My LOTRO Video Crash

I have yet to find anything in the official forums that matches the problem I am seeing (or that helps in any way). I did manage to grab a screen shot just as I LOTRO was locking up on me yet again. This is what I get after being in game for a few minutes.

LOTRO goes belly up again

It seems to be accelerated by my going into town, but it happens eventually out in the field as well. The colors vary, but the net result is the same, the game locks up and I have to restart my system to do anything.

Is anybody else having a similar issue?

[addendum: This turned out to be a faulty 8800 GT video card, with follow on posts here and here.]

41 thoughts on “My LOTRO Video Crash

  1. Scottie

    Are you running an nvidia 8800 series card by chance? Possibly overclocked?

    I have a similar problem and solved it by using nTune and turning up my fan speeds a bit and turning down the clock freq as well. I have a factory overclocked 8800GT and put the core bus at 600 and memory bus at 900 and it holds together a lot better for me. I also turn the fans up to 75%.

    From what I’ve read this problem seems to be magnified by people that run with creative sound cards as well.


  2. Wilhelm2451 Post author

    Yes, I have an 8800GT w/ 512MB of VRAM that came with the system I bought in December. LOTRO has had this problem since I got the machine.

    No Creative sound card though.

    I have tinkered with different versions of the nVidia drivers and reinstalled LOTRO from scratch. No luck so far. Always the same freeze.


  3. Bellatroix

    I *think* that artifacts like that are most often caused by excessive heat on the card. Any time I’ve seen stuff like that, it’s almost always because the card/case are running too hot and deep electronic wackiness ensues. I’d recommend upping your fans or opening up your case to see if you can get it cooled down.


  4. Wilhelm2451 Post author

    The heat thing would be more credible to me if any other game was showing this symptom. EQ, EQ2, EVE, WoW have all run fine, often with multiple copies running in windows simultaneously.

    I’ll grab the current nVidia temp monitoring utility to see if LOTRO is generating more heat than other games, but I’ll be surprised (and shocked) if it makes the card run hotter than two copies of EVE and a copy of WoW all running at the same time.


  5. Sulakor

    I no longer play lotro but I belive it is a nightmare for video cards. Both myself and my partner have cooked cards playing the game. We have both had various graphics glitches with the game and yet no problems with anything else. I’m not bagging the game, just staing that something in the engine seems to work nvidia cards real hard.


    The above link (copy/paste) shows the troubles I was having.


  6. Saylah

    I have a bug too that happens consistently. It’s bad enough that I really cant stand instanced buildings in the first place. The first time I go into any instanced building in LOTRO my system blue-screens. It’s gotten so that I have to think twice – Have I been in this building or room yet??? Do I really REALLY need to go in there???

    It pisses me off to have my system crash doing something that is so lame in the first place – zoned/instanced interior outside of dungeons. *shrug* I hope you resolve your issue. I havent had any luck with mine yet.


  7. Wilhelm2451 Post author

    Well, it isn’t heat.

    I used the nVidia stability test tool and got the system to lock up with the same video pattern as in LOTRO.

    I cranked up the fans, watched the temp on the card, ran the stability test again, and got the same result. The temp never got within 10 degrees Celsius of the first run.

    So we have another issue. One that manifests itself only in LOTRO and that test. Crap.


  8. Rick

    Have you sent that picture to Turbine support, or posted it on their forums?

    I saw this post on the official forums. In the first page, someone mentions lots of people having trouble with the 8800 GT cards. The link below has a Turbine CSR saying the following:

    “The 8800gt cards are factory overclocked (hence allowing the performance/value) many players (not just for lotro) have had to underclock these using ntune to get good performance so it’s worth a try – especially if you are getting artifacts.”

    Later posts suggest Riva Tuner, instead of nTune, to decrease overclocking. I don’t know if yours is overclocked or not, though?

    It’s an interesting thread, quite a few ideas. Hope you find something in there that fixes what ails ya!

    Are you running on XP or Vista? I found a post talking about problems in LOTRO, 8800 GT, on Vista.

    Do you have an older video card laying around? You could at least pinpoint if your video card is the problem, even if you couldn’t play on a less powerful card.

    Good luck, I hate being locked out of games.

    On a completely unrelated note, I noticed you had Kart Rider listed on your games list last month. If you enjoy racing games, Colin McRae Rally 2005 (available for free from Gametap) has me coming back for more like the Kart Rider beta did. I’m not doing multiplayer, but it’s fun to race against the clock in a rally format.

    Like you need more games to play :)


  9. Wilhelm2451 Post author

    Thanks for the links. All sorts of opinions, but little when it comes to hard facts.

    Temp: doesn’t seem to matter for me
    Power: 850W PS on my system, so I hope that isn’t the issue
    Overclocked: I seem to have a modestly clocked board, with 650MHz core bus, 950MHz memory bus, but I’ll lower that and see if it helps

    Running XP at this end and I do not have an older card. The 8800 came with the system, and I had an AGP rig before this.

    And, of course, I hate to screw around with things too much because everything else seems to be running fine. Blargh!


  10. Wygg

    A big part of me wants to try that game; verging on a dire wont. Glad to see the post (and repetitive “me too”s on the problems with the video cards. I’ve got an nVidia GeForce 7900 GTX, which is prob. below the standards anyways.


  11. Marchosias

    Gotta be with those newer nVidia cards, I’m running on a 7900 GTX/512Mb with no probs at all. I’m on XP Pro with a dual core intel processor 2.66Ghz, 2G RAM – are you using Intel proc? or AMD? Dunno if that makes a diff, I wouldn’t normally think so… Everything working good for me: LOTRO, EVE, FSX w/TileProxy, HellGate, etc. etc. And I’ve got all the graphics bells & whistles cranked to max. Also running dual monitors so I’ve usually got the game going and WMP w/ G-Force, plus IE7 – so pretty overloaded and no blips. FSX crashes very rarely, but I think that’s more due to TileProxy/hardDrive grinding than anything else.


  12. Wilhelm2451 Post author

    Don’t get me wrong on LOTRO here, I want to play the game which is why I posted this. Furthermore, it ran fine on my old system with an ATI 800XL and then the x1950 Pro. It is some mix with them and my nVidia card that isn’t kosher and I’d like to figure it out.

    Still working on it.

    (Glad to see you’re back and posting Rick. Gotta make you vis on the blog roll again!)


  13. Melmoth

    I used to get that on an old ATI card that I had; all other games worked fine, it was just LotRO that had problems. I never did solve the problem I’m afraid, I assumed it was temperature related but never proved it conclusively. Eventually I started to get hang-ups in other games, and then the card died completely.

    Not much help I’m sure, but I’ve seen that problem and for me it was a faulty card on its way out. I’m not saying that this is definitely your problem, but if you have another card you could try it might be worth seeing if your system works fine with a replacement.


  14. Wilhelm2451 Post author

    I have seen some 3rd party drivers from a place called come up in a number of threads regarding the 8800 series boards and the sort of issues I have been seeing, so I think that will be my next thing to try.


  15. Eric

    Looking at the artifacts, it indeed looks like heat or bad memory, most probably some sort of hardware issue that exposes itself in a very taxing situation (going to town in lotro :)).

    Only time I saw something like this was with my old Nvidia 6800, before it was about to die :(.


  16. Van Hemlock

    I’d go with ‘Heat’ too. I’ve never played LotR (yet), but saw very similar symptoms to the screenshot when EQ2 first came out and I was being overly ambitious with graphical detail settings on an old GeForce 5600. It would work for a while, then go all…yampy, as above. Removing spare blanking plates, and eventually, pointing a desktop fan into the back of the case and turning it on full blast, both delayed, but didn’t stop, the same graphical breakdown.

    Like Melmoth, never conclusively proven, but upgrading to a new 6800 solved all the problems for me then – no other part of the system was changed.


  17. Tachyon

    The graphics glitches look exactly the same as the ones that I am getting occasionally in WoW. At first the game runs normal, but suddenly sometimes (may occur after 3min or 5h, totally random) the memory buffer gets tilted (same block artefacts that you have, the blocks have the same size), and shortly after, the polygons mess up and go totally havoc. If I switch back to the desktop, little artifacts can be seen there too (1% of the pixels having a completely false color, mostly red), and restarting the game has no effect. To get rid of the artifacts, I must restart my PC, or, as I found out recently, send it into standby mode and recover (fastest method, only takes ~5sec).

    The temparature of my gfx card (ATI Radeon X1950 pro) looks totally ok (<50° celsius), and the card is not overclocked.

    Opening my PC and blowing out the dust from the card’s cooling system helped a little, as the effect is now reoccurring far less frequently.

    I’m pretty convinced that the temperature has nothing to do with this problem, I could immagine that the drivers or a defect in the video memory is to blame (haven’t found out yet)…


  18. syncaine

    I had a similar issue with LoTRO when I played, but on a AMD system with a 7900gtx. LoTRO was the only game that would artifact for a while, and eventually it went from artifacting to hard freezes. My much older comp also completely died a few months after playing LoTRO, but I’m not 100% sure it was LoTRO’s fault. The motherboard got fried on that one, but it’s tough to pinpoint exactly why.

    I then quit LoTRO, and noticed other games (EVE first, eventually even WoW) start to tear and artifact. Replacing the 7900gtx with a 9600GT solved the graphic issues with EVE and WoW (have not tried LoTRO).

    I would say it’s something with LoTRO, it taxes videocards too hard and burns them out. I’m actually very cautious to go back to that game, even though my new Alienware and the new 9600 in the other comp are both under warranty. Just pure theorycraft here now, but I always found it a bit odd that LoTRO looks as good as it does, and still runs at the FPS it does. I would hate to find out the price for all that is dead hardware…


  19. Captain Angry

    Just for the record, my wife and I have identical systems with 8800 GTs and we have 0 problems playing LOTRO…

    The best thing to do with glitches like this is to go thru the advanced graphic options (both in the game and in the nvidia control panel) and just turn things on and off one at a time and try to nail down the problem. Its a pain but sometimes its the only way to find the issue.

    It DOES look like heat tho… Its possible that one particular chip on the board is being used that is dormant on the older games. Of all the games you mentioned (EQ, EQ2, EVE, WoW) LOTRO is (at least graphically) at least one generation ahead of those others, so its possible that a certain graphical function is kicking in and screwing it up.


  20. Pixey styx

    Usually i would say it was heat related, but after you have been stress testing it I’am not sure. You have the power to run it, so not an issue there. Iam thinking that the card is on the way out, my guess would be the 3d rendering part of graphics card or memory on the card is failiing. Lotro certainly taxes the system, maybe try pushing it with the latest 3d mark benchmark software see if that causes an issue ….
    Have you changed anything in the last week or so …. ?


  21. Khan

    I’ve been running a 7900 NVidia card (two of them in an SLI). One of my cards went bad (heat, most likely) which looked similar to your screenshot at the end. Quite a bit of tearing and artifacts all over the place. It didn’t cause any blue screens though.

    I turned off the SLI feature and tried the game, first with one card and then the other to find the bad card. I’m running now on a single good card.

    Turbine updated one of the DLL files for the Book 12 release (I want to say it was the OpenAG dll file). It would cause issues with NVidia cards such as BSOD when I was grouping with people. The solution, of all things, was to change the sound options to use generic drivers instead of the XFi (?) ones.

    If you’re not getting BSOD, then the sound thing probably won’t help you. I’d search for LotRO and Nvidia 8800 in Google. The 8800 series seemed to come up a lot when I was researching the problems I was having.

    Have the problems occured after Book 12 or is this an on-going thing that has been happening for a while?


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  23. Renato

    I have the same problem But don’t know abot LOTR but at Lineage II I get the exactly problem. :(


  24. Buckiller

    I had to underclock the hell out of my 7900gt. Not sure if its my card dying or the game is just that lame (intense)

    I can play all other games fine at previous clock settings.


  25. Wilhelm2451 Post author

    Yes, because something that would make my video card work even harder is a good idea. I’m sure you put a lot of thought into that comment.


  26. Nathan

    I know this is a month old now since someone last posted, i had the same as you tearing and artifacting, tunred out to be faulty card, i was running a 8600gt not i have a 8800gt 512mb and im still struggling, im loosing fps in ettenmoors really badly, every where else in game im getting +100 fps but in the moor when in battle i get between 10 and 20 fps, massive drop for been in a pvp zone.

    I also play AOC, grid and other verious online games and they all run sweet as a nut..

    Lotro is a serious system hogger of a game, but when you ask others with similart specs they seem to be fine.

    Did you manage to sort out your problem?


  27. Wilhelm2451 Post author

    Yes. In my usual manner, this ended up being a series of posts, but the net result was a bad video card. Once it was replaced, things ran fine. Then I stopped playing LOTRO again.


  28. Andrew

    I’ve had many problems that people posted on here, but I believe its something with the update. Prior to Book 13 [or 12, I forget when I had stopped, before December] I was able to run LOTRO on my 7600GT for hours, even days. Now I can’t get past an hour or 2, my last run only lasted 5 minutes before it restarted my system, and its the only game that does it. But then again if it is just a faulty card it is time for me to upgrade anyways. Its a shame though, I just renewed my subscription after telling myself not to haha.


  29. Isparian

    hmmm …

    I’m running Vista32 with 2G RAM .. recently installed new 8800GT and all games, including LOTRO now run perfectly with high res and settings …

    EXCEPT .. that LOTRO crashes my computer after 1-2min playing :/
    – sometimes it just freezes, and then after few sec sound freezes too;
    – sometimes I get a secreen just like the Screenshot at the beginning of this postl
    – sometimes it’s the Blue Screen of Death .. telling about an error in some nv….. .dll file :/

    got latest 175.something Nvidia drivers :/

    Overlay GPU temperature monitoring thing from RivaTuner aint working for some reason …
    Today I’m gonna test and see the GPU temperatures while running in windowed mode … and gonna try new Beta video drivers.


  30. Johannes

    I’m running winXP Media Center with SP3 on an AMD Athlon 64 Processor 3200+
    2GB DDR400 RAM
    GeForce 9800GT
    Secondary card GeForce 6200 Turbo Cache(viewing desktop and websites etc)
    (Oh ya the 9800 is also connected to my TV… so desktop spans 3 displays)
    750W power supply
    8 Hard drives and a DVD drive
    (This may sound like a minor strain on the power supply, but things have been running smoothly until now 3 days ago)

    Recently installed an old SB Live for use with Skype only( use the onboard sound thingy for the game)
    I only once got the BSOD, and after that my comp simply freezes up and I get occational cracking sounds from the speakers.
    I’ve monitored temp on the system, everything normal there, I don’t overclock, I replaced my RAM chips with new ones, mobo and graphic card are a few months old.
    No problems with any other programs or games, only lotro.
    I normally run the game at 1920 by 1200 on a 24″ monitor with almost max settings with a fairly high FPS(as soon as I’ve loaded the surrounding area(pretty fast)), nothing to complain about there anyways :P
    I’ve been able to fully load the game and see where I am and even manage to see that I died and then respawn :P

    I can play for 16 hours or so before this problem starts, and then it just wont let me play for a few hours, suppose it’s just telling me I’m playing too much hehe
    Well I’ve only played this much around xmas time so future playing will be restricted to only a few hours at a time, I hope I wont have this problem after that…
    It’s pretty annoying though.


  31. michael

    Processor 3200+
    2GB DDR400 RAM
    GeForce 9800GT

    I have same system, and get some freezing up. if I just wait alittle, I get a strange picture on the screen, and it working again, but with huge grafikerrour.. When I got the errour, changed settings to low, the screen is ok again.. So make some LOTRO-Nvidea trouble.

    Hope anyone finde a solution.


  32. daniel

    Turn off Stencil Shadows and your problems will go away. I can cause the error over and over. If I turn off stencil shadows, my pc never locks up again. It seems to be an issue the stencil shadows in lotro and some nvidia cards.


  33. Jason

    Intel Q6600
    2x8800GT (sli)
    4 GB DDR800 RAM
    Vista 32bit

    I’m having the same sort of issue but with a different outcome than most people. For me it’s fairly random when the game locks up and gives the same sort of artifacts that are on the screenshot posted by wilhelm.

    Usually, I’ll be in some sort of building with a bunch of NPCs. My screen will freeze for a second, then the artifacts come out and my monitor goes into power save mode. I usually play while I talk to my friend through Skype and at this point we are still talking. After about 10 seconds with my monitor in power save mode it pops back on and I get a BSOD. It dumps the memory (about 6 seconds) then restarts.

    This has never happened to me in the past with any game I’ve played (and I’ve played a lot).

    Also, I turned of DX10 and I still get this issue.


  34. frustrated

    I am running Xp, SP3, 4G of RAM, and Nvidia 9600GSO. My Husband has an identical Machine. I am having the same exact issue but his runs fine without any issues. I can play anywhere from Just loading the character select screen to MAYBE an hour and I get a Hard lock up. Major Artifacting where you cant see anything but Fuzz. I swapped My video card with Husbands and It’s made no difference. We’ve swapped RAM, No difference. My Processor runs around 32C GPU around 40C Motherboard around 30C.

    I can only tell you what is NOT the problem.
    Not the drivers (tried 3 different Nvidia Drivers
    Not heat – Both video cards that have been in my machine work exactly the same
    Not Bad/Faulty Video card. Swapped cards and they both work perfectly in Husbands machine, Just not in mine.
    Not Overclocking (Because I don’t mess with that)
    Not Bad Ram.

    I’ve updated Bios for Motherboard, Updated All my Drivers, Updated SP2 to SP3, Ran a Repair on my computer. Ran Memtest and Swapped ram.
    I can run Every game without a single issue except LOTRO. This crash is almost Exclusive to Lotro. However It has crashed 2ce trying to look in Admin tools right after a reboot from a Crash in Lotro (was checking Event viewer to see if it caught any errors)

    I ran Windows debugger and found 3 possible culprits.
    These 3 files are ALWAYS in the “probably caused by” (not at the same time.. they seem to take turns) In the minidump files after the crash

    Any help would be appreciated.


  35. Kyler

    I have a similar problem I installed lotro yesterday digitally with turbine and all of that stuff Anyways everytime I try to start up lotro it seems like it’s gonna run then my computer like crashes and restarts itself for no reason …can someone please help me with this problem??


  36. Michel

    I have similar problem too!
    Got a Dell with NVidia 8800 (GTX 768 M). When I play in a Fellowship (2-6 other players) my computer crashes ( fatal blue screen) and restart itself for no reason!

    Help me please!



  37. someone

    ^^ To everyone above (and the original) – your card is faulty. Google for nVidia 8800 faulty solder. The card overheats and falls apart, and starts displaying video exactly as displayed. nVidia is, or was, reimbursing distributors, so if you bought a complete system, they would be the ones to contact.


  38. ZOmbehr

    im running a Nvidia GE 6200 and have the exact same problem. Nobody seems to be able to come up with a solution to the problem, and im not willing to run out and buy a new graphics card, when all other games run perfectly with my current card. Unfortunately, ill have to find another MMO to play.


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