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Network Quality Improvements!

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Hey, IB fans! As part of our ongoing work to ensure that all of you have the best possible IB experience, around noon (PST) today we will be pushing a small update* to the network settings for IB. These settings should make for smoother, less jerky gameplay, especially in 4p games and/or in games where one or more player has a really lossy connection (i.e. wifi). However, the internet is a big and strange and complex place. For those of you who play often, especially those who hit lag or stalls a lot, please play some games today and tomorrow and this weekend and then tell us what you think! Is it smoother? Is it less or more laggy? Are there more or fewer big hiccups? Anything you notice about lag is fair game and we want to hear about it.

PS – this does not address the disconnect issue. Sadly, we can’t fix that short of a full patch.

*Don’t expect a full title update, we just adjusted some of the tweakables using advanced internet magics. You’ll get them just by running the game in multiplayer.

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I noticed marked improvement in lag. Made it to 46 on Settlement with a full team of randoms last night, and lag was non-existent. First time I've seen that happen.

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It's a lot better for me. If someone has a really bad connection, that can still ruin things, though.

Yesterday I played a four player game with one guy from 'I don't know where', 2 guys from Japan and me from Germany.

The quality of the game was really, really bad. The next match one of the Japanse players left and we got an American instead.

So, me from Germany, someone from Japan, someone from the States and someone from 'I don't know where' - kind of a worst case scenario, isn't it?

Well, the game was smooth!! Really smooth.

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Awesome! That really is a worst case experience!!

Thanks for the info, everyone, but we are hungry for more. We will take any feedback from players since the update last week.

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A buddy of mine have tried playing together mutliple times, but even after the network changes it's still pretty bad (but better). He's in Australia, I'm in the US. Before the network changes we couldn't even finish a single mission, but after the changes we're now able to (still a loooot of skipping around and delay though). We both apparently have open NATs although I dunno if his internet connection is good or not. I don't have any trouble playing with others (even if they're from another country and whatnot) but I have tons of problems playing with him, pretty odd. So yeah, there's feedback for ya =P

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Noticed a marked improvement, less stuttering and less janky animations both in the hub and the game itself, good work guys!

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Confury, you mind doing the following so I can try and figure out why you aren't getting smooth network performance? Do it around the time of day you would normally try and play Iron Brigade with your buddy.

Get the IP address for your friend's machine

Open a command prompt (Start->Run->"cmd")

Type the following, substituting your friend's IP address for YOURFRIENDSIPADDRESS and hit return: "ping -t YOURFRIENDSIPADDRESS > doublefineping.txt"

Wait 30 minutes (it's filling up a text file with data). Don't do anything on your internet connection you wouldn't do during a match of Iron Brigade. Same goes for your buddy.

Hit Control-C in the command prompt window.

Send me the file doublefineping.txt

That will show a whole mess of data on the quality of your connection to your friend that might indicate the type of connection Iron Brigade is having trouble dealing with.

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Tried out what you said but all I kept getting was a bunch of "Request timed out". Packets: Sent = 339, Received = 0, Lost = 339 (100% loss)

You said to get the IP address of my friend's machine, meaning his 360 or just the IP of his modem (which is what both his 360 and PC are connected to). I tried both his IP address that's listed in the 360 dashboard network settings, and the IP that showed for him when he checked at http://www.whatismyip.com/, both just gave me a bunch of time outs.

Oh and apparently, while we were playing, it was smooth on his end but very laggy for me (we're pretty sure he hosted the match). Can't play right now though since he already went to sleep. I'll get him to play a few more matches again tomorrow or something.

EDIT: Btw, I'm sure it's obvious by this post that I'm not too knowledgeable in the computer department, but I'm getting better! =P I'm just glad you're trying to help out.

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Hi, Confury. The fact that it's smooth on one side probably explains the issue. I'm betting your has some kind of very asymmetric internet connection. If his upstream bandwidth is barely sufficient to play, significantly less than his downstream, or his upstream has much higher latency than his downstream, it's tough for the game to compensate well since it can only really see the combined quality of both directions of the connection.

Fixing something like that is definitely beyond the scope of even a title update fix. If you are super adventurous, you could possibly fix the issue by capping his down stream connection in software to match his upstream, and/or artificially increasing his down stream latency, but that's an awful lot of work. Maybe have him try downloading some huge file while you play as an ugly hack attempt at that. :) If it works, then congratulations, you just earned an Internet Wizard level.

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If MS does ever allow for a patch or possibly a sequel it would be a great feature to have the ability to setup the "find other marines" by LOCAL region so as NOT to end up in a game where nobody else speaks the same language. In addition to minimizing any lag or latency issues that may arise from playing with people 2,000+ miles away. Thanks.

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I've played 3-4 games over the past few days where other players just vanished. No notification of disconnection/quitting or anything. A few other people I've played with have noticed too. Not sure if this is related at all to the new network improvements...but I thought I'd give it a mention.

Anyone else dealt with this?

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I've played 3-4 games over the past few days where other players just vanished. No notification of disconnection/quitting or anything. A few other people I've played with have noticed too. Not sure if this is related at all to the new network improvements...but I thought I'd give it a mention.

Anyone else dealt with this?

I didn't want to be the first one to complain but I really didn't see any improvement and have been finding games.with friends that used to be fine are.now a bit laggy.

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Pretty much from day one i will join a game where it wont start because the lobby shows 4 people but only 3 mechs are docked, and the game timer just stops or restarts.

Also when people either lag out of a game or quit it closes down the whole room. Iron brigade 9 times out of 10 seems to pick the worst host out of four players, if i start a lobby and manage not get thrown into somebody elses room its still not my host and my connection is perfect for hosting games.

Better host system, few other bugs, still the best arcade game ive played and i thought nothing would beat monday night combat off my top arcade list.

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My first ever disconnect happened tonight. Wave 94 I believe. I was heated but I can't be mad at anyone but myself. I have wifi Internet at the moment(planning on upgrading when we move). Was a 3 man squad and I'm the only 1 that was disconnected.

Just sucks that when And I this happens we lose our stats. I'm sure I had well over 3,000 plus emplacement kills and that's really the only stat I care about lol.

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Sorry to be the bearer of bad news or even to double post. Playing IB today my console froze twice. I'm assuming it was due to network issues but I could be wrong. The crazy part about it is I've been playin with the same guy since IB came out and we've NEVER had connection issues or our consoles freeze on IB. Now all the sudden anytime we play survival our xboxs freeze or we get disconnected.

P.s. I'm not spamming barrels just running 2 man engineer setup. He uses pierce sniper turrets and I run mines at the moment. I've always used massive amounts of mines an never had a problem so I'm not too sure. Just letting you guys know.

Thanks.

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FYI that it's extremely unlikely that network tweaks could freeze the console. Freezing is almost always a crash. It's possible that something went wrong with the barrel crash fix. Also possible is that your 360 is overheating or, worst case, old and about to red ring.

Regarding the barrel generators, please let us know if anyone is able to repro a barrel generator related crash.

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FYI that it's extremely unlikely that network tweaks could freeze the console. Freezing is almost always a crash. It's possible that something went wrong with the barrel crash fix. Also possible is that your 360 is overheating or, worst case, old and about to red ring.

Regarding the barrel generators, please let us know if anyone is able to repro a barrel generator related crash.

As far as Xbox goes its about 3 months old...skyrim and fallout I'd say out of all my games makes the system feel hot. I understand games freeze but never had any issues with IB until recently.

Granted this isn't what you were looking for as far as barrel generator goes but with that aspect I know personally I've had several barrel generators at each entrance of hospital and didn't have any issues.

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Ive got some +400 matches under my belt, big fan of your game, and I've noticed real improvement! I'm a forum troller but never posted and I registered just to say that. So keep it up Team tren...iron brigade! Ahem... Excuse me. From one bearded brother to another. See you on the front lines! -TheJagerBandit

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Regarding the barrel generators, please let us know if anyone is able to repro a barrel generator related crash.

I will try it with some regulars instead of randoms and see if it freezes on me again.

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So I figured I'd weigh in with my experiences with IB and network and such.

A group of give of us bought and played the game pretty regularly together for awhile. We found that 2 people was pretty stable, but 3 or more was extremely likely to create connection drops, lag, or (for one person) worse. We've had games do this to us before. A game called Section 8: Prejudice we all played had issues, but then a patch came out and the game was ROCK solid no matter how many were in it.

Because S8 was so solid, and many other network games were also, we have a hard time believing that it's our setup (WiFi, ISP, router settings, etc). But perhaps someone has sub-ideal speeds, and some games seem more vulnerable to that than others. IB seems more vulnerable than others.

We eventually tried using in-game chat rather than Party chat, and that helped...a bit. We also noticed after the update that added Survival, it also got a bit better. We could go through survival without anyone dropping about 50% of the time. We also had the person who tended to have the hardest time red ring, and replace his Xbox. Likely his Xbox was contributing.

We just started playing again with the new DLC, and at least on the new maps, the lag is arguably worse than before. There are fewer outright disconnections (though there still are some), but on Swamp we experienced multiple periods where we were viewing a slide show, not moving pictures, for 30 seconds or more. On the 2nd map, we had some disconnections. On the 3rd lots of chop.

In-game vs party chat didn't make any difference this time.

Our group, contrasting with the "worst-case" scenario above, is in a BEST case scenario. We have two people living a half hour drive from me, in the same neighborhood, and a fourth is 15 minutes in the other direction. We all live in suburbs of Baltimore.

I can imagine this sort of thing is terribly hard to debug. But y'know what would make it a WHOLE lot more tolerable...drop in/out play. If someone were disconnected and could then just reconnect, this disconnect thing would be annoying but FAR more tolerable. It would be nice if he could also get credit for loot boxes we farmed.

The lag is nasty, but usually passes after a few moments, and is seldom long lasting enough to make the game unplayable. But true drop in/drop out play...that is my number one request if you can't fix the network thing to be ROCK solid.

(edit) BTW, what is a good benchmark for someone's speed to not have issues with xbox network games? I have a fiber connection which I've seen as low as 8mbs down and 2 up, and as fast as 13mbs down and 3 up. If I had a benchmark I could ask some of my pals to speed test to see if we can suss out who the weakest link is and shun them. :)

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I also wanted to stop in a mention that Survival is incredibly choppy for me and my regular group -- including lag, dropped party members, and even total game freezes. We do not encounter this in campaign mode nor in any other games we regularly play online.

It is a shame because right now this is our favorite co-op game to play. I hope it can be resolved soon :)

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Entropy73, thanks for the detailed report. The most important factor in network connection is really packet loss. I'm not aware of good, user friendly tools for measuring that, but you might find some googling a bit. Usually better connections (i.e. fiber) have less packet loss, however each link of the connection matters, so using Wifi in a really saturated/radio-noisy environment (like an apartment building) can create a lot of that.

terrainguy, it sounds like one of your party has a really rough connection. Can you give us a bit more info? How many players in the party? What kind of connections? Where is everyone located? Is anyone running on a really old 360 or one with a super full HD?

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Okay, my group kind of discovered something last night. We think IB might have a memory leak. Here's why:

So as I reported above, while our disconnect issue got better over time, we've had alot of chop and framerate issues since the DLC. One of my friends tends to play for long stretches at a time. He observed that the longer he was on, the worse it got. We initially thought this was because deeper into survival, he would simply get MORE stuff on the screen to be tracked, but even in campaign modes this was happening.

He found that if he periodically quit the game and restarted (not the whole console, just IB), the chop nearly entirely vanished. I tried the same last night. I had been on playing solo for an hour or two before a friend got on. Shortly after I began experiencing chop and assumed network causes. I asked him is he was having it, and he wasn't. He told me about his restart success, and had to leave. I continued playing but had chop in solo. Then, when another friend got online, I restarted before we joined. We promptly went into survival (more stuff than the modes I was playing), and I had no chop. perfectly clean.

So I am beginning to wonder if there is a memory leak or something similar to explain the decayed performance over time.

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Okay, my group kind of discovered something last night. We think IB might have a memory leak. Here's why:

So as I reported above, while our disconnect issue got better over time, we've had alot of chop and framerate issues since the DLC. One of my friends tends to play for long stretches at a time. He observed that the longer he was on, the worse it got. We initially thought this was because deeper into survival, he would simply get MORE stuff on the screen to be tracked, but even in campaign modes this was happening.

He found that if he periodically quit the game and restarted (not the whole console, just IB), the chop nearly entirely vanished. I tried the same last night. I had been on playing solo for an hour or two before a friend got on. Shortly after I began experiencing chop and assumed network causes. I asked him is he was having it, and he wasn't. He told me about his restart success, and had to leave. I continued playing but had chop in solo. Then, when another friend got online, I restarted before we joined. We promptly went into survival (more stuff than the modes I was playing), and I had no chop. perfectly clean.

So I am beginning to wonder if there is a memory leak or something similar to explain the decayed performance over time.

I've had the same thing happen to me on a couple of occasions, and I'm positive that the game suffers an issue related to this. My last time playing Iron Brigade, in particular, was a marathon 12-hour session. I was obsessively trying to get far enough into Settlement survival, and had mixed play between solo and MP. After playing Survival for so long, and thankfully finding success, I hopped into campaign mode for a bit. The game started to chop up like crazy for me, despite it being both a solo game and a campaign stage (the two seemingly most-stable variables in terms of play type.) Eventually the choppiness got so bad that it gave me the "disc read error" message and booted me back to the dashboard...

I loaded my game back up a few minutes later, tried playing the exact same level under the same circumstances, and it ran absolutely flawlessly. My console itself obviously wasn't fatigued (as I'd think it shouldn't be; I've run it for longer periods with zero performance issues.) I was thoroughly convinced, after this, that running the game itself for long periods of time was the main culprit for choppiness during gameplay. And then my next thought, same as yours, was that there must be something along the lines of a memory leak. I thought back and realized, that when experiencing choppiness of the sort in the past, it had always been after running the game for extended periods of time. I don't recall it ever happening within a short time after the game's initial boot-up.

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