Saturday, June 25, 2005

BF2 and Folder Redirection

Technology is a pain in the ass! Just when I get off my ass and fix many small problems that have been plaguing me for a while, some developers go and do something that causes me more problems.

More Battlefield 2. I finally got off my ass and enabled folder redirection on my home network. Great. My files are now centralized and on a redundant storage array. (Whew!). Using my machines this afternoon, was great. Click on my documents and all my machines had access to the same data. (As it should be). Okay, evening rolls around. Time to relax and play some Battlefield 2.

Simple, it worked before, why should it not now… Well why, is because the developers of Battlefield 2 decided to dump all the user settings into the my documents folder. Great right? Well no.

The game would not load at all. Okay. I know they were being stupid, so I uninstall the game and reinstall. This properly caches the proper file locations in flat files and perhaps the registry. The game menu now loads; I can reset-up all my customizations to the interface, video settings, etc. I’m breathing easier now, because the game menu loaded the game should load right? WRONG!

Loading the game state for a map, the game crashes to the desktop. Looking the folder structure, they also cached the shader information for the game in the My Documents folder.

Not great and not smart for any developer to do… Why?

Folder redirection. This is a folder that can be redirected to another computer or server. This is by design for document access (and has been around since Windows 2000); this is a folder that has multiple data entries, could be redirected by a network administrator or an end user and they are dumping critical (temporary) files into this directory. (Hello!? Earth to programmers?)

So the game is no longer playable while I have folder redirection enabled by group policy, because I cannot redirect where they store this temporary data. User settings, sure, but shader information. Comon!

My hope is that I can create a local user account on the CPU, which will not get the folder redirection policies, and use that to play BF2, however this step should not be necessary. They should be able to handle folder redirection, and under no circumstances whatsoever should they be storing temporary data in the My Documents folder.

Okay. Local account cleared up the issue, and I can play again. Time to pretend I'm playing with some of the programmers of BF2!

1 comment:

  1. Hi Dave, I happened to stumble upon your blog through a Google search of "BF2 folder redirection". I'm having the same issue you were and EA has been unhelpful in resolving it. Were you ever able to come up with a better solution than the local account? My e-mail is fweston AT gmail DOT com. Any insight you can provide will be appreciated!