CTHL testing and fixing

After an awful lot of weeding through false leads (no dude, you're CTHLing because you're trying to fit 102kbps of data down a very crap 14.4kbps connection, because your modem isn't connecting at 28.8kbps with a 450ms ping time to your ISPs modem and a year ago our "high bandwidth" setting was using way less bandwidth)… We finally started narrowing in on some real issues. We found that our pushing slightly larger chunks of data results in a slightly larger packet size which some of the "web accelerators" out there, and in particular LinkSys's "speedbooster" appear not to handle very well. Ray Waddell was telling me earlier today that LinkSys updated the firmware on his router and the engineer increased a "fragmentation size" variable, and his CTHLs have gone away.

Another popular cause seems to be the nForce firewall. I have an nForce4 motherboard, which I bought in part because I liked the idea of an onboard, firmware firewall. But its a pile of crap and I reinstalled windows and utterly disabled the nForce firewall stat.

Why doesn't it bother other games? Because they largely use UDP, so people trying to con another $50 bucks out of you for making your "web" go faster dick with TCP/IP settings and make TCP behave badly – but faster. OMGHEERZurPRONusukBUTITSGREATPRONnervehurterLOOKMOREPRON!

The big lingering culprit is the long-freeze followed by CTHL (note: If it doesn't say "Connection to host lost" in a little pop up box, it aint a frickin CTHL; it may still be a bug, but it ain't a CTHL). Martini has pretty much locked this down to the way the vehicles get loaded, and it seems like that the CTHL is being caused by too many new vehicles being added to your world view at once.

So for now the workaround is going to be host-side, reduce the number of vehicles that you can be introduced to in a single update and … don't send you any more until you've acknowledged those … avoiding slamming you into CTHL-inducing 45s pause.

To test that, I needed lots and lots of vehicles moving around in unpredictable fashions, popping in and out of vis, different types in no specific simple order…

Here's a short movie (5mb Windows Media Vid)…

You can also see it live and in person on the Training Server, at the T-junction south of Willemstaad. If you've been having CTHL issues, please give it a whirl. Especially if you have an old, backup, dialup connection you can test it against for comparisons sake…

(And yes, the vehicles are skippy, its intentional, the host is only moving them, it doesn't give them speed or acceleration etc so as to hurt the smoother code and increase the loading on your system, and incase you're wondering CTHLu071 is a buzzard)