traffic to minimize saturation. 

In my house, anything that has an ethernet jack, runs on ethernet. Which means less radio traffic on wifi. 

Split the 2.4 & 5 Ghz bands over two wifi networks, example wifi24 and wifi5, or just add the numbers to your existing name.

That way you can be assured what network you are on. 

Anything that is in or near the kitchen is put on 5 Ghz ... because of? The microwave. 

High data use wifi devices in proximity of the router or access point, get put on 5 Ghz.

The rest shares 2.4 and can roam further.

 

QOS

If you have your own router or a modern router from your ISP, it may be possible to prioritize certain kinds of traffic and / or devices. 

I personally have not had much luck with that in the past, but it can be worth looking into to optimize your home network environment and certainly may be worthwile to assign your gaming device a static IP address within your home and listing it as a priority device. I know, it is selfish, but we have to get our game fix, right? 

More info: https://www.howtogeek.com/75660/the-beginners-guide-to-qos-on-your-router/ 

 

G: Q&A

 

Should I get faster internet service or a better internet package? 

No. Speed really does not matter for WOTB.

WOTB only requires a minimal amount of data, as it is not sending video, only tank coordinates, movement, direction, aim direction, firing etc are relayed to the server and we receive said information for the other players. It only uses KB/s and a couple of megabytes per game. You could play it on dialup.

 

What the game likes and what players enjoy is a low ping that is steady. For WOTB, 40 60 or 80 ping is not inherently better or worse, as long as it stays put, doesn't spike up, you don't lose packets, etc.  If you have let's say 15/3 service and you stay with the same ISP, but go to 25/5 or 50/10 ... you are still using the same service, you are still using the same wires, ... so your ping will not get lower. If there is network instability in town, it will still be there. If there is a bottleneck in Chicago, it will still be there.   

 

In brief testing I have seen WOTB use about 6 KB/s maybe 10 KB/s. One data meter indicating 4-6-8 KB down and 1KB up, the other 4-6-8-10-12 KB/s download & 1-2 KB/s upload while in battle. They're not up to the same second and rounding may get involved. But note KiloBytes, not MegaBytes. So we are really talking minimal amounts of data. 

 

The only small yet limited bursts of information are at opening the game where it synced accounts ( ~ 1 MB observed ) and then at the start and the end of the battle. At the start where the game sends you the info about the map, tanks and players plus then at the end, the battle conclusion data.  For the battle the one meter peaked at 18 KB/s down & 10 KB/s up right at the start. All in all, between two measuring tools, we are certainly talking < 20 KB / s combined on average.  Any equipment and internet package should handle that. 

 

Opening the game the data indicated about 1MB of data.

At the conclusion of a tier 3 battle that lasted about 3.5 minutes; there had been an extra 2MB of traffic that came in.  

 

So the only time a service upgrade would be worthwhile, is if you and your family are struggling with downloading updates, have trouble streaming netflix, etc and have more concurrent things going on, that can't be avoided. 

 

Do I need a new modem?

No. If it is a separate unit from the router. Running the box from the ISP is fine. Their unit is typically matched for the service that you are running. Only a select number of devices are approved. There is very little to gain from upgrading the unit. You will only get the headache of more complicated service calls, because the ISP will point fingers at your equipment.  
Make sure to reboot it once in a while. Especially if you are trying to troubleshoot an issue. 

 

Should I get a new router?

Not really if you are not technically savvy.
If it is an all in one modem & router from the ISP, included in your internet package; running the box from the ISP is fine. Their unit is typically matched for the service that you are running. It does not have a lot of bells and whistles, wifi wise, but you may find a few things in the manual. Make sure to reboot it once in a while.

The only time running your own router becomes worthwhile is if you really need more wifi range and want more advanced features. Or maybe you have an elongated house and no easy option to move the unit, because the service entrance is in one corner of the house. As is the case at my place. 

 

If you can handle the cost and can deal with setting it up, a more capable router may give you as faster connection deeper into the home. But please don't fall for all the 2x 5x 10x faster and more range than anything else on the box marketing speak. Typically that requires their proprietary equipment on the client (device) side and their router ... and is something they have tested in an ideal open air space or controlled environment without even comparing what they're comparing to. They may claim whole house coverage ... but Your Mileage Will Vary!  I know conditions where there signal drops 95% outside of the room that a wifi router or access point it is in! So, just because something is advertised for great coverage and shouts louder, doesn't mean it works for everybody's house and situation.

 

Good coverage. As always for good home coverage, try to place the router in the center of the home.

If it has moveable antennas. You may be able to point one horizontal and one vertical to send signals out horizontally and vertically through floors. 

Don't bury it behind cabinets or put it on the back side of the kitchen wall next to the fridge or microwave. 

 

Should I try a VPN? 

Not unless you want to spend extra money and need to hide or secure some traffic for other purposes.

 

It really doesn't pay off in my opinion for WOTB to try it. I have done it once in a while when we had bottlenecks in New York or Chicago, or when I am out and about and there's something else going on; but typically it complicates matters a bit and tends to run a bit slower, because you are taking a longer path. It is very easy to trade some instability at one place on the shortest pass, for another issue on the longer route via the VPN. 

 

In testing on 04/30 - under good conditions, no issues observed in Chicago - I observed the following, from Northern New England, then picking two cities along the route, to keep the path short.

 

Direct ISP connection: ~ 48 ms average, 45 minimum

VPN to New York: ~54 ms average, 52 minimum

VPN to Chicago: ~49 ms average, 47 minimum

The number of hops indicated remained at 12 with several unpingable systems.  


Your mileage may vary, especially on longer routes, and one may be able to create a manual detour around a bottleneck, let's say (theoretically) you connect from Florida and there's an issue in Boston, maybe with a VPN you detour via Dallas ... and the connection is more stable. But that is a big IF and WHEN. 

In ordinary use, it seems to only add more overhead. 
 

Should I get a new game device?

We all like shiny, newer and more capable devices; but when you have networking lag over the few KB/s that WOTB needs, a newer device isn't really going to help. Old devices pre-dating the release of WOTB are capable enough to transmit many more times the data than WOTB needs. 

 

 

 

Well, you reached the end of this very long post.  Thank you so much for reading. Please like and subscribe if you found this helpful ;) 

 

Hopefully we can refer other people to this thread when they need help understanding lag issues and how things tie together. 

 

 


everyone has to take into account that your fiber optic internet may be fast but the cables inside your house may be old and not equipped to handle faster internet



1017288795.png

ironconch25 #16 Posted 12 May 2020 - 06:54 PM

    Water Closet Warrior

  • Players
  • 69545 battles
  • 178
  • [-VWV-]
  • Member since:
    06-29-2014

When I run Ping Plotter now, I get enter valid host name or IP. The login.wotblitz.com no longer works for me. Did WG change something? 
 

I wanted to see the routing and whether I was losing packets? My ping is at 80, but getting a lot of ghost shots. 



acrisis #17 Posted 18 May 2020 - 06:10 PM

    Captain

  • Players
  • 20994 battles
  • 12,530
  • [III-C]
  • Member since:
    12-27-2014

Correct, the DNS for login.wotblitz.com seems broken/missing.


I can resume old ping trace scans, but new ones fail. 

 

Try 92.223.57.35


 

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ironconch25 #18 Posted 18 May 2020 - 07:41 PM

    Water Closet Warrior

  • Players
  • 69545 battles
  • 178
  • [-VWV-]
  • Member since:
    06-29-2014

Thanks acrisis! 
 

Using that IP address works. It shows I’m being routed from Seattle to Chicago by Tata communications. Ping looks good at 70 and no dropped packets during the run. I’ll check again if I run into issues with ghost shots again.



ShootinSabot #19 Posted 29 June 2020 - 09:33 PM

    Excelling at Mediocrity

  • Players
  • 23247 battles
  • 1,184
  • [III-P]
  • Member since:
    12-02-2016

Deleted posted to wrong topic.

 


Edited by ShootinSabot, 29 June 2020 - 09:35 PM.

                                     

Part time potato 

              Striving to be an Ambassador to help grow the game. 


acrisis #20 Posted 01 July 2020 - 11:08 PM

    Captain

  • Players
  • 20994 battles
  • 12,530
  • [III-C]
  • Member since:
    12-27-2014

No worries.  
 

Having played a number of games on LTE since the update, and hearing a number of complaints from others on wifi/broadband in regular games and tournaments, since 7.0 update, there seem to be widespread issues that can’t be pinned down to user lag / ping ... but instead point at server processing lag. 


 

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