Thursday, July 12, 2018

How to clean your data for Xpac Pre-Patch Day (BfA version)

*pops into existence again*

There's a new expansion, so again here's a list on how to make sure that your game will load without any conflicts of any kind.
I've added a bit more explanations than required to explain the steps taken here.
I've used this method for quite a few expansions now and so far it's been working like a charm for me.

The only downside to this method is you have to accept to reset your addon settings all over again.
But - as is the case at every expansion pre-patch - the major problems that players usually encounter all have to do with old data conflicting with new data.
Unless it's anything to do with hardware or software drivers and actually broken things, I can bet you that most players' problems can be solved by following these steps.
The devs and customer support will recommend some of the steps I'm listing here, but I'm doing a full scrub and reload of your character's data without having to download the entire game again or wait for customer support tickets to get answered (which can take days at the beginning of an expansion).

  1. The Day Before the Patch launches : Log out all your characters at a remote location in World of Warcraft. The point is to only have your character info to load and not everyone else's. Where everyone is located around your character and what they're wearing is the main proponent of lag in the game.
  2. Close the game entirely. Next time you should be loading your game will be after the patch has been applied.
  3. Go in your WoW folder.
  4. Delete the Cache folder.
  5. Rename your Addons folder. (Something like "OldAddons")
  6. Delete the WTF folder. If you want to keep your addon settings for your characters, figure it out by yourself, but there's a risk of data conflict - I'm clearing out that chance entirely.
  7. Wait for the patch to go live. How can you tell if it's Live? Besides the Play button on the Blizzard Launcher, it should go from "Version 7.something" to "Version 8.something" for Battle for Azeroth.
  8. Log on to every character you have. Don't worry about addons at this point.
  9. Before switching to another character, make sure that the server has loaded all the information about your character. This means opening your appearance collection, Toys collection, Mounts, Pets, and every profession tradeskill window, and making sure that all the data loads up - text and icons included, both in the Learned and Unlearned tabs. Be patient, the server is busy sending you all the information, it can take a few moments, but by doing this we make sure all the correct info is synchronized.
  10. Close the game entirely.
  11. Install addons. You can refer to the addons folder you've renamed earlier to be sure you've installed everything you used to have. Maybe you'll discover in the process that some addons have been discontinued or replaced or even find better ones.
  12. Start your game with your addons loaded, but do not checkmark to load out-of-date addons, and see how your game behaves with a single character. Make changes if need be.
  13. Close your game entirely. This ensures that your current settings are saved on Blizzard's side. If you jump to the next step without closing your game entirely and an addon crashes your game, you'll have lost a part of your setup process and have to do it all again.
  14. Start your game with the checkmark to load out-of-date addons, and see how your game behaves with that same character. Make changes if need be.

    Usually, this is where conflicts happen because some addon authors haven't updated their code to the latest version or have not taken into consideration some backend changes that the WoW devs have applied for the new expansion. This is where turning on and off addons and reloading the game will help you figure out what's wrong.

    Note that some addons thankfully have an option to save a Global Profile, so you can setup the addon on your main character and then use the option to Use Global Profile on your alts for a quicker setup.

And that should be it!
Enjoy your smooth expansion pre-patch!

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