Home/World latency (updated) - 4.0.6

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Support Forum Agent
We have been seeing a lot of confusion regarding some of our recent changes to the User Interface, specifically in regard to the new in-game latency meters. With 4.0.6, we have split the two separate connections the client forms to our game servers into two different ratings, labeled 'Home' and 'World'.

The speculation regarding what these ratings mean has been very interesting and some of the guesses as to what the numbers actually refer to have been pretty imaginative. Some have speculated that 'Home' referred to your personal latency and 'World' was Blizzard's latency. This is incorrect.

In essence, 'Home' refers to your connection to your realm server. This connection sends chat data, auction house stuff, guild chat and info, some addon data, and various other data. It is a pretty slim connection in terms of bandwidth requirements.

'World' is a reference to the connection to our servers that transmits all the other data... combat, data from the people around you (specs, gear, enchants, etc.), NPCs, mobs, casting, professions, etc. Going into a highly populated zone (like a capital city) will drastically increase the amount of data being sent over this connection and will raise the reported latency.


Prior to 4.0.6, the in-game latency monitor only showed 'World' latency, which caused a lot of confusion for people who had no lag while chatting, but couldn't cast or interact with NPCs and ended up getting kicked offline. We hoped that including the latency meters for both connections would assist in clarifying this for everyone.

As is probably obvious based upon this information, the two connections are not used equally. There is a much larger amount of data being sent over the World connection, which is a good reason you may see disparities between the two times. If there is a large chunk of data 'queued' up on the server and waiting to be sent to your client, that 'ping' to the server is going to have to wait its turn in line, and the actual number returned will be much higher than the 'Home' connection.

"Well, great," you may say, "but what does that mean to me?!"

Not much, maybe, but I wanted to focus on how local (or network) factors can (and will!) affect these numbers.

Here are the most common causes of high pings/latency (on both Home and World):

1) Wireless
2) Packet loss
3) Almost-but-not-quite-broadband*
4) Addons (yes, those wonderful UI modifications)
5) Firewalls (some firewalls do interesting things to latency... try playing without it to see if it helps!)
5) Mis-configured or defective home routers (please temporarily bypass before anything else)
6) Quality of Service and Traffic Management Systems performing packet queuing of some sort.
7) Net link saturation (not necessarily your ISP, but somewhere between you and Blizzard)


*As of July 2010, the 'official' definition of Broadband Internet (per the FCC) is '4Mbps downstream and 1Mbps upstream'. Anything lower than this is not 'officially' broadband.

Lowering video settings (especially view distance) has the added benefit of lowering the amount of data your connection is asked to convey, as well, so even that can be a valid troubleshooting step.

If your 'Home' connection latency is low and your 'World' connection latency is high, that frequently indicates that there is some sort of QoS congestion controls being applied to your internet connection, at either the micro (LAN) or macro (WAN) level. A common symptom would be that you would be able to chat, but not to cast.

If both connections report high latency, that means your connection to our servers, in general, is almost completely saturated, or 'overflowing'. Without making any claims where that saturation lies, that seems to have been the most common case to date.

Please refer to our support pages (such as http://us.blizzard.com/support/article.xml?locale=en_US&articleId=21018&parentCategoryId&pageNumber=1&categoryId=2329) or contact a technical support representative directly for further information and troubleshooting.
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Edited by BrianI on 2/11/2011 3:07 PM PST
61 Gnome Mage
800
Thank you! I was trying to figure out what this meant, it's good to have an explanation.
Thank you very much for this post; it's shedding light on a problem that's been plaguing for me for a while. I have a follow up question: when I log in, my latency starts low (20 [H] & 24 [W]), but after a few minutes, my world latency shoots up to between 5,000 and 7,000. I'm starting to suspect that my ISP is capping the bandwidth, which is why the game becomes unplayable after 2 or 3 minutes.
  • How can I confirm this? Is there somewhere I can look to find out if my ISP is capping my bandwidth, perhaps via traceroute?
  • Thanks again for your help. WoW has been almost unplayable recently, and I started actually considering canceling my account if things didn't get better. I would hate to miss so much content in Cata!
  • Edited by Xexor on 2/11/2011 2:49 PM PST
    85 Worgen Warrior
    1770
    02/10/2011 5:18 PMPosted by BrianI
    *As of July 2010, the 'official' definition of Broadband Internet (per the FCC) is '4000Kbps downstream and 1000Kbps upstream'. Anything lower than this is not 'officially' broadband


    Oh, so 20kbps down and 1kbps up isn't broadband? (snicker snicker) :P

    Overall, thanks for the clarification. :D
    Edited by Acero on 2/11/2011 2:56 PM PST
    Support Forum Agent
    Yeah, the document (Sixth Broadband Deployment Report - FCC 10-129) is fascinating. The actual wording is this:

    "...that every household in America have access to affordable broadband service offering actual download (i.e., to the customer) speeds of at least 4 Mbps and actual upload (i.e., from the customer) speeds of at least 1 Mbps. This target was derived from analysis of user behavior, demands this usage places on the network, and recent experience in network evolution. It is the minimum speed required to stream a high-quality —even if not high-definition—video while leaving sufficient bandwidth for basic web browsing and e-mail, a common mode of broadband usage today that comports directly with section 706’s definition of advanced telecommunications capability."


    Well... it's fascinating to me, but I am kinda nerdy.
    ________________________________________________
    Account and Technical Services || Tues - Sat 645 - 1545 PST
    Not seeing a resolution on the forums? Contact a Support Rep directly! - http://us.blizzard.com/en-us/company/about/contact.html

    Experience is simply the name we give our mistakes.
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    Edited by BrianI on 2/11/2011 3:12 PM PST
    85 Tauren Druid
    4420
    You work for the company of one of the nerdiest games known to the common people. It's to be expected.

    On topic: I like the more info on our current internet. Then again, I love things that automatically update themselves and tell me more about things that are hidden from me.
    90 Night Elf Hunter
    4760
    OT
    I just want to know why we cannot "Like" a Blue post;-)
    MVP - Technical Support
    100 Draenei Mage
    7120
    So the world latency is the highest latency your connection can get to then Brian ?

    What I'm asking is effectively

    Is Total Latency = World Latency

    Or is it Total Latency = World + Home Latency.

    Let me pull some figures from some where.

    Let's say I have home latency of 138 ms and world latency of 156 ms. Is my total latency 294 ms ? Or is it 156 ms ? Can I assume the world latency to also include the home latency ? Lets say I was trying to work out the figure for going from my home realm server to say an instance server. Would it be world - home ? IE 18 ms ?. Or are the figures measured from my computer to either home or world ?

    I'm sorry if these seem like silly questions but I'm just trying to get more understanding here.
    ________________________________________________
    Bringing you walls of text and cookies since 2005 :)

    Mac Tech Support MVP (moonlights in other forums)
    Here to Help :)
    Support Forum Agent
    So the world latency is the highest latency your connection can get to then Brian ?

    What I'm asking is effectively

    Is Total Latency = World Latency

    Or is it Total Latency = World + Home Latency.

    Let me pull some figures from some where.

    Let's say I have home latency of 138 ms and world latency of 156 ms. Is my total latency 294 ms ? Or is it 156 ms ? Can I assume the world latency to also include the home latency ? Lets say I was trying to work out the figure for going from my home realm server to say an instance server. Would it be world - home ? IE 18 ms ?. Or are the figures measured from my computer to either home or world ?

    I'm sorry if these seem like silly questions but I'm just trying to get more understanding here.
    ________________________________________________
    Bringing you walls of text and cookies since 2005 :)

    Mac Tech Support MVP (moonlights in other forums)
    Here to Help :)

    I don't really see many situations where the Home ping times would be > World ping times, although I suppose it could happen, so the ping time we normally would be concerned with would be World latency. This connection transmits most of the data, anyway, so tends to be a bit more important. There really aren't any separate 'Total Latency' numbers, however, as the two numbers affect different data. These are two completely separate connections (even on different IPs) to the game server, so they are not additive (i.e. Home is not a subset of World).

    The latency meters are reporting the latency of the connection to your currently connected server, whether it be a realm (world) server or an instance server (BG/arena/dungeon/raid). When you see that nice loading bar while in game, it means your client is actually connecting to a whole new server.

    Having the ability to differentiate between the two connections helps out tremendously when troubleshooting issues (as you can see by my initial post), so I am extremely happy our developers instituted this particular change.

    Edit: Speaking of 'walls of text', here is what I hope is an interesting read, as well: http://us.battle.net/wow/en/forum/topic/1965992365?page=15#287

    No cookies, though.
    ________________________________________________
    Account and Technical Services || Tues - Sat 645 - 1545 PST
    Not seeing a resolution on the forums? Contact a Support Rep directly! - http://us.blizzard.com/en-us/company/about/contact.html

    Experience is simply the name we give our mistakes.
    Let me know how I'm doing! :) - http://www.surveymk.com/s/RMW9Y6X
    Edited by BrianI on 2/12/2011 9:24 AM PST
    85 Worgen Warlock
    11065
    i get this

    If your 'Home' connection latency is low and your 'World' connection latency is high, that frequently indicates that there is some sort of QoS congestion controls being applied to your internet connection, at either the micro (LAN) or macro (WAN) level. A common symptom would be that you would be able to chat, but not to cast.

    how do i fix it? it happens at very random times for about a week now

    have lost about 8 arena games cause of it and have officially quit arenas til i fix this issue
    Edited by Dawtz on 2/13/2011 8:48 PM PST
    85 Human Priest
    1835
    this is great info .. sadly .. doesn't help me at .. because USA is very far from Australia ... some of the guys always complaining about 150ms pings ... i find that so funny when the lowest ping I've ever seen to blizzard is post 4.0.6 and was 266ms ... any news on a better deal for us Aussies .. I'm sure there is a few of us now!
    90 Draenei Paladin
    11030
    02/10/2011 5:18 PMPosted by BrianI
    *As of July 2010, the 'official' definition of Broadband Internet (per the FCC) is '4Mbps downstream and 1Mbps upstream'. Anything lower than this is not 'officially' broadband.


    Unless you live in Canada, where in many places the best you can get is "Up to 1Mbps upstream*" without spending $80+ a month.

    *often closer to 0.4Mbps
    Edited by Varalia on 2/13/2011 11:05 PM PST
    85 Blood Elf Paladin
    8995
    Why not call it "Interface" and "World"?

    Thanks for finally giving me an explanation of why I could still chat but not interact with the world--- although isn't it strange that I don't get disconnected? I've been lagged out of "world" server for over an hour before and have to alt+f4 to reconnect.
    80 Human Rogue
    6325
    While I appreciate trying to ensure that everyone has a great gaming experience... I find it mind boggling that you would revert the change that would positively affect 99% of wows population in order to allow <1% to not be affected. If they are not adhering to minimum system requirements why should the rest of us suffer and have to wait for an AMAZING fix? If <1% of wows population can not get a video card from the past century is blizzard going to negatively affect the the rest by forcing them to play at lower quality settings? nope, so why do this with lag? Hopefully you will be able to roll this on a per client basis as soon as possible because that would be amazing... Then I would know who is actually bad and stands in fire because of skill and not their lag.
    90 Undead Death Knight
    3365
    How about a test kit/diagnostic tool to test our connection?

    I just want to know whose skull to bash when I keep DC in an encounter.
    Having a passive optic connection of 100Mb and STILL getting DC'ed in past few days - Annoying.
    100 Blood Elf Paladin
    12770
    You forgot to mention one of the reasons for high-latency:

    "The realm indicated to you isn't actually in your zone", like Latin American servers not hosted in Latin America, but in the US, drastically increasing our latencies.

    So according to you I don't have a broadband... figures.
    85 Night Elf Rogue
    7905
    People who are on West coast servers are being connected to instance servers on the East coast.

    Will this ever be fixed? It's a big deal for oceanic players as it adds 200-300 ms to our already high latency making PVP unbearable in most cases.
    90 Dwarf Hunter
    12220
    4)
    5)
    5)
    6)
    - Technical Support
    100 Human Priest
    14935
    02/13/2011 11:02 PMPosted by Varalia
    *As of July 2010, the 'official' definition of Broadband Internet (per the FCC) is '4Mbps downstream and 1Mbps upstream'. Anything lower than this is not 'officially' broadband.


    Unless you live in Canada, where in many places the best you can get is "Up to 1Mbps upstream*" without spending $80+ a month.

    *often closer to 0.4Mbps


    Unless you switch to a 3rd party provider (such as Teksavvy) which provides better speeds & better usage caps for less than what you're paying now with Bhell/Robbers. :)

    Robbers:
    10/512, 60gig cap $46.99

    Teksavvy:
    15/1, 300 gig cap $42.95
    90 Troll Hunter
    13110
    Yeah, the document (Sixth Broadband Deployment Report - FCC 10-129) is fascinating. The actual wording is this:

    "...that every household in America have access to affordable broadband service offering actual download (i.e., to the customer) speeds of at least 4 Mbps and actual upload (i.e., from the customer) speeds of at least 1 Mbps. This target was derived from analysis of user behavior, demands this usage places on the network, and recent experience in network evolution. It is the minimum speed required to stream a high-quality —even if not high-definition—video while leaving sufficient bandwidth for basic web browsing and e-mail, a common mode of broadband usage today that comports directly with section 706’s definition of advanced telecommunications capability."


    Well... it's fascinating to me, but I am kinda nerdy.
    ________________________________________________
    Account and Technical Services || Tues - Sat 645 - 1545 PST
    Not seeing a resolution on the forums? Contact a Support Rep directly! - http://us.blizzard.com/en-us/company/about/contact.html

    Experience is simply the name we give our mistakes.
    Let me know how I'm doing! :) - http://www.surveymk.com/s/RMW9Y6X


    That is just a wish. With over 1/3 of US counties underserved by the new broadband definition:

    t. For example, many consumers today
    obtain Internet access via transmission services slower than the 4 Mbps upload and 1 Mbps download
    speed threshold adopted in this report, even if a transmission service meeting this threshold is available.
    86
    Given current subscription rates for Internet access transmission services of various speeds, we find
    applying a 1 percent de minimis threshold in our availability analysis appropriately balances these
    concerns.
    87
    In particular, a 1 percent threshold will treat every county that literally is “not served by any
    provider” of broadband as unserved, as well as those counties in which only a small fraction of the
    households subscribe to broadband service.
    88
    At the same time, because the 1 percent threshold is low,
    we minimize the risk that we classify an area as unserved when broadband service in fact is available to a
    majority of households, even if household adoption rates in that area happen to be relatively low.
    (i) 1,024 Counties are Unserved Areas
    22. Based on the analysis described above, we estimate that 1,024 out of 3,230 counties in the
    United States and its territories are unserved by broadband.
    89
    These unserved areas are home to 24
    million Americans living in 8.9 million households.
    90
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