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Friday, May 22, 2009

Play Lord of the Rings Online on Mac OSX

I have bitched about the state of mac gaming before. I still stand by that as nothing is different and nothing got better. The development companies (or production companies for that matter) still ignore the platform and the few games are still more expensive than their windows equivalent, save for some exceptions. There is yet hope though.

There are other ways to play your favourite games on the mac without leaving OSX to bootcamp back to windows. I tried parallels. At first, I was thrilled and excited, but then I was as annoyed as bootcamping and more(its slower than windows on bootcamp). It is an impressive piece of software but I still had to load an entire Operating system even if the loading took place on a virtual machine. I then tried Crossover games. For this paragraph i 'll just say that lotsa Orc-slaying is taking place using Crossover.

Crossover is a commercial flavor of wine, the well known open source Windows API implementation, that allows windows programs to run on various operating systems including Linux and Mac OSX. I have used wine in the past to play games but it felt more like work to maintain your gaming environments clean and keep your games in a working order without screwing something up. Crossover is saving you from just that. It is basically wine with a better environment and lets you install your windows games cleanly without affecting your other games and it lets you configure everything correctly without much headaches. It is doing that with the use of bottles(get it? bottles of wine?) to isolate your individual games and everything runs on it own bottle.

Avoid windows and orc bad breath

Lately I am hooked on Lord of the Rings Online (more on that in a future post). Lotro occupies most of my gaming time and, at least for that one, I needed to find a way to play it efficiently on the mac without resorting to bootcamp. Crossover games was the answer. Even though tehcnically Lord of the Rings Online is not officially supported by Codeweavers it is still playing great. Installing it is straight forward once you know the correct steps. Basically the game plays as is. The only difference is that one has to replace the original .Net game launcher with another one that is compatible with Crossover. This is where pylotro comes into play. Make sure you download the windows pylotro version to install it in your bottle.

(Obsolete instructions. Please look further down in the post for the updated instructions)
Basically the steps for the US version are:
  • install Crossover Games
  • create a windows 2k bottle(its been know to be more stable)
  • install the game from the downladbale Mines of Moria client
  • install pylotro
  • run pylotro and patch game from there

For the European version it is slightly different:
  • install crossover
  • create a windows 2k bottle(its been know to be more stable
  • install Book 14 client
  • install Mines of moria update 1
  • install Mines of Moria Update 2
  • from the extra software packets of Crossover install VC++ 2005
  • install pylotro
  • run pylotro and patch the game

I have been playing Lotro from crossover games for many days now and it is very stable with very good performance. In addition to Lotro I have been playing Team Fortress 2 and Half Life 2 from Crossover games without any issues whatsoever. Before trying it make sure to check on the compatibility pages if your game is supported. Ok I may bootcamp for something that is not supported but for 90% of the time I am ok. For 39 dollars being able to enjoy my favourite games without leaving OSX is a very good deal. Crossover has a full fledged demo version to try it before you buy it. In addition by buying a licence you support a company that supports open source and in addition writes a very important opensource project, wine.

UPDATE 13/11/10

Good news everyone! Codeweavers are now supporting Lord of the rings Online with C4P installation in crossover games. That means less hussle setting it up. It also runs like a breeze with 9.2.

The installation process is a breeze now.
  • Download the client setup files from the links found on the Tips and tricks page of the game's support page. Please note that there are different files for North American and European clients. This will install the Siege of Mirkwood client(don't worry you will update later). Do NOT use the latest free to play client because it will NOT work.
  • After you have installed the latest crossover games version (9.2 at the time of writing) create a new windows xp bottle and go to the game's support page on codeweavers website
  • Click on the the C4p icon on the right hand side of the page to initiate the automated installation procedure. Click through the security messages.
  • Start the automated procedure and provide the lotro client location on your computer to the wizard.
  • The rest of the downloads will be handled by C4P
  • After the installation is complete use pylotro to run the game (the game's regular client won't work).
  • Patch to the latest version using pylotro
  • If the game is not launching for you, check to see if DirectX modern package is installed in your lotro bottle in crossover. If it is not, install it through the supported installations of the bottle.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for the very nice writeup on CrossOver and how to get LOTRO working under it. We are working on the launcher issues, believe me.

mastorak said...

I am happy that you appreciate it. Thanks for the information that you are working on the .Net launcher working. From the crossover forums I was very happy to learn that Lotro is considered to be officially supported.
Thanks for all the work you put into this guys...

Todd said...

I am unable to get LOTRO it install. I am trying from the Free-10-days download page. There are 2 options - fast install and full install. The full install doesn't launch at all and the fast install fails on the .Net portion (expected), but when it gets past there I get a program exception error and then the progress meter never goes up. Any suggestions?? (talasyn@gmail.com)

mastorak said...

There are full instructions on how to install the game here:

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately, Turbine has changed the installer and now uses PANDO. The third party installer is incompatible with Crossover. On Codeweavers site within the tips and trick sections there are some suggestions and a link to a forum post with the full compatible download. Sadly only the standard-Res is functional and not the HIGH resolution.

If anyone has suggestions at this point or a link to a High Res download please let us know

mastorak said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dave said...

Huge problem with the "Pando" issue and non-compatible game installer. How could this have been posted less than 24 hours ago and still not mention this obvious and terminal problem?

Also, the cp4 file will not open as Crossover considers it "untrusted" and will not open it (it just hangs around after clicking "load anyway", nothing happens)

You're instructions were quite good, made perfect sense, however; it's obvious that they were not tested even in the slightest.

And as for this: http://www.mcgillsociety.org/PyLotRO/index.html

...Well that's just pathetically convoluted and protracted and I see no reason why anyone would consider any of that helpful.

mastorak said...

You should not download the f2play clients but use the setup files from the links found on the tips and tricks section of the support page of the game on the crossover website.
I apologize for not making it clear. I will update immediately

mastorak said...

Ok, I updated the guide to make clear that you need to use the old installers. I am sorry for the inconvenience. This method is thoroughly tested since it is the one I personally used to install and play the game.

Anonymous said...

question that only a newby could ask in a geek forum:
i'm an european player, italian indeed, playing the NA version of the game over a bootcamp partition... but i would like very much to install this game under my mac partition, only trouble is that the file you suggest downloading comes from aussiland!!! that means, for my poorly broad band connection, a 40Kb/s DL speed...

anyone ever uploaded this file over megaupload or something like that? that'll help sooooo much...

think about it if you can, thanx in advance

mastorak said...

The file being in a Australian server sure is problem.

I have not tried this, but you could try moving the installation folder to your mac partition as is. Then, create a bottle for the game and install the rest of the necessary files like the visual c++ libraries, directx and anything else required. Move the game folder to the bottle and try to launch the game from there.
Again this is just an idea and I am not sure if it will work.
You can ask at the codeweavers lotro forum if anyone has tried it.

Anonymous said...

di i mention my being a totally newby? (or noob if you like it better...)

let me try to explain: i would like to find something like a "wrapper", a working one, obviously, in which i could simply transfer the windows folder of the game, manteining like this all my shortcut andgame preferences...

could you make a copy of your mac workin lotro then open it, delete the lotro folder of the game, and then post it as is? should it be working?

mastorak said...

unfortunately it will not work that way. What will probably work though, is what i told you in my previous comment.
You can use crossover to create this "wrapper" and move your lotro folder in the wrapper.
You can also move your windows preferences by copying the folder with your preferences for windows' documents and settings to crossover documents and settings.
don't worry about immediately buying crossover for your tests since you can download the demo copy which will fully work for 7 days

Anonymous said...

um, unfortunutaly, it says that i need to not use a DOS thingy, and i have no idea how to get it to work, at all. i hit the download button, but it downloads in 5 seconds, and i cant open it. how can i get it to work? i have no idea what a DOS thing is. please help.

mastorak said...

what DOS thingy? are u sure you are refering to Lotro?

Anonymous said...

I followed every steps, and it worked just fine, but I seem to keep getting corrupted .bin files on ALL downloadable files linked in the FAQ. Thus screwing the installation process.

Do you happen to know where to download that older client? It's almost impossible to find!

Thank you for posting this nonetheless.

mastorak said...

Assuming you want the European version the downloadable client from this link:
is worrked fine for me. Download from the netherlands server.
If you still find yourself in trouble try using a download manager for your browser to make sure that nothing gets corrupted while you are downloading.

The Magill said...

It is fairly trivial to use the boot-camp version of LOTRO in CrossOver Games (CXG).

1- Create the bottle using cross-ties. This will install the PyLotRO launcher which is needed to run the game under OSX.

2- CXG stores the LOTRO (or DDO) data files under
/Library/Application Support/CrossOver Games/bottles//drive_c/Program Files/Turbine/The Lord of the Rings Online/

This entire directory is identical to the one found under BootCamp's partition:

drive_c/Program Files/Turbine/The Lord of the Rings Online/

You cam make a symbolic link from the bootcamp directory to the one under OSX, and the game will run fine.

If you want any of your Lua scripts or UI mods, or your saved game parameters, they are in
/Documents/The Lord of the Rings Online/ and can simply be copied from the same location under bootcamp to your OSX directory.

The Magill said...

One thing I forgot to mention in my earlier posting.

Once you have installed a LOTRO client under CXG, the first thing you need to do is to patch it.

Launch PyLotRO and use the tools pull-down, "patch."

Click start, and go have a couple of drinks, dinner, dancing, whatever.

... the first patch run will take quite a while, on the order of several hours. Subsequent patch runs will take the same amount of time as they take no a PC ... dependent entirely on the size of the Turbine patch.

mastorak said...

Thanks for sharing this information with us

The Magill said...

Wierd I posted a third comment, and got an email bout it, but it isn't visible.... let me try again.

Bryce said...

First of all, I'd like to thank you for writing this up. It saved me a lot of time. I do have a question though. I noticed that you said that I only downloaded the Siege of Mirkwood client. How do I get the other clients like Shadow of Angmar and Mines of Moria? Will that come when I finish patching it?

mastorak said...

You do not need the other clients as the result would be to be updated to the latest one after hours and hours of patching. It does not matter whether you have(bought/unlocked) the expansions or not. The client is the same for everyone and depending on their subscription status the can or cannot see the in game content.
So to save time from patching(which still takes alot of time) download the mirkwood client instead of the previous ones.

The Magill said...

I don't know the EU clients available.
The note on the CodeWeavers LOTRO site is by Alan Jackson, who wrote PyLotRO and runs on the EU servers. However I don't think he has updated it recently. (I know it has not been updated since the October 2010 update.)

It is certainly true for the NA server clients that you only need to download the Mirkwood version (which is the one available from OZ.)

Bryce said...

So I've run into another problem. I downloaded the right patch and applied it to the LotR bottle. The patch does its thing for a while but says "Failed!" when it comes to the downloading the sounds. I tried booting it up anyways and it gets to the title screen up to the point of "loading characters" or something, but then the screen goes black and I am forced to restart my mac. I don't think I have missed anything other than the failed patch. Is there a reason why it isn't finishing?

mastorak said...

It sounds like a pylotro issue. You can try getting the patchclient2.dll file from:
and put it on the pylotro directory in the bottle.
From the pylotro option menu select Tools->Options
and click on the "advanced" checkbox inorder to specify the patchclient dll file.
All the bottles file reside in
~Library/aplication support/crossover games/Bottles/
For more support on the patching process you can ask on the codeweavers lotro forum where the pylotro creator helps people having problems with that.

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