Introducing EQ2 LaunchPad 4 — Replaces All Other EQ2 Launchers

Written by Feldon on . Posted in Game Updates & Maintenance

Starting on Wednesday, November 30th Thursday, December 1st the following launchers/launchpads/patchers will no longer update EQ2 but instead automagically update themselves to Launchpad 4:

  • Original EQ2.exe (Retail Launcher)
  • Station Launcher (multi-game launcher)
  • EQ2 Streaming Launcher (LP3 Streaming)
  • EQ2 Launchpad 3 (LP3 Full)

From SmokeJumper on the EQ2 Forums:

Hi folks,

As you know, there’s a ton of new stuff coming to you soon. And soon starts now!

The first step is a LaunchPad upgrade. Starting on Wednesday (November 30, 2011) Thursday December 1st, LaunchPad will be updated automatically for you when you log in. We’re doing it now so it’s out of the way and not an issue before we launch GU 62 (“Freeport Reborn”) and the new expansion, “Age of Discovery.”

There are a number of improvements in this version of our launcher:

  • It no longer requires a Flash installation.
  • Much faster patching speed (as much as 10X faster if you’re still using the original Station Launcher).
  • Less data gets patched (smarter differentials between versions).
  • A general aesthetic upgrade.

Many of you will have questions. We’ve tried to answer as many of those questions as possible in this FAQ: http://www.everquest2.com/news/read/current/5047.

The goal here is that you won’t have to do anything at all. Just use your launcher normally and the upgrade will happen without you having to do anything other than point the new launcher at your game directory’s current location. Everything else is automatic. You will not need to install game assets again. The only change will be to the launcher itself.

For more information, see the Upgrading to the New Launchpad Walkthrough. However, this update is mandatory. After this update there will no longer be multiple versions of our LaunchPad available. We’ll all be using the same one from now on.

Keep an eye out for more articles this week as well. There’s going to be a barrage of new information coming your way! These really are exciting times for EverQuest II!

–Dave “SmokeJumper” Georgeson
EverQuest II Executive Producer

EQ2Wire Commentary

If you’ve ever said the following quote, it looks like that day has arrived:

“They can take away my original EQ2 launcher when they pull it from my cold, dead fingers.”

We are concerned that Launchpad 4 has not undergone any user testing, yet is being pushed as the mandatory patcher for all players tomorrow. To date, every launcher, despite lengthy Beta test periods, has had bugs. We are more concerned about all of these features which are present in Station Launcher and which are inaccessible from the new Launchpad:

  • Voice (Vivox) chat outside of EQ2
  • Text/Guild chat outside of EQ2
  • Character Select
  • Friends list
  • Patch Notes
  • Automatic Unattended Updates

If you are wondering how we got here, there’s a discussion from March of this year which explains the LP1-LP3 -> LP4 transition. It doesn’t help explain why we lost all the above features though.

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Comments (32)

  • skipppydippy

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    It just gets worse doesnt it?

    Smokejumper and his merry band of halfheads lead the game into ever more problems this is an nightmare waiting to happen but hey lets just go ahead and roll it out..it staggers belief it really does.

    Its getting to the point the only “exciting” news i long for is Smokejumpers letter of apology for the utter shambles the game has become under his tenure

    Reply

  • Green Armadillo

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    I don’t know of a single major MMO that has four separate launchers, and there was no way to fix this problem without offending users of at least three of those in some way. The lack of testing is unfortunate (and par for the course), but this is an overdue and necessary change.

    Reply

  • Cristamir

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    Oh…yay? Now when the launcher goes down we’ll all be out of game together.

    I understand the use of 4 launchers is absurd, but that doesn’t make it any easier to swallow the lack of testing before dumping it on the users.

    Reply

  • skipppydippy

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    Common sense would have it tested,of course its daft to have so many launchers but test it first its not much to ask surely?

    Reply

  • Claviarm

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    My question: Does this impact streaming vs full download choices? As an Extended player, I’ve been forced to use the streaming client thus far, and was looking forward to the opportunity to switch to full download when Extended and Live become one. I hope this new launcher doesn’t ruin my plans.

    Reply

  • Isest

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    I sure hope they are not going to be using the streaming clien any more. I use the full client version 3 as versioun one quit working on me about a year back.

    Reply

  • Isest

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    Well ok now reading it it says you can swap back and forth between streaming and full. Still not happy about having a new launcher, much less one thats not been tested.

    Reply

  • Tomatoh

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    Well at least we know the X-Pac wont come out on the 11/30/11 like predicted..

    Reply

  • camelotcrusade

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    I switched to the station launcher about two months ago, specifically so I could get two of the features that will be missing – patch notes and automatic unattended updates. Perhaps forcing everyone onto the same one will bring together our voices about the features we want it to have.

    Reply

  • Whilhelmina

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    Well, they’ll be prying my EQ2.exe and TestEQ2.exe from my cold dead fingers *goes in search of a rope to hang herself*

    Mmmmh, I wonder what will happen to the Beta patcher.

    Reply

  • Kaarkula

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    It better not mess with people running multiple accounts… that is unless they want to lose alot of money

    Reply

  • Eloquence

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    ooh look, good thing there’s a “play everquest for free” advertisement.. on the patcher

    Reply

  • Feldon

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    You can still get Patch Notes here:
    http://everquest2.com/launchpad2/update_notes.vm

    But for some reason, you have to use a site or ad blocker to block http://lpcommand/ .

    Not being able to pick a character from the launcher is going to be sad though. I believe there are ways to get in-game chat working through Jabber, but it’s not well-documented, mostly what players have been able to suss out.

    Reply

  • kralus

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    Perfect launcher for F2P, Buy our shit, don’t worry about what’s in the patch.

    Reply

  • Kruzzen

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    most of the time the patch notes are incomplete anyway, so that does nto change anything. On the f2p server I can run multiple versions from the launcher, just not on the live one, wierd. Guess we will see tommorrow. I do agree it is stupid to have 4 launchers, you will always offend someone, they should have done some testing, but then this is the new business model, launch now, test later. Guess we will see what it has to offer.

    Reply

  • Barx

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    The features of the station launcher will be coming back eventually; they’ve been working on a multi-game version for more than a year (maybe more than 2 years). Work on that was stopped until they finished this flash-free launcher.

    And as deserving of hate as smokejumper normally is, the patcher is a completely different team at SOE. A team that I imagine would be quite happy to shut down their legacy patching system (used by the original launcher and station launcher) so that they only have to support one system.

    Of course, plenty of hate is still deserved for going to a mandatory mode with little testing and lacking in several key features. They should have gone to an optional roll-out and then tested while adding those features (logging directly to a character, etc.).

    Reply

  • Tekadeo

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    Looks a lil too much like Blizzard’s launcher IMO.

    Reply

  • Claviarm

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    It says you can switch from streaming to full by checking a box, but I very much doubt that’s completely true. The two clients use entirely different resource files–streaming uses the “assetcache” folder which contains 7 or so gigantic archives of game data, whereas the old full download client has a directory structure with many files.

    (In response to the inevitable “who cares?” response: Among other things, it’s more of a pain to swap out the zone music with the streaming client since you don’t have the directories right there in front of you to see where everything goes and what it’s named.)

    I doubt that checking or unchecking that box on the patcher is going to change which structure the client uses. And I’d place a firm bet that new installations, at least, will use the streaming model. The only question is whether those with the more traditional file structure get to keep using it or not.

    Reply

  • Anaogi

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    So, a third launcher for me by year’s end. And most of what GU61 broke is still broken. Not to mention the idiocy of the high-end raids, progression, playtesting, etc. etc.

    And they wonder why we think they’re dumber than a bag of hammers? Sheesh…

    Reply

  • Dethdlr

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    Several months ago, I heard that they were planning to do away with Station Launcher. So I decided to give LP3 a try and see if I could get used to it. The BIG thing for me that LP3 didn’t have was the ability to choose a character before logging in. I have no desire to wait for the character select screen to load up and display just so I can pick which character I want to play. I know that already.

    Here’s the workaround I’ve been using ever since that hopefully will continue to work after the new launchpad hits:

    Create a shortcut to the following in your EQ2 folder (wherever that may be):

    EverQuest2.exe cl_username username; cl_autoplay_world server; cl_autoplay_char charname

    Replace username with whatever you log in with, replace server with whatever server your character is on, and replace charname with whatever character name you are wanting to load. This will start to load the game then pop up a screen for you to enter your password. Type in your password, hit connect, and the game will launch and load that character name on that server without having to go through the character select screen.

    So the new process would go like this:

    Run the launcherpad to patch any new updates.

    Once the play button is displayed, close the launchpad.

    Click on the shortcut mentioned above.

    Enter your password and hit connect. You can also type in a different character name and server when the screen pops up so you don’t have to have a separate shortcut for each one.

    This is for the full download version btw. I have no idea how or if this would work for the streaming version.

    Reply

  • Taka

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    Unfortunately, what Dethdlr describes is also how you get past the streaming patcher issue of locking up repeatedly which it does of various computers per the EQ2X tech support forums. There were numerous reports of if and wasn’t reproducable (as far as I know) at SOE for a fix.

    A posted work around was directly run you eq2 executable unless you needed to patch. The second work around was when they released the full client download for eq2x.. then hid it again.

    Hopefully, they’ve got the issues worked out.

    Reply

  • Techno

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    It wasn’t enough to release a complete revamp of Freeport, a new Class, new phantom AA, an item modifying system, and merging EQ2/EQ2x. They needed to release a new untested launcher too?

    What could go wrong?

    Reply

  • Anaogi

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    It wasn’t enough to release a complete revamp of Freeport, a new Class, new phantom AA, an item modifying system, and merging EQ2/EQ2x. They needed to release a new untested launcher too?

    What could go wrong?

    You volunteering to run the betting pool? :evil:

    Reply

  • milliebii

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    Obviously the launcher was intended as part of the AoD/GU release. But a hard commitment was made internally for the conversion to the new launcher, AoD/GU gets pushed back and suddenly we have the launcher on its own.

    Hopefully this will be a good thing in as much as the undoubted bugs in this new launcher can be addressed without the noise of the host of bugs that will go live with AoD and the Game Update.

    Reply

  • Trueflight

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    Cracks me up that they just announced taht the daate for the launcher changed. beta on teh 30th, live on the 1st… lots of testing there.

    Reply

  • Eschia

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    I hope I’ll still be able to doubleclick everquest2.exe to skip the launcher and head directly in game like always. I don’t like sitting there waiting for the launcher to do it’s thing after i crash out of game. Being able to bypass it is a blessing. I also hope launchpad 3 will automatically update to this instead of us having to manually download it. I miss station launcher. The friends page on it hasn’t worked in a long time.

    Reply

  • Feldon

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    I hope I’ll still be able to doubleclick everquest2.exe to skip the launcher and head directly in game like always.

    As long as you’re patched, this should work.

    Reply

  • karl

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    Freeport (EQ2X) will not get the new launcher until 12/06

    Reply

  • Jade

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    Ok so after you press play and the game loads…the patcher is still running…in case you get booted so you can log on real fast?
    It looks just like warhammer launcher, except theirs goes away after the game is lauched.

    Reply

  • Dave

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    I was on the old launcher, and upon logging in it says ‘network not responding’, even though I have Internet access. Only upon searching around did I know there was a new launcher. Why didn’t the old one point to the fact that I have to go get a new one?

    Reply

    • Feldon

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      I was on the old launcher, and upon logging in it says ‘network not responding’, even though I have Internet access. Only upon searching around did I know there was a new launcher. Why didn’t the old one point to the fact that I have to go get a new one?

      It did for at least a few months.

      Reply

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