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PostPosted: Sat Dec 02, 2006 10:11 pm 
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[EDIT - I've changed this post to take account of recommendations from a'moaca' - All suggestions welcome BTW. If you've got captures from the old Ethereal software I can still use them]

There are a few people who have never managed to get past the "0 seconds remaining" point on the first updating screen.

I'd like to try and help - I suspect there's a common cause, but it's very difficult trying to figure out what that is, and we need to be able to "see" the network traffic on the affected players machines.

Can we keep this to only those who have never gotten into the game at all, please - I need to keep the volume of data manageable!

We need to install some software on the PC to capture the traffic:

1) Download WireShark from www.wireshark.org and save it on your PC - it's about 14.4MB so it can take a little while on slower connections.

2) Run the WireShark installer - You can accept the defaults, but make sure that you accept installation of Winpcap 3.1 - this installs a low-level packet capture service on your PC and is needed for WireShark to work. Unless you had a previous version of winpcap installed, you'll probably need to reboot your PC to complete the service setup otherwise DON'T reboot. You should now have a SharkFin icon on your desktop.

Right, that gets the PC set up. Now, the next bit is to actually capture the traffic (maybe best to print these instructions).

a) Try to close down everything that might be accessing your network/internet connection (this minimises the amount of spurious traffic we capture) like e-mail, web browsers, P2P applications etc.

b) Double click WireShark to launch it.

c) Click on the "Show the capture options..." button (2nd button from left).

d) When the "Capture Options" screen comes up make sure the "Interface:" list box shows the device your PC uses to connect to the internet (e.g LAN adapter - mine says "SiS NIC SISNIC: \Device\NPF_{463DA926-9C0D-4ADD-AE42-17F7ECC73E52}".

e) Tick "Limit each packet to" and set the value to 96. Then, in the Capture Filter box type the following (this means we can exclude any non-URU traffic from the capture):
net 64.236.117.0 mask 255.255.255.0

f) Click on the "Browse" button in the Capture File(s) panel and enter a filename - I suggest you use your forum name and the date, eg "Mac_Fife-021206" and select a suitable folder.

g) Launch "Myst Online" and login. When the "Terms of Use" agreement appears, switch back to WireShark.

h) Now, click the "Start" button on the "Capture Options" and the capture screen will appear (with 11 bar graphs). Immediately flick back to the Agreement screen, and click accept.

f) Click by the Gametap and Cyan ad movies and get to the updating screen.

g) Now it's a waiting game. Let the "update" run as long as you feel you reasonably can.

h) Once you had enough, Alt-TAB back to windows and click the "Stop" button on the WireShark Capture dialog - If you had made it to the Avatar screen the total packet count would be around 6700, but you'll probably have far less. The panels on the main window will fill with loads of very meaningful gibberish(!).

j) Use Task Mangler, sorry Manager, to shut down Uru Live.

k) Explore to your saved file, right click and "Send to" "Compressed (zipped) Folder. This reduces the file size by about a quarter, but it could still be a few MB or more

l) PM me a request to send a packet file. I'll give you a private e-mail address to send the zip file to. Alternatively, post it onto the Cyan FTP site, and PM me say where you've put it.

Any questions, PM me.

Thanks, and let's hope we can get this figured out :) .

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Last edited by Mac_Fife on Sun Dec 03, 2006 12:47 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 02, 2006 11:13 pm 
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Mac_Fife,

Please do not use such an ancient version of Ethereal. It has many known security vulnerabilities. Ethereal has been renamed to Wireshark. Also, save everyone a lot of disk space by setting the capture size to 96. Help preserve their privacy by not collecting non-Uru traffic too, okay?

I am going to send you a PM. I already have this data from 5 or 6 people, and quite a lot of analysis from two months ago. I guess if you're going to repeat the analysis, it would be nice to include already existing data.


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 03, 2006 6:30 am 
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I don't know if the moderators will let you, but this is a better tool than the netdiag program, or at least it reports much more.
It should be posted in the preview forum, as there are more people that have enlisted there than in here in beta beta.


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 03, 2006 7:02 am 
I'm in. You never know, a new set of eyes may spot something we can do to jemmy our way into this game at last...


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 03, 2006 7:58 am 
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I can tell you what it's doing during the very first updating screen: downloading temp files... Try opening up a Start->Run... and type %temp% in the box.

If you switch back to the Temp folder's explorer window while you're at the updating screen and don't see any files called "CYN###.tmp" (### could be any number or a-f) something is preventing the game from downloading files that it HAS to have.


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 03, 2006 8:40 am 
No, I get those. There were around fifty in there last time, though I don't know if they were all Uru-related. I always flush out Temp before I try again, which seems to speed things up a bit even though I still don't get anywhere...

EDIT: 39.


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 03, 2006 11:46 pm 
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Thanks folks, I think I've got enough evidence to take the culprit to court, once I've got some nice charts, etc., done to attach to the ticket.

The bad news is that it's an issue at the server end, so there's no "quick fix" for you guys, other than trying to make your internet connection go faster.*

The other bad news is that I'm largely covering ground that a'moaca' trod a few months back without getting anywhere. Got to try though.

*Some people may benefit from optimizing MTU and RWIN values for their internet connection, since XP seems to make the assumption it's using an Ethernet LAN. I can't guarantee anything but it might make enough of a difference to let you get past the server "trap" that's locking you out just now.

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 04, 2006 4:32 am 
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Please post your data here as well as in a ticket so we can see what you did. Not to check you, but because we are curious what you found out.

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 04, 2006 7:50 am 
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Quote:
other than trying to make your internet connection go faster
which backs up an earlier conclusion that a broadband connection speed of less than 384 kb/sec is a non-starter.


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 04, 2006 8:24 am 
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Location: West Australia
1500/256 upgraded to 8192/384 ADSL 4 days ago still 0 seconds problem
ISP has checked line and exchange no problems encountered.
I still have a suspicion that it's because I live in West Australia so far away. :(
I never had a problem getting in before the server move but since then
0 Seconds
I'll follow what needs to be done above and post my reports.


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 04, 2006 8:32 am 
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OK, brief summary (I'm at work and don't have the piccies to include):

I don't think it's a "bug", more a "strategy" by Cyan/Gametap, but I think it's flawed (but then I don't have to run the server), and I can only tell you what's seen at the client end.

Downloads kick-off OK, but there's a timeout feature involved which seems to work like this: Once the download reaches a certain point, if more than 120s* has elapsed getting there then the server assumes you've got a bad connection and resets the download. The client immediately requests the download again, but the server then waits 5 minutes** before commencing the new download. The cycle then repeats, and unless you get a "better" (ie faster) connection at some point, it will go on ad infinitum.
Normally, such a reset is only implemented when the there is no activity on the line for a given period, but here we have reset being commanded while there is clearly a consistent data throughput being achieved.

There are probably more "progress gates" like these as the download progresses, but if you can't get past the first one...

The logs I've seen are showing dowload rates only marginally lower than mine, and I can generally get in without too much trouble, so it wouldn't take a lot to "open the door" to these people. But loading Gahreesen the first time will take a bit of patience.

* The 120s is based on what I see typically in the logs, but actually be a different figure.

** I got some files that a'moaca' collected a couple of months ago that showed a 1 minute back-off, so that seems to be something that's changed recently. I guess this is hoping that you'll get a cleaner connection if you wait a while, but why so long as 5 minutes?

It'd be nice if there was something (maybe in the logs if nowhere else) to tell people that they're not meeting the minimum connection throughput, if this is Cyan's way of enforcing a minimum performance criteria.

I'll post up a typical chart to illustrate once I get home. I also need to do some sums to work out what speed will connect and what wont connect. I was trying to do that last night but got too tired trying to get a "good run" collected.

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 Post subject: Thank You Mac-Fife!
PostPosted: Mon Dec 04, 2006 8:43 am 
You've told us more than Cyan has. Mind you, this is not difficult... :?

I have no idea what MTU and RWIN values are or how I go about optimising them, or how I can improve the speed of my connection at all. I tried upgrading from 1 megawhatever to 4 megawhatevers and, apart from costing me more money, it's made no difference whatsoever. I guess this means that unless Cyan relax their server timeout thingy I'll never get in.

Something. They could have said *something*...


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 04, 2006 12:49 pm 
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MTU - Maximum Transmission Unit, the largest packet size that your connection sends. If this is bigger than any point on your connection will handle then the packet has to be broken into smaller one it can handle, which adds extra overhead = delays. XP sets this to 1500 by default which suits LANs, but most ADSL used in the UK won't cope with more than 1478. Getting this right is pretty straightforward - there's a simple trick to finding the optimum. When I get home I'll post an instruction.

RWIN - Receive Window. A bit trickier. It's more efficient to deal with incoming data in big chunks, so big RWIN = good. But, incoming packets can get lost or out of order and the data needs to be resent, and big RWIN means big resend = bad. Getting it "right" is balance between nominal bandwidth (higher speeds generally should have higher RWIN), latency ("ping" times - long pings might benefit from bigger RWIN), and line quality (if there are lots of errors you don't want RWIN too large). I think XP sets this to a fairly low value that suits 56k dial-up, so most people will benefit by making this bigger.

DrTCP is free program that will let you change these settings (they're burried in the Windows Registry), and you can find tutorials on the web on "how to", but beware, you can screw things up (not irretreivably, but enough to annoy) if you make "random" tweaks.

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 04, 2006 7:33 pm 
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Today I noticed a slightly different result.

In the past, if my black "Updating" screen didn't zip across in 60 seconds or less, and instead showed a progress bar that kept climbing in 'time remaining', I could predict that the end result would be a hang at "0 seconds remaining".

Today, even though the time remaining kept climbing ("2 minutes remaining...", "4 minutes remaining...", "9 minutes remaining..."), the system finally grabbed the token and the updates were processed. The progress bar went from "9 minutes 40 seconds remaining" to "zero seconds remaining" in about 30 seconds, and I got in.

This is the first time it has responded like this (recovering). Perhaps they are experimenting over there at the servers?

Dadguy

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 04, 2006 10:19 pm 
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Here's some of the things I promised:

A graph showing the reset after two minutes and the re-commencement after 5 minutes using Zander's data as an example.

Testing your optimum MTU:
Open a DOS Box (Click Start -> Run... and type in CMD)
Now using your ISP website instead of www.myisp.com type in the following command:
Code:
ping -f -l 1470 www.myisp.com

(that's - "ell" for length)

If you get a message saying "Packet needs to be fragmented but DF set" then the try again with a smaller value like 1440 other wise try a bigger value like 1500. Keep adjusting the value until you find the largest number that "pings" without the message. Now add 28 (the number of bytes of "overhead" in each data packet) to that number and that's your optimum MTU. I'll best most people on DSL type connections will get a value of 1444+28 = 1472.

You can find a test for optimisation here and you can get information on optimizing RWIN by changing the drop-down gadget at the top of the page.
DrTCP can be downloaded here. I don't think it needs installed - just download, unzip and run. It's the MTU for Adapter Settings you change, not the Dial-up one.
After adjusting anything, you'll need to re-boot for the changes to take effect. If you feel you need to gack to defaults, then just delete the boxes you edited blank.

These tweaks are most likely to help someone who can get in sometimes but not reliably, and may not be much help to anyone who has never got in at all, but there's always a chance, I guess.

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