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Category: Outdated LotRO InterfacesLotRO Character Journal Gadget for Windows Sidebar
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Name: LotRO Character Journal Gadget for Windows Sidebar   Popular!
Author:
Date: 09-09-2011 08:00 AM
Size: 918.72 Kb
Version: 0.9.4.3
Rate File: 5 out of 5 with 2 votes  
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Gadget in docked state
 
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Gadget in docked state, expanded
 
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Size: 38.99 Kb
Dimensions: 358 x 386
Gadget in undocked state
 
Description
This is no longer being maintained. Please see this thread for more information

Ever wanted to keep track of your characters without having to browse my.lotro.com, or log into the game? Now you can view your character's up-to-date basic stats and equipped gear right on your desktop!

Requirements
Windows Vista / Windows 7

Installation
Unzip LotROChar.Gadget and open it. Windows will then ask if you would like to install this sidebar gadget, so choose to do so.

First time Use

Upon loading the gadget for the first time, you'll get a message telling you to use settings to load characters.

In order to use settings, move your mouse over the gadget and click the button that looks like a wrench.

When the settings window opens, type your character's name into the first text box, select your server from the dropdown box, and click the "Add" button.

Upon adding a character, the gadget will verify whether or not the character exists. If you see a green check mark icon, your character has been found, and will now be available for viewing. If you get a red X icon, double check your input and try again


Continue adding as many characters as you would like and when you're done, click the "OK" button at the bottom of the window. At this point the gadget will proceed to load data for character(s) and display the first one on your list.

General Use
The gadget has two states, docked and undocked. You can switch between these at any time by mousing over the gadget and clicking the button on the gadget panel that looks like an arrow pointing to the upper right, or lower left - depending on the current state.

While the gadget is in the docked state, you can switch between characters by using the arrow buttons on either side of the "More" link. Clicking the "More" link will cause the gadget to expand to display character stats. Clicking "Less" will cause the gadget to hide those stats.

While the gadget is in the undocked state, you can switch between characters by using the arrow buttons in the upper left, and upper right corners.

In both states, mousing over any equipment slot will display that item's tooltip. In the docked state, the tooltip will display under the morale/power/armour bar, over where the stats show. In the undocked state, it will display on the opposite side of the gadget.

To European (Formerly Codemasters players)

As of v 9.4, your servers are among the available servers to pick from when adding characters. Whether the gadget will find them depends solely on whether Turbine has made the data of those characters available yet.

If your character's information is available on my.lotro.com, and the gadget does not find your character, please let me know in the comments below, or via PM - with your character's name and server - and I will investigate the matter further.

To Previous/Current Users

-Updating-

Windows should give you the option to update your existing gadget.

-Changes-
  • The gadget now uses Turbine's API alone.
  • The new servers added with the F2P launch have been added to the drop-down box in settings

v0.9.1.0 (12/12/2010) - Fixed a display issue where the stats on the docked (smaller) size would disappear.

v0.9.2.0 (12/14/2010) - Improved the way data refreshes, as well as reduced the interval between updates from 4.5 hours to 30 minutes.

v0.9.3.0 (5/29/2011) - Fixed data source so that it uses Turbine's data alone.

v0.9.3.1 (5/29/2011) - Forgot set piece names - these are now available.

v0.9.4 (7/09/2011) - Fixed a typo with the Dwarrowdelf server name that prevented characters from that server from being loaded.

Also, added support on my end for European servers - Full support depends on when Turbine makes those characters' data available.

v0.9.4.1 (7/10/2011) - Removed Localization limits preventing the gadget from working on non US/US English systems - Gadget itself will remain in English until Turbine allows for multi-language item data (i.e. tooltips)

v0.9.4.2 (7/13/2011) - Players with characters on Laurelin and Gwaihir were being unfairly snubbed - this has been corrected.

v0.9.4.3 (9/9/2011) - A bug in the tooltip display caused some slots to show the wrong tooltip - this has been rectified.
Archive List (Old Versions)
File Name
Version
Size
Author
Date
0.9.4.2
909.16 Kb
Digital_Utopia
07-13-2011 02:00 PM
0.9.4.1
909.14 Kb
Digital_Utopia
07-10-2011 05:11 AM
0.9.4
909.81 Kb
Digital_Utopia
07-10-2011 12:02 AM
0.9.3.1
908.99 Kb
Digital_Utopia
05-29-2011 03:57 PM
0.9.3.0
908.83 Kb
Digital_Utopia
05-29-2011 05:55 AM
0.9.2.0
876.16 Kb
Digital_Utopia
12-14-2010 05:52 AM
0.9.1.0
876.36 Kb
Digital_Utopia
12-12-2010 11:11 PM
0.9.0.0-fix
876.14 Kb
Digital_Utopia
12-11-2010 09:06 AM
0.9.0.0
876.49 Kb
Digital_Utopia
12-11-2010 02:27 AM
File Statistics
User Rating:
5 out of 5 with 2 votes
Downloads: 12266
Views: 64085
Favorites: 12
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Last Modified: 04-10-2012 03:45 AM by Digital_Utopia    

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Unread 01-04-2012, 05:15 PM  
Digital_Utopia
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Re: Some problems

Quote:
Good one, its a nice app.
I tried it today but i have 1 problem seeing the stats of my orc char.
And could you change the size of the letters, its a little small,... dont you think?

Regardless to this its a nice app. Good job!
Oh yeah - way on the small side. Sadly, considering the size limitations (among other faults of Sidebar gadgets) I didn't exactly have a lot of room to work with. It's one of the main reasons why I created the AIR version, which is quite a bit bigger, and considering it was written in Flash (i.e. Vector text/graphics) it's a lot easier to read not to mention support for PvP info and crafting (whenever Turbine decides to start updating the data the latter)
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Unread 01-04-2012, 04:38 PM  
guren
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Some problems

Good one, its a nice app.
I tried it today but i have 1 problem seeing the stats of my orc char.
And could you change the size of the letters, its a little small,... dont you think?

Regardless to this its a nice app. Good job!
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Unread 12-02-2011, 08:02 AM  
Digital_Utopia
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Quote:
Thanks for the welcome back and for the nov, errr, reply. Seriously though, I appreciate it. I had no idea the gadgets were so restrictive. As for the coins, I can understand that. It's too bad Turbine couldn't take a look at the API CCP uses for EVE Online which uses two types of personal keys per character that can be used to access different levels of info for your characters, the second being just about anything in the game. It is a very secure system and yet gives a LOT of freedom for third party mods and applications outside of the game which are all but indespensible since the EVE player has to deal with huge volumes of info to be effective ingame.

I'll give the AIR mod a try this evening. I already have all of Adobe's apps on my system including AIR so I don't expect any difficulties. I only went for the Sidebar Widget because I keep the SB open all the time on my second monitor and have used various gaming gadgets there in the past.

I can understand too that you don't really have the time since both the gadget and the widget are really more for a limited audience while your other projects will in all likelihood be of more use to quite a few more players. Thelyn sounds awesome! I'll have to get my Droid operable again (its on the fritz atm) so that I can try it out. And I'm looking forward to the Palantir rewrite too. I just downloaded it along with a boatload of other mods which I'm going to attempt to put together into one HUGE Skin along with some of my own elements if I can get them to all play nicely together. I'm not a coder by any stretch of the imagination but I learn fast and have played around with other gaming skin/mod languages like the one for Everquest II (years ago) with some success. I've been downloading and reading everything I can get my hands on about Lua. Should be fun (or a total disaster o.O).

Anyway, thanks again, and good luck with all of those projects!
To be fair, I don't think Microsoft intended for so much information to be displayed in a gadget - the default ones are probably more along the lines of what was intended. However, there's no mistake that something of this nature is more than at home in such a concept, so in the end, it's just unfortunate.

As far as things on Turbine's end goes - I can think of, and have suggested numerous ways for them to improve on their existing systems. Not only the data API, but plugins as well. However, I do realize that they're a pretty small company, and most of these features are the result of dev "pet projects" - something they work on when they're not working on the game itself. On that note, it is important to understand that, unlike other MMOs, there is an explicit difference between their skinning system (implemented somewhere around initial game launch) and their plugin system (implemented with F2P). Those two are completely different systems, and the best way to differentiate between the two, is to go by the rule that skinning is for existing elements, and plugins are for new ones.

Although I admit, I'd probably find a way to have fun with a complete and full-featured API (whether it be data, like in EVE - or plugins/addons like in WoW), I do have to admit that I'm also having a lot of fun seeing what I can pull off with what they do give us. One already existing example of that are Palantir's bars - which really depend on a lot of graphical "black magic" in order for those bars to fill like that. Other examples, from demo projects, is a (very poorly performing) raycasting engine ported from a C++ example (think old-school "3D" games like Wolf3d or Doom), and an interpretation of Google's tile-based map system. The latter actually performed quite well, however its usefulness was hampered by no player coords/heading data available to the API, as well as the client's lack of garbage collection on images. In other words, every tile loaded, whatever the zoom, whether its terrain or parchment, stays in memory until you exit the client. One final example, which will be appearing with Palantir 2, is basically a class for generating UI from XML - something that needed to be done to separate the visuals from the logic, and by proxy, help make "skinning" possible for plugins.

Long story short, while having the entire kitchen sink would be nice, being forced to "make do" certainly forces one to really make the most out of what one actually has to work with.

Oh, one last thing - regarding Thelyn or anything else really, any news, previews, or just results of watching myself type will be posted to my blog/site. Among the previous posts, you'll find some screens of what I've managed to get accomplished with that app to this point, before I had to switch gears on account of RoI to go back to working on Palantir. Basically, the character screen, and the manager, which allows you to add/edit/remove/sort characters, kinships and servers - and of course, eventually use that as a jump list, in addition to the eventual addition of simple menu lists. (See? I told you I thought that was a good idea :P)
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Unread 12-02-2011, 12:00 AM  
Adder
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Thanks for the welcome back and for the nov, errr, reply. Seriously though, I appreciate it. I had no idea the gadgets were so restrictive. As for the coins, I can understand that. It's too bad Turbine couldn't take a look at the API CCP uses for EVE Online which uses two types of personal keys per character that can be used to access different levels of info for your characters, the second being just about anything in the game. It is a very secure system and yet gives a LOT of freedom for third party mods and applications outside of the game which are all but indespensible since the EVE player has to deal with huge volumes of info to be effective ingame.

I'll give the AIR mod a try this evening. I already have all of Adobe's apps on my system including AIR so I don't expect any difficulties. I only went for the Sidebar Widget because I keep the SB open all the time on my second monitor and have used various gaming gadgets there in the past.

I can understand too that you don't really have the time since both the gadget and the widget are really more for a limited audience while your other projects will in all likelihood be of more use to quite a few more players. Thelyn sounds awesome! I'll have to get my Droid operable again (its on the fritz atm) so that I can try it out. And I'm looking forward to the Palantir rewrite too. I just downloaded it along with a boatload of other mods which I'm going to attempt to put together into one HUGE Skin along with some of my own elements if I can get them to all play nicely together. I'm not a coder by any stretch of the imagination but I learn fast and have played around with other gaming skin/mod languages like the one for Everquest II (years ago) with some success. I've been downloading and reading everything I can get my hands on about Lua. Should be fun (or a total disaster o.O).

Anyway, thanks again, and good luck with all of those projects!
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Unread 11-30-2011, 05:59 PM  
Digital_Utopia
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Quote:
After a lengthy absence from LOTRO, I came back last summer and started over on a new server. I recently decided to start making use of the plugins and skins available since there are so many more now than when I left in '09. While perusing I found this golden nugget and I absolutely luv it! Thanks for the effort and work you've put into it!

That said, I do have a few requests/suggestions for the gadget...
  1. Would it be possible to add the character's coin to the display?
  2. Are you planning an update to account for the changes to mitigation, finnesse, etc?
  3. Would it be possible, instead of displaying the first character's panel as default, to instead (or as an option) display a list of selectable characters?

On item #3, what I'm getting at is the fact that for altoholics like myself , the linear list is a real hassle to go back and forth through to find a particular character. I have 9 characters on one server alone (not counting the Creeps) and have a total of 24 spread across 5 servers with an additional 10 Creeps. If I add them all to the gadget, it would be a tedious chore to search through each one to find that one character. It would be much easier with a list of selectable characters, accessable at anytime, and perhaps sortable by server, alphabetically (or custom such as by level, rank, race, class, etc.), and Creep/Freep.

If not on any or all of the three, no biggy though. It's still a very handy and useful gadget.
First off, I'm glad you like it, and of course, welcome back!

Sadly, the first two (coin/new stats) aren't possible right now. This gadget is, for better or worse, at the mercy of Turbine's character data API, which hasn't really seen much of an update in what data is available, for probably over two years now. So not only is the latest RoI stat types unavailable, but same goes with the slightly older stat types introduced around SoM.

Coin on the other hand is simply not available due to privacy concerns. As the API is essentially public (with a Turbine provided API key), there's no player-based security on it. Therefore, information that's considered "sensitive" isn't included. This is also pretty much why you're forced to add each individual character, instead of a much more user friendly way that would simply allow you to "log in" and automatically get all your characters. While some web voodoo, involving logging into lotro.com and farming such data from my.lotro.com would be technically possible, there's no acceptably safe way to do so (especially with this gadget) without placing undo risk on a player's account security. Something I'm, understandably, not willing to do.

As far as the list/sorting goes - that's another great idea, and while that is technically possible, it's not going to happen with this particular gadget. To be fair, I need to give a little background. When I started this project, I wanted to take advantage of the fact that Windows Sidebar Gadgets would be able to be used by pretty much anybody with Vista (and now 7), without requiring any additional third-party downloads. While that advantage is certainly true, it turned out that's about the only advantage there was. Windows Gadgets suffer from display issues (anything outside of the core gadget produces pink artifacts), structure (two display "pages" and a single options window), and primitive user data (stored in an .ini file, as opposed to a database). All together it makes the ideas of not only sorting, but displaying such a "picker list" in the first place, about as excruciating and feasible as walking barefoot through a pile of broken glass.

These limitations are basically why I decided to create a new gadget using Adobe AIR - hoping that most users would welcome the numerous benefits (including being cross-platform) for their trouble of having to download AIR to use it. While that gadget certainly looks/performs about 100 times better than this one, displays every last possible bit of available info, I found out shortly after the first release, that AIR will either work beautifully, or not at all - no matter what you do. The nice part about it is that such a sortable list would be more than possible - as user data is stored in a mini local database, and there's more than enough flexibility to give that picker list room to exist. However, I don't like leaving whether one can use it or not up to, what for all intents and purposes is, fate. Even still, I do encourage you, if possible, to check out that AIR version. If it works for you, it's a much better experience overall - at least in my humble opinion.

The final attempt is likely going to use what's known as Kludget Engine, which is basically a third-party utility that allows one to use Mac OS X type widgets in Windows and Linux. However, at this point - I'm kinda up to my ears in projects - both LotRO related and other. As far as LotRO goes, I'm in the middle of a major rewrite for the next big version of Palantir - a Heads-Up Display (HUD) plugin, and once that's done, it's back to working on what's essentially going to start out as a LotRO Herald equivalent app for Android devices, named Thelyn (Sindarin for "Heroes") Which, is really taking this gadget idea to the most logical extreme.

At any rate, sorry for the novel - I just felt it was more fair to give reasons, instead of just saying "thank you but no"
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Unread 11-30-2011, 03:25 PM  
Adder
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After a lengthy absence from LOTRO, I came back last summer and started over on a new server. I recently decided to start making use of the plugins and skins available since there are so many more now than when I left in '09. While perusing I found this golden nugget and I absolutely luv it! Thanks for the effort and work you've put into it!

That said, I do have a few requests/suggestions for the gadget...
  1. Would it be possible to add the character's coin to the display?
  2. Are you planning an update to account for the changes to mitigation, finnesse, etc?
  3. Would it be possible, instead of displaying the first character's panel as default, to instead (or as an option) display a list of selectable characters?

On item #3, what I'm getting at is the fact that for altoholics like myself , the linear list is a real hassle to go back and forth through to find a particular character. I have 9 characters on one server alone (not counting the Creeps) and have a total of 24 spread across 5 servers with an additional 10 Creeps. If I add them all to the gadget, it would be a tedious chore to search through each one to find that one character. It would be much easier with a list of selectable characters, accessable at anytime, and perhaps sortable by server, alphabetically (or custom such as by level, rank, race, class, etc.), and Creep/Freep.

If not on any or all of the three, no biggy though. It's still a very handy and useful gadget.
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Unread 09-09-2011, 03:11 AM  
Digital_Utopia
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Quote:
It occured to me that the tooltip of the class slots show the same as the crafting tools, on every character =)
I'll check it out when I get home. Should have an update later this morning

aaaaand....9.4.3 squashes yet another bug. Thanks for the feedback!

Last edited by Digital_Utopia : 09-09-2011 at 08:03 AM.
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Unread 09-08-2011, 08:36 PM  
Wicked Mouse
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It occured to me that the tooltip of the class slots show the same as the crafting tools, on every character =)
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Unread 09-01-2011, 06:13 AM  
Digital_Utopia
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Quote:
Would it be possible that if I create a second gadget instance on the desktop, that I could manage a second list of characters (so that they don't share libraries)? For instance so one could have a gadget with only freeps and a gadget showing only creeps.
The only way I know to do that is to make a copy of the installed gadget folder, with a new name, and change the gadget's name in the xml file to tell them apart
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Unread 08-31-2011, 10:32 PM  
Wicked Mouse
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Would it be possible that if I create a second gadget instance on the desktop, that I could manage a second list of characters (so that they don't share libraries)? For instance so one could have a gadget with only freeps and a gadget showing only creeps.
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Unread 07-14-2011, 12:51 AM  
rafalek
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Quote:
Good catch!

After taking another look, Gwaihir was missing as well - both of these have been added in 0.9.4.2. Thanks for bringing it to my attention!
Anytime, Sir Thank you for your bombastic work!
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Unread 07-13-2011, 02:02 PM  
Digital_Utopia
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Quote:
Hello,

I just noticed that the EN-RP Server Laurelin is missing form the selection drop-down list.
Good catch!

After taking another look, Gwaihir was missing as well - both of these have been added in 0.9.4.2. Thanks for bringing it to my attention!
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Unread 07-13-2011, 07:36 AM  
rafalek
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Hello,

I just noticed that the EN-RP Server Laurelin is missing form the selection drop-down list.
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Unread 07-10-2011, 05:18 AM  
Digital_Utopia
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Quote:
Hi!

Very nice gaget, unfortunately not working for EU players .

For those who can not finde the gadget after installation.

Unzip the gadget to a folder. You will find a folder "en-US".

If you are a german guy like me, you have to rename this folder to "de-DE".

After that you zip the whole thing and rename the zip to "LotROchar.Gadget" without zip extensions.

Now the installation works.

regards

mglinka99
oops!

new version uploaded (v0.9.4.1)- with localization stripped from it. Should work on all Vista/Win 7 systems, no matter what language/country.

The gadget will, however, remain in English only until such a time that Turbine introduces multi-language item data.
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Unread 07-10-2011, 04:00 AM  
mglinka99
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Hi!

Very nice gaget, unfortunately not working for EU players .

For those who can not finde the gadget after installation.

Unzip the gadget to a folder. You will find a folder "en-US".

If you are a german guy like me, you have to rename this folder to "de-DE".

After that you zip the whole thing and rename the zip to "LotROchar.Gadget" without zip extensions.

Now the installation works.

regards

mglinka99
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