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Thread: Pointer desync with online games

  1. #1

    Pointer desync with online games

    Hi, I'm an Australian who plays Tabletop Sim with my US/Canada friends. I'm used to the ping and it's ok, but since the latest update I've been having much bigger issues. I think it is caused by my ping since my other friends don't have the problem, but it definitely is new and happens no matter whose server I join.

    The issue is that when I move objects around in the game, often the host will not receive my pointer position correctly and the objects will move to a different position/in a different direction as a result. Other players will see roughly what I do (accounting for the 250 ping at least), but the host will see my hand in the same place as the object, moving it very strangely.

    I have a log file attached, and videos of the issue as such: Person A is me, person B and C are in the server. I have perspectives from person A and person B. In video 1, person B is hosting. In video 2, person C is hosting. In video 3, person A (me) is hosting just to demonstrate that it doesn't happen in my own game.

    Video 1:
    Perspective A: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gsOLpzkfULQ
    Perspective B: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qa7e0qQ9v20

    Video 2:
    Perspective A: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2bMidDrXfn8
    Perspective B: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KzC_w5IWHlA

    Video 3:
    Perspective A: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=85CVWLI_T3U


    I had to zip my log file to make it upload. As far as I know this log is from this testing only (well you'll see in chat that I logged a little bit before the first video). I can't promise it though since I don't see timestamps like I was expecting, and I'm not sure if I started with a clean log.
    Attached Files Attached Files

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
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    986
    Thanks for the very detailed report. Do you also noticed other people moving stuff having this same desync or does it seem to be completely tied to you moving objects?

  3. #3
    Another Australian on the server had the same problem as me, but he's not around often so I couldn't include him in testing.

    When I'm on the server with just Americans (and an American host), none of them have trouble moving things. I haven't really noticed whether their pointers look desynced to me? It's possible, but since the issue is intermittent, and this situation wouldn't affect the game, I haven't really noticed it so far. I'll keep an eye out for it though.

    When I first encountered this issue it seemed pretty game breaking, but I have had luck with some creative grouping, flicking and etc, which is how I've still been able to play at all.

    EDIT: I just played some 2 player games, so just me and the host. The host's hand always appeared in the same place as the moving object from my perspective, so no desync there. Perhaps a third non-host player would have different results? But again I don't remember seeing it.
    Last edited by Poke; 09-18-2017 at 06:25 PM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
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    986
    Do you have less desync with less people in the server?

  5. #5
    I think it does get worse with more players, and varies slightly with time of day. Still, even in a two player game it interferes enough at times that I have to ask the other player to move my piece into position.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Posts
    986
    Love to hear if there is any improvements with the latest update, also try out the new chat networking commands.

  7. #7
    No luck, still getting the same issue.

    I tried setting networktickrate to 30, since I believe that's what it was before the update. This didn't solve the issue but it seems like it might make it a bit more manageable. When my pointer does get desynced, it seems a little bit quicker to resync this way. It's still random though, and can stay desynced for seconds.
    (About this command: Should the host type it? Should all players type it? In this case I typed it first, then I got the host to type it. Our third player hasn't used it.)

    I don't know your code but from my perspective, I feel like the decentralised pointer info may be the culprit? Since other players seem to receive it ok but the host doesn't. That's just speculation though.


    EDIT: Actually, something I just noticed that may be relevant. When I move cards around on the table, the issue is mostly just stutter/delay. It's as if I have inconsistent internet (maybe possible? But this data really shouldnt take much bandwidth, and our discord call has no problems). It's usually when I'm taking cards out of my hand that the real problems start, where the cards will often move in the opposite direction to where I'm moving them. If this desync happens it'll persist for a while, I need to put the cards down somewhere (as soon as I'm lucky enough to get them above the table). Then I can wait a moment, and put them in the correct place.
    Last edited by Poke; 09-19-2017 at 09:37 PM.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Posts
    986
    It sounds like to me you might have very low upload speeds. What do you get for this: http://www.speedtest.net/

    When you change your networktickrtate as a client it lowers how often you sync your own info like pointer position to other players. Are you able to use the ingame voice chat without lag issues?

  9. #9
    My internet is pretty good, it's 100/40 (test right now says 94/38). The bottleneck is probably more likely to be on the host's end. I think our person who normally hosts has ADSL, so 12/2 or so. That still works for the other players though. And even when I get someone else to host for testing I still get issues, I know at least one of these people have cable.
    The other Australian in our group hasn't been in tabletop sim recently but on the first night after the update he was there, and he also had the same issue. I don't know what his connection is like, but he's in a different city to me.

    This issue did start for me with the networking update. I'm used to putting up with a bit of delay, and a bit of inconsistency, but this is the first time I've actually needed other players' help to play the game (and I've been using tabletop sim for over a year with these people).

    Because of the distance it's possible that packets might arrive out of order, maybe a few are lost, etc. Is it possible that the new code is more prone to failure this way? It is specifically an issue between myself and whoever's hosting though, so keep that in mind too.

    I've never used the in-game chat for more than a few words, so I can't say how reliable it is. I'll try test it next time people are around.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
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    986
    The new netcode can handle delayed / out of order packets. With the new info in the debug menu can you take a screenshot when connected. It might be steams relay server.

  11. #11
    So I've tested again and I think other players' servers are working ok for me now (since the 9.8.1 patch). I still have the problem on our normal hosts' server, so I guess their internet isn't good enough. I'm not sure if you'd still consider this worth pursuing? (it did work 100% ok before the network patch).
    The voice chat sounded completely ok to me, but that friend mentioned hearing very small hiccups.

    Something else we've noticed is that loading this scripted object into a game seems to make the network lag more and cause more issues for me on that server. It's still not enough to break my pointer on others' servers now, but still seems worth avoiding.

    Attached is the debug info while I'm connected to their server.

    Even if nothing else can be done, thanks for your help working through this issue, and whatever changes you've made so far definitely have helped!
    Attached Images Attached Images

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
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    How much upload does your normal host have?

  13. #13
    It's roughly 12/2. I think their ISP/house may be a bit congested though since it seems to vary.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Location
    The Internet
    Posts
    1,460
    Hey, please try the following

    Open the following ports if you are still having connection/network issues:

    UDP 3478 (Outbound)
    UDP 4379 (Outbound)
    UDP 4380 (Outbound)

    Let us know the results, thanks!

  15. #15
    I opened those ports yesterday and didn't see an improvement, but I'm not sure if it went through instantly (I didn't reboot the router or anything).
    Today I tried some games with that same host that I had been having issues with, and it worked!
    So I guess it could be today's update or the ports. I didn't have to use any of the network debug options, it just worked as-is.

    Either way, thanks for the fix!

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
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    Glad to hear it, thanks!

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