Friday, September 14, 2012

CRZs & Your ISP: Not a Love Story

After many days and many tickets that went from asking a question, to asking for help, to desperation, to anger and rudeness and getting absolutely nothing from GMs but cut and paste answers, even when I was online and they could have talked to me, that ignored my base request and never addressed the actual problem I ran into a GM last night that actually knew how to do his job.

After a new ticket I put in that asked for some help with a possible repair option, thinking it might be something tied to the time issue between CRZs a GM actually spoke to me.  I had said, being you refuse to speak to me about the CRZs could you at least please help me with this lag.  It is ruining my game play completely and I am all out if ideas.  All I want to is be back on my own server were I never had any lag issues.  I am at wits end and I am completely sick of this.

The new GM contacted me as I was listing some auctions and the conversation went something like as follows.

Me: Sorry about being so rude but I am at wits end, I've tried everything I was asked to do and it has not worked.  I have even tried to do some things on my own that I thought might work.  It is just really frustrating.
GM: It is okay, I understand the frustration. Lets see what we can do to help with that.
Me: If we can do this without a complete reinstall it would be nice, I really don't want to have to do that.
GM: We will see what we can do to try and make sure you do not need to.
GM: I've went over your tickets and have a few questions.
Me: Shoot.
GM: What have you tried that was not part of what we suggested?
Me: I tried lowering my graphics to the lowest setting and that did not work.
Me: I am downloading the 32 bit version now being I normally play in 64 bit to see if maybe the 64 bit is my problem.
GM: That is a very good trouble shooting idea, keep doing that.
Me: I'm trying everything I can think of.
GM: Are you still getting the 134 error?
Me: No, those have stopped but I still get the disconnects, just not the 134 pop up.
GM: Okay, the 134 error usually comes when you have not finished downloading the game.
Me: I can say with 100% certainty that I was completely downloaded when I first encountered it.
GM: You are sure?
Me: Yes.  Absolutely.
GM: Interesting.
GM: I see you are from the east coast, do you happen to use time warner cable or roadrunner.
Me: Yes, how did you know?
GM: We are having some issues with connections from them at the moment.
Me: So it is not the CRZs that is causing the problems?
GM: No, looking over your problems the cross realm zone might be responsible for many of them, but the lag you keep mentioning is probably from your ISP.
Me: So why did the lag start as soon as the CRZ was released?
GM: I can't really say, coincidence maybe, but we are looking into it to see if and how we can fix it.
Me: Why couldn't they just put me back in my server while they fix the errors?
GM: That is just not possible any more.
Me: I really hate this new CRZ thing, I just want to go back to playing the game without lag.
GM: They are working on finding why some ISPs are having issues communicating with the new system.
GM: I hope we are able to fix this soon.
Me: I hope so too. lol
GM: I am going to reply to your ticket with some links you can follow to see the progress on the situation.  It is happening to many people and the thread has some idea that might be able to help for the time being.
Me: Thank you, and thank you for being the first GM to actually talk to me and not just tell me delete my WTF folder as the fix all for everything.
GM: You're welcome.

In one conversation the GM addressed me wanting to go back to my old server, made me feel as if he actually wanted to help me, and found out what could be causing the problems.  All by spending a few minutes talking to me instead of cut and pasting some line from a book of solutions they have at their desk.  I guess most of the GMs are just drones that only know how to read from a book but it is nice to see that there are some that actually try to help people.

In my experiences over the years with GMs I would have to say that if they just send a letter response they are usually useless 90% of the time.  They always seem to send you a cut and paste that has absolutely nothing to do with the question you asked.  However, when you speak to a GM it is the exact opposite, you have a 90% success rate, or at least you feel like you accomplished something.

Seems like most GMs have lost touch with what their job is.  If you work in customer service, like their job is, the customer is always right.  Even if they are being a dick, they are always right.  You give them a line that will appease them even if it is a lie.  You tell them things are being looked into, you say you wish you could help but have no power, but you always address their problem because if they reported the problem it is important to them.  Seems like blizzard skipped teaching a fair deal of their employees this.  Anyone in customer service should know the basics of kissing ass basically and their reps do not.

Mind you, the one that talked to me could have just been telling me what I wanted to hear.  He could have been telling the truth that they are looking into it or it could have been a lie but either way, it made me happy.  That is what a good customer service representative does, makes the customers feel better.

In the end, if you are having the same lag spikes I would like to share with you the information I have found.

1) If you have in game issues, like mobs disappearing, it is the CRZ.
2) If you have lag spikes, it might be your ISP.

While the GM said it might be a coincidence that the lag spikes started when the CRZ did, I will believe they are connected.  He, as an employee, is not about to admit it is their fault.  If anything, that is the job of a representative to admit later on, when they solve it.

Follow this discussion here:
Horrible latency with road runner Part 1
Horrible latency with road runner Part 2

Some signs it might be the ISP issue.

1) If you have excellent frame rate but you get lag spikes.
2) Your graphics are fine but you get lag spikes.
3) You can chat in guild chat fine but can't cast spells.

Some suggestions from people that they said helped.

1) Create a character on a pacific time zone server and log into it when you have lag, then go back to your character.
2) Restart WoW completely, as in close it out and start fresh, not just log out and back in.

To help with them solve the issues you can run a trace route and post it.  This is how you do that.

1) Visit this site, media college, for details on how to run a trace route.
2) The IP address for your server can be found here on wowpedia.
3) Even if you are in a CRZ and not on your server, use your servers IP.
4) Only do this during a high latency time.
5) Post the entire trace route to the forum listed above.

Being these problems started with the implementation of 5.0.4 and the introduction of the CRZs it is impossible to believe that the CRZs have nothing to do with it.  Reading through the forums will show you that everyone that is having an issue had it start when the CRZs started.  I am no expert but I would say that the roadrunner ISP is having issues with the way they are bouncing people around servers and that is what is causing the lag spikes.  So the error is on blizzards side in how they are handling the transfer of data with the CRZs.  We just have to sit back and hope they fix it soon or mist's launch will be horrible on many levels.

Remember, you do not need to be east coast US to be having these problems.  Anyone that happens to go through an east coast hub will experience this problem.  A friend of mine on the pacific coast that uses a central server has been having the same lag spikes, when running a trace route he saw he was bouncing through road runner in new york, hence the issues.  So even if you are not from the east coast and not on an east coast server it is very possible that the lag spikes are because of this issue.  It is also the reason why many people that do not use road runner and are not on the east coast are experiencing the issue, if the CRZ puts you on an east coast server you will get lag because you are almost assured to run through a new york based road runner ISP.

Every other problem you have had with the CRZ is completely an issue with the CRZ.  If you wanted to, and I do, you could call this a CRZ problem as well.  To those UK people, you are lucky you do not have to route through NY.  I envy you.

At least this addresses my biggest problem with the CRZ, and that is lag, but it doesn't mean I like the CRZ, still hate the idea of it completely.  But if they can fix this, I'll learn to live with it, I'll just bitch about it because that is what I do best.


  1. Very informative. Thank you.

    I have had discos when going into new to me since 504 zones. Like flying to redridge from SW on a new toon. I assume something was changed in the base graphics for each zone and they need to be reloaded/downloaded when going there.

    I have only had lag in SW/Dal so far. Can really tell on max level flying toons. Been lucky besides that.

    East Coast/NY but on Optimum instead of RR and play on a Central server.

    1. I've heard, while researching as much as I can, that other service providers are now also experiencing the same problem when people pass from zone to zone.

      This is just reenforcing my belief that it is the CRZ and the way they are handling throwing us from server to server that is the problem. I doubt all the internet service providers decided to mess with blizzard and interrupt service to people playing wow by causing lag.

      It seems to be on blizzards end from all I've read and seen so far.

      As for what you said, lag in SW, that is odd, I don't lag at all in SW unless I have been out in the world and come back there. The main cities of SW and Org are on your main server, hence the reason there are usually no issues. The dal lag could be cross realm zone errors as dal is a cross realm zone.

  2. I had very bad lag problems the day 5.0.4 was launched. Mail, chat, NPC interaction in cities, running around the game world - all of these were fine. But if I went in combat? My game was unplayable. No exaggeration - when a Holy Nova or Power Word: Shield takes 15 seconds to complete and your screen and sound freezes completely, there's a problem. It did not matter if it was one mob, or 15 mobs, In a dungeon or in the game world. My buttons simply were not working like the day before.

    All I did was go to the Launcher>Options>Game Prefences and restored all defaults. Logged back in, and all the lag was gone. *All* of it. I've had no issues since then. I don't know why it worked, but it did.

    As far as CRZs, I am flowing in and out of them so smoothly I don't even know it has happened unless I chance to see the wrong time on the clock, or see a player with another relam in their name.

    If you continue to have lag, and you have not performed this step, I would suggest it. I was very skeptical, and completely surprised (and delighted) that it solved the lag issues. All I had to do afterwards was log in and reset my graphics settings to where they usually are at. I typically play on Ultra settings, and could not believe that even with everything on Low, the lag was the same. Now I'm back on Ultra and enjoying my game.

    1. For me it is like you explained. Only spikes to the point of unplayability completely but even when it is not spiking that bad every thing I do takes at least 5 seconds to actually happen.

      I've started fights, hit a few keys and looked where my spells were and they were all lit up and nothing was happening. I forced closed and relogged and the mob was dead, lucky me, because a situation like that one of us was going to die. That is what it is like for me.

      I changed the camera setting as I heard it helped someone. I also lowered the setting to low and just like you the lag was still insane.

      I'm willing to try anything so I'll be off to restore defaults. Wish me luck.

    2. Tried your idea and thought it had worked. Had a good 2 hours with little or no problems, just minor lag, nothing like what I was experiencing, but as I played longer it kept getting worse and I was back to massive lag spikes and disconnects. At least 2 of the 3 hours I played last night were good. I wonder if I keep doing that every few hours if it would help. I might try it.