"Lag" is a Second Life phenomenon, bringing the game slow and irresponsive, punctually or almost constantly for some player.
As lag is a generic term, it may have many cause with different ways to address them.
Second Life needs a decent graphic processing unit (GPU) to run smoothly. On a current computer tunes for video games it should work as a breeze, thus in older model or computer with chipset instead of GPU.
This lag has the following effect
- usual high keyboard response time.
- unability to use the best graphic features
- avatar almost freezed in some very detailed place, in a big crowd or being with very detailed avatars.
This type of lag, make the metered combats very unbalanced according each other computers.
The better way to adress is to change the GPU, updating the driver may help too. If not possible, turn the graphic options to the minimum. Also, being in mouselook may help as the avatar is not displayed on the screen.
Sim builders can reduce this lag using a lower prim and textures density, with a lesser but correct resolution (1024x1024 sized texture are famous to be lagging).
Sim owner can educate people for not using too detailed avatars, especialy in metered fights.
The information has to travel from the server to the views and may lag during this travel. It may come from either from Second Life, the user installation or any tier part in the middle.
At low level the user interface become slow and irrive, then prims and textures may be missing. At higher level the avatar walking straigh through the buildings and become uncontrolable or disconnects.
The end user can check their network connectivity (links, router..), especialy on a wireless link which are subject to noises.
At building level, do not overload an area in prim and do not user speed up the transfer, then limit the lag effect a bit, but doesn't fix the problem.
When the sim starts to cover with scripted or physical objects and avatars, this kind of lag appears.
The major visible effect is a general motion slowdown.
As the end users can't fix it by themself, they can contribute to reduce it by
- turning off the unnecessary scripts especially the Animation Overiders (AO)
- turn off some models of lightsaber while walking
- don't spam bullets with their blaster, especially with fast rate auto guns.
- don't call more people to come in when the lag starts
- leave the area, if allowed, when defeated in a battle.
- use good quality products, thus the quality is hard to check, and not necessary related of the sale price.
The builders may reduce the number of active scripts or physical objects and ensure the quality of the ones they use.
At estate level, the manager can check which scripts or objects use the more time, and take off the less useful.