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Galaxia Moo

Noob here -- Game is very laggy.

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I just downloaded this game and so far it's almost unplayable because of the amount of lag I am expericing. And what's with the bad graphics? I have a very good processor and graphics card and am able to run games like WoW smoothly, so what is the problem?

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There's a mile long list of possibilities.

Some you can control and some you can't other than by leaving the area you might be in.

 

Here are some questions:

1. What kind of avatar do you have on? One of the basic free ones or did you invest in anything yet. The number one cause of lag in SL is caused by avatars that have badly made items. This is most common in shoes, jewelry, and hair - when these items have 'resizing' menus, they often use an old version of the resize 'scripts' that can cause amazing amounts of lag. Enough that a few people with them in the same area can crash the region's server... This means it could be you if you've started buying stuff and got one of the bad ones (and if new you don't really have the info yet to know how to tell - the "clue" is that a no-mod item has a higher chance of being such an item), BUT it could also be someone near you.

- New people often start in 'infohubs'. People that crash in SL also often go to infohubs. Common reason for crashing is having created too much lag for the system to handle... ergo: new people often get surrounded by these lag-monster avatars... In MANY infohubs scripts get disabled making these lag-monsters harmless, but not in all of them.

 

2. Some of the graphics settings can drive up lag even on a good machine.

- Keep your draw distance low. Raise it up only for photos. It works best at 96m for people on good graphics, less if you've got a slow machine.

3. What bandwidth did you set in 'Setup' tab of preferences. If its at default you've throttled your network down to be safe for an 'almost' modem user... :) Chances are you can handle better than a modem... :)

4. In 'Advanced' tab what's your cache set to. The default assumes you're running on some ancient terminal with no hard drive... or close... Dial that puppy up to 5-10gbs... assuming you've got a good sized hard drive.

5. Hit control-alt-D to see the Advanced Menu.

6. Hit control-alt-Q to see the develop Menu. If in the develop ment the two options that say 'HTTP' have checkmarks, remove them and compare. If they unchecked, check them and compare. This can have a major impact - but which is better seems to depend more on -brand- of video card rather than how good it is.

7. In advance menu, open the 'Show Debug Settings' In the little textbox that shows up type in 'RenderVolumeLOD' - set the number for that setting to -AT LEAST- 4. I've seen it set to up to 12 before. This will make 'sculpties' function better. The default value causes horrid results on screen... no idea why they like that default setting or hide this one in an obscure menu.

 

More info on my blog article:

http://catnapkitty.wordpress.com/2010/08/08/getting-started-in-second-life/

 

Curious: Your account dates to Jan 21, 2007. Only just getting started now? (I did that myself - my first account was 2006, and I only logged in a few times, then came back in 2009).

 

 

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Pussycat covered a lot and I'm probably just rewording what she wrote but it really does help to understand why SL is so laggy.

First, you  need to understand that there are different kinds of "lag".

A low framerate, when SL becomes "choppy" like a slideshow instead of smoothly animated, is often referred to as "lag". This is your computer struggling to render everything on-screen. Even powerful computers can have problems with this for several reasons.

First, SL relies as much or more on your processor as it does on your video card. It also uses OpenGL instead of DirectX, meaning it lacks a lot of features that make high end games run better.

Second, since all content in SL is user created and very few SL users are professional game makers,  content in SL is not optimized for efficiency the way professionally made videogame model/texture work is. Despite often poor visuals, the content in SL is extremly high poly compared to videogame models.

 That is made worse by the fact that SL content tools emphasize speed in streaming over efficiency in polygon counts. SL's unique prim and sculptmap modeling formats are both extremely fast for streaming, but horribly inefficient as far as polygon counts are considered. 

 Fixing this sort of "lag" requires a high end gaming computer and lowering graphics options. You may wish to turn down the number of particles rendered, the number of avatars displayed before SL replaced them with simplified "avatar imposters" and the various graphics detail sliders.

 Server lag is when the SL servers themselves, the "sim" you are currently in, is bogged down with avatars and content vying for server resources.

 Several things cause this. 

First, the number of avatars in the region.An SL region/sim can hold up to 100 avatars, but performance takes a huge drop around 15-30. This is because the server needs to track everything in the sim and stream that data to each and every person logged into that sim.

Second, SL currently places no caps on scripted content, yet a sim has limited RAM for handling scripts. When that RAM is used to capacity, the server begins using hard drive space, which slows things down considerably.

 Unfortunately, fixing this requires everyone to be responsible in their script use. Some sims post signs that display how much script memory avatars are using. You can keep your own script memory down by avoiding needless scripts, like resizer scripts in attachments, unused HUD attachments, hidden scripted attachments you're not using, etcetera.

Some sims even place rules on how much script memory an individual avatar can use, and will eject those exceeding that amount if they refuse to reduce their script use. This seems harsh, b ut can be the only way to maintain good performance in a sim.

 Finally, there is bandwidth lag. Multiple factors can also affect this.

First, the number of avatars in a region. The more avatars in a single sim, the more bandwidth needed to stream all the sim information to each and every one o them.

Second, the number and size of texture maps in a region. That needs to be streamed to each and every avatar, poor use of texture maps can use excessive amounts of bandwidth.

 Finally,  your own connection can be a factor. If your connection is slow, if you're downloading stuff at the same time, if you're on a wireless connection, these can all make SL laggy. SL's content is not pre-installed on your computer, it all has to be streamed to you as you wander around.

Why is SL so ugly/has such bad graphics?

Again, SL content is all created by the users. The result is that most areas in SL and most avatars are pretty ugly compared to professionally made visuals.

Other areas have pretty good grahics. I recommend visiting Insilico, Doomed Ship and Bentham Forest.

Unfortunately, LL shows off the bad graphics rather than the good. The human starter avatars are all 7' tall with extremely bad proportions and inconsistent quality in textures and attachments. LL's own environments (like the welcome areas and tutorial areas) have design issues professionally made game environments take steps to avoid.

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Penny Patton wrote:

It also uses OpenGL instead of DirectX, meaning it lacks a lot of features that make high end games run better.

Such as?

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I think sim owners should set some kind of script limit per avatar.  Now mind you that doesn't sound too fun, but neither is crashing whole sims fun. 

I killed the scripts in my hair in one batch I have.  I had to buy another because I forgot to make a copy before I killed the scripts.

My script count is fairly low now and when I did a script check it read:

64

64

32

16

176 Necklace

16

160 Chim (a chim is a place that holds your dances and is what makes your avatar dance)

480 AO

Someone on the SL forums told me that AO's don't cause lag.  I'm beginning to wonder if that's true because my AO has very high scripts if you ask me!  480 for an AO.  That's a lot compared to my other items.  My other items were other jewelry items and I think part of my shoes which are not hud shoes.  I'd like to try a test with these hud shoes just to see how much my scripts go up.

The problem with lag does have many reasons; however, for sims, there seem to be no rules to help reduce lag.  So SL can be a crash/freeze a lot game because there are people on SL who don't speak English or newbie's like we all once were who don't understand about lag and scripts.

Sim owners should hire helpers to help advise people on how to reduce lag on their clients avatars because once I get to about 50 avatars, I know I'm going to crash or freeze.  20-25 avatars is best for me, but that can be difficult because of all these scripted items when some avatars are dressed to the 9's with scripts. 

Also, everyone wants these AO's and I think they do cause a lot of lag as they have a high script count (see above), but SL is user content created and not much a NON sim owner but just a SL user can do about it. 

Reducing lag needs to be a cooperative effort or it's never going to be reduced. 

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Video card creators tend not to support OpenGL as much, focusing on DirectX performance with OpenGL as more of an afterthought.


leliel Mirihi wrote:


Penny Patton wrote:

It also uses OpenGL instead of DirectX, meaning it lacks a lot of features that make high end games run better.

Such as?

 

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Penny Patton wrote:

Video card creators tend not to support OpenGL as much, focusing on DirectX performance with OpenGL as more of an afterthought.

 

Nvidia makes a lot of money selling professional level graphics cards for running OpenGL based CAD/CAM programs. ATI doesn't make nearly as much money in that market. And lo and behold which company is widely regarded to have the better OpenGL drivers?

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Just did a script test with hud shoes on:

2368 Shoe Left

2368 Shoe Right

64 Bracelet

64 Bracelet

176 Necklace

160 Chim

(took AO off).

Hud shoes that many scripts!  Is that an insane amount or wha?  Could someone explain if this is an insane amount of scripts for shoes or not please?  lol

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Maya, I think you would be a good candidate for avatar and appearance test for Mesh.

Yes, the shoes are highly scripted you should have removed your HUD once you're done with adjusting it. Kill ALL scripts if possible but you would probably complained again that your toe nails are always red and content creators should make them changeable to the colours you like. Or... you can be like me, sometimes I don't wear shoes and/or panties ( I wear chastity belt).

Why are you on Chim anyway? Are you always dancing even when you are out shopping or sim hopping? If yes, why would you need an AO for?... Or  here's what you can do to be more Script friendly... Chim pooling. You use your friend's chim today and yours the next and someone else after.

You jewelry scripts can be killed too... kill it or don't wear it.

There will be a time when LL will implement script limits to avatar. I don't know when I heard some places are already doing this. There are scripts reader and info to a few sim... residents are just refused to read it or couldn't care more.

 



 

 

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Oh, you're misunderstanding.  I don't wear the hud shoes because they are too time consuming for me to get them to work.  I have kept three pairs, however, if I ever get in the mood to mess with them and try to get the tinting right, but as it stands right now, I wear hudless shoes.  I just put those on for a test. 

How do you kill the scripts in jewelry? 

Also yes, chim, me almost always dancing.  I'm pretty much a club goer and that's about all the time I have for my SL right now, and also it's my favorite thing to do, although I wouldn't mind doing lunch with the girls or a friend sometime, just sitting and chatting. 

Oh and I got the AO for when I get a job, as with a job, I won't always be dancing, but might be standing at times, but I really don't use AO at all, almost never.  I just put the AO on for a test because someone told me that AO's don't cause lag; so I did a test just to see if that was true or not because I have three job offers now. 

What is this "rumored" script limit going to be?  And also, are they even going to enforce it or let it slide if a pop window comes up that says "you're running too many scripts" or such and such? (whatever it will say; I have no idea)

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Mayalily wrote:

I think sim owners should set some kind of script limit per avatar.  Now mind you that doesn't sound too fun, but neither is crashing whole sims fun. 

480 AO

Reducing lag needs to be a cooperative effort or it's never going to be reduced. 

That might have been me, or it might not have. But it should have been said "Well made AOs don't cause noticable lag".

Well made is not 'well made as in has nice features / animations' but well made as in properly scripted.

A ZHAO Ao is free, and can be filled with animations from anywhere. Its ultra-light weight. If you end up with a laggy AO, just strip the animations out and toss them into a ZHAO.

As for locations hiring people to help with lag - you'll find that those of us who talk about reducing script use to lower lag often get a very hostile reaction from people who are 'script horders' via attachment to certain toys. We get a 'how dare you tell me I can't be 'glam-azing' or 'how dare you tell me I can't use sexbeds / combat simulators / whatever...

- Often even from people using items from categories where there -are- a lot of low lag choices (hair and shoes) that are just as well if not better done.

And I guess AO is one of those too.

 

People might say AOs are lag free because the ZHAO has been around for so many years and has been the standard for making AOs for most of SL's history, so its always a little surprising when we even find a non-ZHAO AO.

But I recommend getting a basic ZHAO, the core original freebie one, and filling it with your animations. Its actually capable of quite a lot for such a light item.

 

I'm a little less surprised that you found a higher impact AO. In the furry world you can easily say that furries are very-low script lag. Because most of them are. But its also not at all hard to land on maker who's using some kind of monster scripted HUD that can create all kinds of issues. Fortunately for nearly all furries, the HUDs are only used when customizing (changing tail wag speed, or eye color, or ear pose, horn shape, feather color, etc) and can be left off 99% of the time. But it has shown me that while I'm used to a low-lag furry world, even I have some exceptions in my inventory that I know to 'only wear at home and do my customizing there.'

- So finding the same situation in AOs, where there's a few people in the market using something curiously laggy, is not a notable surprise.

 

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leliel Mirihi wrote:


Penny Patton wrote:

Video card creators tend not to support OpenGL as much, focusing on DirectX performance with OpenGL as more of an afterthought.

Nvidia makes a lot of money selling professional level graphics cards for running OpenGL based CAD/CAM programs. ATI doesn't make nearly as much money in that market. And lo and behold which company is widely regarded to have the better OpenGL drivers?

But this then becomes like the Mac vs. PC war. Even if you believe Mac is better (such as myself), you're stuck admitting that 'what are the odds of any given random computer being a Mac.'

- How many of us have an Nvidia on our little integrated graphics chip laptops?

Maybe a lot, but probably not a majority: even if it -is- a majority on people who have full on graphics cards.

So if OpenGL is supported mostly by just one manufacturer, that leaves it out in the cold a bit.

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Less than two years ago I got rid of my iMac and got what I thought was a pretty souped up Mac Pro in order to run SL along with all the graphics apps I need to keep open at the same time in order to do my work.

And I still had lag.

So a couple of weeks ago I got a new iMac with:

 

  Chipset Model:    AMD Radeon HD 6970M
 
  VRAM (Total):    2048 MB

and 16 GB of memory.

 

NOW the lag is gone.  But it was an expensive lesson.

 

 

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Regarding AOs, the best solution has always been TPVs which support client-side AOs. Phoenix has this feature, as does Imprudence. I suspect most other TPVs do as well. I'm not sure if Firestorm does yet, but it should be on the way as one of that viewer's features.

Actually, I've yet to see a 2.x based viewer with a client side AO yet so I hope Firestorm has it. I've sorely missed client side AOs for several reasons since I switched to 2.x viewers. They're much easier to use and more convenient in addition to being script-lag free. 

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No PC, is wasn't you who said that AO's do not cause lag as a general statement.  It was somebody else.  I don't remember who it was. 

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