I want to stress that the code in Sentinel that detects City of Heroes is entirely separate from the data file that it downloads from Titan Network, meaning updates will have no effect on its ability to detect the game. In fact, that code still functions even when no data file is present. Here's what it does:
- Checks the registry for City of Heroes installation paths in HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Cryptic\, Coh and euCoh.
- Reads "version.ini" from any detected paths to resolve the corresponding client version number for the installation.
- Checks all active running processes for an instance of "CityofHeroes.exe" from that installation directory.
Only afterward does the manifest file become applicable, since Sentinel needs it to know where to look in the CoH process memory for the information it wants. If it gets this far, it will not say "Detecting City of Heroes..." because it's already found it.
If any of those three fail, on the other hand, Sentinel will not detect City of Heroes. Now here's what we know:
- If the registry key does not exist, then the NCsoft Launcher cannot run City of Heroes in the first place.
- If "version.ini" is missing or malformed, the client won't be able to authenticate on login because the client version won't match the server version.
- If the game is running, then as a result, "CityofHeroes.exe" will be active in the list of running processes.
In other words, if something happens to CoH that makes Sentinel unable to detect it, then that same thing will also prevent CoH from working in the first place. That the game had an update on Tuesday--barring an overhaul of how the installations are configured--should not have any effect on Sentinel's ability to pick up on it.
For this reason, I believe the source of the problem can be traced back to some overzealous antivirus software.