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Addons and latency - WoWInterface
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09-07-06, 06:13 AM   #1
Azareus
A Deviate Faerie Dragon
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 12
Addons and latency

Ok, let's make a summary of things I discovered in the last few days...

Trying to figure out WHY the game is lagging like hell, and after checking the connection with the server (it reported a good response time, after all) I started removing all my addons and the usual WDB/WTF folders, and so on. Just because the problem HAS to be in my game.

After enabling again the addons, one after another, I discovered that CT_BottomBar and CT_BarMod introduce HEAVY latency in my game: I jump from 13 ms (without them) to more than 230 ms (increasing over time). Moreover, it seems that lag is involved in EVERY addon that "moves" or "customizes" the Action Bar and/or the Unit Frames.

This is really sad.

Now, after months of playing, I'm pretty used to have "customized" Action Bars, Unit Frames, and the way it shows me if my target is out of range, and so on.
But, if the CT team can't optimize his addons, I have to find another solution.

So... Suggestions? What could I use to customize Unit Frames and Action Bars, without having to play with incredible latency and lag?

Anyone with experience in really "light" addons? I don't want to loose FPS anymore...

Bye and thanks,

Az
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09-07-06, 06:46 AM   #2
Zeksie
A Fallenroot Satyr
AddOn Author - Click to view addons
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 24
The kinds of timings you're talking about are rarely caused by mods. The lua script execution is very fast and most normal event processing takes almost no time. Maybe 0.1ms (1/10,000th sec) in most cases.

Of course, lots of mods doing lots of things can all add to this. And in my own X-Perl I've been working on minimizing the overall performance impact for my next release.

More likely, the biggest problems you have are data gatherers. The timings don't necessarily have any noticable change when you first install them, so everything appears fine. But, over time, as they collect data, their performance degrades.

Notable data gatherers would be LootLink, Gatherer, MobInfo, Auctioneer. Things like that. Anything that stores a large amount of data that you can reference later. It has to be stored in the active UI memory.

If you have a genuine problem with button mods, it could be because of the OnUpdate procedure which is performed per button, per frame. So if you are displaying 50 buttons, and are getting 50 fps, that's 2500 calls to 1 function per second.

The default button OnUpdate function (on my PC) takes around 23 micro seconds (0.00023ms). Times that by 2500 and that's still only 0.575ms (or around 1/20,000th of a sec)

You can make performance improvements by having 1 global OnUpdate for all buttons, and cycling through them. But this is up to other developers to make it happen.
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09-07-06, 07:04 AM   #3
Azareus
A Deviate Faerie Dragon
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 12
I really like to talk to smart people, and that's the reason I wrote here

Originally Posted by Zeksie
More likely, the biggest problems you have are data gatherers. The timings don't necessarily have any noticable change when you first install them, so everything appears fine. But, over time, as they collect data, their performance degrades.

Notable data gatherers would be LootLink, Gatherer, MobInfo, Auctioneer. Things like that. Anything that stores a large amount of data that you can reference later. It has to be stored in the active UI memory.
Interesting.

By the way, I forgot the say that AS SOON AS I start the game, my latency is really good: somewhere around 25 ms. It's after a couple of seconds (maybe 1 minute) that it raises to unbelievable levels)

About data gatherers... I almost disabled all of them. Now I just have Gatherer and Auctioneer (both two with data collected in 9 months, more or less); I know that Gatherer is a mess, because it updates the minimap with icons, in real-time, but I didn't realize that Auctioneer could impact performance (if, of course, I don't mouse-over an item or something like that). Even if I do NOTHING, after the login, my latency goes up.

If you have a genuine problem with button mods, it could be because of the OnUpdate procedure which is performed per button, per frame. So if you are displaying 50 buttons, and are getting 50 fps, that's 2500 calls to 1 function per second.
.

Yep, and that's a problem, I know.

Maybe CT_BarMod and CT_BottomBar don't like my OmniCC for the cooldowns, etc etc...

We'll see

But thx for your answer
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09-12-06, 06:21 AM   #4
Tralaix
A Murloc Raider
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 6
Hello all! I would like to say to the authors, Thank you very much! The add-ons I have are amazing and make my wow life much much easier.

That said I was poking around the forums because yesterday, out of the blue, I was getting horrid video lag then my screen would freeze and I would get the message, "You have more then 48mb in scripts running, exit now".

Now....i dled all my add ons at the same time several weeks ago. Im running the Titan pack (with gather, auctioneer, beancounter, fishing buddy, etc), paranoia, and gbars. Everything ran fine and I didnt adjust anything till yesterday. Ive since gone back and scaled back some features I didnt need and some I dont need but would like to have.

Any known isssues recently with those? I havent got to turn them all off/on yet individually because im working too much. Ill mess with it tonight but was just curious if something changed in past couple days.
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09-12-06, 06:29 AM   #5
Azareus
A Deviate Faerie Dragon
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 12
Originally Posted by Tralaix
Everything ran fine and I didnt adjust anything till yesterday. [...]
Any known isssues recently with those?
Gatherer, Auctioneer and FishingBuddy are "collecting info" addons: this means that, if you (for example) often "scan" the auction house to keep prices up-to-date, Auctioneer's internal database will grow over time (to levels that I define "interesting"). Just the Auctioneer DB, for me, it's over 8 MB (file) and 20 MB when loaded into memory.

So... it's the price you have to pay to use them

BTW, I wonder if there' a way to "clear" all scan older than (let's say) 6 months... I didn't find that info in the Auctioneer's help file.

Cya,

Az
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09-12-06, 07:11 AM   #6
Tralaix
A Murloc Raider
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 6
Actually...

The last thing I did before I went out to xp was scan the auction house. Then the lag started. I turned them all off, then turned most of Titan and gbars back on and it seemed to work ok but I still have about 20 things unchecked. Ill recheck the ones I want 1 at a time tonight and see if any of those jump me back up.

I can live without gather/auction/fish/etc but bummer....that auctioneer was convienent.

Idea: If it stores the scans on my HD somewhere then couldnt I just find the folder and empty it? Then maybe empty it every 5 scans or so to keep it clean? Just a thought...
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09-12-06, 07:27 AM   #7
Azareus
A Deviate Faerie Dragon
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 12
Originally Posted by Tralaix
Idea: If it stores the scans on my HD somewhere then couldnt I just find the folder and empty it? Then maybe empty it every 5 scans or so to keep it clean? Just a thought...
Yep, it stores the scans in a file (folder SavedVariables, file Auctioneer.lua I think). Of course, you can delete it, loosing the data gathered So, every 5 scans, if you delete it, you simply don't have prices anymore

You can do it, just be aware that you'll see "never seen at auction" more often

Az

EDIT: It doesn't hurt to assign more memory to the addons, avoiding the errors A standard PC can live with 64 MB assigned to addons, without any problem.
On the other side, the question is: do you need Auctioneer or the prices it keeps? :-) One thing doesn't exclude the other, so you can still use Auctioneer without scanning AH prices :-)

Last edited by Azareus : 09-12-06 at 07:31 AM.
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09-12-06, 09:47 AM   #8
Nuada Storm
A Murloc Raider
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 7
Latency is a measure of your computer talking to the server and nothing else. It is also an average, it should start very low and increase slightly.

I use a good number of addons, 75 to be exact, and my latency rarely climbs over 150 milliseconds. That is with three computers connected to WOW at the same time and one streaming music off of Napster. However if someone starts downloading files or more than one PC is doing music streaming, latency climbs through the roof. It doesn't become game breaking in PVE until about 500 milliseconds. I also use Auctioneer, Gatherer and Metamap which all have decent sized datafiles over time and don't see significant jumps in latency.

The only times that I can really think of these mods really impacting transfer or latency is if you are low on RAM or Processor power. If you have 1GB or less of RAM, then you can be doing a lot of pagefile swapping while playing the game. 2GB of RAM should be the recommended amount if you are going to mod the interface. Also shy away from shared memory video cards built into your motherboard or cheap cards. These eat what is available before the programs get access to the memory. The fastest drives you can get can also help. In my kid's computer we noticed that going from a drive with a 2MB cache to one with an 8MB cache improved World of Warcraft performance noticeably. If you're hard drive light is always churning, then this may be a cost effective upgrade.

Games will always push the limits of our PCs and make us upgrade faster though.
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09-12-06, 09:55 AM   #9
Pigl33t
A Flamescale Wyrmkin
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 137
Originally Posted by Azareus
Ok, let's make a summary of things I discovered in the last few days...

Trying to figure out WHY the game is lagging like hell, and after checking the connection with the server (it reported a good response time, after all) I started removing all my addons and the usual WDB/WTF folders, and so on. Just because the problem HAS to be in my game.

After enabling again the addons, one after another, I discovered that CT_BottomBar and CT_BarMod introduce HEAVY latency in my game: I jump from 13 ms (without them) to more than 230 ms (increasing over time). Moreover, it seems that lag is involved in EVERY addon that "moves" or "customizes" the Action Bar and/or the Unit Frames.

This is really sad.

Now, after months of playing, I'm pretty used to have "customized" Action Bars, Unit Frames, and the way it shows me if my target is out of range, and so on.
But, if the CT team can't optimize his addons, I have to find another solution.

So... Suggestions? What could I use to customize Unit Frames and Action Bars, without having to play with incredible latency and lag?

Anyone with experience in really "light" addons? I don't want to loose FPS anymore...

Bye and thanks,

Az

I use X-Perl UnitFrames and from two days ago, Bongos för Action Bars. I still have the same low FPS and latency as I've always had ever since I started playing WoW. You might want to try them! (Plus, they look sick together)
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09-12-06, 10:08 AM   #10
Azareus
A Deviate Faerie Dragon
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 12
Originally Posted by Pigl33t
I use X-Perl UnitFrames and from two days ago, Bongos för Action Bars. I still have the same low FPS and latency as I've always had ever since I started playing WoW. You might want to try them! (Plus, they look sick together)
low FPS??? That's not good!

yep, I'm using Bongos now, and going to try X-Perl UnitFrames tonight: it seems really good and heavy optimized
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09-12-06, 12:11 PM   #11
Hilly
A Deviate Faerie Dragon
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 19
Auctioneer is one that can give me severe lag. For that reason I set it to load only when I go to the AH. If I am going to do anything after I visit the AH I relog real quick to unload Auctioneer.
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09-12-06, 02:21 PM   #12
TDurden
A Fallenroot Satyr
AddOn Author - Click to view addons
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 21
Give your scripts more memory

Originally Posted by Tralaix
That said I was poking around the forums because yesterday, out of the blue, I was getting horrid video lag then my screen would freeze and I would get the message, "You have more then 48mb in scripts running, exit now".
Tralaix, it sounds like all you need to do to fix that problem is go into the AddOns screen (where you enable and disable them) and give more memory to your running scripts. The number in the white box in the upper right corner reads "48" now, so increase it to 64, 96 or more to get rid of that error. I personally have mine set at 128 MB since I use a lot of mods, including most of the ones you mention. I haven't had any ill affects from using 128 MB for scripts, I only lag when the entire system does and everyone is complaining about it.

Even the Auctioneer documentation suggests increasing to 64 MB to run it, since it can take up a lot of memory.

Of course, all this assumes you have adequate RAM in your PC, WoW seems to run best with at least 1 GB or more of RAM and a fast video card.
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09-12-06, 03:04 PM   #13
Tralaix
A Murloc Raider
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 6
Ok just walked in from work! Ya ill try that right now. (upping my # to 64). I have a 2.5 gig, 1gig ram, 128 vid card so should be able to handle it.

Thanks all for the help.
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09-12-06, 04:39 PM   #14
Nuada Storm
A Murloc Raider
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 7
You could also set the Addon memory to 0 and WoW will allocate as much memory as it needs to addons.
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WoWInterface » AddOns, Compilations, Macros » AddOn Help/Support » Addons and latency

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