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Mini-Clients and You

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  • Mini-Clients and You

    Before reading this thread, please note: My experience with mini-clients and Wartune is from Proficient City's ghost town merge-you-with-2-hours-notice-and-cancel-your-Friday-guild-battle platform and Proficient City's mini client. I was aware of the R2 mini a month or so before I started seeing blog posts about it due to some crafty Googling, but I found that on the forums and in practice, it's largely (completely) unsupported by R2. Certain details about the mini-client may vary greatly between PC's mini and they yet-to-be-released R2 mini, such as a browser component for the login screen. Every time I say "PC" in this thread I will be referring to Proficient City, not Personal Computer.



    What is a mini-client?

    A mini-client is a small program that will let you play Wartune with many fewer headaches. When the program starts, a small web browser component will be shown for your login and password. Why does it show a webpage? The mini client, to my knowledge, has not changed since it was released. By pointing to a webpage, PC need only update that page to update the login for ALL mini clients, instead of forcing you to download another program.

    When the mini client is done with login, all of the browser stuff is terminated, and Wartune's most basic file (loading.swf) is opened directly with Flash OCX/ActiveX. No silly extra browser stuff slowing you down, like (I'm looking at you, R2) an event timer that hasn't been accurate in forever.



    Why is it better?

    All modern mainstream browsers check your graphics card and driver, and if they don't like it, disable hardware acceleration. Most CPU's aren't built to handle the sheer volume of math needed to display a graphics-intensive game like Wartune and we end up with excessive framerate lag from our CPU having to do all of the work, as well as software rendering "glitches" like the "black block shadow" issue. Yes, the black block shadow is caused by software rendering, I've experienced it before in other games. Flash detects (assumes?) that the CPU can't keep up and stops rendering alpha channels (areas which are fully or partially transparent) properly.

    The mini-client opens Flash directly, skipping any browser's graphics card check and other needless junk. Firefox, for instance, runs Flash in "protected mode," which is meant to protect users against viral or malicious Flash files. So Flash is running inside FF's plugin container program, which is being run from a webpage, which is running inside Firefox. You might as well be doing this.

    The Facebook login button lets me reload the game stupid fast, and the PC mini client has a mute button on the titlebar that I just love.



    What's the downside?

    Some claim that disconnects are more common, but excluding the past week, which has been pretty out of the ordinary, it hasn't been true for me, my cousin, or any on my server that I've directed to the mini client.

    There are only 3 negatives that I've experienced that come to mind:
    1. Internet Explorer. The mini client, due to wise laziness, uses Internet Explorer's cache and cookies, meaning I have to gaze upon this beast every time I need to switch Facebook accounts and log my cousin's character in for TOA. It would be a massive pain and tons of bloat to do it any other way, however.
    2. Installation. PC has some serious issues to deal with in the area of customer service and community support. Nearly every thread regarding the mini client is answered, in broken English, "use Firefox or Chrome" or "it's your firewall," when neither of these were even close to actual solutions. There is no definitive guide for installation and troubleshooting of the mini client, and I've been avoiding writing one because I don't get a salary from them.
    3. OMG YOU HACKER. I have been accused, both on my server and in battlegrounds, of hacking because I move so fast. Yet I don't move any faster than originally intended by the developers. Movement speed (and some other stuff) is tied to framerate. In real life, you would measure speed as miles per hour or kilometers per hour, or feet/meters per second for really fast stuff. In Wartune, your speed is measured by meters per frame (or whatever unit of distance you wish to use.) Ideally, you experience around 20-25 frames per second in a smoothly running Flash game, but once the lag builds up, you get somewhere around 5-10 frames per second. This is a MASSIVE hindrance to moving quickly, or using abilities as soon as they're ready.




    Questions I've noticed
    To start with, some questions and comments I've read in the announcement thread.

    Originally posted by Alsatia01 View Post
    The mini client *should* help those with lower end computers; those who suffer from video and processor lag. If your internet is garbage, you're still going to lag.
    My server started in March, and at the time I only had a busted up, 8 year old, single core, 2.0 GHz, can't use more than 2 GB RAM, Toshiba laptop. Only because of the mini client, and not just because I disabled absolutely everything in Windows that's not needed for the laptop to boot up and play Wartune, was I able to play. I was able to hold top 5 at WB without too much headache. And yes, if your internet sucks, you ARE going to lag. This is often not R2's fault, and if it is, other players experience it with you.

    Originally posted by Drag0nsFire View Post
    So is this client not flash based? If it is, then I don't see any difference between playing in browser and mini client.
    The mini client is not a new client. Client is actually a misnomer for it, "mini launcher" is more accurate. The PC mini also seems to come with a couple tweaks to settings in the client, settings that are required for browser compatibility but come with a speed trade-off. The mini loads the loading.swf file just as if the mini were a web browser, and passes along your login cookie. This without the browser component slowing you down because of all your extensions and the browser developers' whimsies.

    Originally posted by R27560757SpeeDHunter View Post
    the mini client requires you to install flash standalone player version 10 or higher (also known as flash activex).
    is there any difference? unknown. let's wait till its released and i think it also requires something from your default browser for data transfer, im not sure though
    Flash ActiveX is correct, but it's not commonly referred to as the standalone player, so this is confusing. Basically just install Flash for Internet Explorer, by using IE to go to http://get.adobe.com/flashplayer/, and you should be good. Installing Flash is not necessary on Windows 8.

    Originally posted by Aziola View Post
    Will it stop the image overload bug in World Boss which cause everyone to lag? Some kinda lagfest is wb nowadays
    It will stop the black block shadow problem, but "image overload"? I think you mean that there are too many characters being displayed and animated at WB, and I agree. Each character has head, body, weapon, sylph, mount, fate aura, and the battle status/clashing sword parts to animate, and up to 30 characters are displayed at one time. I don't need to see ANYONE else at WB (maybe at the worst, see only the top 10 of each class), and I certainly don't need (7*30=210) parts on my screen bogging me down for no reason.





    If I've overstepped my bounds here, I'm sorry. However I think the leading disclaimer should be enough. I'm a hobbyist programmer with some experience in multiplayer online game development, and I'm getting a little burnt out on Wartune, so I came to contribute to the community a bit.

  • #2
    Wow! Thanks for helping some of us to understand more clearly what is going on with that mini-client thing.
    Lunay - Knighted knight
    23.25M BR
    Guild : SHIELD
    West coast server r2 S38

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    • #3
      Wonderful information, thank you for taking the time to type all this down.
      [SIZE=3][COLOR="#800080"][FONT=Comic Sans MS]Server~Kabam S2

      LornaMarie

      Knight~Level 80

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      • #4
        Lol.. I replied to your post in another thread and u made it here but thanks you can clear to anyone good job


        edited: why this threadreply not deleted




        about miniclient mail to alisa.luo@7road.com the application certificate owner
        I wish this reply will be deleted because only this one still exist -.-
        Last edited by Lord_Fido; 08-04-2014, 01:28 PM.
        blank signature, you dont need to know me

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        • #5
          Damn, where's the thumbs up button when you need it >.>

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          • #6
            The mods likely aren't programmers and have rules to follow. They probably can't post something like this unless it comes from higher up the chain.

            Those rules are why when asked if there was a mini client for R2, they said "No." every time, even if they were aware of and possibly even used the mini.

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