Turnip: Interesting "Patching" behavior

#1 - Sept. 19, 2014, 5:06 p.m.
Blizzard Post
I decided to see just how much of the current Data\data folder was actually required for the game. Given the new file containers and the new patching method, it seemed to me that perhaps there was excess data accumulation in the data folders.

What I did was move the data folder subfolders else where, then launched the Battlenet launcher. A few observations so far:

1) Upon launching the battlenet app, the app did not immediately (or shortly) begin re-downloading the required game data. Nor did it seem to start "initializing" etc.

After waiting approximately 2 minutes no downloading/updating had begun. A network monitor was used and other than the very occasional cross checks to a blizzard ip, nothing Blizzard related was happening.

By this point one would think that the bnet app would have discovered the barely installed game. This may explain why, in some case, people seem to have problems patching. If for whatever reason some of the data in the data folder is gone or corrupted, the bnet launcher doesnt seem to proceed. [It was completely empty in this case, just Data itself remained- no subfolders.]

Note: Bnet settings definitely permit updating and Pause is not activated or enabled.

Telling Bnet where the beta lies again also does not trigger updating.

2) After waiting about 6 minutes (doing steps in #1) I decided to see what happens if I click PLAY. However, before doing so I exited the bnet app- just in case it needed to start up again to actually begin downloading. At this point Agent is no longer running.

Launching Bnet again did not cause the downloading to begin. Other than the brief typical bnet app accesses to blizzard, no other blizzard accesses were happening.

After waiting a bit to ensure this, I finally clicked PLAY.

Obviously a whole slew of blizzard ip access began. After about 70s the screen goes white. After a further 20s, *some* of the Blizzard splash screen is rendered, but mostly just black and the WoW logo, version id, blizzard logo & copyright, and the quit button. Then the 'screen' sits locked at that point, mouse pointer showing "busy"

The network activity continues uninterrupted. It's clear that some downloading is occurring. However, the Bnet APP does NOT show any kind of "downloading" progress. Eventually, Windows even pops up with a "Program not responding" message.

After quite a few minutes, The Beta splash screen is still not rendered, but the "You have been disconnected from the server." message appears.

The network activity continues.

Checking the data folders, I can see the container file(s) being built in the data\data folder.

Similar behaviour is happening in the config and indices folders.

I will post updates to this thread once more / different info becomes available.

Clearly though it would appear that there are ways for this happenstance to confuse the typical user into thinking that their system has hung up. Under all circumstances, the Bnet app should be showing a progress bar when major amounts of data are being downloaded. While my triggering this may well be not common, it will help debugging user install problems if things are changed so at a minimum they can see that it is infact downloading things- especially when things go Live; for sure some people will have issues that trigger this behaviour.
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Quality Assurance
#15 - Sept. 20, 2014, 9:30 p.m.
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09/20/2014 07:54 AMPosted by Milennassi
Ah, file bloat. In live, major patches tend to take the time to resort and scan the files to get rid of old and useless ones, which the beta doesn't.

There's some truth to this. For example, the user who simply patches from 6.0 to 6.1 (on 6.1 patch day) would have a different amount of data than the user who participated in the 6.1 PTR and received a dozen or more builds.

CASC is still a relatively new system, and the battle.net team will continue to work on it past WoD launch. I know file cleanup is something on their plate, but I don't have an ETA on that kind of tech.

Deleting your Data Folder in your manner is an interesting test case, I'll pass along your findings to our Battle.net team.
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Product Developer
#24 - Sept. 22, 2014, 2:53 a.m.
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Speaking from the app perspective (this is what I work on, I'm not as involved with CASC), deleting the data folder isn't something thats truly supported yet. In this case, the App doesn't know the data is missing.

What you saw was the game downloading the required amounts of data because it needed it. That would be the entire red block of data that you need to download before you can hit play. This includes stuff for things like the UI and login screen (among other things).

Try the 'scan and repair' action under the options menu. That should do something here.