Lag is slang for latency, typically attributed to technology, where an action takes longer than is expected.
On Arelith, lag usually takes the form of a delay between an action being chosen, text typed and it appearing on screen. This applies to both actions you attempt to take, as well as seeing or experiencing another player's actions. Lag is often attributed to an inferior or malfunctioning internet connection, and whilst this is sometimes the case, the problem may be a lack of system resources or too many applications running at the same time on the computer.
The server itself can also experience lag, further increasing the time between an action being initiated and it taking place. Besides the causes described above, server lag can occur when server is running too long without restart, many players are on server, or some script starts malfunctioning. The lag of the server is often indicated by NPCs not reacting, "dynamic encounter" showing on screen of players and spawning the NPCs with large delay, and variety of different bugs starting to occur.
Heavy lag can be symptom of upcoming crash.
Symptoms of lag
- Spells, attacks, or move orders taking longer to cast or have any sort of effect.
- Summons, Familiars and Animal companions reacting slowly or stand idly.
- The Crafting, Deity donation, and any other conversation windows taking longer to appear. In particularly severe lag, there may be a delay of ten seconds to a minute between an option being selected and the next text being displayed.
- Conversations could be misplaced. Lag can mix up some texts for dialogues and variables, which then change places and show up incorrectly. For example banker can speak incorrect amounts or offer services of a caravan, crafting station can say details about a quarter, etc. (Please, note that they don't provide the services that they wrongly offer, they just speak what they shouldn't.)
- Players can see characters where they are not. Very of often those are "death" PCs from death area (I see dead people bug).
- 'Examine' details taking far too long to appear.
- NPCs not reacting or reacting with long delay.
- "Dynamic encounter" showing on screen of players and spawning the NPCs with large delay. (server side lag)
- Many other sorts of delays.
How to reduce lag
There are many ways to reduce lag, below are just a few of the ways you can do your part to keep the server running smoothly for all to enjoy:
- Big Parties = Lagfest. Avoid joining/creating parties when not necessary, and try to keep them small if you can. As a rule of thumb, parties of 8 people or more should never, ever be used. Parties over 4 people should be used sparingly.
- Party across areas = bad. Avoid joining/creating parties with characters that are not even in your area. If you do that today then PLEASE STOP DOING IT IMMEDIATELY as parties are the SINGLE BIGGEST contributor to server lag. (confirmed by Mithreas)
Jjjerm's Summary: "Please, do not party up unless you are in the immediate physical proximity of the rest of your group, and then only when there are party specific functions that are required (such as, out together fighting monsters)."
Other tips that will help with lag, though not as much as the one above, are:
- Always Direct Connect! This is a big one.
- Avoid being one person in a mass. Many people in one area create a lot~ of lag. If there are a bunch of people in an area it's not a bad idea to 'suggest' people to move to another area or to split up. Bringing people into a different area helps tremendously.
- Try to keep particle effects (in other words, spellcasting) to a minimum. Using them when you're out exploring is fine, but do you really need to spam those flashy spells for giggles in the middle of Cordor?
- Responsible fixtures. Don't play a ton of unnecessary fixtures in a single area that has high traffic. Those off-the-beaten-path fixture sets are alright because unused areas are turned off, but in places where there are many people walking by at all times of day, the lag adds up.
- Put unneeded items into the Trash Barrels, rather than throwing them onto the ground. Also, try to avoid carrying mounds of things you don't really need (IE: Carrying 45 pieces of silk, when you have no use in mind for them)
- When remains do not disappear: If you wish to assist a little against lag on the server or don't like those Little Brown Bags lying everywhere around, then please empty Little Brown Bags and place items from them either inside White Bones or Trashbins. This is especially helpful in well travelled areas that are never empty for long time.
- Try to space out your enchanting and crafting. Can you do one effect now, and another in a handful of minutes, rather than spamming all the effects at once? Can you make one item now, and another in a half hour? Ask yourself these things before you start.