Volume 2 Client setup

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There are various ways to get a working City of Heroes client that is compatible with a Volume 2 server. This guide will describe using the CreamSoda launcher application, along with a manifest file which specifies exactly which versions of the client files will be downloaded.

Client Setup: Basic

One of the easiest ways to get your players to install a client involves little effort from a server owner, using the default manifest file which comes with CreamSoda. In this case, you will need to update your server to match whenever the default manifest gets updated to new versions. While this is an easier setup for the server owner, it's a bit less user-friendly for the players because they need to use the command line to connect to your server after the client files are downloaded. And they will not be going through the launcher each time they play, so they might miss updates until they run the launcher again.

Instruct your players to:

  1. Download CreamSoda.exe from the github.
  2. Once downloaded, double-click on CreamSoda.exe. It will prompt you asking what folder to install into (we'll use C:\CoH for this example), then will immediately begin downloading the files specified from the default manifest file. These defaults will install some common files into your chosen folder, as well as some Volume 2-specific files into the ouro subfolder. Additional files for other versions of the client will be installed into other folders, but they aren't needed for connecting to your Volume 2 server.
  3. Once the CreamSoda client finishes downloading/updating files, close the launcher.
  4. Open a windows command prompt, and type:
C:\CoH\ouroboros -auth 1.2.3.4 -console -fullscreen 0 -patchDir ouro

Where you replace 1.2.3.4 with the local or public IP address (or the domain name) of the Volume 2 server.

Client Setup: Advanced

A more involved way to get your players to install a client involves creating and hosting your own server-specific manifest file on a web server, which gives the server owner full control over which files the players of their server will download. You create a shortcut to setup the CreamSoda the first time it is launched to use your manifest file instead of the default manifest file.

  • Prerequisite: you have set up a web server with xampp and Apache, like the one used for setting up an Account Portal, including setting it up on a domain, either using a dynamic DNS service or using a registered domain. It's also recommended that your web server be set up properly to use HTTPS, since it's how your players verify the files they're getting are legit. Without HTTPS, you could get man-in-the-middled and your players could easily end up downloading a malicious .exe to replace the client one.

The server owner needs to:

  1. Create your own manifest xml file, personalizing it for your server. See Creating a manifest file.
  2. Save your manifest file as C:\xampp\htdocs\public\manifest\YourServerName.xml (replace YourServerName with the name of your server)
  3. Download CreamSoda.exe from the github to a temporary directory, but don't double-click on it.
  4. Right-click on CreamSoda.exe, select Create shortcut. Rename the shortcut to setup.exe.
  5. Right-click on setup.exe, select Properties.
  6. Change the Target field to: %COMSPEC% /C "start CreamSoda.exe -m https://your.server.domain/public/manifest/YourServerName.xml" (replace your.server.domain and YourServerName)
  7. Delete the contents of the Start in field so that they are blank.
  8. Click on Ok.
  9. Zip up CreamSoda.exe and setup.exe into CreamSoda.zip. (Recommended: use 7-zip for this)
  10. Create a creamsoda folder in C:\xampp\htdocs\public
  11. Save CreamSoda.zip in C:\xampp\htdocs\public\creamsoda

Instruct your players to:

  1. Download the Cream Soda launcher from https://your.server.domain/public/creamsoda/Creamsoda.zip and unzip it into a temporary directory.
  2. Double-click on the setup.exe file. It will prompt you asking what folder to install into (we'll use C:\CoH for this example), then will immediately begin downloading the files needed for the server.
  3. While the files are downloading, you can click on Create Account in the top part of the Cream Soda window, and create a new account and password for the server.
  4. After the launcher finishes downloading the files, click on the server and click on Play. Log in with the Login and Password created in the step above.
  5. To play the game from then on, go into the folder that you installed the game into and double-click on CreamSoda.exe, then click on Play. You can also make a shortcut of this file on your desktop if you prefer.