Patch Bug

A problem that’s been reported to me many times is that after people install some of my mods to their clients, the client will begin to force a patchcheck the next time it’s run and just close half way through, repeating the process any future time the game is run. This was later referred to as the “patch bug”. The most unusual thing about it is how inconsistent it was. It happened to random people in random regions using random language clients, and I wasn’t one of them, which made it even harder again to realise what the hell was causing it.

I questioned several people who had reported this problem to learn as much about it as I could, but it was impossible to draw any reliable conclusions as there would always be people in the same position as them who’d never experience the problem before.

Well, as luck would have it, I recently built a new computer and after I installed SC2 and set up all my mods, got the god forsaken bug myself. Now that I could finally experience it at first hand, I was able to get more reliable answers. As it turns out, the problem actually has nothing to do with the client itself, but rather something to do with antivirus, firewall and port allowances. Because different people have different variables for all these circumstance, I wasn’t really looking forward to drawing out a resolution for every possible variable, but luckily I found one accidentally that will fix it for everyone.

As it turns out, SC2 provides the resolution itself. If you look in the support folder of your installation, you’ll find and executable called “SC2Switcher”. Apparently the original design for this was playing old replays without having to patch in case you were unable to for whatever reasons. This would allow you to get straight into the game and view the replay in a guest account without waiting for the patch to install.

So, if you haven’t guessed it, this means it just runs the game without sending out a query to the patch servers to double check everything is up to date. When you install a mod that modifies patch MPQs, for whatever reason, certain firewalls/antivirus’ make it look like the game is out of date and asks the server for the most recent patch. After it’s downloaded, it sees that the game actually already has that version installed, brainfarts, then closes. And if you run it again, the process obviously repeats. Hence the patch bug.

Basically all you need to do is create a shortcut for the sc2switcher wherever you normally run sc2 from and use that to run the game from now on instead. If there ever actually is a patch, you’ll still be fine. Once you try to log in, the game will realise you’re out of date, close the game and run the patch launcher.

One weird thing I’ve noticed about this is that any mods I have that add files to the patch MPQs that weren’t replacing a similar thing previous will cause the game to crash immediately after you run it, but I was able to resolve this and update most of the mods after this problem was reported to me, so if you’re getting this issue, just install your backups and reinstall the mods, all the links are updated. If you’re still crashing after this, it’s most likely you’re doing something wrong.

Note that this does not fix the Dark Protoss textures issue. If you were one of the people getting the problem where the textures were completely blank, that’ll still happen. Resolving that is somewhere in my to-do list.

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