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View Full Version : Skin download enabling and lag...what's the truth?



SithSpeeder
08-04-2004, 11:58 PM
Oleg and Crew--

Many folks online are worried about lag. The larger number of people in the game, the greater the ping variation, and seemingly, the greater the lag and cries of either unintentional lagging or intentional lagging.

But one area which seems to have been tweaked in various patches is the Skin Download capability. Earlier on in IL2:FB, custom skins seemed to show up fairly quickly on a friend's computer. Now in AEP, it seems to take a looooooonnnnng time for the skins to finally "show up".

Regardless of how long it takes to show up, some servers (and in team dogfight competitions like GhostSkies and the like) intentionally disable this cool feature of the game, stating that it is just one of the many ways to reduce lag and improve game quality (performance = no lag).

So my two question are:
1. What effect on IL2:FB internet multiplayer (or co-op) games does enabling skin downloads have?

2. If it does have an effect, can you quantify it in any meaningful way so that the online community can somehow better decide whether to enable it or not?

BTW, thanks for making a great sim. I speak for many in my squad, as well.

* _54th_Speeder *

http://members.cox.net/~ijhutch/_images/360x200signew.jpg (http://www.fiftyfourth.com/)

SithSpeeder
08-04-2004, 11:58 PM
Oleg and Crew--

Many folks online are worried about lag. The larger number of people in the game, the greater the ping variation, and seemingly, the greater the lag and cries of either unintentional lagging or intentional lagging.

But one area which seems to have been tweaked in various patches is the Skin Download capability. Earlier on in IL2:FB, custom skins seemed to show up fairly quickly on a friend's computer. Now in AEP, it seems to take a looooooonnnnng time for the skins to finally "show up".

Regardless of how long it takes to show up, some servers (and in team dogfight competitions like GhostSkies and the like) intentionally disable this cool feature of the game, stating that it is just one of the many ways to reduce lag and improve game quality (performance = no lag).

So my two question are:
1. What effect on IL2:FB internet multiplayer (or co-op) games does enabling skin downloads have?

2. If it does have an effect, can you quantify it in any meaningful way so that the online community can somehow better decide whether to enable it or not?

BTW, thanks for making a great sim. I speak for many in my squad, as well.

* _54th_Speeder *

http://members.cox.net/~ijhutch/_images/360x200signew.jpg (http://www.fiftyfourth.com/)

RAAF_Edin
08-05-2004, 01:49 AM
IL-2 skins were in 512x512 textures and were 256KB in size. IL-2FB uses 1024x1024 textures which are 1MB in size.

Unstable connections with lower ping are worse then stable connections with higher pings.

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Hoarmurath
08-05-2004, 01:59 AM
The truth is... in coop games, i can tell somebody is using custom skin when the countdown start at 15 instead of 3...
There is much less warping in games when nobody use custom skin.
Even if everybody have a broadband connection, you'll have a much smoother flight if nobody use custom skins.

Too bad, i really like to use custom skins.

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IVJG51_Swine
08-05-2004, 06:02 AM
Yep, in the Forgotten Skies Online War we noticed a problem in the past. I'm not sure if it has been addressed in the recent patches though. Good question.

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Full Real Online War: http://www.forgottenskies.com/

crazyivan1970
08-05-2004, 09:19 AM
Yes, skin download causes heavy spawn stutter and increases overall lag. Since 1024 skins were introduced skin download should be off, simply because you cannot control what other people do. Latest patches had another addition to skin download option, now with disabling skin download pilots skin download and regiments download is disabled as well.

V!
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609IAP_Recon
08-05-2004, 09:34 AM
" i can tell somebody is using custom skin when the countdown start at 15 instead of 3...
"

I have seen this as host and i have skin dloads off

S!
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IVJG51_Swine
08-05-2004, 04:15 PM
From what I could tell it was a problem with 2.01 when I hosted.

Thats a shame because skins are pretty neat.

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Full Real Online War: http://www.forgottenskies.com/

XyZspineZyX
08-05-2004, 05:51 PM
This was brought up a while ago, pre 2.01 and it brought out the usual wide range of responses.

Is it possible for an addition to the settings that sets SDL to off for all players.

I understand in a dedicated server, this can be done but is it the same for a player hosted game?
If the player host has the switch down (off) in settings does this turn off SDL in all player machines ?
Is it possible that some in the game might have their switch up (on) and will try to send/ receive skins etc, to/ from other players ?

crazyivan1970
08-05-2004, 07:15 PM
Same concept Vag, dedicated is no different the regular hosting. Id skin download is off on the host machine it is off on the clients end too

V!
Regards,

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VFC*Crazyivan aka VFC*HOST

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http://www.rmutt.netfirms.com/vfc/home.htm

Kozhedub: In combat potential, the Yak-3, La-7 and La-9 fighters were indisputably superior to the Bf-109s and Fw-190s. But, as they say, no matter how good the violin may be, much depends on the violinist. I always felt respect for an enemy pilot whose plane I failed to down.

BaldieJr
08-05-2004, 08:51 PM
Am I wrong? I thought you could scale down skins to 512x512 and still use them.

??

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##############################
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TX-EcoDragon
08-06-2004, 02:45 AM
That is correct Baldie.

S!
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KG26_Alpha
08-06-2004, 06:18 AM
You can make 2 sets of skins in your folders 1mb for off line and 512k for online, it makes a big difference to coop and df servers.
To be honest you are more interested in blowing up someones nice skin than admiring it online ???

http://www.freewebs.com/kg26/

SithSpeeder
08-06-2004, 08:17 AM
Oooh, an offered solution. But even 512x512 resolution skins that are 256 Kb big may still cause some lag, no? Or is it truly minimal (i.e. imperceptable) at that point?

Does anyone know (definitively) if any tweaks or optimizations were made since 2.01?

Thanks for the replies so far. I'm still hoping to hear from a developer or two. http://ubbxforums.ubi.com/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif
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* _54th_Speeder *

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crazyivan1970
08-06-2004, 08:29 AM
Downsizing skin is not a problem.... the problem is to force people to use downsized skins... also, back in the day i`v seen alot of "skin cheating" especially on no icons servers that i use to host... people would just use same patterns and landscape textures and then...good luck seing them against the landscape.

V!
Regards,

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VFC*Crazyivan aka VFC*HOST

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http://www.rmutt.netfirms.com/vfc/home.htm

Kozhedub: In combat potential, the Yak-3, La-7 and La-9 fighters were indisputably superior to the Bf-109s and Fw-190s. But, as they say, no matter how good the violin may be, much depends on the violinist. I always felt respect for an enemy pilot whose plane I failed to down.

SithSpeeder
08-06-2004, 05:36 PM
CrazyIvan--

You say "not a problem"...does that mean NO PROBLEM? Or does that mean for skin disabled = 0 lag, 512x512 skins is minimal lag, and 1024x1024 is major lag?

And isn't the point of camouflage to make it difficult to see you from above? Why do you put the word "cheating" next to skin?

* _54th_Speeder *

http://members.cox.net/~ijhutch/_images/360x200signew.jpg (http://www.fiftyfourth.com/)

Korolov
08-06-2004, 05:57 PM
What Ivan means is that people can just take or make up the ground texture, and put it over a skin - removing ALL details, like cockpit, exaust stacks, etc. in order to gain a advantage at close range - not a problem in icons or externals on servers, but in locked pit it can introduce a problem. Not that it matters anyways, everybody has skin DL off.

Whether or not it's cheating is up for debate, and I don't like painting my entire plane in one wierd color set. Much prefer historical colors.

http://www.mechmodels.com/fbstuff/klv_sigp38shark1a.jpg

crazyivan1970
08-06-2004, 07:45 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by SithSpeeder:
CrazyIvan--

You say "not a problem"...does that mean NO PROBLEM?
<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
I meant what was stated above, downsizing skins.

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>
Or does that mean for skin disabled = 0 lag, 512x512 skins is minimal lag, and 1024x1024 is major lag?
<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

That is correct sir.

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>
And isn't the point of camouflage to make it difficult to see you from above? Why do you put the word "cheating" next to skin?
<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Because it is a cheat in my Book mate. They used ground terrain type of skin and good luck trying to see a plane against the ground. Near impossible. Sounds liek a cheat to me. Wouldn`t you agree?

V!
Regards,

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VFC*Crazyivan aka VFC*HOST

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Kozhedub: In combat potential, the Yak-3, La-7 and La-9 fighters were indisputably superior to the Bf-109s and Fw-190s. But, as they say, no matter how good the violin may be, much depends on the violinist. I always felt respect for an enemy pilot whose plane I failed to down.

IVJG51_Swine
08-06-2004, 07:47 PM
Wow, I never thought about that. Good point.

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Full Real Online War: http://www.forgottenskies.com/

SithSpeeder
08-06-2004, 10:32 PM
OK, if you do what Korolov spoke of, I think that is cheating (re: putting the skin over the entire plane including canopy, exhaust stacks, cockpit, guns, tires), at least as far as WW2 planes go.

But if you are speaking of putting the same color (the texture makes little difference once you get more than a few meters away IMO) as the terrain you are flying over on the upper surfaces that are supposed to be painted, I believe that is what camoflage is for--blending into the background. I would disagree and say that it's fine.

Look at Korolov's P-38 in his sig...that has a green that I'm sure blends in very well with the green of the summer maps. When he goes groundpounding, sneaking in from low, of course he wants to blend in and be "near impossible" to see from above.

And later in the war, when the Allies in the West had the upper hand in manpower and machinery, they didn't paint camo because they wanted to be seen _and_ it improved range (due to drag and added weight of paint).

The I-16s in this game are near impossible to spot from above, IMO, as their green is dead on to the summer map background. I lose sight of those guys all the time. Not a cheat in my book...just good camo. I often fly the Russian version of the P-47 for that same reason when ground pounding because they have that full green skin.

I'm not trying to rile you up or anything, btw.

Follow up question, though...once a skin has been downloaded to another's machine, does the respawn still cause additional skin lag as the PC has to go out and apply the skin? Or is it more or less instantaneous? For team dogfights, could both sides essentially swap all the necessary skins (the 1Mb dealy-whos) and have a no skin lag game?

As a programmer, I would hope that the software could be optimized to only send skin data when little other data is being sent, and then get backburnered when traffic even marginally increased.

* _54th_Speeder *

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