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Lag - What is it?: More properly, lag refers to a delay in information exchanged between client and server, resulting in a hang with breaks immersion and can result in loss of control of one's character, with often unpleasant consequences. Players, however, tend to use the term 'lag' much more broadly, to refer to anything that causes a hang or break in play experience. Decoding their meaning is critical to understanding the problem that they're experiencing, and to fixing it, if indeed there's anything you can do - sometimes there isn't. So, for the remainder of this tutorial, we’re going to use the term 'lag' in this broader sense, and label actual lag 'connection lag'. Before we can discuss ways to prevent lag, we need to familiarize ourselves with the various types of issues that can give rise to interference with game play. Below is a rough listing. Connection Lag: Also called network lag, this arises from a problem with the connection between player and server. It can have a number of causes, including programs on the player's computer, their router, the server's router or programs, or somewhere in between. Connection lag can be detected by pinging the server, and checking ping times. A tracert will show where, roughly, the problem lies. Oftentimes there will be nothing you can do about this sort of lag, other than to assist the player in troubleshooting their system, or waiting out the network issue. If a ping results in an unusually high number, or the tracert fails at a certain jump, the problem is connection lag. Graphics Lag: This is one of the most common types of lag, and the one most mistaken by players as network lag, or as some other sort of problem external to their system. It isn't, for the most part. Graphics 'lag' occurs when the player's computer is overwhelmed with the graphical data it's getting, and fails to render it smoothly, resulting in poor frame rate, lockups, and occasionally more exotic issues. It is LARGELY a client-side issue, and they should take steps to fix it, like changing their graphics settings, or getting a different graphics card. There are, however, some things that a server op can and should do to prevent this sort of thing, which we'll go into below. If the 'lag' a player experiences is intermittent and coincides with times when a lot is happening on their screen, and other players on the server don't experience it when they do, the problem is likely graphics lag. Graphics lag can often also be detected by having the player hit the tilde (~) key, type ‘fps’, and hit enter while playing, which displays the Frames Per Second they are seeing displayed. The higher the number, the better the framerate; the lower, the choppier (‘laggier’) things will appear. Server Lag: This is the final type of 'lag', and the one you have the most direct control over. It arises when the server is trying to do too much at once. The game engine begins to run on the hairy edge, and it stops doing certain things, based on priorities in the engine. This often is caused by a lot of players on a server, or poorly written scripts, or poorly built areas, or some combination of the above. Other times, there may be some technical issue at work, like a crippled fileserver, an out-of-control process, or insufficient RAM. Server lag is often the trickiest to detect, and can be diagnosed by ruling out both connection and graphics lag. In more extreme cases, however, it's not at all hard to detect, as low-priority processes cease. These include the updating of the game clock, resulting in the game being stuck permanently at a certain time, arresting the day/night cycle. There are other low-priority processes as well, but some are of such low priority that they will fail with even a couple players on a well-built server and module, so they're not of much help diagnostically. In this latter category fall things like persistent area of effect heartbeat scripts and spawned-in-placeable heartbeat scripts - they often won't fire, if they fire at all, even on a healthy server. Overrides are the same materials that CAN be put into haks. They are a way to use a hak on a server that does not support that hak. The problem is, on a public server you are causing trouble by doing so. One such rogue example: The animation override -- it is supposed to speed up and improve animation on the user's computer. The sequences send by the public server are rejected and new ones used -- positions on the client are calculated and sent to the server with anamation sequence number information that does not exist on the server. The server receives trash data from that client using the animation override and cannot deal with that trash data -- Data Stacks start to have unprocessable data in them -- everyone starts to rubberband as the system tries to deal with the spurious data. A cascade crash can occure from this or the server may just suffer lag untill restarted -- sometimes it can clear when the person leaves but other times the server can be messed up untill reload. Other overrides do simular damage, some are worse than others. Overrides for heads that are in the haks being used we allow people to use at creation of the character and then remove from the override directory. We have found that even materials in the haks, such as heads, can cause a problem from load confusion. Yes - certain SW firewalls can cause NWN lag. Multi use of the IP, such as down loading music or movies or SW while playing can cause lag. WHY? because the response is delayed at the client and that delay is going to cause lag. The server waits for responses from everyone before it will move forward. SOOO, the server is a slave to the slow responder draging everyone with them. BTW dialup has NOT been a serious lag problem, but DSL and Cable has -- because those with it think they can multi use it while playing. A basic DSL connection should not run MSN or other communications programs while playing -- bandwidth. Keeping ones computer clean of virus and spyware -- we had a DM get infected and until he got it fixed we suffered everytime he loged on. It was a quick identify the problem and get it fixed but there you can see, it can happen and is an ongoing process. Defrag, reorganize the hard drive, often -- weekly is not often enough. The NWN process of reading haks is critical to speed -- since we use the CEP there are haks to read but also the base Bioware stuff is in there own special haks which is perhaps not well known -- all is needed to run the game and that access can be slowed with a fragmented drive -- slowing response -- causing lag. The PRC has overrides that WILL cause serious trouble to a server if in the folder when loging onto a server not supporting PRC. Again this causes serious lag that the server NEVER recovers from and usually crashes it sometime in its agony of lag. The best policy is that NO overrideds be used, Optimise ones HD regularly, no SW firewalls while playing, and NO other internet activity on the IP line while playing and finally, clean from virus/spyware. The free Spyware cleaners are not able to take care of the problem -- I recomment Spysweeper.
Tonight, Tuesday, July 3rd 2018 - The Curse of the Lovers campaign begins/resumes. This campaign has not played (looks up Hero's last modification date) Wednesday, May 7, 2008, 4:41:38 PM. That was 10 - TEN - Years Ago !!! The Curse of the Lovers campign Plays once more
Chapter 1:Horselords and the Chamber of Sorcerer's Hallows [March 4, 2018] The story opens with the Horselords encamped in a rainy city with Pigwitz School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Safia attempts to woo Kothgar with her cooking, with a lovesick Vin nearby. A hefty Gus keeps an eye of the spry youth, Tobin. A sultry Aruncus offers supplies. Duglar Sconeblood and Dime chat away nearby. Larry, Rob, and Heather enlist the Horselords to help their friend, Hagrid, rescue a unicorn from the Forbidden forest. After defeating a nest of Acromantualas, the Horselords heal the injured unicorn. Before its departure, the unicorn emotes to everyone the coming of a great evil and the need to help Larry, Rob, and, Heather in a task. Rushing back to the school, the Horselords learn from the students a great evil, Lord Zindemort, has been trying to kill them for years! Larry, Rob, and Heather must destroy Lord Zindemort's soul, but they can't do it from detention. They ask the Horselords for their help in completing a Potions Assignment. The Horselords agree to help them find Sidonia's Diary, Shorembo's Locket, Krago's Cup, and Zamboni's Ring. [March 11, 2018] The Harass makes camp outside of Sidonia's castle and a delegation of Riders enter the castle to meet with The Lady. They are instructed to wait in the library until Lady Sidonia is available, but Gus gets separated from the group. In the library, a strange sound echoes from the walls. First a hiss. Then a clang. Then unintelligible words that implied danger. Suddenly, the floor shakes as if there's a cave in deep. A ghost, Moanin Myrtle, appears and asks for help as someone is in her toilet. The Horselords enter the lavatory and find a passage way to a hidden chamber deep below the castle. Upon entering the hidden passage, they learn the sounds in the library were created by a large basilisk, and its intended victim was Gus!! Oh no!! The Horselords defeat the basilisk and save Gus. Upon returning to the castle, Lady Sidonia greets them with much appreciation and freely hands them her diary to complete the first task in their quest. [March 18, 2018] The Horselords enter the City of Durin and find Krago in the Crude Anvil and Hammer. The great wizard is thrilled to see them! He offers them all his elixer and they find themselves wandering through a dream-world forest and into a magical maze. magical portkeys are scattered about and the Horselords must work together to solve the riddle of the maze. The last portkey whisks them away to a dark cemetery where they come face to face with Lord Zindemort and his Deatheaters. A magical battle ensues!!! The Horselords then awake from their magically induced stooper to be gifted with Krago's Cup from the Mage himself. After emotional farewells, the Horselords ride to find Shorembo for the next item. [March 25, 2018] The Horselords arrive at the entrance to the Elven City, Elommen. A dark mood comes over Aruncus. The Riders enter the city at night and find a bereaved Shorembo. His favorite cat, Crookshanks, has gone missing. The Horselords agree to help find the prized pet, described as having a locket around his neck for a collar. Upon searching the city, the Horselords encounter numerous Dementors and Inferi. With the defeat of the dark demons, the air of dispare disappears from the city and the Horselords find Crookshanks up a tree. Upon return the cat to Shorembo, he grants them their wish of obtaining the locket. [April 1, 2018] Captain Ego von Canon delivers the Horselords to Zamboni's Isle. They make their way through his garden and find Zamboni in his Keep. If they want his ring, they must reclaim it from his fortified cellar, where it is guarded by an ancient white dragon. The Horselords complete the task and now have all 4 components of the quest. They make their way back to the ship in order to return to the school. [April 8, 2018] The Horselords arrive back at Pigzitz School of Witchcraft and Wizardry with the 4 items. Larry meets them at the gates and collect the items. But, in a sudden turn of events, it is revealed he is Lord Zindemort in disguise!! Lord Zindemort grabs the items and Aruncus and dashes into the school. A great battle ensues in the hallways of the school. Tobin cries for his mother, as they fight off spiders, deatheaters, basilisk, dementors, and cave trolls. When it looks as if all hope is lost, they defeat Lord Zindemort and free Aruncus in a dramatic ending. [April 15, 2018] BOOK CLUB AT LUDMILLA'S HOUSE OF WAX WORKS. A healthy discussion of chapter 1 ensued, lead by the non-verbal half-orc and with the participation of the Girl Rangers. A mysterious woman intent on seeing the author, Canon, revealed herself to be Aruncus seeking retribution against the bard. Chapter 2: Horselords and the Guardians of the Star Trek Galactica. [June 3, 2018] The Starship Horselord, in midst of exploring parts unknown in the multiverse, receives a distress call from a nearby planet. Crew jump to light speed and race to the source on the planet Tatooine. Aruncus 5000 transports the away team as close as she can to the signal of the source, into a spaceport filled with beings from a number of other planets. As the away team moves through town they are accosted by a Darth Zin's guard team searching for droids and think the DAGLAR model traveling with the away team is one of the missing machines. Using an old Jedi mind trick, they avoid a confrontation and continue to move towards the signal source outside of town. The Tatooine desert leaves little to the eye as they push through the sand toward the source. Closing in on the source, they find a starship that has plunged to the planet. Two droids-- Shorem 3BO and Krago D2- great the away team and convey a holographic message from Princess Sidonia. The message is addressed to Zamboni Won Kenobi and thatthe droids carry the top secret plans to defeat Darth Zin. The Horselords, with the two droids, are then transported back to the Starship Horselord and set course to help deliver the message. (Cameos: Lady Sidonia, Shorembo, Krago, and Zabmoni; references: Star Trek, Star Wars) [June 10, 2018] The Starship Horselord intercepts a distress call from a nearby planetoid, LV 426. The away team beams downs to discover the body of Science Officer, Lino. Upon revival, he reveals his team is scattered throughout the facility and he would appreciate the teams' assistance in finding his missing science crew, including his wife. The Horselords explore, encountering a strange alien that is impervious to all but fire. Thankfully, they have flamethrowers! Each science officer is found, alien eggs are destroyed, and the Away Team returns to the Starship Horselord safely. (Cameos: Lino and notable characters from the Feisty Chicken; references: Alien and Aliens) [July 1, 2018] The Starship Horselord responds to a distress signal from the planet Bananakolia. They are ported to the planet's surface outside of the major city, Bananakol. The inhabitants are intelligent apes and are wary of their "naked", alien visitors. The away team finds the source of the distress signal, an old waxwork statue of a human rider on a horse. Before they could discern the reason or logic behind the signal, the Horselords are jumped by a hostile gang of apes. In the midst of battle, Aruncus gets a fix on their location and Captain Sunni orders them transported out of the situation immediately. (Cameos: Jania and the population of Annakol City; references: Planet of the Apes) [July 8, 2018] Glitches plague the ship. Static on the screens. Squelches on the audio. Things escalate to full blown technical chaos on the ship with flux capacitors blowing on nearly every deck. Aruncus goes offline and a number of the crew are trapped in the holideck. The ship comes to a halt near the planet Arrakis and an away team is assembled to gather supplies to rebuild the flux capacitors and repair the ship. The away team is beamed down and encounters the local inhabitants, The Frenemies, and are warned of worms and of Baron T<>'s iron rule of the planet. The away team explores, gather the necessary spice, and survive an attack by the Baron and his men. Arunucus comes back online, beams the away team back to the ship. Flux capacitors are repaired and replaced and the Starship Horselord resumes its course. (Cameos: Dahlia and other residents of The Shire, Baron T and his guards; references: Dune) [July 15, 2018] The crew of the Starship Horselord are transporting the Tholian Ambassador when the first sign of trouble appeared-- a tribble in the engineering deck. More began to appear in cargo, sickbay, and on the bridge. At the same time, a distress call from the nearby planet moon of Pandora is received! It is decided all members, including the ambassador, will beam down to the moon surface while Aruncus conducts a biopurge of the ship. On the surface, the crew encounters a lush jungle environment and Dr. Thadeus Kelmer. The doctor is distraught at how his machines are being used to destroy the planet. He directs the crew to the Na'vi, the natives of the planet. Galadriel, the leader of the Na'vi, directs the crew to the Gnomish mining camp. Members disengage a mining golem on the way and then proceed to dismantle the remaining machines in the camp. Aruncus completes the biopurge of the tribbles into the airspace above and then transports the crew back onboard the Starship Horselord. (Cameos: Galadriel and the Rangers of the North, King of Gnomar, Dr. Thadeus Kelmer; references Avatar) [July 22, 2018] The Starship Horselord arrives at the planet, Ahch-To in order to deliver the droids Shorem-3-P-0 and Krago-D-2 to their rightful owner, Zamboni-Won-Kenobi. Upon transporting to the surface they meet Master Lo Chi Min who warns, "All it seems, it is not!" The away team presses on through several encounters and barriers until they reach Zamboni-Won's treehouse. Upon entering, they find Zamboni-Won having tea with Darth Zin. The results of genetic testing shows that Guth and Saf are sibling, Kothgar is result of the coupling of Zin and a groupie, and everyone else is a Cylon replicant. (cameos: Zamboni, Krago, Shorembo, Sensai, Zin; references: Star Wars, Alien vs Predator, Terminator, Battlestar Galactica) [July 29, 2018] BOOK CLUB AT FEISTY CHICKEN A mix of bibliophiles joined the Steinhammer twins for a lengthy discussion of chapter 2. Lino revealed he isn't too happy about how he was portrayed. And, rumor has it others important political-types aren't too happy about their character assassination in the pages. Worth noting is the kindled rapport between Ludmilla's manservant, Willem, and the mysterious woman in attendance. Chapter 3: This Chapter Sucks [September 23, 2018] The Horselords gather around the campfire and grab a quick bowl of stew before mounting their Hippogriffs and flying off on patrol. Along the North Road they encounter two arguing individuals. A sparkly vampire named Edward and a flea ridden, shirtless hunk named Jacob. They are both arguing furiously over Bella, in which they both have strong feelings for. Apparently she has been kidnapped by a ruthless gang of vampires and they can't decide how to save her. The Horselords continue their patrol and tame the giant herds in the Bane Mountains. On the mountain, they encounter the vampire horde and rescue Bella, to learn she was running from both Jacob and Edward. (Cameos: Ludmilla Drachenova as Bella Drachenova. References: Twilight series, Harry Potter) [October 7, 2018] The Horselords gather around the campfire and grab a quick bowl of stew before mounting their Hippogriffs and flying off on patrol. Along the North Road they encounter two arguing individuals. A ruffian vampire and a flea ridden werewolf They are both arguing furiously over Selene, in which they both have strong feelings for. Apparently she has run off and they can't decide how to find her. The Horselords continue their patrol and tame the giant herds in the Bane Mountains. On the mountain, they encounter Selene smooching with her new manservant, Lupin. (Cameos: Ludmilla Drachenova as Selence Drachenova. References: Underworld series, Harry Potter) [October 21, 2018] The Horselords gather around the campfire and grab a quick bowl of stew before mounting their Hippogriffs and flying off on patrol. Along the North Road they encounter Ludmilla, distraught over her new manservant become a werewolf and terrorizing the City. The Horselords dash through the Annakol gates to find the guards attacked and in need of care. Blood is everywhere, which seems to have brought out an element of undead into the city streets. The Horselords find the werewolf at the fishing hole and quickly attend to the situation. (Cameos: Ludmilla Drachenova as Herself. References: American Werewolf in London, Interview with a Vampire, Sesame Street, breakfast cereal, Harry Potter) The Horselords gather around the campfire and grab a quick bowl of.... WAIT!!! It is only a pot of boiling water! All the vegetables in camp have been turned into lifeless, squishy, tasteless blobs. The Horselords mounty their hippogryphs and fly into the city to gather more vegetables. But the food merchant is only left with colorless, lifeless stems, leaves, and roots. A trail of phallic vegetables leads the Horselords to Ludmilla's House of Wax and a pantry in a disarray of dehydrated root crops. A a trail of putrid parsley leads them upstairs to encounter County Bunnicula! A battle ensues and the Horselords put a steak, medium rare, through the vegan beasts heart. (Cameos: Ludmilla Drachenova as Herself. References: Bunnicula) [November 11, 2019] Book Club (Earlier in the day) Aruncus rides along the North Road. She overhears two girl rangers giggling. Pausing to eavesdrop, she over hears them chatting about That Book. Between the girls' giggling fits, she catches the name... Canon... and speculation he may be giving a reading during the book club later that day at the Annakol Theater. Aruncus nudges her horse along and heads back to camp to prepare. (later that night) It was standing room only for the event at the Annakol Theater. Dime, Kothgar, Locks, and Smash were a few familiar faces in the crowd waiting to hear Canon. He appears in a flash and jumps right into a reading from his book, Horselords: A Complete History. He then moves to questions from the crowd. Answers were.... less than insightful and he often had an out of focused look to his eye. Aruncus appears in the back of the crowd and asks about her less than flattering portrayal. Canon only has praise for Aruncus and call her the heart of the Horselords. Another question comes from a Mysterious Woman with a warm smile. She asks Canon to read a passage from Chapter 1. Canon does, but she has a follow up question: will Canon read it again, but BACKWARDS this time. Canon, never one to disappoint a fan, begins to reread the passage and in doing so chants in Abyssal and opens a passage to the First Circle of Hell. Most of the audience runs off, leaving Dime, Kotghar, Locks, and Smash to wrestle with the Hell Arches summoned forth. The Mysterious Woman disappears taking Canon and Aruncus with her. Dime explains, "We need the Horselords!" Chapter 4: Chapter 5: