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  1. #1

    Lightbulb Solution: All options reset every time DDO starts

    In case anyone else experiences this issue, here's what I was seeing and what I found out was causing the problem:

    Starting a couple of weeks ago, every time I launch DDO it seems to have completely reset all options to defaults. Every launch, it detects that the PC supports DirectX11 and asks if I want to use it. The game launches in full screen mode, at a low resolution, regardless of what I had configured previously. I normally use the 64 bit client. I've tried changing, from the launcher options, back to the 32 bit client, but the setting doesn't seem to stick. This is running on Windows 10 x64 v20H2 (Currently an insider build).

    It seems to me like it's not reading from, or writing changes to, the userpreferences file. Looking in '%userprofile%\Documents\Dungeons and Dragons Online\' I see userpreferences.ini was last modified on 8/2/2020, which is roughly consistent with the last time the game seemed to work properly. (I can't say exactly what date the issue started. I know I played a few times after that, reapplying my options every time I launched the game, but then last monday we lost power for 5 days, and I'm just now back to trying to play and get it working properly.) I've verified that the userpreferences.ini file is not read only, and that both my user account and System have Full Control rights to the file and parent directory. I've also uninstalled and reinstalled the game, to no avail. The uninstall didn't remove the userpreferences files from my profile. It does look like the file was modified by either the reinstall or subsequent patching, as the modified date has been updated to 8/16 12:07am, but at a glance I don't see anything in the content that changed and when I launch the game it still doesn't seem to read or update the file.

    I ended up discovering that Windows "Controlled Folder Access" (a malware/ransomware protection feature) was blocking the ddo apps from writing to the documents folder. Apps are supposed to store their data in the AppData folders, not Documents, so when DDO tries to write to files that are in the Documents folder, it's considered suspicious and Windows blocks those writes. As a workaround, you can designate the required DDO apps as authorized to bypass the Controlled Folder Access feature. (This wouldn't be required if DDO followed best practices and stored these files in AppData instead of Documents. I hope SSG will adopt the recommended practice for where to store such files in the future.)

    To see if this is the problem you're having, and to allow DDO to bypass the security feature if necessary, click the start button and then click on the gear icon to open Settings. In the search box at the top of the settings window, search for 'Controlled Folder Access' and select it from the results. Under 'Block History' you can see a list of recent instances where Windows blocked an app from writing to a file in a protected folder. Below the Block History link is another link to 'Allow an app through Controlled Folder Access'. This is where you can designate specific apps/exe files that are allowed to bypass the Controlled Folder Access security feature and write to files in protected folders.

    I hope that this information is helpful to others who might be experiencing similar issues now or in the future.

    Thanks,
    Gai-jin

  2. #2
    Community Member TitusOvid's Avatar
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    +1
    I never had this problem this far but thanks for the write-up.

    Cheers,
    Titus.
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  3. #3
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    Thanks so much for this post. I have returned to the game after 6+ months, and downloaded onto a laptop I have not used for it before. All launched fine, but had exactly this bug, which is super annoying. I had to have a few goes fiddling around with the access settings, and it's still not quite working perfectly (doesn't seem to be remembering my audio settings for example) but does now at least remember sign in and key mapping, which is huge help.

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gai-jin View Post
    (This wouldn't be required if DDO followed best practices and stored these files in AppData instead of Documents. I hope SSG will adopt the recommended practice for where to store such files in the future.)
    If my recollection of Windows history is correct, this is a case of Windows changing best practices after Windows XP - When DDO's settings structure was initially constructed circa 2005, Documents was a pretty common place to store save data you wanted to track with the user.

    No idea what the viability of altering that default based on your OS would be, unfortunately.
    We don't only build for the builds that exist.
    We don't only build for the builds that are good right now.

    The fact that some changes are necessary is not diminished by the fact that other necessary changes have not happened yet.

  5. #5
    Community Member krzyysiek098's Avatar
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    I've had this problem multiple times. My workaround was to copy 2 files from MyDocuments' DDO folder (UserPreferences and ddo.keymap) to a different location - and when this bug occurs, simply close the application and launcher and copy those 2 files back to DDO folder.
    Thanks for sharing your solution.
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  6. #6
    Community Member Jerevth's Avatar
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    I have the settings issue but the ransomware protection was disabled. (I don't trust Windows security to actually be competent.) But it did give me some ideas of where to look in my AV programs. Thanks, +1.
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steelstar View Post
    If my recollection of Windows history is correct, this is a case of Windows changing best practices after Windows XP - When DDO's settings structure was initially constructed circa 2005, Documents was a pretty common place to store save data you wanted to track with the user.

    No idea what the viability of altering that default based on your OS would be, unfortunately.
    AFAIK, Windows 10 ensures the viability of those legacy Explorer locations, by locating them as Registry items.

    Unless your computer crashes at the exact instant of such change, and you can reboot normally, that scenario should be OK.

  8. #8
    Hatchery Hero Dark_Helmet's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steelstar View Post
    If my recollection of Windows history is correct, this is a case of Windows changing best practices after Windows XP - When DDO's settings structure was initially constructed circa 2005, Documents was a pretty common place to store save data you wanted to track with the user.

    No idea what the viability of altering that default based on your OS would be, unfortunately.
    Wow, I would think a simple SHGetFolderPath is all you need for any OS - unless they did an inline upgrade for XP which could mess with default variables. Just watch out for that Jenkins pipeline. I also support that DDO has stuff hard coded incorrectly and not using system level variables.
    Oh, that's easy. I didn't farm them. I just cheated. -Meghan
    Quote Originally Posted by 404error View Post
    lol, I didnt give it a QA pass.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gai-jin View Post
    I ended up discovering that Windows "Controlled Folder Access" (a malware/ransomware protection """"""""""feature"""""""""") was blocking the ddo apps from writing to the documents folder.
    FTFY. An OS should not prevent a user from writing to their own folders.

    This is why I'm glad this game runs so well through WINE. Microsoft just doesn't care anymore.
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    Someone writes a book about your favorite character in DDO. What is the title of the book?
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    There's no lag, it's D&D trying to become turn based again.

  10. #10
    Community Member Vehementi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Merlin-ator View Post
    FTFY. An OS should not prevent a user from writing to their own folders.
    You should try game pass. Paradox games is known for mod support. But Microsoft being the customer loving helicopter parent decided to lock all game pass files in a folder that has higher user privileges then you as an admin, forcefully giving yourself access does nothing but let you see the files and if you reallllly try to force it to let you edit them there's a 50-50 chance you'll just bsod loop.

    -----------

    In case anyone else would like another band aid option that comes in handy to OP's problem
    https://www.howtogeek.com/howto/1622...dows-or-linux/

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gai-jin View Post
    In case anyone else experiences this issue, here's what I was seeing and what I found out was causing the problem:

    Starting a couple of weeks ago, every time I launch DDO it seems to have completely reset all options to defaults. Every launch, it detects that the PC supports DirectX11 and asks if I want to use it. The game launches in full screen mode, at a low resolution, regardless of what I had configured previously. I normally use the 64 bit client. I've tried changing, from the launcher options, back to the 32 bit client, but the setting doesn't seem to stick. This is running on Windows 10 x64 v20H2 (Currently an insider build).

    It seems to me like it's not reading from, or writing changes to, the userpreferences file. Looking in '%userprofile%\Documents\Dungeons and Dragons Online\' I see userpreferences.ini was last modified on 8/2/2020, which is roughly consistent with the last time the game seemed to work properly. (I can't say exactly what date the issue started. I know I played a few times after that, reapplying my options every time I launched the game, but then last monday we lost power for 5 days, and I'm just now back to trying to play and get it working properly.) I've verified that the userpreferences.ini file is not read only, and that both my user account and System have Full Control rights to the file and parent directory. I've also uninstalled and reinstalled the game, to no avail. The uninstall didn't remove the userpreferences files from my profile. It does look like the file was modified by either the reinstall or subsequent patching, as the modified date has been updated to 8/16 12:07am, but at a glance I don't see anything in the content that changed and when I launch the game it still doesn't seem to read or update the file.

    I ended up discovering that Windows "Controlled Folder Access" (a malware/ransomware protection feature) was blocking the ddo apps from writing to the documents folder. Apps are supposed to store their data in the AppData folders, not Documents, so when DDO tries to write to files that are in the Documents folder, it's considered suspicious and Windows blocks those writes. As a workaround, you can designate the required DDO apps as authorized to bypass the Controlled Folder Access feature. (This wouldn't be required if DDO followed best practices and stored these files in AppData instead of Documents. I hope SSG will adopt the recommended practice for where to store such files in the future.)

    To see if this is the problem you're having, and to allow DDO to bypass the security feature if necessary, click the start button and then click on the gear icon to open Settings. In the search box at the top of the settings window, search for 'Controlled Folder Access' and select it from the results. Under 'Block History' you can see a list of recent instances where Windows blocked an app from writing to a file in a protected folder. Below the Block History link is another link to 'Allow an app through Controlled Folder Access'. This is where you can designate specific apps/exe files that are allowed to bypass the Controlled Folder Access security feature and write to files in protected folders.

    I hope that this information is helpful to others who might be experiencing similar issues now or in the future.

    Thanks,
    Gai-jin

    I am having the exact same issue now, however, none of the suggested fixed have solved the issue. It is extremely vexing and is causing me to want to stop playing and paying, uninstall, and play something else.

  12. #12
    Community Member tygara's Avatar
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    Yup, same issue here.
    But when looking in my Controlled Folder Access, nothing you suggested was as you said.
    Everything was already disabled for me, so your work around is not the way to fix it for me.
    If anyone has any idea how to fix this issue, it would be greatly appreciated, because it is annoying having to reapply all your personal settings every time you restart the game.
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