EQ Classic? Not really.

Discussion in 'MMORPG General Discussion' started by Flunklesnarkin_sl, Dec 6, 2012.

  1. Flunklesnarkin_sl
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    EQClassic has been a fairly open secret to those who browse the various everquest threads.

    I figured it would be a good time to make a thread about the project as it is nearing completion. (still no release date yet, but they have made huge progress lately)

    EQClassic is an everquest emulation project that strives to be the most accurate recreation of classic EQ possible. It's being developed around an actual classic client the Velious boxed set unlike many of the various EQemu projects you may have tried out.


    Here is a quote from the senior developer Yeahlight as he can explain what sets this project apart from the rest better than I ever could.

    As a quick note, none of the following should be considered "finer" points of comparison, as they are all major differences in execution.

    First and foremost, we are developing our software around an actual classic client (EQTrilogy [2001]). EQEmulator servers that advertise themselves as classic are running off of EQTitanium (c. 2006) or later. Every non-classic feature that was added between 2001 and 2006 or beyond is present in these clients, so hacked up approaches are deployed to disguise, restrict or limit their existence. On top of this, some classic features have been removed over the years. Remember ambient music in cities / boats, MIDI generated music, spell bolts, properly functioning boats, message boards, humans blind at night, the original / Velious UI, forced spellbook mediation, etc.? Everything you remember about classic EverQuest is available in the EQTrilogy client--very little of it is present in EQTitanium or later.

    Beyond the choice of client, there are staggering differences in development. Here at EQClassic, we author all of the work behind each system. EQEmulator server operators are just that--server operators (monkeys pulling levers until the bananas appear). They are not professional developers and they certainly have not authored the work responsible for their creations (if you find a server operated by Father Nitwit, Quagmire, or any of the other EQEmulator pioneers, I will certainly eat my words). Now, when I refer to work, I am speaking of the actual intelligent work; the linear algebra driving their line of sight and collision algorithms, the UDP/IP with TCP emulated netcode, the A* BFS pathing algorithm, etc. In other words, when these systems need to be fixed or expanded, they cannot do so. Even when small things need to be fixed or expanded, they cannot do so. Ever wonder why so many things go ignored in bugs reports? They are waiting for someone else to fix it.

    Another critically important development difference is our dedication to synchronize what you see in the client with the server's own representation. Just because you see 1235 AC in the character window does not mean you actually have it (even if you did have it, I do not believe EQEmulator understands the two-part AC [mitigation & avoidance] system). Beyond this, we also listen to and meet the client's expectations. Ever wonder why your HP levels are jumping back and forth in the client on an EQEmulator server? EQEmulator calculates what it believes your current HP amount should be and then jams it down the client's throat, completely ignoring the client's say in the matter (the same thing applies to mana).

    As a final point of developmental differences (for discussion, as many others exist), when creating our own systems, we do extensive research to ensure that our implementations are correct or close to it ahead of time. How many charts, graphs, benchmarks and quality assurance reports have EQEmulator server operators offered you to validate their work? How many algorithms have been shared with you for review? How many views of their database(s) have they made public?

    Moving into the theoretical realm (as EQClassic does not offer any services at this time), the following are the differences that should matter most to players. I have recently offered ideas on how to maintain server integrity, which include powerless--in every sense of the word--GMs and guides, purely transparent management, inventory scanning, robust event logging / auditing and my vow to never have a personal stake in any EQClassic service. Any time I spend with an EQClassic service would be spent protecting it and making it as enjoyable as possible for others--not betraying it.

    I could continue with this discussion well beyond the length of what you are willing to read, but I believe these are some of the most important points. The unfortunate reality is most players are content as long as mobs are swinging and they can hit back. A majority of players do not care about the accuracy of the game or how much easier it is than it should be; they just want to see and experience the things they remember and EQEmulator servers are more than willing to exploit this.


    Another interesting explanation here.

    Recently, I have received an influx of messages asking for an elaboration on the differences between EQClassic and EQEmulator. I suppose the existing literature on this topic is not easily accessible or simply insufficient, so I will address this topic as clearly as possible in a single thread.

    Yes, EQClassic is a derivative project of EQEmulator (version 2.X, c. 2002), and, yes, EQClassic would not exist today if it were not for the early EQEmulator developers; however, to say that EQClassic and EQEmulator have much in common is an exaggeration. EQClassic and EQEmulator have two and only two points of similarity, which are the same underlying communication protocols (these are defined by the client, for which neither of us have any control) and the same event-driven scripting system** (someone at EQEmulator did a fantastic job with this and there is no reason to develop our own solution at this time). Every other portion of our EQEmulator branching point has either already been rewritten, is in the process of being rewritten or will be rewritten in the future. If and when EQEmulator's scripting system fails us, that, too, will be rewritten. Our projects have very little in common, yet--what is terribly frustrating--the average user will be unable to distinguish the two.

    The things that most users associate with the world of EQ are defined by the client software. Textures, NPC/PC models, user interfaces, music, particle effects, etc. all live on your machine. The server plays a very small role in the game's presentation, thus any functional server will appear to be an accurate recreation simply because the gross inaccuracies are masked by the client's responsibilities.

    Although only a small percentage of users have the ability to appreciate it, an accurate recreation is important to us, and we wish not to be associated with the EQEmulator project because it is obvious to us that they do not share these same standards. Beyond our developmental differences, the key reason why there must be a known separation between EQClassic and EQEmulator is the plague of all EQEmulator-based servers--corruption.

    Why is corruption so prevalent on these servers? Those running the servers rarely authored the core work behind them (compare the names of the owners to the names in the revision logs: e.g.http://code.google.com/p/projecteqemu/s... svn24&r=24), thus there is no earned sense of pride and the overwhelming temptation to betray their communities always supersedes their assumed responsibility of establishing and maintaining integrity. The amount of work these server owners rely upon to offer their services far exceeds their individual contributions, thus they have no control over the software because they do not understand it. This is the difference between EQClassic and EQEmulator.

    When we are finished, the final result will be no less than 90% of the combined, original works of Harakiri and myself with a small remaining portion from past EQClassic and EQEmulator developers. I have had such a deep involvement with this project that my desire to enjoy my own work has been annihilated. I no longer entertain the idea of playing my own creation, which means my involvement with any potential services offered by this project would be spent protecting them--not betraying them. How many EQEmulator-based server owners have a personal stake in their own creations? All of them.

    For these reasons, we do not wish to be known as an EQEmulator project, which is why you are asked to not advertise our project on EQEmulator forums and vice versa. If you cannot appreciate our desire for accuracy and integrity, then you are not welcome here.

    **Edit: As it--unsurprisingly--turns out, EQEmulator's scripting system is not sufficient to manage complex scripts, thus Harakiri has developed his own superior system for events such as the 10th ring war.


    If you are even slightly interested in a true classic Everquest experience I'd urge you to check out their website and browse their extensive video library documenting the server development.

    They listen to and appreciate any feedback on how classic game mechanics and content were implemented. So feel free to let them know what you think.

    http://www.eqclassic.org/index.php

    Thank you for reading!! biggrin.png

    PS. Don't forget to thank the other senior developer Harakiri, people always seem to forget the hard work he does!!
     

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  2. Apostolos Member

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    I just read through the FAQ and the way they word it makes it sound as if they never plan on actually hosting any servers for use. Maybe I read it wrong, but what would be the point otherwise?
     
  3. Kid Sized Coffin_sl
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  4. Randin Well-Known Member

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    But, is it in a browser?
     
  5. Royal Connoisseur of Exotic Pictures
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    Their current game plan doesn't involve them actually hosting a server, but if it falls through then I assume they'll reevaluate.
     
  6. Flunklesnarkin_sl
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    They have said they don't intend to host servers. They are going to gift the code to others to host servers.

    The server code will not be available to the general public though from reading the forums over there.

    I'd assume they will only give the code to people they trust to run servers.

    It sounds like it will be a decent compromise between having just one server up or having unlimited servers.

    I don't like the idea of just one server or hundreds of servers. A handful of servers though sounds about right to me.
     
  7. Anomander Rake
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    Not to start flipping shit, but if what you said is true, then this next statement is a nice, but meaningless sentiment:

    "Why is corruption so prevalent on these servers? Those running the servers rarely authored the core work behind them (compare the names of the owners to the names in the revision logs: e.g.http://code.google.com/p/projecteqemu/s... svn24&r=24), thus there is no earned sense of pride and the overwhelming temptation to betray their communities always supersedes their assumed responsibility of establishing and maintaining integrity. The amount of work these server owners rely upon to offer their services far exceeds their individual contributions, thus they have no control over the software because they do not understand it. This is the difference between EQClassic and EQEmulator."

    So the reason why there won't be corruption is because the people running the servers worked on the code, but the people that worked on the code won't be running the servers. Did I get that right?
     
  8. Flunklesnarkin_sl
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    I don't think you interpreted that correctly. I would urge you to post on the EQclassic and post on the forums and talk to Yeahlight directly. He can probably explain the finer details better than I.

    I don't want to start speaking for him but here is a quote.

    "Moving into the theoretical realm (as EQClassic does not offer any services at this time), the following are the differences that should matter most to players. I have recently offered ideas on how to maintain server integrity, which include powerless--in every sense of the word--GMs and guides, purely transparent management, inventory scanning, robust event logging / auditing and my vow to never have a personal stake in any EQClassic service. Any time I spend with an EQClassic service would be spent protecting it and making it as enjoyable as possible for others--not betraying it."

    Now you are right that somebody could undo the systems and implementations that Yeahlight / Harakiri developed when they ultimately receive the code. Although, I'm sure the community would view that action for what it is, somebody trying to create grey areas where they can let corruption fester.

    So if a server is set up with Yeahlights custom tools like event logging scripts, inventory scanning/auditing, and the transparent GM / Guide management tools, I could see corruption being incredibly hard to get away with.

    Any server that is run like EQemu projects without those tools, I would view with skepticism.
     
  9. Alkorin Immersion Slayer
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    Hopefully, there will be some sort of code of conduct for potential server operators, and those in charge of holding them to that code won't be a bunch of overzealous dicks.

    Still, seems odd to call those who don't code out and then refuse to run the servers themselves.
     
  10. Alkorin Immersion Slayer
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    I wish I'd had the time to finish the project I was working on with the EQemu source, but at the end of the day, this is one of the reasons I didn't bother. I didn't have the tools to stop people from being, well, Tools.

    If Yeahlight is going to provide this kind of thing to people who want to run servers, they at least have a chance to hit the ground running, but cheating in EQ is an institution of its own. Verant/SOE couldn't keep ahead of it, and wouldn't you think they had the tools they'd have needed?
     
  11. Flunklesnarkin_sl
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    Many people want Yeahlight / Harakiri to run a server.

    Maybe they will change their mind later down the road, I can just imagine them wanting to take a break once the server code is finished.

    I bet they will still poke around on somebody elses server but that's pure speculation. I'm just thinking of how I'd feel, I wouldn't want to run a server or be a GM, I'd just want to play the game.
     
  12. Alkorin Immersion Slayer
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    I wasn't planning on being a GM, just a dev. Wouldn't want to do both, because nothing annoys me more than watching people trash shit I've worked on for a long period of time. I can imagine they'd feel the same way.

    Besides, let's face it -- most coders aren't great customer service people.
     
  13. Flunklesnarkin_sl
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    I've thought about that somewhat, and I don't think online game companies go out of their way to be proactive with people who cheat because, like it or not, they pay subscription fees.

    People who 6 or 8 or 12 box with automated third party tools / bots had to pay a subscription on each of those accounts.

    I'd hope a server set up not for profit would take a firmer stance on such things.
     
  14. Alkorin Immersion Slayer
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    You'd figure, but the prospect of server admin corruption also isn't as prevalent in games with subscriptions. If it's your job to keep a game running without bullshit like third party tools ruining the gameplay for others, I think most admins would tend to take that a bit more seriously than a side project that happens to be nostalgic.

    And let's not forget that some people run servers/forums/whatever in order to mess with people, and are easily amused by ways to further mess with said people. =)

    I think the idea of a Free* project that actually treats people with respect is probably a pipe dream for the most part. It's tough to care when all you have to look back on is a hobby, where people intentionally troll you and others all day long.

    * Free never really is "free". Server operating costs, bandwidth costs, etc add up very quickly, and let's face it, admin work bleeds spare time as well. So, thankless job with no pay so that people can piss and moan about who tagged Gorenaire first... ugh.
     
  15. Flunklesnarkin_sl
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    I'd remain hopeful though, the people who have spent literally years trying to get this server right would probably not turn it into an elaborate troll attempt.

    I imagine if by some means a bunch of tools did set up servers, Yeahlight would re-evaluate his decision to host servers because I doubt he wants to see years of his work never come to fruition.


    Years of work getting it right in of itself makes me view the project in higher esteem than any EQemu project. Most eqemu projects just start the server and make the player base run around finding all the bugs.

    Yeahlight is trying to have all those fixed from day one.
     
  16. Ames_sl shitlord

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    EQClassic is a pipe dream bro. Even if it gets released 5+ years down the road who the fuck is going to want to play a 15+ year old MMoRPG when you can fly around with your jetpack instead?
     
  17. Flunklesnarkin_sl
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    With the way the current online game market is, there are probably more people willing to play older games like this than you imagine.

    Not that I'm not watching a few indie projects but mainstream AAA mmo's hold no interest to me at this point in time.
     
  18. Szeth Member

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    You'd rather play EQ than fly around with a functional, safe jetpack? You sir... dishonor us all.
     
  19. Flunklesnarkin_sl
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    307w4f8.jpg
     

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  20. Alkorin Immersion Slayer
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    Internet pitchfork mobs are the best mobs. Especially when they're butthurt over loot table or balance issues.

    In any case, I'm kinda with Flunklesnarkin on this. Newer MMOs never hold my interest for long and I'm always wishing I were playing EQ again.