Lag at SL10B–What we’re doing and what you can do.

This is a rewrite of a blog entry we feature every year. Some matters of lag have changed substantially in SL, and we have tried to address those but the fundamentals remain the same. There are two kinds of lag: server side and client side. We have done *everything* we can beyond telling people not to build or have scripts to lower lag as much as possible. I personally have spent time on each and every sim with graphics on ultra with shadows and smoothing and experienced no lag with the sims having few avatars. The sims are running well.

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. Let’s get to the core of what we have control over and explain what you can do to make your visit more enjoyable.

First, 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 SL10B. We actively monitor the sims, do restarts daily, and check the builds for things that would impede your enjoyment.

The truth is that a lot of lag is client side.

We 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. We can’t give you all new computers and better internet connections. But we can talk about commonly known ways to help make lag less horrible.

  • Make sure you are using a more current version of any client and consider using the SL Viewer. Old versions of LL’s 1.23 are obsolete. Get rid of them. You will have lag with them no matter what. Get v3.5.3. (It’s much improved—really.) Also realize that LL has been doing a lot of tinkering under the hood and third party viewers have been kind of left out of the fun, so their code is not always hooking up well with the servers. This has caused a LOT of problems for folks. Consider seriously getting the LL client until the TPVs can catch up.
  • 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!graphics
  • 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.)hardware
  • 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.render
  • 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 SL10B. This is a huge one that people NEVER pay attention to.
  • Remove all scripts (including AOs). Too many scripts make the sim cry. Be thrifty, don’t be scripty.
  • The following all go under the heading: “No one is looking at you anyway”:
      1. Take your AO off. Waddle. (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.)
      2. Wear system clothing. 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. In fact, we have a whole variety of newbie avatars available at Avatar Central for you.
      3. Don’t wear every scripted HUD thing you own. Wear your own head this time and your system hands–no one can see those fancy mesh body parts that are all scripty. No one is LOOKING AT YOU.
  • Wait a few days and go later and enjoy leisurely, less-lag viewing. (It’s open from June 16-23 and the exhibits will be left up til June 29!)
  • Do not lecture others on their arc, scripts, etc. Mind your own business and don’t be a drama queen. You’re just ruining your own fun worrying about what other people are doing.
  • 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. Hit ctrl-shft 1.

sim states

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 SL10B with me!

Harper Beresford

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15 thoughts on “Lag at SL10B–What we’re doing and what you can do.

  1. Maybe I’m just being obtuse. I agree about scripting and prims to a point, but after all the work folks have put into creating these marvelous builds, your first suggestions are to reduce our graphic qualities? Sure, that will cut down on client lag, but it also takes away from why we’re visiting the sims and these builds in the first place.

    And what about performers? Little point of putting together something that’s inherently a social function if you’re recommending no one sees anyone else who’s there.

    SL is ten years old. Surely we can find changes to how these celebrations are planned in the future so people can enjoy them at default graphic settings, minus some DD if necessary. Maybe more sims and fewer exhibitors on each?

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  4. I’m curious – if we set our avatar view down to five, don’t we risk running into avatars that haven’t rendered? Or do only the five closest to us render? I’ll be giving these tips a try when I visit SL10B

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  6. Thank you, Harper, for these great reminders. I too, wander SL pretty-much lag-free because I have a powerful machine AND use many of these tips (and when I connected my laptop directly to the Internet instead of relying on the router, I was completely blown away by the difference!). I appreciate the entire article, but especially the note about the LL viewer (I am a fan!) AND the truth that much lag is client-side. We hear lag comments from people when we (and many others) are bopping along merrily with little or no trouble, and so often they blame the sim or server when it just has to be them. That is so sad, because – so often – it really is easy to mitigate, even when it cannot be completely eliminated. (Mireille Jenvieve goes Inventory diving looking for that really cute system outfit she used to wear so often back in ’09. Now, where did I put that adorable and completely non-scripted ponytail…)
    Have fun! Happy SL10B!

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  8. Firestorm has a client-sided AO with no additional scripts needed. Also, “turning down draw distance” is a bit of a bad description since there’s an actual slider for that – hint: It’s not the “Quality and speed” slider.

    • We used to have a note about the built in AO in this article but since we are not endorsing the use of TPVs this year due to the aforementioned tinkering by Linden Lab, we have removed it. We hope the photos illustrated the “draw distance” issue well enough for you.

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