1. #1
    Titan Synthaxx's Avatar
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    Boiled 2.2 - Now with WoW Auto-optimization!

    Good afternoon all!
    After much work, i'm pleased to announce that Boiled 2.2 is now available! This release marks both the changeover of the UI, and the introduction of a brand new feature - WoW Automatic Optimization! As Boiled 2.0 was rather popular when that was announced, i felt that since this is a WoW-focused site, such an addition would be of value to many of you.

    This feature allows you to minimize the size of your WoW installation to a size of your choosing, while maintaining much of the performance associated with installing it on an SSD. It takes only 3 simple steps to optimize it. I've designed it so that it always rounds down. By this, it means that when it copies the files to the migration directory, it will check your desired size and copy enough files to bring your installation size equal to or lower than that value.

    What's more, if you decide you want to optimize it further, you can do that. By design, it has to restore the already-optimized files first, but it'll then proceed to optimize your installation to your new size. You can only optimize downward. You can't increase the size of your installation without restoring it to default first (which can be done in a single click) and then optimizing down from there. This is a technical limitation and not one that can be solved easily.

    It's an immensely complicated feature but i've made it simple enough to use for almost anyone out there. I believe i'm the only one who's managed to create an optimizer for WoW so far, but even if not, it makes Boiled valuable to even more people.



    As you can also see, the UI has been updated. Back in Boiled 2.0, we had a list of items that had bold text to indicate they'd been moved to a different directory/"had been boiled". With 2.1, this design was updated and further clarified which games were located inside the Steam directory and which weren't. The problem with the design in 2.1 is that it simply said "SSD". What if you hadn't installed Steam on an SSD? It served it's purpose, but it felt like it might confused people.

    Thanks to updates to my development tools, i solved this problem and decided to go with a Metro-esque theme. The large center icons represent game status; ticks represent items located in the Steam directory, and the crosses mark items that have been moved elsewhere.



    Also note that if Steam is detected but WoW isn't, the WoW tab will be unavailable, and vice versa. If neither is detected, then Boiled will close. If both are detected, obviously both tabs will be available.

    Please also note that as of 2.2, the configuration format has changed. Your existing config won't work, but will be migrated over automatically on the first start (assuming you drop it over the top of your existing Boiled executable instead of running it from a different folder).

    With all of this in mind, i am considering expanding the WoW Optimization feature to more games, though there's a lot of technical considerations to be made. Each game would need to have it's "optimization list" added manually, and it requires that i can actually detect the game's installation (usually done via registry), and more importantly, that i have access to the game (i have many, but there'll always be someone who wants me to sink £40 into a game i'll never play just to provide this feature to them -- that's not happening). If you've got a game in mind you'd like to see optimization provided for, and the above are all true/possible, then i'll look into it (standard "no promises" though).

    As always, you can get Boiled over on my download page; http://www.innuendo-eu.co.uk/index.php?id=63 and also, as always, it's completely free.

    Comments, feedback, and bug reports can be left here as always.
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  2. #2
    Pandaren Monk Maruka's Avatar
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    Ill check it out when i got home, i had some problems with the last release just freezing up when i tried to move some games ( I posted in the old thread but never got any responses!)

    Thanks as always.

  3. #3
    Titan Synthaxx's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maruka View Post
    Ill check it out when i got home, i had some problems with the last release just freezing up when i tried to move some games ( I posted in the old thread but never got any responses!)

    Thanks as always.
    I hadn't noticed the old thread had a response due to it being quite some time after it was created that you mentioned had an issue. Ideally;
    - It should be run as administrator
    - You should NOT be attempt to move games to or from a networked drive (this is a Windows limitation that will break the application)
    - Access to the registry shouldn't be restricted as that's how it detects your Steam (and WoW) folder

    Any information you can provide on what you were doing when it happened when it "froze" would be greatly appreciated. In particular, what the loader said when you experienced the issue.

    I believe there was a bug in 2.0 and 2.1 that might have caused it to not correctly try to copy the game folder. This should have been fixed, but the design at the core of Boiled could still be improved. It's been a sort of bandaid fix even though it was rewritten, due to the inability to find a way to design it as i originally expected. To change it is a fairly large undertaking, but i'm committed to making it work as intended. All my testing shows it working without issue on both my main system, my secondary system, and my parents laptop, so it's troublesome to try and pin down what the issue is.
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  4. #4
    What is the minimum size that you would recommend for WoW to keep the important things like textures on the SSD? I think Glo's symbolic link guide has aroudn 12GB on the SSD. Is that a value you would recommend looking for?
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  5. #5
    Titan Synthaxx's Avatar
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    Just an update, i'm looking into changing the method of moving games a little. It is a large undertaking, but i'm making it a priority. I think i've figured out a way to make it work, but it's going to be a day or 2 before i'll be able to consider putting out an update for it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Butler Log View Post
    What is the minimum size that you would recommend for WoW to keep the important things like textures on the SSD? I think Glo's symbolic link guide has aroudn 12GB on the SSD. Is that a value you would recommend looking for?
    I'm personally not sure exactly what to aim for. The file preference order is this;
    world,
    texture,
    expansion2,
    sound,
    expansion4,
    expansion1,
    model,
    expansion3,
    misc,
    itemtexture,
    interface,
    alternate,
    base-Win


    As you can see, texture is fairly high on top of the list (but itemtexture is very low down). If you aim for around 12GB (in my case, 12351MB), it'll move World, Texture, Sound, Expansion2 and Expansion4.

    My original intent was to make it truly dynamic with regards to the copying any "useless" files first, but since everyone's installation is different (different languages, different addons, etc), it became much too complicated. I felt more comfortable by choosing from the list of files that contain data used most commonly. The order of the list can always be rearranged in a future version though, and more files can be added to it as required.
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  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Synthaxx View Post
    I felt more comfortable by choosing from the list of files that contain data used most commonly.
    The list above is in order of size (biggest first) without any actual logic of what's used and what's not.

    texture, itemtexture, sound and expansion4 are probably most he most important files for smoothest operation when playing in MoP zones.
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  7. #7
    Titan Synthaxx's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vesseblah View Post
    The list above is in order of size (biggest first) without any actual logic of what's used and what's not.

    texture, itemtexture, sound and expansion4 are probably most he most important files for smoothest operation when playing in MoP zones.
    As said, the order can be changed. My thought was that it'd be better to keep as many files on the SSD/original directory as possible, but i'm open to input on a more suitable order from people. I'll potentially follow Glo's recommendations in his guide and use an order that somewhat fits in with it. Eventually, i'd like to truly code it to detect the most optimal size rather than "following a list", but that's a rather complicated matter.

    On another note, i think i've pinned down the problems related to game migration and restoration failing, and i'll be releasing an update for Boiled in a day or 2.
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  8. #8
    Did you really just released a GUI for symlink with limited features?

    Edit: Word "optimization" used too much in your description, considering it doesn't really optimize anything except moving half of WoW directory to SSD and creating symlink. Or is there some super effective method of real optimization like precaching textures that are going to be used by WoW in a second (hook for taking portal to SW and already precaching associated WMOs/M2s for SW, just an example)? So far I see just a symlink GUI, and tbh Primo's Ramdisk has better GUI to manage symlinks.
    Last edited by Neo_mat; 2012-10-31 at 04:17 PM.

  9. #9
    It is "just" a symlink GUI, but you act as if that's a bad thing... Yes, it is entirely possible to do symlinks on your own through command prompt, but there are plenty of people (I'd say a majority of users on this site) that don't know how and don't care to learn...

    And sure, Primo can do this too, but this is specifically for WoW (and Steam), and this is a WoW fansite afterall...

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by noteworthynerd View Post
    It is a symlink GUI, but you act as if that's a bad thing... Yes, it is entirely possible to do symlinks on your own through command prompt, but there are plenty (I'd say a majority of users on this site) that don't know how and don't care to learn...

    And sure, Primo can do this too, but this is specifically for WoW (and Steam), and this is a WoW fansite afterall...
    ^that. Right now, I really don't have the time or the motivation to learn how to do symbolic links (yes I know it is easy yadda yadda), so an app like this is brilliant
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  11. #11
    Thanks Synthaxx! I can't wait to try it.

  12. #12
    Titan Synthaxx's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neo_mat View Post
    Did you really just released a GUI for symlink with limited features?

    Edit: Word "optimization" used too much in your description, considering it doesn't really optimize anything except moving half of WoW directory to SSD and creating symlink. Or is there some super effective method of real optimization like precaching textures that are going to be used by WoW in a second (hook for taking portal to SW and already precaching associated WMOs/M2s for SW, just an example)? So far I see just a symlink GUI, and tbh Primo's Ramdisk has better GUI to manage symlinks.
    I released the original version some time ago, and it was specifically focused on Steam. By all means, i don't intend for it to compete with other similar apps. Rather, i'd like it to complement them and much prefer people use what they feel most comfortable with. I used "Optimization" when it was just for Steam (i.e. no WoW support) as there truly wasn't a word more suited that would have meant roughly the same to everyone. "Game Copier" for example, doesn't have the same ring to it, and many would disregard it on that alone (and on the basis it sounds like it advocates piracy). It's really just wording and should be taken for what the app does rather than what it's described as

    I did learn about Symlinks many years ago and made a small application for myself to enable easy creation of them but never released it. When i started to truly focus on development this year, it was one project that just really fit in with what i felt was lacking. There were applications already available to provide the same features but it turned from a project to increase my knowledge through practice into something that i wanted to make a real go of in terms of making it look and feel more professional. Version 1 was awful. Truly awful. It created batch files and then executed them. It was also coded in tools from 2001, and SymLinks weren't available to create from code.

    V2 was rewritten using tools from 2011, and though it had some bugs, it simplified everything in a good way (both as a user, and as a developer). With 2.2, i aimed to add WoW support as it'd been a long term goal. 2.2 was updated to using tools from 2012 (released less than 2 months ago!) but retained much of the code i used in 2.0. 2.2a removed an old requirement that was in versions 2.0, 2.1, and 2.2 that was always a bandaid fix.

    As i think i said earlier, i wanted to make it truly optimize an install, but doing so is related to the "Bin Packing Problem", where fitting X number of files/objects into Y number of containers or space best describes said problem. I still want to reach that point eventually, but for now, getting the basic groundwork down for it helped to make things easier later on.

    With all this in mind, 2.2a is now available from the same link as in the original post. The new optimization order for WoW files is this;
    sound,
    misc,
    interface,
    alternate,
    base-win,
    expansion1,
    expansion2,
    expansion3,
    world,
    model,
    expansion4,
    itemtexture,
    texture

    With textures being moved to the lowest priority to be moved, this should be a much more suitable optimization to what was originally done in 2.2. You'll need to restore your WoW directory either through Boiled or manually by deleting the symlinks and then moving the files back.

    Also in this version, i fixed the XCopy requirement. It's no longer needed as that is where i believe the issue with migration was happening. If there's still issues, i'll certainly investigate and look into it, but the code changes should fix that problem.

    Again, i want people to use what they feel most comfortable with. I'm here to provide tools i think are useful, and i very much appreciate feedback. Initial designs are never truly fantastic, especially in their functionality, but as they mature and my confidence and skill grows, i start to experiment more with code to bring features that i feel would be beneficial. As said, i don't believe i've seen a tool to provide an automatic way of balancing space with performance for WoW. I did a lot of research, and so it's somewhat expected that it should improve over time.
    Last edited by Synthaxx; 2012-10-31 at 08:17 PM.
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