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Joined: 25 Sep 2000
Posts: 23379
Location: Colorado, USA

PostPosted: Thu Jun 07, 2007 9:59 pm   

zExplorer 5 released for LOTRO!
Added support for Lord of the Rings Online!
A mapping and database utility for online games. Similar to AC Explorer, but can be customized to handle other games. Currently, LOTRO, AC2, Horizons, and SWG are supported. FREE UPGRADE for past zExplorer and AC Explorer users. Maps compatible with zMapper. [More Information]
Supporting the new Lord of the Rings Online game was a real challenge. Past versions of zExplorer have simply displayed database icons on top of an image file. Well, the image file for LOTRO was too large for Windows to handle. Even with lower color resolution, the map required 400MB of memory usage. This made zExplorer un-useable with large maps.

After many tricks and optimizations, I am pleased to announce this new version of zExplorer that can handle large map files. You can control the internal buffer size to improve performance, but even with the default settings, zExplorer 5 can easily handle the huge map for LOTRO and only use 50MB of RAM. This allows you to easily run zExplorer at the same time as the game and ALT-TAB switch between the two applications.

This version of zExplorer also supports the full /loc parsing to allow your location in the game to be determined to two decimal places (which is much more accurate than the single decimal place reported by the human readable ;loc command). This improvement has allowed the location icons displayed in zExplorer to be much more accurate. The current database was taken from a variety of sources, along with my own extensive exploration, to provide the most complete and accurate set of locations for LOTRO. Since it is so easy for anyone to add locations to the game from within zExplorer, or to report problems with existing data, the zExplorer LOTRO database should become the definitive database for LOTRO maps on the Internet.

The map itself is extracted from the LOTRO game files. This will allow me to easily update the map whenever Turbine adds new areas to the game (which they should be doing soon and often over the next few years). This is the only map available on the Internet that is automatically generated from the game data files. It shows a full rendering of the *entire* world, even areas that are not open within the game yet.

There are many other bug fixes and improvements in this new version. It is optimized for Windows XP and reflects the more modern design of XP software (instead of looking like an old Windows 95 application). Bugs that had preventing people from adding locations for other games (such as SWG) have also been fixed in this version, along with bugs that prevented locations from being properly deleted from the map.

If you find any bugs in zExplorer, please post them to a new Topic. To download the new version, go to the main Download page on this site.

Future plans include: adding LOTRO buildings to the map (but not trees!), and adding real-time Tracking support for LOTRO (ala AC Explorer).

Happy exploring!
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