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Commander
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 441
# 7
01-01-2013, 02:46 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by cyberpapa View Post
I think it's rather odd that no one mentions 3rd party and OS issues as the cause of the problems. Maybe that's already been considered. I run a clean machine with pretty heavy Group Policies to keep me that way. I'm using MSE (Microsoft Security Essentials) as my only machine scanner. That's not to say that the game doesn't crash; but usually it's my fault. For one, I had to make sure I don't have any keybinds assigned to system keys, like ALT-TAB. Alt-Tab works most of the time unless I do it too quickly, which can be difficult as I'm a touch typist. Plus, fumbly fingers can accidentally, when several keys are pressed on the keyboard in the heat of battle can create, throught the keyboard matrix, a key pattern which represents something other than the keys you pressed. I'm sure we've all experienced that. If STO and your system recognize they keys and both try to respond, this can cause a crash and a system conflict. (see the very bottom for a little story about this)

As far as corrupting files go, I also have Microsoft's TCP View, and Process Explorer as tools I use to monitor what's going on with the game.
I started out by observing which processing were running with out running STO, then ran STO to see which processes it runs. I also 'try' not to have any other applications running in the background; mostly because of the possiblity of interference when demanding resources from the game.


Most people are unaware of the pitfalls of using 3rd party applications and their vulnerabilities. It's not unusual, when a problem arises, to check TCP view, and see an unexpected IP address attached to my system, not related to game play. Plus, there are a number of advertisers who can exploit one's internet connection to attempt control of the system. And, yes, these can pop-up from any website using 3rd party advertisers, even Steam. These are difficult to track down, as the browser fails and locks when it happens, and one cannot see who the advertiser is; however, they show up as connected to the system when using TCP view, and/or Process Explorer. Once one is familiar with what 'has' to run to play the game; potential threats to your system stand out like a sore thumb. It's easy enough to close the connection from TCP view or Process Explorer.


Mind you, this does not prevent the stream from getting corrupted. One of the issues I experienced (note past tense) was when I only ran one router. Third party consoles, like Wii, where a family member is using it for Netflix, or Hulu, opens up the router for attack as the ports stay open continuously. Hulu is notorious for freezing up, and when it happens, until it's released, the router can hang too. This can interrupt the stream for STO also. Many many issues can cause this. I resolved mine by adding a 2nd router for my home private network, and the primary network router is where I connect all my Third party applications, like the aforementioned Wii, DVD, TiVo or Satellite dish. TiVo is notorious for taking over the bandwidth when updating.


All these things can interfere with STO. Your side of the game *must* stay synced with the STO server. If you fall too far out of sync, the game can crash as the server cannot catch you up, so you get dumped. If the server is loading a module, like some sector or episode data (which is also when it makes patches, if you've noticed). Here, a few corrupted bits may go unnoticed, this is normally corrected the next time you enter that space, as the code for that space is not stored on your machine. So, the problem will not appear to be consistant.


So, maintain a strict Group Policy (a whole separate subject), have a simple but effective machine scanner (like MSE); know what systems are online and using bandwith, and their particular quirks. Know what processes on your systemp are running and who your are connected to; and keep an eye on your back door. The bad guys like to swim through open ports. (a whole treatise could be written on this subject).


The bottom line: It may not be a perfect world; but, that doesn't mean PW is causing your STO stability issues. There are many, many, more players who have no issues, or few issues... I'm one. But, in my case, I have almost 20 years of network experience to know all the pitfalls, and have fallen into a few of them and learned the hard way. No one expects the non-professional to know all this; and frankly, I don't know how so many of you manage as well as you do. Even my best effort doesn't remove all my risks, and Microsoft is the first to tell you. The moment you connect to the internet, you open your machine to attack. The only way to remain safe... is not to go on the internet.


Best of luck. If you have any questions; I'll try to answer as best I can.

Happy Gaming! See you online.

PS: here's that little story.
I was called into an office to troubleshoot one of my client's employees continually crashing the machine. We tried over and over to make it crash while I was there; but nothing happened. Several days later, and her problems had continued. I happened to be there, and I caught the failure.

At one point, I saw her lean forward to peer more closely at the machine. When she did... it crashed.
I just so happened, you see, the woman was very busty. When she leaned forward, her breasts accidentally pressed many keys at the same time. We'll never know what key strokes were interpreted by the machine; but I embarrassingly pointed out the issue. Both our faces turned red, and her problem disappeared. True story. So, sometimes, you just don't know what's causing the problem; but, if you're lucky, it's almost always... operator error. An old joke in computer IT work... "No, that's not a coffee holder, that's the CD tray, and yes, it's flimsy and can retract when you don't want it to." We call them ID 10 T problems, or ID10T problems, get it.

And, as another in this thread pointed out... it never hurts to backup the important files.
Those of us who understand networks, how computers work, etc. get this sort of thing. However, the vast majority of gamers really don't possess much beyond basic computer literacy. They just want someone to point their finger at and say "it's your fault that I can't play!!!" They fire up another MMO, see that it has no problems, and instantly point their finger at STO and their servers. No diagnostics beyond that, just a simple false cause-and-effect analogy.

Plus there's the perception that because PWE/Cryptic is a corporate entity, they have endless amounts of resources and/or personnel to throw at any problem and ensure a bug free and seamless gaming experience, in many cases before the playerbase becomes aware that there IS an issue.
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