When playing Ashen Empires recently, I've been experiencing uncommon and severe lag spikes and very frequent disconnects. After over a week of testing, I've narrowed the problem down to my ISP throttling this gaming activity because for some reason it's being interpreted as P2P activity.

Charter Communications (My ISP) has been known for traffic shaping, but it's not supposed to throttle gaming activity... only excessive bandwidth and P2P activity.

I've read that other MMORPGs have had the same problems recently with other ISPs (WoW and Verizon for example).

So my question is, how do I solve this problem? Is there a way to bypass traffic shaping for MMORPGs?

  • I updated the title and tags to focus on the specific game ... that may have been part of the initial confusion. – Dave DuPlantis Jun 29 '11 at 0:57

WoW is using P2P to distribute map data without putting load on their servers, this can be disabled. However WoW still uses ports that could be flagged as P2P. See this walkthough on how to disable the P2P data transfer for both the downloader and the client and see if that fixes your issue.


Changed the link for the walkthough to one that includes another tip about disabling IPv6

UPDATE2: Didn't read the OP carefully enough, this is not a question about WoW.

For a general solution to your problem the only option you have is to find a VPN provider to tunnel out of your ISP's network and in to someone else. Now this will stop the trafic shaping but it will increase your ping times as you are adding a another destination the data must go through before it gets to you.

Update3: I don't know what county you are in but (after you have talked to your ISP) you can complain to the FCC or your local countries equivalent. They take those complaints very seriously.

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  • Thanks for responding so quickly, however my particular issue is with Ashen Empires, not WoW. I used WoW as an example of other MMORPGs that have had this type of issue with ISP throttling. – Brian Jun 28 '11 at 23:10
  • I'm actually waiting on a call back from my ISP's tech support supervisor, and I was planning to ask them to; confirm that they are throttling this activity, and ask if there is any way for them to exclude Ashen Empires from their list of activites that result is traffic shaping. I'll also look into VPN providers, thanks for that tip. I live in the southeast US (Georgia), and I'll definitely contact the FCC if Charter Communications won't be reasonable. Thanks again for the tips. – Brian Jun 28 '11 at 23:25
  • @Brian We had a recent example of this go high-profile in the news with Rogers Communication (BC, Canada). Their PR flailed a bunch and eventually said their hands were tied because the shaping was being done by Cisco hardware and they were "working with Cisco to address the issue". So it's possible they're just dumb and don't really understand their own network, and might be unable to intelligently fix the problem. (Even if so, sic the FCC on them anyway!) – SevenSidedDie Jun 29 '11 at 15:51
  • @Brian: I wish you luck. I'm pretty sure Cox is doing this to me with the voice chat of DDO. They deny they are doing ANY shaping but that's not the case. – Loren Pechtel Jun 29 '11 at 20:36

The root cause here is really the ISP. P2P is used in a lot of legitimate situations and if your ISP choses to provide a crippled service you should look for a new one ASAP.

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