The Unbearable Lightness of UDP

I would never go out and buy hardware just to be able to play a game.

Ha ha ha ha!

Yes, I know, what a kidder I am. I have as much as admitted on these pages to upgrading video cards and replacing my whole home system pretty much in the name of gaming.

But this time I am covered.

In my post “Into The Burning Sea,” I complained about the problems I was having playing the “sea” portion of Pirates of the Burning Sea. I complained of lag as my ship seemed stuck in place while the NPC ships sailed gracefully about me.

Potshot and Lady Pao corrected me, pointing out that this was not lag, but another issue. I was even pointed to a Flying Labs support incident describing the problem and its possible solutions.

It seems that Linksys routers in particular are susceptible to this issue, and older ones more so. There are issues with correct routing of UDP packets and such.

Of course, I have a 4+ year old Linksys wireless router connecting our network to our DSL.

Fortunately, the router in question is 802.11b and I was already planning to replace it. Both my work laptop and our new iMac support the faster 802.11g standard.

With the router being my issue, I had another reason to upgrade.

I went to Consumer Reports to check what they recommended. Normally I only look to them for reviews on appliances and the like, but routers are getting to be mere appliances, so why not? They rated the Netgear Rangemax Wireless Router (WPN824) as their top choice.

I opened up the Fry’s ad. What should be on sale for $59? Why, the Netgear Rangemax Wireless Router (WPN24)!

I think the planets were aligned as well.

So I dropped by Fry’s one my way home and picked one up!

I installed it after dinner and did a quick run through the tutorial again.

All I can say is “smooth sailing,” both literally and figuratively. The only thing goofy about the router is that the power switch on the back is only for the swirly LED lights on top of the unit. Not that I need to turn the unit off, just that I find it odd that they provide a full size button for a silly feature. The lights do look cool in the dark though. A very “Star Trek TOS” sort of effect.

And speaking of sailing, doing so in PotBS seems to be pretty fun. Gaff is comparing it to Sid Meier’s Pirates (old and new versions), which I can only see as a good thing.

More as I figure it out.

But the router, that was a planned purchase, right? Nothing to do with gaming.

4 thoughts on “The Unbearable Lightness of UDP

  1. Gaff

    Yes–I made the same point to Potshot as well about Pirates! Of course, if you have a game set in the Caribbean and your a privateer in the 18th century, how much different can it be?
    I have had a few of the “pause” issues myself, dumps to desktop, and general bugs representative of an unfinished game. How fast they fix these, add content, and whether our faction gets kicked all over the sea will really influence whether its a title I continue to play. Right now the old/new experience of sailing in a 3D Caribbean versus the old overview mode of Pirates! is novel enough to continue. I have also begun to scratch the surface of “The Economy” though I have yet to sell any goods I made.
    Potshot aka Henri and I had a great time taking out targets of oppurtunity as a duo yesterday. That experience alone was enough to keep me on the hook through a few growing pains.


  2. Gaff

    On another note–I am just reading the update notes for PotBS today. It is the first post-release patch. They are adjusting the level of missions in the first three starter towns to better reflect the pace of players leveling on the live servers.

    This type of wholesale revamp is a double edged sword (no pun intended). In the first place, did they not beta the mission aspect of the game before launch?

    Secondly, I have to commend FLS for being so reactive and trying to fix the gameplay, though I feel a bit like a beta tester who happened to pay 10 bucks for the pre-boarding party.


  3. Wilhelm2451 Post author

    $10? I only paid $5.

    We played through the first year of EverQuest II and I don’t recall any comments about paid beta. (That could be age though.) FLS has a lot of ground to cover if they are going to make changes on that scale!


  4. LadyPao

    Glad to hear that you got the rubberbanding issue fixed – by spending $59.
    The best use of a computer *is* gaming, IMO. Some people think it’s for pron downloading.
    Whoever thought it was a good tool for work and actually getting things done and boosting productivity needs to be SHOT.


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