Stability issues and increased CPU utilisation whilst playing LotRO

Galdwen

Egghead
I think we've found a 'fix' of sorts. So far it seems that using the 'generic' playback, rather than the 'OpenAL' playback, things are a lot smoother. I haven't experienced anywhere near as many stutters so far and no freezes or lock ups. This confirms to me that something isn't quite right with the OpenAL playback in LotRO at the moment, particularly when it comes to the ABC music system. Hopefully there can be a proper fix for this bug soon. But for now I'm going to use the generic playback as that seems to be a lot more stable. 😁
 

Silmelin

Member
Under the game's Options/Audio/Sound Playback (at the bottom of the page) you can choose an audio device
Thank you :) It says:
OpenAL Soft on Speakers (VIA HD Audio(Win 10))

The other two options I have in the dropdown are the ones below, and my sound disappears completely when switching to any of them:
OpenAL Soft on SPDIF Interface (TX1) (VIA HD Audio(Win 10))
OpenAL Soft on SPDIF Interface (TX0) (VIA HD Audio(Win 10))

My friend who also has issues has:
OpenAL Soft on Speakers (Realtek High Definition Audio) (this one is the only that works both normally and with headset)
The other two options in the dropdown:
OpenAL Soft on G2790G4 (NVIDIA High Definition Audio)
OpenAL Soft on Realtek Digital Output (Realtek High Definition Audio) (no sound at all on this one, my friend say)
 

Oghren

Well-known member
So sadly not the 'generic' option Galdwen mentioned. I don't see it either.
The SPDIF ones won't produce output unless you have audio device hanging off a SPDIF cable.

@Galdwen: where did you find that 'generic' option? Happy to hear that you found a workaround, too..
 

JohnMHammer

Well-known member
Just some thoughts:
–While there are some people experiencing this problem, it is not universal. I made a point of going to Landroval's Bree last night and there were bands and tons of people dancing and emoting and I experienced no issues. I played a little music myself (just one account/character and only a couple of .abc files and different instruments) and again experienced no issues.
–The u36 patch notes state, in part, "Upgraded the compiler used to compile the 32 bit game client to make it compatible with upgraded OpenAL." That means "upgraded OpenAL" is a change that was made in the 64-bit client as well. The change to the 64-bit client might have been made earlier or it might have been made as part of u36. That seems to comport with when this issue began to exhibit.
–Although people haven't been making full system spec reports with their problem posts, there appears to be a broad selection of hardware involved.
–Nobody with this problem has reported that they have tried reinstalling the game from scratch.

There are all sorts of support files inside your *\StandingStoneGames\The Lord of the Rings Online folder. It only takes one of them related to audio in general or the player music system to become corrupt or to have failed to be included in the update process for a problem – small or large, fatal to the executable or just annoying to the user – to occur. This is why it might be worth a deletion of *\StandingStoneGames\The Lord of the Rings Online followed by a full reinstall. A full reinstall can be time consuming depending on your local network and some other factors but even in the worst case it doesn't require 5 days and that's how long this thread has been going. Other than lost time, it can't hurt anything and it might – might – help.

Galdwen, you might want to take a peek inside your *\My Documents\The Lord of the Rings Online\UserPreferences.ini file and check the line GameClientType=X: 1=32-bit client, 2=32-bit client designed for very old versions of Windows, 3=64-bit client. Be sure your file's line is GameClientType=3.
 

Galdwen

Egghead
After about a week of playing the game using the generic playback my game has been running noticeably smoother, especially when it comes to player music. My performance at Shirefest went very well and I experienced no major freezes or performance issues during my performance. I've been running the game using the 64 bit client as usual (I have checked the ini file and it's set to 3 for the client). Several other people within the music community have also confirmed that they haven't been experiencing freezes and instability since switching to the generic playback from OpenAL, using both the 32bit and 64bit clients.

I think for the sake of covering all bases I will try and uninstall and reinstall LotRO to see if that helps, or at least delete the OpenAL dll files and have them repatched.

I don't want this thread to come across a whiny or something like that, just sort of a 'squeaky wheel' affair.
☺️
 

Silmelin

Member
After about a week of playing the game using the generic playback my game has been running noticeably smoother, especially when it comes to player music. My performance at Shirefest went very well and I experienced no major freezes or performance issues during my performance. I've been running the game using the 64 bit client as usual (I have checked the ini file and it's set to 3 for the client). Several other people within the music community have also confirmed that they haven't been experiencing freezes and instability since switching to the generic playback from OpenAL, using both the 32bit and 64bit clients.

I think for the sake of covering all bases I will try and uninstall and reinstall LotRO to see if that helps, or at least delete the OpenAL dll files and have them repatched.

I don't want this thread to come across a whiny or something like that, just sort of a 'squeaky wheel' affair.
☺️
I've been struggling a lot with the freezes when "singing" and sadly don't have any Generic options, only Open AL. Do you perhaps know where that generic option comes from?
Did you report the issue to SSG so they are aware of it, in case there's something they can do on their end? :)
 

Galdwen

Egghead
I've been struggling a lot with the freezes when "singing" and sadly don't have any Generic options, only Open AL. Do you perhaps know where that generic option comes from?
Did you report the issue to SSG so they are aware of it, in case there's something they can do on their end? :)
I haven't reported it just yet, I'll try and do that today. A few of my friends have issued reports as well.

For the generic playback a few of my music community friends had to use the 32bit client to use the generic playback. I'm not sure why the generic playback isn't showing up for some people, especially on the 64bit client (shows up fine for me). Maybe it requires certain drivers? 🤔

Also, I really appreciate the help with attempting to troubleshoot by the way. This community is so helpful to those in need. 😁
 

Silmelin

Member
I haven't reported it just yet, I'll try and do that today. A few of my friends have issued reports as well.

For the generic playback a few of my music community friends had to use the 32bit client to use the generic playback. I'm not sure why the generic playback isn't showing up for some people, especially on the 64bit client (shows up fine for me). Maybe it requires certain drivers? 🤔

Also, I really appreciate the help with attempting to troubleshoot by the way. This community is so helpful to those in need. 😁
Thank you, Galdwen! 😄

I tested switching to 32-bit just now and I still have the three old Open AL options but now I have three Generic too, I'll try the Generic one at today's concert and see if I can sing without client freezes this time ☺️

Before switching I tested playing music using the 64-bit client again, just to make sure the issue hadn't fixed itself somehow before I switched, and one and a half minute into the first song I had another freeze, while during my lil testing session now with the Generic option on the 32-bit client I've been playing the song 6 times now without a freeze so far, so fingers crossed this evening will go smoothly 🙂

I do hope SSG can do something about this issue though, so I can go back to using the 64-bit client 😊

Below are my Sound Playback options in case SSG is curious 🙂

64-bit client Sound Playback options:
OpenAL Soft on Speakers (VIA HD Audio(Win 10))
OpenAL Soft on SPDIF Interface (TX1) (VIA HD Audio(Win 10))
OpenAL Soft on SPDIF Interface (TX0) (VIA HD Audio(Win 10))

32-bit client Sound Playback options:
OpenAL Soft on Speakers (VIA HD Audio(Win 10))
OpenAL Soft on SPDIF Interface (TX1) (VIA HD Audio(Win 10))
OpenAL Soft on SPDIF Interface (TX0) (VIA HD Audio(Win 10))
Generic Software on Speakers (VIA HD Audio(Win 10))
Generic Software on SPDIF Interface (TX1) (VIA HD Audio(Win 10))
Generic Software on SPDIF Interface (TX0) (VIA HD Audio(Win 10))
 

JohnMHammer

Well-known member
Silmelin, if you switch back to the 64-bit client, do you see "Generic Software..." options? As Hurin wrote above, only the 32-bit client should have the Generic options but Galdwen reports that she has Generic options with her 64-bit client.
 

Silmelin

Member
Silmelin, if you switch back to the 64-bit client, do you see "Generic Software..." options? As Hurin wrote above, only the 32-bit client should have the Generic options but Galdwen reports that she has Generic options with her 64-bit client.
Checking now :)

Here's what happened: When I switched back to 64-bit all three "Generic Software" options were gone and I only had the same three Open AL as before. Switching back again to 32-bit, the Generic ones came back again.
 

Hurin

Not a Fan of the Store
I'm at a loss to explain why someone running 64-bit client would still have the option for "generic software". . . shouldn't be the case unless DLLs are being manually manipulated or 3rd party applications are having some edge-case effect.
 

Elamond

Member
Reporting here that I also am running the 64-bit client and have both the generic and OpenAL options on my desktop (and somehow I don't experience any OpenAL issues on my desktop)

I do have an attached audio interface, that might make a difference. I've also anecdotally noticed that most people who experience the issue are on older/slower computers, and most of the people I've talked to with issues have Intel CPUs, although I don't have enough data to know if that's a strong correlation. My desktop with a Ryzen 9 5950x has no problems, but my laptop with an Intel i7 9750H (slower laptop CPU) and gets these frame stutters when listening to player music.
 

Silmelin

Member
After switching to 32-bit client and the Generic sound option I have had a lot smoother music playing, but instead my game client closes down completely quite often: on loading screens or sometimes directly after, when logging out to switch character, when logging in, and when passing from one zone to another even though there's no loading screen, only the text with the area name appearing on the screen, telling me that I have entered a new zone.

I really hope this is something that can be fixed somehow so I can go back to the 64-bit client and my old settings where I didn't crash so often :(
 

Elamond

Member
Aifel has shared some steps on discord for manually installing OpenAL, which seems to make the generic option be available in 64-bit. Maybe you can give this a try:

If you have not got the option to select Generic Software, then its because you haven't got OpenAL installed. Creative no longer offers the OpenAL installer on their website, but other sites still host it, like https://www.openal.org/downloads , select OpenAL 1.1 Windows Installer (zip). I believe it is the genuine OpenAL on that site, its also signed by Creative as seen below and the file is from 2009. But still, use on own risk of course.

I do hope SSG addresses this, the music community is an important part of LOTRO and it's not good that people have to go through ad-hoc steps just to be able to listen to music without massive frame hitches.
 

Hurin

Not a Fan of the Store
Aifel has shared some steps on discord for manually installing OpenAL, which seems to make the generic option be available in 64-bit. Maybe you can give this a try:
Confirmed! I installed the OpenAL runtime (it is indeed legit. . . that's where I used to get it when I was troubleshooting the x-fi hardware openal issues way back in the day). I now have the "generic" option on my 64-bit client. And now I'm annoyed that I didn't think of this! ;)

Thank you for sharing. I don't need it and wouldn't normally use it. But if it stabilizes things for others or helps with the music issues, it's useful!

And it's nice to know how some people were seeing this option while others weren't!

--H
 

Galdwen

Egghead
My tech issues are now getting even worse. A couple of weeks ago I could log in my 10 part band just fine. But now I'm having serious crashing to desktop issues. I can't bring all of them on without at least one toon crashing to desktop and at worst half the band crashes. It seems that, suddenly, 32GBs of RAM is now not enough to bring all 10 toons on. This makes absolutely no sense. Nothing has changed system wise. I did a Memtest86 today and found no errors. Why is LotRO crashing all of a sudden? I'm running at the lowest possible settings and it's using 3GBs of RAM whereas Max settings only increase usage by about 500MBs. :confused:
 

Hurin

Not a Fan of the Store
I realize you all but said this. . .

10x3GB = 30GB just for the LotRO clients.

With a total of 32GB system RAM, that leaves only 2GB for your operating system and anything else your system is running.

Windows 10 minimum requirement is 2GB or RAM. Windows 11 requires 4GB (which may say something about late-stage Windows 10 as well).

If anything starts to sip even just a little bit more RAM, you're likely to run into trouble. Ideally, Windows should use swap file and nothing should crash. But I wouldn't count on it.

Or put another way, I guess I wouldn't really expect ten clients to be stable when running that close to (or even over) red-line on RAM. Heck, something about running ten simultaneous clients gives me the heebie-jeebies, even with plenty of RAM overhead.

I'm afraid SSG is likely to consider 10 simultaneous clients to be edge-case as well. :(

--H
 
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