Monday, March 23, 2009

My struggle with Wine and Lord of the Rings Online

From Jeremy Whites Blog at CodeWeavers...

So I'm blessed with a wonderful wife. She helped support our efforts around World of Warcraft by playing WoW with me (up until I got sick of it at about level 40). Last summer, we decided we wanted to tackle Lord of the Rings Online (LOTRO). That is, we wanted to bring the Windows version to Mac and Linux.

So we both got accounts, and started playing. The idea was that I'd be the perfect beta tester, so that as we worked to officially support it, I could be a lead tester.

Nicely, the game engine itself works great in CrossOver Games and Wine. Unfortunately, the launcher, the main program that does updates and gets things going, is a .NET application, and it doesn't work. It's really the key to genuinely supporting LOTRO.

Now you can get around that, with a variety of pretty tough work arounds. So I've been using those for the last 6 months or so, and she and I have been gaming happily. We're up to level 47 now, and are having a great time. (As a digression, I need to boast about my wicked cool rig. I've got a Linux box hooked into our 40" Samsung LCD TV, with MythTV for our TV. And then when it's time to play, I get to play this gorgeous game on this beatiful large screen TV. My wife is often quite jealous ).

Unfortunately, our work on the launcher has become a nasty 'Tar Baby' that is deeply frustrating. I've had 5 different developers look at bugs in the launcher over many months, and I've even spent several weeks myself.

This happens every now and then with Wine. We'll get one application bug that is just a humdinger and it takes us forever to break through it. I remember that Project 2003 took us over a year to find. But when we finally did, it was a one line fix. We're having a similar struggle with Service Pack 1 for Office 2007. This is just one of the most maddening things about Wine. We'll get it eventually, but it's deeply frustrating along the way.

But this has been a lovely dimension to my job; it's fun to have my extra curricular activities dovetail with my day job like this. Now just to find a kinship on Vilya...



migs647 said...

Keep up the work. It's definitely appreciated.

tombombodil123 said...

yeah, its nice to hear of someone whoa actually working to keep lotro alive. Keep at it. Also I had a similar distaste of WoW and switched over to lotro as soon as it was released. I was pleasantly surprised at the stunning detail and playability in which Tolkien's world was portrayed. Many people thank you heartily for all your hard work