So, Wildstar is now a part of my ongoing gaming roster (actually, adding it takes my gaming from 'a game' to 'a roster'; I'm such a noob). And, of course, having to maintain a Windows environment just to play it was annoying me a bit.
So, after my success running SW:ToR in a Wine virtual drive using PlayOnLinux (PoL), I decided I had nothing to lose by trying to replicate that success with Wildstar.
I was mildly concerned that there was no scripted installation option in the PoL ecosystem (PoL makes installing software with Wine easy as it uses scripts written by gurus to provide guided, if not automated, installation).
Since an install script exists for SW:ToR, I'd never manually installed anything through PoL before. A bit of googling and a few PoL forum posts suggested that it wasn't actually that hard to get running, so I dove on in.
The process, I'm happy to report, went pretty smoothly.
I've outlined the steps I took below for those of you who might be interested:
- Start a manual installation from the PoL interface.
- Create a new virtual drive (rather an modify an existing drive)
- Name it (Wildstar, obv)
- Choose the 'Install some libraries' option (as I'd read that wininet and winhttp were needed)
- Choose '32 bits' as the architecture (even if you're on a 64 bit system, this is usually safest)
- PoL creates the drive
- Find the installer file (I initially tried running it directly from my Win 7 partition...didn't work)
- Let the installer do its thing.
Wine crashed randomly a few times during the installation, but I was able to nurse it through to completion by repeating the process above and choosing to modify the existing drive in step 2 (leaving everything after that unchanged).
Once the installation was finished, but before I fired up the game, I disabled the OpenGL Shading Language (GLSL) as I'd also read that it was causing poor framerates when active (select Wildstar in the PoL games list, click Modify, go to the Display tab, find the GLSL Support entry, choose Disable in dropdown menu).
And that was that. The game runs as smoothly as it does in a Windows environment.
Postscript: Another awesome feature I've found is the PoL Vault, which is a plugin that backs up (and optionally compresses) your virtual drives to a different location (in my case, an external storage drive) for easy re-installation later. Needless to say that I've backed up both my SW:ToR and Wildstar virtual drives. Obviously the backups won't get any patches applied to the games, and I'll need to reinstall Wildstar when I switch over to the live client (the closed beta is a separate client installation), but still. you can never have too much backed up!