How’s Your Latency for Diablo III?


I haven’t had any lag problems with Diablo III. My ping was 200 or lower most of the time during the Beta, and it’s been pretty good during the release as well. Some people aren’t so lucky though, and they’re not all from OZ/NZ. Want to hear from an impassioned fan with a bad internet connection, wild conspiracy theories, and delusions of persecution? (Or possibly the only one who knows the truth?) Go go go!

LAG: The Ongoing Cover-Up

[Edit: Since I typed this, the moderators have pretty much proved my point that they don’t want people to know about this issue. I first posted this thread in the General forum, but I suppose it wasn’t “General” enough because after three pages of responses, it got moved here. I suspect it was receiving too much interest over there. What if a thread about the lag got to be a top thread? How would that look for Blizz’s bottom line? We can’t have that, now can we. This is exactly why the 18-page thread I linked below was cut short and locked in ONE day, and never made it to be a top post on the front page of the forums, where everyone could see it.]

The #1 issue turning players away from this game?

Lag. Awful, awful lag, caused by Blizzard/Activision keeping server costs low.

Kaltonis: Freddy, I appreciate your passion. I really do. I also wish I could snap my fingers and make your lag go away, but if that was possible I’d have already snapped them for you. We’re always glad to discuss networking and game performance with you, but it’s the whole “Giant Evil Conspiracy(tm)” bit that’s getting you locked again and again.

Do you want to know what the majority of us here at Blizzard have been doing since Diablo III launched? We’ve been playing Diablo III. We’re a company of gamers; hell, even most of the members of HR are gamers! I assure you that there’s no way we’d put up with our own gaming being ruined to uphold a Giant Evil Conspiracy(tm) even if it somehow made sense to intentionally do something to hurt our playerbase. Which, it naturally does not.

Keep tech threads in the tech forums and avoid the needless “Us vs. Them” raging and we’ll not lock your threads. We’ve managed to figure out a lot of tough tech issues in the past due to good communication between players and employees, but ranting is definitely not good communication. Ok?

With all that being said, I’m aware of a couple networking tweaks that will probably make our next patch. One of them is to reduce rubber-banding in those who suffer it. I’ve been rubber-banding myself a bit since 1.03, so I’m personally hoping these tweaks will make it go away again! With luck, your situation will improve as well. If not, well…we can keep troubleshooting. There are endless variables that cause the symptom of “lag,” and sometimes it takes a while to find the one(s) affecting you personally.

Between your personal network setup, your ISP’s setup, the setup of every ISP hop between your ISP and our servers, and our own server’s setup, there are several points where you could be losing bandwidth or packet integrity. We’ll never stop trying to tweak things on our end to improve overall performance, but I urge you not to abandon troubleshooting just because “everything else on my computer works great” and “other people have lag too.” Of course other people have lag. We have millions of people playing D3 around the world every day. A certain percentage of those players are going to have lag for whatever combination of reasons, and most of those reasons will be different than yours. Meanwhile, most of our players continue playing without lag.

The best we can do is to keep troubleshooting individual issues as they occur and to keep making adjustments to Diablo III to make it as smooth for as many ISPs and networks as possible. We’ll gladly keep doing both, Freddy. It’s not only our job, it’s also the game we’re playing right along with you.

The OP kind of went on and on, so click through to read his whole rant. As for the main issue, are you guys finding your Diablo III experience ruined by terrible lag?

I’m not an IT expert to give a whole explanation of this issue, but I do know a little about how the Internet works, and it’s a lot more complicated than, “plug in cord and make it go faster.” “Lag” is a word people use for any slowdown, but that’s very imprecise terminology that needs further investigation to be clarified and adjusted.

As some player testing demonstrated during the beta, Diablo 3 is not a data-intensive game. If you’ve got a decent internet connection and your computer meets the minimum specs, you *should* be able to play without slowdown issues. But contrary to popular belief, the Internet is not a series of tubes filled with LOLcats. There’s a lot of software involved as well, and it’s not always clear what the problem is with any one non-functioning user.

None of this means that Blizzard is blameless when it comes to “lag” problems, but throwing up a big rant punctuated with Bobby’s Eyes and ominous mentions of the RMAH doth not a technical investigation make.

The full-length OP:

LAG: The Ongoing Cover-Up

[Edit: Since I typed this, the moderators have pretty much proved my point that they don’t want people to know about this issue. I first posted this thread in the General forum, but I suppose it wasn’t “General” enough because after three pages of responses, it got moved here. I suspect it was receiving too much interest over there. What if a thread about the lag got to be a top thread? How would that look for Blizz’s bottom line? We can’t have that, now can we. This is exactly why the 18-page thread I linked below was cut short and locked in ONE day, and never made it to be a top post on the front page of the forums, where everyone could see it.]

The #1 issue turning players away from this game?

Lag. Awful, awful lag, caused by Blizzard/Activision keeping server costs low.

Eighteen pages of proof of the players with adequate networks that are experiencing lag: us.battle.net/d3/en/forum/topic/5149177854. Filled in a day. The thread was solicited—then quickly locked—by Bashiok, our ever-helpful forum seer:


“Hi all, while we’ve been looking at our own service for any causes of latency issues (and have yet to find any) we’d like to begin gathering ISP and physical location information to troubleshoot further.

If you began experiencing increased latency today please respond with the following info:

Geographical location (country/state)ISP (Internet Service Provider)Wired or wireless connection?Region? (please double check what region you’re connecting to in the in-game options under Account)Traceroute

You can perform a traceroute by following these instructions … “

Translation: “It’s not our fault, it’s yours. Keep giving us money, you stupid sheep.”

[Edit: because people don’t seem to understand: HE LOCKED THE THREAD AFTER ONE DAY. IT FILLED TO 18 PAGES IN ONE DAY.

It would have been two hundred pages by now if he had kept it open.

And what percentage of actual D3 players use this forum? 5%? 1%? Ask around in the game; you’ll see what I mean.]

Perhaps it is temporary, as they collect the riches from the RMAH. They will line their pockets and then, after a year or so, they may decide to throw us a bone and do a little bit of upgrading. But why now? They don’t even know what kind of quarterly earnings report to expect yet.

“We don’t even know if it’s going to make as much money as WoW yet, so let’s not even support the product we’re selling. Let’s not get carried away here.”

Oh no. “Instead, let’s make it our policy to continue to pretend on all fronts that any instance of latency is the fault of the player.”

“I just sent you an email requesting some files so I can look into this issue further. Please respond as soon as possible.”

That above was a reply to the OP of this recent technical support thread: us.battle.net/d3/en/forum/topic/5911942093.

That’s right, offer to look at our computer specs, as if it’s obvious we don’t know what we’re doing. We can’t tell a good internet connection from a bad one.

That Blue gave up after the second page, though, as he realized that this thread was yet another doomed to fill up past 100 posts (like this TS thread from a week before: us.battle.net/d3/en/forum/topic/5150105730), and that in this thread at least, he could no longer make it look like the lag was an aberration—some kind of fluke on the fault of us dumb players who don’t know how to set up our own networks.

So many of these threads have been posted, and date back to the very day of release. Trouble is, based on my experience, I would say that over half of them have been deleted by Bnet forum moderators for made-up reasons. This has already happened to me twice.

They don’t want you to know they haven’t provided D3 players with adequate servers! They don’t want potential future buyers to know! That would hurt their bottom-line, which is all this company cares about now.

So if, like me, you are experiencing frequent, unplayable latency spikes (+1000msec) every single day in this game and only this game, keep talking about it. And if they ban you here, then take it to another forum. Take it to the places that count: game review sites, online retailers that post reviews. Your real-life friends. Keep talking about it, because that’s the only way to convince them that they can’t just shut us up. If we behave like sheep, they will keep treating us like sheep.

[Edit: I know this is hard for some people to understand, but just because you are not having lag doesn’t mean we are not having lag. And just because we are having lag and you aren’t doesn’t mean it’s our own fault.

So before you go “ha I don’t have lag, fix your modem,” know this. The first place I looked was my computer, my network. I have port-forwarded. I have re-cycled my modem. I have used direct connection to modem. Everything, EVERYTHING internet-related is smooth as butter on my network—streaming videos, torrenting, other online games. Ask every one of those people in the thread I keep linking. They will tell you the same thing.]

Tagged As: | Categories: Battle.net, Blue Posts, Hardware & Tech

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  1. As for the main issue, are you guys finding your Diablo III experience ruined by terrible lag?

    Not even close. Have basically had no latency issues whatsoever (originating from Blizzard). I don’t blame Blizzard when i have connection issues, as i realize 99.999% of the time the problem is on my end, not theirs. Switched ISPs just for D3 as well.

    • This is my experience too. As long as the servers are up, it’s typically silky smooth. The only hiccup I recall was when they were accused of a “ninja hotfix” and everyone’s ping skyrocketed to 1000+ ms. Chat was lagged, and the Hardcore channel began filling with “OMG I died”.

      Again though, 99% of the time — smooth as silk.

  2. New York City
    Time Warner Cable (one of the best 🙄 )
    usually play between 8 pm and 4 am my time

    I only play hardcore and I get lag a lot more than I would like
    I’ve only died once because of it, but that was the big kill that affected everyone a few weeks ago, I do get two-four lag events a night,
    but I only get a “WTF?! OH CRAP!” moment 2 or 3 times a week

    not that big of a deal
    there a bigger issues with it being online only (like punishing everyone because some people break vases for gold)

  3. Really? I mean brain power is strong in this one, if this was the case it’d be everyone lagging.

  4. For the past few days it’s been between 80 to 200. There were times when there’s a spike where it’d go over 1000.. but that happened maybe 2 – 3 times, in about 30 hours.

    A lot better than two weeks ago.

  5. I experience lag very, very infrequently. There has been maybe two or three times were my ping went through the roof but it always corrected itself in less than 10 seconds or so and it only happened after starting up a game.

    Otherwise I run at a steady 75-90 ping pretty much all the time.

  6. Yesterday I checked a lot actually for some strange reason. Been between 18 and 30 all day.

  7. Well the lag part has gone away since 1.03 . I find the fps drops far more troublesome…. I got a well above minimum spec computer and i cant even play with a steady 60 fps. 🙁

    • ditto. the game got very stuttery even on my high end machine. I’ve had to turn settings down and it still doesn’t help that much. The FPS meter is also broken for me. They certainly screwed something up. I’ve checked my driver version and everything. Even tried playing with nvidia console settings to customize D3. That shouldn’t be necessary of course.

  8. Down here in NZ we average on 200-400 with spikes over 1000. It would be nice if we could enjoy the game at less than 100, but that’s not possible so we do the best we can :). Overall game play experience is good, although personally I prefer D2.

  9. Russia here, only had problems with lag two or three times in the past month.
    Quit the game instantly, as i’m playing hardcore exclusively:)

  10. Ahahaha, I love this. And before release they claimed they had some magic technology which would make lag go away. All the important things could be done on the client! And the fanboys cried.. :mrgreen:

  11. As an Australian player, I feel justified in saying “Go shove it in your hole” to Blizzard. The frequent packet loss is appalling, and it’s a problem that wasn’t there in the first week of release.

  12. I play on EU, and haven’t had much trouble with lag. BUT, I still get disconnected way too frequently for it to be acceptable. So many times I’ve gotten 4-5 NV stacks, and then error 3007.

  13. I play on the US from EU and I usually get between 80-200, which I find pretty fine for D3 really.

  14. I frequently had extreme lag that made the game unplayable. Engineer came round from my ISP (after lots of nagging) and found there was a hardware fault in the area.

    I then moved house, now renting a flat where my landlord provides wireless internet to the building. Lag now makes the game practically unplayable because the wireless connection is not good enough. I know this is not technically Blizzard’s fault, but I can’t bring myself to pay for a new connection purely for one game, and wish there was a singleplayer mode.

  15. Never had any problem since release, 1.0.3 made it even better for OS X. Must be noobs complaining, it’s unlikely Blizzard fault.

  16. You got lag/slow down here’s a check list of stuff that might be causing it:
    1) drop all in game settings to minimum (to rule out problems due to your computer).
    2) ISP problems, IE line to your house might be unstable, that is the ISP data control centre has an error, or other stuff (I had this is the past).
    3) Your router/modem maybe on the brink.
    4) There’s a problem with your phone line, if your phone line been damaged it can cause your connect to be unstable (I know this from when my phone line got damaged I still had a connection to the net but it would die at random sometimes as often as 5 mins for a couple of seconds other times it was fine for about 3 hours)
    2 & 3 & 4 will show up in other games etc where losing connection shows up. Any way what ever the problem is your ISP should be able to fix it. Unless they are a poor ISP then I recommend dump and switch (the new ISP will come out and make sure its working)
    5) if the delay is stable then its could be distance related, only way to deal with this is to move.
    Last 6) Blizzard has messed up but then I would expect a meltdown of there forums from the flood of people complaining (as in this case it will be global or at lest one whole realm).

    • Good advice. I was cursing Blizzard for unplayable laggy servers for three days until it occurred to me to restart my wireless router. Hardly any lag at all since.

  17. Yeah, I haven’t seen anyone give any REAL proof yet that it’s Blizzard’s fault. If you’re still persuaded they’re to blame, and want to PROVE it, gather data for a week with software like this : http://www.pingplotter.com/ (And don’t forget to compare the data to a reference server like http://www.google.com.)

  18. TL;DR: most of the reported lag probably isn’t Blizzards fault, but the resulting fallout is.

    It’s been on-and-off for me. The first weeks after launch were barely playable, but things got a lot better until 1.0.3. After the last patch, I’m seeing a lot of fluctuation in responsiveness, although the amount of character-killing spikes is still manageable.

    My general impression is that Blizzard was somewhat ill-prepared at launch, but that they’re making a genuine effort to improve things. Most of their problems seem to be on the support side, though. The blues on the EU tech forum didn’t seem particularly emphatic right after launch. Many people interpreted their scarce posts about no known issues and providing traces as saying “we don’t have issues, and we’re assuming it’s your own fault unless you can prove otherwise”.

    Most people also don’t seem to realize that a clean traceroute doesn’t necessarily mean that the problem lies with Blizzard. But the fact that their support places a lot of emphasis on traces isn’t really helping.

    • If the traceroute proves to be clean and you’re sure your computer works fine (granted, “working fine” can sometimes be a bit subjective…), then surely there must be a problem at Blizzard?

      • Traceroutes are performed using a special protocol (ICMP) that often gets special treatment. For example, Blizzard’s own servers don’t respond to ICMP at all. So traces are OK for basic diagnostics (“Can my ISP talk to Blizzard’s ISP at all?”), but they can’t detect more subtle problems (“Is my ISP throttling traffic over the ports that D3 uses?”).

  19. I actually have quite a bit problem with a lag, i uactually have 8 mbit connection and i’ve been regularly playing SC2 since it first came out I have seldom encountered lag but with diablo, i have like 100 hours of play and I don’t remember a game in which i didn’t experience lag at all.

  20. I have quite a bit of rubberbanding, pretty fucking annoying to be honest. It’s not as bas as D2, but we’re 12 years and a lot of dollars away from those days.

    Whats worse is the HORRID graphic lag and micro freezes. My graphic card is in the recommended pile, I play BF3, I lowered all settings to low. The freezes stay the exact same. Especially considering Blizzard is known for having their games run on older hardware: thisone does not. It’s pretty bad.

  21. I’m in aus, I get extreme lag (been dropped, pausing for over 1sec)

  22. I’ve had bad issues but only on one of my computers. I ping my router to watch whats going on and at times it randomly spikes to 3000 including some timeouts. Been knocking my brains in trying to figure it out.

    I thought I had solved it when I read about the wireless network scanning that windows does. I downloaded something to turn that off. It was better for a bit, but the problem returned yesterday. I think its likely my wireless card. Bought it in November so it’s not that old. Prolly going to end up investing in a higher quality card. I tried to be cheap and I think that has bitten me in the ass.

    I share this experience to stress that it isn’t always blizzard. Open a command prompt while you are playing the game. Issue a ‘ping -n 1500 google.com’. When you get lag / spikes, alt-tab out and check the ping progress. If you see spikes there too, it’s likely your network having issues. Could be a variety of things tho.

    I also had issues last month. Cable company came out and discovered something had nested in the cable box. Chewed up a wire. Just shows that you really can’t be too quick to blame blizzard. You have to debug the problem, which unfortunately isn’t easy. Could be anything from your network card, to your router, to your ISP.

    One thing to also consider if you are using a wireless network, is how many other networks are in your area. Changing the channel your router uses can possibly make a big difference as there will be less interference. Most people don’t know how to do this and hardly ever do so. So most routers in an area are on the same channel.

  23. Myself and two friends on the US server had almost no problems for weeks leading up to 1.03. Now we get so much lag and frame rate drops that I’m the only one left playing. Something had to have changed in 1.03 to make this happen.

  24. I mostly have semi-good latency of about 200 – 400ms here in South Africa. Spikes to 1000+ms occur frequently, where the game just freezes and feels like I get 2 frames per minute. Also, disconnections once or twice everytime I play. The spikes usually result in death, which was fine until post-patch where repairs sky rocketed. Disconnections are my biggest concern, since soloing (enrage just comes too quickly with many barbs on public eg. low dps parties) for hours on act IV inferno, finally getting your 5xneph, and disconnecting, wants to staple my moustache to a frisbee and fling it over a rainbow.

  25. Zero issues. It’s almost like playing SP again. And I do get lag at times on both WoW ans SWToR, but never on D3

  26. In Southern California near Blizzard, my latency averages 40-50.
    On my stable internet connection and very modern computer, I experience
    frequent rubber band effects, stuttering, stalls etc. When the FPS meter worked, my setting were nearly 90% on full high specs and I averaged 60 frames a second. The game has obvious lag issues. Give us an optional patch which will castrate the game from Battle.net and provide true offline play for those that want it.

  27. In the US: I have no idea how to check my latency (only found out about the little green latency meter just the other day) but I only occasionally have any noticeable issues with lag. I have had rubber-banding since 1.0.3 though. Never had it before 1.0.3 but overall the game runs better for me so I can’t complain.

    I’ve gotten booted from the game once or twice but at least one of those could easily have been a hiccup on my end (my DSL isn’t the most stable in the world, but it’s what came with my apartment).

    • Hover with your cursor over the green bar, it then shows you your latency in milliseconds. It should really be lower than 100ms or so. I do ‘rubberband’ quite often. It doesn’t hurt me too much (I play softcore and I die all the time anyway) but it is still annoying. Wish the game would just set up a connection between me and the person I am playing with (old guildie from wow) and that they had spent the time developing the fun-breaking (for me) AH in making decent weapons drop after reasonable effort.

  28. My latency most often sits between 150 and 220; however, I still get a lot of elastic banding, stuttering, as values are calculated (on drops) and when follower dialog is initiated (strangely), and basic lag. And, contrary to Blizzard’s comment, I do find it appropriate to point out that this happens with no other games or service.

  29. I’m on a 768Kb/s connection and I experience occasional lag, usually when there are copious amounts of monsters on screen getting hit. I attribute that to there being a large spike in data transmission. Certainly not my computer, AMD phenom II x6 with 2x GTX 560ti no overclocks. The lag stops a few seconds after my DHs attacks leave the screen. The only real issue I had with lag was when I left a browser window open and one of the ads on the page switched to a video without me knowing. Took a few minutes to figure out what was going on. On the other hand I do rubber-band a lot and my workaround for that is to take two steps in the other direction and choose different pathing. It seems to stop the rubber-banding issue immediately.

  30. Have experienced the occasional lag spike where I get teleported back to where I was, but it’s been brief and rare. Have had a very smooth battle.net experience overall. Much better than Diablo 2 back in the day.

    My latency meter is usually at around 40.

  31. I live in the jungle on the Big Island of Hawaii and I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to play D3 HC. However, lag has rarely been a problem. I am usually around 200 ms.
    The fastest thing out here is DSL at about 1 MB per second maximum speed. My parents that live about 10 miles away use the same ISP and the lag over there can become horrible. Anytime I can here our phone or the neighbors phone ring, I know the lag will jump up a lot or even disconnect. It made SC2 unplayable except at night.
    At my cabin though, I only have DSL with no phone, and everything seems to run smooth. On the rare nights that I see lag, I just switch over to my softcore character.

  32. I’ve been playing on a mobile 3G connection since release, so I really don’t expect much of network stability, yet the game has been fluent enough. Sure I could probably blame 50%+ of all my deaths on my connection, yet I’m amazed I’ve been able to play at all.

  33. I’m certainly not going to blame Blizzard for the lag and disconnects I’m getting constantly; their hardware is probably 10 times better than my local ISP’s. But I get ridiculous amount of lag. Since release I haven’t dropped below 250ms. Most of my play sessions end with a 20-40 second complete stall, then in a flash, I watch my character die to everything that happened during the stall. I’ve tried 4 times in the last few days to get through the current checkpoint I’m on, but every attempt has been thwarted by my internet dying on me.

  34. Ive actually hit 4278 one day and that wasnt pretty at all. Every night after 10:00-10:30 it becomes un-playable at an average 1800 mark. Hopefully the next patch fixes it

  35. “…wants to staple my moustache to a frisbee and fling it over a rainbow.” Flat out best description of rage I’ve ever heard. Well done. :mrgreen:
    (couldn’t directly reply as I’m on the mobile version of the site)

  36. Max latency for the last 24h (to the node before the last one for the IP’s given in the b.net thread):
    Europe : 221 ms (average 75 ms)
    US : 648 ms (average 211 ms)
    Asia : 619 ms (average 362 ms)
    (Up to 210 ms of it due to my own network + my ISP, average 66 ms).
    Will subtract my ISP ping from the b.net one if I find the time to do it…

  37. Big lag during beta, some lag around the launch, pretty much no lag currently. And this is on one of the slowest cable connections offered by my ISP, I rate 12mbps on speedtest. Recently I hover around 130ms, almost never above 200.

  38. I live in Croatia, Europe. Have 4Mbps/256kbps connection. Latency is around 60ms most of the time. I rarely have spikes. Nothing to complain here.

    • Little update: lost my character today due to disconnect. Error something something, and error 3007. Will never play HC again.

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