Diablo® III

Death by Disconnect: An Internet issue

Having myself been dropped from games many times and never dying, I felt lucky to have survived.

Before the launch of Reaper of Souls I upgraded my internet connection and now I have a blazing speed of 62.9 Mbps. The game loads super fast and my latency bar has never gone into the orange nor red. Also since upgrading my internet, I have never been disconnected from a game. I even increased the rendering options to make the game visuals more realistic.

Is it possible, that a good majority of dropped connections are because of a person's internet connection rather than the game servers?
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yes ^^^
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For the longest time I was playing on a wireless DSL connection over at my place. People thought I was crazy for playing HC on it, and well… I was. I would regularly lose characters every couple of months. I’m kind of surprised they lasted as long as they did – entering Rifts was pretty much always a death sentence. I recently upgraded to a connection comparable to you, Melk – no issues since.

I can definitely appreciate how difficult it is for some of us to get on a direct connection, but in my own experience these HC deaths have been as a result of my own set up.

In case anyone wants to check it out, here’s our general connection troubleshooting article which includes some helpful tips.
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07/11/2014 10:19 AMPosted by Melkmann
Is it possible, that a good majority of dropped connections are because of a person's internet connection rather than the game servers?


Bingo.
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Isolation had a similar experience, he used to rock wireless and all kinds of issues/DC deaths/lag deaths/etc etc. He switched to a hard wired connection about a year ago and it's been the bee's knees for him.
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I'm on a 50Mbps connection, BUT they have been doing some work now and then in Tacoma and Seattle to make it better. Sometimes, I'll drop into the red and disconnect.

I watch it closely and as soon as I start dropping, I port to town, wait and see if it comes back. If it doesn't, I just take a break. Go for a walk, mow the yard, watch a movie, etc.
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I've been experiencing connection issues for a very long time now as well... see.. I'm a Monk player looking for buffs/fixes, but I feel there is this huge disconnect between players giving really great feedback, reviews, etc to monk developers who frankly don't care or are plain ignorant to our situation.. So, yeah, lots of death and disconnect over here in the monk community. :)
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Biggest thing that matters is latency, packet loss, etc more so than speed. I've seen people with 50Mb have more lag than people with 1.5MB. When it comes to gaming the biggest things to check are traceroute to check for latency at any individual hops as well as ping tests (data stream ones like DSL Reports are best) that can do a real high quality packet loss test as well as find even more specific latency issues. Wireless always tends to add latency into the mix for sure.

I remember I kept having horrid lag for a long time and every single traceroute would fail to show it. Perfectly good. ISP would do ping tests, and traceroutes. Also could not find it. I ran the test from DSL reports which does a pretty high bandwidth packet flood/stream and it identified a hop that would pass low bandwidth streams but high bandwidth streams started dropping. I gave the data to ISP and they investigated and it turned out it was a DSL backbone aggregator that was at 99% load. What this meant was it was triggering emergency QoS or packet shaping to prioritize internet traffic over download traffic. basically, it was ensuring the majority of internet activity worked but once you hit a certain data rate threshold it was throwing you into a queue that would allow your download to still work but at VERY high latency. During intense battles in WoW raids or d3 the data was able to hit this threshold on the aggregator and see a latency spike as my internet traffic would shift from high priority to low priority queue in the emergency QoS filter.

Needless to say, once ISP identified this aggregator was overloaded, they started doing relief on it to other nodes and lowered it's load. Once they did the problem was completely fixed. It really goes to show though that even if you think your trace is good, and that it HAS to be blizzard because "everything else works". Never under estimate what it could really be and investigate even harder. biggest tool I always recommend. http://www.dslreports.com/pingtest (use a registered free account, guests only get low bandwidth tests which don't tell much more than traceroute. registered get low medium and high.)
Edited by MysticalOS#1981 on 7/11/2014 1:10 PM PDT
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Even if you do all you can on your end, you're still at the mercy of your ISP - and most don't provide any kind of ping or bandwidth guarantees. I've got wired everything, yelled at my ISP owner until speedtest said I have 5-7 ping, 8meg down, 10meg up, my rig is a beast and running on SSDs, but I still frequently have "pauses" where I just swing and swing and swing, and then the game catches up and I burst for all the swings I was making.

Some advice that has helped me prevent a number of lag deaths has been to keep attacking through it. Burst any damage you can and keep swinging. When the pause is over, whatever you did while lagging will burst all at once and "catch up."
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There is frankly, not a lot you can do about this. I haven't played hardcore for a while, but suffered numerous deaths from disconnects. I was playing HC from Australia connecting to the American servers (no aussie servers at that time). There are a LOT of points of failure between Australia and Blizzards data centre.

Fact is, I reached the conclusion that dying in that way was intolerable and simply went and played softcore instead. I do like that there is actually some penalty for death with greater rifts which helps add some spice to it.
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A good ISP helps however depending on how many hops you have until att.net you can still experience issues. The game itself uses very little bandwidth but it requires a low latency high stability ( low packet loss, low collisions) data path. Increased network traffic through routers at megahops can cause you to lag.

As far as wireless goes it is totally situational. I run wireless N 99% of the time and never lag or DC. The wireless hate is quite apparent but if you live in a low RF congested environment you are fine. The last time i DCd was when i decided to play on my wired desktop...go figure. We had some heavy political discussion going though sooooo maybe CIA? ;)
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07/11/2014 02:37 PMPosted by CyLaNt
We had some heavy political discussion going though sooooo maybe CIA? ;)


They apparently trolled WoW - why not Diablo? ;)
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I could agree that in some cases it is a person's ISP but, not lately. I have recently u/g my router and connect speeds. It's fine everywhere else except, for in-game lately. Where I had older equipment and slower speeds a month ago, now I have been experiencing multiple dis-connects when either spawning into a public game or when trying to port to a player in, for instance, a rift, with better equipment and speeds. The problem HAS worsened lately and from speaking to other players, it is not just I. So, I am going to say that it is/has become a server/hardware issue for whatever reason. You'll probably hear Blizzard employees defend their company but, that's not going to solve the problem. Whereas it could be a player's internet in some cases, it's happening to too many lately to go with that theory. Sure, not everyone is going to experience this issue, as I do not every single day But, it's become enough of an issue that one would HOPE Blizzard would pay just a bit more attention to the problem at hand.
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07/11/2014 03:25 PMPosted by Diggs
I could agree that in some cases it is a person's ISP but, not lately. I have recently u/g my router and connect speeds. It's fine everywhere else except, for in-game lately. Where I had older equipment and slower speeds a month ago, now I have been experiencing multiple dis-connects when either spawning into a public game or when trying to port to a player in, for instance, a rift, with better equipment and speeds. The problem HAS worsened lately and from speaking to other players, it is not just I. So, I am going to say that it is/has become a server/hardware issue for whatever reason. You'll probably hear Blizzard employees defend their company but, that's not going to solve the problem. Whereas it could be a player's internet in some cases, it's happening to too many lately to go with that theory. Sure, not everyone is going to experience this issue, as I do not every single day But, it's become enough of an issue that one would HOPE Blizzard would pay just a bit more attention to the problem at hand.


Do you understand what a routing table is?

Do a pathping and see how many other "stops" your packets make along the way to blizz. It is not them 99% of the time.
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Yes, I know it is not them 99% of the time. Nor did I say that it was. Irregardless, it HAS been a problem for players lately. In fact, today I experienced this same problem..........I was logged on the server and playing fine most of the evening(playing solo, playing w/ friends, etc.),however, when trying to get into a public game the moment I tried to port into a rift or onto a player, I got dis-connected from the server. If I were getting dis-connects due to my ISP I would be experiencing the same problem constantly, not just as described above. There is indeed, a very real problem and it is not the ISP.
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07/11/2014 01:08 PMPosted by MysticalOS
Biggest thing that matters is latency, packet loss, etc more so than speed. I've seen people with 50Mb have more lag than people with 1.5MB. When it comes to gaming the biggest things to check are traceroute to check for latency at any individual hops as well as ping tests (data stream ones like DSL Reports are best) that can do a real high quality packet loss test as well as find even more specific latency issues. Wireless always tends to add latency into the mix for sure.

I remember I kept having horrid lag for a long time and every single traceroute would fail to show it. Perfectly good. ISP would do ping tests, and traceroutes. Also could not find it. I ran the test from DSL reports which does a pretty high bandwidth packet flood/stream and it identified a hop that would pass low bandwidth streams but high bandwidth streams started dropping. I gave the data to ISP and they investigated and it turned out it was a DSL backbone aggregator that was at 99% load. What this meant was it was triggering emergency QoS or packet shaping to prioritize internet traffic over download traffic. basically, it was ensuring the majority of internet activity worked but once you hit a certain data rate threshold it was throwing you into a queue that would allow your download to still work but at VERY high latency. During intense battles in WoW raids or d3 the data was able to hit this threshold on the aggregator and see a latency spike as my internet traffic would shift from high priority to low priority queue in the emergency QoS filter.

Needless to say, once ISP identified this aggregator was overloaded, they started doing relief on it to other nodes and lowered it's load. Once they did the problem was completely fixed. It really goes to show though that even if you think your trace is good, and that it HAS to be blizzard because "everything else works". Never under estimate what it could really be and investigate even harder. biggest tool I always recommend. http://www.dslreports.com/pingtest (use a registered free account, guests only get low bandwidth tests which don't tell much more than traceroute. registered get low medium and high.)


The reason why the trace/mtr didn't show it was because it has to be ran during the time when the hop saturates. So a trace/mtr is really all that is needed for most network issues, but it has to be reporting the issue as it is happening.
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many current hc deaths happens during very rare battlenet crashes. like few days ago. Players i met were rather hostile towards blizzard for loosing theirs chars this way. Since they surely cant blame theirs own connection at this time for their rip.

I wonder why wouldnt You (blizzard) perform 2~minutes rollback after those crashes of server ?

I mean only those crashes when whole server gets disconnected. which happened only few times since RoS release, but it did happen.
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07/11/2014 10:19 AMPosted by Melkmann
Is it possible, that a good majority of dropped connections are because of a person's internet connection rather than the game servers?
Yes, but forcing hardcore to do combat actions over internet is not justified by current reasoning. Hardcore should eventually get an "limited offline" mode where combat is offline, but everything else remains as a server lookup.
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It doesn't really matter if it is on our end or Blizzards.
Blizzard should still do more to implement disconnect safety-measures into the game.

If the server cant reach us for 1 second for example, why not save the current state of the game on the servers (basically pausing the game). I realize not everything is running on the servers, but all important stuff supposedly is; that is stuff like your HP; enemies etc.

Then when you get back into the game, you start off exactly where you left it (+1 second it took for the game to realize it couldn't reach you anymore).

If you dont reconnect within a limited timeframe, like 15 minutes, the game moves on like it would have today, disconnecting you and closing the game (and maybe killing you before you get out), to save server power.

Disconnect deaths would more or less be a thing of the past. And it would not be exploitable like self-disconnecting was in Diablo 2.

While not entirely comparable (since it's handled on your hard-drive), Starcraft 2 use a similar concept for reloading a disconnected game.
Edited by Shadout#2849 on 7/12/2014 6:05 AM PDT
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OP + this so much.

my exact experience with wireless below too lol

07/11/2014 12:23 PMPosted by Araxom
For the longest time I was playing on a wireless DSL connection over at my place. People thought I was crazy for playing HC on it, and well… I was. I would regularly lose characters every couple of months. I’m kind of surprised they lasted as long as they did – entering Rifts was pretty much always a death sentence. I recently upgraded to a connection comparable to you, Melk – no issues since.

I can definitely appreciate how difficult it is for some of us to get on a direct connection, but in my own experience these HC deaths have been as a result of my own set up.

In case anyone wants to check it out, here’s our general [url="https://us.battle.net/support/en/article/diablo-iii-connection-troubleshooting"]connection troubleshooting article[/url] which includes some helpful tips.
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