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.