older versions of Wesnoth suddenly ignoring add-ons and save files

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Shield
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Joined: January 23rd, 2011, 5:58 pm

older versions of Wesnoth suddenly ignoring add-ons and save files

Post by Shield » November 17th, 2019, 8:16 pm

I'm not sure how or if this can be helped, but it's still a very alarming problem.

Recently, I've tried to play some slightly older versions of Wesnoth-- specifically versions 1.10.7 and 1.12.4-- and found something shocking. My preferences had all been reset, they claim I have no saved games to load, and all campaigns except the mainline ones are nowhere to be seen. I checked the appropriate folders, and all of the add-ons and save files are still there! I've had these copies of the game on my computer for a few years, and they've been working fine up until now.

I have not built these games from the source code, nor have I messed with any of the mainline files.
My computer is Windows 10, version 1809, OS build 17763.805.

The same problem happens with Wesnoth version 1.8.6, and it's worth mentioning that it had happened with 1.8.6 years ago on a Windows 7 laptop, too. In that instance, only add-ons installed directly from the server within the game would display; add-ons downloaded from the server in-browser and extracted into the add-ons folder manually were ignored. On this newer computer, I've been completely unable to play any add-ons for 1.8 due to this strange sort of problem.
Versions predating the 1.8 branch seem to be unaffected... for now.

I have no idea if anyone else has experienced this problem, if it can be replicated, or if it's possible for me to fix, but I feel it's still worth looking into. Issues like this strongly impact the long-term playability of Wesnoth and the preservation of UMC, and it should be prevented for future games if at all possible. I've been working on some UMC over the years to learn WML, and this prevents me from playtesting them on the games they were intended for. And besides, I'm nostalgic about the older versions of the game and miss playing my favorite old add-ons... :(

In short: Has anyone else encountered this? What's caused this? Are there steps I can take to fix this? Is this going to keep happening to older versions of Wesnoth as newer games and computer OS's come out?
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gnombat
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Re: older versions of Wesnoth suddenly ignoring add-ons and save files

Post by gnombat » November 17th, 2019, 9:09 pm

Shield wrote:
November 17th, 2019, 8:16 pm
Recently, I've tried to play some slightly older versions of Wesnoth-- specifically versions 1.10.7 and 1.12.4-- and found something shocking. My preferences had all been reset, they claim I have no saved games to load, and all campaigns except the mainline ones are nowhere to be seen. I checked the appropriate folders, and all of the add-ons and save files are still there! I've had these copies of the game on my computer for a few years, and they've been working fine up until now.
Which folders are you looking in for add-ons and save files? (Note that there's a number of different places where these could be. When you ran the installer, did you select "Store userdata in the install location"?)

Also, how are you starting the game? Are you using the shortcut created by the installer, or are you running the executable directly (e.g., typing wesnoth.exe on the command line, or double-clicking wesnoth.exe in its installation folder)?

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Shield
Posts: 57
Joined: January 23rd, 2011, 5:58 pm

Re: older versions of Wesnoth suddenly ignoring add-ons and save files

Post by Shield » November 17th, 2019, 9:57 pm

gnombat wrote:
November 17th, 2019, 9:09 pm
When you ran the installer, did you select "Store userdata in the install location"?)
:hmm: It's been a really long time, so I don't remember clearly, but I don't think I did. I know I always try to put them all in the same places, so they're easy to find when I'm curious about an add-on's inner workings.

I've been looking in Documents\My Games\Wesnoth1.10\saves, Documents\My Games\Wesnoth1.12\saves, Documents\My Games\Wesnoth1.10\data\add-ons and Documents\My Games\Wesnoth1.12\data\add-ons. For 1.8.6, I've been putting add-on files into Documents\My Games\Wesnoth1.8\data\add-ons.

Here's a screenshot.
Screenshot (291).png
I'd installed basically all of those add-ons years ago, and they always worked fine. Same goes for the 1.12 ones.

I'm running the games by double-clicking the wesnoth.exe application in its installation folder; I couldn't get 1.12.4 to open from the taskbar shortcut. I've just found that the taskbar and desktop shortcuts I made for both 1.10.7 and 1.12.4 no longer work! Yikes. The desktop shortcut for 1.8.6 still works, but its manually-installed add-ons were never functional to begin with, and it seems to be developing other problems, now, too.
Looking kinda bad.
Looking kinda bad.
I checked 1.13.6 to see if it's gotten the add-on/save problem too, and-- despite lagging horribly-- its add-ons and saves are still being recognized like normal; a relief, but the whole thing is still very strange.
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gnombat
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Re: older versions of Wesnoth suddenly ignoring add-ons and save files

Post by gnombat » November 17th, 2019, 11:10 pm

Shield wrote:
November 17th, 2019, 9:57 pm
I'm running the games by double-clicking the wesnoth.exe application in its installation folder; I couldn't get 1.12.4 to open from the taskbar shortcut. I've just found that the taskbar and desktop shortcuts I made for both 1.10.7 and 1.12.4 no longer work! Yikes.
That's probably the issue; you need to run it from the shortcut in order to work.

For 1.12 - if you're currently running version 1.12.4, I would recommend installing version 1.12.6, it's the last release of 1.12 (and it should have some additional bug fixes over 1.12.4). Make sure you do not select "Store userdata in the install location" when installing. Then once 1.12.6 is installed, if you run it from its shortcut then I think you will get your preferences and add-ons back.

For 1.10.7 - I would recommend uninstalling and reinstalling this. (This should be safe to do - it will not delete your Documents\My Games\Wesnoth1.10 folder.) It should re-create the shortcut to run the program, and if you run that I think you will get your preferences and add-ons back. Probably you can do the same thing for 1.8.6 (that might fix the other issues you're seeing).

If for some reason you can't re-install the game (e.g., you don't have the installer and you're on a slow internet connection and can't download a 400 MB file right now), you might be able to fix things just by creating a new shortcut:
  1. Right-click your desktop and select "New" > "Shortcut".
  2. Click "Browse" and select your wesnoth.exe file wherever you have it installed. Click "OK" then "Next" and "Finish".
  3. Right click the shortcut you just created, and click "Properties".
  4. In the "Shortcut" tab, edit the "Target" field: at the end, add a space and then the following additional text: --config-dir Wesnoth1.12. (Or Wesnoth1.10 or Wesnoth1.8 to match the version of wesnoth.exe you selected.) It should look something like this:

    shortcut.png

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