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  #21  
Unread 04-17-2012, 11:44 AM
K1R4D3L K1R4D3L is offline
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Agree, plugins can't solve world hunger or anything, but using the term loosely, I do think they can do a lot to build enthusiasm for the game, as well as resolve many player frustrations, allowing Turbine to deprioritize those things and focus on new features/content.

I dream of being able to have my iPad up beside my monitor, tracking my quests/goals/deeds and plotting/following my course on a map, researching items and crafting recipes, managing alts, reviewing storage, etc., all without cluttering the UI. It would even keep me connected to the game when I'm not able to actually play. If I could show something that cool to friends/coworkers, I know we'd have more active players in very short order. Now, I'm not asking Turbine to create such an app, though that would be awesome if they did it right, but I would definitely be willing to sink way too much of my personal time into it if Turbine would only make it feasible, with well-supported, stable APIs, and I know I'm not alone in that.

*shrug* I'm a dreamer...the realities of business usually do nothing but frustrate me. Seems like a good investment to me, but what do I know about Turbine's business model?
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  #22  
Unread 04-17-2012, 09:29 PM
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Digital_Utopia Digital_Utopia is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by K1R4D3L
Agree, plugins can't solve world hunger or anything, but using the term loosely, I do think they can do a lot to build enthusiasm for the game, as well as resolve many player frustrations, allowing Turbine to deprioritize those things and focus on new features/content.

I dream of being able to have my iPad up beside my monitor, tracking my quests/goals/deeds and plotting/following my course on a map, researching items and crafting recipes, managing alts, reviewing storage, etc., all without cluttering the UI. It would even keep me connected to the game when I'm not able to actually play. If I could show something that cool to friends/coworkers, I know we'd have more active players in very short order. Now, I'm not asking Turbine to create such an app, though that would be awesome if they did it right, but I would definitely be willing to sink way too much of my personal time into it if Turbine would only make it feasible, with well-supported, stable APIs, and I know I'm not alone in that.

*shrug* I'm a dreamer...the realities of business usually do nothing but frustrate me. Seems like a good investment to me, but what do I know about Turbine's business model?
Oh I completely agree there - I'd simply love to see something like WoW remote for LotRO, a 3D model viewer to view your character, have the lorebook show you exactly what a piece of gear looks like, a plugin that allows you to "dress up" your character, and tells you where you can get that gear/cosmetic, a mobile and/or web app that shows every last bit of data about your character - including deeds, recipes, all stats, your LI stats, etc. Even a 3D zone map that allows you to see exactly where a quest objective is. Every last one of these things are possible (if not already exist) for WoW, and it would certainly improve interest and depth in the game if these things were possible for LotRO as well.

I just can't fairly blame Turbine for not jumping on this, unless I know for sure that they had the resources to do so and chose not to
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  #23  
Unread 04-17-2012, 10:51 PM
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Eili Eili is offline
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Well i am just a little voice here, but i wish you the best in which way you decide to go. You deserve it.

You were always helpfull and respectuous towards us, and i thank you for this.

Life is what you are doing of it, your time to fly away from Lotro is arrived and you will find probably new heavens. Enjoy them.


Eili aka Moranae
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  #24  
Unread 04-18-2012, 02:01 PM
moebius92 moebius92 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dwamur
Kiradel,

I hear your argument. You're saying "take one dev, or half a dev, and devote her to API improvement until U7. We'll take it from there."

Okay. That's a good argument. Now - let me take this seriously and ask: How can something come of it? Is the plugin author community coherent enough to act on this vision?

One possible action would be a marketing drive. Create a website, with content created by plugin authors, that acts as marketing. "Here is what we have done. Isn't it cool? Here's what we could do. It's even better! We'll do it for free. We need you, Turbine, to do this" (and "this" should link to a page with highly detailed, highly technical action items that a manager can give to a dev to implement immediately).

Then, once the site has been up for a while and has good, engaging content, including humorous videos - keep in mind, this would be a marketing effort, so it has to be light-hearted and positive - set a day during which plugin authors will advertise in-game. Plugins will already have been coded to display a message in chat when they start on that day, and every hour thereafter (details TBD, provided you can get date/time from the API and the community doesn't come up with something better), to the effect of "we are ready to make this game even funner and more full of bacon, for free! Turbine, do your part and enable us to do this. www.moarbacon.org".

How about it, plugin authors? Is this a bunch of trollshaw lynxes that cannot be herded under any circumstances, or can the authoring community rally behind a marketing push?
I'm probably biased, since I've only had limited experience with modding communities (mostly WoW, and some single player games), but one thing that struck me about the WoW plugin community (when I briefly rejoined WoW at the start of Cataclysm) was a bunch of plugins saying, "we no longer use the incoming healing library" or "we no longer use the threat library" - and the reason was, Blizzard had finally gotten around to adding that functionality to the API. But the plugin authors weren't waiting around for Blizzard to add the functionality, they went off and hacked it in, and people would use the tools even if they were crude or weren't perfectly accurate. And it wouldn't surprise me if that was the sort of signal to the UI devs that you're looking for - that, there's this crude tool, and it's horrible and inaccurate, but people are using it because they really want the functionality, and they'll grab at anything that provides it, no matter how badly it works.

So, I think the challenge to us, as plugin authors, is - use the functionality they've provided to the fullest (I mean, there's my plugin handling fellowship/raid vitals, and that's it. And it's being written by someone that doesn't understand the design philosophy behind what's probably the most popular set of WoW raid vitals in existence - which is kind of funny from my end, but probably less funny from the user's end). Go off and write something that the API doesn't explicitly support. Or better yet, write something that people are going to say, "you can't write a plugin that does X" - write a threat meter, write an equipment manger, write a skill cooldown tracker. And if you do that? ...well, at the very least, it'll give the devs a signal of what unimplemented features there's a demand for. At the best? Incentive - "that's what people who are willing to put the effort in wnat, and if I implement this, I can give it to them", inspiration - "imagine what they could do if they had more access, had a more expansive API?", and satisfaction - "look at what they've done with the things I've added to the API."

I mean, I'm too lazy to do that, because quite frankly, it sounds like work and effort and bunch of other tedious stuff, but if you want to send a signal to the devs - that's how I'd go about it.
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  #25  
Unread 04-18-2012, 11:20 PM
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Digital_Utopia Digital_Utopia is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eili
Well i am just a little voice here, but i wish you the best in which way you decide to go. You deserve it.

You were always helpfull and respectuous towards us, and i thank you for this.

Life is what you are doing of it, your time to fly away from Lotro is arrived and you will find probably new heavens. Enjoy them.


Eili aka Moranae
Thank you I've had a lot of good experiences, good memories, and good times in LotRO, and I'll never forget them. This bridge hasn't been burned, so if the glitter should fade from where I am, and time has lessened my frustrations, there's always the chance to cross that bridge again.

Quote:
Originally Posted by moebius92
I'm probably biased, since I've only had limited experience with modding communities (mostly WoW, and some single player games), but one thing that struck me about the WoW plugin community (when I briefly rejoined WoW at the start of Cataclysm) was a bunch of plugins saying, "we no longer use the incoming healing library" or "we no longer use the threat library" - and the reason was, Blizzard had finally gotten around to adding that functionality to the API. But the plugin authors weren't waiting around for Blizzard to add the functionality, they went off and hacked it in, and people would use the tools even if they were crude or weren't perfectly accurate. And it wouldn't surprise me if that was the sort of signal to the UI devs that you're looking for - that, there's this crude tool, and it's horrible and inaccurate, but people are using it because they really want the functionality, and they'll grab at anything that provides it, no matter how badly it works.

So, I think the challenge to us, as plugin authors, is - use the functionality they've provided to the fullest (I mean, there's my plugin handling fellowship/raid vitals, and that's it. And it's being written by someone that doesn't understand the design philosophy behind what's probably the most popular set of WoW raid vitals in existence - which is kind of funny from my end, but probably less funny from the user's end). Go off and write something that the API doesn't explicitly support. Or better yet, write something that people are going to say, "you can't write a plugin that does X" - write a threat meter, write an equipment manger, write a skill cooldown tracker. And if you do that? ...well, at the very least, it'll give the devs a signal of what unimplemented features there's a demand for. At the best? Incentive - "that's what people who are willing to put the effort in wnat, and if I implement this, I can give it to them", inspiration - "imagine what they could do if they had more access, had a more expansive API?", and satisfaction - "look at what they've done with the things I've added to the API."

I mean, I'm too lazy to do that, because quite frankly, it sounds like work and effort and bunch of other tedious stuff, but if you want to send a signal to the devs - that's how I'd go about it.
There are modding communities that have been created - and have prospered, without any developer help at all. Grand Theft Auto and Need For Speed seems to come to mind the most - but in these cases, there were no editing tools, no API, or so much as a hint from a dev. Everything was figured out by those interested in not only adding their own stuff - but the basic desire to see how things work.

In the case of MMOs, it's a little bit different obviously - as technically speaking, you really can't add anything to the game itself. However, finding out how stuff works definitely still applies, and, of course, addons/plugins are the closest thing to adding new stuff. While I haven't really looked into WoW addons, the general feeling I get, is that these libraries are mainly for making things easier for other authors. It's important to note that the major difference between WoW and LotRO when it comes to this, is that even core UI elements are done the same way as addons are in WoW. Obviously there are some functions/API that are off limits to addons; but generally speaking, players create their UI elements using the same methods that Blizzard does. With LotRO, the plugin system is a completely separate entity - with the client modified to communicate with this system. While this greatly reduces the chances of Exploits and botting, it also makes the system require more effort on part of the developer, and limits the power of plugins to only what's been added to that system.

So while it may be unrealistic to pull off a healing library, or a threat library - it is certainly possible to create libraries that make other author's jobs easier. One of the best tips I can give any plugin developer is to not limit yourself to just what the API appears to allow. Between the basic elements of the API, and the power of Lua, there is a lot there that is possible - as long as it doesn't require game data. As examples I can point to the UI library I created, Palantir's bars/color change, and even that raycasting example - all done using nothing but Lua and the base UI class. Other experiments I've done - some which I may still clean up and release, when I find the time/energy, is an XML parser, and the beginnings of a method to parse XML into a UI layout. All that stuff, I think - shows the power of what the API started off with, along with the Lua scripting language.

However, at the end of the day - you can only show so many examples of what could be done, before you're stuck asking when Turbine is going to make this have more of a point. In that end, for better or worse, plugin authors are at the mercy of Turbine.

As far as file formats go of course, I really would like to see players that have had experience in recognizing and understanding various unknown file formats. There's already an app that will extract the contents of a .dat file, and of course textures and audio is fairly easy. However, stuff like filenames, 3d meshes, the world terrain/buildings, and even the local database files that keep local information are far from being figured out - as I'm nowhere near proficient enough in 3d formats to get anything worthwhile out of them,

But, hopefully someday that type of person does come along, and wishes to help out - and then things can really start getting interesting.
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  #26  
Unread 04-19-2012, 11:48 PM
moebius92 moebius92 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Digital_Utopia
In the case of MMOs, it's a little bit different obviously - as technically speaking, you really can't add anything to the game itself. However, finding out how stuff works definitely still applies, and, of course, addons/plugins are the closest thing to adding new stuff. While I haven't really looked into WoW addons, the general feeling I get, is that these libraries are mainly for making things easier for other authors. It's important to note that the major difference between WoW and LotRO when it comes to this, is that even core UI elements are done the same way as addons are in WoW. Obviously there are some functions/API that are off limits to addons; but generally speaking, players create their UI elements using the same methods that Blizzard does. With LotRO, the plugin system is a completely separate entity - with the client modified to communicate with this system. While this greatly reduces the chances of Exploits and botting, it also makes the system require more effort on part of the developer, and limits the power of plugins to only what's been added to that system.
This is wrong. The functionality to track threat? Didn't exist. Someone went out, figured out here's how much threat each skill generates. They figured out anything that could modify that threat. Then they watched everything - what talents you have, what buffs you have, what equipment you've got on, what skills you used, and they guessed - here's how much threat you've generated on the target. And that was the threat meter.

And then later on? Blizzard figured out - oh, our players would like to know how much threat they've got on a mob. Let's add it into the API. And then those threat libraries got deprecated. But it was the players leading the way. They didn't wait for Blizzard to expose those game mechanics to the API. They just went out and wrote it in.
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  #27  
Unread 04-20-2012, 04:01 AM
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Digital_Utopia Digital_Utopia is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by moebius92
This is wrong. The functionality to track threat? Didn't exist. Someone went out, figured out here's how much threat each skill generates. They figured out anything that could modify that threat. Then they watched everything - what talents you have, what buffs you have, what equipment you've got on, what skills you used, and they guessed - here's how much threat you've generated on the target. And that was the threat meter.

And then later on? Blizzard figured out - oh, our players would like to know how much threat they've got on a mob. Let's add it into the API. And then those threat libraries got deprecated. But it was the players leading the way. They didn't wait for Blizzard to expose those game mechanics to the API. They just went out and wrote it in.
Then I stand corrected. However, it is worth pointing out that in order to create some form of treat meter in LotRO, we'd have to have some way of detecting when a skill was fired. With enough experimentation, some value could be attached to various healing/threat/damage skills, (de)buffs, as well as the amount of healing/damage done. As of now of course, using this formula to create some form of meter, would be impossible - considering there is no way to react to skills being fired - most notably skills that do not do any healing or damage, but just generate threat.
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  #28  
Unread 04-20-2012, 10:31 AM
moebius92 moebius92 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Digital_Utopia
Then I stand corrected. However, it is worth pointing out that in order to create some form of treat meter in LotRO, we'd have to have some way of detecting when a skill was fired. With enough experimentation, some value could be attached to various healing/threat/damage skills, (de)buffs, as well as the amount of healing/damage done. As of now of course, using this formula to create some form of meter, would be impossible - considering there is no way to react to skills being fired - most notably skills that do not do any healing or damage, but just generate threat.
Ummm... no.

For example, take Shield-taunt which is the only guardian skill I can think of that is purely threat (Fray the Edge and Litany of Defiance both have debuffs). In my combat, I get messages like "<name> scored a hit with Shield-taunt on the Foraging Brown-bear." Which makes sense, since there's also miss and resist messages - so you can use it to track frequency of outcomes on your skills. Heck, you can track it against specific target types.

In fact, I think the only way to use a skill and not have to generate some sort of foot print in the combat log is to use a AoE skill with no targets in range. And in that case, you can track the power drop or the morale drop. So... if you've got a skill that has no power cost or morale cost, and it's AoE, and you use it with no targets in range, then yes. There will be absolutely no sign that it was ever used. Of course, it probably has no effect, and I'm not sure there actually are any skills that meet that criteria, but other than that, those skills can be missed.
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  #29  
Unread 04-20-2012, 11:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by moebius92
Ummm... no.

For example, take Shield-taunt which is the only guardian skill I can think of that is purely threat (Fray the Edge and Litany of Defiance both have debuffs). In my combat, I get messages like "<name> scored a hit with Shield-taunt on the Foraging Brown-bear." Which makes sense, since there's also miss and resist messages - so you can use it to track frequency of outcomes on your skills. Heck, you can track it against specific target types.

In fact, I think the only way to use a skill and not have to generate some sort of foot print in the combat log is to use a AoE skill with no targets in range. And in that case, you can track the power drop or the morale drop. So... if you've got a skill that has no power cost or morale cost, and it's AoE, and you use it with no targets in range, then yes. There will be absolutely no sign that it was ever used. Of course, it probably has no effect, and I'm not sure there actually are any skills that meet that criteria, but other than that, those skills can be missed.
Ok then, I wasn't aware that skills that didn't do damage showed up in the log. I guess the only thing in the way is figuring out a value for each skill that would affect threat, so a threat list could be created. But that's a whole lot of trial and error involved.
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  #30  
Unread 07-30-2012, 03:04 AM
Snoopy81 Snoopy81 is offline
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I took over Palantir's development in May 2012.

I already added some new features and fixed some annoyances.
You may find Palantir v2.x in "LotRO Patches" section:
Palantir v2 branch

Before releasing v2.0 here I tried to e-Mail at [email protected], but no answer came ( as often with msn mails ).
Now, as releasing a v2.10 with all new features I'm trying a post here.
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