This weekend I’ve had a two experiences of battling that most dreaded of monsters in MMORPGs, the lag monster.
In Tera I logged in just to experience the server BAM event on 4th January. It started very late for GMT players so I had no real intention of properly taking part. But I was curious enough to see how the event would play out. I’ve had issues with Tera not performing well on my gaming laptop so it was not a surprise then, surrounded by hundreds of other players and fast spawning BAMs, that things quickly became a slideshow.
The game engine has ways of coping with dense player activity – you see other players as indistinct shadows. But that didn’t help me with the monsters, they simply popped into being with an increasing delay as the area became saturated with excited players.
I didn’t mind not getting any loot from this, as a level 42 priest my contribution in a raid would have been almost non-existent. But the repeated deaths from BAMs appearing on top of me got tiring pretty quickly. Just going on where the character ‘shadows’ were clustered isn’t enough to stay safe in Tera – BAMs like all monsters can move around a lot during a fight including jumping to the side or charging forwards. That’s especially dangerous if you can’t see them until they’re on top of you…
This floating head monster was particularly impressive although it did one shot me several times.
My second encounter with the lag monster was in LOTRO. I’ve just edged into the Rohan expansion and was working towards getting my first warhorse. I logged back on to the marsh area near Langhold where I’d finished up my last session slaying wurms. As I loaded in a warband quest appeared to slay a wurm called Cinder. Typically while I was waiting for the client to recover from loading in (honestly LOTRO’s client is one of the slowest to load I’ve ever encountered), Cinder promptly teleported over to me and flattened me. The lag was bad enough that I didn’t stand much chance of running away or fighting.
I’ve just now obtained my warhorse and have found that this lag was not an isolated issue as I tried the mounted combat out for the first few quests. It doesn’t bode well for my progress through the Rohan expansions content if I’m going to find the horse-combat extra difficult due to the lag-monster!