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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
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    9,260

    Exclamation Network and Game Connection Troubleshooting - Updated 8/12/2010

    These are the combined "Network Troubleshooting" and "Connection Issue Troubleshooting" stickies, use those links for quick navigation.

    This post is meant as a helpful guide to trouble shoot network issues.


    Network problems can manifest themselves in many ways:

    • Unable to connect to the login servers
    • Getting stuck at steps on the launcher
    • Getting a “quit” button on a black screen
    • The game hanging with the loading bar filled
    • Chat channels dropping out and coming back randomly
    • Disconnects from the game
    • Getting stuck ingame (character cannot move but still able to talk to others)
    • Data centers unavailable...
    • and many more -

    Things like SSL errors, specific code errors with .dll's listed and crashing are usually not network related.

    First things to check:

    The first and easiest thing to check is your firewall...


    A firewall protects you from various internet threats. However if not configured correctly can keep you from doing many things you actually want to do. Think of it as an internet cop - and if you are experiencing issues connecting with any of the symptoms listed above, it might be that cop saying stop! So double check your firewall settings and ensure that it has exceptions for the game (even if it is window's firewall):

    • turbinelauncher.exe
    • lotroclient.exe
    • turbineinvoker.exe (on vista)

    If there has been an update to the game you will need to Remove then Re-add them, the file dates and sizes change and the firewall may block them because it will not recognize them.

    The second thing to check is your router settings....


    If you use a router and you start experiencing issues you may need to configure the outbound ports to allow the game to connect correctly. The following ports need outbound forwarding:

    • Port 80
    • Ports 9000-9010UDP
    • Ports 2900-2910UDP

    If that does not help you can also try simply bypassing the router and connecting the computer directly to the modem. *note* in some cases the dsl/cable modem may also be a router if this is the case you will not be able to bypass it if the port forwarding does not work.

    Additional information on how to configure many various brands of routers can be found at www.portforward.com (not affiliated with Turbine.) You simply click on "routers" then choose your model and then in the "games" list choose Lord of the Rings Online.

    If you have a wireless router try moving the computer closer to it or using a "hardwire"

    *Note for Campus/Office network users- If you are playing on an educational or business network (such as a office, dorm, classroom, wireless school network or some wi-fi access points) the network admins may have firewall or routing set up which can interfere with your connection - this is a very common practice and you may not be able to get them to change the system settings but using the information above (for ports and exceptions) you can ask them.

    The next step:


    If the router and firewall check out ok and you are still experiencing issues and the servers are not down and there is no announcement about network issues you may have to try some advanced troubleshooting. Here are a list of the various things you can do.

    • Tracert (trace route) to gls.lotro.com - a simple “is it reaching turbine” test.
    • What programs/devices are running? - many programs (like bit torrents/file sharing and VOIP adapters can cause network issues)
    • Ping Plotter Trace - a more advanced trace method that can show “trends” or.... how your connection is performing over time.
    • Do you have a proxy - how do you find out?
    • Asking your ISP the tough questions: Is there any Traffic Shaping or other network limiting protocols active.

    Tracert:

    A Tracert is a quick command prompt line you can use to run a “trace” to our servers to see if there is any interruption in the connection. Just because you can connect to the website, forums, other games does not mean you use the same “route” to connect to the servers. In-fact most destinations on the web are reached via various routes with between 10 and 30 (even sometimes more!) jumps - all which pass through “routers” of sorts. If one of these is having a problem or high traffic that can mean network problems for you.

    To run a tracert to our servers you click on start and then choose Run (for xp) or click in the “search” box (for Vista) and type cmd then hit enter. Then type in tracert gls.lotro.com and hit enter. Once it completes you will see something like this:

    Code:
    Tracing route to gls.lotro.com [74.201.102.12]
    over a maximum of 30 hops:
     
      1     2 ms    <1 ms    <1 ms  192.168.1.1
      2     8 ms     7 ms     7 ms  10.32.160.1
      3     8 ms     7 ms     9 ms  gig14-1-4.austtxrdcsc-rtr2.austin.rr.com [24.27.
    12.186]
      4     6 ms     7 ms     7 ms  gig2-0-0.austtxrdcsc-rtr4.texas.rr.com [24.93.33
    .150]
      5    16 ms    20 ms    14 ms  gig5-3-0.hstntxl3-rtr1.texas.rr.com [72.179.205.
    37]
      6    27 ms    27 ms    20 ms  te-7-4.car1.Houston1.Level3.net [4.79.88.25]
      7    16 ms    15 ms    18 ms  ae-5-5.ebr1.Dallas1.Level3.net [4.69.132.230]
      8    21 ms    20 ms    16 ms  ae-81-81.csw3.Dallas1.Level3.net [4.69.136.130]
     
      9   228 ms   151 ms   243 ms  ae-33-89.car3.Dallas1.Level3.net [4.68.19.133]
     10    17 ms    17 ms    20 ms  level3-gw.dlstx.ip.att.net [192.205.34.137]
     11    64 ms    62 ms    63 ms  tbr2.dlstx.ip.att.net [12.122.86.210]
     12    60 ms    65 ms    65 ms  tbr1.sl9mo.ip.att.net [12.122.10.89]
     13    62 ms    62 ms    61 ms  tbr1.wswdc.ip.att.net [12.122.10.29]
     14    60 ms    59 ms    59 ms  cr2.wswdc.ip.att.net [12.122.16.29]
     15    63 ms    59 ms    60 ms  cr2.n54ny.ip.att.net [12.122.3.37]
     16    61 ms    62 ms    60 ms  tbr2.n54ny.ip.att.net [12.122.16.222]
     17    61 ms    60 ms    61 ms  tbr1.cb1ma.ip.att.net [12.122.10.21]
     18    60 ms    64 ms    61 ms  12.127.5.109
     19    61 ms    65 ms    62 ms  12-122-254-14.attens.net [12.122.254.14]
     20    62 ms    62 ms    62 ms  mdf001c7613r0004-gig-12-1.bos1.attens.net [12.13
    0.0.174]
     21    64 ms    60 ms    61 ms  12.130.10.69
     22    62 ms    63 ms    60 ms  74.201.102.12
     
    Trace complete.
    Number 1 is the jump from your computer to either your network or your ISP (in my case its my computer to my network) and jump 2 is my ISP - you see the various numbers and anything between 1-300 is typically ok and should allow you to play just fine (non-broadband connections can range up to 600 and still be ok.) But if you start seeing 1000's or more you know that you are going to experience lag, and possible other issues with your game connection.

    If you see lines that look like this:

    21 * * * 74.201.102.12

    it may or may not be an issue. If you see one but it is followed by hops that show no errors, or you have just one asterisk and 2 ms values it is probably ok (but this could mean packet-loss which we will examine further down). If all the jumps after a certain point are * * * then you are not getting through and will most likely want to contact your ISP and have them check out the connection. Sometimes there will be multiple lines between the start and end that are showing three *'s but that could just be the hop blocking the ping information.

    So Tracert - while not definitive, can you help isolate an obvious network error.

    What programs/devices are running?

    Programs:
    Many times people will experience issues connecting with various applications running. Sometimes an anti-virus program may be overzealous and causing a problem. Or you could have a “bit-torrent” client or other file-sharing network program running - Many ISP's are adding policies that will really inhibit a connection while those types of programs are being used, so you should always turn these off if you are experiencing connectivity issues. Also “web accelerators” do not play well with LOTRO and should not be run while playing.

    If you are not sure if you have any other programs running or not you can do what is called a “clean boot“ to start up (temporarily for testing) without additional tasks/programs running and then try playing the game.

    VOIP: Another common thing that is popping up lately are VOIP adapters (cable phone/web phone). Often times when these are in-line with the modem/computer they can cause short intermittent network disconnects.


    Many people using VOIP phones have been setting up their connection so the flow is as follows:

    • Wall Jack -> Cable Modem -> VOIP Adapter -> Router
    • or Wall Jack -> Cable Modem/VOIP Adapter Combo -> Router

    Many VOIP adapters will have router like functions that can cause issues with your connection. You can resolve this by either turning off the router features in the VOIP adapter, or configuring your flow like this:

    • Wall Jack -> Cable Modem -> Router -> VOIP adapter and/or Computer and/or Other (all connected to the router separately)

    Please keep in mind that if you have any questions on this configuration, you can always contact your ISP for assistance.

    Ping Plotter Trace

    Pingplotter is basically an “advanced” tracert. The advantage of it is, it can allow you to see more clearly packet loss percentages because it shows the activity of your connection over a period of time. This gives us a better opportunity to see if there are spikes in the performance. You can get the program from www.pingplotter.com (not a Turbine Affiliate) and install it. Then run it and choose gls.lotro.com as the trace url.

    When you enter this it will trace to the servers and by default will run a new trace every 15 seconds (unless you changed it) an unlimited amount of times. You would run this, start the game and play... and the moment you experience a network issue (as outline in the first part of this post) you would alt tab back to ping plotter and stop the trace.

    When you do that if you look in the left column that says PL% see if it has any values in that column. If it does that is packet loss and will show you where the error is happening. If you have packetloss throughout the route you will again need to contact your ISP and explain what is happening. Also you can copy this information window and paste it into a post or email for us to help you diagnose it as well.

    Do you have a proxy

    Another important thing to check is whether or not your ISP uses a proxy. Several do (one of the most popular that we are aware of is Singtel/Singnet) and this can cause issues connecting if you do not have it set up right. Here's how you do it:

    1. Open Internet Explorer (even if it is not your default browser)
    2. Click on Tools > Internet Options > Connections (tab) > LAN Settings (button)

    In there see if “Use a Proxy Server” is selected. If it is confirm with your ISP that these settings are required for you to be able to connect to the internet and that they are correctly configured.

    (Also make sure that I.E itself can connect to the internet, the game shares the global internet connection settings used by I.E and if it can't connect neither can the game)

    Asking your ISP the tough questions:

    Many ISP's have been instituting Traffic Shaping (Packet sharing is also another term used) which unfortunately can cause short disconnects that effect gameplay. For more information on what Traffic Shaping is you can check out this article. So if you have checked all of the above information and cant seem to find a resolution ask your ISP if they are doing this as it could explain the problem. The reason in short that many ISP's choose to use this technique is to maximize network and sometimes to discourage the use of filesharing programs (such as bittorrent). “Fair Usage Policies” that limit bandwidth during peak transmission times or after so much information has been transferred may also effect your connection to the game.

    Unfortunately, if your ISP has instituted one of these policies, you may experience connectivity issues while playing some or all games.
    Last edited by Mirthgar; Aug 26 2011 at 05:29 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Earth... usually
    Posts
    1,699

    Quick Troubleshooting Connection Issues - Updated: 7/29/2009

    Thought I'd run through some of the basic troubleshooting steps for connection based issues. This post is intended as an addendum to the "Network Troubleshooting" sticky so refer to that one first.

    When troubleshooting your connection, how far into logging into the game you get can indicate where the connection issue is occurring.

    (For example if the servers are down for maintenance you may get stopped just as soon as the launcher comes up usually with a message on the launcher of "Getting Data Centers" and a retry counter or "connection to http://gls.lotro.com/GLS.DataCenterServer/Service.asmx failed" error.)

    Below are some of the most common messages/behaviors and their common causes.

    ----------------------------

    Cannot connect right from the start:

    You open the game launcher and you receive an error regarding the connection to:
    http://gls.lotro.com/GLS.DataCenterServer/Service.asmx or "Getting Data Centers"

    Check the following:

    The launcher itself. If the servers were brought down for maintenance the launcher should have a message about the servers being down, if not check the main forums page here for any updates indicating they are down.

    If there's nothing on the launcher or forums and other players aren't reporting issues connecting on the forums this disconnect may be your system or network.

    Your Firewall - Make sure that it is allowing "turbinelauncher.exe" full inbound/outbound access to the internet. (You might need to manually refresh your firewall by taking this file out of its list of allowed programs or "exceptions" and adding it back in)

    - Can Internet Explorer connect to the internet, and is it configured to use a Proxy server?
    This step is critical, I.E.'s system-wide connection settings are what the game uses to connect. It does not need to be the "default" browser but it does need to be installed, able to reach the internet and not disabled/misconfigured or in "Work Offline" mode (under the "File" menu).

    Also is it erroneously using a proxy server? To check first open Internet Explorer and click on "Tools" > "Internet Options" > "Connections" (tab) > "LAN Settings" (button) and check to see if "Use a Proxy Server" is selected.

    If it is using a proxy then confirm with your internet service provider (ISP) that these settings are required for you to be able to connect to the internet and that they are correctly configured.

    Regarding proxies does the "Proxy Server" list as "127.0.0.1:####" or "LocalHost:####"? If so it might be malware setting itself up as a local proxy "host". In these cases de-select the "Use a proxy server" option, click ok and immediately update and then run a full system scan with your antivirus and antispyware tools. Once you do that check to see if I.E. can now connect and then also the game.


    - Does your router, network card or modem have a built-in "hardware" based firewall?
    You may need to configure it to allow the game files (turbinelauncher.exe, lotroclient.exe and also turbineinvoker.exe on Vista).

    - Do you have any "Bittorrent" or other file-sharing apps, or Skype or Voip** hardware/software? Any of these can use some of the same connection settings as the game and can block it from connecting (usually because they are "listening" on the same ports the game is trying to connect on). Try disabling these or perhaps performing a "clean boot" of Windows to test.

    **We occasionally get reports of players experiencing connection issues in the game that are using Voip (Voice over I.P, or "Internet Protocol") hardware (eg. a Voip router). What usually is happening is that the Voip router is between the PC and the router and/or modem used to connect to the internet. Usually re-configuring the network so that your PC is not going directly through the Voip router remedies the connection issues caused by the Voip router not handling the packets/ports of the game correctly.
    ----------------------------

    Lost connection just before or just after "Character Select":

    You login past the launcher, select your server and start to load the game client and either just before you get to character select or after you pick a character and try to login to them you get "Connection to the server has been lost" or "Client timed out the connection".

    Check the following:

    Your Firewall (again)- This time make sure that it is allowing "lotroclient.exe" the necessary inbound/outbound access to the internet.

    Your Router. You might in some cases need to setup port forwarding on your router to allow the game client to connect. Find your router model (it's usually on a sticker somewhere) and search for directions on configuring port forwarding on that model, your router maker may have steps on their site or check portforward.com (not a Turbine affiliate).

    Your ISP. Check with your ISP and ask them if they have any outages or know of any issues with connections that use "Encrypted UDP Packets" on ports 9000 to 9013 and 2900 to 2913. They might also have started "traffic management" of these connection types or setup a "fair use" bandwidth limitation, ask them about these. If they set these up to combat peer-to-peer/file-sharing use of their network (and many have lately) then the game, since it uses a similar appearing connection (from a networking standpoint) is also affected. (You might need to ask to speak with a supervisor at your ISP when you ask about those though).

    ----------------------------

    Lost connection during gameplay:

    While playing you are getting "Connection to the server has been lost" after awhile or more commonly when changing in-game areas or "zones". (Not a "crash" or "crash to desktop"/CTD but a black screen with that message)

    Check the following:

    Your router (again, seeing a trend here? ) When you move around in the game world your connection is using the various ports detailed further up in this how-to. If your router isn't handling port transitions well you can get connection drops because of it. (Imagine a good juggler being able to pass and catch bowling pins while juggling and one who can't basically). You would want to setup port forwarding on the router.

    - Does more than one PC connect to the game at the same time?
    With two computers connecting at the same time they could be "stepping" on each others connections somewhat. Open the userpreferences.ini file, which is kept in the "My Documents" (XP) or "Documents" (Vista) > "The Lord of the Rings Online" folder and in that file under the [Net] section find the "UserSpecifiedPort" option and set it to 9000 (eg. UserSpecifiedPort=9000) on computer "A" and on computer "B" change it to 9007 (eg. UserSpecifiedPort=9007). Be sure to save the changes you make before launching Lotro to test.

    (Also in cases of two PC's connecting you might need to configure port "triggering" on your router, it's essentially the same as port forwarding but less "specific" it just opens ports in a range you specify anytime a request comes in or goes out on one of those ports)

    - Do you connect using "Satellite" or residential/city "Wireless" broadband?
    Connection issues are unfortunately quite common for these connection types due to a.) the distances involved (satellite beams your connection to orbit and back down ) b) the "burst" nature of these connections and c) the interference that wireless signals are prone (and federally mandated) to accept/receive. Try reseting your modem (and router) and logging into another character if you can.

    - Have you reinstalled the game at all recently?
    If the game is loading corrupted data this can also sometimes cause timeouts (usually it causes crashes but in some rare instances it can just cause the game to hold up loading long enough to time out the connection). File corruption is fairly more common with MMO games due to the higher amount of read/writes to the installed files (imagine how many times a day player "X" runs by on screen wearing armor of the "Y" and all the textures, sounds etc the game has to load, plus all the patching and updates to the game as well). Uninstall the game via "Add or Remove Programs" (XP) or "Uninstall a Program" (Vista) in the control panel and after the uninstaller completes delete the "The Lord of the Rings Online" folder in C:\Program Files\Turbine prior to reinstalling. If you need the install can be downloaded here

    ----------------------------

    All in all that should help any connection issues you're having but there's always the knowledge base and you always followup with Technical Support also via the "Submit a Ticket" option under the "Home" tab on that page.
    Last edited by Mirthgar; Dec 16 2010 at 01:38 PM. Reason: Updated, reformatted and cleaned up
    -Helpful Turbine Support Links-
    Note: The Customer Support forums are for Player-to-Player help, for official support, please submit a ticket to the appropriate team via the form here.

    After contacting support, log into your email webpage to add noreply@turbine.com and accountsupport@turbine.com to their "safe senders" list and your contacts list/address book.

    Be sure to check Spam/Junk Mail folders as well since most email providers do not let external email programs or cell phones download mail flagged this way.

 

 

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