Connection madness in SF4 PC version

I am UK based, on a broadband router, have configured port forwarding and have gone as far as turning firewall off (at router and windows) to rectify this problem, none of which seems to work.

The symptoms are as follows:

  1. I experience this less frequently the longer I keep playing in a single session (i.e. between instances of starting up the game), but it almost always crops up in the first or second match and then two or three matches after with some problemless matches inbetween. All symptoms described I experience in “ranked match” mode which is what I prefer to play, with me as lobby host. The symptom is: after we pick our characters, the game just hangs around for up to a minute on the ‘vs’ screen. Then the match proceeds as normal.

Whenever this happens, it is inevitable that the game will sooner or later announce that I’ve been disconnected from windows live. I imagine that the disconnect has already occured when this happens and the game is just slow to announce it (the peer-to-peer connection has been negotiated and the match is able to play out).

Sometimes the disconnect/disconnect-announce occurs in the middle of gameplay, but most of the time you can finish the match. However when the scores are announced, the game just hangs around on that screen instead of returning to the live battle menu, until it disconnects. You can foreshorten this process if you disconnect from windows live manually, then log back in, since logging out manually forces you back to the main menu. Otherwise you have to endure a minute of it doing nothing before it kindly tells you that you lost your connection to windows live.

  1. This symptom is less annoying; we pick our characters and the match starts, but on the very first frame (always features Cammy’s butt in my case) it just stays frozen on that frame for the exact same number of seconds every time (about 3), then announces that the connection has been lost (no windows live disconnection, just lost connection with peer). It then returns to the live battle screen.

  2. Sometimes I experience a combination of symptoms 1 and 2, where there is lag during the ‘vs’ screen and a frozen first frame followed by connection drop followed by a delay and then windows live disconnect.

  3. The weird thing is, I brought my computer over to my dad’s house recently. He lives 50 minutes to the south and his router doesn’t even have the port forwarding configured. I didn’t experience ANY of the above symptoms when I stayed over there. The other weird thing? There were no players on “ranked match”, whereas at home I’m never kept waiting for someone to fight; I ended up seeking fights in championship mode, which seemed busy enough. Seems, then, that both the connection quality AND the amount of people available to fight is VERY location specific. It explains the mixed stories of how busy the PC version of street fighter is; I always thought it to be very busy but others were complaining of what a ghost town it is.

Anyway, I’m wondering if anyone has any tips that might rectify symptoms 1 and 2.

If you’ve disabled all firewalls and you’re still have connection issues then I’m stumped. How’s your broadband line? Is it reliable for streaming videos and regular internet usage?

Also, I’d recommend putting up those firewalls back up.

If you’re looking to test whether ports are being blocked for your application, you can just put your device into DMZ on your router, instead of configuring all the ports specifically; just don’t leave it in DMZ.