Invalid Time Race

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Housekeepr
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Invalid Time Race

Post by Housekeepr » 07 Nov 2010 21:21

Hi,

Sincerly lately i've experienced a painful issue...
When im driving online on server's... (mostly RPG servers)

When another player joins (not every, mostly people i dont know) my TMUF freezes for a second... and a second later i have a invalid time race... and i can stop and start over...

On RPG servers... this sux big time when your on a map and driving for 20minutes or longer... or close to a finish...
I also have this on normal servers, when its crouded...

I even had it last during a war match... A spectator joined to watch... and i got kicked invalid time... And that sux...

or im alone a little while in a server and suddenly someone joins...

My Internet connection is quite stable got 25mb/s ADSL...
Is there a way to solve this ? or is it a problem of the server host? or what... Share idea's please...
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Gording
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Re: Invalid Time Race

Post by Gording » 08 Nov 2010 14:59

Tricky problem (and only ever encountered 2 people in over 6 years, with the same issue) but lets get down to the roots of it, a bit, shall we?
Housekeepr wrote:When im driving online on server's... (mostly RPG servers)
As it happens on more than just one server, or game type (ie : mostly) the issue is with your PC only, not the server or it's software. Logic.
Housekeepr wrote:lately i've experienced a painful issue...
Stubbing your toe on a chair leg is painful, what you've got is an inconvenience at best! :roflol:
Housekeepr wrote:When another player joins (not every, mostly people i dont know) my TMUF freezes for a second... and a second later i have a invalid time race.
Whether you know them or not is of no consequence because it's your PC which is running the game, and as a bunch of silicon it knows no one, not even HAL9000.

"Open the pod bay doors please HAL."
"I'm sorry Dave, I can't do that!"


However, if you think logically players who you do not know, might be sending new cars, skins and avatars to your PC. Your connection now has to handle a lot more peer 2 peer transfers, and things can get bogged down. Like servers with mods on every track, or different music/songs, things take time to dribble over the peer 2 peer connection, and your PC can gradually get out of step as your connection has to handle 30 megabytes every few minutes, with your hard drive and cache busy shoving files into the cache, while dumping old content!

So what you have actually said is : when people arrive (wether you know them or not), on any server (mostly), and even when you are a (alone) a single player, something happens where your connection to the server drops to such a low level, your time is deemed invalid. Ok now you have to ask yourself what/why/where/who/when and many other words beginning with "W". :sweet:

Let's put aside this idea of a stable 25Mbit connection first. This is not related, as it's the ping time (or lag) to the server which may be important here. You can have an atmospherically high speed connection, but if your ping to the server is so convoluted, routed through every exchange possible, as it reaches the other side of the world, you can have stable and fast connection, but a dismal/slow ping.

The time for a ping/pong/echos, signals to fly out of your PC, around the interweb, bounce off a server, and back (and the lag as it does so) is vital to online gaming. Make sure the RPG server you join has a low (lower than 400 is good) ping. If you join one where you are on the very limits of high/slow ping, any other players joining might just be enough to push your connection over the edge. There is little you can do to improve ping times, but you can slipstream what your connection has to handle as a matter of testing.

First go to you game launcher > configure > advanced > Game tab > and make sure "ignore player skins" is ticked/checked/switched on.

This means custom cars, and skins won't be sent to your PC...speeding online things up considerably, and possibly helping to lower what your connection has to deal with. Lighter connection handling = possibly less chances of lurches in the ping times.

Next go to "Peer to Peer" tab and making sure you have plenty of hard drive space beforehand, increase the size of your game cache a few hundred megabytes. DO NOT "clear cache" as many people online like to dream is a silver bullet fix, as this means all those cached cars, skins, tracks, mods, signs, avatars, and music is wiped away, and your PC will have to download them all again eventually. You're trying to speed things up, not slow them down! :lol:

Pressing the letter "o" in the game also enables/disables other cars being drawn, but as they are still being handled, this won't have much/any effect beyond lightening up the graphical work your PC has to do on complicated RPG tracks. I realise watching how other cars are getting through/over/beyond RPG obstacles is of great importance, but you have to test these things, and pressing O to swich them On/Off is easy.

"A player with a green hat joined and my time became invalid!"

The next thing and pretty important to disable in the same tab is "player info display type" and change this to "name only". Some players use animated avatars and icons that are really problematic to some PC's (often they are created/sized badly) so you should try disabling these too. Other things to change are "background quality" and switch that to "low". You hardly even see the background stadium in RPG servers, so there's little point asking your PC to spend much effort handling them. Frame rates will go up after this.

You can also disable drawing cars that are too close, or limit them to only 4, but like pressing the letter O this only lightens the graphical work your PC does, and raises frame rates. It's not likely to alter ping (actual lag) or invalid time problems, but it certainly won't make things worse, so it's worth trying. Frame rates (you don't mention what your is, or any hardware spec) if they are low, in PC's which are struggling on complex RPG tracks could also cause invalid time problems as the user's own PC can't keep up with the game and handle the connection/software at the same time....possibly (although unlikely).

Generally you're trying to lighten the load, trying to find something which helps, rather than guessing obscure unrelated stuff.

Now into the "Display" tab, do the same thing with "Geometry Details" and change this to "fastest" for a slight frame rate improvement, and for a massive difference in frame rate and work your PC has to do, change to PC3low if you're currently on "PC3high". This means that grass which you can't actually see, is now flat, and your graphics card will breath a sigh of relief and surge into a new speedy life after doing this.

Now, when you finally run the game make sure you are in windowed mode, and not fullscreen. This is worse on frame rates, but once you are in your RPG server you should press CTRL+ALT+Delete to open the taskmanager. Go to the "Processes" tab, and click on the heading lablled "CPU" twice so busiest tasks are listed at the top. TMUF will be up there. As you play, watch out for your firewall, Anti-virus, and security options or other threads, popping up into heavy use as players join the server. This is vital.

If you firewall surges into action as players join, you've got a handle on your problem. If your Anti-virus goes mad scanning custom files coming over the peer 2 peer connection (I did say disable player skins didn't i? :twisted: ) you've got a really huge candidate....

You getting the point here? Make it as fast, light, and smooth as possible, to hopefully discount guessing on things which can't be to blame, and watch carefully for what is actually going on...testing works. Guessing....not so much. :3

Hopefully after all this, and thinking clearly and logically, you can get get some green times into those hellish 20 minute puzzles, or let us know that all of my time, effort, and humour was wasted and the problem still remains (highly likely!). :pil

Good luck.

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Housekeepr
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Re: Invalid Time Race

Post by Housekeepr » 18 Nov 2010 15:08

Sincerly ur story and time and efforts are great,

Tough i couldnt fix this problem. I still have it...

I raised the cache...
Put off the skins
Put off opponents.

But still...

Im running on Windows 7, 8gb memory, TMUF is on a HDD with more then 150gb free disk space... And enough cache... (up to 4gb)

Still having this issue :(

For some reason it mostly happens when people join a server, and im runnig for a little time...My screen get stuck for a second (big lag...) and then a second later i get invalid :s

Last monday i was driving an rpg map for 1h30... thats... Frustrating... ><
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Proffessional Soldiers are predictable, but the world is full of dangerous amateurs.

Gording
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Re: Invalid Time Race

Post by Gording » 21 Nov 2010 15:13

Housekeepr wrote:THough i couldnt fix this problem. I still have it...

For some reason it mostly happens when people join a server, and im runnig for a little time...My screen get stuck for a second (big lag...) and then a second later i get invalid :s

Last monday i was driving an rpg map for 1h30... thats... Frustrating... ><
90 minutes then a red invalid time! Priceless! :thumbsup:

As said it was likely that disabling as much online peer2peer content wouldn't work in lowering ping times (which you've not mentioned you looked at or checked) and the only thing left is to completely disable downloads of any custom content in the Launcher > Configure > Advanced > Peer2Peer (tab).

This switches off pointless music streaming (why bother when you can stream or play your own music choices from faster sources?) and track texture mods. Again this is unlikely to help, but with all online content disabled the chances of having invalid red times is now at it's least. You're connection is least busy, and even high ping servers can come into play....but....

Again, the more info you give, the more obvious the problem is only with your own PC.

Most game frame rates tend to lurch (pause, crunch, stop) when the PC is busy doing some other task. This can be other online activity, automatic downloads of updates, or any uncountable number of various reasons. If your PC has a hard drive activity light that blinks and flashes as programs and apps load up, glancing at it when the game has a problem, tells you something's working/loading. Automatic updates to OS, driver, Anit-virus, and Firewalls, are the time when most of us encounter lurches in gameplay, and invalid times. But these only happen very rarely, and most disable these on properly working systems during online gameplay for just that reason.

About the only thing left I can advise to try is force the game into compatibilty mode. Remember TM was created over 6 years ago, when Winblows 98, ME were standard, and XP was new. So you should try opening the folder you've got your own game installed to, and sorting the files you find there "by type". You should find both the Laucher and game EXE's in the file list. It does not matter if you have not shown the file extensions as you can see the little "TM tricolour" icons very easily. Drag an elastic band around the EXE's and right click on the group.

Properties > Compatibilty (tab) > select "Winblows 98/ME" mode > Apply

This is what helped one of the other players with the same issue as you have. I've no idea why, but after forcing the game to run as if it were on another Winblows version it ran without issue.

Other people using Winblows Se7en can run the game without lurches in the frame rates, and without doing this, but who knows what options they're actually using. Every PC in the world is setup and running differently. :shock:

Until you can verify your CPU/GPU spec, game frame rates, and server ping times, while watching your task manager to see if your PC is busy handling other apps while TM pauses, it's hard to suggest any further things to try.

TM is a immediate task with main focus, and it will use up nearly 100% of a single core in a CPU. If any other app springs into action, this immediately sucks resources away that the game was using, and frame rates and gameplay pauses. If the wait is too long, the game and your PC completely loses it's place in the server time queue, and hey presto, because the game is still running, you're still playing, but your ping time to the server skyrocketed, and was deemed unresponsive, and you're now invalid. It's a difficult one to diagnose, because it's your own PC that holds the key to a very rarely reported issue, and what may be wrong/fixed/altered.

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Re: Invalid Time Race

Post by Terron » 11 Dec 2010 20:28

invalid time occurs when you have too high ping

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