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#2985 - 12/27/16 05:17 PM Server dropping/low prioritizing ICMP packets questions
bobbyk Offline


Registered: 08/06/12
Posts: 6
I have posted a couple times showing Comcast servers are causing me problems while gaming. My latency gets as high as 8000ms+ which makes the game unplayable whenever Comcast's servers see any substantial load, I assume.

Their tech support replied with the following after sending them images and .pp2 files showing the issue several times and here is the reply I received.

Sir,
I do not know if you have had a response to this, but you are not seeing packet loss on one of our headend routers. Multi-ping/ping path is sending ICMP echo requests to every router in the path to your game server, if there was any device with high latency, that would cause the issue with the game. The ICMP packet that is being dropped is not “packet loss” every router on every ISP has two conditions where they will drop ICMP echo requests. One is that they allow only so many to the backplane of the router, usually 250Kb/s once that is met all others will be dropped. Two is if the router’s CPU hit 30% of max utilization then it will drop ICMP requests. The device you claim is causing you issues is one of the most robust devices we have in the network, I am sure that it is not causing this issue. You may want to call your ISP to check if there is an issue in your area, as this device is acting as it should to keep you and everyone going through it up and running by dropping ICMP requests and not allowing itself to be DDOS’ed. I hope this helps, have a good day.

Spencer Jones
Engineer II Enterprise Technical Support
7150 S. Fulton St, Centennial, CO 80112



Rift requires port forwarding through TCP ports so I am assuming the game uses TCP packets to transmit data.

My question is would ICMP packet dropping by Comcast's ibone servers negatively affect the data being transmitted from playing Rift or should I not see any effect from this ICMP packet dropping? Do you think the Comcast server(s) are only dropping ICMP packets or is something wrong with their server(s)? Comcast's servers are not the destination, simply several of the hops before the Rift destination server. I am having huge amounts of latency while Playing Rift at the exact same time and only when Comcast’s system is showing packet loss through their servers/ibones.

Here are a couple of example images to help. The first is directly to the Rift game server and the second image is to show that there is an issue with Comcast's servers since Rift's server doesn't accept pings.

Also, here is my past post with PingPlotter Pro images of this issue.

https://www.pingman.com/forums/ubbthreads.php/topics/2978/Comcast_won't_acknowledge_a_pr#Post2978






Thank you for your time and answers.

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#2986 - 12/27/16 06:53 PM Re: Server dropping/low prioritizing ICMP packets questions [Re: bobbyk]
Gary Offline
PingPlotter Staff


Registered: 10/30/13
Posts: 185
Hey Bobby,

Sorry to see you’re still having issues playing your game.

The reply that you received from Comcast’s tech support hits on some valid points. Some devices are specifically configured to down prioritize ICMP echo requests in order to make way for more “important” network traffic (a topic we cover in more detail here: http://www.pingman.com/kb/5). This kind of down prioritizing wouldn’t typically have any effect on other network traffic, though - in these cases, the device is *only* dropping ICMP echo requests (requests specifically targeting that device and asking for a response back).

You mentioned that you notice latency problems in your game at the exact times that these hops show packet loss. Are there any periods in time that these hops *don’t* show packet loss, and you’re able to play your game without issues?

Your goal in troubleshooting an issue like this with PingPlotter should be to build a case by capturing both good, and bad periods. Ideally, you want to having PingPlotter running continuously (24x7), and when you experience issues playing your game - make a note those instances in PingPlotter. You can then go back through your collected data to try and identify any “problem” patterns that may be present in your collected data at the times you were experiencing issues.

If the pattern of packet loss you’re noticing at these hops matches up with your issues playing (when there’s no packet loss, you’re able to play - when there is packet loss, you have issues), then that *could* be indicative of a problem at those hops, and that kind of evidence can help build a more compelling case to bring to a provider (we cover this tactic in more detail here: http://www.pingplotter.com/gsg/buildingacase.html)

If the patterns of packet loss at those hops *doesn’t* match up to the issues you’re experiencing (for example - if there’s always packet loss at those hops, even when you’re able to play, or if you still have problems playing the game even when those hops *don’t* show packet loss) - then you may have some additional investigating to do. If this ends up being the case, your next steps should be to isolate and eliminate any variables (that you have control over) to see if you can further narrow down exactly what the culprit here may be. Our guide on using PingPlotter to troubleshoot network issues (https://www.pingman.com/network-nirvana/) provides some great guidance on this front (as well as a helpful worksheet!).

Hopefully this helps get you headed in the right direction. If you have any questions, or find yourself needing further guidance - feel free to shoot any pp2 files you have (or share your results via “File” -> “Share” in PingPlotter), along with any of your notes about when you were/weren’t able to play, and we’d be happy to take a look!

Best wishes,

-Gary

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#2988 - 12/27/16 11:13 PM Re: Server dropping/low prioritizing ICMP packets questions [Re: Gary]
bobbyk Offline


Registered: 08/06/12
Posts: 6
Yes, throughout the day when there is no packet loss shown on their servers, my game runs perfectly fine and I am am to play without any issues whatsoever. I have done what you said and ran Pingplotter Pro 24 hours showing how everything is fine and then once the game starts lagging/showing latency, I maximize PPP and their servers are showing the dropped packets once again.

Comcast has made it clear they won't even look into the issue as the reply above was received after I sent many Pingplotter images and files to them from different days and different hours. Comcast is scum of the Earth unfortunately. I have filed a complaint with the FCC about them with all my information I have collected over the past month and waiting to hear back from them.

In the meantime, I have begun using a tunneling program called WTFast to connect to its server in Dallas, which skips the Comcast servers altogether, and now I am having no issues whatsoever. Unfortunately, I'll have to pay $6 a month to keep using it after the trial or could look into using a VPN to "bypass" Comcasts pitiful network.

Thank you for all your help and info!


Edited by bobbyk (12/27/16 11:17 PM)

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