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  1. #1
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    Jun 2011
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    Help @Tralfazz - sudden rash of minute-long lags and crashes!

    After several months of pain-free gaming with Crossover, my game has developed a nasty glitch. Namely, it either freezes for anything from a few seconds to a couple of minutes (!), after which it resumes operation, or else the freeze goes on for so long that I deliberately force quit. Note that unlike a normal crash, it does not kick me back to desktop - it simply freezes for an indeterminate length of time. Interestingly, 90% of the time this occurs at roughly the same points in time and location:
    1. The piazza full of trash mobs between bosses 1 and 2 in Hiddenhoard;
    2. Just after boss 2 in HoA dies;
    3. During the trash mob fight between bosses 2 and 3 in HoA;
    4. After Hrimil goes down in HoA.
    So, almost never during a boss fight.

    I have followed the usual routine for resetting the local network, and changed the graphics to 'Low', with no apparent result.
    Currently baffled...
    Thanks in advance for any help!

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Anaxapart View Post
    After several months of pain-free gaming with Crossover, my game has developed a nasty glitch. Namely, it either freezes for anything from a few seconds to a couple of minutes (!), after which it resumes operation, or else the freeze goes on for so long that I deliberately force quit. Note that unlike a normal crash, it does not kick me back to desktop - it simply freezes for an indeterminate length of time. Interestingly, 90% of the time this occurs at roughly the same points in time and location:
    1. The piazza full of trash mobs between bosses 1 and 2 in Hiddenhoard;
    2. Just after boss 2 in HoA dies;
    3. During the trash mob fight between bosses 2 and 3 in HoA;
    4. After Hrimil goes down in HoA.
    So, almost never during a boss fight.

    I have followed the usual routine for resetting the local network, and changed the graphics to 'Low', with no apparent result.
    Hmm... Something that would cause the specific symptom of a screen-freeze which just resolves itself allowing the game to resume normal operation after "a couple of minutes". And mostly during HoA and only in specific places/events related to that raid. Very odd.

    Doing a thorough local network reset never hurts, but I'm not surprised it had no positive effect in this case.

    Let's try adjusting texture cache swapping:
    While logged into the game, go to OPTIONS-ADV GRAPHICS. Scroll down to look for TEXTURE CACHE SIZE. Try setting that to 0.00 (slider all the way to the left). You'll need to run your raid or otherwise do something that has triggered the problem in the past in order to test. If this has no positive effect, try setting TEXTURE CACHE SIZE to 1.00 (slider all the way to the right), then test again. Even if you still get the problem with both settings, finding out which setting triggers the problem more often will help us to move on to a next step if necessary.

    Set to 0, the game will not use RAM for storing textures for fast loading into VRAM as needed. That slows loading a little but usually only when zoning into a completely different and graphically-intense area like Minas Tirith or an area heavily populated by other players such as Bree during a festival. And we're talking seconds, not minutes, and it should have no effect on a raid experience at all once you zone into it. If you are a little light on RAM (8gb or less), setting this cache to 0 can prevent a bunch of virtual memory file swaps or LOTRO thinking it has run out of memory entirely, both of which can cause pauses/slowdowns/crashes or more minor glitches.

    Set to 1, the game will use a bunch of RAM for storing textures for fast loading into VRAM as needed. If you have a slow storage drive, even an SSD which isn't especially fast, this can help a lot. If you have a very fast SSD, it will have minimal effect; even so, if your computer has 16gb of RAM or more and you aren't running a bunch of other memory-hogging processes at the same time as LOTRO, it's best to use this cache to its fullest. But it can cause the game to run out of addressable RAM, or cause your computer to use virtual memory swap files instead of RAM; and depending on your hardware, OS version, and drive speed those things can result in big pauses (or crashes or more minor glitches) especially in single-threaded applications like LOTRO.

  3. #3
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    Jun 2011
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    Thanks, Tralfazz. Running the raid again tonight, so I will try the first suggestion, and report back!

    Just looked at the current setting for capture cache size: it is at 0.10; changing that to zero.

    One other item of information: part of the phenomenon is a 5-15 second freeze when first logging in. The background appears, but no HUD or other indications till it comes fully on.
    Last edited by Anaxapart; Jan 05 2023 at 03:34 PM.

  4. #4
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    Taking the cache size down to zero didn't help; running HoA at T3 I froze three times, at roughly the usual spots.

    I then took the size all the way up to 10, and ran a HoA T1 which was entirely trouble-free. I'll check again with a T2 tomorrow and see if things are still OK, but you may well have cracked this!

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Anaxapart View Post
    Taking the cache size down to zero didn't help; running HoA at T3 I froze three times, at roughly the usual spots.

    I then took the size all the way up to 10, and ran a HoA T1 which was entirely trouble-free. I'll check again with a T2 tomorrow and see if things are still OK, but you may well have cracked this!
    I hope the Texture Cache Size set to a large value such as 1.00 is going to do the trick for you! Sounds like it so far.

    When you report back, please include the following information for my database, which will help me help other people in the future:
    1- How much RAM do you have?
    2- How much VRAM (Video RAM) do you have? (If you have only integrated graphics, tell me that.)
    3- Do you boot from an SSD or a HDD?
    4- If an SSD, is it an Apple internal or a third-party internal or an external? If an external, what interface (USB 3.0, USB 3.1 gen 2, Thunderbolt-4, etc.) do you use to connect to it?

  6. #6
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    Jun 2011
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tralfazz View Post
    I hope the Texture Cache Size set to a large value such as 1.00 is going to do the trick for you! Sounds like it so far.

    When you report back, please include the following information for my database, which will help me help other people in the future:
    1- How much RAM do you have?
    2- How much VRAM (Video RAM) do you have? (If you have only integrated graphics, tell me that.)
    3- Do you boot from an SSD or a HDD?
    4- If an SSD, is it an Apple internal or a third-party internal or an external? If an external, what interface (USB 3.0, USB 3.1 gen 2, Thunderbolt-4, etc.) do you use to connect to it?

    Does this contain everything you need? If not, specify what's missing and where I can find it!

    Model Name: iMac (Retina 5K, 27-inch, Late 2015)
    Model Identifier: iMac17,1
    Processor Name: Intel Core i5
    Processor Speed: 3.3 GHz
    Number of Processors: 1
    Total Number of Cores: 4
    L2 Cache (per Core): 256 KB
    L3 Cache: 6 MB
    Memory: 8 GB 1867 MHz DDR3
    Boot ROM Version: 428.0.0.0.0
    Graphics: AMD Radeon R9 M395 2048 MB

    Need to run one more test on HoA, but it's looking good!
    As ever, my grateful thanks.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Anaxapart View Post
    Does this contain everything you need? If not, specify what's missing and where I can find it!
    That tells me everything I need to know except details about your boot volume, i.e. your "drive". If you can tell me about that, it would help a lot. That model came with a large variety of internal storage, from plain-old spinning-platter hard drives through "Fusion Drives" (a tiny SSD combined with a large HDD) to solid-state drives. If you don't know, you can launch Disk Utility to get the information requested in my last message.

    Quote Originally Posted by Anaxapart View Post
    Memory: 8 GB 1867 MHz DDR3
    This might not be related to this specific problem (but it probably is...); however, that is a very marginal amount of RAM for an Intel-based Mac in 2023. RAM isn't at all-time-low prices at the moment but it is pretty cheap and is one of the best things you can do to improve overall performance and stability – not just for LOTRO but LOTRO will benefit a lot. With 8gb installed you should have two 4gb sticks. There are 4 slots so you can put two additional sticks in there. And putting them in there is trivial, there is a little door in the back of your iMac which you can just pop open (while the Mac is powered down, of course), there is no surgery involved nor skill needed. Your Mac can take up to 64gb total (even though Apple's specs claims only 32gb, the specs are wrong) but all you really need is 16gb – so buy a pair of 4gb sticks, it should run you under $40. Just be sure they are the exact same type: 1867MHz DDR3.

    I know that $40 is nothing for some people and impossible for others, but given the incredible benefit you'll derive from the 16gb vs only 8gb, the cost, and the ease of installation; I thought it might be worth mentioning. Your Mac might be nearly 8 years old but it is still a fine machine (with an especially nice display) which is being held back by the amount of physical RAM it currently has available.

  8. #8
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    Jun 2011
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    What we have here is a 2.12 TB Fusion Drive.. A large quantity of probably superfluous information follows below, copied from System Report.

    More relevant to your suggestion is the information regarding memory slots (also below). I will definitely be installing more memory a.s.a.p. If I currently have 4+4 GB, what do you suggest I add?



    BANK 0/DIMM0:

    Size: 4 GB
    Type: DDR3
    Speed: 1867 MHz
    Status: OK
    Manufacturer: 0x80AD
    Part Number: 0x484D54343531533642465238412D 52442020
    Serial Number: 0x06111822

    BANK 0/DIMM1:

    Size: Empty
    Type: Empty
    Speed: Empty
    Status: Empty
    Manufacturer: Empty
    Part Number: Empty
    Serial Number: Empty

    BANK 1/DIMM0:

    Size: 4 GB
    Type: DDR3
    Speed: 1867 MHz
    Status: OK
    Manufacturer: 0x80AD
    Part Number: 0x484D54343531533642465238412D 52442020
    Serial Number: 0x06681912

    BANK 1/DIMM1:

    Size: Empty
    Type: Empty
    Speed: Empty
    Status: Empty
    Manufacturer: Empty
    Part Number: Empty
    Serial Number: Empty



    Macintosh HD:

    Available: 265.45 GB (265,448,402,944 bytes)
    Capacity: 1.85 TB (1,847,789,617,152 bytes)
    Mount Point: /
    File System: Journaled HFS+
    Writable: Yes
    Ignore Ownership: No
    BSD Name: disk2
    Volume UUID: 6597303E-C91B-3D06-B089-1BAD857BD4A3
    Logical Volume:
    Revertible: No
    Encrypted: Yes
    Encryption Type: AES-XTS
    Locked: No
    LV UUID: CF61B400-2BF2-49D3-AB4E-9CCAA891923F
    Logical Volume Group:
    Name: Macintosh HD
    Size: 1.86 TB (1,863,856,476,160 bytes)
    Free Space: 10.14 GB (10,143,182,848 bytes)
    LVG UUID: 706714F2-64D1-44AB-87ED-75E5C1CC5FD4
    Physical Volumes:
    disk0s2:
    Device Name: APPLE SSD SM0128G
    Media Name: APPLE SSD SM0128G Media
    Size: 120.99 GB (120,988,852,224 bytes)
    Medium Type: SSD
    Protocol: PCI
    Internal: Yes
    Partition Map Type: GPT (GUID Partition Table)
    Status: Online
    S.M.A.R.T. Status: Verified
    PV UUID: 4AF71FB9-39F1-4660-BB01-89FAE4F94CFD
    disk1s2:
    Device Name: APPLE HDD ST2000DM001
    Media Name: APPLE HDD ST2000DM001 Media
    Size: 1.74 TB (1,742,867,623,936 bytes)
    Medium Type: Rotational
    Protocol: SATA
    Internal: Yes
    Partition Map Type: GPT (GUID Partition Table)
    Status: Online
    PV UUID: 2163C8C5-C91D-4CC7-BA5D-33434A5BDB9D

  9. #9
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    Jul 2020
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    Quote Originally Posted by Anaxapart View Post
    What we have here is a 2.12 TB Fusion Drive.
    Thank you. While a pure SSD is always best, even a relatively old-tech/slow one, the Apple Fusion Drives (at least the ones with 100+ GB SSD components, like yours) are actually very good. So no issues there and it's not likely to be a contributing factor to the issue you raised with this thread in the way that a pure-platter HDD might have been.

    Quote Originally Posted by Anaxapart View Post
    More relevant to your suggestion is the information regarding memory slots (also below). I will definitely be installing more memory a.s.a.p. If I currently have 4+4 GB, what do you suggest I add?
    As I wrote above, you have two empty slots so the least expensive/most efficient thing to do is to add another pair of 4gb sticks with the same specs (1867MHz DDR3) which will give you a total of 16gb. Here is a link to an example of what you might buy. Note that this is just an example, while I do like the Other World Computing components the brand doesn't matter much and RAM is available from a lot of vendors other than Amazon (including direct from OWC/macsales.com if that's the brand you want):
    https://www.amazon.com/dp/B018VEP2HC?th=1

    If you want more than 16gb of RAM, and don't mind spending the money... well, more is better. Just buy identical pairs with the right specs (1867MHz DDR3).

    edit: Look at the INSTALLING MEMORY section of this page for your specific model:
    https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT201191#install1
    Very trivial, the hardest part is being careful to not scratch your beautiful display when you lay it down. Use a towel!

    If you purchase pairs with different capacity (for example, 1 pair of 2x4gb each and 1 pair of 2x8gb each), be sure you install each unit of a pair adjacent to each other. Referring to the diagram in STEP 9 on the linked page above, Slots 1 and 2 go together while Slots 3 and 4 go together. This will allow your Mac to address the RAM more efficiently.
    Last edited by Tralfazz; Jan 06 2023 at 05:54 PM.

  10. #10
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    Jun 2011
    Posts
    298
    Hello again, Tralfazz. This is to confirm that all is indeed well; I have run HoA T2 and several instances with no further problems!

    I will definitely add to my RAM. Looking at local prices now.

    Once again, thank you for your literally invaluable assistance!

  11. #11
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    Bad news... Last night tried to run an HoA T3, and froze/crashed several times in Boss 3 - admittedly, a chaotic fight with a vast number of mobs. Today I tried an HoA t2, and froze at the usual places, only worse (freezes over 120 seconds) till I had to give up. Also noticed that movement has become increasingly jerky. I guess the only remedy will be increasing RAM, but it will take a least ten days for the new RAM to reach me. In the meantime, I can't help wondering why my game went from running smoothly to borderline unplayable in less than two weeks - or why what had seemed like a good short-term solution went sour in less than 48 hours. Should I perhaps try something radical, like a full reinstall from scratch?

    LATER:
    Something basic has definitely gone wrong. Each turn right or left jerks me around by about 45 degrees, and I'm moving like a drunk...
    Last edited by Anaxapart; Jan 10 2023 at 11:46 AM.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Anaxapart View Post
    Bad news... Last night tried to run an HoA T3, and froze/crashed several times in Boss 3 - admittedly, a chaotic fight with a vast number of mobs. Today I tried an HoA t2, and froze at the usual places, only worse (freezes over 120 seconds) till I had to give up. Also noticed that movement has become increasingly jerky. I guess the only remedy will be increasing RAM, but it will take a least ten days for the new RAM to reach me. In the meantime, I can't help wondering why my game went from running smoothly to borderline unplayable in less than two weeks - or why what had seemed like a good short-term solution went sour in less than 48 hours. Should I perhaps try something radical, like a full reinstall from scratch?
    Well, darn.

    I assume you had played that raid repeatedly before this problem began happening. So yes, it is odd that you would go from no problem to experiencing this issue. It could be due to a client change implemented in the most recent patch, but trying to figure that out won't help us come to a solution.

    The reason I thought the issue might be related to the Texture Cache Size setting was due to the way the problem exhibited fairly consistently when new textures would need to be loaded in, especially when HoA boss #2 dies but all those other examples you cited as well. I continue to suspect that texture loading is the cause of the problem and that more physical RAM will make the problem go away.

    One thing you might try is to prevent the HDD portion of your drive from spinning down. To do so:
    1- Invoke the Terminal.
    2- Type exactly this into the Terminal:
    Code:
    caffeinate -m
    3- Press the RETURN key.
    4- Don't close the Terminal window. The "caffeinate" command runs only as long as the Terminal window is open. This means you can open the Terminal to run this command just before launching LOTRO, and then close the Terminal window/quit out of the Terminal when you're done playing LOTRO to allow your Mac to get back full control of automatic hard disk spin down.
    5- When you do close the Terminal window/quit out of Terminal you will be given a warning about how closing the window is going to quit a running process. Click OK or PROCEED or whatever to close the window/quit the Terminal.

    That Terminal command is sometimes more effective than using "System Preferences->Energy Saver-> ((uncheck)) Put hard disks to sleep when possible". Although if you don't have that un-checked already, try that before using the Terminal command.

    I don't know where you live but a 10-day lead time to get a couple of RAM sticks is outrageous. That link I provided in my earlier reply...
    https://www.amazon.com/dp/B018VEP2HC?th=1
    ...will get a pair of 4gb sticks to you tomorrow, shipped free, for $27 total. (Might not be free overnight shipping if you aren't an Amazon Prime member, I guess.)

    As for a full reinstall from scratch, it is possible there is some stale cache file in your */StandingStoneGames/The Lord of the Rings Online folder so it is not 100% impossible that will help. I don't have any data which might lead me to think that it will have a positive effect on this issue but it will not hurt anything, either. Other than the time it will take to do it, which depending on the quality of your Internet connection can be fairly quick or require a good chunk of a day.

    Reinstalling the game will have no effect on your ~/Documents/The Lord of the Rings Online folder which is where all your preferences and keybinds and plugins and skins and layouts and so forth are saved. So if you want to invest the time, simply use Crossover to delete your LOTRO bottle, then create a new Windows 10 64-bit bottle, give it a useful name, install DirectX for Modern Games into it, be sure your bottle settings are correct, then finally install LOTRO into it.

  13. #13
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    Jun 2011
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    Thanks once again; will try the first options at once.

    RAM problem is quite simple: I live in Greece, and Mac doesn't have a presence in Greece worth a damn. I used to make use of Amazon UK, but since that country committed suicide by Brexit, getting anything shipped from there into an EU destination is slow, expensive and subject to unexpected delays. I might try Amazon Germany, however, as it's become a popular EU alternative for books and DVDs.

    Will report back!

  14. #14
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    The problem persists, but I have 8GB of RAM on order which should reach me by Monday.

    However, here are some interesting facts for your database. I ran a HoA T1 today, and confirmed that repeated freezes are consistently associated with very specific locations and actions, namely: the first activity to be undertaken by anyone in the group after moving into a new location. Specifically:

    1. After completing Boss 1 and looting, moving up the ramp to the large hall full of mobs on the way to Boss 2. Immediately upon reaching the top of the ramp and when the first attack is made on the left-hand group of mobs, a 20-second plus freeze.
    2. After completing Boss 2 and looting, moving into the circular room with Hrimil triggers a freeze as soon as any attack is launched; about 10-20 seconds (in T1).
    3. After temporarily defeating Hrimil and transitioning, another freeze in the subsequent room as soon as an attack is launched; about 20+ seconds in T1.
    4. Oddly enough, no freeze upon entering final Boss 3 chamber.
    5. After completing Boss 3 and transitioning to final chamber, another freeze just before the chest is opened; about 10-20+ seconds in T1.

    I had noticed this pattern before, but today's run confirmed it.

    I don't know whether this very specific periodicity offers any hint of a reason for the problem, or of a possible cure pending the RAM upgrade (after all, everything worked fine earlier with just the existing amount of RAM).
    Whatever, it's all very strange.
    Last edited by Anaxapart; Jan 12 2023 at 12:19 PM.

 

 

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