Note: This is a rewrite of a blog I did for Fashion for Life, an event I ran across 9 sims. The fundamentals of user-side lag issues remain the same. The folks at SL8B asked me to reprint and I rewrote it for this event. The original article can be found at my blog at http://slfashionpassion.wordpress.com.
One of the biggest concerns with any event is the issue of lag. Lag is like the US Federal deficit—it seems to be getting worse and worse and definitely impinges on our enjoyment.
A lot has been written about lag, and there are a lot of myths and half truths. I have tried to get to the core of what we have control over and I want to explain to you what you can do to make your visit more enjoyable.
First, let me say that any sim that has 50 or more avatars moving around and doing things is going to experience some lag. It’s that simple.
Certainly there are ways that it can be counteracted from the sim side, and many of those issues have been addressed by Linden Lab and the volunteers for SL8B. I believe they have also asked that participants employ as many low lag measures as they can but they can not police them all.
The truth is that a lot of lag is client side.
I hate saying it’s you but it really is you. The biggest portion of lag comes from the user’s end. It comes from having a lower-end graphics card, a slower computer, a slower internet connection, and a poor set up. I can’t give you all new computers and better internet connections. (Gosh would I love to.) But I can give you some hints to make it all work better.
In short, my tips for making your time at SL8B (and everyone else’s) more enjoyable are as follows:
- Make sure you are using a more current version of any client. Most old versions of LL’s 1.23 are obsolete. Get rid of them. Go grab a third party viewer or get v2.7 and stop complaining. (It’s much improved—really.)
- Tinker with your Graphics preferences in your client:Take down graphics quality and performance.(Go to Preferences > Graphics and set to mid or low.) Some people call this “turning down draw distance.” Do it!
Turn off anistropic and antialiasing. (Go back to Preferences > Graphics. In v1 viewers, check the “Custom” and click “Hardware Options.” In V2 viewers, click “Advanced” and “Hardware.” In that window, uncheck “Anisotropic Filtering” and make sure Antialiasing is set to Disable.)
Stop looking at other avatars. Do this by going to Advanced > Debug Settings > RenderAvatarMaxVisible and just take that down to 5. Really. If you’re not even looking at other avatars (which chances are you aren’t) this will just remove them from your graphics lag.
- Close other programs you might have running. They may be hogging computer resources and bandwidth. You really REALLY don’t need PS, Firefox, iTunes, Messenger, and WoW running all at once. You need to be looking at the wonder of SL8B. This is a huge one that people NEVER pay attention to.
- Adjust your graphics card to optimal settings. An interesting article about this (has not been tested on our side) is offered here.
- Remove all scripts (including AOs). Too many scripts make the sim cry.
- The following all go under the heading: “No one is looking at you anyway”(and most of this has to do with reducing scripts rather than ARC):
- Take your AO off. Waddle. Or install your AO if you are using Phoenix (find out how to here). (No one’s looking at you anyway. Really. We are all looking at the builds and not noticing someone else’s waddle. And if we ALL waddle, then we all look silly together. Besides we have derendered you so it really doesn’t matter—see above.)
- Wear system clothes only. It is not necessary to be naked. The avatar has to render anyway—doesn’t matter if it’s naked or not. But wearing prims will add a bit to graphics lag (and many contain scripts). So wear something sleek and sexy and system.
- Barefoot is in these days–no shoes or prim feet ;) We all have the same fugly system feet. NO ONE’S LOOKING AT YOUR FEET!
- Wear a skin with a hairbase and skip prim hair. (You won’t look bald. In fact it’s kind of chic.)
- Wait a few days and go later and enjoy leisurely, less-lag viewing. (It’s open from June 20-26 and the exhibits will be left up til July 3!)
- Do not lecture others on their arc, scripts, etc. Mind your own business and don’t be a drama queen. Besides, running that arc indicator thing in your client increases YOUR personal lag.
- Have patience. The sims are open for two weeks. You can hit two sims a night, slowly enjoy the incredible builds and spend all that time having fun.
Now, if you really want to know how the sim is running, if you REALLY think it’s not you, go to Statistics view and get a better idea:
If Sim FPS is running in the 10s or less, it IS the sim. They will restart the sims every day to clear the sims’ cache.
Look at the Packet Loss. If that is more than 0%, your connection is struggling. It’s not the sims. Call your internet provider ;)
Look at the Main Agents. That is how many people are on the sim. Remind yourself that 50 avatars on a sim will mean some lag. Find a less popular sim and go look at it.
I typically enjoy most of SL lag free because I have followed all these rules and then some. It really works! Come enjoy SL8B with me!