Thursday, August 11, 2011

StarCraft 2 and Linux - Part 2

I have tried various ways of getting this running well on Linux and read a lot of tutorials on different wikis which led me to believe that every setup is almost unique. In general it will run with any installation method, but to get the best performance out of it you will have to fiddle with the settings a bit and test out what is best for your system.

I could not get the game to install from the DVD so I had to resort to the following method.

Step 1
I had to install the digital downloaded version from Battle.net.
If you bought the game and have the serial number then simply register an account with them, you will need to in any way to play the game, so might as well do it now.
Once you have registered the game you can now download the digital game client. It goes without saying, but to be complete, download the Windows client!



Step 2
Start the client in wine:

Code:
wine StarCraft_2_EU_en-GB.exe

It is basically just a peer-to-peer program that allows you to download the game data (7GB in total) from either the official server or from other peers who is seeding the game at the time. Some people get great response and speed improvements from allowing peer-to-peer traffic, while others, like myself, had to disable it to eventually have the game downloaded after 36 hours.

Tips:

  • Each time you disconnect from the internet (your ISP reset your connection, whatever) you will need to download the client again. It seems that it logs the IP you used to download it and if there are any IP conflicts then you will get an error message "This download is not authorized."
    You will need to log back into Battle.net and download a new client. The game data is still safe and the client will first check the integrity of the data before continuing the download.
  • The data is saved in /home/[user]/SC2/SC2-WingsOfLiberty-enGB-Installer/
    Make a back-up of the data as soon as the download has finished!


Step 3
Once the download is complete the installer will start. I canceled this. You can always continue and try your luck, but I took the easier route.
Get yourself PlayOnLinux and install it. It should either be in your disto repository or you can download the package file and install it yourself.

Once installed, launch it. Click on Install -> Games -> StarCraft II Wings of Liberty
Now you can just follow the installer instructions and point it to the digital download and install the game, could not be more simple.

Along the way you will need to answer a simple few questions, like how much RAM your graphics card has, but I'm sure you will know how to handle this!

Step 4
Optimizing the game.
There is a lot of different articles on the net regarding performance tuning your installation, I'll link some of them here and you can sift through them to see what works on your system.

I left mine with the default PlayOnLinux configuration and only added a few bits and pieces from here:

Check out the "regedit" part and see what you can pirate from it.

More on Linux and StarCraft 2 performance in general:
http://appdb.winehq.org/objectManager.php?sClass=version&iId=20882

Well, that should do it. Got a problem, ask away!

Thursday, August 04, 2011

Starcraft 2 and Linux - Part 1

Okay, I'm a bit late to the party. I only bought the game a couple of days ago after finally getting around to playing the demo.


Last week I installed the StarCraft 2 demo with winetricks and I really enjoyed it, a lot! So after spending a few hours on the demo I finally decided that this game is worth the while and I headed out to buy it.

First check the on-line store at Battle.net, $80-00 + (R600-00, ZAR), are you kidding me?! NEVER!
So I put that on the ice, no way am I ever going to pay that much for a game.
The rest of the week, whenever I went past a gaming shop I would just quickly pop in to see what they list it for, and finally I got the game for $58-00 (R400-00), now that is more like it, still very expensive for a year old game, but do-able.

At home I popped in the DVD and started the installation... I/O error. No problem, copy the entire DVD to PC, I/O error.
Okay, then dd it to an ISO, I/O error.

Lets try another PC, I/O error. How can this be, it seems the disk is corrupt? Well, yes and no. It seems there is a bug in ext4 that does not handle single large files very well. The main installation file of the game is 7GB large.
You can read more on this here:
Error while copying file
Any of the following topics

So it is either a DVD issue or a file system issue, whatever the case I will need to get the digital copy.

No problem, I'll just download the game client from Battle.net.
What a frustration this was, 36 hours it took me to finally finish the download, 36 hours!
And each time my line DSL is reset, and I get assigned a new IP, the download client would fail with a "this download is not authorised".
I then have to log into Battle.net, get the new client and start again. Luckily it resumes the download but I had to download a new client at least seven or eight times.

Wow, I bought the hard copy and still have to play a single skirmish.

It seems that the everything went fine with the installation of the digital copy and the game is now being updated, nineteen patches to install.

Once that is done I'll be back with a more "how-to" post on getting the best performance out of StarCraft 2 on Linux.

Enjoy some videos after reading the blog!

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