Stability issues and increased CPU utilisation whilst playing LotRO

Galdwen

Egghead
For the past week or two since U36 launched, and even as far back as u35.1, I have noticed an increase in random freezes and stuttering in the game. This is particularly noticeable when playing with multiple toons at once (entirely for music purposes, nothing nefarious) but it is also happening on occasion whilst playing the game solo. Below are my PCs specs:
  • CPU: Intel Core i7 7700k
  • GPU: Nvidia Geforce GTX 1080
  • RAM: 32GB DDR4 @ 3200MHz (XMP is enabled)
  • Motherboard: Asus Maximus XI HERO
  • Storage: Western Digital Black SN750 512GB SSD
In my limited attempts to troubleshoot I have noticed in Task Manager and Resource manager that the lotroclient64.exe process randomly and suddenly increases in CPU usage, bringing total CPU usage to 100% and triggers a system wide freeze-up. When playing solo I run the game using the Ultra High preset on the 64bit client, whereas with my band I run the game using the Very Low preset. During band playing the only programs I have running in the background typically are Discord and The Last Homely Hobbit. Despite this CPU utilisation still spikes to 100%, causing my entire system to freeze up for several seconds at the worst.

When changing instruments and syncing I also notice a jump in CPU usage that causes stuttering to occur. This is nothing new as I have experienced this specific behaviour for several months prior to U35 and 36. However since these updates the stuttering, random freezes and near crashes have only increased in frequency. I am rather concerned about it because I have not changed anything about my system.

Has anyone else experienced this or something similar recently? I know several in the music community in particular have had rough experiences with this issue. I just hope it can be fixed or addressed soon. Thank you. 😁
 

JohnMHammer

Well-known member
Go to OPTIONS->TROUBLESHOOTING and set your maximum frame rate to 30. Be sure that Vsync is not enabled. Does the problem continue?

Your CPU has integrated graphics. It is possible that the CPU is being overstressed because none of the workload is being handled by your graphics card. Don’t rely on a general setting in your Nvidia or Windows control panel, create a specific entry for lotroclient64.exe to be certain that application will be handled by your discrete graphics card at “high performance”. Then go to the options section of the LOTRO Launcher application and manually choose your discrete graphics card, do not rely on the “automatic” setting.
 
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Galdwen

Egghead
I've lowered my frame rate cap to 60 and just now had a massive freeze up again. This is just on one character running at the Very Low preset. I honestly though my PC had suffered a BSOD but thankfully recovered after a couple of seconds. I can confirm LotRO is using my GTX 1080 and not integrated graphics. Both my audio interface and graphics card drivers are as up to date as possible. Lowering my frame rate to 60 has lowered CPU usage however, so that's a good start at least. I'll post again after performing at Blue Monday and early Nibbles and Nobs tonight to see how lowering the frame rate to 30 goes.
 
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Galdwen

Egghead
well after some playing I can confirm that, after lowering my frame rate to 30, there appears to be no change whatsoever. Overall CPU usage is a bit lower, but there's still an awful number of stutters and even total system lockups. There doesn't seem to be any obvious reason for the freezes either. They just seem to happen randomly, and without warning. As for my band toons, they feel a bit more stable when changing and syncing instruments when the frame rate is lowered, so there's that. Truthfully I think the lower framerate is honestly masking the stuttering rather than reducing it.

I'm gonna try and uninstall Reshade to see if that has been having any effect. I have my doubts, but it's worth a try.
 

JohnMHammer

Well-known member
That's a good thing to check, Galdwen. You should also check that you are using the 64-bit client.

After that, the only things that come to mind are a full deletion of *\StandingStoneGames\The Lord of the Rings Online followed by a reinstall from the installer downloaded here:
https://www.lotro.com/guides/lotro-download-en?locale=en

And then, if even if that fails to produce positive results, a reinstall of Windows.

Since both of those two steps are quite time-consuming, it might be better to submit a help ticket before trying them:
https://help.standingstonegames.com/hc/en-us/requests/new
 

Oghren

Well-known member
There is one spec you didn't mention: at what resolution do you play?

Also, looking at task manager, what the GPU usage of your graphics card during spikes?
 

Galdwen

Egghead
There is one spec you didn't mention: at what resolution do you play?

Also, looking at task manager, what the GPU usage of your graphics card during spikes?
Sorry about that, wasn't thinking straight. I'm running the game at 1080p using the full screen (windowed) mode. I haven't checked my GPU usage but it's usually pretty low if I recall.

From talking to others experiencing similar problems within the music community, we seem to think that a potential cause could be the recent upgrade for OpenAL sometime between U35 and U36. We don't know for certain but it primarily seems to happen whilst playing ABC music. It could just be a coincidence though.
 

Oghren

Well-known member
That is a really modest resolution, your GPU is more than capable of handling that.

So let's look at that audio thing.

The game seems to use the OpenAL-Soft release and is at its latest version. It is just a library, meaning that there is no way to tweak it if the game UI doesn't give you the options to do so. The only thing we can do is switch EAX on or off. Did you try playing with that?

Your board's latest audio driver is about a year old, so you would likely have it installed already, worth checking anyway.

I found little mention of recent stability issues with OpenAL, but there was a mention of a specific mode of operation that would be unsuited for multi-source audio. You wouldn't be running a band from multiple Lotro clients on the same computer at the same time, would you? Or any music/audio creation or editing software?

I hesitate to disagree with Mr MHammer (I believe he was under a different name one of the best in PC Support in the old forums), but reinstalling Lotro is a last resort option that takes a lot of time and doesn't work that often. I haven't reinstalled Lotro in 9 years, moved it around on three different PC's by just cpying it over and installing the Microsoft libraries. I have had my share of 'Lotro' issues but they all came from outside my Lotro folder. Driver versions, background applications, remnants of shoddily deinstalled programs, that kind of thing.
 

Galdwen

Egghead
I did try toggling EAX on and off but I didn't notice any difference in performance (aside from reverb and echoes in some areas like Moria, Gundabad, Bree crafting hall etc.). For my audio I'm using a Behringer Uphoria UMC202HD audio interface. The drivers are as up to date as much as possible, the last update was in late May I think. I did turn off exclusive mode because it was turned on by default.

Right now I can't really reinstall Windows because I have a music performance coming up on Crickhollow this Saturday. I did uninstall Reshade to see how stable the game is. Hopefully I'll see an improvement at the round robin on Wednesday but I highly doubt it at this point. ☺️
 

Oghren

Well-known member
Could you try switching to your motherboard's built-in audio, just for elimination purposes? And if that doesn't help, unplugging the Behringer?
 

Silmelin

Member
My friend and I have been having the same issue at concerts these past two weekends. It makes it extremely difficult to "sing", and very stressful.

No freezes at all when we have quested or done Festival content everyday, only when playing music in a group (even without multi-boxing).
 
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Elmagor

The Knights of Round Table Ambassador
My friend and I have been having the same issue at concerts these past two weekends. It makes it extremely difficult to "sing", and very stressful.

No freezes at all when we have quested or done Festival content everyday, only when playing music in a group (even without multi-boxing).
Good news, we will have less lags :)

P.S. Did you check plugin what you use for music? Maybe SSG mess with him with some update
 

Oghren

Well-known member
My friend and I have been having the same issue at concerts these past two weekends. It makes it extremely difficult to "sing", and very stressful.

No freezes at all when we have quested or done Festival content everyday, only when playing music in a group (even without multi-boxing).
May I ask what sound hardware you both are using?
 

Pike

Well-known member
Same thing happens to me with system wide lockups, but while doing mundane things like questing. My entire system locks up.
 

Aedon

Dances With Wargs
The issue hits many people running all sorts of rigs and even those not running band alts. It seems to be getting worse with every update.
 

Silmelin

Member
May I ask what sound hardware you both are using?
Not sure how to find out which I'm using, I searched for instructions and all websites seem to be saying to look under Device Manager / Sound, video and game controllers, and it lists two things: NVIDIA High Definition Audio and VIA HD Audio(Win 10).

I don't know what my friend is using though, but last time we talked about sound stuff I think it turned out we had different stuff :)
 

Galdwen

Egghead
I think there might be a workaround of sorts. Apparently switching to the generic audio playback instead of using the Open AL playback significantly reduces the chances of freezes and lockups. I've had one person confirm this but I will test this out tonight on Sirannon. Hopefully things will work out. ☺️🤞
 

Vilan

Force of Nature
Last night on Landy I wandered past the Pony and listened to a band for a few minutes. I got multiple client freezes that lasted several seconds each. Prior to arriving, and after I left, no freezes. Definitely music related.
 
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