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Frequent crash to login screen (ongoing issue)

verna.harrisonub17_ESO
I've been trying to play ESO since beta. I had this issue back then and during release. Unfortunately, no one was able to solve it, so I quit playing. Recently, I decided I wanted to try to play again (I really like the game, and really want to play) and I'm having the same issues, of course. I'm hoping someone may have some ideas of what to try to fix the issue. Basically, I crash to the login screen randomly. I can be on the character select screen, trying to create a character, after playing for 5-10 minutes. Sometimes I get to play for 30 min to an hour before crashing to login. I rarely make it past about an hour.

I've tried a clean boot, different drivers, adjusted Nvidia settings, etc. I don't run any addons. I don't receive any error codes or crash report options, just drop to the login screen. I can play WoW, GW2 and other games with no issues. I've attached DxDiag and MSinfo32.

Any help would be greatly appreciated!
  • ArcVelarian
    ArcVelarian
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    Yeah, this JUST started to happen to me too...
    Murphy's Law of PvP : If it can be abused and or exploited, it will be abused and or exploited.
  • Kenny_McCormick
    Kenny_McCormick
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    good luck getting an answer..i posted about this issue weeks ago and got no answer..and others have this issue and zenimax wont help...
    also after u crash does it take u 3 tries to login?

    first try it hangs at the message

    second try it gives u that 301 error.

    3rd try u can login

    cuz that's what happens to me when I crash to login
    Edited by Kenny_McCormick on January 1, 2016 8:28PM
  • Sheezabeast
    Sheezabeast
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    I'm having this same issue too! It's driving me nuts because its happening in PVE and PVP. And its really hard to deal with because its happened to me when doing pledges and fighting a boss, it's happened to me in PVP, its happening to me no matter what I'm doing! Running repairs hasn't done anything :(
    Grand Master Crafter, Beta baby who grew with the game. PC/NA. @Shello2004 if you have crafting needs!
  • verna.harrisonub17_ESO
    good luck getting an answer..i posted about this issue weeks ago and got no answer..and others have this issue and zenimax wont help...
    also after u crash does it take u 3 tries to login?

    first try it hangs at the message

    second try it gives u that 301 error.

    3rd try u can login

    cuz that's what happens to me when I crash to login

    No, typically I can log right back in with no issues, however that's not to say I won't crash to login again within 5-10 min.
  • verna.harrisonub17_ESO
    Here is an update: I kind of figured something out, at least with my issue. I've been reading the forums and trying all kinds of things trying to fix this issue.

    I believe my issue has to do with my router's firewall. If I set the security for IPv4 at minimum (which I don't think is probably the best thing to do), I can play with no issues. I played for 4 hours yesterday and I've played for 3 today and didn't crash to login one time.

    I read a bit on port forwarding and tried that, with my router settings on medium, but I went back to the same issue of randomly crashing to login. Happened about 3 times within 45 min. I'm not sure if I'm doing port forwarding correctly, but from what I can find on it, I think I am. The link below is from the ESO support site. I've attached a screen shot of how I set up the port forwarding, in case I did something wrong.
    Ports for ESO.

    I don't really know much about this, just trying to troubleshoot. Again, I'd appreciate any suggestions. I don't like the idea of having minimum security on my router just to play.
  • Tyvarra
    Tyvarra
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    I had the same issue after reinstalling my graphics driver. I use AMD and the problem was "AMD quick stream". After I got rid of it the problem was solved. Maybe that helps someone. Cheers
    Anriel Elbereth / Sorceress AD
    Naryu Nigris / Dragonknight AD
    Wolfsindis / Templar AD
    Myrdeen / Templar DC
    Tyvarra / Warden AD
    CP 942 / EU
  • Pookie4691
    Hi Verna,

    There is a slight error in the way that you have configured port forwarding.
    The first 3 entries are fine, but the fourth should actually be two entries as follows:

    TCP/UDP 80 80 10.0.0.3
    TCP/UDP 443 443 10.0.0.3

    I.e. it is just ports 80 and 443 that should be enabled, not the range between them.

    I would recommend making this change as the TCP/UDP ports in the range 1 to 1023 are the 'Well Known ports' and encompass a wide range of protocols: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_TCP_and_UDP_port_numbers.

    Incidentally, I am experiencing the same problem, and port forwarding has not fixed it. :-(

    Best Wishes,
    John
  • verna.harrisonub17_ESO
    Thanks for the responses!

    John - Thanks for catching my error. I'll give that a shot and see if it helps, although I'm not too confident since it has not fixed your problem.
  • Pookie4691
    Hi Verna,

    In real life, I am a Computer Network techie (with 25 years experience).
    With my techie hat on, I would think that port forwarding would only solve a problem where you could not contact the ESO servers at all, rather than the intermittent problem that we are experiencing.

    I suspect that this problem may be network related, so I have today started to run a network packet capture, alongside playing ESO. However, I have yet to capture the error(s). Once I do it will take a few hours to read the trace. I will let you know whether or not I find anything.

    Best Wishes,
    John
  • Flawlless
    Flawlless
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    I haven't been able to login yet tonight but considering it wasn't mentioned in the patch notes I'm curious, was the issue of getting booted to the login screen with no error codes addressed? For nearly a week I've been crashing every 15-20 minutes which is making the game completely unplayable.
  • aura_36ub17_ESO
    after the patch this started happening to me now, just drop straight to log in, try to log in times out, try again says cannot connect (assuming its forcing my still online character to go offline ) then third attempt lets me back in
  • Wily_Wizard
    Wily_Wizard
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    Pookie4691 wrote: »
    Hi Verna,

    In real life, I am a Computer Network techie (with 25 years experience).
    With my techie hat on, I would think that port forwarding would only solve a problem where you could not contact the ESO servers at all, rather than the intermittent problem that we are experiencing.

    I suspect that this problem may be network related, so I have today started to run a network packet capture, alongside playing ESO. However, I have yet to capture the error(s). Once I do it will take a few hours to read the trace. I will let you know whether or not I find anything.

    Best Wishes,
    John

    Hi John,
    Thanks for taking the time to set that up. Were you able to capture anything yet?
    I'm also a tech, and I setup windows debugging to capture the crash since my whole PC went down with ESO, but even with the debugger I was still coming up empty handed. Been suspecting either malformed network elements or kernel panic(aka:Blue Screen of Death).

    Here's the setup I used if you are curious: https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/windows/desktop/bb204634(v=vs.85).aspx
  • Pookie4691
    Hi Flawlless,

    Re - getting booted to login screen with no error codes.
    I assume that by error codes, you mean the window titled "The Elder Scrolls Online Crash Reporter...".

    I believe that this window only appears when the ESO client on your PC detects a fatal error, which triggers a program called ZoCrashReporter.exe, which generates the error report.

    However, if a fatal error with your session is instead detected by the ESO Server, the server will log its own error report and then clear down your session.
    This is actually good practice in a client-server environment, as the alternative would be a hung-session, which would stop you from being able to log back in.
    I suspect that those who experience the condition where it takes 3 attempts to log back in are hitting a short-lived hung session.

    Caveat - I am gleaning the above from my own traces, so don't take this as gospel truth.

    Best Regards,
    John
  • Pookie4691
    Hi Wily_Wizard,

    Unfortunately, my elite technical wizardry seems to have frightened the problem away - it's either that or the Server reboot has improved my own situation.

    I have only captured 1 error, and it was a different one (I was swapping between alt's, and froze on the loading screen, rather than in game).

    However, I have learned a little about ESO's network configuration.
    For example, throughout a play session, there are two TCP sessions running:

    One carries a keep-alive signal, which polls every 5 seconds, and I suspect an occasional authentication check (possibly CHAP or some-such). When you quit normally, this session is terminated cleanly from the client end. However, in the case of the error that I captured, this session was terminated cleanly from the host end about the time that my game froze.
    We can consider this to be the account login session. I suspect that this session is used to provide the data for the in-game FPS and Latency display (which I notice only changes every 5 seconds also).

    The second set of sessions carry the game itself. It appears that a TCP session is created to carry the character selection screen. Then it is terminated and a new TCP session is created when you select to play a particular character. When you logoff that character, a new session to the character selection screen is created. When my error occurred, this session continued to carry data and ACK's for several seconds, then nothing, until my client finally (170 seconds later) triggered a TCP Reset (I suspect a timer expired).

    My game session was getting a consistent 30 ms response time, which is really good. I saw only a handful of minor comms errors (Lost segments and duplicate ACKs) which were all recovered correctly.

    Incidentally, I am using Wireshark to perform the packet capture, and I am running PRTG to monitor the state of my PC (including LAN traffic).

    I will keep testing until I capture a few errors, so that I can look for a pattern.

    Best wishes,
    John
  • Wily_Wizard
    Wily_Wizard
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    Nice work John. I would suspect there is a UDP session for the active game world itself, probably a new UDP session for each instance(zone) you are in.

    Here's some more info on the ESO connections, maybe it will prove useful.
    https://help.elderscrollsonline.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/1133/~/what-ports-do-i-need-to-open-to-access-the-game

    I've tried capturing the crashes using WER and WinDbg, but they never capture any info. I know they are working fine, because I capture little things like "IE has stopped working". This ESO induced crash apparently is instantaneous, and leaves no time for logs to be written. My guess is that the only people that could debug it are ZOS devs that can run ESO in full debug mode. It would be nice is ZOS released a standalone ESO debugger that some of us with the worst problems could use. They would even learn something, perhaps useful, from the findings. If they are worried about us having access to things we shouldn't see, then they could make it run silently and only send a report back to ZOS. All the client would get is a confirmation that a debug report was sent and thanks for helping the team..and a reminder to disable debug mode to optimize performance.



  • Pookie4691
    Hi Wily_Wizard,

    <Pedantry ON> UDP doesn't create sessions, it is for single packet messages (Datagrams) <Pedantry OFF>.

    However, I had also thought that the game content might be a Real-time Transport Protocol (RTP) stream, which is usually carried over UDP (for Videoconference applications etc.). But, the game session does appear to be TCP session, which I could easily identify.
    There was very little UDP traffic in my trace.

    Following some further analysis, I believe that the TCP game session does indeed change as a character move between zones.

    In the case of the one error that I captured (which is not the type of error that we are trying to resolve), I have done some further analysis.
    Throughout the trace which continued for over an hour, the Account TCP session remains (using the same TCP ports at both ends - so we can be sure that it is a single uninterrupted session). However, the Game TCP session terminates at irregular intervals (of tens, hundreds or thousands of seconds) and is immediately replaced by a new session, often with a different server - which strongly implies that a new session correlates to the character transitioning zone boundaries. At the same time as this occurs there is a correlating data stream of about 20KB sent from the server on the Account TCP session.

    At the time the error occurred, I had selected an alt character from the character selection screen and was waiting at the long loading screen, which then froze. A new game session had been created and was happily loading data from the server.
    The burst of 20KB traffic had been sent on the Account TCP Session, and this session returned to the 5 second keep alive pattern, which comprises a 27 byte packet from the host a 35 bytes response from the client and a 0 byte ACK from the host. After about 20 seconds the pattern changed, still at 5 second intervals, the 27 byte packet was sometimes replaced by a packet of different lengths (71 bytes, 19 bytes, 399 bytes) but still mostly 27, instead of the 35 byte response, the client sent a 0 byte ACK, which continued for 50 seconds. Then at the next 5 second interval the host sent a FIN packet, which I ACK'ed, then FIN, ACK again. So the host end has (cleanly) terminated my account session. The host continued to send data on my game session for a second or two, then another packet 6 seconds later, then nothing. Three minutes later, my client send a TCP RST - abnormal termination of this game session, or a TCP Timeout.

    In short, my account was logged off from the server end, leaving me with a hung game session.
    Unfortunately, at this point I repeatedly hit <Ctl><Alt><Del> with my forehead, which seems to have repeatedly submitted the client side Crash Report tool. Next time, I will sit quietly, stroking my (evil) cat.

    Best wishes,
    John
  • verna.harrisonub17_ESO
    Hey John - yeah, the port forwarding didn't work. After making the correction, I got dumped to the login screen after about 20 min. With my router security setting at minimum... I can play for hours. Just how vulnerable am I with my settings that low?

    John/Wily_Wizard - I appreciate you guys looking into this.
  • Xvorg
    Xvorg
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    after the patch this started happening to me now, just drop straight to log in, try to log in times out, try again says cannot connect (assuming its forcing my still online character to go offline ) then third attempt lets me back in

    Same here. I'm tired of having lag even in PVE... and not in the most populated zones.
    The biggest problem within this game is the lack imagination on its player base and its developers...
    DragonKNIGHT KNIGHT!!!! not Dragonscoundrel, neither Dragonarcher....
    ― Our enemy was bold so we were bolder... our enemy was strong so we were stronger...

    ― Then, why did you lose?

    ― Our enemy was stupid...
    Get rid of poison on DKs...
  • Wily_Wizard
    Wily_Wizard
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    John, [email protected] ON :smiley:
    BTW, RTP is mostly used in VOIP applications, where UDP is more or less the standard in gaming for the last 15 years. Generally speaking, UDP is "considered" as real time as you can get for gaming, it forfeits error correction for speed. While UDP doesn't use per-packet error correction, ZOS may have counters setup on their servers that re-train the stream after X number of missing packets(for example in a high packet loss environment). Honestly, I think we are overdue for someone to create a new "closer-to-real-time" protocol, but for the most part it's a waste of time since everyone is still using TC IPV4. If mainstream ever makes the move to TC IPV6 (or its successor) we will all be happier :smile:

    I'm pretty sure ZOS uses virtual servers for each zone, in order to use resources more efficiently, but they may have IC on its own physical server...if they don't, they should, lol.

    BTW, I unloaded all my debuggers, I'll just have to keep an eye out for your findings. Thanks for putting in the time on this.

    Verna, no worrys, I'm crashing like you, since beta also, and this has never been resolved, and its only ESO. Would be nice to actually find something duplicable to point a finger at, regardless of who's problem it is.
  • Pookie4691
    Hi Verna,

    "With my router security setting at minimum... I can play for hours. Just how vulnerable am I with my settings that low?"

    It depends upon what other protections you have in place. Not knowing your setup, I would certainly not recommend it.

    If reducing the security really does alleviate this problem, it is most likely because your router is become CPU or Memory bound when running 'too many' firewall rules.

    The real purpose of the ability to reduce the security setting is to help diagnose a problem when your game/app does not work at all. You briefly reduce security, to see if that allows connection. If so, you need to poke a relevant hole through your firewall. If not, you put your security back up and look for your connectivity problem elsewhere.

    Depending on your router, it may be easy, hard or impossible to monitor its internal status.

    Best Regards,
    John
  • Pookie4691
    Hi Chaps,

    Well I experienced my problem earlier this evening.
    I had just exited Ezduiin to Auridon, and my toon froze before I got to the top of the stairs.

    I stroked my (evil) cat for 6 minutes, then hit <Ctl><Alt><Del> many times before I could break out to Task Mgr.
    Windows helpfully told my that ESO had stopped working, did I want to search the Interwebs <Cancel>.
    Cancelled the Crash Reporter. Then stopped my Wireshark trace.

    Here is my initial analysis:

    Account TCP Session

    TimeStamp (seconds)
    ....
    1697 Normal Keepalive 27B, 35B 0B
    1698-9 Zone Transition 20KB download
    1702 Normal Keepalive 27B, 35B 0B
    1707 Normal Keepalive 27B, 35B 0B
    1712 Normal Keepalive 27B, 35B 0B
    1717 Normal Keepalive 27B, 35B 0B
    1722 Normal Keepalive 27B, 35B 0B
    1727 Short Keepalive 27B, 0B
    ....
    1758 Short Keepalive 27B, 0B
    1761 ??? 437B, 0B
    1763 Short Keepalive 27B, 0B
    ....
    1778 Short Keepalive 27B, 0B
    1783 Session terminated from Host FIN,ACK,FIN,ACK


    Game TCP Session

    1698 New Session Starts from Client SYN,SYN/ACK,ACK
    .... Data Stream primarily from Server
    1699 stops
    1704 Client sends 44B packet, Server ACKs
    1714 Client sends 24B packet, Server ACKs, Server sends 16B packet, Client ACKs
    1719 Data Stream primarily from Server
    1795 stops

    2150 Crash Reporter sends report to ESO, but Client abnormally terminates
    2151 Crash Reporter reties every half second another 24 times, all abnormally terminated

    I will post a subsequent message with an interpretation of this.

    Cheers,
    John
  • Pookie4691
    Hi Chaps,

    In an ideal world, I would have many error traces to provide a comparison (Joke).

    From just this one trace, my best guess is that the error occurred between Timestamp 1722 and 1727 - the fatal error being signalled by the lack of a 35Byte response from my client on the Account TCP session. The server continues polling for about 60 seconds, then terminates the session.

    Sadly the TCP Game session just dies, and never times out. I have just checked Regedit, and I have nothing set for TCP Timeouts - which should default to about 90 seconds (5 retries at intervals of 3, 6, 12, 24 and 48 seconds). I will configure these defaults before I next login to ESO.

    Finally, I suspect that the 25 failed crash reports were triggered by me trying to <Ctl><Alt><Del> out of my frozen Game session, which is not great. Next time I encounter this condition, I will wait for a TCP Timeout (stroking evil cat), then try to <Ctl><Shift><Esc> out instead. Following that, I will look into disabling the ZoCrashReporter.exe, by renaming it.

    Best wishes,
    John
  • Cously
    Cously
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    Been having this issue a month now. Game is unplayable, can't VMA, PVP, Trials, RP seriously as never know when will get booted to login.
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