Tuesday, August 04, 2015

Client-side Settings

In the end I went with an ASUS Windows laptop. I had hoped that getting a machine which was somewhat aimed at gaming would cut down on the bloatware that came pre-installed. No such luck. I spent the first 30 minutes removing all the unnecessary programs. At least nothing looks malicious.

Then I set about the task of reinstalling software. It's actually kind of interesting what is saved client-side and what is saved on the server.

For FFXIV, pretty much all the settings are client-side. This includes things like gear sets and hot bars, in addition to all the UI and macros. I logged in to FFXIV, saw how much I would need to set up, and promptly logged out again. I'll have to tackle it a bit at a time.

For The Old Republic, at least the hotbars and key bindings are saved on the server. That saves a lot of work. The UI isn't saved, but I don't modify the base UI very much, so it shouldn't be that hard to set up again.

I think these long-term server-based games should strongly consider dividing the settings into machine-specific (graphics, sound) versus account-specific settings. And then saving the account settings on the server. It would cost some more space. But it really only needs to be downloaded at the start of the session, and saved at the end of the session.

Even just saving it as a giant blob of compressed text shouldn't be that bad. You could even take the hash of the settings and only change settings when the hash changes.

But it would make life a lot easier when moving between two machines.


  1. In case you didn't know you can copy all the settings for FFXIV between computers via a USB stick or whatever. It's normally in Documents\My Games\FFXIV\ - there's a folder per character with a long name starting "FFXIV_CHR...".

    1. Yeah, in hindsight I should have done that, or at least backed it up to Google Drive or similar. But now it's on the HD in the dead machine, and will be a real pain to get at.

    2. Spend around $20 US and get an external drive enclosure. As long as you log in under the same account you should be able to access the files. If that doesn't work you could always use the drive later on as an external backup.

    3. Good idea! I've ordered one from Amazon, so we'll see how it works when it arrives.

  2. If you click on the config icon in the FF14 launcher, you can also export all those settings into a file that's easier to cart around. Which yeah, sure doesn't help you NOW, but it's useful to know.