A message to Blizzard...

Technical Support
Regarding the LOW FPS/lag problems:

On topic, I could identify the problem in 30 seconds or less if Blizzard invited me to their office. What they need to do is check the framebuffer -- when the game chokes out, the frame buffer is failing. If we looked at the frame buffer as well as the data that's loading into the framebuffer, we'd be able to instantly identify what's causing the slow down and why it's happening.

And the whole "We couldn't reproduce it" argument is garbage, because I can reproduce it with 100% certainty on a myriad of machines, both low and high end. I've tried to play D3 on about 15 different computers now, and they all choke out the frame buffer in the same exact situations.

I do however have a little theory of my own, which would actually give Blizzard an excuse for why it's not reproducible. My theory is it's the Always Online DRM that's choking the frame buffer. The reason there is no cracked/pirated copy of Diablo 3 is because the Monster A.I. is streamed in from the server. So if you attempted to decouple Diablo 3 from the blizzard servers, all you end up with is no monsters with a build that you can't even use your skills in. Skill data streams in from the server too. So what's happening, is these parts of the game have density that is so high, that there are a ton of A.I. pathing/attacking request being sent from the server and these are actually coming in slower than the frame buffer fills, the game forces synchronization, as so chokes the game out as it waits for this data to stream in. This is why when you boot up Diablo 3 for the first time, you get hitching and FPS chokes when you cast your skills for the first time. You're choking out from the DRM clearing you to use those skills via encryption keys. These were successfully sniffed in packets and employed offline, this is how I know this is how it works. It's not "Precaching" the skill effects to ram, that's not what the stutter is.

This is why when you play with 4 people, it's worse, as now you have the data for all of their skills, the synch is now being stretched out to 4 machines instead of one, meaning if one person in your game is lagging [internet latency to blizzard servers] it causes the frame buffer to stall for everyone. Say hello to the real reason for 4 player parties, because they can't use their DRM with 6 or 8, because it's already choking on 4.

Areas like Rakkis Crossing/Cesspools/Spire all have more requirements, they have higher density mobs, with more complex attributes/skills and what have you, that have to stream in from the auth servers.

Blizzard is sitting right next to their server -- so they don't have any server latency when they test the game, it's essentially like they are on lan, and so the streaming data can keep up with the framebuffer because their latency is <15ms.

I suspect they know this already and are just playing dumb about it, because if they acknowledged it as a problem, they'd have to fix it, and to fix it, they have to gut their always online policy/rewrite the games DRM, which is probably so heavily rooted in principle code that it would be VERY costly and time consuming to fix.

There are SOME people who can play the game without dropping a frame, locked at 60. You can watch them on twitch -- but all the ones without any issues are all in California. I.E. Very close to the source, and they all have fantastic internet packages, hence how they can stream source quality in real time without crazy compression.

So they all have absolutely amazing internet and they are all sitting directly next to Blizzard HQ.

Furthermore, when the 2.1 PTR came up, for the first couple of days, I didn't drop a frame either, in ANY of those places, Rakkis/Spires and so on, no matter how big the pack was -- I did also notice that my Ping to the blizzard server was between 30 and 50ms. My ping to the live server at the same time was 150-200ms. My ping to the live server now is 150-200ms. Which is absolutely insane -- considering I ping 80 to California and 10 to florida in Counter-Strike GO. [I'm based out of Florida.]

So the problem seems to be that Blizzard can't host servers, they don't have enough of them, they are overloading them, and where they locate them doesn't have a good enough variety.

Flash back to Diablo II, we had USEast and USWest, flash forward to Diablo III and we have "The Americas."

This is the problem.

This also explains why the console versions have better framerates. It's because they aren't Always online, and all the A.I. is streamed in locally on system, like virtually ever other game on earth. The only major difference between the console release and the PC release is the PC versions always on DRM.

Which is terrible. They don't have to have DRM to make characters unhackable, they just need to be saved and loaded from the blizzard server. We don't need monster A.I. to be streamed from the server, that's beyond ridiculous, the only reason to do this is to stop people from being able to make cracked private servers.


Activision-Blizzards anti-piracy campaign is ruining the performance of the game for nothing but paying customers. There are ZERO people playing Diablo 3 who pirated it -- and after 2.5 years, there would still be zero people playing diablo 3 who pirated it, if the only online auth check was character saves on blizzard servers.

It's time to remove the DRM. This doesn't mean you have to support offline gameplay, and the DRM isn't what was keeping pirates away, it's the fact that you can't play the game without connecting to blizzard servers that's keeping the pirates away.

How many people pirated WoW? Not many, and the ones that did wouldn't be subscribers anyway. Their game experience is awful to boot, playing on cracked servers overrun by hackers and cheaters. But look at the official servers... Still populated and still unhacked. Same thing needs to be done with Diablo III.

Flash back to Diablo II again, Closed Battle.net = Diablo III, where we save our characters to their severs, Open Battle.net was custom local P2P hosted games matched through Battle.net

Diablo II's closed battle.net didn't need Monster A.I. DRM to stop people from hacking items. The only hacked items in Diablo II were through exploits in the game, the same as Diablo III's item dupes and what have you. So the closed b.net experience was actually better in DII, outside of bot spammers/gold farmers, but DIII takes care of that by employing BoA -- so again, there is zero reason for the DRM. The DRM is what is causing the FPS drops.

The game isn't even good enough for people to even try to waste the time to create "cracked servers" and essentially the game is dead already, so I don't know why we must continue having poor performance because we don't live in california/blizzard can't host adequate servers located throughout the region with viable latency returns.

GUT THE DRM. It's choking the Frame Buffer.
- Laokin

Original post location: http://us.battle.net/d3/en/forum/topic/14730303771?page=4#67
Hire this guy and let him fix your game.
+1 would read again

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