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Rubber banding a Client issue -not a Server issue?


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So I run my own server on my own LAN. And for the first time I yesterday experienced bad rubber banding and the game being unresponsive. At the time there was one other survivor in the cluster. Server performance data in terms of memory usage and so on was perfectly normal. TCP traffic was perfectly normal. Eventually I exited the game and reconnected, and all was well. I did not touch the server at all.

My ark game (client) had been running for over 12 hours, which is the first time in a long time that I have run the game for such a period, normally its a couple of hours and then disconnect for bed.

I therefore am led to believe that perhaps a lot of the issues experienced and expressed in this forum may be memory leaks / bugs in the game client, and not to do with server code or infrastructure at all?

Anyone got anything to comment around this?

Edited by DirkInSA
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I noticed rubberbanding first when I switched from solo/splitscreen to online multiplayer, PS official. At first it was ~5seconds 4 or 5 times an hour, since I explored more maps it drasticly increased to more often (sometimes again after a minute) and 15 seconds or sometimes even longer.
When accessing inventory at start of it, the dino's or objects inventory shows the message "retreiving remote inventory" and when opening only my own inventory my character does not show in right panel or suffers major texture popping. Also, it seems related (but not limited) to the 15 minute counter as wel as other players loggin on.

This leads me to believe this is more a server issue than a client issue. The fact that you run your own server on LAN explains to me why you hardly experience this: All maps and inventories are on one server wich keeps the lines short and simple.

The switch from PS4 to PS4+SSD to PS5 proved to me that too many textures and models are also handled trough servers instead of the systems own storage since there is no noticable difference in texture and object popping between the systems. I'm no server expert but I can imagine it can contribute to additional loads on already overloaded servers.


A thing that I did experience a difference in however was the behaviour of the game when being near larges bases with a huge number of different objects and dino's, specificly voidwyrms and space whales. A PS4(Pro) will drop framerate to Spf instead of Fps (no joke!) before it crashes, the PS5 will drop framerates but not crash that quick. The game keeps performing very poor untill you do a complete system restart. A map like Extinction is also near unplayable on a 4 while barely playable on the 5.
So I'm tend to believe that these issues are indeed more client related.

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3 minutes ago, Zapha said:

Are you sure it's not over the Internet?

I read ARK would prefer it to run over the internet, even in LAN mode. Maybe once your server ran over the LAN but the newest updates switched it secretly back to internet mode?

Yeah Ark does need the internet to "publish" the server and it runs authentication of the SteamID of joining  peeps over the internet - but the actal game traffic is local - (verified with a packet sniffer).

So yes it is kinda internet - but also kinda lan. And as above I had no untoward packet drops or "high" traffic over the internet gateway. And restarting the client fixed it!

 

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59 minutes ago, MMaas said:

A thing that I did experience a difference in however was the behaviour of the game when being near larges bases with a huge number of different objects and dino's, specificly voidwyrms and space whales. A PS4(Pro) will drop framerate to Spf instead of Fps (no joke!) before it crashes, the PS5 will drop framerates but not crash that quick. The game keeps performing very poor untill you do a complete system restart. A map like Extinction is also near unplayable on a 4 while barely playable on the 5.
So I'm tend to believe that these issues are indeed more client related.

mmmmm - I am on a PC Steam client - so things maybe well different to the PS port. However where I was when I got banded was really not a high population area!

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14 hours ago, DirkInSA said:

So I run my own server on my own LAN. And for the first time I yesterday experienced bad rubber banding and the game being unresponsive. At the time there was one other survivor in the cluster. Server performance data in terms of memory usage and so on was perfectly normal. TCP traffic was perfectly normal. Eventually I exited the game and reconnected, and all was well. I did not touch the server at all.

My ark game (client) had been running for over 12 hours, which is the first time in a long time that I have run the game for such a period, normally its a couple of hours and then disconnect for bed.

I therefore am led to believe that perhaps a lot of the issues experienced and expressed in this forum may be memory leaks / bugs in the game client, and not to do with server code or infrastructure at all?

Anyone got anything to comment around this?

While it's true that the game client, just like any game, can have strange behavior as the results of problems on the client side, the majority of rubberbanding and lack of responsiveness is server side which would also include pack loss to or from the server. The exception would be an underpowered or poorly configured PC, but PC's that meet those descriptions are going to have constant problems, not intermittent problems like you've described that take hours to occur.

You were able to create a scenario in which your client displayed performance problems, but if you jump onto the Official network you'll constantly see performance problems no matter which official server you're logged on to, they will happen much more often and there's no time limit on server side issues. You had to run your client for hours before seeing your issues but if you jump on the Official servers you would quite often see issues within seconds of logging in if you happened to log in at the wrong time. Official servers, for example, lag or freeze up for every player on the server whenever they do the scheduled backups (every 15 or 20 minutes, I forget which is the correct number there, even worse during the once-per-two-hours backup when the server archives the save file and rolls over to a new file. If you log in just before a save you're going to get the same freezing/lag that everyone else gets. And god help you if the save is happening during a busy time, the saves that happen during special events that encourage lots of people to play are just brutal, with large freezes and disconnects with every backup.

This also happens on Unofficial servers, even when they're running on good hardware with only a few players. I run a private server on commercial grade hardware with a max of 7 players on at one time. Whenever the saves run we'll all see a momentary lag spike, which we've informally confirmed many times by having someone say, "I just got a lag spike, are you guys seeing it too?" Others agree that they also lagged, then I'll go look at the save directory and I'll see that a save took place right about the time when we all experienced the lag spike.

The bottom line is that a significant majority of performance issues are server-side, followed by internet issues to/from the players (obviously packet loss is a significant but under-appreciated bad guy here, followed by PC performance problems in a distance third place. Mind you, of course an under-powered or poorly configured PC will have constant problems, what I'm talking about here is unusual or intermittent problems like you experienced based on running your client for many hours, that particular kind of intermittent problem is a distant third behind server performance and internet performance.

 

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On 9/14/2021 at 9:16 PM, Pipinghot said:

hat I'm talking about here is unusual or intermittent problems like you experienced based on running your client for many hours, that particular kind of intermittent problem is a distant third behind server performance and internet performance.

Noted and correct! But it still is an "issue" that in the cluster of ark bugs that needs resolving to narrow down WHERE the actual "bug" exists. (sorry - i do software - so i kinda speak from a dev perspecitve)

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Rubber banding in Ark occurs because Ark is "server authoritative"...

For example, when you press "W" to move forwards, your client will calculate the amount of forwards movement required.
At the same(ish) time, the server also calculates the amount of forwards movement required.

The client will move you forwards according to its own calculation.

However, if there is any network lag, or the server stalls (when it's doing a world save for example), then it won't have had time to do the server-side calculations .
In this case, the server and client will have different opinions on how much movement is needed.
The server's opinion will over-ride the client, and the client will put you back to where the server says you are.  This creates the rubber-band effect.

It's done this way to reduce the opportunities for cheating - making it hard to create (say) a super speed dino on an official server.
It does however create rubber banding as a side effect as no server can ever do all the game calculations and world saves in zero time.

The other possible cause of rubber-banding is that Ark (like lots of internet games) uses UDP data packets.  These are faster than TCP but UDP does not guarantee delivery of data.  So you might press "W", but notification of that action might not reach the server.  So again, server and client will disagree on your location and you rubber band back to where the server says you are.

Packet loss could be caused by network issues anywhere...  your PC, your ISP, the broader internet, the server's ISP, etc.

See this post by Jat...
https://steamcommunity.com/app/346110/discussions/0/613957600545122958/

Edited by Larkfields
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4 hours ago, DirkInSA said:

Noted and correct! But it still is an "issue" that in the cluster of ark bugs that needs resolving to narrow down WHERE the actual "bug" exists. (sorry - i do software - so i kinda speak from a dev perspecitve)

Assuming that it's a reproduceable bug then we agree that it's somewhere on the list of bugs, no arguments there. Really what we're discussing are priorities.

As far as I'm concerned it's way down that list near the bottom. The more important bugs in ARK are the bugs that are ubiquitous, common or are caused by a server running for too long, whereas bugs caused by running the client for too long (12+ hours) are less important. If you have to run your game client for 12 hours straight in order to reproduce a bug then that bug isn't important compared to so many other bugs on the list. Servers need to run 24x7, clients don't. There are almost zero situations anywhere in ARK where a player needs to run their client for 12+ hours without having an opportunity to restart their client, which means that even if your issue is reproduceable it's still way down the list.

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