How to make the NCSoft Launcher as unobtrusive as possible.

Okay guys. You’ve heard about it. Now it’s here. The new NCSoft Launcher.

“But it’s DOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOM!” right?

Not really. And with a bit of tweaking, you can get it outta your face and get yourself into the game with a minimum of fuss and muss.

So how do we go about this? Two easy steps and a couple tweaks.

FIRST: Thou shalt not leave thy tracking status uncontrolled.

When you’re installing, you have the option to send tracking data to NCSoft. Now sending the tracking data can be somewhat invasive. However, it’ll definitely help NCSoft fix any glaring issues in the launcher.

SECOND: Thou shalt not accept default settings

By default, the NCSoft Launcher is somewhat…unfriendly. Here’s how you go about fixing that.

For those of you who have NOT see this screen yet, this is the NCSoft Launcher as of March 4th, 2011.

As you can see, it has options for launching multiple games, etc. What WE are interested in is that cute little File menu at the top.

And here we are in settings!

Now, by default, the drop-down for “After Launching A Game” is “Minimize Launcher”. We don’t want this unless you’re always starting up multiple accounts more or less simultaneously.

For those with multiple accounts, leave this alone or change it to “Launcher Remains on Desktop”.

For those with single accounts, you want to get rid of it. The program itself eats up only a little bit of memory immediately after starting, but it DOES leak memory, consuming more and more over time. So change the option to “Exit Launcher”.

On to the Auto Update screen! Most of the stuff here is relatively harmless. The one annoyance is “Show notifications about updates in the system tray.”

Okay, let’s examine this, logically *insert Vulcan eyebrow* for a second here.

  • We DO NOT want this program running all the time, as it leaks memory. Therefore, no update notifications will pop.
  • We won’t have this up and running during a game in most cases. Therefore, no update notifications will pop.
  • The only time we’ll see it is in the few seconds the launcher takes to open up. During which time we’ll wind up pulling down a patch ANYHOW.

In short, uncheck “Show Notifications” and be done with it.

Finally, we come to the Advanced screen. Here, you can pick region, language and re-enable statistics if you turned it off during installation. But what we’re concerned with is the option to allow multiple instances of a game to be launched.

If you’re a single-account player, there’s zero need to fiddle with this.

If you’re a multi-account player, then do yourself a favor and check this now.

Click OK and you’re done. At that point you’ve done everything possible in the settings to minimize the intrusiveness of the launcher. Back to the main screen with you. BACK! BACK!

THIRD: Thou shalt create shortcuts!

As you can see, when you right-click on your installed games, you have the option to create a desktop shortcut. DOO EET!

“But my desktop is crowded and I don’t want more junk on there!”

SHADDAP! Create the shortcut, and if you’re in Windows, you have the option to right-click on the shortcut and pin it to the taskbar or pin it to the start menu. Once you’ve got it pinned out of the way, delete the hated desktop shortcut and get on with your game.

FOURTH: If you are retrofitting the client from an older NCSoft Launcher:

[QUOTE=Coolio;3590317]IIRC there was a CoH minipatch you could install if you already had the launcher for another NC game to make the existing CoH compatible.

This may be the cause of some of the issues…
I think it patched the launcher executables to actually support the NC launcher.

Hmm, ah here we go: http://www.cityofheroes.com/news/news_archive/upgrade_to_the_ncsoft_launcher.html

Please note it says: This will modify your game client so that it will be fully supported by the NCsoft Launcher.

Hope this helps…
EU @Coolio

Edit: For Alexander_Drako
After installing the basic launcher “NCSoftLauncherSetup.exe” try running the “COH_Installer.exe” to patch your game to work with the launcher.
It patches the CoX executables to work with the NClauncher rather than loop into the older launcher, this is where you are having the problem IIRC.

Note: “COH_Installer.exe”
Will try to patch the game (City of) if it finds it or will install the NClauncher to install the game if it doesn’t.

The patch to the game (City of) will only happen if it (COH_Installer.exe) can find the NCLauncher executable if it can find it, if it can’t then it won’t patch anything, hence causing this issue for players with “City of” already installed but not the NClauncher.

If you know you have the game installed but not the NClauncher, get the “NCSoftLauncherSetup.exe” and run it before the “COH_Installer.exe”

Hope this helps solve this additional issue.[/QUOTE]

FIFTH: Passing additional parameters to the game:

[QUOTE=Kheldarn;3519236]Bonus!

Do you have extra command line parameters you like to run at game launch, like telling it to use the new Going Rogue Praetorian Gold skin?

You can do that, too!

First, right-click on the City of Heroes entry, and select Properties:

In the screen that comes up, you’ll notice a place for Extra Command Line Parameters (Advanced):

Simply enter the Command Line Parameters you desire, then click OK:

Ta-da! Now the game will launch with the Golden GR Skin![/QUOTE]

Additionally this method can be used to bypass the bad/old driver check in the game. In some cases, people are trapped between a rock and a hard place when the maker and the vendor stop supporting certain setups (like laptop graphics).

In this case add -ignoreBadDriver to the “Extra Command Line Parameters (Advanced)” line.
Hit OK and launch the game.

And that’s pretty much all there is to this.