Creating Windows shortcuts for Avlis

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This is a tutorial for creating Windows direct connection shortcuts for Avlis (and optional taskbar menus). These instructions are for Windows 10, but should be similar for most newer versions since Vista (XP or Vista are a tad different, but you should be able to figure it out). This does not work with "pinned" folders/applications, and is only for regular shortcuts.

This may seem like a wall of text, but it isn't so hard, once you get started. The verbosity is to add step-by-step screenshot examples along the way, but you should get the hang of it pretty quick.

A basic Avlis toolbar menu.
~The end result of the instructions below. Includes other custom shortcut menus, using toolbar sub-folders.~

Tip: If you use the standard Windows 10 or earlier taskbar, you can make a "Toolbar" folder on it to add your shortcuts to for easy access. An Avlis folder with sub-folders can be used to keep things organized, but you can do it however you like. This tutorial will instruct you how to do that, but you can make the shortcuts on your desktop, or anywhere else you prefer, using the same method.
  • Note: If you don't care about the toolbar, you can skip the first section about creating it, and the last section about adding toolbars to the taskbar. You only need to read the "Create Avlis server connection shortcuts" section, and assume the Toolbars folder is whatever location you are adding the shortcuts to.

Create an Avlis toolbar menu (optional)

Create a new "Toolbars" folder

(or any other name you can think of, since this is the one you keep all the other toolbar folders in)

The %USERPROFILE%\AppData\Roaming folder would be a good location to store your toolbars, but you can use almost any location.

  • Windows stores your "per user" Start Menu shortcuts there for reasons that are too technical to get into, besides syncing them with other machines/devices you use.

The AppData folder is normally hidden in your user folder, unless you "Show: Hidden Items" from the "View" options of an explorer window. You can type/paste the following in the location line to go directly there without changing anything: %USERPROFILE%\AppData\Roaming

When you have decided on a location, create the "Toolbars" folder.

Create the "Avlis" toolbar sub-folder

Change to the new Toolbars folder you just made, and create a sub-folder that will be used as the toolbar name to store/access your shortcuts. You can't rename this on the taskbar, so use a name you can live with. This tutorial uses Avlis for the folder name, but you could add more sub-folders or shortcuts for other servers as well (or to keep your "Player" and "DM" login shortcuts separate). There isn't any limit, besides how creative you get.

Create Avlis server connection shortcuts

Create a shortcut

Change to the new sub-folder you just created (or use any other location if you are not making toolbar shortcuts), and copy/make a shortcut there to your nwmain.exe. You can copy another shortcut for it (you will be doing this to make copies later for each server), or navigate to where you installed the game from the "New Shortcut" right click menu option. Rename the new shortcut to the server name you will be connecting to (it asks for a new name when making a new shortcut, or you can edit it after copying/making one).

Edit the shortcut properties

Edit the properties of your new shortcut to make it connect directly to the server's IP address and port, and optionally make a copy of it to connect with the DM client. You should add +connect after the Target: line to connect to Mikona. Other servers have different port numbers - The port is 5121 in the example for Mikona. See: Make/edit copies of the shortcut(s) for making the rest.

  • Note: The quotation marks (" ") around the path to nwmain.exe are needed if it has spaces in any names. E.g., "C:\GOG Games\NWN Diamond\nwmain.exe" +connect This causes some confusion for players, but you only need them around the executable path, as in the example (not the entire Target: command line).

You can replace with the server's static IP number, since all server modules use the same host, and that number should remain the same (e.g., +connect This avoids problems with client DNS server issues, and may be (slightly) faster when connecting.

To make a shortcut for the DM client, use -dmc +connect +password DMPASSWORD with a copy of the player shortcut (replace DMPASSWORD with the real one). Windows won't display the full target line in a screenshot example, but it would be "C:\GOG Games\NWN Diamond\nwmain.exe" -dmc +connect +password DMPASSWORD. Rename the shortcut to show it is a DM client one, the same way you did in Step 3 (e.g., [DM] Mikona).

Make/edit copies of the shortcut(s)

Make copies of your shortcut(s), rename them, and change the port so it connects to the other servers. You will need to do this for each Avlis server in the server list. To do this, make a copy of the Mikona shortcut in the same location, edit the port number (5121 in the previous example), and rename it to match the new shortcut. The example/screenshot below uses the Wilderness as the new shortcut, but it is the same for the rest.

  • All-in-one screenshot: To make a Wilderness server shortcut - Shows copying the Mikona shortcut to the same location, renaming it to Wilderness, and changing the port 5121 in the Target: line to 5122 (do the same for a DM shortcut).

If you do the same for the other servers, your Avlis toolbar folder should look something like this (or this with DM shortcuts). If you are only making shortcuts on your desktop or somewhere else, then you are done. The last step below is for adding the folder as a menu on your taskbar.

Add the Avlis toolbar menu to the taskbar (optional)

Now add your new folder of shortcuts to your taskbar. There are a few ways to do this, but one is enough as an example. Right click on your taskbar, then from the "Toolbars" menu, select "New toolbar...". Browse to your new Avlis toolbar folder, and select it.

If you used the roaming folder for them, and didn't unhide folders at the beginning of this, you can go directly there by pasting the following in the location line: %USERPROFILE%\AppData\Roaming. Then go to your Toolbars folder and select Avlis as the folder to use. This will add the contents of the folder as shortcuts on your taskbar.

You can position/expand it however you like on the taskbar, using multiple rows, or adding expanding sub-folder shortcuts and separators (you may have to right click and uncheck "Lock the taskbar" for this). Any overflow will become a pop-up menu. If you want the position to stay the same, right click and "Lock the taskbar", which also gets rid of the bars between them. What you do from there is up to you. The end result is the same as the first preview link above, showing a few toolbar folders, with a sub-folder for the DM client and 2 taskbar rows.