PSA: DAoC and Windows 10 loading times tweak

OK, so before I start...

Disclaimer: this tweak requires adding the main DAoC process (game.dll) to the Windows 10 Defender virus exclusions list. From a security perspective, do this at your own risk and only if you trust that the DAoC install will not be compromised.

Having returned to DAoC after nearly 15 years away, I was very surprised to see that loading and zoning times on my Ryzen/M.2 rig were the same as they were were on my Pentium III machine with a 7200 spindle drive from 17 years ago. On top of that, zoning into some of the new areas (OW and Curse) would cause frequest disconnects.

Since I work within ITIL Problem Management, this really bugged me, so I set out to find out why.

It turns out that Window Defender does not handle the DAoC process and it takes an extremely long time to scan all the files it needs in order to allow the game to load or zone. Using Perfmon I was able to tie the loading/zoning times to spikes in CPU usage for Windows Defender, sometimes up to 10% CPU for loading periods.

In order to start fixing this I added the install folder to the exclusions list for Windows Defender but it turns out that the game also uses other folders for temp and profile locations.

The next step was to add the game.dll process as an exclusion instead as this will allow the entire process to be excluded. And this worked.

Loading times dropped from 10+ seconds to 2 seconds on initial load as well as zoning. Additionally, it has also significantly reduced the disconnects on zoning into OW and Curse (1 disconnect on 2 clients over an entire Curse raid).

Steps to add the game process to your Windows 10 Defender exclusion list (follow at your own risk!):

1. Press the Win key and type Defender to show the Best Match of Windows Defender Settings, click on this.
2. Within this window, click on 'Virus & Threat protection' and then on 'Virus & threat protection settings' again.
3. Scroll down to the Exclusions section and click 'Add or remove exclusions' to open the Exclusions list.
4. Click the '+ Add an exclusion' button near the top and then click 'Process' from the presented menu.
5. Type in the full path to your game.dll file within your personal Dark Age of Camelot folder (e.g.: C:\Dark Age of Camelot\game.dll) and click the 'Add' button. You may be presented with a UAC prompt, click 'Yes' to confirm you want to add the entry.
6. Load DAoC as normal to see the benefits.

Hope this helps anyone who gets frustrated with the loading times on their modern gaming machine!
Rolled over from Hib/Prydwen!

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  • This definitely worked. Thank you!
  • Profit!

    You my friend deserve a cookie :)
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  • Did this with Win7 and security essentials, and it helped a great deal also. Thanks mana <3
    DAoC Community Lead
    Broadsword Online Games
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