Register to post in forums, or Log in to your existing account
 

Post new topic  Reply to topic     Home » Forums » zExplorer Discussion
aranawin
Newbie


Joined: 05 Nov 2004
Posts: 1

PostPosted: Fri Nov 05, 2004 11:32 pm   

Will there be a ZExplorer for EQ2???
 
I use ZExplorer for Horizons and loved it. Now Im moving to EQ2 on Nov 9th at launch and would love to here there will be one for it too....please please please Wink
Reply with quote
Zugg
MASTER


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

PostPosted: Sat Nov 06, 2004 5:29 am   
 
No, probably not. zExplorer is more suited for games with an overall geographical world, rather than games that are zone-based. For example, zExplorer would work better for Worlds of Warcraft than it would for EQ2. Also, Sony is known for filling lawsuits against 3rd partys that develop stuff for EQ, and I'm sure that will be the same for EQ2.

So, I'm not promising anything. Anyone can certainly take the server scripts that are available in the Download area and with a copy of zMapper you can put together your own map server for any game that you want for use with zExplorer. But I don't have any plans to host a EQ2 map database myself on the zuggsoft.com servers.
Reply with quote
Rainchild
Wizard


Joined: 10 Oct 2000
Posts: 1551
Location: Australia

PostPosted: Mon Nov 22, 2004 3:06 am   
 
Antonica is a pretty big 'zone' really, and it'd be nice to have some kinda map-ability for storing ingame infoz because the ingame mapper is a bit wanting (and some zones don't even have maps!).

In the mean time there's http://www.gry-online.pl/eq2/maps.asp?ID=13 which helps a bit but it'd be nice to run zExplorer (and real time tracking, hehe).

ArtMoney (www.artmoney.ru) can read and filter memory addresses of games (for making your own trainers)... so perhaps if you provided something similar in zExplorer for determining which variables were the coordinates then it wouldn't be you who violates a games particular EULA, it would be the person who scans the memory addresses to pick out the coordinates... plus in theory open up the capability to support any game (heh, zExplorer in Doom3, Halo2, etc?)...

Is that a way around the sticking-point you reached with zExplorer (and perhaps why the sales have slowed?)...
Reply with quote
Zugg
MASTER


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

PostPosted: Mon Nov 22, 2004 6:11 pm   
 
Yeah, I can't write anything anymore that pulls the location addresses out of the client memory. I never got in any trouble with AC because of the good relation I had with the Microsoft people, but I've never dared try with some of these other games. Also, because of the dynamic nature of these games, every time the game client is patched, the memory locations changed so it is a support nightmare to keep up with it all.

Having been playing EQ2, I agree with you, especially about Antonica. That zone is *huge*. It actually changed my mind about zone-based games vs zone-less games. In Antonica you have the same epic world feeling that you have in zoneless games like AC.

Since EQ2 has a coordinate system, it's *possible* that you might see some zExplorer maps for it. While the map system in WoW was already pretty good, the ingame maps in EQ2 are pretty horrible.

As always, you are more likely to see support with games that I actually play, and EQ2 has made it to that list (I really never thought it would after my bad experience with SWG).

Anyway, check back around the holidays. I'm too busy with zApp right now to get too distracted with zExplorer stuff, but when I'm playing EQ2 during the holidays and start dying (literally!) for better maps, you might see something happen. Wink
Reply with quote
Zugg
MASTER


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

PostPosted: Mon Nov 22, 2004 6:18 pm   
 
Wow, those are nice maps. I wonder where he got the underlying maps? The main zones are in the game, but stuff like the Peat Bog and Down Under are not. Wonder if they are public?
Reply with quote
Rainchild
Wizard


Joined: 10 Oct 2000
Posts: 1551
Location: Australia

PostPosted: Mon Nov 22, 2004 9:56 pm   
 
I dunno how he made 'em, perhaps he made a 'loc' plotter, went to parts of the zone and then joined the dots... or maybe found a way to extract map data from the files. I think that a lot of those maps were made during beta and updated again at release.

Would you be able to do memory locations if it was a generic (not game-specific) feature and you didn't leverage or officially support the use of that function for specific games? Eg you wrote the tool, but don't do the disassembling?

Failing that, I guess you could just impliment the tracking protocol in the zExplorer client and let someone else write the 'ACServer' equivalent for each game, but it would be nicer to have an all-in-one tool and let the database host the offsets along with the maps and everything else that they host, that way it's the DB owner who gets in trouble for reverse engineering, not you?
Reply with quote
Zugg
MASTER


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

PostPosted: Wed Dec 01, 2004 1:52 am   
 
If I add that feature to zExplorer, it will use the same mechanism as ACX Server with the network tracking protocol.

And I'm not sure if I should admit this or not, but I've gotten bored with EQ2 already. Because I can only play for a few hours at a time, I only solo. And while EQ2 started out a lot more solo friendly than EQ1 ever was, now that I'm at level 15, it's getting quite frustrating. Most of the quests in my log require killing a group-mob. And many of the mobs in Antonica are heavily grouped together. There is no way I can take on 4 mobs together even when they are green. By the time I can kill them, they end up being gray and giving no exp.

So, I can continue to go around killing bears and deers and other animals, but I don't feel like I'm really getting to participate in the story or plot.

Also, so many of the quests were so tedious that there is little replay value in starting a different character class. The quests are all the same and doing them over again just isn't much fun.

I started crafting only to find that you can't really make anything *useful* until very high crafter levels. It would have been nice if I could make myself a decent weapon or armor. And at the high levels of crafting you depend upon others so much for special ingredients that you really need to be part of a guild to be useful.

So, I admit that I've purchased the retail version of World of Warcraft and am back to playing that. And honestly, even though I'm repeating the quests that I did in the Open Beta, I'm already having more actual *fun* in the world. I have only played WoW through level 12 or so, so maybe it will also get boring.

But in EQ2 I felt like I had seen much of the world already. Sure, I hadn't been in some of the dungeons, and only stepped one foot into BlackBurrow before running away as fast as I could. Looks like there are some other high-level continents out there. But Antonica is mainly where you spend your time after level 10 or so, and I've seen it.

In WoW I haven't even been to a fraction of the areas yet at level 10. The world is huge and more varied. And I have to admit that I'm enjoying the artwork of the game more than in EQ2.

We'll see what happens over the holidays, but right now I've flip-flopped back to having a better chance doing something for WoW before I'd do it for EQ2. And Blizzard doesn't sue people who write 3rd party utilities for WoW!
Reply with quote
Rainchild
Wizard


Joined: 10 Oct 2000
Posts: 1551
Location: Australia

PostPosted: Wed Dec 01, 2004 3:19 am   
 
Yeah I heard WoW was a more solo-friendly game, but there were also a lotta people saying things like you have to wait in an hour long queue before you can log in, and that you could hack it the same way you could hack diablo 2 etc. Is any of that true or just propoganda?

You're welcome to join our guild on Najena (a small group of mudder friends but we regularly do things together and keep within each others level range so we can all play) if you want some people to group with hehe.... but I dunno, I never found it hard to get a group, you just go out into antonica and listen to OOC... any time that I have been looking for a group, I've gotten one within about 5 mins. Maybe it's because we've got a large server population? Dunno.

I've really started getting into the crafting over the last couple of days, you go up levels pretty quick and I've ding-10 artisan to become a scholar, I kinda wish I had picked a furniture builder now, because I want to deck out my inn room, but heh I also need the ability to create my own spells (being a mage) so thought I'd go the path of a scribe.

The world is heaps bigger than just antonica... remember that there's the darkie version of antonica (called the commonlands) which is just as big, plus there's two more higher-level large outdoor zones between (thundering steppes, nektulos forest ... you have to travel thru all those zones doing the betrayal quest) ... and then supposedly (though I don't think anyone is big enough yet) everfrost, lavastorm, enchanted lands, zek, feerot which are all antonica sized too.

But it's unlikely you'll get to see those zones for a bit... I'm level 18 and had a brief foray into thundering steppes, but everything there was orange con or tougher... so I'm guessing level 20 before we have our first proper adventure in there...

Black burrow was pretty disappointing I have to say, we tried to run it when we were level 14ish and got owned, then when we came back at level 18 it was 90% gray con. Probably missed the window of opportunity I guess.

I guess everyone has different takes on images, but I love the EQ2 graphics... the WoW screenshots I've seen have been a bit cartoony for my liking, but I think I've mentioned it before I never really got into the warcrafts anyways, it was diablo and starcraft that I enjoyed the most.

Maybe (though some say it's a bit depressing) starting in freeport and doing the betrayal quest so you don't have to do the low level qeynos quests might be an interesting thing to do? You don't have to spend much time on the isle of refuge (about 30 minutes) before you can leave... Or you could keep playing WoW ;) Hehe, at the end of the day it's your spare time so you should do with it what you will enjoy the most :)
Reply with quote
Zugg
MASTER


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

PostPosted: Wed Dec 01, 2004 11:54 pm   
 
Yeah, I might roll an "evil" character just to see Freeport. Although I'd expect a lot of the "errand boy" quests to be similar. Hopefully at least you fight different mobs.

I think what I was trying to say about the other zones is that if Antonica is geared towards groups, I'd expect that the higher level zones will be even worse in that regard.

As far as WoW, the queues were really only a problem on release day. Also, I'm on a RP server and they are much less crowded. I've never gotten the queue myself. And they keep adding more servers.

I don't see how you can "hack" the game. There are a bunch of 3rd party utilities that intercept the network protocol and let you do stuff similar to what people did back in AC1. But that's not really hacking...certainly not anything like Diablo.

As far as the graphics, the static screen shots don't do it justice. You really have to play it to get a feel for it. I don't really call it "cartoony", but it *is* more of a "fantasy" land than a realistic land like EQ2. Chiara compared it to being at a "Ren-faire". I don't know if you have those in Australia or not. Things are more exaggerated and more brightly colors (things like blue roofs on the buildings, etc). It doesn't make them look un-realistic, but it does remind you that you are in a fantasy world. And honestly, I found that it pulled me more into the game that the graphics in EQ2.

The problem with trying to do "realistic" graphics is that our brains have a really good idea what realistic looks like. And it's impossible to match that. So while EQ2 tries to be "real", it really can't be...not on a computer screen. You get used to it after a while, but your brain always knows that it's fake. On the other hand, when you ignore realism and go for a particular artistic style, your brain has no prior reference, so it accepts it as a fantasy world. So, it gives me the same feeling as when watching a fantasy movie, or when reading a good book. Somehow that makes it more relaxing at the same time since it has nothing to do with the real world.

Anyway, that's my take on it all so far. I played a bit last night and even just at level 10 I could craft a full set of armor and a weapon that was decent for my level. You can find better stuff on mobs, but the stuff you can craft is a great starting point. Unlike in EQ2 where you almost have to be a dedicated Armorsmith or Weaponsmith (past level 20 in crafting) to make anything at all useful. Again, just a different take that makes it a bit more fun to play (for me anyway).
Reply with quote
Rainchild
Wizard


Joined: 10 Oct 2000
Posts: 1551
Location: Australia

PostPosted: Thu Dec 02, 2004 12:36 am   
 
Maybe it's my fixation with wanting real life to be a fantasy world that makes me go for fantasy worlds that try to look real? Hehe, now when EQ5 is released and you are plugged in like the matrix, I'll be there ... :)

I was a bit surprised that most of the EQ2 quests were the same, makes replayability a bit lacking... probably why there's only 4 charater slots, by the time you put 2 thru good and 2 thru evil you won't want to play a newbie anymore :)

There was some mention of additional solo content in the forums but you're right EQ2 is definately geared around groups. I'm still surprised you have problems getting groups though. Is it because your server is underpopulated? What's weird is my GF was doing her level 20 class selection quest last night.. the first part is easy enough you do it in a group, but the second part is a solo encounter with massive groups of gnolls. She's died 3x trying it so far... so you get your own personal instance but get pitched against mob groups and end up dying. I get to try mine tonight heh, I hope it's not going to be that bad for me.

Higher level crafting does seem like a completely new adventure too, luckily we've all picked a different profession but it looks like the alchemist needs to create the ink for the scribe to make the top level scrolls etc.
Reply with quote
Zugg
MASTER


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

PostPosted: Thu Dec 02, 2004 2:02 am   
 
My problem with groups has always been a more personal one. My problem is that I just don't play that much compared to most people. And when I get into a group then I feel really guilty if I have to leave in an hour. It's also harder to take breaks with a group. Basically, you can't just be selfish ;)

So yeah, getting a group isn't really the problem. It's more related to what happens once I'm in a group. Back in the days when I played AC1 a *lot* then I had a great guild and grouped all the time (and stayed up too late each night :) These days for more casual playing it's more of a problem.

I really don't *want* to get that addicted to anything at this point in my life. It was one thing when I played MUDs all hours of the night when I was single, depressed, and looking to escape. These days I have other things to keep me busy.

I think it was also easier to game more when I worked the normal job at the Lab. I didn't have to think about work at night. I just had to get out of bed, go to work and do whatever was on my schedule for the day, then come home. Now that I work for myself, my time seems a bit more precious and it's a lot harder for me to spend a lot of it gaming. So I mainly just game a couple of hours before bedtime to relax and get my mind off programming.
Reply with quote
Rorso
Wizard


Joined: 14 Oct 2000
Posts: 1368

PostPosted: Thu Dec 02, 2004 8:43 am   
 
Zugg wrote:
I really don't *want* to get that addicted to anything at this point in my life. It was one thing when I played MUDs all hours of the night when I was single, depressed, and looking to escape. These days I have other things to keep me busy.

I think it was also easier to game more when I worked the normal job at the Lab. I didn't have to think about work at night. I just had to get out of bed, go to work and do whatever was on my schedule for the day, then come home. Now that I work for myself, my time seems a bit more precious and it's a lot harder for me to spend a lot of it gaming. So I mainly just game a couple of hours before bedtime to relax and get my mind off programming.

I think part of the issue is that games aren't productive. You usually don't learn much from playing them.

By the way do you still play MUDs?

I think you see clearly in MUDs that the goal is to make you spend as much time playing them as possible. When you think about it most MUDs follow exactly the same pattern as well (kill monster;get loot;)+ which makes them less fun. Then there's usually some standard quests which often is to retrieve some object for someone or kill some mobile. I think these games could be so much more than what they are.
Reply with quote
Rainchild
Wizard


Joined: 10 Oct 2000
Posts: 1551
Location: Australia

PostPosted: Thu Dec 02, 2004 9:29 pm   
 
I believe that MUDs have so much to learn from the MMO world, or at least I know my MUD could seriously benefit from some of the EQ2 tradeskill ideas, market ideas, combat ideas, death ideas, heck maybe I should just turn it into a text based EQ2 ;)
Reply with quote
Rorso
Wizard


Joined: 14 Oct 2000
Posts: 1368

PostPosted: Thu Dec 02, 2004 9:49 pm   
 
One of the larger issues with MUDs are that they aren't as easy to advertise. Unlike graphical games you can not just look at screenshots and become impressed. Actually the fact you get impressed by screenshots is interesting. It feels like you look at the graphics before you consider playability and story quality.

A screenshot of a MUD can not only be looked at - it must also be read and understood. Like reading 10 pages and then you may be impressed Mr. Green.
Reply with quote
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic     Home » Forums » zExplorer Discussion All times are GMT
Page 1 of 1

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum
© 2009 Zugg Software. Hosted on Wolfpaw.net