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[GUIDE] Reducing load times


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Donpedro #1 Posted 05 April 2018 - 03:40 PM

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Hi!

 

Like many of you, I'm also affected by the insanely slow loading times of update 1.0 on HDDs. Before the update, I arrived welI before the start of each battle, but now I was late 30-40 seconds each time. I decided to invest some time and perform a detailed analysis. If you are interested in the details, here's the blog post (it's long and very technical - you've been warned!). I found a viable workaround that vastly improved my loading times (without reducing graphics settings, etc.), and I wanted to share this, hopefully, it will help other players in the same boat. After applying this workaround, I arrive to battles about 5-10 seconds before they start.

 

The trick is to move game data files closer to each other on your disk (by using a defragmenter called Defraggler), so the effects of inefficient disk access patterns employed by the game client will be mitigated. These are the steps you need to perform:

  1. Make sure you have enough free space on your disk. You need at least about 15%, but the more, the better
    The more you have, the more efficient the defragger can be
  2. Download and install Defraggler (it's from the same company that ships CCleaner)
  3. Go to the Action menu, and select "Defrag folder...". Select the following folder: [WoT install folder]\res\packages, click OK
    This should take about 10 to 20 minutes
  4. See if loading times improved

 

If they didn't, try defragmenting your whole drive (note that this can take a considerable amount of time), then repeat the steps above, again. Freeing some memory before playing the game (e.g. closing browser tabs) also helps a bit, because the OS file cache has more wiggle room with more free memory.

 

(If the improvement you got is still not enough, you can go with existing workarounds, given you are willing to settle for a compromise solution. Reduce the graphics quality, and/or turn off music, and/or turn off sounds completely (this reduces the amount of data that needs to be loaded).)

 

I hope this helps, it certainly helped me. Have a FAQ:

 

Q: Did you perform your analysis/measurements before or after the micropatch that was supposed to improve loading times?

A: After (the micropatch was released on 03.29. (EU, NA, RU), I performed my analysis on 03.30.).

 

Q: Are you telling me, that simple defragmentation is the solution to this problem?

A: No. Having these files (and their fragments, given they have more than one) closer to each other on your disk is what does the trick. Running a defrag for this specific folder seems to achieve this.

 

Q: Is this program reliable?

A: It's made by the same guys that make CCleaner, so I would say yes.

 

Q: Are you liable if something goes wrong in the process?

A: No. However, defrag programs have been around for almost as long as desktop operating systems, so it's very unlikely that something will go wrong.

 

Q: Windows has a built-in defragmenter, can I use that instead?

A: No. It lacks the feature of defragging a specific, targeted folder. It’s also more conservative in regards to moving things around.

 

Q: How certain are you that this workaround will work for me, specifically?

A: I can't say for sure, but chances are good. Give it a try.

 

Q: Is this workaround permanent?

A: Strictly speaking, no. Every time the game will get updated, it’s possible that files will be moved around (deleted and created again, for example), or get fragmented (e.g. extended). If loading times become worse after an update, I suggest performing this workaround again.

 

Q: My loading times did improve, but I’m still late for my battles!

A: Maybe your HDD is not fast enough. Some HDD models are not designed for high performance (like laptop HDDs, Western Digital Green, Toshiba N series, etc.).

 

Q: What's the cause of this issue?

A: The WoT client issues read requests in a way that's really slow for HDDs. If you feel tech-savvy, read the blog post for details.

 

Q: So, is this WG's fault? Why can’t they hire smarter programmers? Remove arthillery pls!

A: Technically, yes. Keep in mind, however, that this is a complex issue. Also, their development machines most likely have lots of memory and SSDs, so it's possible that bad performance on HDDs was a simple oversight.

 

Q: Are they going to fix this?

A: I don't know, but if I'd have to make a guess, yes.

 



ThinGun #2 Posted 05 April 2018 - 03:43 PM

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It's WG's fault that files get fragmented on your hard disc.  Epic fail.

Oh, and DON'T defrag an SSD.  It's pointless and it actually reduces the life of your device.
 

CraftyVeteran #3 Posted 05 April 2018 - 04:02 PM

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cool story.

Kozzy #4 Posted 05 April 2018 - 04:31 PM

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Nice one.  Kind of confirms some suspicions that some people had in regards to WG's thoughts on optimizing their game and what can be done to mitigate it (i.e. buy an SSD).

 

I would say that people should probably already be using SSDs more anyway (for anything other than large/long-term storage).



Cobra6 #5 Posted 05 April 2018 - 04:37 PM

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View PostThinGun, on 05 April 2018 - 02:45 PM, said:

Oh, and DON'T defrag an SSD.  It's pointless and it actually reduces the life of your device.

 

This, never EVER run defragmentation on your SSD drive, only old physical HDD's, the ones with the disks inside, not the memory chips.

 

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pucku #6 Posted 05 April 2018 - 04:43 PM

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I'm a bit wary of running anything created by that company. CCleaner had a trojan in 2017 that infected over 2 million PCs.

 

https://en.wikipedia...#Security_flaws



m1x_angelico #7 Posted 05 April 2018 - 08:19 PM

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Just by a fast SSD, like I did almost 2 years ago. No slow loading ever since.

 

BTW using any external defragmenter software on Window 7 or higher is pointless.



pucku #8 Posted 05 April 2018 - 09:24 PM

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View Postm1x_angelico, on 05 April 2018 - 08:19 PM, said:

BTW using any external defragmenter software on Window 7 or higher is pointless.

 

Why? Can the built in move all files in a directory to the same space on a HD?



Baldrickk #9 Posted 05 April 2018 - 10:31 PM

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View Postm1x_angelico, on 05 April 2018 - 08:19 PM, said:

Just by a fast SSD, like I did almost 2 years ago. No slow loading ever since.

 

BTW using any external defragmenter software on Window 7 or higher is pointless.

You mean Vista or higher, and you're wrong. 

I've just been reading the blog post (linked from elsewhere), and commented why:

Block Quote

 

Windows’ degragmenter is, quite frankly, terrible. Why?

Well, on XP, people would hear that defragmenting their files was good, and would sit for ages making sure all their word documents and spreadsheets were in single chunks.

This wasn’t much use because really, it doesn’t matter if a word document is in one chunk or ten, it’s still a small file that is loaded once and in isolation. People did it though because “defragmented hard drives work better”

The imagined need to do a full disk defrag (and the xp tool doesn’t let you defrag specific files like defraggler) and the time wasted by that was a negative perception. So with Vista, MS changed their tool.

Out went the graphical display. Now users can’t see what they are working with. They only get the %-age provided, and now it LIES.
Well. It tells a half-truth.
While there isn’t much value in defragging your documents, there is in defragging your OS. So that’s what it scans. Nothing else.
It’s also scheduled to run in the background and will auto-defrag when over 3%, which is why you don’t often see scores higher than that. Pretty much the only source of fragmentation is Windows update, so the tool basically just cleans up after windows update’s mess.

 

 

 

 



Homer_J #10 Posted 05 April 2018 - 10:57 PM

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View PostThinGun, on 05 April 2018 - 03:43 PM, said:

It's WG's fault that files get fragmented on your hard disc.  Epic fail.

 

Nope, it's Microsoft's fault.

 

But the long loading times are WG's.



HeidenSieker #11 Posted 06 April 2018 - 02:39 AM

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View PostDonpedro, on 05 April 2018 - 03:40 PM, said:

The trick is to move game data files closer to each other on your disk (by using a defragmenter called Defraggler), so the effects of inefficient disk access patterns employed by the game client will be mitigated.

 

Does this "Defraggler" allow moving of files onto a physical area of the disk? A simple way to speed up access to a file on disk (by some 30% or so) is to position the files in a smallish partition at the edge of the drive (big enough for World of Tanks and a bit left over for updates). This assumes of course that you have a disk you can do that on.....

Edited by HeidenSieker, 06 April 2018 - 02:43 AM.


Cast0r #12 Posted 06 April 2018 - 05:10 AM

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SSD best upgrade EVER!

 

Christ I have been using SSD's for like or 8 years now.

time to upgrade, HD graphics = get a better system, stop using crap old laptop



Strappster #13 Posted 06 April 2018 - 05:36 AM

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View PostHeidenSieker, on 06 April 2018 - 01:39 AM, said:

Does this "Defraggler" allow moving of files onto a physical area of the disk? A simple way to speed up access to a file on disk (by some 30% or so) is to position the files in a smallish partition at the edge of the drive (big enough for World of Tanks and a bit left over for updates). This assumes of course that you have a disk you can do that on.....

 

Not as such, though there is the option to move large files of certain types (e.g. archives, large video files, those that won't be accessed too often) to the end of the drive during a whole drive defrag.



Emeraldweed #14 Posted 06 April 2018 - 06:27 AM

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after the patch  i couldnt even load into battle, did a complete format of the disk (hdd)  and that did the job, now am  one of the first to join the battle

vcristi #15 Posted 06 April 2018 - 08:15 AM

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View PostCast0r, on 06 April 2018 - 04:10 AM, said:

SSD best upgrade EVER!

 

Christ I have been using SSD's for like or 8 years now.

time to upgrade, HD graphics = get a better system, stop using crap old laptop

 

Yeah, best technical advice i've ever seen - buy a new pc....

Did you ever considered that some people lack the money to do that?



anonym_kL7qtn3e52MB #16 Posted 06 April 2018 - 08:28 AM

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Fixed my LOOOOOOOOOONG loading times by lowering the texture settings from Ultra to High (one setting lower then Ultra)

(Not sure who told us about a week ago....Was it LordMuffin???? Can't seem to find the post anymore)

I have had the same experience as the OP. Before 1.0 I loaded in before the countdowntimer even started the countdown.

In 1.0, the automated settings put my textures to Ultra. I got into the game 2-3 after the round started.

Lowering the texture quality setting fixed this completely.

 

FWIW if you have W10 installed and didn't change anything in the disk defrag department (which I suspect most PEBCAK monkeys havn't done), your PC will defrag automatically.

It's automated in W8 and W10.

 

 

Google search for "defrag with W10 necessary?" (for those with not enough Google skillpoints....)

 

https://www.google.n...chrome&ie=UTF-8


Edited by Spek_en_Bonen, 06 April 2018 - 08:32 AM.


Baldrickk #17 Posted 06 April 2018 - 08:46 AM

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View PostSpek_en_Bonen, on 06 April 2018 - 08:28 AM, said:

Fixed my LOOOOOOOOOONG loading times by lowering the texture settings from Ultra to High (one setting lower then Ultra)

(Not sure who told us about a week ago....Was it LordMuffin???? Can't seem to find the post anymore)

I have had the same experience as the OP. Before 1.0 I loaded in before the countdowntimer even started the countdown.

In 1.0, the automated settings put my textures to Ultra. I got into the game 2-3 after the round started.

Lowering the texture quality setting fixed this completely.

 

FWIW if you have W10 installed and didn't change anything in the disk defrag department (which I suspect most PEBCAK monkeys havn't done), your PC will defrag automatically.

It's automated in W8 and W10.

 

 

Google search for "defrag with W10 necessary?" (for those with not enough Google skillpoints....)

 

https://www.google.n...chrome&ie=UTF-8

 that's not so much fixing the problem as it is avoiding it.

 

View PostHeidenSieker, on 06 April 2018 - 02:39 AM, said:

 

Does this "Defraggler" allow moving of files onto a physical area of the disk? A simple way to speed up access to a file on disk (by some 30% or so) is to position the files in a smallish partition at the edge of the drive (big enough for World of Tanks and a bit left over for updates). This assumes of course that you have a disk you can do that on.....

Defraggler is just a defragmenter.

 

Nothing to stop you creating a partition just for WOT though, to ensure the files stay together.

 

Try https://gparted.org/ you can shrink your partition, add the new one and stick WOT on that.


 

Edited by Jahpero, 10 April 2018 - 09:16 AM.


Kozzy #18 Posted 06 April 2018 - 09:09 AM

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People think nothing of spending £20 on takeaway but lose their minds on spending £80 on an SSD?  Seriously, just get one and join the 21st century.  Don't hear people clinging onto CRT monitors etc...

imendars #19 Posted 06 April 2018 - 09:13 AM

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View PostThinGun, on 05 April 2018 - 05:43 PM, said:

It's WG's fault that files get fragmented on your hard disc.  Epic fail.

 

He is talking about game files fragmentation cause of patches.

That is not users fault.

Therefore WG should as minimum effort recommend some defrag software in case of slow speeds.



ironvolt #20 Posted 06 April 2018 - 09:16 AM

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HDD defragment thread in 2018...lul




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