[Guide] How to watch recorded games: Voobly/WK/UserPatch

FinlandJeowaypoint

Known Member
Apr 13, 2016
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#1
*Update1*: seeing as this was linked by none other than the Grand Wizard himself, scripter, I applied some updates, links and better explanations.

*Update2*: Since I had to reinstall Windows lately and had to set up everything again, I also added the steps for opening WK-recs directly from Windows' File Explorer, by using "Open With"-context menu. Previously this was sort of a mess, with OpenWith application descriptions being the same for all age2.exes.
____________________________

There are 2 ways to watch recs:

1) on Voobly (benefit over way no.2: Spectator overlay/dashboard, co-operative/shared rec watching)

2) Offline, with a standard UserPatch installation or Offline WK-installation. For standard AoC (not WK) one needs Compatibility Patch if on HD (<- download link. This Compatibility Patch needs to be installed before running SetupAoC.exe that installs UserPatch, for HD USERS). For CD users, Compatibility Patch is not necessary, and for WK alone there is no need for Compatibility Patch.

PERKS for 2):

can open AoC-recs (not WK-recs) directly from SaveGame-folder at

...\Age2HD\savegame

or


...\Age of Empires II\savegame

depending on version, and all it's Subfolders (this works with even the old format .MGX recs)

Newest UserPatch recs have a Spectator-statistics(pop/vills/military etcetc) applied to the Score section in the lower right corner, making Spectator Overlay/Dashboard less needed for non-casting purposes, but it only works for .mgz recs that have been played on UP 1.4+ (as far as I know).

__________________


Then the HOW-TOs for the mentioned options:

1):

For WK, you install it *without* selecting the option "Create an Offline installation". See the respective WK readmes/notes for reference (download link to latest WK). Once installed, it'll be selectable as a Mod in a Voobly Room's Settings like this: http://prntscr.com/i5jw0e

The recorded games will go to

...\Age2HD\Voobly Mods\AOC\Data Mods\WololoKingdoms\SaveGame

or


...\Age2HD\Voobly Mods\AOC\Data Mods\WololoKingdoms FE\SaveGame

or

...\Age2HD\Voobly Mods\AOC\Data Mods\WololoKingdoms AK\SaveGame

depending on the version you have (topmost if you own or have installed all HD DLCs). Note that there are various WK versions out there: different stages of development, analogous to Steam's HD update versions. Some tournament recs may therefore need to be used on old WK-versions (Masters of Arena 5 = Patch5.6 for example), in which case that specific WK-version will have it's OWN SaveGame folder similarly to those 3 standard versions mentioned.

Once the (downloaded) recs are in those folders (cannot be in subfolders), you can select them in Voobly Room's Settings page, in menu Watch Recording, which reads the recs from the respective folder of the Mod selection.

2): Offline (personal preference and recommendation)

If a normal UP (<- download link) is installed, meaning a non-voobly version, the installer SetupAoC.exe will have created an "age2_x1.exe" to


...\Age2HD\age2_x1

which can be used to watch recs normally via ingame menu, as well as the aforementioned direct AoC-rec doubleclick-opening from the SaveGame folder (UP is capable of auto-selecting the correct version depending if the rec is MGZ or MGX, so the doubleclick method is far superior QoL wise).

If WololoKingdoms installer's option "Create an offline installation" has been used, it has created a "WK.exe", "WKFE.exe" or "WKAK.exe" to folder

...\Age2HD\age2_x1

which can be used normally to surf recs from folders by using the ingame Recs-menu: UserPatch-enabled subdfolder surfing is available. The Folders for Offline installations are:


...\Age2HD\Games\WololoKingdoms\SaveGame

or

...\Age2HD\Games\WololoKingdoms FE\SaveGame

or

...\Age2HD\Games\WololoKingdoms AK\SaveGame

respectively.


Note: yes, there is a lot of recs-folders now, as WK-recs are version-dependent, like on HD.

Note2: WololoKingdoms does not support direct recorded-game opening by doubleclicking from within the savegame folder(s), this is a Standard-UserPatch-only feature so far, but there is a workaround (see the end of the post).

Note3: having an Offline version, or versions, installed is not mutually exclusive to Voobly Mod installation (when not selecting "Create an Offline installation", it creates a Voobly Mod), and they do not inhibit each other's function in any way.

______________________________________


For non-HD users, all of the above is relevant, just the Path is ...\Age of Empires II\, not ...\Age2HD\

______________________________________

EDIT: the WK-rec workaround

As mentioned in Note2 and Update2, directly double-clicking WK-recs from the Offline-installation's SaveGame folder/subfolders does not work. However, one can right-click on the recs (.mgz files) and locate the Offline-version "WK.exe", "WKFE.exe", "WKAK.exe" with Windows's "Open With ..." feature, resulting in the recorded game being opened successfully and directly to the game itself. This will work from any subfolders of the respective SaveGame folders! (it's probably not recommended to select "Always use this app to open .mgz files" for WK.exe, as this would make normal AoC recs also be attampted to open with WK.exe, which fails)

After this has been done once, Windows will save the program to the Open With -list. However, problem is that both age2_x1.exe (UserPatch exe) and WK.exe are listed as "Age of Empires II Expansion" in the list. This is due the -exes having the same FileDescription value, which is set when the programs are compiled/created. Windows offers a nifty workaround for this problem, if one is not scared to edit Registry a bit: (in this case, adding something, not modifying)

It is possible to give programs FriendlyAppName attributes, which Open With -feature uses instead of the previously mentioned FileDescription values that are inherent to the programs themselves: I used the following (attached file in a zip) file to make my WK.exe read as "WololoKingdoms" in the context menu.

Code:
Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Applications\WK.exe]
"FriendlyAppName"="WololoKingdoms"
Using this workaround is as simple as running (by double-click) the zipped .reg file, it adds the necessary key to the windows registry, applying this workaround.

Note: if you have WKFE.exe or WKAK.exe instead, or some other (old patch) version, the file would need to be modified using a text editor to target the correct .exe! Of course, one could just use different values for FriendlyAppName, such as "FriendlyAppName"="WololoKingdoms moa5" if applying the workaround for the MoA5-compatible .exe.
 

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Last edited:
Oct 22, 2010
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#4
This guide doesn't really address watching WK recs offline (without voobly) with standard aoc installation. I don't think everybody uses the compatibility patch.
Basically, there are two folders where voobly stores your WK recs and where you need to cut or copy/paste them to.

In my case by default Voobly recs are stored to:
C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Games\Age of Empires II\Voobly Mods\AOC\Data Mods\WololoKingdoms\Savegame

In order to watch them offline (without Voobly), the WK installer accesses recorded games in the following folder:
C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Games\Age of Empires II\Games\WololoKingdoms\Savegame

So yeah, a bit of swapping is required :D
 

FinlandJeowaypoint

Known Member
Apr 13, 2016
198
202
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#5
This guide doesn't really address watching WK recs offline (without voobly) with standard aoc installation. I don't think everybody uses the compatibility patch.
Basically, there are two folders where voobly stores your WK recs and where you need to cut or copy/paste them to.
It does address this, in section 2) that is specifically for Offline rec watching.
 

FinlandJeowaypoint

Known Member
Apr 13, 2016
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202
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#8
Just had to re-install everything since PC died, so I edited in the workaround I use to watch WK-recs Offline. A simple registry edit was needed, but the gained QoL improvement is worth the trouble imo.

Also updated some links.

Oh, and I think this should be moved to forums/articles-and-guides.186/ ... idk why I didn't create this there in the first place.
 
Likes: Tocaraca

United StatesTocaraca

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#9
Thank you for this! It was annoying me a lot that Age of Empires II Expansion was there 3 times and I had no idea which one was which. This is really helpful. :smile:
 
Oct 16, 2018
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#10
I totally respect the hard work put on all these new stuff, but how do you expect someone new to AoC or an old player to get along all these versions? I'm an old MS Zone player and I'm living a nightmare simply trying to watch a recorded game. It's just not user-friendly.
 
Likes: NigelSlack

FinlandJeowaypoint

Known Member
Apr 13, 2016
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#11
Indeed, it is far from intuitive or user friendly. Gregstein's AoE2Tools aims to make it somewhat more tolerable though. You can (potentially) drag-n-drop even a WK rec link from a voobly page, or a rec itself, to it and it will (should) open it. I've had some problems with that particular functionality, and keep using the right-click method mentioned here.
 
Likes: deloN

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