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!

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