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Zugg
MASTER


Joined: 25 Sep 2000
Posts: 23377
Location: Colorado, USA

PostPosted: Fri Jun 15, 2007 2:43 am   

LOTRO Map Pack updated with Evendim expansion
 
I have updated the map for LOTRO with the new Evendim region from yesterday's expansion patch.
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New zExplorer users should just download the latest LOTRO Map Pack in the Download area as normal.

For existing zExplorer users, you should use the Update/Update Data Files menu option to download all of the latest location information (you should do this every week or so to make sure you have the latest locations). Then use the Update/Update Software option to download the lastest graphical map.

If you have trouble downloading the graphical map, just to to the Download area and download the latest LOTRO Map Pack. However, remember that installing this map pack will also overwrite your location database, so if you have added any custom location information to your local database, be sure to make a backup of your LOTRO.MDB database so that you can restore it after installing the Map Pack.

I hope you enjoy the Evendim expansion!


Click on the image for a larger view.


Last edited by Zugg on Mon Jul 07, 2008 8:54 pm; edited 1 time in total
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reanor
Newbie


Joined: 18 Apr 2008
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Thu Jun 05, 2008 6:35 pm   
 
I've got interested in this software because of this add-on. I was wondering how this explorer is being updated. Do i need to create all the marks or there is already pre-created map that comes with zExplorer? How does it gets updated. i mean for example Forochel is in game now.

Do you guys only create a map of the zone and then I'll have to mark everything else on the map, like nodes, NPC locations and what not or you constantly working on updating maps with new info and all I have to do is just click UPDATE to get latest discoveries uploaded to the map? Also is there auto follower like in MUD mappers, or this map is mostly for general information purposes? Also can i edit it and add my own marks?

I like this feature, but before I buy I wanted to find out as much as possible about it.

Oh, yes, also do you plan to add support for Age of Conan? Another popular MMORPG that this feature would be useful for.
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Zugg
MASTER


Joined: 25 Sep 2000
Posts: 23377
Location: Colorado, USA

PostPosted: Thu Jun 05, 2008 8:32 pm   
 
The location marks are added by other players, not by me. There are instructions in the zExplorer help file on how to add a location and Publish it to the shared database. Then when other players use the Get Updates command, they will download the updated locations.

But the whole purpose of zExplorer is that it provides a shared database that all zExplorer users can add to and update. But if nobody adds any locations or doesn't publish them, then nobody else will get them.

Obviously there isn't any way for me to add all of the locations myself. I hardly even play much anymore.

The map itself is something that I need to update when new zones are added to the game. Adding the new Forochel area is on my list, but it's a low priority right now. If more people had bought zExplorer then it would be a higher priority. But I'm just one person and only have so many hours in a day and have to give my priority to other products that have more customers. But I hope to get Forochel added within a month or so.

For Age of Conan, I am playing AoC a lot myself and really enjoy it. However, I haven't figured out the map data formats for that game yet, nor have I figured out the coordinate system used for ingame locations. Also, zExplorer is designed for games that have large game areas (such as LotRO). AoC is a heavily "zoned" game and I'm not sure if that's going to work with zExplorer yet. I'm going to need to wait until other people can hack the game files to figure out how it works and whether I can create a map for it or not.

But this is why zExplorer doesn't support games such as EQ2, for example, which are heavily zone-based.

There isn't any "auto-follow" feature...the map is just for informational purposes. Doing auto-follow/tracking requires hacking into the game client itself, which is against most Terms of Service for MMOs and can get you banned (and can get me sued). So I don't do that anymore.

And yes, you can freely add your own locations to the map. You don't need to publish anything that you add if you want to keep it private.
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reanor
Newbie


Joined: 18 Apr 2008
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Thu Jun 05, 2008 8:59 pm   
 
Ok thanks again.
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Zugg
MASTER


Joined: 25 Sep 2000
Posts: 23377
Location: Colorado, USA

PostPosted: Mon Jul 07, 2008 8:57 pm   
 
Note that because of changes made by Turbine to the LOTRO file formats in the Book 13 expansion, I can no longer create new zExplorer maps for LOTRO. Thus, I'm sorry to announce that I am no longer supporting the LOTRO online game in zExplorer. If anyone finds any links to how to extract the maps from the new data files, let me know. Or, if you find an automated way to grab the official map files from the online Lore book, let me know too. But otherwise, since it appears that Turbine does not understand the importance of a strong 3rd party community to help expand and support their game players, I have no plans to continue supporting their games.
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Rorso
Wizard


Joined: 14 Oct 2000
Posts: 1368

PostPosted: Mon Jul 07, 2008 9:35 pm   
 
Zugg wrote:
But otherwise, since it appears that Turbine does not understand the importance of a strong 3rd party community to help expand and support their game players, I have no plans to continue supporting their games.

What you could do is to make it possible to supply a 3rd party .dll or lua-file to handle the conversion of the map. That way you could support even more games.
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Zugg
MASTER


Joined: 25 Sep 2000
Posts: 23377
Location: Colorado, USA

PostPosted: Mon Jul 07, 2008 9:41 pm   
 
zExplorer already supports any normal graphics image. So anyone that can generate their own image can just load it into zExplorer already. No need for any special DLLs or anything. zExplorer is just a map viewer for zMapper maps, so you can already create your own maps for any game that you want and add locations via zMapper and then view the result in zExplorer. zMapper is already what I use to create "new game" support in zExplorer.

The main problem is that nobody wants to pay for mapping software anymore when you can just get maps for games for free on various web sites. AC Explorer (the precursor to zExplorer) was great back in the Asheron's Call days before web-based map sites. But these days it's mostly out-lived it's usefulness. Only a handful of people bought it this year, even when I added the LOTRO support. So it doesn't pay for it's development anymore.
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Rorso
Wizard


Joined: 14 Oct 2000
Posts: 1368

PostPosted: Mon Jul 07, 2008 10:03 pm   
 
Zugg wrote:
The main problem is that nobody wants to pay for mapping software anymore when you can just get maps for games for free on various web sites. AC Explorer (the precursor to zExplorer) was great back in the Asheron's Call days before web-based map sites. But these days it's mostly out-lived it's usefulness. Only a handful of people bought it this year, even when I added the LOTRO support. So it doesn't pay for it's development anymore.

The issue is that the cool things you would love a map tool to do are in the grey area. Some of those things:
1. Auto tracking. Track character location, track inventory, track nearby npcs, track track track!
2. Networking. Share what you track with your friends - or why not with everyone on a server hosted by someone? All in realtime.
3. Integration. Like XFire and Steam. Don't just be a standalone application for a game. Make the application become overlay on top of the game to show its great map and tracking data.

Maybe you could try make an advertisement supported version of the tool?
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Zugg
MASTER


Joined: 25 Sep 2000
Posts: 23377
Location: Colorado, USA

PostPosted: Mon Jul 07, 2008 10:20 pm   
 
Well, Ads don't generate enough income either. Not unless you allow gold-farmer ads, which I don't do.

Also, the trouble with an API or DLL interface is that all of the functions that you mentioned require violating the EULA for almost every MMO. So even though I probably wouldn't get into any kind of "direct" trouble or lawsuites, it still encourages hacking and cheating and could easily get zExplorer banned. I've tried very hard to stay on the correct side of the line on this stuff.

If all games had an API to get the current player location (like WoW), then it wouldn't be an issue. But for any game without an API that requires memory hacking the client software. And that crosses into bannable territory on most MMOs.

Also, doing overlays for most MMO games is extremely difficult. Not something I personally have any skills with.
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