Wednesday, April 9, 2014

War Thunder (Part One)

War Thunder
Having just finished covering Onigiri Online, this next game that I'm planning to introduce, War Thunder, can be said to be of an entirely different genre. It is apparently some sort of MMO military flight sim that is bent on offering to gamers, a realistic feel of how aviation combat goes during the World War II era.

However, before I move on to the actual details, I would have to say that I was most unimpressed by the way they've chosen to distribute the game client. In fact, the downloading process was a complete hell for me, to say the least.

Now as we all know, there's plenty of ISPs out there that throttles torrent downloads. Mine included. So given the situation, I can't seem to get why this game company of War Thunder would then purposely choose to incorporate a torrent engine into its client launcher...let alone making it as its primary method of distributing the game client and patches. Does that make any sense? It sure as hell doesn't (to me).

But before you go off shooting that that isn't true and the game client does allow for "http" downloads, please allow me to further point out another fact.
War Thunder - Download SpeedWar Thunder - Download Speed 1
If you take a good look at the two screenshots provided above, you ought to note that the downloading speed actually comprises of two parts, the http portion and the p2p (peer-to-peer) or torrent portion.

And since, in my case, that my ISP actually throttles torrent downloads, you can say that I have shitty torrent download speeds (of about 20+ kbps if I don't limit the upload). So the only way for me to be able to download this huge game client of about 7 gigs within a reasonable amount of time, is to rely upon the http download speed, which is at best 100+ kbps. (Yea its sucky I know, but I ain't got no other choice.)

Anyway, nothing wrong so far right? Well, here's the part where it gets worse...

Just minutes into the download, some "mojo" happens and the launcher apparently goes into some kind of "bandwidth saving protocol". And whenever that happens, the launcher will immediately dump all of my existing http download speed (which is my lifeline), leaving only the p2p portion running.

The only way for me to get back or "revive" the http portion is if I close the game launcher and restart it. But even then, depending on its "mood", it will sometimes dump it again within mere minutes or it may do so after an hour or two...maybe more if its "feeling" angelic.

Now don't ask me what's the reason behind all this mess that I'm observing, cause I've got no freaking idea myself. What I can see is only the end result, which is that it causes me to sit in front of the PC, watching the launcher like a hawk and having to restart it whenever that happens.

And to give you a rough idea of the magnitude of the problem, even a simple patching of about 60 mb required me to open and close the launcher about 20 times. What should have taken 10 minutes to download ends up needing 20 to 30 minutes of my time. So you can imagine the pain and suffering I've gone through, just to download the entire 7 gig game client, right?

Oh by the way, if you think that's it? Think again...

Aside from this, there is in fact another flaw with the game launcher that you ought to know about. And that is that whenever you leave the launcher up and running, the "torrent engine" that's built into it will start to open up sooooo many "connections" that it clogs up your entire bandwidth, effectively disabling your ability to surf on the internet or do anything else that's related to that.

The only way for you to resolve this is to "limit" the number of "connections" that the launcher opens.

However, the option for you to do so isn't found in the settings of the game launcher unfortunately. Instead, you will have to do it manually by accessing a file named "warthunder.yup.resume" in your WarThunder game folder. But I will have to remind you that this file only gets created if you close the launcher while it was in the midst of a download or a patch I believe...and that it will be deleted whenever the patch or download finishes. So you might have to keep on doing this whenever there's a huge patch.

Anyway, to limit the number of connections, just use "Notepad" to open the previously mentioned file, "Ctrl+F" and look for something like "max_connectionsi16777215e11". After finding it, change the "16777215" within that line into something like "50" or "100", but do not touch the characters before (max_connectionsi) or after it (e11). This will limit the maximum number of connections to 50 or 100 depending on what you've set it as. And as a further note, you can also do the same to the "max_uploadsi16777215e15", that is found right beside it, to limit the number of upload connections that you have.

Next: War Thunder (Part Two)