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Ragnarok Location Specific Lag/Stutter Fix

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I'm not exactly sure if Bug Reports is the right place to put this, but I chose it as this is a long-standing issue that hasn't been addressed; and this may help anyone attempting to work on the issue to track down the appropriate fix.

Scroll past my annoying spiel for the tl;dr on the fix.

On that note, if you're like me, you've had very specific location-based lag and stutter while playing on Ragnarok only. You've submitted bug reports and fix requests on various forums over the years and have eventually given up going to these very specific and pinpoint-able locations on the map, or playing on Ragnarok in general.

Some of us have never had a problem at all. This post is for those that know what I'm talking about.

Most of us have searched countless forums across the web to find an exact fix. I spent time searching through a few of these forums recently after starting my server up again, wanting so badly to just see more of Ragnarok; the areas I've known as no-go zones. The green obelisk, the redwood forest, the stream-side cave on the highlands, etc...

We all want to believe it's caused by some graphics issue because of the way it literally bogs our entire PC down to a book with a single blank page for a split moment every 2 to 3 seconds, until we are finally clear of the no-go zone. We have fine-tuned our graphics settings from plastic toy mode to a full on novella-script of launch option codes, found broken links promising fixes, etc.. We've uninstalled, reinstalled, verified files, put ourselves (and others around us) through absolute misery for a fix that never seemed to come.

Some may have even found a work-around.

I stumbled across a few forum posts that talked about using the -nosound launch option for the Unreal Engine, but most of them were vague about it. Probably because the issue gets buried under a mound of graphics assumptions and verified file fix posts. But despite my utter disgust at playing this game (or any game) without sound, I decided to give it a go last night. I jumped in and ran all around the map, visiting key no-go zones. To my surprise, not a single stutter. No lag, no bog-down, just smooth sailing.

I dug deeper. People suggested updating audio drivers, etc. Seems legit, right?

To my chagrin, my audio drivers refused to update. I scoured the web for any semblance of an audio/sound driver I could find. Nothing seemed to turn up.

My device manager shows [AMD High Definition Audio Device] and [IDT High Definition Audio Codec], whatever that means. I couldn't find much at all other than what windows update continued to assert; "Your audio drivers are up to date."

I finally came across another post from a Linux user complaining about main menu music even though sound has been silenced. I don't know if that poor soul got the fix he was after, but one of the suggestions was to rename the title music .ogg files.

I asked myself if that could work with the files causing me my grief. So I set to work this morning digging through the game directories to find every instance of sound-based assets I could find. I started with Ragnarok, then PrimalEarth, then ScorchedEarth, and finally Aberration; removing every instance of the word "ambience", "ambient", and "amb" and backing them up in another folder. After launching the game so many times, and a few random giga sudden-chomps from spawning in front of the highlands cave, I found none of these files were giving me the fix I needed. They seemed to be making no changes at all as I could still hear the ambience, and the audio-pops that typically come with the stutters. I was defeated, about to give up. After one final attempt to search the game directory for "amb" I came across the folder named "OldAssets" which itself contains a few ambience asset files. I took them out and launched the game one last time.

SUCCESS!

Not only was the sound still working, but the stutters were gone. Completely smooth.

TL;DR The fix below

Now; I make hereforth no claim that this is the best possible fix, or that it will fix your problem specifically, or that it won't completely fry your game somewhere at sometime. For me, it's working, and very well so.

(Subnote, I don't know which of these 3 files is the exact culprit, but removing all 3 seemed to give me full reign over the map)

Navigate to your steam ARK directory, e.g. SteamLibrary\steamapps\common\ARK

Locate the ShooterGame directory.

Locate the Content directory.

Locate the OldAssets directory.

Locate the Assets directory.

Locate the Audio directory.

Remove the two files " Landscape_Wind02.uasset " and " Landscape_WindTrees01.uasset "

Go back to the OldAssets directory.

Locate the Sounds directory.

Locate the SoundClassesAndMixes directory.

Remove the file " Ambient.uasset "

Launch the game and check your Ragnarok no-go zones.

 

In conclusion, removing the files;

SteamLibrary\steamapps\common\ARK\ShooterGame\Content\OldAssets\Assets\Audio\Landscape_Wind02.uasset

SteamLibrary\steamapps\common\ARK\ShooterGame\Content\OldAssets\Assets\Audio\Landscape_WindTrees01.uasset

SteamLibrary\steamapps\common\ARK\ShooterGame\Content\OldAssets\Sounds\SoundClassesAndMixes\Ambient.uasset

fixed my Ragnarok location specific lag/stuttering issues.

 

Again, I posted here so that a dev may see this and notice it is not only still an issue, but now they have a culprit.

Hopefully, this works for you. If not, I wish you the best of luck on finding your fix.

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