View Full Forums : Excessive lag?!!?

01-24-2008, 03:56 PM
For the past 2-3 weeks I have had some serious (on again off again) lag issues.

Some times it is loot lag. Some times there seems to be lag when I'm running around on my mount. But the worst seems to occur within the first few moments of an encounter (usually when I'm in a group tanking). The whole game seems to lag for 4-6 whole seconds. It can be funny when the game "returns" to find the mob dead. Other times, it is not so funny as the mob is off running somewhere 'cause I haven't been able to keep up with threat.

This happens both in and out of instances.

If it is just me, I'm trying to figure out what I've changed to make this happen. During the same time frame I started playing with a buddy that returned to the game. We are using TS quite a bit. Not sure if I have made any significant changes to my very short list of addons.

Could be my local connection is swamped with new gamers (Xmas gifts)?

Any one else?

01-24-2008, 05:37 PM
It sounds like a delay caused by the game struggling to cache new stuff.
If its only started happening recently, it could be because you have more programs running in the background than before.

assuming windows xp:

1. Start
2. Run
3. Type 'msconfig' (without speech marks ofc)
4. A window opens. Click the Startup tab.
5. Now you see a list of items that run when your computer start. It shows a checkbox allowing you to enable or disable those items to run at windows startup. It also shows the path the program is installed to, and the registry key associated with that program.
6. Uncheck any programs that shouldn't be there, eg RealScheduler, anything to do with quicktime, google desktop toolbar, yahoo instant messenger, etc etc.

Another thing to check is your virtual memory.
How much do you have allocated, on which drive/partition, and how much free space is on that drive/partition?

WoW's performance is hampered by a shortage of available disk space if the drive is being used for virtual memory.

Another possibility is that one of the new patches has introduced an incompatibility with one of your addons. Do you still experience the lag if you disable all addons?
How about if you backup your WTF and WDB folders and then delete them from your WoW folder? (WoW remakes them from scratch the next time you run it)

Hope some of this helps...


01-24-2008, 11:21 PM
I see nothing odd in the OS. I have plenty of memory (4GB) and disk space (86GB). dual core cpu.

i suspect it is either an addon or my local cable loop (wish i could get dsl). I'll try it with fewer addons. i only really "need" one (energy watch). And that is a bit of a stretch.

01-25-2008, 04:27 AM
I don't know much about how cable works, but it's unlikely you would experience game freezes if it was your internet connection that is at fault. A freeze or significant slowdown in fps is usually indicative of a problem on the computer itself.


01-25-2008, 09:29 AM
With cable, your internet connection is "shared" with everyone on your "local loop". The number of connections on this loop varies and is controlled by the provider. If you are familar with an ethernet broadcast hub (not a switched hub) it is a similar setup. As such, if there are too many folks using lots of bandwidth on your local loop, your connection suffers as well. Though it usually isn't "bursty" like I see in WoW. More like playing with a migraine. Constant sluggishness.

So, you are probably right. It is something on my machine that is causing it. Last night it happened when I wasn't in a group, so obviously, it is not just a group thing like I had first assumed.

01-25-2008, 09:31 AM
Does it seem to happen whenever WoW needs to cache some new textures?
Try standing in the mage tower of Stormwind, when people teleport in (and your computer loads the textures of their gear), do you get the lag?


01-25-2008, 09:48 AM
I'm horde, so standing in stormwind might prove to be difficult. Regardless of my setup.:icon_lol:

And the port area in Ogrimmaar isn't a very busy place (it is too far from the bank/AH).

Aren't there local cached files on our machine? They are not in the WTF folder, but somewhere else. Maybe I need to remove all of those. Is that what is in the WDB folders?

01-25-2008, 09:59 AM
WTF and WDB folders contain configuration settings, etc, for WoW.

If you delete these folders then run WoW, they will be created from scratch in factory-default status. By deleting them and having them automatically created again, you will lose data such as addon settings, graphics and sound settings, UI scale, etc.

Files are cached from your hard drive directly into memory.
WoW has a lot of issues with memory, and flaws present in certain memory chips can sometimes only become apparent when running a complex, memory-intensive game like WoW.

Sure, Crysis etc works fine, but that is because when a level of a 3D shooter game like Crysis loads, it caches the entire level, all the enemies and weapons textures, etc, in one big go. The computer can then run the entire thing from within physical memory, meaning no in-game loading times or sudden bursts of latency.

WoW is different. In WoW, as a person approaches you, the server registers that Client A (them) is moving closer to Client B (you), and therefore sends messages to your computer that this person is about to appear. It sends data on what gear they are wearing, what mount they are riding, etc. Your computer (Client B) receives this information and loads from the WoW folders, the appropriate textures and so forth to display the person coming into view.

So this is happening constantly, all the time, and as a result your computer's memory is busy far more often. The intense, continuous read/write operations occuring as a result of the MMORPG format cause a lot of problems for people with cheapy RAM.
I used to have some PC World own-brand stuff, and everything worked fine except WoW, which gave me a notorious general memory error known as Error #132. Upgrading RAM fixed this.

Sometimes, there isn't enough space on your RAM chips to hold all of the programs you are trying to run. So, Windows is very clever and makes something called a Page File, otherwise known as virtual memory. In the Page File it stores data that is likely to be used less often, but still needs to be loaded into the RAM. This works fine most of the time, although obviously your hard drive isn't as fast as your RAM chips and there will be a little slowdown associated with this.
However, if you start running out of hard drive space, Windows suddenly is unable to increase the size of the page file, and so it has to start hot-swapping programs in and out as they ask for CPU time. This results in significant fps lag, and your computer will seem to "stop and think" a lot.

This is my understanding of it, anyway. I did a lot of research into the way WoW runs during the error #132 era. Incidentally, I fixed that problem eventually, by buying some really awesome Corsair RAM.


Raging Epistaxis
01-25-2008, 01:48 PM
I had a similar problem two weeks ago - I noticed it on a Thursday night and by Monday morning it was almost unplayable. Almost the exact same symptoms you are seeing - delayed looting, start of combat then freeze (hoping to survive) and coming back to the last hit or two. At one point my latency meter registered 9100ms, although it usually spiked to ~2000ms or so.

I tried disabling all addons, physically moving them out of the AddOns folder, moving the Cache and WTF folders as well, nothing worked. Still with the extreme spiky-ness to lag.

I called my ISP and talked to them - their diagnostic testing revealed no problems with the network or my connection (DSL). Web surfing seemed spiky too, but WoW really blew chunks because of lag...

Until the next patch/maintenance day. Then everything was back to normal - latency <100 usually.

Since then I've had no similar problems. My suspicion is that they are doing something with the hardware on their end that ties in with the change to the networking protocols that they made a patch or two ago.

01-25-2008, 02:27 PM
I don't have a latency addon, so I have to make a point to mouse over the default bar. But, when I do, it does seem higher than normal. 180+. Whereas, when I first log in, or during off-peak times it is typically less than 80mS.

I still think it is something on my end. I'm gonna disable all my addons and clear the WDB (cache) files tonight before I play. I don't want to touch my WTF folders quite yet.

Raging Epistaxis
01-25-2008, 02:35 PM
When I ran with no addons, I used the built-in latency meter. That was when I had the 9-second spike.

Don't forget, you don't have to delete your WTF files, just move the files elsewhere and WoW will make new blank ones. Then when the problem is solved (if it is on Blizz's end like it was for me) all you have to do is put the files back in place and you're good to go.

If it is an addon conflict, then it's a bit of a pain to figure out which one, but at least you can restore the other addon's WTF files and not have to reset everything manually.

Good luck with it, hope it's a simple fix. I feel your pain, brother.

01-25-2008, 02:49 PM
I also plan to defrag my WoW folder using sysinternals (now owned by MS) contig.exe tool. I've used it at work a few times. It is good way to make sure file X or Folder Y are actually defrag'd, as the OS's defrag does a best effort type defrag of the whole drive.

01-26-2008, 08:47 PM
I also use the Contig.exe file, but from Power Defragmenter. Very nice defragger, defrags at the command line level.

01-28-2008, 03:58 PM
I'm writing this more to document the process than anything else. But if you see something, please comment....

Yesterday I played with no AV (and no carbonite) and just 3 simple addons (ClosetGnome, energy watch and OmniCC). It still happened.

It happens quite often when I travel (in group) and once-in-awhile at the beginning of a fight. One time it happened last night (at the beginning of a fight), I could walk around, click buttons (GCD spinners would spin), etc. and my client showed me moving around, but everything the server controlled was frozen (mobs, spell casting [my paws were glowing as I had just casted FFF when it happened]).

While I haven't eliminated all of the addons (or other WTF issues), my gut tells me it has to be something with my machine setup. Driver issue? Bus timing issue, over-heating, bad memory?, etc. I updated my video card driver (6-8 months old), but that didn't help.

I need to...

1) look thru patch notes since the 1/1/08 (valid for both Euro-types and US-types) to see what may have changed.

2) check hardware level settings and hardware errors

3) update all drivers (sound drivers has been mentioned quite often as a cause for this)

4) check bios (though I'm not sure what would have changed)

5) check dynamic cpu speed control thingy

6) enable software monitoring of cpu/gpu temps

Updated: I just realized that I have (since the first of the year) stopped using WoW's native voice-chat. I wonder if that could be the issue. Maybe TS and the native chat (though it appears to be disabled) are fighting for resources?? I also have a new microphone setup.....hmmmm.

02-07-2008, 12:27 PM
It has been well over a week without an issue. I think it was the sound card drivers. Though, I changed 2 things at once that night (AA level???). But my gut tells me it is the sound driver change that made the difference.