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  1. #1
    Community Member bsquishwizzy's Avatar
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    Default Piotential DDO Memory Leak

    So, I’m playing the game last night, and experiencing a fair amount of lag. My PC is an i5 (I think) with a decent amount of memory, and when I first purchased it DDO worked like a charm. Now? Notsomuch. I’ve been experiencing a lot of lag lately. It seems strange as my video card has not changed, my drivers are (supposedly) recent, and I have a fair network connection. The engine of DDO has not changed in that time (as far as I’m aware), and all things have basically been equal on my PC since the “salad year” when I first purchased my PC.

    Then I get a warning from Nortons : DDO is utilizing a LOT of memory. Ok, so I check out the memory utilization chart. Lo and behold: for the last 90 minutes there is a steady ramp of memory that is being utilized by the DDO application. I’ve seen this type of behavior before, and it usually has to do with a memory leak.

    I’m not 100% sure if the DDO app is a managed application, though that is my suspicion. I’ve seen this type of slow leak before with utilizing resources before the garbage collector can dispose of them. Another possibility is that they are allocating and holding resources on the client, storing them in lists or binary trees (which isn’t uncommon with many game apps), and not appropriately pruning those trees to remove resources that are no longer utilized. In the end you get this massive tree that takes longer and longer to traverse, and produces what some would quantify as “lag.” It is something that is very easy to create in an application that runs real-time, or near real-time (as the only real-time capabilities – for the most part – are at the driver level and down into the kernel of Windows).

    If DDO is not a managed application, either your heap management has issues, or something somewhere is not freeing up resources when they are done with them. Either way, a ceiling is being hit.

    Using large chunks of memory also has the unexpected consequence of forcing the OS to swap a lot of stuff to disk, as there is some sort of internal heap limit in the managed framework (I’ve hit it a couple of times in the past) that when it is approached seems to force a lot of swapping of stuff to and from memory to the hard disk. This increased activity also produces lag.

    I’m not so quick to blame this on the driver. The driver was recently updated around the time of the Risia games, but before the update I was still experiencing the same lag with the older driver.

    Anyhow, I just thought I’d post this as a potential warning flag to either the Devs or the players. A re-start of DDO makes this all go away. But that is not a long-term solution.

  2. #2
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    The only time I have problems is when i switch between characters (usually because I am trying to find something).

    I usually reboot and then the problem goes away.

  3. #3
    Community Member bsquishwizzy's Avatar
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    Well I did switch between toons a couple of times. So you may be right on there money there.

  4. #4
    Community Member TPICKRELL's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bsquishwizzy View Post
    Well I did switch between toons a couple of times. So you may be right on there money there.
    Yeah there is a fairly well known leak when switching toons. I always shut down between toons that I'm going to run, and if I'm mule searching will shutdown after every few. The performance hit after a few login/logout cycles without shutting down the client is quite noticeable.

  5. #5
    Community Member bsquishwizzy's Avatar
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    I guess the problem is: why am I seeing it now, and why hasn't it been addressed.



    Oh wait...I'm sorry I forgot this was DDO...

  6. #6
    Community Member Miow's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bsquishwizzy View Post
    I guess the problem is: why am I seeing it now, and why hasn't it been addressed.Oh wait...I'm sorry I forgot this was DDO...
    Lol this has been going on fo ever. I honestly quite the game and log back every time I switch characters more than twice....it's now par to my ddo routine...

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by bsquishwizzy View Post
    I guess the problem is: why am I seeing it now, and why hasn't it been addressed.



    Oh wait...I'm sorry I forgot this was DDO...
    Hey be fair, you need to give them time. I don't think this was identified until um... 2008 or so. Clearly 5 years isn't enough for DDO programmers to clean up after themselves. It will be fixed by Update 201 (and no, that's not a typo)

  8. #8
    Community Member Charononus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bsquishwizzy View Post
    I guess the problem is: why am I seeing it now, and why hasn't it been addressed.



    Oh wait...I'm sorry I forgot this was DDO...
    Been going on for quite a while now, seems to be a significant jump in resource usage every load screen imo. It's why before raiding if I've been online a while I restart just to be safe.

  9. #9
    The Hatchery SisAmethyst's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bsquishwizzy View Post
    So, I’m playing the game last night, and experiencing a fair amount of lag.
    This may be additionally related to:
    - the network issues turbine has/had recently (no matter how you are connected if the server if the server isn't reachable)
    - a lot of players come back to see how the next update will look like
    - after some time DDO files get huge and fragmented after several updates

    Quote Originally Posted by bsquishwizzy View Post
    Then I get a warning from Nortons : DDO is utilizing a LOT of memory.
    I have to resist the urge to comment on Norton ...

    Quote Originally Posted by bsquishwizzy View Post
    Ok, so I check out the memory utilization chart. Lo and behold: for the last 90 minutes there is a steady ramp of memory that is being utilized by the DDO application. I’ve seen this type of behavior before, and it usually has to do with a memory leak.
    Actually the community and most likely the Devs as well know since ages that DDO has several memory leaks. One example is audio files ... just go into Orchard, you may face the issue that you can't get rid anymore of the combat sound, even after leaving the zone.

    Players have issues since years, especially when zoning into huge exploration zones. The more often you relog or change characters, the worse it get. Investigating the crash log then usually indicate that DDO can't get more memory to load the zone, aka due to a leak. Just search the forums you will find plenty of threads regarding this 'zone-in-bug'.

    Another one is bags, when you filter on them the scrollbar may get removed. Associated to this is the mouse wheel for scrolling. However closing the bag may not properly restore the mouse wheel action, the resulting in the fact that you can't zoom anymore. this is also some kind of leak, as this mean the action to handle this hasn't been correctly terminated.

    Quote Originally Posted by bsquishwizzy View Post
    I’m not 100% sure if the DDO app is a managed application, though that is my suspicion. I’ve seen this type of slow leak before with utilizing resources before the garbage collector can dispose of them...
    I am not sure if you actually have a technical background in computers, but the 'Garbage Collector' thing is usually something from the Java domain. DDO and most graphic intensive games however are usually written in C / C++ which don't have a garbage collector. Independent of this a programmer is usually responsible to close resources (even in Java), but by times this can be tricky to achieve ...

    Quote Originally Posted by bsquishwizzy View Post
    Using large chunks of memory also has the unexpected consequence of forcing the OS to swap a lot of stuff to disk, as there is some sort of internal heap limit in the managed framework (I’ve hit it a couple of times in the past) that when it is approached seems to force a lot of swapping of stuff to and from memory to the hard disk. This increased activity also produces lag.
    Jupp, the only solutions are:
    - get a 64 bit operating system that allows more memory
    - increase the memory
    - install DDO on a SSD drive

    Quote Originally Posted by bsquishwizzy View Post
    Anyhow, I just thought I’d post this as a potential warning flag to either the Devs or the players. A re-start of DDO makes this all go away. But that is not a long-term solution.
    They already managed to close some leaks in the past, but I wouldn't hold my breath. First of because memory leaks are hard to track to the origin, and secondly usually difficult to solve. Maybe in the future they fix some more ... till then relog regularly? ...
    Last edited by SisAmethyst; 08-13-2013 at 03:25 PM.
    * We have collectable bags, hell even hireling folders, but can I have that 6-pack for my potions please?
    * Having already a past life on the dieng EU servers, I rerolled here and started from scratch as I like the game and the community, so lets see what awaits me here

  10. #10
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    It's "only" a crash bug. Since the bug doesn't benefit players, it doesn't get fixed. It's been known about for years and years, and there are still usually a few people that crash going into the desert for DQ any time I do it.

  11. #11
    Community Member Ryiah's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bsquishwizzy View Post
    Using large chunks of memory also has the unexpected consequence of forcing the OS to swap a lot of stuff to disk, as there is some sort of internal heap limit in the managed framework (I’ve hit it a couple of times in the past) that when it is approached seems to force a lot of swapping of stuff to and from memory to the hard disk. This increased activity also produces lag.
    This will only ever occur if you're running a system with a low amount of memory. Despite claims made by some, I have never seen DDO go beyond 2GB of memory usage. So assuming your computer isn't clogged with other miscellaneous applications running, 4GB should be plenty. Antivirus applications tend to be big resource hogs and Norton is very much not an exception to that rule.
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  12. #12
    Community Member Charononus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ryiah View Post
    This will only ever occur if you're running a system with a low amount of memory. Despite claims made by some, I have never seen DDO go beyond 2GB of memory usage. So assuming your computer isn't clogged with other miscellaneous applications running, 4GB should be plenty. Antivirus applications tend to be big resource hogs and Norton is very much not an exception to that rule.
    Norton's probably the worst with it, I haven't seen anything but an extreme top of the line system not have some degree of slow down from norton. Norton is pretty horrible for anything that you don't want lag with, it might actually be making your game lag even worse than it would otherwise.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ryiah View Post
    This will only ever occur if you're running a system with a low amount of memory. Despite claims made by some, I have never seen DDO go beyond 2GB of memory usage. So assuming your computer isn't clogged with other miscellaneous applications running, 4GB should be plenty. Antivirus applications tend to be big resource hogs and Norton is very much not an exception to that rule.
    Lol. Having, anti-virus is liking installing a giant layer of bureaucracy between you and everything you want to do on your computer. Everytime something happens, the anti-virus wants forms filled out in triplicate...

    I agree with the memory statement. I run w/ 16gb and never have an issue regardless of how many times I swap toons.

  14. #14
    Community Member bsquishwizzy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SisAmethyst View Post
    Players have issues since years, especially when zoning into huge exploration zones. The more often you relog or change characters, the worse it get. Investigating the crash log then usually indicate that DDO can't get more memory to load the zone, aka due to a leak. Just search the forums you will find plenty of threads regarding this 'zone-in-bug'.
    Yeah, I’ve had that. After about three different sounds playing at the same time, I have to relog before jabbing my eardrum with a sharp pointy object. This issue, however is not related to that (though you are correct that it is a leak). That being said, I’m finding that condition happening less frequently than before.

    Quote Originally Posted by SisAmethyst View Post
    I am not sure if you actually have a technical background in computers, but the 'Garbage Collector' thing is usually something from the Java domain. DDO and most graphic intensive games however are usually written in C / C++ which don't have a garbage collector. Independent of this a programmer is usually responsible to close resources (even in Java), but by times this can be tricky to achieve ...
    Yes, I have an extensive background, and no it is not related to Java. .NET – basically meaning C# and VB.NET - uses garbage collection.

    And yeah, I’ve done extensive resource-dependent applications in C++. There are ways around the problem.

    Quote Originally Posted by SisAmethyst View Post
    They already managed to close some leaks in the past, but I wouldn't hold my breath. First of because memory leaks are hard to track to the origin, and secondly usually difficult to solve. Maybe in the future they fix some more ... till then relog regularly? ...
    Well, I think the big hint of where it lies would be in the fact that it occurs when you change toons.

    That’s a big, flashing neon sign to me…

    Quote Originally Posted by Ryiah View Post
    This will only ever occur if you're running a system with a low amount of memory. Despite claims made by some, I have never seen DDO go beyond 2GB of memory usage. So assuming your computer isn't clogged with other miscellaneous applications running, 4GB should be plenty. Antivirus applications tend to be big resource hogs and Norton is very much not an exception to that rule.
    Norton is a bit of a hog, but I’ve been using it for a long time now, and I’m pretty confident it is not the source of my lag.

    That being said, I know for a fact that you will get memory issues with dynamic memory allocation like they are going LONG before you hit a 2Gb wall. I’ve actually done it. I also know how to studiously avoid it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Charononus View Post
    Norton's probably the worst with it, I haven't seen anything but an extreme top of the line system not have some degree of slow down from norton. Norton is pretty horrible for anything that you don't want lag with, it might actually be making your game lag even worse than it would otherwise.
    I can almost guarantee you that Norton is not the processor hog that everyone makes it out to be. I’ve used the whole gambit of virus checkers out there, and that is not the least bit exaggeration. Of all of them Norton was in the top as far as performance, and also caught the most issues. It may be a friggin’ PITA to fix if you have problems (and believe you me, it is) but it is very good at what it does.

    I could provide an extensive list as to the different virus checkers I’ve used out there, and the viruses they’ve let pass onto peoples’ systems, but it would be very long, and wither horrifying or humorous depending on your point of view.

    Even so, much of the virus checking being done should have very little to do with the actual game.

    Now, I’m not stumping for Norton here. Typically, anything that degrades the performance of my software – and I write stuff that requires high performance – is bad, and all virus checkers degrade performance regardless of how efficient they are.

    But so will a buttload of allocated memory too.

    I guess the best test is to just log in with one toon, and have it do nothing but sit there for 90 minutes to see if this is the toon-switching problem. That would be a decent test.

    I’m apt to believe this may not be the case as if it were I should see jumps in memory allocation from one toon to the next, but I don’t. It is a smooth line straight up. To me it looks like a leak in the communications area, as this is a continually running process, and often exhibits that kind of behavior.

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    Somebody hire this guy, already.

    At least he seems motivated to fix the problem.

  16. #16
    Community Member FestusHood's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ryiah View Post
    This will only ever occur if you're running a system with a low amount of memory. Despite claims made by some, I have never seen DDO go beyond 2GB of memory usage. So assuming your computer isn't clogged with other miscellaneous applications running, 4GB should be plenty. Antivirus applications tend to be big resource hogs and Norton is very much not an exception to that rule.
    My computer is 64 bit and has 6GB of memory. After every character swap, or even after playing for about 3 or 4 hours without swapping characters, i will begin to notice severe choppiness and hitching. I check, and this tends to occur when the ram usage hits about 65%. Far as i know, nothing except ddo is running.

  17. #17
    Community Member bsquishwizzy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Artoo-Deetoo View Post
    Somebody hire this guy, already.

    At least he seems motivated to fix the problem.
    They couldn't afford me...

  18. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by bsquishwizzy View Post
    I guess the problem is: why am I seeing it now, and why hasn't it been addressed.

    Oh wait...I'm sorry I forgot this was DDO...
    My hunch is that the character cache isn't removed when a character logs out to speed up the logging out process and not until DDO is completely exited to the operating system.

    I am running a 16GB Core-i7 ivy bridge system with a SSD and I hardly noticed the slowdown though after switching a bunch of characters. ( like 4 or 5 )

    For folks that do experience the slowdown though, I would suggest the workaround right now is to completely shutdown DDO and then restart DDO again from the login prompt to clean the character cache. i.e. not from character selection screen. Someone else on this forum also mentioned preloading of some critical data files to speed up the loading of DDO...

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  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by bsquishwizzy View Post
    Well I did switch between toons a couple of times. So you may be right on there money there.
    I used the solution presented here, and it works for me.

    That, along with Wanessa's ddopreloader, have improved DDO behavior on my machine.
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  20. #20
    Community Member 96th_Malice's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by unacceptable View Post
    The only time I have problems is when i switch between characters (usually because I am trying to find something).

    I usually reboot and then the problem goes away.
    Same here
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