If you are still playing the game.
It is probably because you have windows 10.
If you are playing the game on Windows 10.
I feel your pain of the mere existence of Windows 10. And wonder why we ever needed anything more than 7 with SP2.

But hey. It's the future now, and we have to deal with it.
Windows 10 is pretty garbage. I don't actually like anything about it. But at least they do make it in a way where you can still do some power user stuff.
It's just alot more hidden than it used to be.

Windows 95 was fun. because everything was right there and you had no idea what it was or what it did.
But you could affect it and break your computer not knowing how.
You can't do that anymore.
windows 10 is so idiot proofed that it just doesn't do anything. It kind of exists.
It is flexible, that is it's only strength.
It can run Adobe.
Adobe can run Air.
Air can run flash.
therefore, windows as a client can run flash opposed to a browser being the client to run flash.
Flash has to run in something.
so as far as windows goes.
Flash is in a shell, running on windows. client.exe is an executable, running in windows.
And the thing I absolutely hate most about windows. Is it loves itself.

If you've ever sat and watched your process manager.
What is it even doing?
sys this and sys that.
Whoa that is alot of sys.
Why are there 18 chrome processes and I only have 1 tab open?
What the heck is runtime broker and why do I have 5 of them?

Windows prioritizes itself. Which on paper, it sounds like it should.
It sounds like, you need to run windows to run stuff.
But no. You actually just need to run stuff, and windows kinda goes to sleep in the background. That is what it should do.
That is what it used to do.
Not windows 10.

so. We got to fix this thing.
Outside of downloading Linux and running Opera.
We can use windows "properly" and make it work better.
Windows always has 2 things going on.
Windows Defender. That's a good thing.
Windows updater. I want to rip this out and stomp on it.
When an update comes out any time of day. Usually 2 to 3 times a day.
Windows downloads and installs it immediately.
Doesn't care what you are doing.
It just allocates resources towards doing this.
ever wonder why your fan kicks on and your machine starts to chug?
Windows decided it wanted to do something. It is sentient, but stupid.
I do not need you to download new widgets for my taskbar. I need you to allocate more Vram!

Windows doesn't know what to do you gotta tell it what to do.
that's why they invented game mode!
Too bad it doesn't..
well it works. But you gotta.. well.. set it up.
You can't just turn on the button and expect it to work no.
You can activate game mode, but it won't do anything until you point to an object.
*points at cat* not like that. But at the actual executable you want prioritized.
Let's have a looksy.

It's easy. click start. See that little gear, setting. Go in there. Gaming.
First thing you see is Xbox game mode, we don't want that. go down to game mode. on the left.
Flip the little button to on.
Wonder why on doesn't just simply mean on. Welcome to Windows 10.
On the right, graphics settings.
Desktop app.
Now we have to locate the client.
As mentioned this slim client runs on air. But it still downloads to the same public data files where the previous lite client did.
Let's find that.
And.. you can't just like click and see it because %appdata is hidden as it is a folder mainly used for.. kinda "third party" stuff and a location for executables.. like a dump.. you'll see.
The old client used to actually go into %appdata\roaming as it pulled on .dll files to run I do believe, and the client itself would then launch kind of a shelled engine remotely.
Still lighter than what an actual browser does. All it really was, was a customized browser with flash capabilities.
now with the game being syndicated witht he big boy's.
we actually search c:\Users\user\appdate\local\ubisoft\The Settlers Online\client.exe
It is localized now!
You will noticed adobe air located in that same directory. Yeah. that's what is points to and runs on.

Good ole windows 10 huh.
Now that you've located it you can set it to high priority.
And you can ask me exactly what that does.
Or you can take a guess at what that does.
Or. Just trust me that you want to do that and not question it.

Now that you know how settlers runs.
And where it runs from. And through.
But. *sigh* This is windows.
It now needs permission to run.

So. the thing with %appdata local.
Is it is kind of similar to a program files directory.
In how it is used and what goes in there.
However it is not granted the same rights.
It does run on c: directory though, that means it is within windows, and that means we can do something about it!
Windows 10 did do something about it.
They borrowed a good idea from Windows 8, a system none of you knew existed because nobody talked about it.
You know that Microsoft store that is built into windows that not 1 person on earth uses?
Well it actually does something for us.
With the implementation of a Microsoft market within windows.
This new application needed permission to access internet. Admin rights.
Otherwise, defender and wall would say "No! You cannot access other networks. permission denied."
So because the security is there.
We got "runtime broker".
Which does exactly what it say's it does.
It brokers run time.
so when the store say's. "I want permission to access networks"
It asks runtime broker. Which tells defender, "hey it's okay for this to run. I am allowing it."
Admin rights are granted and tada. The app works as intended.
This tool is not unique to this feature any more.
Runtime broker was integrated into the Nt system and carried into Win10 and is now an accessible tool.

As you geniuses can see where this is going.
Settlers not truly being local, and being in air, say's to Defender.
"hey, I want to connect to a network.".
Defender say's "no, I do not trust you.
The client cannot give itself access permission.
However, it can ask "hey runtime broker, can I run?".
And it does.
This is important to notice.
Because sometimes you try to launch your client. And it just stares right back at you.

With all this messy stuff going on just to run the game. Something is gonna go wrong right.
You notice how to client doesn't actually close properly.
I do not know exactly why it crashes every time on close.. but is does.
and that is an issue.
Because when it does not close properly, it does not tell runtime broker to stop brokering run time.
It hangs. Even though it isn't processing anything, it will be stalled out and not clear itself from process.
runtime broker doesn't shut itself off. The program that is using it shuts it off.
So if you have a few client crashes, and too many hung processes.
You may fail to start another instance of runtime broker to start up everything.

Windows key + shift + esc
Nerd's way to insta pullup task manager. Locate and destroy the hanging runtime broker tasks.
there is not issue as they are not associated to anything running.
Hit the big blue play button and things will bootup as normal as 1 new instance of runtime broker appears.
Showing you this is exactly what it does.

I am excited for unity client.
I just sink my head down and die a little inside every time I see somebody say "what is Unity?".
Like it is new or something.
I have watched guilds die to Mac users not playing settlers.
Notice how I did not say, due to Mac users not being able to play.
It is more that guild leaders did not lead members to potential methods on how to work around the reality of flash being disabled.
Much easier to blame BB for not giving you a new client than to do the work to get yourself a working client I guess.

I have been patching and modding games manually for years.
It's not.. super hardcore stuff. It's not really easy stuff.
Thing's don't always work. Sometimes it's not so clear.
This experience has helped me to understand how things actually work.
How windows itself works.
What it does and why.
What it won't do and why.

The above mentioned game mode change will help keep resources on the client itself. improving localized stability and load times.
When unity version is released this will be null as you will likely be running on a browser again.
Which means.
running chrome to run unity to run the client within a window.
Downloadable version.
Run the client which is an .exe built on unity self sustained communicating with server.
This will run lite.
And if I had to take a guess.
Would actually get a full on ubisoft directory in program files(x86)
No more runtime broker. Hello full screen.
Reroute the game mode to the new client.exe and same deal.
Have your resources prioritized when active.
Windows updater can wait.