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Thread: kWoW - A Simple WoW Launcher Utility

  1. #1

    Default kWoW - A Simple WoW Launcher Utility

    Short backstory:

    The issue I had a few nights ago where a good percentage of my saved addon options became corrupted and disappeared was very frustrating to say the least and I immediately started thinking about a method to prevent that from ever happening to me again.

    Kain suggested that the .bat file that Taka introduced many of us to some time ago might be a good avenue and modifiable to create backups of the SavedVariables, and sure enough with some tinkering around I was able to come up with something that does just that: In addition to removing the NPC/Creature cache files upon launch, it also creates backup copies of all the saved variables files (If anyone wants this particular solution, you can find it here).

    Still it wasn't quite what I wanted. The biggest issue is there is no reasonable method through .bat files -- which are insanely archaic to code since it's all basically taken straight from MS-DOS shell commands -- to detect when an archive of Saved Variables is of a certain age and remove them. Most importantly perhaps, given hard drive space is vital for those running their WoW install on an SSD drive like myself, is the fact that a straight copy means every time I launch WoW, I'm adding another 60-70 megs of text files to a new archive somewhere. Launching WoW half a dozen times a day or more can add up really quickly and would require remembering to delete them.

    I'm also aware that the popular Curse Client has backup features, but as far as I could tell, those were only available to Premium Users which didn't seem very viable.

    The solution: kWoW

    What it do?


    As you can see above, it's a very basic application I created to help alleviate the few issues while maintaining simplicity-of-use. Most plainly, the purpose is as a bootstrapper or launcher application to begin your WoW session, just like the aforementioned .bat file, while adding a few (automated) utilities into the mix.

    1. Instantly archives all .lua (SavedVariables) files in the specified Saved Variables Directory and compresses them up into a date-formatted .zip file placed in the specified Archive Directory.

    2. Archive restoration, showing a dropdown of all available archives that have been created, with a Restore button to automatically unzip all the .lua files in the specified Archive back into the Saved Variables directory (overwriting any matching file names in the process). With these first two features, all my addon issues from the other night would've been fixed in 2 or 3 minutes. =(

    3. Automatically delete archives that are of at least a certain age -- my 70 megs of files are compressed down to around 10 megs in .zip format, but even so this option will purge extra stuff that isn't really necessary.

    4. Clear NPC/Creature Cache, which does just as it sounds for NPCScan users and the like, the idea from Taka that originally spawned the first .bat file.

    5. Launch Application, allowing you to specify whether you wish to launch Wow.exe/Wow-64.exe directly, or go the normal route through the Launcher.

    6. Auto-launch after X seconds, allows you to specify how long you want the auto-launch progress bar to remain active before it closes and auto-launches according to your settings. Set it very low if you wish to launch near instantly and have little need to edit options.

    Usage

    Using kWoW is all pretty simple. Install it just like any other application to the directory of your choice and you should have a Launch kWoW shortcut on your desktop. Once launched, if any of your directories are invalid, you'll get a popup indicating as much. The WoW Folder and Saved Variables Folder are obvious, but the Archive Directory can be anywhere you wish (I personally like I keep it as a sub-directory to keep things tidy).

    Decide on the Delete Archives after X days option setting you wish as well as whether you need the Creature/NPC Caches cleared, and lastly which launch application to use, then Save & Launch!

    Auto-Launch


    When kWoW is launched, you'll see the Auto-Launch countdown bar, which presents the user with a means to cancel execution of the auto-launch sequence by pressing escape, space, or enter at any time during auto-launch. This will force auto-launch to cancel and keep the kWoW UI active to allow settings changes as desired (including the auto-launch execution length).

    Otherwise, normal execution of kWoW will briefly display the Auto-Launch countdown and after completion, will execute the Backup and Cleanup routines as normal, close kWoW, and launch WoW.

    Questions/Suggestions

    If anyone finds this useful and has any suggestions or improvements, feel free to let me know. I realize the number of users for such a thing is likely fairly small, but it was a fun project to work on and gave me a chance to use a language I haven't coded in before (C#), so that was cool as well!
    Last edited by Kulldam; 03-08-2013 at 12:44 AM.

  2. #2
    VOTE ME RAID LEADER 2012! Takaoni's Avatar
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    These creation skills are so mad! What a cool tool to whip up so quickly after your corruptastrophy.

    Sent from my DROIDX using Tapatalk 2

  3. #3

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    Updated:
    • Improved upgrading mechanisms -- From this version forward, installing over an existing copy should seamlessly update your installation settings rather than force a manual uninstall through Add/Remove Programs.
    • Added .NET 4.5 framework redistributable if necessary to the setup (Please advise if this doesn't work for anyone, I can't test it very well.)
    • Removed modifier-hotkey launch cancellation method -- This proved too clunky and inexact. Instead, launching kWoW now displays a brief Auto-Launch countdown window, which allows the user to cancel the Auto-Launch sequence at any time by pressing Escape, Space, or Enter during the sequence. The length of time for Auto-Launch can be adjusted in the options.

  4. #4

    Default

    Updated:
    • Added Wow-64.exe option to Launcher dropdown.
    • Updated download URL to setup.zip -- NOTE: Installing will likely not retain previous settings for this new version. Sorry, but necessary evil as my InstallShield was a trial version used for previous setup.exe files.

  5. #5

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    Yay 64 bit!

    Ever since the patch my launcher hangs from time to time, so skipping it became a must.

  6. #6

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    Updated

    • Battle.net Launcher support added.
    • Restore list now populated immediately following change of Archive directory.
    Last edited by Kulldam; 08-24-2013 at 01:35 PM.

  7. #7

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    Just a bump reminder that this tool exists for anyone looking to have some peace of mind regarding their addon settings (quite important going into a new expansion I'd say)!

    Note that because of the Battle.net Launcher requirement to actually "run" the WoW executable, using this tool is still the same where you run it to begin logging into WoW, but now it will launch the Battle.net launcher and you must manually click "Launch WoW" from there.

  8. #8

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    Updated: Download

    • Added full account-directory backup support.
    • Removed user-defined backup directory (backups are now automatically placed in WoW/kWoWBackup.

    After my most recent issue with addon stuff at the end of raid Wednesday, I ran into a problem I didn't realize I had. While I used kWoW to launch my game every time I play (and thus have frequent backups), I found after the raid that while the majority of my addons were restored with a simple recovery process from kWoW, I was missing a few key components. The main one being all my character-specific macros were gone. I decided to resolve this by increasing the breadth of backed up files in this newest release.

    Prior to this version, kWoW would only backup .lua files in the WoW/WTF/ACCOUNT/SavedVariables directory. This covers 80-90% of all addon settings, as the vast majority of addons save using an account-wide "profile." However, this backup excludes a lot of other important files that may (as I found out recently) be useful and relevant to have around.

    Therefore, the latest version of kWoW will backup the entire WoW/WTF/ACCOUNT directory. This includes files like macros-cache.txt which stores a localized macro set, config-cache.txt which houses a number of default interface options and toggles, and bindings-cache.txt which holds a localized bindings list. There are also numerous versions of these files in deeper directories that are realm and character specific that will also be backed up.

    Additionally, while the previous ACCOUNT/SavedVariables backups would get the majority of addon data, some addon authors utilize a more drilled-down method of storing their data, specifying saved settings by Realm and Character Name. This means that those addons (such as MasterPlan, Prat, and TidyPlates) save their settings in ACCOUNT/REALM/CHARACER/SavedVariables. Now with a full ACCOUNT directory backup, all those settings are archived as well.

    Please note that for those who used kWoW in the past, this new version will be slightly slower to launch than before since the backup size is much larger, though it greatly depends how many files are in your primary account directory. As an example, my primary account directory is currently about 233 MB with about 2.5k files, and launching kWoW takes about 5 - 6 seconds for me for the application to perform that directory backup. Your mileage may vary.

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